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DRAFT NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY

Why in news?

  • Dr K. Kasturirangan Committee submits the Draft National Education Policy to the Union HRD Minister.

About the news

  • The Government of India had initiated the process of formulating a New Education Policy to meet the changing dynamics of the requirements of the population with regard to quality education, innovation and research, aiming to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping its students with the necessary skills and knowledge and to eliminate the shortage of manpower in science, technology, academics and industry.
  • The extant National Policy on Education, 1986 modified in 1992 required changes to meet the contemporary and futuristic needs of our large youth population.
  • Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy under the Chairmanship of Late Shri T.S.R. Subramanian, Former Cabinet Secretary, was constituted, which submitted its report in May, 2016.

About Draft National Educational Policy

  • The Draft National Education Policy, 2019 is built on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality,
 
  • Affordability and Accountability.
  • The Committee has proposed to rename MHRD as Ministry of Education (MoE).
  • In School Education, a major reconfiguration of curricular and pedagogical structure with Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) as an integral part of school education is proposed.
  • The Committee also recommends Extension of Right to Education Act 2009 to cover children of ages 3 to 18.
  • A 5+3+3+4 curricular and pedagogical structure based on cognitive and socio-emotional developmental stages of children: Foundational Stage (age 3-8 yrs): 3 years of pre-primary plus Grades 1-2; Preparatory Stage (8-11 years): Grades 3-5; Middle Stage (11-14 years): Grades 6-8; and Secondary Stage (14-18 years): Grades 9-12.
  • It also seeks to reduce content load in school education There will be no hard separation of learning areas in terms of curricular, co-curricular or extra-curricular areas and all subjects, including arts, music, crafts, sports, yoga, community service, etc. will be curricular.
  • The Committee proposes for massive transformation in Teacher Education by shutting down sub-standard teacher education institutions and moving all teacher preparation/education programmes into large multidisciplinary universities/colleges.
  • The 4-year integrated stage-specific Ed. programme will eventually be the minimum degree qualification for teachers.
  • In higher education, a restructuring of higher education institutions withthree types of higher education institutions is proposed - Type 1: Focused on world-class research and high quality teaching; Type 2: Focused on high quality teaching across disciplines with significant contribution to research; Type 3: High quality teaching focused on undergraduate education.
  • This will be driven by two Missions - Mission Nalanda & Mission Takshashila.
  • A new apex body Rashtriya Shiksha Ayog is proposed to enable a holistic and integrated implementation of all educational initiatives and programmatic interventions, and to coordinate efforts between the Centre and States.
  • The National Research Foundation, an apex body is proposed for creating a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.
  • The four functions of Standard setting, Funding, Accreditation and Regulation to be separated and conducted by independent bodies: National Higher Education Regulatory Authority as the only regulator for all higher education including professional education; Creation of accreditation eco-system led by revamped NAAC; Professional Standard Setting Bodies for each area of professional education and UGC to transform to Higher Education Grants Commission (HEGC).
  • The private and public institutions will be treated on par and education will remain a ‘not for profit’ activity.
  • Promotion of Indian and Classical Languages and setting up three new National Institutes for Pali, Persian and
 
  • Prakrit and an Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI) has been recommended.

ECONOMY

PM-KISAN SCHEME

Why in news?

  • PM-KISAN Scheme extended to include all eligible farmer families irrespective of the size of land holdings

About the news

  • The ambit of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) would be comprehensively extended.
  • All land holding eligible farmer families (subject to the prevalent exclusion criteria) would avail of the benefits under this scheme.
  • The revised Scheme is expected to cover around 2 crores more farmers, increasing the coverage of PM-KISAN to around 5 crore beneficiaries, with an estimated expenditure by Central Government of Rs. 87,217.50 crores for year 2019-20

About PM-KISAN scheme

  • The genesis of the PM-KISAN Yojana dates back to the interim Budget 2019-2020.
  • The key element of PM-KISAN is income support of Rs. 6000/- to the small and marginal landholder farmer families with cultivable land holding upto 2 hectare across the country. (This has been expanded)
  • The amount is being released in three 4-monthly instalments of Rs.2000/- each over the year, to be credited into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries held in destination banks through Direct Benefit Transfer mode.
  • The scheme was launched on 24th February 2019 in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.
PM-KISAN PENSION YOJANA

Why in news?

  • Cabinet approved the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Pension Yojana under which small and marginal farmers will get a minimum fixed pension of Rs 3,000 per month on attaining the age of 60 years. 

About the news

  • In the initial phase, the Government will cover minimum 5 crore small and marginal farmers in the first three years.
  • It would cost Rs 10,774.5 crore per annum to the exchequer. 

About PM KISAN PENSION YOJANA

  • This scheme is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme for a small and marginal farmers across the country, with the entry age of 18-40 years
  • The Central Government will match the contribution made by the eligible farmer in the pension fund. 
    After the subscriber's death, while receiving pension, the spouse of the beneficiary will be entitled to receive 50 percent of the pension amount, provided he/she is not already a beneficiary of the scheme. 
  • Farmers can use benefits under PM- KISAN scheme for the making contribution under the pension scheme. 
FISCAL DEFICIT

Why in news?

  • Government managed to limit the fiscal deficit within the revised estimate of 4 percent of GDP for the fiscal year 2018-19.
  • Expansion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in absolute number made the work easier for the Government.

About Fiscal Deficit

  • A fiscal deficit occurs when a Government's total expenditures exceed the revenue that it generates, excluding money from borrowings.
  • It is expressed both in absolute number and as a percentage of GDP in the General Budget.
  • Normally, the Government borrows from the market to fund the deficit.
  • If the problem of lesser tax revenue (from both direct and indirect) was there, then there was challenge to curb the expenditure.
  • There was more compression in capital expenditure than revenue expenditure.
  • According to data posted by Controller General of Accounts (CGA), fiscal deficit for 2018-19 was over `34 lakh crore which is 3.39 percent of the GDP.
  • Total Expenditure incurred by the Government was over `11 lakh crore.
  • Out of total expenditure, revenue expenditure and capital expenditure were `08 lakh crore and `3.02 lakh crore respectively.
  • On the revenue front, the Government received `66 lakh crore which is 91.4 percent of the Revised Estimate. There was shortfall not only in direct taxes by over `50,000 crore but also in GST collection (for Centre) by almost `1 lakh crore.
  • Disinvestment managed to exceed target and collected`85,045 crore.