Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

1st October 2019 Current Affairs

School Education Quality Index: NITI Aayog

National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog has released the first edition of the School Education Quality Index (SEQI).

  • SEQI has been developed by NITI Aayog to evaluate the performance of States and Union Territories (UTs) in the school education sector.
  • Developed through a collaborative process including key stakeholders such as the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the World Bank and sector experts, the index consists of 30 critical indicators that assess the delivery of quality education.
  • Aim:
    • To drive policy reforms that will improve the quality of school education.
    • To institutionalize a focus on enhancing education outcomes by driving improvements in learning levels, access, equity, infrastructure and governance processes.
  • Ranking Process:

    • To facilitate like-to-like comparisons, States and UTs have been grouped as Large States, Small States and Union Territories.

  • Performance of the States:

    • Among 20 large States, Kerala was ranked first for overall performance on the quality of school education while Uttar Pradesh came in last.

    • Among smaller States, Manipur emerged as the best performer, while Chandigarh topped the list of Union Territories.

    • West Bengal refused to participate in the evaluation process and has not been included in the rankings.
  • How the Index will help States?

    • The index recognizes that school education is a subject on the Concurrent List and that State-level leadership is crucial for improving outcomes in a cost-effective manner.
    • The index will serve as a regular and transparent review of the status of school education quality across the States and UTs.
    • The index encourages States/UTs to improve their scores by showing progress across these aspects.
    • In line with NITI Aayog’s mandate to foster the spirit of competitive and cooperative federalism, the index strives to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best practices across States and UTs.

What is NITI Aayog?

  • The National Institution for Transforming India, also called NITI Aayog, was formed via a resolution of the Union Cabinet on 1st January 2015.

    • The Government of India constituted the NITI Aayog to replace the Planning Commission instituted in 1950.
  • It is the premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Government of India, providing both directional and policy inputs.
  • NITI Aayog also provides relevant technical advice to the Centre and States.
  • The Governing Council of NITI, with the Prime Minister as its Chairman, comprises Chief Ministers of all States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories (UTs).

Paleochannels

  • A Paleochannel is an old or ancient channel, which are filled with younger sediments.
  • It can store and transmit groundwater and therefore developed as a source of water.
  • A paleochannel in Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad) that linked the Ganga and Yamuna rivers was recently excavated.
  • The aim is to develop it as a potential groundwaterrecharge source.
  • The discovery was made by a team of scientists from the CSIR-NGRI (National Geophysical Research Institute) and the Central Groundwater Board.

Maitree – 2019

  • It is the joint military exercise between India and Thailand.
  • It was recently conducted in Meghalaya.
  • Its scope encompassed joint training in various facets of counter terrorism operations in urban and jungle environments.

The International Day of Older Persons

The International Day of Older Persons is observed on 1st October (designated in 1990 by the United Nations General Assembly) every year.

  • 2019 Theme: ‘The Journey to Age Equality’

    • The 2019 theme is aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 10 (SDG 10).
    • SDG 10 has the target to reduce inequality within and among countries and ensure equal opportunities for all.

Initiatives Taken by India

  • Integrated Programme for Senior Citizens  
  •  Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana.
  • Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (MWPSC) Act, 2007

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