Table of Contents
- A model for quality and inclusive education
Facts for Prelims
- Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary
- Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS)
A model for quality and inclusive education
- Launched by the Ministry of Education in September 2015 to rank higher education institutions in India.
- Uses a methodology with five parameters to assess and rank colleges.
- Parameters include Teaching, Learning and Resources (40%), Graduation Outcome (25%), Research and Professional Practices (15%), Outreach and Inclusivity (10%), and Perception (10%).
- Each parameter has various components with different weightage.
- Despite its limitations, the metric is reasonably robust and considers broad-based parameters.
Learning from Top Ranking States:
- Top-ranked colleges are spread across different regions, catering to rural and underserved areas.
- Tamil Nadu has effective implementation of reservation policies, contributing to inclusivity.
Significance of Quality Education in India:
- India faces a learning crisis, with studies highlighting low learning outcomes.
- Lack of basic skills affects progress and hinders the realization of demographic dividend.
- Quality education is crucial for meeting the skill requirements of Industry 4.0.
Criticisms of the Ranking Framework:
- Insufficient quality parameters, failing to consider important aspects like imparting skills and financial health.
- One-size-fits-all approach disregards the diversity of institutions.
- Disconnect between ranking and accreditation systems.
- Lack of international faculty and limited research-industry connections.
Challenges at Higher Education Level:
- Universities suffer from outdated curricula, lack of exposure to research, and political interference.
- Homogenization hampers pedagogic creativity and competition among institutions.
- Tamil Nadu’s success in higher education should inspire other states to address existing issues.
- Introspection and proactive measures can improve quality and inclusivity of higher education in different regions.
Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary
Recently, a greater Racket-Tailed Drongo bird was found in the Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary, which is known for its loud musical whistling sound.
Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary
- Located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India.
- Situated alongside the northern tip of the River Ganga, flowing through the districts of Muzzafarnagar and Bijnore.
- Consists of a variety of landforms.
- Mixture of different habitats including wetlands, marshes, dry sand beds, and gently sloping ravines.
- Home to diverse wildlife species such as Swamp Deer, Leopard, Wild Cats, Wild Otter, Pythons, and more.
- Undertakes Crocodile Breeding Projects, releasing baby crocodiles in the Ganga River near Hastinapur.
- Hosts the Turtle Rehabilitation Program, supported by the World Wide Fund (WWF), near the sanctuary.
- Part of the “Asia Flyway” project, attracting both local and foreign migratory birds.
- Abundance of water bodies in the region serves as a habitat for numerous bird species.
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo: Key Facts
- Medium-sized Asian bird with elongated outer tail feathers, featuring webbing restricted to the tips.
- Diurnal species, active before dawn and late at dusk.
- Known for making a wide range of loud calls, including perfect imitations of other birds.
Distribution in India:
- Found in the western Himalayas, eastern Himalayas, Mishmi Hills, and the hills of peninsular India and the Western Ghats.
- IUCN: Least Concern, indicating a relatively stable population.
Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS)
According to recent reports, the United States is close to approving the supply of the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) for Ukraine.
Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS)
- ATACMS is a conventional surface-to-surface artillery weapon system with extended range capabilities.
- Manufactured by the US defense company Lockheed Martin.
- Also known as M39 by the US Army and designated as MGM-140 by the Department of Defense (DoD).
- Apart from the United States, other known operators of ATACMS include Bahrain, Greece, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates.
- ATACMS missiles are inertially guided, all-weather, surface-to-surface weapons.
- Capable of operating 24/7.
- Range of approximately 190 miles (305 km).
- Propulsion system: Single-stage, solid propellant.
- Typically launched from modified Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) vehicles.
- Designed to engage various targets, including air defense artillery sites, surface-to-surface missile units, logistics sites, command and control complexes, and helicopter forward operating bases.
The recently published report of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology said that halogens’ contributions to cooling the environment could increase to 18-31 per cent by 2100.
Key Findings of the Report: Oceans and Halogens
Role of Oceans:
- Oceans not only absorb carbon dioxide and regulate the climate but also contribute to cooling the planet.
- They release short-lived halogens like chlorine, bromine, and iodine, which help in this cooling process.
Effects of Halogens:
- These oceanic halogens play a role in reducing warming by depleting ozone.
- They increase the lifespan of methane in the atmosphere by removing hydroxyl radicals (OH).
- Global methane burden has increased by 14% for pre-industrial conditions and 9% for present-day conditions due to halogens.
- Halogens also contribute to increased levels of water vapor, a greenhouse gas, in the atmosphere.
- Halogen emissions from the ocean vary across the world.
- Emissions are smaller over continents but larger in polar regions and areas with higher ozone levels.
Key Facts about Halogens:
Origin of the Term:
- The word “halogen” comes from the Greek term meaning “salt-producing” because halogens react with metals to form salts.
- The term was coined by Swedish chemist Jons Berzelius in 1826 to describe this group of elements.
Elements and States:
- Halogens are a group of elements found in Group 17 of the periodic table.
- The group includes fluorine (F), chlorine (Cl), bromine (Br), iodine (I), and astatine (At).
- Unlike metals, halogens exist in all three states of matter in their standard state.
- For example, fluorine is a gas, bromine is a liquid, and iodine is a solid in their natural forms.
- Halogens are the most reactive nonmetals on the periodic table.
- They act as powerful oxidizing agents, contributing to their high reactivity.