Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS)

Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) were established in 1997-98 with the goal of providing quality education to ST (Scheduled Tribe) children living in remote areas. These schools aim to not only academically educate their students, but also provide for their all-round development, including preserving local art and culture, training in sports, and skill development. Each school has a capacity for 480 students from Class VI to XII.

 

In order to further support EMRS and increase access to education for ST children, it has been decided that by 2022, every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons will have an EMRS. According to census data from 2011, there are currently 102 EMRSs in 564 sub-districts across the country, meaning that 462 new schools need to be established by 2022 to reach this goal. These schools will be on par with Navodaya Vidyalayas, which are a system of alternate schools for gifted students in India.

Eklavya Model Day Boarding Schools

In areas with a high density of ST population (90% or more), it is proposed to set up Eklavya Model Day Boarding Schools (EMDBS) on an experimental basis. These schools will provide additional educational opportunities for ST students who do not have access to residential facilities.

Centre of Excellence for Sports

To support sports development among ST children, dedicated infrastructure for Centre of Excellence for Sports (CoE for Sports) will be established in each state. These centres will have specialized, state-of-the-art facilities for one individual sport and one group sport. They will also include boarding and lodging facilities, sports equipment, competition exposure, insurance, and medical expenses, all according to the norms set by the Sports Authority of India.

Teacher Training for EMRSs

Recently, the Minister of Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda, kicked off a two-day training programme for teachers at EMRSs. This programme, which is being held in collaboration with Amazon India’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, the Amazon Future Engineering Programme, and the non-profit Learning Links Foundation, aims to increase awareness about the potential of computer science among ST students. The training will take place at 54 EMRSs in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, and Telangana, and will include courses on computer science fundamentals, coding, logical sequencing, and block programming. A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed between NESTS (National Education Society for Tribal Students, which administers all EMRSs) and Amazon India to solidify this collaboration.

Overall, the initiatives being implemented by EMRSs, EMDBS, and CoE for Sports show a commitment to providing quality education and all-round development for ST children living in remote areas. By increasing access to education and specialized facilities for sports, these programmes aim to enable ST students to avail of opportunities in higher education and employment in various sectors. The teacher training programme also highlights the importance of incorporating technology and digital education into the curriculum at EMRSs. These efforts are crucial in promoting equality and opportunities for ST children in India.

South Korea Unveils Indo-Pacific Strategy

Recently, South Korea released its Indo-Pacific strategy, which aims to address the rising challenges that threaten a “free, peaceful, and prosperous” region. The strategy emphasized the importance of the special strategic partnership with India, calling it a “leading regional partner with shared values.” India is seen as a key player in the Indo-Pacific region due to its large population and advanced technology sectors. In order to strengthen this partnership, South Korea plans to increase strategic communication and cooperation through high-level exchanges in foreign affairs and defense, as well as upgrading the Republic of Korea (ROK)-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

The strategy also recognized the erosion of regional stability due to rising security concerns and the decline of democratic values such as freedom, the rule of law, and human rights. Additionally, the Indo-Pacific’s economic growth has slowed and the international free trade order that previously supported the region is unraveling. In response, South Korea’s strategy stated that it will work with any partners that align with its vision and principles of cooperation, while stressing that the strategy “neither targets nor excludes” any specific nation.

Relations with Japan and China

In regards to relations with Japan, which have been strained in recent times, the South Korean strategy stated that improving relations with Japan is essential for fostering cooperation and solidarity among Indo-Pacific nations. It also emphasized the importance of trilateral cooperation among South Korea, Japan, and China in establishing stability and promoting prosperity and peace in the region. To this end, South Korea plans to strengthen the trilateral cooperation system in areas such as green and digital transitions, and to contribute to regional peace and stability through harmonious development of South Korea-Japan-China cooperation and South Korea-U.S.-Japan cooperation.

South Korea’s strategy also highlighted the importance of its relationship with China, a key partner in the Indo-Pacific region, and stated that it will seek to nurture a “sounder and more mature relationship” based on mutual respect and reciprocity.

Expanding Diplomatic Horizons

In addition to its partnerships with India, Japan, and China, South Korea’s Indo-Pacific strategy also emphasized the need to expand its diplomatic horizons beyond the Korean Peninsula and northeast Asia. To this end, the strategy stated that South Korea will deepen strategic cooperation with key regions in the Indo-Pacific, including south-east Asia, south Asia, Oceania, and the African coast of the Indian Ocean. It plans to develop a network of strategic partnerships tailored to each region in order to contribute to regional peace and stability.

Written by princy

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