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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 13th June 2019

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  • June 14, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 13th June 2019

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


DRDO conducts maiden test of hypersonic technology demonstrator

Part of Prelims and mains GS III; Security

In News

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted the maiden test of an indigenously developed Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) along with several technologies
  • Under this project, DRDO is developing a hypersonic vehicle that will be powered by a scram-jet engine.
  • This is dual-use technology, which when developed, will have multiple civilian applications. It can be used for launching satellites at low cost. It will also be available for long-range cruise missiles of the future,
  • In scram-jet technology, combustion of fuel takes place in a chamber in the missile at supersonic speeds.
  • This is different from a ram jet system where the system collects the air it needs from the atmosphere during the flight at subsonic speeds and the propellants burn in the combustion chamber.

Jalan panel report on RBI reserves

Part of Mains: GS III – Indian Economy and related issues

In news

  • The Bimal Jalan committee, which is looking into the size of capital reserves that the RBI should hold, will have one more meeting before finalising its report to be submitted to the apex bank by the month-end.
  • The six-member panel, under former RBI Governor Jalan was appointed on December 26, 2018, to review the economic capital framework (ECF) for the Reserve Bank after the Finance Ministry wanted the RBI to follow global best practices and transfer more surplus to the government.

(Note: For further details on this topic read: IASBaba Current Affairs 23 April 2019


(MAINS FOCUS)


NATIONAL

TOPIC: General studies 2:

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Indian Education system: Rote learning

Background:

The importance accorded to school-leaving examinations in India puts enormous pressure on students to score the highest possible marks. Bagging a rank among lakhs of students is accepted widely as a mark of excellence. But how scientific is the examination system at determining the progress of students?

Exam system in India:

The first mention of the educational system being throttled by exams was in 1904 in the Indian Educational Policy, at the time formulated by the Governor General in Council. After that this was mentioned in every commission and report.
As far as reliability of children’s understanding, acquiring knowledge and ways of formulating knowledge are concerned, the examination system doesn’t leaves much scope. Children do acquire snippets of information, but whether they construct that into knowledge remains seriously doubtful.

Steps taken:

  • A recent attempt made in the Right to Education (RTE) Act to introduce Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) was an important step but this was not welcomed by a large number of schools and State authorities.
  • The idea that the RTE introduced — that we will not have a Board examination up to Grade 8 — has now been amended by Parliament. States are now once again free to introduce a Board exam. Some have already moved towards that by reintroducing at Grade 5 and Grade 8 levels an exam that can classify children into pass and fail categories.

Compared with other countries:

  • European systems, including the British system on which we were modelled originally, have moved on to far more holistic and humanistic ways of assessing each child’s own growth trajectory right from the beginning. Even where there are public exams, they are taken with much greater care for objectivity and justice for every child.
    The GCSE [General Certificate of Secondary Education] in Britain, for example, makes sure that each child’s work and performance gets a fair chance to be assessed properly by more than one evaluator.
  • The assessment systems in Finland, the U.K., and some States in the U.S.- A kind of continuous assessment which feeds back into the teaching-learning process and a kind of taking care of the child’s continuous progress is in place.
  • In the public exam, the questions are on concepts, critical thinking and various ways of looking at the avenues of knowledge, and [there are] criteria for judging the veracity of that knowledge. Our emphasis is on speedy reproduction of information. I

Conclusion:

Two things needs to be reformed— the structure of the school and the curriculum. An alternative way should be found to ameliorate the high competition in the parents’ mind. There is a possibility of reforming the system in such a manner that it is more insightful and less stressful.

Connecting the dots:

  • The Indian examination system is hardly scientific at determining the progress of students. Comment.

NATIONAL

TOPIC: General studies 2:

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

Lateral Entry in Bureaucracy

In news:

After selection of nine lateral entrants as joint secretaries in various ministries/departments on contract basis, the government plans to extend such induction of private sector domain experts to the lower-level deputy secretary and director posts as well.
The Department of Personnel & Training has been tasked with opening up as many as 400 posts — out of the 1,300-odd at these levels under the Central Staffing Scheme — for lateral hiring.
If implemented, this would constitute the single biggest reform of public administration in independent India.

Need:

  • The current administrative system, wherein top positions are manned by career bureaucrats having little specialised knowledge and recruited through a common civil services examination, has outlived its utility.
    A liberalised economy requires not generalists, but people who understand industrial processes and new technologies, taxation, finance, trade and investment in a dynamic, globalised setting.
  • Even the old “steel frame” model of governance needs revisiting in favour of more nimble, entrepreneurial public service organisations focusing on performance and delivery by incorporating private sector management practices.
  • The jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none approach to public administration needs to be dispensed with and is, indeed, an unfinished task of reforms and liberalisation. It also fits into the “minimum government, maximum governance”. There can be no better means to achieving that goal than by deepening expertise and expanding the scope of lateral appointments in government.

Going forward:

  • The process of selecting candidates for lateral entry, which has to be transparent, robust and credible. Filling 400 posts without conducting formal competitive exams can invite legal challenges, more so if they are seen to be at the expense of the “natural” All-India or Central Civil Services claimants to these jobs.
  • Striking a balance between merit and ensuring adequate representation for disadvantaged communities is necessary even in a regime of lateral entry.
  • Alternatively the “generalists” can be turned into “specialists” through mid-career professional development programmes or extended tenures in particular departments/fields.

Connecting the dots:

  • Lateral entry once implemented would constitute the single biggest reform of public administration in independent India. Comment.

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)

Note:

  • Featured Comments and comments Up-voted by IASbaba are the “correct answers”.
  • IASbaba App users – Team IASbaba will provide correct answers in comment section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.

Q.1) Which of the following panel has been set up to review the economic capital framework (ECF) for the Reserve Bank?

  1. Urjit Patel Panel
  2. Lodha Panel
  3. Bimal Jalan Panel
  4. None of the above

Q.2) In Index of Industrial Production (IIP), which of the following sectors have highest share?

  1. Electricity
  2. Manufacturing
  3. Services
  4. Mining

Q.3) Consider the following statements,

  1. CPI is calculated by CSO with base year 2010-11
  2. IIP is calculated by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) with base year 2011-12.

Select the correct statements

  1. 1 Only
  2. 2 Only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

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