World Accreditation Day 2020
The World Accreditation Day (WAD) is celebrated on 9th June every year to highlight as well as promote the role of accreditation in trade & economy.
The theme for WAD 2020 is “Accreditation: Improving Food Safety”, as decided by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).
What is ‘accreditation’?
Accreditation is a formal, independent verification that a program or institution meets established quality standards and is competent to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks. Conformity assessment tasks may include, but are not limited to, testing, inspection, or certification.
Accreditation in India –
- National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB) and National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) are the two accreditation boards of the Quality Council of India (QCI).
- The Quality Council of India (QCI) works for promotion of Quality Standards across various economic and social sectors such as manufacturing, education, health and environment.
About QCI –
- The QCI has been established as a National body for Accreditation on recommendation of Expert Mission of EU after consultation in Inter-Ministerial Task Force, Committee of Secretaries and Group of Ministers through a Cabinet decision in 1996.
- Accordingly, the QCI was set up through a PPP model as an independent autonomous organisation with the support of Government of India and the Indian Industry represented by the three premier industry associations, (i) Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), (ii) Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and (iii) Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
- Chairman of QCI is appointed by the Prime Minister on recommendation of the industry to the government.
- The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (now Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, is the nodal ministry for QCI.
The QCI is the umbrella organisation of five boards –
- NABL – National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories;
- NABH – National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare;
- NABET – National Accreditation Board for Education and Training;
- NABCB – National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies; and
- NBQP – National Board for Quality Promotion.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has expressed his happiness over the increasing population of the Majestic Asiatic Lion, living in Gujarat’s Gir Forest. It has been recently reported that the population of the Majestic Lion, living in Gujarat’s Gir Forest, is up by almost 29%.
About Asiatic Lions –
- Asiatic Lion is also called Panthera Leo Leo in India.
- It is restricted to the Gir Forests of Gujarat.
- On the IUCN Red List, it is listed under its former scientific name Panthera leo persica as Endangered because of its small population size and area of occupancy.
- Until the 19th century, it occurred in Saudi Arabia eastern Turkey, Iran, Mesopotamia, and from east of the Indus River to Bengal and Narmada River in Central India.
- The population of Asiatic lion has steadily increased since 2010.
Asiatic Lion Conservation Project –
- The MoEFCC had launched the “Asiatic Lion Conservation Project” in 2019 with an aim to protect and conserve the world’s last ranging free population of Asiatic Lion and its associated ecosystem.
- The project is funded from the Centrally Sponsored Scheme- Development of Wildlife Habitat (CSS-DWH) with the contributing ratio being 60:40 of Central and State share.
- Key aspects of the conservation project include undertaking “habitat improvement” measures, making more sources of water available, creating a wildlife crime cell, and a task force for the Greater Gir region.
- It would also involve having in place a GPS-based tracking system, which would look at surveillance tracking, animal and vehicle tracking.
- There would also be an automated sensor grid that would have magnetic sensors, movement sensors and infra-red heat sensors.
About Gir National Park –
- The Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Junagadh district of Gujarat.
- The Gir Forests is the only natural habitat of Asiatic lions. It was declared as a sanctuary in 1965 and a national park in 1975.
- The Gir Forests is the largest compact tract of dry deciduous forests in the semi-arid western part of India.
- The Gir Forests forms a unique habitat for many mammals, reptiles, birds and insect species along with a rich variety of flora.
- Gir is often linked with “Maldharis” who have survived through the ages by having symbiotic relationship with the lion.
Krishna and Godavari
The Union Government is going to take stock of water utilisation from the Krishna and Godavari rivers following Telangana and Andhra Pradesh filing complaints against each other.
Secretary, Department of Water Resources, Union Ministry of Jal Shakti, asked the Chairpersons of the Krishna and Godavari River Management Boards to procure the details of the irrigation projects in Maharashtra and Karnataka, too, and submit them to the Centre in a month. The main objective of the exercise appears to be to assess whether surplus water will be available for the new projects in the light of the disputes.
About Krishna river –
- The Krishna is the second largest east flowing river of the Deccan Peninsula.
- The Krishna Basin extends over Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka having a total area of 2.6 lakh Sq.km.
- It is bounded by Balaghat range on the north, by the Eastern Ghats on the south and the east and by the Western Ghats on the west.
- The Krishna River rises from the Western Ghats near Jor village of Satara district of Maharashtra at an altitude of 1,337 m just north of Mahabaleshwar.
- The total length of river from origin to its outfall into the Bay of Bengal is 1,400 km.
- The major part of basin is covered with agricultural land accounting to 75.86% of the total area.
- The Krishna forms a large delta with a shoreline of about 120 km. The Krishna delta appears to merge with that formed by the Godavari and extends about 35 km into the sea.
About Godavari river –
- The Godavari is the largest river system of the Peninsular India and is revered as Dakshina Ganga.
- The Godavari basin extends over states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha in addition to smaller parts in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Union territory of Puducherry (Yanam) having a total area of 3 lakh Sq.km.
- The basin is bounded by Satmala hills, the Ajanta range and the Mahadeo hills on the north, by the Eastern Ghats on the south and the east and by the Western Ghats on the west.
- The Godavari River rises from Trimbakeshwar in the Nashik district of Maharashtra about 80 km from the Arabian Sea at an elevation of 1,067 m.
- The total length of Godavari from its origin to outfall into the Bay of Bengal is 1,465 km.
On June 7, astronaut and oceanographer Kathy Sullivan, who was the first American woman to walk in space in 1984, became the first woman and the fifth person in history to descend to the deepest known spot in the world’s oceans, called the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, which is seven miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.
What is ‘Challenger Deep’?
According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the US, the average depth of the ocean is about 12,100 feet and the deepest part is called the Challenger Deep, which is located below the surface of the western Pacific Ocean. It is approximately 36,200 feet deep.
Why is it important to explore deep oceans?
- As per NOAA, most of the existing knowledge of the oceans comes from shallower waters, while deeper waters remain relatively unexplored, even as humans are relying more on these areas for food, energy and other resources.
- “Ocean exploration, however, is not randomly wandering in hopes of finding something new. It is disciplined and organised and includes rigorous observations and documentation of biological, chemical, physical, geological, and archaeological aspects of the ocean,” the NOAA website says.
- Further, finding out more about the deep ocean areas can potentially reveal new sources for medical drugs, food, energy resources and other products.
- Significantly, information from the deep oceans can also help to predict earthquakes and tsunamis, and help us understand how we are affecting and getting affected by the Earth’s environment.
Quacquarelli Symonds (QI) World University Rankings
The latest edition (17th) of QS World University Rankings was released recently. At least 10 institutions of eminence marked by the Government of India have slipped in rankings this time.
- Among the IoEs that have fallen in rank over the past 12 months are IIT-Delhi, IIT-Madras, IIT-Kharagpur, IISc-Bangalore, Delhi University, Hyderabad Central University, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (BITS-Pilani), Anna University and Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT).
- Overall, 21 Indian universities and institutes have found a place this year among the world’s top 1,000, as opposed to 25 last year.
- IIT-Bombay retains its status as country’s top university, followed by IISc-Bangalore, IIT-Delhi, IIT-Madras, IIT-Kharagpur, IIT-Kanpur, IIT-Roorkee, IIT-Guwahati, Delhi University and IIT-Hyderabad.
- Of the 21, 14 have fallen in rank and only four – IIT-Guwahati, IIT-Hyderabad, OP Jindal University, and Savitribai Phule Pune University – have improved their position.
- Globally, MIT is the number one university, followed by Stanford University and Harvard University.
Why Indian institutions are ranked low?
The ranking agency attributes the “regressive performance” of Indian institutions to low levels of internationalisation and faculty-student ratio.
About QS World University Rankings –
- Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) is a leading global career and education network for ambitious professionals looking to further their personal and professional development.
- QS develops and successfully implements methods of comparative data collection and analysis used to highlight institutions’ strengths.
- The ‘QS World University Rankings’ is an annual publication of university rankings which comprises the global overall and subject rankings.
- Six parameters and their weightage for the evaluation – Academic Reputation (40%); Employer Reputation (10%); Faculty/Student Ratio (20%); Citations per faculty (20%); International Faculty Ratio (5%), and International Student Ratio (5%).