- ‘20% rural students lack books’ (TH) About 20% of rural children have no textbooks at home, according to the Annual State of Education Report (ASER) survey conducted in September, the sixth month of school closures due to COVID-19 across the country. In Andhra Pradesh, less than 35% of children had textbooks, and only 60% had textbooks in Rajasthan. More than 98% had textbooks in West Bengal, Nagaland and Assam.
GS2: International Relations
- U.S. to support India’s defence of territory (TH) The observations about the threats to Indian sovereignty came as New Delhi announced the signing of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement on geospatial cooperation (BECA) with the U.S.
- BECA — and importance of three foundational pacts of India-US military cooperation (IE), After LEMOA and COMCASA, New Delhi and Washington have signed BECA, sealing a framework of mutual trust and long-term military and strategic cooperation. The immediate context is the common threat from an aggressive and expansionist China, but the potential for cooperation in the future is immense.
- India’s outreach to Myanmar (TH) The recent announcement of initiatives establishes India’s presence in sectors where it ought to be more pronounced
- ‘Green’ crackers to make full-fledged (TH) Fireworks sale likely to remain low for third consecutive Deepavali due to pandemic, economic slowdown
- "NITI Aayog, QCI Launch National Program and Project Management Policy Framework Initiative to Transform Infrastructure Sector in India (PIB)" India will require an investment of around $4.5 trillion by 2040 to develop the infrastructure for sustaining its economic growth. However, the challenges in infrastructure development that often obstruct the smooth execution of projects can be a detriment. Therefore, along with numerous initiatives by the Government and guidelines advocated by NITI Aayog towards improving performance of infrastructure projects, a task force was also constituted to lay down a national program and project management policy framework.
- GST and the complexity of political negotiations With the Centre’s actions in the COVID-19 phase affecting the federal architecture, the danger lies in States following suit
- Explained: How Covid-19 has affected finances of state governments (IE) Given the clear inter-linkages between growth and tax revenues and considering the fact that tax revenues fall faster than GDP when growth is negative, tax revenues are likely to be reduced for the next few years, the RBI said.
GS3: Science & Technology
- "CSIR IndiGenome resource of 1029 Indian genomes provides a compendium of genetic variants representing the contemporary Indian population (PIB)" India is the second largest country in terms of population density with more than 1.3 billion individuals encompassing 17% of the world population. Despite having this rich genetic diversity, India has been under-represented in global genome studies. Further, the population architecture of India has resulted in high prevalence of recessive alleles. In the absence of large-scale whole genome studies from India, these population-specific genetic variants are not adequately captured and catalogued in global medical literature.
- Water on the Moon: a discovery, an estimate, and why it matters (IE) Water found on Moon’s sunlit surface for first time; another study finds shadowy regions potentially containing ice are more widespread than thought. What can these findings mean for Moon explorers?
- "NITI Aayog, Rockefeller Foundation & Smart Power India Launch Electricity Access & Utility Benchmarking Report (PIB)" As much as 92% of customers reported the overall availability of electricity infrastructure within 50 metres of their premises; however, not all have connections, the primary reason being the distance of households from the nearest pole.