Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - December 07, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

Roshni Act

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Social empowerment.


Context

  • The Jammu & Kashmir administration has recently released a series of lists of alleged beneficiaries of the Roshni Act of 2001, now scrapped.
  • It gave ownership rights to the unauthorised occupants of state land against payment of a premium.

Background

  • Political leaders and bureaucrats have been among those named.
  • The transfers are being probed by the CBI.
  • The Jammu & Kashmir High Court, the administration has annulled the Act and decided to retrieve land transferred under the Roshni scheme.

Highlights

  • Jammu and Kashmir State Land Act, 2001, it was passed by the then National Conference government.
  • The objective was to give ownership to people in possession of state land, with a cut-off of 1990, and against a payment as determined by the government.
  • Since the aim was to generate resources for hydroelectric power projects, it was called Roshni (Light) Act.
  • In a later amendment, the Ghulam Nabi Azad government set the premium at 25% of the market rate and the cut-off date at 2007.
  • The government gave free ownership rights on agricultural land to farmers occupying it, who only needed to pay Rs 100 per kanal of land as documentation fee.
  • At the time it passed the Act, the government expected to transfer the ownership of 20.46 lakh kanals (1.02 lakh hectares) of state land.
  • This was 16.02 lakh kanals in Jammu region and 4.44 lakh kanals in Kashmir.
  • The government set a speculative target of Rs 25,000 crore.

Source: Indian Express.

KVIC’s Honey Mission Earns First Income for Migrant Workers

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.


Context

  • The self-sustainability measures initiated by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic have begun yielding results.
  • The distressed migrant workers who were engaged with KVIC’s Honey Mission in Uttar Pradesh in the month of August, have reaped their first honey harvest and are awaiting a bumper yield in the months from December to March.

Background

  • To begin with, five migrant workers in Western UP’s Muzaffarnagar district extracted 253 kg of honey from their 50 honey bee boxes that were distributed to them on August 25 this year.
  • Raw honey sells at an average of Rs 200 per kg and at this rate it is estimated to fetch nearly Rs 50,000 to the migrant workers. 
  • This means an average income of Rs 10,000 to each of these beneficiaries.
  • A total of 700 bee boxes were distributed to 70 migrant workers after training by KVIC in this region.
  • Honey extraction from remaining bee boxes will continue in coming days.

Highlights

  • The production of honey from these boxes will increase by at least 5 times in the months from December to March as the Eucalyptus and Mustard crop will be in full bloom during the season.
  • Each of these bee boxes will produce nearly 25 kg of honey during the peak season.
  • Further, the beekeepers will be able to migrate their boxes to nearby states like Haryana, Rajasthan and Eastern Uttar Pradesh where honey bees will find abundance of pollen and nectar and thus add to honey production.
  • These distressed workers who had returned to their home from other cities were roped in with Honey Mission as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
  • It is great to see that in just three months the workers have begun earning livelihood on their own.
  • The production of honey and their income will grow by manifold in coming months.
  • The beneficiaries thanked KVIC for the support and said beekeeping enabled them to earn their own livelihood without having to migrate to other cities in search of jobs.

Source: PIB.

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US drugmaker Moderna applies for Emergency Use Authorisation

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


Context

  • US drugmaker Moderna said it was applying for emergency use authorisation for its Covid-19 vaccine. 
  • In India, Serum Institute of India, which is trialling a version of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, has said it expects to seek emergency use authorisation within the next two weeks.

Background

  • Vaccines, medicines, diagnostic tests and medical devices, require the approval of a regulatory authority before they can be administered.
  • In India, the regulatory authority is the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).

Highlights

  • For vaccines and medicines, approval is granted after an assessment of their safety and effectiveness, based on data from trials. 
  • This is a long process, designed to ensure that a medicine or vaccine is absolutely safe and effective.
  • In emergency situations, like COVID-19, regulatory authorities around the world have developed mechanisms to grant interim approvals if there is sufficient evidence to suggest a medical product is safe and effective.
  • Final approval is granted only after completion of the trials and analysis of full data; until then, emergency use authorisation (EUA) allows the medicine or the vaccine to be used on the public.

Source: The Hindu.

AYUSH Day Care Therapy Centres for Central Government employees approved

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.


Context

  • A proposal of Day Care Therapy Center facility under Ayurveda, Yoga, and Naturopathy systems for central government employees and pensioners has been approved by the Ministry of Health and Family welfare.
  • Private Day Care Therapy centers of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy will be empanelled under Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) shortly, in a manner similar to empanelment of Day Care Therapy Centers of conventional (Allopathy) medicine already provided by CGHS.

Background

  • All CGHS beneficiaries, serving as well as pensioners will be able to avail the benefit of these centres.
  • This step has been taken by the Ministry, keeping in view of the growing popularity of AYUSH system of medicines amongst the public at large and all CGHS beneficiaries.

Highlights

  • Initial empanelment of  Day Care Therapy Centres will be undertaken on pilot basis for Delhi and NCR for a period of one year and subsequently would be considered for other places.
  • The treatment procedure requiring a short duration of stay in the Day Care Therapy Centre, ranging from a few hours to less than a Day will be made available to CGHS beneficiaries under this scheme.
  • The aim of the scheme is to improve the health and wellbeing, reduce health care expenditure and provide excellence in service delivery, efficiency, and comfort to the patients.
  • As the treatment procedure does not require overnight stay in the unfamiliar environment, it is extremely convenient for children and elderly patients.
  • This is yet another important step of Government of India to extend the benefit of AYUSH system of medicine.
  • At present treatment of approved procedures like Panchkarma and Abhyanga etc. is given only after hospitalization in CGHS empanelment Hospital.
  • This involves additional cost to CGHS as indoor room charges, which are separately paid by CGHS apart from the procedure cost.
  • The day care centers will not only reduce the cost of hospitalisation but will also add to patient’s convenience.

Source: PIB.

Education Minister sets up task force for preparing roadmap on imparting technical education in Mother Tongue

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.


Context

  • Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has set up a task force for preparing a roadmap on imparting technical education in Mother Tongue.
  • The task force set up under the chairmanship of Secretary, Higher Education will take into consideration the suggestions made by various stakeholders and will submit a report in a month.

Background

  • The decision was taken by the Minister at a high level meeting held today on imparting technical education in Mother Tongue.
  • Secretary Higher Education Amit Khare, IIT Directors, Academicians and senior officials of the Ministry were present in the meeting.

Highlights

  • The agenda of the meeting was to discuss and deliberate regarding the implementation of NEP- 2020.
  • Pokhriyal said that the meeting today is a step in the direction towards achieving Prime Minister’s vision that student may pursue the professional courses such as medicine, engineering, law, etc in their mother tongue.
  • The Minister said that no language will be imposed on any student but enabling provisions should be made so that bright students are not deprived of Technical Education due to lack of knowledge of English language.

Source: DD News.

Government constitutes High-level Ministerial Committee for implementation of Paris Agreement

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests, Indian diaspora.


Context

  • In another move that re-affirms India’s seriousness to ‘walk the talk’ on climate change, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has constituted a high-level inter-ministerial Apex Committee for Implementation of Paris Agreement (AIPA) under the chairmanship of Secretary, MoEFCC.
  • The purpose of AIPA is to generate a coordinated response on climate change matters that ensures India is on track towards meeting its obligations under the Paris Agreement including its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). 

Background

Senior officials from fourteen ministries will serve as Members to AIPA who will oversee the progress in implementation of India’s NDC and receive periodic information updates to monitor, review and revisit climate goals to fulfil the requirements of the Paris Agreement.

Highlights

  • Another key function of AIPA would be to operate as a National Authority to regulate carbon markets in India under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, formulate guidelines for consideration of projects or activities under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, issue guidelines on carbon pricing, market mechanism, and other similar instruments that have a bearing on climate change and NDCs.
  • It will take note of the contributions of the private sector as well as multi-/bi-lateral agencies in the field of climate change and provide guidance for aligning their climate actions with national priorities.
  • The year 2021 would mark the beginning of implementation of the Paris Agreement and constitution of AIPA is central to strengthening the national systems and institutional arrangements for implementation and monitoring of climate actions.
  • It will also ensure that India maintains its climate leadership as one the few countries in the world whose climate actions are consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Source: PIB.

Theremin instrument

Focus: GS1.                                

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.


Context

  • Since its invention in the 1920s in Russia, the theremin beguiled Hollywood and sparked a musical revolution.
  • The Theremin turned 100-years-old this year.

Background

  • The theremin is an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the thereminist (performer).
  • It is one of the most intriguing inventions ever and revolutionised music
  • According to BBC, The instrument was invented in 1920.
  • It is named after its inventor, Leon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928.

Highlights

  • Theremin was born in 1896 in St Petersburg. In 1920, he invented a machine that aimed to use the new-fangled technology of radio waves to measure some properties of gas. 
  • But he found his apparatus emitted a strange warbling tone, which he could shape by moving his hands around the equipment.
  • A trained cellist, Theremin recognised the potential of his discovery, and intended to create an entirely new instrument.
  • The instrument’s controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas that sense the relative position of the thereminist’s hands and control oscillators for frequency with one hand, and amplitude (volume) with the other.
  • The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker.
  • Theremins involve the manipulation of electromagnetic fields around two antennae that make the instrument look rather like a weird lectern.
  • Players control sounds by moving hands and fingers around a vertical antenna to raise or lower the tone, and up or down over a looped antenna to control volume.
  • However, only a small group of musicians across the world knows of the Theremin and even fewer plays it.

Source: Indian Express.

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Test your Knowledge

  1. Consider the following statements with reference to International Association of Insurance Supervisors:
  • It was established in 1994.
  • IAIS is headquartered in Switzerland.
  • It is a voluntary membership organization of insurance supervisors and regulators from more than 200 jurisdictions.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
 
      A. 1 and 2 only
      B. 2 and 3 only
      C. 1 and 3 only
      D. AOTA

Solution: D

  1. SPARC project is under the Ministry of:

      A. Social Justice
      B. Education
      C. PMO
      D. NITI Aayog

Solution: B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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