Daily Current Affairs for 20th June 2022

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ADIP Scheme

Why in news

A ‘Samajik Adhikarita Shivir’ for distribution of aids and assistive devices to ‘Divyangjan’ under the ADIP Scheme of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has been organized by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) in association with ALIMCO and District Administration Biswanath Chariali in Biswanath Chariali District of Assam.

About ADIP Scheme

● The ADIP Scheme is in operation since 1981 with the main objective of the Assistance to Disabled persons for purchasing / fitting of aids / appliances (ADIP) scheme is to assist the needy disabled persons in procuring durable, sophisticated and scientifically manufactured, modern, standard aids and appliances that can promote their physical, social and psychological rehabilitation, by reducing the effects of disabilities and enhance their economic potential.
● The aids and appliances supplied under the Scheme shall conform to BIS specifications to the extent possible.
● The scheme is implemented through implementing agencies such as the NGOs, National Institutes under this Ministry and ALIMCO (a PSU).

Eligibility of the Beneficiaries

A person with disabilities fulfilling following conditions would be eligible for assistance under ADIP Scheme through authorized agencies:
● Person should be an Indian citizen of any age.
● Should be certified by a Registered Medical Practitioner that the Person is disabled and fit to use prescribed aid/appliance.
● Holds a 40% Disablement Certificate.
● Person who is employed/self-employed or getting pension and whose monthly income from all sources does not exceed Rs. 20,000/- per month.
● In case of dependents, the income of parents/guardians should not exceed Rs. 20,000/- per month.
● Persons who have not received assistance from the Government, local bodies and Non-Official Organisations during the last 3 years for the same purpose. However, for children below 12 years of age this limit would be 1 year.


Why in news

Indian Navy’s stealth Frigate, INS Talwar has been deployed for Op Sankalp commemorating the 3rd continuous year of Indian Navy’s presence in the Gulf for protection of India’s Maritime Interests.


● In the milieu of the deteriorating security situation in the Gulf region, post attacks on merchant ships in the Gulf of Oman in June 2019, Indian Navy had commenced Maritime Security Operations, code named ‘Op SANKALP’, in the Gulf Region on 19 June 2019 to ensure safe passage of Indian Flag Vessels transiting through the Strait of Hormuz.
● This operation is being progressed in close coordination with all stakeholders including the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and DG, Shipping.

Need of Op-SANKALP

● Energy dependence: Two-thirds of the oil and half the liquefied natural gas India imports come through the strait between Iran and Oman. As much as 18 million barrels of oil pass through the Strait of Hormuz every day, accounting for one-third of the global oil trade. A third of the world’s LNG trade also passes through the strait.
● Strategic importance: The Strait of Hormuz is one of the world’s most strategically important choke points. On the north coast lies Iran, and on the south are the UAE and Musandam, an enclave of Oman. The strait is about 90 nautical miles (167 km) long, with a width varying from about 52 nautical miles to 21 nautical miles.

About Hormuz strait

● The Strait of Hormuz is a strait between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. It provides the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean and is one of the world’s most strategically important choke points.

About Hormuz strait

● The Strait of Hormuz is a strait between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. It provides the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean and is one of the world’s most strategically important choke points.

About INS Talwar
● INS Talwar(translated as “Sword”) is the lead ship of the Talwar-class frigates of the Indian Navy. It was built in Russia, and commissioned into the Indian Navy on 18 June 2003.
● Talwar is a multirole frigate and true to its name, has participated in various operations and exercises since commissioning, including anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia.

RBI’s ‘Payments Vision 2025’

Why in News:
The RBI recently came out with its ‘Payments Vision 2025’ document which also talks about ring-fencing of domestic payment systems, including the need to mandate domestic processing of payment transactions, in view of the emerging geopolitical risks.

Key points

• It seeks a three-fold jump in the number of digital payments and aims to establish India as a powerhouse of payments globally.
• It also talks about ring-fencing of domestic payment systems, including the need to mandate domestic processing of payment transactions, in view of the emerging geopolitical risks.
• The core theme of the vision documents is ‘E-Payments for Everyone, Everywhere, Everytime’ (4Es), with an overall objective to provide every user with safe, secure, fast, convenient, accessible, and affordable e-payment options.
• One of the most important forward-looking initiatives is the global outreach of UPI, RTGS, NEFT and RuPay cards with internationalisation.

Critical information infrastructure

Why in News:
The Union Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has declared IT resources of ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and UPI managing entity NPCI as ‘critical information infrastructure’.

What is critical information infrastructure?

• The Information Technology Act of 2000 defines “Critical Information Infrastructure” as a “computer resource, the incapacitation or destruction of which shall have debilitating impact on national security, economy, public health or safety”.
• The government, under the Act, has the power to declare any data, database, IT network or communications infrastructure as CII to protect that digital asset.
• Any person who secures access or attempts to secure access to a protected system in violation of the law can be punished with a jail term of up to 10 years.
Why is CII classification and protection necessary?
• World over governments have been moving with alacrity to protect their critical information infrastructure.
• IT resources form the backbone of countless critical operations in a country’s infrastructure, and given their interconnectedness, disruptions can have a cascading effect across sectors.
• An information technology failure at a power grid can lead to prolonged outages crippling other sectors like healthcare, banking services.
Mumbai’s grid failure case
o The electric grid supply to Mumbai suddenly snapped hitting the mega city’s hospitals, trains and businesses.
o Later, a study by a US firm that looks into the use of the internet by states, claimed that this power outage could have been a cyber attack, allegedly from a China-linked group, aimed at critical infrastructure.
o The government, however, was quick to deny any cyber attack in Mumbai. But the incident underlined the possibility of hostile state and non-state actors probing internet-dependent critical systems in other countries, and the necessity to fortify such assets.
How are CIIs protected in India?
• The National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) which was created in January 2014 is the nodal agency for taking all measures to protect the nation’s critical information infrastructure.
• It is mandated to guard CIIs from “unauthorized access, modification, use, disclosure, disruption, incapacitation or distraction”.

Private Captive Networks

Why in News:
The Union Cabinet approved the auction of 5G spectrum bands, and said it has reserved a portion of airwaves for captive private networks, a proposal opposed by telecom service providers.
What are captive private networks and why do they need spectrum bands?
• A private captive 5G network is basically a network set up by a private entity for the use of just one organisation.
• These networks are often deployed at a single unit, for example, a factory.
• They can also be used in a wide-area setting, for instance, to monitor a mine in real-time.
• Airports and ports can also have their own private 5G cellular network to process imaging data coming from surveillance cameras to manage the facility.
Is it a setback for telcos?
• The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) is of the firm view that “there is no justification whatsoever for allocating spectrum to industry verticals for operating private captive networks.”
• Telcos worry that providing industries 5G spectrum allocation to set up private networks will diminish their own revenue from the next generation of cellular services.

West Seti power project

Why in News?
India will be taking over an ambitious hydropower project in Nepal — West Seti — nearly four years after China withdrew from it.
What is West Seti Hydel Project?
• The West Seti Dam is a proposed 750-megawatt (MW) hydroelectric dam on the Seti River in the Far-Western Development Region of Nepal.
• Particularly, it is a storage scheme designed to generate and export large quantities of electrical energy to India.
• The project is envisaged to provide Nepal 31.9% electricity free.
• Besides, locals affected by the project are being given a share of Nepali Rs 10 million plus 30 units of electricity per month free.
Significance: India -Nepal Power Relations
• Nepal is rich in power sources with around 6,000 rivers and an estimated potential for 83,000 MW.
• India has formally approached Nepal on many occasions, seeking preferential rights over Nepali waters should it match offers coming from elsewhere.
• India is viewed as a feasible power market for Nepal.
• India has undertaken to harness or expressed intent to harness major rivers in the north.
Issues in project execution

• There has been some uncertainty in Nepal over India’s inability to deliver projects on time.
• An ambitious Mahakali treaty was signed back in 1996, to produce 6,480 MW, but India has still not been able to come out with the Detailed project Report.
• The Upper Karnali project, for which the multinational GMR signed the contract, has made no headway for years.
• Major reasons for stalling of these projects was a lack of consensus over power purchase agreement with India.
• Also, seismic sensitivity of the Himalayan Region is the prime consideration.
What has helped build faith recently?
• India has been successful in executing the 900-MW Arun Three Project in eastern Nepal’s Sankhuwa Sabha.
• After a standoff between Nepal and India led to the economic blockade of 2015, equations changed after Deuba took over last July, replacing Oli.
Benefits for Nepal
• Nepal has a massive power shortfall as it generates only around 900 MW against an installed capacity of nearly 2,000 MW.
• Although it is currently selling 364 MW power to India, it has over the years importing from India.
Hurdles from Nepal’s internal crisis
• Nepal’s Constitution has a provision under which any treaty or agreement with another country on natural resources will require Parliament’s ratification by at least a two-thirds majority.
• That will also mean homework will be required before any hydro project is signed and given for execution.
Way forward
• Until India agrees to value Nepal’s water and the existing focus on power is not reviewed, mutual distrust may continue.
• India must start executing its projects timely.
Teesta water dispute

Why in News:

Delivering opening remarks at the 7th round of India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission, External Affairs Minister said that India and Bangladesh should work together for comprehensive management of rivers.
About Teesta river
• Teesta River is a 414 km (257 mi) long river that rises in the Pauhunri Mountain of eastern Himalayas.
• It originates from Teesta Khangtse Glacier.
• It flows through the Indian states of Sikkim and West Bengal through Bangladesh and enters the Bay of Bengal.
• It is a tributary of the Brahmaputra (known as Jamuna in Bangladesh).
• 305 km (190 mi) portion of the river lies in India and rest in Bangladesh.
• Teesta is the largest river of Sikkim and second largest river of West Bengal after Ganges.

The Dispute

• The point of contention between India and Bangladesh is mainly the lean season flow in the Teesta draining into Bangladesh.
• The river covers nearly the entire floodplains of Sikkim while draining 2,800 sq km of Bangladesh, governing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
• For West Bengal, Teesta is equally important, considered the lifeline of half-a-dozen districts in North Bengal.
• Bangladesh has sought an “equitable” distribution of Teesta waters from India, on the lines of the Ganga Water Treaty of 1996, but to no avail.

Why does it matter?

• Due to India’s intransigence, Bangladesh had attempted to cultivate China and was “considering a proposal from China to dredge and embank large portions of the Teesta River.
• India had opposed the Chinese project since it did not want Chinese technicians close to the “Chicken Neck” corridor near Siliguri that links mainland India to its northeast.
• It is in India’s interest to conclude the Teesta water sharing agreement before Bangladesh slips into China’s tight embrace.
• At a time when India and Bangladesh are apparently witnessing a Shonali Adhyaya (Golden Era) in their bilateral relationship, not addressing this contentious issues properly can dampen the spirit.
Way Forward
• After the Land Boundary Agreement that was signed in 2014, it is this Teesta water sharing agreement that will be remembered as part of the Shonali adhyaya of India-Bangladesh relations. But India must act now.
If India signs the treaty, it will be able to send a positive signal to all stakeholders within Bangladeshi society and assuage fears that exist in the minds of average Bangladeshi about India’s intentions. India will be able to cement its position as an all-weather friend of Bangladesh in the neighborhood and in due course of time, it will be able to further develop a robust economic and strategic partnership without worrying about the party in power in Bangladesh.

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