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20 Sep, 2021

51 Min Read

2019 NRC final, rules Assam Foreigners’ Tribunal

GS-II : Governance Northeast Development

  • While the Registrar General of India has not yet issued a notification on Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) to make it a legal document, a Foreigners’ Tribunal has gone ahead and recorded it as the “final NRC” while declaring a man to be Indian.
  • Hearing a case against one Bikram Singha of Jamirala village whose name figured in the NRC list, member of FT-II in Karimganj town Sishir Dey said, “...there is no doubt that this NRC Assam published in 2019 is nothing but Final NRC..”
  • The FT-II’s ‘order cum opinion’ comes just days after Assam's Political (B) Department had on September 4 asked the FTs not to pass “consequential orders/directions” and stick to giving an “opinion” as mandated by the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964.
  • The letter to the FTs followed an assessment by the State’s Judicial Department of the “opinions” given by the members in the case of people suspected to be foreigners or doubtful voters.
  • The member also observed that Mr. Singha’s name figured in the NRC that was supervised by the Supreme Court on the basis of the Citizenship Act of 1955 and The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
  • “…final NRC… has been published on 31.08.2019 which is available online on the official website of NRC Assam wherein also it’s referred and mentioned as ‘Final NRC’. This legal position is still in force. The National Identity Cards have yet to be issued to the citizens whose names have been included in Final NRC. But there is no doubt that this NRC Assam published in 2019 is nothing but Final NRC,” the order said.

Source: TH

NIPUN Bharat

GS-III : Economic Issues Education

  • NIPUN stands for National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN Bharat)
  • The vision of NIPUN Bharat Mission is to create an enabling environment to ensure universal acquisition of foundational literacy and numeracy, so that every child achieves the desired learning competencies in reading, writing and numeracy by the end of Grade 3, by 2026-27.
  • NIPUN Bharat will be implemented by the Department of School Education and Literacy and a five-tier implementation mechanism will be set up at the National- State- District- Block- School level in all States and UTs, under the aegis of the centrally sponsored scheme of Samagra Shiksha.
  • The launch of NIPUN Bharat marks an important step undertaken by the Department of School Education and Literacy, among a series of measures taken for implementation of the National Education Policy 2020.

Samagra Shiksha Abhiyaan (Flagship Scheme), 2019

  1. Ministry of Education. SDG 4.
  2. Objectives: Quality education, Learning outcomes, Bridging gaps, Inclusion, Equity, Minimum standards, Vocationalization, support Sttes for RTE Act, 2009 and upgrade State CERTs.
  3. Funding: It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with 60:40 for States and 90:10 for NE and Himalayan States.
  4. Salient Features:
    1. Treat school education holistically as a continuum from Pre school to Class 12.
    2. Inclusion of senior secondary levels and pre-school levels in support for School education for the first time.
    3. Single and unified administrative structure leading to harmonized implementation.
    4. Focus on strengthening Teacher Education Institutions like SCERTs and DIETs.
    5. SCERT to be the nodal institution for in-service and pre-service teacher training – will make training dynamic and need-based.
    6. Library grant for 1 million schools.
    7. The main emphasis of the Scheme is on improving quality of school education by focussing on the 2 T’s – Teacher and Technology.

Source: PIB

Helina and Dhruvastra Missiles

GS-III : Internal security Internal security

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has designed and developed anti-tank guided missiles,
    1. Army version Helina, and
    2. Airforce variant Dhruvastra.
  • These are third generation, Lock-on-Before-Launch (LOBL) fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missiles that can engage targets both in direct hit mode as well as top attack mode.
  • The system has all-weather day and night capability.
  • They can defeat battle tanks with conventional armour as well as with explosive reactive armour.
  • The missiles could be fired in hover and max forward flight against realistic static and moving targets.
  • The helicopter-launched Nag Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM), Helina, being developed indigenously, has completed all trials and the process for issuing of acceptance of necessity (AoN) by the Army has started, said Sachin Sood, project director of Helina and Dhruvastra at the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad, a laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • While the cost estimate was yet to be done, each missile was expected to cost under ?1 crore, and around 500 missiles and 40 launchers would be required initially, he added.
  • Once the AoN is issued, the request for proposal (RFP) would be issued. Some firing trials would be done from the first production lot by the Army at a later stage.
  • Helina is a third-generation fire-and-forget class ATGM mounted on an indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), and has a minimum range of 500 metres and a maximum range of 7 kilometres. All issues with the minimum range had been sorted out and the integration with other weapons on the platform was over.

Source: TH

National Population Register vs Census

GS-II : Governance Census

  • National Population Register (NPR) is a database containing a list of all usual residents of the country.
  • Its objective is to have a comprehensive identity database of people residing in the country.
  • A usual resident for the purposes of NPR is a person who has resided in a place for 6 months or more, and intends to reside there for another six months or more.
  • It is generated through house-to-house enumeration during the “house-listing” phase of the census, which is held once in 10 years.

NPR vs Census:

  • The census involves a detailed questionnaire - there were 29 items to be filled up in the 2011 census - aimed at eliciting the particulars of every person, including age, sex, marital status, children, occupation, birthplace, mother tongue, religion, disability and whether they belonged to any Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe.
  • On the other hand, the NPR collects basic demographic data and biometric particulars.
  • The census is legally backed by the Census Act, 1948.
  • The NPR is a mechanism outlined in a set of rules framed under the Citizenship Act, 1955.

Source: TH

Road and Rail deaths in India – NCRB Crime India Report

GS-II : Governance Road accidents

  • India recorded 1.2 lakh cases of “deaths due to negligence relating to road accidents” in 2020, with 328 persons losing their lives every day on average, despite the COVID-19 lockdown, according to government data.
  • As many as 3.92 lakh lives were lost in three years in deaths due to negligence related to road accidents, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) revealed in its annual ‘Crime India’ report for 2020.
  • While 1.2 lakh deaths were recorded in 2020, the figures stood at 1.36 lakh in 2019 and 1.35 lakh in 2018, the data show.
  • The country logged 1.35 lakh cases of “hit and run” since 2018, the report of the NCRB, which functions under the Union Home Ministry, showed.
  • In 2020 alone, there were 41,196 cases of “hit and run” while there were 47,504 such cases in 2019 and 47,028 in 2018, the report said. On average, there were 112 cases of “hit and run” reported across the country every day in the past year, according to the data.
  • The cases of causing “hurt” by rash or negligent driving on public way stood at 1.3 lakh in 2020, 1.60 lakh in 2019 and 1.66 lakh in 2018, the data showed.
  • 52 cases of deaths due to negligence related to rail accidents were recorded across the country in 2020, 55 cases in 2019 and 35 in 2018, the report showed.
  • During 2020, India logged 133 cases of “deaths due to medical negligence”; 201 such cases were reported in 2019 and 218 in 2018, the NCRB said.

Source: TH

Hindi gains due to demographic shift

GS-I : Indian Society Social Inclusion

  • When the Centre launched its NIPUN Bharat scheme in July 2021 to improve foundational literacy and numeracy among primary school students, participants from non-Hindi speaking States complained that they were the ones left feeling illiterate as they could not understand either the speeches, nor the PowerPoint presentations on the scheme, all made in formal Hindi. (Read about the Eighth Schedule Languages first.)
  • Last August, Tamil Nadu delegates at a yoga and naturopathy training webinar claimed that the AYUSH Ministry Secretary told them if they wanted English to be used, they could leave.
  • These incidents that made the headlines over the last year may be only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to language-related frictions in a country that has 121 languages spoken by at least 10,000 people — along with over a thousand more which have fewer speakers — but which also restricts education and governance to a handful of languages.
  • According to the 2011 Census, Hindi and its variants are the only major languages to have gained mother tongue adherents over the last 40 years, growing from 36.99% of the population in 1971 to 43.63% by 2011. A large factor in this growth comes from demographic changes.
  • “Fertility rates are higher among the poor and among women with less education, who comprise a higher share of Hindi speakers,” said Centre for Policy Research senior fellow Partha Mukhopadhyay, who noted that the 10 States with the highest share of Hindi speakers grew from 41.9% of India’s population in 1971 to 46.5% by 2011.
  • He added that migration could be increasing the number of those whose mother tongue is Hindi even in non-Hindi speaking States.
  • “If a Hindi-speaking poor illiterate family migrates from Bihar to Kerala, they may have fewer children than a similar family in Bihar but they’ll have more than the average Malayalam-speaking family in Kerala. This will raise the share of Hindi speakers in other such ‘destination’ States too,” he said.
  • The Home Ministry responded with Census data claiming that the Hindi-speaking population of Nagaland was 62,942, while the English-speaking population was 419. For Kerala, the figures were 51,928 and 4,471, respectively.
  • However, these are in fact, the number of people who claimed Hindi and English as their mother tongues, not the number who can actually speak these languages.
  • An analysis by The Hindu of the bilingualism and trilingualism data gathered for the first time in 2011 shows that 16% of Nagaland’s population said Hindi was among their top three spoken language choices, only half of the 33% who chose English.
  • Similarly, in Kerala, 9% had Hindi among their top three languages, while 20% included English on their list.
  • The 2021 Census will be the second to gather such data, and thus record for the first time the growth among actual speakers of a language, rather than those who claim it as their mother tongue.
  • So far, the Census data has not been about the knowledge of a language, but rather identity with a language,” said Ayesha Kidwai, a professor of linguistics and the politics of language at the Jawaharlal Nehru University. “Hindi is identified as a language of power. When Hindi is promoted, it is not a promotion of choice, but a promotion of power.” She noted that the choice of Hindi in the Census in fact subsumes 50 other choices, as variants like Bhojpuri, Rajasthani, Magadhi and Chhattisgarhi — each of which has more than a crore speakers — are all clubbed under the Hindi umbrella. In fact, only about 26% of the Indian population selected Hindi itself as their mother tongue. Almost 40% of those clubbed under the Hindi label actually chose one of the variants.
  • At the celebration of Hindi Divas last week, Home Minister Amit Shah emphasised that “Hindi is the friend of all Indian languages” and can only progress through coexistence. Even while increasingly shifting the daily routines of governance into Hindi, the Centre has in fact taken steps to incorporate powerful regional languages. For instance, the NEET for entrance into medical programmes is now offered in 13 different languages, while engineering colleges have started offering courses in five Indian languages this year.
  • Faced with political pushback from non-Hindi speaking States, the Centre had also amended the draft of the National Education Policy to ensure that Hindi is not imposed as a compulsory language choice for school students.
  • While the political tussles around language in education revolve around schools, it is significant that higher education — which produces the teachers who teach the language in schools — is significantly skewed towards Hindi and English. Education Ministry data shows there were 1.3 lakh students enrolled in M.A. Hindi programmes in 2019-20, while the next highest language, Bengali, had only 22,719 students at the postgraduate level. Interestingly, English has almost 2 lakh students enrolled for Masters degrees.

Source: TH

National Register of Citizens (NRC), Assam

Background of Assam NRC issue Assam is a state in northeastern India, south of the eastern Himalayas along the Brahmaputra and Barak River valleys. The state is bordered by Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh to the north; Nagaland and Manipur to the east; Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram and Bangladesh to the south;… Read More

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