June 11th and 12th Current Affairs
- June 12, 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
Recently, the Union Education Minister announced the release of the report of All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2019-20.
- This Report provides key performance indicators on the current status of Higher education in the country.
- It is the 10th in the series of AISHE annually released by the Department of Higher Education.
- In the last five years from 2015-16 to 2019-20, there has been a growth of 11.4% in student enrolment.
- Total Enrolment in Higher Education stands at 3.85 crore in 2019-20 as compared to 3.74 crore in 2018-19, registering a growth of 11.36 lakh (3.04 %).
- Uttar Pradesh has highest student enrolment in India, it has 49.1% male and 50.9% female students followed by Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
Gross Enrolment Ratio:
- The Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) increased by a minuscule 0.8% in 2019-20.
- GER is the number of students enrolled in a given level of education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the official school-age population corresponding to the same level of education.
- The percentage of students belonging to the eligible age group enrolled in higher education in 2019-20 is 27.1% against 26.3% in 2018-19 and 24.3% in 2014-2015.
- There has been an overall increase of over 18% in female enrolment in higher education from 2015-16 to 2019-20.
- However, the share of girl students is lowest in institutes of national importance while female participation in professional courses is lower in comparison to academic courses.
Gender Parity Index:
- Gender Parity Index (GPI) in Higher Education in 2019-20 is 1.01 against 1.00 in 2018-19 indicating an improvement in the relative access to higher education for females of eligible age group compared to males.
- A GPI of 1 indicates parity between the sexes; a GPI that varies between 0 and 1 typically means a disparity in favour of males; whereas a GPI greater than 1 indicates a disparity in favour of females.
- Total Number of Teachers stands at 15,03,156 comprising 57.5% male and 42.5% female.
- Pupil Teacher Ratio in Higher Education in 2019-20 is 26.
- Attractive Disciplines:
- Nearly 85% of the students (2.85 crore) were enrolled in the six major disciplines such as Humanities, Science, Commerce, Engineering & Technology, Medical Science and IT & Computer.
National Education Policy (NEP), 2020:
- It aims at increasing the GER in higher education to 50% by 2035.
- Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC):
- It aims at improving the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian institutions and the best institutions in the world.
Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA):
- It aims at providing strategic funding to higher educational institutions throughout the country.
- Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship (PMRF):
- It will attract the talent pool of the country to doctoral (Ph.D) programmes for carrying out research in cutting edge science and technology domains, with focus on national priorities.
The Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment-2 (CIBER-2) was launched by NASA on June 6, 2021 from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, USA.
- Objective: The aim of this mission is to count the number of stars that exist in the Universe.
- The experiment is measuring a mysterious glow of infrared light that fills our skies called the cosmic infrared background, which is emitted by some of the most common stars.
- While this is not the first time that such a mission has been undertaken, the CIBER-2 instrument has been improved upon to see if any stars had been undercounted in the previous counting attempts.
- The European Space Agency (ESA) infrared space observatory Herschel also counted the number of galaxies in infrared and measured their luminosity previously.
Important Information :
How Many Stars Are There?
- Scientists have estimated that on average each galaxy consists of about 100 million stars, but this figure is not exact. The figure of 100 million could easily be an underestimation, probably by a factor of 10 or more.
- To put this into perspective, an average of 100 million stars in each galaxy (there an estimated 2 trillion of them as per NASA), would give a total figure of one hundred quintillion stars or 1 with 21 zeroes after it.
3. Dihing Patkai
Dihing Patkai as a National Park was recently notified as Assam’s national Park.
Raimona National Park in western Assam’s Kokrajhar district was also notified recently.
- Assam now has the third most National Parks after the 12 in Madhya Pradesh and nine in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- The five older National Parks in the State: Kaziranga, Manas, Nameri, Orang and Dibru-Saikhowa.
- Kaziranga and Manas are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
- They are also tiger reserves along with Nameri and Orang.
- Dihing Patkai is a major elephant habitat
- Short stretches of the Dirak and Buri Dihing rivers have been included in the park,
- Raimona adjoins the Buxa Tiger Reserve in West Bengal to its west, Phipsoo Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhutan to its north and the first addition to Manas National Park to the east.
- Raimona is home to the golden langur, elephant, tiger, clouded leopard and Indian gaur.
4. India’s Agri Exports during 2020-21
India’s export of agricultural and allied products in 2020-21 have increased by 17.34 percent. It now equals to USD 41.25 billion.
- As per commerce secretary Anup Wadhawan, this growth momentum in Agri export is expected to be sustained during current fiscal as well.
- India experienced huge growth in the export of cereals, wheat, millets, non-basmati rice, maize and other coarse grains.
- Exports have taken place from several clusters for first time. For example, export of fresh vegetables & mangoes from Varanasi and black Rice from Chandauli.
- Exports of agricultural products (excluding marine and plantation products) increased by 28.36 per cent in 2020-21 as opposed to USD 23.23 billion in 2019-20.
- Largest markets for agricultural products of India are United States, China, Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Nepal, Iran and Malaysia.
Agri Export Policy
- About 18 states, including Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland, Punjab, Assam and Karnataka, have finalised their specific action plan to implement Agri export policy.
- As per the policy, 46 unique product-district clusters have been identified for export promotion while 29 cluster level committees have been formed.
5. Global Liveability Index: EIU
Auckland (New Zealand) has topped the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Global Liveability Index of 140 cities around the world.
- The index takes into account more than 30 qualitative and quantitative factors spanning five broad categories: stability (25%), healthcare (20%), culture and environment (25%), education (10%), and infrastructure (20%).
- Due to the pandemic, the EIU added new indicators such as stress on health-care resources as well as restrictions around local sporting events, theatres, music concerts, restaurants and schools.
- Each factor in a city is rated as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable.
- Overall, the Covid-19 pandemic caused liveability to decline – as cities experienced lockdowns and significant strains on their healthcare system. This led to an unprecedented level of change in the rankings, with many of the cities that were previously ranked as the most liveable tumbling.
- Austria’s Vienna, number one in both 2018 and 2019, has completely dropped out of the top 10 after being heavily affected by Covid-19, and now ranks 12.
- Auckland rose to the top of the ranking owing to its successful approach in containing the Covid-19 pandemic, which allowed its society to remain open and the city to score strongly on a number of metrics including education, culture and environment.
- Damascus remains the world’s least liveable city, as the effects of the civil war in Syria continue to take their toll.
- Most of the previous ten least liveable cities remain in the bottom ten this year, including Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Karachi (Pakistan) in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.
- However, there is a strong contingent of cities in the APAC region at the top of the rankings, with Osaka, Adelaide, Tokyo and Wellington rounding out the top five.
- Apart from cities in New Zealand, Australia and Japan, other cities in the Asia-Pacific region such as Taipei (Taiwan) (33rd) and Singapore (34th) have also performed well.
Top 3 Liveable Cities:
Auckland (New Zealand), Osaka (Japan), Adelaide (Australia).
Bottom 3 Liveable Cities:
Damascus (Syria), Lagos (Nigeria), Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea).
6. Farm Mechanization – A mandatory change
To empower the farmers through Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) scheme, Government of India has released funds for various activities of Farm Mechanization like Establishment of Custom Hiring Centres, Farm Machinery Bank, High-tech Hubs and distribution of various agricultural machinery etc to different states.
- Agricultural Mechanization plays a vital role in optimizing the use of land, water energy resources, manpower and other inputs like seeds, fertilizers, pesticides etc to maximize the productivity of the available cultivable area and make agriculture a more profitable and attractive profession for rural youth.
- Agricultural Mechanization is one of the key drivers for the sustainable development of the agriculture sector. Sustainable Agriculture mechanization growth will require appropriate and precision agricultural machinery adequately supported by the latest technology.
About Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM)
- Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has launched a Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) in 2014-15 with the objectives of increasing the reach of farm mechanization to small and marginal farmers and to the regions & difficult area where farm power availability is low.
- To boost up mechanization in the agriculture sector improved agricultural implements and machinery are essential inputs for modern agriculture that enhance the productivity of crops besides reducing human drudgery and cost of cultivation.
- Mechanization also helps in improving the utilization efficiency of other inputs therefore considered to be one of the most important segments of the agriculture sector to boost the income of farmers and growth of the agricultural economy.
- For strengthening of agricultural mechanization in the country and to bring more inclusiveness Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) has been introduced with the main objectives of are to promote ‘Custom Hiring Centres’ and ‘Hi-tech Hubs of High-Value Machines’ to offset the adverse economies of scale arising due to small and fragmented landholding and high cost of individual ownership; Creating awareness among stakeholders through demonstration and capacity building activities and ensuring performance testing and certification of agricultural machines at designated testing centres located all over the country.
Recently, Odisha announced a cash award of Rs. 1,000 to conserve gharials in Mahanadi River Basin.
- About Gharials
- Gharials (or gavials) are a type of Asian crocodilian distinguished by their long, thin snouts.
- Crocodilians are a group of reptiles that includes crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and more.
- India has three species of Crocodilians namely:
- Gharial: IUCN Red List- Critically Endangered
- Mugger crocodile: IUCN- Vulnerable.
- Saltwater crocodile: IUCN- Least Concern.
- All the three are listed on Appendix I of CITES and Schedule I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
- However, Saltwater Crocodile populations of Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea are included in Appendix II of CITES.
- Habitats include: Fresh waters of the northern India – Chambal river, Ghagra, Gandak river and the Sone river (Bihar).
- Population of Gharials is a good indicator of clean river water.
- Conservation Efforts:
- Breeding Centres of Kukrail Gharial Rehabilitation Centre in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, National Chambal Sanctuary (Gharial Eco Park, Madhya Pradesh).
8.Largest collection of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) catalogue
Researchers from the Pune-based Tata Institute for Fundamental Research (TIFR) and the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), have assembled the largest collection of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) catalogue.
The data is from Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME).
- In 2020, NASA spotted FRB for the first time in the Milky Way.
- The new catalogue expands the current library of known FRBs, and is already helping in understanding their properties.
- FRBs are bright bursts of radio waves whose durations lie in the millisecond-scale, because of which it is difficult to detect them and determine their position in the sky.
- It was first discovered in 2007.
- Their origins are unknown and their appearance is highly unpredictable.
It is a novel radio telescope that has no moving parts.
It is optimized to have a high mapping speed.
It is located at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, Canada.
These phenomena can be used to answer some long-standing questions about the universe.
It can be used to understand the three–dimensional structure of matter in the universe
9.India’s Roadmap to Ethanol
The central government has released an expert committee report on the Roadmap for Ethanol Blending in India by 2025.
- The roadmap proposes a gradual rollout of ethanol-blended fuel to achieve E10 fuel supply by April 2022 and phased rollout of E20 from April 2023 to April 2025.
- The Government of India has advanced the target for 20% ethanol blending in petrol (also called E20) to 2025 from 2030.
What is Ethanol?
- It is one of the principal Biofuels.
- It is naturally produced by the fermentation of sugars by yeasts or via petrochemical processes such as ethylene hydration.
Recommendations of the Roadmap:
- Notify Ethanol Blending Roadmap
- Better Infrastructure for Oil Marketing Companies
- Speed up regulatory clearances
- Incentivise Ethanol Blended Vehicle
- Lower pricing of ethanol blended Gasoline.