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Daily Current Affairs : 23-Dec-2019

Major Topics Covered :

  1. YEAR END REVIEW -2019 OF MINISTRY OF SKILL DEVELOPMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

  2. WINTER SOLSTICE

  3. MANUAL SCAVENGING

  4. EU GREEN DEAL

  5. NAGPUR RESOLUTION

  6. MANUEL MARRERO CRUZ APPOINTED AS CUBA'S FIRST PM IN MORE THAN 40 YEARS

  7. CAMBRIDGE FIVE

  8. PEREGRINE FALCON HAS FASTEST VISION SPEED

  9. ‘CORE CATCHER’ IN A NUCLEAR PLANT



YEAR END REVIEW -2019 OF MINISTRY OF SKILL DEVELOPMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news?


The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship is responsible for co-ordination of all skill development efforts across the country, removal of disconnect between demand and supply of skilled manpower, building the vocational and technical training framework, skill up-gradation, building of new skills, and innovative thinking not only for existing jobs but also jobs that are to be created.


Highlights:


National Skill Development Mission (NSDM) 


Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) formed in 2014 to give a fillip and focus to the skill development and entrepreneurship efforts in the country.

Because of the efforts under NSDM, more than One Crore youth are being imparted skills training annually under various programs of the Central Government.


Skill India Portal


A strong IT Platform, namely Skill India portal launched to converge the skilling data of various Central Ministries, State Governments, Private Training Providers and Corporates on a single platform.


This will now enable data driven decision making by the policymakers and help remove information asymmetry in the skilling ecosystem.


This will also be single touch point for the citizens of India to access skilling opportunities and seeking related services.


Industrial Training Centres (ITIs)


Expanded and modernized the existing Long-Term Training eco-system in India.

The total number of Industrial Training Centres (ITIs) increased by 12% from 11964 in 2014 to 14939 in 2018-19.


The trainee enrolment has increased by 37% from 16.90 Lakh to 23.08 Lakh during the period.


Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)


Launched the Flagship Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (1.0 & 2.0) in 2015 to provide free skill training avenues to youths of India.


Under the program about 87 Lakhs youth have been trained till date. Under the placement linked program under PMKVY 2016-19, more than 54% have been linked to employment.


SANKALP


SANKALP intends to set up Trainers and Assessors academies with self-sustainable models.


Additional training academies will also be set up under the scheme.


The focus will be on greater level of decentralization in skill planning through institutional strengthening at state level, that includes setting up of State Skill Development Missions (SSDMs) and allow the states to come up with State and District level Skill Development Plans.


It aims at improving the inclusion of marginalized communities including Persons with Disabilities (PwD), Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and also women for providing skill training opportunities.


A skilling ecosystem will be created, such that it will support the country climb up the ladder in the Ease of Doing Business Index.


STRIVE


STRIVE scheme aims at developing a powerful mechanism for delivering training for quality skill development by strengthening the institutions like National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), SSDMs, Sector Skill Councils etc.


By involving Industrial clusters, business association and Small Scale Industries, the scheme intends incentivize Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) to improve the overall performance.


Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK)

Hon’ble Members of Parliament for the respective parliamentary constituency and/or other representatives for their respective constituency.


Recognition of Prior Learning

  • There is the deepening of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

  • RPL program, under PMKVY 2016-19, was launched to recognize the prior skills acquired by Individuals.

  • Till date, more than 26 lakh people have been oriented under the RPL program of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).

  • Under the Best in Class Employer category of RPL, more than 11 lakh employees have been oriented into formal skilling with the assistance of companies.


RPL in Supreme Court

Training was spread over two days in which safety aspects, personal grooming, soft skills and few technical aspects were covered.


MoU with India Post Payments Bank

BFSI (Banking, Financial Services & Insurance) Sector Skill Council under MSDE has entered into a MoU with India Post Payments Bank to certify 1,70,000 Grameen DakSewaks under RPL Best in Class Employers.


Centre Accreditation

Significant creation of Short-term standardized skilling capacity through Centre Accreditation and Affiliation portal – SMART.


Skill Development in Jammu & Kashmir


A meeting held between officials of MSDE, Govt. of J&K, and State Skill Development Mission (JKSSDM) to discuss ways to ensure 100% coverage of all the eligible beneficiaries from J&K and the steps to be undertaken thereby for this.


Officials from various Organisations including NSDC, DJSS and various Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) were also present in the meeting.


To promote long term skilling, NSTI Jammu has been made operational. Trainers are being trained to impart NSQF LEVEL-6 training.


Skill Development in Leh


For better outreach of the skill training to all parts of the country, a NSTI extension centre was opened in Leh.


Ministry is taking all possible steps to create a precision trained workforce in the nation.


International Collaboration

Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship met officials from counterparts working in skill development across countries like Singapore, UAE, Japan, Canada, Australia to further build capacity for skilled workforce in the country, jointly work on transnational standards and bridging demand for skilled workforce in these countries by collaborating with them and supplying them with trained professionals.


PM-YUVA Yojana (Pradhan Mantri YuvaUdyamita Vikas Abhiyan)


Pradhan Mantri YUVA Yojana (YuvaUdyamita Vikas Abhiyan) is a is a centrally sponsored Scheme on entrepreneurship education and training being implemented by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India.


The Scheme aims at creating an enabling ecosystem for Entrepreneurship development through Entrepreneurship education and training; Advocacy and easy access to entrepreneurship support network and Promoting social enterprises for inclusive growth.


Source: PIB


WINTER SOLSTICE

Part of GS- 1 Geography


Why in news?

December 22, is Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. In Delhi, the Sun rose at 7.09 am, and will set at 5.29 pm, making the day 10 hours, 19 minutes, and 17 seconds long.


Highlights:

Winter Solstice - 22 December

Summer Solstice - 21 June

  • The Earth’s axis of rotation is tilted at an angle of 23.5 degrees away from the perpendicular.

  • This tilt - combined with factors such as Earth’s spin and orbit - leads to variations in the duration of Sunlight that any location on the planet receives on different days of the year.

  • The Earth’s North Pole points towards the North Star over an extended period, as the Earth moves around the Sun through the course of a year.

  • The Northern Hemisphere spends half the year tilted in the direction of the Sun, getting direct sunlight during long summer days.

  • During the other half of the year, it tilts away from the Sun, and the days are shorter.

  • Winter Solstice, December 21, is the day when the North Pole is most tilted away from the Sun.


Source: Indian Express


MANUAL SCAVENGING

Part of GS- 1 Social Issue


Why in news?

As many as 282 people have died while cleaning sewers and septic tanks in the country between 2016 and November 2019, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment said in a response to a question by Rajya Sabha MP Vandana Chavan.


Highlights:

  • Among the States, Tamil Nadu has recorded 40 deaths, the highest in number, in these four years.

  • This is followed by Haryana with 31 deaths, and Gujarat and Delhi with 30 deaths each.

  • Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh have recorded 27 deaths each in the same period.

  • In its response the Ministry stated that these figures are on the basis of FIRs filed by the respective State governments.

  • According to the data tabled in the Rajya Sabha, 50 deaths were reported in 2016, 83 in 2017, 66 in 2018 and 83 till November 2019.

  • Sanitation being a State subject, the people for cleaning of sewers and septic tanks are employed by local bodies.

  • States and Union Territories have been requested to ensure filing of FIRs and prosecution in all cases of employment of persons for hazardous cleaning of sewers as per the provisions of The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013.


Source: The Hindu


EU GREEN DEAL

Part of GS- 3 Environment


Why in news?

The European Union, whose 28 member countries are together the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world after China and the United States, came up with an announcement on additional measures it would on climate change. Called the European Green Deal.


Highlights:

  • Two major decisions are at the heart of the European Green Deal.

  • One is about achieving “climate neutrality”.

  • The EU has promised to bring a law, binding on all member countries, to ensure it becomes “climate neutral” by 2050.

  • Climate neutrality, sometimes also expressed as a state of net-zero emissions, is achieved when a country’s emissions are balanced by absorptions and removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

  • Absorption can be increased by creating more carbon sinks like forests, while removal involves technologies like carbon capture and storage.

  • The second decision pertains to an increase in its 2030 emission reduction target.

  • In its climate action plan declared under the Paris Agreement, the EU was committed to making a 40 per cent reduction in its emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

  • It is now promising to increase this reduction to at least 50 per cent and work towards 55 per cent.


Source: Indian Express


NAGPUR RESOLUTION

Part of GS- 2 Polity and Governance


Why in news?

The ‘Nagpur Resolution- A holistic approach for empowering citizens’ was adopted during the Valedictory session of the two-day Regional Conference on ‘Improving Public Service Delivery – Role of Governments’, in Nagpur, Maharashtra 22nd December, 2019.


Highlights:

  • This makes the positive approach, transparency, corruption-free system, fast track decision making and social sensitivity are essential to good governance.

  • ‘NAGPUR RESOLUTION: A HOLISTIC APPROACH FOR EMPOWERING CITIZENS’

  • The Conference unanimously adopted the ‘Nagpur Resolution: A Holistic Approach for Empowering Citizens’ outlined below after intensive deliberations during the sessions held over two days.

  • The Conference resolved that Government of India, the Government of Maharashtra, the Maharashtra State Commission for Right to Public Services and the participating State Governments shall collaborate to:

  • To empower the citizens by policy interventions for better service delivery through timely updation of citizens charters, implementation of enactments and benchmarking standards for continuous improvement;

  • To empower citizens by adopting a bottom-up approach to bring massive improvements in quality of grievance redressal and reduction in timelines of grievance redressal;

  • To adopt a holistic approach of systemic public grievance reforms through improved mapping, formulation of monitoring matrix, data collection and evaluation in quality of grievance redressal;

  • To provide an enabling environment for States and Ministries/ Departments of the Government of India for creating web portals and to adopt a holistic approach for improved service delivery through digital platforms;

  • To focus on dynamic policy making and strategic decisions, monitoring of implementation, appointment of key personnel, coordination and evaluation;

  • To achieve a sense of common identity by exchange of technical expertise in the areas of Improved Service Delivery between the paired States under the Ek Bharat – Shresht Bharat Program;

  • To work towards long-term engagements in the areas of Improved Service Delivery for Empowering Citizens through greater cooperation between the DARPG and the participating States and,

  • To ensure timely publication of Good Governance Index to identify the quality of governance in 10 sectors especially those pertaining to welfare and infrastructure at the Union, State and District levels.


Source: PIB


MANUEL MARRERO CRUZ APPOINTED AS CUBA'S FIRST PM IN MORE THAN 40 YEARS

Why in news?

@MMarreroCruzIn Cuba, President Miguel Díaz-Canel has appointed Manuel Marrero Cruz as the country's first prime minister in more than 40 years.


Highlights:

  • It was reinstated under the rules of a new constitution for the communist-run island passed earlier this year.

  • Marrero, who has served as tourism minister for 16 years and is an architect by trade, helped boost Cuba's economy by making tourism one of the engines of growth. The post of prime minister was scrapped in 1976 by the then-revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.

  • On the other hand, critics say any such changes are purely cosmetic as the Cuban Communist Party and the military remain the only two real decision-making institutions in the country.


Source: AIR


CAMBRIDGE FIVE

Part of GS- 3 Security


Why in news?


Russia honoured two members of the British “Cambridge Five” spy ring that passed information to the Soviet Union during World War II.


The two members, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean were honoured with a memorial plaque and a tribute from the head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service.


Highlights:

  • The memorial plaque was unveiled on the day that Russia celebrates the work of its security forces.

  • It was attached to the wall of the building where they lived between 1952-1955 in the city of Samara, Kuibyshev, Reuters reported.

IUCN: Least Concern


Who were the Cambridge Five?


The Cambridge Five was a KGB group of British spies who passed information to the Soviet Union during World War II and the early stages of the Cold War.


The group comprised Donald Maclean (1913-83), Guy Burgess (1911-63), Harold ‘Kim’ Philby (1912-88) and Anthony Blunt (1907-83).


While studying at Cambridge University, Burgess, Maclean, Philby and Blunt developed ideas and notions against capitalist democracy and recruited by the KGB. In fact, Burgess began supplying information to the Soviet Union during the time he was a BBC correspondent between 1936 and 1938. Subsequently, he was a member of the MI6 from 1938-1941, and a member of the British Foreign Service from 1944.


According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, in 1951, when Burgess was about to be dismissed from the British Foreign Service, he learned of a counterintelligence investigation by British and US agencies that was about to close in on him and Maclean.


To avoid being prosecuted, both men fled England after which their whereabouts were unknown till about 1956, when they held a press conference to announce that they were living as communists in Moscow.


Source: Indian Express


PEREGRINE FALCON HAS FASTEST VISION SPEED

Part of GS- 3 Environment


Why in news?

The peregrine falcon, one of the world's most common predatory birds, has the fastest vision in the animal kingdom, and can register nearly 130 frames per second, according to a study.


Highlights:


The peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), also known as the peregrineand historically as the duck hawk in North America.


According to the study, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, the peregrine falcon has the fastest vision, registering 129 Hz (blinks per second) in a high light intensity environment.


Under the same conditions, the saker falcon can see 102 Hz and the Harris's hawk 77 Hz, the study noted.


This is the first-time scientists have studied the speed of vision among birds of prey, calculating how fast they sense visual impressions.


Extremely acute vision, and the ability to rapidly process different visual impressions are crucial for a peregrine falcon as it dives down on its prey at the speed of a Formula One racing car - over 350 kilometers per hour, according to the researchers.

Protection:


Source: Indian Express


‘CORE CATCHER’ IN A NUCLEAR PLANT

Part of GS- 3 S&T


Why in news?


On December 21, the Moscow-based Rosatom State Corporation Engineering Division said that it had installed a core melt localisation device (CMLD) or “core catcher” at Unit 3 of Tamil Nadu’s Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP).


Highlights:


Molten core material, or corium, is lava-like material that gets formed in the core of a nuclear reactor in the event of a meltdown accident.


Core melt localisation device (CMLD) or a core catcher device is designed to localise and cool the molten core material in case of a meltdown accident.


The core catcher is filled with a ceramic mixture also including ferric oxide and aluminium oxide, called ‘sacrificial material’.


Such an accident occurs when the nuclear fission reaction taking place inside a reactor is not sufficiently cooled, and the build up of heat causes fuel rods to melt down.


The corium so formed can remain radioactive for several decades, even centuries.

The sacrificial material prevents the corium from trickling through and also acts as a cooling mechanism.


The core catcher device is installed at the bottom of the nuclear station’s protective shell, and is designed to save the latter as well as exude radioactive emission in the environment in case of a serious accident, according to the press release.


Source: Indian Express

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