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UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 15th January 2022

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy – UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 15th January 2022

UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 15th January 2022

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  • The NEAT 3.0
  • The South China sea issue
  • The Project ‘Niramay’
  • India State of Forest Report 2021
  • Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar 2021 – 2022

1.The NEAT 3.0 

#GS2-Education Policies

Context

  • The Ministry of Education has announced the formation of a new National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT 3.0) to improve learning outcomes in higher education via the use of technology.

In depth information

  • The NEAT Scheme is built on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model between the Indian government and educational technology (EdTech) enterprises.
  • NEAT’s goals are to bring together the best technological solutions in education pedagogy on a single platform for the benefit of economically and socially disadvantaged people.
  • Target Markets: Artificial Intelligence-based technology solutions for customised learning or e-content in specialty areas with high employability skills are being identified for inclusion on the site.
  • Modus Operandi: As part of this, the government intends to provide free coupons for a variety of ed-tech businesses’ courses.
  • All India Council for Technical Education is the implementing agency (AICTE).

Ed-Tech

  • About Edtech: Introducing IT tools into the classroom to create a more engaging, inclusive, and personalised learning experience is known as edtech.
  • Ed-Intended Tech’s Benefits: Technology carries a lot of promise and has a lot of potential. It can assist with:
  • Increasing the degree of personalization in education
  • Increasing educational output via increasing learning rates
  • lowering the cost of educational materials and delivering services at a large scale
  • Teacher/instructor time is better used.
  • India’s new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 responds to a clarion cry to incorporate technology at all levels of education.
  • It proposes the creation of a self-governing entity, the National Education Technology Forum (NETF), to lead efforts to give technology deployment and utilisation a strategic boost.
  • The Indian ed-tech sector offers a lot of innovation potential.
  • The market is poised for exponential expansion, with over 4,500 start-ups and a present worth of roughly USD 700 million – projections anticipate a market size of USD 30 billion in the next ten years.

Ed-Tech Related Problems:

  • Lack of Technology Access: Not everyone who can afford to go to school can afford phones, computers, or even a good internet connection for taking online programmes.
  • According to the 2017-18 National Sample Survey, just 42% of urban families and 15% of rural households had internet connectivity.
  • In this situation, Ed-tech has the potential to widen the already widening digital gap.
  • Contrary to the Right to Education, technology is not cheap to all, and totally changing to online education is tantamount to depriving those who cannot access technology of their right to education.

Next Steps

  • Comprehensive Ed-tech Strategy: The design of a comprehensive Ed-tech policy must focus on four important areas.
  • Increasing access to education, particularly for underserved people.
  • Teaching, learning, and evaluation methods that are made possible.
  • Providing opportunities for teacher training and ongoing professional development.
  • Improving governance mechanisms, which include processes for planning, management, and monitoring.
  • Technology is a Helper, Not a Cure: In terms of social inclusion and relative equality, public educational institutions are role models.
  • It’s a place where people of various genders, classes, castes, and communities may come together without feeling compelled to bow down to others.
  • As a result, technology cannot replace schools or teachers. As a result, rather than “teachers vs technology,” it should be “teachers and technology.”
  • Providing Educational Technology Infrastructure: In the short term, a system to properly map the ed-tech landscape, particularly its scope, reach, and influence, is required.
  • Access, equity, infrastructure, governance, and quality-related outcomes and issues for teachers and students should be prioritised.
  • The digital divide must be addressed on two levels: access and skills for efficiently using technology and leveraging its benefits.

 

2.The South China sea issue

#GS2: International Issues and  India’S Interests

Context

  • The countries of Southeast Asia are becoming increasingly afraid of their massive neighbour.

In depth information

The context of the conflict

  • The South China Sea has been a source of contention for decades.
  • But it was only ten years ago that China, which claims practically the entire sea, increased the ante significantly.
  • The following countries are involved: Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam are among the countries having competing claims.
  • China sparked a standoff that gave it possession of Scarborough Shoal, an uninhabited atoll that obviously belongs to the Philippines under international marine law.
  • Then China embarked on a vast terraforming project, transforming reefs and rocks into man-made islands with airstrips and bases.

China’s coercive methods

  • China’s long-term goal is to push Chinese might well into the South China Sea and beyond, keeping the Americans at bay in the event of a conflict.
  • The immediate goal, however, is to exert political and economic dominance in addition to military dominance.
  • China has challenged Indonesia and Malaysia’s oil-and-gas activities, sending drilling rigs to both nations’ eezs and continental shelves.
  • It has pressured foreign energy corporations to abandon collaborative development projects with Vietnam and other countries.
  • Implications

China has paid a diplomatic price for its actions.

  • Influence on ASEAN relations: China would be more admired among members of the ten-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) if Mr. Xi had not engaged in any of the terraforming and bullying.
  • The United States and its Western allies have increased their naval presence in the sea, which has been welcomed by most ASEAN countries.
  • Code of Conduct in the South China Sea is being negotiated.
  • For years, China has resisted adhering to a code of behaviour on the South China Sea with ASEAN, a notion agreed upon 20 years ago to foster cooperation and lessen tensions.

China nowadays prefers to play willingly.

  • China is essentially requesting a veto over ASEAN member states’ naval exercises with international forces.
  • It also aims to keep foreigners out of joint oil and gas development projects.
  • Members find such requests intolerable.

Conclusion

  • Despite China’s efforts to legitimise its outlandish claims of sovereignty, the ASEAN members have remained staunchly opposed.

 

3.The Project ‘Niramay’

#GS2-Health

Context

  • Assam’s National Health Mission, in conjunction with Piramal Swasthya and Cisco, developed the “Niramay” initiative to show how digital health technology may be used to improve public health care delivery in the state.

About ‘Niramay’

  • It is a step toward implementing the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s goal of the National Digital Health Mission, which will boost public health services in the state of Assam.
  • Piramal Swasthya’s indigenous integrated health technology platform ‘AMRIT’ is the foundation for this effort (Accessible Medical Records via Integrated Technologies).
  • In three aspirational districts in Assam (Barpeta, Darrang, and Baksa), this initiative will aim to build digital infrastructure to facilitate telemedicine contacts, fast diagnoses, patient health records, and data collecting at the grass-roots level.

Goals and requirements

  • The recent pandemic experiences have demonstrated the need of establishing a strong Public Health Delivery System.
  • Digitization, as well as public-private collaborations, will be crucial in this regard.
  • ‘Niramay’ will provide for a continuum of care and real-time data accessibility to essential stakeholders for informed decision-making.
  • By developing a continuum of care, it strives to enhance the health system at the grassroots level and improve the quality of healthcare as well as the experience of healthcare delivery.

 

4.India State of Forest Report 2021

#GS3-Environmental Pollution

Context

  • The ‘India State of Forest Report 2021’ was just released by the Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

In depth information

Major Findings of ISFR 2021

  • The country’s overall forest and tree cover is 80.9 million hectares, accounting for 24.62 percent of the country’s geographical area.
  • The total forest and tree cover of the country has increased by 2,261 sq km since the last assessment in 2019.
  • In the open forest, there has been an increase in forest cover, followed by a dense forest.
  • Andhra Pradesh (647 sq km), Telangana (632 sq km), and Odisha are the top three states with increased forest cover (537 sq km).
  • Madhya Pradesh has the country’s greatest forest cover, followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Maharashtra in terms of area.
  • Percentage of forest cover: Mizoram (84.53 percent), Arunachal Pradesh (79.33 percent), Meghalaya (76.00 percent), Manipur (74.34 percent), and Nagaland are the top five states in terms of forest cover as a proportion of total geographical area (73.90 percent ).
  • Forest cover covers more than 33% of the geographical area in 17 states/UTs.
  • The country’s total mangrove cover is 4,992 square kilometres. Mangrove cover has increased by 17 square kilometres since the previous assessment in 2019.
  • The total carbon stock in the country’s forest is predicted to be 7,204 million tonnes, up 79.4 million tonnes from the previous assessment in 2019.
  • Carbon store increases by 39.7 million tonnes every year.

Fires in the woods

  • Forest fires threaten 35.46 percent of the forest cover. 2.81 percent are extremely vulnerable, 7.85 percent are very highly vulnerable, and 11.51 percent are highly vulnerable.
  • Between 2011 and 2021, the forest cover in tiger corridors increased by 37.15 sq km (0.32 percent), while it dropped by 22.6 sq km (0.04%) in tiger reserves.

Concerns

  • Forest cover has decreased in five Northeastern states: Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland. It is a major source of worry because the Northeastern states are rich in biodiversity.
  • By 2030, 45-64 percent of India’s forests will be affected by climate change and rising temperatures, and forests in all states (except Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Nagaland) will be highly vulnerable to climate hot spots due to natural calamities, particularly landslides and heavy rains, as well as anthropogenic activities such as shifting agriculture, the pressure of developmental activities, and tree felling.
About India State of Forest Report

?       The Forest Survey of India, which is part of the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, publishes it every two years.

?       The first survey, ISFR 1987, was released in 1987, and ISFR 2021 will be the 17th.

?       Forest cover, tree cover, mangrove cover, increasing stock, carbon stock in India’s forests, forest fire monitoring, forest cover in tiger reserve areas, and above ground biomass estimations are all included in the ISFR-2021.

 

5. Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar 2021 – 2022

#GS2-Health Education

Context

  • Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar (SVP) 2021–2022 was virtually launched recently by the Minister of State for Education.

About Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar

  • The Ministry of Education established it to recognise, inspire, and celebrate excellence in school sanitation and hygiene practises.
  • It was implemented for the first time in 2016-17.
  • The SVP is designed to recognise schools who have taken major steps toward achieving the Swachh Vidyalaya Campaign’s goals.
  • All types of schools are eligible to participate in the SVP 2021-22. In both rural and urban locations, this includes government, government-aided, and private schools.

Assessment

  • Water, Sanitation, Hand Washing with Soap, Operation and Maintenance, Behaviour Change and Capacity Building, and the newly added category on COVID-19 Preparedness and Response will be examined through an online site and mobile app.
  • An internationally renowned five-star rating system will be used to award schools at the district, state, and national levels.

UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 15th January 2022

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