Issues Related To Education(GS 2)
CUET Mandate (The Hindu, 6th April 2022)
Author: – Furqan Qamar
Central Universities & CUET
- UGC has made it mandatory from this year to admit students in Central Universities solely on the basis and merit of scores in the Central University Entrance Test (CUET).
- The National Testing Agency (NTA) of the Ministry of Higher Education, which has the responsibility of conducting the entrance tests for all the Central universities for the academic session 2022-23, has announced the details of the test.
- Students can appear in a maximum of 6 out of the 27 domain knowledge subjects.
- Students must know which are the ones which would be required by a university for admission to different courses.
Cutting No Ice
- Central universities, apparently, have no option but to follow the mandate.
- A few that mustered the courage to seek an exemption have been denied this.
- The institutions of national importance (INIs), i.e., the IITs, the NIT, and the IIMs, already admit students on the basis of a single common entrance examination, either exclusively or in combination of past academic records.
- Significant proportion of INIs are ranked higher in national and world rankings than the central universities.
- It is unlikely that these Institutes will heed the cry of Central Universities that the CUET would lower their standards and quality.
CUET Favours Students
- The arguments that entrance tests undermine the importance of board examinations and distract students from their studies in schools were given a goodbye a long time ago by the central universities themselves.
- Most admit students on the basis of their own entrance tests, often programme by programme.
- The CUET may find favour with students for it might widen their academic choices and save them the cost, the hassle and the inconvenience of attempting many different tests.
- However, Central Board of Secondary Education-based test may pose a huge disadvantage to an overwhelmingly large number of students from the State Board.
Arguments Validating CUET
- There might be Concerns about the quality of the tests arising on account of the autonomy, competence, credibility and expertise of the NTA.
- However, only a few central universities would be able to show the validity, the reliability and the consistency of their own entrance tests.
- The NTA may have faltered in maintaining rigour, resulting in the leakage of national level test.
- But universities too may not be able to prove that they have been very successful in having a foolproof system to design and conduct their own entrance test
- World-class universities and the countries in which they are situated do not insist on admitting students singularly on the quantitative score of a common test.
- Instead, respecting the idea of academic autonomy, they grant their faculty the freedom to evolve holistic criteria for admission.
- NEP 2020 had mentioned the need for ‘a common principle for entrance examination’.
- But it also emphasized the point that it should be done ‘with due regard to the diversity and university autonomy’.
- The world is yet to invent a single best method of doing anything.
- The best possible method needs to be evolved through discussions, deliberations and in consultation with the stakeholders.
- As the UGC contemplates making the CUET mandatory for admission in all higher educational institutions across the country
- It must realize that the anxieties, compulsions, concerns and realities of the States may be very different
- Besides higher education is in the concurrent list and, thus, a joint responsibility of the Union and State government.
- This warrants that the States are taken into confidence before their institutions are subjected to a single common entrance test.
Climate Change (GS 3)
Climate Crisis (Hindustan Times, 6th April 2022)
IPCC- 6th Assessment Report (3rd Part)
- The de-carbonisation pathway it suggests hinges on a shift from fossil fuels to cleaner sources of energy.
- The good news, the report points out, is that “there is growing evidence of climate action” in the energy sector.
- The cost of producing solar and wind energy, for instance, has come down by almost 85% since 2010.
- The bad news, however, is that these efforts may not be enough to escape the ravages of a climate breakdown.
- Limiting warming to around 1.5 degrees Celsius requires global GHGs to peak before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by 43 per cent by 2030.
- The message of the IPCC report is clear: Without a paradigm shift in climate cooperation, it will be very difficult to blunt global warming.
The New Development Paradigm
- Both rich and poor countries, it argues, should think about shifting development pathways toward sustainability
- What this means is that broad economic and social shifts are as important to climate mitigation outcomes as adoption of low-carbon technologies.
- Strategies for job creation could take into account industries of the future, many of which include low carbon options
- Without more mitigation, development progress will increasingly be undercut by climate impacts.
- Relationship between the climate crisis and development needs to open up many more low-carbon pathways that also yield socially positive outcomes.
- While internalising the climate crisis in development decisions may yield big future gains, it may also require substantial upfront investment costs.
- The report notes that financial flows are currently 3-6 times lower than the projected needs by 2030.
- Governments need to build the capacity to manage these complex transitions.
- To strategically think through low-carbon opportunities, coordinate across multiple sectors and scales
Green Finance (GS 3)
Why We Need Transition Bonds (Business Line, 6th April 2022)
What are Transition Bonds?
- Transition bond is a class of debt instruments that maintain the transparency and rigour that characterise green bonds but are designed to be more inclusive in their standards.
- Unlike green bonds that are earmarked to raise money for climate and environmental projects.
- Transition bonds can be issued by firms aspiring to reduce their GHG emissions.
- In other words, these bonds enable entities that would otherwise not qualify to issue green bonds to obtain sustainability-related financing.
- The money can be used for activities that reduce the environmental impact of the business, such as carbon capture and storage, decommissioning coal plants.
Climate Finance Decision Tree
Benefits of Transition Bonds
- The bonds specify what they hope to achieve with the investment.
- These precise milestones and objectives provide investors with clarity on the overlap in goals for issuer and investors.
- For instance, a thermal power utility issuing transition bond seeks to achieve emissions rate of 90 gCO2/kWh.
- This would be suitable for investors are looking for, say, projects that achieve emissions rate of 100 gCO2/kWh.
- One good example of an industry that can benefit from transition bonds is cement.
- India’s cement industries contribute about 8% to the country’s total GHG emissions.
- Carbon intensity in production can be reduced by 48% by investing in cleaner technologies.
- Traditional forms of sustainable finance usually do not classify investments in these business activities as “green.”
- Transition bonds can play a significant role in mobilising capital at scale for accelerated industrial decarbonization.
- S&P Global estimates transition finance to contribute as much as $1 trillion to the estimated $3 trillion of annual investments needed to limit global warming to 2°C by 2050.
- Despite the potential, transition bonds have so far played only a small role as a financing solution to decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors.
- Transition finance market has seen $11.5 billion in the issuance of 24 transition bonds since its inception.
- This compares to $1.7 trillion and $391 billion for green and social bonds, respectively.
UPSC PYQ (2018)
In which of the following areas can GPS technology be used?
- Mobile phone operations
- Banking operations
- Controlling the power grids
Select the correct answer using the code given below
- 1 only
- 2 and 3 only
- 1 and 3 only
- 1, 2 and 3
Question Framed From Editorials
- “The way towards development transitions is going to be specific to each country and there are no universal solutions.”
Elaborate on this statement in context of the findings of the Third part of 6th Assessment report of IPCC. (250 words)
- Differentiate between Green Bonds & Transition Bonds? Enlist the benefits of Transition bonds. (150 words)