Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - August 22, 2017

Ministry of Power

GOI’s Street Lighting National Programme (SLAP)

  • Illuminates 50,000 KM of Indian roads
  • Over 30 lakh conventional street lights retrofitted with LED lights
  • EESL becomes the world’s largest street light management company

Enlighten about SLAP –

  • The Government of India’s Street Lighting National programme (SLNP) has illuminated 50,000 KM of Indian roads with installation of 30 lakh LED street lights across the country.
  • With this milestone Energy Efficiency Services Limited, a government of India company under the administration of Ministry of Power, has become the world’s largest street light management company.
  • Under SLNP, Rajasthan is leading the country with an installation of 7.85 lakh LED street lights followed by Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat with 6.03 lakhs and 5.4 lakhs respectively.

Agriculture

Parliamentary Standing Committee Report On Agriculture –

Observations of the committee -

  • Catastrophic weather conditions are costing India $9-10 billion annually.
  • Climate change is projected to impact agricultural productivity with increasing severity from 2020 to the end of the century.
  • It also mentioned that the extreme weather events are not always linked to climate change but their frequency and severity is increasing and this is being increasingly read as fallout of climate change

Climate Change Effect On Agriculture

  • Productivity - Decreased
  • The productivity of major crops will be marginal in the next few years but it could rise to as much as 10-40% by 2100 unless farming adapts to climate change
  • Major crops such as wheat, rice, oilseeds, pulses, fruits and vegetables will see reduced yields over the years
  • It will force farmers to either adapt to challenges of climate change or face the risk of getting poorer.
  • It could turn India into a major importer of oilseeds, pulses and even milk.
  • Adaptation to climate change will need different cropping patterns and suitable inputs to compensate yield uctuations.

Food Security

  • Vulnerability of Indian agriculture due to vagaries associated with climate change and low adaptation capacity of majority of Indian farmers poses risk to food security of the country.
  • By 2030, India may need 70 million tonnes more of foodgrains than the expected production in 2016-17.
  • The demand for food is also going to increase due to an increasing population, expanding urbanisation and rising income.
  • To meet increasing demand, India to depend on import if it does not act on time to increase production and productivity of major food crops, pulses, oilseeds and milk by adapting to climate change. Projected food demand

Projected food demand

  • The ICAR-National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research has projected food demand of 345 million tonnes (MT) by 2030- almost 30% higher than in 2011.
  • The projected demands for fruits, vegetables, milk, animal products (meat, eggs and fish), sugar and edible oil, by 2030 is estimated to be 2-3 times more than that in 2011.

Economic Losses

  • According to the economic survey estimates, India currently incurs losses of about $9-10 billion annually due to extreme weather events.
  • Of these, nearly 80% losses remain uninsured.
  • The quantum of losses are going to increase substantially in future if one takes into account the impact of climate change on farm productivity.

Improve in Yields

  • Though there is possibility of decrease in yields of certain crops in traditional sown areas due to climate change but it may increase elsewhere due to change in weather pattern.
  • Though most crops will see reduced production, but climate change may also help improve yields of soyabean, chickpea, groundnut, coconut (western coast) and potato (in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh).

Education

Swasth Bachche, Swasth Bharat’

  • Launched by - HRD Ministry
  • Launched in - Kochi
  • Shri Prakash Javadekar
  • An initiative of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan
  • Programme to prepare a physical Health and Fitness Profile Card for more than 12 lakhs of Kendriya Vidyalaya students was launched in Kochi
  • Swasth Bachche, Swasth Bharat programme will provide a comprehensive and inclusive report card for children covering all age groups and children of different abilities.
  • Making students, teachers and parents aware about the importance of good health and fitness and encouraging 60 minutes of play each day is an objective of the programme.
  • Swasth Bachche, Swasth Bharat programme also intends to imbibe values of Olympics and Paralympics amongst students.
  • Bring back the childhood amongst children and make physical activity and recreational games an integral part of learning process , Motivating potentially outstanding performers in various games and sports of excellence, using technology for data capture and analytics, and giving access to schools, parents and teachers are also the objectives of the programmes.

Science & Technology

India’s Exclusive Rights to Explore Polymetallic Nodules from Central Indian Ocean Seabed Basin Extended by Five Years

  • India’s exclusive rights to explore polymetallic nodules from seabed in Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) have been extended by five years.
  • These rights are over 75000 sq. km of area in international waters allocated by International Seabed Authority for developmental activities for polymetallic nodules.
  • This has been approved unanimously in the 23rd session of International Seabed Authority (ISA) concluded on August 18, 2017 at Kingston, Jamaica.
  • India is the first country to have received the status of a pioneer investor in 1987 and was allocated an exclusive area in Central Indian Ocean Basin by United Nations (UN) for exploration and utilization of nodules.
  • India is one among the top 8-countries/ contractors and is implementing a long–term programme on exploration and utilization of Polymetallic Nodules through Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • This includes survey and exploration, environmental studies, technology development in mining and extractive metallurgy
  • While, the extraction of metals from the polymetallic nodules lying at the deep ocean floor is not yet found to be economically viable at this stage, an area of about 7860 square km has been identified in the CIOB for the First Generation Mine Site on the basis of detailed surveys and analysis.
  • Environmental studies for mining of deep-sea polymetallic nodules were also carried out to evaluate the possible impacts of mining on deep-sea environment.
  • A Remotely Operable Submersible (ROSUB 6000), capable of operating at 6000 m water depth was also developed and tested successfully
  • A remotely operable in-situ soil testing equipment was also developed for obtaining detailed geotechnical properties of the mining area at CIOB and tested successfully at 5462 m water depth.

Enlighten about ISA

  • International Seabed Authority (ISA) is a UN body set up to regulate the exploration and exploitation of marine non-living resources of oceans in international waters. India actively contributes to the work of International Seabed Authority. Last year, India was re-elected as a member of Council of ISA. India’s nominees on Legal and Technical Commission and Finance Committee of the ISA were also elected last year.

Culture

Festival of India being Organized in Cote D’ivoire, Liberia and Guinea from 15 August, 2017 – 28 January, 2018

  • A Festival of India is being organized in Cote d’Ivoire and concurrently accredited countries of Liberia and Guinea from 15 August, 2017 – 28 January, 2018.
  • The Festival will showcase diverse Indian culture, i.e. classical and folk dances.
  • The events will be held in four cities of Cote d’Ivoire, namely, Abidjan, Yamassoukro and Grand Bassam and Daloa and capital cities of Monrovia of Liberia and Conakry of Guinea.