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  1. Which state government has decided to celebrate September 17 as Social Justice Day?
    -Tamil Nadu
  2. Which state/UT has decided to issue “Resident Certificate” only to Permanent Resident Certificate holders of the region?
    – Ladakh
  3. In which city, Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav has launched the first functional Smog Tower of India?
    – Delhi
  4. Which ministry has launched ‘Bujurgon ki Baat–Desh Ke Saath’ programme?
    -Ministry of Culture
  5. Which State/UT has launched the ‘Business Blasters’ programme?
    -Delhi]
  6. Who has been appointed as India’s Sherpa for G20?
    -Piyush Goyal
  7. Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a $112 million loan in order to develop water supply infrastructure in which state?
    -Jharkhand
  8. Indian government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a 300-million-dollar loan to expand rural connectivity in which state?
    -Maharashtra
  9. Which date in September is celebrated as Himalayan Diwas?
    -September 9
  10. Who is the Minister of State for External Affairs who has recently delivered the keynote in the fourth Conference of the Protectors of Emigrants?
    -V. Muraleedharan]
  1. Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana (RGKNY) is the initiative of which Indian state/UT?
    Chhattisgarh
  2. When is the “National Small Industry Day” celebrated every year?
    August 30
  3. Which institution releases the Quarterly House Price Index (HPI)?
    -Reserve Bank of India
  4. Which country has passed the world’s first law to force tech companies to offer alternative payment systems?
    -South Korea
  5. The multi-nation military exercise named ‘ZAPAD 2021’ is held in which country?
    -Russia
  6. Which country has recently developed a prototype miniature helicopter for surveillance work on future Mars missions?
    -China
  7. India, along with which country has announced $1.2 billion package for finance to Asia’s Green Growth?
    -UK
  8. Where was the World Stamp Exhibition ‘Philanippon 2021’ held?
    -Japan
  9. A new ‘Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI) India’ partnership has been signed with which country?
    -UK
  10. Which state/UT launched ‘Tourist Village network’ to promote tourism and create employment?
    -Jammu and Kashmir

1. Recently, which country India has conducted naval exercise in the South China Sea?
-Philippines

2. O. Chandrasekharan, who passed away recently, represented India in the Olympics in which sport?
-Football

3. Which organization has released the report ‘Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2021’ which states that the pandemic is threatening Asia and the Pacific’s progress?
-Asian Development Bank

4. Which State/UT has announced a Microfinance Incentive and Relief Scheme?
– Assam

5. Which organization has made a natural gas discovery in a block in Gujarat?
– Vedanta

6. Which country took charge as the Chair of Stop TB Partnership Board in 2021?
– India

7. Who is the author/editor of the book titled ‘Accelerating India: 7 Years of Modi Government’?
– K J Alphons

8. Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) is the initiative of which institution?
– NITI Aayog

9. “Shared Destiny-2021” Defence Exercise is scheduled to be held in which country?
– China

10.‘Payments Infrastructure Development Fund’ scheme is the initiative of which institution?
– RBI

 

Q.1. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar began a four-day visit to the which country from 16 August 2021 to attend a number of UN Security Council events including a briefing on terrorism?
Ans. USA
 
Q.2. On 15 August 2021, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced how much per cent hike of dearness allowance for state government employees and pensioners?
Ans. 11
 
Q.3. Which ministry has launched the brand – ‘SonChiraiya’ – for marketing of Urban SHG products?
Ans. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
 
Q.4. Bhindawas has been recognized as a Ramsar site. In which state is it located?
Ans. Haryana
 
Q.5. In which state/UT, Investor Summit 2021 is being organized?
Ans. Gujarat
 
Q.6. Which bank has launched a MSME mentoring programme in West Bengal?
Ans. Indian Bank
 
Q.7. Which state/UT’s, police department has launched an e-FIR initiative?
Ans. Madhya Pradesh
 
Q.8. Which state/UT has passed the Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021?
Ans. Assam
 
Q.9. Recently, who has inaugurated an exhibition named Katha Kranthiveeron Ki?
Ans. G. Kishan Reddy
 
Q.10. Which State has announced the creation of four new districts?
Ans. Chhattisgarh
 
Q.11. Which state/UT has announced smart health cards under its Swasthya Kalyan Yojana?
Ans. Odisha
 
Q.12. Recently, Gerd Müller, former legendary footballer passed away. Which country did he represent in the football world cup?
Ans. West Germany
 
Q.13. Recently, on which bank has RBI imposed a penalty of Rs 1 crore?
Ans. Cooperatieve Rabobank UA
 
Q.14. Which country has test-fired the surface-to-surface ballistic missile Ghaznavi?
Ans. Pakistan
 
Q.15. How many police officers in the country have been conferred with the Union Home Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Investigation award?
Ans. 152
 
Q.16. What amount has been released by the PM as seed money for 7,500 SHG members under PM Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises scheme?
Ans. Rs 25 crore
 
Q.17. How many workers, employed in the Departmental Undertakings & Public Sector Undertakings of the Central and State Governments and Private Sector Units, will be awarded the Prime Minister’s Shram Awards?
Ans. 69
 
Q.18. India’s National Institute of Ocean Technology has signed an agreement with which organization to develop Research Moored Array for African-Asian-Australian Monsoon Analysis and Prediction?
Ans. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
 
Q.19. Chief Election Commissioner of India has inaugurated the 11th Annual Meeting of FEMBoSA. Who is the current Chief Election Commissioner of India?
Ans. Sushil Chandra
 
Q.20. Which Indian city has been declared as the first ‘water plus’ city of India?
Ans. Indore
 
Q.21. Which bank has signed a MoU with NABARD and Jammu & Kashmir Gramin Bank for Joint Liability Groups financing?
Ans. State Bank of India
 
Q.1. Which power station has created the record of generating the most electricity in a month?
Ans. Nathpa Jhakri Hydro Power Station
 
Q.2. Which new platform has been launched by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal?
 
Q.3. Boxer Lovlina Borgohain has won bronze medal in how many kg category in Tokyo Olympics 2020?
Ans. 69 KG Class
 
Q.4. The Union Cabinet has approved the MoU signed between the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology and
Ans. Daft University of Technology
 
Q.5. Which cabinet has approved the Medical Oxygen Production Promotion Policy?
Ans. Delhi Cabinet
 
Q.6. Who has passed the Essential Defense Services Bill-2021?
Ans. Lok Sabha
 
Q.7. The United Nations General Assembly has approved a proposal to establish a permanent forum of people of which origin?
Ans. African Descent
 
Q.8. For the financial year 2021-2022, the central government has reduced the target of Mudra loan to how much?
Ans. 3 Lakh Crore Rupees
 
Q.9. Australia’s startup “After Pay”, which started 7 years ago, has been sold for how many billion dollars?
Ans. 29 Billion Dollars
 
Q.10. Power Grid Corporation of India has started how many kilometers of transmission line in the Aryan Valley of Ladakh?
Ans. 40 Kilometre
 
Q.11. Which of India’s indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant has conducted its first sea test?
Ans. First
 
Q.12. After how many years has the Indian men’s hockey team won a medal in the Olympics, creating history?
Ans. 41 years
 
Q.13. Which organization has constructed the world’s highest vehicular road in Eastern Ladakh?
Ans. North Border Roads Organization
 
Q.14. APEDA has tied up with University of Agricultural Sciences located in which city to promote agri-export?
Ans. Bangalore (Karnataka)
 
Q.15. How many loan agreements have been signed for the second phase of the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project?
Ans. $250 Million
 
Q.16. Which scheme for school education has been approved by the cabinet to continue from April, 2021 to March 31, 2026?
Ans. Samagra Shiksha Yojana
 
Q.17. Since when the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has allowed the devotee to have darshan of the adorable Ramlala in the Ram temple?
Ans. December 2023
 
Q.18. In which state, the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India has virtualized the decentralized biomedical waste furnace in Buxar?
Ans. Bihar
 
Q.19. Which space agency will launch the “Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2” mission?
Ans. NASA
 
Q.20. Which bank has launched “Shopkeeper Over Draft Scheme”?
Ans. HDFC Bank
 
Q.21. Which has become the fifth country to sign the ISA agreement?
Ans. Germany
 
Q.22. India Network Olympics has broken the Asia record in 4×400 run of how many minutes?
Ans. 3:00:25
 
Q.23. Writer Padma Sachdev has passed away, she was a famous writer of which language?
Ans. Dogri
 
Q.24. Which department has started the work of setting up agro-automated weather stations?
Ans. India Meteorological Department
 
Q.25. Which political party’s leader Jawahar Sarkar has been sworn in as a Rajya Sabha member?
Ans. Trinamool Congress (TMC)
 
Q.26. In which union territory of India has it been announced to set up Maldive style water villas?
Ans. Lakshadweep
 
Q.27. The Delhi government has approved the proposal to increase the salary of MLAs by what percentage?
Ans. 66% Percent
 
Q.28. Which day is celebrated all over India on 7th August?
Ans. National Handloom Day
 
Q.29. Which sports award has been renamed as Major Dhyan Chand Sports Award?
Ans. Rajiv Gandhi Sports Award
 
Q.30. Which city has topped in the “2s Best Student Cities Ranking”?
Ans. London (England)
Q.31. Which engine is going to be used by Indian Railways instead of diesel engine?
Ans. Hydrogen Fuel
 
Q.32. Who has won gold in the best 87.58m Javelin Tho?
Ans. Neeraj Chopra
 
Q.33. Which state government has launched a nutrition program for women and children?
Ans. Government of Rajasthan
 
Q.34. Which country has banned sunscreen containing chemicals that harm corals from all its marine national parks?
Ans. Thailand
 
Q.35. Which day is celebrated all over the world on 8th August?
Ans. International Cat Day
 
Q.36. When has ISRO announced the launch of an earth observation satellite “E0S-03” from the Satish Dhawan Space Center?
Ans. 12 August 2021
 
Q.37. Dr. Dhriti Banerjee has been approved to appoint which woman director of Zoological Survey of India?
Ans. First
 
Q.38. The Central Government has announced to change the name of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award after whom?
Ans. Major Dhyan Chand
 
Q.39. Which IIT institute has launched Earthquake Early Warning Mobile App “EEW” for Uttarakhand?
Ans. IIT Roorkee
 
Q.40. Food delivery platform Swiggy has announced the launch of electric-cycle for food delivery in which city?
Ans. Hyderabad
Q.41. Dr. Virendra Kumar has launched “PM-Daksh” portal and mobile app at Dr. Ambedkar International Center in which city?
Ans. Delhi
 
Q.42. Who has introduced a bill in the Parliament to repeal the provisions of the Income Tax Act?
Ans. Nirmala Sitharaman
 
Q.43. Which Revolution Day is celebrated all over India on 9th August?
Ans. August Revolution Day
 
Q.44. Which day is celebrated all over the world on 9th August?
Ans. World Tribal Day
 
Q.45. Which administration abolished the requirement of Inner Line Permit for Indian citizens?
Ans. Ladakh Administration
 
Q.46. Which company has approved single-dose COVID-19 in India?
Ans. Johnson & Johnson
 
Q.47. How many industrial corridors have been approved so far under the National Industrial Corridor Program?
Ans. 11
 
Q.48. Under the aegis of which ministry has approved the establishment of Defense Cyber Agency?
Ans. Ministry of Defense
 
Q.49. Which Indian player has won the gold medal for India after 13 years in Tokyo Olympics 2020?
Ans. Neeraj Chopra
 
Q.50. Which High Court has set aside the Tamil Nadu law banning online games?
Ans. Madras High Court
  1. Which High Court has recently quashed Tamil Nadu’s law banning online games?
    -Madras High Court
  2. How many industrial Corridors have been approved under the National Industrial Corridor Programme (NICP) so far?
    – 11
  3. Under the aegis of which ministry has the Government approved the establishment of Defence Cyber Agency?
    -Ministry of Defence
  4. In which state/UT, Maldives style water villas will be set up?
    -Lakshdweepp
  5. What is the name of India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier?
    -INS Vikrant
  1. What is the new name for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award?
    Ans: Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award
  1. The Union Government approved the continuation of more than 1000 Fast Track Special Court (FTSCs) as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for two years (April 2021-March 2023). It includes 389 exclusive POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Courts. The Central share will be provided from the Nirbhaya Fund.
  2. According to a United Nations’ report on the Food System, today’s food systems are heavily afflicted by power imbalances and inequality, and do not work for most women. Women are affected disproportionately by the factors such as Climate Change, Covid-19, Discrimination, Less land rights, migration etc. The Report has come ahead of the Food Systems Summit in September 2021.
  1. The Supreme Court (SC) held that the Governor’s power to pardon overrides Section 433A of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Earlier in January 2021, in a case of mercy petition, the SC noted that the Governor cannot reject the state’s recommendation but there is no time prescribed to take a decision.
  2. The Supreme Court (SC) ruled that a preventive detention order can only be passed if the detention is likely to adversely affect the maintenance of public order. The SC also gave direction to governments and to other courts, for dealing with detention under preventive detention.
  3. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour has released a report on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on rising unemployment and job loss. The panel called on the government to improve social security measures and take measures like Direct transfer of money and urban employment guarantee scheme for informal sector workers.
  1. Recently, during the 12th round of discussions between the senior military commanders of India and China to resolve the standoff in eastern Ladakh, both have agreed in principle to disengage at a key patrol point in eastern Ladakh.
  2. Recently, Bangladesh and India started regular operation of freight trains through the restored Haldibari-Chilahati rail route after over 50 years, which will strengthen railway connectivity and bilateral trade between the two countries.
  3. The dairy industry has been a subject of intense debate in recent years, fueled by climate change crisis concerns worldwide as well as the advancement of various plant-based alternatives claiming to be more sustainable replacements.
  1. Recently, India assumed the presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the month of August 2021.
  2. Pakistani authorities have finalised a law (26th Constitutional Amendment Bill), to award provisional provincial status to strategically located Gilgit-Baltistan.
  3. The Indian government is going to launch an electronic voucher based digital payment system e-RUPI.
  1. According to the Women and Child Development Ministry, more than 9.2 lakh children (from six months to six years) in India were ‘severely acute malnourished’ till November, 2020.
  2. This Union cabinet has recently approved a Reforms-based and Results-linked, Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme.
  3. According to a report from TransUnion Cibil and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), there has been a growth in the credit outstanding amount of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector to Rs 20.21 lakh crore, with a year-on-year growth rate of 6.6%.

Legal News

  1. Mere Quarrel On The Day Of Occurrence Does Not Attract Offence Of Abetment Of Suicide U/s 306 IPC: Supreme Court
  2. NCLAT Has No Jurisdiction To Condone Delay Exceeding 15 Days From Period Of 30 Days, Contemplated U/s 61(2) IBC: Supreme Court
  3. Can Criminal Proceedings Continue After Exoneration In Departmental Enquiry On Same Allegations? Plea In Supreme Court
  4. NCLT/NCLAT Should Strictly Adhere To IBC Timelines; Delays Cause Commercial Uncertainty : Supreme Court
  5. Supreme Court Reserves Interim Order On Pegasus Cases After Centre Expressed Unwillingness To File Affidavit On Spyware Use
  1. ‘ED Director Can Be Appointed For A Period Of More Than 2 Years’ :Supreme Court Upholds Extension Of ED Director SK Mishra’s Tenure.
  2. Railways Liable To Pay Compensation For Late Arrival Of Trains If Delay Is Not Explained Or Justifiable: Supreme Court
  3. Centre’s Decision To Allow Early Administration Of COVISHIELD Vaccine Before 84 Days To Some Classes Of People Discriminatory 
  4. ‘You Must Protect The Institution From Targeted, Motivated And Mala Fide Attack’: CJI Ramana’s Advice For Young Lawyers

  5. Supreme Court Issues Notice In Plea Seeking Transfer Of Cases Challenging Faceless Appeal Scheme, 2020 From High Courts To Top Court

  1. Plea to declare PM CARES fund a ‘State’: Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to respond to a plea that seeks to declare “Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund a State under the Constitution.
  2. Assam passed Cattle Preservation Bill: Assam Assembly passed the “Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021” on August 13, 2021. About the bill Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021 prohibits the sale and purchase of beef in areas inhabited by non-beef-eating communities.
  3. SC gives time to fill vacancies in Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions: Supreme Court of India directed Union and State governments to fill vacancies in the consumer disputes redressal commission within eight weeks. Key Points There are around 800 vacancies in consumer courts across the country.
  4. New voters to get Personalised Letter from EC: The Election Commission launched a new initiative on August 26, 2021 in order to reach out to new voters by sending them a personalised letter along with voter identity card. Key Points Initiative was launched by Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar. 
  1. Justice Dama Seshadri Naidu, Judge Of Bombay High Court, Resigns.

  2. Congress MP Jairam Ramesh moves Supreme Court challenging provisions of Tribunals Reforms Act 2021.

  3. Madras High Court asks State Bar Council to call for details of advocates interested in availing health insurance

  4. Right To Privacy Of Single Mothers: Kerala HC Calls For Separate Forms For Registration Of Children Born Through Assisted Reproductive Technologies

  5. Judiciary Today Is Very Strong And Not Concerned With What Government Thinks Or Feels: Attorney General KK Venugopal 
  1. Pegasus Scandal: West Bengal Commission Of Inquiry Seeks Information From Stakeholders.

    The Commission of Inquiry comprising Justice Madan B. Lokur, former Supreme Court judge and Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya, former Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court released a public notice in all major newspapers on Thursday seeking information from the public and concerned stakeholders regarding allegations pertaining to the Pegasus spyware scandal.

  2. The enactment of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (Code) has had significant ramifications on the corporate insolvency landscape. Over time, the Code has witnessed a manifold increase in litigation, and consequently in the number of decisions. This has made it difficult for insolvency practitioners to stay updated with developments in the field. This column fills this gap by providing brief summaries of latest decisions from the various fora dealing with Insolvency Law.
  1. Big law firms should hire graduates from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities also: Chief Justice of India NV Ramana The CJI observed that major law firms tend to go only to Tier 1 cities and select universities for recruitment as a result of which many young talented lawyers are left out of the process.
  2. Telephone numbers of Christian Michel’s lawyer Aljo Joseph, Nirav Modi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal in Pegasus surveillance probables Aljo Joseph told Bar & Bench that attorney-client communications are protected under Advocates Act and reports if true, warrant judicial interference.
  1. Maratha Quota & Co-operative Societies Cases : Divergent Views Of Supreme Court On Need For Ratification Of 97th & 102nd Constitutional Amendments. In Maratha Quota case [Dr. Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil Vs. The Chief Minister], the constitutional validity of Constitution (102nd Amendment) Act, 2018 was challenged. The validity of Constitution (97th Amendment) Act, 2011, was under challenge in Union of India vs. Rajendra N. Shah. In the former case, the court upheld the Constitutional validity of 102nd amendment, while in the latter it struck down most provisions of Part IXB inserted by the 97th amendment. 
  2. Param Bir Singh moves Bombay High Court challenging scope of Inquiry Committee of Maharashtra government to enquire into his letter. Singh has also challenged the legality of the order passed by the Inquiry Committee directing him to appear before the single member for cross-examination.
  1. Plea in Supreme Court seeks ‘X’ category security for all judicial officers: The petition said that there have been various incidents across the country which highlighted the threats faced by lawyers and judges thereby preventing them from discharging their duties independently.

  2. [Raj Kundra Arrest] Bombay High Court reserves verdict in plea challenging remand to police custody in porn film case: The prosecution contended that Kundra was arrested because he was trying to destroy or had already destroyed some of the evidence that the agency was trying to recover.
  1. [CLAT 2021] NLU Consortium Permits Candidates To Participate In Counselling Provisionally Without Payment Of Fee: Kerala HC Disposes Of Plea: The Consortium of National Law Universities on Monday informed the Kerala High Court that as per the directions of the Court, its Grievance Redressal Committee had permitted several candidates to provisionally participate in the Counselling process for admission to NLUs without paying the Rs. 50,000 deposit. 

Important Topics​

India today has over 1,000 Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs), including over 150 of national importance. Over the years, it has also become a hub of scientific research. HEIs have shown a consistent growth in both the quality and the quantity of research in the past decade.

India currently ranks third globally in terms of the total research output, accounting for 5.31% of the total of research publications. Of three aspects —

  • education,
  • knowledge generation (research and development)
  • and innovation 

Indian HEIs have performed very well, in relative terms, in the first two aspects, but lack on the innovation front.

National Education Policy (NEP) is expected to transform the landscape of higher education in India by making HEIs work on “solutions to the problems” rather than “solutions looking for a problem”.

Prospects of NEP For HEIs

  • National Research Foundation (NRF): Indian academia has traditionally been focused on R&D without much emphasis on relevance and delivery. The establishment of the National Research Foundation (NRF) is expected to connect our academia with ministries and industry and fund research that is relevant to local needs.
    • Under the framework of NRF, each government ministry, be it central or state, is expected to allocate separate funds for research.
    • NRF, therefore, is expected to pose well-defined problems to the researchers, so that they can find solutions in a goal-oriented and time bound manner.
  • Multi-disciplinary University: In order to unleash the technology development potential of HEIs, our institutions need to not only become multi-disciplinary in their scope and offerings, but also collaborate among themselves.
    • Bringing “unlike” minds together in terms of disciplines, cultures (international programmes) and attitudes (academia-industry collaborations) is the need of the hour.
    • Multi-disciplinary universities, as envisaged in NEP, rightly emphasises on the creative potential of researchers.
  • Scaling up existing HEIs: With the goal of increasing the gross enrollment ratio (GER) from the current 27% to 50% by 2035, India needs to not only open new HEIs and universities but also scale-up existing HEIs.
    • This massive expansion will not only require additional financial resources but also calls for a new governance model.
    • NEP speaks of achieving graded autonomy for HEIs. Over time, independent boards will manage the HEIs with active participation from alumni and experts from academia, research and industry.
  • Funding For HEIs: NEP is expected to bring in significant funding. For higher education, for the first time, the government promises a budget allocation for education as a fixed percentage of Gross Domestic Product at 6%.
    • This will be a game changer for HEIs.
  • Right Focus: Under NEP 2020, Indian HEIs will focus on 3Is – Interdisciplinary research, Industry connect and Internationalisation, the three pillars needed to elevate our institutions to global standards.
    • Until now, Indian HEIs lacked international diversity and remained predominantly local; they hired only Indian faculty and trained only domestic talent.
    • The lack of international faculty and students in Indian elite institutions is one reason for the poor rankings of Indian institutions.
    • NEP has enabled mechanisms for Indian HEIs, such as IITs, to venture out and open international campuses across the world. This will not only increase their international footprint but also improve their perception globally.

Conclusion

The new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, is a good policy as it aims at making the education system holistic, flexible, multidisciplinary, aligned to the needs of the 21st century. The intent of policy seems to be ideal in many ways but it is the implementation where lies the key to success.

Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the deep fault lines that have created challenges for India’s transition towards a more digitally enabled society.

During the pandemic, several essential services, ranging from access to healthcare services – including vaccines – to education, livelihoods, and rations — have felt the effects of unequal distribution of technology in the country.

Thus, with increasing inequalities and the burden on systems, the need for digitally driven programmes is now more urgent than ever before.

In this context, even the development sector (NGOs, Civil Society Organisation (CSOs)) cannot remain aloof to new technologies. They must strive for digital transition so that it can be helpful in resolving various digital challenges.

Digital Challenge

  • Digitally Inaccessible Remote Communities: The first wave of Covid-19 brought with it an immediate and urgent need for the development sector to shift towards technology, when faced by the inability to access communities remotely.
    • A survey in June 2020 indicated that only about half of the respondents were aware of online classes being held in their communities.
    • The consequences of these gaps are likely dire – an estimated 10 million girls could drop out of school.
  • Unserved Remote Areas: With digital services not being uniformly distributed, communities in remote areas often require on-ground staff to deploy and supplement digital tools.
    • They may also face significant barriers in accessing funding for innovative and infrastructural digital solutions. This, in turn, poses challenges for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
  • Digital Divide: During the second wave, urban Indians have consistently relied on social media platforms to seek life-saving medical supplies but rural Indian could not utilise it to the fullest.
    • Unequal access to the internet has also made accessing and registering for Covid-19 vaccines in India a challenge, leaving millions of Indians unable to even register for them.
  • Digital Illiteracy: It’s apparent that a majority of Indian citizens lack digital literacy and online safety is an alien concept to many who may have digital literacy.
    • Language and accessibility barriers and limited data and infrastructural systems further compound the scenario.
  • Social barriers and systemic inequality also play a large role in this — even today, mobile ownership among women is significantly lower than their male counterparts.
    • Moreover, communities continue to remain averse to mobile devices in the hands of young people, especially young women, to prevent them from disrupting existing patriarchal systems.

Way Forward

  • Need For Technology Enabled Development Sector: It is time for the development sector (NGOs/CSOs) to shift towards technology-driven ecosystems, to enable a more systematic and concerted effort to bridge the present digital divide and help access remote communities digitally.
  • Technological Intervention: The process of creating and implementing digital solutions is multi-layered and complex. According to many CSOs, the first step is to address the demands posed by technological interventions across a programme life cycle.
    • This calls for customised digital interventions. The issue gets complicated because CSOs need to work with local communities who face digital challenges themselves.
    • Digital interventions have to factor in these imperatives.
  • Feedback from People: The success of technology-based programmes is ultimately contingent on the support for it on the ground, and community feedback is critical to driving successful and sustainable programmes.
    • Programmes, therefore, need to integrate and account for interpersonal mediation and the last-mile “human touch”.
  • Partnership with Stakeholders: To enable them to incorporate technology at scale, CSOs require more systematic partnerships with stakeholders across the development ecosystem.
    • Collaboration with the government, funders, and other civil society partners is vital to normalising the use of technology-based interventions at scale.
    • For example, the government and private sector service providers need to prioritise the availability of digital infrastructure and connectivity while civil society integrates programmatic responses into government priorities.
  • Documenting the Learnings: There are no blanket solutions to the critical challenges that come with embracing technology in framing programmes for the development sector.
    • Documenting their learnings is an important first step in pushing for more open conversations with regard to digital interventions in India.

Conclusion

Recognising the essential role that digital tools, access and literacy will play in the months and years to come, Civil societies and NGOs should strive to bring technological revolution in their working.

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