Current Affairs 1 April 2019 Digest 2: UAE to issue equivalency to all Indian degrees; Slovakia elects first female president
The UAE Education Ministry has agreed to accept Indian academic and professional certificates after the Indian side issued clarification on the issue of the external and internal marks mentioned in mark lists.
Story 1- UAE to issue equivalency to all Indian degrees
The UAE Ministry of Education has agreed to issue equivalency for all Indian degrees that match the set criteria. The decision comes as a huge relief to the Indian expats living in the gulf nation.
The announcement was made through a press release issued by the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi on March 31, 2019. The Indian Ambassador to UAE, Navdeep Singh Suri had called on the UAE Minister of Education, Hussain Al Hammadi, to resolve the issue.
The UAE government had earlier rejected the equivalency of some Indian degrees due to lack of clarity about the fact that some of the Indian universities issue both internal and external mark sheets as part of their degrees.
This had created considerable difficulty for those seeking jobs in the nation and even for some teachers who were already working there, leading them to approach the Indian embassy for help.
• The UAE Education Ministry agreed to accept Indian academic and professional certificates after the Indian side issued clarification on the issue of the external and internal marks mentioned in mark lists.
• The UAE education ministry reviewed the information provided to it through the ‘Action Plan for Academic and Administrative Reforms' issued by the University Grant Commission that clarified that the word “external” in some of the Indian mark sheets reflect the method of evaluation and not the place of study
• The Ministry of Education of UAE has notified that it has no objection to the equivalency of those degrees that meets all other certificate equivalency criteria.
• The Ministry announced that the applications that had been rejected previously will be reviewed and equivalency letters would be issued after meeting all other certificate equivalency conditions.
The UAE equivalency on Indian degrees is mandatory for Indians to work in the UAE. With the current resolution, equivalence will be provided to all the applicants who meet other relevant requirements.
The decision will provide a huge relief to the many Indians who were struggling to get equivalence for their degrees.
Story 2- Zuzana Caputova elected as Slovakia's first female president
Zuzana Caputova has been elected as the first female President of Slovakia. The 45-year-old lawyer and anti-corruption activist won 58.40 per cent of the votes in the polls conducted on March 30, 2019.
Caputova’s vote margin was much higher than her high-profile opponent, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic from the governing party, who could only bag 41.59 per cent of the votes. Speaking after her victory, Caputova said, “Let us look for what connects us. Let us promote cooperation above personal interests.” She also pointed out that the outcome was a sign that one can win without attacking their opponents.
• Prior to these run-off elections, Caputova had no political experience. She was known to be a vocal government critic and environmental activist.
• She had gained prominence as a lawyer when she led a case against an illegal landfill lasting 14 years.
• A divorcee and mother of two, she is a member of the liberal Progressive Slovakia party, which has no seats in Parliament.
• Caputova voices a liberal mindset promoting LGBTQ rights in a country where same-sex marriage and adoption is not yet legal.
• Caputova had won an award in 2016 for successfully blocking a planned landfill in her hometown of Pezinok.
• Recently, she had taken to the streets along with thousands of other anti-government protesters after the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak in 2018.
• The journalist, who had been preparing to publish a story on alleged ties between Slovak politicians and the Italian mafia, was gunned down alongside his fiancée in February 2018.
• The two murders had forced the then Prime Minister Robert Fico to resign but he remained as the leader of the populist-left Smer-SD party. He is also a close ally of the current premier.
• The European Parliament has urged Slovakia to look into any possible political links to the crimes.
• Caputova had said during her campaign trail that she would initiate systematic changes that would deprive prosecutors and the police of political influence.
• She has also promised better care for the elderly and environmental protection.
Beginning of a new era for Slovakia?
According to outgoing President Andrej Kiska, Slovakia is in a moral crisis and needs a president like Zuzana Caputova.
Observers have compared Caputova to French President Emmanuel Macron, an outsider who swept to power on a reformist agenda. Caputova, like Macron, is a symbol of a very hazily defined hope.
• Slovakia, officially known as the Slovak Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe with its territory spanning about 49,000 sq km. The population of the nation is over 5.4 million and consists mostly of Slovaks. The capital and largest city of the nation is Bratislava and the official language is Slovak.
• The nation was earlier a part of Czechoslovakia, which was under the communist regime and served as a satellite of the Soviet Union till 1989. Slovakia became an independent state on January 1, 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia, also referred to as the Velvet Divorce.
• The country joined the European Union on May 1, 2004 and joined the Eurozone on January 1, 2009. As a part of Eurozone, Slovak legal tender is the Euro, the world's 2nd-most-traded currency.
• The nation is a high-income advanced economy with a very high Human Development Index and a very high standard of living. It also maintains a combination of market economy with a comprehensive social security system.
• Although regional income inequality is high, 90 per cent of the nation’s citizens own their homes. The citizens of the nation are provided with universal health care, free education and one of the longest paid parental leave in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
• In 2018, Slovak citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 179 countries and territories, ranking the Slovak passport 10th in the world. Slovakia is also the world's largest per-capita car producer with a total of 1,040,000 cars manufactured in the country in 2016 alone and the 7th largest car producer in the European Union. The car industry represents 43 per cent of Slovakia's industrial output and a quarter of its exports.