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9 PM for Main examination
- Significance of National Education Policy 2020
- Role of Parents in Early Childhood Care and Education
- NEP – right intention
- Reviving Economy
- Development of Eastern States
9 PM for Preliminary examination
1.Significance of National Education Policy 2020
Source: Indian Express
Syllabus: GS-2- Education
Context: The Ministry of Human Resource Development announced The National education policy 2020 with a goal of transforming the system to meet the needs of 21st century India. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, opines that it has the potential to help India leverage its demographic dividend.
Significance of NEP 2020
- Access to Education: The NEP 2020 focuses on universalising access from early childhood to higher education. It seeks to integrate nearly 2 crores out-of-school children and emphasises of socio-economically disadvantaged groups.
- Increased focus on Foundational Learning: It advocates to boost foundational learning through early childhood care, a new curriculum and play- and activity-based pedagogy. Along with national mission for foundational literacy and numeracy, NEP 2020 will be significant for strengthening foundational learning in India.
- Departure from archaic practices and pedagogy: NEP 2020 does away with the distinction between curricular, extra-curricular and co-curricular subjects in school. It also provides provision of multiple entry and exit options in higher education, options for learning vocational skills.
- Assessment of Learning Outcomes: NEP provides for a comprehensive system for regular, credible and comparable assessments of learning outcomes through the establishment of the National Assessment Centre called PARAKH (National Centre for Performance Assessment, Review and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic development).
- Revamped Teacher Education: NEP 2020 provides a comprehensive curricular framework, multidisciplinary programmes and stringent action against substandard institutions providing teacher’s education. It also calls for merit-based selection and deployment, online systems for teacher transfers.
- Making India a higher education destination: NEP 2020 calls for creation of an academic credit bank, the impetus to research, graded autonomy, internationalisation and the development of special economic zones. It also advocates multilingual education and efforts to enhance the traditional knowledge of India. All these will help India emerge as a destination of higher education.
- Strengthening Governance: It calls for school complexes and clusters to bring about efficient resourcing of delivery structures, common standards and norms to boost the quality of institutes across all levels, and a single regulatory body for higher education. This marks a shift from overregulated governance to a more coherent one.
Conclusion: The New Education Policy is a forward-looking framework for transforming Indian education. Proper implementation of its recommendation with a priority on empowering school children, appropriate government expenditure will ensure the success of public education and India’s future.
2.Role of Parents in Early Childhood Care and Education
Source: The Hindu
Syllabus: GS-2- Education
Context: The National Education Policy 2020 lays out a detailed paradigm for educators to provide high-quality ECCE through preschools and anganwadis and emphasises on the role of parents in Early childhood care and education (ECCE).
How can low-income parents start getting more involved in ECCE?
- Awareness: Currently, 30% of low-income parents don’t send their children to any ECCE institutions. This is due economic constraints, lack of awareness and social incentives. Therefore, it is important to raise awareness on the importance of ECCE through role modelling, mass media and social media involving examples of celebrities and influencers.
- Providing Educational Tools: It is important to provide low-income parents with educational tools to support their children. Educational content should be simplified and contextualised — creation, curation, and dissemination of content should be in local language.
- Measurement of Progress: Parents should be provided, on a regular basis, measurable indicator of progress and change. The child’s progress and growth can be measured through rigorous assessments and through visual learning journeys.
3.NEP – right intention
Source: The Hindu
Syllabus: GS-2- Education
Context: The NEP policy 2020, which is the first policy on education after 34 years, was announced recently. It has several innovative ideas and daring proposals but also a few assumptions.
Bold moves in the policy
- A 5+3+3+4 system in school education has been introduced in the policy that includes:
- Early childhood care and education
- Universal education that includes the secondary level
- Adoption of school complexes
- Breakfast in the school meal programme
- Introduction of vocational education at the upper primary level
- A multidisciplinary system which offers choices to students from among a variety of subjects from different disciplines irrespective of their “stream”.
- Integrated education in undergraduate, postgraduate and research levels.
- A four-year undergraduate programme
- There will be just one regulatory bodyfor the entire sector in the Higher Education Commission of India.
- It aims to increase public investment in education to 6% of the GDPand promises to provide higher education free to about 50% of the students. It also aims to increase the gross enrolment ratio in higher education to 50% by 2035.
- The liberal arts, humanities, and Indian heritage and languages have been emphasised and facilitation of selective entry of high-quality foreign universities is there.
- The three-language formulawill promote national integration and use of mother tongue while teaching till class 5 would also be beneficial.
What’s missing in the final policy?
- “All commercially oriented private institutions will be closed”, this statement was mentioned in the draft policy but was missing in the final policy even though there is a serious problem with the private education sector in India.
- Now the policy simply states, “The matter of commercialization of education has been dealt with by the Policy through multiple relevant fronts, including: the ‘light but tight’ regulatory approach that mandates full public self-disclosure of finances”.
- The 2020 policy simply assures the commitment to allocation of 6% of GDP whereas doubling public expenditure on education to 20% of the total government expenditure was promised in the draft policy.
- There is no mention of State School Education Regulatory Authorities in the 2020 policy. At the State level, the Department of School Education is regarded as the apex body.
- There is also no promise of ‘full’ recruitment of teachers at all levels.
- The policymakers will have to differentiate the not for profit , public spirited private sector and undesirable but powerful market forces in the education sector and regulate the entry and growth of the latter.
Source: The Hindu
Syllabus: GS-3- Economy
Context: India’s economy is going to contract significantly as an impact of COVID-19 and ways to revive the economy in order to build India’s confidence is to be thought of.
An event with deep impact
- Economic contraction is a reversal of many years of progress and not just falling of the GDP number. Following are the occurrences that may take place due to the contraction:
- A significant number among the weaker sections of our society may slip back into poverty which is rare for a developing nation.
- An entire generation may be lost due to severe unemployment.
- Many enterprises may shut down.
- A contracting economy can adversely impact our ability to feed and educate our children owing to a shortage of financial resources.
- The slowdown in economic activity is both a function of external factors such as the lockdown and behavioural changes of people and enterprises, driven by fear.
NREGA and cash support
- Thrice the usual number of people and 10 times more than the total number employed by the entire listed corporate sector has demanded work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) programme at minimum wages. (approximately 62 million)
- Even though the MGNREGA programme has proved to be a bed rock of support in such times but it is not enough.
- India is the only large democracy that has not provided direct cash assistance of a significant amount during the COVID-19 crisis and so money in the hands of people should be provided.
- For instance, In the United States, as per reports, nearly three-quarters of unemployed workers received higher pay and benefits under their government’s COVID-19 assistance than from their employers. But this has not prevented American industry from reopening.
Current financial system
- Interest rate reductions, credit guarantee and liquidity enhancement schemes are some steps taken by the RBI and the government to restore confidence in the financial system. However, they have largely failed since banks are not confident of lending.
- Allowing institutions such as the RBI, public sector banks, bankruptcy boards, securities and insurance regulators to function freely and professionally is the foundational step to restoring confidence in the financial system.
- When firms feel confident of availability of capital and consumers, they do not need much else to kick-start production and investment, so the processes such as the insolvency process must be allowed to function smoothly without intervention.
Government’s role in the current financial situation
- India must make full use of loan programmes of international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bankas the country is an ideal borrower for these institutions with no default, timely repayments and full transparency.
- India should pay attention to the old ways of deficit monetisation by the RBI, also known as printing money.
- Restoring confidence in people through direct cash assistance and other welfare programmes can help them live their lives and spend.
- Restoring confidence among bankers through autonomy of institutions and processes will help them lend.
- Restoring confidence among businesses with greater access to capital will help them invest and create jobs.
- Restoring confidence among international organisations by re-establishing the credibility of our institutions will help get funding assistance and objective sovereign ratings.
Source: Indian Express
Syllabus: GS3: Issues related to Direct and Indirect Farm Subsidies
Context: The recent telephonic survey conducted by NCAER National Data Innovation Centre around Delhi-NCR reveals useful insights role of PM-KISAN in alleviating economic distress among farmers.
- It is the first universal basic incomescheme aimed at alleviating the agricultural stress of farmers.
- Under this scheme central government will pay Rs.6000 per year in 3 instalments of 2000.
- Initially it was targeted at small and medium landed farmers later it was expanded to all farmersfrom May 2019.
- Budgetary allocation for the year 2020-21 is Rs 75,000 crore.
Findings from the survey
- According to the survey, the farmers recorded a lowerlevel of economic distress among farmers than among other groups such as business, casual labours etc.
- Faced with only logistical challengesin transporting and selling their produce, most farmers continued to harvest rabi crops and prepared for the kharif season. This shows farmers were relatively immune to the economic impact of the lockdown compared to other groups.
- It was also observed that, the beneficiaries under PM-KISAN experienced relatively lower signs of economic distress. However, these beneficiaries were better off than the general rural population. Hence, PM-KISAN scheme cannot be the sole reason for their immunity towards income shock
- The most worrisome revealing was that only 21 per cent of the farmers were receiving the benefits inspite of the scheme being extended to all farmers.
Conclusion: The scheme serves the better off than the poor rural population. The problem is compounded by exclusion and inadequate reach to the needy. Hence the relevance of the scheme needs to be re- evaluated.
6.Development of Eastern States
Source: Indian Express
Syllabus: GS3: Inclusive Growth and issues arising from it.
Context: Prioritising education to reduce Population growth can ensure development of the Eastern states.
The Chinese growth story
Reforms in Agriculture:
- China’s Economic reforms started in 1978 by bringing transformational changes in Agriculture sector.
- It established a household responsibility system in land holdings by dismantling its earlier commune system.
- Agricultural reforms were also focused on deregulation of agricultural price control.
- Impact:It ensured a high growth rate in agriculture (4.5 per cent per annum between 1978 and 2018). The real income of farmers doubled, which in turn created a huge demand for industrial products, which helped to build a demand base for a long-term manufacturing revolution.
Reforms in population policy
- Along with Economic reforms china also introduced its one child policy to arrest its population growth. It was introduced in 1979 and continued till 2015.
- Impact: China’s average family size of 4.84 in 1971, dropped to 3.03 in 2017.Dramatic increase in per capita income. China’s per capita income was even lower than that of India during 1978, but today it is almost five times higher. This transformation that has made China the world’s second superpower
Comparison with India’s Economic reforms
- India’s economic reforms started in 1991 by bringing changes in its trade and industrial policies. This had only limited success in the states of Eastern India.
- Much of the reason can be cited due to large family sizes in these states (average Indian household in Bihar, Jharkhand, Up is more than 5 as per the 2011 Census) and very small agricultural holdings.
- Impact:These states lag behind the all India average on developmental indicators. The eastern states Bihar, UP and Jharkhand has the lowest per capita incomes amongst the country’s major states. Their growth rate remained below the all India annual average. This scenario very well explains the largest migration of rural labour to Maharashtra, Gujarat and Delhi from these states.
- Push for increasing Literacy levels: Unlike china India is a vibrant democracy which cannot enforce a one-child policy to overcome its population problem. Therefore, the only way out for India is a massive education drive, especially directed towards the girl child supported with liberal scholarships.
- Long-term plan for massive infusion of development funds for the laggard Eastern statesto improve basic infrastructure of health, education (including population control), housing, roads, power and water etc. This will also create jobs and ensure development.
- Increasing the overall expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP as reiterated by The New Education Policy.
- Massive Funding: Along with public spending,the private sector can also be roped in to channel their CSR funds in well-designed schemes.
Conclusion: Mobilising resources for Financing such a mega investment plan is a difficult task. Rationalisation and pruning of the massive subsidies given to food, fertilisers, power sector, and disinvestment in loss making public enterprises can help in financing a development plan for eastern India.
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