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OJAANK IAS ACADEMY

09 June 2022 – Current Affairs

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State Food Safety Index

(Paper 2 Health)

Why in News?

On the occasion of World Food Safety Day, Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya releases 4th State Food Safety Index.

Key Points –

  • In an effort to galvanize States/UTs to work towards ensuring safe food for citizens, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Mansukh Mandaviya released Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)’s 4th State Food Safety Index (SFSI) to measure the performance of States across five parameters of food safety.
  • It is noteworthy that SFSI was started from 2018-19 with the aim of creating a competitive and positive change in the food safety ecosystem in the country.  The index will help in providing safe and nutritious food to our citizens.
  • The Union Health Minister felicitated the winning State/UTs based on the ranking for the year 2021-22 for their impressive performance across parameters.
  • This year, among the larger states, Tamil Nadu was the top ranking state, followed by Gujarat and Maharashtra.
  • Among the smaller states, Goa stood first followed by Manipur and Sikkim.
  • Among UTs, Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi and Chandigarh secured first, second and third ranks.
  • Dr. Mandaviya also felicitated states which showed significant improvement in the State Food Safety Index.
  • To motivate Smart Cities to develop and execute a plan that supports a healthy, safe and sustainable food environment through adoption of various Eat Right India initiatives, the Health Minister also felicitated 11 winning smart cities of the EatSmart Cities Challenge, launched by FSSAI last year in association with the Smart Cities Mission under the aegis of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA). He also felicitated winners of the Eat Right Research Challenge for Cities and Districts and Eat Right Research Awards and Grants.
  • Dr Mandaviya further launched various innovative initiatives by FSSAI including the Eat Right Research Awards and Grants – Phase II. Eat Right Creativity Challenge – Phase III, a competition at the school level and logo for AyurvedaAahar which contains the initials of Ayurveda and Ahara with 5 leaves symbolising five elements of nature. This logo would be beneficial in creating a unique identity, easy identification and proven benefits to improve health and wellbeing.
  • Further, the Union Health Minister also released various ebooks that advocate and capture innovative recipes about oil free cooking and sugarless desserts. He also launched various resource books including Khadyanjali, a quarterly magazine published by the Rajbhasha Division of FSSAI; Guidance Document on Food Borne Disease Outbreak Investigation and Microbiological Process Control, Sampling and Testing of Fish and Fishery Products etc.

 About the State Food Security Index –

  • The State Food Security Index (SFSI) was launched in the year 2018-19.
  • It aims to bring about a competitive and positive change in the food security ecosystem in the country.
  • At the same time, this index also helps in providing safe and nutritious food to our citizens. 
  • The index has been developed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). 
  • The State Food Security Index measures the performance of states and Union Territories on the following five important parameters of food security 
  • Human Resources and Institutional Data (20% weighting),
  • Compliance (30% weighting),
  • Food testing – Infrastructure and monitoring (20% weightage),
  • Training and capacity building (10% weighting) and
  • Consumer empowerment (20% weightage).

Source – The Hindu

National Tribal Research Institute

(Paper 2 Governance)

Why in News?

Recently Central Minister Shri Amit Shah inaugurates the National Tribal Research Institute in New Delhi.

Key Points –

  • As a part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, the Minister of Home Affairs and Cooperation, Shri Amit Shah, inaugurated the National Tribal Research Institute today in New Delhi.
  • The NTRI is a premier and apex National Level Institute and will become the cynosure of tribal concerns, issues and matters in academic, executive and legislative fields.
  • It will collaborate and network with other reputed research institutes, Universities, organizations as well as academic bodies and resource Centres.
  • It will also monitor projects of Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs), Centres of Excellence (CoEs), research scholars of NFS and set up norms for improvement in the quality of research and training.
  • Its other activities are to provide policy inputs to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs as well as State Welfare Departments, Design studies and programmes that improve or support socio-economic aspects of tribal lifestyles, create and maintain of Database of PMAAGY, provide guidelines in setting and running of Tribal Museums and showcase rich tribal cultural heritage of India,  under one umbrella.

Significance

  • NTRI will work to deliver outcome-based implementation of schemes, programmes and policies for tribal population right down to the grassroot level. 
  • It will harness the expertise of Universities, NGOs, COEs and other experts in various fields to undertake research, training, capacity building which will help the tribal population to embark upon the renewed journey of development including good livelihood, health, education and AtmaNirbharta and their ultimate empowerment.
  • The apex Research Institute will provide inputs to help fill policy gaps at various levels and also ensure that the Schedule Tribe Component of various Ministries converts into actual delivery on the ground for transformation of tribal society, the Minister explained.

Source – Indian Express

Kashmir’s “Thang-Ta” martial art

(Paper 1 Art & Culture )

Why in News?

The youth in Jammu and Kashmir, especially girls, are getting attracted to the “Thang-ta” martial art.

Key Points –

  • Recently, Mohammad Iqbal, a coach of  “Thang-Ta” martial arts  in Jammu and Kashmir, informed that the youth in Jammu and Kashmir,  especially girls, are getting attracted to the “Thang-Ta” martial art. 
  • It has now become a sporting tradition in Jammu and Kashmir and families are happy to send their children for training.
  • Now many girls want to learn martial arts for self-defense, so many girls are also joining classes  .
  • Today, more than 20 Thang-Ta clubs have opened in Srinagar city.

What is Thang-Ta ?

  • Thang-ta is the traditional martial art of the Meitei community of Manipur.
  • This art is a martial art full of weapons. In this, the word ‘Thang’ means ‘sword’, and ‘ta’ means ‘javelin’ in this art sword, shield and spear are used.
  • Thang-Ta has been given sports status in Jammu and Kashmir and Chhattisgarh besides Manipur.
  • This art is believed to have originated in manipur region of India in about 1891 in the species called ‘Meitei Race’ in a place called ‘Kanglipak’.
  • By the way, the scholars of ancient martial arts consider this art to be several thousand years old. But the art originally originated in the state of Manipur in ‘North Eastern India’ at that time. When with the arrival of foreigners (of the British) in Manipur, the people were living their living like an independent state.
  • At that time, there were many small wars between India and China in this medieval period, and in the wars of that period, the soldiers also had to use the traditional type of weapons (made with hands). In that period, this art was born because of the struggling lifestyle between the people of many clans and castes in those states.
  • Most of this art was taught to the king and the  soldiers, so that they could protect themselves and the people. But at the same time, this art was also associated with ‘traditional folk dance’. This art succeeded in keeping the culture alive along with the ‘power show’.
  • In the seventeenth century, when the Manipuri kings used this art against the ‘British’ people,  the British banned this art so that no one could rebel. Even then the Manipuri people did not stop learning this art, and struggled to keep this art alive in the state of Manipur.
  • This art is also seen as another art of warfare whose name is also associated with ‘Bunen-Lelong’. Although ‘axe’ and ‘shield’ are used in this art, the style of warfare is almost the same.

Source – PIB

India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) MoU

(Paper 2 International Relations)

Why in News?

Recently Cabinet approves Memorandum of Understanding between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Cooperation in the field of Industries and Advanced Technologies.

Key Points –

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the proposal for signing a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Cooperation in the field of Industries and Advanced Technologies.
  • Growing India-UAE economic and commercial relations contribute to the stability and strength of a rapid diversifying and deepening bilateral relationship between the two countries.
  • If we talk about data then India-UAE bilateral trade, valued at US$ 180 million (Rs.1373 crore) per annum in the 1970s has increased to US$ 60 billion (Rs.4.57 lakh crore) making the UAE, India’s third largest trading partner for the year 2019-20 after China and the US.
  • Moreover, the UAE is the second largest export destination of India (after US) with an export value of US$ 29 billion (Rs.2.21 lakh crore) for the year 2019-2020.
  • The UAE is eighth largest investor in India with an estimated investment of US$ 18 billion (Rs.1.37 lakh crore). Indian investments in the UAE are estimated at around US$ 85 billion (Rs.6.48 lakh crore).
  • India and the UAE have signed a bilateral “Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement” (CEPA) on 18/02/2022. This agreement has potential to increase trade between India and the UAE from US$ 60 billion (Rs.4.57 lakh crore) to US$ 100 billion (Rs.7.63 lakh crore) in the next five years.

The MoU envisages cooperation on a mutually beneficial basis in the following areas:

  1. Strengthening the Supply Chain Resilience of Industries
  2. Renewable & Energy Efficiency
  3. Health and life sciences
  4. Space Systems
  5. Artificial Intelligence
  6. Industry 4.0 Enabling Technologies
  7. Standardization, metrology, conformity assessment, accreditation, and Halal certification.
  8. The MoU aims at strengthening and developing industries in both nations through investments, technology transfer and the deployment of key technologies in industries. This is likely to generate employment across the economy.
  9. The implementation of MoU may lead to increase in research and innovation in all areas of mutual cooperation, particularly in the areas of Renewable Energy, Artificial Intelligence, Industry Enabling technologies and Health and Life science. This may lead to growth of these sectors, increased domestic production, enhanced exports and reduction in imports.
  10. Signing of the MoU will result in fulfilling the goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat, a clarion call given by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India in making India a self-reliant nation.

Source – PIB

India-Japan MoU for Joint Research on Climate Change

(Paper 3 : Environment, Pollution)

Why in News?

Cabinet approves Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan and Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), India a Professional Body for joint research on air quality and climate change.

Key Points –

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was apprised of the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish collaborative guidelines between the National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan and Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), India so as to carry out and implement joint research (hereinafter referred to as “Joint Research”) on air quality and climate change.
  • It is noteworthy that no such MoUs were signed by the ARIES, Nainital in the similar areas of research with any other foreign bodies in the past.

The following are some of the possible activities of this MoU : –

  • Joint use and operation of scientific instruments
  • Exchange of scientific and technical information on observing methods
  • Joint analysis of observational data and making scientific reports
  • Joint educational and research activities.
  • Exchange of visiting scholars, including PhD students for the purpose of conducting research.
  • Joint scientific workshops and/or seminars

About ARIES

  • Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) is an Autonomous Research Institute established under the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
  • ARIES is a centre of excellence for research in Astronomy & Astrophysics and Atmospheric Sciences. It carries out research on air pollution and climate change on earth, formation and evolution of sun, stars and galaxies.
  • The research group of institute consists of research scientists, PhD students, postdocs and visiting scholars. The researchers are also involved in design and development of sophisticated and advanced scientific instruments and it is supported by a team of engineers and technical personnel who are involved in building and operating instruments at both the campuses – Manora Peak and Devasthal.

About NIES

  • The National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) is Japan’s only research institute that undertakes a broad range of environmental research in an interdisciplinary and comprehensive manner.
  • NIES works to produce scientific findings on environmental protection. NIES is working on research projects that include consolidating the institute’s research foundation through basic research, data acquisition and analysis, preservation and provision of environmental samples.
  • NIES believes on four keywords (Synthesize, Integrate, Evolve, and Network = NIES strategies) to pursue environmental research, that is providing the maximization of Japan’s entire research and development results, for bridging the gap between the scientific community and society, as well as for the advancement of environmental policy in Japan and other countries.

Source – PIB

India-Germany MoU

(Paper 2 International Relations)

Why in News?

Recently Cabinet approves MoU signed between S. N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS), Kolkata, India and Leibniz-Institut fur Festkorper- und Werkstoffforschung Dresden e.V. (IFW Dresden e.V.), Dresden, Germany in the Novel Magnetic and Topological Quantum Materials.

Key Points –

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was apprised of the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between S. N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS), Kolkata, India and Leibniz-Institut fur Festkorper- und Werkstoffforschung Dresden e.V. (IFW Dresden e.V.), Dresden, Germany intended to scientific cooperation in the field of “Novel Magnetic and Topological Quantum Materials”.
  • It is noteworthy that the research on Quantum Materials has received a worldwide attention due to their potential in development for future quantum technology. The goal of this joint venture will be to foster Indo-German collaboration, provide opportunities and facilitate the advancement of knowledge in the area of magnetic and topological quantum materials.
  • The cooperation in particular will include, sharing of experimental and computational resources, exchange of technical and professional support, and exchanging of faculty, researchers to carry out the collaborative research. This is expected to create the requisite knowledge base on the basis of reciprocity, best effort, mutual benefit, and frequent interactions.

About SNBNCBS

  • S. N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS) is an Autonomous Research Institute established under the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India in 1986 as a Registered Society.
  • The Centre was established to honour the life and work of Professor S. N. Bose who was a colossal figure in theoretical physics and has made some of the most fundamental conceptual contributions to the development of Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Statistics.
  • Over the years, the Centre has emerged as a major institution for research and development in Basic Sciences, specifically in the area of physical sciences and related disciplines, employing the power of experiment, theory and computation.
  • The Centre is also a major hub of advanced manpower training and linkage in this crucial area of Science and Technology. The Centre offers a residential programme leading to PhD and has a vigorous Visitors & Linkage programme.

About IFW

  • IFW is a non-university research institute and a member of the Leibniz Association. IFW Dresden is concerned with modern materials science and combines explorative research in physics, chemistry and materials science with the technological development of new materials and products.
  • The research programs at IFW are focused on functional materials which hold a key position in many fields of application: superconducting and magnetic materials, thin-film systems and nanostructures as well as crystalline and amorphous materials.
  • Further missions of the Institute are the promotion of young scientists and the training of technical staff as well as supplying industrial companies with the Institute’s R&D know-how and experience.

Source – PIB

India-Australia Urban Water Management MoU

(Paper 2 International Relations)

Why in News?

Recently Cabinet approves Memorandum of Understanding between India and Australia for Technical Cooperation for Australia-India Water Security Initiative (AIWASI).

Key Points –

  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, was apprised the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Government of Australia for Technical Cooperation in urban water management. It is noteworthy that the MoU has been signed in December, 2021.
  • MoU would reinforce bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the area of urban water security. 
  • It would strengthen institutional capacities at all levels for urban water management; improve accessibility, affordability & quality of water and sanitation services; promote circular economy of water & water secure cities; encourage climate resilient water management practices; enhance community participation in water management and improve social inclusion through initiatives for accessible infrastructure.
  • MoU will enable both sides to learn about technological advancements gained by two nations in key areas of urban water security and will promote exchange of learning, best practices and capacity building of institutions. This will help towards realisation of AatmaNirbhar Bharat.

Source – PIB

New Space India Limited

(Paper 3 Science Technology)

Why in News?

Recently Cabinet approves Transfer of 10 In-orbit Communication Satellites from Government of India to M/s. New Space India Ltd (NSIL).

Key Points –

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the transfer of 10 in-orbit communication satellites from Government of India (Gol) to M/s.NewSpace India Ltd. (NSIL), a wholly owned Public Sector Enterprise of GOI under the administrative control of the Department of Space.
  • The Union Cabinet has also approved increasing the authorized share capital of NSIL from Rs.1000 crore to Rs.7500 crore.
  • Transfer of these assets to NSIL will further provide the desired financial autonomy to the company to realize capital intensive programmes/ projects and thereby offering huge employment potential and technology spin-off to other sectors of the economy.
  • This approval is expected to trigger domestic economic activity in space sector and increase India’s share in the global space market.
  • It is noteworthy that the Space Sector reforms mandated NSIL to undertake end-to-end commercial space activities and function as a full-fledged satellite operator. NSIL functioning as a single-window operator will also facilitate the ease of doing business in space sector.
  • NSIL Board will now be empowered to price the transponders as per the market dynamics and global trends in the Satellite Communication sector. NSIL is also authorized to offer and allocate capacity as per its internal policies and guidelines.

About New Space India Limited –

  • NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) of Government of India and commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • It was established on 6 March 2019 under the administrative control of Department of Space (DoS) and the Company Act 2013.
  • The main objective of NSIL is to scale up industry participation in Indian space programmes.

Objectives –

NSIL was setup with the following objectives –

  • Transfer of Small Satellite technology to industry: NSIL will obtain license from DoS/ISRO and sub-license the same to industry
  • Manufacture of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) in collaboration with private sector
  • Production of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) through Indian industry
  • Production and marketing of Space based products and services, including launch and application
  • Transfer of technology developed by ISRO Centres and constituent units of DoS
  • Marketing of spin-off technologies and products/services, both in India and abroad

Source – Indian Express

Guinness World Record of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)

(Paper 3 Infrastructure)

Why in News?

Recently NHAI created a new Guinness World Record, let’s know about it

Key Points –

  • The National Highways Authority of India has set a new Guinness World Record by constructing 75 km of bituminous concrete in 105 hours and 33 minutes  .
  • It may be mentioned that a record of laying 75 km of bituminous concrete in a single lane on NH-53 between Amravati and Akola districts of Maharashtra  in  a single lane  has been set.  The total length of the 75 km single lane continuous bituminous concrete road is equal to 37.5 km of two-lane paved shoulder road. The work  started at 7:27 am  on  June  3, 2022 and was completed at 5 pm  on  June 7, 2022.
  • It uses 36,634 metric tons of bituminous mixture containing 2,070 metric tons of bitumen. As many as 720 workers, including a team of independent consultants  , worked day and night to complete the project.
  •  Earlier,  there was a Guinness World Record for the longest 25.275 km of road for continuously laying bituminous, which was  achieved in February 2019 in Doha, Qatar. It took 10 days for this work to be completed  .
  • Union   Minister Shri Gadkari said that the Amravati to Akola section is part of NH-53, an important corridor that connects major cities like Kolkata, Raipur, Nagpur and Surat. He said that when it is completed, this section will play a major role in facilitating the movement of traffic and goods on this route.

About NH-53 –

  • NH-53 is a National Highway of India. it is combination of old NH6 (Surat-Kolkata), NH200 (Bilaspur-Chandikhole) & NH5A (Chandikhole-Paradeep)
  • It starts from Hazira in Gujarat in the west and goes to Paradip Port in Odisha in the east.
  • Route of primary national highway 53 passes through four states of India -Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.
  • The stretch of National Highway 53 from Dhule in Maharashtra to Deogarh in Odisha is part of Asian Highway 46.

About NHAI –

  • The National Highways Authority of India or NHAI is an autonomous agency of the Government of India, set up in 1995 (Act 1988) and is responsible for management of a network of National Highways in India.
  • It is a nodal agency of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
  • It is responsible for the development, maintenance and management of National Highways. The NHAI is also responsible of the toll collection on several highways.

Source – The Hindu

Children in Street Situations – CiSS application

(Paper 1 Social Issues)

Why in News?

Recently The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) launches “CiSS application” under Baal Swaraj portal to help rehabilitation of children in street situations.

Key Points –

  • The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has launched a “CiSS application” under the Baal Swaraj portal to help in the rehabilitation process of Children in Street Situations (CiSS).
  • Baal Swaraj is a portal launched by NCPCR for online tracking and digital real-time monitoring mechanism of children in need of care and protection.
  • The portal has two functions- COVID care and CiSS. COVID Care link caters to the children who have lost either or both parents due to COVID-19 or otherwise post March 2020.

It follows six stages framework for the rehabilitation of children –

  1. The first stage is the collection of the child’s details, which is accomplished through the portal.
  2. The second stage is Social Investigating Report (SIR) i.e. investigating the child’s background. This is done under the supervision of the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) by the District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) by conversing and counselling the child.
  3. The third stage is formulating an Individual Care Plan (ICP) for the child.
  4. The fourth stage is the order of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) based on the SIR submitted to the CWC.
  5. The fifth stage is allocating the schemes and benefits that the beneficiary can avail of. And
  6. in the sixth stage, a checklist is made for the evaluation of the progress i.e. (Follow Ups).
  7. The Standard Operating Procedure for Care and Protection of Children in Street Situations 2.0 categorizes any child under ‘Children in Street Situation’ if the child is living on the streets alone, living on the streets during the day, or living on the streets with the family. The root cause of this phenomenon is the migration of families from rural to urban areas in search of a better standard of living.
  8. This portal, developed by, NCPCR is a first-of-its-kind initiative in India to help children in street situations. The CiSS application is used for receiving data of children in street situations from all the states and union territories, tracking their rescue and rehabilitation process. The initiative is taken under the direction of the Supreme Court of India.
  9. The program embodies Article 51 (A) of the Constitution of India, as it provides a platform to the public and organizations catering to the welfare of the children to report any child in need of assistance. The platform serves to collect data and report to the District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) for them to take necessary action.
  10. It also provides a platform for professionals and organizations to provide any help that they can to children in need. Help can be provided in the form of open shelters, counselling services, medical services, sponsorships, de-addiction services, education services, legal/paralegal services, volunteering, student volunteering, identification of hotspot, identification of CiSS, or any other assistance.
  11. The organizations and institutions that can utilize the platform are the Non-Government Organization, Civil Society Organization, higher educational or technical institutions, Foundation, Society, or a Trust.
  12. The participants- informants, professionals, or the organizations will be awarded a digital certificate acknowledging their contribution to helping the children in street situations after the assessment of the DCPO.

Source – PIB


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