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Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education

IISc tops national rankings, IIT-Madras comes second 

Ranking were like:

  • The 2,995 institutions in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), 2017.
  • IIMs come way down on list of 2995 institutions nationwide.
  • The Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, rank one.
  • The seven top IITs, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Benaras Hindu University (BHU) in top ten of list.
  • IIT-Madras ranks second, while JNU ranks sixth in the all-India list.
  • Government would give more grants to the institutions ranked higher.
  • The elite Indian Institutes of Management have not performed too well, with IIM-Ahmedabad standing 17th in the list.
  • All other IIMs rank below 20.

Details of stream vise list:

  • There are separate lists within disciplines for engineering, management and pharmacy, and for universities and colleges.
  • The first NIRF ranking, brought out last year, had ranked institutions, without combined ranks.
  • Among engineering colleges, the IITs at Chennai, Mumbai, Kharagpur, New Delhi and Kanpur are among the top five. Among universities, the top five are IISc, JNU, BHU, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (Bengaluru) and Jadavpur University, Kolkata.
  • Among management institutions, the IIMs at Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Lucknow and Kozhikode are the top five.
  • Among colleges, the top five were Miranda House, Delhi; Loyola College, Chennai; Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Delhi; Bishop Heber College, Tiruchirapalli; and Atma Ram SanatanDharm College, Delhi.
  • St Xavier’s College in Kolkata ranked sixth and the prestigious Lady Shri Ram College for Women ranked seventh. St. Stephens and Hindu College in Delhi figured nowhere as they didn’t participated.
  • The NIRF ranked the institutions on the basis of five parameters: teaching-learning resources (student strength, faculty-student ratio, faculty qualifications and experience, financial resources and utilisation); research and professional practice (publications, quality of publications, patents, projects); graduation outcomes (placement and higher studies, salary, Ph.D degrees awarded); outreach and inclusivity (diversity in student pool); and perception (among peers, employers and the public).

Source: The Hindu

‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

Defence Ministry nod to buy Barak missiles 

Briefing:

  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) of the Defence Ministry on Monday, 3rd April approved the purchase of Barak surface-to-air missiles (SAM) for the Navy among other proposals estimated at ₹860 crore.
  • This was the first DAC meeting after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took additional charge as Defence Minister following the sudden exit of Manohar Parrikar to take charge as the Chief Minister of Goa after the Assembly elections.

Navy warships:

  • Israeli-built Barak short-range SAMs are installed on most of the front-line warships, including the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.
  • The new missiles are urgently needed to replace the current ones which have completed their shelf life.
  • The procurement of Barak missiles was approved with a categorisation of “Buy Global” under the option clause from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.
  • The other deals include procurement of expendable Bathy thermograph systems for the Navy to detect temperature changes under water through the foreign military sales route from the U.S. and procurement of equipment to counter mines in the sea, a repeat order, worth ₹311 crore.

Source: The Hindu

Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India.

PM’s Israel trip may see UAV deal

You should know:

  • Negotiations for the Heron TP models have been under way for several years
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to get a display of the Heron TP armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) during his visit to Israel later this summer.
  • These would be India’s first armed drones, significantly expanding the aerial offensive capabilities of the military.
  • These would be India’s first armed drones, significantly expanding the aerial offensive capabilities of the military.

Considerations:

  • The deal is expected to cost around $400 million for 10 drones. The discussion for the Heron TP drones has been going on for several years but the exact status of the deal is unclear as the progress is strictly under wraps.
  • India currently operates a large number of Israeli-built Heron and Searcher UAVs, which were inducted since the late 1990s, and the three services have been quite pleased with their performance.
  • With the indigenous efforts to build UAVs delayed, India has expanded its arsenal of Israeli drones. India also procured a small number of Harpy loitering drones in the past which can destroy targets by direct hits. However the Heron TP would be the first true armed UAV in the arsenal.
  • UAVs have become routine tools for surveillance and the armed variants would give decision makers a new and safe option in planning short and swift strikes on terrorist camps.
  • The manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) stated on its website that Heron TP is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) drone which can fly upto an altitude of 45,000 feet, has an endurance of over 30 hours and can carry a mission payload of 1,000 kgs.

Additional AWACS:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Israel in July this year, the first visit ever by an Indian Prime Minister, signalling a major turnaround in the bilateral relationship.
  • The other defence deal expected during the visit is for two additional Phalcon long range Airborne Warning And Control Systems (AWACS) which would join the three systems in service with the Air Force.
  • The radars are mounted on Russian IL-76 transport aircraft and Russian industry officials have earlier stated that India has already ordered aircraft for the purpose.

Source: The Hindu