Admission to undergraduate courses in all government-funded
universities and colleges will soon be through all-India entrance tests, if
the draft National Education Policy is approved.
Private institutions will also be strongly encouraged to make
use of the common admission tests, which would be available from 2020. Both
aptitude and subject knowledge-based tests would be offered.
The system seems to have some similarities to the SAT, a
standardised aptitude test widely used for admissions to colleges and
universities in the United States. The SAT, however, is used as a criterion
alongside school grades.
The NTA testing system would offer flexibility. “From 2020
onwards, the NTA will administer aptitude tests and tests in specific subjects
that can be taken on multiple occasions during the year in order to reduce the
intense and unnecessary pressures of the university entrance examinations
system,” adds the draft.
“This will help to eliminate the intensity, stressfulness, and
wasted time of the Grade 12 examination season faced by students every year as
well as by so many higher educational institutions and employers,” it adds.
Private institutions could set their own criteria, but “most
educational institutions and many employers will be encouraged to use these NTA
tests.”The draft projects the NTA establishing test centres across the country,
offering tests in multiple languages.
After the Supreme Court struck down the controversial
February 12, 2018 circular of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on stressed asset
resolution, the banking regulator on Friday released revised set of norms
which are substantially less stringent from the previous one.
In particular, neither there is a mandate to start resolution
which results in higher provisioning if there is a single day default nor a
mandate for initiating insolvency proceeding if resolution plan is not
implemented for large accounts within a time frame.
However, the RBI has sought to nudge banks towards the
insolvency courts by introducing a disincentive in the form of additional
provisions for delayed resolution.
At the same time, the central bank said it would issue
directions to banks for initiation of insolvency proceedings against borrowers
for specific defaults ‘so that the momentum towards effective resolution remains
The new circular asked lenders to undertake a prima facie review
of the borrower account within 30 days from a default, which is termed as
Debt recast tools like corporate debt restructuring scheme and
strategic debt restructuring scheme are withdrawn. Apart from banks, these new
norms are also applicable for non-banking financial companies, small finance
banks and other financial institutions.
U.S. space agency NASA said on Friday that it would open up
the International Space Station to business ventures including space tourism
— with stays priced at $35,000 a night — as it seeks to financially
disengage from the orbiting research lab.
These travellers would be ferried to the orbiter exclusively by
the two companies currently developing transport vehicles for NASA: SpaceX, with
its Crew Dragon capsule, and Boeing, which is building one called Starliner.
These companies would choose the clients and bill for the trip
to the ISS, which will be the most expensive part of the adventure: around $58
million for a round trip ticket.
The space station does not belong to NASA. It was built along
with Russia starting in 1998, and other countries participate in the mission and
send up astronauts.
But the U.S. has paid for and controls most of the modules that
make up the orbiter.The new space tourists to the ISS will not be the first:
U.S. businessman Dennis Tito had that honour in 2001. He paid Russia around $20
million for the trip.