1. PRAGYATA GUIDELINES FOR ONLINE SCHOOL EDUCATION
News: Schools can hold live online classes for a maximum of 1.5 hours per day for Classes 1-8, and three hours per day for Classes 9-12, according to the Pragyata guidelines for digital education, released by the Ministry of Human Resource Development on Tuesday.
About DIKSHA Platform:
DIKSHA is a unique initiative which leverages existing highly scalable and flexible digital infrastructures, while keeping teachers at the center. It is built considering the whole teacher’s life cycle – from the time student teachers enroll in Teacher Education Institutes (TEIs) to after they retire as teachers.
In India, many teachers are creating & using innovative tech-based solutions in their classrooms. Some state governments have also initiated programs to support their teachers digitally. This inspired MHRD and NCTE to coordinate these efforts at a national level and build DIKSHA.
States, government bodies and even private organisations, can integrate DIKSHA into their respective teacher initiatives based on their goals, needs and capabilities. They can use DIKSHA’s features to create:
Teacher training content
News and announcement
The National Teacher Platform will be available to all teachers, anytime, anywhere. It will be:
Open and Modular: The National Teacher Platform will be a minimal and generalised technology platform built using Open Standards and Application Program Interfaces (APIs) and will host Open Educational Resources (OER). It will also have tools and interfaces for the creation and consumption of teaching and learning content. As a shared infrastructure the platform will avoid duplication of effort and save costs.
User-focused and Iterative: The National Teacher Platform will cater to the needs of teachers including the development of Attitude, Skill and Knowledge. The platform will continuously develop and evolve in an iterative manner based on user needs and stakeholder feedback.
Classification of Indian Households according to Pragyata Guidelines:
With Computer/Laptop/Smartphone and a 4G internet connection as well as a Television set with a DTH/Cable TV Connection.
With Smartphone with 4G Network
With Smartphone with limited (3G/2G) or no access to internet
Television set with a DTH/Cable connection
Radio set or a basic mobile phone with FM
No digital device.
Two types of online learning and teaching methods:
Synchronous: This is real-time teaching and learning that can happen collaboratively and at the same time with a group of online learners or even individually, and usually a teacher, or some method of instant feedback; examples of synchronous learning are online teaching through video conference (two-way video, one-way video, twoway audio), audio conference (two way audio) using satellite or telecommunication facilities.
Asynchronous: This is anytime, anywhere learning but not connected on real time, for example, emails, SMS, MMS, surfing e-content on DIKSHA, listening to radio, podcasts, watching TV channels, etc.
The Pragyata Guidelines also suggest on physical and mental wellness of a child.
2. KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK
News: Wildlife officials and rescue workers at the flooded Kaziranga National Park (KNP) had to provide a “safe passage” for three tigers in less than two days, guiding them to the relative safety of the hills beyond a highway along the southern edge of the park.
About Kaziranga National Park:
Kaziranga National Park is a national park in the Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India.
The sanctuary, which hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses, is a World Heritage Site.
Kaziranga is home to the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world, and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006 (now the highest tiger density is in Orang National Park, Assam).
The park is home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer.
Kaziranga is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for conservation of avifaunal species.
Kaziranga is a vast expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests, criss-crossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, and the park includes numerous small bodies of water.
Kaziranga has flat expanses of fertile, alluvial soil, formed by erosion and silt deposition by the River Brahmaputra.
The landscape consists of exposed sandbars, riverine flood-formed lakes known as, beels, (which make up 5% of the surface area), and elevated regions known as, chapories, which provide retreats and shelter for animals during floods.
3. INDIA – EU FTA NEGOTIATIONS
News: Seven years after talks on a free trade agreement were suspended, India and the European Union (EU) are set to agree on a “high-level dialogue on trade and investment” to restart negotiations.
About Free trade agreement (FTA):
A free trade agreement is a pact between two or more nations to reduce barriers to imports and exports among them.
Under a free trade policy, goods and services can be bought and sold across international borders with little or no government tariffs, quotas, subsidies, or prohibitions to inhibit their exchange.
Governments with free-trade policies or agreements in place do not necessarily abandon all control of imports and exports or eliminate all protectionist policies.
India’s existing FTA partners:
Sri Lanka (1998)
South Korea (2009)
Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela)