GS 3: Security
Question 1: Radicalisation causing violence is a threat to India. Discuss how the effect of radicalisation in India can be reduced?
Approach: Introduction – Radicalisation in India – Suggestion/way Forward - Conclusion.
The recent arrest of multiple suspects in the ISI terror module case shows that the threat of radicalisation in India is pervasive and increasing exponentially.
- The investigations have gone on to reveal that online radicalisation played an important role in the recruitment of members as well as the preparation and/or execution of extremist activities by the members.
The word “radical” refers to change in the fundamental nature of something, thus Radicalism is a set of beliefs or actions of people who advocate thorough or complete political or social reform.
Radicalisation refers to the process of an individual’s transformation from a moderate, law-abiding citizen into an active, anti-state, violent extremist.
Radicalisation in India:
- Right-Wing Extremism:
- It is characterized by the violent defence of a racial, ethnic or pseudo-national identity, and is also associated with radical hostility towards state authorities, minorities, immigrants and/or left-wing political groups.
- Politico-Religious Extremism:
- It results from political interpretation of religion and the defence, by violent means, of a religious identity perceived to be under attack (via international conflicts, foreign policy, social debates, etc.). Any religion may spawn this type of violent radicalization.
- Left-Wing Extremism:
- It focuses primarily on anti-capitalist demands and calls for the transformation of political systems considered responsible for producing social inequalities, and that may ultimately employ violent means to further its cause.
- It includes anarchist, maoist, Trotskyist and marxist–leninist groups that use violence to advocate for their cause.
Factors behind Radicalisation:
- Individual socio-psychological factors, which include grievances and emotions such as alienation and exclusion, anger and frustration and a strong sense of injustice.
- Socio-economic factors, which include social exclusion, marginalisation and discrimination (real or perceived), limited education or employment etc.
- Political factors, which include weak and non-participatory political systems lacking good governance and regard for civil society.
- Social media, which provides connectivity, virtual participation and an echo-chamber for like-minded extremist views, accelerates the process of radicalisation.
- The Indian state should develop and enforce de-radicalisation, counter-radicalisation and anti-radicalisation strategies at a pan-India and pan-ideology level on a war footing.
- Any programme aimed at deterring or reversing radicalisation must focus on the ideological commitment that enables the violence, rather than the violence or the justification of violence itself.
- Efforts must be made to first stem the flow of propaganda from across the Indian borders.
- A uniform statutory or policy framework to deal with radicalisation, de-radicalisation and its associated strategies should be developed.
- Counter-radicalisation strategies involving the rehabilitation, re-education and re-integration of those undergoing radicalisation must be developed and implemented.
- Arrested and convicted individuals must not only be prosecuted and punished as a measure of deterrence or retribution but their reformation and rehabilitation must also be prioritised
- The promotion of the syncretic nature of religions in India through the development of counter-narratives, promotion of constitutional values and virtues, promotion of sports and other activities in schools and other educational institutions aimed at mainstreaming the youth.
- A need to develop a definition of radicalisation that suits the needs of such an action plan and is tailored to our particular context. This will allow the state to develop programmes and strategies to effectively combat such radical ideas, thereby addressing the problem of radically motivated violence.
- The definition of radicalisation would also help provide clarity as regards the purpose of implementation of the Action Plan.
It must be understood that radicalisation by itself is not bad and gains a positive or negative characteristic based upon its context. A mere deviation from conventional thinking must not be penalised.
Radicalisation becomes problematic only where it has the propensity to lead to violence. The challenge lies in preventing such radicalisation. Developing a nuanced understanding of the process of radicalisation as well as its characteristics can help guide the Action Plan in effectively meeting such challenges.
GS 1: Society
Question 2: What are the problems in early childhood education in India? Will the New Education Policy address this problem? Analyse.
Approach: Introduction – Problems in early childhood education– Suggestion/way Forward - Conclusion
Early Childhood Education (ECE) is crucial to the overall development of children, with impacts on their learning and even earning capabilities throughout their lifetimes. The continuance of ECE delivery during the COVID-19 school closures, reminiscent of its status quo even prior to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Problems in early childhood education:
- Those attending preschool are primarily enrolled in the nearly 14 lakh anganwadis spread across the country where ECE continues to suffer from low attendance and instructional time amid prioritisation of other early childhood development services in the anganwadi system.
- Priority for ECE is low within households. In a recent study by the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy 45% of the 650+ households surveyed in urban Maharashtra reported that they prioritise their older child’s education over ECE.
- During early years (3-6 yr age group), home environment directly affects the child’s mental level. But today with the rise of working parent culture, children lack active parental engagement during these years. Many parents lack knowledge to facilitate learning within home.
- The families / areas which do not have access to devices suffer a lot as was witnessed during pandemic times.
- With low-income households engaged in ECE in urban area during COVID-19, job and income losses led to further de-prioritisation of education.
- Parents in low-income households are additionally less likely to be able to access support to learn such methods.
New Education policy for ECCE:
- The National Education Policy is very promising and futuristic which takes into consideration that the first 1000 days are very crucial for the child. Therefore, the right kind of early childhood environment is very important for each child. The gap between the existing learning outcomes and the outcomes which are actually required, must be bridged by undertaking major reforms that bring the highest quality, equity, and integrity into the system, right from early childhood care and education through higher education.
- Currently, children in the age group of 3-6 are not covered in the 10+2 structure as Class 1 begins at age 6. However, the new National Education Policy is based on a 5+3+3+4 structure wherein a strong base of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) from age 3 is also included, which will surely help in promoting better learning, development and the overall well-being of children.
- ECCE ideally consists of flexible, multi-faceted, multi-level, play-based, activity-based, and inquiry-based learning concepts which comprise of alphabets, languages, numbers, counting, colours, shapes, indoor and outdoor play. Puzzles, logical thinking, problem-solving, drawing, painting and other visual art, craft, drama and puppetry, music and movement are also an integral part of the concepts. It also includes a focus on developing social capacities, sensitivity, good behaviour, courtesy, ethics, personal and public cleanliness, teamwork and cooperation.
- The major aim of ECCE is to attain optimal outcomes in the domains of: physical and motor development, cognitive development, socio-emotional-ethical development, cultural/artistic development, and the development of communication and early language, literacy, and numeracy. The attempt to hone a child from the foundational age of 3 years instead of 6 years brings our new education policy at par with the global developed nations, but it’s the focus on education technology that takes it ahead of them by leaps. The best part is that the Policy aims to include each child, irrespective of the location, who is particularly socio-economically disadvantaged.
- The emphasis on ECCE teacher training whether for Anganwadis or preschool teachers in accordance with the curricular/pedagogical framework developed by NCERT, provides a great impetus to the teachers, mentioning the different mediums like digital/DTH to train them. The policy reflects on the dearth of professionally trained teachers at different levels which is one of the main causes of low quality in ECCE and large pupil to teacher ratio or high rates of illiteracy. Hence, it tries to cover up the gap by filling up teacher vacancies at the earliest.
- On the curriculum side, there will be an increased focus on foundational literacy and numeracy - and generally, on reading, writing, speaking, counting, arithmetic, and mathematical thinking - throughout the preparatory phase.
- At present, with the lack of universal access to ECCE, a large proportion of children already fall behind within the first few weeks of Grade 1. The Policy also aims to ensure that all students are school-ready, an interim 3-month play-based ‘school preparation module’ for all Grade 1 students, consisting of activities and workbooks around the learning of alphabets, sounds, words, colours, shapes, and numbers, involving collaborations with peers and parents, which will be developed by NCERT and SCERTs.
- The greater focus is on experiential learning – a key element in international education and curriculum options. This means more projects, better real-life training, more interactions and better skills. With these developments, one is left with options that are on similar levels of quality, flexibility and exposure. The National Education Policy has really tried well to address the needs of the 21 st century and tries to create a student-friendly environment in schools and colleges, for their holistic development. All in all, it is a progressive and visionary policy and its success will be directly proportional to its implementation and execution, practically.
Challenge in implementation:
- Education is a concurrent subject and most states have their own school boards. Therefore, state governments would have to be brought on board for actual implementation of this decision.
- Three language formula is another problem. Many of the states especially in South India have always been very sceptical about it and have seen it as an imposition of Hindi.
- Providing education till 5th class in mother language may pose problems to students to learn English which is a global language suddenly in Class 6th.
National Education Policy 2020 is sweeping in its vision and seeks to address the entire gamut of education. It acknowledges the 21st century need for mobility, flexibility, alternate pathways to learning, and self-actualisation and can prove to be a game changer for India.
The importance of early childhood education as it can influence the mental, emotional and physical development of a child. To increase the quality of the education of children, it is important to ensure early childhood education.