UGC Current Affairs - 2019

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November 11: National Education Day

Every year on November 11, India celebrates National Education Day on November 11 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maulana Abdul Azad, the first Education Minister of India. He was the man behind the establishments of the premier institutes of the country like IITs, IIScs, etc.

Highlights

  • The Day is being celebrated since 2008
  • Campaigns and Programs are organized on this day every year to spread awareness about education and for the citizens to learn about the importance of education.
  • The main objective of the day is to attract more people towards education and to increase the literacy rate of the country

Maulana Azad

  • Maulana Azad was an independence activist and one of the senior leaders of the Indian National Congress.
  • He was awarded the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in 192 for his contributions towards education
  • He founded the University Grants Commission (UGC) that supervises the higher education across the country.
  • His primary objective was free primary education.
  • He was born on November 11, 1888. He learned Arabic and Urudu. In 1912, he began a weekly Urudu newspaper called the “Al-Hilal”.
  • He found the Lalit Kala Academy, Sangeet Natak Academy and Sahitya Academy to promote the education system of the country.

Bulletin: PM approves changes in Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on assuming his office took the very first decision of granting approval to major changes in the ‘Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme’ under the National Defence Fund. This decision is in line with PM’s vision for India’s safety, security and well-being of those who protect the nation.

Changes approved by Prime Minister

  • Scholarship Rate: The rates of scholarship have been increased from Rs.2000pm (per month) to Rs.2500pm for boys and from Rs.2250pm to Rs.3000pm for girls.
  • Scholarship Extended: The ambit of Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme is now extended to include the wards of State Police officials who are or were martyred during terror or naxal attacks. The new scholarships quota for wards of state police officials will be 500 in one year. For the implementation of it the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will be the nodal Ministry.

Significance

  • The move of including police personnel wards provides recognition to the length of monumental contribution of our police personnel who performing their duties with utmost diligence.
  • The availability of scholarship under the scheme will enable more youngsters from police families to study and excel in different fields and will also have an empowering effect on several bright young minds.
  • The Prime Minister took the decision in spirit that it is country’s duty not only to express gratitude but also do things towards welfare of police personnel and their families.

About National Defence Fund

  • Background: NDF was set up in 1962. It was meant to take charge of voluntary donations (in cash and kind) received for promotion of national defence effort, and also to decide on their utilisation. National Defence Fund also accepts online voluntary contributions.
  • Purpose: NDF is used for welfare of members of Armed Forces, Para Military forces and Railway Protection Force, and their dependents.
  • Administration: An Executive Committee chaired by Prime Minister and with Defence Ministers, Finance Ministers and Home Ministers as Members administers the fund.
  • Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme’ (PMSS) is implemented under NDF.
  • PMSS: encourages technical and post-graduate education for widows and wards of deceased or ex-service personnel of Armed Forces, Para Military Forces and Railway Protection Force (RPF).
  • Scholarships under the scheme are available for education at technical institutions such as MBA, MCA, engineering, medical, dental, veterinary, or any other equivalent technical professions (with suitable AICTE/UGC approval).
  • Under PMSS new scholarships are given every year for about 5500 wards of armed forces (which is controlled by Ministry of Defence), 2000 wards of paramilitary forces (by Ministry of Home Affairs) and for 150 wards of forces (by Ministry of Railways).