Topic 1: Sagar Parikrama
Context: Sagar Parikrama Phase-III was launched recently from Hazira Port in Gujarat
- Aim of the project:
- To communicate with fishermen, fisher communities, and stakeholders in coastal areas and districts in order to better understand the challenges and issues that they confront.
- It also aims to:
- disseminate information of various fisheries related schemes and programs being implemented by the government,
- promoting responsible fisheries,
- protecting marine ecosystems, and
- demonstrating solidarity with all fisher folk and concerned stakeholders
- It focuses on the sustainable balance between:
- the utilization of marine fisheries resources for the food security of the nation and
- livelihoods of coastal fisher communities and
- the protection of marine ecosystems.
- Certificates related to Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampadha scheme would be awarded to the progressive fishermen.
|Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada YojanaThe government proposed Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) to establish a robust fisheries management framework and check gaps in the value chain.The objective of the scheme is to supplement or increase agriculture, modernize processing and decrease agricultural-waste and to utilize the potential in the fishery sector.Significance:This yojana will create modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlet.It will increase growth of food processing sector in the country.It will increase GDP, Employment and investment.It will help in reducing huge wastage of agriculture products.It will help in providing better prices to farmers and double their income.|
Topic 2: Anubhuti Inclusive Park
Context: Recently the government laid foundation stone of the world’s largest and unique Divyang Park – Anubhuti Inclusive Park.
- This park is located in Nagpur, Maharashtra.
- The park will have a tiled road/footpath accessible to the visually impaired, a touch and smell garden and various other facilities for the differently-abled.
- He said the park would also have a special play area for children, hydrotherapy room, waterfall sound therapy, potter’s wheel, sensory park and theatre.
Legislation for differently abled in India:
- Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPD) Act of 2016 :
- The Act replaces the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.
- It fulfills the obligations to the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), to which India is a signatory.
- It expands the definition from 7 to 21 conditions.
- It introduces a new system to streamline the process for producing and obtaining disability certification for institutions.
- The Indian government provides disability certificates to people deemed to have disabilities of more than 40%, which allows them to avail of certain benefits and concessions.
- The RPD Act also increases the public sector quota from 3% to 4% for persons with certain types of disabilities.
- It provides incentives for companies to ensure that at least 5% of their workforce is composed of people with disabilities of 40% or more.
- Special Courts will be designated in each district to handle cases concerning violation of rights of PwDs
Topic 3: IDEX And NAVDEX 23
Context: Indian Naval Ship Sumedha arrived at Abu Dhabi to participate in NAVDEX 23 and IDEX 23.
- NAVDEX stands for Naval Defence Exhibition and IDEX stands for International Defence Exhibition.
- This participation will showcase the strengths of India’s indigenous ship building and underscore the vision of ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’.
- INS Sumedha:
- INS Sumedha is the third ship of the indigenously built Saryu class Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels (NOPV).
- It was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 2014.
- It was built indigenously at Goa Shipyard Limited.
- Fitted with an impressive array of weapons and sensors,
- Can carry an integral helicopter and
- Long endurance.
- Defence relations between the two nations were elevated to a ‘Comprehensive Strategic partnership’ in 2017.
- A ‘strategic relationship’ involves a shared understanding between the two or more states involved on the nature of threats and the place of their collective power in helping mitigate the threats.
- This does not amount to an ‘alliance’, meaning a deeper relationship in which the states are treaty bound to come to each other’s assistance in case of materialisation of a threat against any member state.
- In a strategic relationship, the states involved discuss the role of power through periodic bilateral or multilateral meetings at a high, ministerial and bureaucratic-military official level.
- Defence exercise:
- Indian Navy-UAE Navy bilateral exercise, Zayed Talwar initiated in 2018.
- The last edition was in 2021.
Topic 4: Vice captain in cricket
Context: Indian batter KL Rahul has been removed from the position of vice captain of the team for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy (BGT).
Role of Vice-captain:
- The vice-captain is supposed to carry out the duties of a captain when they are off the field for any reason.
- Vice captains are consulted by the captain while making important decisions on the field.
- The vice captain had a big say in selecting the team.
- The vice-captain would also conduct net sessions, evaluate performances, and set up training drills.
- The vice captain would also be crucial in ensuring discipline in the team.
- Decline in the importance of the vice-captain
- As cricket saw its commercial rise, vice-captain’s role has steadily declined.
- No longer is there only one individual who has to take up the whole gamut of responsibilities once held by vice-captains.
- Even on the field, often, teams have leadership groups who collectively make decisions or have specific roles.
- In practice, the most important role of vice captains in today’s game is to be the official replacement of a captain in case of an injury.
The Border–Gavaskar Trophy
- The Border–Gavaskar Trophy is a Test cricket series played between India and Australia.
- It is played via the International Cricket Council’s future tours.
- India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy recently.
Topic 5: Person in news: BVR Subrahmanyam
Context: Former IAS officer BVR Subrahmanyam was appointed the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NITI Aayog by the government.
Who is BVR Subrahmanyam?
- He is a 1987-batch IAS officer.
- Subrahmanyam belongs to Andhra Pradesh and holds an engineering degree.
- In 2018, the officer was appointed the Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir.
- It was during his tenure that the state’s special status was scrapped and it was divided into two union territories.
- It was formed on January 1, 2015.
- NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog replaced the Planning Commission.
- It is the apex think tank of India’s government.
- NITI Aayog provides both directional and policy inputs.
- Aims and objectives:
- fostering cooperative federalism,
- evolving a shared vision of national development priorities, sectors and strategies with the active involvement of states, and
- developing mechanisms to formulate credible plans at the village level and aggregate these progressively at higher levels of government.
- Prime Minister of India as the Chairperson
- Governing Council comprising the Chief Ministers of all the States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories
- Regional Councils will be formed to address specific issues and contingencies impacting more than one state or a region.
- These will be formed for a specified tenure.
- The Regional Councils will be convened by the Prime Minister and will comprise of the Chief Ministers of States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories in the region.
- These will be chaired by the Chairperson of the NITI Aayog or his nominee.
- Experts, specialists and practitioners with relevant domain knowledge as special invitees nominated by the Prime Minister
- The full-time organizational framework will comprise of:
- Chairperson: The Prime Minister
- Vice-Chairperson: To be appointed by the Prime Minister
- Members: Full-time
- Part-time members: Maximum of 2 and will be on a rotational basis.
- Ex Officio members: Maximum of 4 members of the Union Council of Ministers to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
- Chief Executive Officer : To be appointed by the Prime Minister for a fixed tenure, in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.
- Secretariat as deemed necessary.
Topic 6: Glacial Lake Outburst Floods
Context: Around 15 million people across the world face the risk of sudden and deadly flooding from glacial lakes, which are expanding and rising in numbers due to global warming, according to a new study.
Key findings of the study:
- More than half of those who could be impacted live in four countries:
- According to a 2020 study, the number and total area of glacial lakes worldwide have increased by about 50 per cent since 1990.
- The paper estimates that 15 million people live within the 50 km danger zone of glacial lakes.
- Populations in High Mountains Asia (HMA) — a region stretching from the Hindu Kush all the way to the eastern Himalayas are the most exposed.
- India and Pakistan make up one-third of the total number of people globally exposed to GLOFs — around three million people in India and around two million people in Pakistan.
- In the past two decades, due to climate change, glacial lakes across the Andes have increased by 93 per cent, in comparison to 37 per cent in high-mountain Asia.
What are glacial lake outburst floods or GLOFs?
- Glacial lakes are large bodies of water that sit in front of, on top of, or beneath a melting glacier.
- In case the boundary around them breaks, huge amounts of water rush down the side of the mountains, which could cause flooding in the downstream areas.
- This is called glacial lake outburst floods or GLOF.
- A GLOF refers to the flooding that occurs when the water dammed by a glacier or a moraine is released suddenly.
- Unlike earthen dams, the weak structure of the moraine dam leads to the abrupt failure of the dam on top of the glacial lake, which holds large volume of water.
- Causes of GLOF:
- Ice avalanche
- Global warmig
- In 2013, one such event took place in Uttarakhand’s Kedarnath when the region witnessed flash floods along with a GLOF caused by the Chorabari Tal glacial lake, killing thousands of people.
How can the risk be reduced?
- Limiting climate change and keeping warming under 1.5 degree Celsius will help slow the growth of glacial lakes
- Identifying and mapping such lakes, taking structural measures to prevent their sudden breach, and establishing mechanism to save lives and property in times of a breach.
- Potentially dangerous lakes can be identified based on field observations, records of past events, geomorphologic and geotechnical characteristics of the lake/dam and surroundings, and other physical conditions.
- Use of Synthetic-Aperture Radar imagery to automatically detect changes in water bodies, including new lake formations, during the monsoon months.
- Methods and protocols could also be developed to allow remote monitoring of lake bodies from space.
- To manage lakes structurally, reduce the volume of water with methods such as controlled breaching, pumping or siphoning out water, and making a tunnel through the moraine barrier or under an ice dam.
- Restricting constructions and development in GLOF/LLOF prone areas.
- Construction of any habitation should be prohibited in the high hazard zone.
- Existing buildings are to be relocated to a safer nearby region and all the resources for the relocation have to be managed by Central/State governments.
- New infrastructures in the medium hazard zone have to be accompanied by specific protection measures.
Topic 7: This Quote Means: History repeats itself, first as a tragedy, second as a farce
Meaning of the quote:
- The quote is given by Karl Marx.
- The quote refers to how humans rarely learn from mistakes of the past, be it their own or someone else’s.
- When the mistake is repeated the first time, it is a tragedy.
- However, when it is repeated for the second time, it is more absurd, making it almost funny (a farce often refers to an event or situation that is comically absurd).
- It is also because it ends up going against the expectation that age or experience results in wisdom.
- It is also interpreted as an observation of how every generation seems to think they are smarter and better-equipped than the previous ones, and yet, they end up making the same mistakes, sometimes with graver consequences.
- The use of the word ‘farce’ is meant to reinforce how the constant cycle of mistakes being repeated lends itself to comedy, although of a very dark kind.
- During the American military’s exit from Afghanistan in 2021, the Taliban takeover was described often as a case of ‘history repeating itself’, given its earlier emergence in the early 1990s after the Soviet Union troops left the country.
Topic 8: EXERCISE DUSTLIK
Context: The 4th edition of joint military exercise ‘DUSTLIK’ between the Indian Army and Uzbekistan Army commenced in Uttarakhand.
- The Indian Army contingent comprises of troops from an Infantry Battalion from the Garhwal Rifles Regiment.
- The first edition of the exercise was held at Uzbekistan in November 2019.
- It is a 14 days long joint exercise which would focus on:
- joint counter-terrorist operations in mountainous and semi-urban scenario
- field training exercises,
- combat discussions,
- lectures, demonstrations and a validation exercise.
- India-Central Asia Summit:
- The Presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan attended the first India-Central Asia Summit in 2022.
- The Leaders agreed to hold the next meeting of the India-Central Asia Summit in 2024.
- Bilateral and Multilateral mechanisms:
- National Coordination Committees:
- India and Uzbekistan have set up National Coordination Committees to oversee the implementation of mutually agreed projects and initiatives.
- India-Central Asia Business Council:
- The dialogue brought together Business Councils of all five Central Asian countries to take the trade and investment partnership forward with special focus on energy, pharmaceuticals, automotive, agro-processing, education, urban infrastructure and transport, civil aviation, IT and tourism.
- India- Central Asia Dialogue:
- Central Asia Dialogue is held at the level of Foreign Ministers.
- National Coordination Committees:
- Bilateral Trade and Investments
- Bilateral trade at about USD 442 million is well below potential.
- The major items of India’s exports are:
- pharmaceutical products
- mechanical equipment
- vehicle parts
- optical instruments and equipment
- India’s import from Uzbekistan consist largely of:
- fruit and vegetable products
- juice products and extracts
Topic 9: Rhododendrons
Context: The Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayas are home to more than one-third of all types of rhododendrons found in India, according to the latest publication of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI).
- Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayas comprise only 0.3% of India’s geographical area but the region is home to one-third (34%) of all rhododendron types.
- Rhododendron, meaning rose tree in Greek, is considered an indicator species for climate change.
- They were first recorded by Captain Hardwick in Jammu and Kashmir in 1776 where he spotted Rhododendron arboreum.
- The first species Rhododendron from northeast India — Rhododendron dalhousiae — was reported from Sikkim by Hooker in 1848.
- Rhododendron are woody plants.
- They can be either evergreen or deciduous.
- Most species are native to eastern Asia and the Himalayan region, but smaller numbers occur elsewhere in Asia, and in North America, Europe and Australia.
- Species of the genus Rhododendron are widely distributed between latitudes 80°N and 20°S.
- It is the national flower of Nepal, the state flower of Nagaland and the state tree of Sikkim and Uttarakhand in India.
Topic 10: Employees’ State Insurance Scheme
Context: The Employees’ State Insurance Scheme (ESI Scheme) provisional payroll data for the month of December 2022 was released recently.
About the scheme:
- The Employee State Insurance Corporation Scheme provides members financial protection in case of an untimely health-related eventuality.
- The scheme offers:
- medical benefits,
- disability benefits,
- maternity benefits,
- unemployment allowance, etc.
- It is operated by Employees State Insurance Corporation.
- An individual should be an employee of an organization that has an employee capacity of more than ten employees and should earn upto Rs.21,000.
- It is not applicable to the ones who are earning over Rs.21,000 per month or Rs.25,000, in case of a person with a disability.
Employees State Insurance Act, 1948:
- The Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 was the first major legislation on the Social Security for workers post-independence of the country.
- The ESI Act 1948 provides medical cover and other essential benefits to workers and employees who are working in factories, business establishments and organisations wherein 10 or more persons are employed.
- The ESI scheme offers benefits to both the workers and their dependents in case of any unfortunate eventualities at work.
Topic 11: Autism Spectrum Disorder
Context: Researchers are yet to fully understand the causes of ASD. However, they are beginning to find that a disorder in the gut-brain axis could have a prominent role.
About Autism spectrum disorder
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the term for a group of neurodevelopmental disorders.
- It is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain.
- People with ASD often have problems with social communication and interaction, and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests.
- People with ASD may also have different ways of learning, moving, or paying attention.
- According to the WHO, ASD affects one in 100 children.
- Current treatments for ASD seek to reduce symptoms that interfere with daily functioning and quality of life.
Link with microbiome
- The gut microbiome is believed to have a big impact on immune modulation and metabolic activities in the human body.
- Immune modulation refers to the efforts of the immune system to ensure its response is proportionate to a threat.
- Research has shown that abnormalities in gut microbiome can challenge a person with toxic metabolites and keep the person from synthesising the metabolites required to produce neurotransmitters.
- As a result, fixing the gut in ASD can reduce the toxic.
- Reinstating a balance in the gut microbiome and reversing gut dysbiosis among children with ASD could alleviate many problems they face and improve their quality of life.
- One promising approach to reverse gut dysbiosis is faecal microbial transplantation (FMT).
- Here stool samples from healthy individuals are transplanted into the large intestines of affected children
- There is also some evidence that gluten-free and casein-free diets can help children with ASD.
- Hence, the role of diet, prebiotics, probiotics, synbiotics (which combine the benefits of probiotics and prebiotics), and FMT for the efficient management of ASD can be said to be encouraging.