Daily Current Affairs : 11-Feb-2020

Major Topics Covered :

  1. GODAVARI AND KAVERI RIVER LINKING PROJECT

  2. WEB PORTAL FOR STAR RATING OF COAL MINES

  3. SuperCam

  4. INDIAN STUDENTS FOR PURSUING HIGHER STUDIES ABROAD

  5. STEEL IMPORTS

  6. 'E-CREDENTIALS/E-CERTIFICATES'- ESCS

  7. NATIONAL DEWORMING DAY (NDD)- MoHFW

  8. 1.36 CRORE INDIAN NATIONALS LIVING ABROAD


GODAVARI AND KAVERI RIVER LINKING PROJECT

Part of GS- 1 Geography


Why in news?

  • The draft Detailed Project Report (DPR) of Godavari (Inchampalli / Janampet) – Cauvery (Grand Anicut) link project consisting of 3 links viz., Godavari (Inchampalli/Janampet) - Krishna (Nagarjunasagar), Krishna (Nagarjunasagar) - Pennar (Somasila) and Pennar (Somasila) – Cauvery (Grand Anicut) link projects has been completed by National Water Development Agency (NWDA) and sent to party States in March 2019.

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Highlights:

  • Godavari River to Nagarjunsagar dam (through lifting) and further south for meeting the demands of Krishna, Pennar and Cauvery basins.

  • As per the draft DPR, the cost of the project has been estimated as Rs.60361 Crore at 2018-19 price level by NWDA.

  • The stage of implementation of a project would be reached after DPR is prepared with the consensus of concerned States and the requisite statutory clearances are obtained.

  • Pooling of resources is decided after completion of final DPR.


GODAVARI RIVER

  • The Godavari is the largest river system of the Peninsular India and is revered as Dakshina Ganga.

  • The Godavari basin extends over states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha in addition to smaller parts in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Union territory of Puducherry (Yanam) having a total area of ~ 3 lakh Sq.km.

  • The basin is bounded by Satmala hills, the Ajanta range and the Mahadeo hills on the north, by the Eastern Ghats on the south and the east and by the Western Ghats on the west.

  • The Godavari River rises from Trimbakeshwar in the Nashik district of Maharashtra about 80 km from the Arabian Sea at an elevation of 1,067 m.

  • The total length of Godavari from its origin to outfall into the Bay of Bengal is 1,465 km.


TRIBUTARIES

  • The left bank tributaries are more in number and larger in size than the right bank tributaries.

  • The Manjra (724 km) is the only important right bank tributary. It joins the Godavari after passing through the Nizam Sagar.

  • Left Bank Tributaries: Dharna, Penganga, Wainganga, Wardha, Pranahita [conveying the combined waters of Penganga, the Wardha and Wainganga], Pench, Kanhan, Sabari, Indravati etc.

  • Right Bank Tributaries: Pravara, Mula, Manjra, Peddavagu, Maner etc.

  • Below Rajahmundry, the river divides itself into two main streams, the Gautami Godavari on the east and the Vashishta Godavari on the west and forms a large delta before it pours into the Bay of Bengal.

  • The delta of the Godavari is of lobate type with a round bulge and many distributaries.


CAUVERY RIVER

  • The Kaveri (Cauvery) is designated as the ‘Dakshina Ganga’ or ‘the Ganga of the South’.

  • The Cauvery River rises at an elevation of 1,341 m at Talakaveri on the Brahmagiri range near Cherangala village of Kodagu (Coorg) district of Karnataka.

  • The total length of the river from origin to outfall is 800 km.

  • The Cauvery basin extends over states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Union Territory of Puducherry draining an area of 81 thousand Sq.km.


TRIBUTARIES

  • Left Bank: the Harangi, the Hemavati, the Shimsha and the Arkavati.

  • Right Bank: Lakshmantirtha, the Kabbani, the Suvarnavati, the Bhavani, the Noyil and the Amaravati joins from right.

Source: PIB



WEB PORTAL FOR STAR RATING OF COAL MINES

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news?

  • Union Minister for Coal & Mines Shri Pralhad Joshi launched this portal in New Delhi which enables all operational coal mines across India for self-rating, their subsequent validation by Coal Controller’s Organization (CCO), further evaluation and finally award of star rating.


Highlights:

  • In order to promote green, safe and sustainable mining practices using technology as a tool, Ministry of Coal (MoC) has launched a web portal for star rating of coal mines.

  • Based on the star ratings obtained through a well-defined mechanism on this web portal, the highest scoring mines in the country will be awarded in a public ceremony.

  • Besides, all the mines will be given an official certificate by the CCO mentioning their star rating and the particular reporting year.

  • The mines that score from

  • 91 to 100% will get 5 star,

  • 81 to 90% 4 star,

  • 71 to 80% 3 star,

  • 61 to 70% 2 star,

  • 41 to 60% 1 star and

  • mines that score from 0 to 40% will get No star

  • On the portal as per laid down procedures of the Star Rating Policy for Coal Mines in India.

  • The portal will provide a login to each coal mine for self-evaluation along with necessary documents for testimonials.

  • The field offices of CCO will be provided a separate login to the web portal through which they can access the submissions of self-evaluation.

  • A validation committee constituted through CCO will put the final remarks based on the laid down policy and finally the star rating will be recorded on the portal.

Source: PIB



SuperCam

Part of GS- 3 S&T


Why in news?

  • In its mission to Mars this summer, NASA is sending a new laser-toting robot as one of seven instruments aboard the Mars 2020 rover. Called SuperCam, the robot is used for studying mineralogy and chemistry from up to about 7 metres away.

Highlights:

  • It might help scientists find signs of fossilised microbial life on Mars.

  • SuperCam packs what would typically require several sizable pieces of equipment into something no bigger than a cereal box.

  • It fires a pulsed laser beam out of the rover’s mast to vaporise small portions of rock from a distance, providing information that will be essential to the mission’s success.

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NASA lists five things to know

  • From more than 7 m away, SuperCam can fire a laser to study rock targets smaller than a pencil point. That lets the rover study spots it can’t reach with its arm.

  • SuperCam looks at rock textures and chemicals to find those that formed or changed in water on Mars long ago.

  • SuperCam looks at different rock and “soil” types to find ones that could preserve signs of past microbial life on Mars — if any ever existed.

  • For the benefit of future explorers, SuperCam identifies which elements in the Martian dust may be harmful to humans.

  • Scientists can learn about how atmospheric molecules, water ice, and dust absorb or reflect solar radiation. This helps predict Martian weather better.

Source: Indian Express



INDIAN STUDENTS FOR PURSUING HIGHER STUDIES ABROAD

Part of GS- Education


Why in news?

  • The information was given by the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on 10th February, 2020.


Highlights:


National Overseas Scholarship for Scheduled Caste Students:

  • The scheme is implemented by the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment under which financial assistance is provided to the meritorious Scheduled Caste students for pursuing Master level courses and Ph.D. in foreign universities/institution accredited by the concerned country.


National Overseas Scholarship for Scheduled Tribe Students:

  • The scheme is implemented by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs where in financial assistance is provided to the meritorious Scheduled Tribe students for pursing Master level courses, Ph.D. and Post Doctoral programme in foreign Universities in the field of engineering, technology and science. The family income ceiling for availing is 6 lac per annum.


Overseas Doctoral Fellowship Programme:

  • The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a Statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology launched an Overseas Doctoral Fellowship Program with specific Universities to build national capacity where the talent supply of researchers in areas of interest to the country is sub-critical. Fellowship of US $24,000/- per annum is provided for a period of 4 year to selected fellows for undertaking doctoral studies. In addition, one-time Contingency/Preparatory allowance of Rs. 60,000/- and return Airfare (Economy) is given to the fellows.

  • All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in collaboration with ‘Mathematics of Information Technology and Computer Systems (MITACS)’

  • Provides a platform from 2018 to the students of AICTE approved institutions to undergo Internship in Canadian Universities through its scheme ‘Sending Students Abroad for Research Internships’.

  • University Grants Commission (UGC) has informed that as per the Education Exchange Programme between India and Hungary, the Hungarian Govt.

  • Offers 200 scholarships to Indian students for pursuing Higher education in Hungarian Higher education institutions.

  • Under the Cultural and Educational exchange programme,

  • countries namely, Italy, Mexico, Israel, China, South Korea, Hungary, Commonwealth Scholarship (New Zealand) and Commonwealth Scholarship (UK) are offering scholarship in their respective countries for the Indian students for higher education.  Ministry of Human Resource Development facilitates the nomination process for these scholarships.

Source: PIB



STEEL IMPORTS

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news?

  • This information was given by the Union Minister for Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.


Highlights:


In order to minimize import of steel, the Government has taken following measures:

  • Domestically Manufactured Iron and Steel Products Policy (DMI&SP) has been notified with an objective to encourage consumption of domestically produced steel by Government organisations.

  • To meet the domestic demand for high performance steel, the Government, is facilitating R&D in the sector through the establishment of Steel Research and Technology Mission of India (SRTMI).

  • The Ministry is addressing the issue of quality of steel products that are produced as well as block import of sub-standard steel. It has notified Steel and Steel Products Quality Control (QC) Orders.

  • To prevent import due to unfair trade, the government has imposed Anti-Dumping Duty on a number of steel products imports.

  • To reduce dependence on imported steel scrap, the government has notified the Steel Scrap Recycling Policy.

  • The Government has recently introduced Steel Imports Monitoring System (SIMS) to monitor steel imports.

Source: PIB



'E-CREDENTIALS/E-CERTIFICATES'- ESCS

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news?

  • The Government is developing the Electronic Skill Credential Standard (ESCS) Specification.


Highlights:

  • Directorate General of Training (DGT), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship proposes to issue digital ‘e-Credentials / e-Certificates' which are freely portable for candidates and easily verifiable at scale by employers and job matching platforms but continue to allow print and other visual forms for human consumption.

  • This would enable candidates to verifiably state their skill levels with a high degree of trust in authenticity to aggregators, matchers, and employers.

  • Now in the DGT ecosystem, all the certificates are ‘e-Certificates’, digitally signed.

  • e-Credentials are an electronic scheme-based standard for describing credentials data in a machine-readable format (JSON-LDrepresentation of RDFa- Resource Description Framework, a web standard) along with its printable human-friendly version to make credential exchange between digital agents open and reliable.

  • Certificates issued according to this specification can be aligned to one or more educational standards.

  • They are secured using digital signatures. These will also be pushed in DigiLocker.

Source: PIB



NATIONAL DEWORMING DAY (NDD)- MoHFW

Part of GS- Health


Why in news?

  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) conducted the tenth round of National Deworming Day (NDD), today


Highlights:

  • As part of this campaign, children and adolescents aged 1-19 years are being administered Albendazole (400 mg) across government, government-aided schools, anganwadis, private schools and other educational institutions.

  • The NDD is implemented with an objective to reduce the prevalence of Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH), commonly called the parasitic intestinal worms, among all children and adolescents. Infections with the main STH – roundworm, whipworm and hookworms – contribute to 50.1 lakh disability adjusted life-years (DALYs) worldwide (WHO, 2010).

  • One DALY can be thought of as one lost "healthy" year from a life.

  • In India, over 22 crore children under 14 years are at risk of STH infections (WHO, 2017).

  • Launched in 2015, the NDD is the largest public health program implemented on a single day reaching crores of children and adolescents through two NDD rounds every year.

  • This year today, 19 states took up activities to reach 9.35 crore of the target population.

  • NDD will be observed in 34 States/UTs over the next weeks and is expected to reach an estimated 30 crore of the target population.

Source: PIB



1.36 CRORE INDIAN NATIONALS LIVING ABROAD

Part of GS- 2 IR


Why in news?

  • There are over 1.36 crore Indian nationals living abroad, according to data tabled by the Ministry of External Affairs in Lok Sabha.


Highlights:

  • The highest number of Indians abroad are living in the United Arab Emirates, where the 34,20,000 Indians comprise about one-fourth of all Indians abroad.

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  • The UAE is followed by Saudi Arabia (25,94,947), the US (12,80,000), Kuwait (10,29,861), Oman (7,79,351), Qatar (7,56,062), Nepal (5,00,000), UK (3,51,000), Singapore (3,50,000) and Bahrain (3,23,292).

  • During 2018-2019, $76.4 billion was received as remittances from Indians abroad.

  • During 2019-2020 (April-September), $41.9 billion was received.

Source: Indian Express

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