India, Australia and Singapore committed to reducing marine pollution
Why in News
• The Government of India, in partnership with the governments of Australia and Singapore, organized an International Workshop on Combating Marine Pollution with a focus on marine plastic waste on 14-15 February, 2022.
• Through this virtual workshop, the world’s leading experts, scientists, government officials with policy expertise, representatives from industry, innovation and the informal sector came together on a single platform.
• It aims to discuss research steps towards monitoring, evaluating marine waste and potentially sustainable solutions to tackle the global marine plastic pollution issue.
• The workshop had four major sessions – the enormity of the marine waste problem – monitoring and research of plastic debris in the Indo-Pacific region; best practices and technologies; measures to prevent plastic pollution; and polymers and plastics: opportunities for technology and innovation and regional cooperation to eliminate or prevent plastic pollution.
• The session included panel discussions and interactive break-out sessions to encourage discussion among participants from East Asia Summit (EAS) countries.
East Asia Summit
• The East Asia Summit is the leading forum for discussion and mutual trust on important strategic issues in the Indo-Pacific region.
• Since its founding in 2005, the EAS has been advocating for regional peace, security, closer regional cooperation and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean region.
• EAS is uniquely positioned to use its expertise to develop sustainable transboundary solutions between regions and regions that are interconnected and face similar challenges.
• EAs share their learnings while finding solutions in challenging situations. EAS countries recognize the challenge of coastal and marine plastic pollution.
• Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi had announced the agenda for promoting maritime cooperation in the wider Indo-Pacific region at the 14th EAS held in Bangkok in November 2019.
• India, Singapore and Australia are committed to implementing the EAS decisions.
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PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan (NMP)
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• The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has made significant progress under “PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan (NMP)” aimed at improving multi-modal connectivity and last mile connectivity across the country.
• “Gati Shakti” is a digital platform, which will bring together 16 Ministries including Railways and Road Transport for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of projects, infrastructure connectivity to industrial clusters and economic nodes (focused on trade and traders).
• Under PM Gati Shakti NMP, the Ministry is planning to develop 22 Greenfield Expressways, 23 other major infrastructure projects and other highway projects and 35 Multi-Modal Logistics Parks (MMLPs) as part of Bharatmala Project and other schemes of the Ministry. Is.
• Some major expressways and corridors are under construction stage. These include Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, Ahmedabad-Dholera Expressway, Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, Bengaluru-Chennai Expressway, Ambala-Kotputli Expressway, Amritsar-Bhatinda-Jamnagar Expressway, Raipur-Visakhapatnam Expressway, Hyderabad-Visakhapatnam Expressway, UER II, Chennai- Salem Expressway and Chittoor-Thachur Expressway.
• Some major infrastructure projects, which are under construction stage. These include Zojila Tunnel (Ladakh), roads connecting to Krishnapatnam port (Andhra Pradesh), a major bridge over Central Strait Creek (Narrow Bay) (Andaman and Nicobar Islands), Lalpul-Manmao Transition Road (Arunachal Pradesh). The construction of the lane includes construction of a 6-lane bridge over the Ganga bridge at Phaphamau (UP) and a 4-lane bridge over the Brahmaputra between Dhubri-Phulbari (Meghalaya).
• The Ministry, through its implementing agencies NHAI/NHLML and NHIDCL, is coordinating with them to implement the 35 MMLP projects identified for development under Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase-I.
• The Ministry has launched a special campaign on social media in the last two weeks to make people aware of the progress made so far with respect to the ongoing projects under “PM Gati Shakti”.
• Under this campaign, the Ministry took to various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Ku to apprise people about the current status of schemes like Greenfield Expressway and Corridor, Multi-Modal Logistics Park (MMLP), ropeway and other major infrastructure projects. Got it done
PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan (NMP)
• This is an ambitious program launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in New Delhi on October 13, 2021.
• It aims to break the convention of working within limited ranges across departments, to create a more holistic and integrated planning and execution of projects, which will reduce the logistic cost and provide huge benefits to consumers, farmers, youth as well as those engaged in businesses. It will help in converting into economic benefits.
• Subsequently, on October 21, 2021, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the proposal for development of ‘PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan (NMP)’ to provide multi-modal connectivity to various economic sectors.
• The Ministry is taking steps to further intensify efforts to realize the Prime Minister’s vision of providing seamless connectivity across the country, so that India becomes a $5 trillion economy by 2025.
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Giloy/Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)
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• Some sections of the media have once again linked Giloy/Guduchi to liver failure. Ministry of AYUSH has once again reiterated that Giloy/Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) is a safe medicine and does not have any toxic effect on the body as per the available data.
• Giloy has been called one of the best rejuvenating herbs in Ayurveda.
• Acute toxicity studies of aqueous extract of Giloy show that it has no toxic effects on the body. However, the safety of any medicine depends on how it is being used.
• The dosage of a drug is a major factor that determines the safety of that particular drug. According to a study, low concentrations of guduchi powder were found to be helpful in prolonging the life span of fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster).
• Simultaneously, the use of higher concentrations (thickness) of Guduchi powder resulted in a gradual reduction in the life span of the flies. This clearly shows that the ideal dosage of the drug should be maintained to achieve the desired effect.
• From this it is concluded that medicinal herbs should be used in proper dosage prescribed by a qualified medical practitioner only then its proper medicinal effect can be achieved.
• Guduchi is a real treasure trove of herbal medicine sources due to its wide variety of activities, wide usage and abundance of its constituents.
• Guduchi is used medicinally to treat various disorders. It is used as an anti-oxidant, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-hyperlipidemic, hepatoprotective, cardiovascular protective, neuroprotective, osteoprotective, radioprotective, anti-anxiety, adaptogenic, and analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic.
• Its use as anti-diarrhoeal, anti-ulcer, antimicrobial and anti-cancer has been well established.
• Special attention has been paid to its health benefits in the treatment of various metabolic disorders and its potential as an immunity booster.
• Guduchi is used as a major component of therapeutics to treat metabolic, endocrine and many other diseases while helping to improve human life expectancy.
• It is an extremely popular herb in traditional medicine systems for its wide range of therapeutic uses and has been widely used in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Considering the overall health benefits, this herb cannot be claimed to be toxic.
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Action Plan 2022 between India and Germany
Why in News
• The 8th Annual Meeting of the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure under the leadership of the Indian Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and the German Federal Ministry for Economic and Energy Affairs of Germany was held via virtual medium.
• The Action Plan 2022 signed through virtual means will pave the way for better implementation of quality infrastructure and cooperation towards resilient systems.
• This is a great sign of the strong ties between Germany and India and both sides can benefit from the exchange of information and expertise on issues of mutual interest to further support bilateral trade.
• The German side shared information about its initiatives at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and requested the support of the German candidate for the position of Director of Standards at the ITU.
• A publication was released on the topic “Connectivity in Quality and Safety”, providing information on quality infrastructure in Germany and the European Union, and said that this publication would be a great resource for policy makers and business partners in India, in Europe and America. It would be very helpful to understand the quality infrastructure in Germany.
• The results of the Global Quality Infrastructure Index (GQII) study conducted by the German side were also shared.
• According to the GQII report, India has been ranked 7th for standardization, 9th in accreditation activities and 19th for metrology related activities.
• India has scored 95.6 out of 100 and is ranked 10th in the world for overall quality infrastructure in the country.
• This was followed by a panel discussion on “Digitalization and Sustainability: Key Factors for Effective and Modern Quality Infrastructure” and a session on “Central Areas for Internal Cooperation of the Indo-German Working Group in 2022”.
• In the panel discussion, experts discussed the relevance of quality infrastructure for digital and green transformation, its impact on QI and how the QI industry can be supported especially by SMEs.
• The experts stressed the need for a common understanding on these topics and the benefits to be derived from Indo-German cooperation.
• An action plan for the year 2022 was agreed and signed by both sides which includes mobility, energy, circular economy, smart farming/agriculture, medical devices, digitization (Artificial Intelligence, Industry 4.0 and other new technology areas), machinery security, medical devices and other equipment and cooperation in monitoring the market.
• More than 150 German and Indian stakeholders attended the meeting.
Action plan between India and Germany
• This Working Group has been meeting annually since the year 2013, and to promote and strengthen the quality infrastructure in the country keeping in view the demands and requirements of the stakeholders related to diverse technology sectors to cooperate in bilateral trade. Identifies areas of.
• Germany is an important and reliable partner country for India.
• Underscored the importance of well-established and sound quality infrastructure, including standardisation, technical regulations and market monitoring, for the success of the Government of India’s initiative to transform India into a global manufacturing hub.
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New India Literacy Program
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• Government approved “New India Literacy Program (New India Literacy Program)” for the period FY 2022-2027 to cover all aspects of adult education in line with National Education Policy 2020 and budget announcements of 2021-22. The National Education Policy 2020 includes recommendations for adult education and lifelong learning.
• In the Union Budget 2021-22, it was announced to increase access to resources, online modules, so that adult education can be included in it in a holistic manner.
• The objective of the scheme is not only to provide basic literacy and numeracy, but also to incorporate other components necessary for the citizen of the 21st century, such as critical life skills (including financial literacy, digital literacy, commercial skills, health care and awareness , child care and education and family welfare), vocational skill development (with a view to securing local employment), basic education (including equivalency at elementary, middle and secondary levels) and continuing education (art, science, technology, culture, sports and holistic adult education curriculum in recreation as well as other topics of interest or use to local learners, including more advanced material on important life skills).
• The scheme will be implemented through volunteering through online mode.
• Training, orientation, workshops of volunteers can be organized through face-to-face mode. For easy access, all materials and resources will be made available digitally to the registered volunteers through easily accessible digital modes, such as TV, radio, cell phone-based free/open-source apps/portals etc.
• The scheme will cover non-literate people of the age of 15 years and above in all the States/UTs of the country. Target of Basic Literacy and Numeracy for the Financial Year 2022-27 by National Informatics Centre, in collaboration with NCERT and NIOS using “Online Teaching, Learning and Assessment System (OTLAS)” at the rate of 1.00 crores per annum 5 (five) crores Learners are targeted in which a learner can register himself with the required information like name, date of birth, gender, aadhar number, mobile number etc.
• The estimated total outlay of “Nav Bharat Literacy Program” is Rs 1037.90 crore, which includes Central share of Rs 700 crore and State share of Rs 337.90 crore, respectively, for the financial year 2022-27.
Salient Features of the Scheme
• The school will be the unit of implementation of the scheme.
• Schools used to survey beneficiaries and Voluntary Teachers (VTs).
• Different strategies will be adopted for different age groups. Flexibility will be provided to the States/UTs to take up innovative activities.
• Basic literacy and numeracy through vital life skills will be imparted to all non-literate people in the age group of 15 years and above.
• Use of technologies for providing adult education for wider coverage of the scheme.
• Performance Grading Index (PGI) for the State/UT and District level, through the UDISE portal, to track the performance of the States and UTs in implementing the plan and achievements on an annual basis, striking a balance between both physical and financial progress. will show.
• CSR/ philanthropic support may be provided for providing IT access to economically weaker learners in the form of ICT support, providing volunteer support, opening of facilitation centers for learners and cell phones.
• Priority in Literacy and Total Literacy – The age group of 15-35 will be made fully literate first and then the people of age 35 and above will be literate. Preference will be given to girls and women, SC/ST/OBC/minorities, persons with special needs (Divyangjan), marginalized/nomadic/construction workers/labourers/etc categories, who can benefit adequately and promptly from adult education. can.
• NILP as a People’s Movement:
• Three crore students/children from about 7 lakh schools registered under UDISE as well as about 50 lakh teachers from government, aided and private schools will participate as volunteers.
• An estimated 20 lakh students from teacher education and higher education institutions will be actively involved as volunteers.
• Assistance will be received from Panchayati Raj Institutions, Anganwadi workers, ASHA workers and about 50 lakh volunteers of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, NSS and NCC.
• Community participation through volunteerism and through Vidyanjali Portal, participation of philanthropic/CSR organizations.
• States/UTs will promote individual/family/village/district success stories through various fora.
• It will use all types of media such as electronic, print, public and inter-personal platforms including social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, TV channels, radio etc.
• Central portal will be developed by NIC for integrated data capturing equipped with mobile app, online survey module, physical and financial module and monitoring infrastructure etc.
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India-Australia Energy Dialogue
Why in News
• The 4th India-Australia Energy Dialogue was held on February 15, 2022. From the Indian side, the Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri R.K. Singh and the Minister of Energy and Emissions Reduction, Mr. Angus Taylor, co-chaired the dialogue on behalf of the Australian side.
• The main topic of discussion in this dialogue was the change in the field of energy and the energy ministers of both the countries focused on renewable energy, energy efficiency, storage, EV, important minerals, mining etc. in the energy sector going on in their respective countries. Various activities related to change were discussed in detail.
• Climate funding by India to meet the goals of developing countries for energy transition was also highlighted.
• A Memorandum of Intent was signed between India and Australia on technology related to new and renewable energy during this dialogue.
• This letter of intent will pave the way for working towards reducing the cost of new and renewable energy-related technologies and accelerating the deployment of these technologies to accelerate the process of global emissions reduction.
• The main thrust of this letter of intent will be on increasing the production and deployment of ultra low cost solar and clean hydrogen.
• Five Joint Working Groups under the India-Australia Energy Dialogue – Power; new and renewable energy; coal and mines; important minerals; and Oil & Gas Co-Chairs presented information on progress so far and further action plans under the respective Joint Working Groups.
• There is an urgent need to focus on advancing technology and clean energy transition. In this context, technology related to energy efficiency in the consensus forward action plan; grid management; Topics include collaboration in research and development related to flue gas desulfurization, biomass or hydrogen co-firing, water cycle-related conditions, renewable integration, battery and electric-powered transportation.
• Apart from the power sector, cooperation is expected in many areas under other Joint Working Groups. These include reducing the cost of green hydrogen; cooperation in coal-based energy security and resource deployment; Exploring investment opportunities in the field of minerals and partnerships in the field of LNG, etc.