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PIB 18th May

Contents

  1. International Museum Day
  2. 73rd World Health Assembly Videoconference
  3. “One class, One channel”
  4. Shekatkar Committee recommendations

INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM DAY

Focus: GS-I Art and Culture, Prelims

Why in news?

  • The Ministry of Culture’s Development of Museums and Cultural Spaces hosts a webinar on ‘Revitalising Museums and Cultural Spaces’ on the International Museum Day, on 18th May 2020.
  • The objective of the videoconference is to identify the possible policy actions that will help alleviate the short- and long-term effects of the crisis on museums, cultural spaces and their broader ecosystems.
  • Organised for leading Indian and global cultural institutions, creative businesses, start-ups, policy makers and media, experts in the webinar discussed the way forward for the culture and creative industry.

International Museum Day

  • International Museum Day is held annually on or around 18 May, coordinated by the International Council of Museums (ICOM).
  • The event highlights a specific theme which changes every year to reflect the basis of the international museum community’s preoccupations.
  • The objective of International Museum Day (IMD) is to raise awareness that, Museums are an important means of cultural exchange.
  • The theme for International Museum Day 2020 is – Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion.

73RD WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY VIDEOCONFERENCE

Focus: GS-III International Relations, Prelims

Why in news?

The Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare participated in the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) through Video Conference on 18th May 2020.

World Health Organization (WHO)

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health.
  • It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Its main objective is ensuring “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.”
  • The WHO’s broad mandate includes advocating for universal healthcare, monitoring public health risks, coordinating responses to health emergencies, and promoting human health and well-being.
  • The World Health Assembly (WHA), composed of representatives from all 194 member states, serves as the agency’s supreme decision-making body.

World Health Assembly (WHA)

The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO.

It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board.

The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland (sometimes in special sessions).

The main functions of the World Health Assembly are:

  1. To determine the policies of the Organization
  2. Appoint the Director-General
  3. Supervise financial policies
  4. Review and approve the proposed programme budget.
  5. Reporting to the Economic and Social Council in accordance with any agreement between the Organization and the United Nations.

The Health Assembly is composed of delegates representing Member States.

  • Each Member State is represented by not more than three delegates, one of whom is designated by the Member as chief delegate.
  • These delegates are chosen from among persons most qualified by their technical competence in the field of health, preferably representing the national health administration of the Member.

“ONE CLASS, ONE CHANNEL”

Focus: GS-III Social Justice, Prelims

Why in news?

Several initiatives to boost education sector were announced on 17th May including “One nation, One digital platform” and “One class, One channel”.

Highlights of announcements

  • The education sector has taken this opportunity to plan several interventions, particularly in the area of adopting innovative curriculum and pedagogies, concentrating energies on the gap areas, being more inclusive and integrating technology at every stage.
  • The “One nation, one digital platform” and “One class, one channel” will ensure that quality education material will reach the students present in farthest areas of the country.
  • Due consideration is also being given to the Divyang children.

Initiatives to boost Education Sector

PM e-VIDYA

A comprehensive initiative called PM e-VIDYA will be launched which unifies all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education.

This will benefit nearly 25 crore school going children across the country.

This will enable multi-mode access to education, and includes:

  1. DIKSHA (One Nation-One digital platform): which will now become the nation’s digital infrastructure for providing quality e-content in school education for all the states/UTs.
  2. TV (One Class-One Channel): where one dedicated channel per grade for each of the classes 1 to 12 will provide access to quality educational material.
  3. SWAYAM online courses: in MOOCS format for school and higher education.
  4. IITPAL: for IITJEE/NEET preparation.
  5. Educational Material on Air through Community radio and CBSE Shiksha Vani podcast.
  6. Study material for the differently abled: developed on Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) and in sign language on NIOS website/ YouTube.

Manodarpan

  • The Manodarpan initiative is being launched to provide psychosocial support to students, teachers and families for mental health and emotional wellbeing.
  • The Manodarpan Initiative will be extending support through a website, a toll-free helpline, national directory of counselors, interactive chat platform, etc.
  • This initiative will benefit all school going children in the country, along with their parents, teachers and the community of stakeholders in school education.

Expanding e-Learning in Higher Education

  • Government is expanding e-learning in higher education – by liberalizing open, distance and online education regulatory framework.
  • Top 100 universities will start online courses.
  • Online component in conventional Universities and ODL programmes will also be raised from present 20% to 40%.
  • This will provide enhanced learning opportunities to nearly 7 crore students across different colleges and Universities.

New National Curriculum and Pedagogical Framework

  • It has been decided to prepare a new National Curriculum and Pedagogical Framework for school education, teacher education and early childhood stage to prepare students and future teachers as per global benchmarks. The curriculum must be rooted in the Indian ethos and integrated with global skill requirements.

A National Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission

  • A National Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission will be launched, for ensuring that every child in the country necessarily attains foundational literacy and numeracy in Grade 3.
  • For this, teacher capacity building, a robust curricular framework, engaging learning material, assessment techniques, tracking of learning progress, etc., will be designed to take it forward in a systematic fashion.
  • This mission will cover the learning needs of nearly 4 crore children in the age group of 3 to 11 years.

SHEKATKAR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

Focus: GS-III Internal Security, Infrastructure, Prelims

Why in news?

The Government has accepted and implemented three important recommendations of Committee of Experts (CoE) under the Chairmanship of Lt General D B Shekatkar (Retd) relating to border Infrastructure.

These were related to speeding up road construction, leading to socio economic development in the border areas.

Details of what was accepted:

  • On the matter related to creating border infrastructure, the Government has implemented recommendation of CoE to outsource road construction work beyond optimal capacity of Border Roads Organisation (BRO). It has been made mandatory to adopt Engineering Procurement Contract (EPC) mode for execution of all works costing more than Rs 100 crore.
  • The other recommendation relating to introduction of modern construction plants, equipment and machinery has been implemented by delegating enhanced procurement powers from Rs 7.5 crore to Rs 100 crore to BRO.
  • New Technology like blasting technology for precision blasting, use of Geo-Textiles for soil stabilisation, cementitious base for pavements, plastic coated aggregates for surfacing, is also being used to enhance the pace of construction.
  • The land acquisition and all statutory clearances like forest and environmental clearance are also made part of approval of Detailed Project Report (DPR).

Shekatkar Committee

  • Ministry of Defence, in 2015, had constituted a committee (under the chairmanship of Lt. Gen Retd. DB Shekatkar) to recommend measures to enhance combat capability and rebalance defence expenditure of the armed forces.
  • Shekatkar committee had submitted its report on December 21, 2016, which made recommendations on enhancing the combat potential of India’s three armed forces, rationalising the defence budget, and improving the teeth-to-tail ratio.

Key Recommendations of the Shekatkar Committee

  • According to a 2017 report, the Shekatkar Committee had recommended that India’s defence budget should be in the range of 2.5 to 3 per cent of the GDP, keeping in mind possible future threats.
  • Enhancement in standards for recruitment of clerical staff and drivers in the Army was one of the recommendations.
  • It recommended Improving the efficiency of the National Cadet Corps.
  • It had also suggested the establishment of a Joint Services War College for training for middle-level officers, even though the three separate war colleges — Mhow, Secunderabad and Goa — could continue to train younger officers for their respective services.
  • It had also recommended that the Military Intelligence School at Pune be converted to a tri-service intelligence training establishment.
  • The report also focuses on optimisation of Signals establishments to include radio monitoring companies, corps air support signal regiments, air formation signal regiments, composite signal regiments, and merger of corps operating and engineering signal regiments.
  • It included restructuring of repair echelons in the Army to include base workshops, advance base workshops and static/station workshops in the field Army.
  • It also called for the closure of military farms and army postal establishments in peaceful locations, which is among the recommendations already implemented.
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