15-09-2021 | 15:56 PM
• The Ministry of Jal Shakti has begun ‘SUJALAM’, a ‘100 days campaign’ as part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
• The objective of the campaign is to create more and more ODF Plus villages by undertaking waste water management at village level. This is done particularly through creation of 1 million Soak-pits and also other grey water management activities.
• The campaign will not only build desired infrastructure i.e. soak pit for management of greywater in villages but will also aid in sustainable management of waterbodies.
• The campaign would boost the momentum of Swacch Bharat Mission- Grameen phase II activities through community participation.
About Open defecation Free (ODF)
A city/ward is notified as ODF city/ward if, at any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating in the open.
A city, ward or work circle could be declared ODF+ if, “at any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating and/or urinating in the open, and all community and public toilets are functional and well-maintained.”
The ODF++ protocol adds the condition that faecal sludge/septage and sewage is safely managed and treated, with no discharging and/or dumping of untreated faecal sludge/septage and sewage in drains, water bodies or open areas.
NOTE: ODF+ and ODF++ were launched in August 2018 to further scale up and sustain the work undertaken by the cities after achieving the ODF status under Phase I of the Swachh Bharat Mission — Urban (SBM-Urban). Cities that had been certified ODF at least once, on the basis of the ODF protocols, are eligible to declare themselves as ODF+ & ODF++.
11-09-2021 | 16:38 PM
Mermaid Species of Algae
• After nearly four decades, a new species of algae known as ‘Mermaid algae’ has been discovered on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The species has been named ‘Acetabularia jalakanyakae’.
• It consists of a single gigantic cell with a nucleus, which is its main characteristic.
• The species is the first of the genus Acetabularia to be discovered in India. Another feature of Acetabularia is their regenerative potential.
10-09-2021 | 16:43 PM
NTPC's Floating Solar PV Project
• NTPC Limited has commissioned the largest floating solar PV project of 25 MegaWatt on the reservoir of its Simhadri thermal station in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
• This is also the first solar project to be set up under the Flexibilisation Scheme, notified by the Government of India in 2018.
• The floating solar installation has a unique anchoring design which is spread over 75 acres. This floating solar project has the potential to generate electricity from more than one lakh solar PV modules.
• This will not only help to light around seven thousand households but also ensure at least 46 thousand tons of carbon dioxide is not emitted every year during the lifespan of this project.
NOTE: NTPC has also planned to set up a hydrogen-based micro-grid system at Simhadri on a pilot basis. NTPC has also become the first energy company of India to declare its energy compact goals under the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy (HLDE).
09-09-2021 | 16:27 PM
India’s first Green Hydrogen Plant
Indian Oil Corporation to build India’s first Green Hydrogen Plant at Mathura refinery. This plant will be an addition in order to expand the existing crude oil refining capacity by 25 million tonnes per annum.
• Indian Oil has been pursuing its ambitious plans of hydrogen production across various types such as in renewable power to generate green hydrogen.
• Recently, Indian oil conducted a recent hydrogen fuel cell experiment in Delhi, in which 50 CNG BS-IV buses were converted to run on HCNG fuel. This experiment has revealed significant benefits in reducing exhaust emissions and improving fuel economy.
• It will also operate 15 fuel cell buses in Delhi-National Capital Region along with Tata Motors.
About Mathura Refinery
• It is the 6th refinery owned by Indian Oil Corporation and is located in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.
• It processes low sulphur crude from Bombay High, high sulphur code from Middle east and imported low sulphur crude from Nigeria.
• Its construction started in October 1972. Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has laid down the foundation stone.
16-09-2021 | 17:40 PM
UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)
Context: There is discussion among member countries for the renewal of the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which expires on September 17.
• UNAMA was established on 28 March 2002 by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1401. It was basically established to assist the state and the people of Afghanistan in laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development.
• Its original mandate was to support the implementation of the Bonn Agreement of 2001.
• Reviewed annually, this mandate has been altered over time to reflect the needs of the country.
• UNAMA is an integrated mission, which means that all UN agencies, funds and programs, work in a multidimensional and integrated manner to better assist Afghanistan according to nationally defined priorities.
Key decisions of Bonn Agreement
• The United Nations and several other international actors played major roles in pushing the negotiations forward, and the Bonn Agreement was forwarded by the U.N. Security Council.
• Under this, the Emergency Loya Jirga (Grand Council) of 2002 established the transitional administration, a new Constitution was ratified in early 2004, and presidential and parliamentary elections were held in 2004 and 2005.
04-09-2021 | 16:20 PM
China's new Online Privacy Law
• China has recently passed a data protection law setting out tougher rules on how companies collect and handle their users’ information.
About the new rule:
• The Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) lays out for the first time a comprehensive set of rules around data collection, processing, and protection, that were previously governed by piecemeal legislation.
• The law will take effect on November 1, 2021. The full text of the final version hasn’t yet been released.
• Under the new rule, China targets tech giants who are collecting personal data.
• Under it, China’s top legislative body, state as well as private entities handling personal information are required to reduce data collection and obtain user consent before processing it.
NOTE: New law has been modeled on the basis of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. This EU law is considered the world's strictest online privacy protection law.
03-09-2021 | 17:02 PM
Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP)
Context: Maldives government has officially signed an agreement with Mumbai-based company AFCONS, for the construction of the Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP).
About Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP):
• This infrastructure project involves the construction of a 6.74-km-long bridge and causeway link that will connect the Maldives capital Male with the neighboring islands of Villingli, Gulhifalhu, and Thilafushi.
• This project was funded by India in a grant of $100 million, with a line of credit of $400 million.
• The GMCP is not only the biggest project India is doing in the Maldives but also the biggest infrastructure project in the Maldives overall.
• This project is significant because it facilitates inter-island connectivity in the country. Also, the GMCP is concrete proof that India is a robust development partner of the Maldives in addition to being the First Responder in times of any emergency in the Maldives.
NOTE: The Line of Credit (LOC) is not a grant but a ‘soft loan’ provided on concessional interest rates to developing countries, which has to be repaid by the borrowing government.
02-09-2021 | 17:46 PM
First G20 Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment
The Union Minister of Women & Child Development, Smriti Irani recently addressed the First ever G20 Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment. The Conference was held at Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy in a hybrid format.
• During the conference, India highlighted its commitment to addressing gender and women-centric issues by means of mutual cooperation.
• India also noted several initiatives undertaken by its government towards bringing gender equality, strengthening women’s safety & security, and ensuring better healthcare.
• India also joined the Gender Equality Ministers of the G20 for the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women through cooperation and coordination at all the relevant fora.
• G20 is an informal group comprising of 19 countries and the European Union besides the representatives from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
• G20 represents about two-thirds of the world’s population, 85% of the world’s gross domestic product, 80% of the world’s investment, and 75% of the world’s trade.
06-09-2021 | 15:14 PM
Exercise Konkan 2021
• Exercise Konkan 2021 was recently held in the English Channel in between INS Tabar and HMS Westminster.
•The exercise witnessed the participation of integral helicopters of two ships and Falcon Electronic Warfare aircraft.
• The naval exercise Konkan 18 is held between the navies of India and the United Kingdom. It is based on the long-term strategic relationship between them.
• This exercise provides a platform for the Navies to periodically conduct exercises at sea and in harbor in order to build interoperability and share best practices.
NOTE: INS Tabar is the third Talwar-class frigate in the Indian Navy, which was commissioned on April 19, 2004 in Kaliningrad, Russia. This warship can handle air or surface or subsurface missions and defend herself.
02-09-2021 | 15:51 PM
Shared Destiny-2021 Defence Exercise
Militaries of China, Mongolia, Thailand, and Pakistan are set to take part in a multinational peacekeeping exercise called “Shared Destiny-2021”.
• It will be organized by the People’s Liberation Army at the combined-arms tactical training base in the central Henan province of China from September 6 to 15, 2021.
• All the participating countries will dispatch about 1,000 troops to be part of drills. 1000 troops will involve units of infantry, security, fast response, engineering, helicopter, transportation, and medical service.
• Exercise will be held in a close-to-real battlefield environment that will be set in accordance with international, professional, and realistic combat standards.
• In the peacekeeping exercise, battlefield environment will be created by conducting drills of battlefield reconnaissance, security guarding & patrol, protection of civilians, protection to armed escort, response to violent & terrorist attacks, construction of temporary operation base and battlefield first aid & pandemic control for responding to UN’s Action for Peacekeeping initiative.
03-08-2021 | 15:28 PM
MH-60R Multi-role Helicopters
The Indian Navy has received two MH-60R multi-role helicopters from the U.S., in a boost to its combat capabilities.
• Indian Navy is procuring 24 MH-60R helicopters manufactured by Lockheed Martin.
• Helicopters are being procured under foreign military sales from the US at an estimated cost of USD 2.4 billion.
• MH-60R helicopters manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corporation is an all-weather helicopter designed to support multiple missions with state-of-the-art avionics and sensors.
• India is procuring 24 of these helicopters from the U.S. government under the framework of foreign military sales.
31-07-2021 | 14:58 PM
• The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully test-fired enhanced range versions of its indigenously developed Pinaka rocket system and 122mm Caliber rocket system.
• It has been developed jointly by Pune-based DRDO labs Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) with manufacturing support from Economic Explosives Limited, Nagpur.
• The enhanced range version can destroy targets at distances up to 45 km. Moreover, these enhanced versions of Pinaka will replace the Pinaka Mk-1 missiles which are currently used by regiments of the Indian Army along India’s frontiers with China and Pakistan.
09-09-2021 | 15:04 PM
• Yuktdhara is a Geospatial Planning Portal for facilitating Gram Panchayat level planning of MGNREGA. It is a new portal under ‘Bhuvan’.
• It has been launched by the Ministry of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj.
• The platform will serve as a repository of assets (Geotags) created under various national rural development programmes i.e. MGNREGA, Integrated Watershed Management Programme, Per Drop More Crop and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, etc.
06-09-2021 | 15:47 PM
Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) Vaccination
Context: 100 years have passed since the Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine was introduced to combat tuberculosis (TB) in 1921.
About BCG Vaccine
• Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine is a vaccine primarily used against tuberculosis (TB).
• BCG was developed by modifying a strain of Mycobacterium Bovis (that causes TB in cattle). It was first used in humans in 1921.
• Currently, BCG is the only licensed vaccine available for the prevention of TB.
• In India, BCG was first introduced on a limited scale in 1948 and became a part of the National TB Control Programme in 1962.
• In children, BCG provides strong protection against severe forms of TB. This protective effect is far more variable in adolescents and adults, ranging from 0–80%.
• BCG also protects against respiratory and bacterial infections of newborns and other mycobacterial diseases like leprosy and Buruli’s ulcer.
About Tuberculosis (TB)
• TB is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, belonging to the Mycobacteriaceae family.
• In humans, TB most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB), but it can also affect other organs (extra-pulmonary TB).
• Unlike other historically dreaded diseases like smallpox, leprosy, plague, and cholera that have been either eradicated or controlled to a large extent, TB continues to be a major public health problem in the world.
• According to the WHO’s Global TB Report, 10 million people developed TB in 2019 with 1.4 million deaths. India accounts for 27% of these cases.
26-08-2021 | 17:11 PM
• Recently, A male elephant in an Odisha Forest tested positive for the herpes virus after the death of another wild elephant suffering from the same pathogen.
• The autopsy report revealed that the death was due to acute hemorrhagic disease caused by the Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV)
• It is a type of herpes virus that can cause fatal hemorrhagic disease in elephants.
• It is one of the deadliest viral infections in elephants worldwide but is most commonly found in Asian elephants.
• Symptoms: Sudden illness which includes reduced appetite, swollen glands on both sides of the face, and nasal discharge.
24-08-2021 | 14:39 PM
NASA’s Perseverance Rover
• Context: NASA’s Perseverance rover is exploring the Jezero Crater on Mars and attempting to collect its first rock samples. However, no rock samples were collected during the first attempt.
About Perseverance Rover:
• It was launched in 2020 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V.
• It carried a unique instrument, MOXIE or Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment which for the first time manufactured molecular oxygen on Mars using carbon dioxide from the carbon-dioxide-rich atmosphere.
• It also carried Ingenuity, the first-ever helicopter to fly on Mars.
• It is the planned first step to bring back rock samples from Mars for analysis in sophisticated laboratories on Earth: with the goal of looking for biosignatures: or signatures of present or past life.
Key objectives of Mission:
i. Look for signs of ancient microbial life.
ii. Collect Martian rock and dust samples for later return to Earth.
iii. Deliver an experimental helicopter.
iv. Study the climate and geology of Mars.
v. Demonstrate technology for future Mars missions.
08-09-2021 | 14:32 PM
India’s First Smog Tower
• The Chief Minister of Delhi inaugurated a ‘smog tower’ in Connaught Place and said similar towers would be built across the city if the results of the current pilot project are satisfactory.
• Smog towers are structures that are designed as large-scale air purifiers in order to reduce air pollution particles.
• The smog tower is a 24-metre-high structure fitted with fans and air filters. This is to solve the problem of Air Pollution in Delhi.
• It will draw in polluted air from the top and release filtered air near the ground through fans fitted on the sides. The tower has 40 big fans and 5,000 filters to clean the air.
• These are electrostatic air filters that can filter out microparticles, including those that constitute smoke, household dust and pollen, according to the project description. A Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system have been installed in the tower to collect data and monitor its functioning.
• This tower has been established as a pilot project and detailed studies will be conducted on its performance. IIT-Delhi and IIT-Bombay will analyse data and submit a report on the effectiveness of the tower.
03-09-2021 | 16:54 PM
Kigali Amendment to Montreal Protocol
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer for phase down of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by India.
• It comes close on the heels of similar decisions by the United States and China, the world’s largest producers and consumers of HFCs. 122 countries had ratified the Kigali Amendment by the end of July 2021.
• India now requires to reduce its HFCs usage by 80% by 2047. China and the US have to achieve the same in 2045 and 2034.
• Under the ratification, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) will be phased down early which in turn will make the Indian industry globally competitive across climate-friendly cooling products.
• Ratification provided a big opportunity to India to be on course for the early phase-down of HFCs by means of domestic innovation.
About Montreal Protocol:
• It is an international treaty that regulates the production and consumption of nearly 100 man-made chemicals referred to as ozone-depleting substances (ODS).
• The ODS, when released to the atmosphere, damages the ‘stratospheric ozone layer that protects the earth against the harmful levels of UV radiation from the sun.
• It mandated the complete phase-out of chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs and other ODS.
NOTE: Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol is an international agreement that seeks to gradually reduce the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). This is a legally binding agreement that has been designed to create rights and obligations in international law.
31-08-2021 | 16:57 PM
New Indian Ramsar Sites
Recently, four more wetlands from India get recognition as the Ramsar sites. The four sites that have been included are: Thol from Gujarat, Wadhwana from Gujarat, Sultanpur from Haryana and Bhindawas from Haryana.
These sites are home to endangered Egyptian Vulture, Sociable Lapwing, Saker Falcon, and near threatened Dalmatian Pelican.
With the latest addition, the number of Ramsar sites in India have reached 46. These 46 sites cover a surface area of 1,083,322 hectares.
Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary: It is the largest wetland in Haryana. This human-made freshwater wetland comprises more than 250 bird species. It also supports more than ten globally threatened species such as Steppe Eagle, endangered Egyptian Vulture, Black-bellied Tern and Pallas’s Fish Eagle.
Sultanpur National Park: This Park from Haryana provides support to more than 220 species of resident, winter migratory and local migratory waterbirds.
Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary: It lies on the Central Asian Flyway in Gujarat. It supports more than 320 bird species and more than 30 threatened waterbird species like critically endangered white-rumped vulture, Sociable Lapwing, Common Pochard etc.
Wadhwana Wetland: It is an internationally important wetland situated in Gujarat. It is famous for its birdlife because it provides wintering ground to migratory waterbirds, migrating on Central Asian Flyway. Some of the species include endangered Pallas’s fish-Eagle, vulnerable Common Pochard, and near-threatened Dalmatian Pelican.
About Ramsar Convention
• The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (better known as the Ramsar Convention) is an international agreement promoting the conservation and wise use of wetlands. It is the only global treaty to focus on a single ecosystem.
• The convention was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975.
• Traditionally viewed as a wasteland or breeding ground of disease, wetlands actually provide fresh water and food and serve as nature’s shock absorber.
18-08-2021 | 14:53 PM
• Solarpunk is an art movement that envisions how the future might look if humanity succeeded in solving major contemporary challenges with an emphasis on sustainability problems such as climate change and pollution.
• Solarpunk describes a multitude of media such as literature, fine arts, architecture, fashion, music, tattoos, and video games in a similar manner to adjacent movements such as steampunk and cyberpunk as well as more established art movements like Baroque and Art Nouveau and Impressionism.
• The iconography of solarpunk focuses on renewable energies such as solar and wind power.
• Solarpunk is highly concerned with technology but also embraces low-tech ways of living sustainably. For instance, gardening, positive psychology, and DIY culture.
Ideology of Solarpunk
• Solarpunk comprises many aspects of punk ideologies such as egalitarianism, humanitarianism, anti-consumerism, anti-authoritarianism, anti-corporatism, anti-war, anti-racism, anti-sexism, decolonization, animal rights etc. It also comprises aspects of the free-culture movement, freedom of information, and free software.
10-09-2021 | 17:07 PM
National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP)
• The Union Government recently launched the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) in an effort to list out the government’s infrastructure assets to be sold over the next four-years.
• The programme has the objective to unlock the value of investments in brownfield public sector assets by tapping institutional and long-term capital, which can thereafter be leveraged for public investments.
• The four-year National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) will unlock value in brownfield projects by engaging the private sector, transferring to them the rights but not the ownership in projects.
• The components of project are roads, railways and power sector assets which will comprise over 66 per cent of the total estimated value of the assets to be monetised, with the balance coming from sectors including telecom, mining, aviation, ports, natural gas and petroleum product pipelines, warehouses and stadiums.
• Currently, only assets of central government line ministries and CPSEs in infrastructure sectors have been included. Monetization through disinvestment and monetization of non-core assets have not been included in the NMP.
• Asset Monetisation needs to be viewed not just as a funding mechanism, but as an overall paradigm shift in infrastructure operations, augmentation and maintenance considering the private sector’s resource efficiencies and its ability to dynamically adapt to the evolving global and economic reality.
• Considering that infrastructure creation is inextricably linked to monetisation, the period for NMP is co-terminus with the balance period under National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) i.e for FY 2022-2025.
• NMP is indicatively valued at Rs 6.0 lakh crore for 4 years.
01-09-2021 | 18:05 PM
• The Ministry of Finance recently launched the fourth edition of Public Sector Bank (PSB) Reforms Agenda called ‘EASE 4.0’ for the financial year 2021-22. EASE 4.0 is a simplified, tech-enabled and collaborative banking.
• On the occasion, Finance Minister launched the annual report for PSB Reforms Agenda EASE 3.0 for the year 2020-21 and also witnessed the awards ceremony to felicitate the best performing banks on EASE 3.0 Banking Reforms Index.
• SBI, Bank of Baroda (BoB), and Union Bank of India (UBI) won the awards for best performing banks on the basis of EASE index.
• Indian Bank won the award for best improvement from baseline performance.
• SBI, BoB, UBI, Punjab National Bank and Canara Bank also won the top awards across different themes of PSB Reforms Agenda EASE 3.0.
Objectives of EASE 4.0
• EASE 4.0 reforms to look after four key initiatives to be adopted by public sector banks:
Smart lending backed by analytics
24×7 banking with resilient technology & cloud-based IT systems
Data enabled agriculture financing
Collaboration with the financial ecosystem
25-08-2021 | 15:42 PM
Special Economic Zones (SEZs)
Context: The government has proposed to free up unused built-up area worth about ₹30,000 crore and idle land inside Special Economic Zones (SEZs) for other economic activity. SEZs account for about 30% of India’s exports.
• Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are geographically delineated enclaves in which regulations and practices related to business and trade differ from the rest of the country and therefore all the units therein enjoy special privileges.
Objectives of the SEZs:
• To create additional economic activity.
• To boost the export of goods and services.
• To generate employment.
• To boost domestic and foreign investments.
• To develop infrastructure facilities.
Facilities and incentives for SEZs:
• Duty-free import/domestic procurement of goods for development, operation and maintenance of SEZ units.
• Income tax exemption on export income.
• Exemption from Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT).
• Single window clearance for Central and State level approvals.
• SEZs in India have not been as successful as their counterparts in many other countries. Several Asian economies, particularly China, Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore, have greatly benefited from these zones.
• Most manufacturing SEZs in India have performed below par due to their poor linkages with the rest of the economy. Weak connections of coastal SEZs with their hinterlands inhibited these zones from utilising their full potential.
• Many states did not match the central SEZ Act with State-level legislation, which rendered the single window system ineffective.
• Lack of a robust policy design, efficient implementation and effective monitoring have seriously jeopardized India’s effort to industrialise through SEZs.
13-08-2021 | 15:44 PM
General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021
• The General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021 passed in Lok Sabha. The Bill seeks to amend the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act, 1972.
• The Act was enacted to nationalize all private companies undertaking general insurance business in India.
• The Bill seeks to provide for greater private sector participation in the public sector insurance companies regulated under the Act.
• The first aims to omit the provision to Section 10B of the Act so as to remove the requirement that the Central government holds not less than 51 percent of the equity capital in a specified insurer.
• The second amendment is to insert a new Section 24B, providing for cessation of application of the Act to such a specified insurer from the date on which the Centre ceases to have control over it.
• And, the third amendment is also to insert a new Section 31A, making a director, who is not a whole-time director, liable only for acts of omission or commission committed with his knowledge and connivance by the insurer.
• Although the Bill has a provision that will allow the government to bring down its shareholding below 51 percent, Sitharaman clarified that this is not a Bill for privatization.
14-08-2021 | 14:53 PM
PV Sindhu: First Indian Woman to win Two Olympics medals
PV Sindhu, the ace Indian badminton player, has become the first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals after defeating ‘He Bingjiao’ of China.
• PV Sindhu won a bronze medal in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics and became the first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals.
• Sindhu has become the 4th athlete to win multiple medals in women’s singles badminton category at Olympic Games.
• She has joined South Korea’s Bang Soo-Hyun who won silver at Barcelona Olympics Games in 1992 as well as gold medal in women’s singles badminton category at 1996 Atlanta Olympics Games.
05-08-2021 | 16:07 PM
UNDP Equator Prize 2021
• Two Indian organizations have won Equator Prize 2021, for their exceptional achievement in showcasing innovative, local, nature-based solutions for tackling biodiversity loss and climate change and achieving their local development goals.
• Two communities from India bagged this year’s prestigious UNDP Equator Prize, for their exceptional achievement in showcasing local, innovative, nature-based solutions for tackling biodiversity loss and climate change and achieving their local development goals.
The two winning organizations:
• Aadhimalai Pazhangudiyinar Producer Company Limited: This 1,700-member cooperative, managed and run entirely by Indigenous people from the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in Southern India, has improved livelihoods across 147 villages by processing and marketing a diverse range of forest produce and crops.
• Snehakunja Trust: Snehakunja Trust has protected sensitive wetland and coastal ecosystems in the Western Ghats and the Karnataka coast for 45 years. Restoring 375 hectares of mangroves, Snehakunja Trust is currently piloting the first blue carbon project in India.
29-07-2021 | 14:57 PM
Smart City Awards, 2020
The Central Government declared Smart City awards 2020 wherein Uttar Pradesh emerged on top followed by Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
• Surat in Gujarat and Indore in Madhya Pradesh won the Smart City awards for their overall development.
• The awards covered themes: governance, social aspects, culture, sanitation, urban environment, economy, urban mobility, water, and built environment.
• Best union territory award was conferred to Chandigarh.
• These awards were given under the themes of Social Aspects, Governance, Urban Environment, Sanitation, Culture, Economy, Water, Built Environment, and Urban Mobility.
10-07-2021 | 14:16 PM
Fukuoka Prize 2021
• Noted journalist, P. Sainath, was selected as one of the three recipients of Fukuoka Prize 2021.
• He is an Indian journalist and author of a book called “Everybody Loves a Good Drought”. He has been actively campaigning over famer’s issues and backed the Samyukta Ekta Morcha that leads farmers’ agitations in India. He was awarded with the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2007.
• The Fukuoka Prize Committee described P. Sainath as “a very deserving recipient of the Grand Prize of Fukuoka Prize”.
• He will be awarded for his work of creating a new form of knowledge through his writings & commentaries on rural India and for promoting civil cooperation.
About Fukuoka Prize
• It is an award established by the city of Fukuoka and Fukuoka City International Foundation. It is given to honor the work of individuals or organizations in preserving & creating Asian culture.
• The Fukuoka prize has three prize categories- Grand Prize, Academic Prize and Arts & Culture Prize. Fukuoka has organised Asia-Pacific Exposition with the concept of interaction between Asia-Pacific region in 1989.
• This prize was inaugurated in 1990 to carry on the spirit of Expo. Prizes are given annually to distinguished people for fostering & increasing awareness of Asian cultures.
About Grand Prize
• Grand Prize has been awarded to Muhammad Yunus from Bangladesh, historian Romila Thapar and sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan. So far, eleven Indians have received the Fukuoka Prize. About 115 people from 28 countries and areas have received prizes in the past 30 years.
24-04-2021 | 13:18 PM
Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2021
The Government of India notifies Copyright (Amendment) Rules,2021. The amendment has been made to bring the existing Copyright rules in the country with parity with the other relevant legislation.
In India, the copyright regime is governed by the Copyright Act, 1957 and the Copyright Rules, 2013.
The Copyright Rules, 2013 were last amended in the year 2016.
The objective of the amendments is to bring the existing rules in parity with other relevant legislations.
Publication of a copyrights journal has been incorporated eliminating the requirement of publication in the Official Gazette.
The journal would be available at the website of the Copyright Office.
In order to encourage accountability and transparency, new provisions have been introduced to deal with the undistributed royalty amounts and the use of electronic and traceable payment methods while collecting and distributing royalties.
Copyright is intellectual property. It gives the owner the exclusive right to make copies of his or her creative work. It can be education, artistic, literary, or music.
According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Copyright protects two types of rights. They are Economic rights and moral rights.
19-04-2021 | 15:49 PM
ULPIN: Unique Land Parcel Identification Number
The Centre plans to issue a 14-digit identification number to every plot of land in the country within a year’s time.
The Unique Land Parcel Identification Number (ULPIN) scheme has been launched in 10 States in the year 2021 and will be rolled out across the country by March 2022.
It will subsequently integrate its land records database with revenue court records and bank records, as well as Aadhaar numbers on a voluntary basis.
The scheme will enhance the service deliveries to the citizens of the country and will also function as inputs to the schemes of the other sectors like Agriculture, Finance, Disaster Management etc.
The ULPIN is described as “Aadhaar for land”. The number will be used to identify every surveyed parcel of land.
The ULPIN is a fourteen-digit Alpha Numeric ID.
12-03-2021 | 13:04 PM
The Government of Kerala has sanctioned ₹9 crore for the conversion of conventional anganwadis into “smart” anganwadis with better amenities.
The smart anganwadis will be built in order to provide early childhood care in a phased manner.
These facilities will be established with the aim of making it more child-friendly. This way these facilities will help to nurture mental and physical development of children.
Anganwadi scheme is a type of rural child care centre that was started in the year 1975 by the Indian government. This scheme runs under the Integrated Child Development Services program. It seeks to combat child hunger and malnutrition.
11-03-2021 | 13:02 PM
PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Scheme
Recently, the Prime Minister talked about the need to address health issues in a holistic manner and to adopt a four-pronged strategy for a healthy India which includes implementing the PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat scheme.
Four-Pronged Strategy for a Healthy India
Prevention of illness and promotion of wellness including measures such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, yoga and timely care and treatment of pregnant women and children.
Providing cheap and effective treatment to the poorest of the poors.
Increasing the quality of health infrastructure and healthcare professionals.
Working on a mission mode to overcome obstacles like Mission Indradhanush has been extended to the tribal and far-flung areas of the country.
PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Scheme
PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat scheme is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with an outlay of about Rs. 64,180 crores. Duration of the scheme is 6 years.The scheme aims to
Improve primary, secondary, and tertiary care health systems.
Strengthen existing national institutions in the Health sector.
Create new institutions, to cater to detection and cure of new and emerging diseases.
Supporting development of 17,788 rural and 11,024 urban health and wellness centers and setting up of integrated public health labs in all districts and 3,382 block public health units in 11 states.
Help in establishing critical care hospital blocks in 602 districts and 12 central institutions. Strengthening of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), its 5 regional branches and 20 metropolitan health surveillance units.
Expansion of the Integrated Health Information Portal to all States/UTs to connect all public health labs.
Help in rolling out the Covid-19 vaccination program as well as strengthen the delivery system and build better capability and capacity to combat any future pandemics.