- Bihar touches nat’l average in school learning, but challenges remain’
- Bihar children have fared better than many prosperous states, despite stiff odds, and are almost at par with the national average, as per the national achievement survey (NAS), 2017, done on the directive of the ministry of human resource development.
- In Class 8, children from the state have fared better than the national average in mathematics, language and social science, while they are at par in science. In classes 3 and 5 though, the achievement level of Bihar students is marginally lower than the national average.
- This finding assumes significance considering the fact that Bihar is among the states with lowest spending per student. It continues to grapple with shortage of teachers and classrooms despite big spending on infrastructure, as per the criteria laid down under the right to education Act.
- The survey, which also included teachers, found that 68% students fully understood their curricular goals while 82% claimed to have adequate instructional material and supplies.
- However, 30% of the teachers said school buildings needed significant repairs, while 20% cited lack of adequate toilet facilities and 32% pointed out absence of electricity in schools. Lack of drinking water facility was also a major hindrance, said 14% teachers in schools.
- Around 28% teachers attributed increased work load due to engagement in non-academic work, while over 50% said they were not satisfied with their teaching work.
- Among the districts, Muzaffarpur came up as the top performer with 85 points in classes 3 and 5, but slipped to 23rd spot in Class 8 with just 47 points.
- Patna, which has relatively better strength of teachers and proper infrastructure, ranks fourth in Class 3, sixth in Class 5 and third in Class 8. Begusarai is at the top, followed by Lakhisarai in Class 8.
- The survey was conducted in 6,377 schools involving 14,777 teachers and 1,39,585 students across all 38 districts. Director, research and training, department of education, Vinod Kumar Singh said the survey findings would help in pinpointing the areas in which government needed to focus and give hope that Bihar could be among the topperforming states.
· India ranks 109th, stands behind Pakistan in 4G speeds
- According to data speed tester Ookla, India ranks 109th in overall 4G mobile internet speeds with an average download speed of 12Mbps which is less than Pakistan (14.03 Mbps).
- Out of the list comprising 124 countries, Qatar ranked first in the list with 63.22 Mbps average download speed.
- Norway stood second in the list with 62.14 Mbps download speed.
· Scientists discovered 12 new moons around Jupiter
- Scientists have found 12 new moonsorbiting around Jupiter, bringing its total number of moons to 79, the most for any planet in the solar system. One of the moons has been called a “real oddball” due to its tiny size.
- Scientists think the vast number of objects orbiting the planet is probably the result of collisions earlier in its life, which have been captured by Jupiter and now continue to orbit it.
· UK topped Global Ranking of Nations’ soft power
- In 2018 ‘Soft Power 30’ index, published by UK-based strategic communications consultancy firm Portland and the University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy, France placed second and Germany as third followed by the US.
- India does not figure on the list, but this year’s report also features a chapter dedicated solely to Asia, listing 10 countries in the region, ranking India’s soft power as eighth
- India accounts for 1/5th of global deaths from floods
- India accounts for one-fifth of global deaths due to floods, according to government data.
- As many as 107,487 people died due to heavy rains and floods across India over 64 years between 1953 and 2017, according to Central Water Commission data.
- Damage to crops, houses and public utilities was reported to be Rs 365,860 crore.
· Upgraded Vikas engine with more thrust will boost ISRO rockets
- Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) is to add muscle to their spacecraft lifting power in all three satellite launch vehicles. The space agency has improved the thrust of the Vikas engine that powers all of them. The high-thrust engine qualified after a ground test lasting 195 seconds (over three minutes).
- The high-thrust Vikas engine is expected to put 4,000 kgsatellites to space. It will improve the payload capability of PSLV, GSLV and GSLV Mk-III launch vehicles.
- The Vikas engine is used in the second stage of the light lifting PSLV; the second stage and the four add-on stages of the medium-lift GSLV; and the twin-engine core liquid stage of Mk-III. ISRO is to try out Vikas by replacing it first in Mk-III with a cleaner and safer semi-cryogenic engine.
· ASI has planned to upgrade seven monuments in Tamil Nadu
- The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has planned to upgrade infrastructural and tourist-friendly facilities at seven sites, which are approved under Adarsh Smarak Schemefor Conservation of Monuments, in Tamil Nadu.
- The Adarsh Monuments proposed to be upgraded by the Ministry of Culture include the Shore Temple in Mamallapuram, Vellore Fort, Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur, Kailasanathar Temple in Kancheepuram, Sittannavasal Caves, Gingee Fort and Moovar Koil in Kodumbalur. The work has already begun at the Shore Temple in Mamallapuram.
· Wpi inflation accelerates to 4year high of 5.77% in june
- Inflation based on wholesale prices accelerated to over 4-year high of 5.77% in June on increasing prices of vegetables and fuel items, raising chances of rate hike by the RBI in its monetary policy review next month.
- The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation stood at 4.43% in May and 0.90% in June last year, as per the government data released on Monday. Inflation is at the highest level since December 2013, when it was at 5.9%.
- Retail inflation, which the Reserve Bank of India takes into account while formulating its monetary policy, had touched a 5-month high of 5% in June. It is based on Consumer Price Index (CPI). RBI targets to keep inflation at 4%, (+/- 2%), and its rise beyond this comfort zone will put pressure on the central bank to hike rates.
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