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Right to Education (RTE) Act: Amendments and Concerns

Relevancy

  • GS Mains Paper-2, EDUCATION

Why in news?

  • Lok Sabha recently approved an amendment to the Right to Education (RTE) Act.
  • Giving states the power to detain students who fail an examination in Class 5 or 8 would undermine the intent of the Act.

What are the concerns?

  • The RTE Act guarantees and provides for the continued presence of the child in school during the formative learning phase.
  • Thus, detention would weaken this significant, progressive feature of the RTE Act.
  • Detaining is unlikely to be an incentive, when social circumstances already make it hard to ensure regular attendance.
  • It will allow State Boards to declare a student failed and detain her on the basis of an examination.
  • But RTE Act assures that no child shall be required to face any Board examination till completion of elementary education.
  • The NITI Aayog had found that bringing back detention in elementary schooling would increase the dropout rate.
  • This would impact the poor and Dalits the most, as they depend on government institutions.

What are the drawbacks?

  • There are some genuine concerns on learning outcomes produced by India’s schooling system.
  • But these are determined not only by a student’s effort.

It depends on various other factors including:

  1. the number and quality of teachers
  2. the processes for continuous assessment
  3. the active engagement of parents and the community in encouraging excellence
  • It is the lack of attention to some of these determinants that have created a “broken” school education system.
  • Detaining already disadvantaged children can only break it further.
  • Any dilution of the RTE Act without sufficient thought will erode a major constitutional achievement.

Right to Education (RTE) Act: Amendments and Concerns Right to Education (RTE) Act: Amendments and Concerns Right to Education (RTE) Act: Amendments and Concerns Right to Education (RTE) Act: Amendments and Concerns Right to Education (RTE) Act: Amendments and Concerns Right to Education (RTE) Act: Amendments and Concerns Right to Education (RTE) Act: Amendments and Concerns Right to Education (RTE) Act: Amendments and ConcernsRight to Education (RTE) Act: Amendments and Concerns Right to Education (RTE) Act: Amendments and Concerns Right to Education (RTE) Act: Amendments and Concerns Right to Education (RTE) Act: Amendments and Concerns Right to Education (RTE) Act: Amendments and Concerns

Indo- South Korea CEPA

 

Relevancy

  • GS Mains Paper-2, 3, Economy, International Relations

Why in news?

  • South Korea is speeding up negotiations on expanding the existing Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India.

What is Indo- South Korea CEPA?

  • The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is a free trade agreement between India and South Korea.
  • It is equivalent to a free trade agreement, and will provide better access for the Indian service industry in South Korea.
  • Services include Information technology, engineering, finance, and the legal field.
  • The agreement has ease restrictions on foreign direct investments. Companies can own up to 65% of a company in the other country.
  • Both countries avoided issues over agriculture, fisheries, and mining and choose not to decrease tariffs in those areas.

How is the existing trade relation between India and South Korea?

  • Bilateral CEPA was implemented in 2010, South Korea’s exports to India jumped from $10.47 billion in 2010-11 to $16.36 billion in 2017-18.
  • India’s exports to South Korea, however, remained sluggish and increased insignificantly from $3.72 billion in 2010-11 to $4.46 billion in 2017-18.
  • As a result, the trade deficit between South Korea and India increased to a staggering $12 billion in 2017-18.
  • Recently India speedily cut down duties on 11 items and South Korea on 17 items, as a diplomatic necessity.

What are the concerns with existing CEPA?

  • Various reports show that Indian businesses have not been able to take advantage of the provisions of the CEPA.
  • Korean companies however have increased their exports taking advantage of the lower duties.
  • Moreover, much of the Indian exports to South Korea are still taking place outside the CEPA at higher duties.
  • That is mostly because Indian exporters find it too onerous to meet obligations such as rules of origin, Low awareness is another reason for low utilisation.
  • Recently South Korea claimed that it wants increased market access in a number of items including sensitive ones like automobiles and textile that got excluded in the original CEPA.

What needs to be done?

  • New Delhi should pause and take a clear look at where it is heading instead of rushing ahead.
  • With lack of luster growth in India’s exports to South Korea much of it is happening outside the ambit of the CEPA.
  • Expanding CEPA with South Korea is not a good option unless it enhances Indian exports.

 

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