IASCLUB PIB News Summary : 30 September 2019

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BRAHMOS Supersonic Cruise Missile,successfully test-fired

BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile featuring Indian propulsion system, airframe, power supply and other major indigenous components, was successfully test fired at ITR, Chandipur in Odisha.

More in newS:

  • The missile was successfully test-fired for its full range of 290-km during the launch jointly conducted by DRDO and BrahMos Aerospace.
  • With this successful mission, the indigenous content in the formidable weapon has reached a high value, thus bolstering India’s defence indigenisation and the flagship ‘Make in India’ programme.
  • RakshaMantri Shri Rajnath Singh congratulated team DRDO, BrahMos and Industries for today’s successful mission.

Brahmos

  • It is a Supersonic cruise missile.
  • Designed and developed by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture of India and Russia.
  • It has derived its name from the names of two rivers, India’s Brahmaputra River and Russia’s Moskva River.
  • It operates on fire and forget principal.
  • Capable of being launched from land, sea, sub-sea and air against sea and land targets.
  • Carrying capacity: 300 Kg (both conventional and nuclear).
  • Speed: Mach 3 (that is, three times the speed of sound).
  • Max Range: 290 Km. Its range was extended to 450 km and plan is to increase it to 600km.
  • It is two-stage missile, the first one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant.
  • BrahMos missile already has been inducted into the Indian Army and Navy.

Week-Long IPCC Meet on Climate Change begins in New Delhi

India is hosting the Second Lead Author Meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III Sixth Assessment Report at New Delhi, beginning 30thSeptember to 4th October 2019.

More in news:

  • More than 200 experts/authors including 12 from India and others from around 65 countries are expected to participate in this week-long meeting at New Delhi.
  • The Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) will examine topics such as the link between consumption and behaviour and greenhouse gas emissions, and the role of innovation and technology.
  • The report will assess the connection between short to medium-term actions and their compatibility with the long-term temperature goal in the Paris Agreement. It will assess mitigation options in sectors such as energy, agriculture, forestry and land use, buildings, transport and industry.
  • The First Order Draft will be available for Expert Review from 13 January to 8 March 2020. The Second Order Draft will be open for Government and Expert Review from 13 July to 13 September 2020, along with the first draft of the Summary for Policymakers. The IPCC Panel is due to consider the Working Group III contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report at a plenary session on 12 to 16 July 2021.
  • Each of the three IPCC Working Groups will release their contributions to the Sixth Assessment Report in 2021. A Synthesis Report in 2022 will integrate them together with the three special reports that the IPCC is producing in the current assessment cycle.
  • It will be released in time to inform the 2023 global stock take by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) when countries will review progress towards the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global warming to well below 2°C while pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.

About IPCC:

  • The IPCC is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide political leaders with periodic scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies. It has 195 member states.
  • Thousands of people from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC. For the assessment reports, IPCC scientists volunteer their time to assess the thousands of scientific papers published each year to provide a comprehensive summary of what is known about the drivers of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and how adaptation and mitigation can reduce those risks.
  • The IPCC has three working groups: Working Group I, dealing with the physical science basis of climate change; Working Group II, dealing with impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and Working Group III, dealing with the mitigation of climate change. It also has a Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories that develops methodologies for measuring emissions and removals.

NITI Aayog releases School Education Quality Index (SEQI)

School Education Quality Index (SEQI) was developed by NITI Aayog to evaluate the performance of States and Union Territories (UTs) in the school education sector.

More in news:

  • The index aims to bring an ‘outcomes’ focus to education policy by providing States and UTs with a platform to identify their strengths and weaknesses and undertake requisite course corrections or policy interventions.
  • The first edition of SEQI was released today by Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog.
  • In line with NITI Aayog’s mandate to foster the spirit of competitive and cooperative federalism, SEQI strives to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best practices across States and UTs.
  • Developed through a collaborative process, including key stakeholders such as Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), the World Bank and sector experts, the index consists of 30 critical indicators that assess the delivery of quality education. These indicators are categorized as below:

Category 1: Outcomes

  • Domain 1: Learning outcomes
  • Domain 2: Access outcomes
  • Domain 3: Infrastructure and facilities for outcomes
  • Domain 4: Equity outcomes

Category 2: Governance processes aiding outcomes

  • Schooling should result in successful learning outcomes. A credible system of assessment in this regard is crucial to design necessary remedial actions. To ensure the system is geared towards learning, SEQI assigns almost half its weight to learning outcomes. This sends a strong signal across the nation to ensure the focus remains centred on learning outcomes.
  • To facilitate a like-for-like comparison, States and UTs have been grouped as Large States, Small States and UTs. Within each of these groups, the indicator values have been appropriately scaled, normalized and weighted to generate an overall performance score and ranking for each State and UT.
  • States’ overall performance may hide variations in their performance on the underlying categories. Of the 20 Large States, 10 perform better on the Outcomes category, with the most noticeable performance differences observed in the cases of Karnataka, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh. The other Large States perform better on the Governance Processes Aiding Outcomes category, with the most noticeable performance differences observed in the cases of Odisha, Punjab and Haryana.
  • Of the eight Small States, seven perform better on the Outcomes category, with the most noticeable performance differences observed in the cases of Manipur, Tripura and GoaSikkimis the only Small State that performs better on the Governance Processes Aiding Outcomes category.
  • Of the seven UTs, four perform better on the Outcomes category, with the most noticeable performance differences observed in Dadra & Nagar Haveli. Delhi, Daman & Diuand Lakshadweep perform better on the Governance Processes Aiding Outcomes category
  • States’ and UTs’ performance on Learning Outcomes is driven by their results on the National Achievement Survey (NAS) 2017. Their performance on Access Outcomes is primarily driven by enrolment ratios at the secondary level and transition rates from upper-primary to secondary level. In terms of Infrastructure & Facilities for Outcomes, States’ and UTs’ performance is strongly linked to the presence of Computer Aided-Learning (CAL) at the elementary level and vocational education at the secondary and senior-secondary level.
  • Among the 20 Large States, 18 improved their overall performance between 2015-16 and 2016-17. The average improvement in these 18 states is 8.6 percentage points although there is a lot of variation around that average in terms of the fastest and slowest improving States. Due to this variation, many States that improved their overall performance score still show a decline in rank.
  • Five Small States have shown an improvement in their overall performance score between 2015-16 and 2016-17, with the average improvement being around nine percentage points. However, as in the case of Large States, there is considerable variation between the fastest and slowest improving States. States such as Meghalaya, Nagaland and Goaoutpaced the others, improving by 14.1, 13.5 and 8.2 percentage points respectively, thus improving their ranks in the process.
  • All seven UTs have shown an improvement in their overall performance scores. The average improvement is 9.5 percentage points. Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Puducherryimproved their overall performance scores by 16.5, 15.0 and 14.3 percentage points respectively, which enabled them to improve their ranking on incremental performance.
  • SEQI also included an analysis of States and Union Territories for each indicator under study. For instance, indicators such as average score in Class 3, 5 and 8 for Language and Mathematics, Transition Rates from primary to upper-primary level, capturing equity in learning outcomes between general and marginalised sections of society, supply a wealth of data for future action and policy design for every State.
  • States and UTs are ranked on their overall performance in the reference year 2016-17, as well as on their annual incremental performance (difference in the overall performance) between the reference year and base year (2015-16). The rankings present incredible insights on the status of school education across States/UTs and their relative progress over time.

 

 

 

 

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