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Chandipura Virus

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Chandipura Virus

Mains level : Not Much



News

  • Medical officers are on high alert after a 5 year old died of Chandipura Virus in Gujarat.

Chandipura virus

  • The Chandipura virus was discovered by 2 Pune-based virologists of the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in 1965.
  • The Chandipura Vesiculovirus (CHPV) predominantly affects children.
  • The virus spreads mainly through the bite of sand flies and sometimes through mosquitoes.
  • The symptoms include sudden high fever accompanied by headache, convulsions and vomiting, sometimes leading to unconsciousness.
  • Cases have mostly been reported during monsoon and pre-monsoon, when sand flies breed.
Mother and Child Health – Immunization Program, BPBB, PMJSY, PMMSY, etc.

‘Paramarsh’ Scheme

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Scheme

Mains level : Nothing Much


CONTEXT

The Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” launched Paramarsh’ – a University Grants Commission (UGC) scheme for Mentoring National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC) Accreditation Aspirant Institutions to promote Quality Assurance in Higher Education.

Aim of Scheme

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said the scheme will be a paradigm shift in the concept of mentoring of institution by another well performing institution to upgrade their academic performance and enable them to get accredited by focusing in the area of curricular aspects, teaching-learning & evaluation, research, innovation, institutional values & practices etc.

The scheme is expected to have a major impact in addressing a national challenge of improving the quality of Higher Education in India.

Hub and Spoke Model

  • The Minister informed that the Scheme will be operationalized through a “Hub & Spoke” model wherein the Mentor Institution, called the “Hub” is centralized and will have the responsibility of guiding the Mentee institution through the secondary branches the “Spoke” through the services provided to the mentee for self improvement.
  • This allows a centralized control over operational efficiency, resource utilization to attain overall development of the mentee institution.

Mentee Institutions

  • He further informed that scheme will lead to enhancement of overall quality of the Mentee Institutions and enhance its profile as a result of improved quality of research, teaching and learning methodologies.
  • Mentee Institution will also have increased exposure and speedier adaptation to best practices. “Paramarsh” scheme will also facilitate sharing of knowledge, information and opportunities for research collaboration and faculty development in Mentee Institutions.

Conclusion

This “Paramarsh” scheme will target 1000 Higher Education Institutions for mentoring with a specific focus on quality as enumerated in the UGC “Quality Mandate”. Mentor-Mentee relationship will not only benefit both the institutions but also provide quality education to the 3.6 crore students who are enrolling to Indian Higher Education system at present.

Higher Education – RUSA, NIRF, HEFA, etc.

Go Tribal Campaign

Mains Paper 2 : Government Scheme/Policies |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Scheme

Mains level : Nothing Much


CONTEXT

TRIFED, a Multi-State Co-operative Society under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has launched the “Go Tribal” campaign.

Campaign 

  • Products available under Tribes India brand & outlets can also be procured through Online retailers like Amazon, Flipkart, etc. with whom TRIFED has entered into Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
  • TRIFED has not introduced Khadi Kurtas and Jackets in collaboration with “I Am Khadi” foundation.
  • However, in order to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Father of Nation, Tribes India/TRIFED is promoting Khadi based products made by tribal artisans.

Minor Forest Produces

  • Besides continuing the existing schemes for tribal welfare, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs under its scheme of ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Development of Value Chain for MFP’ has included 26 additional Minor Forest Produces for which Minimum Support Price has been notified in December 2018/ January 2019.
  • Also better facilities for skill upgradation and value addition for MFPs in the form of Van Dhan Kendras for providing better monitory return to the MFP gatherers have also been included.
Tribal Development

Ploonets

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 : Ploonets

Mains level : Not Much



News

  • Astronomers have defined a new class of celestial objects called “ploonets,” which are orphaned moons that have escaped the bonds of their planetary parents.

Ploonets

  • Astronomers named a new class of theorized objects that begin as moons around large planets, but eventually move out on their own. They call them “ploonets.”
  • The scientists think these objects should exist in solitary orbits around their host stars and could even be discovered in observations from past and present exoplanet-hunting surveys, like Kepler and TESS.

Why such renaming?

  • Earth’s own Moon is slowly spiraling away from our planet; it may also end up as a ploonet in some 5 billion years.

Making of a Ploonet

  • Over the past few decades, astronomers have uncovered more than 4,000 confirmed exoplanets, and nearly as many exoplanet candidates.
  • And one thing astronomers have learned from this sizeable census is that a surprisingly high number of massive exoplanets — called “hot Jupiters” — are located oddly close to their host stars.
  • Although at least part of the reason they detected so many hot Jupiters boils down to observational biases, this significant sample of weird planets still raises questions about how planets form.

Have we already found Ploonets?

  • Although there has yet to be a definite confirmation of a Ploonet orbiting a star, there are at least a few examples that might fit the bill.
  • The evidence for these potential Ploonets comes from perplexing exoplanetary observations that have yet to be adequately explained.
International Space Agencies – Missions and Discoveries

Sahiwal Cattle

Mains Paper 3 : Economics Of Animal-Rearing |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Sahiwal breed of Cattles

Mains level : Not Much



News

  • The Sahiwal migrated to Kenya around 80 years ago from the Subcontinent and is now considered as the backbone of the Kenya’s milk production.
  • The breed is the main source of earning for many dairy farmers and is also helping adaption in the face of climate change.

Sahiwal Cattle

  • The British, who ruled both British India (today’s India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) as well as Kenya, brought the Sahiwal breed to Kenya in the 1930s for increasing milk production to help their army.
  • The origin of the Sahiwal is the similarly named town (known in the British Era as Montgomery) in today’s Pakistani province of Punjab.
  • It is commonly of a reddish dun colour, with more of a dark brownish colour around the hump and the neck.
  • Also, during the 1930s, the British introduced the Red Sindhi breed of cow in Tanganyika, their colony to the south of Kenya (today’s Tanzania).
  • According to the International Livestock Research Institute, the present Sahiwal cattle in Kenya are descendants of some 60 bulls and 12 cows imported between 1939 and 1963.
Animal Husbandry, Dairy & Fisheries Sector – Pashudhan Sanjivani, E- Pashudhan Haat, etc

National Green Tribunal (NGT)

Mains Paper 2 : Statutory, Regulatory & Various Quasi-Judicial Bodies |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NGT

Mains level : NGT and its jurisdiction


News

  • The Supreme Court has agreed to examine a legal question whether the National Green Tribunal (NGT), established to deal with cases pertaining to environmental issues has the power to take cognizance of a matter on its own.

About National Green Tribunal

  • The NGT has been established in 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010.
  • It draws inspiration from India’s constitutional provision of Article 21, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment.
  • It aims for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to the environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • It has Original Jurisdiction on matters of “substantial question relating to environment” and & “damage to the environment due to specific activity” (such as pollution).
  • It follows principles of Natural Justice.
National Green Tribunal’s Role and Contributions

Hayabusa2

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 : Hayabusa2

Mains level : Importance of the mission



News

  • Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft, which successfully made its second touchdown on asteroid Ryugu has become the first ever space probe to gather material from beneath the surface of an asteroid.

About Hayabusa2

  • Launched in December 2014, the probe is a follow-up of Hayabusa, which explored the asteroid Itokawa in 2005.
  • Hayabusa was the first mission to return an asteroid sample to Earth.
  • The asteroid mission first reached Ryugu — a kilometre-wide asteroid, with a relatively dark surface and almost zero gravity — in June 2018 and made its first touchdown on the surface in February 2019.
  • A month later the spacecraft hit the surface of Ryugu with a pellet and created a 10-metre-wide crater.
  • It also exposed the materials under the asteroid’s surface that were so far protected from the harsh effects of cosmic rays and charged particles of solar wind blasting through space.

Structure of Ryugu

  • Ryugu is a rubble-pile asteroid: A collection of rocks and dust held together loosely by gravity.
  • Its surface is also strewn with an unusual number of boulders — more per unit surface area than any asteroid explored so far.

Latest update

  • For its latest mission, Hayabusa2 hovered outside the crater, without landing.
  • It picked up samples of the material by shooting down a projectile from its one-metre long cylindrical horn, which then captured the fragments rebounding from the surface, stated the release.
  • Hayabusa2 will deliver the material to Earth by the end of 2020, when it is expected to return to Earth.
International Space Agencies – Missions and Discoveries

[pib] LaQshya Initiative

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : LaQshya Initiative

Mains level : Not Much


News

  • The Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare) informed about LaQshya Initiative in the Lok Sabha.

LaQshya Initiative

  • Government of India has launched “LaQshya” (Labour room Quality improvement Initiative) to improve quality of care in labour room and maternity operation theatres in public health facilities.
  • Aim: To reduce preventable maternal and newborn mortality, morbidity and stillbirths associated with the care around delivery in Labour room and Maternity Operation Theatre and ensure respectful maternity care.

Objectives

  • To reduce maternal and newborn mortality & morbidity due to hemorrhage, retained placenta, preterm, preeclampsia and eclampsia, obstructed labour, puerperal sepsis, newborn asphyxia, and newborn sepsis, etc.
  • To improve Quality of care during the delivery and immediate post-partum care, stabilization of complications and ensure timely referrals, and enable an effective two-way follow-up system.
  • To enhance satisfaction of beneficiaries visiting the health facilities and provide Respectful Maternity Care (RMC) to all pregnant women attending the public health facilities.

Following types of healthcare facilities have been identified for implementation of LaQshya program:

  1. Government medical college hospitals.
  2. District Hospitals & equivalent health facilities.
  3. Designated FRUs and high case load CHCs with over 100 deliveries/month ( 60 in hills and desert areas)
Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

Lifting 271 mn out of poverty in 10 yrs, India fastest, Jharkhand No. 1 area: UN

Mains Paper 2 : Poverty & Hunger |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : UN report


CONTEXT

India has registered the fastest absolute reduction in the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) value among ten countries, spanning every developing region, whose combined population is two billion people. And Jharkhand is among the poorest regions in the world improving the fastest.

  • According to the global MPI 2019 report released Thursday, between 2005-06 and 2015-16, India, lifted 271 million out of poverty, significantly reducing deprivations in many of the ten indicators, particularly in “assets, cooking fuel, sanitation and nutrition”.
  • The MPI captures both the incidence and intensity of poverty.
  • The global MPI tracks 101 countries on deprivations across ten indicators in health, education, and standard of living.
  • Developed in 2010 by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), it looks beyond income poverty and tracks poverty in terms of the deprivation faced by people in their daily lives.
  • The report stated: “Among selected countries with a significant reduction in MPI value, India demonstrates the clearest pro-poor pattern at the subnational level: the poorest regions reduced multidimensional poverty the fastest in absolute terms”.

Case Study of Jharkhand

  • It cites Jharkhand, which reduced multidimensional poverty from 74.9 per cent to 46.5 per cent in the ten years since 2005-06, as an example of the poorest region improving the fastest followed by Rattanak Kiri in Cambodia.
  • Among the four Indian states with the most acute MPI — Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh — Jharkhand has made the most progress.
  • Overall, India was among three countries where poverty reduction in rural areas outpaced that in urban areas, which as per the report, is an indicator of pro-poor development.

Other findings

  • The National Family Health Survey round three and four (NHFS 2005-06 & 2015-16) is the source for the comparative data on the indicators.
  • In this period, the report stated,  the incidence of multidimensional poverty in India has almost halved, to 27.9 per cent from 55.1 per cent, lifting 271 million out of poverty — from 640 million to around 369 million.
  • With regards to intensity, the reduction is negligible — from 51.1 per cent to 43.9 per cent — which goes to show that the experience of the poor person, how they face deprivation, hasn’t changed all that dramatically.
  • “Traditionally disadvantaged subgroups such as those living in rural India, Muslims, the Scheduled Castes and Tribes, and young children are still the poorest in India,” said a UNDP official.
  •  The MPI captures the huge progress India has made in reducing multidimensional poverty across the country, while also providing a more complete picture of who is deprived, how they are deprived, and where they live.
  • That the poorest parts of the country are more quickly lifting people out of poverty demonstrates India’s commitment to ensuring no one is left behind, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the government’s own priorities.

Conclusion

  • The ten developing nations for which the comparison is made include countries across income categories: upper middle (Peru), lower middle (Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Vietnam) and low (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti).
  • Across the 101 countries, 23.1 per cent of the people are multidimensionally poor. Fifty per cent of multidimensionally poor people are children, and a third are children under age 10 with over 85 per cent of poor children living in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Poverty Eradication – Definition, Debates, etc.

Model Tenancy Act

Mains Paper 2 : Schemes For Vulnerable Sections |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Features of act


CONTEXT

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has drafted a ‘Model Tenancy Act’, 2019 which envisages to balance the interest and rights of both the owner and tenant and to create an accountable and transparent ecosystem for renting the premises in disciplinedand efficient manner.

Benefits

  • It will enable creation of adequate rental housing stock for various income segmentsof society including migrants, formal and informal sector workers, professionals, students etc. and increase access to quality rented accommodation, enable gradual formalization of rental housing market.
  • It will help overhaul the legal framework vis-à-vis rental housing across the country.
  • It is also expected to give a fillip to private participation in rental housing for addressing the huge housing shortage across the country.
  •  The Draft MTA will also promote growth of rental housing and investment in the sector and promote entrepreneurial opportunities and innovative mechanism of sharing of space.

Features of Act

  •   MTA stipulates a robust grievance redressal mechanism comprising of Rent Authority, Rent Court and Rent Tribunal.
  •   It has been proposed to cap the security deposit equal to a maximum of two month’s rent in case of residential properties and, minimum of one month’s rent in case of non-residential property.
  •   After coming into force of this Act, no person shall let or take on rent any premises except by an agreement in writing.
  •    The Model Act provides for its applicability for the whole of the State i.e. urban as well as rural areas in the State.
  •    Within two months of executing rental agreement both landowner and tenant are required to intimate to the Rent Authority about the agreement and within seven days a unique identification number will be issued by the Rent Authority to the both the parties.
  •    A digital platform will be set up in the local vernacular language of the State for submitting tenancy agreement and other documents.
  •  Once finalized the Model Act will be shared with the States/Union Territory (UTs) for adoption.

 Need for such an act

  • As per Census 2011, nearly 1.1 crore houses were lying vacant in the country and making these houses available on rent will complement the vision of ‘Housing for All’ by 2022.
  • The existing rent control laws are restricting the growth of rental housing and discourage the owners from renting out their vacant houses due to fear of repossession.
  • One of the potential measures to unlock the vacant house is to bringing transparency and accountability in the existing system of renting of premises and to balance the interests of both the property owner and tenant in a judicious manner.
Housing for all – PMAY, etc.

Study in India’ programme

Mains :

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Study India


CONTEXT

To facilitate Internationalization of Higher Education in India, a Programme viz. ‘Study in India’ is under implementation.

 Objectives

  • To make India a preferred education destination/hub for foreign students;
  • Improve the soft power of India with focus on the neighbouring countries
  • Use it as a tool in diplomacy;
  • To rapidly increase the inflow of inbound International Students in India through systematic brand-building,
  • Marketing, social media and digital marketing campaigns;
  • To increase India’s market share of global education exports;
  • Improvement in overall quality of higher education;
  • To reduce the export-import imbalance in the number of international students;
  • Growth in India’s global market share of International students;
  • Increase in global ranking of India etc.

Special Focus

  • The programme focuses on attracting International students from select 30 plus countries across South-East Asia, Middle East and Africa.
  • The programme envisages participation of select reputed Indian institutes/universities by way of offering seats for the International students at affordable rates, along with fee waivers to meritorious foreign students ranging from 100% to 25%.
  • A centralised admission web-portal (https://studyinindia.gov.in) acts as a single window for the admission of foreign students.

Conclusion

  • With the increase in number of foreign students, the global ranking of the Indian Higher Educational institutions will improve.
  • The domestic students shall be exposed to a more diverse peer group and also get greater International exposure culminating in enhanced interest of Indian students to study in the country.
  • This information was given by the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.
Human Development Report by UNDP

Plan Bee

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Plan Bee

Mains level : Elephant connservation efforts



News

Plan Bee

  • Plan Bee an amplifying system imitating the buzz of a swarm of honey bees to keep wild elephants away from railway tracks earned the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) the best innovation award in Indian Railways for the 2018-19 fiscal.
  • A device was designed to generate the amplified sound of honey bees audible from 700-800 metres.
  • The first instrument was installed at a level crossing west of Guwahati on a track adjoining the Rani Reserve Forest, an elephant habitat.
  • The Plan Bee device has been helpful in diverting herds of elephants, especially when trains approach and dashing becomes imminent.
  • A mix of Plan Bee and other measures have helped them save 1,014 elephants from 2014 to June 2019.

Why such plan?

  • The desperation to find an “elephant repellent” was triggered by 67 jumbos being knocked down by trains from 2013 to June 2019.
  • Most of these cases were reported from Assam and northern West Bengal.
  • There are 29 earmarked elephant corridors with the operating zone of NFR spread across the north-eastern states and parts of Bihar and West Bengal.
  • Trains are required to slow down at these corridors and adhere to speed specified on signs.
  • But elephants have ventured into the path of trains even in non-corridor areas, often leading to accidents resulting in elephant deaths.
Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Utkarsh 2022

Mains Paper 2 : Governance, Transparency & Accountability, Citizens Charters |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Utkarsh 2022

Mains level : RBI Regulations


News

Utkarsh 2022

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) board has finalised a three- year roadmap to improve regulation and supervision, among other functions of the central bank.
  • This medium term strategy — named Utkarsh 2022 — is in line with the global central banks’ plan to strengthen the regulatory and supervisory mechanism.
  • Worldwide, all central banks strengthen the regulatory and supervisory mechanism; everybody is formulating a long-term plan and a medium-term plan.
  • So, the RBI has also decided it will formulate a programme to outline what is to be achieved in the next three years.
  • While around a dozen areas were identified by the committee, some board members felt that areas could be filtered and lesser number of areas can be identified for implementation in the next three years.

Why such move?

  • The idea is that the central bank plays a proactive role and takes preemptive action to avoid any crisis.
  • We are very much aware of the IL&FS debt default issue and the crisis of confidence the non-banking financial sector faced in the aftermath.
RBI Notifications

Jaipur gets UNESCO World Heritage tag

Mains Paper 1 : Arts & Culture |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Heritage cities in India

Mains level : Read the attached story



News

  • The Walled City of Jaipur, known for its iconic architectural legacy and vibrant culture made its entry into the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
  • ICOMOS (The International Council on Monuments and Sites) had inspected the city in 2018, post its nomination.
  • With this, India now has 38 World Heritage Sites , that include 30 Cultural properties, 7 Natural properties and 1 mixed site.

About Jaipur

  • The historic walled city of Jaipur in Rajasthan was founded in 1727 AD under the patronage of Sawai Jai Singh II.
  • It serves as the capital city of the culturally-rich state of Rajasthan.

Why Jaipur?

  • The City of Jaipur is an exceptional urban example in indigenous city planning and construction in South Asia.
  • Unlike other medieval cities of the region, Jaipur was deliberately planned as a new city on the plains open for trade as opposed to hilly terrain and military cities of past.
  • In town planning, it shows an interchange of ancient Hindu, Mughal and contemporary Western ideas that resulted in the form of the city.
  • The site selected within the valley that lay to the south of Amber hills was comparatively flat and unmarred by any previous construction.
  • Besides an exemplary planning, its iconic monuments such as the Govind Dev temple, City Palace, Jantar Mantar and Hawa Mahal excel in artistic and architectural craftsmanship of the period.
  • Jaipur is an expression of the astronomical skills, living traditions, unique urban form and exemplary foresighted city planning of an 18th century city from India.
  • Jaipur is an exemplary development in town planning and architecture that demonstrates amalgamation and important interchange of several ideas over the late medieval period.

 About the World Heritage Committee

  • The World Heritage Committee is composed of representatives of 21 States Parties to the World Heritage Convention who meet annually.
  • The Committee is in charge of implementing the Convention.
  • To date, 1,092 sites in 167 countries have been inscribed on the World Heritage List.

Back2Basics

India’s first heritage city: Ahmedabad

  • Walled City of Ahmedabad, founded by Sultan Ahmed Shah in the 15th century, was declared India’s first World Heritage City in 2017
  • The 5.5 km walled city area with an approximate population of four lakh, living in century old wooden residences in around 600 pols or neighborhoods, is regarded as a living heritage.
  • The city on the eastern banks of Sabarmati river presents a rich architectural heritage from the sultanate period, notably the Bhadra citadel, the walls and gates of the Fort city and numerous mosques and tombs, as well as important Hindu and Jain temples of later periods.
  • There are 2600 heritage sites and over two dozen ASI protected monuments and sites in the walled city.
History- Important places, persons in news

Gandhipedia ‘to sensitize society’

Mains Paper 1 : Modern Indian History |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Gandhipedia

Mains level : Importance of Gandhian thoughts


News

  • A “Gandhipedia” was being developed in order to sensitize society, particularly the youth, about Gandhian values, Finance Minister informed in her Budget 2019-2010 speech.

What is Gandhipedia?

  • With the government marking the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhi with several programmes throughout the year, an encyclopedia-like “Gandhipedia” would be among the efforts to spread his values.
  • The National Council for Science Museums (NCSM), based in Kolkata, is developing a Gandhipedia “to sensitize” youth and society “at large” about positive Gandhian values.
  • This comes about 10 months after President launched a web portal http://gandhi.gov.in/ to provide people with free access to an online repository of Gandhian literature, philosophy, audios, videos and rare photographs of the Father of nation
  • The Minister, however, did not share more details on ‘Gandhipedia’ project of the NCSM, which functions under the Union Culture Ministry.
Digital India Initiatives

“Sanchay Jal, Behtar Kal” Campaign

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Sanchay Jal Behtar Kal Campaign

Mains level : Importance of Water Harvesting


News

  • Rolling out its water conservation plan under the Jal Shakti Abhiyan, the Centre said it would focus its time-bound, mission-mode campaign on 1,592 “water-stressed” blocks in 257 districts.

Sanchay Jal, Behtar Kal Campaign

  • It is a campaign for rainwater harvesting and water conservation.
  • The plan would rely largely on mass awareness programmes.
  • It will also involve focused implementation and convergence of existing water conservation schemes under the NREGS, Integrated Watershed Management Programme, and PMKSY’s per-drop-more-crop (micro-irrigation) programme.
  • The five targeted interventions would include water conservation and rainwater harvesting, renovation of traditional and other water bodies/ tanks, re-use and borewell recharge structures, watershed development, and intensive afforestation.

Why such move?

  • India’s water availability is estimated to decline to 1,341 cubic meter per capita per year by 2025 (from 5,177 cubic meter per capita per year in 1951).
  • But there are also examples of states such as Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat and others that have undertaken efforts to resolve it.
  • The United Nations, under its sustainable development goals, expects all countries to provide clean drinking water to every household by 2030.
  • At present, only 8% of the total rainwater in the country is harvested — one of the many reasons why it needs to become a people’s movement.
Water Management – Institutional Reforms, Conservation Efforts, etc.

India-assisted IT-biotech park inaugurated in Cote d’Ivoire

Mains Paper 3 : Effects Of Liberalization On The Economy, Changes In Industrial Policy and their effects on Industrial Growth |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the FTZ, Location details of Cote de Ivory

Mains level : India's trade relation with Africa



News

  • The Mahatma Gandhi IT and Biotechnology Park in Cote d’Ivoire, a dedicated free trade zone built with India’s assistance to build development capacities, has been inaugurated.

Mahatma Gandhi IT and Biotechnology Park (MGIT-BP)

  • MGIT-BP is a dedicated Free Trade Zone (FTZ) for IT and Biotechnology.
  • The inauguration of the project is an important milestone in 150th anniversary celebration of birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The MGIT-BP is being built with India’s assistance through EXIM Bank Lines of Credit of USD 20 million.
  • The MGIT-BP project consists of two parts firstly, architectural concept and design for the buildings of FTZ and construction of main building to host IT enterprises.
  • It has Computer Assembly Plant, VSAT with Satellite Earth Station, Networking Lab, Human DNA Lab, Data Storage Area Network, an Audio-Visual Lab and a power generator.

What are FTZ?

  • A free-trade zone (FTZ) is a class of special economic zone.
  • It is a geographic area where goods may be landed, stored, handled, manufactured or reconfigured and re-exported under specific customs regulation and generally not subject to customs duty.
  • Free trade zones are generally organized around major seaports, international airports, and national frontiers—areas with many geographic advantages for trade.
  • The World Bank defines free trade zones as “in, duty-free areas, offering warehousing, storage, and distribution facilities for trade, transshipment, and re-export operations.”
Trade Sector Updates – Falling Exports, TIES, MEIS, Foreign Trade Policy, etc.

Explained: The enduring legacy of Maharaja Ranjit Singh

Mains Paper 1 : Modern Indian History |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Misls

Mains level : Read the attached story



News

  • Recently a statue of Ranjit Singh, who ruled Punjab for almost four decades (1801-39), was inaugurated in Lahore. June 27 is his death anniversary. His legacy endures for Punjabis around the world.

Ranjit Singh: Life and times

  • Ranjit Singh was born on November 13, 1780 in Gujranwala, now in Pakistan.
  • At that time, Punjab was ruled by powerful chieftains who had divided the territory into Misls.
  • Ranjit Singh overthrew the warring Misls and established a unified Sikh empire after he conquered Lahore in 1799.
  • He was given the title Lion of Punjab (Sher-e-Punjab) because he stemmed the tide of Afghan invaders in Lahore, which remained his capital until his death.
  • His general Hari Singh Nalwa built the Fort of Jamrud at the mouth of the Khyber Pass, the route the foreign rulers took to invade India.
  • At the time of his death, he was the only sovereign leader left in India, all others having come under the control of the East India Company in some way or the other.

Held a powerful and modernized Army

  • Ranjit Singh’s combined the strong points of the traditional Khalsa army with western advances in warfare to raise Asia’s most powerful indigenous army of that time.
  • His army was a match for the one raised by the East India Company.
  • He appointed French General Jean Franquis Allard to modernise his army.
  • He also employed a large number of European officers, especially French, to train his troops.
  • During the Battle of Chillianwala, the second of the Anglo-Sikh wars that followed Ranjit Singh’s death, the British suffered the maximum casualties of officers in their entire history in India.

His quest for empire

  • Ranjit Singh’s trans-regional empire spread over several states. His empire included the former Mughal provinces of Lahore and Multan besides part of Kabul and the entire Peshawar.
  • The boundaries of his state went up to Ladakh — Zorawar Singh, a general from Jammu, had conquered Ladakh in Ranjit Singh’s name — in the northeast.
  • His empire extended till Khyber pass in the northwest, and up to Panjnad in the south where the five rivers of Punjab fell into the Indus.
  • During his regime, Punjab was a land of six rivers, the sixth being the Indus.

His legacy

  • The maharaja was known for his just and secular rule; both Hindus and Muslims were given powerful positions in his Darbar.
  • The Sikhs take pride in him for he turned Harimandir Sahib at Amritsar into the Golden Temple by covering it with gold.
  • Right at the doorstep of the sanctum sanctorum of the temple is a plaque that details how in 1830 AD, the maharaja did sewa over 10 years.
  • He is also credited with funding Hazoor Sahib gurudwara at the final resting place of Guru Gobind Singh in Nanded, Maharashtra.

Global recognition

  • In 2016, the town of St Tropez in France unveiled the maharaja’s bronze statue as a mark of respect.
  • Today, his throne is displayed prominently at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
  • Exhibitions on his rule are frequent in western countries home to the Punjabi diaspora.
  • Last year, London hosted an exhibition that focused on the history of the Sikh Empire and the international relations forged by the maharaja.
History- Important places, persons in news

[pib] Museums for Tribal Freedom Fighters

Mains Paper 1 : Modern Indian History |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Various tribal uprisings

Mains level : Not Much


News

  • The Govt. has decided to up six museums dedicated to tribal freedom fighters in Gujarat, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala.
  • The particulars of museums sanctioned, location of museum and tribal freedom fighters / heroes associated with the museum are as under:
Sl. No. Name of State Location of Museum Tribal Freedom Fighters / Heroes  
 
1 Gujarat Garudeshwar, Rajpipla Prominent freedom fighters from across the country
2 Chhattisgarh Raipur Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh
3 Jharkhand Ranchi Birsa Munda
4 Andhra Pradesh Lammasingi Shri Alluri Seetha Ram Raju
5 Madhya Pradesh Chhindwara TantyaBheel, Bheema Nayak, KhajayaNayak,etc.
6 Kerala Kozhikode Thalakkal Chandu
7 Manipur Makhal Village, Senapati Rani Gaidinliu
8 Telangana Hyderabad Ramji Gond

 

Tribes in News

National Freight Index (NFI)

Mains Paper 3 : Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways Etc. |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : National Freight Index (NFI)

Mains level : Utility of NFI


News

  • In its bid to bring transparency in the road-freight marketplace, Gurgaon-based logistics start-up Rivigo has launched National Freight Index (NFI).

National Freight Index (NFI)

  • The NFI aims to provide live freight rates for different lanes and vehicles across the country.
  • It gives live spot rates on over 7 million lane and vehicle type combinations in the country.
  • It will bring a pricing transparency, in a system where the demand traditionally flows from transporters, brokers, fleet owners and then to drivers.
  • The actual freight rates are in Indian rupee per ton-km and in terms of relative movement with respect to a base month, and would be updated in real time.
  • It will also give historical spot price movements of the road freight industry.

How it’s computed?

  • Rivigo has adopted machine-learning and economics powered pricing algorithms.
  • The rates on the exchange and index are computed using millions of data points from historical transactions, current market dynamics, micro market insights and other factors.

Utility of NFI

  • The Indian road freight market size is estimated at $150 billion-$160 billion, of which $130 billion-$140 billion is full-truck load (FTL) market, but it has been facing a growing challenge of shortage of truck drivers.
  • There are high inefficiencies in the existing freight market, which leads to a great loss of value.
  • Nobody wants to be a truck driver anymore and the country could face a 50% shortage of truck drivers by 2023.
  • Logistics account for nearly 14% of India’s GDP and 70% of it comes from road transportation.
  • But, there is no pricing transparency and working conditions of drivers is deplorable.
Roads, Highways and Logistics infrastructure – Bharatmala, LEEP, SetuBharatam, etc.