OECD Current Affairs - 2019

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The Future of Rail Report: Key Facts

The Future of the Rail Report was prepared by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in association with the International Union of Railways (UIC).

Findings of the Report

The report provides a specific focus on India, The important findings of the Future of Rail Report are:

  • Indian railways will account for nearly 40% of total global rail activity by 2050.
  • The Investments in Indian urban rail infrastructure is estimated to reach nearly $190bn by 2050.
  • The report notes that India can save up to $64bn on fuel expenses by that time.
  • The report predicts bright prospects for Indian Railways.

The report notes that the rail sector carries 8% of passengers across the world and 7% of global freight movement but it utilises 2% of the total transport energy demand in the world, signifying its efficiency.

International Energy Agency (IEA)

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an intergovernmental organization established by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1974. IEA even works non-member countries, especially China, India, and Russia.

Initially, IEA was focused on responding to physical disruptions in the supply of oil, as well as serving as an information source on statistics about the international oil market and other energy sectors. Its mandate has been widened to focus on the “3Es” of effectual energy policy: energy security, economic development, and environmental protection.

International Union of Railways (UIC)

The International Union of Railways (UIC) is an international body of the rail transport industry. The UIC was created on 17 October 1922 with the aim of standardising industry practices. At present, UIC had 194 members across 5 continents.

Month: Categories: Business, Economy & BankingUPSC

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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.

Month: Categories: NationalUPSC

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