CAO Daily Editorial analysis for UPSC IAS 12th-January, 2018

Current Affairs Only Daily Editorial Analysis for Competitive Exams


12th Jan, 2018

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The ABC of the RTE {Education Policy}

(The Hindu)


In news

Clauses in the Act which have gone largely untouched and unnoticed

Focus on retention

Context

The Act envisaged that the state, i.e. State governments and panchayats, would aggressively ensure that each child is brought into the schooling system and also “retained” for eight years, it has been business as usual.

Issue

Unfortunately, tracking dropouts and preparing and mainstreaming them into age-appropriate classes has been subsumed into existing scheme activities.

The problem now is more about dropouts than children who were never enrolled.

Solution

Strategies to ensure retention need to change from the earlier approach of enrolling the un-enrolled.

Pupil-teacher ratio

Issue

The most critical requirement, which has also got the least public attention, is the pupil-teacher ratio (PTR). 

Few stats

According to the Education Department’s data, under the Unified District Information System for Education (U-DISE) database 2015-16, 33% of the schools in the country did not have the requisite number of teachers, as prescribed in the RTE norms, for PTR at the school level.

Solution

Teacher provisioning should be the first option to fund as no educationally developed country has built up a sound schooling foundation without a professionally-motivated teaching cadre in place.

Think decentralisation

Issue

The academic calendar will be decided by the local authority, which, for most States and Union Territories, is the panchayat. This provision recognises the vast cultural and regional diversities within the country such as local festivals, sowing and harvesting seasons, and even natural calamities as a result of which schools do not function academically.

Solution

If panchayats, perhaps at the district level, decide the working days and holidays, this would not only exponentially increase attendance and teaching-learning but also strengthen local panchayats, being closest to the field, to take ownership of their schools.

Basic Gyan

Right to education (RTE)

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE), is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted on 4 August 2009, which describes the modalities of the importance of free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India under Article 21a of the Indian Constitution. India became one of 135 countries to make education a fundamental right of every child when the Act came into force on 1 April 2010.

The Act makes education a fundamental right of every child between the ages of 6 and 14 and specifies minimum norms in elementary schools. It requires all private schools to reserve 25% of seats to children (to be reimbursed by the state as part of the public-private partnership plan).

Kids are admitted into private schools based on economic status or caste-based reservations.

It also prohibits all unrecognised schools from practice and makes provisions for no donation or capitation fees and no interview of the child or parent for admission. The Act also provides that no child shall be held back, expelled, or required to pass a board examination until the completion of elementary education. There is also a provision for special training of school drop-outs to bring them up to par with students of the same age.


SEBI ban to spell trouble for Price Waterhouse business in India {Economy}

(Livemint)


Context

Price Waterhouse, the auditing arm of consultancy firm PwC India, is the auditor for 77 companies listed on the NSE.

In news

The Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (Sebi) two-year ban on Price Waterhouse spells trouble for its business in the country and is also a signal for the auditing profession to pull its socks up.

Price Waterhouse

It is the auditing arm of consultancy firm PwC India, is the auditor for 77 companies listed on National Stock Exchange of India, according to data from Prime Database.

Highlights

  • The order will not impact the audit assignments relating to the fiscal year 2017-18 undertaken by the firms forming part of the PwC network.
  •  The objective of insulating the securities market from such fraudulent accounting practices perpetrated by an international firm of repute will be ineffective if the directions do not bring within its sweep the brand name PwC.
  •  The network structure of operations adopted by the international accounting firm should not be used as a shield to avoid legal implications arising out of the certifications issued under the brand name of the network.

 

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