Insights Daily Current Affairs, 06 June 2017

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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 06 June 2017


 

Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

 

New DG NWDA

 

Dr. Sharad Kumar Jain has been appointed as the Director General of National Water Development Agency (NWDA) under Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

National water Development Agency (NWDA)

 

Know about NWDA:

NWDA is the agency of the Union Ministry of Water Resources. It was set up in July, 1982 as autonomous society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.

 

Functions of NWDA:

  • Carry out the water balance and other studies on a scientific and realistic basis for optimum utilisation of Water Resources of the Peninsular rivers system.
  • Prepare feasibility reports and give concrete shape to Peninsular Rivers Development Component of National Perspective.
  • In 1990, it was also entrusted with the task of Himalayan Rivers Development Component of National Perspectives.
  • It has been also entrusted to prepare feasibility reports of intra-State links as proposed by the States.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

Mission Innovation Ministerial and Clean Energy Ministerial

 

World’s Energy Leaders have gathered in Beijing for second Mission Innovation Ministerial and 8th Clean Energy Ministerial. An Indian delegation led by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Environment, Forest & Climate Change will be participating in the conferences.

 

clean energy

Mission Innovation:

MI was announced on November 30, 2015 by the leaders of 20 countries that have a shared desire to accelerate global clean energy innovation during COPE 21 in Paris. The ‘Mission Innovation’ (MI) is an effort to accelerate public and private global clean energy innovation, including through participating countries doubling their respective clean energy research and development investment.

  • There is a concerted effort to enhance the pace of innovation and scale of transformation through this clean energy revolution launch to meet the requirement for economic, energy security goals in timely manner.
  • India is Founding Member of the Steering Committee and also a Member of the two sub-groups: Joint research and Capacity Building and Private Sector Engagement.

 

Clean Energy:

The Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) is a high-level global forum to share lessons learnt and best practices, and to encourage the transition to a global clean energy economy. Initiatives are based on areas of common interest among participating Governments and other stakeholders. The CEM is the initiative of the USA. Presently, 23 countries are members of CEM. There are 13 initiatives under CEM covering energy efficiency, clean energy supply and cross cutting areas.                    

Since its launch in 2010, the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) has come a long way. Its various initiatives were instrumental in leading significant collaborative work amongst members in context of clean energy supply, demand side management and relevant cross cutting issues.

 

Sources: pib.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies. 

 

Handbook, Module & Guidelines on Safe Childhood Programme for Gram Panchayats

 

A Handbook along with Module & Guidelines on protection of Child Rights at Gram Panchayat level was recently released jointly by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), Ministry of Panchayati Raj and UNICEF.

  • The Handbook, Module & Guidelines will be useful for the functionaries of the Panchayati Raj Institutions in protecting the rights of children at the village level.

 

childhood programme

Significance of this move:

Safe Childhood Programme will contribute in improving the current scenario related to health, development, education and protection of children. Children are vulnerable and subject to abuse and exploitation in day to day life. To counter it, this Handbook will help Panchayat Members and other stakeholders to understand their role and actions in protection of children at the village level resulting in better convergence of programmes and increased allocation of resources to address Child Right issues. NCPCR will receive reports on its implementation each month from the 14 States. After one year, the Commission will evaluate the impact and felicitate those States which achieve good results.

 

What you need to know about NCPCR?

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) was set up in March 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005.

The Commission’s Mandate is to ensure that all Laws, Policies, Programmes, and Administrative Mechanisms are in consonance with the Child Rights perspective as enshrined in the Constitution of India and also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Child is defined as a person in the 0 to 18 years age group.

 

Sources: pib.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

 

MoU signed between Central Industrial Security Force & National Skill Development Corporation

 

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Ministry of Home Affairs and the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) & National Skill Development Fund (NSDF), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

 

Key facts:

  • The MoU provides that CISF, NSDC and NSDF shall work together at CISF units all across the country where Family Welfare Centres are functional and other CISF locations with an objective to impart skill development programs under the Skill India Mission for the purpose of implementation of CISF Multi Skill Development Institute Projects.
  • The MoU aims at assisting retiring/retired, serving low medical category (LMC) CISF personnel to acquire additional skills and facilitate their resettlement through a second career. It will also provide welfare to wards, family members of serving CISF personnel, retired personnel and personnel killed in action.
  • The MoU shall remain in effect for a period of 5 years (starting from 5th June, 2017 till 5th June, 2022), subject to a mid-term review after 3 years.

 

About NSDC:

The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is a one-of-its-kind, Public Private Partnership (PPP) model in India, under the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE). It aims to promote skill development by catalyzing creation of large, quality and for-profit vocational institutions. A not-for-profit company set up by the Ministry of Finance, under Section 25 of the Companies Act, it has an equity base of Rs.10 crore, of which the Government of India holds for 49%, while the private sector has the balance 51%.

NSDC provides funding to build scalable and profitable vocational training initiatives. Its mandate is also to enable support system which focuses on quality assurance, information systems and train the trainer academies either directly or through partnerships. NSDC acts as a catalyst in skill development by providing funding to enterprises, companies and organisations that provide skill training. It will also develop appropriate models to enhance, support and coordinate private sector initiatives. The differentiated focus on 21 sectors under NSDC’s purview and its understanding of their viability will make every sector attractive to private investment.

 

Sources: pib.


 

Paper 3 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.

 

ISRO launches India’s heaviest rocket

 

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched the country’s heaviest rocket – Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) – along with a communications satellite GSAT-19. GSAT-19 communications satellite is the heaviest to be lifted by an Indian rocket till date – to an altitude of around 179km above the Earth.

heaviest rocket

 

About GSLV Mark III:

The GSLV Mk III D1 is a three-stage vehicle with indigenous cryogenic upper stage engine+ designed to carry heavier communication satellites into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).

  • The rocket’s main and bigger cryogenic engine has been developed by space scientists indigenously. It will help India get a greater share of the multi-billion dollar global space market and reduce dependency on international launching vehicles.
  • It will also enable ISRO to launch from India heavier communications spacecraft to geostationary orbits of 36,000 km. Because of the absence of a powerful launcher, ISRO currently launches satellites above 2 tonnes on European rockets for a big fee.

 

About GSAT 19:

The GSAT-19, with a lifespan of 10 years, is a multi-beam satellite that will carry Ka and Ku-band payload along with a Geostationary Radiation Spectrometer (GRASP) payload to monitor and study the nature of the charged particles and influence of space radiation on spacecraft and electronic components.

  • It would also employ advanced spacecraft technologies including bus subsystem experiments in the electrical propulsion system, indigenous Li-ion battery and indigenous bus bars for power distribution, among others.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3 Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

 

India’s biodiversity riches grow by 499 species

 

As per the latest reports by ZSI and BSI, 499 new species have been discovered in last one year in the country.

 

Corynandra elegans

Key facts:

  • Of these, 313 species are animal species and 186 are plants species. Of the new animal species, 258 are invertebrates and 55 vertebrates. As many as 97 species of insects, 27 of fish, 12 species of amphibians, 10 of Platyhelminthes, nine of Crustacea and six of reptiles have been discovered and described by the scientists. There are 61 species of moths and butterflies (order Lepidoptera) and 38 of beetles (Coloeptera).
  • Most of the new species were from the four biological hotspots of the country — the Himalayas, the northeast, the Western Ghats and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. For the first time, the number of animal species in the country, including protozoa, has crossed one lakh — 1,00,693 is the exact count. India is one of the 17 megadiversity countries and it has about 6.42% of the global fauna.
  • The geographical distribution of the new plant species reveals that most discoveries were made in the Western Ghats (17%), followed by the Eastern Himalayas (15%), the Western Himalayas (13%), the Eastern Ghats (12%) and the west coast (8%).
  • Among the interesting discoveries of the year are eight new species of wild balsams, five species of wild ginger and one species of wild amla [Indian gooseberry]. Also, 39 varieties of mushrooms have been discovered. These new species will have use in horticulture and have medicinal value too.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora. 

 

Qatar diplomatic crisis

 

Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries have cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar in a move to isolate the nation.

 

Why have they cut ties?

Saudi Arabia said it took the decision because of Qatar’s “embrace of various terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilising the region”, including the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida, Islamic State and groups supported by Iran.

 

What does it mean for the oil price?

Oil prices are always sensitive to geopolitical tensions and the prospect of any disruption to production.

  • Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar are all members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec). Saudi Arabia is the de facto leader of the group as the largest oil producer in the world, while Qatar is one of Opec’s smallest oil producers. The group recently agreed to cut oil production to help prop up prices; some investors are concerned that the dispute with Qatar could affect that deal. That plan to boost prices has also been undermined by rising oil output in the US.
  • The row has also fanned concerns about the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market. Qatar is the world’s biggest supplier of LNG and Egypt and UAE are key recipients. Although Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain have all closed transport links with Qatar, the state can still ship out both LNG and oil to other countries by sea.

 

How will this affect India?

Indians are the largest expatriate community in Qatar, the same way they are in Saudi Arabia and the UAE — the two key countries who are in the opposite camp. And, the immediate worry is the trouble Indians would face as measures to isolate Qatar would hit them there in terms of their travel.

  • India also has robust defence and energy ties with Qatar. India is the third largest export destination for Qatar (behind Japan and South Korea) and ranks at 10th position for Qatar’s imports.
  • The Gulf Arab state is the largest supplier of LNG to India, accounting for over 65% of India’s global import and 15% of Qatar’s export of LNG with an annual import of 7.5 million metric tons (MMT) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) under a long-term contract between Petronet LNG of India and RasGas Co Ltd of Qatar, and some spot purchases by Indian companies from time to time.
  • India also imports ethylene, propylene, ammonia, urea and polyethene from Qatar. Therefore, the balance of trade continues to be heavily in Qatar’s favour.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Facts for Prelims:

 

World Environment Day:

  • Every June 5th is World Environment Day. On this day, communities and individuals around the world work to increase awareness of the importance of conserving the environment, the positive global impact of environmental regulations and controls and engage in activities that serve to educate and improve their environment locally.
  • The World Environment Day is a part of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) for creating awareness and action worldwide for the environment. The first World Environment Day was celebrated in 1973.
  • The theme for 2017: ‘Connecting People to Nature’. Every World Environment Day has a different global host country, where the official celebrations take place. This year it is Canada.

 

India’s first Rural LED Street Lighting Project in Andhra Pradesh:

  • Government of India, through the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) under the Ministry of Power, would be retrofitting 10 lakh conventional street lights with LED lights in Gram Panchayats of 7 districts in Andhra Pradesh. This is the first project for rural LED street lighting in the country under the Government of India’s Street Lighting National Project (SLNP).
  • This replacement drive in rural areas will help the gram panchayats to cumulatively save approximately 147 million units of electricity annually and lead to reduction of 12 crore tonnes of CO2.
  • The entire upfront capital cost of this project is being funded by French Development Agency Agence Française de Développement (AFD).