• The Union Ministry for HRD launched the National Mission to improve Learning Outcomes at the Elementary level- NISHTHA, National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement. The Programme comes with NISHTHA Website, Training Modules, Primer Booklet and a Mobile App.
This is the largest teachers’ training programme of its kind in the world. Giving further details, the Minister said that the basic objective of this massive training programme ‘NISHTHA’ is to motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students.
• This integrated programme aims to build the capacities of around 42 lakh participants covering all teachers and Heads of Schools at the elementary level in all Government schools, faculty members of State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs), District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) as well as Block Resource Coordinators and Cluster Resource Coordinators in all States and UTs.
• HRD Minister, Shri Pokhriyal highlighted that the initiative is first of its kind wherein standardized training modules are developed at national level for all States and UTs. However, States and UTs can contextualize the training modules and use their own material and resource persons also, keeping in view the core topics and expected outcomes of NISHTHA.
Sabka Vishwas-Legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme, 2019:
• The Scheme will be operationalized from 1st September 2019 and continue till 31st December 2019. Government expects the Scheme to be availed by large number of taxpayers for closing their pending disputes relating to legacy Service Tax and Central Excise cases that are now subsumed under GST so they can focus on GST. The Scheme is especially tailored to free the large number of small taxpayers of their pending disputes with the tax administration.
• The two main components of the Scheme are dispute resolution and amnesty. The dispute resolution component is aimed at liquidating the legacy cases of Central Excise and Service Tax that are subsumed in GST and are pending in litigation at various forums. The amnesty component of the Scheme offers an opportunity to the taxpayers to pay the outstanding tax and be free of any other consequence under the law.
Report on the Composite Water Management Index 2.0:
• To supplement the efforts of Jal Shakti Ministry, NITI Aayog has prepared the second Round of Composite Water Management Index (CWMI 2.0). The newly formed Jal Shakti Ministry is aiming to over bridge the water challenges by launching the Jal Shakti Abhiyan – a campaign for water conservation and water security.
• NITI Aayog first launched and conceptualized the Composite Water Management Index in 2018 as a tool to instil the sense of cooperative and competitive federalism among the states. This was a first ever attempt at creating a pan-India set of metrics that measured different dimensions of water management and use across the lifecycle of water. The report was widely acknowledged and provided actionable guidance to States on where they were doing well absolutely and relatively and what they needed to focus on to secure their water future.
• The CWMI is an important tool to assess and improve the performance of States/ Union Territories in efficient management of water resources. This has been done through a first of its kind water data collection exercise in partnership with Ministry of Jal Shakti, Ministry of Rural Development and all the States/ Union Territories. The index would provide useful information for the States and also for the concerned Central Ministries/Departments enabling them to formulate and implement suitable strategies for better management of water resources.
• CWMI 2.0 ranks various states for the reference year 2017-18 as against the base year 2016-17.In the report released today, Gujarat hold on to its rank one in the reference year (2017-18), followed by Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Status of Policing in India Report, 2019:
• The Status of Policing in India Report (SPIR) 2018- A Study of Performance and Perceptions is one of the first attempts to scientifically study police performance and its interaction with the public. It is a rigorous study of the performance and perception of the police in India. It covers close to 16000 respondents in 22 states on parameters like citizens’ trust and satisfaction levels, discrimination against the vulnerable, police excesses, infrastructure, diversity in forces, state of prisons and disposal of cases etc.
• The report has been prepared by the NGO Common Cause and Lokniti programme of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies. The report finds that the forces work with just 3/4th of its required capacity. The institutional neglect of two key responsibilities — of improving work conditions and of orienting the police to a more sophisticated, democratic and humane work ethic — emerges as the most striking finding of the study.
• One in two police personnel surveyed feel that Muslims are likely to be “naturally prone” to committing crimes, the 2019 Status of Policing in India Report has found. It also found that 35 per cent of police personnel interviewed for the survey think it is natural for a mob to punish the “culprit” in cases of cow slaughter, and 43 per cent think it is natural for a mob to punish someone accused of rape.
• The survey found that 37 per cent personnel interviewed feel that for minor offences, a small punishment should be handed out by the police rather than a legal trial. It found that 72 per cent police personnel experience “political pressure” during investigation of cases involving influential persons.