Daily Current Affairs – 2020
Topic: For Prelims and Mains
Kerala tops school education ranking
1st October 2019
Why in news?
There are huge differences in the quality of school education across the country, according to a Niti Aayog ranking released recently.
Among 20 large States, Kerala was the best performer with a score of 76.6%, while Uttar Pradesh came in last with a score of 36.4%.
- However, Haryana, Assam and Uttar Pradesh showed the most improvement in their performance in 2016-17, in comparison to the base year of 2015-16.
- The School Education Quality Index assesses States on the basis of learning outcomes, access, equity and infrastructure and facilities, using survey data, self-reported data from States and third-party verification.
- Tamil Nadu was the top performer in access and equity outcomes, while Karnataka led in learning outcomes.
- Haryana had the best infrastructure and facilities.
- Among smaller States, Manipur emerged as the best performer, while Chandigarh topped the list of Union Territories.
- West Bengal refused to participate in the evaluation process and has not been included in the rankings.
Scientists excavate ‘ancient river’ in Uttar Pradesh
Why in news?
The Union Water Ministry has excavated an old, dried-up river in Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad) that linked the Ganga and Yamuna rivers.
- The aim is to develop it as a potential groundwater recharge source, according to officials at the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), a body under the Union Jal Shakti Ministry that coordinates the cleaning of the Ganga.
- The “ancient buried river” as it was described at a conference organised by the Ministry, is around 4 km wide, 45 km long and consisted of a 15-metre-thick layer buried under soil.
- According to Executive Director, NMCG, D.P. Mathuria, the discovery was made last December by a team of scientists from the CSIR-NGRI (National Geophysical Research Institute) and the Central Groundwater Board during a helicopter-borne geophysical survey covering the Prayagraj and Kaushambi region in Uttar Pradesh.
- These paleochannels reveal the course of rivers that have ceased to exist.
- The newly discovered river, according to Mr. Mathuria, was a “buried paleochannel that joins the Yamuna river at Durgapur village, about 26 km south of the current Ganga-Yamuna confluence at Prayagraj.
- The genesis of the palaeochannel’s discovery followed a 2016 report of a seven-member committee, headed by Professor K.S. Valdiya of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), commissioned by the Water Resources Ministry.
- This report concluded that evidence from palaeochannels suggested that the mythological Saraswati river did indeed exist. They claimed to have based their conclusions on reports and maps of palaeochannels in north India and a separate, ongoing project by the Central Groundwater Board to map the aquifers (extremely deep stores of groundwater) of India.
- “Knowledge on subsurface connectivity between Ganga and Yamuna rivers will play a very crucial role in planning of Ganga cleaning and protecting safe groundwater resources,”
Facts for Prelims:
- At about 1.5 lakh people, the Galos are one of the 26 major communities of Arunachal Pradesh.
- The Galos belong to the Tani group inhabiting Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, besides Tibet.
- They trace their common origin to a primeval ancestor, Abotani.
They have a system of prefixing the second syllable of a father’s name to that of a son, who passes on the suffix in his name to his son.
Hence they can trace the names of ancestors from the first syllable or prefix of our names.
- Mopinis the main festival in Galos which is celebrated for the prosperity of the villages The Galos perform Popir dance.