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15th October Current Affairs


  1. Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States
  2. International Day of Rural Women
  3. Deen Dayal Antyodaya Rashtriya Aajeevika Mission in J&K
  4. Godwit shatters record for non-stop avian flight


Focus: GS-II Social Justice

Why in news?

The Union Cabinet has approved the Implementation of the Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project which receives financial support from World Bank (amounting to US $ 500 million).

Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States Program (STARS) Programme

  • The START Programme is a project partially funded by the World Bank to carry out a reform agenda in the governance of school education, and improve data and assessment systems at the national level, as well as teaching and learning outcomes in six States, especially for early childhood and vocational education.
  • STARS project would be implemented as a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme under Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education. (MOE).
  • The project aims to improve the quality and governance of school education in six States.
  • Around 25 crore students (between the age of 6 and 17) in 15 lakh schools and over 1 crore teachers will benefit from the programme.
  • STARS will also help improve learning assessment systems, strengthen classroom instruction and remediation, facilitate school-to-work transition, and strengthen governance and decentralised management.
  • The project covers 6 States namely Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Odisha.
  • The identified States will be supported tor various interventions for improving the quality of education.
  • The Programme will be implemented at the national level, through the Samagra Shiksha, and in partnership with the governments of the 6 States.
  • The STARS program builds on the long partnership between India and the World Bank (since 1994), for strengthening public school education and to support the country’s goal of providing Education for All.
  • At the National level, there would be a Governing Council headed by Minister of Human Resource Development and a Project Approval Board (PAB) headed by Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy.

Criticism of STARS Programme

  • First, it fails to address the basic capacity issues: major vacancies across the education system from District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs), district and block education offices, to teachers in schools, remain unaddressed.
  • Without capable and motivated faculty, teacher education and training cannot be expected to improve.
  • Second, the Bank ignores that decentralizing decision-making requires the devolution of funds and real decision-making power.
  • Greater decentralisation can allow accountability to flow to the people rather than to supervising officers.
  • It requires not just investment in the capacity of the front-line bureaucracy but also in increasing their discretionary powers while fostering social accountability.

Way Forward

  • The administration must be equipped with adequate physical, financial, and human resources.
  • An overburdened bureaucracy with vacancies and without basic equipment cannot be expected to be effective.
  • Administrative or governance reforms must give greater discretion to the front-line bureaucracy to address local issues and innovate if required.
  • This is as much a function of better resources at the local level as of greater decentralization of decision-making or political authorization.
  • There needs to be trust within the administration among peers and across different levels within the administration.

-Source: The Hindu


Focus: GS-II Social Justice


  • Rural women are the drivers of developed as well as developing economies. Not only do they play a crucial role in shaping families and societies, they are actively involved in on-farm and off-farm activities. Their engagement diversifies family livelihood, and yet, their efforts largely go unappreciated.
  • Rural women can be decisive leaders: But structural constraints of gender, negative ideologies, lack of economic assets and a patriarchal society weigh them down. Gender-based stereotypes and discrimination deny these women their right to resources, opportunities and / or a social life.
  • They lack access to land, resources, road, infrastructure, connectivity, education and health, which affects the human development and economic empowerment disproportionately. While rural women face similar challenges, their vulnerabilities may vary in terms of region or ethnicity.

International Day of Rural Women

  • The first International Day of Rural Women was observed on 15 October 2008.
  • This day recognizes “the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.”

-Source: Down To Earth


Focus: GS-II Social Justice

Why in news?

The Union Cabinet approved changes in the criteria to extend benefits under the Deen Dayal Antyodaya Rashtriya Aajeevika Mission to over 10 lakh women in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.


The scheme is aimed at providing livelihood to women in rural areas.

Due to some technical reasons, very few women in J&K and Ladakh were eligible for the programme. Therefore, certain changes in the criteria were approved by the Cabinet to ensure that 10 Lakh women in the two Union Territories benefited from the special package.

Deen Dayal Antyodaya Rashtriya Aajeevika Mission

  • Aajeevika – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) was launched by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India in June 2011.
  • Aided in part through investment support by the World Bank, the Mission aims at creating efficient and effective institutional platforms of the rural poor, enabling them to increase household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial services.
  • NRLM set out with an agenda to cover 7 Crore rural poor households, across 600 districts, 6000 blocks, 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats and 6 lakh villages in the country through self-managed Self Help Groups (SHGs) and federated institutions and support them for livelihoods collectives in a period of 8-10 years.
  • In addition, the poor would be facilitated to achieve increased access to rights, entitlements and public services, diversified risk and better social indicators of empowerment.


  • National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) is a poverty alleviation project implemented by Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India.
  • This scheme is focused on promoting self-employment and organization of rural poor.
  • The basic idea behind this programme is to organize the poor into SHG (Self Help Groups) groups and make them capable for self-employment.
  • Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM) is a new name given to Aajeevika – NRLM in November 2015.
  • The initiative to move towards a demand-driven strategy enabling the states to formulate their own livelihoods-based poverty reduction action plan is at the core of the mission.
  • The strength of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development, are the approximately 690 lakh women members of around 63 lakh Self Help Groups (SHGs) across the country.

-Source: The Hindu


Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology

Why in news?

A bar-tailed godwit has been tracked flying non-stop for more than 12,000km from Alaska to New Zealand in 11 days, setting an astonishing world record for non-stop flight by a bird.

Bar-tailed godwit

  • The bar-tailed godwit is a large wader in the family Scolopacidae, which feeds on bristle-worms and shellfish on coastal mudflats and estuaries.
  • The migration of the subspecies Limosa lapponica baueri across the Pacific Ocean from Alaska to New Zealand is the longest known non-stop flight of any bird, and also the longest journey without pausing to feed by any animal.
  • The round-trip migration for this subspecies is over 29,000 km.

-Source: Hindustan Times

December 2023