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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme (NMMSS)

Why in news?    

National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme (NMMSS) has helped to reduce the drop-out rate at the secondary and senior secondary classes- HRD Minister

More about the scheme

  • It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme and was launched in May, 2008.
  • The objective of the scheme is to award scholarships to meritorious students of economically weaker sections to arrest their drop out at class VIII and encourage them to continue the study at secondary stage.
  • Under the Scheme one lakh fresh scholarships @ of Rs.12000/- per annum per student are awarded to selected students of class IX every year and their continuation/renewal  in classes X to XII for study in a State Government, Government-aided and Local body schools.
  • The selection of students for award of scholarships under the scheme is made through an examination conducted by the States/UTs Governments.
  • Students whose parental income from all sources is not more than Rs. 1,50,000/- are eligible to avail the scholarships.
  • The students studying in Kendriya Vidalayas and Jawahar Vavodaya Vidalayas are not entitled to get scholarship under this scheme.
  • The scheme is boarded on National Scholarship Portal (NSP) since 2015-16.
  • The NSP has been developed by Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Deity) for streamlining and fast tracking the release of Scholarships across Ministries / Departments with efficiency, transparency and reliability.

Scheme impact

  • An evaluation study of the NMMS scheme conducted by National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) in 2017 states that the scheme has a positive impact.
  • The data reveals that about 70.1 % beneficiary students are unable to continue their studies without this scholarship and students are very conscientious about their studies as well as the need to perform well after qualifying in NMMS Scheme.
  • They register better performance in Class IX, X, XI and XII in order to continue getting the scholarship for four consecutive years.
  • Heads of all the institutions disclosed that the NMMS Scheme has reduced the drop-out rate at the secondary and senior secondary classes, particularly from Classes VIII to XII.

 Fact for Prelims

‘Lucknow Declaration’ :

  • India and 50 African countries adopted the ‘Lucknow Declaration’ at first India – Africa Defence Minister’s Conclave.
  • The Conclave was held on the sidelines of the ongoing DefExpo 2020 (5th to 9th February, 2020) in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).

Highlights of the Declaration

  • Peace and Security
  • All the signatories committed to continue their collaboration in the fields of peace and security including conflict prevention, resolution, management and peacebuilding.
  • It also aims to enhance the role of women in peacekeeping.

Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR).

  • Recently, rejuvenation camp for captive elephants was inaugurated inside the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR).
  • Mudumalai Tiger Reserve is located in the Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu state at the tri-junction of three states, viz, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  • It is a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (1st Biosphere Reserve in India) along with Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) in the West, Bandipur National Park (Karnataka) in the North, Mukurthi National Park and Silent Valley in the South.
  • The name Mudumalai means ” the ancient hill range”. Indeed, it is as old as 65 million years when Western Ghats were formed.
  • The Reserve has tall grasses, commonly referred to as ‘Elephant Grass’.
  • Bamboo of the giant variety, valuable timber species like Teak, Rosewood, etc.
  • Flagship Species: Tiger and Asian Elephant.
  • Other species: Indian Gaur, Spotted Deer, Common Langur, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Wild Dog, Jungle Cat among others.

 

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