Related Topics: Reports & Indices, NITI Aayog
Why in News?
The first edition of School Education Quality Index (SEQI) was released by NITI Aayog.
What is SEQI?
- It was developed by NITI Aayog to evaluate the performance of States and Union Territories (UTs) in the school education sector.
- The index aims to bring an ‘outcomes’ focus to education policy by providing States and UTs with a platform to identify their strengths and weaknesses and undertake requisite course corrections or policy interventions.
- In line with NITI Aayog’s mandate to foster the spirit of competitive and cooperative federalism, SEQI strives to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best practices across States and UTs.
Aim and Purpose
- SEQI aims to drive policy reforms that will improve the quality of school education.
- The index seeks to institutionalise a focus on enhancing education outcomes by driving improvements in learning levels, access, equity, infrastructure and governance processes.
- The index recognises that school education is a subject on the Concurrent List and that State-level leadership is crucial for improving outcomes in a cost-effective manner.
- The index will serve as a regular and transparent review of the status of school education quality across the States and UTs.
Index categories and Domains
- SEQI is based on a set of indicators that measure the overall effectiveness, quality and efficiency of the Indian school education system.
- The index encourages States/UTs to improve their scores by showing progress across these aspects.
Summary of Index Categories and Domains
Developed through a collaborative process, including key stakeholders such as Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), the World Bank and sector experts, the index consists of 30 critical indicators that assess the delivery of quality education.
Categorization of States & UTs
- To facilitate like-to-like comparisons, States and UTs have been grouped as Large States, Small States and Union Territories.
- Within each of these groups, the indicator values have been appropriately scaled, normalized and weighted to generate an overall performance score and ranking for each State and UT.
- States and UTs are ranked on their overall performance in the reference year 2016-17, as well as on the change in their performance between the reference year and base year (2015-16).
- The rankings present incredible insights on the status of school education across States/UTs and their relative progress over time.
Overall Performance of States & UTs
- Kerala has the highest overall performance score of 76.6 percent.
- Uttar Pradesh ranks last among the Large States, with an overall performance score of 36.4 percent.
- In the Outcomes category, Karnataka leads the Large States, with a score of 81.9 percent while Uttar Pradesh has the lowest score of 34.1 percent.
- In the Governance Processes Aiding Outcomes category, Kerala has the highest score of 79.0 percent while Jharkhand comes in last with a score of 21.0 percent.
- Haryana, Assam and Uttar Pradesh showed the most improvement in their performance in 2016-17, in comparison to the base year of 2015-16.
- Manipur has the highest overall performance score of 68.8 percent.
- Arunachal Pradesh ranks last, with an overall performance score of 24.6 percent.
- Of the eight Small States, seven perform better on the Outcomes category, with the most noticeable performance differences was observed in the cases of Manipur, Tripura and Goa.
- In the Governance Processes Aiding Outcomes category, Mizoram has the highest score of 47.5 percent while Arunachal Pradesh ranks last with a score of 18.3 percent.
- In UTs, the overall performance score ranged from 82.9 percent for Chandigarh to 31.9 percent for Lakshadweep.
- Consistent with its overall score, Chandigarh is also the best-performing UT on the Outcomes and Governance Processes Aiding Outcomes categories, with scores of 88.4 percent and 69.5 percent respectively.
- Lakshadweep received the lowest score (28.9 percent) on the Outcomes category while Dadra & Nagar Haveli received the lowest score (33.5 percent) on the Governance Processes Aiding Outcomes category.
- Schooling should result in successful learning outcomes.
- To ensure the system is geared towards learning, SEQI assigns almost half its weight to learning outcomes.
- This sends a strong signal across the nation to ensure the focus remains centered on learning outcomes.
- SEQI is envisioned as a dynamic instrument that will continue to evolve.
- Over time, the relevance of the existing indicators and the availability of data for new indicators will be factored into the index design.
- The NITI Aayog aims to drive tangible policy improvements towards achieving quality education in a coherent and collaborative manner.
- The index will institutionalise a strong focus on improving school education outcomes with respect to learning, access, equity and governance in India, and also help facilitate the sharing of best practices.
Related Topics: Indian Economy, Foreign Trade
- According to the data released by Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s current account deficit (CAD) narrowed to 2% of GDP, or $14.3 billion, in the first quarter of the current financial year from 2.3% of GDP, or $15.8 billion, reported during the same period of the previous year,
- However, the gap was bigger than the preceding quarter which was $4.6 billion, or 0.7% of GDP.
Why there is reduction in India’s CAD?
- The CAD contracted on a year-on-year basis, primarily on account of higher invisible receipts at $31.9 billion as compared with $29.9 billion a year ago.
- The net foreign direct investment was $13.9 billion in Q1 of 2019-20, up from $9.6 billion last year.
- Software receipts and private transfers have gone up.
- Trade deficit has been lower due to lower crude oil prices.
- Net inflow on account of external commercial borrowings was $6.3 billion against an outflow of $1.5 billion a year ago.
- Net services receipts rose 7.3%, mainly on the back of a rise in net earnings from travel, financial services and telecommunications, computer and information services.
What is Current Account Deficit?
- The current account measures the flow of goods, services and investments into and out of the country.
- Current account includes net income, including interest and dividends, and transfers, like foreign aid.
- Current Account Deficit or CAD is the shortfall between the money flowing in on exports, and the money flowing out on imports.
- Current Account Deficit (or Surplus) measures the gap between the money received into and sent out of the country on the trade of goods and services and also the transfer of money from domestically-owned factors of production abroad.
- A current account deficit indicates that a country is importing more than it is exporting.
Is Current Account Deficit, bad for an Economy?
- It may be a positive or negative indicator for an economy depending upon why it is running a deficit.
- Foreign capital is seen to have been used to finance investments in many economies.
- Current Account Deficit may help a debtor nation in the short-term, but it may worry in the long-term as investors begin raising concerns over adequate return on their investments.
Current Account Deficit in India
- CAD exists due to a host of factors including existing exchange rate, consumer spending level, capital inflow, inflation level, and prevailing interest rate.
- In India, crude oil and gold imports are the primary reasons behind high CAD.
- The Current Account Deficit could be reduced by boosting exports and curbing non-essential imports such as gold, mobiles, and electronics.
- Currency hedging and bringing easier rules for manufacturing entities to raise foreign funds could also help.
- The government and RBI could also look to review debt investment limits for FPIs, among other measures.
FACTS OF THE DAY
MOBILE APP TO GENERATE DIGITAL DATABASE OF WETLANDS
A mobile app has been developed to collect complete datasets on smaller wetlands across the coastal region of the country. The app was developed by the Space Applications Centre of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on a request from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) in line with a MoU between them. The mobile app is aimed to generate a centralised digital database of the smaller wetlands (2.2 ha or below) across the country. Such smaller wetlands cover an area of more than five lakh hectares across the country, while Kerala has 2,592 smaller wetlands. The app will be used to collect field level data of the wetlands that include geospatial profile, size, water and soil quality, farmed species, pollution status, illegal construction and biodiversity specialities. The initiative of monitoring the wetlands is carried out by the National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) project wing of the CMFRI.
Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to commute the death sentence of Balwant Singh Rajoana, who was convicted for the assassination of former Punjab CM Beant Singh, to life imprisonment. The decision will be conveyed to the President of India, who has the final authority in this matter. ‘Commutation’ means reducing the punishment by changing the nature of punishment. In this case, the punishment to death may be changed to life imprisonment. It is different from Pardon and Remission.
BRAHMOS SUPERSONIC CRUISE MISSILE
BrahMos supersonic cruise missile featuring Indian propulsion system, airframe, power supply and other major indigenous components, was successfully test fired from ITR, Chandipur in Odisha. The missile was successfully test-fired for its full range of 290-km during the launch jointly conducted by DRDO and BrahMos Aerospace. With this successful mission, the indigenous content in the formidable weapon has reached a high value, thus bolstering India’s defence indigenisation and the flagship ‘Make in India’ programme. BrahMos was jointly developed by India and Russia and has been operationalised in the Indian Armed Forces with all the three services.