Nation
India to miss target for universal upper-secondary education by 50 Years
India will not have universal upper secondary education (covering the age group 14-17 years and 9th to 12th standard) till 2085, over half a century late, according to the Global Education Monitoring Report 2016 by Unesco.
 
This has to be viewed against the recent improvements in education in India, most notably that there has been an overall increase in gross enrolment ratio (GER, or student enrolment as a proportion of the corresponding eligible age group in a given year) at almost every level of education as of 2013-14.
 
Gender disparity in schooling has been largely addressed, and the enrolment of girls in higher education increased from 39% in 2007 to 46% in 2014.
 
An increase in single-sex toilets in schools has led to an increase in the enrolment of adolescent girls and female teachers, the Unesco study shows.
 
However, there is still large disparity in achievement of basic skills, such as reading and math, where there has been a decline in learning outcomes, as highlighted in the Unesco report.
 
Absenteeism among teachers remains a problem. As many as 25% teachers in primary schools remain absent from work, and only 50% of those at school are actually engaged in teaching activities, a 2004 World Bank report suggested. Almost 24% teachers were absent during random visits to rural schools, according to a September 2015 study by the University of California.
 
The government has not established any bonus to incentivise teachers and principals, the Minister of Human Resource Development informed the Lok Sabha in April 2016.
 
E-pathshala, launched in 2015 and aimed at promoting e-learning through e-resources like textbooks, audio and video material, was among the steps taken to tackle the shortage of good teachers, the minister said.
 
Stunting too is a problem. As many as 39%, or 61.8 million, Indian children who are five or younger are stunted, as IndiaSpend reported in July. This is 15% higher than the global average.
 
In terms of educational achievement, studies show that stunting at age two leads to children completing one year less of school. Those stunted before age five achieve less schooling and lower test performances.
 
Another sustainable development goal that India will miss is to have only 100 million children stunted in 2025.
 
The current trends suggest that there will be 127 million children stunted in that year. A major problem that is preventing stunting is lack of global and local funding, as IndiaSpend reported earlier.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

MG Warrier

3 months ago

Such scaring propaganda about future may not do any good for the purposes they intend to serve. There is no denying the fact that healthcare, education and humanresources management do not get the attention they deserve in most of the states in India. But, if there is political will, bringing down school drop-out levels down much faster than projected by such studies is not unachievable. States like Kerala have reached near 100 per cent literacy and there are different geographical areas in India which have achieved higher levels in other human development indicators. Outside agencies which carry out such studies need to move out to places farther from Delhi while selecting samples for study and take into account changes taking place in different states. One gets a doubt whether getting gloomy pictures like this is being encouraged by vested interests having an eye on 'AID'. In any case 50 years is unacceptably long period to take India to near 100 per cent literacy and improving quality and coverage of education to acceptable levels.

Centre issues guidelines on direct selling
Following consistent demand by customers of e-commerce business, the Centre on Monday said the "model guidelines" of direct selling had been formulated and the states informed accordingly.
 
According to the guidelines, any direct selling entity conducting sales activities shall submit an undertaking to the Department of Consumer Affairs within 90 days, stating that it is in compliance with these guidelines and shall also provide details of its incorporation, official sources said here.
 
By definition, direct selling includes demonstration and sale of products and services to consumers, usually in their homes or at their jobs.
 
Officials say in the era of internet and e-commerce, direct selling would mean sales made through e-contact arrangements as well as internet sales.
 
Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told reporters that "The state governments and union territories should now take necessary actions to implement the same". 
 
It is envisaged in the guidelines that the state governments will set up a mechanism to monitor and supervise the activities of Direct Sellers, Direct Selling Entity regarding compliance of the guidelines for Direct Selling.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Noise pollution and road or train rage in Mumbai
Mumbai has the reputation of a friendly and inclusive city, where most people go out of their way to help others. Why are we especially and uncontrollably angry during our commute? While there may be many factors including long daily commutes and over-crowding, a high level of noise pollution, which directly affects mental health, is a major contributing factor.
 
“Noise pollution adversely affects mental health, creating feelings of frustration, irritation and even rage. Adrenalin levels increase with noise exposure and short sudden blasts of noise (like those from horns) create spikes in adrenalin levels in the bloodstream. Continuous exposure too alters the biochemistry of the brain and gives rise to stress responses,” Says consultant psychiatrist, Dr Amit Desai.
 
Road rage and train rage are on the rise and commonly experienced in the daily life of Mumbaikars. Normally sedate persons fight uncontrollably and violently on the road over minor traffic infractions. Women scratching and hitting each other in trains are part of daily commutes and traffic policemen have even been assaulted in the course of their duty and even died. A loud or continuous horn is commonly used as an expression of anger and sometimes precedes a major fight, which can bring other traffic to a standstill.
 
Honorary traffic wardens and traffic policemen are exposed to high noise levels continuously as the major traffic junctions where they regulate traffic are also among the noisiest. Recently, during peak traffic hour, I observed a vehicle with blue rooftop lights (indicating a politician) jump a traffic signal by loudly blowing his horn to clear the path. The traffic policeman standing next to me expressed his immediate angry but helpless response. He told me how provoking anger and fear through belligerent use of the horn was a large part of bullying to break traffic rules. “If we try to stop them, they become abusive,” he said.
 
Anita Lobo, an honorary traffic warden who has regulated traffic in Bandra for over 15 years has experienced the use of the horn as a means to intimidate and threaten. She has stood up to political pressure and continues to regulate traffic at some of the busiest and noisiest traffic junctions like the junction of the Holy Family Hospital at Hill Road in Bandra. “Horns are often used to express aggression,” she says. “It is a short step from the prolonged use of a horn to an all-out fight on the road.”
 
Recently, while conducting an awareness program at two traffic junctions under flyovers, I experienced the uncontrollable distress, which accompanied the loud sounds of near- continuous honking. Directly below the flyover (where the police chowky is placed) the sound was amplified by echo off the concrete on all sides and was even more unbearable. At the JJ Flyover, where the noise levels reached 105dB, I was desperate to leave within 10 minutes. The area under Vakola Flyover was not much better, at 102 dB. While holding placards, it was difficult to speak to drivers to request them not to honk. Traffic Policemen stand at these junctions for over 8 hours every day.
 
 

Still think Indians are ‘used’ to noise pollution? Here are some shocking facts which point to the effects of noise pollution according to WHO:

 

1. 27% of the overall population of India suffers disabling hearing loss as against 11% in High Income countries and 3% in North African countries.

2. 12.3 million children and 18.8 million adults of the region including India, Pakistan, Nepal , Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Bhutan suffer disabling hearing loss.

3. Nearly 48% of Indians over 65 years suffer debilitating hearing loss as compared to only 18% in high income countries.

 

 

(Environmental activist Sumaira Abdulali is convener of the Awaaz Foundation, which is works against noise pollution.)

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COMMENTS

Bapoo Malcolm

3 months ago

Empty vessels make the most noise.

S A Narayan

3 months ago

I agree with Mr. Shanbag's suggestion. My experience in Seawoods ,Navi Mumbai is that the local police do respond, sometimes after repeated reminders. One Officer Mr. Shekhar Bagade of NRI police is particularly helpful. While the HC has held the Police to be responsible for curbing noise pollution, expecting them to stop , music and dholkies during immersion and installation processions is a tall order. This is because, every street/gully/or a cluster of societies take out ganapathi processions for immersions. For the police to track them, stop the loud noise of dholkies and that irritating musical instrument(bulbultara?) on the loudspeaker during the processions is near impossible. They cat be present everywhere. I think the HC should ban the use of these noise producing devices in all street processions of whatever nature, be it idol immersions or installations, wedding bharats, Urs processions or any protest rallies etc. No loudspaeakers in public spaces, except in auditoriums. In public spaces, compulsorily only distributed sound systems to be used and even rentals of such devices by pandals to be stopped. Voluntary compliances dont help. Radical option maybe but given our civic sense, seems inevitable.

Subba Rao

3 months ago

The Traffic Police expressing helplessness in not being able to curb incessant honking and violation of traffic rules seems to be the story of Indian culture today. The citizens - many of them otherwise educated and sensible in their private lives - turn into possessed beings when behind the wheels or handlebars. And the Indian psyche that laws are meant to be broken - chalta hain yaar - is the bane of orderly conduct of the society. Laws are meant to be enforced and the lawkeepers better be equipped to do that. Otherwise, our rapid descent into anarchy looks unstoppable.

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

3 months ago

During Ganapati and Navratri festivals, which come within a span of 15 days, and each festival run for 10 days each, produce maximum noise.
When we lodge complaint on Tel. 100 or 103, local police stations just don't take care. They say that loud speakers are permitted from 7am to 10pm, and ignore the volume with which instruments and music on loud speaker are played.
All functions, when they register their performance with the police, they should also register organiser's two mobile numbers of two different persons, who are responsible for conducting of the function. When some one makes complaint to police station, concerned police station should immediately call organiser's mobile number, and ask them to stop playing or play with low noise, as the case may be. This will save police beat marshel's time to arrive at the pendol, to stop sound pollution.
I also suggest that, those persons who lend loud speaker and music instrument to such pendols, should be warned, that, if Police receive any complaint against their noise pollution, such hirer's licence be cancelled for six months.

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