June 7th Current affairs
- June 7, 2021
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Culture Current Affairs Daily News Defense & Security Disaster Management Economy Education Environment & Ecology Ethics Geography Governance Health History International Relation Persons in News Polity Science & Technology Social Issues Sports Uncategorized UPSC Notification Videos
1. Performance Grading Index (PGI)
The Union Education Minister has approved the release of Performance Grading Index (PGI) 2019-20 for States and Union Territories.
- The PGI is a tool to provide insights on the status of school education in States and UTs including key levers that drive their performance and critical areas for improvement.
- The Indian school Education System is one of the largest in the world with more than 15 lakh schools, nearly 97 lakh teachers and more than 25 crore students1 from varied socio economic backgrounds.
- The system strives to maintain standards and uniformity across the country while giving ample scope for the country’s diverse culture and heritage to grow and flourish.
- It is initiated by the Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL).
- The information on the indicators are drawn from data available with the DoSEL from the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE), National Achievement Survey (NAS) of NCERT, Mid Day Meal website, Public Financial Management System (PFMS) and the information uploaded by the States and UTs on the Shagun portal of DoSEL.
- The PGI is structured in two categories, namely, Outcomes and Governance & Management and comprises 70 indicators in aggregate with a total weightage of 1000.
The PGI exercise envisages that the index would propel States and UTs towards undertaking multi-pronged interventions that will bring about the much-desired optimal education outcomes.
The PGI helps the States/UTs to pinpoint the gaps and accordingly prioritise areas for intervention to ensure that the school education system is robust at every level.
Domains under categories include: Access, Infrastructure & Facilities, Equity, Governance process.
Important Findings of the PGI 2019-20:
- Shows that 33 States and UTs have improved their PGI scores in 2019-20 compared to the previous year.
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Puducherry, Punjab and Tamil Nadu have improved their overall PGI scores by 10%.
- Inter-state Differential:
- On a maximum possible of 1000 points, the range between the States and UTs with the highest and the lowest score is more than 380 points in the year 2019-20.
- Access: Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep and Punjab have shown improvement of 10% or more in the ‘Access’ domain.
- Infrastructure and Facilities: Thirteen states and UTs have shown improvement by 10% or more in ‘Infrastructure and Facilities’ while Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Odisha have improved their scores in the domain by 20% or more.
- Equity: In ‘Equity’, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Odisha have shown an improvement of more than 10%.
- Governance Process: 19 states have shown improvement by 10% or more.
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Punjab, Rajasthan and West Bengal have shown improvement by at least 20%.
2. Black Carbon Report.
- The report titled “Glaciers of the Himalayas: Climate Change, Black Carbon and Regional Resilience” has reported that the glaciers are melting faster than the global average ice mass.
- A strong policy on black carbon can sharply cut glacier melt.
- Report released by: World Bank
- The Himalayas, Karakoram, and Hindu Kush (HKHK) mountain ranges were covered in the report.
- Black carbon, or soot, is part of fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5) and contributes to climate change.
- Black carbon is formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, wood and other fuels.
- It is the second-largest contributor to cause Global warming after carbon dioxide (CO2).
- Unlike other greenhouse gas emissions, BC is quickly washed out and can be eliminated from the atmosphere if emissions stop.
- Industry (primarily brick kilns) and residential burning of solid fuel together account for 45-66% of regional man-made BC deposition, followed by on-road diesel fuels and open burning in the region.
- It acts in two ways hastening the pace of glacier melt:i)By decreasing surface reflectance of sunlight.ii)By raising the air temperature
- Full implementation of current policies to mitigate BC can achieve a 23% reduction but enacting new policies and regional cooperation among countries can achieve enhanced benefits.
- National Mission on Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE) is one such policy adopted in India.
It is one of the eight missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).
Steps that can be taken in the Himalayas
- Reduce black carbon emissions from – (1) cookstoves; (2) Diesel engines; (3) Open burning. It could significantly reduce radiative forcing
Steps to be Taken by Regional Governments:
- Review the policies on water management
- Careful planning and use of hydropower to reflect changes in water flows and availability.
- Increasing the efficiency of brick kilns through proven technologies.
- Greater knowledge sharing in the region.
- The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved the issuance of a Request For Proposal (RFP) for the construction of six conventional submarines under Project-75I (India).
- RFP is a project announcement posted publicly by an organization indicating that bids for contractors to complete the project are sought.
About the project:
- This Project envisions indigenous construction of six conventional submarines equipped with the state-of-the-art Air Independent Propulsion system at an estimated cost of Rs 43,000 crore.
- This is the first case processed under the SP model.
- The SP model of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) aims to promote the role of Indian industry in manufacturing and build a domestic defence industrial ecosystem.
One of the Largest ‘Make in India’ Projects:
- It will serve to facilitate faster and more significant absorption of technology and create a tiered industrial ecosystem for submarine construction in India.
To Ensure Self-Reliance:
- From a strategic perspective, this will help reduce current dependence on imports and gradually ensure greater self-reliance and dependability of supplies from indigenous sources.
To Protect Indo-Pacific:
- This is keeping in mind the rapid increase of nuclear submarine arsenal by People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) (CHINA) and to protect the Indo-Pacific from future domination by the adversary.
Defence Acquisition Council
- DAC is the highest decision-making body in the Defence Ministry for deciding on new policies and capital acquisitions for the three services (Army, Navy and Air Force) and the Indian Coast Guard.
- The Minister of Defence is the Chairman of the Council.
- It was formed, after the Group of Ministers recommendations on ‘Reforming the National Security System’, in 2001, post Kargil War (1999).
4. Minimum Global Corporate Tax
Recently, Group of seven (G7) advanced economies signed a landmark deal on taxing multinational companies. As per the deal, minimum global tax rate would be at least 15 percent.
- Agreement was signed by finance ministers of United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Canada, France, Italy and Japan. It opens way for levies on multinational companies in countries where they operate rather than just where they are headquartered.
- Old system of global taxation was being criticized over the years as it allowed big companies to save billions of dollars in tax bills by shifting their jurisdictions.
- Major digital companies were making money in multiple countries and paying taxes only in home country.
- Thus, this proposal was made which would impose an additional tax on several multinational companies and technology giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google to pay taxes to countries based on where their goods or services are sold irrespective of their physical presence there. The deal seeks to modernize century-old international tax code.
- Under new tax system, countries where big firms operate would get ‘right to tax’ at least 20% of profits.
- Ireland with tax rate of 12.5 percent is opposing the deal arguing that it would be disruptive to its economic model.
Impact on India
India is likely to benefit from global minimum 15 percent corporate tax rate deal because, effective domestic tax rate is above this threshold and it would continue to attract investment.
According to Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, Raimona reserve forest in Kokrajhar district has been upgraded to sixth national park of Assam. This forest comes under Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) across the border with Bhutan.
Assam has five national parks-
- Kaziranga National Park
- Manas National Park,
- Nameri National Park,
- Orang National Park and
- Dibru-Saikhowa National Park.
Raimona National Park
- This national park of Assam is located in Gossaigaon subdivision of Kokrajhar district under BTR.
- Park is a part of contiguous forest patch having an area of 422 km2.
- It covers northern part of notified Ripu Reserve Forest which is the westernmost buffer to Manas Tiger Reserve.
- Park is home to golden langur, tigers, Asian elephants, clouded leopards, wild buffalo, Indian gaur, hornbill, spotted deer, 170 species of birds, 150 species of butterflies and 380 varieties of plants & orchids.
Manas National Park
- This national park is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, Elephant reserve, Project Tiger reserve and a biosphere reserve in Assam, India.
- It is contiguous with Royal Manas National Park of Bhutan. It is known for its rare and endangered endemic wildlife like golden langur, pygmy hog, Assam roofed turtle and hispid hare besides, wild water buffalo.
6. CBSE introduces Coding and Data Science
Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in collaboration with Microsoft to introduce coding and data science in school curriculum.
- Coding will be introduced for students of Class 6 to class 8 while data science will be introduced for Class 8 to class 12 as new skilling subjects.
- Both these courses will be introduced in 2021-2022 academic session.
- Both of these skilling subjects focuses on building critical thinking, computational skills, creativity, problem-solving skills and hands-on exposure to new technologies. Subjects will be launched in line with National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
- Microsoft has designed supplementary handbooks for coding as well as data science in line with the NCERT patterns and structures. Books cover real-life examples with the aim of building exposure to ethical dimensions exposure to Microsoft MakeCode.
- Microsoft has designed supplementary handbooks in both coding and data science, aligned with NCERT patterns and structures and covered real-life examples aimed at building exposure to the ethical dimensions exposure to Microsoft MakeCode.
- Microsoft MakeCode is an open-source platform that will enable students to learn better in a gamified manner across all disciplines including mathematics, languages, and social sciences while it builds the foundation for AI based applications of data science.