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”]

Russia Blames a Bad Sensor for Its Failed Rocket Launch

officials held a press conference to reveal that they have determined what caused last month’s Soyuz mid-flight failure. The culprit: a damaged sensor on one of the rocket’s four boosters responsible for stage separation. With the investigation complete, the officials announced that they will move up the date of the next crew launch to the International Space Station.

The investigation has captured international attention because the Soyuz rocket is currently the only vehicle capable of transporting people to and from the ISS. Russian space agency officials confirmed that the faulty sensor, designed to signal stage separation, had caused one of the boosters to improperly separate. This led the first and second stages of the rocket to collide, which then triggered the vehicle’s emergency abort system.

“The launch failure was caused by an abnormal separation of one of the strap-on boosters that hit with its nose the core stage in the fuel tank area,” said Oleg Skorobogatov, deputy director of the Central Research Institute of Machine-Building who led the investigation, in a statement.

Video of the incident, released today by the space agency, shows the accident from the rocket’s point of view. In it, the booster in question strikes the core of the rocket, causing a significant jolt, which triggered the abort. According to officials, the afflicted sensor rod was bent slightly during the assembly of the rocket. To check for any handling errors that might have also affected other rockets, Russian officials said that all assembled Soyuz rockets—and their attached booster pack—will be taken apart and put together anew.

[“source=TimeOFIndia”]

Facebook Lite makes its way to iOS

Facebook Lite has been available for Android since 2015, though for a long time it was only accessible from developing markets. This year it finally reached the US, the UK, and other developed markets, and now it’s ready to make the jump to iOS as well.

The app is currently only installable if you have an iOS device and are located in Turkey. So the slow rollout seems to be mirroring what happened on Android – developing markets first (and even those being added one by one), developed markets possibly at some later point.

Thus, if you are in the US and are tired of the big bloated mess that Facebook’s normal app for iOS has become, you’re out of luck for now. But perhaps in the future the Lite alternative will be readily available across the globe.

Facebook Lite is much smaller in size than its non-Lite counterpart (just 5MB on iOS), and it also uses less power and significantly less data. That last aspect is generally much more important in developing markets where unlimited (or even cheap) data plans aren’t as prevalent, hence the rollout starting in such countries does make a bit of sense.

[“source=gsmarena”]

China’s Didi Has Its #DeleteUber Moment After Passenger Deaths

China's Didi Has Its #DeleteUber Moment After Passenger Deaths

Thousands of Chinese users have pledged to delete the country’s most popular ride-hailing app after another woman was allegedly murdered while using its Hitch car-pooling service.

Didi Chuxing came under fire from netizens, state media and regulators alike over the weekend after the customer was allegedly killed despite an earlier passenger complaining about the driver’s behaviour. In two statements on the matter, the Beijing-based startup has deeply apologized, pledged to overhaul its services and suspended two senior executives at the company.

But the latest death – the second in three months after a flight attendant was allegedly murdered in May – has spawned fury among China’s web users, with many taking to social media and saying they will delete the app. It comes at a critical time for the country’s most valuable startup as it faces rising competition from fellow tech giants and attempts to become a global ride-hailing giant capable of taking on Uber on the world stage.

Chinese actress Wang Xiaochen posted screenshots of her phone to her 9 million followers on Weibo, China’s equivalent to Twitter, as she deleted the Didi app with a caption saying “goodbye!” The viral update received 285,000 ‘likes’ and generated over 40,000 comments – many of which were followers showing proof they’d done the same.

Others took their complaints about Didi’s safety directly to the startup’s own Weibo account, where they commented on the company’s statements. One popular reply that garnered 63,000 ‘likes’ said that while they couldn’t stop Didi from making a fortune, they could uninstall the app.

The push to get rid of Didi has echoes of the #DeleteUber campaign that hit Uber Technologies. in 2017 amid a series of scandals and missteps at the US ride-hailing giant.

Didi declined to comment beyond its earlier statements.

The wave of high-profile deletions are unlikely to remove Didi from the top of China’s ride-hailing market. Didi said it has more than 30 million daily active users while data from research firm QuestMobile estimates that its nearest rival Dida Chuxing has 982,000.

The world’s fourth-most valuable tech startup Meituan Dianping, which is preparing to list in Hong Kong later this year, is also ramping up its campaign to provide ride-hailing services in key markets such as Shanghai.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]