Multipurpose National Identity Card (MPNIC):
- Speaking on the occasion of laying the foundation for a new office building for the Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner in New Delhi, Home Minister Amit Shah spoke about the potential of using the upcoming 2021 Census data for future planning, development initiatives and welfare schemes.
- The Home Minister clarified that although there was no such scheme in the offing, it was possible to get rid of excess processes and cards such as the Aadhaar card, the voter card, the identity card etc. He further argued that if this Census was done properly and in the right format, it was possible that there could be just one single card in which all the other cards could reside. In other words, a single card that has your bank card, voter id card, Aadhaar card, and passpport.
- The Multipurpose National Identity Card (MPNIC) was first suggested by a 2001 report on ―Reforming the National Security System‖ by an empowered Group of Ministers during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in relation to the growing threat from illegal The eGOM report itself was a response to the K Subrahmanyam-led Kargil Review Committee, which was instituted in the wake of the Kargil conflict of 1999.
- However technology has taken a giant leap since the MPNIC was first proposed in 2001. A good example of that is the existence of the Aadhaar database, which now has almost all residents of India on it.
- Lastly, according to media reports, the government is expected to launch the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) by the start of 2020. The Natgrid would reportedly be used by 10 agencies such as Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and Enforcement Directorate (ED) among others, to scour data real-time from 21 databases such as airline travel, credit card transactions etc with the aim to track and prevent terror and illegal immigration activities
Satluj Yamuna Link Canal Issue:
- The issue dates back to 1966 at the time of reorganisation of Punjab. When Haryana was formed, a need arose to share river waters with the newly formed state. But Punjab was opposed to sharing waters of Ravi and Beas rivers with Haryana citing riparian principle. On April 8, 1982, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi launched the construction of Satluj-Yamuna Link canal, by organising a groundbreaking ceremony in Kapoori village in Patiala district
- A stretch of 214 km SYL was to be constructed out of which 122 km was to cross Punjab and the rest 92 km in Haryana. But Akalis launched an agitation in the form of Kapoori Morcha against the construction of the canal. Then in July 1985, then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and the then Akali Dal chief Sant Harchand Singh Longowal signed an accord agreeing for a new tribunal to assess the water.
- The Eradi Tribunal headed by Supreme Court Judge V Balakrishna Eradi was set up to reassess availability and sharing of water. The Tribunal, in 1987, recommended an increase in the shares of Punjab and Haryana to 5 MAF and 3.83 MAF, respectively.
- As per government‘s study, Punjab‘s many areas may go dry after The state has already over-exploited its groundwater for irrigation purposes as it fills granaries of centre by growing wheat and paddy worth Rs 70,000 crore every year. As per the reports, water in about 79 per cent area of the state is over-exploited. Out of 138 blocks, 109 blocks are ―over-exploited‖, two blocks are ―critical‖ five blocks are
- ―semi-critical‖ and only 22 blocks are in ―safe‖ category. In such a situation when farmers are committing suicides and alarm button has been pressed for saving water, the government says, sharing it with any other state is impossible.
- Haryana has been staking claim on Ravi-Beas waters through SYL canal on the plea that providing water for irrigation was a tough task for the In southern parts, where the underground water had depleted up to 1700 feet, there was a problem of drinking water. The Supreme Court recently ordered asking Punjab, Haryana and Centre to sort out SYL issue amicably.
Malnutrition and Diseases in under- 5 children:
- A report published Wednesday in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health gives comprehensive estimates of disease burden due to child and maternal malnutrition and the trends of its indicators in every state of India from 1990 to 2017. Key findings include:
- The death rate attributable to malnutrition in under-5 children in India has dropped by two-thirds from 1990 to 2017. Malnutrition is, however, still the underlying risk factor for 68% of the deaths in under- five children in india.
- The Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALY) rate attributable to malnutrition in children varies 7-fold among the states — a gap between a high of 74,782 in Uttar Pradesh and a low of 11,002 in Kerala. Other states with a high burden are Bihar, Assam and Rajasthan. Followed by Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Nagaland and tripura.
- The proportion of under-5 deaths attributable to malnutrition, which is 68.2% across India, ranges between a high of 72.7% in Bihar and a low of8% in Kerala. Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh are states
- With a high such proportion, while Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram and Goa have the lowest proportions of such deaths.
- Among the malnutrition indicators, low birth weight is the largest contributor to child deaths in India, followed by child growth failure which includes stunting, underweight, and wasting
All India Survey on Higher Education:
- The Union Ministry for Human Resource Development has released AISHE (2018-19). The MHRD collects online information on Universities, Colleges and other Higher Educational Institutions under the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE), with its first publication in 2011.
- As per the report, UP and Karnataka have more female enrolment in higher education. Also, the ratio of male students is higher than females on every level except certificate, Post Graduate and M.Phil. The higher rate of male enrolment than female enrolment is witnessed at all levels in many states.
Important highlights include:
- UP has 49.30% male and 50% females as per the survey. In Karnataka, female enrolment is 04%.
- Maharashtra has recorded the second-highest student enrolment with roughly 54.95% male and 45.05% females.
- Tamil Nadu has 50.87% males and 49.13% females whereas West Bengal has 50.37% males and 49.63% females.
- In Rajasthan, male enrollment number is higher as compared to the females india.
- UG level student enrolment is 51% males and 49% females across
- For diploma, it is 66.8% of males and 33.2% of females.
- PhD has 56.18% males and 43.82% females.
- For integrated levels, it is 57.50% for males and 42.50% for
- For PG Diploma students, enrolment is 54.09% for male students and 45.91% for female students.
- The top 6 States having highest student enrollment are UP, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka and West Bengal. However, when it comes to the total number of institutes, the state-wise ranking is different with UP (8077) at the top followed by Maharashtra (6662), Karnataka (5028), Rajasthan (3723), Andhra Pradesh (3540) and Tamil Nadu (3443).
- The above mentioned 6 states with the highest student enrolment have roughly 54.23% of the total student enrolment in india
- Remaining 30 States (including UTs) have only 76% of the total student enrolment.
- The survey covers all institutes of higher education in India, and the institutes are categorised in 3 broad categories such as College, University and Stand-alone institutes (offering Paramedical, Diploma, Hotel Management and Catering courses).
- There are a total of 993 Universities, 39931 Colleges and 10725 Stand Alone Institutions listed on the AISHE web portal and out of that, 962 Universities, 38179 Colleges and 9190 Stand Alone Institutions have responded during the survey. 298 Universities are affiliating.
- More male teachers in Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) in India than females, with the lowest gender proportion in bihar
- 4,16,299 is the total number of teachers out of which about 57.8 per cent are male teachers and 42.2 per cent are female teachers. In Bihar, 78.97 per cent are male teachers and 21.03 per cent are females.
- Jharkhand has 69.8 per cent male teachers and 30.2 per cent female teachers.
- UP has 32.3 per cent, female teachers.
- At All India level, there are just 73 female teachers per 100 male teachers
National Educational Alliance for Technology:
- Ministry of Human Resource Development has announced a new PPP Scheme, National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT) for using technology for better learning outcomes in Higher Education.
- The objective is to use Artificial Intelligence to make learning more personalised and customised as per the requirements of the learner. This requires development of technologies in Adaptive Learning to address the diversity of learners.
- MHRD would act as a facilitator to ensure that the solutions are freely available to a large number of economically backward students. MHRD would create and maintain a National NEAT platform that would provide one-stop access to these technological solutions. EdTech companies would be responsible for developing solutions and manage registration of learners through the NEAT They would be free to charge fees as per their policy. As their contribution towards the National cause, they would have to offer free coupons to the extent of 25% of the total registrations for their solution through NEAT portal. MHRD would distribute the free coupons for learning to the most socially/economically backward students.
- AICTE would be the implementing agency for NEAT programme. The scheme shall be administered under the guidance of an Apex Committee constituted by Independent Expert Committees would be constituted for evaluating and selecting the EdTech solutions.
Uniform Civil Code:
- A Uniform Civil Code is one that would provide for one law for the entire country, applicable to all religious communities in their personal matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption etc. Article 44 of the Constitution lays down that the state shall endeavor to secure a Uniform Civil Code for the citizens throughout the territory of India.
- Article 44 is one of the directive principles. These, as defined in Article 37, are not justiciable (not enforceable by any court) but the principles laid down therein are fundamental in governance. Fundamental rights are enforceable in a court of law.
- The Supreme Court held in Minerva Mills (1980): ―Indian Constitution is founded on the bed-rock of the balance between Parts III (Fundamental Rights) and IV (Directive Principles). To give absolute primacy to one over the other is to disturb the harmony of the Constitution‖. Article 31C inserted by the 42nd Amendment in 1976, however, lays down that if a law is made to implement any directive principle, it cannot be challenged on the ground of being violative of the fundamental rights under Articles 14 and 19.
- Article 25 lays down an individual‘s fundamental right to religion; Article 26(b) upholds the right of each religious denomination or any section thereof to ―manage its own affairs in matters of religion‖; Article 29 defines the right to
- Conserve distinctive culture. An individual‘s freedom of religion under Article 25 is subject to ―public order, health, morality‖ and other provisions relating to fundamental rights, but a group‘s freedom under Article 26 has not been subjected to other fundamental rights.
6th India Water Week-2019:
- The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the 6th India Water Week-2019 on September 24, 2019 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. The theme of the India Water Week-2019 is ‗Water Cooperation – Coping with 21st Century Challenges‘ and it is being organised by the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga
- Rejuvenation, the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
- Conceptualized and organized for the ﬁrst time in 2012, the India Water Week is a regular forum where the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of lndia discusses, talks, strategizes with eminent stakeholders through seminars, exhibitions and sessions to build public awareness, to get support to implement key strategies for conservation, preservation and optimum use of available water.
ERSS, E-Beat Book and E-Saathi App:
- Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah launched three citizen centric services of the Chandigarh Police on 20th September including the Emergency Response Support System (ERSS – Dial 112), ‗E-Beat Book‘ System and the ‗E-Saathi App‘. ERSS is one of the key projects of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs under Nirbhaya Fund. It has been designed to play a pivotal role in mitigation or preventing escalation of crime, especially against women and children. ERSS provides a single emergency number (112), computer aided dispatch of field resources to the location of distress. Citizens can send their emergency information through call, sms, and email and through the 112 India mobile app.
- The ‗E-Beat Book‘ is a web and mobile based application which will ease the collection, updation and analysis of the information related to crime and criminals in a real time. Chandigarh has been divided in 54 divisions. In each division, there is one Atal Sehbhagita Kendra‘that is under the supervision of a Beat Officer, having an Android Phone to the use the app. The E-Beat Book would be linked with Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS), which would help in a real time updation of crime/criminal data. The citizen can directly approach the‗Atal Sehbhagita Kendra’ for redressal of their grievances and can render their suggestions too.
- The ‗E-Saathi‘ App would help the general public, including senior citizens, to remain in touch with the police and also give suggestions to facilitate participative community policing(‗Your Police at Your Doorstep‘ initiative). The beat officer would be able to provide services like passport verification, tenant verification, servant verification, character certification etc. at a click of a button through the app, without the people needing to visit the police station. With this initiative, on one hand, where the beat officer would become more efficient in his/her working, this would make police-people communication a two-way process, on the other.
- Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested the Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM)
- Astra‘ from Su-30 MKI platform off the coast of Chandipur, The trials were held from 16th to 19th September 2019. The trials were conducted by Indian Air Force (IAF) against Jet Banshee target aircraft simulating all possible threat scenarios.
- Astra BVRAAM has range of more than 100 kms with modern guidance and navigation techniques. The missile has midcourse guidance and RF seeker based terminal guidance to achieve target destruction with pin point accuracy. It is the first air-to-air missile developed by India. It features mid-course inertial guidance with terminal active radar homing. Astra is designed to be capable of engaging targets at varying range and altitudes allowing for engagement of both short-range targets at a distance of 20 km (12 mi) and long-range targets up to a distance of 80 km (50 mi).
- The effort for building a state-of-the-art BVRAAM by DRDO, together with IAF has completed the user trial phase of the weapon system successfully. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has played a role in modifying the aircraft for weapon integration. More than 50 public and private industries have contributed in building the Astra weapon system.