World Bank to provide $250 mn loan for school learning project in Andhra
World Bank will provide $250 million loan for a school education project in Andhra Pradesh, which will cover over 50 lakh students in the southern state.
“The Government of India, Government of Andhra Pradesh and the World Bank on November 18, 2021 signed the legal agreements for $250 million for a project which aims to improve quality of learning for over 50 lakh students in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
The project will cover about 40 lakh students (6-14 year age group) in over 45,000 government schools, and over 10 lakh children (3-6 years) enrolled in Anganwadis (Integrated Child Development Centers), and about 1,90,000 teachers, and more than 50,000 Anganwadi workers.
It will introduce a one-year preschool-level course in 3,500 schools in the tribal blocks. Also, it will help address the issue of low learning levels amongst the tribal community.
The fund will be utilised for Supporting Andhra’s Learning Transformation Project to encourage professional development of teachers; provide remedial learning courses for children impacted by Covid-19 pandemic.
NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD)
NASA is set to test a “Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) technology” in space, with the aim of speeding up space communications.
The LCRD will be launched on December 4, following a two-year delay.
It will be launched into space by Department of Defence, onboard United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket during Space Test Program Satellite-6 (STPSat-6) mission.
Mission will be launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
It will benefit “Artemis manned Moon-landing mission”, which is scheduled to be executed in 2025.
The laser technology mission will travel to the geosynchronous orbit at 22,236 miles, but won’t reach the moon. The test will be conducted for a period of at least two years.
Atal Tinkering Labs & Engage with Science to collaborate for perennial activities – Highlights
Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), a flagship initiative of NITI Aayog announced to collaborate with Vigyan Prasar which is an autonomous organization of the Department of Science & Technology, to drive synergies between Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) of AIM and ‘Engage With Science (EWS)’ of Vigyan Prasar.
As a part of collaboration, ‘Engage with Science’ will onboard all the ATL-enabled schools and engage their principals, teachers & students in perennial activities.
These activities will help in accumulating points on the basis of which, incentives and certificates will be provided to motivate students and teachers regarding STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) content consumption.
Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs)
Atal Innovation Mission has set up more than 9200+ Atal Tinkering Laboratories across schools in India, with an objective of ‘cultivating one Million children in India as Neoteric Innovators’.
ATLs were set up with the aim of fostering curiosity, creativity, and imagination in young minds as well as inculcating skills like computational thinking, design mindset, physical computing and adaptive learning, etc.
ATL is a workspace where young minds learn skills through hands on ‘do-it-yourself mode’ and give shape to their ideas.
Children get a chance to work on tools and equipment in order to understand the concepts of STEM.
Personal data Bill adopted by JPC
The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on “Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019” met recently under the leadership of MP PP Chaudhary.
Key agenda of the meeting was to consider and adopt the draft report of JPC on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019.
The bill deals with privacy and security of citizen’s personal data.
Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 was drafted following a Supreme Court ruling in August 2017, that declared ‘Right to Privacy’ a fundamental right.
Cabinet had approved the Bill in December 2019.
It aims to provide for protection of privacy of individuals related to their personal data.
It also seeks to specify the flow & usage of personal data and create a relationship of trust between entities and persons processing the personal data.
‘Health Care Equity in Urban India’ Report- Highlights
Azim Premji University recently published a report on “Health Care Equity in Urban India” in collaboration with 17 regional NGOs in India.
Report explores health vulnerabilities and inequalities in cities across India.
It also explores the availability, accessibility and cost of healthcare facilities, as well as possibilities in future-proofing services in next decade.
Report highlights that, Life expectancy among the poorest is lower by 9.1 years among men and 6.2 years among women as against richest in urban areas.
One third of India’s people are now living in urban areas. This segment is observing a rapid growth from about 18% in 1960 to 28.53% in 2001 and reaching to 34% in 2019.
Around 30% of people living in urban areas are poor.
It also finds a heavy financial burden on poor, and less investment by urban local bodies in healthcare.
The report draws insights from data collected after detailed interactions with civil society organisations across cities and towns in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Surat, Ranchi, Guwahati, and Delhi.
Data further include an analysis of ‘National Family & Health Surveys (NFHS)’, input from State-level health officials in health care provision and Census of India.
This report finds disproportionate disease burden on poor and also pointed towards a chaotic urban health governance.
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