• Admin

Daily Current Affairs : 24-Dec-2019

Major Topics Covered :

  1. MORTH AMENDS MV RULES MANDATING ADHERENCE TO AIS-155 TO ENHANCE VEHICULAR SECURITY

  2. FIRST ANNUAL MEET OF STATE NODAL AGENCIES FOR ECOCLUB PROGRAMME CONDUCTED

  3. EZHUTHACHAN PURASKARAM

  4. INDIA, IRAN SATISFIED WITH PROGRESS OF CHABAHAR PORT

  5. URBAN INDIA DECLARED OPEN DEFECATION FREE

  6. YEAR END REVIEW 2019 MINISTRY OF AYUSH

  7. UNION HOME MINISTER DELIVERS 32ND INTELLIGENCE BUREAU (IB) CENTENARY ENDOWMENT LECTURE

  8. ABOUT 35 LAKH PASSENGERS FLOWN UNDER RCS-UDAN SCHEME TILL DATE

  9. PERIYAR, THE HERO OF VAIKOM

  10. QUICK REACTION SURFACE TO AIR MISSILE SUCCESSFULLY FLIGHT-TESTED OFF ODISHA COAST

  11. UDAY SCHEME LOSES POWER

  12. BAR-HEADED GOOSE SPOTTED NEAR PANDALAM

  13. MENTAL DISORDERS



MORTH AMENDS MV RULES MANDATING ADHERENCE TO AIS-155 TO ENHANCE VEHICULAR SECURITY

Part of GS-3 S&T


Why in news?


The Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has notified GSR935 (E) dated 18th December,2019 regarding to Automotive Industry Standards (AIS)-155 in respect of Microdot identifiers if affixed on the motor vehicles and their parts, components, assemblies, sub-assemblies through amendment in Rule 92 of the Central Motor vehicles (Fourteenth Amendment) Rules1989.


Highlights:

  • Microdots will enhance the security of vehicles.

  • As per a new notification, “ The Manufacturers who are affixing microdot identifiers in the motor vehicles and their parts, components, assemblies, sub-assemblies shall conform to Automotive Industry Standards (AIS)-155 as amended from time to time.”

  • The Central Motor vehicles (Fourteenth Amendment) Rules, 2019 comes into force on the date of publication in the Official Gazette.

  • The draft rules to amend the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 were published, vide notification of the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary dated the 24th day of July,2019, inviting objections and suggestions from all persons likely to be affected thereby.

  • The objections and suggestions received in respect of the said draft rules have been duly considered by the Central Government; before notifying the amendments.


Source: PIB


FIRST ANNUAL MEET OF STATE NODAL AGENCIES FOR ECOCLUB PROGRAMME CONDUCTED

Part of GS- 3 Environment


Why in news?


In a first, Annual Meet of the State Nodal Agencies implementing the National Green Corps ‘Ecoclub’ programme of the Ministry of the Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), organized by the Ministry’s Environment Education Division, in collaboration with the GEER Foundation, Gujarat was held from 20th to 21st December 2019 in Kevadia, Gujarat.


Highlights:


Senior officers from 22 States and UTs implementing the programme alongwith about 200 Ecoclub students from Gujarat participated. An exhibition also showcased the projects, resource material, handicrafts items etc. prepared by the Ecoclub students across the States/UTs. The event witnessed a huge footfall, even of other tourists and visitors.


Environment Education Awareness and Training (EEAT) is an established central sector scheme of the Ministry continuing since 1983-84 and aims to promote environmental awareness and mobilize student’s participation for environment conservation.


Under the scheme, National Green Corps (NGC) ‘Ecoclub’ programme was initiated in 2001-2002 with the objective to impart knowledge to school children through hands on experience, about their immediate environment, interactions within it and the problems therein. The programme aims to inculcate proper attitude towards environment and sensitize children on issues related to environment and development.


The publication developed by the Environment Education Division for the Ecoclub students were released namely ‘Glimpses of Ecoclubs’, Handbook on International Environment Conventions and Programmes and Handbook on Important Days of Environmental significance.


The scheme is continuing to build young cadres of students and trigger their sensitivity towards environment protection and conservation. It is envisaged that number of Ecoclubs shall be enhanced from about 1.5 lakh at present to 2 lakh in the ensuing year 2020-21.


Source: PIB


EZHUTHACHAN PURASKARAM

Part of GS-Award


Why in news?

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan presented the Ezhuthachan Award for the year 2019 to writer Anand (P. Sachidanandan) at Thiruvananthapuram. The author has penned novels such as Aalkootam, Maranacertificate and Marubhoomikal Undakunnathu.


Highlights:

  • It consists of a cash prize of ₹5 lakh.

  • The award was instituted in 1993.

  • The Ezhuthachan Puraskaram is the highest literary honour that is given by the Kerala Sahitya Akademi, Government of Kerala.

  • The award is named after Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan, the father of the Malayalam language.


Source : The Hindu


INDIA, IRAN SATISFIED WITH PROGRESS OF CHABAHAR PORT

Part of GS-2 IR


Why in news?

India and Iran have expressed satisfaction at the progress achieved in the operationalization of the Shahid Beheshti Port, Chabahar.


Highlights:

  • External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar and the Foreign Minister of Iran Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif recognized that it has a potential to act as a gateway between the Indian subcontinent, Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia and Europe.

  • They also welcomed the utilization of the port for exports from Afghanistan and discussed ways to promote it for enhancing wider regional connectivity for trade and transit.

  • The 19th session of the India-Iran Joint Commission was held in Tehran yesterday.


Source: AIR


URBAN INDIA DECLARED OPEN DEFECATION FREE

Part of GS-1 Social Issue


Why in news?

Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban has achieved its target of creating Urban India Open Defecation Free.


Highlights:

  • Urban areas of 35 states and Union Territories have become ODF.

  • In all, 4,320 cities out of 4,372 have declared themselves ODF, of which 4,167 cities have been certified through third-party verification.

  • This has been achieved by the construction of nearly 65.81 lakh individual household toilets against Mission target of 59 lakhs and 5.89 lakh seats of public toilets against Mission target of 5.08 lakh seats.


Source: AIR


YEAR END REVIEW 2019 MINISTRY OF AYUSH

Part of GS- Health


Why in news?

In the fifth year of its inception, the Ministry of AYUSH embarked on the drive to consolidate the gains made in the direction of popularizing the alternative system of medicine and prepare a robust and all-encompassing structure for the same.


Highlights:

AYUSH

  • The Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM) is the main vehicle for promoting access to AYUSH Healthcare.

  • The Central Councils of Research dedicated to Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, which are Autonomous Bodies making under the Ministry continued to be the mainstay of AYUSH Research.

  • The Central Research Councils of Ayurveda, Unani, Homoeopathy and Siddha together validated 140 classical medicines for 70 conditions during this period, by generating evidence on clinical safety and efficacy.

  • In a development with huge potential impact for future, the Scheme for Integrated Health Research (SIHR) has been drawn up in collaboration with NITI Aayog and Invest India (AGNI Platform).

  • This will address the untapped potential of integration AYUSH Systems with modern medicine and addressing Public Health challenges through evidence based integrative practices.

  • For inclusion of AYUSH insurance packages under Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), the proposal of 19 Ayurveda, Siddha & Unani and 14 Yoga & Naturopathy treatment packages has been forwarded to National Health Authority (NHA).

Nisar gopachar Mahaotsav


  • The National Institute of Naturopathy (NIN), Pune utilized the occasion of celebration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi to reach out to the public with Naturopathy therapies and practices which were close to the Mahatma’s heart.

  • NIN has taken up a programme to conduct 150 Naturopathy Camps under the theme “NisargopacharMahaotsav”, which will be carried out across India for one year starting from 2nd October 2019.

  • The first among these camps were conducted in Goa during 30th September to 2nd October, 2019 in which nearly 5000 people participated, and gained from Naturopathy treatment.

  • In order to energise secondary/tertiary health care through AYUSH, the Ministry of AYUSH is supporting the efforts of State/UT Governments for setting up of 50 bedded integrated AYUSH hospitals in the country.

Sowa-Rigpa in Leh


  • Approval has been granted for the establishment of the National Institute for Sowa-Rigpa in Leh is an important step in reviving the tradition of Sow Rigpa and making it accessible to larger sections of the population.

  • Sowa-Rigpa is a Traditional Medical system of the Himalayan belt in India. It has been popularly practiced in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling (West Bengal), Himachal Pradesh and Union Territory of Ladakh.

  • The setting up of the National Institute of Sowa-Rigpa will provide an impetus for the revival of Sowa-Rigpa in the entire Indian Sub-continent.

Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga


The Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY), Ministry of AYUSH in association with Prison Headquarters, Central Jail, Tihar, New Delhi conducted IDY Yoga Training at Tihar Jail for the observation of International Day of Yoga, 2019 where more than 16,000 Jail inmates received detailed Yoga Training based on the Common Yoga Protocol.


AYUSH Education:


  • The Ministry succeeded in steering the AYUSH education sector along a path of growth and modernisation during 2019.

  • Comprehensive implementation of the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) for admission into Undergraduate Courses in all Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy Educational Institutions was an achievement that will have long-lasting impact on the quality of AYUSH education in the country.


10 National Institutes

  • The 10 National Institutes functioning under the Ministry of AYUSH are of special significance as they serve to set benchmarks for education in their respective disciplines.

  • These National Institutes had an extremely productive year, and have come up with some significant achievements. The upgradation of National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA), Jaipur is under way.


Ancient practice of Varmam


The National Institute of Siddha (NIS), Chennai has taken some steps to promote and revive the ancient practice of Varmam.


A National Conference on History of Varmam Science in Siddha system of medicine and exploring its therapeutic values was held in August 2019, with tremendous response from the public and doctors.


Varmam is found effective for many neurological, degenerative and orthopedic conditions. NIS also compiled a “Text Book of Varmam Science” containing comprehensive information on Varmam practice.


Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian

The Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H), Ghaziabad, an autonomous organization under the Ministry of AYUSH, continued its efforts to refine the AYUSH Pharmacopoeias.


Guduchi: “Amrita for Life”

Under the species-specific campaign on Guduchi, called “Amrita for Life” projects were sanctioned on propagation of this plant which has immense ability to improve the immune system and the body resistance against infection.


Globalisation of AYUSH Systems:


The BIMSTEC nations with whom India shares excellent political and social equations have agreed to jointly set up a BIMSTEC University of Ayurveda and Traditional Medicine in India. On behalf of the Ministry of AYUSH, AIIA hosted the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) workshop on Traditional and Complementary Medicine on 22nd October 2019.


In another landmark development, the world’s two largest Traditional Medicine Administrations collaborated for the benefit of the people of the two countries by signing the MoU between India and China on 12th August 2019.


AYUSH Grid Project

  • The Ministry was able to implement many significant steps during this year in harnessing IT for transformation of the Sector. These include:

  • The newly implemented AYUSH-Health Information System has been up-scaled to cover all the Units of the Central Research Councils.

  • An MoU with Ministry of Electronics &IT for comprehensive support in IT Projects was signed, and under it, BISAG Ahmedabad and NeGD New Delhi have started supporting the Ministry’s IT projects.

  • A Monitoring Dashboard broadly covering all activities of the Ministry has been set up.

  • Portals dedicated to IDY 2019 and Pharmacopia Commission.

  • Standardised Terminologies for Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani systems, have been finalised, facilitating their future inclusion in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) of the WHO were codified. This would further pave the way for the globalisation of these systems.

  • Launched Yogalocator mobile app to support the public in finding nearby locations for Yoga training,


Source: PIB


UNION HOME MINISTER DELIVERS 32ND INTELLIGENCE BUREAU (IB) CENTENARY ENDOWMENT LECTURE

Part of GS-3 Security


Why in news?

IB is the 'Brain' of the National Security apparatus; they have always helped to ensure Zero Tolerance to Terrorism and Naxalism: Shri Amit Shah



Highlights:


  • Union Home Minister emphasizes on the need of coordination between different security and intelligence agencies and co-opting professional experts in specific fields of National Security

  • Listing out national security challenges in the coming years, especially against the backdrop of the Nation's aim of becoming a $5 trillion economy, Shri Shah accorded special focus on securing our land and maritime borders.

  • Encouraging the personnel to identify solutions to these challenges and look for new ways to counter them, he asked them to change their approach to be more effective.

  • Calling IB as the 'brain' of the national security apparatus, the Home Minister said that they have always helped to ensure Zero Tolerance to Terrorism and Naxalism.

  • In this context, he pointed to the interlinked challenges of human and weapons trafficking, cross-border infiltration, fake Indian currency notes (FICN), hawala transactions, drug trafficking as well as Cyber threats.

  • Emphasising on the need for a special initiative to tackle these challenges, he stressed on the need to co-opt professional experts in specific fields, like Cyber Security.


Source: PIB


ABOUT 35 LAKH PASSENGERS FLOWN UNDER RCS-UDAN SCHEME TILL DATE

Part of GS-3 Economy


Why in news?

Aviation jobs portal launched, Country’s tallest Air traffic control tower inaugurated, New Airports at Hindon & Kalaburagi operationalised, Air traffic flow Management control and command center operationalized, Approval granted for leasing out 6 AAI airports on PPP, 85 airports now single use plastic free airports


Highlights:

UDAN-RCS

  • 134 routes commenced from 1.1.2019 to 10.12.2019

  • 10 Airports operationalized in 2019 (till 07.12.2019) out of which 4 airports are underserved and 6 airports are unserved.

  • Underserved – Lilabari, Belgaum, Pantnagar& Durgapur.

  • Unserved –Kullu, Kalaburgi, Kannar, Dimapur, Hindon&Pithoragarh.

  • 335 routes awarded during the year 2019 covering 33 airports (20 unserved, 3 underserved, 10 water aerodromes).

  • Belgaum, Prayagraj, Kishangarh, Hubli&Jharsuguda are the busiest airports commenced under UDAN


Air Traffic Flow Management Control and Command Center (ATFM-CCC)


New Air Traffic Flow Management Control and Command Center (ATFM-CCC) with state of art displays has been operationalized at Vasant Kunj, New Delhi in June, 2019.ATFM Implementation - Nationwide Central Air Traffic Flow Management [ATFM] system operational since 2017. The Central Command Center (CCC) has become operational from Vasant Kunj premises from 22nd June 2019.


CNS/ATM modernization roadmap for India


In May 2019, Boeing and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) have signed a technical assistance agreement for developing a comprehensive 10- year Communication,


Navigation and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) modernization roadmap for India.


The objective of the agreement is to develop a roadmap for AAI to use as guidance in the modernization of the Indian National Airspace System (NAS) based on global and local best practices to optimally utilize airspace capacity, enhance communications and invest in navigation, surveillance and air traffic management.


This 18- month project will be undertaken with a grant from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).


AAI has formed a Technical Working Group (TWG) comprising of nominated members from Airlines, Airport Operators, DGCA, IAF, IMD and AAI officers to jointly work with Boeing experts during the project.


Airports - AAI airports awarded ‘in principle’ on PPP –


'In principle' approval for leasing out of 6 airports of AAI i.e. Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram, Lucknow and Mangaluru through Public Private Partnership (PPP). Letter of Award has been issued on 15.07.2019 in respect of three airports viz. Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru to the highest bidder for a period of 50 years. Thiruvananthapuram, Guwahati and Jaipur airports are yet to be awarded.


The proposal for leasing of next round of airports viz. Bhubaneswar, Varanasi, Indore, Amritsar, Raipur and Trichy Airports through PPP got recommended by AAI Board for which Transaction Advisor is being finalized.


AAI’s Futuristic Telecommunications Infrastructure initiative


The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has awarded M/s Harris, USA, a 15-year, Rs. 945 Crores contract on Build Own Operate (BOO) Model to serve as the prime contractor and systems integrator for AAI’s Futuristic Telecommunications Infrastructure initiative. airports


DIGITAL INITIATIVES:


eGCA

The function & process of DGCA is being moved to an online platform to provide faster delivery of services & regulation oversight. The first module on pilot licensing shall be launched in December 2019.


DigiSky

DigiSky online portal has been launched for flying Civil Drones. The Beta version of DigiSky is available and captures the entire gamut of activities relating to drones viz. registration of drones and pilots, approval of flight path, post flight analysis etc. based on the distinctive features of No Permission No Take off (NPNT).


E-sahaj

100% security clearances pertaining to the Ministry have been made online on E-sahaj online portal launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The portal is operational for granting clearances in respect of 24 categories.


DigiYatra

Trial for rollout of DigiYatra has been started at Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports. It envisages seamless and hassle free passenger travel using biometric technologies to improve passenger experience, reduce queue waiting time as passengers can walk through e-gates. It will remove redundancies at check points and enhance resource utilization.


Dashboard of MoCA

The Dashboard of Ministry of Civil Aviation was developed on17 August 2019. It provides real-time data across a number of parameters on air transportation, including RCS-UDAN.


Aviation Job Portal (https://aviationjobs.co.in)

A unique web-based portal, which seeks to bring together job seekers and prospective employers in the Indian civil aviation sector.


Air Sewa

An initiative by MoCA to bring all aviation stakeholders to a common platform so as to address the grievances of the air travellers. The status of the issues raised can be tracked online. The platform also provides updated flight status and is linked to social media.


Lost & Found online portal (https://www.aai.aero/en/lost-found/item-list)

Lost & Found online portal has been commissioned in June 2019 to ease out the passenger claiming process for Lost & found Property.


Tallest ATC tower


Delhi Air Traffic Service Complex (DATS- Complex) - country’s tallest Air Traffic Control tower has been inaugurated on 02.09.2019 at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. This iconic infrastructure will ensure up-scaled services and systems for efficient, smooth and uninterrupted air traffic management.


Construction of Hindon and Kalaburagi Airport –

New airports built at Hindon, Ghaziabad (U.P.) and Kalaburagi, Karnataka and made operational.


Robust growth in Aviation Fleet –

Aviation sector has seen a robust growth despite grounding of Jet Airways. After discontinuance of operations of Jet Airways, major scheduled airlines were operating 529 aircrafts. The total number of operational aircraft of major scheduled airlines is 624 which is more than the aircraft operational at the time of when Jet was functional.


Amendments in the AERA ACT, 2008

Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008 has been amended, now the threshold annual passenger traffic criteria for classifying ‘major airport’ is ‘three and half million’.


Security component of ASF rationalized –

Aviation Security Fee (ASF), charged as a part of passenger fare, has been rationalized and a National Trust has been created to pool all the ASF collections across airports. The trust is to be managed by AAI. The collection of ASF in a single pool account will serve the purpose of cross subsidizing the smaller airports of AAI.


Inflight WiFi Connectivity –

Inflight WiFi connectivity standards have been established and necessary security requirements worked out.


Ban of Single use Plastic –

Airports Authority of India has declared 85 airports as Single Use Plastic Free airports. Air India is in process of procuring items made of alternate material as a substitute for various plastic inflight catering items.


The CAP Directorate of AAI, which was established in 2017, has been nominated as Nodal Point for coordination with DGCA on licencing issues and implementation of licencing of controllers of AAI. Since examination and assessment tasks in respect of controllers are complex and require a high level of experience and expertise in the area of air traffic control, these tasks have been delegated to AAI under the oversight of DGCA. These high level specialized tasks are being done by the Directorate of CAP in AAI.


Source: PIB


PERIYAR, THE HERO OF VAIKOM

Part of GS-1 History


Why in news?

  • On his death anniversary E V Ramaswamy Naicker (Periyar) (24th December 1973), remembering a leader who gave new life to a sagging movement.

  • VAIKOM SATYAGRAHA:Temple Entry Movement

  • Vaikom, in the northern part of Travancore,became a centre of agitation for temple entry.

  • In 1924, theVaikom Satyagraha led by K.P. Kesava, was launched in Kerala demanding the throwing open of Hindu temples and roads to the untouchables.

  • The satyagraha was reinforced by jathas from Punjab and Madurai.

  • Gandhi undertook a tourof Kerala in support of the movement.

  • The movement began on 30th March 1924.At the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple,there was a board which denied the entry of lower caste people (avarnas).

The Satyagrahis made batches of three and entered the temple.


They were resisted and arrested by the police.


Gandhiji, Chatampi Swamikal and Sree Narayana Guru supported the movement.


The Akalis of Punjab supported by setting up kitchens to provide food to the Satyagrahis.


Even Christian and Muslim leaders were in support of the movement.


This was shunned by Gandhiji because he wanted the movement to be an intra-Hindu affair.


E V Ramaswamy Naicker (Periyar) came from Tamil Nadu to support the movement and then he was arrested.


On 1st October 1924, a group of savarnas (forward castes) marched in a procession and submitted a petition to the Regent Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bai of Travancore with approximately 25000 signatures for allowing entry to the temple for everyone.


Gandhiji also met with the Regent Maharani.


This procession of savarnas was led by Mannath Padmanabhan Nair. Beginning with about 500 people at Vaikom, the number increased to approximately 5000 when the procession reached Thiruvananthapuram in the month of November 1924.


Source: The Hindu


QUICK REACTION SURFACE TO AIR MISSILE SUCCESSFULLY FLIGHT-TESTED OFF ODISHA COAST

Part of GS-3 S&T


Why in news?

Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) system developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was successfully flight-tested from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the Odisha coast at 1145 hrs today.


Highlights:

  • The missile was flight-tested with full configuration in deployment mode intercepting the target mid-air, meeting the mission objectives. The entire event was monitored by Ground Telemetry Systems, Range Radar Systems, Electro Optical Tracking System etc.

  • The QRSAM weapon system, which operates on the move, comprises of fully automated Command and Control System, Active Array Battery Surveillance Radar, Active Array Battery Multifunction Radar and Launcher.

  • Both radars are four-walled having 360-degree coverage with search on move and track on move capability. The system is compact with minimum number of vehicles for a firing unit. Single stage solid propelled missile has midcourse inertial navigation system with two-way data link and terminal active seeker developed indigenously by DRDO.

  • With this mission, the developmental trials of the weapon system are successfully completed and the weapon system is expected to be ready for induction by 2021.


Source: PIB


UDAY SCHEME LOSES POWER

Part of GS-3 Economy


Why in news?

DISCOM losses, which had progressively reduced in the first couple of years since the scheme’s rollout in November 2015, have rebounded in FY ’19 to nearly double the losses recorded the previous year.


Highlights:

  • The UDAY (UjwalDiscom Assurance Yojana) scheme now seems to be charting the same course as the earlier two unsuccessful attempts to set right the distribution sector.

  • Book losses of discoms, which had reduced from Rs 51,562 crore in FY ’16 to Rs 15,132 crore in FY ’18, have nearly doubled this financial year to Rs 28,036 crore, according to data updated till September-end this year.

  • The data also points to discoms lagging behind in eliminating the gap between the average cost of supply and realisable revenue (ACS-ARR gap).

  • Discoms have also missed the FY ’19 UDAY target to bring down their aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses to 15 per cent.


About UDAY SCHEME:

  • The Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) was launched by the Ministry of Power in November 2015 to help turn around the poor financial situation of state discoms.

  • States will take over 75% of the DISCOM debt as on Sept 30, 2015 - 50% in FY 2015-16 and 25% in FY 2016-17.

  • States to issue non-SLR including SDL bonds, to take over debt and transfer the proceeds to DISCOMs in a mix of grant, loan, equity.

  • Maturity period of bonds - 10-15 years.

  • Moratorium period – up to 5 years.

  • Rate - G-sec plus 0.5% spread plus 0.25% spread for non-SLR.

  • Borrowing not to be included for calculating fiscal deficit of the State.

  • It also envisages development of renewable energy sector and availability of 24*7 Power for All at an affordable price.

  • There are several other operational efficiency targets under UDAY, such as feeder metering, smart metering and feeder segregation etc.

  • The Scheme will wind up in March 2020.


Source: Indian Express


BAR-HEADED GOOSE SPOTTED NEAR PANDALAM

Part of GS-3 Environnment


Why in news?

A six-member team attached to Pathanamthitta Birders has spotted the Bar-headed goose (Anser Indicus) in the wetlands of KaringaliPuncha, near Pandalam, reportedly the first sighting in the district.


Highlights:

  • The Puncha is a major birding spot in the district which reported the highest bird count in the Asian Waterfowl Census of 2015.

  • Bar-headed geese are found in central China and Mangolia and they breed there.

  • They start migration to the Indian sub-continent during the winter and stay here till the end of the season.

  • They are one of the birds which can fly even at very high altitude. They come to India and return to their homes by crossing the Himalayan ranges.

  • Their migration has been a fascination for birders as they cross the Himalayas on one of the most high-altitude migrations in the world.

  • Their ability to sustain the high oxygen demands of flight in air that is exceedingly oxygen-thin is exceptional. The capacity of bar-headed geese to transport and consume oxygen at high rates in hypoxia distinguishes this species from similar lowland waterfowl.

  • Protection:

  • IUCN: Least Concern


Source: The Hindu


MENTAL DISORDERS

Part of GS- Health


Why in news?

According to Lancet Psychiatry’s first comprehensive estimates of disease burden attributable to mental health from 1990 prepared by the India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative.


Highlights:

  • The study finds that roughly one in seven Indians, or 197 million persons, suffered from mental disorders of varying severity in 2017.

  • These include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, idiopathic developmental intellectual disability, conduct disorders, and autism. Importantly, the contribution of mental disorders to the disability adjusted life year (DALY) — the sum of total years of life lost and years lived with disability — has doubled between 1990 and 2017 increasing from 2.5% to 4.7%.

  • Mental disorders were the second leading cause of disease burden in terms of years lived with disability (YLDs) and the sixth leading cause of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) in the world in 2017

  • In its State-wise analysis, the study divides different States into three categories on the basis of their socio-demographic index (SDI), i.e. low, medium and high SDI States.

  • The SDI is a composite measure of per-capita income, mean education, and fertility rate in women younger than 25 years and is calculated on a scale of one.

  • Prevalence of depressive disorders was highest in Tamil Nadu (loss of 836 years per 1 lakh population), Kerala (loss of 641 years), Goa (loss of 626 years) and Telangana (loss of 756 years) in the high SDI State group and Andhra Pradesh (loss of 793 years) in the middle SDI State group.


Source: The Hindu

Join Telegram for Channel to receive daily pdf or Download pdf

Recent Posts

See All

Daily Current Affairs : 10-Feb-2020

Major Topics Covered : MUKTOSHRI (IET 21845) MANDAMUS THWAITES GLACIER GURU RAVIDAS JAYANTI HELICOPTER SERVICES UNDER UDAN FLAGGED OFF BASMATI RICE EMERGENCY RESPONSE SANITATION UNITS (ERSUs) GENOME I

Free Resources

Preparing Mains 

UPSC Mock Test

Daily Reading

Join Us