Daily Current Affairs 21st March 2018

Universities & Colleges to get major Autonomy boost :-

The government rolled out its plan on Tuesday to grant more autonomy to better performing central, state and private universities, with UGC giving 60 institutions special status that will allow them to start new courses, offer competitive salaries and set up off-campus centres without approvals.

Under the Plan to give major autonomy boost to Universities & Colleges :-

Colleges to get major autonomy boost

  • Selected universities remain in the ambit of the University Grants Commission but will have the freedom to start new courses, off-campus centres, skill development courses, research parks and other new academic programmes.
  • They will also be able to hire foreign faculty, enrol foreign students, provide incentive based emoluments to faculty, enter into academic collaborations and run distance learning programmes.
  • As per UGC regulations on “graded autonomy”, five central universities, 21 state universities and 26 private universities have been given this status. Eight colleges have also been given autonomous status under the autonomous colleges regulation.
  • Autonomous universities with an NAAC score of 3.26 and above may start a new course or department without UGC’s approval, provided no demand for funds from the government is made.
  • The colleges granted autonomy will also be free to set their own syllabus, hold examinations, carry out evaluation as well as declare results. In this case, only the degree will be awarded by the respective university.

The government is taking steps towards granting autonomy to institutions performing well. It started with the passing of the IIM bill granting complete autonomy to B-schools.

Importance :-

Mains Level :- UGC recognise that autonomy is pivotal to promoting and institutionalising excellence in higher education. Therefore there is a need to know what Steps have been taken by Govt to improve the standards of educational institutions.

 


India and EU sign pact for sharing of satellite data :-

Taking a big step forward in mutual cooperation in space programmes, India’s Department of Space (DoS) and the European Union on Monday signed a landmark agreement that will allow sharing of earth observation satellite data.

Under the pact :-

The EU will provide India free, full and open access to its global data from its Copernicus satellite system Whereas India, on its part, will provide the Copernicus programme an open access to the data from Isro’s earth observation satellites, including Oceansat-2, Scatsat-1. However, commercial high-resolution data are out of the ambit of the agreement.

What is Copernicus Satellite System ?

Copernicus comprises a constellation of six families of satellites (Sentinels) and dozens of third party satellites that store large amount of global data and help in providing reliable information on the status of our planet.

Copernicus Satellite System and its sentinels

The key functions of the Copernicus satellite system are :-

  • It detects the content of aersols that destroys the ozone layer.
  • It keeps an eye on the melting of the polar ice cap in the Arctic due to global warming.
  • It detects the quality of air and water, monitors ocean levels, forests and floods and fires.

Use of Copernicus Satellite system :- 

  • In 2013, India used the emergency services of the Copernicus satellite data to assess the damage in Odisha after the state was struck by cyclone Phailin, which affected 90 lakh people and claimed 40 lives.
  • A year later in 2014, the country again used the services of Copernicus to map the extent of damage due to severe floods in Andhra Pradesh.

Importance :- 

Prelims Level :- Copernicus Satellite System

Mains Level :- Need to know about Copernicus Satellite System and the Key Functions of system

 


Govt notifies fixed term jobs for all sectors :-

The labour ministry has extended full-benefit, fixed-term jobs — already a feature in the labour-intensive garment and leather industries — to all sectors of the economy.

A notification to this effect, amending the relevant rules under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, has been issued by the ministry of labour and employment.

According to the notification, a temporary workman, who have completed three months of continuous service, “shall be given two weeks notice of intention to terminate his employment if such termination is not in accordance with the terms of the contract of his employment”.

The move would have multiple benefits :-

Govt notifies fixed term jobs for all sectors

  • It would boost creation of ‘formal jobs’, reduce instances of informal hiring, which continues to be the norm in the unorganised sector,
  • Spare businesses the undue burden of keeping regularised contract employment, even as their labour requirements are seasonal.
  • The labour market flexibility will help the manufacturing sector, on the cusp of a revival after a prolonged slump.

Fixed term workmen will be entitled to benefits similar to the permanent workforce like EPF, ESIC, defined working hours, minimum wages, allowances and other statutory dues.

Defining a ‘fixed term employment workman :- As one who has been engaged on the basis of a written contract of employment for a fixed period.

Why it was necessary to legitimise fixed-term employment ?

  • It is important to avoid unproductive disputes and litigation and could encourage formal employment over informal employment, analysts said.
  • The move would positively impact influence the economy as it would create more formal jobs while also allaying concerns of the employers of the risk of costly permanency of workforce even while employing workers for project-based, limited-duration requirements.

Importance :-

Mains Level :- Necessary steps in Labour Reforms

 


 

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