Today’s Important Prelims Bits
China’s Regional Security Pact
In News: Ten Pacific island nations rebuffed China’s push for a wide-ranging regional security pact amid worries the proposal was designed to pull them into Beijing’s orbit.
Background: The shelving of the multilateral agreement, which also covered security and fisheries, came after Federated States of Micronesia’s President David Panuelo warned nations against signing it, fearing it could spark a new Cold War.
What was the proposal?
- Chinese foreign minister came to Fiji with a proposal for deeper security and trade ties between China and Pacific island nations.
- China proposed that it would expand law enforcement and cybersecurity cooperation, while exploring the possibility of creating a free-trade zone between China and Pacific island countries.
- But many pacific island nations opposed the proposal as it could give Beijing too much influence in the region.
Chinese Special Administrative Region (SAR)
In News: Xi Jinping Welcomes New Hong Kong Leader John Lee, Assures Full Support.
- Territories that fall within the sovereignty of the People’s Republic of China, but do not form part of mainland China.
- The concepts of “special administrative regions” and “one country, two systems” were established by the Chinese government to re-integrate Hong Kong and Macao into China.
- As SARs, Hong Kong and Macao retain their capital systems and have a high degree of autonomy.
- However, the mainland government remains responsible for the defence and foreign affairs of both SARs, but each SAR is authorised to engage in external affairs and participate in international organisations, if so permitted by its terms.
- The mini-constitution for each SAR is found within their respective basic laws.
Anti-China Maritime Surveillance Plan
In News: Pledging to provide “tangible benefits” for nations in the Indo-Pacific region, the leaders of the Quad have launched a maritime surveillance plan to counter China.
What is the Plan?
- The QUAD countries have planned to launch a satellite-based maritime security system at the recently concluded Quad summit, to check China’s illegal fishing in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Quad’s maritime initiative will use satellite technology to create a tracking system for illegal fishing from the Indian Ocean to the South Pacific by connecting surveillance centres in Singapore and India.
- This will enable the Quad group of nations to monitor illegal fishing even when boats have turned off the transponders which are typically used to track vessels.
- Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) may play a crucial role in the initiative against illegal fishing.
Yoga for Humanity
In News: The 8th edition of International Day of Yoga will be celebrated with the theme “Yoga for Humanity”.
Why ”Yoga for Humanity”?
- Ministry of Ayush has chosen this theme for 8th International Day of Yoga 2022 to be organised in India and across the globe on 21st June 2022.
- The theme of last year’s IDY, organised during COVID-19 pandemic was “Yoga for wellness”.
- The theme for this year’s IDY has been selected after much deliberation/consultation and it appropriately portrays, how during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic, yoga served the humanity in alleviating the sufferings and in the emerging post-covid geo-political scenario too, it will bring people together through compassion, kindness, foster a sense of unity and build resilience among people world over.
What is the ”Guardian Ring”?
The 8th edition of International Day of Yoga will see many firsts, one of them is an innovative programme named “Guardian Ring”, which will showcase the movement of the sun, participation of people performing Yoga will take place along with the movement of the sun from different countries, beginning from east and marching towards west.
China Security Pact
- GS 2: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
China Security pact pacific: Context
- Recently, talks between China and 10 Pacific nations failed to reach a consensus on a security pact after sharp warnings that the proposal would push the region into “Beijing’s orbit.
China security policy: Key points
- The virtual summit was expected to discuss the proposals to increase China’s presence in involvement in the security, economy and politics of the South Pacific.
- However, some of the leaders of the Pacific nations voiced deep concern about the proposed agreement and hence could not reach an agreement.
About the Chinese security pact
- China had earlier proposed a pact that would enable the country to train Pacific Island police, become involved in cybersecurity, expand political ties, conduct sensitive marine mapping and gain greater access to natural resources on land and in the water.
- Besides, China also offered millions of dollars in financial assistance, the prospect of a China-Pacific Islands free trade agreement and access to China’s vast market of 1.4 billion people.
- China has pitched itself to the South Pacific as a “major developing country” that stands shoulder to shoulder with small and medium-sized nations.
China security policy: The issue
- The President of Micronesia warned that the proposed agreement was “disingenuous” and would “ensure Chinese influence in government” and “economic control” of key industries.
- Besides, US and Australia too have warned the island states to be wary of “shadowy, vague deals with little transparency”.
- China’s economic expansion has created a sense of insecurity among various nations due to their hidden motives behind the projects.
- The present condition of Sri Lanka and many African countries, besides the operational issues in Belt and Road initiative, have raised several doubts regarding China’s ambitions.
About the South Pacific nations
- South Pacific is one of the most vulnerable nations due to climate change.
- Many island nations are facing survival issues due to rising level of sea, as they are the first to face the disaster during any natural hazard.
- The inability of the global conferences like the UNFCCC to deal with the situation amicably has further deepened the trust deficit between the region and the mainstream countries.
China security policy: Way forward
- China said that it will release its own position paper highlighting its own positions and propositions and cooperation proposals with Pacific Island countries.
The Melting Antarctic
Since 1995, major ice shelves have been melting in Antarctica and scientific consensus is that the next major geographic event will be the breaking of Antarctica.
- Antarctica, defined as all land and ice shelf south of 60°S, but not the sur- rounding waters, is regulated by the Antarctica Treaty System (ats) ratified on December 1, 1959, which predates the 1972 Stockholm Declaration.
What is Antarctica Treaty System(ATS)?
- December 1 is observed as Antarctica Day as on December 1 1959 the ATS was ratified.
- The treaty aims for peaceful exploration of the continent for science and prohibits military activity other than as support for research; free exchange of information and personnel with the UN and other international agencies; prohibits new territorial claims; disallows nuclear explosions or disposal of radioactive wastes; and gives treaty state observers free access to all stations, premises and equipment.
- Before this treaty was ratified, the UK, Norway, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Australia, and France had made territorial claims in Antarctica.
- Australia’s claim is the largest; almost half of the entire continent.
- By not signing the treaty, the US, Russia, South Africa, Peru, and Brazil reserve the right to make territorial claims.
- As of 2022, ats has been signed by 53 countries.
Did India sign ATS and what does it mean?
- India signed it in 1983, attracting opposition within the country and from third-world nations that were initially against ats for its rule of “no new territorial claims”.
- This rule means earlier claims by the rich na- tions must be respected by the signatoties.
- In a way, ats is similar to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: both endorse privileges to “original” players in the field—wealthy imperialists— and can be termed vestiges of colonialism.
- Alvaro de Soto, a Peruvian diplomat, once stated ATS would enable the rich and powerful to turn Antarctica into “their private hunting grounds.”
Impact of Global Warming on Antarctica
- The effects of global warming are becoming apparent in Antarctica, with rapid melting of glaciers, changes in plant distribution, and breaking of ice sheets.
- Occurrences of warm winds have intensified, increasingly forming massive sastrugi (wavelike ridges of snow, formed perpendicular to the wind direction).
- East Antarctica is colder and more resilient to the effects of global warming than the western part.
- Scientists have confirmed that the central-west region of the continent is the most-rapidly warming region; it has warmed 2.5°C since 1950, almost five times than the rest of the world.
- Some 87 per cent of glaciers in the Antrarctic Peninsula are in retreat. The sliding of ice streams—glaciers that are 50 km wide and up to 1 km thick that slide on the muddy base and drain the ice into the ocean— is accelerating.
What this could lead to?
- A substantial rise in global sea level.
- The melting of Antarctica’s ice is so massive that the resulting mass imbalance has caused changes in the Earth’s gravitational forces.
- “Greenifihcation” of the continent is another significant concern; as Antarctica gets warmer, species distributed in temperate and sub-polar regions can be introduced here.
India’s scientific expedition to Antarctica
- India began its Antarctica expedition in 1981.
- It has two stations: Maitri (in an area claimed by Norway) and Bharati (under Australia’s claimed territory).
- Earlier this year, the Centre drafted the Antarctic Bill for governance of the stations.
- GS Paper 2: Indian History- Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
Mumbai International Film Festival 2022 (MIFF 2022) in News
- Recently, the 17th edition of the Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short Fiction, and Animation films (MIFF-2022) began with a colorful opening ceremony at the Nehru Centre, Worli in Mumbai.
- Mumbai International Film Festival 2022 (MIFF 2022) was inaugurated by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles Shri Piyush Goyal.
Mumbai International Film Festival 2022 (MIFF 2022)
- To promote wider participation, MIFF 2022 has been organized in hybrid mode, and online viewing of films is free for all those who register at https://miff.in
- In commemoration of Bangladesh’s 50 years of Independence the country has been chosen as the ‘Country of Focus’ this year.
- A special package of 11 films from Bangladesh including the critically acclaimed film ‘Hasina- A Daughter’s Tale’ will be presented at MIFF 2022.
- Manipuri documentary film ‘Meiram – The Fireline (33 mins)’, Animation film from France, ‘Castaway’ (6 mins) and short fiction film from Japan Shabu-Shabu Spirit (10 mins) opened the 17thedition of MIFF.
- MIFF 2022 will offer around 400 films that have reached the festival from across the world.
- Out of these, 102 films will be screened under the Competition Category – 35 in international competition and 67 in national competition.
Key Facts about Mumbai International Film Festival
- About: Mumbai International Film Festival is the oldest and largest film festival for non-feature films in South Asia.
- Mumbai International Film Festival began in 1990.
- Organizing Ministry: Mumbai International Film Festival is organized by the Films Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India.
- Organizing Committee: The Organizing Committee of MIFF is headed by the Secretary, I & B and consists of eminent film personalities, documentary makers and film critics.
- About Films Division: Established in 1948, Films Division has pioneered the documentary movement in India.
- It has documented the transformation of India as an independent nation through a series of news reels and Indian News Review, which today form part of rich archival footage.
- Over the years, Films Division has produced over 9,000 titles, out of which nearly 2,000 titles hold lasting value.
PM CARES for Children Scheme
- GS Paper 2: Governance, Administration and Challenges- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
PM CARES for Children Scheme in News
- Recently, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi released benefits under PM CARES for Children Scheme via video conference.
PM CARES for Children Scheme
- About: PM CARES for Children Scheme is an initiative to provide financial assistance to support such children who have lost both the Parents or legal Guardian or Adoptive Parents or Surviving Parent to COVID-19 pandemic.
- Prime Minister of India has launched the PM CARES for Children Scheme on 29th May, 2021.
- Objectives: Objective of the PM CARES for children scheme is-
- To ensure comprehensive care and protection of Children in a sustained manner, and enable their wellbeing through health insurance,
- Empower them through education and
- Equip them for self-sufficient existence with financial support on reaching 23 years of age.
- Associated Ministry: Ministry of Women and Child Welfarehas been entrusted with the responsibility of anchoring the PM CARES for Children scheme, in collaboration with stakeholder Ministries, States and District Administration.
- Funding: PM CARES for Children Scheme is a central sector scheme.
- It means that central government would provide 100% funding for the PM CARES for Children Scheme.
PM CARES for Children Scheme Benefits
- If someone needs an education loan for professional courses or higher education, then PM-CARES will help in that too.
- For other daily needs, arrangements have also been made for 4 thousand rupees every month for them through other schemes.
- Rs 10 lakh will be given on attaining the age of 23 years.
- Children will be given health coverage through the Ayushman Card and emotional counselling through samvad helpline for psychological and emotional help.
Scholarship for PM CARES Children
- About: It was launched to provide scholarship assistance to such Children who have lost both the Parents or legal Guardian or Adoptive Parents or Surviving Parent to COVID-19 pandemic to continue their education without any hindrance.
- Implementing Ministry: Scholarship for PM CARES Children is being implemented by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in line with the PM CARES for Children scheme.
- Funding: Scholarship for PM CARES Children is a central sector scheme.
- Associated Benefits: Under Scholarship for PM CARES Children, an allowance of ₹20,000/- per child per annum would be provided. It will cover the entire school fees, cost of the books and uniform, shoes and other educational equipment by providing-
- Monthly allowance of ₹1,000 per month and
- Annual academic allowance of Rs. 8,000.
- Eligibility: The Scholarship will be disbursed through DBT to the Children from Class 1std until they pass out the 12 std Class.
- Performance: 3945 Children have been benefited under the Scheme with an amount of ₹7.89 crore during 2022-23.
International Day of Yoga 2022
- GS Paper 2: Governance, Administration and Challenges- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
International Day of Yoga 2022 in News
- Recently, Ministry of Ayush has declared that the 8th edition of International Day of Yoga will be celebrated with theme “Yoga for Humanity”.
- 8th International Day of Yoga 2022 is going to be organised in India and across the globe on 21stJune 2022.
International Day of Yoga 2022 Theme
- Ministry of Ayush has chosen theme “Yoga for Humanity” for 8th International Day of Yoga 2022 to be organised in India and across the globe on 21st June 2022.
- International Day of Yoga 2022 Theme: International Day of Yoga 2022 Theme is “Yoga for Humanity”.
- International Day of Yoga 2021 Theme: The theme of last year’s IDY, organised during COVID-19 pandemic was “Yoga for wellness”.
- Significance: The theme for this year’s IDY appropriately portrays, how during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic, yoga served the humanity in alleviating the sufferings and in the emerging post-covid geo-political scenario too.
- International Day of Yoga 2022 theme will bring people together through compassion, kindness, foster a sense of unity and build resilience among people world over.
Key Events under International Day of Yoga (IDY) 2022
- The 8th edition of International Day of Yoga (IDY2022) is being promoted through multiple programmes by the Ministry of Ayush, in association with Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga.
- For the first time to celebrate Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav, it will demonstrate Yoga at 75 Heritage Heritage/Iconic cultural sites on June 21, International Day of Yoga (IDY) 2022.
- Yoga Day 2022 will be celebrated on 21 June 2022 across the world with great enthusiasm and energy.
- Yoga is helping people to stay energetic and have a strong immune system during a difficult time like COVID-19 Pandemic.
- Ministry of Ayush is organizing a grand program for demonstration of Common Yoga Protocol in the backdrop of 15th August Park, Lal Quila, (Red Fort) which is the World Health Day, and the 75th day of the countdown to International Day of Yoga (IDY).
- Yoga T-shirts, Yoga Mats, and Yoga Booklets are also distributed to the organization/people participating in the Yoga Day event to spread awareness about Yoga Day.
- The 8thedition of International Day of Yoga will see many firsts, one of them is an innovative programme named “Guardian Ring”.
- It will showcase the movement of the sun, participation of people performing Yoga will take place along with the movement of the sun from different countries, beginning from east and marching towards west.
International Day of Yoga (IDY)
- Background: The draft resolution establishing the International Day of Yoga was proposed by India and endorsed by a record 175 member states.
- The proposal was first introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address during the opening of the 69th session of the General Assembly.
- About: United Nations proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga by UN resolution 69/131 in 2014.
- Aim: The International Day of Yoga aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga.
What is Yoga?
- Yoga is a 5,000-year-old tradition from India that combines physical, mental and spiritual pursuits to achieve harmony of the body and mind.
- The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.
- In contemporary times, it is practiced in various forms around the world and continues to grow in popularity.
- GS 2: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes
PMSSS scheme: Context
- Recently, the Union Government has extended the PM Special Scholarship Scheme Extended for students from Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh for another five years
PM Special Scholarship Scheme : Key points
- The decision was taken in the wake of the encouraging response the government has received.
- The government wants to continue the scholarship along with a simultaneous focus on opening new educational institutes in the newly created Union Territories.
About the PMSSS
- Ministry of Education has launched the Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS) in 2011 to provide funding to 5,000 meritorious students each year to study in private and government educational institutions across the country.
- The scheme is implemented by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
- Under the PMSSS Scheme, the youths of J&K and Ladakh are supported by way of scholarship in two parts namely the academic fee & maintenance allowance.
- The Scheme aims to build the capacities of the youths of J&K and Ladakh by Educating, Enabling and Empowering them to compete in the normal course.
- Under the Scheme, the youths of J&K and Ladakh are supported by way of scholarship in two parts namely the academic fee & maintenance allowance.
- The academic fee is paid to the institution where the student is provided admission after on-line counselling process conducted by the AICTE.
- In order to meet expenditure towards hostel accommodation, mess expenses, books & stationery etc., a fixed amount of Rs.1 Lakh is provided to the beneficiary and is paid in instalments @ Rs. 10,000/- per month directly into student’s account.
- According to AICTE data, there was a substantial increase in the number of applications received in the academic years 2020-21 and 2021-22, following a dip in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
- The scheme offers 4,500 seats for general education courses (Bachelor’s in Arts, Commerce and Science), and 250 seats each for engineering and medical degrees.
- There are not many takers for general education seats. When these seats are not filled, they are converted on a pro rata basis into engineering and medical seats, raising the 500-seat limit.
- However, due to various reasons, all 5,000 seats are never filled.
- Some of the reasons for students opting out of the scheme include securing admission in a college of their choice in J&K or Ladakh, feeling homesick, and concerns over the language barrier.
India-US Trade Relations
- GS Paper 2: International Relations- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
India-US Trade Relations in News
- Recently, the U.S. surpassed China to become India’s top trading partner in 2021-22, reflecting strengthening economic ties between the two countries.
- Recently, India has also joined a U.S.-led initiative to set up an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and this move would help boost economic ties further.
Data on India-US Trade Relations
- Total Bilateral Trade: the bilateral trade between the U.S. and India stood at $119.42 billion in 2021-22 as against $80.51 billion in 2020-21.
- Export to USA: Exports to the U.S. from India increased to $76.11 billion in 2021-22 from $51.62 billion in the previous fiscal year.
- Import from the USA: imports to India from the USA rose to $43.31 billion in 2021-22 from about $29 billion in the previous fiscal year.
India-US Trade Relations- Comparing with India-China Trade Relation
- Total Bilateral trade: During 2021-22, India’s two-way commerce with China aggregated at $115.42 billion as compared to $86.4 billion in 2020-21.
- Export to China: Exports to China marginally increased to $21.25 billion last fiscal year from $21.18 billion in 2020-21.
- Import from China: imports from China jumped to $94.16 billion in 2021-22 from about $65.21 billion in 2020-21.
- Trade Deficit: Trade gap rose to $72.91 billion in 2021-22 from $44 billion in the previous fiscal year.
Why India-US Trade Relations is Improving?
- Growing Trust and Cooperation: Growing cooperation in various areas has led to increasing bilateral trade with the U.S.
- Growing trade is expected to continue in the coming years as New Delhi and Washington are engaged in strengthening economic ties.
- Alternative to China: India is emerging as a trusted trading partner and global firms are reducing their dependence on China for their supplies and are diversifying business into other countries like India.
- Great Potential of Indian Economy: India is the fastest growing market economy with unparalleled demographic dividend and provides enormous opportunities for the U.S. and Indian firms for technology transfer, manufacturing, trade and investment.
What is Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF)?
- “Indo-Pacific economic framework” is the centre piece of the present U.S regime’s economic strategy toward Indo-Pacific region.
- In October 2021, US announced the development of an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) with partner nations to define shared objectives around trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply chain resiliency, decarbonization and clean energy, infrastructure, worker standards, and other areas of shared interest.
- The U.S. is working out the details of this strategy with a range of countries in the region, including Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea and India.
- Pillars of IPEF: The IPEF will focus on four main pillars: trade facilitation, supply chain resilience, infrastructure and decarbonization, and taxation and anti-corruption.
PARAM ANANTA Supercomputer
- GS Paper 3: Science and Technology- Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
PARAM ANANTA Supercomputer in News
- Recently, the PARAM ANANTA Supercomputer was commissioned at IIT Gandhinagar. PARAM ANANTA Supercomputer was dedicated to the nation under National Supercomputing Mission (NSM).
PARAM ANANTA Supercomputer
- About: PARAM ANANTA Supercomputer is a state-of the art Supercomputer built under National Supercomputing Mission (NSM).
- National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) is a joint initiative of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and Department of Science and Technology (DST).
- PARAM ANANTA supercomputing facility is established under Phase 2 of the NSM.
- Development: An MoU was signed between IIT Gandhinagar and Centre for Development in Advanced Computing (C-DAC) to establish this 838 TeraFlops Supercomputing Facility under NSM.
- Promoting Atma Nirbhar Bharat: Majority of the components used to build PARAM ANANTA system have been manufactured and assembled within the country, along with an indigenous software stack developed by C-DAC, in line with the Make in India initiative.
- A portion of the total compute power shall also be shared with the nearby academic and research institutes as per the mandate of NSM.
- NSM has sponsored a number of application research projects using this Supercomputing facility involving researchers for and other Indian institutes and industries.
- PARAM ANANTA Supercomputing facility will provide a major boost to the research and development initiatives in Indian academia and industries to reach a position of global esteem.
Key Features of PARAM ANANTA Supercomputer
- The PARAM ANANTA system is equipped with a mix of CPU nodes, GPU nodes, High Memory nodes, High throughput storage and high performance Infiniband interconnect to cater the computing needs of various scientific and engineering applications.
- PARAM ANANTA system is based on Direct Contact Liquid Cooling technology to obtain a high power usage effectiveness and thereby reducing the operational cost.
- Multiple applications from various scientific domains such as Weather and Climate, Bioinformatics, Computational Chemistry, Molecular Dynamics, Material Sciences, Computational Fluid Dynamics etc. have been installed on the system for the benefit of researchers.
PARAM ANANTA Supercomputer- Key Application Areas
PARAM ANANTA Supercomputing Facility will be of great benefit to IIT Gandhinagar to pursue the Research and Development (R&D) activities in multidisciplinary domains of science and technology at the Institute, including-
- Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Data Science;
- Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD);
- Bio-engineering for Genome Sequencing and DNA studies;
- Computational Biology and Bioinformatics used in prediction and detection of gene networks;
- Atomic & Molecular Sciences that helps in understanding how a drug binds to a particular protein;
- Climate Change and Environment studies for extreme weather predictions and simulation of models which can predict the onset of a cyclone;
- Energy studies which will help in carrying out design simulation and optimization of energy conversion devices at various scales;
- Fire Dynamics Simulation;
- Applied mathematics;
- Astronomy and Astrophysics;
- Material Sciences;
- Quantum Mechanics;
- Studies on Civil Engineering and structural mechanics to understand the dynamic behaviour of buildings, bridges; and
- Complex structure.
Important Points about National Supercomputing Mission (NSM)
- Mandate: National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) plans to build and deploy 24 facilities with cumulative compute power of more than 64 Petaflops.
- Parent Ministry: National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) is being steered jointly by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeiTY) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
- Implementation: The National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) is being implemented by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.
- C-DAC has been entrusted the responsibility to design, development, deployment, and commissioning the supercomputing systems under the built approach of NAM.
- Under the build approach, C-DAC is building an indigenous supercomputing ecosystem in a phased manner.
- Performance:Under NSM, till date 15 supercomputers have been installed across the nation with aggregate compute capacity of 24 petaflops.
- All these supercomputers have been manufactured in India and operating on indigenously developed software stack.
- More than 36,00,000 computational jobs have been successfully completed by around 3600 researchers across the nation on the NSM systems to date.
- Key Developments: Some of the large-scale applications which are being developed under NSM include the following.
- NSM Platform for Genomics and Drug Discovery.
- Urban Modelling: Science-Based Decision Support Framework to Address Urban Environment Issues (Meteorology, Hydrology, Air Quality).
- Flood Early Warning and Prediction System for River Basins of India.
- HPC Software Suite for Seismic Imaging to aid Oil and Gas Exploration.
- MPPLAB: Telecom Network Optimization.
Education in India
- GS 2: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
Issues in Education in India: Context
- Currently, we have education related data for topics like enrolments, retention, learning, infrastructure, and teacher training to understand the state of our public school system. However, how effective is the data to transformation of society is a topic of debate.
Education data: Key points
- Contrasting data: According to ASER 2019, Rajasthan was among the bottom five States in learning levels, while in NAS 2017, Rajasthan was among the top performers.
- Data on school education is collected to measure and monitor, fix flaws and reward achievements at the State and the national levels.
- Its end users are school administrators, government agencies, researchers, and civil society activists.
- Despite near consensus among policymakers and those who produce the data, that parents are one of the key constituencies of school data, and intense efforts to disseminate data among them, it is rarely used by poor parents.
- For them, schooling is about examination outcome, which is a proxy for learning, English language skills and a chance for secondary and graduate level degrees.
How data should be used?
- To inspire transformation, data has to be linked with a vision of school education which addresses the anxieties and aspirations of parents, and is actionable at the level of governance closest to them, i.e., the local administrative and political system.
- A vision should be developed that will manifest itself differently at the national, State, district and local levels and exist in both policy and non-policy forms .
- Presently, there is no vision of education below the national level, least of all at those which engage the marginalised.
- This vision has to be led by local political actors and become a central part of local politics which involves both formal actors such as political party workers, and non-formal ones such as community leaders.
- It is only when data is connected with a locally developed and politically owned vision of school education that it will move beyond the administrator and the activist.