IIT Bombay Current Affairs - 2019

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National Salt Satyagraha Memorial

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the National Salt Satyagraha Memorial at Dandi in Navsari district, Gujarat. The memorial is conceived as an experiential journey recreating the spirit and the energy of the 1930 Dandi March led by Mahatma Gandhi and 80 of his fellow Satyagrahis.

The memorial takes the visitors step by step through visualisation of events to aid them in understanding the methodology of Satyagraha, which finally led to India’s Independence from the British colonial rule.

The Memorial is the project of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and is advised by a High-Level Dandi Memorial Committee (HLDMC) with IIT Bombay as a Design Coordination Agency.

Historical Background of the Salt Satyagraha

From the very beginning of British Rule in India, the salt tax was considered to be a good source of income. The beginning was made in the form of ‘land rent’ and ‘transit charges’, and in 1762, it was consolidated into duty.

As a result of the duty, India and in particular Bengal and its surrounding provinces were rendered dependent upon imported salt from Liverpool and elsewhere. The indigenous industry oppressed with the burden of extravagant charges was unable to compete with its English rival.

The salt tax/duties on the annual requirement of a family amounted at one time up to nearly two months’ wages of a labourer. The Indian National Congress from the very inception opposed the salt tax. Nationalist leaders such as Dadabhai Naoroji and GK Gokhale had particularly raised their voice against it.

Gandhiji had begun raising opposition to oppressive duties on common salt right from his student days in London. All these culminated in Gandhiji selecting Satyagraha against salt taxes as the key issue in 1930 while leading the civil disobedience movement for India’s freedom from the British colonial rule.

The Salt tax was chosen by Gandhi during the civil disobedience movement because it not only appeared to be basically unjust in themselves but also because it symbolised an unpopular, unrepresentative alien government.

Month: Categories: Art & CultureUPSC

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HRD Ministry grants Institutions of Eminence status to 3 public and 3 private institutes

The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has granted Institution of Eminence (IoE) status to six educational institutions. It includes 3 Institutions from Public Sector and 3 from Private Sector. They were selected by Empowered Expert Committee headed by former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) N Gopalaswami.

Selected institutions are

Public Sector: Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru (Karnataka); Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay (Maharashtra) and IIT, Delhi.

Private Sector: Birla Institute of Technology & Sciences, Pilani (Rajashtan); Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal (Karnataka) and proposed Jio Institute of Reliance Foundation in Pune (Maharashtra) under Green Field Project.

Institutions of Eminence (IoE)

The scheme of IoE was rolled out by University Grants Commission (UGC). It aims to help 20 higher education (10 public and 10 private) institutions from country break into top 500 global rankings in 10 years, and then eventually break into top 100 over time.

Benefits: These selected institutions will have greater autonomy compared to other higher education institutions. They will be free to decide their fee for domestic and foreign students and have flexible course duration and structure. They will be exempted from approvals of government or UGC for academic collaborations with foreign institutions, except institutions in MEA and MHA’s list of negative countries. 10 government institutions selected will also get Rs 1,000 crore each from HRD Ministry to achieve world-class status. There will be no financial assistance to the private institutions.

Performance: Once identified, IoE are targeted must target break into top 100 bracket in one internationally reputed ranking framework in 10 years.

Eligibility: Only higher education institutions, currently placed in the top 500 of global rankings or top 50 of National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), are eligible to apply for eminence tag. The private IoE can also come up as greenfield ventures provided sponsoring organisation submits convincing perspective plan for 15 years.

Month: Categories: Governance & Politics

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