Ojaank IAS Academy




29 September 2022 – Current Affairs

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Jaipur foot

Paper 3 – Science & Technology
Why Should You Know?
Recently Vice President flaged off Jaipur Foot team to Syria to provide artificial limbs to amputees
In details –
  • On September 28, 2022 The Vice President flagged off a team of eight persons from Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) going to Syria to set up an on-the-spot artificial limb (Jaipur Foot) fitment camp.
  • The team will be setting up a camp in Damascus, Syria to provide 600 artificial limbs to amputees in 42 ensuing days.
  • Lauding the efforts of BMVSS, Shri Dhankhar said the organisation, by popularising the Jaipur Foot around the world and providing their services free of cost, has demonstrated India’s civilisational ethos of sharing and caring. He said that, as with their other initiatives, the latest effort will also generate enormous good-will for India.
  • He also interacted with the team from BMVSS, led by its founder, Shri D.R. Mehta and some of its beneficiaries using the Jaipur foot.
  • It is notable that the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi visited one such centre of BMVSS in Philippines in 2017, and the former Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated a fitment camp of BMVSS in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2019.
About Jaipur foot
  • The Jaipur foot, also known as the Jaipur leg, is a rubber-based prosthetic leg for people with below-knee amputations.
  • Ram Chandra Sharma and orthopedic surgeon P. K. Sethi designed and developed The Jaipur foot in 1968.
  • Although inferior in many ways to the composite carbon fibre variants, its variable applicability and cost efficiency make it an acceptable choice for prosthesis.
  • The Jaipur foot consists of a rubber core, wooden block and vulcanised rubber coating. It is a soft multi axial artificial foot and provides enough dorsiflexion to permit an amputee to squat.
  • Use of the Jaipur foot is limited to prosthetic users at the level of household and limited community ambulation, since it is unsuitable for high level activities and sports or if the user must transverse uneven terrain.
  • The idea of the Jaipur foot was conceived by Ram Chander Sharma, a craftsman, and P. K. Sethi, who was then the head of the Department of Orthopedics at Sawai Man Singh Medical College in Jaipur.
  • Existing prosthetic feet did not allow users to go barefoot, squat or sit crosslegged, or work in muddy fields, all of which were common in poorer areas of India.
  • Sharma and Sethi set out to design a cheap foot that could work for this cultural context.
  • The Jaipur foot was named after Jaipur, India, where it was designed.

Dearness allowance

Paper 3 – Economics
Why Should You Know?
Recently Cabinet approved 4% Dearness allowance (DA) hike for Central Govt employees. Lets know about it
In details
  • The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the release of additional instalment of Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief @ 4% to Central Government employees and pensioners due from 01.07.2022 based on the percentage increase in 12 monthly average of All India Consumer Price Index for the period ending June, 2022.
  • The Central Government employees and pensioners will become entitled to higher amount of Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief respectively, w.e.f. 01.07.2022.
  • The additional financial implications on account of this increase of Dearness Allowance to Central Government employees are estimated at Rs.6,591.36 crore per annum; and Rs.4,394.24 crore in the financial year 2022-23.
  • The additional financial implications on account of this increase of Dearness Relief to pensioners are estimated at Rs.6,261.20 crore per annum; and Rs.4,174.12 crore in the financial year 2022-23.
  • The combined impart on the exchequer on account of both Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief would be of the order of Rs.12,852.56 crore per annum; and Rs.8,568.36 crore in the financial year 2022-23.
What is Dearness allowance?
  • The Dearness Allowance (DA) is a calculation on inflation and allowance paid to government employees (including public sector unit employees as public sector unit employees are also government employees) and pensioners in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
  • Dearness Allowance is calculated as a percentage of an Indian citizen’s basic salary to mitigate the impact of inflation on people.
  • Indian citizens may receive a basic salary or pension that is then supplemented by a housing or a dearness allowance, or both.
  • The guidelines that govern the Dearness Allowance vary according to where one lives. Dearness Allowance is a fully taxable allowance.
  • It is calculated twice in a year i.e. in January and July.
  • Notebly The Dearness Allowance was introduced following the second World War, and was then known as the “Dear Food Allowance”.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY)

Paper 2 – Social Justice
Why Should You Know?
Recently Centre extends Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) for another three months (October 2022-December 2022).
In details –
  • In pursuance of the pro-people announcement made by Hon’ble Prime Minister in 2021and successful implementation of additional food security under PMGKAY, the Union Cabinet has approved the extension for the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY-Phase VII) for a further  period of 3 months i.e. October to December 2022.
  • At a time when the world is battling with the effects of Covid on its decline and insecurity due to various reasons, India has been successfully maintaining food security for its vulnerable sections while taking necessary steps to keep availability and affordability for common man. 
  • Recognising that people have gone through a difficult period of pandemic, Govt has decided to extend PMGKAY for a period of three months so that  poor and vulnerable sections of society  are supported for the forthcoming major festivals like Navratri, Dussehra, Milad-un-nabi, Deepawali, Chhath pooja, Gurunanak dev Jayanti, Christmas, etc. which they can celebrate  with great gaiety and community for festivities. 
  • With a view to ensuring this, Govt. has approved this extension of PMGKAY for three months, so that they continue to enjoy the benefits of easy availability of foodgrains without any financial distress.
About the Scheme
  • PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY), started during difficult time of COVID-19 crisis, has provided food security to the poor, needy and the vulnerable households/beneficiaries so that they do not suffer on account of non-availability of adequate foodgrains. Effectively it has doubled the quantity of monthly foodgrains entitlements being normally delivered to beneficiaries.
  • Under this welfare scheme, 5 kg of food grain per person per month is provided free of cost for all the beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) [Antodaya Anna Yojana & Priority Households] including those covered under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).
  • So far, PMGKAY has been in operation for 25 months as under
  • Phase I and II ( 8 months) : April’20 to Nov.’20
  • Phase-III to V (11 months) : May’21 to March’22
  • Phase-VI    ( 6 months)  : April’22 to Sept.’22
  • Going by the experience of earlier phases, the performance of PMGKAY-VII is expected to be on the same high level as achieved before.
Financial implication and Food Allotment
  • Financial implication for the Government of India has been about  Rs. 3.45 Lakh Crore  upto Phase-VI of PMGKAY.
  • With the additional expenditure of about Rs. 44,762 Crore for Phase-VII of this scheme, the overall expenditure of PMGKAY will be about Rs. 3.91 lakh crore for all the phases.
  • The total outgo in terms of food grains for PMGKAY Phase VII is likely to be about 122 LMT. The aggregate allocation of food grain for phases I- VII is about 1121 LMT.

India Bangladesh River Agreement

Paper 2 – International Relations
Why Should You Know?
In details
  • On September 28, 2022 The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has given its ex-post facto approval for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of the Republic of India and the Republic of Bangladesh on withdrawal of upto 153 cusecs of water each by India and Bangladesh from common border river Kushiyara.
  • The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on 6th September, 2022 between the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of the Republic of India and Ministry of Water Resources, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh on withdrawal of upto 153 cusecs of water each by India and Bangladesh from common border River Kushiyara during dry season (1st November to 31st May) for their consumptive water requirement.
  • This MoU will enable Government of Assam to withdraw upto 153 cusecs of water from the common stretch of Kushiyara river during dry season (1st November to 31st May) for their consumptive water requirement.
  • A Joint Monitoring Team shall be set up by both the countries to monitor the withdrawal of water by each side during dry season.
About Kushiyara River
  • The Kushiyara River is a distributary river in Bangladesh and Assam, India. It forms on the India-Bangladesh border as a branch of the Barak River, when the Barak separates into the Kushiyara and Surma.
  • The waters that eventually form the Kushiyara originate in the uplands of the state of Assam and pick up tributaries from Nagaland and Manipur.
  • From its origin at the mouth of the Barak, also known as the Amlshid bifurcation point, the Kushiyara flows westward forming the boundary between Assam, India, and the Sylhet District of Bangladesh.
  • It flows between the towns of Zakigonj, Sylhet, and Karīmganj, Assam, and after the village of Pānjipuri enters entirely into the Beanibazar Upazila of Bangladesh.
  • After entering in Bangladesh the river forms several braided streams and heads south where it is joined by the Khowai River from the left (east) and heads southwest where it is rejoined by the Surma (locally known as the Danu River) from the right (north) and becomes the Meghna River.

Fertilizer agreement

Paper 3 – Agriculture
Why Should You Know?
Recently Indian fertilizer companies signed MoU with Canpotex, Canada, one of the largest potash suppliers globally
In details
  • Fertilizer companies of India- Coromandel International, Chambal Fertilizers and Indian Potash Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Canpotex, Canada on 27th September 2022.
  • This is a significant step towards ensuring sustainable fertilizer availability for the farming community. The MoU was presented to the Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya. Canpotex, Canada is one of the largest suppliers of potash globally, exporting approximately 130 LMT of the product annually.
  • Describing it as a new step, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya said that “The MoU will reduce both supply and price volatility and ensure stable long-term supply of potash fertilizer to India.
  • He added that “As part of the MoU, Canpotex, Canada will supply 15 LMT of potash annually to Indian fertilizer companies for a period of 3 years. This supply sharing will help improve fertilizer availability within the country and address supply side and price weaknesses. expected to reduce.
  • Dr. Mandaviya highlighted that the Government of India is working towards a long-term MoU for potash and other fertilizers with countries like Russia, Israel and others. With an aim to reduce import dependency, Department of Fertilizers has included PDM (Potash derived from molasses) in the Nutrient Based Subsidy Scheme (NBS) scheme to support indigenous sources of potash. Similar initiatives have been taken by the fertilizer industries for the manufacture of potash from spent wash.
  • Potash, which is a source of potassium, is used directly as a combination of ‘N’ and ‘P’ nutrients in MOP as well as in NPK fertilizers.
  • India meets 100% of its potash requirement through imports. The country imports about 40 LMT mops annually.
  • Canpotex is a joint venture between the major fertilizer companies, Mosaic and Nutrien, and markets potash produced in the Saskatchewan region in Canada.
  • It is one of the largest suppliers of potash globally, exporting about 130 LMT of product annually to over 40 countries and has been one of the suppliers to India.

India-Netherlands Fast-Track Mechanism (FTM)

Paper 2- International Relations
Why Should You Know?
Recently the Government of India and the Netherlands formalized the India-Netherlands Fast-Track Mechanism (FTM)
In details
  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and The Embassy of The Kingdom of The Netherlands officially signed the Joint Statement to formalize the bilateral Fast-Track Mechanism (FTM) between India and The Netherlands.
  • Invest India, the national investment promotion and facilitation agency, is the executing body of the bilateral FTM.
  • The Ambassador of The Netherlands to India, H.E. Mr. Marten van den Berg, and Secretary, DPIIT, Shri Anurag Jain, formally signed and exchanged the Joint Statement on 27th September 2022.
  • The bilateral FTM between India and The Netherlands aims to serve as a platform for faster resolution of investment cases of Dutch companies operating in India. The mechanism functions in close collaboration between DPIIT, respective ministries and departments, Invest India and the Embassy of The Netherlands.
  • The mechanism will strengthen and assist bilateral efforts to increase mutual investment activities, as well as support and develop business cooperation between companies in both the countries.
About India and Netherland Relations
  • Diplomatic relations between India and The Netherlands were formally established in 1947. Since then, the two countries have developed strong political, economic & commercial relations, and various sectoral co- operations.
  • According to official Indian statistics, The Netherlands is the 4th largest foreign direct investor in India. Between April 2000 and June 2022, the cumulative flow of foreign direct investment from The Netherlands to India reached some USD 42.3 billion.
  • In 2021-2022, bilateral trade between the two countries amounted to USD 17 billion. India’s exports to The Netherlands consists mainly of mineral fuels and mineral-based products, organic chemicals, electrical machinery and equipment, aluminium, iron and steel and pharmaceutical products.

Archaeological remains in Bandhavgarh Forest Reserve

Paper 1 – History
Why Should You Know?
Recently Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) unraveled remarkable Archaeological remains in Bandhavgarh Forest Reserve
In details
  • In a major find, ASI has unraveled remarkable archaeological remains in Madhya Pradesh’s Bandhavgarh Forest Reserve.
  • During the exploration conducted by ASI, 26 ancient temples/relics of Kalachuri period (9th century CE to 11th Century CE), 26 caves (2nd Century CE to 5th century CE mostly Buddhist in nature), 2 monasteries, 2 stupas, 24 Brahmi inscriptions (2nd century CE to 5th century CE), 46 sculptures, 20 scattered remains and 19 water structures (c.2nd-15thCE) are recorded. Among the 46 sculptures, also is a Varah sculpture which is one of the largest.
  • The time period of the findings covered the reigns of the kings Shri Bhimsena, Maharaja Pothasiri, Maharaja Bhattadeva. Placed deciphered in the inscriptions are Kaushami, Mathura, Pavata (Parvata), Vejabharada and Sapatanaairikaa.
  • An ASI team covered nearly 170 sq km falling in the area of the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve over months-long exploration of the region which was undertook for the first time since 1938.
  • The exploration was conducted under by the Jabalpur Circle of ASI.
About Bandhavgarh Forest Reserve
  • The Bandhavgarh Forest Reserve or Bandhavgarh National Park is a national park of India, located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Bandhavgarh, with an area of 105 square kilometres (41 sq mi), was declared a national park in 1968 and then became Tiger Reserve in 1993.
  • This park has a large biodiversity. The park has a large breeding population of leopards, and various species of deer.
  • It contains at least 37 species of mammals. According to forest officials, there are more than 250 species of birds, about 80 species of butterflies, a number of reptiles.
  • One of the biggest attractions of this national park is the Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris).
  • Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa captured the first white tiger in this region in 1951. This white tiger, Mohan, is now stuffed and on display in the palace of the Maharajas of Rewa.
  • Historically villagers and their cattle have been at a threat from the tiger.
  • Rising mining activities around the park are putting the tigers at risk. The Park derived its name from the most prominent hill of the area which is said to have been given by Lord Rama to his brother Laxman to keep a watch on Lanka The fort was built by Gond Dynasty king. (Bandhav = Brother, Garh = Fort).

UNESCO-MONDIACULT 2022 World Conference

Paper 2 – International Relations
Why Should You Know?
Minister of State for Culture Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal to attend UNESCO-MONDIACULT 2022 World Conference in Mexico
In details
  • The Indian delegation headed by the Minister of State for Culture Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal will be represented at UNESCO-MONDIACULT 2022 World Conference to be held at Mexico City during 28th-30th September, 2022.
  • The opening ceremony is taking place at 10:00 AM CDT (Mexico Time) on Wednesday, 28th September .
  • The Minister is expected to address the conference on burning issues and concerns of the Cultural sector policies. In the conference, Culture Ministers of more than 100 countries will participate on this multilateral forum to decide on the global cultural discourse.
  • The UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development- MONDIACULT 2022 is convened by UNESCO forty years after the first Mondiacult World Conference on Cultural Policies, held in Mexico City (Mexico) in 1982, and 24 years after the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies for Development held in Stockholm (Sweden) in 1998. This is the third such conference.
  • The main goal of the conference is to shape a more robust and resilient cultural sector, fully anchored in the perspectives of sustainable development as well as promotion of solidarity, peace, and security, in line with the vision enshrined in the UN Secretary-General’s report ‘Our Common Agenda’ (September 2021), which refers to culture as a ‘global public good, the good of us all.’
  • The last Decade of Action for the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, agreed upon by the international community as a common aspirational roadmap, UNESCO has convened its Member States and the global community to embark jointly on a continuous reflection on cultural policies to tackle global challenges and outline immediate and future priorities.
  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture.
  • UNESCO was founded in 1945 as the successor to the League of Nations’s International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.Its constitution establishes the agency’s goals, governing structure, and operating framework.
  • UNESCO’s founding mission, which was shaped by the Second World War, is to advance peace, sustainable development and human rights by facilitating collaboration and dialogue among nations.
  • It pursues this objective through five major programme areas: education, natural sciences, social/human sciences, culture and communication/information. UNESCO sponsors projects that improve literacy, provide technical training and education, advance science, protect independent media and press freedom, preserve regional and cultural history, and promote cultural diversity.
  • As a focal point for world culture and science, UNESCO’s activities have broadened over the years; it assists in the translation and dissemination of world literature, helps establish and secure World Heritage Sites of cultural and natural importance, works to bridge the worldwide digital divide, and creates inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication.
  • UNESCO has launched several initiatives and global movements, such as Education For All, to further advance its core objectives.
  • It has 193 member states and 12 associate members, as well as partners in the non-governmental, intergovernmental and private sector.
  • Headquartered at the World Heritage Centre in Paris, France, UNESCO has 53 regional field offices and 199 national commissions that facilitate its global mandate.
  • UNESCO is governed by the General Conference, composed of member states and associate members, which meets biannually to set the agency’s programmes and the budget.
  • It also elects members of the Executive Board, which manages UNESCO’s work, and appoints every four years a Director-General, who serves as UNESCO’s chief administrator.
  • UNESCO is a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group,a coalition of UN agencies and organisations aimed at fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals.

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)

Paper 2 – Governance
Why Should You Know?
Recently Central Government appointed Lt General Anil Chauhan (Retired) as Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)
In details –
  • The Government has decided to appoint Lt General Anil Chauhan (Retired) PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM as the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) who shall also function as Secretary to Government of India, Department of Military Affairs with effect from the date of his assumption of charge and until further orders.
  • In a career spanning over nearly 40 years, Lt Gen Anil Chauhan had held several command, staff and instrumental appointments and had extensive experience in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu & Kashmir and North-East India.
About Lt General Anil Chauhan
  • Born on 18th May 1961, Lt Gen Anil Chauhan was commissioned into the 11 Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army in 1981.
  • He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. In the rank of Maj General, the officer had commanded an Infantry Division in the critical Baramula sector in the Northern Command.
  • Later as Lt General, he commanded a corps in the North East and subsequently went to become the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Command from September 2019 and held the charge until his retirement from the service in May 2021.
  • In addition to these command appointments, the officer also tenanted important staff appointments including the charge of Director General of Military Operations.
  • Earlier, the officer had also served as a United Nations mission to Angola. The officer superannuated from the Indian Army on 31 May 2021.
  • Even after his retirement from the Army, he continued to contribute to national security and strategic matters.
  • For his distinguished and illustrious service in the Army, Lt General Anil Chauhan (Retired) was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Sena Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal.
What is Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)?
  • The Chief of Defence Staff of the Indian Armed Forces (CDS) is the military head and permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • The Chief of Defence Staff is the highest-ranking uniformed officer on active duty in the Indian military and chief military adviser to the Minister of Defence.
  • The Chief also heads the Department of Military Affairs. The CDS is assisted by a vice-chief, the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff.
  • The first Chief of Defence Staff took office on 1 January 2020. The position was created with the aim of improving coordination, tri-service effectiveness and overall integration of the combat capabilities of the Indian armed forces. At the time of the creation of the post, no analogous position existed.
  • Notebly the first CDS was General Bipin Rawat
Paper 3 – Internal Security
Why Should You Know?
In details
  • The Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associates or affiliates or fronts have been  found to be involved in serious offences, including terrorism and its financing, targeted gruesome killings, disregarding the constitutional set up of the country, disturbing public order etc. which are prejudicial to the integrity, security and sovereignty of the country.
  • Therefore, the Ministry of Home Affairs found it necessary to curb the nefarious activities of the organization and has hence declared the Popular Front of India (PFI) along with its associates or affiliates or fronts including Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organization (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala as an “unlawful association” under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
What is PFI?
  • Popular Front of India (PFI) was formed on 17 February 2007. This organization was formed by merging three Muslim organizations of South India.
  • These included National Democratic Front of Kerala, Karnataka Forum for Dignity and Manitha Neeti Pasarai of Tamil Nadu.
  • PFI claims that at present this organization is active in 23 states of the country. After the ban on the Students Islamic Movement (SIMI) in the country, the PFI has expanded rapidly.
  • This organization is said to have a lot of hold in South Indian states like Karnataka, Kerala. It also has many branches. Since its formation, there are allegations of anti-social and anti-national activities on the PFI.

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