Congress questions NEP 2020 timing, says it will create ‘digital divide’ - The Daily Guardian
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Congress questions NEP 2020 timing, says it will create ‘digital divide’



The New Education Policy (NEP 2020), approved by the Central government, has come under attack from Congress. On Sunday, Congress fielded former HRD Minister Pallam Raju, chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala and former MP and chief of Congress’ research department Rajeev Gowda to slam the government over NEP.

In the press conference, the party has alleged that this education policy is going to create a “digital divide” in the country. Surjewala said that NEP misses certain fundamental goals.

 The Congress said that NEP, which aimed to pave the way for transformational reforms in ‘schools and higher education’, is high on catchwords, gloss, appearance and verbosity and yet lacks coherent implementation of roadmap and strategy, clearly defined milestones and critical finances necessary to execute this grand vision. “The NEP 2020 misses the fundamental goal of human development and expansion of knowledge,” added Surjewala.

He said, “NEP will lead to increased segregation of the poor and disadvantaged by creating a ‘Digital Divide’. Over 70% of children from marginalised sections may be completely excluded as it was seen during access to online classes in the Covid-19 period. This will also make the rural versus urban divide even stronger on account of absent or diminished internet connectivity/access to computers in rural areas.” Surjewala further said that there is no discussion of SC, ST, OBC and deprived class.

The Congress has also questioned the timing of the launching NEP 2020. It said that the timing of the NEP 2020 in the middle of the Corona pandemic when all educational institutions are closed is, in and of itself, questionable. “On a policy that impacts and affects our present and future generations, even parliamentary oversight has been circumvented. Contrast this with the rigorous parliamentary and widespread consultation that preceded the Right to Education Act,” added Party leaders.

 While raising the question about financing mismatch, the party said, “spending on education as a percentage of the budget, has fallen from 4.14% in 2014-15 to 3.2% in 2020-21 under the BJP government. Even this budgeted amount will see a cut of 40% owing to the Corona pandemic in the current year taking the education spending to (close to) 2% of the total budget. There is thus a huge mismatch between promise and delivery with no clarity on whether NEP 2020 proposes financing of 6% of GDP to come from public funds or private investment”.

 Congress also questioned NEP dependence on Anganwadis for delivering quality ‘Early Childhood Care and Education’ (ECCE).

 After almost three decades, keeping in mind the present employment scenario, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday had approved NEP 2020 which is expected to set the road map for the education sector.

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DPS R.K. Puram: Celebration of an odyssey of 50 years



Delhi Public School R.K. Puram, one of the most prestigious schools in India, was founded in 1972 in New Delhi. The school upholds the founders’ commitment to excellence in the all-round development of the students, with emphasis on its motto Service Before Self. The school is extremely proud of its illustrious alumni who continue to uphold the ideals of the school and have impacted society greatly in every sphere of life. DPS R.K. Puram has received the Education World Award as the No.1 Day-cum-Boarding School (2020-21) in India.

On 2 October, Delhi Public School, R. K. Puram organised a curtain-raiser to the official launch of the six-month-long celebration of the golden jubilee of the institution. The event was attended by renowned alumni of the school. The school plans to organise a plethora of activities to commemorate the 50 years of excellence by organising alumni guest speaker programmes, alumni reunions in different parts of the world, cultural programmes involving the present and former students, collage of video messages of alumni from all over the world to inspire the current students and the culmination of all these events at the grand celebration in 2022.

The event commenced with a lively dance performance by the students as an ode to Lord Ganesha with drum beats followed by a graceful Garba performance. The chief guest, VK Shunglu, Chairman of the DPS Society and DPS RK Puram Managing Committee inaugurated the ceremony by lighting the lamp and unveiling the logo of the 50th anniversary. A cake baked by Aadishwar Singh, a student of class XII was cut to mark the occasion. It was followed by a splendid rendition of ‘Vaishnav Jana Toh’ through Indian and Western instrumental fusion. This was followed by a nostalgic presentation of DPS R.K. Puram through ages.

The Principal, Padma Srinivasan warmly welcomed the Chairman along with the former Principals; Shyama Chona and D.R. Saini. She quoted Mahatma Gandhi, by saying that with the burning passion within each individual one can alter the course of history. She said, while we must reflect on the glories of the past, we must also look to the future and aim to transform lives with education as the school has done so ably in the past five decades. She thanked the chairman, V.K. Shunglu for his guidance, constant unceasing support, his spirit of empathy in covid times and for being a leader who thinks from the heart. She further emphasised how 1972 and 2022 are connected by a belief that transcends time; that education can transform lives. To conclude her address, she asked the alumni present to start a movement and give back to the society what the school has given to them and firmly stand by the motto of ‘Service before Self.‘ Following this was a graceful Kathak dance rendition on the song ‘Ghar More Pardesiya.’

Sooraj Dhawan and Sudeepta Chaterjee coordinated and compèred the programme for the alumni group and presented video messages from them. A video showcasing the drone footage of Delhi Public School, R.K. Puram, Vasant Vihar and East of Kailash was screened, magnifying the nostalgia of the alumni in the audience. A self-composed song by the alumni and the students helped reminisce the years gone by and rejoice in the celebrations.

V.K. Shunglu, in his address, reiterated the importance of focusing on what we do in the next fifty years so that we modernise at a fast pace and keep abreast with the challenges of a fast-moving world and keep the banner of the school flying high. The vote of thanks was proposed by the Vice Principal, Renu Nayyar. In the closing note, Padma Srinivasan expressed her appreciation for the alumni who actively participated in the cultural programmes of the day. The programme concluded with the national anthem.

The school plans to organise a plethora of activities to commemorate the 50 years of excellence by organising alumni guest speaker programmes, alumni reunions in different parts of the world, cultural programmes involving the present and former students, collage of video messages of alumni from all over the world to inspire the current students and the culmination of all these events at the grand celebration in 2022.

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Water ioniser: A boon for healthy living



As per Medical research, the major root cause for more than 90% of modern-day health disorders includes heart stroke, cancer, diabetes, thyroid, gastric, and many other issues are oxidative stress, acidic environment, and hypoxia.


Oxidative Stress caused by free radicals makes a significant contribution to all inflammatory diseases, ischemic diseases, gastric ulcers, hypertension, and preeclampsia and neurological disorders.


The second major threat to our health is caused by stress caused by the acidic environment around us.


The third threat to our well-being is hypoxia. Hypoxia is a condition in which the body or a region of the body is lacking adequate oxygen supply at the tissue level.

The food we take, the water we drink, the air we inhale, our habits, genetic conditions all contribute to our overall lifestyle. A good lifestyle is the best practice to be healthy, happy, and fit enough. Our drinking water plays a very crucial role in our overall healthy lifestyle. At every point, we should not only need to check the safety of our drinking water, but more importantly, we also need to be sure it is healthy or unhealthy.

Drinking water which undergoes reverse osmosis type of purification is dead water without useful minerals, acidic in nature making internal body pH balance tough, having bigger clusters difficult to get absorbed by body cells. Most importantly the oxidant nature combined with the acidic nature of reverse osmosis purified water adds extra free radicals that weaken our immunity power. Oxidative stress and free radicals are the biggest threat and root cause of more than 75% of health disorders.

For complete family health protection, switch on to Ionised alkaline water which has rich sources of essential alkaline minerals and selective Anti-Oxidant molecular hydrogen.

Ionised alkaline water helps in restoring the right pH balance between the acidic and alkaline conditions in the human body. It neutralises disease-causing free radicals, helps in reducing inflammation.

Ionised alkaline water is micro-clustered. This helps our body cells to absorb more water easily, quickly, and with effective transportation of oxygen and important nutrients to vital organs of the body. This further improves Hydration and detoxification levels. It helps in reducing joint pains, improves metabolism and energy, slows down the aging process and helps in boosting immunity.

The research on molecular hydrogen on Covid-19 has shown promising results where the antioxidant nature of hydrogen helps in preventing the disease onset and also helps in reducing the disease severity in Covid-19 affected patients.

By looking at the enormous health benefits of the Hydrogen-rich Ionised Alkaline water, Medilight Pvt Ltd thought of introducing water ioniser machines in India. Medilight Private Limited found the perfect product which uses a fourth-generation technology water ioniser machine which is a solution to battle air, water and food pollution. This worldwide patented fourth-generation Disc Ionisation technology is available only in Taiwan.

Early in the year 2016 Medilight bought that technology and introduced their own brand name “H Rich” alkaline water Ioniser. In the year 2017, Medilight collaborated with the world-renowned water ioniser brand “Tyent”, a Japanese technology-made water ioniser machine from South Korea which has extensive market coverage in the USA, Europe and Australia.

Health benefits are clinically tested and certified by research. In short, your healthy drinking water can drive your metabolism on the right track in the correct way. It’s a good solution and an investment idea for your family’s health for the next 20 years.

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In an exclusive conversation with NewsX India A-List, Avneet Singh Marwah spoke about what sets his company Super Plastronics Ltd apart from other players, expectations from the festive season, impact of pandemic, and much more.



Avneet Singh Marwah, Director & CEO, Super Plastronics Pvt Ltd, joined NewsX for an exclusive conversation as part of NewsX India A-List. In the exclusive conversation, Avneet spoke about what sets his company Super Plastronics Ltd apart from other players, expectations from the festive season, impact of Covid and much more.

Giving us an insight into Super Plastronics Ltd and what sets it apart from other players in this competitive market, Avneet said, “Super Plastronics is about a 30-year-old company. We started with plastic moulding of television back then for CRT and then we started manufacturing CRT. We are a complete backboned integrated plant and that experience was forward toward manufacturing LCDs and now LEDs, 4K TVs, USDs. The company invested. Back then, we were completely “Atmanirbhar” for CRT televisions, now we are again in LED televisions. We are a complete backbone integrated plant and we have everything in house, from plastic molding to SMDs to cleanroom and assembly line. Currently, we have about five brands, starting from Kodak, then Thomson-we launched in 2018, after that we launched Globewarm, recently we launched Westinghouse televisions and then we have white Westinghouse by Electrolux- our appliance in washing machine brand. We are one of the largest brand licenses in India and second-largest television manufacturing in India right now.”

He added, “In terms of selling, we currently selling more than 18,000 pin codes in India. We are on top 2 of online selling brands. Our major strategic partner is Flipkart. For Kodak, it is available across online and offline, both. We have a vast service network of more than 550 service center that are company-owned and about 20 warehousing, we have one manufacturing unit in Noida and there are two manufacturing units that are coming up.”

Talking about his expectations from this festive season, Avneet said, “The festive season for any electronic brand is about 35% to 40% of the year. As I told you that we are online and offline, so there are three major sales that come to online. This time, the sales started a bit early, so it is a very important month for us, then the Dussehra sales comes and then “Dhanteras”. The majority of the season is covered in this. We have done a couple of new launches. There are more launches that are coming up this festive season. The company is completely focused on how we can give you the best technology at affordable pricing.

When asked whether there has been an issue of demand-supply gaps because of the Covid situation, Avneet responded, “When the first wave hit, there was a lot of pent-up demand. One of the reasons was the whole world was on screen and work from home. Classes were going online, and then there were OTT platforms to entertain you in the evening. At that point of time, there was a huge spike in terms of buying of screens and televisions, smart TVs plays a very vital role in that. There was about 30% growth but things changed after the second wave. The kind of second wave that hit India, people start saving and they were not spending their disposable incomes. The mortality rate was very high. India is a very big saving economy. After June, I would say, in April and June, the market got stagnant. But, as the economy is recovering, and the first sales show a very encouraging sign. We saw about 80% year on year growth on Big Billion days sales and Amazon’s The Great India festive sale. I think its recovering. We are hoping that Diwali has good numbers. If wave three is not hit, I think the market will recover and you will see the growth in smart TV market.”

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The trajectory of an FOBS is very different to that of a ballistic missile, which follows a parabolic curve with its apogee in space. FOBS are more maneuverable and have a flatter trajectory, making them difficult to track.



Revelations about an advanced Chinese missile test in August have startled many by the technological know-how displayed by China. In the test, a space rocket boosted a hypersonic glide vehicle, one capable of carrying a nuclear device, which circled the globe before impacting.

The startling news, presented in a story written by Demetri Sevasopolu and Kathrin Hille, was broken by the Financial Times on 17 October. The hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) was launched atop a Long March 2C rocket, and it flew through space in a low orbit before impacting about 24 miles from its target. China failed to divulge this 78th launch of a Long March 2C rocket, which occurred between other launches on 19 July and 24 August.

This underscores how China’s space program falls under the aegis of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). This project is led by the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics, a subdivision of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).

CASC’s achievement was certainly astounding. It was the first time China has conducted such a feat, and the pace at which Beijing is developing such technologies is stunning US officials.

This capability bears all the hallmarks of a fractional orbital bombardment system (FOBS). Russia was the first country to develop one in the mid-1960s, before fielding multiple-warhead missiles made its FOBS redundant. What is a fractional orbital bombardment system? It comprises an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that launches a warhead into low Earth orbit. When the payload approaches its target, an onboard retro rocket detaches the payload and causes it to return to Earth.

The trajectory of an FOBS is very different to that of a ballistic missile, which follows a parabolic curve with its apogee in space. FOBS, on the other hand, are more maneuverable and have a flatter trajectory, making them more difficult to track and hit.

Frank Kendall, the US Air Force Secretary, dropped hints last month that China was developing such a weapon. He noted China was making huge advances, including the “potential for global strikes…from space”. He said about FOBS: “If you use that kind of an approach, you don’t have to use a traditional ICBM trajectory. It’s a way to avoid defenses and missile warning systems.”

Indeed, a fielded FOBS-type missile and HGV would bypass existing American ballistic missile defenses (BMD).

Its early-warning radars are in Alaska, California, Greenland, Massachusetts and the UK, pointing north, east and south. Most interceptor missiles are based in Alaska, ready to face an attack coming from the north via the North Pole.

The problem for American BMD is that Chinese FOBS can perform strikes from unexpected directions and vectors – via the South Pole, for example. Furthermore, they would have virtually no limit to their range, and would be highly challenging for US midcourse interceptors to counter since they are designed for parabolic ballistic trajectories that have a known range for each flight stage. Thus, an FOBS would be the most formidable target for a BMD network.

In other words, this Chinese innovation will completely upset the apple cart of American missile defense if it becomes operational. Derek J. Grossman, a senior defense analyst at the RAND Corporation, tweeted, “China may have just achieved its own Sputnik moment against the US military. Hard to exaggerate how much of a game-changer this space-based capability might be if perfected. US missile defenses could become negated or even obsolete.”

It must be stressed that this was a test, rather than deployment of a fully developed FOBS. The fact that China used a space rocket rather than an ICBM showed it is still some time away from developing a militarized launch-and-delivery package. Presumably, this is not China’s final form of the weapon, and the August launch was an opportunity to test combinations and capabilities. China refused to comment on the test, merely saying, “We don’t have a global strategy and plans of military operations like the US does. And we are not at all interested in having an arms race with other countries. In contrast, the US has in recent years been fabricating excuses like ‘the China threat’ to justify its arms expansion and development of hypersonic weapons. This has directly intensified arms race in this category and severely undermined global strategic stability.”

Beijing insisted its military policy is purely “defensive in nature”, but this does not jibe with development of an offensive FOBS system. Normally an FOBS would carry a nuclear-armed re-entry vehicle, but China went one step further by using a hypersonic glide vehicle. This hybrid combination possesses great kinetic energy and allows a long, maneuvering, high-speed flight as it closes on a target.

China is not the only country to develop hypersonic weapons, but there is alarm over China’s stiffening nuclear posture. For example, three massive fields of siloes for ICBMs are under construction deep in China’s interior, and more might be uncovered. These three fields could hold more than 250 ICBMs if each silo were filled, perhaps some with such FOBS.

China had actually toyed with the idea of an FOBS in the 1960s. A feasibility study led to proposals for a three-stage DF-6 missile that was supposed to be operational by 1974.

However, a chain of technical problems forced its cancellation in late 1973. China’s August test also raises questions over China’s commitments as a party to the Outer Space Treaty. One principle enshrined in the treaty is that “states shall not place nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies or station them in outer space in any other manner”. A Chinese nuclear warhead orbiting the earth would represent a violation.

Joshua Pollack, Editor of the Nonproliferation Review, and Senior Research Associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, observed: “What’s a bit puzzling about this account is the use of a glider as an FOBS payload.

A glider can also evade defenses, but putting one in orbit a la FOBS renders that advantage moot. An intercontinental glider is designed to travel through the atmosphere, ‘under-flying’ exo- atmospheric intercept systems like the USA’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense. There seems like no good reason to put one into space.”

However, Pollack discerned a possible reason. “…Here’s a hypothesis. The weapon reportedly tested by China in August may be multifunctional, like Russia’s Sarmat, capable of delivering weapons via different trajectories.” That would mean it can carry various warheads, including HGVs, and attack the USA, or anyone else, over either the North or South Pole.

Pollack noted, however, “That seems like an over-engineered weapon: why not just have one glider-type missile and one FOBS-type missile, rather than a ‘Swiss Army knife’ missile?”

He mused, “Perhaps the idea is to have the flexibility to evade defenses in an unpredictable manner. After all, the US has begun testing its sea-based Aegis defense system against ICBM-class threats. Boats move around, and the US is always upgrading the interceptors. An over-designed missile with both glider and FOBS capabilities could be the PLA’s way of staying ahead of diversifying, improving defense systems.”

Pollack referred to the Russian 200+-tonne Sarmat multiple-warhead (e.g. HGVs) ICBM that can attack over either the North or South Poles. President Vladimir Putin said, “Sarmat is a formidable missile and, owing to its characteristics, is untroubled by even the most advanced missile defense systems.” One wonders whether North Korea might be trying to develop such an FOBS too.

It should not be surprising that Beijing is seeking to circumvent American BMD systems, even though they are designed more to counter small-scale attacks and rogue nations, rather than a mass attack by someone like Beijing. Nonetheless, this Chinese revelation shows that the more defense the US builds, the more creative a hostile nation will be to circumvent it.

China is currently not bound by any arms control treaty, and it is extremely reluctant to engage with Washington DC on the topic. Unfortunately, the risk of miscalculation between the two protagonists is growing.

Drew Thompson, a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, warned, “The US and China are not talking about their respective perceptions, concepts and investment at official, authoritative senior levels, despite considerable strategic nuclear developments on both sides.”

Indeed, the last military-to-military strategic nuclear dialogue was in 2008, while the most recent State Department-Ministry of Foreign Affairs talks were held ten years ago. Thompson lamented, “The two governments are not talking today, and do not understand one another. The risk of misperception is high, particularly in the midst of a security dilemma. Beijing feels that diverging interests in other sectors – political, economic, technological, as well as diverging interests in Taiwan – preclude strategic talks, which require a better political environment.”

“There is no trust in the bilateral relationship,” Thompson noted, “and I see no pathway to building trust. No pathway to a future bilateral arms control agreement (forget trilateral), or even military confidence-building measures. Neither side is interested in going down that path right now. The senior-most officers in the US military have little to no experience engaging Chinese counterparts, and virtually no understanding of Chinese strategic thought or nuclear concepts. China’s strategic posture is changing, its concepts are changing, and I don’t think US leaders understand what is happening, or how US actions affect China’s calculations.”

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PGIMER Chandigarh Pediatric Emergency often see cases with perforated colon or intestine after the child was given Lomotil for treating extensive diarrhoea. These cases are majorly landing either from Uttar Pradesh or Himachal Pradesh. Due to perforation, there has to be surgery to close the perforation (hole) caused in the respected area. Surprisingly, this is a banned drug by GOI and aggressively prescribed by UP-based private practicing doctors. The Daily Guardian has spoken to many experts of Punjab, Haryana, and UP on this emerging issue and found out that this is a planned practice of few private clinical practitioners in UP to mint heavy money.

Case1: Priya, 7 years old, from Kanpur was suffering from extensive diarrhoea. Parents approached the private hospital of Kanpur where the child was given Lomotil to stop diarrhoea. Thereafter child suffered acute constipation and acute loss of appetite. Parents again went to the same hospital where the paediatrician after doing an Ultrasound informed them that their child was suffering from a hole in the intestine. They were asked to pay Rs 15 lakh for correcting hole surgery. Parents appeared in PGI, Chandigarh, and then got to know it was Lomotil that caused a hole in the intestine. PGI did surgery within minimal cost and the child got fine later. Her father Ramdeen while speaking to The Daily Guardian told that many such kids in Kanpur had the same problem and got surgically treated in the same private hospital.

Case2: Sidharth, 6 years old, too was from Kanpur, suffered diarrhoea, given Lomotil by another private practicing paediatrician. He later presented with an acute stomach ache, acute constipation, and was found to have an intestine perforation. His father Sumant Suman was asked to shell out Rs 21 lakh for perforation correction surgery. The expert paediatrician of Kanpur Dr Deen Dayal of a private hospital says, “This is a banned drug and shall not be available over the counter. But Chemists here are hand in gloves with some doctors and give this medicine to stop diarrhoea. Lomotil does not cause perforation for sure, yet there are maximum cases of perforation due to this medicine. Even addicts are taking this medicine as an opioid.”

“Lomotil may cause perforation, we often ask parents if they had given this specific medicine to the child during diarrhoea, they say yes. And, there is evidence available in many medical journals as well. Doctors know that they shall not prescribe this medicine yet cases are appearing in our emergency,” says Prof Arun Bansal, Advanced Pediatric Centre PGIMER.

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After launching the Rojgaar Bazaar portal last year that became a useful platform for youths looking for jobs and small businesses looking for skilled workers in Delhi, the government is all set to create the Rojgar Bazaar 2.0 portal that will be a digital job matching platform for entry-level jobs in India, said a press release.

Based on the experiences of the Rojgar Bazaar 1.0 portal and to drive employment linkages across Delhi, the government had decided to upgrade the current Rojgaar Bazaar portal to bring in best-in-class practices from national and international job portals. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia claimed that the Rojgaar Bazaar 2.0 would be a first-of-its-kind innovative platform launched by any state government to provide all employment-related services seamlessly to its citizens. In a statement, Manish Sisodia said, ”Rojgar Bazaar 1.0 portal was launched in August 2020 by CM Arvind Kejriwal at the peak of Covid-19 pandemic and turned out to be a lifeline for the unemployed youth as well as small businesses of Delhi. Over 14 lakh job-seekers and 10 lakh jobs have already been advertised on the current Rojgar Bazaar portal. The new Rojgar Bazaar 2.0 portal will bring all the services related to skill training, career guidance and job matching on a first-of-its-kind digital platform in India.”

Sisodia said, ”This platform will also provide a range of other critical services. This will range from skilling, career guidance, skill credentialing and automated analytics services, all of which will help in enhancing the job seekers’ ability to gain meaningful livelihoods. While services such as skilling and career guidance will help the job seeker to pursue an aspirational career, a strong analytics platform will provide the Government with rich insights to frame policies and drive on-ground positive impact.”

These benefits will be extended further to the unorganised workers also. As a substantial number of unorganised workers cannot access the digital platform, the Delhi government will also institutionalise physical centres to increase access to the Rozgar Bazaar platform.

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