Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - September 15, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework (CSCAF 2.0) and Streets for People Challenge

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Context

  • ​Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs (I/C) has launched the Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework (CSCAF) 2.0, along with the ‘Streets for People Challenge’ in a virtual event organized by the Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
  • The objective of CSCAF is to provide a clear roadmap for cities towards combating Climate Change while planning and implementing their actions, including investments.

Background

  • In the last decade, an increasing frequency of cyclones, floods, heat waves, water scarcity and drought-like conditions have had adverse impacts on many of our cities.
  • Such extreme events and risks cause loss of life as well as impact the economic growth.
  • In this context, CSCAF initiative intends to inculcate a climate-sensitive approach to urban planning and development in India.

About the Highlights

  • This assessment framework was developed after review of existing frameworks and assessment approaches adopted throughout the world followed by series of extensive consultative process with more than 26 organizations and 60 experts from different thematic areas.
  • The framework has 28 indicators across five categories namely; (i) Energy and Green Buildings, (ii) Urban Planning, Green Cover & Biodiversity, (iii) Mobility and Air Quality, (iv) Water Management and (v) Waste Management. The Climate Centre for Cities under National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is supporting MoHUA in implementation of CSCAF. 

Source: AIR News. 

MoRTH moves ahead with Orientation and Training Programme of iRAD App

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Context

  • The 2-days Orientation and Training programme on iRAD App was conducted by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways on 7th & 8th September 2020 for the selected districts of Karnataka, and on 10th & 11th September 2020 for some districts of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Based on the feedback and other suggestions received, the App will be customised for the State.

Background

  • The basic iRAD app has been developed and will be customized/integrated as per the requirements of concerned States/UTs. Mobile app of iRAD is available for Android platform, and for other platforms like iOS will be available shortly.
  • The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways is in the process of implementing ‘Integrated Road Accident Database Project (iRAD)’ which will be applicable across the country.

About the App

  • In the first instance, it has been decided to implement the proposal in six States, viz. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
  • The development and implementation of iRAD has been entrusted to lIT Madras and National Informatics Centre Services Inc.
  • The App when developed and functional will enable the stakeholders such as the Police, Transport, Health, etc to use their mobile phones to collect accident data on the spot.
  • This project is proposed on IT based system for capturing the spot accident data using mobile app configured for this purpose.
  • This data can then be utilized for various purposes like finding the causes of the accidents and remedial measures to improve the road infrastructure, to record the accidents data for the use of police, health services and other concerned departments.

Source: PIB.

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New ASEAN-India Plan of Action adopted for 5 years at Ministerial Meeting

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests.


Context

  • External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar co-chaired the ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting along with his Thailand counterpart Don Pramudwinai.
  • The meeting was held virtually and saw the participation of Foreign Ministers of the ten ASEAN Member States and India.

Background

  • It reviewed the status of ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership in several areas including maritime cooperation, connectivity, education and capacity building and people-to-people contacts.
  • It also reviewed the progress in implementation of the ASEAN-India Plan of Action, 2016-2020.

About the Highlights

  • The meeting also reviewed the preparations for the upcoming 17th ASEAN-India Summit and also the progress in the implementation of key decisions of the Leaders of ASEAN Member States and India arrived at the 16th ASEAN-India Summit held in Bangkok in November 2019 and the previous summits.
  • The new ASEAN-India Plan of Action (2021-2025) was adopted at the Meeting.
  • The Ministers discussed ways to strengthen cooperation to fight COVID-19 pandemic and exchanged views on important regional and international developments.

Source: AIR News.

Shri Gadkari approves Rs 971 crore Munger-Bhagalpur NH road in Bihar

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Context

  • Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari has approved a proposal to construct 120 km Munger-Bhagalpur-Tirpety-Kahalgaon concrete road on national highway 80 in Bihar.
  • This will be a 2-lane road with paved shoulders, which will also be 4-lane wide at certain stretches.

Background

  • The Minister informed that this is an important commercial connectivity Road in this area with around 25 thousand vehicles per day.
  • The Ministry has decided to construct the new NH in view of difficulties of the people of this region.

About the Highlights

  • With the completion of this road, commercial activities of the State will be strengthened.
  • This road will connect the bridge being constructed by the State govt at Agvani Ghat of Sultanganj to Khagaria, which will add further traffic of about 6000 vehicles on this road.
  • The road from Munger to Bhagalpur, Kahalgaon and Mirza Chauki of Jharkhand is the busiest route of Bihar.
  • It serves as lifeline for stone supply sector which caters to entire Bihar, Nepal, WB, etc.
  • It is also a major route for carrying *fly ash* from NTPC Kahalgaon to Saharsa, Madhepura, Begusarai, Purnima and Kishanganj.
  • It also connects to the famous Vikramshila University of *Bhagalpur*, besides being an important tourist route.

Source: PIB.

RBI issues guidelines for appointment of CCO in banks

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Context

Reserve Bank of India has issued guidelines for appointment of Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) in banks to ensure uniform approach with regard to compliance and risk management culture across the banking industry. 

Background
  • Accordingly, RBI has said that the CCO must be appointed for a minimum fixed period of three years.
  • The person should be a senior executive of the bank, preferably in the rank of a general manager or an equivalent position or he could also be recruited from outside.
About the Highlights
  • Further, there shall not be any responsibility which brings elements of conflict of interest, especially the role relating to business.
  • He must not be a member of any committee which brings his/her role in conflict with responsibility as member of the committee, including any committee dealing with purchases/sanctions. 
  • As per the circular, no vigilance case or adverse observation from the RBI should be pending against the candidate identified for appointment as the CCO.
  • Selection of the candidate for the post of the CCO should be done on the basis of a well-defined selection process and recommendations made by the senior executive-level selection committee constituted by the board for the purpose. 

Source: AIR News.

 DIAL launches country's first Covid-19 testing facility at an airport

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Context

  • Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) launched country’s first airport Covid-19 testing facility at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi for arriving international passengers.
  • Those who wish to avoid a queue can book a slot via the airport's website.
  • Since the testing process is expected to generate a sample's result in around 6 hours, passengers with connecting flights are advised to keep an 8-10 hour window.

Background

  • Those who test negative are exempted from institutional quarantine, but those who test positive will either be moved to a hospital, or home or institutional isolation.
  • The objective of the authorities is to separate infected passengers from the rest to prevent further spread of the disease.

About the Highlights

  • The Covid-19 testing facility at the Delhi international airport will initially handle up to 2,500 samples per day in mid-September and if required, the capacity can later be ramped up to 15,000 samples per day, a top official of Genestrings Diagnostic Center stated.
  • The test will cost a passenger ₹2,400, as mandated by the Delhi government
  • GMR group-led DIAL operates and maintains the Delhi international airport.
  • Firstly, this is not just a collection centre, but rather an actual testing facility has been created on-site at the airport.
  • Secondly, "we've given a time commitment of reporting within 6 hours of sample collection which is going to be one of the fastest anywhere in the world for RT-PCR tests", he mentioned.
  • The company would be providing passengers with the option of online booking and payment to minimise "touch transactions which may otherwise lead to further transmission of the infection".

About the Guidelines

  • The Civil Aviation Ministry had said that international passengers who have to take connecting domestic flights after landing in India will have the option of getting themselves tested for COVID-19 at the entry airports.
  • If the RT-PCR test result is negative, the international passenger will be allowed to board his or her connecting domestic flight and he or she will not need to undergo any institutional quarantine, the ministry's order said.
  • An international passenger who does not have a COVID-negative result certificate from a test done not more than 96 hours prior to the journey, and does not opt for an on-arrival testing facility at the entry airport, will have to compulsorily undergo seven-day institutional quarantine followed by seven-day home quarantine.

Source: LiveMint.

Govt Launches Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE Challenge For MSMEs & Startups

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

The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), a flagship initiative of the Indian Government’s policy think-tank NITI Aayog, launched the Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE – Atal New India Challenges (ANIC) to spur applied research and innovation in MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) and startups by challenging them to come up with innovative solutions to sectoral problems.

Background

  • The NITI Aayog’s AIM, in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and four ministries — Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs — will facilitate the process by putting out problem statements for the participants. 
  • MSMEs are the growth engine of the country and there are a lot of expectations from them.

About the Highlights

  • The Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE – ANIC programme will support deserving applied research-based innovations by providing funding support of up to INR 50 lakhs for 9-12 months for startups to come up with a minimum usable prototype. 
  • As of now, the ARISE – ANIC challenges have offered three problem statements each from  ISRO and the various ministries concerned.
  • “Waste to wealth — effective utilisation of commercial food processing industry waste streams,” is a problem statement from the Ministry of Food Processing Industries.
  • Similarly, “Health data analytics — use of data analytics to identify early breakout of epidemics based on the historic curve and data,” is one of the three problem statements put forward by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Source: aim.gov.in.

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Test your Knowledge

  1. Consider the following statements wrt Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd:
  1. Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Ltd. (RCF) is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) in India under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers of the Government of India, based in Mumbai.
  2. RCF is the third largest producer of fertilizers in India.
  3. The Government of India (through the President of India) holds 75% of the share capital of the Company as of December 2018.

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: C

       2. Consider the following:

  • RCF is the fourth largest producer of fertilizers in India.                            

  1. e-Gopala App is related to:

        A. Farmers in dry areas
        B. Milk producers
        C. Livestock owners
        D. Sugarcane farmers

 Solution: C

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