Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the new education policy announced by the government emphasises on making ‘job creators’ instead of ‘job seekers’ and is an attempt to transform the intent and the content of the country’s education system. Addressing the finale of the Smart India Hackathon, he said the National Education Policy-2020 facilitates inter-disciplinary study which will ensure that the focus is on what the students want to learn.
“It is not just a policy document but a reflection of the aspirations of over 130 crore people. A large section of students feel they are judged on the basis of subjects in which they have no interest… often there is pressure from friends and families and they start studying a particular subject without interest,” Modi said.
“This approach has contributed to a population which is literate but what it has studied is of no use to it… despite having a pile of degrees, individuals feel incomplete and lack confidence which affects their whole life. The new education policy is an attempt to change this approach and bring systematic reforms in the education system by reforming the intent and content,” he added.
The prime minister said that the new NEP has been framed keeping in mind the aspirations of the youth of 21st century of our country. “The 21st century is the era of knowledge. This is the time for increased focus on learning, research, innovation. This is exactly what India’s National Education Policy, 2020 does. We are focussing on the quality of education in India. Our attempts have been to make our education system the most advance and modern for students of our country.
“The policy is about the spirit which reflects that we are shifting from the burden of the school bag, which does not last beyond school, to the boon of learning which helps for life, from simply memorising to critical thinking. The role of the youth is very important in achieving the goal of ‘ease of living’ to give a better life to the poor,” he said, while addressing students.
The NEP approved by the Union Cabinet earlier this week replaces the 34-year-old National Policy on Education framed in 1986 and is aimed at paving the way for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems to make India a global knowledge superpower.
Teaching up to class 5 in mother tongue or regional language, lowering the stakes of board exams, a single regulator for higher education institutions except for law and medical colleges and common entrance tests for universities are part of the sweeping reforms in the NEP.
Replacing the 10+2 structure of school curricula with a 5+3+3+4 structure corresponding to age groups 3-8, 8-11, 11-14 and 14-18 years respectively, scrapping M.Phil programmes and implementing common norms for private and public higher education institutions are among other salient features of the new policy.
“Languages of India will progress and develop further due to the changes brought in the education policy. This will not only promote knowledge and learning in the country, but will also strengthen its unity,” the prime minister said.
Hackathon is a non-stop digital product development competition organised by the HRD Ministry, where problems are posed to technology students to suggest innovative solutions.
“Smart India Hackathon is an initiative to identify new and disruptive digital technology innovations for solving the challenges faced by our country. This year, we will have more than 10,000 students competing to solve 243 problem statements from 37 central government departments, 17 state governments and 20 industries,” a senior HRD Ministry official said.
Each problem statement carries a prize money of Rs 1 lakh except the student innovation theme which will have three winners, 1st, 2nd and 3rd, with prize money of Rs 1 lakh, Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively, he added.
This is the fourth edition of the hackathon organised by HRD Ministry.
“As outcome of Smart India Hackathons till date, around 331 prototypes have been developed, 71 start-ups are under formation, 19 start-ups are successfully registered. Further, 39 solutions have already been deployed at various departments, and around 64 potential solutions have been funded for further development,” the official said.
NASA astronauts face final leg of SpaceX test flight: Coming home with a rare splashdown
A pair of NASA astronauts face the final and most important part of their SpaceX test flight: returning to Earth with a rare splashdown. Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken took part in a farewell ceremony Saturday at the International Space Station, several hours ahead of their planned departure on a SpaceX Dragon capsule.
Despite approaching Hurricane Isaias, NASA said the weather looks favourable for a Sunday afternoon splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico near Panama City, Florida. It will be the first splashdown for astronauts in 45 years. The last time was following the joint US-Soviet mission in 1975 known as Apollo-Soyuz.
The astronauts’ homecoming will cap a two-month mission that ended a prolonged launch drought in the US, which has relied on Russian rockets to ferry astronauts to the space station since the end of the shuttle era.
In launching Hurley and Behnken from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on May 30, SpaceX became the first private company to send people into orbit. Now SpaceX is on the verge of becoming the first company to bring people back from orbit. The hardest part was getting us launched, but the most important is bringing us home, Behnken said.
A successful splashdown, Behnken said, will bring US-crew launching capability ‘full circle’.
Space station commander Chris Cassidy, who will remain on board with two Russians until October, presented Hurley with the small US flag left behind by the previous astronauts to launch to the space station from US soil, in July 2011. Hurley was the pilot of that final shuttle mission.
The flag which also flew on the first shuttle flight in 1981 became a prize for the company that launched astronauts first. Elon Musk’s SpaceX easily beat Boeing, which isn’t expected to launch its first crew until next year and will land in the US Southwest. The flag has one more flight after this one: to the moon on NASA’s Artemis program in the next few years.
“We’re a little sad to see them go,” Cassidy said, but very excited for what it means to our international space program to add this capability of commercial crew capsules. The next SpaceX crew flight is targeted for the end of September. Hurley and Behnken also are bringing back a sparkly blue and purple dinosaur named Tremor. Their young sons chose the toy to accompany their fathers on the historic mission.
ICEA says mobile firms commit Rs 11,000 cr investment under PLI scheme, to surpass manufacturing estimates by 2 to 2.5 times
Industry body ICEA, which represents top mobile phone makers like Apple, Foxconn, Wistron, Lava, etc, on Saturday said companies have committed investments worth Rs 11,000 crore under the PLI scheme and they will surpass manufacturing estimates by 2 to 2.5 times.
Major global players Samsung Wistron, Pegatron, Foxconn and Hon Hai and Indian companies such as Lava, Dixon, Micromax, Padget Electronics, Sojo, UTL and Optiemus have applied for benefits under the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme.
According to the estimates of India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), mobile phone companies will increase devices production in the country to around Rs 27.5 lakh crore on higher side under the PLI compared to government’s announcement of Rs 11 lakh crore.
Union telecom and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has announced that as many as 22 domestic and international firms have lined up with proposals for mobile phones production worth Rs 11 lakh crore, which have potential to create direct and indirect jobs for around 12 lakh people over the next five years.
“Applications received under the PLI scheme with cumulative investment commitments worth Rs 11,000 crore, total production of mobile phones at Rs 11.50 lakh crore with 60 per cent production reserved for exports, generation of 3 lakh direct jobs…considered to be an extraordinary feat for the government’s commitments towards Make in India and Aatmanirbhar Bharat objectives,” ICEA Chairman Pankaj Mohindroo said in a statement.
He said that enhancing domestic value addition in the production locally to grow to 35-40 per cent from the current 15-20 per cent is also a major move towards creating self-reliant India. “These were conservative numbers and the industry will surpass these by 2-2.5 times,” Mohindroo said. At present mobile phone production in the country is estimated to be over Rs 2 lakh crore per annum, employing around 5-6 lakh people.
Prasad said that a total application under the PLI scheme has come from various countries including Taiwan, South Korea, Germany, Austria, etc. “The benchmark for international companies was that they make mobile phones priced at or above Rs 15,000. International companies that have applied are Samsung, Foxconn Hon Hai, Rising Star, Wistron and Pegatron,” Prasad said.
Foxconn Hon Hai, Wistron and Pegatron are contract manufacturers for Apple iPhones.
In terms of revenue, Apple accounts for 37 per cent and Samsung 22 per cent for global sales of mobile phones and the PLI scheme is expected to increase their manufacturing base manifold in the country, an official statement issued by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity) said.
The minister further said these companies will make thousands of crores investments based on the approval of their proposal. The companies that have applied for components production of around Rs 45,000 crore include AT&S, Ascent Circuits, Visicon, Walsin, Sahasra, Vitesco and Neolync.
The government notified production-linked incentive scheme for large scale electronics manufacturing, the scheme for promotion of manufacturing of electronic components and semiconductors, and the modified electronics manufacturing clusters (EMC 2.0) scheme.
The government expects to attract Rs 1 lakh crore investment in the sector and sees a target manufacturing revenue potential of Rs 10 lakh crore by 2025. The fresh proposals have exceeded the government’s manufacturing revenue target but the final outcome will depend on the decision of the screening committee that will select projects eligible for incentives.
Weather Alert: IMD issues yellow alert for 10 districts in Kerala
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued yellow alert for ten districts in Kerala for next four days indicating heavy rains in the region. The weatherman has predicted rains ranging from 6 cm to 20 cm at various districts till August 5.
The districts of Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod districts have been issued yellow alert.
The IMD website also indicates the formation of a low pressure area over north Bay of Bengal towards the later part of the first week of August and says its likely to intensify over northwest bay of Bengal off Odisha coast at the end of the first week.
Earlier, on July 29, a red alert was sounded in the high range Idukki district by the IMD with widespread extremely heavy rains predicted as parts of the state received heavy showers inundating low lying areas and partially
disrupting rail traffic.
Kerala had been devastated by the worst floods in the last 100 years during August 2018 that claimed over 400
lives and razed several houses. Last year, the state’s northern parts were flooded again in August as heavy rains and widespread landslides wreaked havoc, claiming over 120 lives.
A large number of people including women and children had lost their lives at Kavalapara in Malappuram and
Puthumala in Wayanad alone when landslides rocked the places.
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