We have launched our mobile app, get it now. Call : 9354229384, 9354252518, 9999830584.  

Current Affairs

Filter By Article

Filter By Article

The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 02 August 2021

ABC Of Quality | ToI

  • Announcing 27% reservation for OBC and 10% for EWS candidates in the all-India quota for medical admissions, while proportionately increasing overall seats, continues the trend of entrenching reservations.
  • By upholding EWS quotas too, BJP has theoretically placated most social groups.
  • How soon will an increase in medical seats to accommodate new quotas happen and what will be the quality of education after that increase?
  • The pandemic should have told the political class that already-existing shortcomings in medical education restrict the output of thoroughly trained doctors.
  • How will putting more stress on this system produce a better outcome?
  • We need many more quality medical institutions to increase the supply of quality medical professionals.
  • Indian netas excel in failing at basics and covering them up with populist appeals.
  • Expect more politics on quota and little policy aimed at quality.

Cut fuel taxes | ToI

  • Rising crude oil prices combining with weak economic growth impulses should worry policymakers.
  • Chief Economic Advisor K Subramanian, in an interview to this paper, said India’s fuel taxes don’t stand out when compared to international levels, particularly Western Europe and Japan.
  • Far higher on the economic ladder
  • They have much better public transport
  • Many Europeans and Japanese have been recipients of generous fiscal transfers during the pandemic – most Indians haven’t received such benefits.
  • Fuel price increase has played a disproportionate role in stoking inflation.
  • In June, the headline inflation, or CPI, was 6.3%.
  • Fuel weightage in CPI is 6.84%, but it contributed 13% of the headline inflation.
  • Beyond that, there are second round effects as transport and communication have about 8.59% weightage in CPI.
  • This segment inflated 11.56% in June. Fuel costs are also feeding into input costs of industrial production.
  • This trend has come in the backdrop of weakness in aggregate demand.
  • Research by SBI using trends in credit card spending shows that as the economy is opening up, spending is being reallocated from groceries to fuel.
  • GoI should cut fuel taxes to put some money in the hands of consumers.

A new beginning? | Pioneer

  • A development in the field of education is raising some concern in the minds of people.
  • The NITI Aayog has backed the proposal of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to revamp the national engineering entrance examination that no longer requires mathematics and physics as mandatory subjects in plus-two.
  • Students will need to pass any three of 14 subjects, including mathematics, physics and chemistry, in their plus-two examination.
  • The logic given is that the industry and a section of the students want the option to pursue technical programmes like agriculture, biotechnology, electronics, or IT engineering that do not depend on physics and mathematics.
  • The AICTE idea applies to the affiliated technical colleges and not to universities, IITs, NITs or IISERs.
  • The alarmist view is that a section of the students may benefit from this rule but it would destabilise the approach to technical education in the country, that there is no engineering without mathematics and physics, that bridge programmes make poor substitutes.
  • Private engineering and other technical institutes are closing down by the hundreds every year because the seats are not getting filled.
  • As aspirations grow, the students prefer either nationally acclaimed engineering institutes or diversify into new technical fields.
  • Critics feel that the AICTE proposal can breathe new life into these colleges, though the question mark remains about the quality of education imparted.
  • The world is changing fast and technology is speeding it up.
  • The focus of education, especially in the formative years, should emphasise on the applicational along with the theoretical.
  • Technical education programmes are diversifying to as innovative as wine taster, cybersecurity specialist, processed food specialist, site reliability engineer and growth manager.
  • Linkedin came out with a list of emerging industrial jobs in India for 2020, only some of which have to do with engineering but with tangential links to mathematics or physics.
  • The India Skills Report for 2021 says the employability of India’s youth has decreased of late, making it imperative that higher and technical education equips them with skills necessary for in-demand career opportunities.
  • A skills-based ecosystem is needed.
  • A better move than the AICTE proposal, for instance, is to introduce a system of apprenticeship that makes the private sector responsible for imparting skills to the workers depending on the basis of an annual revision of the skills shortage list.

What India@75 needs | Ind Exp

  • In another two weeks, India will be celebrating its 75th Independence Day.
  • India started its journey as a newborn nation with deep wounds of Partition.
  • Independent India’s population was roughly 340 million, with more than 70 per cent extremely poor, and only 12 per cent literate.
  • Winston Churchill had famously warned: “If Independence is granted to India, power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooters, all Indian leaders will be of low calibre and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles. A day would come when even air and water would be taxed in India”.
  • Basic necessities — poverty, illiteracy and food
  • From more than 70 per cent poor in 1947, the head-count ratio (HCR) of poverty in India dropped to 21.9 per cent in 2011, as per the erstwhile Planning Commission’s estimates based on the Tendulkar poverty line.
  • The drop in HCR during 2004-11 was almost three times faster than during 1993 to 2004, and much faster than during the socialist era of 1947-91.
  • But many Leftists disputed the poverty line, and the government had to set up a committee under C Rangarajan, which estimated HCR poverty at 29.5 percent in 2011.
  • It is ironic that after 2011, we have no official estimates of poverty.
  • If India had invested in better quality education for the masses, especially for the girl child, the results would have been much better.
  • While India is proud of its IITs, IIMs and AIIMS, and its overall literacy rates going up from 12 per cent in 1947 to about 77 per cent now — with Kerala at the top and Bihar at the bottom — the quality of education for large sections of the poor remains poor.
  • Year after year, Pratham’s ASER reports indicate that a large number of children in the eighth grade do not fulfil the learning requirements of the fifth or sixth grades.
  • Without quality education, their incomes remain low and many remain stuck in the poverty trap.
  • The pandemic has exacerbated the digital divide between rural and urban schoolchildren.
  • What about basic food security?
  • There has been tremendous success in this respect, with the country moving from a “ship to mouth” situation in the mid-1960s to become the largest exporter of rice (17.7 MMT) in 2020-21, amounting to 38.5 per cent of the global rice trade.
  • This has been achieved through the use of modern technology, improved seeds, irrigation, fertilisers, and, of course, the right incentives for farmers.
  • But it has come at a huge cost of groundwater depletion.
  • Future policies need to focus on greater sustainability.
  • The question that bothers us is that if India has been so successful in reducing poverty and improving food availability, why does it have to give almost free food (rice and wheat) to more than 800 million people under the National Food security Act (2013)?
  • However, malnutrition amongst children still runs high.
  • This surely does not square with the facts above. India’s public grain management system of procurement, stocking and distributing is, perhaps, the biggest food programme in the world.
  • But it is also an expensive, inefficient and corrupt system, and is crying for reforms.
  • In 2020-21, as per the provisional estimates of the Controller General of Accounts, food subsidy amounted to 31 per cent of the total revenue of the Union government.
  • Giving free rice and wheat, instead of improving the quality of education and enhancing skills, is definitely not the right way to go forward.
  • Our work at ICRIER on food policy shows that a rational policy of gradually moving towards cash transfers to targeted beneficiaries, limiting grain stocks, can easily save Rs 50,000 crore every year from the food subsidy bill.
  • This can be achieved without sacrificing the objectives of supporting the vulnerable population as well as giving a fair deal to farmers.
  • This rationalisation of food policy needs to come up high in priority, with changed policy instruments, if we have to fulfil the pledges we made to our people in 1947.

NEWS

  • PM Modi to launch e-RUPI, a cashless and contactless instrument for digital payment today
  • Indian and Chinese Armies establish hotline for Sikkim sector
  • India begins UN Security Council Presidency for August
  • President Ram Nath Kovind to embark on five-day visit to Tamil Nadu
  • More than 47 crore 2 lakh doses of corona vaccine administered in country so far
  • Mizoram CM says th boundary row between Mizoram, Assam will be resolved amicably through dialogue
  • President Kovind, PM Modi congratulate P V Sindhu for winning Bronze at Olympics
  • Muslim Women Rights Day was observed yesterday to celebrate the enactment of law banning Triple Talaq
  • More than 46 crore 72 lakh doses of Covid vaccine administered in the country so far
  • Myanmar's military extends emergency for two years
  • Regular freight train service starts between India and Bangladesh on the revived Haldibari-Chilahati rail route
  • China grapples with a surge of COVID-19 cases amid its “zero-tolerance approach”

ANS

Q.) The Chandrayaan-2 mission, launched in July 2019, was scheduled to be an effort aimed at landing a rover on the Lunar South Pole. It was sent aboard the country’s most powerful geosynchronous launch vehiche. Name this vechicle.

  1. GSLV-Mk 1
  2. GSLV-Mk 2
  3. GSLV-Mk 3
  4. GSLV-Mk 4

Q.) Which country launched the world’s first Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) last year?

  1. USA
  2. China
  3. Bahamas
  4. Switizerland