Daily Current Affairs: 1st October 2019: The Hindu+PIB
The following compilation has been made keeping in mind the need of the UPSC IAS exam. Each and every topic which has been included in this compilation is taken from very authentic and relevant source including The Hindu, The Indian Express, Business Standard, Press Information Bureau, etc.
As per the evolving pattern of the UPSC IAS prelims and mains exam each and every topic has been handpicked keeping in mind the syllabus of the exam.
School Education Quality Index (SEQI)
Context: NITI Aayog developed School Education Quality Index (SEQI) in order to evaluate the performance of States and Union Territories (UTs) in the school education sector.
The aim of the index is to bring an ‘outcomes’ focus to education policy by providing States and UTs with a platform to identify their strengths and weaknesses. About SEQI
- It has been developed by NITI Aayog with a mandate to foster the spirit of competitive and cooperative federalism.
- Key stakeholders involved in the Index includes Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), the World Bank and sector experts.
- The Index consists of 30 critical indicators that assess the delivery of quality education. These indicators are categorized as below:
- Category 1: Outcomes
- Domain 1: Learning outcomes
- Domain 2: Access outcomes
- Domain 3: Infrastructure and facilities for outcomes
- Domain 4: Equity outcomes
- Category 2: Governance processes aiding outcomes.
- SEQI also comprises in itself an analysis of States and Union Territories with respect to each indicator under study.
Key Findings of the Index
- KERALA bagged the top spot on the Index with 76.6% followed by RAJASTHAN and KARNATAKA with a score of 72% and 70% respectively. UTTAR PRADESH scored lowest with 36.4% score in the category of Large States.
- MANIPUR came out to be top performer in case of Small States with 68.8% score while ARUNACHAL PRADESH with a score of 24.6% was at the lowest position.
- CHANDIGARH tops the category of UTs, with a score of 82.9% while LAKSHADWEEP was placed at last position among UTs with a score of 31.9%.
- Among the 20 Large States, 10 perform better on the Category 1 i.e., the Outcome Category, with Karnataka, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh showing the most noticeable performance differences.
- In case of Category 2 i.e., the Governance Processes Aiding Outcomes category, Odisha, Punjab and Haryana registered the most noticeable performance differences.
- Among the 8 small states, 7 performs better on the Outcomes category with Manipur, Tripura and Goa showing the most noticeable changes.
- In the Governance Processes Aiding Outcomes category, Sikkim is the only state that performs better.
- Among the 7 UTs, 4 perform better on the Outcomes category, with Dadra & Nagar Haveli showing the most noticeable performance differences.
- In case of the Governance Processes Aiding Outcomes category, Delhi, Daman & Diu and Lakshadweep were the performers.
- The Index also noticed that 18 out of the 20 Large States has improved their overall performance between 2015-16 and 2016-17. The average improvement in these 18 states is 8.6 percentage points.
- Among the Small States, 5 have shown an improvement in their overall performance score between 2015-16 and 2016-17, with the average improvement being around 9 percentage points.
- In case of Union Territories, all seven of them have shown an improvement in their overall performance scores. The average improvement is 9.5 percentage points.
Context: It is a 15-day event aiming to drive widespread awareness of the Apprenticeship and has been recently launched by Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
Key Highlights of the event
- The event saw a collaboration with 22 organizations in order to provide apprenticeship training opportunities to more than 2.5 lakh youth in the country.
- During the event, the Centre has also pledged to provide INR 560 crores to the State Governments for the promotion of demand-driven, industry linked skill development at the ground level.
- The event also pointed out the recent amendments in Apprenticeship Act with an objective to increase linkage with more companies and industries.
- During the event, the ministry also presented its vision document for 2020-2025.
- During the complete Pakhwada period, the ministry will hold a number of workshops and seminars across major centres in the states aiming at creation of a wider awareness about the Apprenticeship Training amongst establishments and employers across manufacturing and service sectors.
What were the amendments proposed to the Apprenticeship rules 1962? Major reforms to the Apprenticeship rules 1962 which were approved in the 36th CAC meeting nd had been sent for Gazette notification include:
- Increment from 10% to 15% in the upper age limit for engaging apprentices.
- Decrement in the Size limit from 40 to 30 of an establishment with mandatory obligation to engage apprentices.
- Rather than linking the payment of stipend for 1st year to minimum wages, it has been fixed and there has been a proposal for 10% to 15% hike in stipend for 2nd and 3rd year to apprentice.
- Duration of apprenticeship training for optional trade can be from 6 months to 36 months.
What have been the achievement so far? Approximately, 80 lakh youth have been skilled under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) since its launch in 2015 and aboug 28 lakh youth have been oriented under Recognition of Prior Learning Program, which is an initiative under PMKVY. This skill transformation has bring about about a major shift from the unorganized to the organized economy. Presently, there are more than 25000+ institutes and centers under Ministry of Skill Development and Employement and are delivering more than 3000+ courses across 37 sectors in the country. These courses includes the state-of-the-art 629 Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKK); which targets one center in each district of the country.
Global Student Solar Assembly
Context: Global Student Solar Assembly is planned to be organized by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in association with IIT Bombay on 2nd October 2019, in order to commemorate 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and to promote the Gandhian idea of sustainable living.
- The whole day event scheduled at Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex, New Delhi.
- The Workshop aims at sensitizing young minds about energy sustainability and environmental care.
- Two Guinness world records will be attempted during this workshop i.e.,
- Sustainability lessons to the largest number of participants at a single place.
- Largest number of solar lamps lit together.
- It is expected that more than 1 million students in 60 countries will participate in this global event on a single day and will become Renewable Energy Ambassadors.
- India has committed to decrease its carbon intensity by 33-35 % by 2030 and to install cumulative renewable energy capacity of 175 GW by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030.
Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme 2019 -20
Context: Sovereign Gold Bonds are planned to be issued by the Government of India, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India.
These bonds will be sold through:
- Scheduled Commercial banks (except Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks);
- Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL);
- Designated post offices;
- Recognised stock exchanges viz., National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange Limited (BSE).
Key Features of the Bond
- Issued By: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on behalf of Government of India.
- Eligibility: The Bonds will be restricted for sale to resident individuals, HUFs, Trusts, Universities and Charitable Institutions.
- Denomination: The Bonds will be denominated in multiples of gram(s) of gold with a basic unit of 1 gram.
- Tenor: The tenor of the Bond will be for a period of 8 years with exit option after5thyear to be exercised on the interest payment dates.
- Minimum size: Minimum permissible investment will be 1 gram of gold.
- Maximum Limit: 4 KG for individual, 4 Kg for HUF and 20 Kg for trusts and similar entities per fiscal (April-March) notified by the Government from time to time.
- Joint Holder: Investment limit of 4 KG will be applied to the first applicant only in case of joint holding
- Issue price: Fixed in Indian Rupees on the basis of simple average of closing price of gold of 999 purity, published by the India Bullion and Jewellers Association Limited (IBJA) for the last 3 working days of the week preceding the subscription period.
- The issue price of the Gold Bonds will be Rs.50/gram less for those who subscribe online and pay through digital mode.
- Payment option: Through cash payment (upto a maximum of Rs. 20,000) or demand draft or cheque or electronic banking.
- Issuance form: These Gold Bonds will be issued as Government of India Stock under GS Act, 2006. The investors will be issued a Holding Certificate for the same.
- The Bonds are eligible for conversion into demat form.
- Redemption price: It will be in Indian Rupees based on previous 3 working days simple average of closing price of gold of 999 purity published by IBJA.
- Sales channel: Bonds will be sold through Commercial banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices (as may be notified) and recognised stock exchanges viz., National Stock Exchange of India Limited and Bombay Stock Exchange, either directly or through agents.
- Interest rate: Compensation at a fixed rate of 2.50% per annum payable semi-annually on the nominal value for the investors.
- Collateral: Bonds can be used as collateral for loans.
- The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is to be set equal to ordinary gold loan mandated by the Reserve Bank from time to time.
- KYC documentation: Know-your-customer (KYC) norms will be the similar as for purchase of physical gold. KYC documents such as Voter ID, Aadhaar card/PAN or TAN /Passport will be required.
- ‘PAN Number’ issued by the Income Tax Department is mandatory.
- Tax treatment: The interest on Gold Bonds shall be taxable as per the provision of Income Tax Act, 1961. There is an exemption from the capital gains tax arising on redemption of SGB to an individual.
- Tradability: Bonds are eligible for trade on stock exchanges within a fortnight of the issuance on a date as notified by the RBI.
- SLR eligibility: Bonds acquired by the banks through the process of invoking lien/hypothecation/pledge alone, shall be counted towards Statutory Liquidity Ratio.
- Commission: Commission received by the receiving offices for distribution of the bond shall be paid at the rate of 1% of the total subscription and the receiving offices need to share at least 50% of the commission so received with the agents or sub agents for the business procured through them.
Context: DRDO and BrahMos Aerospace recently carried out successful test of the BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile featuring Indian propulsion system, airframe, power supply and other major indigenous components.
The full range of 290-km for the missile was successfully tested during the launch. ABOUT BRAHMOS The BrahMos is a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft, or land. It is the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile. It is a joint venture between the Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), who together have formed BrahMos Aerospace. BrahMos is also the fastest anti-ship cruise missile of the world currently under operation. It travels at speeds of Mach 4 and is being upgraded to Mach 5.0. The name BrahMos is a name derived from two major rivers i.e., ‘Brah’ from Brahmaputra River in India and ‘Mos’ from Moskva river of Russia. Missile Specifications
- The missile is a massive 3,000 kg (6,600 lb) [2,500 kg (5,500 lb) for air-launched] missile with a length of 8.4m.
- It is capable of carrying a 200 kg (440 lb) conventional semi-armour-piercing and about 300 kg (660 lb) (air-launched) nuclear warhead, both being manufactured indigenously by the Indian Ordnance Factories.
- It has a two-stage propulsion system, with a solid-propellant rocket for initial acceleration and a liquid-fuelled ramjet responsible for sustained supersonic cruise.
- By April 2013, Brahmos has been inducted in 8 warships of the Indian Navy which includes:
- Rajput Class Destroyers: INS Rajput, INS Ranvir and INS Ranvijay.
- Talwar-class frigate: INS Teg, INS Tarkash, INS Trikand.
- Shivalik-class frigate
- Kolkata-class destroyer
- Visakhapatnam-class destroyer (planned)
- The Brahmos Block I was inducted into the army on 21 June 2007. The operational BrahMos regiments are:
- 861 Regiment (BrahMos Block I, deployed in north Rajasthan area)
- 862 Regiment (BrahMos Block II, deployed in south Rajasthan area)
- 863 Regiment (BrahMos Block II)
- 864 Regiment (BrahMos Block III, ordered for Arunachal Pradesh area)
RAPID ACTION FORCE (RAF)
27th Anniversary celebrations of Rapid Action Force of the Central Reserved Police Force (CRPF) was recently held which was presided over by the Home Minister Amit Shah. RAF is a highly specialized wing of CRPF which was raised in 1992 to deal with riots, riot like situations, crowd control, rescue and relief operations, and other related unrest situations. RAF is headed by an officer of the rank of Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and is having its headquarters in New Delhi. Motto of RAF: “SERVING HUMANITY WITH SENSITIVE POLICING”
It is a minor planet between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter which has been named after Pandit Jasraj, who is an Indian classical vocalist belonging to the Mewati Gharana. He has been awarded Sangeet Natak Akadami Fellowship (2010), Padma Vibhushan (2000) and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1987). Jasrangi, a novel form of jugalbandi that is styled on the ancient system of moorchhana, between a male and a female vocalist singing different ragas at the same time, was created by him.
Talking about the minor planets or the “small Solar System body”, these are celestial objects which orbits Sun and are not large enough for their gravity to pull them into a spherical shape and this is due to this reason these are being distinguished from ‘dwarf planets’ or other planets who are spherical in shape. These small planets includes asteroids, comets and other types of celestial bodies that go around the Sun. The names of these celestial bodies are ultimately approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) which is a global organization of professional astronomers. Other personalities who have minor planets named after them includes Johann Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven and Rabindranath Tagore.
It is a fully reusable 2nd stage and space vehicle which has been privately developed by SpaceX to take people or cargo to the moon, Mars or other space destinations in space or around Earth. The Starship is being designed to be a long-term cargo- and passenger-carrying spacecraft. It will be capable of delivering as high as around 100 tons of payload for building bases on Moon and Mars cities and also up to 100 people on a long-duration interplanetary flights. The launch of commercial payloads are planned by SpaceX Starship by 2021.
WORLD HEART DAY
It was observed worldwide on 29th September as a World Heart Foundation initiative to spread awareness about Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), including strokes and heart disease. WHO estimates that more than 17.9 million people die of CVDs every year, accounting for over 31% of global deaths, of which, 1/3rd being premature (below 70 years). About 80% of the CVDs manifest themselves as heart attacks or strokes and 75% cases come from low and middle-income countries. It was in September 2018, when Lancet published a report regarding the CVDs in India as part of its Global Burden of Disease Study 1990-2016 and reported that in 2016, CVDs contributed to 28.1% of total deaths, as compared to the 15.2% in 1990. The study estimated the prevalence of CVDs in India at around 54.5 million. Among Indian states, Punjab, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, found the prevalence of CVDs of atleast 5000 per 100,000 people. Only the states of Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh had the prevalence of less than 3,000 per 100,000 people.
RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN ON INTERNET
This is a European Law which empowers individuals to ask organizations to delete their personal data. The law is provided by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a law passed by the 28-member EU bloc in 2018. Recently, it has been ruled by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that the online privacy rule under the European Law would not apply beyond the borders of EU member states and EU cannot enforce this on other countries which do not recognize such a right.