‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Important aspects of Governance, Transparency & other measures – Tabs to watch over truant teachers

4 States to use tablet PCs and smart phones to track attendance, penalise absentees


  • Bunking school could become tougher for government teachers in some States, with the Centre set to launch a new programme under which their attendance would be tracked by a GPS-enabled tablet device.
  • Ready for launch in four States in August, the plan will also help create a national real-time education database.
  • The data points that it will cover include school-level infrastructure and quality of teaching and learning.
  • Teacher absenteeism is 25% on an average in government schools and a key reason for poor learning outcomes, said Anil Swarup, Secretary (School Education and Literacy), Human Resource Development Ministry.
  • While the initial plan was to roll out the tablet trackers across Chhattisgarh in August, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan have also decided to join the effort without seeking Central funds.
  • Rajasthan will use smart phones, not tablets. “We will start with four States and after studying the performance for three months, consider rolling it out nationally.
  • States believe the investment will pay for itself as teachers will not be paid during unauthorised absence.
  • The tablet devices will monitor parameters such as dropout rates and aspects like availability of drinking water, toilets and laboratories.
  • Eventually, they could deliver training content. Another official said the teacher attendance module would need biometric details that can be stored locally instead of using Aadhaar-based authentication as 3G connectivity could be weak.

   Geotags for checks:

  • We will geotag the tablet devices so that teachers cannot mark their attendance from external locations, and a biometric check linked to a State-level teacher database can be done.

    Source: Times of India

‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Indian Economy & issues related to Development & Employment – New recruiting landscape emerges on the horizon

In a fast-evolving digital economy, workforces will become increasingly liquid

    What is important to know:

  • The digital revolution is impacting every aspect of business. Corporate leaders are looking at digital technologies not as disrupters but as enablers to transform the way their workforce functions, the way projects are executed and also the organisational workflow.
  • The crux of the matter is that a workforce has to be highly adaptable and changeready to stay relevant in the fast-changing digital world: It is called a ‘Liquid Workforce’. With automation taking over many processes and the workplace undergoing a sea change due to this, employees have to be re-trained to be on top of the developments.
  • With digital economy constituting 22 per cent of the world economy, companies have to embrace technologies at the earliest.
  • The idea of proactively retraining employees to adapt to the changing demands of the organisation, which are most often dictated by market forces, is not new, except that the pace at which digital technologies are spreading is astounding.

    Upgraded Skillsets:

  • Successful organisations make continuous learning part of organic growth. This includes online open courses and one-to-one virtual training that allow employees to re-skill rapidly.
  • Organisations can also develop their own alternatives to fill the gaps in skills and meet the high demand in areas such as robotics, artificial intelligence and data science.

   Challenging problems:

  • To solve challenging problems, organisations need teams with top talent. Many a time, these skills do not exist within an organisation.
  • To attain these skills and broaden their interpretation of workforce, companies must blur traditional boundaries and find the right combination of internal employees, freelancers and technologies.

   Measuring effectiveness:

  • Feedback mechanisms and objective success metrics can be even more important in successfully managing fluid work and teams. Team connecting for a few minutes, frequent sharing of even partial project deliverables, and deftly-created milestone tracking are all elements of successful liquid team management.

   Source: The Hindu

‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: India & its Neighborhood relations – UAE ready for air traffic pact

But the Gulf nation demands access to more Indian airports


  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is in favour of India’s proposal for a unified bilateral air traffic pact provided the Gulf nation gets access to more Indian airports. Officials said on both sides would soon hold a meeting to discuss the proposal to sign a single bilateral air traffic agreement.
  • If they are worried that Delhi and Mumbai are busy and there are no extra slots, then we would be happy to speak about Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi or Bangalore and Chennai,” Dr. Banna said.
  • India has signed separate agreements with emirates of the UAE which is a unique arrangement as bilateral air traffic rights are generally signed between two countries.
  • It has an agreement each with Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah and Sharjah.

    Global practice:

  • Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha told The Hindu in an interview recently that India is contemplating a single air traffic pact with UAE to align with global practice.
  • It becomes a question of how it is done globally and what is the standard methodology that is in place for negotiating (air traffic rights) and that’s really what we are examining right now.

   Smaller airports:

  • As per the global practice, countries sign air service agreement bilaterally which decides the equal number of flights or seats per week that can fly into each other’s country depending upon their own requirements.
  • Then, the government distributes the allocated seats to the respective airlines. Airlines from India and UAE are entitled to fly around 1.34 lakh seats a week from both sides at present. Airlines from India and Dubai have exhausted their bilateral entitlement.
  • The air traffic agreement between India and the UAE has been a bone of contention for both the countries in the recent past.
  • While Dubai has been constantly demanding more entitlements, India has refrained from renewing its present bilateral agreement due to lack of viable slots available for Indian carriers in Dubai.

    Source: Economic Times