States Current Affairs - 2019

Current Affairs 2019-2020 of all States with latest updates. Current Affairs will list latest developments, issues in all states and may be useful for State PCS / Civil services examinations of various states of India.

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Kerala High Court makes notice mandatory for strike and Hartals

The High Court of Kerala has set a seven-day notice period for political parties and individuals to call for hartal and general strike in the State.

Why the 7 day notice period?

The Kerala High Court has provided the following reasons for setting a seven-day notice period:

  • To provide time for the citizens to approach the court with their objections and to enable courts to examine the legality of the hartal call on request of citizens.
  • To provide an opportunity for the State to be prepared for safeguarding the interests of the citizens.
  • Even though the court recognised the fundamental right of those who call for a strike to demonstrate their protests, it made it clear that the rights cannot be exercised in violation of the fundamental rights of other citizens.
  • The court made it clear that the fundamental right of the citizens to life and livelihood would outweigh the fundamental right of persons calling for strikes and hartals.
  • The court further said that since the call for hartals and general strikes denies the fundamental rights of traders, the general public, migrant labourers and those in unorganised sectors, those persons who call for hartals will be held responsible for the loses suffered due to the event.

Observations of the High Court

The court observed that Kerala’s economy had taken a severe hit during the recent devastating floods and the frequent strikes will only cause more sufferings for the economy of the state. Kerala’s economy is dependent on tourism and the travel advisories issued by foreign countries against visiting Kerala cannot be ignored.

The Court noted that in 2018, 97 hartals and strikes had taken place in the State and in 2019 one hartal was called on January 3, Trade unions have also called for a two-day strike starting January 8. Frequent strikes like these are a cause of concern.

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70-Point Grading Index to Assess Quality of School Education in the States

The Ministry of Human Resource Development has launched 70-Point Grading Index to assess the quality of school education in the states.

About the Grading Index

The salient features of the 70-Point Grading Index are:

  • The 70-Point Grading Index will assess areas of deficiency in each state’s school education system so that targeted interventions can be made at every level from pedagogy to teacher training.
  • The 70-Point Grading Index aims at helping states understand where they may be lagging behind and prioritise areas for intervention to ensure that the school education system is robust at every level.
  • Under the grading index, 70 indicators will be used to grade state schooling systems on areas like number of existing teacher vacancies, number of direct entry recruitments especially at leadership positions, school infrastructure and so on.
  • The index will assess states on a 1,000 point grading system with 10-20 points per parameter.
  • The government will be setting up a separate fund over and above existing funding mechanisms to help states take up improvement exercises.
  • The index will reinforce competitive federalism by giving the correct picture of where every state stands and inducing a fair competition to improve each other’s performances.

The Ministry has initiated the grading index to focus on quality improvement. The Ministry is also in the process of setting up a Central Institute of Assessment to strengthen Continuous and Comprehensive Education and handhold states in ensuring customised teacher training and work on pedagogical improvements.

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