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MAINS Q’A 19-05-2018

Q1. What are the tenets of the newly launched samagra Shiksha Scheme?

Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar launched Samagra Shiksha scheme for school education. The scheme focuses on improving quality of education, enhancing the Learning outcomes and using technology to empower children and teachers. The Minister said, an annual grant of five thousand to 20 thousand rupees will be provided for strengthening libraries in schools. The scheme will be focus on digital education.

Samagra Shiksha is not just a new name but an entirely new thought It is an overarching program for boosting quality school education with the inclusion of

— Digital technology

— introducing skill development at the school level

Samagra Shiksha is a program that unifies learning from the pre-school to class 12 levels and encapsulates elements of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Madhyamk Shiksha Abhiyan and teacher education.

The objectives of the scheme include

—provision of quality education

—-enhancing learning outcomes of students

—bridging social and gender gaps in school education and promoting vocationalisation of education

— Strengthening teacher education institutions like SCERTs and Diets to improve quality of teachers

— annual grant of Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000 per school for strengthening of libraries

The Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan aims to treat education holistically as a continuum from pre-school to class 12. It is evidence of the govt’s commitment to provide quality education to equip all children with varied skills and knowledge essential for their development.

Q2. What is The Ramayana Circuit?

The Ramayana Circuit is one among the 13 tourist circuits under the Swadesh Darshan scheme.

A committee under the Ministry of Tourism jotted down 15 destinations in the Ramayana Circuit in an effort to promote religious tourism. The destinations are chosen according to the places where Lord Ram is believed to have travelled across India.

Every circuit under the Swadesh Darshan scheme is administered by separate committees. These committees are the responsible for forming the blueprint of their respective circuit.

However, last month, Head of the Ramayana Circuit National Committee Mahesh Sharma wrote a letter to the central government expressing his disappointment over the delay of work involved in the Ramayana Circuit.

The destinations under the circuit will be developed by bridging infrastructural gaps like provision of drinking water, accommodation facilities, etc. Then the 15 places will be connected to form a circuit. The 15 destinations are — Ayodhya, Shringverpur  and Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh, Sitamarhi, Buxar and Darbhanga in Bihar, Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh, Nandigram in West Bengal, Mahendragiri in Odisha, Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh, Bhadrachalam in Telangana, Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, Hampi in Karnataka and Nashik and Nagpur in Maharashtra.

The first step towards the development of this circuit was taken by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, when he agreed to clear 20 acres of land to build a Ramayana Museum in Ayodhya.

The scheme will be a joint effort of the states and the central government. It has a larger aim of providing job opportunities to local artisans, as it promotes local art and craft. Krishna Circuit, Buddhist Circuit and Spiritual Circuit are three of the other 12 circuits under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, which seeks to boost religious tourism in India.

As of now, 10 destinations have been finalised under the Krishna Circuit, which will pertain to his journey in India.

The 9 remaining circuits, though not for religious tourism, aim to connect all major cultural heritage spots and other touristy spots of India, making travel-planning easier. When the scheme is developed, India can also allure international visitors for a visit. One of the many aims, which were proposed in the 2014-2015 Budget, was to enhance the Incredible India 2.0 Campaign, making India an attractive tourist spot and hence, gaining good revenue out of the tourism market.

A similar scheme, the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD), with the same objectives as the Swadesh Darshan scheme, aims to develop 13 pilgrimage cities across India.


Q3. Is “Indo-Pacific” a sphere of influence? Explain.

As mentioned earlier, the “Indo-Pacific” idea was originally conceived in 2006-07 for a more constructive geopolitical amalgamation of the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific regions, including for coping with the growing comprehensive power of China.

However, from the realist perspective, geopolitics is much about establishing spheres of influence; therefore, the Indo-Pacific as a geopolitical construct will necessarily involve such competition. While the U.S. seeks to maintain its influence in the region in face of the Chinese challenge, it also seeks to prop up India’s influence eastwards of the Malacca Straits, and Japan’s influence in the Indian Ocean.

The Indo-Pacific is, however, not an exclusive concept. It will also help China to expand its influence in the Indian Ocean, wherein Beijing’s critical interests lie, and reinforce its geopolitical strategy being implemented through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This is possibly why China has not expressed any resentment of the Indo-Pacific, at least not explicitly.


Q4. What are disruptive technologies? How is it different from sustaining technologies?

A disruptive technology is one that displaces an established technology and shakes up the industry or a ground-breaking product that creates a completely new industry.

Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen coined the term disruptive technology. In his 1997 best-selling book, “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” Christensen separates new technology into two categories: sustaining and disruptive. Sustaining technology relies on incremental improvements to an already established technology. Disruptive technology lacks refinement, often has performance problems because it is new, appeals to a limited audience and may not yet have a proven practical application. (Such was the case with Alexander Graham Bell’s “electrical speech machine,” which we now call the telephone.)

Here are a few examples of disruptive technologies:

  • The personal computer (PC) displaced the typewriter and forever changed the way we work and communicate.
  • The Windows operating system’scombination of affordability and a user-friendly interface was instrumental in the rapid development of the personal computing industry in the 1990s. Personal computing disrupted the television industry, as well as a great number of other activities.
  • Emailtransformed the way we communicating, largely displacing letter-writing and disrupting the postal and greeting card industries.
  • Cell phonesmade it possible for people to call us anywhere and disrupted the telecom industry.
  • The laptop computerand mobile computing made a mobile workforce possible and made it possible for people to connect to corporate networks and collaborate from anywhere. In many organizations, laptops replaced desktops.
  • Smartphoneslargely replaced cell phones and PDAs and, because of the available apps, also disrupted: pocket cameras, MP3 players, calculators and GPS devices, among many other possibilities. For some mobile users, smartphones often replace laptops. Others prefer a
  • Cloud computinghas been a hugely disruptive technology in the business world, displacing many resources that would conventionally have been located in-house or provided as a traditionally hosted service.
  • Social networkinghas had a major impact on the way we communicate and — especially for personal use — has disrupted telephone, email, instant messaging and event planning.

In his book, Christensen points out that large corporations are designed to work with sustaining technologies. They excel at knowing their market, staying close to their customers, and having a mechanism in place to develop existing technology. Conversely, they have trouble capitalizing on the potential efficiencies, cost-savings, or new marketing opportunities created by low-margin disruptive technologies. Using real-world examples to illustrate his point, Christensen demonstrates how it is not unusual for a big corporation to dismiss the value of a disruptive technology because it does not reinforce current company goals, only to be blindsided as the technology matures, gains a larger audience and market share and threatens the status quo.


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