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Insights Daily Current Events, 05 October 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 05 October 2015


Paper 3 Topic: conservation.

Fishermen apprehensive as Kerala prepares to roll out World Bank-aided project

The Kerala government is gearing up to implement an Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) project aimed at livelihood improvement of coastal communities and conservation of the coastal ecosystem, amid voices of protest from the fishermen community.

  • The project director has already been appointed by the government.

Why the fishermen are opposing?

The fishermen are apprehensive about the project and its impact on the coastline. They fear the project would pave the way for a construction spree, jeopardising the fragile coastal environment and further endangering their livelihood.

About the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM):

  • ICZM aims to improve livelihood of coastal communities and conserve the coastal ecosystem.
  • The ICZM plan involves identification of infrastructure requirements and livelihood improvement means in coastal districts. Conservation of mangroves is among the components.
  • The national component of the project includes mapping of the country’s coastline and demarcation of the hazard line.
  • It is a World Bank assisted project.
  • It is being implemented by the Department of Forests and Environment with assistance from the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
  • The National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), Chennai, will provide scientific and technical inputs.

Kerala will be included in the second phase of the Rs.1,155.63-crore project that has already covered Gujarat, Odisha and West Bengal.

Sources: The Hindu, wb.


Paper 3 Topic: Infrastructure.

Indian islands to be developed under Swiss challenge model

The Centre is going to implement a comprehensive plan to develop Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands, for an integrated modernisation of the region, under its ‘Sagarmala’ initiative.

  • The plan is to develop these islands under the ‘Swiss challenge system’.

What is swiss challenge system?

  • Swiss challenge method is a process of giving contracts. Any person with credentials can submit a development proposal to the government. That proposal will be made online and a second person can give suggestions to improve and beat that proposal.
  • It is a method where third parties make offers (challenges) for a project within a designated period to avoid exaggerated project costs.

sagar mala project

Is it new to India?

  • The Swiss challenge method is one that has been used in India by various states including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab and Gujarat for roads and housing projects.

In 2009, the Supreme Court approved the method for award of contracts.

Sagarmala Initiative:

The Sagarmala project seeks to develop a string of ports around India’s coast. The objective of this initiative is to promote “Port-led development” along India’s 7500 km long coastline.

  • It aims to develop access to new development regions with intermodal solutions and promotion of the optimum modal split, enhanced connectivity with main economic centres and beyond through expansion of rail, inland water, coastal and road services.
  • The Union Ministry of Shipping has been appointed as the nodal ministry for this initiative.

The Sagarmala initiative will address challenges by focusing on three pillars of development, namely:

  1. Supporting and enabling Port-led Development through appropriate policy and institutional interventions and providing for an institutional framework for ensuring inter-agency and ministries/departments/states’ collaboration for integrated development,
  2. Port Infrastructure Enhancement, including modernization and setting up of new ports, and
  3. Efficient Evacuation to and from hinterland.

Other objectives:

  • In addition to strengthening port and evacuation infrastructure, it also aims at simplifying procedures used at ports for cargo movement and promotes usage of electronic channels for information exchange leading to quick, efficient, hassle-free and seamless cargo movement.
  • It also strives to ensure sustainable development of the population living in the Coastal Economic Zone (CEZ). This would be done by synergising and coordinating with State Governments and line Ministries of Central Government through their existing schemes and programmes such as those related to community and rural development, tribal development and employment generation, fisheries, skill development, tourism promotion etc.


A National Sagarmala Apex Committee (NSAC) is envisaged for overall policy guidance and high level coordination, and to review various aspects of planning and implementation of the plan and projects. The NSAC shall be chaired by the Minister incharge of Shipping, with Cabinet Ministers from stakeholder Ministries and Chief Ministers/Ministers incharge of ports of maritime states as members

Sources: the hindu, livemint.


Paper 3 Topic: Science and Technology- Achievements of Indians in science & technology.

DRDO sets up world’s highest terrestrial centre in Ladakh

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has established the world’s highest terrestrial centre at 17,600 feet above sea level at Changla near Pengong lake in Ladakh.

Key features:

  • The centre will serve as a natural cold storage for preserving rare and endangered medical plants for generations to come.
  • The centre will act as an important utility for research work in frontal areas of food and agriculture and bio-medical sciences for well being of the soldiers deployed in high altitude cold desert.
  • Other activities that are proposed to be undertaken here include human physiological work, designing, testing, validation and demonstration of mobile and portable greenhouses, soil-less micro-farming technologies for fresh food in remote landlocked posts besides conservation and propagation of endangered extreme altitude medicinal plants and others.

Sources: toi.