Prime Minister Narendra Modi Current Affairs - 2019

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EQUIP: 5-year Vision Plan on Quality Education by HRD Ministry

The Higher Education Department of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development has finalized and released a 5-year Vision Plan titled as Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP).

About EQUIP

This Vision Plan by HRD Ministry is in accordance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s direction for finalizing a 5-year Vision plan for each Ministry.

10 Focus Areas: EQUIP report has been prepared after a detailed exercise done by Experts covering following ten areas:

  1. Strategies for expanding access
  2. Towards global best teaching/learning process
  3. Promoting Excellence
  4. Governance reforms
  5. Assessment, Accreditation & Ranking systems
  6. Promotion of research & innovation
  7. Employability & entrepreneurship
  8. Using Technology for better reach
  9. Internationalisation
  10. Financing higher education

Expert Groups: For aforementioned focus areas 10 Expert Group drawn from senior academicians, administrators and industrialists suggested over 50 initiatives that would transform country’s higher education sector completely.

Goals set for Higher Education Sector by Expert Group are-

  1. Doubling Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) and resolving geographically and socially skewed access to higher education institutions in India.
  2. Promoting India as a global study destination.
  3. Upgrade Quality of Education to global standards.
  4. Positioning minimum 50 Indian institutions among Top-1000 Global Universities.
  5. Promote Research & Innovation ecosystems for positioning India in Top-3 countries globally in matters of knowledge creation.
  6. Introducing governance reforms in higher education for well-administered campuses.
  7. Accreditation of all institutions for assurance of quality.
  8. Doubling employability of students passing out of higher education.
  9. Harnessing education technology for expanding reach and improving pedagogy (method and practise of teaching).
  10. Achieving a quantum increase in investment in higher education.

Way Forward

For each of the initiatives mentioned the Expert Groups have recommended modalities for implementation, investments and timelines. This proposal would now be taken for inter-departmental consultations and appraisal through EFC (Expenditure Finance Committee) mechanism before being taken to Cabinet for approval.

Month: Categories: Government Schemes & Projects

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Government clears setting up of Defence Space Research Agency

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) of the Central Government of India headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cleared setting up of new agency called Defence Space Research Agency (DSRO. The DSRO has been entrusted with task of creating space warfare weapon systems and technologies.

Key Highlights

Background: The decision to set up a new agency for developing space warfare weapon systems was taken some time ago at the topmost level and the agency has already started taking shape under a Joint Secretary-level scientist.

Function:

The Defence Space Research Agency would be provided with a team of scientists who would be working in close coordination with tri-services (Indian Army, Navy and Air Force) Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) officers. The IDS was set up in October 2001 under Ministry of Defence in aftermath of ‘Operation Vijay’ (Kargil Operations) as an organisation that will be responsible for fostering coordination and enabling prioritisation across all branches of Indian Armed Forces.

DSRA would be providing research and development (R&D) support to Defence Space Agency (DSA) which again comprises of members of tri-services.

It is also charged with finding and implementing defense related applications for India’s entire spectrum of space technologies.

Significance: This newly approved space agency DSRA will develop sophisticated weapon systems and technologies so as to enhance capabilities of armed forces to fight wars in space.

About Defence Space Agency (DSA)

It is being set up in Bengaluru under an Air Vice Marshal-rank officer and will gradually take over the space-related capabilities of the three armed forces.

DSA has been created to help India fight wars in the space.

In April, the government established DSA to command the space assets of tri services, including military’s anti-satellite capability. It is responsible for formulating strategy to protect India’s interests in space, including addressing space-based threats.

In March 2019, India carried out a successful Anti Satellite Test (ASAT) which demonstrated the country’s capability to shoot down satellites in space. With this test it joined an elite club of four nations (only United States, Russia, China, and India) with similar capability. The test also helped India to develop deterrence capability against adversaries who may want to attack Indian satellites to cripple systems in times of war.

Month: Categories: Defence & SecurityUPSC

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