School Education Quality Index(SEQI) 2019

The focus on improving the learning outcomes helped Kerala top the School Education Quality Index (SEQI) among the 20 large States in the country. Learning outcome refers to a skill acquired by a student after undergoing a course.

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  • News: NITI Aayog released The success of Our Schools: School Education Quality Index 2019
  • Need: “Inclusive development hinges upon ensuring quality education. Proper schooling prepares individuals for social and civic responsibility, builds social capital and encourages effective cognitive development.”

School Education Quality Index(SEQI)

  • Developed through a collaborative process including key stakeholders such as MHRD, the World Bank and sector experts, the index consists of 30 critical indicators that assess the delivery of quality education.
  • The School Education Quality Index (SEQI) was developed to evaluate the performance of States and Union Territories (UTs) in the school education sector.
  • The index aims to bring an outcomes focus to education policy by providing States and UTs with a platform to identify their strengths and weaknesses and undertake requisite course corrections or policy interventions.
  • To foster the spirit of competitive and cooperative federalism, the index strives to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best practices across States and UTs.

SEQI NITI Aayog

Highlights of the Report : 

  • larger states:
    • Kerala topped the list with a score of 0.766 in overall performance,
    • Rajasthan stood second with a score of 0.729.
    • Uttar Pradesh was the worst performer with a score of just 0.364. and ranked at the last place on the list.
    • The other big states with dismal performance are Jammu and Kashmir (0.411), Punjab (0.411), Bihar (0.420) and Jharkhand (0.439), ranked at 19th, 18th, 17th and 16th place respectively.
  • The report has ranked eight smaller states and the seven Union Territories separately.
  • Smaller states:
    • Manipur topped the list with a score of 0.688, followed by Tripura (0.645) and Goa (0.584),
    • Arunachal Pradesh (0.246) the worst performing state.
  •  Union Territories:
    • Chandigarh topped the list with a score of 0.829, followed by Dadra and Nagar Haveli (0.586) and Delhi (0.490).
    • Lakshadweep was the worst performing UT with a score of 0.319.
  • Among the 20 large states, 18 improved their overall performance score between 2015-16 and 2016-17.
  • Note: The list does not include West Bengal as the state did not participate in the exercise.

NITI SEQI

Issues: 

  • The net enrollment ratio (NER) at the elementary level in most states and Union Territories is declining, revealing a serious challenge for the Centre and states.
  • Eight of 20 large states also show a dip in mainstreaming of out-of-school schoolchildren by over 10 percentage points from the base year of 2015-16. Mainstreaming here implies bringing these children back into the school system.

SEQI Aim and Purpose

  • SEQI aims to drive policy reforms that will improve the quality of school education.
  • The index seeks to institutionalise a focus on enhancing education outcomes by driving improvements in learning levels, access, equity, infrastructure and governance processes.
  • The index recognizes that school education is a subject on the Concurrent List and that State-level leadership is crucial for improving outcomes in a cost-effective manner.
  • The index will serve as a regular and transparent review of the status of school education quality across the States and UTs.

Index categories and Domains

  • SEQI is based on a set of indicators that measure the overall effectiveness, quality and efficiency of the Indian school education system.
  • The index encourages States/UTs to improve their scores by showing progress across these aspects.
  • The SEQI is based on 30 indicators grouped into two broad categories – ‘outcome’ and ‘governance processes aiding outcomes’.
  • The scores on this category are primarily driven by learning outcomes, which received more than 50% of the total weightage assigned to this category.

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NITI Aayog Strategy for New India @ 75

The Strategy for New India

The NITI Aayog unveiled Strategy for New India @ 75 its comprehensive national Strategy for New India, which defines clear objectives for 2022-23 in a detailed exposition of forty-one crucial areas, recognizing the progress already made, identifies binding constraints, and suggests the way forward for achieving the stated objectives.

In his foreword the Prime Minister says,“The Strategy for New India @75 put together by NITI Aayog is an attempt to bring innovation, technology, enterprise and efficient management together, at the core of policy formulation and implementation. It will encourage discussion and debate, and invite feedback for further refining our policy approach.We believe that economic transformation cannot happen without public participation. Development must become a Jan Andolan.”

Drafting process: Central Ministries were brought on board for inputs, suggestions and comments, with each draft of individual chapters being circulated for consultations. The draft document was also circulated to all the States and Union Territories from whom valuable suggestions were received and incorporated.Over 800 stakeholders from within the government – central, state and district levels – and about 550 external experts were consulted during the preparation of the document.The overarching focus of the Strategy document is to further improve the policy environment in which private investors and other stakeholders can contribute their fullest towards achieving the goals set out for New India 2022 and propel India towards a USD 5 trillion economy by 2030.

The Strategy for New India @75

The forty-one chapters in the document have been arranged under four sections:

  1. Drivers,
  2. Infrastructure,
  3.  Inclusion and
  4. Governance.

The first section on Drivers

Focuses on the engines of economic performance with chapters on

  1.  Growth
  2.  Employment and Labour Reforms
  3.  Technology and Innovation
  4.  Industry
  5.  Doubling Farmers’ Income (I): Modernizing Agriculture
  6.  Doubling Farmers’ Income (II): Policy & Governance
  7.  Doubling Farmers’ Income (III): Value Chain & Rural Infrastructure
  8.  Financial Inclusion
  9.  Housing for All
  10.  Travel, Tourism and Hospitality
  11.  Minerals

Some of the key recommendations in the section on drivers include:

  • Steadily accelerate the economy to achieve a GDP growth rate of about 8% on average during 2018-23. This will raise the economy’s size in real terms from USD 2.7 trillion in 2017-18 to nearly USD 4 trillion by 2022-23. Increase the investment rate as measured by gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) from the present 29% to 36% of GDP by 2022.
  • In agriculture, shift the emphasis to converting farmers to ‘agripreneurs’ by further expanding e-National Agriculture Markets and replacing the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act with the Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing Act.
  • Give a strong push to ‘Zero Budget Natural Farming’ techniques that reduce costs,improve land quality and increase farmers’ incomes. This has emerged as a tested method for putting environment carbon back into the land.
  • To ensure maximum employment creation, complete codification of labor laws and a massive effort must be made to upscale and expand apprenticeships.
  • Launch a mission “Explore in India” by revamping minerals exploration and licensing policy.

The second section on Infrastructure

Deals with the physical foundations of growth which are crucial to enhancing the competitiveness of Indian business as also ensuring the citizens’ ease of living.

  • Energy
  • Surface Transport
  • Railways
  • Civil Aviation
  • Ports, Shipping and Inland Waterways
  • Logistics
  • Digital Connectivity
  • Smart Cities for Urban Transformation
  • Swachh Bharat Mission
  • Water Resources
  • Sustainable Environment

Some of the key recommendations in the section on infrastructure include:

  • Expedite the establishment of the Rail Development Authority (RDA), which is already approved. RDAwill advise or make informed decisions on an integrated, transparent and dynamic pricing mechanismfor the railways.
  • Double the share of freight transported by coastal shipping and inland waterways. Initially,viability gap funding will be provided until the infrastructure is fully developed. Develop an IT-enabled platformfor integrating different modes of transport and promoting multi-modal anddigitized mobility.
  • With the completion of the Bharat Net programme in 2019, all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats will be digitallyconnected. Aim to deliver all government services at the state, district, and gram panchayat level digitally by2022-23.

The Third section on Inclusion

Deals with the urgent task of investing in the capabilities of all of India’s citizens. The three themes in this section revolve around the dimensions of health, education and mainstreaming of traditionally marginalized sections of the population.

  1. School Education
  2. Higher Education
  3. Teacher Education and Training
  4.  Skill Development
  5.  Public Health Management and Action
  6.  Comprehensive Primary Health Care
  7.  Human Resources for Health
  8.  Universal Health Coverage
  9.  Nutrition
  10.  Gender
  11.  Senior Citizens, Persons with Disability and Transgender Persons
  12.  Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Other Tribal Groups and Minorities

Some of the key recommendations in the section on inclusion include:

  • Successfully implementing the Ayushman Bharat programme including the establishment of 150,000 health and wellness centres across the country, and rolling out the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan (PM-JAY).
  • Create a focal point for public health at the central level with state counterparts. Promote integrative medicine curriculum.
  • Upgrade the quality of the school education system and skills, including the creation of a new innovation ecosystem at the ground level by establishing at least 10,000 Atal Tinkering Labs by 2020.
  • Conceptualize an electronic national educational registry for tracking each child’s learning outcomes.
  • As already done in rural areas, give a huge push to affordable housing in urban areas to improve workers’ living conditions and ensure equity while providing a strong impetus to economic growth.

The final section on Governance

Delves deep into how the governance structures can be streamlined and processes optimized to achieve better developmental outcomes.

  1. Balanced Regional Development: Transforming Aspirational Districts
  2. The North-East Region
  3. Legal, Judicial and Police Reforms
  4.  Civil Services Reforms
  5.  Modernizing City Governance for Urban Transformation
  6.  Optimizing the Use of Land Resources
  7.  Data Led Governance and Policy Making

Some of the key recommendations in the section on governance include:

  • Implement the recommendations of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission as a preludeto appointing a successor for designing reforms in the changing context of emerging technologies andgrowing complexity of the economy.
  • Set up a new autonomous body, viz., the Arbitration Council of India to grade arbitralinstitutions and accredit arbitrators to make the arbitration process cost effective and speedy, and to preemptthe need for court intervention.
  • Address the backlog of pending cases – shift part of workload out of regular court system.
  • Expand the scope of Swachh Bharat Mission to cover initiatives for landfills, plastic waste andmunicipal waste and generating wealth from waste.

Download the PDF Strategy for New India @ 75

NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) Replaces Planning Commission.

The Government has replaced Planning Commission with a new institution named NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India). The institution will serve as ‘Think Tank’ of the Government-a directional and policy dynamo.

NITI Aayog will provide Governments at the central and state levels with relevant strategic and technical advice across the spectrum of key elements of policy, this includes matters of national and international import on the economic front, dissemination of best practices from within the country as well as from other nations, the infusion of new policy ideas and specific issue-based support.

The NITI Aayog will comprise the following

NITI Aayog Composition
NITI Aayog Composition
  • Prime Minister of India as the Chairperson
  • Governing Council comprising the Chief Ministers of all the States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories
  • Regional Councils will be formed to address specific issues and contingencies impacting more than one state or a region. These will be formed for a specified tenure.
  • The Regional Councils will be convened by the Prime Minister and will comprise of the Chief Ministers of States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories in the region. These will be chaired by the Chairperson of the NITI Aayog or his nominee.
  • Experts, specialists and practitioners with relevant domain knowledge as special invitees nominated by the Prime Minister

The full-time organizational framework will comprise of, in addition to the Prime Minister as the Chairperson:

  •  Vice-Chairperson: To be appointed by the Prime Minister
  •  Members: Full-time
  • Part-time members: Maximum of 2 from leading universities research organizations and other relevant institutions in an ex-officio capacity. Part time members will be on a rotational basis.
  •  Ex Officio members: Maximum of 4 members of the Union Council of Ministers to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
  • Chief Executive Officer : To be appointed by the Prime Minister for a fixed tenure, in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.
  • Secretariat as deemed necessary.

NITI Aayog is based on 7 Pillars of Effective governance

NITI Aayog Principles
NITI Aayog Principles

In essence, effective governance in India will rest on the following pillars:

  1. Pro-people agenda that fulfils the aspirations of the society as well as individual,
  2. Pro-active in anticipating and responding to their needs,
  3. Participative, by involvement of citizens,
  4. Empowering women in all aspects
  5. Inclusion of all groups, with special attention to the economically weak (garib), the SC, ST and OBC communities,  the rural sector and farmers (gaon and kisan), youth and all categories of minorities.
  6. Equality of opportunity to our country’s youth,
  7. Transparency through the use of technology to make government visible and responsive.

Objectives of NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog Objectives
NITI Aayog Objectives

The institution to give life to these aspirations is the NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India). This is being proposed after extensive consultation across the spectrum of stakeholders including inter alia state governments, domain experts and relevant institutions. The NITI Aayog will work towards the following objectives:

  • To evolve a shared vision of national development priorities, sectors and strategies with the active involvement of States in the light of national objectives. The vision of the NITI Aayog will then provide a framework ‘national agenda’ for the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers to provide impetus to.
  • To foster cooperative federalism through structured support initiatives and mechanisms with the States on a continuous basis, recognizing that strong States make a strong nation.
  • To develop mechanisms to formulate credible plans at the village level and aggregate these progressively at higher levels of government.
  • To ensure, on areas that are specifically referred to it, that the interests of national security are incorporated in economic strategy and policy.
  • To pay special attention to the sections of our society that may be at risk of not benefitting adequately from economic progress.
  • To design strategic and long term policy and programme frameworks and initiatives, and monitor their progress and their efficacy. The lessons learnt through monitoring and feedback will be used for making innovative improvements, including necessary mid-course corrections.
  • To provide advice and encourage partnerships between key stakeholders and national and international like-minded Think Tanks, as well as educational and policy research institutions.
  • To create a knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurial support system through a collaborative community of national and international experts, practitioners and other partners.
  • To offer a platform for resolution of inter-sectoral and inter-departmental issues in order to accelerate the implementation of the development agenda.
  • To maintain a state-of-the-art Resource Centre, be a repository of research on good governance and best practices in sustainable and equitable development as well as help their dissemination to stake-holders.
  • To actively monitor and evaluate the implementation of programmes and initiatives, including the identification of the needed resources so as to strengthen the probability of success and scope of delivery.
  • To focus on technology upgradation and capacity building for implementation of programmes and initiatives.
  • To undertake other activities as may be necessary in order to further the execution of the national development agenda, and the objectives mentioned above.

Through its commitment to a cooperative federalism, promotion of citizen engagement, egalitarian access to opportunity, participative and adaptive governance and increasing use of technology, the NITI Aayog will seek to provide a critical directional and strategic input into the governance process.  This, along with being the incubator of ideas for effective governance, will be the core mission of NITI Aayog.Via PIB