Ojaank IAS Academy




18 August 2022 – Current Affairs

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Traditional Knowledge Digital Library

Paper 3 – Economy
Why Should You Know?
Recently The Union Cabinet has approved the extension of access to the database of Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) to users other than the Patent Offices.
In details –
  • The Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has approved the “Widening access of the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) database to users, besides patent offices”.
  • It is noteworthy that the opening up of the TKDL database to users is an ambitious and forward-looking action by the Government of India.  This will be a new dawn for Indian traditional knowledge, as the TKDL will drive research & development, and innovation based on India’s valued heritage across diverse fields. 
  • The opening up of the TKDL is also envisaged to inculcate thought and knowledge leadership through Bharatiya Gnana Parampara, under the New Education Policy 2020.
What is TKDL?
  • The Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) is a prior art database of Indian traditional knowledge established in 2001, jointly by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy (ISM&H, now Ministry of AYUSH). 
  • The TKDL is a first of its kind globally and has been serving as an exemplary model to other nations. 
  • The TKDL currently contains information from existing literature related to ISM such as Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Yoga. 
  • The information is documented in a digitized format in five international languages which are English, German, French, Japanese and Spanish. 
  • TKDL provides information in languages and format understandable by patent examiners at Patent Offices worldwide, so as to prevent the erroneous grant of patents.  Until now, access to the complete TKDL database is restricted to 14 Patent Offices worldwide for the purposes of search and examination.  This defensive protection through TKDL has been effective in safeguarding Indian traditional knowledge from misappropriation, and is considered a global benchmark.
Significance –
  • Indian traditional knowledge (TK) offers immense potential to serve national and global needs, therewith providing societal benefits as well as economic growth.  For example, the traditional systems of medicine and wellness from our country, namely Ayurveda.  Siddha, Unani, Sowa Rigpa, and Yoga are serving the needs of people from India and abroad even today. 
  • The recent COVID- 19 pandemic has also been witnessing extensive use of Indian traditional medicines whose benefits range from immune-boosting to symptoms-relief to anti-viral activity. 
  • Earlier this year in April, the World Health Organization (WHO) established its first off-shore Global Centre for Traditional Medicines (GCTM) in India.  These demonstrate the continued relevance of traditional knowledge in address the current and emerging needs of the world.
  • The approval of the Cabinet to widen the access of the database beyond patent offices lays emphasis on integrating and co-opting traditional knowledge with current practices towards enhancing innovation and trade. 
  • The TKDL will act as an important sources of TK information for advancing knowledge and technology frontiers.  The current contents of TKDL shall facilitate wider adoption of Indian traditional medicines, while also propelling new manufacturers and innovators to gainfully build enterprises based on our valuable knowledge heritage.
  • The TKDL can cater to a vast user base that would include businesses/companies {herbal healthcare (AYUSH, pharmaceuticals, phytopharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals), personal care, and other FMCG}, research institutions: public and private; educational institutions: educators & students; and others: ISM practitioners, knowledge holders, patentees and their legal representatives, and government, among several others.  The access to the TKDL database would be through a paid subscription model with a phase-wise opening to national and international users.
  • In future, more information on Indian traditional knowledge from other domains will be added to the TKDL database from the perspectives of the “3P – Preservation.  Protection and Promotion”. 
  • While catering to its primary mandate of preventing grant of wrong patents on Indian traditional knowledge, the TKDL database will also push creative minds to innovate for better, safer and more effective solutions for a healthier and technology endowed population.  India’s rich heritage shall lay a strong foundation for newer socio-economic developments.

UDAN Scheme

Paper 3- Infrastructure
Why Should You Know?
Recently UDAN Scheme of Ministry of Civil Aviation completed 5 years of success, let’s know some new facts about it
In details –
  • Ministry of Civil Aviation’s flagship program Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN (UdeDeshkaAamNagrik) has completed 5 years of success since the launch of it first flight by  Prime Minister on 27th April 2017.
  • The scheme was initiated on 21st October 2016 with the objective to fulfil the aspirations of the common citizen by following the vision of ‘Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik’, with an enhanced aviation infrastructure and air connectivity in tier II and tier III cities.
  • In the last five years, UDAN has significantly increased the regional air-connectivity in the country. There were 74 operational airports in 2014. Because of the UDAN scheme this number has increased to 141 by now.
  • 68 underserved/unserved destinations which include 58 Airports, 8 Heliports & 2 Water Aerodromes have been connected under UDAN scheme. With 425 new routes initiated under the scheme, UDAN has provided air connectivity to more than 29 States/ UTs across the length and breadth of the country.
  • More than one crore passengers have availed the benefits of this scheme as on 4th August 2022. The scheme has also provided a much-needed platform to the regional carriers to scale up their operations.
  • 220 destinations (airports/heliports/water aerodromes) under UDAN are targeted to be completed by 2026 with 1000 routes to provide air connectivity to unconnected destinations in the country.Under UDAN, 954 routes have already been awarded to connect 156airports.
  • RCS-UDAN was formulated based on the review of The National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP)-2016 and it was planned to remain in force for a period of 10 years. It has a self-financing mechanism with the development of Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF).
  • Under this Scheme, RCF was created, which funds the VGF requirements of the scheme through a levy on certain domestic flights. This way, funds generated from the sector themselves stimulate the growth and development of the sector.
  • UDAN Scheme has benefitted a diverse set of stakeholders. Passengers have got the benefits of air connectivity, airlines have received concessions for operating regional routes, unserved regions have received the direct and indirect benefits of air connectivity for their economic development.
Framework –
UDAN created a framework based on the need and led to the formulation of:
  • Lifeline UDAN  – for transportation of medical cargo during pandemic.
  • Krishi UDAN – value realization of agriculture products especially in Northeastern Region {NER} and tribal districts.
  • International UDAN routes for NER to explore International Connectivity from / to Guwahati and Imphal.
  • Lifeline UDAN – Lifeline UDAN initiative commenced in March 2020 during COVID-19 period and it helped to operate 588 flights transporting almost 1000 Tonnes of voluminous cargo and essential medical services to various parts of the country.
Award –
  • RCS-UDAN was awarded Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration under Innovation Category for the year 2020. 
  • Republic Day Tableau for 26th January 2022 on UDAN was adjudged as the Best Tableau by the Ministry of Defence.

Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme

Paper 3 – Economy
Why Should You Know?
Cabinet approves enhancement in the corpus of Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme for increasing the limit of admissible guarantees.
In details –
  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has approved the enhancement in the limit of Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) by Rs 50,000 crore from Rs. 4.5 Lakh crore to Rs. 5 Lakh crore, with the additional amount being earmarked exclusively for enterprises in hospitality and related sectors. 
  • The increase has been done on account of the severe disruptions caused by COVID-19 pandemic on hospitality and related enterprises.
Implementation schedule:
  • ECLGS is a continuing scheme.  The additional amount of Rs. 50,000 crore would be made applicable to enterprises in hospitality and related sectors till validity of the scheme which is 31.3.2023.
  • ECLGS is an already operational scheme and on account of the disruptions caused by the COVID 19 pandemic on hospitality and related sectors, Government has specifically earmarked an amount of Rs. 50,000 crore for enterprises in these sectors. 
  • The enhancement is expected to provide much needed relief to enterprises in these sectors by incentivizing lending institutions to provide additional credit of up to Rs. 50,000 crore at low cost, thereby enabling these business enterprises to meet their operational liabilities and continue their businesses.
  • Loans of about Rs. 3.67 Lakh crore have been sanctioned under ECLGS till 5.8.2022.
  • The ongoing pandemic has adversely impacted contact-intensive sectors, especially the hospitality and related sectors more severely.  While other sectors were back faster on the path of recovery, demand continued to be subdued for these sectors for longer period, suggesting the need for suitable interventions for their sustenance and recovery. 
  • Further, given their high employment intensity and their direct and indirect linkages with other sectors, their revival is also necessary for supporting overall economic recovery. 
  • Recognising this, in Union Budget 2022-23, it was announced to extend validity of ECLGS upto March, 2023 and increase in the limit of guaranteed cover of ECLGS by Rs. 50,000 crore to total cover of Rs. 5 Lakh core, with the additional amount being earmarked exclusively for the enterprises in hospitality and related sectors.
  • With high immunization levels, progressive roll-back of restrictions and overall economic recovery, conditions are in place for sustained growth in demand for these sectors as well. 
  • This additional guarantee cover is expected to support the recovery of these sectors as well.  This additional guarantee cover is expected to support the recovery of these sectors.
What is Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme?
  • The Union Cabinet approved the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme in May 2020 and allowed additional funding of up to Rs.3 lakh crores to different sectors, especially Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and MUDRA borrowers to mitigate the distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The scheme was launched as a part of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat package.
  • While the country was fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, major losses were faced by the MSMEs in the manufacturing and other sectors. To overcome this loss, the Government introduced the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme.

National Security Strategies Conference 2022

Paper 3- Security
Why Should You Know?
On august 17, 2022  The Union Home Minister, Shri Amit Shah inaugurated the National Security Strategies Conference 2022 in New Delhi.
In details –
  • It has been the vision of Indian government to ensure a safe and secure nation by strengthening all aspects of national security mechanism. In pursuance of this vision, the Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah inaugurated two-day National Security Strategies (NSS) Conference 2022, on august 17 in New Delhi.
  • Home Secretary, Deputy NSAs, DGsP/IGsP of all States/UTs and DGs of CAPFs are attending the Conference. The Conference is being attended by 600 officers from across the country, physically and virtually.
  • The NSS Conference brings a unique mix of top leadership addressing national security challenges alongside cutting edge Police officers/Security practitioners and experts from specialized fields. Prior to the commencement of the Conference, Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah paid homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath at the Martyrs Column.
  • On the first day of the Conference today, deliberations were held on various subjects of national security, including counter-terrorism, radicalisation, issues pertaining to crypto currencies, counter rogue drone technology and challenges posed by Maoist outfits.
  • The Union Home Minister emphasized upon the importance of human intelligence towards countering terrorism, underscoring the crucial role of District Level Police officers in identifying emerging terror hotspots.
National Automated Fingerprint Identification System –
  • Shri Amit Shah also inaugurated the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS), developed by NCRB.
  • This System will help in quick and easy disposal of cases with the help of centralized finger print database.
  • It is noteworthy that  an Automated fingerprint identification is the process of using a computer to match fingerprints against a database of known and unknown prints in the fingerprint identification system.
  • Automated fingerprint identification systems (AFIS) are primarily used by law enforcement agencies for criminal identification purposes, the most important of which is the identification of a person suspected of committing a crime or linking a suspect to other unsolved crimes.

“Happy Shop”

Paper 3 – Economy
Why Should You Know?
HPCL enters into the Delhi retail market with the launch of its first HaPpyShop.
In details –
  • On august 17, 2022 Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. unveiled its branded store “Happy Shop” in the National Capital.
  • The store was inaugurated at Servicircle outlet, Mathura Road by HPCL’s Chairman and Managing Director, Sh. Pushp Kumar Joshi in the presence of ED – Retail, Mr. Sandeep Maheshwari and other Senior Officials and citizens of the locality.
  • In pursuit of enhancing customer experience on a continuous basis, HPCL is ever expanding the bouquet of services being offered to its esteemed customers. “Happy Shop” is the latest offering in this series, which marks its push into non-fuel retailing in a big way.
  • Here, HPCL has gone in for the “Harmonized Retail” approach that will have an amalgamation of online and physical stores to provide a superior shopping experience to its esteemed customers.
  • The “You need it, we have it” kind of product range in the Servicircle store (Mathura Road) is meticulously selected to suit the tastes and preferences of the local neighborhoods.
  • The store will stock home utility products including food, toiletries, healthcare products, bakery products, groceries, vegetables and more – available to customers at competitive prices.
  • It is also equipped with advanced digital technology to give a seamless shopping experience to the customers. Along with the experience of physical store, it has the option of online shopping with a door delivery model.
  • Customers will be able to browse & shop the merchandise on HPCL’s “HP Pay App” (available on IOS & Play store) and have goods delivered to their homes. The services will be available 24X7.
  • The company decided to set up its own chain of multi-channel retail stores late last year and at present, 10 “Happy Shops” are running in cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Coimbatore. These shops are creating their own space in the highly competitive organized retailing sector.
Background –
  • Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (HPCL) has marked its foray into the non-fuel retailing sector by inaugurating its Retail Store under the brand name HaPpyShop, to make available the products of daily need to its customers at their convenience.
  • The first retail store was launched by HPCL in September 2021 in Mumbai at Company’s Retail Outlet located at Nepean Sea Road.
  • After that in January 2022, the company opened two more stores, one in Mumbai and the other in Visakhapatnam.

Capacity addition of NTPC in Solar Energy Sector

Paper 3- Infrastructure
Why Should You Know?
NTPC augments its solar footprint and achieves 69454 MW of installed capacity
In details –
  • NTPC Limited, India’s largest integrated energy company achieved 69454 MW of group installed and commercial capacity with the commissioning of 56 MW Kawas Solar PV Project at NTPC Kawas, Gujarat on 15.08.2022.
  • NTPC is steadily lowering its carbon footprint by reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the installation of renewable energy projects in its existing stations as well as putting up green field RE projects.
  • The Company has planned 262 MW floating solar on over 1300 acres of its reservoir area by installing over 9,50,000 PV modules at its various stations out of which 242 Mega Watt has been commissioned.
  • This includes the country’s largest floating solar of 100 MW at Ramagundam in Telangana, 92 MW at Kayamkulam in Kerala, and 25 MW each at Simhadri, Andhra Pradesh, and Kawas in Gujarat.
  • These projects would light more than 2,00,000 households and would be instrumental in reducing over half a million tonnes of CO2 emissions on an annual basis.
  • Besides these, the projects would entail a saving of 5 trillion liters of water per annum, sufficient to meet the yearly water requirements of 15,000 households.
‘Net zero’ targets –
  • NTPC has become the world’s first Energy major to declare its Energy Compact goals. Recently it has collaborated with Niti Aayog to achieve the ‘net zero’ targets.
  • The NTPC Group plans to achieve 60 GW of RE in by 2032.
  • Presently, NTPC has 2.3 GW of commissioned renewable capacity with 3.9 GW under implementation and execution.
  • NTPC also has 4.9 GW of renewable energy capacity under tendering process which will further bolster the green energy portfolio of India’s largest power producer.
About NTPC –
  • NTPC Limited, formerly known as National Thermal Power Corporation Limited, is an Indian public sector undertaking which is engaged in generation of electricity and allied activities.
  • The company was founded on 7 November 1975 by India’s former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
  • It started work on its first thermal power project in 1976 at Shaktinagar (named National Thermal Power Corporation Private Limited Singrauli) in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The headquarters of the company is situated at New Delhi.
  • NTPC’s core function is the generation and distribution of electricity to State Electricity Boards in India.
  • The body also undertakes consultancy and turnkey project contracts that involve engineering, project management, construction management, and operation and management of power plants.
  • The PSU has also ventured into oil and gas exploration and coal mining activities.

Medicine from the Sky project

Paper 2 – Health
Why Should You Know?
Recenlty Arunachal Pradesh launched ‘Medicine from the Sky’ project.
In details –
  • In Arunachal Pradesh, “Medicine from the Sky” was successfully unveiled on August 15, 2022.
  • The first flight of the drone service was conducted from Seppa to Chiang Tajo in East Kameng district.
  • The project is inspired by the Prime Minister’s vision of transforming India into a drone hub of the world.
  • In Arunachal Pradesh, the pilot project “Medicine from the Sky Project” is being launched in collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF).
  • The “Medicine from the Sky Project” is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
  • It is being implemented by Redwing Labs, a start-up based in Bengaluru.
  • The project will provide a clear vision on operational issues, regulatory issues and financial viability.
  • Based on this, the government will formulate a policy and take steps to adopt the emerging technology in a phased manner.
Background –
  • Telangana was the first Indian state to start Medicine from the sky project with World Economic Forum, Niti Aayog and Healthnet Global along with the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA).
  • Medicine from the sky project has been launched by the government to deliver medicines, vaccines, units of blood, organs for transplantation and lifesaving equipment to remote areas of India through drones.

Lake Garda

Paper 3- Environment
Why Should You Know?
Recently Italy’s largest Lake Garda reached its lowest level in decades.
In details –
  • Italy is currently facing severe drought, In such a situation, the country’s largest Lake Garda reached the lowest water level in decades.
  • As a result, underwater rocks became visible and the water temperature warmed to the average temperature of the Caribbean Sea.
  • Northern Italy has received very little rainfall for months, and snowfall has decreased by 70% in 2022, drying up important rivers such as the Po, which flow through Italy’s agricultural and industrial region.
  • The dry condition of Italy’s longest river, the Po, caused billions of euros in damage to farmers who usually depend on it to irrigate their fields and paddy.
  • To make up for the loss, officials allowed more water from Lake Garda to flow into local rivers.
  • But at the end of July 2022, he reduced the amount for the lake and its associated economically important tourism. With a large amount of water diverted to the rivers, the lake came to its lowest level.
About Lake Garda –
  • Lake Garda, in northern Italy, is known for its crystal clear water. At the south end, the town of Sirmione is dominated by the Rocca Scaligera, a fortress with harbor views.
  • It is  the largest lake in Italy. It is a popular holiday location in northern Italy.
  • The northern part of the lake is located in a depression that insinuates itself inside the Alps, while the southern part occupies an area of the upper Pianura Padana.
  • Lake Garda area is considered one of the most seismic in Italy.
  • The lake has also numerous small islands and five main ones, the largest being Isola del Garda.
  • Lake Garda is rich in biodiversity. Salmo carpio, also known as the carpione (carpione del Garda or Lake Garda carpione) is a rare salmonid fish endemic to Lake Garda. It has been introduced to a number of other lakes in Italy and elsewhere but unsuccessfully in all cases. The population in Lake Garda has been strongly declining, and is considered critically endangered (IUCN)

Project cheetah

Paper 3- Biodiversity
Why Should You Know?
Government launches Cheetah Project to restore endangered species in Indian Territory
In details –
  • Project Cheetah is an ambitious project undertaken by Government of India which aims to re-establish the species in its historical range in India.
  • Reintroduction of wild species particularly the Cheetah is being undertaken as per the IUCN guidelines and the processes like disease screening, quarantine of release candidates as well as transportation of live wild animals across continents requires careful planning and execution.
  • The date for Cheetah introduction/ translocation has not been decided as yet. Seized of the sensitivity of the entire process, MoEFCC is taking all precautions to ensure success of the project.
  • Upon arrival, the Cheetahs will be kept under quarantine and observed before release. Reports in certain sections of the media that African Cheetahs are still stuck in transit are completely unfounded.
  • While the agreement has been signed with the Republic of Namibia, the process of signing of MoU with South Africa is underway.
About Cheetah –
  • The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is a large cat native to Africa and central Iran. It is the fastest land animal.
  • The cheetah occurs in a variety of habitats such as savannahs in the Serengeti, arid mountain ranges in the Sahara and hilly desert terrain in Iran.
  • The cheetah is threatened by several factors such as habitat loss, conflict with humans, poaching and high susceptibility to diseases.
  • Historically ranging throughout most of Sub-Saharan Africa and extending eastward into the Middle East and to central India, the cheetah is now distributed mainly in small, fragmented populations in central Iran and southern, eastern and northwestern Africa.
  • In 2016, the global cheetah population was estimated at around 7,100 individuals in the wild; it is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

India and Thailand Joint Commission meeting

Paper 2 – International Relations
Why Should You Know?
Recently India and Thailand Joint Commission meeting held in Bangkok
In details –
  • On 17 August The ninth meeting of the India and Thailand Joint Commission concluded in Bangkok.
  • Foreign Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Thailand Don Pramudavinai jointly chaired the meeting.
  • Dr Jaishankar said in a tweet message after the meeting that there was discussion on further strengthening all bilateral ties.
  • The two sides also discussed enhancing relations in areas such as political, economic, security as well as defence, connectivity and health.
  • Dr Jaishankar also said that the two countries also exchanged views on Myanmar’s situation as Myanmar’s neighbours. He added that the two sides also discussed cooperation in ASEAN and BIMSTEC.
  • Dr Jaishankar said that India and Thailand also shared views on the Indo-Pacific plan.
  • The External Affairs Minister said in a tweet message that a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in health and broadcasting was signed, which will enhance the relations between the two countries.
  • Both the countries are celebrating 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations. Dr Jaishankar began his visit to Thailand with a meeting with the Indian community.

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