Ojaank IAS Academy




18 October 2022 – Current Affairs

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National Maritime Heritage Complex

Paper 1 – History

Why Should You Know?

The National Maritime Heritage Complex is being constructed by the Government of India at Lothal, Gujarat, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will review the site work progress of this heritage complex on 18 October 2022.
In details –
  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, will review the site work progress of the National Maritime Heritage Complex at Lothal, Gujarat through video conferencing on October 18, 2022.
  • Lothal was one of the prominent cities of the Harappan civilization and is known for the discovery of the oldest man-made dockyard.
  • A maritime heritage complex in Lothal is fitting tribute to the city’s historical legacy and heritage.
  • National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) at Lothal is being developed as a one of its kind project to not only display India’s rich and diverse maritime heritage and also help Lothal to emerge as a world class international tourist destination.
  • The boost to the tourism potential through this project will also augment the economic development of the region.
About the project
  • The National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) is to be developed in the vicinity of the Archaeological Survey of India site at Lothal, located about 80 km from Ahmedabad in Gujarat  , which will be a world-class facility-rich complex.
  • For this, an MoU was signed  by the Union Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and the Ministry of Culture  on June 16, 2021.
  • NMHC will be developed as an international tourist destination, showcasing India’s maritime heritage from ancient to modern times and adopting an education approach using latest technology to spread awareness about India’s maritime heritage.
  • NMHC will be developed over an area of about 400 acres,  with various unique structures like National Maritime Heritage Museum, Light House Museum, Heritage Theme Park, Museum Themed Hotels, Marine Themed Eco-Resorts and Marine Institute which will be developed in a phased manner.
  • The unique feature of NMHC is also to showcase the ancient City of Lothal which is one of the major cities of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization of 2400 BC. In addition, the evolution of India’s maritime heritage during different eras will be showcased through several galleries. NMHC will have pavilions for each coastal states and Union Territories to display their artefacts/maritime heritage.
  • NMHC will develop various theme parks like marine and naval theme parks, memorial parks, climate change theme parks, adventure and amusement theme parks through public-private partnerships that will provide a complete tourist destination experience to those visiting here.
  • The complex, on which  work began in March 2022,  is being developed at a  cost of around Rs 3500 crore.
About Lothal –
  • Lothal is one of the very important city of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. About 2400 BC old, this city is located in the Bhal region of the Indian state of Gujarat and was discovered  in 1954.
  • Lothal was discovered  by SR RAO  in 1954. Lothal is a port in which boards were built for ships to move and stay.
  • Evidence of a huge administrative building has also been found here, which was probably used for various workshops, from here a mummy’s model has also been obtained.
  • The story of the runk fox and stork was depicted in a pot obtained from Lothal. The story that was discovered after a long time is found from Vishnu Sharma’s book Panchatantra in the Gupta period. Here somewhere shows the continuity of Indian culture of indus valley civilization.
  • In Lothal, both the fort area and the city area are surrounded by the same wall.
  • Lothal Dock, the world’s oldest known dock, was connected to the city by the ancient stream of sabarmati river flowing between the harappan cities located in Sindh and the Saurashtra peninsula, which was a trade route between these places.
  • At that time the Desert of Kutch around it was a part of the Arabian Sea. In ancient times it was an important and thriving trade center from where pearls, jewels and precious ornaments were sent to the far corners of West Asia and Africa.
  • The technology and equipment for making beads had been properly developed and the metallurgy here had stood the test of more than 4000 years.

Source – PIB

90th INTERPOL General Assembly

Paper 2 – International Relations

Why Should You Know?

The 90th General Assembly of Interpol is being organized in India from 18 -21 October, 2022.
In details
  • The 90th General Assembly of Interpol is being organized in India from 18 -21 October, 2022.
  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will address this  Assembly on 18th October in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
  • The meeting will be attended by delegations from 195 INTERPOL member countries comprising of Ministers, Police Chiefs of countries, Heads of National Central Bureaus and Senior police officers.
  • The General Assembly is INTERPOL’s supreme governing body and meets once a year to take key decisions related to its functioning.
  • It is noteworthy that The INTERPOL General Assembly meeting is taking place in India after a gap of about 25 years – it was last held in 1997.
  • India’s proposal to host the INTERPOL General Assembly in 2022 at New Delhi coinciding with celebrations for 75th year of India’s independence was accepted by the General Assembly with overwhelming majority.
  • The event provides an opportunity to showcase best practices in India’s law and order system to the entire world.
  • Union Home Minister, INTERPOL President Ahmed Naser Al Raisi and Secretary General Mr Jurgen Stock, CBI Director will also be present on the occasion.
What is Interpol?
  • The International Criminal Police Organization, commonly known as Interpol is an international organization that facilitates worldwide police cooperation and crime control.
  • It is the world’s largest international police organization, with seven regional bureaus worldwide and a National Central Bureau in all 195 member states.
  • Interpol was conceived during the first International Criminal Police Congress in 1914, which brought officials from 24 countries to discuss cooperation in law enforcement.
  • It was founded on September 7, 1923, at the close of the five-day 1923 Congress session in Vienna as the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC), and adopted many of its current duties throughout the 1930s.
  • It is Headquartered in Lyon, France.
  • Interpol provides investigative support, expertise, and training to law enforcement worldwide, focusing on three major areas of transnational crime: terrorism, cybercrime, and organized crime.
  • Its broad mandate covers virtually every kind of crime, including crimes against humanity, child pornography, drug trafficking and production, political corruption, intellectual property infringement, and white-collar crime.
  • The agency also facilitates cooperation among national law enforcement institutions through criminal databases and communications networks.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Interpol is itself not a law enforcement agency.

Source – The Hindu

Integrated Pensioners’ Portal

Paper 3 – Economy

Why Should You Know?

The Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh will launch the Single Window i.e. Unified Portal of Pensioners to address the needs of pensioners on 18 October 2022.
In details –
  • Union Minister for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Dr Jitendra Singh is going to launch a single window i.e. integrated portal of pensioners to meet the needs of pensioners.
  • The Department analysed the root cause of the grievances of pensioners and found that most of them were bank-related complaints, under which the  concept of unified portal is being implemented, the Personnel Ministry said.
  • India’s Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare (DoPPW) launched an online platform called ‘Anubhav’ in  March 2015.
  • It is a platform for retired employees to showcase the significant achievements made during their service period. In addition it also provides them with an opportunity to give information related to their contribution in enhancing the effectiveness of various government policies.
  • It is envisaged that this culture of filing notes on behalf of retirees will form the foundation of good governance and administrative reforms in the future.
  • The Anubhav portal provides a platform for government employees retiring while working in various Ministries/Departments of the Government of India to share their experiences.
Integrated portal
  • Dr Jitendra Singh, during an interaction with the beneficiaries of Bhavishya Portal on  June 15, 2022, had suggested setting up of a single pensioner portal to facilitate the lives of pensioners.
  • In line with this, in order to enhance the “ease of living” of pensioners, the department has developed an integrated pensioner portal using Bhavishya portal as Aadhaar portal with an aim to provide a single pensioner portal.
  • This includes various standalone portals of the Department such as Bhavishya, CPENGRAMS, Anubhav, Sankalp, Grant etc. and portals of banks to provide multiple services through a single window.
How it works
  • Along with the portal of pension disbursing banks, all these are now being brought together to form a unified portal of pensioners.
  • Pensioners can use this portal for all their pension related work. These include submission of pension application, detection, downloading EPPO/ESSA, viewing circulars, filing complaints and obtaining bank information related to pension such as pension slip, form 16 and life certificate status etc.
  • The “Integrated Pensioner Portal” will be integrated with all banks disbursing pensions. It will provide an opportunity to all banks to showcase their services to pensioners.
  • Apart from this, it will enable pensioners to choose a bank based on the services provided and geographical location.
  • Initially,  these services will be available to 1.7  lakh central government public pensioners whose cases have been processed through the Bhavishya portal. After this, it will be extended to all central government pensioners.
SBI becomes first bank
  • State Bank of India has become the first pension disbursing bank to integrate its portal with this portal of the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare.
  • This will be part of the launch of this portal. Earlier, the department had conducted a root cause analysis of pensioners’ grievances.
  • It revealed that most of the complaints were related to the bank. This was followed by the launch of a new scheme of awareness programme for bankers. In this, workshops are being organized to create awareness among the employees of banks looking into pension-related topics about the latest measures taken by the department for pensioners.
  • Under this, the first awareness program of bankers with SBI was jointly organized in Udaipur. It prepared a roadmap to integrate the portals of all pension disbursing banks with the Bhavishya portal.

Sources – PIB

Anubhav Awards Ceremony

Paper 2– Education, Human Resources

Why Should You Know?

Recently Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman participated in WB-IMF Annual Meetings.
In details
  • The Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare, Government of India will organize the Anubhav Puraskar Ceremony for the years 2020, 2021 and 2022 in New Delhi on October 18, 2022.
  • It will honour the awardees for writing.
  • Union Minister for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Dr Jitendra Singh will preside over the award ceremony
  • The awards include a medal, a certificate and a cash prize of Rs 10,000.
What is the ‘ Anubhav’ platform?
  • The Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare (DoPPW), Government of India, launched an online platform called ‘Anubhav’  in March 2015.
  • It is a platform for retired employees to showcase the significant achievements made during their service period.
  • In addition it also provides them with an opportunity to give information related to their contribution in enhancing the effectiveness of various government policies.
  • It is envisaged that this culture of filing notes on behalf of retirees will form the foundation of good governance and administrative reforms in the future.
  • The Anubhav portal provides a platform for government employees retiring while working in various Ministries/Departments of the Government of India to share their experiences.
  • 92 Ministries/Departments/Organizations have registered on the Anubhav portal of this Department. As on September 30, 2022, 8722 articles have been published on it.
  • Retiring employees voluntarily submit an article of a maximum of 5,000  words (if necessary) with appropriate attachments on this portal. These employees  can submit their articles on any of the 20 areas decided.
About Anubhav Awards
  • Anubhav Award is given  to outstanding articles out of  the articles  submitted on the Anubhav portal.
  • This experience award scheme  was launched in the year 2016 to encourage and encourage retiring employees to submit their articles.
  • It provides a platform for retired government employees to share their experiences while working in various ministries or departments of the government.

Source – News On Air

Kati Bihu Festival

Paper 1 – Art & Culture

Why Should You Know?

Today i.e. on 18th October 2022, Kati Bihu festival is being celebrated in Assam, let us know about this festival.
In details
  • Kati Bihu festival is considered very important in the state of Assam. This festival is celebrated every year in the month of October. This time it is being celebrated on Tuesday,  October 18.
  • This festival is also known as Kangoli Bihu. According to the Assamese calendar, this festival is celebrated in the month of Kati.
  • Bihu  festival is celebrated three times a year in  Assam. The first Bhogali or Magh Bihu which is celebrated in the month of January. After this, Rongali or Bohag Bihu is celebrated in the month of April and finally Kongali or Kati Bihu in the month of October.
Why is it celebrated?
  • The reason behind Kongali Bihu, which is celebrated in the month of October, is that grains are produced in the fields here at the time of Rongali Bihu.
  • By the Kati Bihu festival, the godowns start running out of food grains and there is a situation of lack of food.
  • In such a situation, this festival is celebrated to remove Kongali i.e. poverty and wish for a good yield by the time of Magh Bihu.
  • Therefore,  the residents of Assam light earthen lamps during this time near their grain stores, tulsi and near dhani fields. The belief behind this is that O God, our grain stores are now empty, give us a good harvest and bless us again.
How is it celebrated?
  • On the day of Kati Bihu, people, especially farmers, go to see their fields.
  • On this day, harvesting begins and paddy is sown again. On this occasion, people light up outside their homes and pray for a good harvest.
  • People also plant tulsi plant outside their homes.
  • Tulsi is worshiped at night and lamps are lit in front of the field, garden and Tulsi.
  • On this day, goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, is worshiped and she is wished for a good harvest.
  • During this festival, farmers light a sky lamp with bamboo sticks in their fields. These sky lamps are lit to show the souls the way to heaven.

Sources – HT

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Paper 2- Social Issues

Why Should You Know?

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is an international observance celebrated each year on October 17 throughout the world.
In details
  • The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed internationally on October 17 every year. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness among the world community about the efforts being made to remove poverty.
  • Through this day, efforts are laid on bringing people out of poverty through active partnership with the people living in poverty. And efforts are made to ensure a life of dignity for them.
  • On this day, efforts for poverty alleviation, development and various works and schemes are released by various nations.
Poverty is a curse
  • Significantly, the dignity of human beings is not only a fundamental right in itself but the basis of all other fundamental rights. Therefore, “dignity” is not an abstract concept: it belongs to each. Today, many people living in persistent poverty feel that their dignity is being denied and disrespected.
  • Poverty is not just an economic issue, but a multi-faceted phenomenon that involves both a lack of income and a basic ability to live with dignity.
  • With a commitment to end poverty, protect the planet and make all people enjoy peace and prosperity everywhere, the 2030 Agenda again pointed to the same promise that was established under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yet, the current reality shows that 1.3 billion people still live in multidimensional poverty of which about half are children and young.
  • Significantly, poverty is still a very big problem in  India  . Even before independence, the country was suffering from the problem of poverty, even after independence, the country is struggling with the outbreak of poverty.
  • Individuals living in poverty experience a number of interrelated and mutually reinforcing deprivations that prevent them from realizing their rights and perpetuate their poverty, including:
  • Dangerous working conditions
  • unsafe housing
  • Lack of nutritious food
  • unequal access to justice
  • Lack of political power
  • Limited access to health care
  • The theme of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty for 2022-2023 is ‘Dignity for All in Practice’.  Thus this year’s theme is based on the dignity of human beings, which is not only a fundamental right but the basis of all other fundamental rights.
  • The theme for 2021  was “Moving Forward Together: Ending Persistent Poverty, Respecting All People and Our Planet”.
About India
  • Inequality of opportunities and income is increasing rapidly and the gap between rich and poor is widening even more every year.
  • At the time of independence, the population of our country was about 34 crore and more than 25 crore of them were below the poverty line. After independence, despite all the economic development and poverty alleviation schemes, the number of poor did not decrease.  Today, the most recent poverty line figures in the country are from 2011-12, according to which 26.9 crore people of the country are below the poverty line. 
  • It is noteworthy that India’s position is not good in the recently revealed global hunger index data.  India has slipped to 107th position in the global hunger index of 121 countries. India’s score is 29.1 which puts them in the ‘serious’ category. India’s ranking is well below Sri Lanka (64),  Nepal (81), Bangladesh (84) and Pakistan (99). War-torn Afghanistan, 109, is the only country in South Asia that has a worse index than India.
  • With this, the World Inequality Report 2022 says that India has seen the world’s highest inequality.The country’s top 10 per cent population owns 57% of the national income, of which 22% is held by the top one per cent from 11 per cent in 1990.
  • The bottom 50% of the population’s share is only 13% of the country’s total wealth, these people are earning Rs 53160 annually and the top 10% of the population 1166520, which is 20 times more than the low.
  • The Gini (inequality in income distribution) coefficient points to increasing inequality in the country. The coefficient increased from 34.4% in 2014 to 47.9% in 2018.
  • The United Nations General Assembly adopted its resolution 47/196 on 22 December 1992 and declared 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
  • This day was first celebrated in France in the year 1987. About one lakh people protested for human rights on this day. The movement was started by Joseph Vrensicki, founder of ATD Fourth World.

Sources – India Today

Green Crackers

Paper 3 – Environment

Why Should You Know?

The Supreme Court has banned the burning of firecrackers in Delhi, according to the orders of the SC only “Green crackers” will be sold in Delhi for Diwali.  Along with this, some state governments  have allowed the sale of ‘Green Crackers’, let’s know what these green crackers are

In details
  • Recently, several states have implemented certain rules on fireworks this year, keeping in mind the situation and concerns related to rising pollution levels from firecrackers during festivals.
  • According to these rules, the state government has allowed the sale of ‘Green Crackers’ by not banning the sale of firecrackers  in the respective states.
  • With  this, the Supreme Court has banned the burning of firecrackers in Delhi, according to the orders of the Supreme Court (SC),  only “Green crackers” will be sold in Delhi for Diwali.
  • According to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), green crackers are allowed only in cities and towns where the air quality is moderate or poor.
What are Green Crackers?
  • It is noteworthy that ‘Green Crackers’ are low-emission fireworks, which the Supreme Court has allowed for medium-scale festivities during festivals.
  • These ‘Green Crackers’ have been researched and developed by experts from CSIR-NEERI which is a government funded research institute in the field of environmental sciences. The size of these crackers is smaller than normal firecrackers.
  • These crackers are prepared with less harmful raw materials, and are made in a way that suppresses dust when burned – thus reducing emissions.
  • They also do not contain harmful chemicals like lithium, arsenic, barium and lead and instead release water vapor that does not allow dust to rise.
  • While it still impacts the climate to an extent, these ‘green crackers’ cause 30 per cent less particulate matter pollution than conventional crackers and are thus generally considered less harmful than their traditional alternatives.
  • Moreover, these crackers make less noise, it emits noise in the range of 100-130 decibels.
 Types of  Green Crackers

Firecrackers developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) fall into three categories:

  • SWAS Safe Water Releaser: These crackers will produce water particles after burning, in which sulfur and nitrogen particles will dissolve. The safe water releaser has been named NEERI. Water is considered a better way to reduce pollution.
  • STAR Cracker: Star cracker is a full form of safe thermite cracker. They use oxidizing agents, which produce sulfur and nitrogen in small amounts after burning. Special chemicals are used for this.
  • SAFAL crackers: These crackers use 50 to 60% less aluminum than normal firecrackers, which the institute has named safe minimal aluminium i.e. SAFAL. It ensures reduction in sound in comparison to traditional crackers.

Sources – IE

World Green City Award 2022

Paper 3 – Environment

Why Should You Know?

Hyderabad recently received the prestigious World Green City Award 2022.
In details
  • An Indian city among cities around the world won the Green City honour at an award ceremony held in South Korea  .
  • Hyderabad has won the  World Green  City Award 2022 by defeating cities like Paris, Bogota, Mexico City, Montreal and Fortaleza.
  • Apart from this, Hyderabad was also awarded for the category of Living Green for Economic Recovery and Inclusive Growth. This city of India was awarded not only the category award but also the best award in 6 categories world green city 2022.
  • On October 14, the International Association of Horticulture Producers (AIPH) 2022 World Green City Awards ceremony was held in Jeju  ,  South Korea, in which the winners were announced under six categories during dinner.
  • In this program, awards have been given in 6 categories, for which 18 finalists were selected. The categories and shortlisted countries are as follows  :
  • Living Green for Biodiversity (Colombia, Australia, France),
  • Living Green for Climate Change (Turkey, Australia, Mexico),
  • Living Green for Health and Wellbeing (Brazil, Netherlands, Australia),
  • Living Green for Water (Canada, Australia, South Africa),
  • Living Green for Social Consensus (Argentina, South Korea, France)
  • Living Green for Economic Recovery and Inclusive Growth (Canada, Iran, India).
Hyderabad got awards
  • Hyderabad has not only won the category award but also the overall ‘World Green City 2022’ award.
  • Hyderabad has been given in the ‘Living Green for Economic Recovery and Inclusive Growth’ category, considering the greenery of the Outer Ring Road (ORR) which was presented as Hyderabad’s entry.
  • The category focuses on creating systems and solutions that allow city residents to recover from the economic crisis and flourish.
  • Orr is also known as ‘Green Necklace for Telangana State’. The specialty of Outer Ring Road (ORR) is that these roads are as wide as the roads of developed countries.
  • The project will have facilities such as solar roof cycling track, widening of service road, beautification by installing idols, development of green greenery, construction of a trumpet-shaped interchange in Neopolis Layout, and entry and exit ramps to connect areas around ORR.
  • The one-of-its-kind facility will be a 3-lane, 4.5-metre wide,  cycle track stretching 8.5 km from Nankaranguda to Telangana State Police Academy (TSPA)   and 14.5 km  from Narsingi to Kollur  . The cycle track will be used round the clock as it will be illuminated  through a solar roof with a capacity of 16 MW.
  • Under the concept of Outer Ring Road, the Telangana government has linked environmental protection measures with infrastructure development, for which Hyderabad has been given this award.

Sources – TOI

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