Ojaank IAS Academy




10 JANUARY 2023 – Current Affairs

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Joshimath Crisis-

GS Paper III

Many residents in Uttarakhand’sJoshimath have relocated to safer areas after their homes developed large cracks, causing them to worry.

Crisis in Joshimath
  • Joshimath is built on an old landslide that is composed of sand and stone rather than rock.
  • The rivers Alaknanda and Dhauli Ganga contribute to landslides by eroding river banks and mountain sides.
  • According to the 1976 Mishra Committee Report, rising construction activity and growing population are thought to have led to frequent landslides in the area.
What is Land Subsidence?
  • When the ground lowers or settles, this is referred to as land subsidence.
  • It can occur when humans take too much water or minerals from the earth, causing the ground to sink.
  • Natural processes like as soil compaction or the movement of the earth’s crust can also produce it.
  • Land subsidence may cause structural damage to buildings and roadways, as well as increase the likelihood of floods.
Why is it sinking?
  • Joshimath is a sand and stone deposit, not the main rock, hence it was unsuitable for a settlement.
  • Natural variables have been out of balance as a result of vibrations caused by blasting, high traffic, and so on.
  • Landslides are also caused by a lack of sufficient drainage services.
  • A large amount of water has percolated down into the porous crystalline rocks beneath the surface, softening them even more.
  • When water is not allowed to flow naturally, it exerts a lot of pressure, either above or below earth.
  • Cavities between the soil and the stones are caused by the presence of soak pits, which enable water to slowly soak into the earth.
  • As a result, water seepage and soil erosion occur.
Issues with Joshimath’s town-planning
  • As a result of the increased traffic to at least three key temples — Badrinath, Hemkund Sahib, and Shankaracharya temple — considerable infrastructural development has occurred.
  • There are several loose soft rocks, moraine (material left by receding glaciers), and sediments. As a result, the soil is unsuitable for large-scale building.
  • In addition, the location is in a high seismic zone and receives frequent earthquakes, making the top soil unstable.
1976 Mishra Committee Report suggested-
  • Construction should be permitted only after an examination of the load-bearing capability of the soil and the stability of the site, and slope excavation should be restricted.
  • Stones and rocks should not be removed from the bottom of the slope in landslide zones because they reduce toe support, increasing the probability of landslides.
  • Cracks that have formed on the slopes should be filled. The toe of a landslide is the lowest point.
  • It also urged against felling trees in the landslide zone and suggested that considerable reforestation work be carried out in the area, particularly between Marwari and Joshimath, to protect soil and water resources.
  • Ploughing loosens the soil, increasing the possibility of a landslide.
  • To avoid future landslides, the seepage of open rain water must be controlled by the building of a pucca drainage system.
  • Roads should be metalled and free of scuppers, which drain water from the road surface.
  • It is necessary to build structures to direct the flow of the river. Hanging boulders in the foothills should be properly supported.
Way forward
  • This should be a top priority right now. The state administration should provide a clear and ongoing line of contact with the impacted citizens.
  • A time-bound rebuilding strategy must be developed.
  • Continuous seismic monitoring is required.
  • Joshimath should also have a risk-averse urban development strategy.
Source – The Hindu

Overseas Citizens of India (OCI)

GS Paper II

Context– The 17th PravasiBhartiya Divas (PBD) will be held at Indore, Madhya Pradesh, by the government. The purpose of the day is to recognise the contributions of India’s diaspora. “Diaspora: Reliable Partners for India’s Progress in AmritKaal” is the topic for this year’s event.

  • PravasiBhartiya Divas (Non-Resident Indian Day) is a commemorative day held by the Republic of India on 9 January (beginning in 2003) to recognise the contribution of the abroad Indian population to India’s growth. The day commemorates Mahatma Gandhi’s return from South Africa to Mumbai on January 9, 1915.
Who are Overseas Indian Citizens (OCI)?
  • Overseas Citizenship of India is a type of permanent residence that permits persons of Indian descent and their spouses to live and work in India eternally. OCI status, despite its name, is not citizenship and does not provide the right to vote in Indian elections or hold public office.
  • The Indian government has the authority to cancel OCI status in a number of conditions. By 2020, there will be 6 million OCI card holders among the Indian diaspora.
What are the concerns of OCI/NRI persons?
  • The OCI plan was first conceived in 2003 by the then-NDA administration led by Prime Minister AtalBihari Vajpayee as a dual-citizenship proposal.
  • Except for the right to hold public office and vote, OCIs would have the same rights as regular citizens.
  • The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2003 was introduced in Parliament by the Vajpayee administration. The declaration accompanying the Bill, which was enacted by Parliament in December of that year, indicated unequivocally that it was intended to grant dual citizenship to individuals of Indian heritage from specific nations.
  • The Union Home Ministry is lowering the OCI system from dual citizenship to essentially a resident permit scheme over two decades later. The ministry’s comments in circulars and courts that OCIs are not Indian citizens and do not have any fundamental rights under the Indian Constitution have been especially upsetting.
What are the ambiguities about the downgrading of OCI status?
  • There is substantial legal ambiguity about the status of OCIs. Can people engage in some professions, such as journalism, without prior approval from the government? Do payments to charities/schools made by OCIs resident in India violate Indian laws?
  • During the epidemic, resident OCIs were required to donate only to NGOs that received FCRA certification. As a result, several local level projects were unable to receive financial assistance.
  • OCIs are frequently challenged with statements, especially in court, that we are foreigners in India. Unlike in many other nations, the Indian Constitution lacks comprehensive citizenship provisions.
Making a case of citizenship for OCI
  • The Government of India said that India’s G20 presidency will be based on the ideas of “Vasudaivakutumbakam,” which holds that the entire globe is one family.
  • Hopefully, such political homilies influence how the government considers citizenship in regard to the increasingly mobile Indian diaspora.
  • Clearly, an important question is whether it is appropriate to revoke the citizenship of persons who were born in the nation and have continued to connect with it just because they have gained foreign citizenship. Even though other nations had comparable legislation when India established the Citizenship Act in 1955, no other progressive democracy does that now.
  • Prime Minister NarendraModi recently asked Chief Secretaries of states and union territories to prioritise quality of service above outmoded laws and procedures in order to fulfil India’s objective of becoming a developed country by 2047. Realizing the substance of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2003 is in keeping with the Prime Minister’s direction.

OCI make significant contributions to India both at home and abroad. However, extending citizenship to Indians living abroad will result in structural disparity in the economic, social, and political lives of ordinary Indians. It will unleash a flood of demand for dual citizenship from other segments of the diaspora.

Source – The Hindu

India’s Path to Prosperity through Formal Employment

GS Paper III

Context– It is difficult to achieve widespread wealth for large populations. India’s enormous remittances from a tiny population abroad, as well as the employability of the IT industry, underline that our mass prosperity approach should focus on human capital and formal jobs.

Why human capital formation is effective tool for mass prosperity?
  • Our software employment makes a solid argument for human capital-driven productivity: 0.8% of workers create 8% of GDP.
  • Remittances from our foreign community, which accounts for less than 2% of our resident population, exceeded $100 billion last year.
  • According to a World Bank research, there has been a considerable movement in the last five years from low-skilled, informal employment in Gulf nations (down from 54% to 28%) to high-skilled formal occupations in high-income countries (up from 26% to 36%).
  • Our abundant forex remittance harvest, which is around 25% more than FDI but 25% less than software exports, is fruit from the tree of human capital and formalisation of jobs.
Limitations of Fiscal and monetary policy
  • Monetary policy is, at best, a placebo, painkiller, or steroid, especially in India, where credit availability is more of a concern than credit cost.
  • Global experience indicates that where governments spend money (pensions, interest, wages, education, healthcare, roads, etc.) and how this expenditure is paid (taxes or debt) is more important than how much is spent (about Rs 80 lakh crore in India this year).
  • Covid demanded massive fiscal and monetary policy changes, but the larger the binge, the worse the hangover. Western central banks are failing to decrease their balance sheets because they utilised “unelected power” to pursue aims beyond their mandate, dispense medicine with unknown adverse effects, and rush along motorways with no known return pathways, according to Harvard’s Paul Tucker.
  • Borrowing rates in rich countries have soared by more than 300 percent, and inflation disproportionately affects the poor. These fiscal and monetary policy excesses were avoided by India. This caution is now being combined with prior structural reforms (GST, IBC, MPC, UPI, DBT, NEP, and so on) and a “tone from the top” reform to create a rich environment for productive citizens and enterprises.
What should be the strategy in next fiscal year for employment generation?
  • The Finance Bill must prioritise productivity and continuity by enacting previously recommended human capital and formal job changes.
  • It should shorten the 15-year implementation glide path for the formidable National Education Policy 2020 to five years.
  • It should eliminate the need for separate licencing for online degrees and allow all of our 1,000-plus recognised colleges to easily establish online learning.
  • It should help us go from 0.5 million to 10 million apprentices faster by allowing all institutions to start degree apprentice programmes under tripartite contracts with companies under the Apprentices Act.
What are the other steps that can be taken through next budget?
  • It should inform all central-list industries about the four labour codes and appoint a tripartite committee to merge them into a single labour code before the next budget.
  • It should continue EODB reforms by designating the PAN number of each firm as its Universal Enterprise Number.
  • It should look into manufacturing jobs by repealing the Factories Act, which accounts for 8,000 of the 26,000+ criminal provisions in employer compliance, and requiring all employers to comply with each state’s Shops and Establishment Act (like Infosys, TCS, and IBM India do).
  • It should establish a non-profit business (similar to NPCI in payments) to run an API-driven National Employer Compliance Grid, allowing central ministries and state governments to rationalise, digitise, and decriminalise their employer compliances.
  • Making employee provident fund contributions voluntary while increasing company PF payments from 12% to 13%. It should advise employees of a prior budget declaration in order to provide them the option of contributing to health insurance (ESIC or insurance firms) and pensions (EPFO or NPS).
  • Most crucially, it should tie all employer subsidies and tax breaks to the development of high-wage jobs (a difficult-to-fudge and easy-to-measure effectiveness metric for this public spending is employer provident fund payment).

Experience and facts now strongly suggest that anchoring our approach in human capital and formal jobs rather than fiscal or monetary policy raises the probability of widespread prosperity in the world’s most populated nation from possible to likely.

Source – The Hindu

Slow Pace of National Monetisation Pipeline

GS Paper-III

Context– According to current statistics, the Centre’s ambitious National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) may fall far short of its target in FY23.

Concerning the shortfall:
  • After handily meeting the objective in the first year, the Centre’s National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) may fall short when railways, telecommunications, and the petroleum industry fall short.
  • The telecom and petroleum industries are expected to be the weakest performers, while mining is expected to lead the way for the second year in a row.
  • In comparison to the FY23 NMP objective of Rs 1.62 trillion in income and investments, officials estimate aRs 50,000 crore shortfall.
Sector specific data & challenges
  • Approximately Rs 1 trillion was raised under the monetisation method last year, compared to a target of Rs 88,200 crore owing to the mining industry.
  • Railways is the most important component of the Rs 6 trillion NMP during the next four years, to FY25.
  • In the previous fiscal year, railways received just Rs 800 crore through monetisation through the rehabilitation of one railway station and several railway colonies, compared to a target of Rs 17,810 crore.
  • In FY23, railways must monetize 120 stations, 30 trains, and 1,400 kilometres of track, among other things, according to the NMP. However, it has had little success thus far.
  • In comparison to the aim of Rs 20,180 crore, the department of telecom has yet to monetize any telecom assets, raising questions about its ability to do anything.
  • The initial aim was to raise Rs 15,780 crore by allowing private investors to bid on upgrading, operating, and maintaining Bharat Broadband Network’s 300,000 km of optical fibre networks across the country, including states.
  • Another Rs 4,400 crore is expected from BSNL/MTNL tower monetisation under the rent-operate-transfer (ROT) concession arrangement, although bids for these have yet to be called.
Natural gas and petroleum product pipelines:
  • Natural gas and petroleum product pipeline monetization was expected to generate Rs 9,176 crore in FY23.
  • Oil and gas businesses, on the other hand, have advocated alternative assets such as monetisation of oil fields (similar to mines monetisation) through private engagement in exploration and with the inflow of technology.
Highways and road transportation:
  • Other sectors, notably the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), are monetizing assets.
  • The NHAI expects to fulfil its objective of Rs 32,855 crore through the securitisation of motorway toll receivables, Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs), and Transfer-Operate-Transfer (ToT) models.
About National Monetisation Pipeline:
  • Based on the mandate for ‘Asset Monetisation’ in the Union Budget 2021-22, NITI Aayog created the pipeline in conjunction with infrastructure line ministries.
  • Over a four-year period, from FY 2022 to FY 2025, NMP anticipates a total monetisation potential of Rs 6.0 lakh crores through key assets of the Central Government.
  • It intends to unlock value in brownfield projects by involving the private sector, giving income rights rather than ownership of the assets to them, and using the revenues earned to build infrastructure across the country.
  • The pipeline was created with input and collaboration from different line ministries and departments, as well as an assessment of the whole asset base available.
  • The NMP does not include monetization through disinvestment and monetization of non-core assets.
  • The concept for core asset monetisation includes three major imperatives:
  • Assets were returned at the conclusion of the transaction life due to the monetization of rights rather than ownership.
  • Brownfield assets with low risk and predictable cash sources.
  • Partnerships that are structured inside specific contractual frameworks with strong KPIs and performance criteria.
A novel approach to private participation:
  • The private sector is well-known for its efficiency and technical advances.
  • NMP will allow the private sector to leverage its expertise for infrastructure development while retaining control.
  • Ensure Additional Infrastructure Investment: This will help to effectively monetize underutilised brownfield developments.
  • The private sector is well-known for its efficiency and technical advances.
  • NMP will allow the private sector to leverage its expertise for infrastructure development while retaining control.
  • Ensure Additional Infrastructure Investment: This will help to effectively monetize underutilised brownfield developments.
Way Ahead
  • Asset monetization should be considered as a paradigm change in infrastructure operations, augmentation, and maintenance, taking into account the private sector’s resource efficiency and capacity to flexibly respond to changing global and economic realities.
  • New models, such as Infrastructure Investment Trusts and Real Estate Investment Trusts, will allow not only financial and strategic investors, but also ordinary people, to engage in this asset class, therefore opening up new investment opportunities.
Source – The Hindu

Overutilization of Fertilizers & Worsening Nutrient Imbalance

GS Paper-II

Context– The recent drop in worldwide pricing has increased fertiliser supply and reduced the subsidy payment.

The fall in worldwide fertiliser prices has made it possible to do the following:

Significantly increased overall availability:
  • During the current rabi farming season, no serious fertiliser shortages have been observed.
  • Increased fertiliser supply, along with favourable soil moisture conditions, has contributed to an increase in the area seeded for rabi crops, particularly wheat, mustard, maize, and masur (red lentil).
  • Cooling global prices should result in a reduction in the Centre’s fertiliser subsidy outlay.
Worsening of nutrition imbalances:
  • Nutritional abnormalities have worsened in the current fiscal year. Urea and DAP use has increased, with sales for the fiscal year ending March 2023 expected to exceed 350 lt and 120 lt, respectively.
  • Instead of a balanced application of plant nutrients based on soil testing and crop requirements, Indian farmers effectively use just urea and DAP — both high-analysis fertilisers containing 46% N and 46% P, respectively.
  • Initiatives of the government to promote the balanced usage of urea
Nutrient-based subsidy (NBS) regime:
  • With effect from April 2010, the government implemented a nutrient-based subsidy (NBS) policy in fertilisers, with the primary goal of discouraging farmers from using excessive amounts of urea, DAP, and MOP.
  • Urea includes 46% nitrogen (N), DAP contains 46% phosphorus (P) + 18% nitrogen (N), and MOP contains 60% potassium (K).
Neem-coated Urea:
  • From 2015-16, the government made urea coating with neem oil mandatory.
  • It was done to prevent unlawful diversion of heavily subsidisedfertiliser for non-agricultural purposes, such as plywood, dye, bovine feed, and synthetic milk manufacturers.
  • Neem oil was also said to function as a minor nitrification inhibitor, allowing for a more progressive nitrogen release.
  • Increased nitrogen utilisation efficiency would reduce the number of urea bags needed per acre.
  • The Soil Health Card Program: Soil health cards offer farmers with information on the nutritional condition of their soil as well as advice on the proper amount of fertilisers to be applied to improve soil health and fertility.
  • To provide soil health cards to all farmers every two years in order to create a foundation for addressing nutrient inadequacies in fertilisation techniques.
‘One Nation, One Fertilizer’ initiative:
  • All fertiliser firms, State Trading Entities (STEs), and Fertiliser Marketing Entities (FMEs) would be forced to adopt a single “Bharat” brand and logo under the PMBJP programme.
  • The PMBJP logo and the new “Bharat” brand name will fill two-thirds of the front of the fertiliser packet.
  • Other fertilisers are being underpriced: The government has set maximum retail prices for urea and DAP. It has established informal MRPs for NPKS compounds and potash muriate (MOP).
  • Other fertiliser prices are greater when compared to Urea and DAP. As a result, farmers have less motivation to purchase additional fertilisers.
  • The fact that DAP lacks K, S, and other macro and micro nutrients would be irrelevant to the vast majority of farmers.
  • Their choice of fertiliser is mostly determined by pricing.
Subsidisation& political motives:
  • Subsidy-induced market distortions cause urea underpricing (a historical problem) and DAP underpricing (current).
  • The cheap prices and strong sales of these two fertilisers are due to large government subsidies.
  • Concerns about soil nutrient imbalances have definitely taken a back seat to political politics.
Supply-side constraints:
  • India is confronting a scarcity of fertilisers, particularly phosphatic and potassic nutrients.
  • The difficulties include sourcing supplies from new sources, more expensive raw materials, and logistics.
  • The pandemic has had an influence on fertiliser production, import, and transportation worldwide.
Way ahead
  • DAP usage should be limited to rice and wheat.
  • SSP and complexes can fulfil the P requirements of all other crops.
  • To increase SSP adoption, only granular, not powdered, SSP may be sold.
  • SSP powder is easily contaminated with gypsum or clay.
  • Granules provide farmers with quality assurance while also promoting slower P release without drift during application.
  • The ultimate goal should be to limit the use of urea, DAP, and MOP. According to the expert, India cannot sustain imports, resulting in increased application. Instead, farmers should be encouraged to use more low-analysis complex fertilisers and SSP.
Source: The Hindu

Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI)

GS Paper-III

Generative Artificial Intelligence is seeing an increase in applications as well as ethical problems (AI).

What exactly is Generative AI?
  • It is a cutting-edge technical innovation form of artificial intelligence in which machine learning algorithms are used to create fresh, unique material or data.
  • It can create text, photos, audio, and other forms of media.
  • Generative AI works by first training a model on a big dataset, then utilising that model to produce previously unknown material that is comparable to the training data.
This can be done through techniques such as:
  • Neural machine translation,
  • Image generation, and
  • Music generation.
  • Applications of Generative AI
Income generation:
  • AI can create sales, marketing, and brand messages.
Reach and blogging:
  • By sending a text cue to a Generative AI tool like ChatGPT, agencies may produce tailored social media posts, blogs, and marketing text and video copy.
Effective communication:
  • To successfully interact with the audience, the service may swiftly iterate various wording by just changing the prompt.
Imagery and logo:
  • DALL.E, a generative image generating service, can also provide unique visuals to match the identity.
  • Many firms are experimenting with services such as DALL.E2, Bing Image Develop, Stable Diffusion, and MidJourney to create their corporate identity and match it with Generative AI text messaging.
  • Instoried use Generative AI to help marketers become better copywriters.
  • GitHub, Copilot6, and ChatGPT1 can produce code and help developers be more productive.
  • It can produce code in real-time directly in your editor and suggest complete functions, snippets, and even fully functional modules.
  • ChatGPT can also assist you in swiftly writing code to establish a technological service or integration.
Data Synthesis:
  • Generative AI may also be used to generate synthetic data for data augmentation and to provide extra training data for AI models to train and evaluate at scale.
Summary of data:
  • It can filter through a large amount of legal research information and generate a relevant, detailed, and actionable summary.
Medical history and any pertinent information:
  • It can also aid medical experts in their diagnosis. AI may suggest possible and alternative remedies based on the symptoms and medical history of patients. DeepMindAlphaFold, for example, can predict the form of a protein.
Simplifying difficult queries:
  • ChatGPT may also help provide solutions to complicated questions and supplement search engines to generate replies to complex search queries.
Monitoring and evaluation:
  • Artificial intelligence is being used to produce media reviews to assist parents in monitoring and directing their children’s content consumption habits.
  • It can aid in the construction and simulation of complicated engineering, design, and architecture.
  • It can aid in the rapid iterative creation and testing of innovative ideas.
Interior 3D Designs:
  • Generative Image and video technologies may be used to create architecture, machine design, and even house floor designs.
  • Engineers and customers, for example, can use a Generative AI service to develop and iterate on floor layouts and architectures with as little as a text prompt or vocal command.
  • ·        By automating content production and facilitating the emergence of new ideas and concepts, generative AI has the potential to revolutionise numerous sectors.
  • It has the potential to free up countless hours of human research time, allowing them to focus on more challenging and intriguing topics.
  • It offers a wide range of uses that all help to simplify the task.
Concerns around AI use
  • It raises ethical issues regarding the possibility of biassed or misleading material being created and spread.
  • If not appropriately planned and developed with sufficient safeguards, Generative AI might cause harm and have a negative influence on society by propagating prejudices, exclusion, and discrimination.
  • Existing prejudices and exclusion can be perpetuated and amplified by generative AI systems.
  • If the models are trained on biassed, incomplete data, they will produce biassed outputs such as rude or discriminating language, humiliating and degrading visuals, and biassed content.
  • Deepfakes, misinformation, and propaganda are all examples of harmful material created by generative AI systems.
  • It is also capable of producing rude or improper information.
  • AI-generated media may be used by malicious actors to deceive individuals and affect public opinion.
  • These systems may have access to sensitive data, creating issues about data privacy and security.
  • It may also generate low-quality and inaccurate data, particularly in the context of sophisticated engineering and medical diagnostics.
  • It can be difficult to discern who is responsible for the material created by a generative AI system – the training data acquisition and consent mechanism, as well as intellectual property difficulties, making it impossible to hold anybody liable for any harm caused by its usage.
Way Ahead
  • It is critical that developers and users of generative AI examine the potential consequences and utilise the technology ethically and responsibly.
  • AI technology must be developed with rigour and responsibility, ethical rules must be enforced, frequent audits for fairness must be conducted, biases must be identified and addressed, and privacy and security must be protected.
  • It is critical to carefully assess the possible damages, risks, and concerns of Generative AI systems and to utilise them responsibly and ethically.
  • To create and deploy Generative AI services ethically and responsibly, countries must implement proper policy, legislation, awareness, and education safeguards.
Source: Indian Express


KanglaNongpok Thong

Context: The Prime Minister thanked the people of Manipur on the establishment of KanglaNongpok Thong. The development occurred after Union Home Minister unlocked the fort’s eastern entrance.

KanglaNongpok Thong Facts:
  • The British destroyed the Nongpok Thong following the Anglo-Manipur War in 1891.
  • KanglaNongpok Thong’s opening has significant cultural importance.
  • For the people of Manipur, the Eastern Gate of Kangla is seen as the doorway to peace, wealth, and pleasure.
Source: Indian Express

ParshuramKund Festival

Context: The Prime Minister has tweeted images from Arunachal Pradesh’s ParshuramKund Festival. ParshuramKund is a Hindu pilgrimage site on the Brahmaputra plateau in the Lohit River’s lower levels.

Religious significance:
Government Initiatives Honoring Sage Parshuram:
  • The Ministry of Tourism authorised the project “Development of ParasuramKund, Lohit District, Arunachal Pradesh” in January 2021.
  • The project has been approved by the Ministry of Tourism’s Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) Scheme.
Source: Indian Express

Airglow makes sky green, yellow and red too

Context:  The night sky is black, yet it lights in a rainbow of green, yellow, and red.

Airglow Information:
  • Airglow is the glow created by atoms and molecules in the atmosphere.
  • The various colours of airglow are caused by atoms and molecules emitting certain quantities of energy (quanta) in the form of light.
  • Oxygen emits green and red light in visible light.
  • Red light is produced by hydroxyl (OH) molecules.
  • Sodium causes a sickly yellow colour.
  • Nitrogen does not make a significant contribution to airglow.
  • Ultraviolet radiation may divide oxygen molecules (O2) into pairs of oxygen atoms at high altitudes.
  • When these oxygen atoms unite to form oxygen molecules, they emit a characteristic green light.
  • Sodium atoms make up a tiny percentage of our atmosphere, yet they contribute significantly to airglow.
  • These sodium atoms in the atmosphere are uniquely formed by the smoke trails of shooting stars.
Source: Indian Express

BIND Scheme

Context: Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development (BIND) is a central sector scheme (100 percent government financing) to upgrade PrasarBharati (which includes All India Radio (AIR), Door Darshan (DD), and other channels).

  • To broaden PrasarBharati’s reach, including in LWE (Left Wing
  • Extremism), border, and critical areas, and to give viewers with high-quality programming.
  • To enhance AIR FM coverage in the country to 66% by geographical area and 80% by population (from 59% and 68% now).
  • Over 8 lakh DD Free Dish STBs (Set Top Boxes) were distributed for free to persons living in distant, tribal, LWE, and border regions.
What is the significance of PrasarBharati?
  • PrasarBharati, the country’s public broadcaster, is the most essential source of information, education, entertainment, and engagement for the people, particularly in rural regions, through Doordarshan (DD) and All India Radio (AIR).
Source: Indian Express

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