Ojaank IAS Academy




10 September 2022 – Current Affairs

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Operation “Gear Box”

Paper 3 – Internal Security
Why Should You Know?
Recently Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) detected several packets of narcotic drug heroin under Operation “Gear Box”
In details –
  • The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) along with ATS, Gujarat, detect 72 hidden packets weighing 39.5 kg of powder in bags, suspected to be narcotic substance, in a container from Dubai.
  • Acting on intelligence jointly developed by DRI and ATS Gujarat, operation ‘Gear Box’ was launched.
  • A container was examined by DRI at Kolkata port, West Bengal, in the presence of officers of ATS, Gujarat. The said container from Jebel Ali, Dubai, having gross weight of 9,300 kg was declared to contain Heavy melting Scrap.
  • Bill of Entry was not filed for this container and the goods were found to be Metallic Scrap and machine parts like Gear Boxes.
  • During detailed examination, i.e. dismantling of gear boxes and other metallic scrap, 72 packets having a total weight of 39.5 kg of powder in bags, suspected to be narcotic substance, has been recovered so far.
  • The narcotic substance on testing by field test kits confirmed the presence of heroin. Further the detailed Examination is being continued.
  • It appears that the drug syndicate has used this unique modus operandi to conceal Heroin. The gears from the old and used gearboxes were removed after opening them and the plastic packets containing the narcotic substances were placed in the created cavity and the gearboxes were then refitted to avoid detection.
  • These packets were shipped concealing inside the metal scrap along with other metal scraps so that it would go unnoticed by the authorities. Examination and seizure proceedings by DRI under the provisions of the NDPS Act, 1985 are continuing.
  • It is to highlight that drug syndicate are using novel modus operandi everytime. In a case earlier detected wherein 75 kg Heroin was recovered, it was found that the threads weighing 395 kg, were soaked in a solution containing narcotic drug – heroin which were then dried, made into bales and packed in bags, to avoid detection.
About Directorate of Revenue Intelligence –
  • The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) is an Indian intelligence agency. It is India’s apex anti-smuggling intelligence, investigations and operations agency.
  • The Agency works to secure India’s national and economic security by preventing the outright smuggling of contraband such as firearms, gold, narcotics, Fake Indian Currency notes, antiques, wildlife and environmental products.
  • Moreover, it also works to prevent the proliferation of black money, trade based money laundering and commercial frauds.
  • The Directorate is run by officers from the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) who are posted in its various Zonal Units as well as in Indian embassies abroad as part of the Customs Overseas Intelligence Network.
  • It is headed by a Director General of the rank of Special Secretary to the Government of India.

Illegal Loan Apps

Paper 3 – Economy
Why Should You Know?
Recently, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chaired a meeting on “Illegal Loan App”
In details –
  • Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman chaired a meeting on September 9, 2022 to discuss the various issues related to “Illegal Loan Apps” outside the regular banking channels.
  • The meeting was attended by the Finance Secretary, Ministry of Finance; Secretary, Economic Affairs; Secretary, Revenue, & Corporate Affairs (Addl. Charge); Secretary, Financial Services; Secretary, Electronics & Information technology; Deputy Governor, RBI; and Executive Director, RBI.
  • The Finance Minister expressed concern on increasing instances of Illegal Loan Apps offering loans/micro credits, especially to vulnerable & low-income group people at exorbitantly high interest rates and processing/hidden charges, and predatory recovery practices involving blackmailing, criminal intimidation etc. Smt. Sitharaman also noted the possibility of money laundering, tax evasions, breach/privacy of data, and misuse of unregulated payment aggregators, shell companies, defunct NBFCs etc. for perpetrating such actions.
  • After detailed deliberations on legal, procedural & technical aspects of the issue, it was decided in the meeting that:
  • RBI will prepare a “Whitelist” of all the legal Apps and MeitY will ensure that only these “Whitelist” Apps are hosted on App Stores.
  • RBI will monitor the ‘mule/rented’ accounts that may be used for money laundering and to review/cancel dormant NBFCs to avoid their misuse.
  • RBI will ensure that registration of payment aggregators be completed within a timeframe and no un-registered payment aggregator be allowed to function after that.
  • MCA will identify shell companies and de-register them to prevent their misuse.
  • Steps should be taken to increase cyber awareness for customers, bank employees, law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders.
  • All Ministries/Agencies to take all possible actions to prevent operations of such Illegal Loan Apps.
  • The Ministry of Finance will monitor the actionable points for compliance on a regular basis.

Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan’

Paper 2 – Health
Why Should You Know?
On September 9, 2022 Hon’ble President Smt. Droupadi Murmu launched ‘Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan’ to eliminate TB by 2025.
In details –
  • Hon’ble President Smt. Droupadi Murmu launched ‘Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan’ to eliminate TB by 2025.
  • Union Health & Family Welfare Minister, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar were present at the launch event along with Union Ministers, Governors and Lt. Governors, State Health Ministers and other dignitaries.
  • The virtual event, also attended by state and district health administrations, representatives from corporates, industries, civil society, NGOs, and TB Champions, reiterated India’s commitment to eliminate the high-burden infectious disease by 2025, five years ahead of the global goal of 2030.
  • it is noteworthy that this vision was first articulated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister at the Delhi End TB Summit in March 2018.
  • The virtual launch event showcased India’s accelerated progress through the National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP) owing to commitment at the highest levels. At the ceremony, the Hon’ble President of India appreciated the tireless efforts of the healthcare workers, community leaders, and citizens for managing the COVID-19 pandemic and underlined the need to adopt a similar whole-of-society approach to eliminate TB from the country.
Ni-kshay Mitra initiative
  • The President also launched the Ni-kshay Mitra initiative to ensure additional diagnostic, nutritional, and vocational support to those on TB treatment, and encouraged elected representatives, corporates, NGOs, and individuals to come forward as donors to help the patients complete their journey towards recovery.
  • The Ni-kshay 2.0 portal (https://communitysupport.nikshay.in/) will facilitate in providing additional patient support to improve treatment outcome of TB patients, augmenting community involvement in meeting India’s commitment to end TB by 2025 and leveraging Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) opportunities.
About The NTEP
  • The National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP), previously known as Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP), aims to strategically reduce TB burden in India by 2025, five years ahead of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • In 2020, the RNTCP was renamed as the National TB Elimination Program (NTEP) to emphasize the aim of the Government of India to eliminate TB in India by 2025.
  • It reached over a billion people in 632 districts/reporting units and is responsible for carrying out the Government of India’s five-year National Strategic Plans for TB elimination along with the States/UTs.
  • The National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination was launched to achieve the target of ending TB by 2025 in a mission mode. It is a multi-pronged approach which aims to detect all TB patients with an emphasis on reaching TB patients seeking care from private providers and undiagnosed TB in high-risk populations.
  • In 2021, India notified 21 lakh TB cases, successfully bridging the gaps between estimated number of cases and those that were recorded on the Ni-kshay portal previously.
  • A range of forward-looking policies have been implemented including critical schemes such as Ni-kshay Poshan Yojana (NPY), which helped meet the nutritional requirements of TB patients, especially the underserved.
  • From 2018 till present, around ₹1,707 crore has been disbursed to more than 65 lakh people on TB treatment across the country.
  • As part of engaging the private sector, Patient Provider Support Agencies (PPSA) have been rolled out across 250 districts through the domestic setup and JEET initiative, leading to 32% of all TB patients being notified from the private sector.
  • Building on Universal Drug Susceptibility Testing (UDST) for all diagnosed TB cases the programme has added 3,760 NAAT machines across the country till 2021 ensuring that patients are diagnosed with drug-resistant TB at the very outset and are put on correct treatment plans on a timely basis.
  • Over 1,50,000 Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres will be established by December 2022 to decentralize comprehensive primary healthcare including TB care services at the grassroots level.
  • The programme also initiated strategies to engage the community and create a Jan Andolan against TB. The program has identified more than 12,000 TB champions to reach out to the underserved and marginalized and support patients in accessing care.
  • The programme is also supporting creation of Patient Support Groups (PSGs) to facilitate conversations between patients, doctors and their caregivers to address common issues in treatment.

‘Aheli Khadi’ Show

Paper 3 – Economy
Why Should You Know?
Centre of Excellence for Khadi (CoEK) is going to organised an exhibition and a Fashion Show ‘Aheli Khadi’ at NIFT Gandhinagar on 11th September, 2022.
In details –
  • Indian Government’s pivotal call has been the core objective of the Centre of Excellence for Khadi (CoEK) to position Khadi as a Fashion Fabric. It has been a constant effort of the Prime Minister to promote Khadi for all, especially the beacons of our society- the youth.
  • With the intention to reach out to young audience and global market, the Center of Excellence for Khadi (CoEK) was conceived by the Ministry of MSME to support Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) in association with the National Institute of Fashion Technology.
  • Set up as a hub and spokes model at Delhi as hub; Bengaluru, Gandhinagar, Kolkata and Shillong as spokes.
  • CoEK is presenting an exhibition and a Fashion Show ‘Aheli Khadi’ at the Tana Riri Auditorium, NIFT Gandhinagar on Sunday, 11th September 2022.
  • The show will be graced by the presence of the Chairman of KVIC – Shri Manoj Goel as chief guest. The show will be attended by KVIC officials, academia, designers, industry members, and students.
  • Aheli meaning pure has originated from the quest of CoEK to provide genuine khadi, sourced directly from the khadi institutions to design for pan generational consumer.
  • CoEK designers have designed six distinct collections of apparel and sarees ranging from ethnic, fusion, western and casual look. Hand embroidery, stitch detailing and hand block printing has been used to add value to the exquisite khadi.
  • Home linen collections have been designed with Khadi fabrics of different weights and yarns combining Indian crafts with an International look to position Khadi as Global. These products include cushion covers, runners and table linen.
  • The aim of CoEK is to promote and pitch Khadi at a relatable, high design level, it also wishes to encourage use of khadi as an environmentally sustainable fabric to replace non-biodegradable unsustainable product in the domain of home and apparel.
What is Khadi?
  • Khadi derived from khaddar, is a hand-spun and woven natural fibre cloth promoted by Mahatma Gandhi as swadeshi (self-sufficiency) for the freedom struggle of the Indian subcontinent, and the term is used throughout India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • The first piece of the hand-woven cloth was manufactured in the Sabarmati Ashram during 1917–18. The coarseness of the cloth led Gandhi to call it khadi.
  • The cloth is made from cotton, but it may also include silk or wool, which are all spun into yarn on a charkha.
  • It is a versatile fabric that remains cool in summer and warm in winter. To improve its appearance, khadi is sometimes starched to give it a stiffer feel.
  • It is widely accepted in various fashion circles.Popular dresses are made using khadi cloth such as dhoti, kurta, and handloom saris such as Puttapaka Saree, Kotpad Handloom fabrics, Chamba Rumal, and Tussar silk.
  • Gajam Anjaiah, an Indian master handloom designer and a recipient of the Padma Shri, is known for his innovation and development of tie-dye handloom products along with the Telia Rumal technique of weaving products based on the Ikat process.

‘The Mining Arena’ Digital Platform

Paper 3 – Natural Resources
Why Should You Know?
The National Mines Ministers’ Conference  (NMMC) is being organised at Hyderabad. During this Hon’ble Minister of Mines inaugurated a digital platform called ‘The Mining Arena’.
In details –
  • Union Minister of Mines, Coal and  Parliamentary Affairs,, Shri Pralhad Joshi inaugurated the   National Mines Ministers’ Conference  (NMMC) on September 9, 2022 at Hyatt Hyderabad.
  • The conference shall continue on 10th September, 2022 also at Hyatt Hyderabad, Gachibowli.
  • The National Mining Ministers’ Conference was another step in the direction of making the mineral sector ‘Aatma Nirbhar’ and promoting Sustainable Mining in India.
  • The event is being graced by Mines Ministers from 11 States, Principal Secretaries/ Special Secretaries (Mines) and DGMs/DMGs from 19 states  and 01 Union Territories along with the officials of Ministry of Mines ,Ministry of Coal and Ministry of Steel. CMDs from 14 CPSEs of Ministry of Mines  Coal and Steel and heads of 10 Notified Private  Exploration Agencies.
  • The Union Government has introduced several reforms to boost Ease of Doing Business in the sector. Exploration of Mineral blocks have been facilitated to aid auction of blocks to investors and the sector has been made more competitive in order to increase the production of minerals by 200% in 7 years.
  • The theme of the conference is to develop strategies  and increase the effectiveness of the new policy reforms brought out by the Union while we are entering Amrit Kal.  
  • Considering the vital role of mineral exploration in the country in meeting the global demand for minerals in the coming decades, Union Government held the National Mining Ministers’ Conference to strengthen the ties between the Ministry of Mines and various state governments and discuss strategies need to achieve the goals being set for mining sector to be achieved in Amrit Kal by 2047.
The Mining Arena –
  • During the conference, Hon’ble Minister of Mines inaugurated a digital platform called ‘The Mining Arena’.
  • This is an interactive platform  which will give the people first-hand experience and information about working of the Ministry of Mines.
  • It will provide an insight on Ministry’s roles and responsibilities, its achievements and will also give an overview of Ministry’s attached offices, CPSEs and autonomous bodies.
Rashtriya Khanij Vikas Pursakar –
  • The highlights of the Rashtriya Khanij Vikas Pursakar awards which was awarded to best performing states on 12 July 2022 at the 6th National Conclave on Mines and Minerals held at New Delhi was displayed during the conference.
  • Earlier this year, the Ministry of Mines had given out the national level awards, ‘Rashtriya  Khanij  Vikas Puraskar’  for  incentivizing states who take initiative in exploration, auction, operationalization of mines to increase mineral production in the country for each year starting from FY 2019-20 & 2020-21 (clubbed together).
  • The awards were given in three categories namely –
  • Category – I:Iron ore, Limestone and Bauxite:,
  • Category – II: Other minerals, Minerals other than minor minerals, iron bauxite and limestone, and
  • Category-III: Minor minerals like mice, granite, marble etc.
  • The awards include a trophy, plaque and cash awards. Cash awards of 3 Crore , 2Crores and 01 Crore was awarded for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners  respectively.
  • Total cash award of Rs.   Crore in form of National award and incentives  was awarded in July 2022 at Delhi by M/o Mines .

Vande Bharat-2

Paper 3 – Infrastructure
Why Should You Know?
In the constant endeavor to give the best facilities to passengers, the Indian Railways will be introducing the new avatar of high speed train Vande Bharat i.e. Vande Bharat 2.
In details –
  • In the constant endeavor to give the best facilities to passengers, the Indian Railways will be introducing the new avatar of high speed train Vande Bharat i.e. Vande Bharat 2.
  • Vande Bharat 2 will be equipped with more advancements and improved features like 0 to 100 Kmpl speed in just 52 second, maximum speed up to 180 Kmph, lesser weight of 392 ton instead of 430 ton and WI-FI content on demand.
  • New Vande Bharat will also have 32-inch LCD TVs which was of 24 inch in earlier version.
  • 15 percent more energy efficient ACs with dust free clean air cooling of traction motor will make the travel more comfortable. Side recliner seat facility which is being provided to Executive Class passengers, will now be made available for all classes.
  • In the new design of Vande Bharat Express, photo-catalytic ultra violet air purification system is installed in the roof mounted Roof Mounted Package Unit (RMPU) for air purification. 
  • As recommended by Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO), Chandigarh, this system is designed and installed in both ends of RMPU to filter and clean the air free from germs, bacteria, virus, etc. coming through fresh air and return air.
About Vande Bharat Express –
  • The Vande Bharat Express, also known as Train 18, is an Indian semi-high-speed, intercity, EMU train which is operated by the Indian Railways only on two prominent routes as of March 2022, one from New Delhi (NDLS) to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra (SVDK) and the other from New Delhi (NDLS) to Varanasi (BSB).
  • It was designed and manufactured by Integral Coach Factory (ICF) at Perambur, Chennai under the Indian government’s Make in India initiative, over a span of 18 months.
  • The train was launched on 15 February 2019, The service was named ‘Vande Bharat Express’ on 27 January 2019.
  • Vande Bharat Express is designed to be capable of running at a maximum speed of 160 kmph that can be touched in only 140 seconds for commercial purpose and it exceeded 180kmph during testing.

A social mobilisation campaign

Paper 2 – Social Justice
Why Should You Know?
Recently Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihood Mission launched a social mobilization campaign to bring the left out families under its ambit.
In details –
  • Ministry of Rural Development is conducting a 15 day country-wide campaign from 7th to 20th of September, 2022 to expedite the process of mobilisation of left-out poor rural poor women across 34 states and Union Territories into women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs) under DAY-NRLM’s fold.
  • During the campaign, women institutions from each village will a conduct social mobilization event where each member will bring a friend, or neighbour who is a non-SHG member with them.
  • The benefits of being a part of DAY-NRLM SHGs will be highlighted, and those non-members, thus motivated to join will be linked with these community institutions.
  • Special strategies are also being prepared by block level staff across states to reach women in remote gram panchayats.
  • The campaign also aims to ensure that SHGs are included into higher-level federations; tier two level Village Organisations (VOs) and tier three level Cluster Level Federations (CLFs ).
  • The Ministry’s vision is that such federated structures will evolve into community-managed institutions of the poor that can lead programmes for livelihood and social development. Bank accounts will be opened for all the SHGs, VOs and CLFs within seven days of being formed.
  • The campaign was announced on the 5th of September by Shri Nagendra Nath Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development. As on 31st August, more than 8.5 crore families have been linked with 78.33 lakh SHGs under DAY-NRLM’s fold.
About DAY-NRLM –
  • Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) was launched by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India in June 2011 as a restructured version of Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojna (SGSY).
  • The Mission aims at creating efficient and effective institutional platforms of the rural poor enabling them to increase household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial services.
  • In November 2015, the program was renamed Deendayal Antayodaya Yojana (DAY-NRLM).

SC decision on stray dogs attack

Paper 2- Social Issues
Why Should You Know?
Recently Supreme Court said that If stray dogs attack people, those who feed them could be held liable.
In details –
  • On September 9, 2022 The Supreme Court suggested people who routinely feed stray dogs could be made responsible for their vaccination and also liable to bear the costs if those animals attack people, while emphasising on a need to find a solution to the stray dogs’ menace.
  • As a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and J.K. Maheshwari was hearing petitions in connection with the stray dogs’ menace in Kerala, Justice Khanna orally observed that he is a dog lover and there are many dog lovers and suggested that people who feed stray dogs could possibly keep a number or marking on the dog they feed.
  • The bench emphasised that it is essential to find the solution of stray dogs’ menace and need to create a balance between people who feed stray dogs and also protect innocent people from being attacked by stray dogs.
  • It observed that it is important to accept there is a problem – dogs may become ferocious due to lack of food or they may get an infection. It further added that rabies infected dogs could be put in a care centre by authorities concerned.
  • Advocate V.K. Biju submitted that since August 8 persons have died and schoolchildren and women are being attacked by ferocious dogs in public places. Biju had recently raised the issue of stray dogs’ attacks before the top court and highlighted the recent death of a 12-year-old victim in Kerala.
  • Counsel, representing the Kerala government, cited Kerala High Court judgment passed in 2015, to cull the stray dog population as per local body laws.
  • The court also asked the Sri Jagan Commission, formed by the Supreme Court in 2016 to inquire into complaints about dog attacks and distribution of compensation to victims in Kerala, to submit a report.
  • After hearing arguments, the top court scheduled the matter for further hearing on September 28, and permitted animal rights groups to intervene.

Cyborg Cockroaches

Paper 3 –  Science & Tech
Why Should You Know?
An international team of researchers led by Japan’s scientific institution, RIKEN’s Cluster for Pioneering Research (CPR), have devised a system that can create cyborg cockroaches.
In details –
  • An international team of researchers led by Japan’s scientific institution, RIKEN’s Cluster for Pioneering Research (CPR), have devised a system that can create cyborg cockroaches, that are part insect and part machine.
  • They claim that these insects, whose movements are controlled by tiny integrated circuits, will be able to conduct surveillance in procedures like urban search and rescue, environmental monitoring and inspection of areas dangerous to humans.
  • The researchers claim that by equipping the cockroaches with small wireless control modules, handlers will be able to control the insect’s legs remotely for long periods of time.
  • The team, led by RIKEN CPR’s Kenjiro Fukuda, used Madagascar cockroaches, which are not only the largest species of cockroaches, reaching an estimated 6 cm, but are also known for making hissing sounds when disturbed, which they make by expelling air from the openings on their back.
  • Despite their hefty size, researchers only had limited surface area on which they could place the complex devices. Using a 3D printed soft backpack that was connected to the insect’s nervous system, they were able to control its leg segments.
  • The adhesion of the backpack that was affixed to the thorax remained secured “even after a month in the breeding environment,” the paper stated, confirming that it remained on the body for a long period of time.
  • The researchers also designed the system to be rechargeable, by powering it with a super thin 0.004 mm solar cell module that is installed on the dorsal side of the cockroach’s abdomen. This was done to ensure that the battery remains charged and the cockroach can be controlled for long periods of time, while simultaneously ensuring that the movement remains unhindered.

Centre – State Science Conclave

Paper 3 – Science & Technology
Why Should You Know?
On September 10, 2022 Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is going to inaugurate ‘Centre – State Science Conclave’.
In details –
  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Centre- State Science Conclave on the 10th September via video conferencing. Prime Minister will also address the gathering on the occasion.
  • In line with the Government’s relentless efforts to facilitate  innovation and entrepreneurship in the country, the first of its kind Conclave will strengthen Centre-State coordination and collaboration mechanisms  – in the spirit of cooperative federalism – to build a robust science, technology & innovation (STI) ecosystem across the country.
  • The two day Conclave is being organised at Science City, Ahmedabad on 10-11 September 2022.
  • It will include sessions on different thematic areas including  STI Vision 2047; Future Growth Pathways and Vision for STI in States; Health –  Digital Health Care for All; Doubling Private Sector investment in R&D by 2030; Agriculture – Technological interventions for improving farmers’ income; Water –  Innovation for producing potable drinking water; Energy- Clean Energy for All including S&T role in Hydrogen mission; Deep Ocean Mission and its relevance for Coastal States/UTs as well as country’s future economy.
  • The first of its kind Conclave will witness the participation of Gujarat CM, Union MoS Science & Technology (S&T), S&T Ministers and Secretaries of States & Union Territories, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, NGOs, young scientists and students.

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