Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - December 18, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

2020 State of the Education Report for India: Vocational Education First

Focus: GS2.

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


Context

  • The ‘State of the Education Report for India 2020: Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), was launched UNESCO in New Delhi.
  • The event was attended by over 400 attendees.

Background

  • This is the second edition of the State of Education Report.
  • The report focuses on technical and vocational education and training (TVET).
  • The Report is aimed at supporting the Government of India which has announced the skills development as a national priority under the Skill India Mission.
  • It provides an overview about the present capacity for TVET provision by the short-term and long-term courses.
  • The report also discusses the previous education policies.

About the recommendations

  • To place learners at the centre of vocational education and training programmes
  • To create an appropriate ecosystem for teachers and trainers.
  • To focus on upskilling, re-skilling and lifelong learnings.
  • To ensure inclusive access to TVET for women and differently abled.
  • To expand the digitalization of vocational education and training.
  • To support local communities in order to provide them livelihoods.
  • To align with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • To deploy innovative models of financing TVET.
  • To expand the evidence-based research to do better planning and monitoring.
  • To establish a robust coordinating mechanism for the inter-ministerial cooperation.

Source: UNESCO.

Indian Gaur

Focus: GS3.

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


Context

  • An Indian gaur, also often incorrectly referred to as 'bison', strayed into a housing society in Pune's Kothrud area.
  • The wild animal was spotted by morning walkers, some of whom initially mistook it for a buffalo. 

Background

  • But it also triggered panic and curiosity, bringing many out of their homes to see what the pandemonium was all about.
  • The curiosity of on-lookers only added to the stress of the injured animal.
  • The forest department was called in.

About Indian Gaur

  • The gaur also known as Indian bison, is native to South and Southeast Asia and has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1986. 
  • The global population has been estimated at maximum 21,000 mature individuals by 2016.
  • It declined by more than 70% during the last three generations, and is extinct in Sri Lanka and probably also in Bangladesh.
  • Populations in well-protected areas are stable and increasing.
  • It is the largest species among the wild cattle.
  • The domesticated form of the gaur is called gayal (Bos frontalis) or mithun.

Source: Indian Express.

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TWG meeting held between India, Iran, and Uzbekistan on Chabahar port

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.


Context

  • The first Trilateral Working Group (TWG) Meeting between India, Iran and Uzbekistan on the joint use of Chabahar Port was held.
  • The Meeting was jointly chaired by Secretary (Shipping), Government of India, Deputy Minister of Transport, Uzbekistan and Deputy Transport Minister of Iran.

About the meeting

  • During the meeting, the participants discussed joint use of Chabahar Port for trade and transit purposes and enhanced regional connectivity.
  • All sides also welcomed India’s proposal to hold “Chabahar Day” on the side-lines of the International Maritime Summit scheduled to be hosted by India in January 2021.
  • The meeting was held as a follow up of decisions taken during the virtual summit held between Indian Prime Minister and President of Uzbekistan recently.

Highlights

  • Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar located in south-eastern Iran, on the Gulf of Oman. 
  • It serves as Iran’s only oceanic port, and consists of two separate ports named Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti.

Source: AIR News.

Roddam Narasimha

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.


Context

  • Eminent aerospace scientist professor Roddam Narasimha passed away on December 14, 2020, in Bengaluru.
  • He was 87.

Background

  • Professor Narasimha had suffered a brain hemorrhage and was shifted to the intensive care unit of the hospital in Bengaluru.
  • He had contributed to some of the major scientific programmes of India, including the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

Highlights

  • He was born on July 20, 1933, in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Narasimha’s father was a professor of Physics at Central College in Bengaluru.
  • Roddam Narasimha got his graduate degree in mechanical engineering from Visvesvaraya College of Engineering, Bangalore.
  • It was affiliated with Mysore University.
  • After his graduation in 1953, Narasimha joined the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore for Masters's in Engineering, which he completed in 1955. During this time period, he also worked with Satish Dhawan and became his first student.
  • Satish Dhawan later went on to become the Chairman of ISRO.
  • In 1961, Roddam Narasimha went to the United States for completing his doctorate at the California Institute of Technology.
  • From 1962 to 1999, Narasimha was a professor of Aerospace Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science and was also a Director of National Aerospace Laboratories from 1984 to 1993.
  • He was also the Director of the National Institute of Advanced Studies between 1997 and 2004 during which he initiated series of significant dialogues with the US National Academy of Sciences and other bodies on International Security Issues.
  • He became the Chairman of the Engineering Mechanics Unit at Bangalore’s Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research from 2000 to 2014.
  • In his remarkable career, Narasimha also served on many policy-making bodies of the Indian government which includes the National Security Advisory Board, Space Commission, and the Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Council.

Source: Indian Express.

Launch of 2nd project 17A ship Himgiri

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.


Context

  • ‘Himgiri’, the first of the three Project 17A ships being built at M/s Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE), Kolkata was launched.
  • The ship has taken its name and crest of the second Frigate of the Leander Class of ships, which incidentally was launched 50 years ago in 1970.

Highlights

  • Under the Project 17A program, a total of seven ships, four at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and three ships at GRSE are being built with enhanced stealth features, advanced indigenous weapon and sensor fit along with several other improvements.
  • P17A ships are the first gas turbine propulsion and largest combat platforms ever built at GRSE.
  • P17A ships have been indigenously designed by Directorate of Naval Design (Surface Ship Design Group) – DND(SSG), and are being built at indigenous yards namely MDL and GRSE.

Source: PIB.

Venkaiah Naidu inaugurates 12th GRIHA Summit

Focus: GS3.

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


Context

Delivering the inaugural address as the Chief Guest at the 12th GRIHA Summit, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Honourable Vice President of India said, "We have to accelerate the process of total decarbonisation of the built environment and become more sustainable and climate-resilient. It is high time for us to make it mandatory for every new building to go green from urban centres to the panchayat level."

Background

  • Praising the work done by GRIHA, the Vice President congratulated GRIHA Council on the launch of the upgraded version of its rating system, the GRIHA Version 2019.
  • He also expressed happiness over the fact that despite the pandemic, GRIHA Council has continued in its endeavours to promote the sustainability agenda and has developed the Building Fitness Indicator (BFI) tool - a free-to-use self-assessment tool that allows organizations to measure the preparedness of workplaces to prevent exposure to COVID-19.

Highlights

  • Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) Council is an independent, not- for -profit society jointly setup by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India to promote and administer green buildings in India.
  • GRIHA has been acknowledged as a tool to evaluate reduction in emission intensity through habitats, as part of mitigation strategy for combating climate change in INDIA's "Nationally Determined Contributions" (NDCs) submitted to UNFCCC.

Source: PIB.

Indian Coast Guard Interceptor Boat commissioned at Hazira

Focus: GS3.                                

Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.


Context

  • Indian Coast Guard Interceptor Boat got commissioned at Hazira in Gujarat.
  • This interceptor boat was commissioned by Ajay Kumar Tomar, Surat Police Commissioner in the presence of Inspector General Rakesh Pal PTM, TM Commander, Indian Coast Guard Region (NW) and other dignitaries.

Background

  • This Interceptor boat is built indigenously by M/s L&T Jetty, Hazira and is capable of a high speed of 45 knots having capability to operate in shallow waters.
  • Vessel is fitted with latest state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment designed for high speed interception, close coast patrol, low intensity maritime operations, Search and Rescue and maritime surveillance.

Highlights

  • This Interceptor Boat will operate from Gujarat under administrative and operational control of the Commander Coast Guard Region (NW).
  • Commissioning of this boat is a part of ongoing efforts of Indian Coast Guard to strengthen coastal security of Gujarat maritime borders.
  • It will also further augment patrolling and prevent illicit activities such as infiltration, smuggling and illegal fishing activities along the international maritime borders.

Source: AIR News.

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Test your Knowledge

  1. With reference to Himalayan serow, consider the following statements:
  • Himalayan serow resembles a cross between a goat, a donkey, a cow, and a pig.
  • It’s a medium-sized mammal with a large head, thick neck, short limbs, long, mule-like ears, and a coat of dark hair.
  • Himalayan serows are carnivorous.

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: A

  • Himalayan serows are herbivores.

  1. Mongla port is located in:

       A. Iran
       B. Bangladesh
       C. Iraq
       D. SriLanka

Solution: B

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