Smartphones at home but not for studies in rural Assam: Survey
Smartphone availability at home for schoolchildren has doubled to 71% during the Covid pandemic in Assam and for the two northeastern states of Manipur and Nagaland it went up to 92% this year. But their access to smartphones for purposes of study remains a concern. For more than half of the schoolchildren, smartphones are available sometimes or not accessible at all.
This was revealed in the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2021 published on Wednesday, covering 581 districts across 25 states and three Union Territories in the country.
In the five northeastern states, where the survey was conducted, the smartphones were available at homes of 36.1% of the surveyed children of Assam in 2018. The corresponding figure in Manipur went up to 92.9% in 2021 from 53.4% in 2018. In Nagaland also smartphones were available with 92.9% children at home in 2021, though the same was 50% in 2018. For Meghalaya, the corresponding figures were 41.3% (2018) and 77.9% (2021) respectively.
In Assam, 51.4% of the surveyed children got access to smartphones for purposes of study sometimes, whereas for 22.9% it was not accessible despite being available at home. In Manipur, 39.9% got access only sometimes and for 24.5% it was not accessible. The corresponding figures for Meghalaya were 34.2% and 30.7% respectively.
ASER 2021 was a household rural survey conducted via phone. At an all India level, 67.6% children were found to have a smartphone at home.
Wangala Festival Begins In Meghalaya
The 44th edition of ‘Wangala,’ the festival of 100 Drums, began in the state of Meghalaya.
It is a Garos tribal post-harvest festival that takes place every year to honour ‘Saljong,’ the Garos Sun God, and to celebrate the conclusion of the harvest season.
It is the most important celebration of the Garo tribe, and it attracts a large number of tourists. It has been celebrated since 1976.
Tribes give sacrifices to their deity Saljong, the Sun God, during the Wangala.
The first day of the celebration is marked by a ceremony known as Ragula, which is held in the village chief’s home.
On the second day of the celebration, Kakkat, people dress up in colourful costumes with feathered headdresses and dance to the sounds of long oval-shaped drums.
Russia’s Direct-Ascent Anti-Satellite (DA-ASAT) test
DA-ASAT missile struck a Russian satellite called COSMOS 1408, as a result, debris field in low-Earth orbit.
This test has generated about 1500 pieces of trackable orbital debris, so far.
It will generate hundreds of thousands of pieces of smaller orbital debris, in future tests.
As per initial assessment of USSPACECOM, these debris will remain in orbit for years. As a result, it poses a significant risk for the crew on the International Space Station.
USSPACECOM is continuously monitor the trajectory of debris. It will ensure that all space-faring nations get information necessary to safeguard their on-orbit activities.
ASAT are space weapons, that have been designed to incapacitate or destroy satellites for strategic or tactical purposes. No ASAT system has yet been used in warfare. But, countries like India, US, Russia and China have successfully shot down their own satellites to demonstrate capabilities of their ASAT.
ASER 2021 Report – Highlights
16th Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2021 (Rural) was published by Pratham foundation on November 17, 2021.
ASER provides report on schooling status of children in the age group of 5-16 age across rural India including the ability to do basic reading & arithmetic tasks.
This year, ASER followed a phone-based survey format, as field survey was not possible due to covid-19 pandemic.
Survey was conducted during September-October 2021.
It tries to find out how children in aged between 5-16 studied at home since the onset of covid-19 pandemic as well as challenges that schools & households now face in the backdrop of opening up of schools.
Important findings of the ASER 2021 report are as follows:
As per report, there was an overall increase in proportion of children enrolled in govt schools in between 2018 and 2020. Enrolment increased from 64.3% to 65.8%. But in 2021, enrolment suddenly increased to 70.3%.
Enrolment rate in private schools has decreased as compared to last year. In 2020, enrolment rate was 28.8% which decreased to 24.4% in 2021.
In 2021, 73.1% school respondents received training to implement Covid-19 prevention measures.
Even though availability of smartphones increased to 67.6% in 2021 as compared to 36.5% in 2018, around 79% of children in private schools had smartphone at home as opposed to 63.7% children in government school.
Number of school-going children taking tuition increased by 40% during closure of their schools.
52% of the respondents cited financial distress caused by covid-19 pandemic as the reason of increase in enrolments in government school.
Tribal Minister inaugurates TRIFED Aadi Mahotsav
The Aadi Mahotsav was launched in the presence of Sukhram Munda, who is the Grandson of Bhagwan Birsa Munda.
During the event, Sukhram Munda remembered the sacrifice and contributions of Bhagwan Birsa Munda. He noted that, his grandfather united the tribals in forest and fought for independence.
On the occasion, olympic medalist Padma Vibhushan MC Mary Kom was selected as brand ambassador of the TRIFED Aadi Mahotsav.
In the Mahotsav, 1000 tribal artisans will be participating from 26 states in the 15-day Aadi Mahotsav to showcase their products.
Aadi Mahotsav provides a direct connect between masses and tribal people. A significant feature of the event is “TRIBES India cuisines”, which are created and presented in delectable forms to suit urban taste by special tribal chefs.
MoFPI inked MoU with Department of Animal husbandry & Dairying to improve livestock sector
The MoU was signed in order to facilitate extension of benefits to dairy entrepreneurs and dairy industries by convergence of several schemes by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
It will also help in generating income for sustainable development of rural poor by providing credit support, providing necessary technology and by strengthening quality control.
Such synergized efforts will help farmers in doubling their income by means of livestock sector.
It refers to selective breeding and livestock raising. It is the management and care of animals in which genetic qualities and behaviour of animals are developed to earn profit. Animal husbandry sector supports the livelihood of around 55% of the rural population in India. According to Economic Survey-2021, contribution of Livestock in agriculture & allied sector Gross Value Added (at Constant Prices) increased from 24.32% in 2014-15 to 28.63% in 2018-19. India is the highest livestock owner worldwide.
According to 20th Livestock Census, Livestock population is 535.78 million in India, accounting for an increase of 4.6% over Livestock Census-2012.
Bhumi Samvaad’ – National Workshop on DILRMP
The workshop was organised in a bid to boost to national land record modernization programme.
This workshop would enable States to share the best practices with each other in the field and learn regarding the latest software developments.
The workshop was inaugurated by Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Giriraj Singh. He also launched “National Generic Document Registration System (NGDRS) portal & Dashboard, on the occasion.
NGDRS is an in-house advanced software application for doing registration. This system is configurable and compatible with state-specific needs in India.
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