Current Affairs 8th March, 2019

PAPER – 1

Topics Covered

1. History - Indian freedom struggle

Dictionary of Martyrs of India’s Freedom Struggle 

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What to read?

Prelims and Mains  – About the dictionary and its significance

The Prime Minister released the Dictionary of Martyrs of India’s Freedom Struggle, in New Delhi.

Features of the dictionary

  • This five-volume dictionary contains an account of the martyrs from India’s First War of Independence in 1857, to India’s Independence in 1947.

  • This includes the martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the non-cooperation movement, the Quit India Movement, and those soldiers of the Azad Hind Fauj, who attained martyrdom, among many others.

  • This was the first attempt at compiling the names of martyrs on this scale.

  • It was the work under the Ministry of Culture

Spread of India First attitude

The effort of the Union Government is to nurture and recall the brave deeds of the heroes of our freedom struggle. This has a positive influence on the future generations, and inspires them to think of “India First.”


PAPER – 1 and PAPER - 3

Topics Covered

1. Art and Culture

2. Technology

National Council of Science Museums of Culture Ministry collaborates with Google Arts & Culture

‘ONCE UPON A TRY’

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What to read?

Prelims – About the Arts and Science Exhibition, Highlights on Indian Science in the Exhibition and About NCSM and Google Art and Culture

The National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), an organization under the Ministry of Culture, Government  of India has collaborated with Google Arts & Culture for ‘Once Upon a Try’: Epic journeys of invention and discovery

What is it?

  • It is the largest online exhibition about inventions and discoveries ever curated, as an attempt to explore humanity’s greatest inventions and discoveries in an interactive online exhibition.

  • The online exhibition was contains collections, stories and knowledge from over 110 renowned institutions from across 23 countries, highlighting millennia of major breakthroughs and the great minds behind them.

  • Everybody can now explore more than 400 interactive exhibitions that pay tribute to humanity's greatest leaps in science and technology, and the visionaries that shaped our world, as well as tales of epic fails and happy accidents.

  • National Council of Science Museums contributes six interactive stories that share some key insights into the long and glorious Science and Technology Heritage of India.

6 Sections of the exhibition on Science and Technology are key examples

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  • Historic Beginnings: The Indus Valley Civilization


  • Ayurveda: Indian Contributions to Medicine - This interactive exhibit explores the science of the body and mind, which in India had its origin in the healing arts of the Vedic times. This knowledge and practice, called Ayurveda, emerged as a holistic medical science par excellence by about the fifth century BC. The two great classics of Ayurveda, the Charaka Samhita (ca. 2nd AD) and Susruta Samhita (ca. 4th AD).


  • Susruta Samhita: Ancient Indian Surgical Knowledge - This interactive exhibit explores the Susruta Samhita, which accords pride of place to surgery. It describes more than 300 hundred different operations.  The Susruta Samhita is regarded as the earliest document to give a detailed account of rhinoplasty (plastic reconstruction of the nose)


  •  Rasashala: Ancient Indian Alchemical Lab - The section depicts the ancient Indians’ contributions to the science of alchemy (the older form of chemistry


  • Itr: Ancient Indian Knowledge of Perfumery - Ancient Indians achieved great technical understanding and technological progress in perfumery, due to considerable use of cosmetics and perfumery for the purpose of worship, sale and sensual enjoyment. Brahatsamhita (500 AD) of Varahamihira deals with ‘gandhayukti’ (blending of perfumes) in 37 verses


  • Musical Instruments from the Indian Subcontinent - From ancient times, Indian musicians have developed and performed with traditional and indigenous musical instruments that suited their style. Indians played on a variety of string instruments, wind instruments and percussion instruments since antiquity.

About NCSM

  • National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), a premiere institution in the field of science communication, is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.  Primarily engaged in popularizing Science and Technology through a network of science centres.

  • Presently NCSM, with its Headquarters in Kolkata, administers and manages 25 science museums/centres spread across the country and is the world’s largest network of science centres and museums that functions under a single administrative umbrella with an annual reach to about 15 million people.

Google Arts and Culture

Google Arts & Culture puts the collections of more than 1,800 museums at our fingertips. It’s an immersive way to explore art, history and the wonders of the world, from Van Gogh’s bedroom paintings to the women’s rights movement and the Taj Mahal.


PAPER – 2

Topics Covered

1. Issues and Management in Health Sector

National AIDS Control Programme-IV

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What to read?

Prelims and Mains – About the progrmmme and its benefits

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for continuation of National AIDS Control Programme-IV (NACP-IV) beyond 12th Five Year Plan for a period of three years from April, 2017 to March, 2020

Benefits

  • More than 99% of population will be kept HIV free.

  • More than 70 lakh of key population covered annually through a comprehensive HIV prevention programme.

  • Around 15 crore of vulnerable population (including five crore pregnant women) will be tested for HIV in three years of project.

  • Two crore 32 lakh units of blood will be collected at NACO’s supported blood banks during three year of project.

  • Two crore 82 lakh episodes of sexually transmitted infections will be managed under project during three years of project.

  • Seventeen lakh of PLHIV will be put on free anti-retroviral treatment by end of project period.

National Aids Control Programme

  • The National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), launched in 1992, is being implemented as a comprehensive programme for prevention and control of HIV/ AIDS in India. Over time, the focus has shifted from raising awareness to behaviour change, from a national response to a more decentralized response and to increasing involvement of NGOs and networks of People living with HIV (PLHIV).

  • The NACP I started in 1992 was implemented with an objective of slowing down the spread of HIV infections so as to reduce morbidity, mortality and impact of AIDS in the country.

  • In November 1999, the second National AIDS Control Project (NACP II) was launched to reduce the spread of HIV infection in India, and (ii) to increase India’s capacity to respond to HIV/AIDS on a long-term basis.

  • NACP III was launched in July 2007 with the goal of Halting and Reversing the Epidemic over its five-year period.

  • NACP IV, launched in 2012, aims to accelerate the process of reversal and further strengthen the epidemic response in India through a cautious and well defined integration process over the next five years.

NACP - IV - Objectives

  • Reduce new infections by 50% (2007 Baseline of NACP III)

  • Provide comprehensive care and support to all persons living with HIV/AIDS and treatment services for all those who require it.

NACO

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  • The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), established in 1992 is a division of India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare that provides leadership to HIV/AIDS control programme in India through 35 HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Societies, and is "the nodal organisation for formulation of policy and implementation of programs for prevention and control of HIV/AIDS in India.".

  • NACO also undertakes HIV estimations biennially(every 2 year) in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Institute of Medical Statistics (NIMS).


PAPER – 2 AND PAPER – 3

Topics Covered

1. e- Governance

2. Infrastructure

e- Dharti App

Conversion, Substitution & Mutation made online

What to read?

Prelims and Mains – About the app and its applications

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Minister of State(I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs has launched e-Dharti app which is a new online system where all the three main modules i.e. Conversion, Substitution and Mutation have been made online. 

Advantages of e- Dharti App

  • Land & Development Office (L&DO) deals with public applications which are mainly related to Conversion of property from leasehold to freehold, Substitution of names of legal heirs and Mutation in the name of purchaser, etc. These three applications cover almost 95% of total applications received

  • Lots of initiatives have been taken by this office to make the system more transparent, accountable, efficient and effective so that general public, particularly old aged, poor, ailing and deprived persons as well as women and widows, are benefitted.

e-Dharti Geo Portal

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  • It is an another important application on which L&DO has started working, is GIS based mapping of all its approximately 65000 properties.

Advanatges of e-Dharti Geo Portal

  • Through this application each and every Government  property under L&DO, whether it is allotted or still lying vacant, is proposed to be mapped on a portal called “e-Dharti Geo Portal”. Through this portal the Lessee of the property will be able to see the basic details of his/her property along with map showing its location.


PAPER – 3

Topics Covered

1. Energy

2. Infrastructure

Large Hydropower Projects (HPO) as part of Renewable Energy

Image result for Large Hydropower Projects (HPO) as part of non-solar Renewable Energy

What to read?

Prelims and Mains – Hydropower project promotion and its benefits, Challenges along with India’s commitment towards Nationally Determined Goals towards Climate Change

The Union Cabinet has approved Measures to promote Hydro Power Sector. These include Declaring Large Hydropower Projects (HPO) as part of non-solar Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO).

Promotion of Large Hydropower Projects – details

  • Large Hydropower Projects to be declared as  Renewable  Energy source (previously, only hydropower projects less than 25MW are categorized as Renewable Energy).

  • Hydropower Operators as a separate entity within non-solar Renewable Purchase Obligation to cover LHPs commissioned after notification of these measures (SHPs are already covered under Non-Solar Renewable Purchase Obligation).

  • Tariff rationalization measures including providing flexibility to the developers to determine tariff 

  • Budgetary support for funding flood moderation component of hydropower projects on case to case basis; and

  • Budgetary support for funding cost of enabling infrastructure i.e. roads and bridges on case to case basis as per actual, limited to Rs. 1.5 crore per MW for upto 200 MW projects and Rs. 1.0 crore per MW for above 200 MW projects.

Advantages of promoting the Large Hydropower Projects

  • As most of the hydro power potential is located in the higher reaches of Himalayas and North- East Region, it will result in overall socio-economic development of the region by providing direct employment in the power sector.

  • It will also provide indirect employment/ entrepreneurial opportunities in the field of transportation, tourism and other small scale businesses.

  • Another benefit would be of having a stable grid considering 160 GW capacity addition by 2022 from infirm sources of power like solar and wind.

Background

  • India is endowed with large hydropower potential of 1,45,320 MW of which only about 45,400 MW has been utilized so far. Only about 10,000 MW of hydropower has been added in the last 10 years.

  • The hydropower sector is currently going through a challenging phase and the share of hydropower in the total capacity has declined from 50.36% in the 1960s to around 13% in 2018-19.

Advantages of Hydropower

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  • Besides being environment friendly, hydropower has several other unique features like ability for quick ramping, black start, reactive absorption etc. which make it ideal for peaking power, spinning reserve and grid balancing/ stability.

  • Further, hydropower also provides water security, irrigation and flood moderation benefits, apart from socio-economic development of the entire region by providing employment opportunities and boosting tourism etc.

  • The importance of hydropower is increasing even more as the country has targeted to add 160 GW of intermittent Solar and Wind power by 2022 and 40% of the total capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030 to honour its Nationally Determined Contribution for Climate Change.

Challenges in Hydropower generation

  • DISOMS are reluctant to sign Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) Hydro Power due to higher tariff, particularly, in the initial years.

  • One of the reasons for high tariff of hydropower is the loading of cost of flood moderation and enabling infrastructure in the project cost.


PAPER – 2 AND PAPER – 3

Topics Covered

1. Governance

2. Infrastructure – Transport

Advanced Braking Systems Made Mandatory for Vehicles

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What to read?

Prelims and Mains – About the decision of the government? Why is it taken?

The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has decided to mandate advanced braking systems, technologies and performance requirements for improved road safety and reducing accidents.

For what kind of Vehicles?

The provision will be binding on all vehicles with 9 seats and above.

From when?

The existing vehicles will be required to adopt new provisions with effect from April 2021, while all new vehicles rolling out from April 2022 will have these pre-fitted.

What does the notification say?

This includes mandatory fitment of Anti lock braking system, introduction of stringent braking performance, endurance braking requirements, intelligent braking system to assist drivers in managing braking force, and electronic stability for better stability and to reduce roll over.

Important Note - With this, Indian braking regulations will be at par with European standards.