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The Hindu Newspaper 29/06/2020

1)News: The World Bank has approved an assistance of $500 million under ‘Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States Program(STARS)’ for India.

Facts:

  • Aim: To improve quality and governance of school education in six Indian states.
  • Coverage: Six states included in the project are Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Rajasthan.
  • Implementation: The project will be implemented through the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, the flagship scheme of India.
  • Features of the programme:
    • Focusing directly on the delivery of education services at the state, district and sub district levels by providing customized local-level solutions towards school improvement.
    • Addressing demands from stakeholders especially parents for greater accountability and inclusion.
    • Equipping teachers to manage this transformation by recognizing that teachers are central to achieving better learning outcomes.

Additional Facts:

  • Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan: It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme launched as an integrated scheme for school education extending from pre-school to class XII to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels of school education.
    • It subsumes the three Schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education(TE).

2)World’s Largest Plasma Therapy Trial under Project ‘Platina’ launched by Maharashtra:-The World’s largest Convalescent Plasma Therapy Trial project was launch on 29th June 2020 by the Maharashtra State Government.  The name of the project is Platina. The project was virtually launched by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

3)News:– On 29th June 2020, a concession agreement was signed between the Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Limited and the Royal Government of Bhutan.`The project will be located on the Kholongchhu River in Eastern Bhutan’s Trashiyangtse District.

4)PM FME Scheme launched, To Generate 9 Lakh Employment:-As a part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the Prime Minister Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PM FME) scheme was launched on 29th June 2020. The scheme was launched by Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Union Food Processing Industries Minister). Earlier on 20th May 2020, the scheme was approved by the Union Cabinet.

The objective of the scheme is to support local unorganized food processing units in the country. Support in the form of finances, strengthening capabilities of support systems, increase in revenue targets, in tribal districts focusing on minor produce, etc.

5)Delhi Government to set up ‘Plasma Bank’ at ILBS, the First Plasma Bank in India:- The Plasma Bank will be set up at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS).

6)Athropause:- News: Researchers are set to study the term anthropause to refer to the Covid-19 induced lockdown period and they will study its impact on other species.

7)NPC:- National Productivity Council(NPC)It is an autonomous body established in 1958 under Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

Aim: To promote innovation – led productivity in a sustained manner in all spheres of national economy.

President: Union Minister for Commerce and Industry is the President and Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT) is its Chairman

Significance: It is a constituent of the Tokyo-based Asian Productivity Organisation (APO) of which the Government of India is a founding member.

EDITORIAL :- Making sense of China’s calculations

Context: A direct confrontation between India and China has resulted in the number of casualties in Galwan Valley.

Background:

  • On June22-23, the Corps Commanders of India and China appeared to reach a mutual consensus to disengage and embark on lowering tensions through a gradual and verifiable disengagement.
  • The Chinese posts in the Galwan area are being restored in bigger size than before.

It would be judicious to view Galwan faceoff as signifying a new and fractious phase in China-India relations.

Appearing of new Normal in India-China relations:

  • The debate on the Indian side: It has been limited to betrayal of China in its violation of the status quo. For example- Former PM accused China of brazenly and illegally seeking to claim parts of Indian Territory such as the Galwan Valley and Pangong Tso.
  • Reaction of China: It has been consistent that India must move out of Galwan. The incident at Galwan cannot be viewed as a mere replay of what took place in Depsang (2013), Chumar (2014) and Doklam (2017).
  • New and Different situation:
    • China’s assertion of its claims needs careful analysis. For example- Point 14 in LAC gives China a virtual stranglehold over the newly completed and strategically significant, Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie Road, which leads on to the Karakoram Pass.
    • Changing status quo:By keeping the whole of Galwan Valley by China.
  • Existence of Ambiguity regarding the LAC in this sector:
    • The Chinese claim line is that of November 1959 while for India the LAC is that of September 1962.
    • By its unilateral declaration, China is seeking to settle the matter in its favour.

India is not able to fully understand the Chinese actions.

Shortcomings in dealing of India with China:

  • Importance of Aksai Chin:
    • Charge against Indian administration: While China has consistently asserted its claims over the whole of Aksai Chin, India has chosen to overlook China’s more recent postures in this region.
    • Strategic importance: Aksai Chin provides direct connectivity between two of the most troubled regions of China, viz., Xinjiang and Tibet which does not seem to have been adequately factored into our calculations.
    • Overlooking China’s reservations: Indian policy makers overlooked the fact that for China’s military planners, the carving out of Ladakh into a UT posed a threat to China’s peace and tranquility.
  • On intelligence assessment:
    • Timing and nature of China’s actions:It should have aroused keen interest in intelligence circles about China’s strategic calculations. The Chinese build-up in the area did not require any great intelligence effort as there was little attempt at concealment by the Chinese.
    • India also possesses high quality imagery intelligence (IMINT) and signals intelligence (SIGINT) capabilities, distributed between the National Technical Research Organisation, the Directorate of Signals Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence and other agencies, which made it possible to track Chinese movement.
    • Weakness in interpretations of available intelligence: It failed to provide a coherent assessment of China’s real intentions. While India’s technological capabilities for intelligence collection have vastly increased in recent years, the capacity for interpretation and analysis has not kept pace with this.
    • China preoccupation: The analyst should also consider that for China, India is feeling emboldened because of its growing strategic alignment with the US.
    • Weakening of intelligence assessment system: Due to the decision of the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) to dismantle the Joint Intelligence Committee which has the principal responsibility for intelligence assessment and analysis concerning China.
  • Limitations of summit meets:
    • The preference given recently to Summit diplomacy over traditional foreign policy making structures does not prove to be beneficial.
    • India’s Summit diplomacy has tended to marginalise the MEA with regard to policy making.
    • The general tilt towards the US has resulted in an imbalance in the way the MEA perceives problems and situations.

Way Forward

The Indian Policy makers should consider all the relevant intelligence gathering to understand the actions of China.

9)29th June: National Statistics Day:– National Statistics Day was celebrated first in the year 2007. World Statistics Day is celebrated on October 20th every year.

The day 29th June was chosen to acknowledge the invaluable contributions made by Prof. Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in establishing the National Statical System.

Theme:- SDG- 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages) & SDG- 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls).

10) Scheduled Banks: Any bank which is listed in the 2nd schedule of the RBI Act, 1934 is considered a scheduled bank.

The banks included in this category should fulfil two conditions:

The paid up capital and collected fund of the bank should not be less than Rs. 5 lakh.

Any activity of the bank shall not adversely affect the interests of the depositors.

Commercial Banks: It refers to both scheduled and non-scheduled commercial banks which are regulated under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

11)Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade

  • It comes under the aegis of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • It was established in 1995 and has been reconstituted in the year 2000 with the merger of the Department of Industrial Development.
  • In February 2019, it was renamed to the existing one from the previous name, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP).
  • Functions:
    • With progressive liberalisation of the Indian economy, initiated in July 1991, there has been a consistent shift in the role and functions of this Department.
    • From regulation and administration of the industrial sector, the role of the Department has been transformed into facilitating investment and technology flows and monitoring industrial development in the liberalised environment.

12)Rare biological phenomenon spotted in dragonflies :-

Recently, a rare biological phenomenon i.e. Gynandromorphism has been spotted in a dragonfly, the Scarlet Skimmer (Crocothemis servilia), which is found in the Kole wetlands, Kerala.

  • The dragonfly had both male and female characteristics.

Key Points

  • Gynandromorphism is a characteristic of an organism that contains both male and female tissues and characteristics. Such organisms are also called gynandromorphs.
  • The term is derived from the Greek words (gyne = woman; aner = man and morphe = form).
  • The phenomenon has been documented in birds, crustaceans and butterflies.
  • Reason:
    • Gynandromorphs are usually born due genetic aberration.
    • Genetic aberrations are chromosomal disorder or mutation which is due to a missing, extra, or irregular portion of chromosomal DNA.
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