- NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY 2020
- EXERCISE CUTLASS EXPRESS
- CONSERVATION ASSURED | TIGER STANDARDS
- PM STREET VENDOR’S ATMANIRBHAR NIDHI (PM SVANIDHI)
- ATAL BHUJAL YOJANA
- SAGARMALA SEAPLANE SERVICES (SSPS)
NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY 2020
Focus: GS II- Education
Why in News?
PM’s address to mark the first anniversary of National Education Policy 2020.
History of National Education Policy
I. Inspiration from Woods Dispatch 1854
- Wood’s Dispatch is considered as ‘Magna-Carta’ of English Education. This proposal was based on Downward Infiltration theory.
- Vernacular languages were to be promoted in Primary education. Anglo vernacular medium in Secondary education and English in higher education.
- It emphasized women education.
II. National Policy on Education, 1968
- This was the first policy on education post-independence.
- It was based on the recommendations of the Kothari Commission (1964-1966).
- The policy aimed at compulsory education for all children upto the age of 14 years
- The policy emphasised learning of regional languages, and the “three language formula” to be implemented in secondary education
- The policy also encouraged the teaching of Sanskrit language, which was an essential to part of India’s culture and heritage.
III. National Policy on Education, 1986
- This policy aimed to remove disparities and to equalize educational opportunity, amoung Indian women,
- “Operation Blackboard” was launched as a part of this policy.
- The policy advocated “rural university” model, based on the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi
Highlights of the National Education Policy 2020
- The policy covers all the 3 stages of education, that is school education, higher education and professional education
- It includes even agricultural education, legal education, medical education, technical education, vocational education, teacher education and the research and innovation.
- Emphasizes on The early child care and education and includes it in the Ministry of Education [Ministry of HRD will be called Ministry of Education from now on]
- The policy also tries to focus on certain foundational skills that children should have in the proposed new structure of 5+3+3+4
- The first stage of five years – (Children of 3-8 years of age)
- Is focused on discovery learning and learning by play.
- Aims to build The foundational literacy and numeracy skills
- Preparatory Stage (children in the age group of 8 to 11 year – grades 3 to 5)
- Middle Stage age group of 11-14 years – grades 6 to 8)
- Secondary Stage (age group of 14-18 years – Grades 9-12)
Reforms in School and Secondary education
- National Education Policy 2020 says, Wherever possible, the medium of instruction until at least Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond, will be the home language/mother-tongue/local language.
- Reason behind implementing multilingualism is that, according to research children pick up languages extremely quickly between the ages of 2 and 8 and that multilingualism has great cognitive benefits to young students
- In addition to Sanskrit, the teaching of all other classical languages [in schedule 8] and literature of India will happen at schools.
- School complexes and public library spaces should be used for adult education beyond school hours.
- Every child to learn at least one vocation and exposed to several more.
- Vocational training such as carpentry, electric work, metal work, gardening, pottery making, etc. to be the part of syllabus in schools between grade 6-8.
- By 2025, at least 50% of learners through the school and higher education system shall have exposure to vocational education
- Bagless period for Grades 6-8 once in 10 days will be implemented.
- Ministry of Defence along with State Governments may encourage opening NCC wings in their secondary and higher secondary schools
- Government to focus on digital infrastructure, digital content and capacity building for school and higher education.
- A National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education, NCFTE 2021, will be formulated by the NCTE in consultation with NCERT. By 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree . Violation of the rules will attract Stringent action
- There will be increased flexibility for students to choose the subjects to study from secondary school. It includes subjects in physical education, the arts and crafts, and vocational skills
- There will be no separation among curricular, extracurricular, or co-curricular activities in schools.
- In the same way, there will be NO hardline separation among ‘arts’, ‘humanities’, and ‘sciences’, or between ‘vocational’ or ‘academic’ streams.
- Subjects such as science, humanities, and mathematics will be will be taught along with physical education, the arts and crafts, and vocational skills
- A National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy will be set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) on priority
- 360 degree holistic report card will be given to students, which will not only inform about the marks obtained in subjects, but also their skills
- The policy also proposes to expand Right to compulsory education between 3 -18 years
- The NEP aims to achieve fully literate society by 2030
Reforms in Higher education
- Restructuring the higher education system into Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3.
- Tier 1 includes research universities focusing equally on research and teaching,
- Tier 2- teaching universities focusing primarily on teaching
- Tier 3 – colleges focusing only on teaching at undergraduate levels. All these institutions will gradually move towards academic, administrative, and financial autonomy. Government intends to spread ‘research culture’ at the undergraduate level.
- Foreign universities will be given special permissions and limited procedures to set up institutions in India.
- Higher Education Commission of India(HECI) will be a single overarching umbrella body the for entire higher education, except medical and legal education.
- The NEP establishes National Scholarship Fund to financially support students for higher education.
- Through NEP government aims to enhance GER [gross Enrollment Ratio] of 50% by 2035
- Establishing National Research Foundation [NRF] to enable the culture of research amoung youth.
- Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) will be established which would digitally store the academic credits earned by students.
- Engineering institutions, like IITs, will move towards more holistic and multidisciplinary education to include arts and humanities.
GS III- Science and Technology, Prelims
Why in News ?
Geo-imaging satellite EOS-03 is scheduled for launch in third quarter of 2021.
- Geo-imaging satellite will help in near-real time monitoring of natural disasters like floods & cyclones.
- EOS-03 would also enable monitoring of water bodies, crops, vegetation condition, forest cover changes etc.
- The first developmental flight of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle or SSLV is scheduled in the fourth quarter of 2021 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
- ISRO’s vast experience in Solid propulsion and heritage of proven design practices has enabled SSLV to be developed as a cost-effective, three stage, all-solid launch vehicle with a payload capability of 500 kg to 500 km planar orbit or 300 kg to Sun Synchronous Polar Orbit.
- SSLV is ideal for on-demand, quick turn-around launch of small satellites.
- The major technologies developed as part of realization of SSLV are flexible nozzle control with electro-mechanical actuators for all stages, miniaturized avionics and a velocity trimming module in the upper stage for precise satellite injection.
EXERCISE CUTLASS EXPRESS
Focus: GS III- Internal Security
Why in News?
Indian Naval Ship Talwar is participating in the multi-national maritime exercise Cutlass Express 2021 (CE 21), being conducted from 26 Jul to 06 Aug 21 in Kenya.
- In the harbour phase which was conducted from 26 -28 July at Mombasa.
- A team of Indian Navy Marine Commandos (MARCOS) conducted training of personnel from navies of Kenya, Djibouti, Mozambique, Cameroon and Coast Guard of Georgia.
- The MARCOS shared the best practices in executing Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) operations with the participating foreign Navy sailors during the exercise, which was held at the Bandari Maritime Academy in Mombasa.
- Exercise Cutlass Express is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness and information sharing practices to increase capabilities between the U.S., East African and Western Indian Ocean nations to counter illicit maritime activity in the Western Indian Ocean.
- The Indian Navy played a significant role in ‘CUTLASS EXPRESS – 19’, being involved in planning, coordination and execution.
- It involved training of personnel on shore for coordination and conduct of VBSS operations.
CONSERVATION ASSURED | TIGER STANDARDS
Focus: GS III- Environment
Why in News?
India’s 14 Tiger Reserves get Global CA/TS recognition for good Tiger Conservation.
- The 14 tiger reserves which have been accredited are Manas, Kaziranga and Orang in Assam, Satpura, Kanha and Panna in Madhya Pradesh, Pench in Maharashtra, Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar, Dudhwa in Uttar Pradesh, Sunderbans in West Bengal, Parambikulam in Kerala, Bandipur Tiger Reserve of Karnataka and Mudumalai and Anamalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu.
- The Environment Minister also released the report ‘Status of Leopards, Co-predators and Megaherbivores-2018’ stating that the report is a testimony to the fact that conservation of tigers leads to the conservation of entire ecosystem.
About Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS):
- CA|TS is a set of criteria which allows tiger sites to check if their management will lead to successful tiger conservation.
- CA|TS is organised under seven pillars and 17 elements of critical management activity.
- Officially launched in 2013, CA|TS is an important part of Tx2, the global goal to double wild tiger numbers by the year 2022.
- Developed by WWF and partners, the Global Tiger Forum (GTF) has endorsed CA|TS and has requested member countries to establish National Review Committees for purpose of initiating CA|TS.
- CA|TS is an important tool in the achievement of the CBD’s Global Aichi Targets, in particular Aichi Target 11 and 12, and contributes to the implementation of the Programme of Work on Protected Areas, particularly the last goal related to Standards, Assessment and Monitoring.
- Sites taking part will initially be ‘registered’ (standards not yet attained) then, when all required standards are met, ‘approved’ (standards achieved).
- An approved site has achieved excellence in tiger site management.
- Sites are evaluated through an assessment and independent review process.
- Of the 13 tiger range countries Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Russia have registered and rolled out CA|TS, whilst discussion is ongoing with Bhutan, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and China.
PM STREET VENDOR’S ATMANIRBHAR NIDHI (PM SVANIDHI)
Focus: GS-II Social Justice, GS-III India Economy
Why in News?
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is implementing Pradhan Mantri Street Vendors’ Atma Nirbhar Nidhi Scheme (PM SVANidhi) since June 01, 2020 to facilitate working capital loan of upto₹10,000 of 1 year tenure to Street Vendors, vending in urban areas, to resume their businesses, adversely impacted by the pandemic.
PM Street Vendor’s Atmanitbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi)
- PM SVANidhi is a Special Micro-Credit Facility.
- PM SVANidhi was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs for providing affordable Working Capital loan to street vendors to resume their livelihoods that have been adversely affected due to Covid-19 lockdown.
- Under the Scheme, the vendors can avail a working capital loan of up to Rs. 10,000, which is repayable in monthly instalments in the tenure of one year.
- The scheme promotes digital transactions through cash back incentives.
- Beneficiaries: 50 lakh Street Vendors.
The eligible vendors are identified as per following criteria:
- Street vendors in possession of Certificate of Vending / Identity Card issued by Urban Local Bodies (ULBs);
- The vendors, who have been identified in the survey but have not been issued Certificate of Vending / Identity Card;
- Street Vendors, left out of the ULB led identification survey or who have started vending after completion of the survey and have been issued Letter of Recommendation (LoR) to that effect by the ULB / Town Vending Committee (TVC); and
- The vendors of surrounding development/ peri-urban / rural areas vending in the geographical limits of the ULBs and have been issued Letter of Recommendation (LoR) to that effect by the ULB / TVC.
PM SVANidhi and SIDBI
- Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) is the Implementation Agency for PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi)
- SIDBI will also manage the credit guarantee to the lending institutions through Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE).
- SIDBI will leverage the network of lending Institutions like Non-Bank Finance Companies (NBFCs), Co-operative Banks etc., for the Scheme implementation.
Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE)
- The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, GoI and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), established a Trust named Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) to implement the Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Micro and Small Enterprises.
- Beneficiaries: New and existing Micro and Small Enterprises engaged in manufacturing or service activity excluding Educational Institutions, Agriculture, Self Help Groups (SHGs), Training Institutions etc., are eligible.
- Fund and non-fund based (Letters of Credit, Bank Guarantee etc.) credit facilities up to Rs 200 lakh per eligible borrower are covered under the guarantee scheme provided they are extended on the project viability without collateral security or third-party guarantee.
ATAL BHUJAL YOJANA
Focus: GS II- Government policies and Interventions
About Atal Bhujal Yojana:
- The Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY) is a central sector scheme worth Rs.6,000 crore for sustainable management of groundwater with community participation.
- It envisages people’s participation through the formation of ‘Water User Associations’, water budgeting, preparation & implementation of Gram-panchayat-wise water security plans, etc.
- It is being implemented by the Ministry of Jal Shakti
- The scheme is being funded by the Government of India and the World Bank on 50:50 basis.
- The identified over-exploited and water-stressed areas for the implementation of the scheme are Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.
- The States have been selected according to the degree of groundwater exploitation and degradation, established legal and regulatory instruments, institutional readiness, and experience in implementing initiatives related to groundwater management.
Significance of the scheme
- Ground water contributes to nearly 65% of total irrigated area of the country
- Groundwater contributes to nearly 85% of the rural drinking water supply.
- Increasing demands of growing population, urbanization and industrialization, deteriorating quality, intensive and unregulated pumping are a major threat to the Ground Water resources.
- 81.67% of rural households are yet to have household water tap connections.
Aims of the scheme:
- To facilitate the Jal Jeevan Mission’s (JJM) aim provide Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) to every rural household by 2024.
- To improve ground water management through community participation in identified priority areas in Seven States.
- To promote panchayat led ground water management and behavioural change with primary focus on demand side management.
Implementation of the scheme:
- The scheme is to be implemented in the identified priority areas of the 7 states of Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, benefitting nearly 8350 Gram Panchayats in 78 districts in these States.
- The scheme is to be implemented over a period of 5 years (2020-21 to 2024-25).
SAGARMALA SEAPLANE SERVICES (SSPS)
Focus: GS III- Infrastructure
About Sagarmala Seaplane Services
- Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is initiating the process of commencing operations of the Seaplane services, on the select routes, under a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) framework through prospective airline operators.
- The project execution and implementation would be through Sagarmala Development Company Ltd (SDCL), which is under the administrative control of the Ministry.
- Several destinations are envisaged for seaplane operations.
- The proposed Origin-Destination pairs under Hub and Spoke model include various islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep, Guwahati Riverfront & Umranso Reservoir in Assam, Yamuna Riverfront / Delhi (as Hub) to Ayodhaya, Tehri, Srinagar(Uttrakhand), Chandigarh and many other tourist places of Punjab & HP, Mumbai (as Hub) to Shirdi, Lonavala, Ganpatipule; Surat (as Hub) to Dwarka, Mandvi & Kandla, Khindsi Dam, Nagpur & Erai Dam, Chandrapur (in Maharashtra) and/or any other Hub & Spoke suggested by the Operator.
- One such Seaplane Service is already in operation between Kevadia and Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, which was inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 31st October 2020.
Advantages of Sagarmala Seaplane Services
- To provide connectivity and easier accessibility to remote locations, SDCL is exploring plans to leverage the potential of the vast coastline and numerous water bodies/rivers across India by commencing seaplane operations.
- Sea Plane will utilize the nearby water bodies for take-off and landing and thus connect those places in a much economical way as conventional airport infrastructure like a runway and terminal buildings are not required for seaplane operations.
- The seaplanes services will be a game-changer providing a supplementary means of faster and comfortable transportation across the nation.
- Apart from providing air connectivity to various remote religious/tourist places, it will boost tourism for domestic and international holidaymakers.
- It will save travel time and stimulate localized short distance travelling especially in the hilly regions or across the rivers/lakes etc.
- In addition to the infrastructural enhancements at the places of operations, it will enormously boost tourism and business activities.
- By providing air connectivity to numerous remote, religious/tourist places and unexplored locations near the water bodies will make the journey easier.
- It will generate employment opportunities and stimulate tourism on these new locations, which will consequently contribute to the country’s GDP in the long run.
Threats of Sagarmala Seaplane Services
- Ecological Concerns regarding Plant and Animal Life.
- Threat to Wildlife.
- Environment Pollution Problems.
- Litter problems in tourism places.