Explained Snippets | Enrolment in higher education: gender gap closes year by year

New Delhi, August 06, 2018:  Enrolment in higher education, expressed in terms of “gross enrolment ratio” or GER, has risen from 1/5th of the eligible population to 1/4th in the last 7 years. In higher education, GER expresses the total enrolment (regardless of age) as a percentage of the eligible population (age group 18-23). This has increased from 19.4% in 2010-11 to 25.8% in 2017-18, according to the All India Survey on Higher Education released by the HRD Ministry.

While the GER has been consistently higher for male students, the growth has been higher among female students. The survey defines “higher education” as education obtained after 12 years of schooling and of at least nine months’ duration, or obtained after 10 years of schooling and of at least 3 years’ duration. (Raghavi Sharma)

America is going through its deadliest opioid crisis. Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death under 50. The New York Times reported in 2017 that over two million Americans were estimated to have an opioid problem. According to research cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 115 Americans die from an opioid overdose every day on average. Late last year, President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency according to reports published in indianexpress.com

While opioid addiction has been seen for centuries across the world, the current US crisis began about 35 years ago. Although deaths from heroin and fentanyl have risen, the dominant driver of the crisis initially was overprescription of opioid painkillers. Physicians, as Beth Macy says in Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America, encouraged the consumption of addictive painkillers, betraying the trust patients put in them. While earlier books have dealt with the opioid crisis, Dopesick, The New York Times says in its review of the book, is the first after the 2016 election, “when the places in the country most affected by the epidemic went for Trump”, and a book that “wade(s) into a public health morass that has also become a political minefield”. To elaborate, “commentators on the left have pointed out the gaping discrepancy between the sympathy extended to today’s opioid users, who are mainly white, and the brutal, racist handling of the war on crack”.

This Word Means- Digital wellbeing

Facebook has announced a new feature that will alert users once they have spent more than a pre-set amount of time on the platform. The intention, it seems, is the same as what Google described as promoting “digital wellbeing” when it declared in June that it was “creating more opportunities for (consumers) to hit pause, so (they could) strike the right balance”. Facebook said it wanted to “give people more control over the time they spen(t) on (its) platforms and also foster conversations between parents and teens about the online habits that (were) right for them”.

Alongside physical well being, digital well being is important in a situation where people are increasingly spending a very long time in the virtual world, sometimes at the cost of cutting themselves off from relationships in their physical universe. Research around the world has flagged behavioural changes in groups that are the most engaged virtually. In May, a study by Aligarh Muslim University and Indian Council of Social Science Research reported that a college student in India checked her mobile phone over 150 times a day on average, and that a majority of students used their smartphones for 4-7 hours every day. The obsession with the mobile devices stemmed from an anxiety and fear of missing out on information, the research found.

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