geography

Arctic Region and Arctic Council

The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth.

8 Jul, 2020

BRAHMAPUTRA AND ITS TRIBUTARIES

About Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra called Yarlung

3 Jul, 2020
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    Current Affairs – 8th February 2022

    1.     NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY

    • News: Describing the National Educational Policy (NEP) as a step towards ‘women empowerment’, Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Singh on Monday said it will “help in making every woman financially independent”.
    • About National Education Policy:
      • The National Education Policy of India 2020 (NEP 2020), which was approved by the Union Cabinet of India on 29 July 2020, outlines the vision of new education system of India.
      • The new policy replaces the previous National Policy on Education, 1986.
      • The policy is a comprehensive framework for elementary education to higher education as well as vocational training in both rural and urban India. The policy aims to transform India’s education system by 2040.
      • Shortly after the release of the policy, the government clarified that no one will be forced to study any particular language and that the medium of instruction will not be shifted from English to any regional language.
      • The language policy in NEP is a broad guideline and advisory in nature; and it is up to the states, institutions, and schools to decide on the implementation.
      • Education in India is a Concurrent List subject.
      • The NEP 2020 enacts numerous changes in India’s education policy. It aims to increase state expenditure on education from around 3% to 6% of the GDP as soon as possible.
      • Provisions:
        • Language: The National Education Policy 2020 has ‘emphasised’ on the use of mother tongue or local language as the medium of instruction till Class 5 while, recommending its continuance till Class 8 and beyond.
          • Sanskrit and foreign languages will also be given emphasis. The Policy recommends that all students will learn three languages in their school under the ‘formula’.
          • At least two of the three languages should be native to India. It also states that no language will be imposed on the students.
        • School education:
          • Focus on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy : The policy accords the highest priority to achieving Foundational Literacy and Numeracy by all students by Grade 3. The policy states, “The highest priority of the education system will be to achieve universal foundational literacy and numeracy in primary school by 2025.
        • The “10 + 2” structure will be replaced with “5+3+3+4” model. This will be implemented as follows:
          • Foundational Stage: This is further subdivided into two parts: 3 years of preschool or anganwadi, followed by classes 1 and 2 in primary school. This will cover children of ages 3–8 years. The focus of studies will be in activity-based learning.
          • Preparatory Stage: Classes 3 to 5, which will cover the ages of 8–11 years. It will gradually introduce subjects like speaking, reading, writing, physical education, languages, art, science and mathematics.
          • Middle Stage: Classes 6 to 8, covering children between ages 11 and 14. It will introduce students to the more abstract concepts in subjects of mathematics, sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities.
          • Secondary Stage: Classes 9 to 12, covering the ages of 14–19 years. It is again subdivided into two parts: classes 9 and 10 covering the first phase while classes 11 and 12 covering the second phase. These 4 years of study are intended to inculcate multidisciplinary study, coupled with depth and critical thinking. Multiple options of subjects will be provided.
        • Instead of exams being held every academic year, school students will only attend three exams, in classes 2, 5 and 8.
        • This policy aims at reducing the curriculum load of students and allowing them to be more “inter-disciplinary” and “multi-lingual”.
      • Under NEP 2020, numerous new educational institutes, bodies and concepts have been given legislative permission to be formed. These include:
        • National Education Commission, headed by the Prime Minister of India
        • Academic Bank of Credit, a digital storage of credits earned to help resume education by utilising credits for further education
        • National Research Foundation, to improve research and innovation
        • Special Education Zones, to focus on the education of underrepresented group in disadvantaged regions
        • Gender Inclusion Fund, for assisting the nation in the education of female and transgender children
        • National Educational Technology Forum, a platform to facilitate exchange of ideas on technology usage to improve learning

    2.     SUDAN

    • News: The CBI has received sanction from the government to proceed with the prosecution of former Ambassador to Sudan Deepak Vohra and Under Secretary Ajoy Ganguly in a case of alleged financial bungling in diplomatic missi- ons there, officials said.
    • Map of Sudan:

    3.     CENTRAL MEDIA ACCREDITATION GUIDELINES-2022

    • News: The Union government on Monday released the Central Media Accreditation Guidelines-2022, under which the accreditation will be withdrawn or suspended if a journalist acts in a manner prejudicial to the country’s security, sovereignty and integrity, friendly relations with foreign States, public order or is charged with a serious cognisable offence.
    • About Central Media Accreditation Guidelines-2022:
      • Under this the accreditation will be withdrawn or suspended if a journalist acts in a manner prejudicial to the country’s security, sovereignty and integrity, friendly relations with foreign States, public order or is charged with a serious cognisable offence.
      • Among the other circumstances under which the accreditation can be withdrawn/suspended are actions prejudicial to decency, or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.
      • According to the guidelines, accredited media persons have been prohibited from using the words “Accredited to the government of India” on public/social media profile, visiting cards, letter heads or on any other form or any published work.
      • In the case of digital news publishers, the general terms of accreditation would apply. News aggregators will not be considered.
      • The digital news publishers applying for accreditation should have furnished requisite information to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting under Rule 18 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code), Rules, 2021, and have not violated the rules.

    4.     PRADHAN MANTRI MATRU VANDANA YOJANA (PMMVY)

    • News: The government’s recent announcement that the maternity benefit programme which provides ₹5,000 for first child will be extended to cover the second child only if it is a girl has met with sharp criticism from activists who have demanded that it be universalised.
    • About Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY):
      • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana  (PMMVY) is a Maternity Benefit Programme that is implemented in all the districts of the country in accordance with the provision of the National Food Security Act, 2013.
      • Objectives
        • Providing partial compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentives so that the woman can take adequate rest before and after delivery of the first living child.
        • The cash incentive provided would lead to improved health seeking behaviour amongst the Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW& LM).
      • Target beneficiaries
        • All Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers, excluding PW&LM who are in regular employment with the Central Government or the State Governments or PSUs or those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law for the time being in force.
        • All eligible Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers who have their pregnancy on or after 01.01.2017 for first child in family.
        • The date and stage of pregnancy for a beneficiary would be counted with respect to her LMP date as mentioned in the MCP card.
      • Case of Miscarriage/Still Birth :
        • A beneficiary is eligible to receive benefits under the scheme only once.
        • In case of miscarriage/still birth, the beneficiary would be eligible to claim the remaining instalment(s) in event of any future pregnancy.
        • Thus, after receiving the 1st instalment, if the beneficiary has a miscarriage, she would only be eligible for receiving 2nd and 3rd instalment in event of future pregnancy subject to fulfilment of eligibility criterion and conditionalities of the scheme. Similarly, if the beneficiary has a miscarriage or still birth after receiving 1 st and 2nd instalments, she would only be eligible for receiving 3rd instalment in event of future pregnancy subject to fulfilment of eligibility criterion and conditionalities of the scheme.
        • Case of Infant Mortality: A beneficiary is eligible to receive benefits under the scheme only once. That is, in case of infant mortality, she will not be eligible for claiming benefits under the scheme, if she has already received all the instalments of the maternity benefit under PMMVY earlier.
        • Pregnant and Lactating AWWs/ AWHs/ ASHA may also avail the benefits under the PMMVY subject to fulfilment of scheme conditionalities.
      • Benefits under PMMVY
        • Cash incentive of Rs 5000 in three instalments i.e. first instalment of Rs 1000/ – on early registration of pregnancy at the Anganwadi Centre (AWC) / approved Health facility as may be identified by the respective administering State / UT, second instalment of Rs 2000/ – after six months of pregnancy on receiving at least one ante-natal check-up (ANC) and third instalment of Rs 2000/ – after child birth is registered and the child has received the first cycle of BCG, OPV, DPT and Hepatitis – B, or its equivalent/ substitute.
        • The eligible beneficiaries would receive the incentive given under the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) for Institutional delivery and the incentive received under JSY would be accounted towards maternity benefits so that on an average a woman gets Rs 6000 / -.

    5.     CROWDING OUT EFFECT

    • News: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman urged industry to step up investments and expand capacities, asserting that worries about high public capital spending and borrowings crowding out private investments were misplaced.
    • About Crowding Out Effect:
      • The crowding out effect is an economic theory arguing that rising public sector spending drives down or even eliminates private sector spending.
      • The crowding out effect suggests rising public sector spending drives down private sector spending.
      • There are three main reasons for the crowding out effect to take place: economics, social welfare, and infrastructure.
      • Crowding in, on the other hand, suggests government borrowing can actually increase demand.