Education Current Affairs - 2020

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Cabinet approves Prime Minister Research Fellows Scheme

The Union Cabinet has approved implementation of Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme for doctoral students pursuing research in areas related to technology. It aims to realize importance of innovation and technology for progress and development of the nation.

Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme

The fellowship scheme was announced in the Budget Speech 2018-19. It will be implemented for period of seven years beginning 2018-19 at total cost of Rs. 1650 crore.

Under it, best students who have completed or are in final year of B. Tech/Integrated M.Tech/M.Sc courses in Science and Technology streams from IISc/IITs/IISERs/ NITs/IIITs will be offered direct admission in PhD programme in IITs/IISc. Maximum of 3000 Fellows would be selected in three year period, beginning 2018-19.

Monthly fellowship: Selected students through selection process laid down in PMRF Guidelines will be offered monthly fellowship of Rs.70,000 for first two years, Rs.75,000 for 3rd year and Rs.80,000 in 4th and 5th years.

Research grant: Each selected fellow students will be also provided research grant of Rs.2.00 lakh for period of 5 years to cover their foreign travel expenses for presenting research papers in international conferences and seminars.

Significance

The scheme will help tapping talent pool of country for carrying out research indigenously in cutting edge science and technology domains. The research undertaken by fellows under this scheme will address national priorities at one hand and shortage of quality faculty in premier educational institutions of country on the other.

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Google and NCERT join hands to teach students digital safety

Google and National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has signed a pact to integrate a course on ‘Digital Citizenship and Safety’ in information and communication technology (ICT) curriculum.

The pact was signed on ‘Safer Internet Day’ (February 6). The course aims to bring awareness amongst the young generation of India to make Internet a Safe space.

Key Facts

The Digital Citizenship and Safety course by Google India aims to bring social, ethical and legal aspects of internet safety and usage via structured in-class lessons. The complete course is divided into four categories (themes) viz Being Smart, Being Safe, Being a Digital Citizen and Being Future Ready.

The course aims to grow gradually with internet usage of children from elementary classes to senior secondary. The modules (categories) of the course are made to engage kids and match pace with their intellectual and inquisitive nature.

The basic modules of the course aim to make the children aware of Internet Safety, advanced topics like Privacy, Device Management, Intellectual Property (IP) and Reputation Management are added included as children grow, gradually moving towards Online Financial Literacy and Cyber Crime to shape them as Digital Citizens.

In addition, Google has also created curriculum for teachers so that they can help students learn all about digital citizenship in their classrooms.

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