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TOPIC : GS 2 Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Net loss

What is the news?

  • The digital divide in India’s school education system, reflected by the absence of computers and Internet access on campus
  • It emerges starkly from the Education Ministry’s Unifed District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+), for the pre-pandemic year of 2019-20.
  • Physical infrastructure has traditionally meant good buildings, playgrounds, libraries and access to water and toilets, but the advent of hybrid learning even ahead of the coronavirus crisis
  • It has made essential online access and computers key adjuncts to make the learning process more engaging.

Digital Divide

  • During 2020-21, it became painfully evident that most students had to rely on remote learning, but many faced the double jeopardy of not possessing their own computing devices and smartphones at home, and their schools remaining in the dark without such facilities.
  • In remote areas, particularly in the Northeast, many had to travel closer to mobile phone towers to access the Internet on shared phones to get their lessons.

Data Analysis

 

  • The latest data confirm that a mere 22% of schools across the country on average had Internet access, while government institutions fared much worse at 11%.
  • On the second metric of, functional computer access, the national average was 37% and for government schools, 28.5%.
  • Beyond the averages, the range of deficits reflects deep asymmetries: 84% of Kerala schools and 85.69% in Delhi had an Internet facility, compared to 6.46% in Odisha, 8.5% in Bihar, 10% in West Bengal and 13.62% in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Students and teachers not being able to use computers and the Internet is acknowledged to be a form of deprivation, especially during the pandemic, just as the inability to attend in-person classes is another.
  • Many scholars see the teaching-learning process as multi-dimensional, helping to inculcate social skills.
  • COVID-19 has, however, compelled all countries to evaluate hybrid education models, with a mix of lessons delivered virtually now and on campus later when the virus threat abates.
  • In such a multi-layered process, bringing computers and the Internet to all schools cannot be delayed any longer.

Way Forward

  • The Centre must explore all options such as the National Broadband Mission, the BSNL network and other service providers, to connect schools, including all government institutions that are severely deprived
  • The upcoming 5G standard with the benefit of high wireless bandwidth may also be able to help bridge the gap quickly.
  • Getting computers to schools should also not be difficult because, apart from public funding, communities, corporates and hardware makers can use recycling and donation options.
  • The UDISE+ shows that many schools have fallen through the net, and they need urgent help to get connected.

Mains Question

 The Centre must help provide Internet links to all schools as an essential service. Explain

Sources : https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/net-loss-the-hindu-editorial-on-internet-access-to-schools/article35108596.ece

PRELIMS PUNCHERS

  1. The Solicitor General of India

He is subordinate to the Attorney General for India. They are the second law officer of the country, assist the Attorney General, and is assisted by Additional Solicitors General for India. Like the Attorney General for India, the Solicitor General and the Additional Solicitors General advise the Government and appear on behalf of the Union of India in terms of the Law Officers (Terms and Conditions) Rules, 1972. The posts of the Solicitor General and the Additional Solicitors General are merely statutory.

Appointments Committee of the Cabinet(ACC) recommends the appointment and president officially appoints the Solicitor General. The proposal for appointment of Solicitor General, Additional Solicitor General is generally moved at the level of Joint secretary/Law Secretary in the Department of Legal Affairs and after obtaining the approval of the Minister of Law & Justice, the proposal goes to the ACC and then to the president.

Sources: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/post-suvendhus-visit-tmc-demands-removal-of-s-g/article35106344.ece

  1. Bagram Airfield-BAF

It also known as Bagram Air Base was the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan. It is located next to the ancient city of Bagram, southeast of Charikar in the Parwan Province of Afghanistan. It has a single runway capable of handling large military aircraft, including the Lockheed Martin C-5 Galaxy and Antonov An-225.

Hamid Karzai International Airport (formerly Kabul International Airport) is located approximately south of Bagram, connected by two separate roads. Also, the Parwan Detention Facility is located adjacent to the base at Bagram.

Sources : https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/complete-afghan-withdrawal-imminent-as-last-us-troops-leave-bagram/article35095674.ece

  1. Securities Appellate Tribunal

It is a statutory body established under the provisions of Section 15K of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 to hear and to dispose appeals against orders passed by the Securities and Exchange board of India or by an adjudicating officer under the Act.

The Presiding officer of SAT shall be appointed by the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India or his nominee. The SAT shall have, for the purpose of discharging their functions under this Act, the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the code of civil procedure 1908 while trying a suit. Appearance before SAT may be either in person or through authorized person being a Chartered Accountant, Company Secretary, Cost Accountant or Legal Practitioner.

Sources: https://www.newindianexpress.com/business/2021/jul/02/securities-appellate-tribunal-stays-sebiban-on-franklin-templetons-vivek-kudva-and-hiswife-2324579.html

  1. Goods exports touch record $95 bn in Q1

The official data released, the exports rose by 47.34% to $32.46 billion in June, following a strong growth in sectors such as engineering, gems and jewellery and petroleum products. However, India was a net importer in June 2021 with a trade deficit of $9.4 billion

Commerce Ministry has decided that in collaboration with private sector, EPC, industry associations, MSME, engineering, agriculture, automobile, and steel sector, this year the country will be targeting to achieve merchandise exports of $400 billion

Sources : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/goods-exports-touch-record-95-billion-in-q1/article35104293.ece

PRELIMS QUESTIONS

  1. Consider the following statement regarding to Securities Appellate Tribunal
  2. It is a autonomous body established under SEBI
  3. The Presiding officer of SAT shall be appointed by the SEBI

Select the correct statement using code given below.

(a). 1only       (b) 2 only

(c).Both       (d). None of above

Answer: D

It is a statutory body established under the provisions of Section 15K of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 to hear and to dispose appeals against orders passed by the Securities and Exchange board of India or by an adjudicating officer under the Act.

The Presiding officer of SAT shall be appointed by the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India or his nominee. The SAT shall have, for the purpose of discharging their functions under this Act, the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the code of civil procedure 1908 while trying a suit. Appearance before SAT may be either in person or through authorized person being a Chartered Accountant, Company Secretary, Cost Accountant or Legal Practitioner

 

  1. Bagram Airfield-BAF is located in which of the following country
  2. Iran
  3. Iraq
  4. India
  5. Afghanistan

Answer: D

It also known as Bagram Air Base was the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan. It is located next to the ancient city of Bagram, southeast of Charikar in the Parwan Province of Afghanistan. It has a single runway capable of handling large military aircraft, including the Lockheed Martin C-5 Galaxy and Antonov An-225.

Hamid Karzai International Airport (formerly Kabul International Airport) is located approximately south of Bagram, connected by two separate roads. Also, the Parwan Detention Facility is located adjacent to the base at Bagram.

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