Assam in Niti’s top six best school-education states
Assam has been ranked among the top-six best-performing states by NITI Aayog’s School Education Quality Index (SEQI), but the state has been found to have the least percentage of toilets for girl students in the country.
Daman & Diu, Assam top the category of daily attendance of teachers in their respective electronic systems. Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, and Delhi, are the only other states or Union Territories that record teachers’ attendance in electronic devices. Assam is one of 10 states and UTs, where recruitment of new teachers is more transparent and is done online, while most states and UTs are yet to adopt this practice.
However, the online system is not followed when it comes to transfer of teachers. Eight states and UTs reported using an online system for teacher transfers, and Assam is yet to adopt this practice. Also, no school headmaster or principal is recruited through a merit-based selection system in Assam, along with 17 other states.
The report states that 32 states and Union Territories reported that at least 95% of their schools had girls’ toilets. Only Assam and Meghalaya reported the lowest percentages for this indicator -83.4% and 84.1%, respectively.
On the other hand, Sikkim and Nagaland reported a decrease in the number of toilets for girls from 2015-16 by 2.5 and 2.1 percentage points, respectively.
The top-six best-performing states are Kerala, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Assam, each achieving an overall performance score above 60%. Kerala has the highest overall performance score of 76.6%, while Uttar Pradesh ranks last among the large states, with an overall performance score of 36.4%.
Among the eight small states, Manipur, Tripura and Goa are the top-performing states, each achieving an overall performance score above 55%. The report states that Manipur has the highest overall performance score of 68.8%, while Arunachal Pradesh ranks last, with an overall performance score of 24.6%.
The School Education Quality Index (SEQI) was developed to evaluate the performance of States and Union Territories (UTs) in the school education sector.
The index aims to bring an outcomes focus to education policy by providing States and UTs with a platform to identify their strengths and weaknesses and undertake requisite course corrections or policy interventions.
· Indian Navy to host multi-nation military drill in March 2020
ð Indian Navy will host a multi-nation military drill called Milan 2020 at Visakhapatnam in March 2020.MILAN denotes Multilateral Naval Exercise. The event will witness the participation of several countries.
ð MILAN series of biennial exercises commenced in 1995. It was at Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) for the first time on the mainland at Eastern Naval Command(ENC)
ð To increase the scope and complexity of the exercise.The government pursues cooperation, including the Indian Ocean Region, through structured interactions.
· National Milk Day was celebrated on 26 November
- National Milk Dayis celebrated on26 November every year in India. The day commemorates the birth anniversary of Dr. Verghese Kurien. The day aims to promote benefits related to milk and milk industry. It also raises awareness among people about the importance of milk and milk products. In 2019, India is celebrating the 98th birth anniversary of Dr. Kurien.
· ISRO launched Cartosat 3 and 13 nanosatellites
- ISRO,the Indian Space Agency, successfully launched itsthird- generation Earth-imaging satellite Cartosat-3 into space from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The PSLV C-47 rocket carried 13 nanosatellites along with Cartosat-3. The 13 nanosatellites that were launched are a part of the commercial arrangement with NewSpace India Ltd. (NSIL).
- The launch of the satellite Cartosat-3 is expected to enhance India’s ability in high-resolution imaging. It will also reinforce India as a global launch destination for small satellites using its workhorse rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
- Cartosat-3 satellite is a third-generation3-axil agile, advanced satellite with high-resolution imaging capability. It is an earth observational or remote sensing satellite. It can produce images with one of the most high-resolution in the world, and certainly the highest of any satellites under ISRO’s umbrella.
- Cartosat-3 has an advanced and better spatial version with a resolution of up to25m (25cm)as compared to the Cartosat-2 series satellites. It will produce high-resolution pictures that will be used for strategic applications.
- Cartosat-3 has advanced remote sensing tools that will be helpful with defence. CartoSAT-3 has been designed in a way that it will be one of the most advanced imaging satellites ever built by ISRO. The satellite has powerful capabilities in multiple different spectral characteristics in its observation mission.
· RS passed the 2019 Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Bill
- The Rajya Sabha passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 on 26 November 2019. The Bill was moved for consideration and passage in the upper house by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot on 20 November. The Lok Sabha had passed the Bill on 5 August 2019.
- The Bill seeks to provide a mechanism for social, economic and educational empowerment of transgenders.
- The Bill establishes anational security authority to safeguard the rights of the transgenders.
- The Bill allows such a person to undergo surgery to change gender.
· Cabinet approved MoU signed between India, Saudi Arabia to establish the Strategic Partnership Council
- The Agreement between India and Saudi Arabia aims to enable the leadership at the highest level to meet regularly and monitor progress in the ongoing initiatives and projects under the various strategic partnership.
- It will help identify new areas for forging strategic engagement and will define the goals to be achieved and benefits to be derived.
- It will benefit the Indian citizens with improved economic and commercial linkages with Saudi Arabia
· Cabinet approved an extension of norms for mandatory packaging in jute materials
- TheCabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by PM Modi approved the mandatory packaging of foodgrains and sugar in jute material for the Jute Year 2019-20. It has mandated packaging norms under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987as per 2018. The decision mandated that 100% of the food grains and 20% of the sugar must be packed in diversified jute bags.
- The move of mandatory packaging in jute bags will stimulate diversification of the jute industry.
- It also mandates that initially 10% of the indents of jute bags for packing foodgrains. It would be placed through a reverse auction on the GeM portal.
· Cabinet approved the 15th Finance Commission to submit first report
- The Union Cabinet approved theFifteenth Finance Commission (XV-FC)to submit the first report for the first fiscal year 2020-21. It will also extend the tenure of XV-FC to provide for the presentation of the final report covering FYs 2021-22 to 2025-26.
- The extension of the term of the XV-FC will enable the Commission to examine various comparable estimates for financial projections. It will also finalize the recommendations of the commission for the period 2020-2026
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