Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - November 30, 2018

Defence

IN - RN exercise KONKAN-18 begins at Goa

What

  • Naval cooperation between India and the United Kingdom is based on the long term strategic relationship between both countries.
  • Both Navies have, over the years, undertaken bilateral activities such as training exchanges and technical cooperation.
  • The Bilateral KONKAN exercise provides a platform for the two Navies to periodically exercise at sea and in harbour, so as to build interoperability and share best practices.

Connect to KONKAN

  • The KONKAN series of exercises commenced in 2004, and since then has grown in scale.
  • KONKAN-2018 will be conducted from 28 Nov to 06 Dec 18 off Goa with units participating from both navies.
  • The harbour phase is scheduled from 28 Nov to 30 Nov 18, followed by the sea phase from 02 to 06 Dec 18.
  • The Royal Navy will be represented by HMS Dragon, a Type 45 Class Destroyer equipped with an integral Wildcat helicopter.
  • The Indian Navy will field INS Kolkata, the first ship of latest Kolkata class destroyers, equipped with integral Seaking and an IN submarine. In addition, IN maritime patrol aircraft, Dornier will also participate in the exercise.
  • The exercise is aimed at deriving mutual benefit from each others’ experiences and is indicative of the continuing cooperation between the two countries.
  • The inter-operability achieved over the years as a result of such exercises has proved to be operationally beneficial to both navies.

Energy Sector

8 States achieve 100% household electrification under Saubhagya Total 15 States now have 100 % household electrification Nation expected to achieve 100% household electrification by 31st December, 2018

What

  • 8 States have achieved 100% saturation in household electrification under Saubhagya namely Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Bihar, J&K, Mizoram, Sikkim, Telangana and West Bengal.
  • Thus total 15 States in the countrynow have 100 % household electrification.

Connect to Saubhagya

  • Saubhagya – ‘Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana’ was launched in September, 2017 with the objective to provide access to electricity to all the remaining households in the country.
  • The Minister informed that as many as 2.1 crore connections have been released under Saubhagya so far.
  • Many more State like Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh etc. are left with small number of un-electrified households and expected to achieve saturation any time.
  • Achievement of 100% household electrification in the country would be a major milestone in the direction to achieve 24x7 power for all.
  • In order to ensure that no un-electrified household is left in the States which have already achieved 100% household electrification, they have been requested to take up campaign to publicise the achievement all across the areas, so that anyone left out for any reasons may avail electricity connection under Saubhagya.

Award Scheme under Saubhagya

  • The first DISCOM/Power Departments to complete 100% household electrification will be felicitated with cash award of Rs. 50 Lakh for the employees and Rs.100 crore grant to be spent for distribution infrastructure.
  • The States completing 100% household electrification by 31st Dec. 2018 will also receive additional grant of 15% of the project cost (5% for special category States) sanctioned under Saubhagya.

Culture

South Asia Youth Peace Conference

What

  • The three- day ‘South Asia Regional Youth Peace Conference’ was inaugurated
  • The Conference is being organised by Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, UNESCO MGIEP and STEP (Standing Together to Enable Peace).
  • About 100 youth leaders from South Asian countries and different parts of India have come together to discuss different dimensions of ‘peace’.
  • The countries represented include: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
  • As part of the ongoing celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation, the young people have come together to create an action plan to power the Sustainable Development Goals through the lens of love and kindness.

Connect to the objective

  • The objective of the conference is to eliminate stereotypes, prejudices across all borders, to understand micro-macro aspect of the issues, identify common challenges and develop plan of action, to build a network of youth leaders.
  • The conference will have conversations on Gender, Food Security, Interfaith Harmony, Digital media, Art Democracy and other Dialogues.
  • Amongst the objectives include the aim to equip young leaders with skills and knowledge based on peace education, critical enquiry and socio-emotional learning as a tool to engage with their peers.
  • The aim is also to build a network of youth leaders and change-makers across South Asia who will join hands to address common challenging issues together.
  • The 150th birth anniversary celebrations offer the right climate for young people of South Asia to further the peace agenda in the region.

NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog to Organise Dialogue on Health System for A New India

What

  • NITI Aayog to begin a series of Development Dialogues to engage experts, thought leaders and government stakeholders across key avenues of long-term social and economic development.
  • The first event shall be a conference on "Health Systems for A New India: Building Blocks"

Connect to the conference

  • The conference will feature senior government functionaries, and eminent national and international experts in the healthcare space.
  • The idea of a health system pertains to integrating existing and future programmes, financing, human resources and policies related to all dimensions of healthcare within the fabric of an all encompassing, inclusive, long-term, stable system.
  • The conference is also an attempt by NITI to begin conversations around the mandated 15 year vision document for the country as a whole.
  • The discussions shall include topics related to achieving standardized delivery of health across all levels of care in India’s mixed healthcare system, leveraging IT for healthcare and importantly, in a fiscally constrained environment, how can existing healthcare funds be mobilized more effectively and efficiently.

Science and Technology

ISRO puts ‘Sharp Eye’ into orbit

What

  • India’s workhorse launch vehicle, the PSLV, carrying 31 satellites on board soared in a trajectory crossing the path of the Sun and sped to inject India’s Hyper Spectral Imaging Satellite (HysIS), being dubbed ‘Sharp Eye’, towards the launcher’s intended first orbit.
  • The PSLV C-43 to come up on the other side of the Equator to insert 30 small satellites from various countries into another orbit as requested by the customers. The 30 satellites were part of a commercial launch.

Connect to the launch

  • In its 13th flight of the Core-Alone version and 45th launch of the PSLV, ISRO carried one satellite each from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Finland, Malaysia, Netherlands and Spain, and 23 satellites from the U.S. on board as co-passengers of the HysIS.
  • The rocket lifted off from the first launchpad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR, here. A little over 17 minutes later, the HysIS was injected into a precise orbit of 636 km from Earth.
  • The HysIS is an Earth Observation satellite primarily to assist in a wide range of applications in agriculture, forestry, geological environments, coastal zones, among others.

Connect to HysIS

  • The heart of the system required for the HysIS satellite is basically an optical imaging detector chip.
  • This chip has been indigenously designed by Space Application Centre of ISRO and fabricated at our semi-conductor lab at Chandigarh.

State Specific

Assembly approves 16% reservation for Marathas

What

  • The Maharashtra Assembly unanimously passed a Bill proposing 16% reservation for Marathas in government jobs and education.
  • With this, 85% of the State’s population will be entitled to constitutional benefits under Article 15(4), 16 (4) of the Constitution.

Connect to the bill

  • The approval of the Bill will also see the reservation limit go up from the current 52%to 68%, thus crossing the 50% ceiling set by Supreme Court.

Defending the ceiling

  • This is a compelling extraordinary situation demanding extraordinary solutions within the constitutional framework,” the draft Bill says while suggesting it “expedient” to provide for 16% reservation to the Marathas.
  • The Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tabled the Bill in both Houses along with a report on the recommendations by the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission.
  • The Government of Maharashtra has considered the report of the commission.
  • On the basis of exhaustive study of the Commission, including employment, education, social status, economical status, living conditions, the government is of the opinion declaring Marathas SEBC,” the draft Bill said.