October 7, 2022

Lukmaan IAS

A Blog for IAS Examination

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS (August 25, 2021)

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INDIAN POLITY, GOVERNANCE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

1. THE BOOKLET ON ONE-YEAR OF NEP

THE CONTEXT: Union Education and Skill Development Minister launched the booklet on One-year New Education Policy (NEP) – 2020 Achievement along with some major initiatives of the New Education Policy- 2020 such as NIPUN Bharat FLN tools and resources on DIKSHA; Virtual School of NIOS; Alternate Academic Calendar of NCERT; and Release of ‘Priya’- accessibility booklet developed by the NCERT and Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.

ANALYSIS:

  • NEP is a guiding philosophy to transform the hopes and aspirations of millions of the youth to reality and making India self – reliant.
  • The formulation of NEP is also a live example of co-operative federalism to achieve a common goal of making India a global hub of knowledge.
  • NEP 2020 envisages education as a continuum without any segmentation and focuses on making education more experiential, holistic, integrated, character-building, inquiry-driven, discovery-oriented, learner-centred, discussion-based, flexible, and above all, more joyful.
  • Education is not merely a competition to acquire degrees, but is a transformative tool to leverage knowledge for character building and eventually nation building.
  • The Virtual School of NIOS is a new model of learning and is an example how leveraging technology and innovation can facilitate greater inclusion in education. The school is first-of-its-kind initiative in the country which will provide advanced digital learning platforms through Virtual Live Classrooms and Virtual Labs.
  • The Alternate Academic Calendar of NCERT has been developed to facilitate teachers and parents to assess the progress in the learning of children. The Alternate Academic Calendar contains week-wise plan of interesting and challenging activities, with reference to learning outcomes, themes and chapters taken from syllabus or textbook.
  • The book “Priya -The Accessibility Warrior” will sensitize the students on accessibility related issues for Divyangs. Special emphasis has been laid to make the booklet simple, interesting and interactive to create awareness on accessibility in children right from their formative years.
  • It provides glimpses into the world of a girl named Priya who met an accident and could not walk, due to plastered leg. The story depicts how Priya managed to participate in all activities at school, and in the process learnt the importance of the accessibility. She therefore takes the pledge of being an accessibility warrior. The comic book is also available with Indian Sign Language (ISL) explanatory videos.

Other major achievements include:

  • the launch of NIPUN Bharat Mission with a vision to ensure every child achieves the desired learning competencies in reading, writing and numeracy by the end of Grade 3, by 2026-27;
  • aligning of the existing scheme of Samagra Shiksha with Sustainable Development Goal for Education (SDG-4) and the NEP 2020 to ensure inclusive and equitable, quality, and holistic school education;
  • Vidya Pravesh- a three months School Preparation Module for Grade I children;
  • Blue print of National Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR) conceived to energise and catalyse the education ecosystem, capacity building of Secondary teachers under NISHTHA with a focus on improvement in quality of teachers and learning outcomes of students, Assessment reforms to make learning more joyful and experiential, DIKSHA as an teaching-learning repository of engaging e-content, etc.

Reference: PIB 

2. NCL BECOMES FIRST PSU TO VACCINATE ENTIRE WORKFORCE FOR COVID-19

THE CONTEXT:  Northern Coalfields Ltd (NCL), a Coal India Ltd subsidiary has become the first PSU in the country, which has got all its employees and their family members vaccinated against Covid-19.

ANALYSIS:

  • The company has strength of around fifty thousand people comprising of over thirteen thousand full time employees, sixteen thousand contract workers and their twenty thousand family members residing in and around its operation areas.
  • The company started its covid vaccination drive with full support of local administration and later on also mobilized its own resources to get its entire workforce and their families vaccinated.
  • Various target groups were identified and special drives along with door to door campaigns were conducted to achieve this goal.
  • NCL is Singrauli based Miniratna Company of the Government of India operating with 10 highly mechanized opencast coal mines and accounts for 15 per cent of national coal production. The company had produced over 115 million tonnes of coal during the last financial year.

Reference: PIB

3. PROCEDURE OF ARRESTING CABINET MINISTER IN INDIA

THE CONTEXT: Three FIRs have been registered against Union Minister and Rajya Sabha member Narayan Rane in connection with a speech at Raigad where he spoke against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. While the Maharashtra Police has sent a team to arrest Rane, Maharashtra BJP president said it was “against protocol” for the state government to arrest the Minister and questioned how it could issue an arrest warrant against a Union Minister suo motu.

WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE TO ARREST A CABINET MINISTER IN INDIA?

  • If Parliament is not in session, a cabinet minister can be arrested by a law enforcement agency in case of a criminal case registered against him.
  • As per Section 22 A of the Rules of Procedures and Conduct of Business of the Rajya Sabha, the Police, Judge or Magistrate would, however, have to intimate the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha about the reason for the arrest, the place of detention or imprisonment in an appropriate form.
  • The Chairman is expected to inform the Council if it is sitting about the arrest. If the council is not sitting, he/she is expected to publish it in the bulletin for the information of the members.

WHAT ABOUT THE PRIVILEGES OF THE RAJYA SABHA MEMBERS VIS-A-VIS ARRESTS?

  • As per the main privileges of Parliament, in civil cases, they have freedom from arrest during the continuance of the House and 40 days before its commencement and 40 days after its conclusion, as per section 135 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The privilege of freedom from arrest does not extend to criminal offences or cases of detention under preventive detention.

CAN A PERSON BE ARRESTED FROM THE PRECINCTS OF THE HOUSE?

  • No arrest, whether of a member or of a stranger, can be made within the precincts of the House without the prior permission of the Chairman/Speaker and that too in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Home Ministry in this regard.
  • Similarly no legal process, civil or criminal, can be served within the precincts of the House without obtaining the prior permission of the Chairman/Speaker whether the House is in Session or not.

Reference: Indian express

ENVIRONMENT, GEOGRAPHY AND AGRICULTURE

4. PADDY PROCUREMENT HAS REACHED AT ALL-TIME HIGH

THE CONTEXT: Paddy procurement has reached at an all-time high level, surpassing previous high of 773.45 LMT in Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) procurement 2019-20.

ANALYSIS:

  • About 129.03 Lakh farmers have already been benefitted from the ongoing KMS procurement Operations with MSP value of Rs. 1,64,951.77 Crore.
  • Paddy procurement in the ongoing   season Kharif 2020-21 is continuing smoothly in the procuring States with purchase of 873.68 LMTs of paddy  (includes Kharif Crop 707.69 LMT and Rabi Crop 165.99 LMT) upto23.08.2021 against the last year corresponding purchase of 763.01 LMT.
  • Marketing Season RMS 2021-22 has concluded in wheat procuring States and till now (upto18.08.2021) a quantity of 433.44 LMT of Wheat has been procured (which is all time high, as it has exceeded previous high 389.93 LMT of RMS 2020-21) against the last year corresponding purchase of 389.93 LMT.
  • About 49.20 Lakh farmers have already been benefitted from the ongoing RMS procurement operations with MSP value of Rs. 85603.57Crore.

Reference: PIB

5.FORUM FOR DECARBONIZING TRANSPORT’ IN INDIA

THE CONTEXT: NITI Aayog and World Resources Institute (WRI), India, jointly launched the ‘Forum for Decarbonizing Transport’ in India as part of the NDC-Transport Initiative for Asia (NDC-TIA) project.

ANALYSIS:

  • The project aims at bringing down the peak level of GHG emissions (transport sector) in Asia resulting in problems like congestion and air pollution.
  • India has a massive and diverse transport sector, which is also the third most CO2 emitting sector. Data from (IEA, 2020; Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, 2018) suggests that within the transport sector, road transport contributes to more than 90% of the total CO2 emissions.
  • Through various policy measures and initiatives, the Government of India is continuously working towards the decarbonisation of road transport, with a major focus on the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the country.
  • NITI Aayog has been at the helm of the promotion of EVs and sustainable mobility through the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage.
  • However, to leverage and streamline EVs across the country, there is a need is to create a favourable ecosystem for different stakeholders. These stakeholders include Central/state Governments, state-designated agencies, financial institutions, businesses, OEMs, research and technical institutes, private bodies and think tanks. A coordinated effort between these stakeholders will help enable investment, encourage adoption, and ensure fair operation in the industry.
  • The NDC-TIA India component focuses on developing a coherent strategy of effective policies and the formation of a multi-stakeholder platform for decarbonizing transport in the country.
  • Through this forum, the WRI India team, along with NITI Aayog and other project partners, will work in close coordination with all these stakeholders to formulate strategies and develop appropriate business models to accelerate electric mobility in India.
  • The forum will also provide a platform to initiate dialogues for the development of uniform policies and help achieve specific results in reducing emissions from the transport sector.
  • The NDC Transport Initiative for Asia (TIA 2020-2023) is a joint programme of seven organisations that will engage China, India, and Vietnam in promoting a comprehensive approach to decarbonizing transport in their respective countries.
  • The project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) support the initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.
  • NITI Aayog is the implementing partner for the India component of the project.

Reference: PIB

INDIAN ECONOMY

 6.INDIA SECOND MOST ATTRACTIVE MANUFACTURING HUB GLOBALLY

THE CONTEXT: According to real estate consultant Cushman & Wakefield, India has overtaken the United States (US) to become the second-most sought-after manufacturing destination globally, driven mainly by cost competitiveness.

ANALYSIS:

  • China remains at number one position in 2021 Global Manufacturing Risk Index, which assessed the most advantageous locations for global manufacturing among 47 countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific (APAC).
  • India takes the second spot after China as the most sought-after manufacturing destination globally.
  • The US is at third position, followed by Canada, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Lithuania, Thailand, Malaysia and Poland.
  • This indicates the growing interest shown by manufacturers in India as a preferred manufacturing hub over other countries, including the US and those in the APAC region.
  • The growing focus on India can be attributed to India’s operating conditions and cost competitiveness. Also, the country’s proven success in meeting outsourcing requirements has led to the increase in the ranking year-on-year.
  • The rankings in the report are determined based on four key parameters, including the country’s capability to restart manufacturing, business environment (availability of talent/labour, access to markets), operating costs, and the risks (political, economic and environmental).
  • The baseline ranking for top manufacturing destinations is determined on the basis of a country’s operating conditions and cost effectiveness.
  • This year, India and the US switched places (second and third) taking India one rank above from the rankings released last year, when India stood at the third place.

Reference: Indian express

INTERNAL SECURITY

7. MULTI-MODE HAND GRENADES

THE CONTEXT: The first batch of Multi-Mode Hand Grenades (MMHG), manufactured by Economic Explosives Limited (EEL) following Transfer of Technology from Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), was handed over to the Indian Army.

ANALYSIS:

  • The Government undertaken many measures to transform the defense sector into a self-reliant industry which can cater to the present and the future needs of the Armed Forces. These include setting up of Defence Industrial Corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu; formulation of draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy (DPEPP) 2020; earmarking around 64 per cent of its modernization funds under capital acquisition budget for 2021-22 for procurement from domestic companies; notifying two Positive Indigenisation Lists of over 200 defence items to promote self-reliance & defence exports; Corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB); increasing FDI limit from 49 to 74 per cent under automatic route and beyond 74 per cent through government route and according top priority to ‘Buy {Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)}’ category for capital procurement.
  • The grenade is not just more lethal, but is safer to use. It has a distinctive design that gives flexibility of employment in both defensive (fragmentation) and offensive (stun) modes. It has a highly accurate delay time, very high reliability in usage and safe for carriage.
  • These new grenades will replace Grenade No 36 of World War I vintage design, which had been continuing in service till date.

Reference : PIB

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

8. THE REPAIR OF AERO-ENGINE COMPONENTS

THE CONTEXT: Indian Scientists have for the first time repaired aero-engine components through emerging additive manufacturing or 3D printing technique called Directed Energy Deposition process that can significantly reduce repair costs and overhaul time. They indigenously made powders suitable for the additive manufacturing process called the Directed Energy Deposition process.

ANALYSIS:

  • Ni-based superalloys are widely used in aero-engine components. Despite having exceptional properties, they are prone to damage due to extreme operational conditions.
  • Manufacturing defects during the casting or machining process are another major cause of rejection, and tons of such unused components are scrapped due to minor defects.
  • A team of scientists indigenously developed powders suitable for additive manufacturing using inert gas atomizer available at ARCI by melting unused scrap material. Utilising this, ARCI is developing the Laser-DED process for the repair of aero-engine components made of Ni-based superalloy.
  • Furthermore, the ARCI team developed a technology to refurbish pinion housing assembly (critical component in helicopters used for power transmission to the main fan) by machining out the damaged layer and rebuilding it using laser cladding process followed by final machining.
  • Laser cladding and Laser-DED (both processes) are the same. In general, for two-dimensional deposition (surface coating), the term laser cladding is used, and for the manufacture of three-dimensional parts, the term laser-DED is used. A patent (201911007994) has been filed for the same.

Reference: PIB

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

9. INDIA-ASEAN ENGINEERING PARTNERSHIP SUMMIT

THE CONTEXT: The “India-ASEAN Engineering Partnership Summit” organised by Engineering Exports Promotion Council (EEPC) with the support from Ministry of External Affairs and Department of Commerce.

ANALYSIS:

  • Focus of summit was on collaborations in engineering sector. The summit offers an important platform for engagement of Indian industry on India-ASEAN partnership in engineering trade and investments.
  • This forum will also be instrumental in achieving the landmark export target set by the government both in terms of engineering as well as merchandise exports.
  • Engineering exports constitutes one-fourth of the merchandise exports and is the largest foreign exchange earners among all export sectors and the performance of engineering exports has been remarkable in the last few years.
  • ASEAN, with over 15 percent share in India’s global engineering shipment, is likely to be a key region to focus with a target of around USD 16 billion of exports for 2021-22.
  • As one of the largest destinations for Indian exports, ASEAN will be an important region for India with an export target of US$ 46 billion in meeting the global export target of US$ 400 billion in financial year 2021-22.
  • ASEAN as a region is the third largest export destination of Indian engineering products after EU and North America. Among the ASEAN member nations, Singapore and Malaysia are major export destinations for Indian engineering products.
  • Both India and ASEAN have large share of skilled population, robust service and manufacturing sectors and there are many complementary sectors and products available for greater cooperation. With a combined economy of approx. US$ 5.8 trillion, there is significant potential for enhancing trade and investment partnership between India and ASEAN.
  • This year is special for both partners as it marks the 25thanniversary of India-ASEAN dialogue partnership and 10 years of the Strategic Partnership.
  • An E-Book on India-ASEAN trade and investment emphasizing engineering and MSME sector was also launched during the inaugural session. The book covers several important aspects of enhancing bilateral trade and investment and also provides exhaustive information on India and ten ASEAN nations.

Reference : PIB

Q1. Consider the following statements about Arctic Council:
1. It was set up in 1996 by the Ottawa declaration.
2. Its secretariat is located in Russia.
3. India is given observer status in the Council.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a) 1 and 2
b) 2 and 3
c) 1 and 3
d) All of them

Q2. Which of the following groups of countries are members of Arctic Council?
a) Canada, Denmark, Finland, United States.
b) Iceland, Norway, Russia, U.K.
c) Canada, Iceland, Russia, France.
d) Finland, Norway, U.K., Russia

ANSWER FOR AUGUST 20, 2021 PRELIMS PRACTICE QUESTIONS (REFER RELEVANT ARTICLE)

Q.1 Answer: A
Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: India’s eastern coast is more vulnerable to tropical cyclones as
    compared to western coast. On an average, the ratio is 4:1.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: In 2021, Cyclone Tauktae hit the western coast of India (Gujarat)
    while Cyclone Yaas hit the eastern coast of India (Odisha, West Bengal).

Q2. Answer: B
Explanation:

  • The portal under Bhuvan “Yuktdhara” will facilitate planning of new MGNREGA assets using Remote Sensing and GIS based information.
  • This 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., along with field photographs.
  • The word ‘Yukt’ is derived from Yojanam, the planning and ‘Dhara’ indicates the flow.
  • It is a culmination of untiring joint efforts of ISRO and Ministry of Rural development made towards realising a G2G service for rural planning in support of decentralized decision making.
  • Tentatively assigned as Meso-Neoproterozoic based on the available evidence of stromatolites and organic-walled microfossils.

 

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