Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - September 10, 2018

Environment

2 irrigation facilities in Telangana get heritage tag Sadarmatt anicut across river Godavari in Nirmal district and Pedda Cheruvu in Kamareddy district chosen

What

  • A meeting of the International Executive Council, the highest decision making body of International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID), at Saskatoon in Canada last month has accepted Telangana government’s nomination of Sadarmatt anicut across river Godavari in Nirmal district and Pedda Cheruvu in Kamareddy district in the ICID Register of Heritage Irrigation Structures.
  • The plaques presented by the council for the two over-century-old irrigation facilities were received by the Member Secretary, Indian National Committee on Surface Water as Indian representative at the meeting.

Enlighten about Sadarmatt anicut

  • This award is a deserving recognition to Sadarmatt anicut which has provided precious water for paddy crops in its designed ayacut of 13,100 acres in present day Khanapur and Kadem mandals since its construction in 1891-92.
  • The anicut, which is English word for Telugu’s ana-katta, meaning a rainfall bund, was built by Nawab Ikbal-ud-Dowla who bore the tile of Vicar-ul-Umrah Bahadur in 1891-92 about 50 km downstream of the Sri Ram Sagar Project (SRSP) and is chiefly fed by Sawrnavagu stream after the construction of SRSP.
  • C.E. Wilkinson was the Taluqdar then and J.J. Ottley was the engineer and Khanapur was a jagir of the Nawabs during the rule of the Nizam of Hyderabad.
  • Sadarmatt bund is 437.4 m long on its left flank and 23.8 m on its right flank.

Enlighten about Pedda Cheruvu

  • The Pedda Cheruvu (big tank in Telugu) located on the outskirts of this district headquarters town is spread over an area of 618 acres and was built in 1897 during the rule of Mir Mahaboob Ali Khan, the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad State.
  • It has a 1.8-km-long tank bund and 145-metre weir and three sluices. It’s catchment area is spread over 68.97 sq. km. and total flood flow is 8,860 cusecs.
  • With a capacity of 0.175 tmcft it provides water for irrigation to over 900 acres in Kamareddy, Sarampally, Narsampally and old Rajampet.

Bathukamma festival

  • It also provides drinking water for residents of the area.
  • Womenfolk play Bathukamma during the Navaratrotsavalu on its bund and immerse them in its waters.
  • It is a picnic spot for residents of the area. Consequently, the Government wanted to develop it as a tourist spot by creating the necessary infrastructure.
  • Moreover, this tank was taken up under the second round of Mission Kakatiya to be developed as a mini tank bund with an estimated outlay of 6.6 crore.

Enlighten about ICID

  • The International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID), established in 1950 is a leading scientific, technical, international not-for-profit, non-governmental organization.
  • ICID is a professional network of experts from across the world in the field of irrigation, drainage, and flood management.
  • The main mission is to promote ‘Sustainable agriculture water management’ to achieve ‘Water secure world free of poverty and hunger through sustainable rural development’.
  • ICID is a knowledge sharing platform dedicated to issues that covers the entire spectrum of agricultural water management practices ranging from rainfed agriculture to supplemental irrigation, land drainage, deficit irrigation to full irrigation, etc.
  • In addition, drainage of agricultural lands forms the core theme of commission’s activities.
  • Floods and drought; the two extremes of increasingly variable climate as a result of potential climate change, also form the focus of activities.

NITI Aayog

Two Day Regional Conference on Good Governance Focus on Aspirational Districts

Organising agencies

  • The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DAR&PG), Government of India in association with Government of Madhya Pradesh

What

  • Organizing a Regional Conference on Good Governance with Focus on Aspirational Districts, in Bhopal

Enlighten about the conference

  • Delegates from 12 States and 2 UTs will participate in the Conference. There will be 5 Technical sessions in the 2-day conference.
  • The themes include: ICT Enabled Education, Agriculture, Public Service and Grievance Management and Good Governance initiatives.

The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DAR&PG)

  • The DAR&PG has organized 28 Regional Conferences till date.
  • This Conference is an effort to create a common platform to share experiences in the formulation and implementation of Best Practices in Citizen Centric Governance and improved Public Service Delivery through e-Governance, transparent, accountable and citizen-friendly effective administration.

Enlighten about DAR&PG

  • The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances is the nodal agency of the Government of India for administrative reforms as well as redressal of public grievances relating to the states in general and those pertaining to Central Government agencies in particular.
  • The Department endeavors to document and disseminate successful good governance practices by way of audio-visual media and publications.
  • The Department also undertakes activities in the field of international exchange and cooperation to promote public service reforms.

Enlighten about Transformation of Aspirational Districts

  • Launched in January 2018, the ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ initiative aims to remove this heterogeneity through a mass movement to quickly and effectively transform these districts.
  • The broad contours of the programme are Convergence (of Central & State Schemes), Collaboration (of Central, State level ‘Prabhari’ Officers & District Collectors), and Competition among districts driven by a spirit of mass Movement.
  • With States as the main drivers, this program will focus on the strength of each district, identify low-hanging fruits for immediate improvement, measure progress, and rank districts.
  • The 117 districts were identified from 28 states, at least one from each state, in a transparent manner by a committee of Senior Officers to the Government of India, in consultation with State Officials using a composite index of key data sets that included deprivation enumerated under the Socio-Economic Caste Census, key health and education sector performance and state of basic infrastructure.
  • This programme is a policy priority of Government of India. NITI Aayog anchors the programme with support from Central Ministries and the State Governments. While NITI Aayog is steering the initiative in 30 districts, various central ministries oversee 50 districts besides the Ministry of Home Affairs, which focuses on 35 Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts.
  • Officers at the level of Joint Secretary / Additional Secretary have been nominated to become the ‘Central Prabhari Officers’ of each district.
  • States have appointed state-nodal and Prabhari officers. An Empowered Committee under the Convenorship of the CEO, NITI Aayog will help in the convergence of various government schemes and streamlining of efforts.
  • The NITI Aayog during June 2018 launched the first Delta ranking (incremental progress) for the Aspirational Districts, based on self-reported data of districts between March 31, 2018 to May 31, 2018, across five developmental areas of Health and Nutrition, Education, Agriculture and Water Resources, Financial Inclusion and Skill Development, and Basic Infrastructure.
  • The Districts started entering data from 1st April, 2018 in the Champions of Change Dashboard and 108 districts out of total 112, participated in this ranking.
  • Data entry by remaining four districts is also in progress, though they are not part of this ranking.
  • This Delta ranking takes a step further and looks into specific aspects of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and analyses how districts have performed in last two months across important sectors.

NITI Aayog

MOVE: India’s First Global Mobility Summit 2018

What

  • Prime Minister inaugurated MOVE: India’s ever first Global Mobility Summit organized by NITI Aayog

Objective

  • The focus of the summit is on raising awareness about various aspects of Mobility and bringing various stakeholders involved in enhancing mobility across different platforms.

Participants

  • Representative from various Intergovernmental Organizations, Academia, Policy Think tanks from India and abroad, Global leaders from across the mobility sector such as OEMs, Battery Manufacturers, Charging Infrastructure Providers, technology Solution Providers will be sharing their views on enhancing mobility over the next two days during the summit.

Enlighten about the summit

  • The Global Mobility Summit is the first of its kind, with over 2200 participants expected from across the world including leaders from the government, industry, research organizations, academia, think tanks and civil society. Components of the Summit include: the core conclave, digital exhibition, Mobility Week with Featured Events and a variety of stakeholder consultations.

Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation

Jal Bachao, Video Banao, Puraskar Pao Contest

Implementing Ministry

  • The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation announced the winners for the second fortnight (25 July- 08 August) of the Jal Bachao, Video Banao, Puraskar Pao contest.

Enlighten about the contest

  • Jal Bachao, Video Banao, Puraskar Pao contest was launched by the Ministry in collaboration with the MyGov portal of the Government of India with the objective of spreading awareness about water conservation.
  • Any Indian citizen can participate in the contest. He or she needs to shoot an original video on the theme.
  • Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation appeals to the people of India to make and upload videos capturing the efforts, significant contributions, best practices in the field of Water Conservation, Optimum Water Utilization and Water Resource Development and Management in different parts of the country.

Disaster Management

Plantation sector may have suffered ₹5,000-cr. loss due to floods : UPASI

What

  • The plantation sector in the south, including tea, coffee, rubber, cardamom and pepper, is estimated to have suffered a ₹5,000-crore crop loss due to the recent floods in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  • These are the early estimates made by the United Planters Association of South India (UPASI) and the extent of the damage is unprecedented
  • The losses include those of field crops and stocks in warehouses and they may increase due to attacks from pests and fungi in the coming months.
  • The coffee-producing regions of Kodagu, Hassan and Chikmagalur in Karnataka, accounting for 70 % of the country’s crop, were ravaged by rains causing berry dropping, according to an UPASI report.
  • The Coffee Board had estimated a crop loss of about 82,000 tonne (annual output of 6.9 lakh tonne in 2017-18).
  • The loss is the highest in Karnataka followed by Kerala and Tamil Nadu

Enlighten about UPSAI

  • The United Planters’ Association of Southern India is an apex body of planters of tea, coffee, rubber, cardamom and pepper in the Southern States of India viz. Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka in existence since 1893.
  • There are 3 State Planters’ Associations and 13 District Planters’ Association affiliated to UPASI.
  • It is the premier representative body of buyers, sellers, processors, exporters, co-operatives and all other market intermediaries of tea coffee, rubber & spices.
  • The Association’s operations cover economic research, market intelligence, industrial relations, liaison, public relations, scientific research and publication.

Enlighten about coffee board of India

  • The Coffee Board of India is an organisation managed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the government of India to promote coffee production in India.
  • Head Office is in Bangalore.
  • The Coffee Board of India was established by an act of Parliament in 1942. Until 1995 the Coffee Board marketed the coffee of many growers from a pooled supply, but after that time coffee marketing became a private-sector activity due to the economic liberalisation in India.
  • The Coffee Boards tradition duties included the promotion of the sale and consumption of coffee in India and abroad, conducting coffee research, financial assistance to establish small coffee growers, safeguarding working conditions for laborers, and managing the surplus pool of unsold coffee.]

Swatch Bharat Abhiyan

Swachhata Hi Seva 2018 Campaign to Culminate with Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention To be Held in New Delhi from September 29 to October 02

What

  • Swachhata Hi Seva 2018’ a jan andolan for Swachhata to be observed in the run-up to the 4th anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), i.e. from September 15th to October 2nd 2018, as the sanitation movement enters its final leg.
  • SHS 2018 follows the success of the SHS 2017 last year, led by the Hon’ble PM.
  • SHS 2018 will culminate with the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention (MGISC) from September 29th to October 2nd 2018, which also marks the start of 150th birth year celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • SHS aims at accelerating the Jan-Andolan for realizing the vision of a Clean India, further reinforcing the belief that ‘Sanitation is everyone’s business’.

The highlights of the campaign are as follows:-

  • Accelerate the momentum of Swachh Bharat in the run-up to its 4th anniversary
  • Re-energise the Swachh Bharat Jan Andolan and lay down the foundation of sustainability
  • Reinforce the concept of “Sanitation as everyone’s business”
  • Commence Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth year celebrations with a nationwide campaign

National Launch by Hon’ble Prime Minister: 15th September, 2018

  • The launch will be done through Video Conference at more than 15 locations across the country with different sections of the community and eminent public figures etc.
  • It will be followed by launch of Shramdaan activities with huge community mobilisation

Schools Engagement: 15th September, 2018

  • Swachhata Sabhas: 16th September, 2018
  • Seva Diwas: 17th September, 2018
  • .
  • Railways Swachhata Divas - 22nd September, 2018
  • Antyodaya Divas - 25th September, 2018
  • Cleaning of Iconic Places

Ministry of Home Affairs

Home Minister inaugurates Defence & Homeland Security Expo and Conference, 2018

What

  • The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh has called upon the law enforcement agencies to adopt new technologies to enhance their capacities to contain terror and to counter the emerging challenges to homeland security.

Organising agencies

  • The Union Home Minister was inaugurating the 3-day Defence & Homeland Security Expo and Conference – 2018, organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in association with Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME)

Need for the adoption of new technologies

  • Technological upgradation and modernization to monitor and check activities related to terrorism especially in Jammu & Kashmir, Gujarat and Assam.
  • A new technological solution facility is already due to be unveiled shortly in Jammu region.
  • Our security forces are guarding one of the longest borders in the world, running across more than 7,500 kms, out of which physical barrier is not possible for around 900 kms length.
  • And to secure such a long non-physical border, we need to use the latest techniques such as laser, radar and other means

To Homeland Security

  • The Public-Private Partnership in Homeland Security is a unique effort, and issues related to the prevailing Industrial Licensing Policy for Homeland Security Manufacturers would be sorted out shortly in consultation between the Ministries of Home Affairs and Commerce & Industry.
  • The financial powers of chiefs of Paramilitary forces have been enhanced significantly to speed up and simplify the procurement process.

Enlighten about the EXPO

  • Pertinent issues related to Homeland Security and Defence Modernisation with exclusive partnership from the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) segment would be discussed and deliberated upon at great length during the 3-day Conference.
  • The expo is being organised for the first time to make leading policy makers and luminaries from diverse defence segments take part with special focus on MSMEs in defence production and procurement.
  • The expo is cutting across various industries vis-a-vis surveillance, cyber security, bulletproof jackets, robots, drones, hi-tech equipment including livelihood items, research and development and police modernisation.

Bilateral Agreements

India – France

What

  • India and France have signed agreement to collaborate for ISRO’s first human space mission Gaganyaan to be launched in 2022
  • The announcement was made at sixth edition of Bengaluru Space Expo (touted to be largest space conference in Asia and held in Bengaluru).

Enlighten about the agreement

  • ISRO and French space agency CNES will form working group to exchange expertise in fields of astronaut life support, radiation protection, space debris protection and personal hygiene systems among others.
  • CNES will be sharing its expertise acquired from France first human spaceflights of Thomas Pesquet’s Proxima mission in November 2016, when European Space Agency’s (ESA) astronaut Pesquet was on six-month mission at International Space Station (ISS).
  • Pesquet had conducted 50 scientific experiments for CNES and ESA.
  • It is also envisioned that French space training infrastructure such as CADMOS centre for development of microgravity applications and space operations or MEDES space clinic will be used for training of future Indian astronauts, as well as exchange of specialist personnel.
  • The partnership between CNES and ISRO will also allow French space agency to learn from India’s developments in the field of crew transport.

Enlighten about Gaganyaan Mission

  • It will be India’s first manned space mission.
  • Under it, India is planning to send three humans (Gaganyatris) into space by 2022 for period of five to seven days.
  • It will make India fourth nation in the world after USA, Russia and China to launch a human spaceflight mission.
  • The crew of three astronauts will conduct experiments on microgravity in space. They will be selected jointly by Indian Air Force (IAF) and ISRO after which they will undergo training for two-three years.
  • GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle, having necessary payload capability will be used to launch Gaganyaan.

State Specific

Resolution for the creation of Legislative Council in Odisha

What

  • The Odisha State Assembly has passed resolution seeking creation of Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad or second house of legislature).
  • The resolution was passed with as many as 104 of total 147 legislators casting their votes in its favour.
  • The resolution now will be sent to Central Government (Union cabinet) for approval, following which it will be tabled in both houses of the Parliament.
  • Thereafter, presidential assent is required to make it Act.

Legislative Council

  • Just as Parliament has two Houses, States can have Legislative Council (LC) in addition to the Legislative Assembly if they choose to.
  • This option is available under Article 171 of the Constitution.
  • Under Article 169, legislative council can be formed if state legislative assembly passes resolution to that effect by majority of total membership of assembly and by majority of not less than two-thirds of members of assembly present and voting (i.e. by Special Majority).
  • Parliament can then pass a law to this effect.
  • Currently, seven states have Legislative Councils viz. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana.
  • Apart from these, Tamil Nadu Government had passed law to set up Council but it was withdrawn in 2010.
  • Andhra Pradesh’s Legislative Council, set up in 1958, was abolished in 1985, but was again reconstituted in 2007.
  • Proposals to create Councils in Rajasthan and Assam are pending in Parliament.
  • Under Article 171 of Constitution, Legislative Council of state cannot have MLCs more than one-third of total number of MLAs of state assembly and not less than 40 members.
  • Jammu & Kashmir is exception, as Section 50 of state’s Constitution, Assembly has 87 members and Legislative Council 36.
  • The tenure of Member of Legislative Council (MLC) is six years (similar to Rajya Sabha MPs), with one-third of members retiring every two years.
  • One-third of MLCs are elected by state’s MLAs, another 1/3rd by special electorate comprising sitting members of local governments such as municipalities and district boards, 1/12th by electorate of teachers and another 1/12th by registered graduates.
  • The remaining members are appointed by Governor for distinguished services in various fields such as literature, science, art, co-operative movement and social service (in case Rajya Sabha, President can nominate 12 members from field of literature, science, art and social service).
  • The legislative powers of Legislative Councils are limited compared to Rajya Sabha and State Assembly.

Defence

Yudh Abhyas

What

  • India and United States will conduct their annual combat exercise “Yudh Abhyas” at Chaubatia in Uttarakhand from 16 to 29 September, 2018.
  • The exercise will be held after both countries hold their inaugural top-level “2+2” dialogue in New Delhi.

Enlighten about the exercise

  • It will be fourteenth edition of exercise in Yudh Abhyas series which was started in 2004 under US Army Pacific Partnership Program.
  • This will be fourth time exercise will be conducted at Chaubattia in Uttarakhand.
  • The aim of this exercise will be to enhance interoperability between armies.
  • It will also focus on enhancing counter-terror cooperation.
  • India will be fielding 15 Garhwal Ries.
  • Last year, Yudh Abhyas was held at Joint Base LewisMcChord in the US.
  • The defence and security cooperation between India and US has witnessed new momentum in last couple of years.
  • Both countries had signed Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) which will allow Indian defence forces to receive military-grade communications equipment from US and ensure access to real-time encrypted information.
  • It will also help India to obtain critical defence technologies from US.

First ever tri-service exercise

  • India and US also have decided to hold their first-ever mega tri-Service amphibious exercise off eastern coast of India in 2019.
  • This will be only second time India will deploy assets and manpower from its Army, Navy and Air Force together for exercise with foreign country after tri-service Indra wargames were held with Russia at Vladivostok in 2017.

Enlighten about Indo-US defence relations

  • In July 2018, US had announced granting India status of Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) country, making it first South Asian nation to be given designation along with US’ NATO allies like South Korea, Australia and Japan.
  • STA-1 status will help India get critical technology from US in defence and certain other key areas.
  • It will also further facilitate India-US trade and technology collaboration in defence and high technology areas.
  • In June 2016, US had designated India as major defence partner intending to elevate defence trade and technology sharing with India to level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners.

Ministry of Commerce

Six Hundred Global Buyers to Participate Indusfood- II 2019

Organising agency

  • Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI)

Highlights

  • The Dhaka based India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce (IBCCI) will participate with a strong contingent of F&B buyers in Indusfood-II 2019 to source their food and beverage requirements from India.
  • TPCI is working to attract maximum buyers from the SAARC countries to source their food and beverage related requirements from India.

Enlighten about TPCI and Indusfood – I

  • TPCI is expecting around 600 global buyers from 50 countries and over 350 Indian exporters and producers to participate at this World Food Supermarket in Indusfood-II being held on 14th – 15thJanuary, 2019 in Greater Noida, NCR, Delhi.
  • Indusfood-I, held in early 2018, saw participation of leading importers from 43 countries and 320 Indian exporters and generated an estimated business of $650 million.
  • The international buyers and Indian sellers from 12 categories of Food & Beverage industry experienced a unique opportunity of a B2B dialogue and insight into the large basket of brands, private labels and bulk purchase of raw items that India could offer to the world.
  • Trade Promotion Council of India with the support of Dept. of Commerce, Govt. of India organized the flagship international food show cum Reverse Buyer Seller Meet – “Indus Food- Edition 1” on 18th and 19th of January 2018 at India Exposition Centre, Greater Noida India.
  • Indus Food 2018 was the largest of its kind food export promotion event organised in India with over 320 plus Indian Food & Beverage Manufacturers and Exporters exhibiting and over 450 hosted buyers and over 75 global retail chains participated from more than 43 countries.
  • A total of US $650 million business was generated in this event in form of spot orders. Indus Food shall continue to be the most significant and vital platform for global food buyers to source, network & connect with Indian Food & Beverage industry with a large and diversified choice.

Housing & Urban Affairs

India and France sign an implementation agreement on “MOBILISE YOUR CITY” (MYC) MYC aims at supporting three pilot cities viz. Nagpur, Kochi and Ahmedabad for reduction of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions related to urban transport.

What

  • India and France have signed an implementation agreement on “MOBILISE YOUR CITY” (MYC)

Enlighten about MYC

  • Mobilise Your City (MYC) is part of an international initiative which is supported by the French and the German Governments and was launched at 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) meeting in December, 2015.
  • Based on a proposal made by AFD in 2015, the European Union has agreed to provide funds of Euro 3.5 million through the AFD to contribute to specific investments and technical assistance components within the Mobilise Your City (MYC) programme in India.
  • The MYC aims at supporting three pilot cities viz. Nagpur, Kochi and Ahmedabad in their efforts to reduce their Green House Gas (GHG) emissions related to urban transport by implementing urban mobility plans at local level and to help India at national level to improve their sustainable transport policy.
  • The three pilot cities selected under the programme as well as MoHUA will benefit from the Technical Assistance activities.

The main components of the proposed assistance are:

  • to support planning and implementation of sustainable urban transport projects,
  • support to strengthening institutional capacity for regulating, steering and planning urban mobility, and
  • learning and exchange formats with other cities across India for exchanges on best practices.

Sources – The Hindu , PIB , Indian express , vikaspedia