News Snippet

  1. News 1: Swachh Survekshan survey (Cleanliness survey conducted to measure the sanitation practices being implemented in both urban and rural areas. The points will provide a value contribution)
  2. News 2: NRIs to benefit from UAE’s new policy on immigration (Indian diaspora will be benefiting under the new visa policy and its implications. Important as it forms part of UPSC GS Mains Paper -2)
  3. News 3: With drained battery and no fuel, Mangalyaan bids adieu (Important as this was India’s 1st interplanetary space mission and has come in UPSC 2016 prelims)
  4. News 4: How can India reduce its impact on global warming? (Global warming is an important topic as it relates to climate change. In this the relation of agriculture and global warming has been explored)
  5. News 5: Centre raises mid-day meal per child cooking cost by 9.6% (Mid-day meal scheme or PM Poshan scheme is crucial as questions have been asked on government schemes)
  6. News 6: PM launches 5G (Questions related to new technology in UPSC Prelims has been asked consistently)
  7. News 7: Draft norms for RRB listing (RRB banks form an important part in rural banking scenario, and they provide 75% of advances under priority sector lending thus prompting financial inclusion and welfare)
  8. Other Important News
    1. Camel
    2. Burkina Faso
    3. PM Karin’s centrist party wins election in Latvia
    4. Corbett Tiger reserve

 

News 1 : Swachh Survekshan Survey


Background

  1. Telangana was ranked first for the cleanliness of its villages in the Swachh Survekshan Gramin (SSG), 2022.
  2. After Telangana, Haryana was placed second followed by Tamil Nadu in the Large States category.
  3. Indore (M.P) bags cleanest city award for sixth year.

Swachh Survekshan Survey 2022

  1. The Swachh Survekshan Gramin, 2022 award ranks States and districts on the basis of their performance attained on Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G) parameters and engagement of the rural community in improvement of their sanitation status
  2. Among smaller States and Union Territories, Andaman and Nicobar secured the first position, followed by Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Sikkim
  3. Since the launch of SBM-G in 2014, over 11 crore toilets had been built and about 60 crore people had given up open defecation.
  4. The second phase of the mission, launched in 2020, aims to make all six lakh villages in India ‘Open Defecation Free’.
  5. Around 62% of rural households in India have fully functional tap water.

Swachh Survekshan Survey is carried out by Quality Council of India (QCI).


News 2: NRIs to benefit from UAE’s new policy on immigration


Background

The news per say is not important. What is important is GCC.

The new visa rules are said to be highly beneficial to expatriates, investors and tourists travelling to this Gulf Cooperation Council nation. The new visa rules allows the expatriate community to bring their family members and friends to the UAE for a longer stay, as per a legal expert.

The advanced visa system includes a 10-year expanded golden visa scheme, a five-year green residency and new entry permits

Gulf Cooperation Council


News 3: With drained battery and no fuel, Mangalyaan bids adieu


Background

India’s Mars Orbiter craft has run out of propellant and its battery is drained beyond the safe limit, fueling speculation that the country’s maiden interplanetary mission Mangalyaan may have finally completed its long innings.

The ₹450 crore Mars Orbiter Mission was launched onboard PSLV-C25 on November 5, 2013, and the MOM spacecraft was successfully inserted into the Martian orbit on September 24, 2014 in its first attempt.

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)

  • The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), commonly referred to as Mangalyaan-1, is a space probe launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on November 5, 2013.
  • The indigenously built space probe, which is India’s first interplanetary mission, has been in the Martian orbit since September 24, 2014.
  • The mission which is aimed at studying Martian atmosphere helped the ISRO to enter the elite group of space agencies including the Soviet Space Program, NASA and the European Space Agency to reach Mars.
  • The secondary objective is to explore Martian surface features, mineralogy, morphology and atmosphere using indigenous scientific instruments.

India is the first Asian nation to reach the Mars orbit and the first in the world to achieve it in its first attempt.

UPSC 2016 prelims

Consider the following statements:

The Mangalyaan launched by ISRO

  1. is also called the Mars Orbiter Mission
  2. made India the second country to have a spacecraft orbit the Mars after USA
  3. made India the only country to be successful in making its spacecraft orbit the Mars in its very first attempt

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (c) (Official UPSC Answer key) (India was the 4th space agency to launch Mars mission after NASA, Roscosmos and ESA)


News 4: How can India reduce its impact on global warming?


Background

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has pointed out that since the industrial revolution, which started around 1800, human activities have released large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) due to fuel burning and other ‘greenhouse gases’ such as methane, nitrous oxide, and compounds of sulphur, phosphorous, ozone into the atmosphere, changing the earth’s climate.

Alarming increase

  1. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have increased by over 40%, from 280 ppm in the 18th century to 414 ppm in 2020.
  2. India had 170 million people in 1800, which has risen to 1.4 billion people today.
  3. And industrial revolution started only after India’s Independence 75 years ago.
  4. While it has helped in reduction of poverty, it has also led to rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases.

India’s agricultural scenario and its carbon footprint

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) points out that we have a rural population that constitutes 70% of the country, and their main occupation is agriculture. This gives us a total foodgrain production of 275 million tonne.

India is the second largest producer of rice, wheat, sugarcane, cotton and groundnuts.

It thus, becomes important that India reduce its carbon footprint, more in its farming sector.

Farmers have come up with some admirable methods, with the help of agricultural professionals, by using solar panels in their fields, so that they can avoid diesel for groundwater pumps.

The government and professional groups have helped rural farmers put in solar panels to save money and gain greater income and it might help drop India’s carbon emissions by 45 – 62 million tonnes annually.

A common goal

  1. India has about 30% vegetarians and 70% of the population eat meat — mainly chicken, mutton and fish.
  2. India, with its many rivers, has a vast coastline which is rich in fishes.
  3. And fishes have high nutritional value and help in reducing carbon footprint.
  4. Thus, with farmers, meat sellers and fishermen, each contributing to India in reducing our carbon footprint, we can hope to be an exemplary nation for the EPA.

Global warming:

  1. Global warming is the long-term heating of Earth’s surface observed since the pre-industrial period (between 1850 and 1900) due to human activities, primarily fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere.
  2. Since the Industrial Revolution, the global annual temperature has increased in total by a little more than 1 degree Celsius, or about 2 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Nine of the 10 warmest years since 1880 have occurred since 2005—and the 5 warmest years on record have all occurred since 2015. 

News 5: Centre raises mid-day meal per child cooking cost by 9.6%


Background

After a gap of over two years, the cooking cost per child under the mid-day meal scheme is set to rise by 9.6 per cent, with the Ministry of Finance approving the hike proposed by a committee which has recommended inter-ministerial deliberations on linking the number of LPG cylinders per school to enrolment.

The decision, which is likely to come into effect from October, comes at a time school authorities and food rights activists across the country have been demanding more funds to run the scheme, which has 11.8 crore student beneficiaries, citing an increase in the prices of vegetables, pulses and cooking gas.

Mid-day meal scheme

  1. It is renamed as PM POSHAN (Poshan Shakti Nirman) Scheme for providing one hot cooked meal in Government and Government-aided schools from 2021-22 to 2025-26, earlier known as ‘National Programme for Mid-Day Meal in Schools’ popularly known as Mid-Day Meal Scheme.
  2. Ministry: Ministry of Education

Funding

  1. NE States – Centre: State = 90:10
  2. Other states and UTs with legislatures Centre: State = 60:40
  3. Type: Centrally sponsored scheme
  4. Beneficiaries: School children studying from class 1 to 8 in Government and Government – Aided schools
  5. Social Audit of the scheme is made mandatory in all the districts.
  6. Special provision is made for providing supplementary nutrition items to children in aspirational districts and districts with high prevalence of Anemia.

It is the largest school feeding programme of its kind in the world, Enhancing the enrolment in schools is the basic objective of the scheme.

The cost of foodgrains is borne entirely by the Centre, which will have to shell out an additional amount of Rs 660 crore in 2022-23, while the states will spend Rs 400 crore more than what was sanctioned in the annual budget to implement the revised cooking cost.

Tithi Bhojan is a community participation programme in which people provide special food to children on special occasions/festivals.

School Nutrition Gardens in schools to give children first-hand experience with nature and gardening. The harvest of these gardens is used in the scheme providing additional micronutrients. School Nutrition Gardens have already been developed in more than 3 lakh schools.


News 6: PM launches 5G


Background

Launching 5G services that promise ultra-high-speed internet on cellphones, Prime Minister said this is “a knock on the doors of a new era” and the “beginning of an infinite sky of opportunities”.

Terming the launch of 5G services as a success of the government’s Digital India initiative, he said the programme is based on four key pillars: cost of device, digital connectivity, data cost and a digital-first approach.

5G launch

  1. Among the three major telecom operators, Bharti Airtel immediately rolled out 5G services in eight cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi and Bengaluru, and said the rest of the country would get it by March 2024.
  2. Reliance Jio is set to launch 5G in metro cities by Diwali this year, and in the rest of the country by 2023-end. Vodafone Idea has not announced a timeline yet.
  3. For consumers, 5G will provide superior internet speed and low latency.
  4. At its peak, internet speeds on 5G could touch 10 Gbps, compared to the 100 Mbps peak of 4G.
  5. Similarly, latency under 4G is between 10-100 ms (millisecond), whereas it is expected to be under 1 ms on 5G. Latency is the time it takes for a device to send packets of data and get a response.
  6. According to government estimates, the cumulative economic impact of 5G is expected to touch $450 billion by 2035.

Are all operators employing the same 5G technology?

  1. 5G networks are deployed mainly on two modes: standalone and non-standalone.
  2. Each architecture has its advantages and disadvantages, and the path chosen by operators primarily reflects their view of the market for the new technology, and the consequent rollout strategy.
  3. In the standalone mode, which Jio has chosen, the 5G network operates with dedicated equipment and runs parallel to the existing 4G network.
  4. In the non-standalone mode, the 5G network is supported by the 4G core infrastructure.
  5. Given that the non-standalone networks are built on existing infrastructure, the initial cost and rollout times are significantly lower.
  6. The non-standalone mode, which Bharti Airtel has opted for, lets operators maximise the utilisation of existing network infrastructure with relatively lower investment.
  7. Non-standalone networks are generally considered to be a steppingstone, and global precedent suggests operators who have launched non-standalone 5G networks eventually transition to standalone networks.
  8. Most smartphones today have capability to connect to non-standalone 5G networks — which are essentially 5G airwaves transmitted through 4G networks — and will require software updates by their OEMs to be able to connect to standalone networks.

Want to read more on 5G : Click Here


News 7: Draft norms for RRB listing


Background

Regional rural banks (RRBs), which play a crucial role in credit disbursement in remote areas, will be eligible to list on stock exchanges and raise funds if they have net worth of at least Rs 300 crore over the previous three years and if they fulfil certain other criteria.

New draft norms

  1. As per the draft guidelines issued by the Finance Ministry, such banks must also have a capital adequacy of 9 per cent in each of the previous three years and recorded operating profit of at least Rs 15 crore for a minimum of three out of the preceding five years.
  2. There should not be any accumulated loss and the RRB should have offered at least 10 per cent return on equity in three out of the previous five years, according to the norms.
  3. Under the new norms, sponsor banks have been asked to identify the RRBs that are eligible for listing.
  4. The sponsors will also have to factor in relevant rules and regulations floated by both stock market and banking regulators — SEBI and RBI — with regard to capital raising and disclosure requirements when they zero in on eligible RRBs.

Other important news


Camel

  • A camel is an even-toed ungulate in the genus Camelus that bears distinctive fatty deposits known as “humps” on its back. 
  • Camels have long been domesticated and, as livestock, they provide food (milk and meat) and textiles (fiber and felt from hair). Camels are working animals especially suited to their desert habitat and are a vital means of transport for passengers and cargo. 
  • There are three surviving species of camel. The one-humped dromedary makes up 94% of the world’s camel population, and the two-humped Bactrian camel makes up 6%. The Wild Bactrian camel is a separate species and is now critically endangered.

UPSC 2019

Consider the following statements:

  1. Asiatic lion is naturally found in India only.
  2. Double-humped camel is naturally found in India only.
  3. One-horned rhinoceros is naturally found in India only.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Option: a (UPSC Official answer  key)

Burkina Faso coup

  1. Soldiers carrying weapons escort the convoy of Burkina Faso’s self- declared new leader Ibrahim Traore recently. 
  2. Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in Africa.
  3. Capital: Ouagadougou (Largest city)
  4. Currency: West African CFA franc
  5. In the dry season, the harmattan – a hot dry wind from the Sahara – blows in Burkina Faso.
  6. In West Africa, the easterly trade winds blow off-shore bringing dust-laden, dry winds from the Sahara and reach the coast of Guinea. The local name for this hot, dry, dusty wind is Harmattan (meaning ‘the doctor’).

PM Karin’s centrist party wins election in Latvia

  1. Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins’s pro-Western centrist party won the elections in Latvia.
  2. The Russian-speaking minority in Latvia makes up around 30% of the population.
  3. Latvia, a Baltic state in Europe lies along the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea
  4. Capital: Riga
  5. Currency: Euro

Corbett Tiger Reserve

  1. Corbett National Park has been renamed as Ramganga National Park.
  2. Corbett National Park, which is a part of the larger Corbett Tiger Reserve, a Project Tiger Reserve lies in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand.
  3. Established in the year 1936 as Hailey National Park, Corbett has the glory of being India’s oldest and most prestigious National Park. It is also being honored as the place where Project Tiger was first launched in 1973.
  4. The entire area of the reserve is mountainous and falls in the Shivalik and Outer Himalaya geological provinces.
  5. Ramganga, Sonanadi, Mandal, Palain and Kosi are the major rivers flowing through the Reserve.
  6. The national park along with the neighbouring 301-sq km-Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary together make the critical tiger habitat of the Corbett Tiger Reserve.

 

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