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- An increase in single-sex toilets in schools has led to an increase in the enrolment of adolescent girls and female teachers
- However, as many as 25 percent teachers in primary schools remain absent from work, and only 50 percent of those at school are actually engaged in teaching activities
- A major problem that is preventing stunting is the lack of global and local funding
New Delhi, Sept 15, 2016: India will not have a universal upper secondary education (covering the age group 14-17 years and 9th to 12th standard) till 2085, over half a century late, according to the Global Education Monitoring Report 2016 by UNESCO.
This has to be viewed against the recent improvements in education in India, most notably that there has been an overall increase in gross enrolment ratio (GER, or student enrollment as a proportion of the corresponding eligible age group in a given year) at almost every level of education as of 2013-14.
Gender disparity in schooling has been largely addressed, and the enrolment of girls in higher education increased from 39 percent in 2007 to 46 percent in 2014.
An increase in single-sex toilets in schools has led to an increase in the enrolment of adolescent girls and female teachers, the Unesco study shows.
However, there is still a large disparity in the achievement of basic skills, such as reading and math, where there has been a decline in learning outcomes, as highlighted in the Unesco report.
Absenteeism among teachers remains a problem. As many as 25 percent teachers in primary schools remain absent from work, and only 50 percent of those at school are actually engaged in teaching activities, a 2004 World Bank report suggested. Almost 24 per cent teachers were absent during random visits to rural schools, according to a September 2015 study by the University of California.
The government has not established any bonus to incentivise teachers and principals, the Minister of Human Resource Development informed the Lok Sabha in April 2016.
E-pathshala, launched in 2015 and aimed at promoting e-learning through e-resources like textbooks, audio and video material, was among the steps taken to tackle the shortage of good teachers, the minister said.
Stunting too is a problem. As many as 39 percent, or 61.8 million, Indian children who are five or younger are stunted, as IndiaSpend reported in July. This is 15 percent higher than the global average.
In terms of educational achievement, studies show that stunting at age two leads to children completing one year less of school. Those stunted before age five achieve less schooling and lower test performances.
Another sustainable development goal that India will miss is to have only 100 million children stunted in 2025.
The current trends suggest that there will be 127 million children stunted in that year. A major problem that is preventing stunting is the lack of global and local funding, as IndiaSpend reported earlier. (IANS)
Canadian researchers have discovered an overlooked gene that plays a major role in the development of antibodies, which help the immune system recognize and fight viruses including SARS-CoV-2, bacteria and other causes of infectious disease. The gene -- FAM72A -- facilitates production of high-quality antibodies by enabling the effect of an enzyme called AID (for Activation-Induced Deaminase), the researchers showed.
Immunologists have known for two decades that AID is essential to produce antibodies capable of clearing infections, but the full mechanism of its effect has remained unknown. "Our findings answer the long-standing question of how AID does its work," said Alberto Martin, a professor of immunology at the University of Toronto's Temerty Faculty of Medicine. "FAM72A helps AID to promote mutations in antibody genes that are essential for the development of effective antibodies," he added.
Genetic mutations that lead to lasting changes in DNA occur through a process called mutagenesis. | Pixabay
Genetic mutations that lead to lasting changes in DNA occur through a process called mutagenesis. In the context of antibody development, mutagenesis unfolds largely through the AID-driven mechanisms called somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination -- both of which help antibodies gain the diversity and potency they need to counter a wide range of pathogens.
The results published in the journal Nature will help researchers better understand antibody development broadly, but they also have implications for cancer. Uncontrolled mutagenesis in B cells that produce antibodies is linked to B cell lymphoma, and FAM72A is present at very high levels in other cancers such as gastrointestinal, breast, lung, liver and ovarian cancers.
"Our data show that high levels of FAM72A promote mutations in antibody genes, so increased levels of FAM72A could spur cancer development, progression or drug resistance by increasing mutagenesis,a Martin said. Martin's team is now exploring those possibilities. Intriguingly, unlike other mammals, humans have four gene versions of FAM72A and their roles in cancer and antibody production are still unknown. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: researchers, cancer, mutagenesis, antibody, development, antibodies, canada, COVID
Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India will set up a 50 megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Odisha's Sambalpur at a total cost of Rs 301.92 crore, moving steadily towards its goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2024. MCL has placed a turnkey order to set-up a 50 MW solar power plant with a Chennai-based firm M/s Hild Energy Ltd, which will establish this green energy project within a timeline of 10 months, the MCL said in a statement on Saturday.
This solar plant would cater to the captive power requirement of MCL. The Central PSU had successfully set-up a 2MW solar power plant in Sambalpur in 2014. The company said it has pledged a target of installing 182 MW of solar power by 2024 in order to become a net zero energy company, aligning itself to use cleaner forms of energy for coal production.
The company said it has pledged a target of installing 182 MW of solar power by 2024. | Photo by Mariana Proença on Unsplash
This 50 MW solar power project will reduce CO2 emission by 91,020 tonnes per annum and carbon offsets of around 24,824 tonnes per annum, claimed the MCL. MCL is the leading production subsidiary of Coal India, having mining operations in Angul, Jharsuguda and Sundargarh districts of Odisha. Having achieved the highest ever capital expenditure of Rs 2,419 crore in the financial year 2020-21, the company has coal production and dispatch targets of 163 million tonnes and 182 million tonnes, respectively.
MCL was the coal mining company to introduce environment-friendly surface miner technology, which contributes over 95 per cent in coal production. As another environment-friendly initiative, the company has successfully introduced vertical rippers for blast-less over-burden removal in Hingula and Kaniha opencast projects. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: solar plant, carbon neutrality, Odisha, Sambalpur, Coal India, subsidiary, Mahanadi Coalfields Limited, solar energy
As the nation celebrated the 114th birth anniversary of his father - renowned poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan - megastar Amitabh Bachchan remembered his dad as he penned a heartfelt note for him. The actor took to his blog where he poured his heart out and also shared an unseen photo with his father. The image in question is from Big B's wedding in 1973, where the two are caught in a sweet moment as they look at each other.
Amitabh Bachchan wrote on his blog,
"My Father , my all .. November 27th his birth in the year 1907 .. Which makes it his 114th Anniversary .. He is in the heavens, with my Mother and they celebrate .. as do we , in thought word and deed .. (sic). But first."
He then posted the picture followed by elaborate paragraphs. The megastar wrote,
"Those rare moments when one would find himself rushing against the winds to prevent the distance between us and to close it down as soon as it can be. The day of my wedding and his expression of fulfilment to not just be in congratulation but instead to be in the face of a belief, a chime, an ultimate season of love and great passion, of the quarries of the fears and conditionings of these deprived gym routines kart ..(sic)". "This could have been unknown for long facilitating years, to give not expected versions and lastly large scale informations of the insides ; but as time passed by, as does now , they explained purposely, the values of education and similarity .. Be in peace and love .. (sic)",
the veteran actor concluded his note. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Amitabh Bachchan, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, actor, blog, birth anniversary, 114th birthday