23 July 2018: UPSC Exam PIB Summary & Analysis

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National Resource Centres (NRCs) to prepare online training material

  • The Government has identified 75 institutions to act as National Resource Centres (NRCs) to prepare online training material for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) with focus on latest developments in the discipline, new & emerging trends, pedagogical improvements and methodologies for transacting revised curriculum.
  • 75 discipline-specific National Resource Centres have been identified, under the Ministry’s Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching (PMMMNMTT) located in Central Universities, IISc, IUCAA, IITs, IISERs, NITs, State Universities; UGC’s Human Resource Development Centres (HRDCs), National Institutes for Technical Teachers Training (NITTTRs), IIITs, Open Universities.
  • These NRCs cover wide ranging disciplines of Social Sciences, Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Design & Manufacturing, Humanities, Language Teaching, Commerce, Management, Education Planning and Administration, Public Policy, Leadership & Governance, Library & Information Science, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Assessment and Evaluation, Pedagogy and research methods, cutting edge areas of Nano-sciences, Internet of Things, etc.
  • Under this initiative, all in-service teachers, irrespective of their subject and seniority have an enabling opportunity to keep abreast of the latest developments in their disciplines through the technology based online refresher course, through SWAYAM, India’s own MOOCs platform.

Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0 successfully launched

  • Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is a flagship programme of the Ministry of HRD.

AIM:

  1. To link the Higher Education Institutions with set of atleast (5) villages, so that these institutions can contribute to the economic and social betterment of these village communities using their knowledge base.
  2. To create a virtuous cycle between the society and an inclusive university system, with the latter providing knowledge base; practices for emerging livelihoods and to upgrade the capabilities of both the public and private sectors
  • It is a significant initiative where all Higher Learning Institutes have been involved for participation in development activities, particularly in rural areas.
  • Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is inspired by the vision of transformational change in rural development processes by leveraging knowledge institutions to help build the architecture of an Inclusive India.

Objective of the scheme:

  • To engage the faculty and students of Higher Educational Institutions in understanding rural realities;
  • Identify and select existing innovative technologies, enable customization of technologies, or devise implementation methods for innovative solutions, as required by people; and
  • To allow Higher Educational Institutions to contribute to devising systems for smooth implementation of various Government Programs.

Digitalization in Education System

  • The Central Government has launched an Integrated Scheme for school education- Samagra Shiksha, which subsumes the three erstwhile Centrally Sponsored Schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education, from the year 2018-19.
  • The government has undertaken various initiatives for providing education through digital means such as:
  1. ICT in Education Curriculum for School System
  2. e-pathshala – 3311 audios and videos, 650 e-books (e-pubs) and 504 flip books have been made available on the portal and mobile app.
  3. National Repository of Open Educational Resources (NROER)
  4. SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active learning for Young Aspiring Minds)
  5. SWAYAM PRABHA- A programme for utilization of satellite communication technologies for transmission of educational e-contents through 32 National Channels i.e. SWAYAM PRABHA DTH-TV has been launched.
  6. NIOS is one of the National Coordinator of SWAYAM. NIOS is offering 14 secondary level courses, and all courses of Diploma in Elementary Education (D.El.Ed.).NIOS has been allocated 4 SWAYAMPRABHA DTH Channels.
  7. SARANSH is a tool for comprehensive self review and analysis for CBSE affiliated schools and parents.
  8. e-Prajna has been started for providing tablets pre-loaded with e-content in Maths and Science. 5076 Touch Tablets have been distributed among Class VIII Students and teachers for classroom transactions in subject Maths and Science.
  9. Operation Digital Board:- An initiative has been taken by Government of India to provide interactive digital boards to nearly 15 lakh classrooms across the country for 9th standard to post graduate level, where they can receive lectures from best teachers/professors and access quality e-content.

Social Security Schemes

  • The Ministry of Labour & Employment, through its Labour Welfare Organizations across the country, implements welfare schemes relating to housing, education and health for beedi workers, mica mine workers, limestone & dolomite mine workers, iron ore manganese, chrome ore mine workers and cine workers.
  • These schemes were earlier administered through 5 Welfare Cess and Welfare Funds under various Cess Acts of Parliament.
  • Now, these cesses have been abolished/subsumed in GST and the welfare schemes have been retained with funding from the Consolidated Fund of India.

Salient features of these welfare schemes are as follows:

  • Revised Integrated Housing Scheme-2016: Subsidy of Rs.1,50,000 for construction of a new house is provided to the workers in three installments.
  • Education Scheme: Financial Assistance varying from Rs.250 to Rs.15,000 per year is provided to the wards of the workers studying in classes I to XII or pursuing non-professional and professional degree/graduate/post graduate courses.
  • Health Scheme: Health care facilities are provided to the workers and their dependents through 12 hospitals and 286 dispensaries under Labour Welfare Organizations across the country. In addition, reimbursement of expenditure for specialized treatment taken in Government recognized hospitals is also provided.

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