Ojaank IAS Academy




9 August 2022 – Current Affairs

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2G Ethanol Plant

Paper 3 – Science & Technology
Why Should You Know?
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will dedicate the 2nd generation (2G) Ethanol Plant in Panipat, Haryana.
In details –
  • On the occasion of World Biofuel Day, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will dedicate the 2nd generation (2G) Ethanol Plant in Panipat, Haryana to the nation on 10th August, 2022 at 4:30 PM via video conferencing.
  • The dedication of the Plant is part of a long series of steps taken by the government over the years to boost the production and usage of biofuels in the country.
  • This is in line with the Prime Minister’s constant endeavour to transform the energy sector into being more affordable, accessible, efficient and sustainable.
  • The 2G Ethanol Plant has been built at an estimated cost of over Rs. 900 crore by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) and is located close to the Panipat Refinery.
  • Based on state-of-the-art indigenous technology, the project will turn a new chapter in India’s waste-to-wealth endeavours by utilising about 2 lakh tonnes of rice straw (parali) annually to generate around 3 crore litres of Ethanol annually.
  • Creating an end-use for the agri-crop residue would empower farmers and provide an additional income generation opportunity for them.
  • The Project will provide direct employment to people involved in the plant operation and indirect employment will be generated in the supply chain for rice straw cutting, handling, storage, etc.
  • The project will have zero liquid discharge. Through reduction in burning of rice straw (parali), the project will contribute to a reduction of Greenhouse Gases equivalent to about 3 lakh tonnes of Carbon Dioxide equivalent emissions per annum, which can be understood as equivalent to replacing nearly 63,000 cars annually on the country’s roads.
About Ethenol –
  • This can include corn cobs, rice straw and wheat straw, which is converted into cellulose and later fermented to form ethanol, which in turn can be blended with conventional fuel.
  • o help reduce its dependence on costly oil imports. The country is the world’s third-biggest oil importer.
  • 1G ethanol plants utilize feedstock such as cereals and sugarcane juice and molasses as raw materials, while 2G plants utilize surplus biomass and agricultural waste to produce ethanol.
  • It is noteworthy tha Setting up one 2G plant costs ₹1,000 crore. But a 1G plant can be set up for ₹100-200 crore. 

Council of Scientific & Industrial Research(CSIR)

Paper 3 – Agriculture
Why Should You Know?
Recently CSIR appointed its first woman Director General
In details –
  • Senior scientist Nallathambi Kalaiseelvi has become the first woman Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
  • CSIR is a consortium of 38 research institutes across the country. According to the Personnel Ministry, she will succeed Shekhar Mande, who retired in April.
  • After Mande’s retirement, Rajesh Gokhale, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, was given additional charge of CSIR.
About CSIR –
  • The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)  is india’s largest research and development (R&D) organization.
  • CSIR is an all-India institute comprising  an active network of 38 national laboratories, 39 remote centres, 3 innovative campuses and 5 units.
  • It was established in the year 1942
  • CSIR is funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology and is registered as an autonomous body under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
  • CSIR covers a wide range of subject areas ranging from radio and space physics, oceanography, geophysics, chemicals, drugs, genomics, biotechnology and nanotechnology to mining, aeronautics, instrument science, environmental engineering and information technology.
  • It provides significant technical support in many areas in relation to social efforts including environment, health, drinking water, food, housing, energy, agriculture sector and non-agricultural sector.
  • The objective of the Council is to carry out scientific and industrial research related to national importance.
  • Its ex-officio chairman is  the Prime Minister of India, ex-officio vice-chairman is the Union Minister of Science and Technology, the Director General is the head of the governing body. Further, the Finance Secretary (Expenditure) is its ex-officio member.
  • The tenure of other members is three years.
CSIR Advisory Board-
  • It is a 15-member  body of eminent persons from the science and technology sector.
  • Its function is to provide science and technology advice or inputs to the Governing Body.
  • Its members have a tenure of three years.

“Sanskrit Gram”

Paper 2 – Constitution
Why Should You Know?
Uttarakhand government decided to develop one Sanskrit speaking village in each district.
In details –
  • The Uttarakhand government has decided to develop one ‘Sanskrit-Gram’ each in all the 13 districts of the state.
  • That is, in every district there will be a village where people will converse in Sanskrit language only.
  • Uttarakhand Education Minister Dhansingh Rawat said that the residents of these villages would be given training by experts to use the ancient Indian language in daily conversation.
  • It is noteworthy that Sanskrit is the second official language of the state.
  • Uttarakhand is the first state in the country to take such an initiative to promote Sanskrit on such a large scale. There is a village in Karnataka where only Sanskrit is spoken.
  • Rawat said that Sanskrit teachers would be sent to the selected villages who would teach the local people to speak in this language.
  • He said that the Vedas and Puranas would also be taught to the people so that they could learn to speak Sanskrit fluently.
  • The Minister said that each such village, which is called ‘Sanskrit Gram’, will also have an ancient Indian Culture Center.
About Sanskrit language –
  • Sanskrit is a language of the Indian subcontinent . Sanskrit is an Indo-Aryan language that is a branch of the Indo-European language family.
  • Modern Indian languages ​​such as Hindi , Bengali , Marathi , Sindhi , Punjabi , Nepali , etc. have originated from this. All these languages ​​also include the Romani language of the European Banjaras.
  • Almost all scriptures related to Vedic religion are written in Sanskrit . Many important texts of Buddhism (especially Mahayana) and Jainism are also written in Sanskrit.
  • Even today most of the yagyas of Hinduism and Worship is done in Sanskrit only.
  • Sanskrit usually combines several older Indo-Aryan varieties. The oldest of these is Vedic Sanskrit found in the Rigveda , a collection of 1,028 hymns composed between 3000 BC and 2000 BC, by Indo-Aryan tribes eastward from Afghanistan in present-day northern Afghanistan and northern India. do flee.
  • Sanskrit has also been included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India. It is the second official language of Uttarakhand

Reusable spacecraft

Paper 3 – Science & Technology
Why Should You Know?
Recently China launched its reusable spacecraft, lets know about it
In details –
  • China’s space agency CNSA launched the Long March 2F rocket from the space station at Jiuquan in Gansu province on August 5, 2022. A reusable spacecraft has also been sent in this rocket.
  • This spacecraft will be placed in low earth orbit. A similar secret mission was launched by China in 2020. The spacecraft will operate in orbit for some time and then return to the designated landing site in China. Technical verification of reusable and in-orbit services to provide technical support for peaceful uses of space will be carried out as planned.
  • Significantly, no images related to the launch have been released by the Chinese space officials. China’s Long March 2F Launch Vehicle usually launches China’s Shenzhou Crew Mission. It has a payload capacity of about 8 metric tons in low Earth orbit.
  • China claims that at present this spacecraft will orbit 100 km above the earth near the Karman line. After that it will come back to earth.
  • The spacecraft launched could be of the same size and function as the X-37B space plane of the US Air Force.
What is Reusable spacecraft?
  • A reusable spacecraft is a class of spacecraft that have been designed with repeated launch, orbit, deorbit and atmospheric reentry in mind.
  • This contrasts with conventional spacecraft which are designed to be expended (thrown away, allowed to burn during reentry) after use.
  • Examples of reusable spacecraft are spaceplanes (such as the Space Shuttle orbiters and the Dream Chaser) and space capsules like the SpaceX Dragon.
  • Such spacecraft need mechanisms to prevent the disintegration of the spacecraft and its occupants/cargo during reentry. Failure of such systems may be catastrophic, as what happened in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.
  • It is noteworthy that The Space Shuttle is the world’s first reusable spacecraft, and the first spacecraft in history that can carry large satellites both to and from orbit. The Shuttle launches like a rocket, maneuvers in Earth orbit like a spacecraft and lands like an airplane.

National Javelin Day

Paper 2 – Games
Why Should You Know?
National Javelin Day was observed by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on 7 August.
In details –
  • National Javelin Day was celebrated by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on 7 August.
  • This time The second ‘Javelin Throw Day’ was celebrated on August 7, 2022.
  • The day is celebrated in honor of Neeraj Chopra, the athlete who won India a gold medal in the javelin throw event at the Tokyo Olympics.
  • It was on August 7 last year that Neeraj produced the 87.58m effort in Tokyo to secure India’s first track and field medal in the Olympic Games.
  • It is note worthy that The initiative to celebrate Javelin Throw Day was taken in Khandara, the village of javelin throw champion and Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra.
  • The day was celebrated to encourage the youth to take up the sport of Javelin Throw.
  • As many as 32 states and Union Territories units affiliated with AFI will organize javelin competitions on August 7.
About Athletics Federation of India –
  • The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) is the apex body for Athletics in India, and is responsible for conducting Competitions in the country.
  • It was earlier called as Amateur Athletic Federation of India (AAFI). It is associated with both Asian Athletics Association (AAA) and World Athletics.
  • The AFI has as many as 32 affiliated state units and institutional units. The AFI came into existence in 1946 and the federation organises the National Championships, trains the Indian Athletics National Campers, selects the Indian Athletics Teams for various international competitions, including the Olympics, Asian Games, CWG,  World Championships, Asian Championships and other international meets, conducts the National Championships for various age categories.
  • Besides, the AFI conducts international and national championships and various meets to promote the sport and popularise it amongst the masses and make athletics commercially attractive for the further growth of the athlete and the sport.
  • The federation also supervises and assists its state units in their activities, plans and sets up special coaching camps, coaches training and takes initiatives for development programme and grass root promotion of athletics in India.

12th DefExpo

Paper 3- Security
Why Should You Know?
12th DefExpo to be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat between October 18-22, 2022
In details –
  • DefExpo exhibition is India’s biennial marquee event for defence manufacturing industry.
  • The 12th edition of DefExpo – India’s flagship exhibition on Land, Naval and Homeland Security systems – will be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat between October 18-22, 2022.
  • The five-day event will witness three business days followed by two public days. Live demonstrations showcasing the equipment and skill set of the Armed Forces, DPSUs and Industry will be held on all five days at Sabarmati River Front through active participation and synchronized efforts at all levels.
  • DefExpo 2022 will be held in a three-venue format across an area of 01+ lakh square metres at Helipad Exhibition Centre; inaugural event and seminars at Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre and Live demo at Sabarmati River Front.
  • The exhibition is being planned with events such as Bandhan for forging of partnerships between companies; seminars and webinars showcasing of start-ups/MSMEs, including cutting-edge technology solutions for future battlefield; Artificial Intelligence in defence; student visits and showcasing Gujarat as an investment destination for aerospace and defence sector, etc.
  • DefExpo 2022 is in line with the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to achieve self-reliance in defence and achieve export of $5 billion by 2025.
  • India has successfully established itself as an emerging defence manufacturing hub with numerous international orders being bagged by Indian companies in recent years.
  • The Indian Defence industry has been keenly anticipating DefExpo-2022 which is Asia’s largest event in the defence sector. It was postponed in March 2022 due to logistical problems being faced by the participants.
  • As India celebrates its ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, DefExpo 2022 gains further significance with its theme ‘Path to Pride’ invoking nationalistic pride and encouraging citizens to partake in nation building through establishing a capable indigenous Defence industry.

Reforms in defence manufacturing –

  • The Ministry of Defence has introduced numerous policy reforms in recent years such as simplifying industrial licensing process; allowing 74% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through automatic route; release of positive list of items to be procured only from Indian manufacturers; launch of seven new defence companies; Innovation for Defence Excellence (iDEX); Defence Innovation Start-up Challenge (DISC); Defconnect; Artificial Intelligence in Defence (AiDef) etc.
  • The reforms in defence manufacturing are attracting greater interest from Indian Defence manufacturers and it is therefore anticipated that DefExpo-2022 would attract active participation from Indian companies.

About DefExpo-2022 –

  • At DefExpo-2022, the participants will get an opportunity to showcase their equipment and platforms and also be able to explore the strengths and capabilities of the expanse of Indian Defence industry for forging Business partnerships.
  • The event will help boost investment, expand manufacturing capacities and capabilities, discover avenues for technology absorption.
  • The DefExpo-2022 website (www.defexpo.gov.in) is available providing online services to exhibitors, besides hosting informative content about the various indigenous defence products and promoting heritage and leisure at Gujarat.
  • The exhibitor booking would be available for Indian companies which will include Indian subsidiaries of Foreign OEMs, Joint Ventures between Indian and Foreign companies, Defence Public Sector Undertakings, State Pavilions, DRDO and Indian companies.
  • The website will be an enabler for exhibitors to register and book space online on a first-come-first-serve basis, make online payments, book conference halls and venues for Business-to-Business (B2B) meetings.
  • The website will be the first interface making the process of booking and information access effortless. A sizeable number of participants who have retained their presence in the post postponement event, opting for the Costs of Compensation offered by the Ministry will be reallocated their space.
  • Bookings of space for new exhibitors will commence from August 15, 2022. Trade visitors will be able to buy their tickets on the website for visiting the show during business days i.e., 18, 19 and 20 October and Free Entry for general public on 21 and 22 October.
  • Defence publications and media would also require to register online through the website. A discount of 25% will be offered on the earlier space and ticket rates for DefExpo-2022 to encourage wider presence of Indian companies.
  • Special focus will be to promote the Indian start-ups and MSMEs as also setting up of State Pavilions to further their A&D policies.

“HIM- DRONE-A-THON” Programme

Paper 3- Security
Why Should You Know?
Indian army launches “him- drone-a-thon” Programme, lets know about it.
In details –
  • The Indian Army in collaboration with the Drone Federation of India has launched the ‘Him Drone-a-thon’ programme on 08 August 22.
  • This initiative in line with Atmanirbharta in defence manufacturing is aimed to catalyse and provide focused opportunities to the Indian drone ecosystem to develop path-breaking drone capabilities for meeting requirements of frontline troops.
  • The Indian Army’s support to the indigenous drone ecosystem is based on the principle that ‘good available indigenously’ is better than the ‘best available globally’.
  • However, gradual enhancement in technology demanded by defence forces is likely to incentivise manufacture of better and more capable drone products.
  • The ‘Him Drone-a-thon’ programme is pan India sustained connect between all stake holders including industry, academia, software developers and drone product manufacturers.
  • It will be conducted in stages with quantifiable parameters (like altitude, weight, range, endurance etc) being progressively enhanced based on demonstrated capabilities.
  • Broad activities planned include interactions & ideation between users, development agencies, academia etc, seeking of industry responses, visits by development agencies to operational locations to understand the ground perspective & requirements, handholding of development agencies for internal development & on-ground trials and actual conduct & evaluation of drone products.
  • As a start point, development in the following categories are included:-
  • Logistics/ Load carrying Drone in High Altitude Areas.
  • Autonomous Surveillance/ Search & Rescue Drone.
  • Micro/ Nano Drones for Fighting in Built Up Areas.

Inida-US Joint Exercise

Paper 2 – Health
Why Should You Know?
Recently, India’s joint exercise with US Special Forces started in Bakloh, Himachal Pradesh.
In details –
  • The 13th Edition of the Indo-US Joint Special Forces exercise “Ex Vajra Prahar 2022” commenced at the Special Forces Training School (SFTS), Bakloh (HP) On august 8, 2022.
  • The US contingent is represented by personnel from the 1st Special Forces Group (SFG) and Special Tactics Squadron (STS) of US Special Forces and the Indian Army contingent is formed by drawing Special Forces personnel under the aegis of SFTS.
  • The Vajra Prahar series of joint exercise aims to share best practices and experiences in areas such as joint mission planning and operational tactics as also to improve inter-operability between the Special Forces of both the Nations.
  • This annual exercise is hosted alternatively between India and the United States. The 12th edition was conducted at Joint Base Lewis Mcchord, Washington (USA) in October 2021.
  • During the course of next 21 days, teams of both armies would jointly train, plan and execute a series of Special Operations, Counter Terrorist Operations, Air Borne operations in simulated conventional and unconventional scenarios in mountainous terrain.
  • This joint exercise is a significant step in strengthening the traditional bond of friendship between the special forces of both Nations as well as improve bilateral defence cooperation between India and the USA.

Swadesh Darshan Scheme (SDS)

Paper 1 – Art & Culture
Why Should You Know?
Recently the Minister of Tourism Shri G. Kishan Reddy gave information about Swadesh Darshan Scheme (SDS).
In details –
  • Swadesh Darshan Scheme is a scheme of Ministry of Tourism under Government of India. The scheme aims to promote, develop and harness the potential of tourism in India.
  • The Ministry of Tourism under its ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme provides financial assistance to State Governments/Union Territory (UT) Administrations/Central Agencies etc. for development of tourism infrastructure in the country.
  • This is a central sector scheme; i.e. – 100% funded by Central Government of India.
  • The projects under this  scheme are sanctioned subject to availability of funds, submission of suitable Detailed Project Reports (DPR), adherence to scheme guidelines and utilization of funds released earlier etc.
  • The Ministry of Tourism under its Swadesh Darshan Scheme (SDS) has sanctioned 10 projects under the theme of Coastal Circuit.
  • for integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits — Buddhist Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Desert Circuit, Eco Circuit, Heritage Circuit, Northeast Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Sufi Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Ramayana Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Tirthankar Circuit, Wildlife Circuit and Tribal Circuit.
Swadesh Darshan 2.0 –
The Ministry of Tourism has now revamped its Swadesh Darshan scheme as Swadesh Darshan 2.0 (SD2.0) in order to develop sustainable and responsible destination centric approach with the following objectives:
  • To enhance the contribution of tourism to the local economies.
  • To create jobs including self-employment for local communities.
  • To enhance the skills of local youth in tourism and hospitality.
  • To increase private sector investment in tourism and hospitality.
  • To preserve and enhance the local cultural and natural resources.
Task force –
  • In order to harness the potential of Cruise Tourism in the country, a Task Force has been constituted with Secretary (Tourism) as the Chairman and Secretary (Shipping) as the Co-chairman.
  • The Task Force consists of representatives from the ports, Ministries of Health, Home Affairs, External Affairs, Customs, CISF, Coastal States, etc. The 13th meeting of the Task Force on Cruise Tourism was held on 27.04.2022.
Incredible India International Cruise Conference –
  • It was the first cruise conference to bring all stakeholders together. 
  • Further, the Ministry of Tourism undertakes various promotional activities in the international and domestic markets to promote tourism products of the country including Coastal Tourism in a holistic manner.
  • This includes release of media campaigns under ‘Incredible India’ brand-line, promotional events, social media promotions etc.
  • The Ministry of Tourism is promoting Coastal Tourism through its website www.incredibleindia.org.

Bilingual Entrepreneurship Programme for Women

Paper 2 – Social Issues
Why Should You Know?
NCW offers bilingual Entrepreneurship Programme for Women in collaboration with IIM Kozhikode
In details –
  • The National Commission for Women has joined hands with the Centre of Excellence for Social Innovation (CESI) of the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode to offer professional training to women entrepreneurs who wish to launch their entrepreneurial careers as well as a mentoring program for existing women entrepreneurs looking to scale up their businesses.
  • As part of the Commission’s effort to strengthen and build entrepreneurial capabilities among women entrepreneurs, it has developed an online training program to provide women entrepreneurs access to knowledge and skills required to grow and sustain their entrepreneurial ventures.
  • Aspiring women entrepreneurs can choose between two programs tailored to their current careers and skill sets; ‘Foundation Program in Entrepreneurship’ for those looking to enter the entrepreneurial arena and an ‘Advanced Program in Entrepreneurship’ for those seeking to scale up their businesses.
  • The four-month programmes will include lectures, discussions, entrepreneurship talks, and mentoring from various subject matter experts.
  • Chairperson, National Commission for Women, Ms Rekha Sharma said that the Commission has always sought to ensure equal opportunities for women in all spheres of life. “As economic independence is a key factor in women’s empowerment, the Commission strives to provide women access to knowledge and skills they need to grow and sustain their businesses. Our goal is to help women develop the skills and perspectives needed to start and run sustainable businesses and contribute to the society,” said Ms Sharma.
Objective –
  • The Foundation program aims to develop the entrepreneurial skills needed to identify and build a business as well as the managerial capabilities to run the enterprise successfully.
  • Participants of the Advanced program will learn to fine-tune their business model, expand their markets, access funding, and diversify their products and services.
Features –
  • The Foundation program will consist of 60 hours of learning, including 40 hours of subject sessions and 20 hours of mentoring and Q&A, while the Advanced Program will consist of 60 hours of learning, with 20 hours of subject sessions and 40 hours dedicated to mentoring and Q&A.
  • The training and courses will be offered in English and Malayalam.
  • Women interested in participating in the programme can register online on the MyGov portal.

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