View: India needs to improve its educational outcomes to catch up with China

Education

Both China and India started building their national education systems under comparable conditions in the late 1940s. Different policies and historical circumstances have, however, led them to different educational outcomes, with China outperforming India not just in terms of its percentage of literate population and enrollment rates at all levels of education, but also in terms of number of world-class institutions in higher education, and greater research output.

The roots of China’s successful education system date back to the Cultural Revolution(1966-1976), which unintentionally expanded access to the primary education through democratising the schooling system, which was previously elitist in character, thus addressing the problem of mass illiteracy.

In contrast, India continued to focus on its higher education system since independence and only realised the importance of basic education in 1986, keeping it behind China and many other countries in Asia in educational development. In terms of enrollment, China reached a 100 percent gross enrollment rate (GER) in its primary education in 1985, whereas, India attained that level only in 2000.

In terms of secondary school enrollment, India and China both started at the similar rates in 1985, with about 40 percent of their population enrolled in secondary schools. However, due to a wider base of primary school students, the rate of increase in China has been much faster than in India, with 99 percent secondary enrollment rate in China and 79 percent in India in 2017.

India is closing in on the Chinese rate in terms of access to education, but on the literacy level front, there is a huge gap in the percentage of literate populations in the two countries. In the age group of 15-24 years, India scores 104th rank on literacy and numeracy indicator, compared to China’s 40th rank.

The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which assesses after every three years the domain knowledge of 15-year-old students in reading, mathematics, science and finance, revealed that students in China performed above the OECD average in 2015. Moreover, one in four students in China are top performers in mathematics, having an ability to formulate complex situations mathematically. Further, China outperforms all the other participating countries in financial literacy, by having a high ability to analyse complex finance products. For India, the comparable data is not available as it was not a participating country in PISA 2015.

However, in India, the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2017 provides data for rural youth, aged 14-18, with respect to their abilities to lead productive lives as adults. According to this survey, only about half of the 14-year-old children in the sample could read English sentences, and more than half of the students surveyed could not do basic arithmetic operations, like division. For basic financial calculations, such as managing a budget or making a purchase decision, less than two-thirds could do the correct calculations.

With regard to the higher education system, both India and China dominate the number of tertiary degree holders because of their large population size, but when it comes to the percentage of the population holding tertiary degrees, only about 10 per cent and 8 per cent of the population possess university degrees in China and India, respectively. By contrast, in Japan, almost 50 per cent of the population holds a tertiary degree, and in the United States, 31 per cent of the population hold a tertiary degree.

In terms of the international recognition of universities, the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Ranking for 2019 places seven of the China’s universities in the top 200, compared to none for India. The global university rankings, which are based on various performance metrices, pertaining to teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industrial income, shows progress for several of China’s low-ranked universities, largely driven by improvements in its citations.

In fact, the Tsinghua University has overtaken the National University of Singapore (NUS) to become the best university in Asia due to improvements in its citations, institutional income and increased share of international staff, students and co-authored publications.

While India has progressed in terms of massification of education, there is still a lot which needs to be done when it comes to catching up with the China’s educational outcomes. China’s early start in strengthening its primary and secondary education systems has given it an edge over India in terms of higher education. Moreover, Chinese government strategies are designed in line with the criterion used in major world university rankings, especially emphasis is on the two factors which weigh heavily in the rankings — publications and international students.

The relentless publications drive, which is very evident in China, is weak in India and has led to a growing gap in the number of publications contributed by the two countries. Further, China enrolled about 292,611 foreign students in 2011 from 194 countries, while India currently only has 46,144 foreign students enrolled in its higher education institutions, coming from 166 countries. The large number of international enrollments in China is a reflection of its state policies granting high scholarships to foreign students.

To catch up with China, India needs to lay emphasis on improving its educational outcomes. Massification drive for education has helped India raise its student enrollments, but a lot needs to be done when it comes to global recognition for its universities. Further, it needs to focus on building the foundation skills which are acquired by students at the school age, poor fundamental skills flow through the student life, affecting adversely the quality of education system.

[“source=economictimes.indiatimes”]

TRAI to Improve MySpeed App, Publish White Paper by Month-End

TRAI to Improve MySpeed App, Publish White Paper by Month-End

HIGHLIGHTS

  • TRAI will improve its MySpeed app after evaluating telcos’ methods
  • It said will soon come out with a white paper on underlying methodology
  • Ookla and other data speed measurement firms have been contacted

Telecom regulator TRAI plans to strengthen its MySpeed app, which measures mobile data speeds, and will also make its evaluation method more transparent after consultation with operators, its chairman R S Sharma said.

Some operators had complained about methods and results of the TRAI’s MySpeed app, and the regulator will soon come out with a white paper on underlying methodology and algorithms used by the said app for calculating data speeds of various service providers.

“We have also contacted Ookla and others. We are trying to understand what their methods are … We would like all stakeholders to sit together and come to a conclusion over most appropriate methodology,” the TRAI chairman said.

The regulator will also take suggestions from operators on the issue, he said.

“We will sit together with the operators and take their suggestions as what should be an agreed methodology so there are no such complaints,” Sharma said on the sidelines of the TRAI’s open house discussion on ‘data speed under wireless broadband plans’.

After strengthening the service quality norms for voice calls, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is now focusing its attention on benchmarks for data experience of consumers.

TRAI hopes to finalise, by month-end, views on parameters for measuring data speeds for wireless broadband.

“There were large number of quality of service (norms) for voice (offerings) like call drops. Data has recently started becoming prominent, and voice is now an application on top of data. So there is a need to have much better grip on the QoS in the data world,” he added.

Sharma said that both TRAI’s views on the data speed issue and its white paper on MySpeed app will be out by the month-end.

“Work on both the aspects will happen simultaneously,” he said.

While operators had previously stated that having a minimum guaranteed data speed would be difficult in the wireless world, TRAI is looking at suitable parameters, say average speed, that could serve as a benchmark.

In its consultation paper on wireless broadband data speeds, TRAI has also sought industry’s views on whether information on wireless broadband speeds currently being disclosed is enough for consumers to make informed choices.

It has asked if average speed can be specified by service providers. The consultation also touches on other related issues such as the need to revisit service quality parameters or existing benchmarks stipulated in the regulations.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

IB diploma results improve this year, Mumbai topper scores full points

Mumbai city news

Mumbai students did well in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) exams, which are equivalent to the Class 12 board exams, held in May. The results were declared on Wednesday.

Rahil Bathwal from Jamnabai Narsee International School, Juhu, bagged the perfect score — 45 out of 45 points — the highest in the city. The IBDP results are given in the form of grade points. Pranav Khemka came second with 43 points. Of 103 students, 12 scored above 40 and 32 scored between 35 and 39.

The overall performance in Mumbai schools was much better than last year’s, said principals. At Podar International School in Khar, Ritik Chopra was the topper with 44 points. Last year, their top student scored 43 points. “This year’s results are one of the best in the history of our institution,” said Vandana Lulla, director and principal of the school.

Of 52 exam takers, a majority of the students scored above 40 points, and bagged six and seven points in individual subjects. “We had opted for new subjects such as environmental studies and Spanish, which help drive up scores,” said Lulla.

Similarly, the highest in SVKM’s JV Parekh International School, Vile Parle, this year is 40 points with 65% out of 37 students from the school receiving 33 points. Around 39% of entries scored 6 and 7 grade points.

School principal, Swaminathan said 60% students from the batch received admissions to top universities in Toronto, British Columbia, California, Edinburgh, Illinois Urbana Champagne and King’s College London.

 

[“source-hindustantimes”]

Android O will Improve SMS Authentication for Apps

Image result for Android O will Improve SMS Authentication for Apps

ach new version of Android brings some major changes to the platform, but there are also a ton of minor changes that aren’t nearly as publicized. One such change coming to Android O is an improvement in the way SMS authentication is done by applications. Android O introduces a dedicated API that applications can use to retrieve verification codes sent through SMS, so applications will no longer have to request the SMS permission.


SMS Authentication in Android O

In order to appreciate this subtle change, let’s recap how applications use SMS for authentication prior to Android O. Certain applications (primarily messaging ones) ask you to verify your phone number by entering a verification code. You can either enter this time-sensitive code manually or grant the application the permission to read your SMS messages so it can automatically find and enter the code for you.

Granting an app READ_SMS permission

The problem with this solution is two-fold. For starters, many applications never really need to read your SMS messages outside of this context, so it seems unnecessary to grant them permission to read your entire SMS history. Second, these one-time SMS verification codes add needless clutter to your messaging inbox.

By introducing an API, Android O will solve both of these issues. Applications can now indicate to the system that they are expecting to receive an SMS verification code shortly. They do this by creating a PendingIntent of the type createAppSpecificSmsToken:

Create a single use app specific incoming SMS request for the the calling package. This method returns a token that if included in a subsequent incoming SMS message will cause intent to be sent with the SMS data. The token is only good for one use, after an SMS has been received containing the token all subsequent SMS messages with the token will be routed as normal. An app can only have one request at a time, if the app already has a request pending it will be replaced with a new request.

When the PendingIntent is created, Android will start looking at any incoming SMS for a particular 11 character long token. When the SMS containing the token is received, this method sends the token directly to the application without the application ever reading an SMS. The SMS that contains the token is never sent into the inbox while this PendingIntent is active. Only once Android has sent the Intent to the requesting app will subsequent SMS messages be routed back into the user’s inbox.

Although this is a minor quality-of-life change that will mostly only be appreciated by developers (one less permission = one less headache in potential reviews), it’s great to see Google continue to add features such as this.

[“Source-xda-developers”]