India Current Affairs - 2019

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India to participate in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2021

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a triennial international survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students. India would be participating in the PISA assessment in 2021.

What is PISA?

PISA coordinated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is a two-hour long test. PISA measures the 15-year-old students reading, mathematics, and science literacy. PISA does not test a student’s memory and curriculum-based knowledge rather PISA emphasizes functional skills that students have acquired as they near the end of compulsory schooling. PISA measures the student’s ability to use their ability to tackle the real-life challenge.

Students who are 15-year-old and have completed or are near the end of their compulsory education and those have completed at least six years of formal schooling would be assessed.

PISA is criticised for the fact that it is obsessed with standardised testing relying heavily on quantitative measures.

India and PISA

India had participated in PISA 2009. The performance of Indian students was abysmally poor and India was ranked 72nd rank among 74 participating countries. Then government of India boycotted PISA, blaming “out of context” questions for India’s dismal performance.

India would be taking part in the 2021 test. Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas, and all schools, private and government, in Chandigarh will participate in the 2021 test. OECD would also be conducting PISA-like assessment for students of Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) and Navodaya Vidyalayas (NVs) annually from 2019 to familiarise themselves with their testing pattern in the run-up to the grand assessment in 2021.

Also to address the socio-cultural disconnect between the test questions and students, OECD would add an Indian touch to the questions like replacing the word avocado with more popular Indian fruit such as mango.

World Steel Association Report: Key Facts

The World Steel Association has released a Report highlighting various trends related to the Industry, they are:

  • China is the largest producer of crude steel and it accounts for more than 51 per cent of global production. China’s share has been increased from 50.3 per cent in 2017 to 51.3 per cent in 2018.
  • The production in China increased by  6.6 per cent from 870.9 MT in 2017to 928.3 million tonnes (MT) in 2018.
  • India has replaced Japan as the world’s second-largest steel producing country.
  • The Steel production in India increased by 4.9 per cent from 101.5 MT in 2017 to 106.5 MT in 2018.
  • The global crude steel production increased by 4.6 per cent from 1,729.8 MT in 2017 to 1,808.6 MT in 2018.
  • Other countries in the Top 10 list of steel producing nations include US at United States, at the 4th position as the country produced 86.7 MT of crude steel in 2018, South Korea (72.5 MT, 5th place), Russia (71.7 MT, 6th), Germany (42.4 MT, 7th), Turkey (37.3 MT, 8th), Brazil (34.7 MT, 9th) and Iran (25 MT, 10th).
  • Among other countries, Italy produced 24.5 MT of crude steel in 2018, France (15.4 MT), Spain (14.3 MT), and Ukraine (21.1 MT).

World Steel Association

The World Steel Association (worldsteel) is a non-profit organisation with headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Founded as International Iron and Steel Institute on 10 July 1967, it changed its name to the World Steel Association on 6 October 2008.

It represents over 160 steel producers (including 9 of the world’s 10 largest steel companies), national and regional steel industry associations, and steel research institutes and the members cover around 85% of world steel production.

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