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15 IIITs declared as Institutes of National Importance

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Public- Private Partnership) Bill, 2017.

Decision in this regard was taken by Union Cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

Key Facts
  • The Bill will declare the existing IIITs in PPPS as ‘Institutions of National Importance with powers to award degrees.
  • This coveted status will entitle them to use the nomenclature of Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) or Master of Technology (M.Tech) or Ph.D degree as issued by Institution or University of National Importance.
  • By granting formal degree, IIITs will enhance the prospects of graduating students in job market and will also enable them to attract enough students to develop a strong research base in the country in the field of IT.
  • Besides, it will also cater the emerging needs of the industry and the economy as a whole for skilled technical manpower from the talent pool of trained personnel of the institutes. 

The 15 IIITs are: Assam (Guwahati), Andhra Pradesh (Chittoor), Haryana (Sonipat), Gujarat (Vadodara),Himachal Pradesh (Una), Kerala (Kottayam), Jharkhand (Ranchi), Karnataka (Dharwad), Maharashtra (Nagpur & Pune), Rajasthan (Kota), Manipur (Senapati), Tamilnadu (Tiruchirappalli), Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow), Kalyani (West Bengal).

Background

In 2010, the Union Cabinet had approved scheme of setting up of 20 new IIITs in Public Private Partnership (IIIT PPP). But it was not having provision empowering these institutes to grant degrees to its students.

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India’s first floating elementary school inaugurated on Manipur’s Loktak Lake

India’s first floating elementary school named Loktak Elementary Floating School was inaugurated at Langolsabi Leikai of Champu Khangpok floating village on Loktak Lake in Manipur.

The first of its kind school aims to provide education to drop outs students as well as illiterate adults. Currently it will provide education to around 40 children from Class I-III by engaging two local teachers.

It was opened under the initiative undertaken by All Loktak Lake Fisherman’s Union with the support of an NGO People Resources Development Association (PRDA). 

Background

The school was established to arrest the sudden high dropout rate of children living in the Champu Khangpok floating villages who were rendered homeless due to the recent evacuation of phumdis. More than 700 floating huts were removed by Loktak Development Authority as part of clearing encroachment in the lake under the Loktak Lake (Protection) Act 2006. It had resulted in displacement of the fishing community and their children who were forced to discontinue their education.

About Loktak lake

  • Loktak lake is the largest freshwater lake in northeast India. It is referred as the lifeline of Manipur and plays an important role in the economy of Manipur.
  • The ancient lake is famous for the phumdis (also known as “phumshongs”), the heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil and organic matter at various stages of decomposition floating over it.
  • It serves as a source of water for irrigation, drinking water supply and hydropower generation for the local people. It is also a source of livelihood for the rural fisherman.
  • Keibul Lamjao National Park is one of Phumdis in the lake. It is only floating national park in world and is last natural refuge of endangered Sangai deer.
  • It was designated as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1990. Later it was also listed under the Montreux Record in 1993.
  • It is also an Important Bird Area as it’s a potential breeding site for waterfowl and is a staging site for migratory birds. In recent times human activity has led to severe pressure on the lake ecosystem.

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HRD ministry constitute sub-committee of CABE on issues of girl’s education

The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has constituted a sub-committee of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) to look into issues of girl’s education.

It will be headed by Telangana’s Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Kadiyam Srihari. It will submit its report to the Union government within one year.

Terms of reference of sub-committee
  • Examine reasons for low participation of girls in education, including the socio-economic factors with resultant gender bias and suggest ways to reduce gender disparity to achieve better gender parity index.
  • Assess current status of enrolment of girls across the country at primary, upper primary, secondary education and senior secondary levels.
  • Analyse girls’ participation at all levels of school education across socio-economic groups of minorities, SC/ST and in rural-urban areas and reduce existing educational disparities among them.
  • Examine the existing schemes, incentives and measures aimed at enhancing girls’ participation and ensure their retention in education.
  • Suggest improvements and modifications in the existing schemes. Look into the issues of safety of girl students in schools, particularly in hostels and residential schools.
  • Identify infrastructure gaps such as non-availability or non-functionality of separated toilets for girls which impede retention of girls.
  • Compile best practices adopted by states/UTs for raising standards of girl’s education. Hold consultations with the Central/state governments and other stakeholders.

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