Current Affairs 6th February, 2019

PAPER – 1

Topics Covered

1. Art and Culture

2. Forms of Architecture /Monuments from Ancient India to Modern Times

Taj Mahal & Agra fort among the top ten revenue generating monuments

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What to read?

Prelims – About Top ten revenue generating monuments

The top ten revenue generating monuments during 2015-18 are Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Qutub Minar,  Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb,   Sun Temple Konark, Group of monuments Mamallapuram,  Ellora Caves,  Group of  monuments Khajuraho, and Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad

Related Institution

1. Archaeological Survey of India

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  • The ASI is the premier organization for the archaeological researches and protection of the cultural heritage of the country.

  • The prime objection of ASI is to maintain the archaeological sites, ancient monuments and remains of national importance.

  • Headquarters: New Delhi.

  • Established: 1861 by Alexander Cunningham.

  • It regulates all archaeological activities as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.

  • It functions under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Culture.

  • It also regulates Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.


Paper 1 and 2

Topics Covered

  • Women related issues.

  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Rules To Allow Employment of Women in Mines

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What to read?

Prelims and Mains: Highlights, need and significance of these rules.

In exercise of the power conferred under Mines Act, 1952, the Central Government has exempted the women employed in any mine above ground and in any mine below ground from the provisions of section 46 of the Mines Act, 1952.

 However, it is subject to the following conditions, namely:

In the case of women employed in any mine above ground:

  • The owner of a mine may deploy women between the hours of 7 pm and 6 am in the mine above ground including opencast workings;

  • the deployment of women shall be after obtaining the written consent of the concerned woman employee;

  • the women so deployed shall be provided with adequate facilities and safeguards regarding occupational safety, security and health;

  • the deployment of women shall be subject to the framing and implementation of Standard Operating Procedures on the basis of the guidelines issued in this regard by the Chief Inspector of Mines from time to time;

  • the deployment of women shall be in a group of not less than three in a shift.

 In the case of women employed in any mine below ground

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  • the owner of a mine may deploy women between the hours of 6 am and 7 pm in technical, supervisory and managerial work where continuous presence may not be required.

  • the deployment of women shall be after obtaining the written consent of the concerned woman employee;

  • the women so deployed shall be provided with adequate facilities and safeguards regarding occupational safety, security and health;

  • the deployment of women shall be subject to the framing and implementation of Standard Operating Procedures on the basis of the guidelines issued in this regard by the Chief Inspector of Mines from time to time;

  • the deployment of women shall be in a group of not less than three.

 Background

The Mines Act, 1952, restricted the employment of women in underground mines and also in opencast or aboveground workings of the mine during night hours between 7PM and 6AM.

Several women employees groups, industry and students enrolled with various institutions persuing mining engineering courses at degree and diploma levels have been representing to the government at different forum that women should be provided equal employment opportunity for working in mines. Requests from Mining Companies were also received.



Paper 2

Topics Covered

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. 

Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)

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What to read?

Prelims: About TOPS and NSDF.

Mains: Support to Indian athletes and teams for their participation in International sports events including forthcoming Tokyo Olympics 2020.

 The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports is implementing Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) within overall ambit of National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) for providing financial assistance to elite athletes included in TOPS for their customized training in world class training institutes/academies within the country and abroad.

National Sports Development Fund

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Established in 1998, under Charitable Endowments Act 1890, vide Government of India Notification dated 12th November 1998.

Functions

  • The NSDF supports sportspersons to excel in the field by providing opportunities to train under coaches of international repute with technical, scientific and psychological support and also in getting exposure to international competitions.

  • Financial assistance is also provided to specific projects for promotion of sports and games sponsored by reputed Organizations/Institutes, provided the facilities so created are made available to a sizeable population of the area/region.

 The Council

  • The Fund is managed by a Council constituted by the Central Government.

  • Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports is the Chairperson of the council.

  • The Members of the Council include senior officers in the Department of Sports/Sports Authority of India.

  • The representatives of the Apex industry organizations namely, FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM have been included in the Council as members.

  • The representatives of Sports Promotion Boards of reputed organizations are also members of the Council.

  • Joint Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports is the ex-officio Member Secretary of the Council.

 Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS):

  • Launched by Ministry of Sports within the ambit of National Sports Development Fund (NSDF).

  • It aims at identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for upcoming Olympic Games.

  • It will provide selected sportspersons customized training at institutes having world class facilities and also other necessary support is being provided to the elite athletes. It will also provide a benchmark for selection of athletes on par with international standards.

  • Under it, Sports Authority of India (SAI) and federations, which are members of Mission Olympic Cell (MOC), will be nodal agencies for disbursal for fund. They will make payments directly to beneficiary person and institution concerned on behalf of athletes.

Paper 2

Topics Covered

  • Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

National Service Scheme

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What to read?

Prelims: What is NSS?

Mains: Significance and the need for NSS.

National Service Scheme (NSS)

It is an Indian government-sponsored public service program conducted by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of the Government of India.

The scheme was launched in Gandhiji’s Centenary year in 1969.

Aim: The University Grants Commission (UGC) headed by Dr. Radhakrishnan recommended introduction of national service in the academic institutions on a voluntary basis with a view to developing healthy contacts between the students and teachers on the one hand and establishing a constructive linkage between the campus and the community on the other hand.

 The broad objectives of NSS are to

  • Understand the community in which they work.

  • Understand themselves in relation to their community.

  • Identify the needs and problems of the community and involve them in problem solving process.

  • Develop among themselves a sense of social and civic responsibility.

  • Utilize their knowledge in finding practical solution to individual and community problems.

  • Develop competence required for group living and sharing of responsibilities.

  • Gain skills in mobilizing community participation.

  • Acquire leadership qualities and democratic attitude.

  • Develop capacity to meet emergencies and natural disasters.

  • Practice national integration and social harmony.

 

Paper 2 and 3

Topics Covered

  • Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders

  • Conservation related issues.

Draft National River Ganga Bill, 2018

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What to read?

Prelims: Key highlights of the Bill.

Mains: Conservation of Ganga- concerns, challenges and measures.

 National River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Conservation and Management) Bill, 2018- highlights

  • The bill propose to ban the construction of jetties, ports or “permanent hydraulic structures” in the Ganga, unless permitted by the National Ganga Rejuvenation Authority.

  • It proposes to create a management structure that will supervise the health of the 2,500-kilometre long Ganga which, the draft Bill defines, as ‘India’s national river.’

  • The Bill lays down a host of restrictions to ensure the “uninterrupted, ecological flow” of the river. Currently, a host of dams in the upper stretches of the river lead to the river’s flow being obstructed.

  • The proposed legislation specifies that “unauthorized” activities that cause obstruction or discontinuity of water in the River Ganga due to engineered diversion of water or stoppage of water. Carrying out such activities are liable to a prison term of 3 years or fines upto ₹50 crore, or both.

  • The Armed Ganga Protection Corps (GPC) personnel will be provided by the ministry of home affairs and will be deployed by the National Ganga Rejuvenation Authority. The GPC personnel will have power to arrest those who pollute the river covering offences like obstructing the flow of the river to commercial fishing. 

The Bill has listed out a list of offences marked as cognizable which includes

  • Construction activities causing obstruction in the river.

  • Withdrawal of ground water for industrial or commercial consumption from the land fronting the river and its tributaries.

  • Commercial fishing or aqua culture in the river and its tributaries.

  • Discharging untreated or treated sewage into the river.

Need

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According to a map of Ganga river water quality presented by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to National Green Tribunal (NGT) in August 2018, only five out of 70-odd monitoring stations had water that was fit for drinking and seven for bathing. After three decades of efforts to clean the national river, it is a sad state of affairs that the river is not even fit for bathing.