Home » Current Affairs Date: 15 November 2022

Current Affairs Date: 15 November 2022

National

28th edition of the Status Report on India’s External Debt 2021-22

⇒ The External Debt Management Unit (EDMU) in the Department of economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, has released 28th edition of the Status Report on India’s External Debt 2021-22.

    • In a cross-country perspective, India’s external debt is modest, occupying 23th position globally.
Key Points:
    • India’s external debt, at US$ 620.7 billion as at end-March 2022, grew by 8.2 per cent over US$ 573.7 billon as at end-March 2021. While 53.2 per cent of it was denominated in US dollar, Indian rupee denominated debt, estimated at 31.2 per cent, was the second largest.
    • External debt as a ratio to GDP fell marginally to 19.9 per cent as at end-March 2022 from 21.2 per cent a year ago. Foreign currency reserves as a ratio to external debt stood slightly lower at 97.8 per cent as at end-March 2022 than 100.6 per cent a year ago.
    • The long-term debt estimated at US$ 499.1 billion, constituted the largest chunk of 80.4 per cent, while the short-term debt, at US$ 121.7 billion, accounted for 19.6 per cent of the total.
    • Commercial borrowings (CBs), NRIs deposits, short-term trade credit and multilateral loans together accounted for 90 per cent of the total external debt.
    • As at end-March 2022, sovereign external debt (SED) amounted to US$ 130.7 billion, increasing by 17.1 per cent over the level a year ago, reflecting the additional allocation of SDRs by the IMF during 2021-22. SDRs rose to US$ 22.9 billion from US$ 5.5 billion as at end-March 2021.
    • Non-sovereign external debt, estimated at US$ 490.0 billion as at end-March 2022, posted a growth of 6.1 per cent over the level a year ago.
    • The debt service ratio fell to 5.2 per cent during 2021-22 from 8.2 per cent during 2020-21 due to buoyancy in current receipts and a decline in debt service payments.

Shikshak Parv 2022

⇒ Minister of State of Education, Smt Annpurna Devi, Dr Subhas Sarkar and Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh jointly inaugurate Shikshak Parv 2022. Shikshak Parv was celebrated to felicitate the Teachers and to take National Education Policy 2020 forward.

    • The Ministry of Education celebrated Shikshak Parv, 2022 from 5th to 30th September 2022 in the country.

» All the States and UTs participated in this event conducting various activities engaging students and teachers to mark the occasion and show respect to our teachers following the Guru-shishya Parampara of our country.

» DIETs, Block Resource Centres and Cluster Resource Centres were involved and engaged for discussion and interaction on innovative pedagogies with teachers.

On the inaugural occasion, the “CBSE Honour for Excellence in Teaching and School Leadership 2021-22 awards” were presented to 19 Principals and Teachers from CBSE affiliated schools.
    • These awardees were selected on the basis of academic and professional accomplishments, contribution to community, innovative teaching practices, impact on comprehensive growth of students and an interview with the national-level screening-cum-selection committee.
On the inaugural occasion, AICTE’s National Technical Teachers Award 2022 to 14 faculty members including a supernumerary award in the PWD/ Divyang category selected after a rigorous, comprehensive and three phase evaluation by a team of distinguished experts, also conferred.
    • These 14 awardees have been selected from AICTE approved institutions in India.
    • The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) instituted the National Technical Teachers Award (NTTA) to identify and felicitate extraordinary teachers, teaching excellence, institutional leadership, innovativeness and creativity.
Following innovative initiatives taken by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship were also launched:

Handbook for Early Detection of Mental Health issues in school going children:

    • This is a comprehensive handbook for hands on training of teachers, counselors and other stakeholders.

Report on National Mental Health Survey:

The Mental Health and Well-being of School Students — A Survey was conducted by Manodarpan Cell, DEPFE, NCERT between January-March, 2022 on 3,79,842 students from 36 States/UTs. The survey explores the perception of students from classes 6 to 12 on their mental health and well-being.

National Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Study report:

    • The FLN Mission aims to ensure that all the children by the end of Grade 3 achieve foundational learning standards by the year 2026-27.
    • Foundational Learning Study covered approximately 86,000 grade 3 students from 10,000 schools.
    • The Study sample included state government schools, government aided schools, private recognised and central government schools. More than 18,000 teachers participated in the research. 
    • FLS was conducted in 20 languages which are being used as a medium of instruction in respective state/UTs.
    • The Study assessed learning competencies at the foundational stage in the children and the findings will be used to plan systematic interventions.

Screening Tools Mobile App for Specific Learning Disabilities and Glossary:

    • A Disability Screening Checklist for Schools’ mobile app and booklet has been launched.
    • “Prashast” App covers 21 disabilities, including the benchmark disabilities as per the RPwD Act 2016.
    • This initiative will facilitate early screening, leading to certification of children with disabilities, as per the provisions of Samagar Shiksha.
    • This app has been designed by NCERT with support of a National Awardee School Teacher from Alwar, Rajasthan (Mr. Imran Khan).

Launch of Toy based Pedagogy:

    • Handbook for Toy-based Pedagogy has been designed to promote integration of indigenous toys and its pedagogy into the curriculum of School Education, Early Childhood Care and Education and Teacher Education.

Handbook Shiksha Shabdkosh:

    • The Department of School Education & Literacy has prepared a comprehensive Glossary of important terminologies in the area of School Education entitled Shiksha Shabdkosh.
    • The Shabdkosh or Dictionary includes terms and references which are widely used by educationists, educational administrators, teachers, examiners, etc.
Two publications prepared by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship were also launched:

Employability Skills Curriculum:

» The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) revamped curriculum on employability skills in association with Quest Alliance, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and various other curriculum bodies within the MSDE ecosystem.

    • This initiative is being supported by the Future Right Skills Network, a collaborative effort by Quest Alliance, Accenture, Cisco and J.P. Morgan.
    • More than 2.5 million students from over 15,600 government and private Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) will benefit from the program which includes a revamped and expanded 120-hour curriculum in Hindi and English.
    • Some of the modules include introduction to employability skills, digital skills, citizenship, diversity and inclusion, career development and goal setting, getting ready for work and entrepreneurship.
    • The curriculum will provide three key benefits to learners: building a self-learning mindset, becoming career-ready in a post-pandemic world, and developing awareness around new careers and being equipped with 21st century skills.

One click registration for IGNOU and NIOS courses for ITI candidates:

    • In order to ease the process and facilitate seamless registration of ITI trainees for NIOS, IGNOU and Apprenticeship, a One Click solution has been provided through trainee profile page on DGTMIS (ncvtmis.gov.in) portal of DGT.
    • The DGTMIS portal has been integrated with NIOS, IGNOU and Apprenticeship portals through a two-way API.

International

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

⇒ Conservative party leader Rishi Sunak became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 25 October 2022. He became the first Indian-origin and British Asian Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Rishi Sunak succeeded Liz Truss.

About Rishi Sunak:
    • He was previously appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer from 13 February 2020 to 5 July 2022.
    • He was Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 24 July 2019 to 13 February 2020, and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government from 9 January 2018 to 24 July 2019.

Inaugural NITI-BMZ Dialogue of Development Cooperation

⇒ NITI Aayog and German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) held the inaugural NITI-BMZ Dialogue of Development Cooperation via video conferencing in September 2022.

Background:

On May 2, 2022, India and Germany signed a Joint Declaration of Intent on Partnership for Green and Sustainable Development (GSDP). During the last G7 summit in Schloss Elmau in June 2022, India and the G7 had agreed to work towards a Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP). 

About Dialogue:

The Dialogue laid down a pathway to strengthen mutual cooperation between the two countries, particularly to reconcile the imperatives of dealing with climate change with the goals of Agenda 2030. 

Focus:

The NITI-BMZ Dialogue focused on five core areas of cooperation: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), climate action, energy transition, emerging technologies and agro-ecology.

Discussion:

» Both sides deliberated ongoing engagements and identified potential cooperation in areas that can produce tangible outputs and learnings for India and Germany.

» During the discussion, both sides highlighted the need to deepen engagement on the Lighthouse Cooperation on Agroecology and Natural Resources and to collaborate on the following:

    1. scaling up natural farming in India
    2. strengthening research in different agro-climatic regions for natural farming practices,
    3. working towards standards and certification of natural farming products for facilitating export and
    4. evaluating impact of natural farming for mitigating climate change and adapting to climate risks.

Source: PIB & Other News Reports

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