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OJAANK IAS ACADEMY

31 May 2022 – Current Affairs

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PM CARES Scheme

Paper 2 Social Justice

Why in News?

Recently, the Prime Minister released the benefits under the PM CARES Scheme for children, let’s know what is the PM CARES Scheme ?

Key Points

• On May 30, 2022 , Prime Minister Narendra Modi transferred funds through the PM Cares for Children scheme to empower the children orphaned in the Corona period. Under this scheme, scholarships were sent from the PM CARES Fund to the bank accounts of orphaned children.
• In his address, the Prime Minister said that under these circumstances, “PM Cares for Children is a small effort to mitigate the hardships of such corona affected children who lost both their parents. PM Cares for Children is also a reflection of the fact that every countryman is with you with all sensitivity. “
• It is worth mentioning that this scheme was launched by the central government on May 29, 2021. Under this, children who have lost one of their parents, legal guardians, adoptive parents or one of the parents or parents due to the Corona epidemic between March 11, 2020 and February 28, 2022 are helped.
• Under this scheme, vocational courses or educational loan for higher education will be given. For other daily needs also, an arrangement of Rs.4,000/- has been made for them every month through other schemes. Apart from Rs.10 lakh on attaining the age of 23 years, children will also be given emotional counselling through health insurance and communication helpline through Ayushman card for psychological and emotional help.
• Under the scheme, the government had received 9,042 applications from 611 districts in 23 states. Of these, 4,345 applications from 557 districts of 31 states were approved.

Main features of the scheme
Fixed deposit in the name of the child:

PM Cares will contribute through a scheme specially designed to create a corpus of Rs 10 lakh for every child who has completed the age of 18. This fund:
• Monthly financial assistance/assistance to meet their individual needs during the period of higher education from the age of 18 years to the next five years. scholarship shall be used to grant, and
• On completion of the age of 23 years, he will get the amount of the fund in lump sum for personal and professional use.

Schooling: For children under the age of 10

• The child will be admitted as a day scholar in the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or private school.
• If the child is enrolled in a private school, then the fee will be paid from PM CARES as per the rules of the RTE.
• The PM will also pay for the expenses incurred on cares uniforms, text books and notebooks.

Schooling: For children aged 11-18 years

• The child will be admitted to any residential school of the Central Government such as Sainik School, Navodaya Vidyalaya, etc.
• If the child is the parent/guardian Grandparents/ Grandparents To be placed under the care of the extended family, he will be admitted as a day scholar in the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or private school.
• If the child is enrolled in a private school, then the fee will be paid from PM CARES as per the rules of the RTE.
• The PM will also pay for the expenses incurred on cares uniforms, text books and notebooks.

Support for higher education:

• Vocational courses in India as per the existing education loan norms/ The child will be assisted in getting education loan for higher education. The interest charged on this loan will be paid by PM Cares.
• As an alternative, such children should graduate under the central or state government schemes/schemes. Tuition fees of professional courses/ A scholarship equivalent to the course fee will be awarded. For children who are not eligible under the existing scholarship schemes, PM CARES will provide an equivalent scholarship.

Health insurance

• All such children will be enrolled as beneficiaries under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme (PM-JAY), which will have a health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh.
• The amount of premium for these children up to the age of 18 years will be paid by PM CARES.

Source – The Hindu 

The Param Ananta Supercomputer

Paper 3 Science Technology

Why in News?

Recently, the Param Ananta supercomputer was commissioned by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology at IIT Gandhinagar, let’s know about it.

Key Points

• On May 30, 2022, under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM), a joint initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and department and technology (DST) – a state-of-the-art supercomputer of the IIT of Gandhinagar dedicated to the nation was commissioned at Param Anant IIT, Gandhinagar.
• It may be mentioned that the Param Ananta Supercomputing Facility has been established under Phase 2 of NSM where most of the components used to build this system have been manufactured and assembled in the country along with the indigenous software stack developed by C-DAC on the lines of Make in India.
• A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between IIT, Gandhinagar and The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) on October 12, 2020 to set up this 838 Terraflops supercomputing facility under NSM.
• The system is equipped with a mix of CPU nodes, GPU nodes, high memory nodes, high-throughput storage and high performance infineeb and is interconnected to meet the computing requirements of various scientific and engineering applications.

The characteristics of “Param Ananta”

• Param Ananta System is based on direct contact liquid cooling technology to achieve high power usage effectiveness and thus reduces the operating cost.
• Multiple applications from various scientific domains such as weather and climate, bioinformatics, computational chemistry, molecular dynamics, material science, computational fluid dynamics, etc., have been installed on the system of benefit of researchers. This high-end computing system will prove to be a great value addition to the researcher community.
• Param Ananta Supercomputing Facility to pursue research and development (R&D) activities in diverse field of science and technology at the Institute IIT, It will be very beneficial for Gandhinagar.
• In addition, it is artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and data science, computational fluid dynamics (CFDs), bio-engineering for genome sequencing and DNA studies, computational biology used in forecasting and detecting gene networks and bioinformatics, atomic and molecular science that helps to understand how a drug binds to a particular protein. , will help to understand.
• In addition, climate change and environmental studies for the simulation of extreme weather forecasts and models that can predict the occurrence of a storm, energy studies that will help to advance design simulations and optimize energy conversion devices at different magnitudes, fire dynamics simulation, nanotechnology, robotics, alloy mathematics, astronomy and astrophysics. It will also prove beneficial for material science, quantum mechanics, civil engineering and structural mechanics to understand the dynamic behaviour of buildings, bridges and complex structures.
• A part of the total compute power NSM in accordance with the mandate of, It will also be shared with the nearest academic and research institutes. besides this, NSM It has sponsored several application research projects using this supercomputing facility for researchers from Indian and other institutions and industries. overall, The supercomputing facility will provide a big boost to R&D initiatives in the Indian education sector and industries to reach a state of global respect.
• It may be mentioned that under NSM, so far 15 supercomputers have been installed across the country with a cumulative computing capacity of 24 Petaflops . All these supercomputers have been manufactured in India and are operating on an indigenously developed software stack.

What is a supercomputer?

• A supercomputer is a computer with a higher level of performance than a general-purpose computer.
• Supercomputers have thousands of processors that can count billions and trillions per second.
• The performance of a supercomputer is measured in floating-point operations per second (FLOPS) instead of in million instructions per second (MIPS).
• The supercomputer is used for calculation of data-intensive, heavy scientific purposes and for engineering purposes such as quantum mechanics, weather forecasting, oil and gas exploration, molecular modeling, physical simulation, aerodynamics, nuclear fusion research, and cryptanalysis.
• Supercomputing refers to the process of complex and large calculations commonly used by supercomputers, the same high-performance computing (HPC) refers to the use of multiple supercomputers to process complex and large calculations. The two terms are often used to refer to mutual meaning.

About National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) 

• The National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) is being jointly conducted by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and implemented by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISC).
• This mission (NSM) has four major pillars named after the infrastructure, use, Research & Development, There are human resource developments. These pillars are working efficiently to achieve the goal of developing the country’s indigenous supercomputing ecosystem.
• The National Supercomputing Mission was launched to enhance the research capabilities in the country, they also aimed at creating a supercomputing grid by connecting it with the National Knowledge Network (NKN).
• NSM is setting up a grid of supercomputing facilities in academic and research institutes across the country. One part of it is being imported from abroad and the other part is being made indigenously.
• The mission envisages empowering national institutes of academic and R&D spread across the country by setting up a huge supercomputing grid with over 70 high-performance computing facilities.
• Param Shivaay, the first indigenously built supercomputer was installed at IIT (BHU), followed by Param Shakti, Param Brahma, Param Mukti, Param Sanganak at IIT-Kharagpur, IISER Pune, JNCASR Bengaluru and IIT Kanpur respectively.
• The National Supercomputing Mission plans to increase India’s supercomputing capacity to 45 petaflops in its three phases, which will include three systems with 3 petaflops capacity and one system with 20 petaflops capacity.
• C-DAC has been entrusted with the responsibility of designing, developing, deploying and commissioning supercomputing systems under the mission building approach. The mission is planned to build and deploy 24 facilities with cumulative computed power of more than 64 petaflops.
• Under the construction approach, C-DAC is building an indigenous supercomputing ecosystem in a phased manner, leading to indigenously designed and built supercomputers. It has designed and developed a computer server “Rudra” and high speed interconnect “Trinetra” which are the major sub-assemblies required for supercomputers.

Source – PIB

Operation Rakta Chandan

Paper 3 Economics

Why in News?

Recently, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized red sandalwood worth several crores of rupees under “Operation Rakta Chandan”.

Key Points

• The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has recently seized 14.63 metric tonnes of red sandalwood from a consignment loaded at ICD (Inland Container Depots) Sabarmati. Its estimated value in the international market is estimated to be Rs 11.70 crore. It was to be exported to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
• It may be recalled that the DRI had received intelligence inputs that red sandalwood logs were hidden in the export consignment announced to have “various toiletries” for smuggling out of the country. Accordingly Operation Rakta Chandan was launched and a strict vigil was kept on the suspected export consignments.
• Acting on the above intelligence, the suspicious container was scanned through a ‘container scanning device’, which confirmed the presence of some items in the shape of a log and the declared goods i.e. various toiletries were not found. The DRI then checked the container. It revealed that it was completely filled with red-colored wooden logs that seemed to be of red sandalwood.
• When these were unloaded from the container, a total of 840 wooden logs weighing 14.63 metric tonnes were found. No other items were recovered. The Range Forest officials conducted a preliminary inquiry into the wooden logs. It was confirmed in their investigation that these are red sandalwood logs, which are banned for export.
• It was seized under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962. Further investigations are on with regard to domestic movement of this goods, their transportation and the exporter concerned.

About Red sandalwood

• Red sandalwood is a botanical species, endemic to a separate track of forests in the Eastern Ghats region of Andhra Pradesh.
• It falls under the ‘Endangered List’ in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
• Apart from this, red sandalwood is also listed in Appendix-II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife and Flora (CITES).
• Its rich color and therapeutic properties are in high demand in Asia, especially china, for use in cosmetics, medicinal products and high-level furniture/wooden crafts.
• Export of red sandalwood from India is prohibited as per the Foreign Trade Policy. Export of red sandalwood from India is prohibited under the Foreign Trade Policy.

About the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)

• Directorate of Revenue Intelligence or Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), is an Indian intelligence agency. It is India’s premier anti-smuggling intelligence, investigation and operations agency.
• It was formed on December 4, 1957.
• The directorate is run by officials of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), who are posted as part of the Customs Overseas Intelligence Network in its various zonal units as well as indian embassies abroad.
• It is headed by director general of the rank of Special Secretary, Government of India.

Work

• DRI works to secure India’s national and economic security by preventing smuggling of gold, narcotics, counterfeit Indian currency, antiques, wildlife and environmental products.
• In addition, it also works to prevent the spread of black money, commercial frauds and trade-based black money trade.
• The DRI implements the provisions of the Customs Act, in addition to more than 50 other statutes, which include the NDPS Act, the Arms Act, the WMDP, etc.
• National Authority chemical weapons convention of DRI Cabinet Secretariat, Special Investigation Team on Black Money, Task Force on Shell Companies, Multi Agency Centre on National Security (MAC), Special Wings of Ministry of Home Affairs/NIA as well as Left Wing Extremism financing, terrorism financing, coastal security, It is also a part of various inter-ministerial committees formed on counterfeit Indian currency etc.

Source – PIB 

World No Tobacco Day 2022

Paper 2 Health

Why in News?

World No Tobacco Day is celebrated every year on May 31, let’s know about it.

Key Points

• World No Tobacco Day is observed on May 31 every year to highlight the risks associated with tobacco use. This annual campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness to help protect people’s health and reduce use.
• On this day, many campaigns, events and activities are organized to educate people about the ill effects of tobacco on health.
• The World Health Organization (WHO) promotes World No Tobacco Day every year to highlight the health risks of tobacco use and to encourage governments to implement policies that help reduce smoking and other tobacco products use.
• The theme of this year’s ‘World No Tobacco Day’ is ‘Protect the environment’. Last year i.e. in 2021, the theme of this day was “Commit to Quit”.
• It may be recalled that due to the concerted efforts of the Central Government and the State Governments, the prevalence of tobacco use has come down by six per cent and has come down to 28.6 per cent in 2016-17 from 34.6 per cent in 2009-10.

Background

• In 1987, the World Health Organization passed a resolution declaring April 7, 1988 as ‘World No Smoking Day’. The Act was passed to motivate people to stop using tobacco for at least 24 hours.
• Later in the year 1988, the organization passed another resolution that World No Tobacco Day would be observed on May 31.
• In 2008, the WHO banned any kind of advertising or promotion about tobacco, thinking that perhaps the ads attracted young people to smoke.

Status of tobacco smoking in India 

• More than 13 lakh deaths in India occur every year due to tobacco use, for every day it is 3500 deaths, which leads to a much higher socio-economic burden. Apart from the deaths and diseases caused by it, tobacco also affects the economic development of the country.
• It is worth mentioning that smokers face a 40-50 percent higher risk of deaths due to severe illness due to COVID-19. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) study “The Economic Cost of Diseases and Deaths due to Tobacco Use in India”, it is estimated that the economic burden of diseases and deaths due to tobacco use in India was Rs 1.77 lakh crore, which is about 1 per cent of the GDP.
• The Tobacco Control Act in India is older than the Cigarettes Act, 1975, which mandates display of statutory health warnings in advertising and on cartons and cigarette packets.
• The Cigarettes Prohibition Bill, 2019, prohibits the production, manufacture, import, export, transportation, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement of e-cigarettes.
• Toll-free quit line services -1800-112-356 , which was launched in 2016 and has been extended in September, 2018. The Quit Line services are now available in 16 languages and other local dialects from 4 centres. The number of calls on the Quit Line before the expansion was 20,500 per month which has increased to 2.50 lakh calls per month after the expansion.
• Under the ambitious targets of the National Health Policy-2017, an ambitious target has been set to reduce the use of tobacco by 30% by the year 2025. These tobacco control targets have been formulated keeping in mind the targets of control of non-communicable diseases and are in line with the targets set under the SDGs. The findings of the fourth round of the Global Youth Tobacco Survey, conducted among school-going students aged 13-15, will be released soon.

Source – All India Radio

Scholarship for PM cares children

Paper 1 social Issues

Why in News?

Recently Hon’ble Prime Minister of India has launched the PM CARES for Children Scheme.

Key Points 

• Hon’ble Prime Minister of India has launched the PM CARES for Children Scheme on 29th May, 2021.
• Under this Scheme, an initiative was started in Feb 2022 to provide financial assistance to support such children who have lost both the Parents or legal Guardian or Adoptive Parents or Surviving Parent to COVID-19 pandemic.
• In line with the above initiative, the Department of Social Justice & Empowerment, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has decided to provide scholarship assistance to such Children who have lost both the Parents or legal Guardian or Adoptive Parents or Surviving Parent to COVID-19 pandemic to continue their education without any hindrance.
• Under the Scheme Scholarship allowance would be ₹20,000/- per child per annum which will comprise monthly allowance of ₹1,000 per month and Annual academic allowance of Rs. 8,000 to cover the entire school fees, cost of the books and uniform, shoes and other educational equipment .
• The Scholarship will be disbursed through DBT to the Children from Class 1std until they pass out the 12 std Class.
• 3945 Children have been benefited under the Scheme with an amount of ₹7.89 crore during 2022-23. The Scheme has been launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 30th May, 2022.

Source – PIB 

National AI Portal

Paper 3 Science Technology

Why in News?

Recently National AI Portal celebrates its second anniversary.

Key Points

• The second-year anniversary of ‘National AI Portal’ is celebrated on May 30, 2022.
• It is noteworthy that the National AI Portal is a joint initiative by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), National e-Governance Division (NeGD) and NASSCOM.
• The portal focuses on creating and nurturing a unified AI ecosystem in the country to drive excellence and leadership in knowledge creation to develop an AI-ready robust workforce for the future and use AI to foster economic growth.
• The portal was launched by the Hon’ble Minister for Electronics and IT and Communications on May 30, 2020.
• Since its inauguration, the portal has been visited by more than 4.5 lakh users with 1.2 million page views. The portal currently has an impressive repository of 1151 articles on AI, 701 news stories, 98 reports, 95 case studies and 213 videos. It also has one of the best databases on India’s AI ecosystem featuring details of 121 government initiatives and 281 startups.
• Over the past two years, the portal has played a crucial role in evangelising and nurturing the AI ecosystem through numerous impactful initiatives such as the lab2market, Women in AI Roundtable, AI patent report, Responsible AI handbook for startups, Responsible AI Startups survey, podcasts, and the AI Standards.
• One of the main focuses of INDIAai’s upcoming efforts is on AI Literacy. INDIAai released a book on the basics of AI titled ‘AI for Everyone’. The booklet aims to provide free and open AI literacy to the community of young minds and new learners to enable them in their aspirations beyond the digital divide.
• The anniversary event covered INDIAai’s past year’s achievements and plans for the coming year. The virtual event featured a fireside chat between Ms Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM and Shri Abhishek Singh, President and CEO, National eGovernance Division (NeGD).

What is Artificial Intelligence? 

• Simply put, Artificial Intelligence means developing the ability to think and make decisions in a machine. Artificial intelligence is considered to be the most advanced form of computer science and it creates a brain in which the computer can think, or the brain of the computer, which can think like humans.
• Artificial intelligence began in the 1950s. Artificialintelligence means intellectual ability developed in an artificial manner.
• According to John McCarthy, the father of artificial intelligence, it is the science and engineering of creating intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs, i.e. it is the intelligence displayed by machines.
• Through this, a computer system or a robotic system is created, which is attempted to run on the basis of the same logic on which the human brain works.
• Artificial intelligence is a way of creating software that thinks in an intelligent way like a robot or a human being controlled by a computer.
• It studies about how the human brain thinks and learns when solving a problem, how decisions are made and how it works.

Source – PIB

Online public dashboard for Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission

Paper 2 Health

Why in News?

Recently The National Health Authority (NHA) launches online public dashboard for Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM).

Key Points

• The National Health Authority (NHA) under its flagship scheme of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) has launched a public dashboard for near real-time information on the scheme.
• The ABDM public dashboard displays detailed information on the core registries under the mission – Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) numbers, Healthcare Professionals Registry (HPR) and Health Facility Registry (HFR).
• As per the dashboard, as on 30th May 2022, the total number of ABHA (earlier known as health ID) created are 22.1 crore, over 16.6 thousand healthcare professionals have registered in the HPR, over 69.4 thousand health facilities have been registered in the HFR, over 1.8 lakh health records already linked by users and the recently revamped ABHA app has crossed over 5.1 lakh downloads.

About the Desboard

• All stakeholders can easily access the ABDM public dashboard from the ABDM website or directly.
• The dashboard captures data related to the number of ABHA generated, number of healthcare professionals like doctors, nurses etc. registered, digital health records linked with ABHA.
• The dashboard also has granular details in relation to number of health facilities like hospitals, laboratories etc. registered on a daily basis as well as cumulative till date.
• Also, partner-wise data of ABHA generation created and digital health records linked are made available on the dashboard in real time. This data is further broken down into several key components that gives updates on the scheme’s progress in specific areas.
• The ABDM public dashboard gives a transparent view of the number of ABHA generated on national as well as state/ UT level. The numbers are further segregated on the basis of gender and age.
• ABHA number generation facility is also available via several popular digital health applications like CoWIN, PMJAY, Aarogya Setu, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh, e-Sushrut Railway Hospital, etc. The ABDM Dashboard also displays each partner’s performance and the number of health records linked by each partnering app.
• For Health Facility Registry, the dashboard presents the data in infographics format based on ownership (government or private), systems of medicine (Modern Medicine – Allopathy, Ayurveda, Sowa- Rigpa, Physiotherapy, Unani, Dentistry, Siddha, Homeopathy etc.) and state-wise facilities registered under the ABDM.
• Similarly, for the HPR, the dashboard shows the data segregation on basis of their employment type – government or private sector, systems of medicine and the states/ UT from where the applications have been received.
• Besides the detailed information available on the ABDM public dashboard, the main ABDM website has a section with all the numbers in a concise manner. Also, the ABDM sandbox portal has a dashboard section that shares details of the integrators/ health tech service providers/ apps that have already integrated with ABDM and are registered as ABDM partners.

About Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission

• The launch of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2020. After which the Mission was launched in mission mode in 6 Union Territories of the country (Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu, Ladakh, Lakshadweep and Puducherry).
• On September 27, 2021, the scheme has been launched for the entire country.
• Through this scheme, a database of health records of the citizens of the country will be prepared. Citizens will be provided with a health ID card .
• This health ID card will store the health database of citizens. This database can be viewed by the doctors with the consent of the citizens. All important information related to the health of citizens such as advisories, reports etc. will be digitally stored in the database.
• Now the citizens of the country will not be required to keep their medical records physically. Apart from this, information of all hospitals and doctors will be stored through this mission. Now the citizens of the country will also be able to get consultation from any doctor of the country sitting at home. This scheme will bring about a welfare change for the health sector.

The goal

• The main objective of the scheme is to support and develop the integrated digital health infrastructure of the country.
• More than 40 digital health services have been covered under the scheme.
• Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission will be effective in directly benefiting the citizens living far away. Apart from this, citizens will also be provided with other facilities ranging from doctors through online medium.
• The flagship scheme will digitalise healthcare by creating a countrywide digital health ecosystem that will enable patients to store, access and consent to share their health records with doctors and health facilities of their choice.

Source – PIB

Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme

 

Paper 3 ECONOMICS

Why in News?

Recently, the Central Government has approved the continuation of the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme for the next five years.

Key Points

• The Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) has been extended to the year 2025-26, with a total of Rs 13,554.42 crore on which the central government scheme will create sustainable employment opportunities for 40 lakh people in five financial years.
• The programme has now been extended for the period of the 15th Finance Commission i.e. five years from 2021-22 to 2025-26.
• It may be mentioned that the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) aims to provide employment opportunities to the youth across the country through setting up of micro-enterprises in the non-farm sectors, which has been extended and some more modifications have been made.
• Under this, the maximum project cost for manufacturing units has been increased to Rs 50 lakh from the existing Rs 25 lakh, while for service units it has been increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.
• The definition of village industries and rural area has also been changed in pmegp. Now the areas under the Panchayati Raj Institutions will be treated as rural areas. The areas under the municipal corporations will be treated as urban areas. All implementing agencies will be allowed to take applications and process them, of course the application has become from the rural area.
• Aspirational districts and ‘transgender’ applicants will be placed in the special category and will be eligible to get more subsidy.

About Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme 

• The Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme’ is a credit linked subsidy scheme launched by the Central Government.
• The scheme was launched in the year 2008 by merging the Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana (PMRY) and rural employment generation programme.
• The objective of the scheme is to generate employment opportunities in rural and urban areas by promoting the development of new self-employment related undertakings/micro enterprises/projects.
• At the same time, its objectives include providing permanent employment for unemployed youth and artists in urban and rural areas of the country to prevent migration of youth from rural areas to cities.
• The scheme is operated under the ‘Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises’. The nodal agency for PMEGP in urban areas is the District Industries Centre (DIC), while in rural areas khadi and village industries board (KVIC) can be approached for the same.

Source – Bussiness Standard

Increasing atmospheric helium levels

Paper 3 : Environment, Pollution

Why in News?

Recently, researchers in one of their studies said that the level of atmospheric helium is constantly increasing, let’s know about it.

Key Points

• Scientists used an unprecedented technique to detect that helium levels in the atmosphere are increasing. This has been discovered by scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in UC San Diego. One is to resolve an issue that has remained a matter of debate among atmospheric chemists for decades.
• The amount of 4-helium (4He) isotope is increasing very much in the atmosphere as 4H is released during the burning of fossil fuels. According to the researchers it is growing at a very low but for the first time at a clearly measurable rate.
• It is worth mentioning that the 4H isotope does not have a greenhouse-like effect that warms up the planet, but its measures may work indirectly as a form of fossil-fuel use.
• Benny Birner, a postdoctoral researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in UC San Diego , said his key job was to resolve a long-standing dispute in the scientific community about the amount of atmospheric helium.
• The isotope 4He is formed by the destruction of radioactive in the Earth’s crust and accumulates in reservoirs similar to fossil fuels, especially natural gas-like. During the release and burning of fossil fuels, 4He is released, which acts like a tool for evaluating industrial activity.
• The success of the study lies in the technique that the scripps oceanography team used to measure how much helium is in the atmosphere. Birner and Scripps Geo-scientists Jeff Severinghaus, Bill Paplosskey, and Ralph Keeling devised an accurate method to compare the 4 He isotope to normal atmospheric gas nitrogen levels. Because the nitrogen level in the atmosphere is constant, he/o. The increase in N2 is indicative of the rate of 4 He increase in the atmosphere.
• Co-study author and scripps oceanography geochemist Ralph Kealing, the well-known observer of carbon dioxide measurements, known as the keeling curve. He said that although it is relatively easy for scientists to detect helium in air samples, which exists at levels of five parts per million of air, no one has done the job of measuring it carefully to observe atmospheric growth.

Use of Helium-3 in power generation

• Helium-3 (He3) is a gas that has the potential to be used as fuel in future nuclear fusion power plants. There is very little helium-3 available on earth. However, it is likely to have the highest amount on the moon.
• It is worth mentioning that many countries have later indicated their intention to go to the moon for a helium-3 mine as fuel supply. Such plans could materialise within the next two to three decades and trigger a new space race.
• This study provides a basis for scientists to better understand the valuable 3-helium (3He) isotopes, including those used for nuclear fusion, cryogenics, and other applications. The proposal to get rare gas from the Moon is an indication of how long scientists will achieve it.
• According to previous work of other researchers, 4He exists in the isotope environment which appears to be an irreversible ratio bit with 3 He. The atmospheric rise of the 4He isotope measured in the scrips would mean the 3He isotope growing at the same rate as 4 He. The research by Birner’s team raises many questions about the accuracy of scientists’ previous assumptions about how and in what amounts 3 He is generated.
• “We don’t know for sure, but I’m surprised that more than 3He is coming from Earth, which we thought earlier, which can probably be achieved and with the help of which our nuclear fusion reactors can be fueled in the future.
• Keeling said the study largely resolves the controversy surrounding the rare helium isotope 3 He. The study has been published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

About Helium

• Helium is a chemical element with the symbol He and atomic number 2.
• It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, inert, monatomic gas and the first in the noble gas group in the periodic table.
• Its boiling and melting point are the lowest among all the elements. It is the second lightest and second most abundant element in the observable universe (hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant).
• It is present at about 24% of the total elemental mass, which is more than 12 times the mass of all the heavier elements combined.
• Its abundance is similar to this in both the Sun and in Jupiter, due to the very high nuclear binding energy (per nucleon) of helium-4, with respect to the next three elements after helium.
• This helium-4 binding energy also accounts for why it is a product of both nuclear fusion and radioactive decay. Most helium in the universe is helium-4, the vast majority of which was formed during the Big Bang. Large amounts of new helium are created by nuclear fusion of hydrogen in stars.
• Helium is used in medicine, scientific research, blimp inflation (inflating airships), balloons used in various festive decorations, and welding applications.
• Helium is also used to scan Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and in rocket fuels and nuclear reactors etc.

Source – PIB 

Border Coordination Conference between India-bangladesh

Paper 2 International Issues

Why in News?

Recently, the Border Coordination Conference between India and Bangladesh began in Sylhet.

Key Points 

• The Inspector General BSF- Regional Commander BGB level Border Coordination Conference between India and Bangladesh started in Sylhet on may 30, 2022.
• The four day conference will conclude on June 2. The Indian team arrived in Bangladesh via the Integrated Check Post (ICP) in Dawki, Meghalaya, where they were greeted by top BGB personnel.
• A five member BSF delegation led by IG BSF Sumit Sharan is attending the conference. The Bangladesh delegation of BGB is led by Brigadier General Tanvir Gani Chowdhury, Regional Commander, Chittagong.
• Apart from the BGB officials, the Bangladesh delegation also includes officials from the Home Ministry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Department of Land records and survey.
• The conference will discuss all issues related to border management and security. It will focus on illegal entry, smuggling of drugs and other items, trafficking of women and children, development activities within 150 yards of the international borders, and initiatives to enhance mutual trust between the BGB and BSF.

Source – Air News


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