ECI ORGANIZES TWO-DAY SVEEP CONSULTATION WORKSHOP
THE CONTEXT: The Election Commission of India organized a two-day SVEEP (Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation) Consultation Workshop on August 25-26, 2021. The agenda of the workshop was to review State SVEEP Plans & conduct extensive deliberations on the important aspects of SVEEP for a comprehensive strategy for the forthcoming elections.
- Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation program is the flagship program of the Election Commission of India for voter education & awareness, spreading voter awareness, and promoting voter literacy in India.
- SVEEP’s primary goal is to build an inclusive & participative democracy by encouraging all eligible citizens to vote and make an informed decision & ethical choices.
NORTH EASTERN REGION DISTRICT SDG INDEX
THE CONTEXT: A milestone towards localizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was achieved with the release of the first edition of the North Eastern Region (NER) District SDG Index Report and Dashboard 2021–22 by NITI Aayog and Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (M/DoNER).
- The NER District SDG Index & Dashboard, a collaborative effort by NITI Aayog and Ministry of DoNER, with technical support from UNDP, is the first of its kind in the country as it focuses on the North Eastern Region, which is of critical significance to the country’s development trajectory.
- The Index measures the performance of the districts of the eight states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura on the Sustainable Development Goals and their corresponding targets and ranks the districts based on the same.
- The index is based on NITI Aayog’s SDG India Index –the principal and official tool for monitoring progress on the SDGs at the national and State/ Union Territory levels and shares the common ethos of benchmarking performance and ranking on the SDGs to foster competition among the districts.
- The index offers insights into the social, economic, and environmental status of the region and its districts in their march towards achieving the SDGs. It is a unique policy tool that has immense potential to measure district-level progress, highlight critical gaps, facilitate resource allocation, and will be a handy tool for policymakers.
OVERALL RESULTS AND FINDINGS
- Out of the 103 districts considered for the ranking, 64 districts belonged to the Front Runner category while 39 districts were in the Performer category in the composite score and ranking of districts.
- All districts in Sikkim and Tripura fall in the Front Runner category and there are no districts in the Aspirant or Achiever categories.
- East Sikkim [Score 75.87] ranks first in the region followed by districts Gomati and North Tripura [Score 75.73] in the second position.
- The score for the 103 districts ranges from 53.00 in Kiphire [NL] to 75.87 in East Sikkim [SK].
MANTHAN- 2021 HACKATHON
THE CONTEXT: Manthan- 2021 is organized by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) in coordination with the Innovation Cell of the Ministry of Education and AICTE.
- Hackathon “MANTHAN 2021” is a unique national initiative to identify innovative concepts and technology solutions for addressing the security challenges of the 21st century faced by our intelligence agencies.
- During this 36 hours online hackathon, scheduled from 28th November to 1st December 2021, selected youths from education institutions across the country and registered start-ups will participate to offer strong, safe, and effective technology solutions using their technical expertise and innovative skills.
- Total Prize money worth Rs. 40 Lakh is announced for the winning teams. Participants are expected to develop digital solutions under 6 themes for20 different challenge statements released today using new technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, Augmented reality, Machine Learning, etc. for ever-changing security-related challenges, which include photo/video analysis, Fake Content Identification along with the information of creator, predictive Cyber Crime data analytics, etc.
THE E-SHRAM PORTAL
THE CONTEXT: Minister for Labour and Employment launched an e-Shram portal and handed it over to the States/UTs.
- Registration of Unorganized Workers begins across the country as the Government of India launches the e-Shram Portal.
- Portal will help build a comprehensive National Database of Unorganized Workers (NDUW) in the country.
- Portal will prove to be a huge boost towards the last-mile delivery of the welfare schemes for crores of unorganized workers.
- Game changer in the history of the country, where more than 38 Crore workers would register themselves under one portal.
- Registration is totally free and workers do not have to pay anything.
NTPC ANNOUNCES RECRUITMENT OF AN ALL-FEMALE ENGINEERS
THE CONTEXT: On Women’s Equality Day, NTPC Ltd has recruited its first all-Female Engineering Executive Trainees (EETs) batch to reaffirm its stand on diversity and inclusion.
- The company has envisioned an all-female Operation Control Room at NTPC in the near future, towards a brighter future ahead for females in the organization.
- NTPC is establishing the regular interaction of new recruiters with the senior management and other employees to ensure that the youngsters are assimilated into the spirit & culture of the organization.
- NTPC has been working on improving its gender ratio wherever possible. It has always believed in providing equal opportunity to all sections of society and has consciously promoted diversity through its hiring practices.
- As a responsible corporate citizen, NTPC has institutionalized policies like Human Rights and the Right to Equal Opportunity.
- NTPC promotes equality and diversity amongst its employees. To support the women workforce, the company adheres to policies like Child Care Leave with Pay, Maternity Leave, Sabbatical leave and NTPC Special Child Care Leave on Adoption of a Child/Delivering Child through Surrogacy. Statutory requirements and policy guidelines are adhered to without any discrimination.
NITI AAYOG’S WOMEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP PLATFORM (WEP)
THE CONTEXT: NITI Aayog partners with Cisco to foster women entrepreneurship in India. The next phase of NITI Aayog’s Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP)will leverage Cisco’s technology and experience working with India’s start-up’s ecosystem to enable more women-owned businesses across the country.
- Cisco is the worldwide leader in technology that powers the Internet.
- Cisco inspires new possibilities by reimagining your applications, securing your data, transforming your infrastructure, and empowering your teams for a global and inclusive future.
ABOUT WOMEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP PLATFORM
- The Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) is NITI Aayog’s flagship initiative – a one-of-its-kind, unified information portal for women entrepreneurs.
- It strives to improve industry linkages and awareness of existing programs and services and provide access to peer support, learning resources, fundraising opportunities, and mentorship.
- With an overarching objective of becoming an aggregator platform that solves the information asymmetry in the ecosystem, WEP serves as a one-stop solution for information and services relevant to women entrepreneurs.
- The platform currently hosts over 16,000 registered users and 30 partners and caters to six focus areas: Funding & Financial Management, Incubation Connects, Taxation & Compliance Support, Entrepreneur Skilling & Mentorship, Community & Networking, and Marketing Assistance.
INDIA’S NEW DRONE RULES
THE CONTEXT: The central government has notified the Drone Rules 2021, a much more liberalized regime for unmanned aircraft systems than what existed previously.
- The liberalized regime for civilian drones marks a clear shift in policy by the government to allow operations of such drones and highlights the government’s intent to allow the use of drones while at the same time ensuring security from rogue drones through the anti-rogue drone framework that was announced in 2019.
- The new Drone Rules will tremendously help start-ups and our youth working in this sector.
- It will open up new possibilities for innovation & business.
- It will help leverage India’s strengths in innovation, technology & engineering to make India a drone hub.
SC: CAN PM-CARES FUND HELP CHILDREN ORPHANED BY COVID-19
THE CONTEXT: The Supreme Court asked the Union government if it can immediately release money from the PMCares Fund for the education of children who have been orphaned or have lost legal guardians or either of their parents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The children have been separated into three categories — those who have lost both parents, those who have lost either parent, and those who have lost their legal guardians.
- The onus of identifying the children had been given to the district magistrates concerned.
ENVIRONMENT, GEOGRAPHY AND AGRICULTURE
SAMBHAR LAKE NEEDS FASTER RESTORATION
THE CONTEXT: An expert study on the lake’s ecology has said that the Sambhar Salt Lake in Rajasthan, which is constantly shrinking with the degradation of soil and water quality and a decline in the population of migratory birds, needs a faster restoration for conservation of its wetland and salt brine worth $300 million.
- 30% of Sambhar Lake’s area had been lost to mining and other activities, including the illegal salt pan encroachments.
- It has also threatened the livelihoods of local people who have always lived in harmony with the lake and its ecology.
ABOUT SAMBHAR LAKE
- The Sambhar Salt Lake, India’s largest inland Salt Lake, is located 80 km southwest of the city of Jaipur and 64 km northeast of Ajmer, Rajasthan.
- It receives water from five rivers: Medtha, Samaod, Mantha, Rupangarh, Khari, Khandela.
- It is surrounded by the Aravali hills on all sides (Centripetal drainage).
- It has been designated as a Ramsar site (recognized wetland of international importance) because the wetland is a key wintering area for tens of thousands of pink flamingos and other birds that migrate from northern Asia and Siberia.
- More than 20,000 migratory birds had died due to avian botulism in the lake in 2019.
GREATER MALE CONNECTIVITY PROJECT
THE CONTEXT: India and Maldives will sign a contract on the mega Greater Male Connectivity project (GMCP), the largest infrastructure project in the country.
- The project, funded by an Indian grant of $100 m and a Line of Credit of $400 m is also the biggest new development project by India in its neighborhood in recent years.
- The project will begin with the signing of the contract between the Maldives government and Indian Infrastructure Company AFCONS in Male.
- Called the Greater Male Connectivity Project, it will involve the construction of a 6.74 km long bridge and causeway link connecting the capital Male with the adjoining islands of Villingli, Gulhifalhu, and Thilafushi.
Q1. ‘It is India’s largest saltwater lake. It is part of the inland drainage system. It is also designated as a wetland of International importance under Ramsar convention.’ Which of the following site is described in the above paragraph?
a) Tso Miriri
b) Pyongyang Tso
c) Chillika lake
d) Sambhar lake
Q2. “Women Entrepreneurship Platform” is initiative by:
a) Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
b) NITI AAYOG
c) Ministry of Women and Child Development
d) World Bank
ANSWER FOR AUGUST 26, 2021 PRELIMS PRACTICE QUESTIONS (REFER TO RELEVANT ARTICLE)
Q.1 ANSWER: C)
- Statement 1 is incorrect: Fair and remunerative price (FRP) is the minimum price at which rate sugarcane is to be purchased by sugar mills from farmers.
- Statement 2 is correct: The FRP is fixed by the Union government on the basis of recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).
- Statement 3 is incorrect: It is applied uniformly throughout the country. State government can have their own FRP, which is generally above FRP decided by the central government.
Q2. ANSWER: D)
- The Jal Shakti Ministry has launched a ‘Sujalam’ campaign to create a million soak pits in villages across the country over the next 100 days, to help manage grey water and prevent the clogging of waterbodies.