Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - June 19, 2018

State Specific (Maharashtra)

Unique E-mammal Citizen Science Project.

  • Project for school children to enlighten about wildlife and its conservation
  • The project, aimed at grassroots conservation through collection of scientific information by children, is being implemented by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), along with the Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra (SNM).
  • It started in 2105, with three schools joining their contemporaries in Mexico and the U.S.
  • In its second phase in 2017, the project included 2,000 children in Class VIII and IX in 20 schools
  • Each school was given three camera traps — they have motion detectors which trigger the shutter — a laptop, a projector, an Internet connection and old-school binoculars to cover nearby areas not protected by the Forest Department.
  • Between them, they collected more than a lakh images.

State Specific (Telangana)

COP CONNECT app

  • Launched by Telangana Police
  • Objective to support the professional communication and collaboration needs of entire police department of the state.
  • It has been developed based on Telangana State Police internal Communication strategy on lines of popular internet messaging application WhatsApp.

Enlighten about COP CONNECT app

  • COP CONNECT app has all features of regular mobile messaging apps and is enabled for chatting, group chats, file sharing (image, audio, video and documents) and location sharing.
  • Using it different types of groups can be created at state level, district and commissionerate levels, zonal level, subdivisional level, circle level and police station level.
  • It will help in connecting over 60,000 police forces across 31 districts in the state.
  • It will enable the entire police workforce of the state to pro-actively engage and pass real time information in seconds and also consult each other so that they are able to play an active role in delivery of uniform policing services across the state.

Educational Reforms

National Testing Agency

What’s the NEWS

  • The National Testing Agency, which is being set up to relieve the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) of the burden of conducting multiple examinations, will also train paper setters to set better question papers and provide better model answers.

Exams to be conducted by NTA

  • The National Testing Agency is expected to conduct some of the examinations that the CBSE has been conducting till now
  • The new body will take over all examinations from the CBSE, except the 10th and 12th board examinations.
  • Among the examinations that will be transferred to the NTA are the prestigious Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for admission to engineering colleges like the IITs and NITs and the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to all medical colleges in the country, except AIIMS and JIPMER, Puducherry.

Enlighten about NTA

  • “The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the creation of a National Testing Agency (NTA) as a Society registered under the Indian Society Registration Act, 1860, and as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions
  • The NTA will begin by conducting exams managed by the CBSE and gradually conduct other examinations too.
  • The entrance examinations will be conducted in online mode at least twice a year, thereby giving adequate opportunity to candidates to bring out their best
  • In order to serve the requirements of the rural students, it would locate the centres at sub-district/district level and as far as possible would undertake hands-on training to the students.”
  • The NTA will be chaired by an eminent educationist appointed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • There will be a Board of Governors comprising members from user institutions.
  • The creation of NTA was approved by the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister in November 2017.
  • After a one-time grant of ₹25 crore to the NTA, it is supposed to become financially self-sustainable.

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)

Govt. to set up fifth national data centre To expand BPO promotion scheme to 1 lakh seats The data centre to be set up in Bhopal will have the capacity to host five lakh virtual servers.

  • The Centre will set up the country’s biggest data centre in Bhopal with a capacity to host five lakh virtual servers
  • The data centre, which will take about two years to come up, will be set up by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
  • This will be the fifth National Data Centre after the ones at Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Hyderabad and Pune.
  • These National Data Centres host government websites, services and applications.
  • The government planned to expand its BPO promotion scheme to one lakh seats from the “current 48,000 seats.”
  • Under the initiative, which had an outlay of 493 crore, 91 BPOs had been set up in small towns and rural areas till now.

Defence

Fast petrol vessel (FPV) ICGS Rani Rashmoni Commissioned by Indian Coast Guard (ICG) in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh

  • Objective of FPV - Surveillance, search and rescue, interdiction, anti-smuggling and antipoaching operations.

Enlighten about ICGS Rani Rashmoni

  • It is fifth and last ship to be commissioned in the series of fast patrol vessel (FPV) project of ICG.
  • The ship will be based at Visakhapatnam
  • ICGS Rani Rashmoni has been designed and built by Hindustan Ship Yard Ltd.
  • It is 51 metre long, 8.36 metre wide and weights 346-tonne.
  • It is named after legendary Rani Rashmoni of Kolkata.
  • The ship is equipped with most advanced and sophisticated communication and navigational sensors and equipment.
  • The ship is propelled by three MTU 40000 series diesel engines of 2,720 KW capacity each coupled with three Rolls Royce Kamewa jets.

Environment

Flood warning: govt. teams up with Google Map will show water levels in a region

  • Union Water Resources Ministry has teamed up with Google to generate flood warnings.
  • If there are signs of an imminent flood, a Google Maps user will be able to see what regions are likely to see water logging first and if their neighbourhood is under threat.

Current procedure of predicting floods

  • Currently, the Central Water Commission (CWC) warns of floods based on the rising water levels in reservoirs and if these are nearing a dam’s ‘danger marks.’
  • Last year, it began a trial programme to give 3-day flood forecasts. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) now provides inputs to the CWC on whether heavy rainfall is likely and if this could translate into large amounts of rain water overflowing from river banks or catchments.

How google will help

  • What Google will do is provide a visualisation. Via Google Maps, you will now be able to see water levels build up in a region
  • CWC and Google will share technical expertise in the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning, geospatial mapping and analysis of hydrological observation data to improve flood prediction systems, provide location-targeted, actionable flood warnings…and Google Earth Engine to help visualise and improve flood management and initiate a cultural project to build online exhibitions on the ‘Rivers of IndiaFree of cost
  • An experimental version of the exercise will likely begin this monsoon and will be offered “free of cost” as part of the company’s “Corporate Social Responsibility.”

Sources – PIB,The Hindu, LiveMint,IE