The National Population Register (NPR) updation exercise will be undertaken alongside Census 2021.
- It will be conducted by the Office of the Registrar General of India (RGI) under the Home Ministry.
- Only Assam will not be included, given the recently completed National Register of Citizens (NRC).
National Population Register
- It is a list of “usual residents of the country”.
- A “usual resident of the country” is one who has been residing in a local area for at least the last six months, or intends to stay in a particular location for the next six months.
- Legal Provisions:
- The NPR is being prepared under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
- It is mandatory for every “usual resident of India” to register in the NPR.
- The data for the NPR was first collected in 2010 along with the house listing phase of Census 2011.
- In 2015, this data was further updated by conducting a door-to-door survey.
- However, with the use of Aadhaar as the key vehicle for transfer of government benefits in the last few years, the NPR has taken a backseat.
- The NPR exercise is conducted at the local, sub-district, district, state and national levels.
- The NPR will collect both demographic data and biometric data. Biometric data will be updated through Aadhar details.
- In the 2010 exercise, the RGI had collected only demographic details.
- In 2015, it updated the data further with the mobile, Aadhaar and ration card numbers of residents.
- For the 2020 exercise, it has dropped the ration card number but added other categories.
- It will streamline data of residents across various platforms.
- For instance, it is common to find a different date of birth of a person on different government documents. NPR will help eliminate that.
- It will help the government formulate its policies better and also aid national security.
- It will help to target government beneficiaries in a better way and also further cut down paperwork and red tape in a similar manner that Aadhaar has done.
- It will help in implementing the idea of ‘One Identity Card’ that has been recently floated by the government.
- ‘One Identity Card’ seeks to replace duplicate and siloed documentations of Aadhaar card, voter ID card, banking card, passport, and more.
- It will streamline data of residents across various platforms.
- Privacy Concern:
- There is no clarity on the mechanism for protection of the vast amount of data that will be collected through NPR.
- NPR and the NRC:
- Unlike the NRC, the NPR is not a citizenship enumeration drive, as it would record even a foreigner staying in a locality for more than six months.
- With the government insisting that the NRC would be implemented across the country, the NPR has raised anxieties around the idea of citizenship in the country.
- All this is happening in the backdrop of the NRC in Assam which has excluded 19 lakh among the 3.3 crore who had applied.
- NRC countrywide would only happen on the basis of the upcoming NPR.
- After a list of residents is created (i.e. NPR), a nationwide NRC could go about verifying the citizens from that list.
The first-ever comprehensive National Nutrition Survey has been conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) to measure malnutrition.
- The survey recorded not only micronutrient deficiencies but also details of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol and kidney function in children and adolescents.
- Nearly 10% of children in the age group of 5-9 years and adolescents in the age group of 10-19 years are pre-diabetic.
- Also, 5% are overweight and another 5% suffer from blood pressure in the age groups mentioned above.
- The first time hard evidence of the coexistence of obesity and undernutrition, among school-going children has been recorded.
- The National Nutrition Survey is different from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) as,
- NFHS collects data to measure the prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight and household dietary intake to measure deficiencies.
- Moreover, the survey collects data only for the age groups of 1-5 years and adults, and not for school going children between the age of 5 and 19 years.
Steps Taken by Government of India to curb incidences of Malnutrition
- Under the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), Rs.6,000 is transferred directly to the bank accounts of pregnant women for availing better facilities for their delivery.
- POSHAN Abhiyaan, launched in 2017-18, aims to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia and low birth weight babies through synergy and convergence among different programmes, better monitoring and improved community mobilisation.
- The National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, aims to ensure food and nutrition security for the most vulnerable through its associated schemes and programmes, making access to food a legal right.
- Mid-day Meal (MDM) scheme aims to improve nutritional levels among school children which also has a direct and positive impact on enrolment, retention and attendance in schools.
Malnutrition and Undernutrition
- Malnutrition refers to deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients.
- The term malnutrition covers two broad groups of conditions.
- Undernutrition—which includes stunting (low height for age), wasting (low weight for height), underweight (low weight for age) and micronutrient deficiencies (a lack of important vitamins and minerals).
- Obesity— which includes overweight and diet-related noncommunicable diseases (such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer).
The Union Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Sector (MSME) Minister will soon launch Enterprise Development Centres (EDCs) for developing a cadre of indigenous entrepreneurs in the MSMEs.
- Planned for every district, the ministry is targeting the launch of 20 EDCs out of a planned 500 by the end of the current financial year (2019-20).
- The EDCs will be similar to incubators for start-ups.
- The centres will be broad-based and shall be run by special purpose vehicles in partnership with the private sector, business management organisations, local industry associations.
- Focus Areas
- For the first time, an integrated unit will help new and existing businesses develop by providing services such as management training, and office space etc.
- It will also offer “enterprise development courses, vocational guidance and skill development for budding entrepreneurs”.
- For Struggling Firms:
- The EDCs will also have “enterprise clinics” for struggling firms, which the government hopes will reduce the number of small businesses falling into a debt trap financed by bank loans.
- Plugging Financial Difficulties:
- The centres would offer credit facilitation and syndication, export promotion and supplier inclusion.
- In the distant future, incentives and loans by the government for the sector will also flow through the EDCs, after determining the capabilities of the firm through set parameters.
- Expanding Entrepreneur Base: The government hopes that EDCs will also expand the entrepreneur base by drawing individuals from diverse demographics such as youth, women, scheduled castes and tribes and disabled backgrounds.
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
- In India, enterprises have been classified broadly into two categories:
- Those engaged in providing/rendering of services.
- Both categories of enterprises have been further classified into micro, small and medium enterprises based on their investment in plant and machinery (for manufacturing enterprises) or on equipment (in the case of enterprises providing or rendering services).
- The present ceiling on investment to be classified as micro, small or medium enterprises is as under:
|Classification||Manufacturing Enterprises||Services Enterprises|
|Micro||Up to Rs.25 lakh||Upto Rs.10 lakh|
|Small||Above Rs.25 lakh & upto 5 crore||Above Rs.10 lakh & upto 2 crore|
|Medium||Above Rs.5 crore & upto 10 crore||Above Rs.2 core & upto 5 crore|
According to the All-India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) report 2018-19, the gender gap in the country narrowed as compared to the previous year, i.e. 2017-18.
- The female students constituted almost half (approx. 48.6%) of the total enrolment in higher education.
- In U.P and Karnataka, more girls were enrolled than their male counterparts in the higher education of the state.
- The number of female students per 100 male students has gone up from 90 (2017-18) to 95 in 2018-19.
- For the survey, 944 out of 993 universities listed on the AISHE portal, uploaded the information during the 2018-19 survey.
- According to the findings, the total enrolment in higher education has been estimated at around 37.4 million, with a marginal increase in the gross enrolment ratio.
- The highest number of students are enrolled at the undergraduate level (at around 79.8 %), followed by post-graduation (10.8 %). But a surge was observed in integrated degree programmes.
- Integrated programmes are becoming more popular as they provide a better foundation for the subject knowledge and practice.
- At the undergraduate level, the highest number of students were enrolled in Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences courses (approx. 35.9%), followed by Science (16.5%), Commerce (14.1%) and Engineering and Technology (13.5 %).
- Only 2.5% of the total number of colleges were running Doctorate programmes and 35% had Post-graduate level courses.
- Out of the total number of colleges in India, only 11.04% are exclusively there for female students.
- According to the report, the percentage of women saw a steady rise in language courses, while on the other hand, men are opting for courses which can fetch them immediate employment, like that of courses in the field of Science and Technology.
- The share of female students was the lowest in the Institutions of National Importance.
Higher Education Initiatives in India
- The Department of Higher Education, under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, has taken several measures to improve the overall development of the Higher Education sector, both in terms of policy and planning. Some of the taken initiatives are as follows:
- National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT), to leverage the potential of ICT to make the best quality content accessible to all learners in the country free of cost.
- Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) aims at providing strategic funding to higher educational institutions throughout the country.
- Project Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP) to put together an action plan to give a multi-pronged boost to the higher education system in India.
- Prime Minister's Research Fellowship (PMRF) to attract the talent pool of the country to doctoral (Ph.D) programmes for carrying out research in cutting edge science and technology domains, with focus on national priorities.
- Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) aims at improving the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian institutions and the best institutions in the world.
- Global Initiative for Academic Network (GIAN) launched by MHRD, seeks to tap the talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs from abroad, including those of Indian origin to augment the country’s existing academic resources.
- Formation of Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) to finance the creation of capital assets in premier educational institutions in India.
The Galos are one of the major communities which dominate Siang, Lepa Rada, Upper Subansiri and Namsai districts of Arunachal Pradesh.
- The Galos belong to the Tani group inhabiting Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, besides Tibet.
- Communities like the Mising (Assam), Adi, Apatani, Nyishi, Tagin, and Galos trace their common origin to a primaeval ancestor, Abotani.
- Among all the communities only the Galos maintain genealogy through given names.
- Galo community has been recognized as a Scheduled Tribe in the Amendment to the Constitution (ST), Order, 1950, Part-XVIII.
- Mopin is the main festival in Galos which is celebrated for the prosperity of the villages
- The Galos perform Popir dance.
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has named an asteroid, discovered in 2006, after Indian classical singer Pandit Jasraj.
- Pandit Jasraj is the first Indian musician to receive this honour.
- The asteroid, or more formally known as a minor planet - 2006 VP32, is located in the asteroid belt, between Mars and Jupiter.
- The asteroid belt is a region of the solar system falling roughly between the planets Mars and Jupiter where the greatest concentration of asteroids can be found.
- It also serves as a sort of dividing line between the inner rocky planets and outer gas giants.
- It was discovered on 11th November 2006 by the Catalina Sky Survey.
- The Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) is a NASA funded project to discover and track near-Earth objects (NEOs). It is based in Arizona in the United States.
- Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are asteroids or comets with sizes ranging from metres to tens of kilometres that orbit the Sun and whose orbits come close to that of Earth’s.
- As minor planet discoveries are confirmed, they are given a permanent number by IAU's Minor Planet Centre.
- 'Panditjasraj' minor planet can be seen on their official website with the number 300128, his date of birth in reverse order (28/01/30).
- Pandit Jasraj is an exponent of Indian classical vocal music. He is the recipient of numerous awards, honours, and titles, including the prestigious Padma Vibhushan and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
International Astronomical Union
- The International Astronomical Union (IAU) was founded in 1919, headquartered in Paris, France.
- Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation.
- It is the global authority for naming planetary features in the solar system.
Recently, the Defence Minister has launched the first of the Navy's seven new stealth frigates named INS Nilgiri, in Mumbai.
- He also commissioned the largest dry dock of Indian Navy- the ‘Aircraft Carrier Dock’ at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai, terming it as an ‘edifice of modern India’.
- A dry dock is a narrow basin or vessel that can be flooded to allow a load to be floated in, then drained to allow that load to come to rest on a dry platform.
- They are used for the construction, maintenance, and repair of ships, boats, and other watercraft.
- INS Nilgiri is the first ship of the Project-17A.
- Project 17A frigates is a design derivative of the Shivalik class stealth frigates with much more advanced stealth features and indigenous weapons and sensors.
- The P17A frigates incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and ship manoeuvrability.
- These frigates are being built using integrated construction methodology.