Current Affairs, 10 April 2018

PRELIMS
                             PM Ujjwala Yojana
 
GS 2 Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population

The Government has approved the increase in the target for the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana from the earlier five crores to eight crores which is to be achieved by 2020.

Details of the scheme:

It aims to provide LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) connections to women from poor households.

Procedure:

       Eligible households will be identified in consultation with state governments and Union territories through the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) and the eligible households will be given a deposit-free LPG connection along with financial assistance of Rs. 1,600 per connection by the Centre

      The scheme is implemented by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Significance:
  • Many of the rural women and girls, are exposed to household air pollution from the use of solid fuels such as biomass, dung cakes for cooking.
  • Household air pollution is identified as the second leading risk factor in India’s disease burden.
  • It also makes women spend most of their time in collecting and preparing fuels.
  • It indirectly decreases their educational and leisure activities.
  • It causes about pulmonary disorder, cataract incidences, heart disease, asthma, lower respiratory infection, suffocation etc.
Way forward:
  • Care should be taken in the implementation and wilful continued usage of LPG by the households.
  • Getting new LPG cylinders should be made easy with less procedural hurdles.
 
                           Parker Solar Probe
 
GS 3: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics
 
   Parker Solar Probe is the first mission to the Sun which after launch will orbit through the solar atmosphere, the corona.

Details of the Mission:

Parker Solar Probe will use Venus’ gravity during seven flybys over nearly seven years to gradually bring its orbit closer to the sun.
It will fly through the sun’s atmosphere at 3.9 million miles to our star’s surface, and more than seven times closer than any spacecraft has come before.

Objectives:

The primary science goals for the mission are to trace the energy and heat move through the solar corona and to explore the solar wind.

From ISRO: India is also planning its first solar mission named as Adithya L1 mission.
 

 
ASSAM SPRING FESTIVAL AT Manas National Park

 
GS 3: conservation of environment
 
Assam Spring Festival is being held at the Manas National Park which will make the visitors know about the state’s local food, music, handloom and handicrafts.

The objective of this festival is to promote the local cuisine and culture of the villagers.

It is an initiative to provide alternative livelihood opportunities for the villagers.

About Manas National Park:
  • Manas National Park is a national park, UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, a Project Tiger reserve, an elephant reserve and a biosphere reserve in the state of Assam.
  • It is contiguous with the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan, which is also an important tiger site.
  • River Manas flows through the park.
  • The Manas river also serves as an international border dividing India and Bhutan which is an open border.
  • The park constitutes a varied geographical features like limestone and sandstone, grasslands, fine alluvium brought by the Himalayan rivers.
  • It is one of the richest areas of biodiversity mainly due to the presence of fertile soil.
  • The faunal species found in the Manas National park are Assam roofed turtle, hispid hare, golden langur ,pygmy hog, one horned rhino.
 
                            Desert Tiger 5
GS 3 security 
        It is a joint military exercise between United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Malaysia.

 
                            Regional 3R Forum
 
GS 2 Important International institutions
  • The 8th Regional 3R Forum in Asia and the Pacific is being held in Indore.
  • It will be attended by mayors of cities around the world and cities across India.
  • It is co-organized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, the Ministry of the Environment, the Government of Japan (MOEJ), and the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD).
  • The Indore Municipal Corporation, and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Government of Madhya Pradesh are the other Partners. 
Theme: of the summit is Achieving Clean Water, Clean Land and Clean Air through 3R and Resource Efficiency –  A 21st Century Vision for Asia-Pacific Communities.

3R Forum: It was established in 2009 at Japan’s proposal for the promotion of 3Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle – in Asia.
Members:
  • Members include several central governments, international agencies, private sector entities, NGOs, etc.
  • It includes discussions on policies, support for the implementation of 3R projects in member countries.
  • Information sharing, sharing of best practices and formulating policies for the further promotion of 3R initiatives.
Ha Noi 3R Declaration: The 3R Forum held in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, in 2013 adopted the Ha Noi 3R Declaration ‐ Sustainable 3R Goals for Asia and the Pacific for the decade 2013‐2023.

It is a non-binding and voluntary document which aims to provide a basic framework for Asia-Pacific countries to develop measures and programs to promote 3Rs.

UNCRD:
  • The United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) was founded in 1971 to help achieve the strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade.
  • Created by an agreement between the UN and the Government of Japan, and is supported by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
  • It aims to achieve sustainable living environment for all and to assist developing countries in their efforts to achieve sustainable development.
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April RAM's IAS CURRENT AFFAIRS – 2018