- NIPUN BHARAT PROGRAMME
- STEPS TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR DIFFERNTLY ABLED CHILDREN
- PRADHAN MANTRI JAN-DHAN YOJANA
- 9TH BRICS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY MINISTERS MEETING
- PROJECT SWADESH
- ZERO DEFECT, ZERO EFFECT SCHEME
NIPUN BHARAT PROGRAMME
Focus: GS II- Government Policies and Interventions
Why in News?
Government sets up National Steering Committee for implementation of the NIPUN Bharat Mission.
The following are the roles and responsibilities of the NSC for the NIUPN Bharat Mission:
- To oversee the progress of National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy and provide guidance on policy issues.
- To arrive at the target to be achieved nationally in 2026-27.
- To disseminate tools for measurement of yearly progress in the form of guidelines.
- To prepare and approve a National Action Plan (based on the State’s Action Plans) with KRAs for every State/UT vis-à-vis factors attributable for the gaps (i.e., lack of Fund, Vacancies, Teachers, Demography, Local issues, Need of Training for teachers, Curriculum & pedagogy related).
- To review programmatic and financial norms periodically to ensure they are synchronised with targets to be achieved.
- To develop methodology of assessment to analyse the progress and provide feedback to States/UTs.
About the Programme:
- This Mission was launched under the aegis of the centrally sponsored scheme of Samagra Shiksha.
- It will focus on providing access and retaining children in foundational years of schooling; teacher capacity building; development of high quality and diversified Student and Teacher Resources/Learning Materials; and tracking the progress of each child in achieving learning outcomes.
- It aims to cover the learning needs of children in the age group of 3 to 9 years.
- It emphasizes to focus on every child for developing basic language; literacy and numeracy skills which will help them develop into better readers and writers.
- It envisages making the experience of learning at the foundational stage Holistic, Integrated, Inclusive, Enjoyable, and Engaging.
- The unique feature is that the goals of the Mission are set in the form of Lakshya Soochi or Targets for Foundational Literacy and Numeracy.
- The success of NIPUN Bharat will primarily depend on teachers, so, there will be a special emphasis on capacity building of teachers.
- A special package for foundational literacy and Numeracy under NISHTHA is being developed by NCERT and around 25 lakh teachers teaching at pre-primary to primary grade will be trained this year.
Following outcomes have been envisaged from implementation of the goals and objectives of NIPUN Bharat Mission:
- Foundational skills enable to keep children in class thereby reducing the dropouts and improve transition rate from primary to upper primary and secondary stages.
- Activity based learning and conducive learning environment will improve quality of education.
- Innovative pedagogies such as toy-based and experiential learning will be used in classroom transaction thereby making learning a joyful and engaging activity.
- Intensive capacity building of teachers will make them empowered and provide greater autonomy for choosing the pedagogy.
- Holistic development of the child by focusing on different domains of development like physical and motor development, socio-emotional development, literacy and numeracy development, cognitive development, life skills etc. which are interrelated and interdependent, which will be reflected in a Holistic Progress Card.
- Children to achieve steeper learning trajectory which may have positive impacts on later life outcomes and employment.
- Since almost every child attends early grades, therefore, focus at that stage will also benefit the socio-economic disadvantageous group thus ensuring access to equitable and inclusive quality education.
- Samagra Shiksha – an overarching programme for the school education sector extending from pre-school to class 12 has been, therefore, prepared with the broader goal of improving school effectiveness measured in terms of equal opportunities for schooling and equitable learning outcomes.
- It subsumes the three erstwhile Schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE).
- This sector-wide development programme/scheme would also help harmonise the implementation mechanisms and transaction costs at all levels, particularly in using state, district and sub-district level systems and resources, besides envisaging one comprehensive strategic plan for development of school education at the district level. The shift in the focus is from project objectives to improving systems level performance and schooling outcomes which will be the emphasis of the combined Scheme along-with incentivizing States towards improving quality of education.
STEPS TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR DIFFERNTLY ABLED CHILDREN
Focus: GS II- Education
3% seats of total available seats for fresh admissions in Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) are horizontally reserved for Differently Abled children.
The following measures have been implemented for differently abled children in KVs& JNVs:-
- Barrier free access for differently abled students is integral part of Vidyalaya building design.
- Ramps and special toilets are constructed in schools as well as hostel buildings.
- Teachers are trained to help the students.
- Engaging the services of Special Educators to facilitate the teaching learning process among differently abled children
- Need based procurement of assistive augmented devices.
- Exemptions from payment of VVN and Tuition Fees.
- The facility of compensation of time in examination, seating arrangement on the ground floor and providing facility of scribe/writer in all examinations for all students with benchmark disability studying in different classes are extended as per CBSE guidelines.
PRADHAN MANTRI JAN-DHAN YOJANA
Focus: GS II- Welfare schemes
Why in News?
Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) – National Mission for Financial Inclusion, completed seven years of successful implementation.
- PMJDY accounts surge to 43.85 crore with deposit balance of Rs. 1,48,069 crore
About Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana:
Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana – PMJDY was announced by Prime Minister in 2014, and has been a key initiative towards the commitment to provide financial inclusiveness and support to the marginalized and hitherto socio-economically neglected classes.
Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is National Mission for Financial Inclusion to ensure access to financial services, namely, Banking/ Savings & Deposit Accounts, Remittance, Credit, Insurance, Pension in an affordable manner.
- Ensure access of financial products & services at an affordable cost
- Use of technology to lower cost & widen reach
Basic tenets of the scheme
- Banking the unbanked – Opening of basic savings bank deposit (BSBD) account with minimal paperwork, relaxed KYC, e-KYC, account opening in camp mode, zero balance & zero charges
- Securing the unsecured – Issuance of Indigenous Debit cards for cash withdrawals & payments at merchant locations, with free accident insurance coverage of Rs. 2 lakhs.
- Funding the unfunded – Other financial products like micro-insurance, overdraft for consumption, micro-pension & micro-credit
Initial Features: 6 Pillars based on which the scheme was launched
- Universal access to banking services – Branch and BC
- Basic savings bank accounts with overdraft facility of Rs. 10,000/- to every household
- Financial Literacy Program– Promoting savings, use of ATMs, getting ready for credit, availing insurance and pensions, using basic mobile phones for banking
- Creation of Credit Guarantee Fund – To provide banks some guarantee against defaults
- Insurance – Accident cover up to Rs. 1,00,000 and life cover of Rs. 30,000 on account opened between 15 Aug 2014 to 31 January 2015
- Pension scheme for Unorganized sector
Important approach adopted in PMJDY based on past experience:
- Accounts opened are online accounts in core banking system of banks, in place of earlier method of offline accounts opening with technology lock-in with the vendor
- Inter-operability through RuPay debit card or Aadhaar enabled Payment System (AePS)
- Fixed-point Business Correspondents
- Simplified KYC / e-KYC in place of cumbersome KYC formalities
Extension of PMJDY with New features
The Government decided to extend the comprehensive PMJDY program with some modifications
- Focus shift from ‘Every Household’ to Every Unbanked Adult’
- RuPay Card Insurance – Free accidental insurance cover on RuPay cards increased from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh for PMJDY accounts opened after 28.8.2018.
- Enhancement in overdraft facilities –
- OD limit doubled from Rs 5,000/- to Rs 10,000/-; OD upto Rs 2,000/- (without conditions).
- Increase in upper age limit for OD from 60 to 65 years
Jan Dhan Darshak App
- A mobile application, was launched to provide a citizen centric platform for locating banking touch points such as bank branches, ATMs, Bank Mitras, Post Offices, etc. in the country.
- The facilities under Jan Dhan Darshak App could be availed as per the need and convenience of common people.
The road ahead
- Endeavour to ensure coverage of PMJDY account holders under micro insurance schemes. Eligible PMJDY accountholders will be sought to be covered under PMJJBY and PMSBY. Banks have already been communicated about the same.
- Promotion of digital payments including RuPay debit card usage amongst PMJDY accountholders through creation of acceptance infrastructure across India
- Improving access of PMJDY account holders to Micro-credit and micro investment such as flexi-recurring deposit etc.
9TH BRICS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY MINISTERS MEETING
Focus: GS II- International Relations
Why in News?
Recently, India’s Minister for Science & Technology chaired the 9th BRICS Science & Technology Ministers meeting.
- 2021 is an important landmark year in BRICS Cooperation as the grouping completed 15 years.
- Global Innovation Index: The member countries should work towards a rightful place for BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) in the Global Innovation Index.
- It can be achieved through further strengthening the cooperation in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).
- BRICS Ranking in Global Innovation Index, 2021: India (46), China (12), Russia (45), Brazil (57) and South Africa (61).
- BRICS countries must come together and innovate cost effective, affordable, accessible, sustainable and scalable scientific solutions, as they face many similar and unique challenges.
About BRICS Innovation Cooperation Action Plan (2021-24)
- BRICS member countries have agreed to a Science, Technology and Innovation (STI)-led BRICS Innovation Cooperation Action Plan (2021-24) proposed by India during the 12th meeting of the grouping’s science & technology steering committee.
- It will facilitate sharing of experiences of each other’s innovation ecosystem and networking of innovators and entrepreneurs.
- Areas included: Transient Astronomical Events and Deep Survey Science, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), Big Data Analytics, Innovation and Entrepreneurship on Photonic, Nanophotonics, and Metamaterials for Addressing Biomedicine, Agriculture, Food Industry, Energy Harvesting Issues etc.
- In accordance with the plan BRICS Ministers and their representatives endorsed the BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Calendar of Activities 2020-2021.
What is BRICS?
- BRICS is the international grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
- This was set up as a move towards greater multipolarity; hence the spread across three continents and both hemispheres.
- In terms of GDP, China occupies the second position; India the fifth; Brazil the ninth; Russia the 11th; and South Africa the 35th.
- In terms of growth rates, China grew at 6%; India at 4.5%, Russia 1.7%, Brazil 1.2% and South Africa 0.1%.
- BRICS does not exist in form of organization, but it is an annual summit between the supreme leaders of five nations.
- The Chairmanship of the forum is rotated annually among the members, in accordance with the acronym B-R-I-C-S.
- The BRICS seeks to deepen, broaden and intensify cooperation within the grouping and among the individual countries for more sustainable, equitable and mutually beneficial development.
- BRICS takes into consideration each member’s growth, development and poverty objectives to ensure relations are built on the respective country’s economic strengths and to avoid competition where possible.
- BRICS is emerging as a new and promising political-diplomatic entity with diverse objectives, far beyond the original objective of reforming global financial institutions.
Focus: GS III- Science and Technology
Why in News?
Recently, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT)-National Brain Research Centre (DBT-NBRC) has developed Project SWADESH, for managing Neurological disorders.
- NBRC is the only institute in India dedicated to Neuroscience Research and Education.
About Project SWADESH:
- It is the first large-scale multimodal neuroimaging database designed specifically for the Indian population with big-data architecture and analytics for various disease categories under one platform.
- It proposes a big-data architecture that manages and analyzes six modules, namely neurodegenerative [AD, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), and Parkinson’s disease (PD)], neuropsychiatric (schizophrenia and bipolar disorder), neurodevelopmental (autism and epilepsy), Covid-19-related disorders, other disorders, and healthy subjects.
- It is supported by JAVA-based workflow environments and Python. Backed by a dedicated storage system, it provides quality control, data analysis reports, and data backups.
- Python and Java are both computer programming languages.
- It will be useful in conducting multimodal brain studies to understand Alzheimer’s disease and several neurological disorders.
- Its development will facilitate the integration of multi-site data and collaborative research worldwide.
ZERO DEFECT, ZERO EFFECT SCHEME
Focus: GS II- Government Policies and Interventions
Why in News?
As many as 23,948 MSMEs had registered with intent to adopt the principle of the Zero Defect Zero Effect Scheme (ZED).
- Under this, the Quality Council of India (QCI) followed the scheme guidelines on a consistent basis.
- QCI has completed and submitted all relevant documents and evidences related to the erstwhile ZED Scheme, with the Ministry as the National Monitoring and Implementation Unit (NMIU).
About ZED Scheme:
- ZED or Zero Defect, Zero Effect scheme is for MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) Sector to increase the quality of products matching global standards.
- The main objective of ZED or Zero Defect, Zero Effect scheme is to reduce the bad effect of products on the environment. This scheme will help contribute to the environment as well.
- ZED Scheme aims to rate and handhold all MSMEs to deliver top quality products using clean technology.
- It will have sector-specific parameters for each industry.
- MSME sector is crucial for the economic progress of India and this scheme will help to match global quality control standards.
- The slogan of Zero Defect, Zero Effect (ZED) was first mentioned by PM Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech in 2014.
- It was given for producing high quality manufacturing products with a minimal negative impact on environment.
- ZED Scheme is meant to raise quality levels in unregulated MSME sector which is engine of growth for Indian economy.
- The scheme will be cornerstone of the Central Government’s flagship Make in India programme, which is aimed at turning India into a global manufacturing hub, generating jobs, boosting growth and increase incomes
- Develop an Ecosystem for Zero Defect Manufacturing in MSMEs.
- Promote adaptation of Quality tools/systems and Energy Efficient manufacturing.
- Enable MSMEs for manufacturing of quality products.
- Encourage MSMEs to constantly upgrade their quality standards in products and processes.
- Drive manufacturing with adoption of Zero Defect production processes and without impacting the environment.
- Support ‘Make in India’ campaign.
- Develop professionals in the area of ZED manufacturing and certification.
- Under the scheme, the MSME companies which follow the guidelines and meet the standards set by the ZED will award ZED certification along with several benefits.