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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 08 March 2018
Topic: Social empowerment.
Context: The government has launched the #YesIBleed menstrual hygiene campaign.
What is it?
“#Yes I Bleed” aims to create a holistic approach to the issue of menstruation, which is an experience that transcends culture, class, and caste. The campaign has been initiated formally across all multi-media platforms, including Facebook and YouTube to spread awareness about the issue.
The United Nations has recognised menstrual hygiene as a global public health and a human rights issue yet across the globe. “Period poverty” as some call it, is a reality for millions of women and girls.
- Today, in India, approximately 35 crore women menstruate and it is estimated that only 12% use proper menstrual hygiene practices and menstrual products. The remaining 88% having no access whatever. They find sanitary pads unaffordable.
- In India’s rural areas, with the lack of resources, education and awareness about personal hygiene, not just lack of information about hygiene products, the women don’t even have any conversation around menstruation.
- For the less privileged, periods are the few ‘cursed’ days of the month. A woman on her periods cannot enter the temple, kitchen or take part in any auspicious occasion – because she is ‘impure’.
- The 88% who do not have access to sanitary pads use unsanitised cloth, husk sand, tree leaves and even ash. These can cause severe reproductive health problems and infections, and can also lead to cervical cancer.
- Also, there is the issue of school dropouts and poor attendance because of inadequate menstrual hygiene management. This also is one of the causes for loss of wages for women labourers.
- Equally important is the safe disposal of used sanitary pads, which actually are an environmental disaster. In villages, the used pads often end up in village ponds, exposing every human being and animal to the risk of infection.
Menstruation is still a taboo subject in our country and a topic that even women are uncomfortable discussing in public. This was a much-needed awareness campaign, and added that the subject of menstrual hygiene is “more about a change of mindset than simply about the use of proper menstrual products”. Mindset change is happening, but much more needs to be done.
It is high time people dispel the misconceptions that surround the normal physiological process of menstruation and discard the restrictions imposed on women during “the time of the month”.
- For Prelims: “YesIbleed” campaign.
- For Mains: Women empowerment and associated issues.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Social empowerment.
International Women’s Day 2018
Context: International Women’s Day is being celebrated on March 8 across the world. It is an annual marker that aims to bring attention to women’s accomplishments and obstacles.
Theme: The theme for International Women’s Day 2018 is ‘Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives‘. The theme aims to encourage women to raise voice for their rights and promote growing global movement to support gender parity.
How it all began?
- The first Women’s Day was celebrated on February 28, 1909, in New York by the Socialist Party of America. The day was dedicated to the 15,000 women who marched through New York in 1908 as part of the garment strike.
- In 1910, a German activist Clara Zetkin proposed the idea of celebrating Women’s Day in March at the 1910 International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen.
- On March 19, 1911, Women’s Day was celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland.
- In 1975, the United Nations declared March 8 as the official date to celebrate Women’s Day.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Indian diaspora.
Know India Programme
Context: Forty Indian-origin students from nine countries are in India as part of the 46th edition of Know India Programme (KIP). Madhya Pradesh is the partner state for this edition of the programme.
Know India Programme:
What is it? Know India Programme is a flagship programme of Ministry of External Affairs for engagement with Indian origin youth (between 18-30 years) to enhance their awareness about India, its cultural heritage, art and to familiarise them with various aspects of contemporary India.
Eligibility: Minimum qualification required for participating in KIP is graduation from a recognized University /Institute or enrolled for graduation and ability to speak in English. The applicant should not have visited India through any previous Programme of Government of India. Those who have not visited India before will be given preference.
- For Prelims: KIP, eligibility.
- For Mains: Indian diaspora and its significance.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
National E-Mobility programme
Context: The government has launched the National E-Mobility Programme.
About the National E- Mobility Programme:
- The Programme aims to provide an impetus to the entire e-mobility ecosystem including vehicle manufacturers, charging infrastructure companies, fleet operators, service providers, etc.
- The Programme will be implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) which will aggregate demand by procuring electric vehicles in bulk to get economies of scale.
- Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) will issue a fresh tender for additional 10,000 e-vehicles. These electric vehicles will replace the existing fleet of petrol and diesel vehicles.
Significance of this move:
India has embarked on an ambitious e-mobility plan and the government has taken the leadership in enabling e-mobility in India. The National E-Mobility Programme is a step towards ushering in an era of clean, green and future-oriented technologies in the country.
Mainstreaming electric vehicles will require an overhaul of the country’s energy and transport infrastructure. For example, EV charging stations will have to be set up on a war footing, and electricity generation will have to improve significantly even as its piggybacks on the push for solar energy. EV technology (especially the battery) will have to become much cheaper before it can perform well in a price-sensitive market like India.
With the onus of being the second-largest populated country in the world, India has a lot of reasons to rejoice over the bright outlook of the adoption of electric vehicles in India. NIT Aayog said in a recent report that can cut its energy demand by 64% and carbon emissions by 37% by making its passenger mobility shared, electric, and connected. The concept not only helps India to fulfil its renewable energy goals but also assists it in other facets like the ‘Make in India’ vision.
The Indian automobile industry is the sixth-largest in the world and accounts for a whopping 22% of the country’s total manufacturing output. The large-scale adoption of electric vehicles can play an important role in increasing the share of manufacturing in India’s GDP from the current 15% to 25% by 2022.
Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is a joint venture of NTPC Limited, Power Finance Corporation, Rural Electrification Corporation and POWERGRID, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) was set up under Ministry of Power (India) to facilitate implementation of energy efficiency projects.
- For Prelims: National E-Mobility programme, EESL.
- For Mains: E mobility- significance, issues, challenges and solutions.
Topic: awareness in space.
Parker solar probe
Context: NASA is inviting people around the world to submit their names online to be placed on a microchip aboard NASA’s historic Parker Solar Probe mission launching in summer 2018. Parker Solar Probe is part of NASA’s Living with a Star Program, or LWS, to explore aspects of the Sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society.
- Parker Solar Probe will swoop to within 4 million miles of the sun’s surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before it. Launching in 2018, Parker Solar Probe will provide new data on solar activity and make critical contributions to our ability to forecast major space-weather events that impact life on Earth.
- The primary science goals for the mission are to trace the flow of energy and understand the heating of the solar corona and to explore what accelerates the solar wind. Parker Solar Probe provides a statistical survey of the outer corona.
Parker Solar Probe has three detailed science objectives:
- Trace the flow of energy that heats and accelerates the solar corona and solar wind.
- Determine the structure and dynamics of the plasma and magnetic fields at the sources of the solar wind.
- Explore mechanisms that accelerate and transport energetic particles.
Understanding the Sun has always been a top priority for space scientists. Studying how the Sun affects space and the space environment of planets is the field known as heliophysics. The field is not only vital to understanding Earth’s most important and life-sustaining star, it supports exploration in the solar system and beyond.
- For Prelims: Parker solar probe, living with a star program.
- For Mains: Study of sun- significance and how it helps in better understanding of earth.
Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology.
Air-Breathing Electric Thruster (ABET)
Context: The European Space Agency (ESA) is building Air-Breathing Electric Thruster (ABET) that can possibly extend the working life of satellites by years and even help with interplanetary travel using just the air around it as a propellant.
About Air-Breathing Electric Thruster (ABET):
How it works? An air-breathing engine works by collecting the sparse air at the edge of the atmosphere and compresses it to a point that it becomes thermalised ionised plasma. It then fires out the plasma using an electric charge to achieve thrust. An air breathing thruster could keep a satellite operational for extended periods of time if it only uses the air around it for fuel instead of propellants.
This Air-Breathing Electric Thruster (ABET) does not operate in complete vacuum, but works in low Earth orbit (LEO) – altitude of 2,000 km or less– notes the ESA. At LEO, the air is scarce, but not entirely absent. In fact, there is enough air to cause a drag on spaceships and satellites. This is why there are on-board engines installed on satellites to correct course every time it moves out of position.
Sources: the hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
A toll-free number for highway users:
Context: A 24×7 Unique Toll Free Helpline “1033” has been launched for road users on National Highways. NHAI had assigned the work for establishment of the Helpline using 4-digit toll free number “1033” to IHMCL.
- A single 4-digit Toll Free Universal Access Number (UAN) “1033”.
- Single point of contact for public in case of accident or other emergencies on National Highways.
- Single point contact for reporting issues related to National Highways e.g. obstruction of highways due to a fallen tree, dharna, flat tyre, bad road condition etc.
- Immediate help to road accident victims during the golden hour by making available ambulance, treatment facilities and cranes to remove wrecked vehicles from the accident site.
- Professional call center agents with 24×7 availability.
“Wings India 2018”:
Context: The biennial event on Civil Aviation and Aerospace titled “Wings India 2018” is being held in Hyderabad.
Organizers: The event with the theme “India-Global Aviation Hub” is organised jointly by the Union Civil Aviation Ministry, Airports Authority of India and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
About: “Wings India 2018” aims to be the most comprehensive platform in the region for the interactions, forging alliances, investments and air connectivity between the States and the global aviation players/ stakeholders. It will have a special focus on connecting the cities and towns aimed at increasing the regional connectivity in the country.
2018 Pritzker prize for Balkrishna doshi:
Context: Balkrishna Doshi is the newest winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, known as the Nobel for architects. He has built more than a hundred buildings that reflect his investment in local materials, social change and the environment. He is the first Indian to receive the award.
About the Prize: The international prize, which is awarded each year to a living architect/s for significant achievement, was established by the Pritzker family of Chicago through their Hyatt Foundation in 1979. It is granted annually and is often referred to as “architecture’s Nobel” and “the profession’s highest honor.” The award consists of $100,000 (US) and a bronze medallion. The award is conferred on the laureate/s at a ceremony held at an architecturally significant site throughout the world.
Nari Shakti Puraskar 2017:
Context: Nari Shakti Puraskars 2017 were presented to 30 women by the President on the eve of International Women’s Day.
About Nari Shakti Puraskars:
- To acknowledge Women’s achievements, the Government of India confers Nari Shakti Puraskars on eminent women and institutions in recognition of their service towards the cause of women empowerment. The Nari Shakti Awards were initiated in the year 1999.
- The Ministry of Women and Child Development announces these national level awards for eminent women, organisations and institutions.
- The Nari Shakti Puraskar carries a cash award of Rs.1 Lakh and a certificate for individuals and institutions.