INDIAN POLITY, GOVERNANCE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
1. POSHAN MAAH
THE CONTEXT: The Ministry of Women and Child Development has planned a series of activities throughout the POSHAN Maah-2021 in tandem with the States/UTs.
ABOUT POSHAN ABHIYAAN
- POSHAN Abhiyaan is Government of India’s flagship programme to improve nutritional outcomes for children, adolescent Girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
- Launched by the Prime Minister on the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8 March, 2018 from Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan, the POSHAN (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition) Abhiyaan directs the attention of the country towards the problem of malnutrition and address it in a mission-mode.
- POSHAN Abhiyaan is a Jan Andolan or “People’s Movement” by incorporating inclusive participation of public representatives of local bodies, government departments of the States/UTs, social organizations and the public and private sector at large.
- In order to ensure community mobilization and bolster people’s participation, every year, the month of September is celebrated as POSHAN Maah across the country.
- The wide gamut of activities during the POSHAN Maah this year broadly focus on Plantation Drive for POSHAN VATIKA by all the stakeholders in the space available at Anganwadis, School Premises, Gram Panchayats and other places.
- Plantation activity focuses on planting of saplings of nutritious fruit trees, local vegetables and medicinal plants and herbs. Sensitization/awareness drive for COVID vaccination and Observance of COVID Protocols are also being held, special drive for Height and Weight Measurement for Children (under 6 Years of Age), Slogan writing and Recipe competitions are being organized to highlight the locally available nutritious food for pregnant women.
- The activities during POSHAN Maah also include Awareness campaign on importance of regional / local food, Distribution of Nutrition Kits comprising of regional nutritious food, Anaemia Camps, Drive for block wise Identification of SAM Children, Supervised Supplementary Feeding Program for SAM children as an initiative to tackle prevalence of SAM in children up to the age of 5 years, Sensitisation for Community Management of Acute Malnutrition and Distribution of nutritious food for SAM children
ENVIRONMENT, GEOGRAPHY AND AGRICULTURE
2. CENTRE REVISES TMA SCHEME FOR SPECIFIED AGRICULTURE PRODUCTS
THE CONTEXT: Centre has revised “Transport and Marketing Assistance” (TMA) scheme for Specified Agriculture Products’.
- In February 2019, the Department of Commerce had introduced ‘Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) for Specified Agriculture Products Scheme’ to provide assistance for the international component of freight, to mitigate disadvantage of higher freight costs faced by the Indian exporters of agriculture products.
- The scheme was initially applicable for exports effected during the period from 01.03.2019 to 31.03.2020 and was later extended for exports effected up to 31.03.2021.
- Now the Department has notified ‘Revised Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) for Specified Agriculture Products Scheme’ for exports effected on or after 01.04.2021 up to 31.03.2022. The existing scheme will remain in operation for exports effected up to 31.03.2021.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
3. AUTOMATIC MACHINE FOR THE PRODUCTION OF CONICAL SHAPED FIREWORKS
THE CONTEXT: The MSME Tool Room, Hyderabad, Central Institute of Tool Design (CITD) has obtained a patent for the invention entitled “AUTOMATIC MACHINE FOR THE PRODUCTION OF CONICAL SHAPED FIREWORKS” for 20 years from the 10th November,2015.
- The aim of project is to automate the entire above process for relieving human fatigue and to save human from hazardous environment. The entire process is minimal human intervention. Hence, it is safe for humans to handle the machine in Fireworks Industry.
- This is the first of its kind with fully indigenous technology. CITD and SFPL had filed a joint patent application for this innovation.
- The uniqueness of machine is that it completely works on pneumatic system for entire process of manufacturing. There is no electrical or electronics system used in process. Therefore, this can avoid most of the fire accidents in field of fireworks industries.
- Trials were conducted by customer with original chemical in flowerpots and attaining the target production cones of 120 pieces per minute
4. NOISE CONTROL SHEET ABSORBER
THE CONTEXT: An Indian researcher has fabricated paper honeycomb and stronger polymer honeycomb structure as sound-absorbing panels that dissipate acoustic energy to low-frequency ranges. The technology can be used in building acoustics and also as environmental noise control solution.
- Many traditional materials have been found to be good at controlling higher frequencies. However, natural bee hives have been found to efficiently control high as well as low frequencies because of their geometry.
- It has been found from theoretical analysis and experimental investigations that this behaviour was owing to the conversion of acoustical energy into vibration energy. This vibration energy is dissipated in the form of heat due to wall damping property. Mimicking this property as an engineering solution could offer a cost-effective method for controlling noise pollution.
- The design methodology involves understanding the physics of bee hive sample acoustic energy dissipation and then mimicking its design.
- The team developed a mathematical model and calculated optimized parameters, and then fabricated the test samples using systematic, controlled parameters. Subsequently, fabrication of a large sample was done. They have used two different approaches and their respective prototype machines with two different kinds of materials.
- One prototype is for paper honeycomb based on indexed -Honeycomb Before Expansion (HOBE) process, and another prototype machine is for polymer honeycomb structure based on hot wire technique.
- The panels were made by slicing stacked extruded polypropene straws. The slicing process is done with the help of hot wire, which also bonds the straws together. The developed technology provides a mechanism of acoustic energy dissipation with lower thickness and higher specific strength of acoustic panels. A test facility to measure the absorption coefficient of large samples has also been established as part of this work.
SOURCE : PIB
5. ATL SPACE CHALLENGE 2021
THE CONTEXT: Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) successfully launched the ATL Space Challenge 2021 for all school students across the country.
- The challenge has been designed for all the school students, mentors and teachers across the countries that not only are associated with schools having ATL labs but for all the non ATL schools as well.
- This is to ensure that students of classes 6 to 12 are given an open platform where they can innovate and enable themselves to solve digital age space technology problems.
- The ATL Space Challenge 2021 aligns with the World Space Week 2021 which is being observed from 4 to 10 October each year at the global level in order to celebrate the contributions of space science and technology.
- Students can create a solution that can be implemented and adopted leveraging technologies such as:
- Explore Space
- Reach Space
- Inhabit Space
- Leverage Space
- The application for the Space Challenge can be submitted on the AIM online portal. Each team based on their interest and understanding, must select one problem which falls under any one of the Space Challenge themes.
- Each unique solution must be submitted under one theme only. Submitting the same solution/ innovation under multiple themes will result in immediate disqualification.
6. INDIA, U.S. AGREE TO COLLABORATE ON EMERGING FUELS
THE CONTEXT: India and the U.S. have agreed to expand their energy partnership by adding emerging fuels to the list of areas of cooperation that previously included power and energy efficiency, oil and gas, renewable energy and sustainable growth.
- This followed a Ministerial meeting of the U.S.-India Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (SCEP).
- The SCEP was launched in accordance with the U.S.-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden at the Leaders’ Summit on Climate held in April this year.
- The two sides also announced rechristening of Gas Task Force to India-U.S. Low Emissions Gas Task Force, which would continue to forge collaboration between the U.S. and Indian companies on innovative projects to support India’s vision of a gas-based economy.
- The two sides also agreed to continue to develop better understandings on methane abatement under this Task Force.
- Both sides have initiated institutionalization of India Energy Modeling Forum with the constitution of Six Task Forces for carrying out research and modelling in different areas.
- Joint Committees have been set up to deliberate on Energy Data Management, Low Carbon Technologies and Just Transition in the Coal Sector.
- Building on the success of the first phase, the two sides agreed to expand the scope of the work to include smart grid and grid storage as part of the second phase of the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE)-R initiative anchored on the Indian side by the Department of Science & Technology.
SOURCE: THE HINDU
7. BRICS SEEKS ‘INCLUSIVE’ INTRA-AFGHAN DIALOGUE
THE CONTEXT: The 13th BRICS summit held virtually called for an “inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue” for stability in Afghanistan.
- The discussion on Afghanistan at the event attended by the leaders of India, Russia, China, Brazil and South Africa was held in the backdrop of the Taliban announcing an interim government in Kabul.
- The BRICS leaders called for “settling the situation by peaceful means” and condemned the terrorist attacks at the Hamid Karzai International Airport which killed at least 100 persons including several American military personnel.
- The document, titled the ‘New Delhi Declaration’, also called for addressing the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and urged the need to uphold rights of women, children and minorities.
- The meeting gave an opportunity to the BRICS countries to discuss the situation in Afghanistan especially as two of the five members of the organisation — Russia and China — continue to have a diplomatic presence in Kabul where a Taliban interim government is expected to take formal charge in few days.
- BRICS countries are evidently divided on the issue of engagement with the Taliban with Russia and China adopting a proactive policy on the issue. A Russian media report informed that the Taliban has invited Turkey, Qatar, China and Iran to the upcoming swearing-in ceremony.
- The summit emphasised the importance of the principle of “non-interference” in international affairs and said disputes and conflicts should be resolved by peaceful means.
SOURCE : TH
Q1. In order to ensure community mobilization and bolster people’s participation, every year, which month of year is celebrated as ‘POSHAN Maah’ across the country?
ANSWER FOR SEPTEMBER 10, 2021 PRELIMS PRACTICE QUESTIONS (REFER RELEVANT ARTICLE)
- Statement 1 is correct: The scheme facilitates affordable working capital loan of up to ₹10,000 with an interest subsidy @7% on regular repayment. The street vendors are not required to pay any collateral for the loan.
- Statement 2 is correct: SIDBI has been appointed as the implementation agency for scheme administration.
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