INDIAN POLITY, GOVERNANCE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
1. CHENNAI-MYSORE-CHENNAI SHATABDI EXPRESS BECOMES THE FIRST IMS CERTIFIED TRAIN
THE CONTEXT: A feather in the cap of Southern Railway, Chennai – Mysore – Chennai Shatabdi Express has received Integrated Management Systems Certification.
- Chennai – Mysore- Chennai Shatabdi Express becomes the first Integrated Management Systems (IMS) certified train of Southern Railway, first Shatabdi of Indian Railways and second mail/express train on Indian Railways.
- This certification has been granted by the certification agency after a comprehensive audit and duly verifying adherence by Railways to all laid down norms.
- Most importantly, this train is running on Head-On-Generation (HOG) Technology, thereby reducing pollution and saving on the consumption of diesel.
- Maintaining 100 per cent passenger amenities in working condition, 100 per cent Biodigester toilet operations and 100 per cent functional sub-pantry equipment, Quality air conditioning, lighting and other electrical amenities with energy conservation technology are the Special features of this train.
- In this train, passengers also get Braille signage seat indication number And Pre-loaded Wi-fi Infotainment System.
- Automatic sliding door closer for passenger coupe in Executive coach, fire extinguishers in all coaches with fire suppression system fitted in power cars and unified information sticker in all coaches with emergency contact numbers ensuring safe and comfortable travel for passengers in this train.
ENVIRONMENT, GEOGRAPHY AND AGRICULTURE
2. LOAN FOR INTEGRATED URBAN FLOOD MANAGEMENT IN CHENNAI
THE CONTEXT: The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $251 million loan for climate-resilient, integrated urban flood protection and management in the Chennai-Kosasthalaiyar basin to strengthen the resilience of Chennai city to floods.
- The project will establish climate-resilient urban flood protection infrastructure. It will construct 588 kilometres (km) of new stormwater drains, rehabilitate or replace 175 km of stormwater drains, improve 11 km stretches in the Ambattur, Ariyallur, Kadappakkam, and Korattur channels to enhance water-carrying capacity, and upgrade a stormwater pumping station and construct a new one.
- It will also construct 23,000 catch pits in roadside drains to recharge the groundwater aquifer and rehabilitate four disaster relief camps.
- Flood preparedness will be strengthened by developing guidelines to integrate flood hazard zoning into spatial and land use planning, implementing a flood citizen observatory for real-time information in flood areas and creating a manual for green infrastructure design, including rainwater harvesting.
- The project also aims to enhance stakeholders’ involvement, including proactive participation of women, in flood preparedness by raising community knowledge and awareness of flood risks and impacts and its relationship with solid waste management, sewerage, and protection of water bodies.
- The technical staff of the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) will also be trained on the planning and design of stormwater drainage systems and the management of solid waste and flood risks.
- The project will develop a plan to ensure sustainable operation and maintenance of stormwater drainage systems.
- The project will also support the GCC to develop a roadmap to strengthen municipal resource mobilization for delivering sustainable and quality municipal services to the citizens.
3. INDIA IS LARGELY ON TRACK TO MEET ITS PARIS AGREEMENT TARGETS
THE CONTEXT: a new report by an international nonprofit environmental organization said that India is largely on track to meet, and even exceed its Paris Climate Agreement targets.
- The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), in its annual review of India’s actions on climate change, said the country is likely to meet its targets of reducing emissions by 33 to 35 per cent of its GDP by 2030 from the 2005 levels and achieve 40 per cent of installed power capacity from non-fossil fuels by 2030.
- In the runup to the climate conference every year, NRDC and partners publish an annual review of India’s actions on climate change.
- India has a pivotal role in future greenhouse gas mitigation and at the same time has massive climate adaptation needs with millions already suffering due to extreme heat, drought, and floods.
- With most of the country’s infrastructure still being built and the energy supply of the future yet to be installed, India has the opportunity to establish a low carbon development paradigm for the rest of the developing world.
4. WORLD SHOULD SHUT NEARLY 3,000 COAL PLANTS TO KEEP ON CLIMATE TRACK
THE CONTEXT: According to research by climate think tank TransitionZero, the world will need to shut down nearly 3,000 coal-fired power plants before 2030 if it is to have a chance of keeping temperature rises within 1.5 Celsius.
- TransitionZero said there are currently more than 2,000 GW of coal-fired power in operation across the world, and that needs to be slashed by nearly half, requiring the closure of nearly one unit per day from now until the end of the decade.
- The need to close nearly 1,000 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity would put the onus on China – the world’s biggest source of climate-warming greenhouse gas and owner of around half of the world’s coal-fuelled plants – to accelerate its shift towards cleaner electricity.
- China has reduced the share of coal in its total energy mix from 72.4% in 2005 to 56.8% last year, but absolute consumption volume has continued to rise.
5. ICGS SARTHAK
THE CONTEXT: In a significant boost to the maritime safety and security of the nation, the indigenously built Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Sarthak’ was commissioned and dedicated to the nation on October 28, 2021, at Goa.
- ICGS Sarthak will be based at Porbandar in Gujarat and operate on India’s Western Seaboard under the Operational and Administrative Control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (Northwest).
- ICGS Sarthak is 4thin the series of five OPVs being built by Goa Shipyard Limited for the ICG.
- These OPVs are multi-mission platforms capable of undertaking concurrent operations.
- The 105-meter-long ship displacing 2,450 tons is propelled by two 9,100 kilowatt diesel engines designed to attain a maximum speed of 26 knots.
- The ship is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment, machinery, sensors and weapons which enables it to function as a command platform and undertake mandated Coast Guard charter of duties including search & rescue, combating maritime crimes and preserving & protecting the marine environment.
- Indian Coast Guard is a pioneer in inducting indigenous platforms and ICGS Sarthak is a glowing example of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’
6. DEEP DIVE TRAINING PROGRAM
THE CONTEXT: Aimed at strengthening the cyber security ecosystem in India, the MeitY is organising a week-long Deep Dive Online Training program for Chief Information Security officers (CISO) along with Technical Heads, front-line IT staff representing different Ministries, Departments and organisations from Central and State Governments, PSUs, and Bank organisations.
- The program is being conducted from October 25 – 30, 2021.
- At the end of the sessions, it is envisaged that the CISOs will be equipped and empowered to handle Cyber Security challenges in their respective organizations and spread requisite awareness about cybercrime and build capacities for safety measures for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and frontline IT staff across all government departments.
- Coinciding with the National Cyber Security Awareness Month celebrations, the training program is a part of a series of workshops organised by the National e-Governance Division at MeitY under the Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative.
- It will help the CISOs and other participants to equip themselves with a better understanding of the changing dynamics of the cyber world so that they are able to translate the benefits of secure cyberspace to individual organisations and citizens at large.
- The role of CISOs is to do a gap analysis of the cyber security in an organisation and come out with a plan and strategy to bridge the gap and take corrective actions.
- The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had launched the Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative in January 2018. It is the first public-private partnership of its kind, leveraging the expertise of the IT industry in cybersecurity.
7. 18TH INDIA-ASEAN SUMMIT
THE CONTEXT: Prime Minister participated in the 18th India-ASEAN Summit at the invitation of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, the current Chair of ASEAN. The Summit was held virtually and saw participation from the Leaders of ASEAN Member States.
- Highlighting the milestone of the 30th anniversary of the India-ASEAN Partnership, the leaders announced the Year 2022 as India-ASEAN Friendship Year.
- Prime Minister underlined the centrality of ASEAN in India’s Act East Policy and in India’s Vision for the wider Indo-Pacific Vision.
- PM and ASEAN leaders welcomed the adoption of the India-ASEAN Joint Statement on cooperation for peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
- On COVID-19, the Prime Minister highlighted India’s efforts in the fight against the pandemic in the region and also reiterated support for ASEAN’s initiatives in this regard.
- India has contributed medical supplies worth USD 200,000 to ASEAN’s humanitarian initiative for Myanmar and USD 1 million for ASEAN’s Covid-19 Response Fund.
- The leaders exchanged views on enhancing India-ASEAN connectivity in broadest terms including physical, digital and people to people.
- To further strengthen India-ASEAN cultural connectivity, Prime Minister announced India’s support for establishing the ASEAN Cultural Heritage List.
- On trade and investment, he underlined the importance of diversification and resilience of supply chains for post-COVID economic recovery and in this regard, the need to revamp the India-ASEAN FTA.
- The ASEAN leaders appreciated India’s role as a trusted partner in the region especially during the current Covid-19 Pandemic with its supply of vaccines.
- The discussions also covered regional and international issues of common interest and concern, including South China Sea and terrorism.
- Both sides noted the importance of promoting a rules-based order in the region including through upholding adherence to international law, especially the UNCLOS.
- The leaders affirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, stability, safety and security in the South China Sea, and ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight.
- ASEAN is a regional organization that promotes economic, political, and security cooperation.
- It was founded in August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, when the founding fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, signed the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration).
- Its chairperson is rotated annually, according on the alphabetical order of Member States’ English names.
- Members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
8. CHINA TO BUILD MILITARY BASE IN TAJIKISTAN
THE CONTEXT: China will take full control of a military base in Tajikistan near the Afghan border that it has been quietly operating and will also build a new base for the Tajik Government.
- The new base, would be owned by Tajikistan’s Rapid Reaction Group or Special Forces, and financed by China for a cost of $10 million. It will be located in the eastern Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous province near the Pamir mountains, and Chinese troops will not be stationed there.
- While this base will be under Tajik control, the Tajikistan Government has also agreed to transfer full control of an existing facility that both sides have been using jointly, a former Soviet base not far from the ChinaTajikistan-Afghanistan tri-junction and the Wakhan Corridor, where China shares a less than 100 km border with Afghanistan.
- The base, once full control has been transferred, will become only the second known overseas Chinese security facility, after Djibouti near the Horn of Africa.
- Russia and India are among countries that already have a military presence in bases in Tajikistan.
ABOUT WAKHAN CORRIDOR
- It is a narrow strip of territory in Afghanistan, extending to China and separating Tajikistan from Pakistan.
- From this high mountain valley the Panj and Pamir rivers emerge and form the Amu Darya.
- The corridor was formed by an 1893 agreement between the British Empire (British India) and Afghanistan, creating the Durand Line.
- This narrow strip acted as a buffer zone between the Russian Empire and the British Empire.
9. U.S. LAWMAKERS BAT FOR CAATSA SANCTIONS WAIVER FOR INDIA
THE CONTEXT: Key lawmakers continue to voice their support for a sanctions waiver for India for its purchase of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia.
- India is likely to begin taking delivery of the S-400 in November, potentially activating U.S. sanctions under a 2017 law, Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
- They cognized New Delhi’s history of procurement (from Russia) and India’s desire to have diversity in its weapons systems, noting that the situation is difficult.
- Turkey, a NATO ally, was expelled from the American F-35 programme (a consortium to build the aircraft) after it began accepting S-400 shipments in 2019.
SOURCE : PIB
PRELIMS PRACTICE QUESTION
Q1 Strategically located Wakhan corridor is part of which of the following country?
ANSWER FOR OCTOBER 28, 2021 PRELIMS PRACTICE QUESTIONS
Q1 Answer: B
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