[pib] Sahara Hostel

Mains Paper 2 : NGO, SHG & Civil Society |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Sahara hostels

Mains level : Empowerment of veer naris


News

  • Lt Governor of Delhi has inaugurated the Sahara Naval Hostel for the ‘Veer Naris’

Sahara Naval Hostel

  • Sahara Hostel is a unique and first of its kind initiative by the Indian Navy for the welfare of the Naval Widows/Veernaris.
  • It is aimed towards providing support to the lady and their families in the period immediately after the unfortunate demise of their husbands.
  • Only those widows who have completed the requisite period in Government accommodation after the demise of their husbands are eligible to apply for stay in the hostel for one year.
  • Extension beyond this period will be considered based on availability and merits of the case.
  • The unique project has been built in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partnership with National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC).
  • It comprises compact suites equipped with all necessary amenities for dignified living, along with a common Dining Hall and a Community Hall.
Indian Navy Updates

Elephant Bonds

Mains Paper 3 : Money-Laundering & Its Prevention |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Elephant Bonds

Mains level : Curbing black money


News

  • A high level government-appointed committee on trade and industry has suggested it to issue ‘Elephant Bonds’ to people for declaring undisclosed income to mandatorily invest 50%.

Elephant Bonds

  • Elephant Bonds are the 25-year sovereign bonds in which people declaring undisclosed income will be bound to invest 50 per cent.
  • The fund, made from these bonds, will be utilized only for infrastructure projects.
  • It is like an Amnesty scheme to help State treasury raising tax revenues, adding beneficiaries in tax base who have not declared their assets previously.
Black Money – Domestic and International Efforts

ISRO’s new commercial arm NewSpace India officially inaugurated

Mains Paper 3 : Awareness In The Fields Of It, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-Technology, Bio-Technology |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NewSpace India Limited (NSIL)

Mains level : Commercial activities by ISRO


News

  • NewSpace India Limited, the commercial arm of ISRO was officially inaugurated in Bengaluru.

NewSpace India Limited (NSIL)

  • NSIL’s main objective is to scale up industry participation in Indian space programmes.
  • NSIL was incorporated on March 6 2019, for commercially utilising research and development activities carried out by ISRO in the area of space with an authorised share capital of Rs 100 crore and initial paid up capital of Rs 10 crore.
  • NSIL will act as an aggregator for all space related activities in industry and develop private entrepreneurship in space related technologies.

Services to be provided

  • Specifically, it will be responsible for manufacturing and production of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) and Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) through technology transfer mechanisms.
  • It will also cater to emerging global commercial SSLV market demand, providing satellite building and satellite-based services.
  • Its services will include supply of sub-systems for various domestic and international application needs and will enable space technology spin-offs through Indian industry interface.
  • It will enable space technology spin-offs via Indian industry interface.
ISRO Missions and Discoveries

WHO strategy to tackle global snakebite ’emergency’

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : WHO strategy on snakebites


News

  • The World Health Organisation has unveiled a new strategy to dramatically cut deaths and injuries from snakebites, warning a dearth of antivenoms could soon spark a “public health emergency”.

The Strategy

  • The UN agency called for “the restoration of a sustainable market for snakebite treatment”, insisting on the need for a 25-per cent increase in the number of competent manufacturers by 2030.
  • WHO said it planned a pilot project to create a global antivenom stockpile.
  • The strategy also called for integrating snakebite treatment and response into national health plans in affected countries, including better training of health personnel and educating communities.
  • WHO, which two years ago categorised “snakebite envenoming” as a Neglected Tropical Disease, presented a strategy aimed at cutting snakebite-related deaths and disabilities in half by 2030.
  • An important part of the strategy is to significantly boost production of quality antivenoms.

Snakebite: An Emergency

  • Each year, nearly three million people are bitten by poisonous snakes, with an estimated 81,000-138,000 deaths.
  • Another 400,000 survivors suffer permanent disabilities and other after-effects, according to WHO figures.
  • Snake venom can cause paralysis that stops breathing, bleeding disorders that can lead to fatal haemorrhage, irreversible kidney failure and tissue damage that can cause permanent disability and limb loss.
  • Most snakebite victims live in the world’s tropical and poorest regions, and children are worse affected due to their smaller body size.
  • It causes nearly 50,000 deaths in India every year.
  • Four snake varieties – Indian Cobra, Russel’s viper, saw-scaled viper and Indian common krait are mostly responsible for most snakebite deaths.
  • Production of life-saving antivenoms has been abandoned by a number of companies since the 1980s, and availability of effective and safe products is disastrously low in Africa especially, with a similar crisis also looming in Asia.
Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

[op-ed snap] Disclosing dissent: on EC’s decision to not record split opinions

Mains Paper 2 : Constitutional Bodies |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing Much

Mains level : Election Commission Dissent


CONTEXT

The rejection of the demand of one of the Election Commissioners that dissenting opinions be recorded in the orders passed by the three-member Election Commission on complaints of violations of the Model Code of Conduct may be technically and legally right. However, there was indeed a strong case for acceding to the demand of Ashok Lavasa at least in regard to complaints against high functionaries such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Events leading to dissent

  • The EC has been rightly widely criticised for giving a series of ‘clean chits’ to the PM, despite some questionable remarks that appeared to solicit votes in the name of the armed forces.
  • Added to the widespread unease was the unexplained delay of several weeks in disposing of complaints against Mr. Modi.
  • It is in this context that Mr. Lavasa’s dissenting opinion may have been relevant enough to merit inclusion in the EC’s orders.
  • After all, the public is aware of the allegedly offending actions and remarks, and is entitled to be informed if the decision was not unanimous.
  • In this hotly contested election, one in which the level of discourse was abysmally low, the onus on the poll panel to maintain a level-playing field and enforce the election code was quite high.
  • Making public a dissent in the final order would have deepened the popular understanding of the issues in play.

Legal Provisions

  • The law requires the multi-member EC to transact business unanimously as far as possible — and where there is a difference of opinion, by majority.
  • Therefore, there is nothing wrong if decisions are made by a 2:1 ratio.
  • The apparent justification for excluding any dissent from the final order, but merely recording it in the file, is that the practice of including dissent is limited to quasi-judicial matters such as allotment of symbols
  • A more appropriate distinction would be between decisions that require reasoning — absolving the Prime Minister of an election code violation surely ought to be one — and administrative matters that need to be resolved with dispatch.
  • If members have specific reasons for deciding for or against a particular course of action, there would surely be no harm in spelling out their respective positions.

Conclusion

At a time when the institution’s reputation is being undermined by sustained criticism, the EC should not shy away from making public any difference of opinion within. It would be unfortunate if the majority in the EC were to be afraid of any public reaction that may result from disclosure of a split opinion.

Electoral Reforms In India

[op-ed snap] Full circle: on the change in kilogram’s definition

Mains Paper 3 : Awareness In The Fields Of It, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-Technology, Bio-Technology |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Planck's Constant

Mains level : How changes have taken place over the time in defining standard metrics


CONTEXT

As of May 20, the kilogram joined a bunch of other units — second, metre, ampere, kelvin, mole and candela — that will no longer be compared with physical objects as standards of reference.

Background

  • The change comes after nearly 130 years: in 1889 a platinum-iridium cylinder was used to define how much mass one kilogram represented.
  • Now, a more abstract definition of the kilogram has been adopted in terms of fundamental constants, namely, the Planck’s constant h, and the metre and second which already have been defined in terms of universal constants such as the speed of light.
  • With this redefinition, the range of universality of the measurement has been extended in an unprecedented way.

New Method

  • Earlier, if a mass had to be verified to match with a standard kilogram, it would be placed on one of the pans of a common balance, while the prototype would have to be placed in the other pan — and mass would be measured against mass.
  • Now, by using a Kibble balance, which balances mass against electromagnetic force, to measure the mass of an unknown piece, the very methodology of verification has been altered.
  • The constants involved are known precisely and are universal numbers. Hence, whether the mass is measured on earth or, say, on the moon, it can be determined with precision.

 

History of standards

  • This is the culmination of a series of historical changes, which are also described by Richard S. Davis et al in their 2016 article in the journal Metrologia.
  • Originally the definition of mass was in terms of what was then thought of as a universal physical constant.
  • In 1791, 1 kg was defined as the mass of one litre of distilled water at its melting point. Thus, the density of water was the physical constant on which this definition hinged.
  • In 1799, the kilogram came to be defined using a cylinder of platinum – the first time an artefact was used for this purpose.
  • But it was also defined as equivalent to the mass of one litre of distilled water at atmospheric pressure and at about 4 degrees Celsius, the temperature at which water has the maximum density.
  • This was done away with in 1889 when the community adopted the International Prototype of the Kilogram — a cylinder made of an alloy that’s 90% platinum and 10% iridium.
  • The reference to the ‘physical constant’, i.e. mass of one litre of water, was abandoned.

Planck’s Constant

  • Now, as a culmination of this historical process, we come back full circle and find that the kilogram is defined again in terms of a fundamental physical constant — the Planck’s constant.
  • Planck’s constant is a robust number to match. Not until the art of travelling at relativistic speeds, close to the speed of light, is mastered, will we have to redefine these abstract definitions. Until then, it looks like metrologists are on a stable berth.
Innovations in Sciences, IT, Computers, Robotics and Nanotechnology