Ojaank IAS Academy




22 August 2022 – Current Affairs

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Grameen Udyami Project

Paper 3 – Economy
Why Should You Know?
Recently Grameen Udyami Project launched in Ranchi to promote skill development and Entrepreneurship amongst the tribal youth, gives boost to Skill India Mission.
In details –
  • To augment skill training in tribal communities for their inclusive and sustainable growth, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in partnership with Seva Bharti and Yuva Vikas Society, today launched the second phase of Grameen Udyami Project, today. Under the initiative, the endeavour is to multiskill India’s youth and impart functional skills to them for enabling livelihoods.
  • Shri Arjun Munda, Union Minister of Tribal affairs launched the programme.
  • Grameen Udyami is a unique multiskilling project, funded by NSDC that aims to train 450 tribal students in Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand. The project is being implemented in six states— Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Gujarat. This concept was crystallized by MoS, Shri. Rajeev Chandrasekhar and tribal MPs.
  • In the first phase of training, candidates were mobilized from rural and tribal areas of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat. Since candidates were mobilized from the rural areas, transportation, boarding & lodging was provided to candidates so that they do not miss out the learning opportunity due to lack of resources.
  • In Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, training of 157 candidates started in seven batches in the month of May,2022 and approximately 133 candidates completed the training successfully on June 27th, 2022.
  • The phase-II of the pilot project launched in Ranchi on august 20,2022, is being implemented by Yuva Vikas Society, through Seva Bharti Kendra in Ranchi.
  • NSDC under the aegis of MSDE has supported in setting up of labs and classrooms through Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) in Seva Bharti Kendra Skill Development Center.
  • The training under the project will be conducted in the following Job roles which are relevant to the local economy.
  • Electrician & Solar PV Installation Technician
  • Plumbing & Masonry
  • 2-Wheeler Repair & Maintenance
  • IT/ITES with e-Governance
  • Farm Mechanization
Implementation –
  • Grameen Udyami Yojana is implemented under Sansadiya Parisankul Yojana.
  • A two-day conference of Honorable MPs was held in Mumbai to discuss the upliftment of tribal communities in January 2020 in which various experts and government organizations shared their experiences.
  • Further, Scheduled Tribe organizations called for a ‘Parliamentary ST Cluster Development Project’ which has been initiated. Under which, 49 clusters in 15 states of India have been selected by 40 tribal MPs of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
  • Under their leadership, the scheme in respective clusters will be implemented. One development associate is appointed by the MPs in each cluster.
Objectives –

Following objectives must be achieved under the project:

  • Increase in Rural/Local Economy
  • Enhance employment opportunities
  • Reduce forced migration due to lack of local opportunities
  • Conservation of natural resources
Due to lack of skill and education, organized sectors have very poor contribution in tribal livelihood as compared to the national average. Therefore, initiatives like Grameen Udyami project are critical for their betterment and to ensure their livelihood generation.

First truly indigenously developed Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus

Paper 3- Infrastructure
Why Should You Know?
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh unveils India’s first truly indigenously developed Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus developed by KPIT-CSIR in Pune
In details –
  • Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today launched India’s first truly indigenously developed Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus developed by KPIT-CSIR in Pune.
  • Green hydrogen is an excellent clean energy vector that enables deep decarbonization of difficult-to-abate emissions from the refining industry, fertiliser industry, steel industry, cement industry and also from the heavy commercial transportation sector.
  • The fuel cell utilizes Hydrogen and Air to generate electricity to power the bus and the only effluent from   the bus is water, therefore making it possibly the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation. For comparison, a single diesel bus plying on long distance routes typically emits 100 tons of CO2 annually and there are over a million such buses in India.
  • The high efficiency of fuel cell vehicles and the high energy density of hydrogen ensures that the operational costs in rupees per kilometre for fuel cell trucks and buses are lower than diesel powered vehicles and this can bring freight revolution in India. Moreover, Fuel Cell vehicles also give zero green-house gas emissions.
  • It is noteworthy that About 12-14% CO2 emissions and particulate emissions come from diesel powered heavy commercial vehicles and these are decentralised emissions and hence difficult to capture. Hydrogen fuelled vehicles provide an excellent means to eliminate the on-road emissions from this sector. India is also aiming to increase inland waterways for freight and passenger transport.
  • Dr Jitendra Singh concluded that by achieving these goals, India can pole-vault from being net importer of fossil energy to becoming net exporter of clean hydrogen energy and thus, providing global leadership to India in hydrogen space by becoming a large green hydrogen producer and supplier of equipment for green hydrogen.
  • Later, Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurated the Bisphenol-A pilot plant in CSIR-NCL and said   these pilot plants have successfully demonstrated novel process technologies developed by NCL under CSIR’s Covid-19 mission program and Bulk Chemicals mission program.
  • Dr Jitendra Singh said, Bisphenol-A (BPA) is an important feedstock for the production of epoxy resins, polycarbonate and other engineering plastics. He said, the global market for Bisphenol-A is projected to reach 7.1 Million Tons by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 2% over the analysis period 2020-2027.
  • The entire estimated annual demand of 1, 35,000 tons in India is imported today. The Minister hoped that CSIR-NCL’s technology will enable import substitution of this important raw material and help in India’s Atmanirbhar initiative.
  • The uniqueness of the process developed by CSIR-NCL is a novel downstream process technology, which makes this indigenous technology competitive with global benchmarks. The process is ready for technology transfer and further co-development to commercial scale.

Biodiversity Conservation in the Hindu Kush Himalayas

Paper 3- Biodiversity
Why Should You Know?
Recently, researchers reported in a study that 76 percent of the major bird and biodiversity areas are still outside the protected area system in the Hindu Kush Himalayas.
In details –
  • In the biodiversity-rich Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH), 76 per cent of the major bird and biodiversity areas are still outside the protected area system. This information has come out in a study published in the journal Conservation Science and Practice .
  • There is no doubt that protected areas are an important strategy to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
  • Its importance can be gauged from the fact that about 15.7 percent of the world is in the form of protected areas. Which not only contributes significantly to biodiversity and environmental protection, but also directly supports the lives of 110 crore people.
  • Significant efforts have also been made in the direction of establishing these in the last few decades. But despite this Hindu Kush Himalayan region still has major biodiversity and ecologically important areas outside this system which is a major challenge from conservation point of view.
  • The Hindu Kush is of great importance to the Himalayas from the point of view of global biodiversity, it is spread over an area of ​​​​4.2 million square kilometers. It includes Bhutan and Nepal entirely, while India includes the mountainous parts of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan.
  • The analysis, conducted by researchers in the Hindu Kush Himalayas, revealed that the region has a total of 575 protected areas, small and large, which cover 40.17 per cent of its total land area. If compared with the total share of the global protected area, then it equals to about 8.5 percent of it.
  • In terms of biodiversity, the only Indo-Burma hotspot in the region has 7,000 endemic plant species, while 1.9% of the world’s endemic vertebrates are found. Similarly, information about more than 7,000 species of plants, 175 mammals and more than 500 species of birds is available in the Eastern Himalayan region.
  • The high mountain biomes here control food, water, habitat, pollination and climate, providing support for the 190 million people living in the region.
  • According to experts, the Hindu Kush Himalayan region is extremely vulnerable to many types of threats and changes. The region is geophysically very fragile, prone to erosion and landslides.
  • From above, the way unplanned development and change in land use is taking place in this area, it is creating big problems with it. Invasive species from above are making a huge impact on biodiversity, ecosystem services and people.
  • If we look at the protected areas present in this region, then there are 335 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs), 348 Major Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), 12 Global 200 Ecoregions and 4 Global Biodiversity Hotspots. But despite this, the scope of this protected area system is still very limited in terms of the biodiversity present here.
Hindukush may lose its original form –
  • Researchers estimate that 76 percent of the Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) here is outside the protected area system. Similarly, 67 per cent ecoregions, 39 per cent biodiversity hotspots and 69 per cent major biodiversity areas (KBAs) are not part of the system.
  • Not only this, about 47 percent of the protected areas present here are very small in size, with an area of ​​less than 250 square kilometers. Which have no link with other protected areas, which is a big problem. Also most of the protected areas are around the lower limits.
  • Along with this, the change in climate is also a big problem for this region. Hotspots of the Hindukush Himalayas, particularly Indo-Burma and southwest China, are particularly at risk. Researchers estimate that if this trend continues, by the end of the century, about 80 to 86 percent of the Hindukush Himalayas will lose its original form and original habitat.
  • In such a situation, the researchers believe that there is a need for cooperation beyond national and regional boundaries to improve connectivity between these regions. Also, there is a need to assess and demarcate potential corridors to link these areas as a comprehensive protected area.
  • Along with this, there is also a need to strengthen the management of protected areas. Particular attention is needed for biodiversity conservation, especially in the higher regions of the Hindu Kush Himalayas.

Tomato flu

Paper 2 – Health
Why Should You Know?
Tomato flu spreading in India, lets know what are the symptoms and treatment?
In details –
  • Many people may have never heard of tomato flu, but it is a virus that has quietly entered India and is fast becoming a concern and challenge for medical experts in the country.
  • This virus, also known as tomato flu or tomato fever, was first reported on 6 May in Kollam district of Kerala. According to the Lancet study, 82 cases of tomato flu or tomato fever have been reported in India.
  • According to the study, it is an infectious disease that mostly affects children between the ages of one and five years. In some cases, it has also manifested itself in a new form of hand, foot and mouth disease among immunocompromised adults, the study reported.
  • In addition, because the immune system of an adult is usually stronger than that of a child, infections are rarely diagnosed in them.
  • Although the symptoms of tomato flu are similar to those of COVID-19, it is not related to SARS-CoV-2. The study found that this could be an effect of chikungunya or dengue fever in children.
Symptoms –
  • The primary symptoms of tomato flu in children are similar to those of chikungunya, including fever, rash and joint pain, body aches and fatigue, similar to those experienced in COVID symptoms.
  • Other symptoms include swollen joints, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and increased body temperature, which are similar to dengue.
Why the name Tomato Flu?
  • The infection got its name from the red and painful blisters that burst all over the body, which gradually turn into the size of a tomato.
Detection –
  • If such symptoms are seen in any person, he/she is advised to undergo molecular and serological tests for dengue, chikungunya, zika virus, varicella-zoster virus and herpes.
  • If these infections are ruled out, the tomato flu virus can be confirmed.
Treatement –
  • The disease is currently being treated as contagious and the Lancet study on ‘Tomato Flu in India’ has shown that ‘no specific drug exists’ to treat tomato flu.
  • Although the study noted that the flu was ‘self-limiting’, the study said that tomato flu should be considered dangerous and rapidly spreading.
  • The treatment of tomato flu is similar to that of chikungunya, dengue and hand, foot and mouth disease. Patients need to isolate, rest, drink plenty of fluids, and sponge up warm water to relieve irritation and rashes.
  • The study also suggests ‘adjuvant therapy’ of paracetamol and other symptomatic treatment for fever and body aches.

‘Dahi Handi’ gets adventure sport tag

Paper 1 – Art & Culture
Why Should You Know?
Recently the Maharashtra government announced that Dahi Handi will be given the status of adventure sport.
In details –
  • The Maharashtra government has decided to accord adventure sport status to ‘Dahi Handi’, a popular festival in which a human pyramid is formed to break an earthen pot filled with curd hanging mid-air, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde recently announced in the Assembly
  • The adventure sport tag will allow young participants (called govindas) in Dahi Handi events, organised to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna, to apply for government jobs under the sports quota.
  • Participants or their families will be provided with compensation in case of fatal or other injuries suffered by the players during the formation of human pyramids, the CM said on the eve of the festival which will be celebrated without any restrictions this year.
  • “The Maharashtra government has decided to recognise formation of human towers as part of Dahi Handi celebrations as an adventure sport. With this recognition, the players will become eligible to apply for government jobs under the sports quota.
  • In case of unfortunate death of a participant during the formation of human pyramids, his/her kin would get Rs 10 lakh as compensation from the state government.
  • A player suffering serious injuries would receive Rs 7 lakh, while one with fractures would be paid Rs 5 lakh, he said.
  • The state government would also bear the medical treatment cost of ‘govindas’ (participants) in case they suffer injuries.

‘Air Quality and Health in Cities’ Report

Paper 3- Environment
Why Should You Know?
Recently ‘Air Quality and Health in Cities’ report was released lets know about it.
In details –
  • The report ‘Air Quality and Health in Cities’ published by the State of Global Air Initiative is a collaboration between the Health Effects Institute and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s Global Burden of Disease project.
  • According to this report, the world’s largest cities and urban areas are witnessing the worst air quality on Earth. The report includes a comprehensive and detailed analysis of air pollution and global health impacts in more than 7,000 cities around the world.
  • It focuses on two harmful pollutants namely fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
  • In 2019, 7239 cities reported 1.7 million deaths due to exposure to PM 2.5. The greatest health effects can be seen in cities in Asia, Africa and Eastern and Central Europe.
  • By 2050, about 68% of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas. Due to rapid urbanization, mitigating the health effects of air pollution will be challenging, especially for top cities in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Cities in low- and middle-income countries have higher exposure to fine particulates, or PM2.0 pollution.
  • On the other hand, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exposure is also higher in high-income cities. Old vehicles, industrial facilities, power plants and heating often release fuel from the burning of NO2 into the environment.
  • In 2019, 86% of the more than 7,000 cities in this report accounted for excess NO2. It affects about 2.6 billion people.
  • The report also outlines data gaps in low- and middle-income countries, an important factor in understanding and combating the health effects of air pollution.
About India –
  • New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai are among the top 20 most polluted cities in the world in terms of PM2.5 levels.
  • There were no Indian cities in the top 20 in terms of population-weighted NO2 exposures in 2019. Shanghai, Moscow and Tehran are the top three cities in this list.
  • As per the report, the highest population-weighted annual average PM2.5 exposure in 2019 was in Delhi at 110 μg/m3, followed by Kolkata at 84 μg/m3.
Most populated cities –

Here the list of the top 20 most polluted cities in the world (PM2.5) with the PM2.5 levels in μg/m3:

  1. Delhi, India (110)
  2. Kolkata, India (84)
  3. Kano, Nigeria (83.6)
  4. Lima, Peru (73.2)
  5. Dhaka, Bangladesh (71.4)
  6. Jakarta, Indonesia (67.3)
  7. Lagos, Nigeria (66.9)
  8. Karachi, Pakistan (63.6)
  9. Beijing, China (55)
  10. Accra, Ghana (51.9)
  11. Chengdu, China (49.9)
  12. Singapore, Singapore (49.4)
  13. Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (47.4)
  14. Mumbai, India (45.1)
  15. Bamako, Mali (44.2)
  16. Shanghai, China (40.1)
  17. Dushanbe, Tajikistan (39.7)
  18. Tashkent, Uzbekistan (38)
  19. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (35.8)
  20. Cairo, Egypt (34.2)

Period Products free

Paper 2 – Social Issues
Why Should You Know?
In details –
  • The Scottish Parliament has unanimously passed a law distributing hygiene products for women. The move comes at a time when many charities are saying that “period poverty” is on the rise during the pandemic.
  • Scotland has become the first country in the world to offer menstrual products for free after the law is passed.
  • The Scottish Parliament unanimously voted in favor of the Period Products Bill, making free access to sanitary products a legal right in public buildings.
  • Under the law, menstrual products will also be placed in community centres, youth clubs, toilets and pharmacies.
  • Tampons and sanitary pads will be provided at designated places for women and girls and women with menstruation will be able to get these items free of cost. They will no longer have to go to the store or market to buy it.
  • Efforts have been made under the law to ensure that all items related to menstruation are provided free of cost throughout the country.
  • Universities, colleges and schools have also been asked to provide the product free of cost in their toilets so that girl students can use them as per their need.
  • The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill puts a legal duty on local authorities to ensure anyone who needs period products can obtain them for free.
  • It will be for the country’s 32 councils to decide what practical arrangements are put in place, but they must give “anyone who needs them” access to different types of period products “reasonably easily” and with “reasonable dignity”.
  • The scheme is operational from 15 August.
What is period poverty?
  • Period poverty is when those on low incomes can’t afford, or access, suitable period products.
  • With average periods lasting about five days, it can cost up to £8 a month for tampons and pads, and some women struggle to afford the cost.
  • Georgie Nicholson, of social enterprise Hey Girls, told period products should be as accessible as toilet roll in public bathrooms.
  • Ms Nicolson said: “There’s a very simple way to describe period poverty: you go to the supermarket and you have to actually choose whether you can buy a bag of pasta or a box of tampons. It’s that basic.
  • “We hear of a lot of mothers going without their period protection just so they can feed their children and using things such as newspaper stuffed into socks or bread… because they’re cheaper than period products.”

Rashtriya Puruskar Portal

Paper 3 – Science & Technology
Why Should You Know?
Recently Government launched a Rashtriya Puruskar Portal, lets know about it.Recently Government launched a Rashtriya Puruskar Portal, lets know about it.
In details –
  • The Central Government has launched the National Awards Portal to bring all the awards of various Ministries, Departments and Government Agencies on a single platform.
  • This has been done to bring transparency in award distribution and ensure public participation.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs in a statement today said that this common portal facilitates to nominate individuals or organizations for the awards.
  • These awards include various awards like like Padma Awards, Sardar Patel National Unity Award, Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award, Jeevan Raksha Padak series of Awards, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Telecom Skill Excellence Award, etc.
  • This will bring together all of the awards of the various Ministries/Departments/Agencies of the Government of India under one digital platform, ensuring transparency and public partnership.

Cloudburst Incidents

Paper 1 – Geography
Why Should You Know?
Recently cloudburst incidents are increasing in India, lets know about it 
In details –
  • Over 20 people have been killed in destruction caused by cloudbursts and flash floods in different parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand over the last three days.
  • Isolated areas in these two states have reported heavy rainfall during this time, triggering landslides and flash floods that have disrupted rail and road traffic, and resulted in house and wall collapses.
What are cloudbursts?
  • A cloudburst is a localised but intense rainfall activity. Short spells of very heavy rainfall over a small geographical area can cause widespread destruction, especially in hilly regions where this phenomenon is the most common.
  • Not all instances of very heavy rainfall, however, are cloudbursts. A cloudburst has a very specific definition: Rainfall of 10 cm or more in an hour over a roughly 10 km x 10-km area is classified as a cloudburst event. By this definition, 5 cm of rainfall in a half- hour period over the same area would also be categorized as a cloudburst.
  • To put this in perspective, in a normal year, India, as a whole, receives about 116 cm of rainfall over the entire year. This means if the entire rainfall everywhere in India during a year was spread evenly over its area, the total accumulated water would be 116 cm high.
  • There are, of course, huge geographical variations in rainfall within the country, and some areas receive over 10 times more than that amount in a year. But on average, any place in India can be expected to receive about 116 cm of rain in a year.
  • During a cloudburst event, a place receives about 10% of this annual rainfall within an hour. It is a worse situation than what Mumbai had experienced on July 26, 2005, which is one of the most extreme instances of rainfall in India in recent years.
  • At that time, Mumbai had received 94 cm of rain over a 24-hour period, resulting in deaths of over 400 people and more than USD 1 billion in economic losses.
How common are cloudbursts?
  • Cloudbursts are not uncommon events, particularly during the monsoon months. Most of these happen in the Himalayan states where the local topology, wind systems, and temperature gradients between the lower and upper atmosphere facilitate the occurrence of such events.
  • However, not every event that is described as a cloudburst is actually, by definition, a cloudburst. That is because these events are highly localized. They take place in very small areas which are often devoid of rainfall measuring instruments.
  • The consequences of these events, however, are not confined to the small areas. Because of the nature of terrain, the heavy rainfall events often trigger landslides and flash floods, causing extensive destruction downstream.
  • This is the reason why every sudden downpour that leads to destruction of life and property in the hilly areas gets described as a “cloudburst”, irrespective of whether the amount of rainfall meets the defining criteria. At the same time, it is also possible that actual cloudburst events in remote locations aren’t recorded.
Forecasting of cloudbursts –
  • The India Meteorological Department forecasts rainfall events well in advance, but it does not predict the quantum of rainfall — in fact, no meteorological agency does.
  • The forecasts can be about light, heavy, or very heavy rainfall, but weather scientists do not have the capability to predict exactly how much rain is likely to fall at any given place.
  • Additionally, the forecasts are for a relatively large geographical area, usually a region, a state, a meteorological sub-division, or at best a district. As they zoom in over smaller areas, the forecasts get more and more uncertain.
  • Theoretically, it is not impossible to forecast rainfall over a very small area as well, but it requires a very dense network of weather instruments, and computing capabilities that seem unfeasible with current technologies.
  • As a result, specific cloudburst events cannot be forecast. No forecast ever mentions a possibility of a cloudburst. But there are warnings for heavy to very heavy rainfall events, and these are routinely forecast four to five days in advance. Possibility of extremely heavy rainfall, which could result in cloudburst kind of situations, are forecast six to 12 hours in advance.
Increasing cloudburst incidents –
  • There is no long-term trend that suggests that cloudbursts, as defined by the IMD, are rising. What is well established, however, is that incidents of extreme rainfall, as also other extreme weather events, are increasing — not just in India but across the world.
  • While the overall amount of rainfall in India has not changed substantially, an increasing proportion of rainfall is happening in a short span of time. That means that the wet spells are very wet, and are interspersed with prolonged dry spells even in the rainy season.
  • This kind of pattern, attributed to climate change, does suggest that cloudburst events might also be on the rise.

National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS)

Paper 3 – Science & Technology
Why Should You Know?
Union Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) on August 17, 2022 lets know about it.
In details –
  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) on August 17, at the two-day National Securities Strategies (NSS) Conference 2022 held in New Delhi.
  • According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, NAFIS, which was developed by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), would help in the quick and easy disposal of cases with the help of a centralised fingerprint database.
  • In April this year, Madhya Pradesh became the first state in the country to identify a deceased person through NAFIS.
What is NAFIS?
  • Conceptualized and managed by the NCRB at the Central Fingerprint Bureau (CFPB) in New Delhi, the National Automated Fingerprints Identification System (NAFIS) project is a country-wide searchable database of crime- and criminal-related fingerprints.
  • The web-based application functions as a central information repository by consolidating fingerprint data from all states and Union Territories. According to a 2020 report by the NCRB, it enables law enforcement agencies to upload, trace, and retrieve data from the database in real time on a 24×7 basis.
  • NAFIS assigns a unique 10-digit National Fingerprint Number (NFN) to each person arrested for a crime. This unique ID will be used for the person’s lifetime, and different crimes registered under different FIRs will be linked to the same NFN.
  • The 2020 report states that the ID’s first two digits will be that of the state code in which the person arrested for a crime is registered, followed by a sequence number.
  • By automating the collection, storage, and matching of fingerprints, along with digitizing the records of fingerprint data, NAFIS will “provide the much-needed unique identifier for every arrested person in the CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems) database as both are connected at the backend,” former NCRB director Ram Phal Pawar had said in December 2020.
Background –
  • Upon the recommendations of the National Police Commission in 1986, the Central Fingerprint Bureau first began to automate the fingerprint database by digitizing the existing manual records through India’s first Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFI) in 1992, called Fingerprint Analysis & Criminal Tracing System (FACTS 1.0)
  • The latest iteration, FACTS 5.0, which was upgraded in 2007, was considered to have “outlived its shelf life”, according to a 2018 report by the NCRB and thus needed to be replaced by NAFIS.
History –
  • A system of fingerprinting identification first emerged in colonial India, where it was tested before it spread to Europe and beyond. At first, it was used by British colonial officials for administrative rather than criminal purposes.
  • William Herschel, the chief administrator of the Hooghly district of Bengal, from the late-middle 1800s onwards, used fingerprinting to reduce fraud and forgeries, in order to ensure that the correct person was receiving government pensions, signing land transfer deeds, and mortgage bonds.
  • The growing use of fingerprinting was deeply tied to how 19th century British officials understood crime in India. Entire social groups were categorized as racially distinct “criminal tribes” and were deemed to be “professional” criminals from time immemorial. However, the trouble that they faced was in identifying these groups from the ordinary criminals, something that the British found particularly difficult in such a diverse land.
  • Anthropometry, the measurement of physical features of the body, was used by officials in India, but was soon replaced with a system of fingerprints, which were seen to be more accurate as it was believed that no two people can have identical sets of patterns, wrote the historian Simon A Cole in his book ‘Suspect Identities: A History of Fingerprinting and Criminal Identification’.

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