Insights Daily Current Affairs, 30 March 2018
Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
Public Financial Management System (PFMS)
Context: A “historic” Rs 71,633 crore was processed and routed through the PFMS portal on a single day. This is a Historical Record Breaking Volume of Digital Transactions achieved by PFMS.
The Public Financial Management System (PFMS) is an end-to- end solution for processing payments, tracking, monitoring, accounting, reconciliation and reporting.
- It is administered by the Department of Expenditure.
- It is implemented by the Controller General of Accounts.
- It provides scheme managers a unified platform for tracking releases and monitoring their last mile utilisation.
- It provides platform for efficient management of funds through tracking of funds and real time reporting of expenditure and receipts through treasury and bank interface.
- The line ministries/departments utilise this platform to monitor the utilisation of funds provided to the implementing agencies and state governments.
- PFMS is also used for DBT payments under MGNREGA and other notified schemes of the Government of India.
Topic: transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints.
Mega food park
Context: Greentech Mega Food Park Private Ltd, first mega food park in Rajasthan, was recently inaugurated at Roopangarh Village in Ajmer. The Park has been set up at a cost of Rs 113.57 crore and will benefit around 25,000 farmers in this as well as neighbouring districts.
About Mega Food Parks:
Ministry of Food Processing Industries is implementing Mega Food Park Scheme in the country.
- The Scheme of Mega Food Park aims at providing a mechanism to link agricultural production to the market by bringing together farmers, processors and retailers so as to ensure maximizing value addition, minimizing wastages, increasing farmers’ income and creating employment opportunities particularly in rural sector.
- These food parks give a major boost to the food processing sector by adding value and reducing food wastage at each stage of the supply chain with particular focus on perishables.
- A maximum grant of R50 crore is given for setting up a MFP, in minimum 50 acres of contiguous land with only 50% contribution to the total project cost.
Mode of operation:
- The Scheme has a cluster based approach based on a hub and spokes model. It includes creation of infrastructure for primary processing and storage near the farm in the form of Primary Processing Centres (PPCs) and Collection Centres (CCs) and common facilities and enabling infrastructure at Central Processing Centre (CPC).
- The PPCs are meant for functioning as a link between the producers and processors for supply of raw material to the Central Processing Centres.
- CPC has need based core processing facilities and basic enabling infrastructure to be used by the food processing units setup at the CPC. The minimum area required for a CPC is 50 acres.
- The scheme is demand-driven and would facilitate food processing units to meet environmental, safety and social standards.
Facts for Prelims:
India’s first mega food park ‘Srini Mega Food Park’, sprawling 147-acre space, was opened in Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh in 2012.
- For Prelims: Mega Food Parks scheme.
- For Mains: Food security and efforts by government in this regard.
Topic: Awareness in space.
Context: The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has successfully launched communication satellite GSAT-6A, on board its geosynchronous rocket GSLV-F08, at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. This is the 12th flight of the GSLV rocket and the sixth with and indigenous cryogenic upper stage.
About GSAT- 6A satellite:
- The GSAT-6A is a high power S-band communication satellite with a mission life of about 10 years.
- A key feature of the satellite is to provide mobile communication to India through multi beam coverage facility.
- The satellite will also provide a platform for developing technologies such as demonstration of 6 m S-Band Unfurlable Antenna, handheld ground terminals and network management techniques that could be useful in satellite based mobile communication applications.
- The satellite is expected to be heavily used by security forces which are stationed in the remotest areas of the country.
The GSLV is a three stage/engine rocket. The core of first stage is fired with solid fuel while the four strap-on motors by liquid fuel. The second stage is the liquid fuel-propelled and the third is the cryogenic engine.
GSLV-F08, weighing 415.6 tonnes with a height of 49.1 meters comes with notable improvements like induction of High Thrust Vikas Engine, electromechanical actuation system in place of electro-hydraulic actuation system.
What Is An ‘Unfurlable Antenna’? What Does It Do?
ISRO’s ‘unfurlable antenna’ is a six-meter-wide antenna which looks somewhat like an umbrella. This will be ‘unfurled’ once the GSAT-6A satellite has been put in orbit. This antenna, specially designed for the mission, is three times as broad as the antennas that are usually used by ISRO. This antenna will allow mobile communication from anywhere via hand-held ground terminals. Apart from communications, the GSAT-6A satellite is believed to be designated for military use as well.
What Is S-Band? How Is It Useful?
S-band is an electromagnetic spectrum covering frequencies from 2 to 4 gigahertz (GHz). It crosses the conventional boundary between the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) and Super High Frequency (SHF) bands at 3.0 GHz. S-band is used by weather radars, surface ship radar, and some communications satellites. S-band is very useful because the 2.5 Ghz band is used globally for 4G services, and is worth billions of dollars. The S-band spectrum is extremely valuable for mobile broadband services.
For Prelims: GSAT 6A, Unfurlable antenna, S band.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Awareness in space.
What is it? It is the first-ever mission by NASA dedicated to exploring the deep interior of Mars. It will also be the first Nasa mission since the Apollo moon landings to place a seismometer, a device that measures quakes, on the soil of another planet.
About the mission:
InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is a NASA Discovery Program mission that will place a single geophysical lander on Mars to study its deep interior.
- But InSight is more than a Mars mission – it is a terrestrial planet explorer that will address one of the most fundamental issues of planetary and solar system science – understanding the processes that shaped the rocky planets of the inner solar system (including Earth) more than four billion years ago.
- By using sophisticated geophysical instruments, InSight will delve deep beneath the surface of Mars, detecting the fingerprints of the processes of terrestrial planet formation, as well as measuring the planet’s “vital signs”: Its “pulse” (seismology), “temperature” (heat flow probe), and “reflexes” (precision tracking).
Significance of this mission:
Mars is the exoplanet next door—a nearby example of how gas, dust and heat combine and arrange themselves into a planet. Looking deep into Mars will let scientists understand how different its crust, mantle and core are from Earth.
For Prelims and Mains: InSight mission.
Sources: the hindu.
Context: Google on March 26th commemorated the 45th year of the Chipko movement.
What is Chipko movement?
Chipko, signifying ’embrace or hug’, was the strategy of hundreds of villagers –mostly women- in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, to save the forest cover on the Garhwal Himalyas.
- Reckless felling of trees on the hill slopes was having a devastating effect on the livelihood of the villagers. The floods in 1970, when the Alakananda River broke its banks, led to massive landslides that blocked the river and washed away hundreds of hamlets downstream.
- Widespread protests followed in the early 70s, when villagers led by Chandi Prasad Bhatt, a Gandhian, literally embraced the trees to save them from the woodcutters’ axe.
The original Chipko andolan dates back to the 18th century and was started by Rajasthan’s Bishnoi community. The incident has been etched in the annals of history for the sacrifice of a group of villagers, who led by a lady named Amrita Devi, laid down their lives while protecting trees from being felled on the orders of then King of Jodhpur. After this incident, the king, in a royal decree, banned cutting of trees in all Bishnoi villages.
- For Prelims: Chipko movement.
- For Mains: Conservation of environment, issues, challenges and community participation.
Sources: the hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
MP’s black chicken Kadaknath wins GI tag:
Context: Madhya Pradesh has won the Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Kadaknath, a black-feathered chicken known for its flavourful meat. The GI tag will ensure that no one else can use the name Kadaknath while selling any other black chicken and will also translate into higher prices for producers.
- It is found mainly in the tribal district of Jhabua.
- Kadaknath is in demand not only because of its taste but also due to its low cholesterol and high protein content.