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06 June 2023 – Current Affairs

Daily Current Capsules

06 June 2023

Theme – Education

India Rankings 2023

NIRF Ranking 2023: IIT Madras retains top position in overall ranking,  check complete list here - Times of India

Relevance in (wrt CSE Syllabus)

Prelims – Current Events of National Importance

Mains – GS II (Education)

What’s the NEWS

  • Minister of State for Education released the India Rankings 2023, which implements the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) drafted for this purpose by the Ministry of Education in 2015.

India Rankings of HEIs – Highlights

  • This is the eighth consecutive edition of India Rankings of HEIs in India.

Three distinct additions of the 2023 edition of India Rankings are as follows: 

  1. Introduction of a new subject namely Agriculture & Allied Sectors 
  2. Integration of the “Innovation” ranking previously executed by the Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) into the India Rankings with an aim to reduce the burden on institutions of providing similar data to two different agencies.
  3. Expansion of scope of “Architecture” to “Architecture and Planning” to include institutions imparting courses in Urban and Town Planning.
  • With the addition of a new category (Innovation) and subject domain  (Agriculture & Allied Sectors) and the expansion of “Architecture” to “Architecture and Planning”, the existing portfolio of India Rankings has increased to 13 categories and subject domains that have been ranked in India Rankings 2023.
  • During the maiden year of India Rankings 2016, rankings were announced for Universities as well as for three domain-specific rankings, namely Engineering, Management, and Pharmacy institutions.
  • Over the period of eight years, four new categories and five new subject domains are added to bring the total tally to five categories, namely Overall, University, Colleges, Research Institutions & Innovation, and 8 subject domains, namely Engineering, Management, Pharmacy, Architecture & Planning, Medical, Law, Dental and Agriculture, and Allied Sectors. 

Five Broad Categories of Parameters and Weightage

  • The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), launched in November 2015 by the Ministry of Education, was used for this edition as well as for the previous seven editions of India Rankings released for the years 2016 to 2023.

Five broad categories of parameters identified in the NIRF and their weightage on the scale of 10 are given below:

Sl.

No.

Parameter Marks Weightage
1 Teaching, Learning & Resources 100 0.30
2 Research and Professional Practice 100 0.30
3 Graduation Outcome 100 0.20
4 Outreach and Inclusivity 100 0.10
5 Perception 100 0.10
  • Each of these five parameters has 2 to 5 sub-parameters.
  • A total number of 16 – 18 sub-parameters are used for ranking of HEIs in different categories and subject domains.
  • Institutions are ranked based on the total sum of marks assigned for each of these five broad groups of parameters.

In addition to parameters used for the Overall category, the following two additional sub-parameters were included for ranking institutions under “Research Institutions”:

    1. Research Papers published in journals covered in the First Quartile of the Journal Citation Report (JCRQ1); and
    2. ii) H Index.
  • Besides, sourcing data on various parameters from applicant institutions, third-party sources of data have also been used, wherever possible.
  • Scopus (Elsevier Science) and Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics) were used for retrieving publications and citation data.
  • Derwent Innovation was used for retrieving data on patents.

Key Highlights of India Rankings 2023

  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras retains its 1st position in Overall Category for a fifth consecutive year, i.e. 2019 to 2023, and in Engineering for an eighth consecutive year, i.e. from 2016 to 2023.
  • The top 100 in the Overall category consists of 44 CFTIs/ CFUs  INI, 24 state universities, 13 deemed universities, 18 private universities, 4 agriculture, and allied sector institutions, and 3 management institutions.
  • Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru tops the Universities Category for the eighth consecutive year, i.e. from 2016 to 2023. It stood first in Research Institutions Category for the third consecutive year, i.e. from 2021 to 2023.
  • IIM Ahmedabad tops in Management subjects retaining its first position for the fourth consecutive year, i.e. from 2020 to 2023. It was ranked among the top two in Management subject of the India Rankings from 2016 to 2019.
  • All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi occupies the top slot in Medical for the sixth consecutive year, i.e. from 2018 to 2023. Moreover, AIIMS is ranked at 6th position in the Overall category thereby improving from its 9th position in 2022.
  • National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Hyderabad tops the ranking in Pharmacy for the first time pushing Jamia Hamdard to the second slot. Jamia Hamdard was ranked 1st position for four consecutive years, i.e., from 2019 to 2022.
  • Miranda House retains the 1st position amongst Colleges for the seventh consecutive year, i.e. from 2017 to 2023.
  • IIT Roorkee stands at 1st position in Architecture subject for the third consecutive year, i.e. from 2021 to 2023.
  • National Law School of India University, Bengaluru retains its first position in Law for the sixth consecutive year, i.e. from 2018 to 2023
  • Colleges in Delhi maintained their dominance in the ranking of Colleges with five colleges out of the first 10 colleges from Delhi.
  • The Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences takes the top slot for the second consecutive year.
  • Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi takes the top slot in Agriculture and Allied Sectors.
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur tops in the Innovation category.

Theme – Environment

World Environment Day 2023 celebrated with a thrust on Mission LiFE

World Environment Day celebrated with thrust on Mission LiFE

Relevance in (wrt CSE Syllabus)

Prelims –General issues on environmental ecology, biodiversity, and climate change

Mains – GS III (Environment)

What’s the NEWS

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India organized the World Environment Day on 5th June 2023 with a thrust on the Mission LiFE.
  • The concept of LiFE, i.e., Lifestyle for Environment was introduced by The  Prime Minister at the World Leaders’ Summit in Glasgow at COP26 when he gave a clarion call to rekindle a global pursuit to adopt environment-friendly lifestyles and practices.
  • As a part of Mission Life, a comprehensive and non-exhaustive list of 75 individual LiFE actions have been identified across 7 themes – save water, save energy, reduce waste, reduce e-waste, reduce single-use plastics, adopt sustainable food systems, and adopt healthy lifestyles.
  • The theme for this year’s World Environment Day is “Solutions to Plastic Pollution”, a topic which aligns with one of the 7 themes of Mission LiFE: “Saying No to Single-use Plastics and is also linked to the implementation of a number of LiFE actions.

Prime Minister’s Speech Highlights

National Initiatives by India for tackling climate change and environment protection

  • Green Hydrogen Mission
  • Natural Farming efforts
  • Focus on green and clean energy
  • Amrit Dharohar 
  • Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats and Tangible Incomes (MISHTI) initiative
  • India has banned the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of identified single-use plastic items in 2022.
  • The unbottled initiative of Indian Oil.
  • India now is home to the second-largest network of Ramsar sites in Asia

International initiatives by India

  • International Solar Alliance
  • Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and Leadership Group for Industry Transition
  • International Big Cat Alliance

Implementation Strategy launched for

Amrit Dharohar initiative

  • Highlights the philosophy of conservation through community participation, and prosperity through conservation.

MISHTI – Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats and Tangible Incomes

  • It was announced in the Union Budget 2023-24 to promote and conserve mangroves.
  • Mangroves are unique, natural eco-system having very high biological productivity and carbon sequestration potential, besides working as a bio-shield.
  • MISHTI Programme was launched with the active participation of coastal States and UTs.
  • The Programme will cover approximately 540 sq km area across nine (9) coastal States and four (4) UTs in five years (2023-2028).
  • It will create around 22.8 million man-days with an estimated carbon sink of 4.5 million tons of Carbon.
  • It will also create potential areas for nature tourism and livelihood potential for local communities.

Theme – Governance

Nyaya Vikas Portal

Relevance in (wrt CSE Syllabus)

Prelims –Economic and Social Development

Mains – GS III (transparency and accountability)

What’s the NEWS

  • Nyaya Vikas Portal allows four efficient ways of logging into the portal, thereby empowering stakeholders with seamless access to information pertaining to funding, documentation, project monitoring, and approval.

Know! about Nyaya Vikas

  • The Department of Justice has been implementing the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for the Development of Infrastructure Facilities for Districts and Subordinate Judiciary since 1993-94.
  • Under the Scheme,  central assistance is provided to the State Government / UT Administrations for the construction of court halls and residential units for Judicial Officers / Judges of District and Subordinate Courts.
  • With the further extension of the scheme beyond 31.03.2021, some new features like Lawyers Hall, Toilet complexes, and Digital computer rooms have been added to the scheme for the convenience of lawyers and litigants, besides court halls and residential units.
  • The funds sharing pattern under the Scheme for Center and State is 60:40 in respect of States other than North Eastern and Himalayan States.
  • The funds sharing pattern is 90:10 in respect of North Eastern and Himalayan States and 100% in respect of Union Territories.
  • This portal has been created for monitoring the implementation of this Scheme.

Theme – Places/Persons in NEWS

1.Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR).

Do developmental initiatives influence local attitudes toward conservation?  A case study from the Kalakad–Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, India -  ScienceDirect

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Prelims – General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity, and Climate Change

Mains – N/A

What’s the NEWS

  • Ending an operation that lasted over five days, officials of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department successfully tranquilized wild elephant Arikompan at Uthamapalayam in the Chinna Ovulapuram reserve forest in the Theni district

Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR)

  • The Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve of Tamil Nadu is in the South Western Ghats and forms part of the interstate Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve.
  • It includes three sanctuaries, viz. Kalakad, Mundanthurai, and part of Kanyakumari Sanctuary, with portions of Tirunelveli forest division of the State.
  • As many as fourteen rivers originate from this reserve, which feeds numerous tanks in the plains.
  • There are eleven dams in and around the reserve with three hydroelectric power stations.
  • The terrain is undulating with several valleys and porous rocks.
  • The Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, along with the Periyar Tiger Reserve of Kerala constitute the southernmost tiger ranges of the Western Ghats in South India. Thus, they are high-priority areas for global biodiversity conservation efforts.
  • There are two landscapes with protected areas, viz. Periyar (consisting of Periyar Tiger Reserve of Kerala and Srivilliputhur Wildlife Sanctuary of Tamil Nadu) to the North, and Agasthiyarmalai (consisting of Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve and Shendurney, Peppara and Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuaries of Kerala) to the South.

2. Kerala CM launches the first phase of K-FON

14,000 families to get free internet service in Kerala in first phase |  Communications Today

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Prelims – Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.

Mains – N/A

What’s the NEWS

  • The Chief Minister of Kerala commissioned the first phase of Project Kerala Fibre Optic Network (K-FON)
  • The project will provide free Internet access to 20 lakh below-poverty-line (BPL) families, connect 30,000 government institutions and provide Internet connection at a nominal rate to the public.
  • By ensuring connectivity in far-flung places it is being ensured that no one is left behind and everyone is a part of the real Kerala story.

3. India’s First International Cruise Vessel from Chennai to Sri Lanka

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Prelims –Current events of National and International importance

Mains – N/A

What’s the NEWS

  • The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways flagged off the maiden International Cruise Vessel – MV Empress, India’s first international cruise vessel – from Chennai to Sri Lanka
  • This marks the beginning of the international cruise tourism terminal at Chennai, built at a cost of ₹17.21 crores, heralding a new age of cruise tourism & maritime trade in the country.
  • The cruise service is the result of an MoU signed during the first Incredible India International Cruise Conference in 2022 between Chennai Port and M/S Waterways Leisure Tourism Pvt Ltd to start domestic and international cruise services.
  • The cruise service will sail to three Sri Lankan ports; viz. Hanbantota, Trincomalee, and Kankesanturei.

Theme – Infrastructure Development/Environment Conservation

NHAI’s First ‘Sustainability Report’

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Prelims – Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development

Mains(GS III) – Infrastructure Development + Environment Conservation

What’s the NEWS

  • NHAI’s first ‘Sustainability Report for FY 2021-22’ covers NHAI’s governance structure, stakeholders, environment, and social responsibility initiatives.
  • The report was recently released by Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways.

Report Highlights

  • The Sustainability Report underlines the effectiveness of various efforts made by NHAI for environment and energy conservation.
  • From FY 2019-20 till 2021-22 direct emissions were reduced by 18.44% and 9.49% due to less fuel consumption.
  • NHAI continues to work towards reducing indirect emissions as well, by transiting towards clean and green energy sources.
  • With over 97 percent penetration, Electronic Toll Collection through FASTag has contributed to reducing the carbon footprint.
  • NHAI has been using recycled materials for National Highway construction.
  • The use of fly-ash and plastic waste in construction has increased over the last three years.
  • NHAI has been encouraging the use of Recycled Asphalt (RAP) and Recycled Aggregates (RA) in National Highway construction.
  • In order to ensure sustainable environmental growth, more than 100 Wildlife Crossings were created in three years across 20 States as a measure of wildlife protection and conservation to reduce man-animal conflict.
  • Over the years, NHAI has been undertaking plantation drives to develop eco-friendly National Highways.
  • NHAI’s Sustainability Report is not a mandated requirement as per SEBI guidelines, but this has been taken as a voluntary initiative to demonstrate its sustainability credentials and is prepared as per the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) reporting guidelines.
  • The report has been externally assured by a third party adhering to International Standards on Assurance Engagements.
  • This Sustainability Report will open new avenues for infrastructure financing known as ‘Green Finance’ as per Ministry of Finance, Government. of India framework.

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