Daily Current Affairs for 16th August 2021

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TAPAS (Training for Augmenting Productivity and Services)

Why in News

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has launched an online portal ‘Training for Augmenting Productivity and Services’, or TAPAS.

Key Points

  • Objective of TAPAS is to offer massive open online courses (MOOC).
  • TAPAS have been developed by the National Institute of Social Defence (NISD).
  • It will provide five basic courses on:
  • Drug (Substance) Abuse Prevention,
  • Geriatric/Elderly Care,
  • Care and Management of Dementia,
  • Transgender Issues and on comprehensive course on Social Defence Issues.
  • Significance of Training for Augmenting Productivity and Services
  • TAPAS are a standard MOOC platform with course material such as filmed lectures and e-study material.
  • It also includes discussion forums to support and encourage interactions among students and course coordinators.
  • There will be a virtual class where an expert or a resource person will give a lecture about the subject with the help of animated info graphics and Power point presentations.
  • The participants will be provided with informative material like articles, case studies and other study material on the related topic, which can be downloaded for future reference.
  • After completing each module, students can assess their understanding of the subject with the help of a multiple-choice quiz.
  • There is also a discussion forum on the portal on which they can raise their doubts with the course coordinator.

Significance of Training for Augmenting Productivity and Services

  • TAPAS seek to provide access to lectures by subject experts, study material and more, but in a manner that it supplements the physical classroom without compromising on the quality of teaching.
  • The main objective of introducing the course modules is to impart training and enhance the knowledge and skills for the capacity building of the participants.
  • It can be taken up by anyone who wishes to enhance his or her knowledge on the topics and there is no fee for joining.


PM Gati Shakti Plan

Why in News

On the auspicious occasion of India’s 75th Independence Day, Prime Minister of India announced to launch the ‘PM Gati Shakti Master Plan’.

PM Gati Shakti Master Plan

  • ‘PM Gati Shakti Master Plan’ will be Rs. 100 lakh-crore project.
  • The plan will launch to make a foundation for holistic infrastructure and give an integrated pathway to Indian economy.
  • India needs to increase both manufacturing and exports.
  • The Gati Shakti Bharat Master Plan has a striking resemblance to the 2019-20 Budget proposals which mentioned the same figure for the same purpose.
  • The plan is aimed at easier interconnectivity between road, rail, air and waterways to reduce travel time and improve industrial productivity.

Significance of Gati Shakti Master Plan

  • ‘PM Gati Shakti Master Plan’ will help raise the global profile of local manufacturers and help them compete with their counterparts worldwide.
  • It also raises possibilities of new future economic zones.


Symplocos Mohananii

Why in News

Recently, a new species of plant has been discovered in Kerala’s Ponmudi hills which are part of the Western Ghats.

Key Points

  • The plant named ‘Symplocos Mohananii.
  • The tree is very endemic in nature. Though it looks like other plants of the genus Symplocos.
  • The plant carries white flowers, but it usually open in night.
  • Plants of this family are commonly known as sweet leaf plants locally and the bark of a few species were used to treat skin diseases by tribal and also for dye-making.
  • Symplocos Mohananii has also got some medicinal properties.

Western Ghats

  • Western Ghats situated at the Western Coast of Indian peninsula, stretching from Gujarat to Kerala.
  • It is very rich in endemic flora and fauna and tagged as the UNESCO World heritage site.
  • It plays an important role in climatic condition of the country.
  • They periodically discover new plants, frogs, reptiles and other species.


Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM)

Why in News

The central government is working on Rs. 6-trillion monetisation plans that will include a range of assets.

Key Points

  • In February, Prime minister had announced the government was looking to garner Rs 2.5 trillion through sale of around 100 assets of central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) across sectors.
  • The enhanced Rs.6-trillion monetisation target is likely to include more assets of government departments as well as assets of state governments.
  • The national monetisation plan will have a range of assets from Power Grid pipeline to national highways.
  • The Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) of Power Grid was successfully conducted, after which a lot of regulatory systems have been put in place. This entailed streamlining a host of regulations and procedures.
  • Tenders for public private partnerships in railway stations have also been announced, and the model has been successful in managing airports.
  • There is a big asset monetisation pipeline where private sector participation is anticipated.
  • The government has also developed a dashboard to monitor the real-time progress of its asset monetisation pipeline, and provide visibility to investors.

Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM)

  • Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) deals with all matters relating to management of Central Government investments in equity including disinvestment of equity in Central Public Sector Undertakings.
  • The Four major areas of its work relates to:0
  • Strategic Disinvestment,
  • Minority Stake Sales,
  • Asset Monetisation and
  • Capital Restructuring.
  • It also deals with all matters relating to sale of Central Government equity through offer for sale or private placement or any other mode in the erstwhile Central Public Sector Undertakings.
  • DIPAM is working as one of the Departments under the Ministry of Finance.


Prime Minister Speech on Independence Day

Why in News

On the auspicious occasion of 75th year of Independence Day of India, Prime Minister addressed the nation.

Highlights of the speech

  • On 15th August 2021, India celebrated 75th year of independence as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, marking the completion of a quarter to a century of freedom from British colonial rule.
  • This year the theme of Independence Day is ‘nation First, Always First’.
  • PM gives call for ‘Sabka Prayas’ along with ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, and Sabka Vishwas ’for building a new India.
  • To honour the pain and suffering faced by people during the partition, the prime minister announced 14th August observed as “Partition Horrors Remembrance Day.”
  • The Northeast region, the Himalayan region, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, the coastal belt and tribal regions will make a foundation for India’s development in the future. Development should be inclusive.
  • For this, capitals of northeast states to be soon connected with railways and the entire region will get connected with Bangladesh, Myanmar, and south-east Asia for better opportunities.
  • India will launch ‘Pradhan Mantri Gatishakti National Master Plan’, a 100 lakh crore national infrastructure master plan which will create a foundation for holistic infrastructure and give an integrated pathway to our economy.
  • Gatishakti will help local manufacturers turn globally competitive and develop possibilities of new future economic zones.
  • It will also provide employment opportunities for the youth.
  • Seventy five Vande Bharat trains will connect every corner of India in 75 weeks of Amrit Mahotsav of Independence.
  • Roadmap for next 25-years:
  • PM Modi spoke of building “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” when India celebrates 100 years of Independence.
  • He said the next 25 years were ‘Amrit Kaal’ for India and its citizens and it would be the priority of the government to ensure that essential services reach the last person seamlessly.
  • The purpose of Amrit Kaal is to better the lives of citizens, lessen the development divide between villages and cities, reduce government interference in people’s lives, and have the latest technology so that we are not behind any country in the world.
  • Opening Sainik school for girls:
  • Prime Minister also said girls would now be given entry into Sainik schools across the country.
  • Hydrogen Mission:
  • Announcing a National Hydrogen Mission in view of climate change, PM said the government would aim to make India a hub for production and export of green hydrogen.
  • India has moved towards electric mobility and work is underway on 100% electrification of Indian Railways with the aim of becoming a net-zero carbon emitter by the year 2030.
  • A report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that India and the subcontinent would witness increasing heat waves and droughts, rainfall events and a likelihood of more cyclonic activity over the coming decades.


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