Ojaank IAS Academy




17 August 2022 – Current Affairs

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Public Systems Lab (PSL)

Paper 3 – Economy
Why Should You Know?
Recently Shri Piyush Goyal inaugurated Public Systems Lab (PSL) at IIT Delhi.
In details –
  • The government is using innovative solutions to make the public delivery system more effective and efficient, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Piyush Goyal said.
  • Speaking at the inauguration of the Public Systems Lab at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, Goyal said the government’s thrust has been on innovation and the use of innovative solutions in making the public delivery system more effective and efficient.
  • Minister said, “Public systems lab can play a vital role in multiple ways. Public food procurement and distribution are crucial programmes in which this innovation can contribute immensely”. “Public Systems lab is a perfect example of innovation that will contribute towards the development of our nation and rid the country of corruption by bringing in efficiency in the Public Distribution System”.
  • The launch of Public Systems lab (PSL) will greatly impact citizens, and deliver significant benefits for academia and other stakeholders.
  • The lab will use knowledge of Operations Research, AI, Data Science etc to solve critical problems that are vital for improving the lives of crores of people. It will work in the field of Food, Health, Transportation & Good Governance. The current focus is optimising Food Supply Chains and Public Transport
About PSL –
  • With a vision to be “A global leader in providing innovative, sustainable and scalable solutions to make Public Systems more effective and efficient and enhance their access and utilisation by the communities“, the lab will work towards solving critical problems that are vital for improving the lives of millions of people who depend on public systems, by developing innovative solutions, undertaking field testing and supporting their scale-up and replication across the country and beyond.
  • The solutions would aim to reach marginalized communities, including socially excluded castes, tribes and groups and vulnerable women, to advance a human-rights based approach and the commitment to leave no one behind and realization of SDGs.
  • It will integrate methodological/fundamental research with strong multi-stakeholder engagement including but not limited to Governments, Multilateral organisations, Private Sector, Academia, Foundations and Civil Society Organisations.
  • Major functional areas will center around the inevitable use of Operation Research, Data Science and Artificial Intelligence in solving complex problems related to the domains of Transportation, Food Systems and Health with a particular commitment to support and work for the relevant Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The funds provided by WFP India, as a part of this multifaceted set up will focus SDG 2 goals with projects involving Operations Research, Product Development, Data-Based Innovations & Analysis.
Goal 2 in SDG –
  • Goal 2 aims to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030. It also commits to universal access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food at all times of the year.
  • It is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2015.
  • SDG 2 highlights the complex inter-linkages between food security, nutrition, rural transformation and sustainable agriculture.

Hub and Spoke Model

Paper 3 – Agriculture
Why Should You Know?
The central government is moving forward in the direction of modernization of food storage infrastructure in the country, under this hub and spoke supply model is going to be started, let us know about it.
In details –
  • The Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) has received overwhelming response towards the technical bids of Design, Build, Fund, Own & Operate (DBFOT) tender under Hub and Spoke Model. a new model for development of grain Silos across the country i.e. Hub & Spoke Model in Public Private Partnership (PPP) Mode has been proposed.
  • Total of 38 bids have been received against 4 bundles comprising of 14 locations in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Punjab, Maharashtra & Madhya Pradesh.
  • Total 15 prospective parties have shown their interest and submitted their bids. Technical Evaluation is expected to be completed in 3-4 weeks.
About the Model –
  • which consolidates the transportation assets from standalone locations referred to as “Spoke” to a central location named as “Hub” for long distance transportation.
  • Hubs have a dedicated railway siding and container depot facility while the transportation from Spoke to Hub is undertaken through road and from Hub to Hub vai rail.
  • This model by harnessing the efficiency of railway siding, promotes cost efficiency through bulk storage & movement, reduces cost and time of handling and transportation and simplifies operational complexities in addition to economic development, infrastructure development & employment generation in the country.
  • Besides, Silo are declared as sub Mandi yard which brings ease of procurement for farmers and leads to reduction in logistics cost.
  • Under Hub and Spoke Model, the Department has proposed to develop a capacity of  111.125 LMT of Hub and Spoke Model Silos at 249 locations across the country under Design, Build, Fund, Own & Transfer (DBFOT) (FCI’s land) and Design, Build, Fund, Own & Operate (DBFOO) (Land of concessionaire/other agency) mode, through implementing agency i.e. Food Corporation of India (FCI).
What is hub and spoke model?
  • The hub and spoke model refers to a distribution method in which a centralized “hub” exists. Everything either originates in the hub or is sent to the hub for distribution to consumers.
  • From the hub, goods travel outward to smaller locations owned by the company, called spokes, for further processing and distribution.
  • The airline industry revolutionized the hub and spoke model. Airlines operate out of a centralized hub and use regional airports as the spokes from which they offer flights.

Paalan 1000 National Campaign and Parenting App

Paper 2 – Health
Why Should You Know?
Recently Union Minister of State for Health Dr. Bharti Pravin Pawar launched Palan 1000 National Campaign and Parenting App, in the Early Child Development Conference.
In details –
• Union Minister of State for Health Dr. Bharti Pravin Pawar participated in the Early Child Development Conference in Mumbai on 16 August 2022 and during this she also launched the Palan 1000 National Campaign and Parenting App through virtual medium. • Dr. Bharti Pravin Pawar said that “India has taken rapid steps towards reducing child mortality. India has made rapid strides towards reducing the mortality rate per 1000 live births from 45 in 2014 to 35 in 2019.” has made progress.” • Accentuating the importance of the early phases of a child’s life as its impact can last a lifetime, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar said, “The process of a baby’s brain development begins during pregnancy and is influenced by a pregnant woman’s health, nutrition and environment. • After birth, apart from the physical growth, a human baby’s brain development paves the way for its future level of intelligence and quality of life. Each day of this journey is special and influences the way a baby develops, grows and learns – not just now, but for her entire life. We need to understand that the child survival cannot be addressed in isolation as it is intricately linked to the health of the mother. • Therefore, the concept of ‘Continuum of Care’, that emphasises on care during critical life stages in order to improve child survival, is being followed under the national programme.” • She further noted that the first thousand days encompasses the conception as well as the first two years of a child’s life and during this period, the growing child needs right nutrition, stimulation, love and support. “The first 1000 days establishes a solid platform for a child’s physical, mental, emotional, cognitive and social health”, she highlighted. • “The child health programme under the National Health Mission (NHM) comprehensively integrated interventions which improved child survival and addressed factors contributing to infant and under-five mortality. • Hence, our National Health Mission ensures that critical services are made available at home, through community outreach and through health facilities at various levels like primary, first referral units, tertiary health care facilities”, she said.
About Paalan 1000 National Campaign and Parenting App
  • ‘Paalan 1000 – Journey of the First 1000 Days’, focuses on the cognitive developments of children in the first 2 years of its life.
  • Paalan 1000 combines early years coaching for parents, families and other caregivers with services designed to meet families’ basic needs. Infants and toddlers are shaped by their experiences – andthose experiences are shaped by their caregivers. Caregivers are crucial for a strong start in the first years of life.
  • The programme is aligned the mission of the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK), emphasizing responsive care and focusing interventions on the first 1000 days.
  • PAALAN 1000 parenting app will provide caregiver with practical advice on what they can do in their everyday routine and will help resolving the various doubts of parents and will direct our efforts in the development of child.
  • Cognitive development of children under 2 years is a major focus area of this PAALAN 1000, and have focused on the 6 principles on Maximize Love, Talk & Engage, explore through Movement and Play, Read and Discuss Stories, Mother’s Engagement with the Child while Breastfeeding and Managing Stress and Staying Calm.

Arth Ganga Initiatives

Paper 3- Environment
Why Should You Know?
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh unveils India’s first Saline Water Lantern which uses the sea water as the electrolyte between specially designed electrodes to power the LED lamps
In details –
  • On August 16, 2022 The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) launched an initiative – called Jalaj – to create livelihood opportunities for those living along the bank of river Ganga and its tributaries through setting up facilities and handholding of local people for multiple economic activities such as homestay, safari, river walk, health & wellness centre, biodiversity watch, religious tourism, village tour and natural farming.
  • The initiative was virtually launched by the Union ‘Jal Shakti’ (water resources) minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat at 26 sites along rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Gomati, Hooghly and Chambal in six states including Uttar Pradesh (11 sites), West Bengal (6), Bihar (5), Uttarakhand (2), Jharkhand (one) and Madhya Pradesh (one along river Chambal).
  • The occasion of the launch was marked by organising an event – ‘Yamuna Par Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ – by the NMCG here at Zero Pushta, Sonia Vihar along river Yamuna.
  • The Jalaj initiative will complement and support the existing programme of the Centre under the NMCG’s ‘Arth Ganga’ concept of sustainable economic development of the river Ganga Basin with people participation.
  • It’ll be implemented by the NMCG in association with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) as part of the Mission’s larger goal to not only clean the river Ganga but also its tributaries. The Mission aims to increase the ‘Jalaj’ sites from 26 to 75.
  • The NMCG – a central nodal agency for Ganga rejuvenation in the country – also signed a MoU with a non-profit organisation Sahakar Bharati to promote natural farming on five km stretch on either side of river Ganga, and launched a tourism portal ‘ImAvatar’, focusing on religion tourism and facilitating visits of older citizens to religious pilgrims through Ganga ‘Sewaks’ trained by the Mission.
  • Speaking at an event, NMCG director general, G Asok Kumar, said, “We are now focusing on tributaries of Ganga. Our focus has been on cleaning river Yamuna and I am happy to share that by December, there will be a marked difference in the water quality of river Yamuna by stopping the flow of about 1,300 million litres per day (MLD) of wastewater into the river.”
  • A sewage treatment plant (STP) of the capacity of 318 MLD has recently been commissioned at Coronation Pillar in Delhi while three other main STPs on Yamuna, funded by NMCG, are targeted to be completed by December. These include Rithala, Kondli and Okhla, which is one of the biggest STPs in Asia.
  • The completion of these STPs will help in preventing sewage from drains falling into Yamuna. A total of 12 projects for the treatment of 1,385 MLD sewage have been taken up at a cost of about Rs 2,354 crore under Namami Gange programme in Delhi to abate the pollution in River Yamuna.
About Arth-Ganga –
  • Arth-Ganga concept, espoused by the Prime Minister during the 1st National Ganga Council meeting in 2019 in Kanpur, is being developed into an economic model for sustainable river rejuvenation.
  • At the helm of the Arth Ganga concept is people-river connect that aims to firmly establish a collaborative relationship between the river and the people.
  • The central idea of  “Arth Ganga” is linking people and Ganga through the bridge of economics in line with the slogan of “Banking on River Ganga”.
  • Under Arth Ganga, six verticals are being worked upon:
  • Zero Budget Natural Farming that includes chemical-free farming for 10 kms on either side of the river, generating “more income, per drop”, ‘Gobar Dhan’ for farmers,
  • Monetization and Reuse of Sludge &Wastewater that envisages reuse of treated water for irrigation; industrial purposes and revenue generation for ULBs,
  • Livelihood Generation Opportunities such as ‘Ghat Mein Haat’, promotion of local products, Ayurveda, medicinal plants, capacity building of volunteers like Ganga Praharis,
  • Public Participation to ensure increased synergies between stakeholders,
  • Cultural Heritage &Tourism that looks to introduce boat tourism through community jettis, promotion of yoga, adventure tourism etc. and Ganga Artis and
  • Institutional Building by enhancing the local capacities for better decentralized water governance.

Individual Portal for Mines Ministry

Paper 3 – Economy
Why Should You Know?
Indian Bureau of Mines to Create Individual Portal for Mines Ministry Under PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan.
In details –
  • In compliance with the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan, Ministry of Mines entrusted the responsibility for creation of individual portal to Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) through BISAG-N (Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo informatics).
  • So far, two data layers have been created. The first layer covers the spatial data of Mineral concessions which included existing mining lease and existing composite license granted through auction.
  • The second layer includes mineral auction block which have been auctioned successfully but execution of mining lease is pending.
  • Spatial data of around 3154 mining leases (both working and non-working including auctioned blocks) covering 297200 Ha area all over the country have been uploaded on the portal, which is being validated. The process of validation is likely to be completed by the end of this month.
PM Gati Shakti –
  • In a historic event for the infrastructure landscape of the country, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched PM Gati Shakti – National Master Plan for multi-modal connectivity, on 13th October, 2021.
  • Infrastructure creation in India had suffered multiple issues including lack of coordination between different implementation agencies as well as information gap leading to cost and time over run in implementation of projects.
  • These issues not only led to public inconvenience but also deprived the country of having world class infrastructure. To address this, efforts were put in place to increase coordination between different agencies, make available all the available and required information for infrastructure creation on a web based platform.
  • Steps have also been taken to address other issues like time-taking approval process, multiplicity of regulatory clearances etc.
  • Towards this end PM Gati Shakti program is designed to address the past issues through institutionalizing holistic planning for stakeholders for major infrastructure projects.
  • PM Gati Shakti is based on six pillars: Comprehensiveness, Prioritization, Optimization, Synchronization, Analytics and Dynamic.
  • Instead of planning and designing the projects separately in silos, the projects will be designed and executed with a common vision.
  • It will incorporate the infrastructure schemes of various Central Ministries and State Governments. It will also extensively leverage technology including spatial planning tools with ISRO imagery developed by BISAG-N.

Space Kidz India

Paper 3 – Science & Technology
Why Should You Know?
On 15 august 2022 Indian flag unfurled 30 kilometers above earth by Space Kidz India.
In details –
  • Space Kidz India unfurled the Indian flag about 30 kilometres above the planet on Independence Day.
  • The flag was sent to an altitude of 1 lakh 6 thousand feet above the planet on a balloon that unfurled it.
  • The event was part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav slogan and under the Har Ghar Tiranga campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to celebrate the historic anniversary.
  • Space Kidz India is an organization creating ‘young scientists for the country and spreading awareness among children for a borderless world.’
  • ·he organization recently launched a satellite into Low Earth Orbit. AzadiSAT was developed by 750 girl students from across India to mark the 75 years of Independence.
About Space Kidz India –
  • “Space Kidz India”, is an organization creating “Young scientists” for the “Country” and spreading awareness among children for a “borderless world”.
  • It creates International experiential learning for students in the field of science, Technology, Art, and Culture.
  • we are the 1st organization in the World to have launched Satellites through high school and college students. Also Ambassadors to the “NASA”, “ESA” and “GCTC Russia” Space Camps, Pioneers in organizing International workshops.
  • Space Kidz India is in a constant search for young talents in the field of Science and Technology and also provides them an International exposure apart from extending an opportunity to meet up with eminent Indian Scientists and rub shoulders with them.
  • The “Young Scientist Program” was designed to promote science awareness to high school students’, to increase their understanding of science, and to attract them into scientific careers, as there is a BIG VACUUM in the enrollment of young scientists in our research centers. Students were encouraged to participate in what interests them to connect and collaborate with others into new discoveries”.

First country to approve Omicron vaccine

Paper 2 – Health
Why Should You Know?
UK becomes first country to approve Omicron vaccine.
In details –
  • The United Kingdom has authorized the first ever COVID-19 vaccine for the Omicron variant.
  • It is the first country to do so. Authorizing the vaccine would now pave the way for an autumn booster campaign using Moderna’s two-strain shot.
  • Conditional authorization for this vaccine was granted by the “Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority”. It was also the first authority worldwide to have approved the original COVID-19 vaccine.
  • It is authorized for use among people over the age of 18. Now the UK will focus its booster program on people over the age of 50 and who are highly vulnerable to the development of COVID.
  • The agency’s decision was based on clinical trial data that showed the booster triggered “a strong immune response” against both Omicron (BA.1) and the original 2020 virus.
  • The UK medicine regulator also cited an exploratory analysis in which the shot was also found to generate a good immune response against the currently dominant Omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5.
  • It produced 1.75 times more antibodies than the number found in people given a fourth booster of the existing vaccine and was better at tackling the BA.4/5 Omicron variants than the original shot.

WHO unveils new monkeypox variant names

Paper 2 – Health
Why Should You Know?
Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has named variants of monkeypox virus.
In details –
  • As the first step in renaming the monkeypox virus and its variants, an expert group convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) agreed on new names for the variants, as the WHO continues collecting proposals on a new name for the disease itself.
  • In other developments, a flurry of new studies shed more light on symptoms and diagnosis, as well as on transmission and contact tracing. One paper detailed asymptomatic cases.
  • In a statement, the WHO said when monkeypox was named upon its discovery in 1958, best practices for naming weren’t in place, and variants were often identified by geographic regions where they were known to circulate.
  • Newer practice, however, is to use nomenclature that avoids stigma and negative impacts on trade and travel.
  • The WHO said it convened the expert group on Aug 8 to expedite the naming process. The experts reached consensus on names for the clades: clade 1 for the former Congo basin (Central African) clade and clade 2 for the former West African clade.
  • The experts also agreed that the two clade 2 subclades be known as clade 2a and clade 2b. The clade 2 variants are the main ones circulating in the current global outbreak.
What is Monkeypox ?
  • and is occasionally exported to other regions.
  • Monkeypox is caused by monkeypox virus, a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae.
  • through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus.
  • Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.
  • Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks. Severe cases can occur. In recent times, the case fatality ratio has been around 3–6%.
  • Vaccines used during the smallpox eradication programme also provided protection against monkeypox. Newer vaccines have been developed of which one has been approved for prevention of monkeypox
  • An antiviral agent developed for the treatment of smallpox has also been licensed for the treatment of monkeypox.
  • The clinical presentation of monkeypox resembles that of smallpox, a related orthopoxvirus infection which was declared eradicated worldwide in 1980. Monkeypox is less contagious than smallpox and causes less severe illness.
  • Monkeypox typically presents clinically with fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to a range of medical complications.

Manthan Plateform

Paper 3 – Science & Technology
Why Should You Know?
Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India unveils Manthan.
In details –
  • The Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India (GoI); entrusted with the vision to enable and empower all spheres of science and technology within the country, announced the launch of the Manthan platform.
  • Its aims to promote collaboration at scale between industry and the scientific research and development ecosystem to help meet India’s sustainability goals in alignment with the UN defined Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) charter.
  • The launch commemorates India’s 75 years of independence – Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav and presents an opportunity to bring national and global communities closer to India’s technology revolution.
  • Led by the Office of PSA, Manthan can potentially change the landscape of science and technology-based social impact innovation and solutions in India. The platform will facilitate knowledge transfers and interactions through Information Exchange Sessions, Exhibitions, and Events to develop a framework for future science, innovation, and technology-led growth.
  • Powered by NSEIT, this platform will empower to scale up the interactions among stakeholders, facilitate research and innovation, and share challenges in various emerging technologies and scientific interventions, including those that make a Social Impact. 

Freedom fighter Ondiveeran

Paper 1 – History
Why Should You Know?
The Central government is going to be released a stamp on freedom fighter Ondiveeram.
In details –
  • Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Dr L Murugan has expressed his gratitude to Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw for authorizing a commemorative postal stamp for freedom fighter Ondiveeran.
  • The stamp will be released on 20th August in Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu.
About Ondiveeran –
  • ) was an Indian commander-in-chief who fought against the British East India Company in Tamil Nadu.
  • In the war with the British in 1767, he defeated the English commander Colonel Earl’s army with two thousand soldiers and won.
  • He died on 20 August 1771.
  • and is viewed by them as a hero.
  • Government of Tamil Nadu is going to build a memorial to him in Tirunelveli district. The foundation stone for the memorial was laid in 2011.

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