IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


15th June, 2020

DNA 15TH June


Covid crisis underlines urgency of more inclusive employment, employability and education

This article focusses on skill education.

Issues with our university education

 The differential lockdown outcomes for skilled and unskilled workers highlight our university system’s pre-existing conditions. These are-

1) Broken employability promises.

2) Poor employer connectivity.

3) Poor return on private investment that frustrate parents and students.

Four ways in which Skill University differs from traditional university

A skill university differs from a traditional university in four ways.

1) It prays to the one god of employers; for governance, faculty, curriculum and pedagogy.

2) It has four classrooms; on-campus, on-line, on-site, and on-the-job.

3) It offers modularity between four qualifications; certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas, and degrees.

4) And it has four sources of financing — employers, students, CSR, and loans though employers contribute more than 95 per cent of the costs. For example -in the case of Gujrat government’s skill university, 97 per cent of the university’s budget comes from employers.

How global universities are broken?

-First is broken promises. The world produced more graduates in the last 35 years than 700 years before.

-Second is broken financing. More than 50 per cent of $1.5 trillion in student debt was expected to default even before the COVID pandemic. Indian bank education loans have high NPAs.

-The third is broken inclusiveness. The system works for privileged urban males studying full-time, but today’s students are likely to be female, poor, older, rural, or studying part-time.

-Fourth is broken flexibility. Employed learners will cross traditional learners in three years, but they need on-demand, on-the-go, always-on, rolling admissions, continuous assessment, and qualification modularity.

-Fifth is broken openness. Google knowing everything makes learning how to learn a key 21st-century skill. Yet too many universities are stuck in knowing.

Regulatory changes needed for the Skill University

-Skill universities are a scalable, sustainable, and affordable vehicle to massify higher education by innovations in finance. But they need regulatory change.

Following are the 3 types of regulatory changes needed

1. Changes needed in the UGC Act of 1956

-Clause 8.2.6 needs to be rewritten to equalise four classrooms -online, on-site, on-campus, and on-job-and section 22 (3) to recognise apprenticeship linked degree programmes.

-The UGC Teacher Regulations of 2018 need rewriting: Clause 3.3. (I), (II) to redefine the qualifications, roles and numbers of teachers required, and clause 4 to recognise industry experience as a teaching qualification.

-The UGC Online Regulations 2018 need to be rewritten: Clause 4(2) and 7(2) (3) to allow innovation, flexibility, credit frameworks, and relevance in online curriculums.

-Clause 7(2) (2) to allow universities to work with any technology platforms.

2. Changes needed in National Assessment and Accreditation Council Internal Quality Assurance Cell (NAAC IQAC) regulations:

-Criteria 1 and 1.2.2 to include work-based learning and work integrated learning.

-Criteria 1.1.3 to include life skills and proctored/evaluated internships.

-Criteria 2 and 2.3.1 to integrate online learning with university programmes.

-Criteria 2 and 2.4.1, 3 and 6 need to be modified to recognise teachers with industry experience, and include industry-based research.

-Criteria 4 and 4.1.2 to include industry workplaces and online classrooms as campus extensions.

-Criteria 5 and 5.2.1 needs to be rewritten to incorporate apprenticeships.

3. Changes needed in Apprenticeship Act of 1961

-Clause 2, 8, 9, 21 and 23 of the Apprenticeship Act of 1961 also needs to be modified to allow and lift the licence raj for degree-linked apprentices and recognise skills universities.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/covid-crisis-employment-education-skill-universities-6458972/


Naval liaisons at RMIFC and EMASOH

Context: India is looking to post Navy Liaison Officers at the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre (RMIFC) in Madagascar and at the European maritime surveillance initiative in the Strait of Hormuz for improved Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA).

Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre (RMIFC):

-The RMFIC functions under the aegis of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) of which India became an Observer in March 2020 along with Japan and the United Nations.

-It is based in Madagascar. It is designed to deepen maritime domain awareness by monitoring maritime activities and promoting information sharing and exchange.

European maritime surveillance initiative in the Strait of Hormuz:

-It was started by France in February 2020.

-The EMASOH headquarters is composed of Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and French officers and based at the French naval base in Abu Dhabi.

-The aim is “to monitor maritime activity and guarantee freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.”

Beneficial to India:

This will be in the overall realm of improving linkages of the Navy’s Information Fusion Centre for Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) in Gurugram with other IFCs and become the repository for all maritime data in the IOR.

Indian Ocean Commission:

-Founded in 1982, the IOC is an intergovernmental organisation comprising five small-island states in the Western Indian Ocean: the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion (a French department), and Seychelles.

-It was institutionalized in 1984 by the Victoria Agreement in Seychelles.

-The Commission has a Secretariat, which is located in Mauritius.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-looks-to-deploy-naval-liaisons-at-madagascar-abu-dhabi-for-information-exchange/article31828272.ece


Amoebiasis or amoebic dysentery

Context: A team of researchers from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has developed new drug molecules against the protozoa that cause amoebiasis.

What is Amoebiasis or amoebic dysentery?

-It is a parasitic infection of the colon with the amoeba Entamoebahistolytica.

-According to WHO, Entamoebahistolytica is the third-leading cause of morbidity and mortality due to parasitic disease in humans.

-This protozoan is anaerobic or micro-aerophilic in nature such that it cannot survive high concentrations of oxygen.

-However, during infection, it faces a high surge of oxygen inside the human body. The organism synthesizes large amounts of cysteine to counter oxidative stress.


It spreads through drinking or eating uncooked food, such as fruit, that may have been washed in contaminated local water.


-Pain in the abdomen

-Blood in stool, diarrhoea, or flatulence

-Fatigue, fever, or loss of appetite

-Weight loss


Treatment consists of self-care and antiparasitics.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1631498#:~:text=A%20team%20of%20researchers%20from,survive%20high%20concentrations%20of%20oxygen.



Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the nation on the festival of Raja Parba.

About the Festival:

-Raja Parba is Odisha’s three-day unique festival celebrating the onset of monsoon and the earth’s womanhood. It is believed that during this time the Mother Earth or Bhudevi undergoes menstruation.

-As a mark of respect towards the earth during her menstruation days, all agricultural works, like ploughing, sowing are suspended for the three days.

-As it is a celebration of womanhood, a lot of the focus is on young women, who wear new clothes, apply ‘Alata’ on their feet and enjoy folk songs while swinging on decorated rope swings.

-Raja Sankranti is the first day of the Ashara month.



Malabar gliding frog:

Context: It was recently spotted at Pullad, near Kozhencherry.


--Scientific name is Rhacophorusmalabaricus.

--IUCN Conservation status: Least Concern.

--Features: It is a green frog with slender body, webbed feet, unusual body positions, very well camouflaged and gliding in the air.

-It is endemic to the rain forests of Western Ghats.

-Males are smaller than females.

-Threats: Deforestation, climate change, developmental activities, toxic chemicals.


-It is CSIR National Healthcare Supply Chain Portal that aims to provide real-time availability of critical healthcare supplies.

-It was launched recently to serve manufacturers, suppliers and customers to effectively deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Captain Arjun

-Railway Protection Force, Pune, under the Central Railways, has launched a Robotic ‘CAPTAIN ARJUN’ to intensify the screening and surveillance.

-The robot will screen passengers while they board trains and keep a watch on anti-social elements.

-It is equipped with a motion sensor, one PTZ camera and one Dome Camera. The Cameras use Artificial Intelligence algorithms to track suspicious and antisocial activity.