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OJAANK IAS ACADEMY

2 August 2022 – Current Affairs

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Drones for Delivery Purposes

Paper 3 – Science & Technology
Why Should You Know?
Private players can use drones for delivery purposes in accordance with Drone Rules, 2021. This information was given by the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Gen. (Dr) V. K. Singh (Retd) in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
In details –
  • Drones offer tremendous benefits to almost all sectors of the economy. These include – agriculture, vaccine delivery, surveillance, search and rescue, transportation, mapping, defence and law enforcement to name a few.
  • The Government is utilising services of drone service providers for vaccine delivery, inspection of oil pipelines and power transmission lines, anti-locust operations, agricultural spraying, survey of mines, land mapping under SVAMITVA scheme for issuance of digital property cards, etc. Many of these have been in remote areas of the country.
  • Private players are free to use drones for delivery purposes subject to compliance with Drone Rules, 2021.
  • In September, 2021, the Government notified the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme to promote the growth of drone manufacturing by private companies.
  • The scheme provides for an incentive of Rs 120 crores, spread over three financial years. The PLI rate is 20% of the value addition over three financial years.
  • PLI for a manufacturer shall be capped at 25% of total annual outlay. A provisional list of 23 PLI beneficiaries was released on 6th July 2022. The beneficiaries include 12 manufacturers of drones and 11 manufacturers of drone components.
Key aspects –
The Drones Rules, 2021 notified on 25 August 2021 provide the necessary regulatory framework for commercial use of drones. These rules cover various aspects like type certification, registration and operation of drones, airspace restrictions, research, development and testing of drones, training and licensing, offences and penalties etc.
The key aspects of the regulatory framework under Drones Rules, 2021 are as follows:
  1. Every drone, except for those meant for research, development and testing purposes, is required to be registered and should have a Unique Identification Number (UIN).
  2. An airspace map of the country segregating the entire airspace into red, yellow and green zones is available on the digital sky platform. Operation of drones in red and yellow zones is subject to the approval of the Central Government and the concerned Air Traffic Control (ATC) authority respectively. No approval is required for operation of drones in green zones.
  3. The State Government, the Union Territory Administration and Law enforcement agencies have been empowered under the Rules to declare a temporary red zone for a specified period.
  4. Drones are required to have the necessary type certification issued by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). No type certification is however required in case of nano drones (up to 250 gram all-up weight) and model drones made for research and recreation purpose.
  5. The owner and operators of drones are required to furnish the necessary personal details including their Indian passport number etc. for issuance of any registration or licence.
  6. Rule 17 of the Drone Rules, 2021, lays down the provision of transfer of drone to another person by way of sale, lease, gift or any other mode, after providing requisite details of the transferor, transferee and unique identification number of the drone on the digital sky platform along with the applicable fees.
  7. Authorisation of Remote Pilot Training Organisations (RPTO) will be done by DGCA within specified time limits.
  8. Drone operations that violate the provisions of the Drone Rules, 2021 are punishable under Rule 49 of the Drone Rules, 2021 as well as provisions of any other law, for the time being in force.

Tiranga Utsav

Paper 1 – History
Why Should You Know?
On August 2, 2022 The Ministry of Culture is going to organize “Tiranga Utsav”.
In details –
  • The Ministry of Culture is organizing “Tiranga Utsav” -an evening filled with cultural and musical performances to celebrate the  contributions of  Pingali Venkayya to the nation on the occasion of  his 146th Birth Anniversary in New Delhi On August 2022.
  • The event will be graced by the presence of the  Minister of Home Affairs & Co-operation, Shri Amit Shah as the chief guest.
  • The event will  include the release of a commemorative Postal Stamp in honor of Pingali Venkayya for his invaluable contribution to the country followed by the felicitation of his family.
  • The Tiranga Utsav will also witness the grand launch of the “Har Ghar Tiranga” anthem and video. The musical evening will see live performances by maestros such as Kailash Kher & Kailasa, Harshdeep Kaur and Dr. Ragini Makkhar.
  • Pingali Venkayya, a freedom fighter and the designer of India’s National Flag was a follower of Gandhian principles, and it was upon the request of Mahatma Gandhi that he designed the Indian National Flag with saffron, white and green colors with chakra in the middle.
  • The cultural evening shall mark a historic day in celebration of India’s 75th year of independence as Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav and will be a great tribute to one of the nation’s most important gems – Pingali Venkayya.
About Pingali Venkayya-
  • Pingali Venkayya (2 August 1876 – 4 July 1963) was an Indian freedom fighter. He was a staunch follower of Mahatma Gandhi and the designer of the flag on which the Indian national flag was based.
  • He was born in Telugu brahmin family at Bhatlapenumarru, near Machilipatnam, in what is now the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
  • After completing his high school studies in Madras he went to Cambridge University to pursue graduation.
  • A young Venkayya was sent to South Africa to fight in the war as a British Indian Army soldier. It was in South Africa that he was struck by the sense of nationhood the Union Jack inspired among British soldiers.
  • Venkayya went on to design many models of the national flag. In 1921, Mahatma Gandhi approved a design at the Indian National Congress meeting in Vijayawada. The version presented by Venkayya to the Mahatma had two stripes (green and red) and the Gandhian charkha at the centre. On Gandhi’s suggestion, Venkayya added a white stripe on top, and this became the original Tricolour.
  • Venkayya’s flag was used informally at all Congress meetings since 1921, but it was not until its 1931 session that the Congress adopted the Tricolour with the colour scheme we have grown up with — saffron, white and green — and the charkha at the centre.
  • It became the standard of the Mahatma’s non-violent freedom movement.
  • But unfortunately, Venkayya died in penury and oblivion in 1963, only to be retrieved from the footnotes of history much later. A postage stamp in his honour was released in 2009; the Vijayawada station of the All India Radio was named after him in 2014. And last year, his name was proposed for the Bharat Ratna by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Global Engagement Scheme

Paper 2 – International Relations
Why Should You Know?
Ministry of Culture  promotes Indian Folk Arts and Culture abroad through Global Engagement Scheme.
In details –
  • The Ministry of Culture aims at disseminating Indian Folk Arts and Culture abroad through signing of Cultural Agreements & Cultural Exchange Programme and their implementation by concerned agencies with mutual discussions through diplomatic channels.
  • The Ministry of Culture operates Global Engagement Scheme under which Festivals of India are organized in other countries showcasing folk art and other cultural events as exhibitions, dance, music, theatre, food fest, literary fest, film fest, yoga etc.
  • In addition to this, Ministry of Culture also works in coordinated manner with Ministry of External Affairs. Under this scheme, Ministry of Culture also gives Grant-in-aid to Indo- Foreign Friendship Cultural Societies for organizing programmes and activities including folk art and other cultural activities for their promotion abroad.
  • with headquarters at Patiala, Nagpur, Udaipur, Prayagraj, Kolkata, Dimapur and Thanjavur to protect, preserve and promote various forms of folk art and culture throughout the country. 
  • The folk artists from all over India are engaged to perform in the festivals and Programmes organized by these ZCCs regularly in all States/Union Territories of India.
  • Besides, the folk artists are also sent abroad to perform in Festivals of India. Incentives like Dearness allowance, honorarium, board & lodging, local & international travel are provided to these artists by the respective ZCCs and Ministry of Culture.
  • This information was given by Union minister for Culture, Tourism and Development of North Eastern Region Shri G.Kishan Reddy in Lok Sabha.
About Global Engagement Scheme –

The scheme aims to

  1. Promote Indian Cultural abroad,
  2. Promote bilateral cultural contacts
  3. Project India’s cultural image abroad and
  4. Promote inbound tourism.

Salient Features of NEP, 2020

Paper 2 – Education
Why Should You Know?
Recently the Minister of State for Education, Dr. Subhas Sarkar told about Salient Features of NEP, 2020 in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
In details –
National Education Policy 2020 has been announced on 29.07.2020. The National Education Policy 2020 proposes various reforms in school education as well as higher education including technical education.
A number of action points/activities for implementation in school education as well as higher education are mentioned in the National Education Policy 2020. Details of the salient features of NEP 2020 are as follows-
  • Ensuring Universal Access at All Levels of schooling from pre-primary school to Grade 12;
  • Ensuring quality early childhood care and education for all children between 3-6 years;
  • New Curricular and Pedagogical Structure (5+3+3+4);
  • No hard separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, between    vocational and academic streams;
  • Establishing National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy;
  • Emphasis on promoting multilingualism and Indian languages; The medium of instruction until at least Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond, will be the home language/mother tongue/local language/regional language.
  • Assessment reforms – Board Exams on up to two occasions during any given school year, one main examination and one for improvement, if desired;
  • Setting up of a new National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development);
  • Equitable and inclusive education – Special emphasis given on Socially and Economically Disadvantaged  Groups (SEDGs);
  • A separate Gender Inclusion fund and Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups;
  • Robust and transparent processes for recruitment of teachers and merit based performance;
  • Ensuring availability of all resources through school complexes and clusters;
  • Setting up of State School Standards Authority (SSSA);
  • Exposure of vocational education in school and higher education system;
  • Increasing GER in higher education to 50%;
  • Holistic and Multidisciplinary Education with multiple entry/exit options;
  • NTA to offer Common Entrance Exam for Admission to HEIs;
  • Establishment of Academic Bank of Credit;
  • Setting up of Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs);
  • Setting up of National Research Foundation (NRF);
  • ‘Light but Tight’ regulation;
  • Single overarching umbrella body for promotion of higher education sector including teacher education and excluding medical and legal education- the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI)-with independent bodies for standard setting- the General Education Council; funding-Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC); accreditation- National Accreditation Council (NAC); and regulation- National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC);
  • Expansion of open and distance learning to increase Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER).
  • Internationalization of Education
  • Professional Education will be an integral part of the higher education system. Stand-alone technical universities, health science universities, legal and agricultural universities, or institutions in these or other fields, will aim to become multi-disciplinary institutions.
  • Teacher Education – 4-year integrated stage-specific, subject- specific Bachelor of Education
  • Establishing a National Mission for Mentoring.
  • Creation of an autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration. Appropriate integration of technology into all levels of education.
  • Achieving 100% youth and adult literacy.
  • Multiple mechanisms with checks and balances will combat and stop the commercialization of higher  education.
  • All education institutions will be held to similar standards of audit and disclosure as a ‘not for profit’ entity.
  • The Centre and the States will work together to increase the public investment in Education sector to   reach 6% of GDP at the earliest.
  • Strengthening of the Central Advisory Board of Education to ensure coordination to bring overall  focus on quality education.
  • NEP, 2020 aim to increase the GER to 100% in preschool to secondary level by 2030 whereas GER in Higher Education including vocational education from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035.
  • The Central Sector Scheme Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching (PMMMNMTT) was launched in 2014 to address comprehensively all issues related to Teacher Training/ Capacity Building and Professional Development of Teachers.
  • Under the components, the total 95 Centres were established throughout the country through which faculties/Teachers have been trained. Currently, The Standing Finance Committee has appraised the Scheme and recommended for continuation till 2025-2026 with the total outlay of Rs. 493.68 crore.
  • Under the PMMMNMTT Scheme Centres are established on the basis of the proposals received from education institutions, their screening by Screening Committee and approval by Project Approval Board.

School Innovation Council

Paper 2 – Social Issues
Why Should You Know?
Recently the Minister of State for Education, Smt. Annpurna Devi gave information about School Innovation Council in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
In details –
  • School Innovation Council (SIC), an initiative taken by the Ministry of Education’s Innovation Cell (MIC) was launched on 1 July 2022 and has been introduced to all schools of all the states including Rajasthan.
  • It is a council of teachers, students, and experts from industry and academia to conduct round the year activities for students and teachers on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, monitored through the SIC portal of the MIC, to record the influence at the ground level.
  • SIC will enable mindset change, awareness, and training on Ideation, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, design thinking, Intellectual Property Rights, start-up finance, and HR among teachers and students. It will also enable the ranking system for schools on the level of innovation-oriented activities.
  • To implement the SIC council in all schools across the nation, SIC portal has been developed where schools can register themselves.
  • All registered schools are encouraged to perform innovation-related activities as per the SIC Calendar Activities that includes Leadership talk, motivation sessions, webinars, sessions, awareness, boot camps inviting innovative ideas from the student, developing the prototype, and national level exhibition of the best prototypes etc.
  • NEP 2020 envisages the education system to include a ‘light but tight’ regulatory framework to ensure integrity, transparency, and resource efficiency of the educational system through audit and public disclosure while encouraging innovation and out-of-the-box ideas through autonomy, good governance, and empowerment.
  • Besides, NEP has a provision for School Complex Management Committees for more robust and improved governance, monitoring, oversight, innovations and initiatives by local stakeholders.
School Innovation Ambassador Training program –
  • In order to strengthen the mentoring capacity of teachers for cultivating and handholding innovative and ingenious ideas from students, the School Innovation Ambassador Training program (SIATP) was launched through online Mode.
  • Under SIATP, teachers undergo 72 hours of training, and those who qualify all the five modules i.e.
1. Design Thinking & Innovation; 
2. Idea generation & Idea hand-holding;
3. Finance/Sales/HR;
4. Intellectual Property Rights(IPR);
5. Entrepreneurship and Prototype/ Product Development; 
  • with a minimum 50% as passing marks are recognized as “Innovation Ambassadors” which makes them competent to nurture the young school students on Ideation, IPR, product development, design thinking, problem-solving, critical thinking and skills of entrepreneurship.

Loktak Lake

Paper 1 – Geography
Why Should You Know?
Recently Loktak Lake Authority of Manipur issued a notice to remove all floating houses and fishing related structures.
In details –
  • Recently Loktak Lake Authority of Manipur has issued a notice to remove all floating houses and fishing related structures on Loktak Lake. The decision was strongly opposed by the local fishing community and home-stay operators.
Lack of regulation –
  • The number of newly built houses and huts is increasing day by day; As a result it has endangered the lake ecosystem, and also affected the environment.
  • A major hydroelectric project started in the year 1983 has also led to a drastic reduction in fish production and traditional fisheries in this lake.
  • In addition, arable land has been damaged due to floods and rising levels of sediments and pollutants from untreated rivers.
About Notice –
  • Loktak Development Authority (LDA), a lake development authority in Manipur, issued a notice on 18 July for removal/destruction of huts on all ‘athaphams’ (circular fish farming ponds) and ‘phumdis’ (floating organic mass) from the lake be released.
  • All Athaphams, huts or houses at Phumdi (Homestay) within the premises of Loktak Lake shall be removed/demolished by the persons or society concerned within 15 days from the date of publication of the notice.
  • It is noteworthy that the floating village Champu Khangpok on the lake has been thrown out of order.
  • The LDA notice was issued in accordance with “powers conferred by sections 4, 19 and 20 of the Manipur Loktak Lake (Protection) Act, 2006”, it said. The act looks into the seriousness of the deteriorating ecological condition of the lake in order to improve and restore the lake’s ecosystem.
About Loktak Lake –
  • Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake (ancient supervolcanic caldera) in India. It is a pulsating lake, with surface area varying from 250 sq km to 500 sq km during rainy season with a typical area of 287 sq km.[5]
  • The lake is located at Moirang in Manipur state, India.
  • The etymology of Loktak is Lok = “stream” and tak = “the end” in Meitei language (Manipuri language).
  • It is famous for the phumdis (heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil and organic matter at various stages of decomposition) floating over it. The largest of all the phumdis covers an area of 40 km2 (15 sq mi) and is situated on the southeastern shore of the lake.
  • Located on this phumdi, Keibul Lamjao National Park is the only floating national park in the world. The park is the last natural refuge of the endangered Sangai (state animal), Rucervus eldii eldii or Manipur brow-antlered deer (Cervus eldi eldi), one of three subspecies of Eld’s deer.
  • Loktak Day is observed every year on the 15th of October at the periphery of the Loktak lake.
Significance –
  • This ancient lake plays an important role in the economy of Manipur. It serves as a source of water for hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking water supply.
  • The lake is also a source of livelihood for the rural fishermen who live in the surrounding areas and on phumdis, also known as “phumshongs”.
  • Considering the ecological status and its biodiversity values, the lake was initially designated as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention on 23 March 1990.
  • It was also listed under the Montreux Record on 16 June 1993, “a record of Ramsar sites where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring or are likely to occur”

Indian Antarctic Bill, 2022

Paper 3- Environment
Why Should You Know?
Parliament passes the Indian Antarctic Bill, 2022 aimed at having India’s own national measures for protecting the Antarctic environment and dependent and associated ecosystem
In details –
On August 1, 2022 the Parliament passed the Indian Antarctic Bill, 2022, which aims at having India’s own national measures for protecting the Antarctic environment as also the dependent and associated ecosystem.
After the Bill was passed by Lok Sabha on 22nd July, it was cleared by Rajya Sabha on 1 august, 2022 after it was moved by Minister of Earth Sciences, Dr Jitendra Singh.
About the Bill –
The Indian Antarctic Bill, 2022 was introduced in Lok Sabha on April 1, 2022.  The Bill seeks to give effect to the Antarctic Treaty, the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, and the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. 
It also seeks to protect the Antarctic environment and regulate activities in the region.  Key features of the Bill include:
Applicability:
The provisions of the Bill will apply to any person, vessel or aircraft that is a part of an Indian expedition to Antarctica under a permit issued under the Bill. 
Areas comprising of Antarctica include:
  • the continent of Antarctica, including its ice-shelves, and all areas of the continental shelf adjacent to it, and
  • all islands (including their ice-shelves), seas, and air space south of 60°S latitude.
Central committee:
  • The central government will establish a Committee on Antarctic Governance and Environmental Protection. 
  • The Committee will be chaired by the Secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences. 
  • 10 members, not below the rank of joint secretary, will be nominated from various Ministries and organisations such as defence, external affairs, National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, and National Security Council Secretariat. 
  • In addition, two experts from Antarctic environment and geo-political fields will be nominated by the central government.
Functions of the Committee:
The functions of the Committee include:
  • granting permits for various activities,
  • implementing and ensuring compliance of relevant international laws for protection of Antarctic environment,
  • obtaining and reviewing relevant information provided by parties to the Treaty, Convention, and Protocol, and
  • negotiating fees/charges with other parties for activities in Antarctica.
Need for permit:
A permit by the Committee or written authorisation from another party to the Protocol (other than India) will be required for various activities such as:
  • an Indian expedition to enter or remain in Antarctica,
  • a person to enter or remain in an Indian station in Antarctica,
  • a vessel or aircraft registered in India to enter or remain in Antarctica,
  • a person or vessel to drill, dredge or excavate for mineral resources, or collect samples of mineral resources,
  • activities which may harm native species, and
  • waste disposal by a person, vessel or aircraft in Antarctica.
Before a permit is granted by the Committee, the applicant has to carry out an environmental impact assessment of the proposed activities.  Moreover, a permit must not be granted unless a waste management plan has been prepared for the expedition by the Committee.
Prohibited activities:
The Bill prohibits certain activities in Antarctica including:
  • nuclear explosion or disposal of radioactive wastes,
  • introduction of non-sterile soil, and
  • discharge of garbage, plastic or other substance into the sea which is harmful to the marine environment.
Offences and penalties:
  • The Bill specifies penalties for contravention of its provisions.  For instance, conducting a nuclear explosion in Antarctica will be punishable with an imprisonment of 20 years which may extend to life imprisonment and a fine of at least Rs 50 crore.
  • Drilling for mineral resources or introducing non-native animals or plants in Antarctica without a permit will be punishable with imprisonment up to seven years and a fine between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 50 lakh.  
  • The central government may notify one or more Sessions Courts to be the Designated Court under the Bill and specify its territorial jurisdiction to try offences punishable under the Bill. 
India’s steps Toward Antarctica –
  • India today has two operational research stations in Antarctica named Maitri (Commissioned in 1989) and Bharati (Commissioned in 2012).
  • India has successfully launched 40 annual scientific expeditions to Antarctica till date.
  • With Himadri station in Ny-Alesund, Svalbard, Arctic, India now belongs to the elite group of nations that have multiple research stations within the Polar Regions.
  • The Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources was signed at Canberra on the 20th day of May, 1980, inter alia, for the protection and preservation of the Antarctic environment and, in particular, for the preservation and conservation of marine living resources in Antarctica.
  • India ratified the Convention on 17th June, 1985 and is a member of the Commission for Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources under that Convention.
  • The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty was signed at Madrid on 4th October, 1991, inter alia, to strengthen the Antarctic Treaty system and for the development of a comprehensive regime for the protection of the Antarctic environment and dependent and associated ecosystems.
  • India signed the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty on 14th January, 1998. Antarctica lies south of 60 ñ South Latitude, which is a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science and should not become the scene or object of any international discord.

Water Heroes

Paper 1 – Natural Resources
Why Should You Know?
The Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti has launched the ‘Water Heroes: Share Your Stories’ contest.
In details –
  • The Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti has launched the ‘Water Heroes: Share Your Stories’ contest.
  • Till date, three editions of the contest have been launched on MyGov portal. The 1st edition was launched from 01.09.2019 to 30.08.2020.
  • The 2nd edition was launched from 19.09.2020 to 31.08.2021.
  • The 3rd edition has been launched on 01.12.2021 and will end on 30.11.2022.
  • Till date, 149 persons have been awarded with Water Heroes: Share Your Stories contest.  These water heroes have been working in the field of water conservation, awareness generation for water conservation, rainwater harvesting, entrepreneurship for water harvesting, ground water management, river rejuvenation, rejuvenation of water bodies and reuse/recycling of waste water.
Objective –
  • The objective of the contest is to promote value of water, in general, and for supporting country-wide efforts on water conservation and sustainable development of water resources.
  • In accordance with the vision of Indian government, a large population should be motivated to adopt the cause of water conservation in the country.
  • The aim of the contest is to create awareness for water conservation by enhancing knowledge and sharing experiences of water heroes; and to create an attitude towards water conservation and management so that a behavioral change can be created amongst all stakeholders.
Winners –
  • The three winners for the month of June 2022 are Mr. Anuj Sharma, Mr. Arav Seth and Mr. Durgesh Gupta, their details are given below. Each of them will get a cash prize of Rs. 10,000/- and a certificate.
  • Mr. Anuj Sharma is from Meerut. He planned and promoted good initiatives such as plantation drives, eco-farming, water conservation, and waste recycling to make the students aware about environment conservation in the locality.
  • Mr. Durgesh Gupta is a Cofounder of the NGO called “Green Yatra Trust”. He made numerous efforts to revitalize and create over 15 ponds and lakes in NCR Region, MMR and Bangalore. Moreover, he implemented many water projects in Maharashtra’s tribal belts with the IDS organization.
  • Mr. Aarav Seth is a 13-year-old student activist from Ghaziabad. He planted 4500 trees and demonstrated his commitment to society through awareness and action plans. He actively participated in Yamuna Cleanup Drive along with his team.
About the contest –
  • The contest is held monthly and may be seen on MyGov portal.
  • To participate in the contest, one needs to post their success stories on water conservation in the form of 1-5 minutes video, along with a write-up of upto 300 words and attach some photographs that depict the efforts.
  • Also, the participants can share their videos (with the link to their YouTube video) on the MyGov portal (www.mygov.in). In addition to the MyGov portal, the entries can also be submitted at waterheroes.cgwb[at]gmail[dot]com.

Dam Safety Act 2021

Paper 3- Infrastructure
Why Should You Know?
Recently the Minister of State, Shri Bishweswar Tudu told about Dam Safety Act 2021, n a written reply in Rajya Sabha
In details –
  • As per the National Register of Large Dams 2019 compiled by the Central Water Commission based on the information provided by the project authorities, India has 5334 completed and operational large dams while 411 large dams are under construction.
  • Union Government has enacted the Dam Safety Act 2021, which became effective from 30th December 2021.
  • The Act provides a comprehensive frame work for proper surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of all the large dams of the country for ensuring their safe functioning and to avoid dam failure related disasters.
  • The Act also provides for empowered institutional framework for dam safety both at the level of Centre and States and will also help in standardizing and improving uniform dam safety practices across the country.
  • Responsibility for safety of dams, including its operation and maintenance rests primarily with dam owners which are mostly the State Governments and Central/State Public Sector Units.
  • During extreme weather events, especially during the monsoon season, dams are to be operated as per the rule curve and the Operation & Maintenance manual.
  • All the dam owners are required to have O&M manual containing standard operating procedures for their dams/reservoirs in place before commissioning of the dam. 
  • Dam Safety Act 2021 also emphasizes the necessity of O&M Manual for every specified dam.
  • As per the Dam Safety Act 2021, every owner of the specified dam shall ensure that a well-documented operation and maintenance manual is kept at each of the specified dam and are followed at all times. Further, every owner of the specified dam shall prepare an Emergency Action Plan for each of their specified dam to deal with any emergency conditions arising at the dams.
  • Dam Safety Act 2021 is having the provision for setting up empowered institutional framework for dam safety both at the Central and State level. At national level, Central Government has constituted the National Committee on Dam Safety which shall discharge functions to prevent dam failure related disasters and maintain standards of dam safety and evolve dam safety policies and recommend necessary regulations.
  • Further as per the provisions of the Dam Safety Act 2021, State Governments are mandated to constitute the State Committee on Dam Safety which shall ensure proper surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of all specified dams in that State and ensure their safe functioning.

Enforcement of Minimum Wages

Paper 2 – Social Issues
Why Should You Know?
Recently, the Minister of State for Labour & Employment, Shri Rameswar Teli gave information about Enforcement of Minimum Wages, in a written reply in Lok Sabha.
In details –
Minimum Wages Act, 1948 –
The provisions of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, are being enforced by the Central Government and the State Governments in their respective jurisdiction. In the Central sphere the enforcement is done through the Inspecting Officers of the Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) commonly designated as Central Industrial Relations Machinery (CIRM) and the compliance in the State sphere is ensured through the State Enforcement Machinery. The designated inspecting officers conduct regular inspections and in the event of detection of any case of non-payment or underpayment of wages/minimum wages, they direct the employers to make payment of the shortfall of wages. In case of non-compliance, penal provisions prescribed under section 22 of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, are taken recourse to.
PM-KISAN Scheme –
  • Landholding is the basic eligibility criteria to avail the benefit of the PM-KISAN Scheme.
  • The Scheme aims to provide a payment of Rs. 6000/- per year to be transferred in three equal instalments of  Rs. 2000/- each, every four months directly into the bank accounts of eligible landholding farmer families.
Mahatma Gandhi NREGA
  • Mahatma Gandhi NREGS is a demand driven wage employment programme which provides for the enhancement of livelihood security of the households in rural areas of the country by providing at least one hundred days of guaranteed wage employment in every financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
  • There is no gender based discrimination under Mahatma Gandhi NREGS. The Government has been making all efforts for improving the women participation under the Mahatma Gandhi NREGS and for which a separate schedule of rate has been mandated for them with flexible working hours.
  • As stipulated in the Schedule-II to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005, the workers are, inter- alia, provided medical treatment in case of injury caused by accident arising out of and in the course of employment and ex gratia payment on death or permanent disability in the course of employment.
  • Further, the facilities of safe drinking water, shade for children and periods of rest, first-aid box with adequate material for emergency treatment for minor injuries and other health hazards connected with the work being performed are provided at the work site.
About National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 –
  • National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 or NREGA (No 42), later renamed as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act or MGNREGA in 2009, is an Indian labour law and social security measure that aims to guarantee the ‘right to work’.
  • This act was passed in 23 August 2005.
  • It aims to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to at least one member of every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
  • Women are guaranteed one third of the jobs made available under the MGNREGA.
  • Another aim of MGNREGA is to create durable assets (such as roads, canals, ponds and wells). Employment is to be provided within 5 km of an applicant’s residence, and minimum wages are to be paid.
  • If work is not provided within 15 days of applying, applicants are entitled to an unemployment allowance. That is, if the government fails to provide employment, it has to provide certain unemployment allowances to those people.

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