- Jharkhand puts proposed merger of over 6,000 middle schools on hold
- Jharkhand government has put the merger of proposed 6,466 middle schools (classes 6 to 8) on hold, till the impact assessment of the already merged 4,600 primary schools gets completed.
- The Government has already roped in Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ranchi, to conduct an impact assessment of merged primary schools in Jharkhand to see whether the reorganisation of schools brought any benefits to students as well as the education system. The institute would also evaluate if the initiative brought any improvement in students’ education, who were shifted to other schools during the merging process.
- As such, Government last year proposed to merge 6,466 middle schools having less than 100 students. Initially, 3,732 middle schools having less than 50 students were to be undertaken for merger, the process for which started in December.
- The exercise of merging schools with low enrolment has been undertaken by Rajasthan and Jharkhand in the country with the support of Union government and NITI Aayog. Jharkhand had started the merging procedure in 2016-17 and it has merged 4,600 primary schools so far.
- 76th Golden Globe awards
- Best Motion Picture Drama – Bohemian Rhapsody
- Best Motion Picture Musical/Comedy – Green Book
- Best Director in Motion Picture-Drama – Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)
- Best Actress in Motion Picture-Drama – Glen Close ( The Wife)
- Best Actor in Motion Picture-Drama – Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)
- Private FM channels allowed to carry All India Radio news
- Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore launched ‘Sharing of All India Radio News with Private FM broadcasters’ in New Delhi.
- Private FM channels can now carry All India Radio News free of cost on trial basis up to 31st May this year.
- News Services Division of All India Radio has permitted its news bulletins in English and Hindi to be carried in unaltered form by Private FM Channels as per certain terms and conditions.
· Lok Sabha gives consent to DNA bill
- The Bill that provides for regulation of use and application of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) technology for establishing the identity of certain categories of persons, including offenders, victims, suspects and undertrials was passed in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
- The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018 regulates the use the technology to establish the identity of persons in respect of criminal matters listed and civil matters such as parentage disputes, emigration or immigration, and transplantation of human organs.
- The Bill provides for establishment of a National DNA Data Bank and Regional DNA Data Banks.
- Every Data Bank will maintain the indices including crime scene index, suspects’ or undertrials’ index and offenders’ index.
- The Bill also provides for seeking consent of the individual when DNA profiling is used in criminal investigations and identifying missing persons.
- However, consent requirements have not been specified in case of DNA profiling for civil matters.
· New national policy for domestic workers being drafted, about 40 lakh to benefit: Labour Ministry
- The ministry of labor & employment will formulate a National Policy on Domestic Workers to give recognition to them and to make them eligible for minimum wages, social security, and safe working conditions. This has been worked on by the ministry for over past three years.
- As per the National Sample Survey, there are an estimated 39 lakh people employed as domestic workers by private households, of which 26 lakhs are female domestic workers.
· CAG audit reveals diversion of funds, irregularities in Centre’s flagship irrigation scheme
- The Centre’s flagship irrigation scheme – Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) – has been found to be saddled with delays, deficiencies in planning and even serious lapses such as diversion of funds and financial irregularities were found, a performance audit of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has revealed. The AIBP has now been subsumed under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi sinchayee Yojana and focus of the government is on 99 incomplete major and medium projects.
- The audit was for the period of 2008 to 2017 and covered 118 major and medium irrigation projects from 25 states. These projects were selected on random basis and a total sanctioned cost of Rs.1.80 lakh crore.
· Hydro policy for 5,950 MW projects to be implemented
- Due to financial constraints and other reasons16 hydropower projects of 5,950 MW capacity are This might prompt the government to bring in a hydro policy at the earliest. A total of 37 hydropower projects of 12GW generation capacities are under construction in the country.
- Central Electricity Authority (CEA)estimated an annual loss of energy generation from these stalled hydro projects is about 18,761 million units.
- The Power Ministry has informed about formulating a hydro policy to Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy. The policy will also shore up the hydropower sector, which is facing stiff competition from other clean sources and also from thermal power.