Education Current Affairs - 2020

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CCEA approves continuation of Post Matric Scholarship for OBC Students for studying in India scheme

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved continuation and revision of Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Post Matric Scholarship for Other Backward Classes Students for studying in India (PMS-OBC) till 2020.

PMS-OBC is flagship scheme of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, in operation since 1998-99. It fully centrally sponsored scheme that aims to provide financial assistance to OBC students studying at post-matriculation or post-secondary stage to enable them to complete their education.

Revised PMS-OBC

The revision in PMS-OBC scheme aims to ensure effective implementation and better monitoring of the schemes. It will cover larger numbers of eligible and deserving poor OBC students who will be able to pursue higher studies. It will also ensure effective implementation, achieve de-duplication and enhanced monitoring.

Under revised PMS-OBC, annual parental income ceiling has been increased from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 1.5 lakh. Now onwards, 30% of funds will be earmarked for girl students and 5% for students with disabilities. Disbursement of scholarships will be now through Aadhaar seeded bank accounts. Central assistance for scheme will be released according to Notional Allocation since its funds are limited. Henceforth, concept of Committed Liability will not apply to States/UTs for releases.

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NCERT to introduce QR code in textbooks

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has initiated process of introducing QR code (Quick Response code) in their textbooks. It is aimed at helping students understand chapters better by watching film or reading additional content on laptops and digital boards.

Key Facts

For this enhanced learning feature, NCERT has started process of identifying relevant supplementary material including videos, power point presentations animations, maps and e-content. These will be mapped with content of each textbook from class 1 to 12 and will be linked with QR code, which will be printed in the textbooks. The QR code laden textbooks are likely to be introduced from the 2019 academic.

QR code (Quick Response code)

QR Code is a two-dimensional (matrix) machine-readable bar code consisting of an array of black and white squares, used for storing web-links or other information. This code can be read by camera of smartphone. It is used for storing URLs or other information that link directly to text, emails websites phone numbers. It is capable of 360 degrees (omni-directional), high speed reading. It can store up to 7089 digits as compared to conventional bar codes which can store max 20 digits. It encodes same amount of data in one-tenth the space of a traditional bar code. It carries information both horizontally and vertically. It has error correction capability and data stored in it can be restored even if it is partially damaged or dirty.

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