Issues with India’s public examination System
(GS-II: Government Policies and intervention)
Editorial by Varun Gandhi in which he highlighted how the recruitment process for some government posts never ends. It’s diminishing the demographic dividend. As per CMIE data, India needs to create 20 million jobs annually
Railway exams of 2019 have seen over 1,000 days of delay for exams to be conducted
Delayed recruitment cycle of SSC exams
High tuition cost:g. tuitions costs can vary from Rs 1,000 to Rs 4,000 for minor posts, to Rs 1.5-2.5 lakh for UPSC coaching (excluding living costs).
Higher expenses due to delay: If such exams get delayed, then the youth will suffer financially and mentally.
Reforms in the Examination Schedule:
Each ministry should ask all departments to prepare an existing vacancies list within three days from the defined zero date.
The departments should ideally advertise the approved list of existing vacancies within seven days of the approval of such a list
For each week of delay beyond 30 days, the defaulting department could be liable for a small reduction in their administrative expenses
Final examination results should be announced within a defined period.
In the event of cancellation of examinations, compensatory attempts shall be provided to all applicants by relaxing age norms.
Reform the examination process: E.g.
National Recruitment Agency (NRA): NRA is a national testing agency which would conduct the Common Eligibility Examination (CET) for non-gazetted Group B and C posts. In the initial years, NRA will conduct the recruitment examinations for Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs), Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) and Staff Selection Commission(SSC) and would gradually expand its operations in other examination process as well.
India needs to face the challenge of job creation and upskilling of youth for the labour market to ensure that India’s demographic dividend does not become a demographic disaster.
Need for a new legal framework governing telecommunication in India
(GS-II & III: Governance/ S&T)
Given emerging technologies such as 5G, IoT, etc., the Ministry of Communication has underscored the need to have a legal framework for these technologies.
Proposals of the New Law:
Recognition of exclusive privilege of the government over telecommunication
Simplification of regulatory framework related to spectrum allocations.
Effective policy for the Right of Way (RoW): Right of way is the legal right, established by a grant from a landowner or long usage, to pass along a specific route through property belonging to another.
CAG on Spectrum allocation:
CAG criticized that Spectrum allocation in India is conducted on an ad hoc basis (2012-2021); the spectrum allocated to the government is not optimally used.
What is a spectrum?
Energy travels in the form of waves known as electromagnetic waves. These waves differ from each other in terms of frequencies. This whole range of frequencies is called the spectrum. In telecommunication like TV, radio and GPRS, radio waves of different wavelengths are used.
Mobile phones use two technologies based on different parts of the radio spectrum— GSM (global system for mobile communications) and CDMA (code division multiple access). Most of the radio spectrum is reserved in countries for defence. The rest is available for public use. But following an increase in the number of phone users and new services, countries started auctioning the frequencies to telecom companies.
Seekho aur Kamao (Learn and Earn) scheme
The scheme has nearly 59% female trainees (far greater than earmarked 33%) in 2020-21.
About the Scheme:
Nodal ministry: Central Sector Scheme under the Ministry of Minority Affairs (since 2013-14)
Aim: Upgrading the skills of minority youth (14-35 years age group) and ensure 75% placements, out of which 50% should be in the organized sector. Post placement support of Rs. 2000/- per month is provided to placed trainees for two months as placement assistance.
Implementation: Through selected Project Implementing Agencies (PIAs).
Other Schemes of Ministry of Minority Affairs:
Aridity Anomaly Outlook Index
Recently Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) released the Index for the month of July
Large Arid regions are found in the desert of Rajasthan, Rann of Kutch and semi-arid regions of Punjab and Gujarat, rain shadow areas of Western Ghats.
What can be done: Further intensify drought-prone area programme (DPAP), crop diversification, cultivation of traditional varieties, mulching, intercropping, micro-irrigation, etc.
Three types of drought: Meteorological (actual rainfall is significantly less than the climatological mean); Hydrological (a marked depletion of surface water); Agriculture ( low soil moisture leading to acute crop stress).
Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has launched the 11th Agriculture Census (2021-22)
Background: The census is part of the World Census of Agriculture of FAO and has been conducted every 5 years from 1970-71.
Unique feature of the 11th Census:
Aim: It will provide updated information number and area of operational holdings, their size, class-wise distribution, land use, tenancy and cropping pattern, etc.
Operational holding is defined as “all land which is used wholly or partly for agricultural production and is operated as one technical unit by one person alone or with others without regard to title, legal form, size or location”. It is taken as a statistical unit for data collection in Agriculture Census.
10th agriculture census (2015-16): As per the census, the land holding was inequitably distributed, Small and marginal farmers (less than two hectares of land) accounted for 86.2% of all farmers but owned just 47.3% of the crop area.
World Census of Agriculture (WCA): Started in 1950 by FAO. Unlike FAO’s definition, Indian operational holding doesn’t include holdings under livestock, poultry, fishing, etc.