INDIAN POLITY, GOVERNANCE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
1. BHASHA SANGAM INITIATIVE
THE CONTEXT: Education Minister launched of BhashaSangam Initiative for schools, BhashaSangam Mobile App and Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Quiz App, to commemorate RashtriyaEktaDiwas.
- BhashaSangam is an initiative of the Ministry of Education under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat, to teach basic sentences of everyday usage in 22 Indian languages.
- The idea is that people should acquire basic conversational skills in an Indian language other than their mother tongue.
- Aim is at least 75 lakh people should acquire this skill during the AzadiKaAmritMahotsav period.
BHASHA SANGAM INITIATIVE FOR SCHOOLS
- Developed by NCERT
- 100 sentences in 22 scheduled languages are presented in such a way that children in school will be able to read in the Indian language, in Devanagari script, in roman script and translations into Hindi and English.
- 100 sentences are presented in audio and video form with Indian Sign Language.
- Through this programme of BhashaSangam learners in school will be able to get acquainted with all the languages-their scripts, pronunciation.
- Available on DIKSHA, ePathshala and 22 booklets.
BHASHA SANGAM MOBILE APP
- This is an initiative of DoHE, in collaboration with MyGov.
- The App has been developed by a startupMultibhashi, selected by myGov through a competition.
- The App initially has 100 sentences of everyday usage in 22 Indian languages. These sentences are available in both Roman script and in the script of the given language, and also in audio format. More sentences will be added to the list.
- A learner will pass through stages on the basis of testing. There is also detailed testing in the end with the generation of the digital certificates.
- Available in both Android and iOS.
2. THE MEGHALAYA HEALTH SYSTEMS STRENGTHENING PROJECT
THE CONTEXT: Government of India, the Government of Meghalaya and the World Bank signed a $40 million health project for the state of Meghalaya.
- The Meghalaya Health Systems Strengthening Project will enhance the management and governance capabilities of the state and its health facilities; expand the design and coverage of the state’s health insurance program; improve the quality of health services through certification and better human resource systems; and enable efficient access to medicines and diagnostics.
- All 11 districts of the state will benefit from the project.
- It will also benefit health sector staff at the primary and secondary levels by strengthening their planning and management capabilities and building their clinical skills.
- The project will enable women to better utilize healthcare services at the community level.
- The project will help strengthen the effectiveness of Meghalaya’s health insurance program known as the Megha Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS) – which currently covers 56% of the households.
- With its merger into the national Pradhan Mantri Jan ArogyaYojna (PMJAY), MHIS now plans to offer a more comprehensive package and cover 100% of the households.
- As a key strategy, the project will move towards a performance-based financing system where Internal Performance Agreements (IPAs) between the DoHFW and its subsidiaries would foster more accountability at all levels.
- The project will invest in infection prevention and control for a more resilient response to future outbreaks, pandemics, and health emergencies.
- The project will invest in improving the overall ecosystem for bio-medical waste management (both solid and liquid waste). It will include segregation, disinfection, and collection while safeguarding the environment and improving the quality of health service and patient safety.
ENVIRONMENT, GEOGRAPHY AND AGRICULTURE
3. GUIDE FOR SAFE RESCUE AND RELEASE OF GANGES RIVER DOLPHINS
THE CONTEXT: The Jal Shakti Ministry released a guide for the safe rescue and release of stranded Ganges river dolphins.
- The document has been prepared by the Turtle Survival Alliance and the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Department (EFCCD) of the Uttar Pradesh Government.
- The manual is endorsed by the IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group.
- On 15 August 2020, MoEFCC announced ‘Project Dolphin’ for conservation of both river and oceanic dolphins.
ABOUT GANGETIC DOLPHINS
- Scientific name: Platanistagangeticagangetica
- Local name: Susu
- The Gangetic Dolphins are generally blind and catch their prey in a unique manner. They emit an ultrasonic sound which reaches the prey.
- Threats: Direct killing, habitat fragmentation by dams and barrages and indiscriminate fishing, pollution.
- National Aquatic Animal of India.
- Conservation status:
- Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
- IUCN status: endangered
- Schedule-I under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972
- River dolphins of the world: Susu- Ganga river ,Bhulan- Indus river ,Boto- Amazon river and Baiji- Yangtze river.
4. PM: INDIA WILL ACHIEVE NET ZERO EMISSIONS BY 2070
THE CONTEXT: India will achieve net zero emissions latest by 2070, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the COP26 summit in Glasgow.
- By 2030, India will ensure 50% of its energy will be sourced from renewable sources.
- India also committed to reduce its carbon emissions until 2030 by a billion tonnes.
- India will also reduce its emissions intensity per unit of GDP by less than 45%.
- India would also install systems to generate 500 gigawatt of renewable energy by 2030, a 50 GW increase from its existing target.
- PM added that in the spirit of climate justice, rich developed countries ought to be providing at least $1 trillion in climate finance to assist developing countries and those most vulnerable.
- PM said sustainable modes of living being practised in certain traditional communities ought to be made part of school curricula and the lessons from India’s efforts at adaptation in programmes such as Jal Jeevan mission, Swacch Bharat mission and Ujwala scheme ought to be popularized globally.
5. STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF BASIC COUNTRIES AT COP26
THE CONTEXT: Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, delivered the statement on behalf of the BASIC group of countries, comprising Brazil, South Africa, India and China at the UN Climate Change Conference underway at Glasgow.
- He highlighted that even though COP 26 has been delayed by a year, Parties have already commenced implementation of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and therefore, it is crucial that Paris Agreement Rulebook is concluded at COP 26.
- In doing so, full effect must be given to implementation of the principles of Equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC) and, recognition of the very different national circumstances of Parties.
- COP 26 must aim for higher global ambition on climate finance and adaptation as well, along with recognition of Parties’ differing historical responsibilities and the developmental challenges faced by developing countries, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The bottom-up nature of the Paris Agreement and the freedom of Parties to determine their NDCs and progressively update them based on the outcomes of the Global Stocktake cycle and as per national circumstances and call of science.
- With regard to the long-term temperature goal, he affirmed that the latest available science makes it clear that all Parties need to immediately contribute their fair share, and achieving this would require developed countries to rapidly reduce their emissions and dramatically scale-up their financial support to developing countries.
- Developed countries have not only failed to meet the $100 billion goal per year of support to developing countries each and every year since 2009, they continue to present the 2009 goal as the ceiling of their ambition all the way to 2025. In a context where developing countries, including BASIC countries, have massively stepped up their climate actions since 2009, it is unacceptable that there is still no matching ambition from developed countries on the enabling means of implementation on climate finance support.
- COP 26 needs to be remembered as the COP where a step-change in financial support for developing countries from developed countries was initiated.Finance, technology development and transfer and capacity-building are critical enablers of climate actions in developing countries.
- On behalf of the BASIC group, he reaffirmed full commitment to fighting climate change and work constructively and progressively with the Presidency and all other Parties in ensuring that a successful outcome is reached at COP 26.
6. EGOS TO MONITOR THE PM GATI SHAKTI NMP
THE CONTEXT: Government of India has constituted a 20 member Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGoS), which will be a monitoring mechanism for the development and implementation of the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan (NMP).
- The Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGoS) shall have the following terms of reference:
- Review and monitor implementation of the Plan to ascertain the logistics efficiency accruing thereof;
- Adopt framework and norms for undertaking any amendments in the Plan;
- Coordinate for any changes in the projects already included in the Plan, within the prescribed framework and norms;
- To set out a procedure and a definitive timeframe for synchronization of various activities for construction of roads, rail, etc. along with all utility services in an area-based approach for the development of infrastructure on a pilot basis;
- Align various initiatives on the development of a common integrated portal that serves the needs of all stakeholders;
- Issue appropriate directions for achieving the objectives and for compliance to guiding principles of the PM GatiShakti NMP and in addressing demand-side requirements of concerned Ministries.
- The EGoS will also look at the interventions required to meet the demand side, inefficiently transporting bulk goods based on the requirements of various Ministries like Steel, Coal, Fertilizer, etc.
- The Logistics Division will act as Secretariat to the Empowered Group of Secretaries for its Terms of Reference (ToRs).
7. SECOND HIGHEST EVER GST COLLECTION
THE CONTEXT: GST collection for October 2021 registered the second highest since implementation of GST.
- The gross GST revenue collected in the month of October 2021 is ₹ 1,30,127 croreof which CGST is ₹ 23,861 crore, SGST is ₹ 30,421 crore, IGST is ₹ 67,361 crore (including ₹ 32,998 crore collected on import of goods) and Cess is ₹ 8,484 crore (including ₹ 699 crore collected on import of goods).
- The government has settled ₹27,310 crore to CGST and ₹ 22,394 crore to SGST from IGST as regular settlement. The total revenue of Centre and the States after regular settlements in the month of October 2021 is ₹ 51171 crore for CGST and ₹ 52,815 crore for the SGST.
- The GST revenues for October have been the second highest ever since introduction of GST, second only to that in April 2021,which related to year-end revenues. This is very much in line with the trend in economic recovery.
- This is also evident from the trend in the e-way bills generated every month since the second wave. The revenues would have still been higher if the sales of cars and other products had not been affected on account of disruption in supply of semi-conductors.
- The revenues have also been aided due to the efforts of the State and Central tax administration resulting in increased compliance over previous months. In addition to action against individual tax evaders, this has been a result of the multipronged approach followed by the GST Council. On one hand, various measures have been taken to ease compliance like nil filing through SMS, enabling Quarterly Return Monthly Payment (QRMP) system and auto-
population of return.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
THE CONTEXT: The key findings of a study led by IIT Kharagpur researchers could help us understand the formation and evolution of the Earth.
- They have studied a meteorite that fell near the town of Katol in Nagpur District of Maharashtra on May 22, 2012, reporting for the first time, presence of veins of the mineral bridgmanite, which is the most abundant mineral in the interior of the Earth, within the Katol L6 Chondrite meteorite. This finding adds evidence to the Moon-forming giant impact.
- Bridgmanite is the most volumetrically abundant mineral of the Earth’s interior. It is present in the lower mantle (from 660 to 2700 km), and it is important to understand its formation mechanism to better comprehend the origin and evolution of planetary interiors.
- The Moon-forming giant impact hypothesis is that long ago, nearly 4.5 billion years ago, the Earth collided with a planet the size of Mars named Thela, and the force of this impact was so huge as to melt the Earth down from the surface to a depth of 750 km to 1,100 km.
- The hypothesis goes that this caused the Earth to be bathed in a magma ocean, and the ejecta from the collision led to the formation of the Moon.
- This is the most favoured hypothesis on the formation of the Moon and the present finding by the Kharagpur team lends further support to it.
9. PRIME MINISTER’S MEETING WITH PRIME MINISTER OF UK
THE CONTEXT: PM met PM of the United Kingdom, the Boris Johnson MP on the sidelines of the COP26 World Leaders Summit in Glasgow.
- PM congratulated PM Johnson for successfully organising the COP26 and for his personal leadership in championing global action for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
- He reiterated India’s commitment to closely work with the UK on climate finance, technology, innovation and adaptation green hydrogen, renewables and clean technologies including joint initiatives under ISA and CDRI.
- The two Prime Ministers reviewed the implementation of the Roadmap 2030 priorities particularly in the trade and economy, people-to-people, health, defence and security areas.
- They expressed satisfaction at the progress in delivering the Enhanced Trade Partnership including steps taken towards the launch of FTA negotiations.
- Both leaders also discussed regional and global challenges including Afghanistan, Counter-Terrorism, Indo-Pacific, supply chain resilience and post-Covid global economic recovery.
- PM reiterated his desire to welcome PM Johnson in India soon.
- They also exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest including Afghanistan and the Indo-Pacific.
PRELIMS PRACTICE QUESTIONS
Q1. Which of the following are among India’s commitments made at COP26?
- Achieve net-zero emissions latest by 2060.
- 50% of energy will be sourced from renewable sources.
- Install systems to generate 500 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030.
- Reduce emissions intensity per unit of GDP by less than 45%.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
a) 1 and 2 only b) 2 and 3 only
c) 2, 3 and 4 only d) All of them
ANSWER FOR NOVEMBER 01, 2021 PRELIMS PRACTICE QUESTIONS
1. Answer: c)
- Statement 1 is correct: It is classified as endangered species by IUCN.
- Statement 2 is incorrect: It is found in India only in the Beas river.
- Statement 3 is correct: is declared as the state aquatic animal of Punjab in 2019.