Daily Current Affairs for 11 &12th Feb 2021

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  5. Daily Current Affairs for 11 &12th Feb 2021

‘Smile’ scheme

Why in News

• Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment launched the Central Sector Scheme “SMILE: Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise” at BHIM Auditorium of Dr. Ambedkar International Centre.

Key point

• The objective of this scheme is to help marginalized persons in the form of livelihood and enterprise. Under the aegis of the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, welfare works will be done for the transgender community and people engaged in begging.
• This plan has two parts. First- ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation for the Welfare of Transgender Persons’ and second- ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of People engaged in the work of begging’.
• The scheme strengthens and expands the rights that provide this target group with the necessary legal protection and assurance of a safe life.
• The scheme takes into account the social security that is needed through multiple dimensions of identity, medical care, education, vocational opportunities and shelter.
• The ministry has allocated Rs 365 crore for this scheme from 2021-22 to 2025-26.
The sub-scheme- ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation for the Welfare of Transgender Persons’ includes the following key points-
• Scholarships for Transgender Students: Scholarships for students from ninth to postgraduate to enable them to complete their education.
• Skill Development and Livelihood: Skill development and livelihood under the ‘PM-Daksh’ scheme of the department.
• Holistic Medical Care: A comprehensive package for gender-reaffirmation surgeries from selected hospitals under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) scheme.
• Accommodation as ‘Garima Griha’: Shelter home by the name of ‘Garima Griha’ where food, clothing, recreational facilities, opportunities for skill development, and medical aid etc. will be provided.
• Provision of Transgender Protection Cell: Establishment of Transgender Transgender Protection Cell in each State to monitor cases of crimes and ensure timely registration, investigation and prosecution of offences.
• E-Services (National Portal and Helpline and Advertisement) and other welfare measures
• The objective of the sub-scheme ‘Comprehensive Rehabilitation of Persons Engaged in Begging’
• Survey and Identification: The beneficiaries will be surveyed and identified by the implementing agencies.
• Motivation: Work will be done to motivate the beggars to take advantage of the services available in the shelter homes.
• Rescue/Shelter Homes: The shelter homes will provide education facilities to children engaged in begging and children of persons engaged in begging.

Comprehensive rehabilitation

• Skill development / vocational training will be provided to acquire the potential, potential and desirability so that they can

lead a dignified life by being self-employed.

• Pilot projects were taken up on comprehensive rehabilitation intercity like Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Indore,

Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Patna and Ahmedabad.

• The special thing is that these sub-schemes will be implemented by a team of National Coordinators formed in the Ministry. The qualifications, remuneration, powers and functions and line of command of the National Coordinator will be as decided by the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment. In addition, its components will be monitored at regular intervals by the Ministry including the Project Monitoring Unit (PMU) or any other agency/unit appointed by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

Lactobacillus Plantarum JBC5

Why in News

• A team of Indian scientists has recently identified the next generation probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus plantarum JBC5 from dairy products, which raises great hope in promoting healthy aging.

Key point

• The team has also developed yogurt using this probiotic bacteria, which can be consumed to get all these health benefits.
• Recent advances in medical science have led to an increase in life expectancy and a rapid increase in the aging population. The United Nations estimates that one out of every eleven people will be over the age of 65 by 2050.
• Aging is usually associated with a higher risk of age-related health problems, such as obesity, neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s), heart disease, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune diseases and inflammatory bowel disease. It therefore raises concerns in highly populated countries like India and stresses the need for scientific methods to promote healthy aging.
• A team of scientists from the Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST), Guwahati, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, followed the proposal of Nobel Laureate Dr. Eli Metchnikoff to promote healthy living in fermented dairy products.
• They discovered a next-generation probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus plantarum JBC5 from a dairy product that promotes healthy aging on a model organism called Caenorhabditis elegans, a free-living, transparent nematode that lives in a temperate soil environment. Instills great hope in giving.
• Studies have shown that Lactobacillus plantarum JBC5 improves longevity and healthy aging by modulating antioxidant, innate immunity and serotonin-signaling pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans. This was recently published in the journal ‘Antioxidants’.
• The bacterium exhibited a 27.81 percent increase in life span of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans with hallmarks of healthy aging, increased learning ability and memory, gut purity and oxidative stress tolerance by providing improved immunity against pathogenic infections.
• On the contrary, it significantly reduces the accumulation of fat and inflammation in the body.
• The team has also developed yogurt using this probiotic bacteria which can be consumed to get all these health benefits. A patent has been filed in this regard (Indian Patent Application No.: 202231001501). It is expected that soon the probiotic will also be commercialized so that the laboratory-generated technology can reach the general public.

Low carbon generating energy efficiency method in hydrogen production

Why in News

• Indian scientists have developed a method for producing high purity (99.99 percent) hydrogen, in which methanol and water are mixed. In this, only one third of the electricity (water-electrolysis) is used to convert water into hydrogen gas with proper pressure and temperature.

Key point

• It is noteworthy that the production and use of hydrogen produces almost negligible emissions and does not require fossil fuel resources. Therefore hydrogen is the ideal sustainable energy and will have a tremendous role in the days to come.
• Hydrogen is increasingly attractive, as it has a high specific energy value of 40 kWh per kg, while chemical fuels such as gas, diesel, and liquefied petroleum gas only have 12-14 kWh per kg.
• The most raw materials in hydrogen is water. It is also present in natural gas, petroleum and biomass, and all of these can be sources of hydrogen production.
• Usually the process of converting water into hydrogen gas using electricity and altering the quality of hydrocarbons such as methane is used to produce hydrogen.
• Direction of India’s energy requirement towards clean fuel, adoption of green hydrogen in renewable energy and the integrated process of water-electrolysis for energy generation have many benefits.
About ARCI
• International Advanced Research Center for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) is an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
• Its scientists have developed a method in which hydrogen can be produced with the help of a mixture of methanol and water by simultaneous electrolysis and reconstitution processes.
• Under this, electrochemical reconstitution of methanol (ECMR) is maintained at the appropriate pressure and temperature. The biggest advantage of this process is that only one-third of the water-electrolysis is sufficient for the electricity used to produce hydrogen.
• In this way, only 55-65 kWh per kg of hydrogen is required for practical water-electrolysis. This technology has been patented by ARCI.
ECMR process
• Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) is used in ECMR process. This allows hydrogen to be produced at low temperatures (25–600 Celsius) and at low pressures, unlike chemical reconstitution.
• Hydrogen sorting or purification is not required, as in this system hydrogen is separated from CO2 using polymer membranes.
• ARCI team is working on this technology and has developed electrolysis unit up to 5.0 kg/day capacity to generate hydrogen.
• About 17 kWh per kg of energy is used for the electrolyzer stack. The hydrogen that ARCI is producing is very pure (99.99 percent) and can be directly used in PEM fuel batteries to generate about 11-13 kW of electricity.
• The essential components of the PEM based ECMR electrolyzer stack are indigenously fabricated and integrated with other components of the system.
• Graphite material has been used as the reacting flow field plate to make the electrolyzer stack.
• The use of carbon materials as bipolar plates is a great achievement, as it is being replaced by titanium plates.
• Titanium plates are commonly used as electrolyser units. This new technology will reduce the cost.
• The ARCI team has indigenously manufactured the essential components like Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA), Bipolar Plates and many process related equipments.
• This method will certainly cost less hydrogen than water-electrolysis and can be easily combined with renewable energy sources.
• ARCI is working with industry partners for integration of renewable energy sources like PV.

Increase in heat in the higher Himalayas due to water vapor

Why in News

• A recent study has shown that water vapor exhibits a positive radiative effect on the top of the atmosphere (TOA), explaining the increase in overall temperature in the high altitude Himalayas.

Key point

• Precipitated water vapor (PWV) is one of the fastest changing components in the atmosphere and mainly accumulates in the lower troposphere.
• Due to the large variability in space and time contributing to a series of mixed processes and heterogeneous chemical reactions, as well as the sparse measurement network, it is difficult to accurately quantify the climatic effects of PdbNic V over space and time, especially in the Himalayan region.
• In addition, the interaction of aerosol cloud precipitation in this region, one of the most climate-sensitive regions, is clearly poorly understood due to a lack of proper observational data.
• Recent research by Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) Nainital, an autonomous research institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, revealed that Nainital (altitude -2200 m, central Himalaya) and 7.4 W m-2 Hanle ( Rainwater vapor (PWV) in remote locations at high altitudes exhibits a positive radiative effect on the top of the atmosphere (TOA) in the order of about 10 watts per square meter (W m-2) at altitude .4500 m, western trans Himalayas. Is.
• Team members from National Observatory (NOA) of Athens, Greece, Tohoku University, Japan, Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) and Fourth Paradigm Institute (CSIR-4PI) Bangalore and Advanced Sustainability Studies (Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies), Germany supported this study. have participated in the study.
• Research published in the Journal of Atmospheric Pollution Research Elsevier suggests that the atmospheric radiation effect due to PwDV is about 3-4 times greater than that of aerosols, resulting in day-1 K of 0.94 and 0.96 at Nainital and Hanle, respectively.
• The results highlight the importance of PWD V and aerosol radiation effects in the climate-sensitive Himalayan region.
• Researchers assessed a combination of aerosol and water vapor radiation effects on the Himalayan range, which is particularly important for regional climates.
• Highlighted the importance of water vapor as a major greenhouse gas and climate forcing component in the Himalayan region.
• The team believes that this work will provide a comprehensive investigation of the combined effect of aerosols and water vapor on the intended radiation targets.

Mega Plan for Modernization of Police Forces (MPF)

Why in News

• The Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the continuation of the Umbrella Scheme of Modernization of Police Forces (MPF).

Key point

• With this approval, approval has been given to continue the initiative of Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah to modernize and improve functioning of police forces of States and Union Territories for the period from 2021-22 to 2025-26.
• With a total central financial outlay of Rs 26,275 crore, the scheme covers all relevant sub-schemes, which contribute to modernization and reform.
The salient features of the scheme are:
• Under the scheme; Provisions have been made for internal security, law and order, adoption of modern technology by the police, assistance to the states for drug control and strengthening the criminal justice system by developing a strong forensic system in the country.
• Rs 4,846 crore has been earmarked as central outlay for the scheme for modernization of state police forces.
• Develop high quality forensic science facilities to support science-based and timely investigations through modernization of resources, which are operated independently by the States/UTs. Central scheme for modernization of forensic capabilities with an outlay of Rs 2,080.50 crore has been approved.
• A central outlay of Rs 18,839 crore has been earmarked for security related expenditure in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, insurgency affected North Eastern States and Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas.
• With the implementation of the ‘National Policy and Action Plan’ to combat Left Wing Extremism (LWE), the incidents of LWE violence have come down drastically. To take this achievement further, six LWE related schemes have been approved with a central outlay of Rs.8,689 crore. Special Central Assistance (SCA) to most of the LWE affected districts and other concerned districts have been included in these schemes to further strengthen the situation.
• Central outlay of Rs.350 crore has been approved for setting up of Indian Reserve Battalions/Special Indian Reserve Battalions.
• The Central Sector Scheme, ‘Assistance to States and Union Territories for Drug Control’ has been continued with an outlay of Rs.50 crore.

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