Ojaank IAS Academy




21 November 2022 – Current Affairs

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Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2022

Paper 2 – Polity

Why You Should Know?

The draft Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2022 has now been released by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), and the government is now asking for public comments and consultations on the bill.

In detail –
  • The bill is supposed to outline the rights and duties of ‘digital nagriks’ or citizens while laying out the process and rules for data collection when it comes to companies.
  • The bill also imposes heavy penalties for violations of any provisions of the legislation which will be decided by the Data Protection Board of India– as established by the new law. However, orders of the board can be challenged in a High Court.
Seven Principles
  • According to an explanatory note for the bill, it is based on seven principles. The first is that “usage of personal data by organisations must be done in a manner that is lawful, fair to the individuals concerned and transparent to individuals.”
  • The second principle states that personal data must only be used for the purposes for which it was collected.
  • This third principle talks of data minimisation, while the fourth puts an emphasis on data accuracy when it comes to collection.
  • The fifth principle talks of how personal data that is collected cannot be “stored perpetually by default,” and storage should be limited to a fixed duration.
  • The sixth principle notes that there should be reasonable safeguards to ensure there is “no unauthorised collection or processing of personal data.”
  • Finally, the seventh principle “is that the person who decides the purpose and means of the processing of personal data should be accountable for such processing.”
Data Principal and Data Fiduciary
  • The bill uses the term “Data Principal” to denote the individual whose data is being collected.
  • The term “Data Fiduciary” the entity (can be an individual, company, firm, state etc), which decides the “purpose and means of the processing of an individual’s personal data.”
  • The law also makes a recognition that in the case of children –defined as all users under the age of 18— their parents or lawful guardians will be considered their ‘Data Principals.’
  • Under the law, personal data is “any data by which or in relation to which an individual can be identified.”
  • Processing means “the entire cycle of operations that can be carried out in respect of personal data.” So right from collection to storage of data would come under processing of data as per the bill.
  • The bill also ensures that individuals should be able to “access basic information” in languages specified in the eighth schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  • The bill also makes it clear that individual needs to give consent before their data is processed and that “every individual should know what items of personal data a Data Fiduciary wants to collect and the purpose of such collection and further processing.”
  • Further, the notice of data collection needs to be in clear and easy-to-understand language. Individuals also have the right to withdraw consent from a Data Fiduciary.
Significant Data Fiduciaries
  • The bill also talks of ‘Significant Data Fiduciaries, who deal with a high volume of personal data. The Central government will define who is designated under this category based on a number of factors ranging from the volume of personal data processed to the risk of harm to the potential impact on the sovereignty and integrity of India.
  • “This category needs to fulfil certain additional obligations to enable greater scrutiny of its practices,” according to the bill’s explanatory note.
  • Such entities will have to appoint a ‘Data protection officer’ who will represent them. They will be the point of contact for grievance redressal.
  • They will also have to appoint an independent Data auditor who shall evaluate their compliance with the act.
Right to erase data, right to nominate
  • Data principals will have the right to demand the erasure and correction of data collected by the data fiduciary. They will also have the right to nominate an individual who will exercise these rights in the event of death or incapacity of the data principal.
  • The bill also gives consumers the right to file a complaint against a ‘Data Fiduciary’ with the Data Protection Board in case they do not get a satisfactory response from the company.
Cross-border data transfer
  • The bill also allows for cross-border storage and transfer of data to “certain notified countries and territories.” However, “an assessment of relevant factors by the Central Government would precede such a notification,” adds the note.
Financial penalties
  • The draft also proposes to impose significant penalties on businesses that undergo data breaches or fail to notify users when breaches happen.
  • Entities that fail to take “reasonable security safeguards” to prevent personal data breaches will be fined as high as Rs 250 crore as The Indian Express had reported.
  • The government could also exempt certain businesses from adhering to provisions of the Bill on the basis of the number of users and the volume of personal data processed by the entity.
  • This has been done keeping in mind startups of the country who had complained that the previous version of the Bill was too “compliance intensive”.

Sources – IE

Gandhi Mandela Award

Paper 2 – International Relations

Why You Should Know?

The 14th Dalai Lama was conferred the Gandhi Mandela Award 2022 at Thekchen Choeling in Dharamshala’s McleodGanj by Himachal Pradesh governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar.

In detail –
What is the Gandhi Mandela Award?
  • A government of India registered Trust, the Gandhi Mandela Foundation is a non-profit organisation, formed with the motive to promote Mahatma Gandhi’s and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela’s values of non-violence.
  • It has constituted an international prize, the Gandhi Mandela Award.
  • The foundation instituted the award on the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation, MK Gandhi.
Who gets the award and how are they selected?
  • The award is given to personalities who have carried forward the legacies of Gandhi and Mandela by making significant contributions in the fields of Peace, Social Welfare, Culture, Environment, Education, Healthcare, Sports and Innovation.
  • This time, the awardee, Dalai Lama, was selected by a jury including former Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan and Justice Dipak Misra, former Supreme Court Judge Gyan Sudha Misra, former Chief Justice of Nepal Justice Kedarnath Upadhyay and former Chief Justice of Bangladesh Justice MD Tafazzul Islam.
Some Eminent nominees

Eminent nominations in the 1st Edition of the Gandhi Mandela Award in 2019 included

  • Prime Minister of Nepal Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli,
  • first president of Bangladesh Late Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,
  • first president of Sri Lanka late Don Stephen Senanayake,
  • former deputy Prime Minister of India Lal Krishna Advani
  • other head of states and governments.
Nobel prize to Dalai Lama
  • The Tibetan spiritual leader is the recipient of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize.
  • The Dalai Lama has developed his philosophy of peace from a great reverence for all things living and upon the concept of universal responsibility embracing all mankind as well as nature.
  • He has also received several other awards.
About Dalai Lama
  • Dalai Lama is a title given by the Tibetan people to the foremost spiritual leader of the Gelug or “Yellow Hat” school of Tibetan Buddhism, the newest and most dominant of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
  • The 14th and current Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso, who lives as a refugee in India.
  • The Dalai Lama is also considered to be the successor in a line of tulkus who are believedto be incarnations of Avalokiteśvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.
  • The Dalai Lama belongs to the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, which is the largest and most influential tradition in Tibet.
How is the Dalai Lama chosen
  • The Dalai Lama is found rather than chosen.
  • Following the Buddhist belief in the principle of reincarnation, the Dalai Lama is believed by Buddhists to be able to choose the body into which he is reincarnated.
  • That person, when found, will then become the next Dalai Lama.
  • The search for the reborn Dalai Lama is the responsibility of the High Lamas of the Gelgupa tradition and the Tibetan government.
  • This process can take several years: it took four years to find the 14th (current) Dalai Lama, Tensin Gyatso.
  • The search is generally limited to Tibet, although the current Dalai Lama has said that there is a chance that he will not be reborn, and that if he is, it will not be in a country under Chinese rule.

Sources –IE

Donyi Polo Airport

Paper 3 –Infrastructure

Why You Should Know?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first Greenfield airport in Arunachal Pradesh — the Donyi Polo Airport at Itanagar.

In detail –
  • The first greenfield facility in Arunachal Pradesh, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, November 19, 2022
  • The airport located at Hollongi, around 15 km from the State capital Itanagar.
  • It will link the border state with other Indian cities with commercial flights as well as other parts of Arunachal Pradesh through helicopter services.
  • The Government of India had in January 2019 accorded ‘in-principle’ approval to the construction of the Hollongi Greenfield Airport.
  • The airport is being developed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in collaboration with the Central Government and the State Government of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • A resolution was passed by the state government of Arunachal Pradesh to name this airport as ‘Donyi Polo Airport, Itanagar’,
  • It reflects people’s respect for sun (Donyi) and moon (polo) and symbolically the rich cultural heritage of this state.
What is Donyi Polo?
  • Donyi-Polo or Donyi-Poloism is a local religion prevalent among Tani and other Tibeto-Burmese people living in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam in northeast India
  • This theory is based on animism and exorcism.
  • The name “Donyi-Polo” means “Sun-Moon” in which Donyi i.e. Sun symbolizes a woman while Polo i.e. Moon symbolizes a man.
  • In the 1970s, in response to the rapidly expanding Christianity in the region and perhaps the possibility of its inclusion in Hinduism, the process of its revival and institutionalization was started and it was also named Donyi-Polo.
  • Donyi-Polo belongs to The Hemfu-Mukrang religion of Karbi and Nyazi-no of Hrso.
Current Airports
  • At present, two airports – Tezu and Pasighat – are operational in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • In line with the central government’s vision of developing the north-eastern region as India’s growth engine, Doni Polo Airport will be the third airport in Arunachal Pradesh to start operating airlines
  • This will take the total number of airports in the North-Eastern Region to 16.
  • In 2014, there were a total of nine airports operating airlines in the region.
What is a greenfield airport ?
  • A greenfield airport is one which is built from scratch on a new (undeveloped) site. The word ‘greenfield’ originates from software engineering. It means a project that does not have any constraints imposed by prior work. Such airports are constructed to support the projected requirements of traffic of the existing airport.
  • To cater to the rising air traffic, the government of India has been working towards increasing the number of airports.
  • The Government of India has formulated a Greenfield Airport Policy, 2008 which provides extant guidelines for the development of greenfield airports in the country.

Source – TH

Changes in climate change to El Nino and La Nina

Paper 1 –Geography

Why You Should Know?

Recently, researchers told in one of their research that climate change is disturbing El Nino and La Nina, in which case extreme weather events will increase.

In detail –
  • La Niña cold weather patterns are mainly responsible for heavy rains and floods. This has recently caused severe flooding in some areas of the south-east of Australia.
  • Whereas El Nino which alternates with La Nina every few years. El Nino usually causes drought in most parts of the world.
  • The simultaneous occurrence of both phases is known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. It is one of the most powerful factors driving Earth’s weather.
  • How the worldwide weather maker will affect climate change has been of interest to most scientists in recent years. This new research sheds light on this question.
  • The research found that climate change will clearly affect the El Niño-Southern Oscillation by 2030, that too on a timescale of only eight years.
About EL Nino and La Nina
  • The El Niño–Southern Oscillation occurs in the tropical Pacific, involving complex interactions between the atmosphere and the ocean.
  • It can be in one of three phases – El Nino, La Nina or neutral.
  • During an El Niño phase, the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean warms significantly.
  • It is responsible for cloud formation across the Pacific and a major shift in weather patterns, creating generally dry conditions over eastern Australia.
  • During a La Nina phase, which is happening now, waters in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean are cooler than average.
  • Changes related to weather patterns result in higher than average rainfall in some parts of the world, especially much of Australia.
  • When the oscillation is in the neutral phase, the weather conditions hover around the long-term average.
  • Previous research has suggested that El Niño and La Niña events may differ depending on where in the tropical Pacific the warmer or cooler ocean temperatures occur.
  • But climate change is also affecting ocean temperatures.
About research
  • The researchers explained that they examined 70 years of data on the El Niño-Southern Oscillation since 1950 and combined it with 58 of the most advanced climate models available.
  • Where we have seen the effect of climate change on El Niño and La Niña events, this will be visible in the coming sea surface temperature changes in the eastern Pacific, which can be detected by 2030. It’s four decades earlier than it used to be.
  • Scientists already know that climate change is affecting the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. But because the oscillation itself is so complex and variable, it has been difficult to identify where the change is occurring most.
  • However, the study looks at the impact of climate change, which is visible as changes in sea surface temperatures in the tropical eastern Pacific, will become more apparent within about eight years.
  • El Niño events will intensify as climate change warms the eastern Pacific Ocean.
  • When this happens, the rains move away from the western Pacific where Australia is located. This means that extreme drought conditions are expected in Australia.
  • It is also expected to bring more rain to the eastern Pacific, which extends from southern Mexico to northern Peru to the Pacific coast of Central America.
  • Powerful El Niño events are often followed by longer and longer lasting La Niña.
  • So this would mean a cooling of the eastern Pacific Ocean, bringing rain back towards Australia, causing much more heavy rain and the severe flooding seen here in recent months.
Climate threat
  • Seasonal changes associated with El Niño and La Niña that can affect human health, food production, energy and water supplies, and economies around the world.
  • The research suggests that people in much of the world should prepare for severe floods and droughts as climate change disturbs the natural weather patterns of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation.
  • The researchers said our findings should be incorporated into policies and strategies to adapt to climate change. The most important recommendations stress the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to stabilize Earth’s climate.

Source – DE

Great Knot

Paper 3 –Biodiversity

Why You Should Know?

A great knot from Russia, belonging to the endangered Calidris tenuirostris (Horsfield, 1821), has found its way to Kerala’s coast, flying over 9,000 km for a winter sojourn.

In detail –
  • The migratory bird that traversed the Central Asian Flyway (CAF) is only one of the two — the other has been sighted at Jamnagar in Gujarat — great knots to be re-sighted in India among the nearly thousand ones tagged with MOSKVA rings in the Kamchatka peninsula in eastern Russia.
  • The Russian scientists confirmed the juvenile great knot had been tagged in the estuary with a marked ring on its leg on August 12.
  • These long-distance migrants stay at the Yellow Sea region and Thailand in southeast Asia before proceeding to their southerly winter grounds ,including Peninsular India along the CAF, one of the nine most important flyways of migratory birds.
  • The migratory route suggested the bird that flew to Thrissur travelled over 9,000 km.
  • Another bird that was tagged 6Z has been sighted at Jamnagar for the past three consecutive years.
About Great knot
  • The great knot (Calidris tenuirostris) is a small wader. It is the largest of the calidrid species.
  • The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds.
  • The specific tenuirostris is from Latin tenuis “slender” and rostrum “bill”.
  • The great knot is the largest species of Calidris sandpiper, with its sister species, the red knot, being the next largest.
  • This species has short dark legs and a medium-length thin dark bill.
  • These birds forage on mudflats and beaches, probing or picking up food by sight. They mainly eat molluscs and insects.
  • The great knot is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
  • Their breeding habitat is tundra in northeast Siberia.
  • They nest on the ground laying about four eggs in a ground scrape.
  • They are strongly migratory wintering on coasts in southern Asia through to Australia.
  • This species forms enormous flocks in winter.
  • The species is recorded in low numbers in western Alaska most years, and has occurred as a vagrant in British Columbia, Oregon, West Virginia, and Maine.
Conservation status
  • In IUCN red data list, this species is listed as endangered.

Sources – TH

Toilets 2.0 Campaign

Paper 2 – Government Policies

Why You Should Know?

The Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Shri Hardeep Singh Puri launched Toilets 2.0 campaign at a national event organized today at Bengaluru, Karnataka on the occasion of the World Toilet Day 2022.

In detail –
  • The campaign aims to  change the face  of public and community toilets in urban India through collective action involving citizens and Urban Local Bodies.
  • The World Toilet Day Event was preceded by three days of intensive capacity development workshops.
  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in collaboration with knowledge partner WASH Institute conducted the 3-day capacity building workshop, between 16th to 18th Nov 2022 at Bengaluru, Karnataka to equip States to facilitate integrated management of used water in a time bound manner.
  • On the 18th of November a strategic workshop for the effective implementation of SBM U 2.0 was organized involving over 250 ULB officials and engineers.
  • Experts from the CPHEEO and MoHUA guided the participants through various aspects of legacy waste dumpsite remediation, management of wet waste through waste to compost and waste to biomethanation, management of dry waste through Material Recovery Facilities and Waste to Energy plants were discussed in detail.
  • Used water management,treatment reuse options were also addressed.
  • State and city best practices were also presented during the workshop.
  • Further the need for continuous, handholding, and capacity development to keep pace with emerging and new technologies address planning and design capacities, project management and institutional gaps was emphasized.
Five thematic areas

The campaign has five thematic areas:

  • People for Toilets: Cleaning and maintaining the community and public toilets
  • Partners for Toilets: Adoption of Public toilets
  • Design Toilets: Design Challenge
  • Rate your Toilet: Promoting user feedback to improve public toilets and
  • My thoughts – Our Toilets: Gathering public opinion for toilets
People for Toilets
  • The People for Toilets an inter-city competition is envisaged for cleaning and maintaining the community and public toilets in which top-performing cities will be recognized.
  • This will be evaluated based on the proportion of CTs and PTs improvement and the scale of public engagement.
Partners for Toilets
  • The objective of the Partners for Toilets theme is to forge partnerships with potential organizations for the adoption of community and public toilets for interim cleaning, annual operations and maintenance, one-time financial aid, IEC activities, beautification activities, innovation, feedback etc.
  • The partnerships, including public private partnership models, corporate sponsorship etc. should provide impetus for sustainability of the functionality of the Community and Public toilets in cities and enhancing toilet users experience.
Design Toilets (Design Challenge)
  • The third theme, Design Toilets (Design Challenge) is being organized in collaboration with the Council of Architecture through which design entries will be invited from students of architecture and practicing architects for aspirational toilets in the two categories of Public toilets and Community toilets.
  • Based on the entries received, top designs will be selected and created into a compendium for cities’ consideration to adopt the designs.
Rate your Toilet
  • Rate your Toilet is for promoting user feedback to improve public and community toilets and My thoughts – Our Toilets is a general public survey among citizens on public toilets across the country.
  • A questionnaire on citizen aspiration for toilets will be available on MyGov platform for the public to answer.
  • The results from the survey are expected to help States and cities to understand gaps and provide course corrective measures.
  • A Champion of Change certificate will be rewarded to the participants at the end of the survey.

Sources – PIB

Dance form of India

Paper 1 – Art & Culture

Why You Should Know?

Sangeet Natak Akademi of Culture Ministry organises colourful and vibrant cultural programmes at India Gate on November 19, 2022.

In detail –
  • These Cultural performances are part of campaign named, Kalanjali , under which cultural programmes are to be organised at Central Vista every week.
  • The colourful and vibrant programmes organised included Chenda Melam, Kathak Dance, Puppet Show, Manipuri Dance.
Chenda Melam
  • The Chenda Melam was performed by Delhi Panchavadya Trust.
  • Panchari Melam is a percussion ensemble, performed during temple festivals in Kerala, India.
  • Panchari Melam (or simply panchari), is one of the major forms of Chenda Melam (ethnic drum ensemble), and is the best-known and most popular in the kshetramvadyam (temple percussion) genre.
  • Panchari Melam, comprising instruments like Chenda, Ilathalam& base chenda ( valanthala) is performed during many temple festivals in central Kerala, where it is presented in arguably the most classical manner.
  • Panchari is also traditionally performed, albeit with a touch of subtle regional difference, in north Kerala (Malabar) and south-central Kerala (Kochi).
  • Kathak is one of the main genres of ancient Indian classical dance and is traditionally regarded to have originated from the travelling bards of North India referred as Kathakars or storytellers.
  • These Kathakars wandered around and communicated legendary stories via music, dance and songs quite like the early Greek theatre.
  • The genre developed during the Bhakti movement, the trend of theistic devotion which evolved in medieval Hinduism.
  • The Kathakars communicate stories through rhythmic foot movements, hand gestures, facial expressions and eye work.
  • This performing art that incorporates legends from ancient mythology and great Indian epics, especially from the life of Lord Krishna became quite popular in the courts of North Indian kingdoms.
  • Three specific forms of this genre that is three gharanas (schools), which mostly differ in emphasis given to footwork versus acting, are more famous namely, the Jaipur gharana, the Benaras gharana and the Lucknow gharana.
Manipuri dance
  • Manipuri dance is counted among major classical dance forms of India, especially noted for themes based on Vaishnavism and spectacular execution of ‘Ras Lila’, dance dramas based on love between Radha and Krishna.
  • Other themes included in this art form associate with Shaktism, Shaivism and on the sylvan deities called Umang Lai during Manipuri festival ‘Lai Haraoba’.
  • This dance form is named after the north-eastern state of Manipur, India from where it originated but it has its roots in ‘Natya Shastra’, the age-old Sanskrit Hindu text.
  • A mix of Indian and southeast Asian culture is palpable in this form. The age-old dance tradition of the place is manifested from great Indian epics, ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Mahabharata’, where the native dance experts of Manipur are referred as ‘Gandharvas’.
  • The Manipuris perform this religious art that aims at expressing spiritual values during Hindu festivals and other important cultural occasions like marriage.
Odissi dance
  • Odissi or Orissi is one of the pre-eminent classical dance forms of India which originated in the Hindu temples of the eastern coastal state of Odisha in India. Its theoretical base trace back to ‘Natya Shastra’, the ancient Sanskrit Hindu text on the performing arts.
  • Age-old tradition of Odissi is manifested from Odisha Hindu temples and various sites of archaeological significance that are associated with Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, the sculptures of which adorn dance postures of this art form.
  • A form of illustrative anecdote of mythical and religious stories, devotional poems and spiritual ideas emoted by dancer with excellent body movements, expressions, impressive gestures and sign languages, its performance repertoire includes invocation, nrita, nritya, natya, and moksha.
  • This dance form includes themes from Vaishnavism and others associated with Hindu gods and goddesses like Shiva, Surya and Shakti.

Sources – PIB

Swachh Vidyalaya Initiative

Paper 2 –Government Policies

Why Should You Know?

Minister of State, Ministry of Education Dr. Subhas Sarkar gave away the Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar (SVP), 2021-22 to the National awardee schools in New Delhi.

In details –
Swachh Vidyalaya Initiative
  • on 15th August 2014, Prime Minister declared that all schools in the country should have toilets with separate toilets for girls within a period of one year as only then our daughters will not be compelled to leave schools midway.
  • The Department launched Swachh Vidyalaya Initiative in 2014.
  • Under this initiative, a record number of 4,17,796 toilets were constructed in 2,61,400 schools, including 1,90,887 girls toilets in one year period upto 15th August, 2015.
  • Encouraged with this stupendous success, the Department of School Education and Literacy launched the Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar in 2016-17 to ensure long term sustainability and behavioural change.
  • The Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar not only honours the schools who have taken exemplary work in the field of water, sanitation and hygiene but also provides a benchmark and roadmap for schools to make further improvement
Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar 2021- 22
  • The third edition of the Award i.e. SVP 2021-22, saw a phenomenal participation with 9.59 lakh schools registered for the awards.
  • This number is approx. 1.5 times more than the number of schools (6.15 lakh schools) in SVP 2017-18, who participated during that year.
  • Out of 9.59 lakh schools, more than 8.23 lakh schools submitted their applications for SVP 2021-22.
  • The evaluation process of 4,27,718 eligible schools was undertaken at district and state level, out of which 606 schools at State/UT level awards were found eligible for National level awards.
  • The National Selection Committee for selection of schools for SVP 2021-22, in their meeting held on 10th October 2022, selected 39 schools (34 in overall category and 5 in sub-categories) for National level awards for SVP 2021-2022, after 3rd party evaluation by UNICEF partner agency (NEERMAN).
  • Out of 39 selected schools, 21 schools are from rural areas and 18 from urban areas.
  • Further, 28 schools are government/ government aided while 11 are private schools.
  • The awarded schools also include 2 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas and one (1) Navodaya Vidyalaya and 3 Kendriya Vidyalayas.
  • Out of 39 schools, 17 are elementary and 22 are secondary/ higher secondary schools.
  • Cash prizes of Rs. 60,000/- to 34 schools (in overall category) and Rs. 20,000/-, (in sub-categories) were given to the awardee schools.
Six Parameters

The Puraskar is given at District, State and National level.Under this Award, schools are rated on six broad parameters of –

  1. Water
  2. Toilets
  3. Handwashing with Soap
  4. Operation and Maintenance
  5. Behaviour Change and Capacity building and
  6. COVID-19 (Preparedness and Response).
  • Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar (SVP), 2021-22 was successfully launched by Dr Subhas Sarkar on 12th January 2022, which was the birthday of Swami Vivekanand and is celebrated as National Youth Day.
  • In view of the COVID pandemic, an additional parameter – “COVID-19 preparedness and response” – was included in the Swachh Vidyalaya guidelines in 2021-22, considering its implications for health, hygiene and safety of the children.
  • The methodology of the awards was evolved in consultation with UNICEF, who were the Implementation and Technical partners for the awards.

Sources – PIB

Grain ATM

Paper 2 – Social Issues

Why You Should Know?

Recently Food and Public Distribution Department organizes Food Secretaries’ Conference.

In detail –
  • States/UTs to explore additional revenue streams to improve the financial viability of Fair Price Shops (FPS).
  • One of the best practices on FPS transformation was demonstrated by the Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu highlighting multiple initiatives undertaken such as selling of commodities, minor millets, grocery items, ISO certification of FPSs during his presentation.
  • In this conference, important issues related to various schemes of the Department including implementation of Rice Fortification, One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC), Smart PDS, Route Optimization etc. were discussed in detail with the Food Secretaries of the States and Union Territories.
  • The Government of India is aiming to achieve full distribution of fortified rice in all government programmes by the year 2023-24.
Grain ATM
  • Roll out plan of Annapurti Grain ATM developed by WFP, was also presented.
  • It can dispense two commodities and takes about 90 seconds in dispensing 50 Kg of foodgrains.
  • The solution reduces manual labour and automates the distribution of foodgrains under the PDS.
  • Currently, 4 Annapurti solutions have been installed at Gurgaon, Dehradun, Varanasi and Bhubaneshwar.
  • 6 more solutions are being installed at Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Shillong, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Bengaluru.
  • All these units have been installed by WFP on pro bono basis. 
  • The solution has immense benefits to casual workers, migrant workers and industrial workers as they can avail their entitlements even after their working hours in an automated manner.
  • These solutions can also be installed in industrial complexes itself where the workers can lift their entitlements at the place of work only.
  • The solution can essentially work just like normal banking ATM. The states/UTs have been requested to express their interests for piloting the solutions.
One Nation One Ration Card programme
  • The ONORC scheme is being implemented by the Department for the nation-wide portability of ration cards under National Food Security Act (NFSA).
  • Through this all eligible ration card holders/beneficiaries covered under NFSA can access their entitlements from anywhere in the country.
  • Under this plan Beneficiaries can quote either their ration card number or the Aadhaar number to any Fair Price Shop’s dealer across the country.
  • Anyone in the family, who have seeded Aadhaar in the ration card can undergo authentication and lift the ration.
  • There is no need to share or carry the ration card or Aadhaar card with ration dealer to avail the benefit.
  • Beneficiaries can undergo Aadhaar authentication by using their finger prints or iris based identification.
  • The One Nation One Ration Card facility was started as inter-State portability of ration cards in 4 States in August 2019.

Source – PIB


Network Readiness Index 2022

Paper 3 – Governance

Why Should You Know?

India has improved to 61st position in the Network Readiness Index 2022.

In detail –
  • India has jumped six places to secure 61st position on the Network Readiness Index 2022 (NRI 2022).
  • India has not only improved its ranking but also improved its score from 49.74 in 2021 to 51.19 in 2022.
  • The report states that India secured –
  • 1st rank in “AI talent concentration”,
  • 2nd rank in “Mobile broadband internet traffic within the country” and “International Internet bandwidth”,
  • 3rd rank in “Annual investment in telecommunication services” and “Domestic market size”,
  • 4th rank in “ICT Services exports”,
  • 5th rank in “FTTH/Building Internet subscriptions” and “AI scientific publications”.
  • NRI-2022 report states that India has a greater network readiness than would be expected given its income level.
  • India is ranked 3rd out of 36 in the group of lower-middle-income countries after Ukraine (50) and Indonesia (59).
  • India has a score higher than the income group average in all pillars and sub-pillars.
  • The Network Readiness Index 2022 ranks a total of 131 economies that collectively account for almost 95 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP).
  • The US takes the 1st spot from the Netherlands (4th) as the most network-ready society.
  • The biggest mover is Singapore (2nd), which surged from seventh position to rank second in this year’s index, pushing Denmark (6th) and Finland (7thth) out of the top 5.
  • The other five countries that make up the top 10 are Sweden (3rd), Switzerland (5th), Germany (8th), Korea, Rep. (9th) and Norway (10th).
  • As the list of the top 10 performers indicates, NRI 2022 confirms that advanced economies in Europe, parts of Asia and the Pacific, and North America are among the world’s most network-ready societies.
  • More concretely, 17 of the top 25 countries are in Europe (primarily Northern and Western Europe), four economies are in Eastern and Southeastern Asia, two are in Oceania (Australia and New Zealand), and two are in North America (Canada and the United States).
  • Of the economies covered in this year’s index, 49 are high-income economies, 32 are upper-middle-income countries, 36 are lower-middle-income countries, and 14 are low-income countries.
  • In terms of regional distribution, there are 31 African countries, 12 Arab States, 21 economies from Asia and the Pacific, 6 from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), 41 European countries, and 20 countries from the Americas.
About NRI report
  • The NRI 2022 report released by Portulans Institute, an independent non-profit, nonpartisan research and educational institute based in Washington DC places maps network-based readiness landscape of 131 economies based on their performances in four different pillars: a total of 58 variables
  • Technology,
  • People,
  • Governance,
  • Impact covering

Sources – BS


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