Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme:
- TEQIP or Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme is an initiative of the National Project Implementation Unit (NPIU) which implements World Bank Assisted Projects in Technical Education. The initiative is aimed at improving the quality of engineering graduates.
- Under this project, all the Government engineering colleges are selected for direct intervention, and all private engineering colleges are selected for indirect intervention. The focus is on the most-backward states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, North-East, Rajasthan, MP etc.
- Post-graduates and doctorates from premier institutes are going to teach undergraduates in engineering colleges in backward regions of 11 districts as part of an HRD Ministry initiative. This is being done under the third phase of Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP). The initiative is aimed to improve quality of education and help secure NBA accreditation of the engineering programme.
- Under the initiative there will be focus on seven districts which have been called aspirational. They include Gaya and Muzaffarpur in Bihar, Kalahandi in Orissa and Dumka in Jharkhand.
- Government has launched the advanced version of GeM – the Government E Marketplace portal.
- The new version GeM would offer standardised and enriched catalogue management, powerful search engine, demand aggregation, user rating and analytics.
- GeM 3.0 has undergone a digital transformation with superior technology and ability to scale from the previous version.
- This will bring together many sellers and service providers for products and services across the country under one roof.
- This will also give a huge uplift for growth of MSME’s, manufacturers & service providers.
- Government e-Marketplace (GeM) aims to transform the way in which procurement of goods and services is done by the Government Ministries/Departments, PSUs, autonomous bodies etc. DGS&D with technical support of NeGD (MeitY) has developed GeM portal for procurement of both Products & Services.
- GeM is a completely paperless, cashless and system driven e-market place that enables procurement of common use goods and services with minimal human interface.
- Bharat Net sought to connect all of India’s households, particularly in rural areas, through broadband, forming the backbone of the government’s ambitious Digital India programme. It proposes broadband connectivity to households under village panchayats and even to government institutions at district level. The project is being funded through the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
- USOF, established in 2002, provides effective subsidies to ensure telegraph services are provided to everyone across India, especially in the rural and remote areas. It is headed by the USOF Administrator who reports to the Secretary, Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
- Funds come from the Universal Service Levy (USL) of 5% charged from all the telecom operators on their Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) which are then deposited into the Consolidated Fund of India, and require prior parliamentary approval to be dispatched.
Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education:
- The government has announced a new initiative called Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE).
- The initiative aims to step up investments in research and related infrastructure in premier educational institutions, including health institutions. It will have a total investment of ₹1,00,000-crore in the next four years.
- Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) would be suitably structured for funding this initiative. The manner in which investment in institutions is provided is likely to be the same as is practised in HEFA, but there may be different windows for different institutions.
- The Sela pass is located between the Tawang and West Kameng districts of Arunachal Pradesh and considered crucial from strategic perspective. Sela Lake, near the summit of the pass, is one of approximately 101 lakes in the area that are sacred in Tibetan Buddhism.
- The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty for the conservation and wise use of wetlands. It is named after the Iranian city of Ramsar, on the Caspian Sea, where the treaty was signed on 2 February 1971.
- Known officially as ‘the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat’ (or, more recently, just ‘the Convention on Wetlands’), it came into force in 1975.
- Montreux Record under the Convention is a register of wetland sites on the List of Wetlands of International Importance where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference.
- It is maintained as part of the Ramsar List.
- The Montreux Record was established by Recommendation of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (1990). Sites may be added to and removed from the Record only with the approval of the Contracting Parties in which they lie.