Daily Current Affairs for 23rd August 2021

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Malabar Rebellion

Why in News

Malabar Rebellion leaders Variamkunnath Kunhamed Haji, Ali Musaliar and 387 other ‘Moplah martyrs’ will be removed from the Dictionary of Martyrs of India’s Freedom Struggle.

Key Points

  • A three-member panel, which reviewed the entries in the 5th volume of the dictionary brought out by the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), is understood to have recommended the deletion as it felt that the 1921 rebellion was never part of the Independence struggle, and was a fundamentalist movement focused on religious conversion.
  • None of the slogans raised by the rioters were in favour of nationalism and anti-British.

Moplah martyrs

  • The Malabar Rebellion, also known as Moplah Rebellion or Mappila Rebellion, which took place in 1921, has been acknowledged as a freedom struggle against the British by the Kerala government.
  • It was also against the prevailing feudal system controlled by elite Hindus.
  • The British had appointed high caste Hindus in positions of authority to get their support; this led to the protest turning against the Hindus.
  • A series of clashes took place between the Mappila peasantry and their landlords, supported by the British, throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • The Mappilas attacked and took control of police stations, British government offices, courts and government treasuries.

Reason of Malabar Rebellion

  • The immediate trigger of the Mappila uprising was the Non-Cooperation Movement launched in 1920 in tandem with the Khilafat agitation.
  • The British had introduced new tenancy laws that tremendously favoured the landlords and instituted a far more exploitative system than before.
  • The anti-British sentiment fuelled by these agitations found fertile ground among the Muslim Mapillahs living in economic misery mainly due to British policies.
  • The fiery speeches by Muslim religious leaders added to the religious fervour of desperate peasantry and fuelled their ire against the British and the Hindu landlords.
  • This led to the atrocities committed by a segment of the mobilised Mapillahs against Hindus regardless of caste.


Floating Solar PV Project

Why in News

Recently, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Limited has commissioned largest floating solar PV project of India of 25MW on the reservoir of its Simhadri thermal station in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

Key Points

  • By commissioning India’s largest 25 MW floating solar PV project at NTPC Simhadri thermal station, the total installed capacity of NTPC has now reached 66,900 MW.
  • The 2000 MW coal-based Simhadri thermal station is the first power project that implemented an open sea intake from the Bay of Bengal.
  • The station has been functional for more than 20 years.
  • The project is also the first solar project that will be set up under the Flexibilisation Scheme, notified by the Government of India in 2018.
  • It is spread across 75 acres in an RW reservoir. The anchoring design of the floating solar installation has been done uniquely.

Significance of floating solar PV project

  • This project will generate electricity from more than 1 lakh solar PV modules that will help in lighting up approximately 7,000 households.
  • It also aids to cut approximately 46,000 tons of CO2 emissions.
  • This project saves 1,364 million litres of water per annum which can help to meet the yearly water requirements of 6,700 households.

Floating Solar Plant

  • Floating solar plant is the establishment of photovoltaic panels on the water bodies such as lakes, basins, rivers, sea, ocean, etc. as an alternative to land-based solar projects.
  • It is the part of coal-burning behemoth’s plan to turn green by adding a 60 gigawatts renewable energy capacity by 2032.
  • It is beneficial at countering challenges of land acquisition, grid connectivity, and regulations.
  • Floating solar projects help in reducing water evaporation, interconnectivity costs, suppressing algae blooming.

National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Limited

  • NTPC or National Thermal Power Corporation Limited is the India’s largest energy amalgamation of India that aims to accelerate the power generation sector in India.
  • It is one of the Maharatna Company since May 2010, and headquartered in New Delhi.
  • NTPC has the ambition to increase its green energy production up to 30% and reduce carbon footprints by installing floating solar plants across India.

Other projects of NTPC

  • National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Limited also has planned to set up a pilot project of a hydrogen-based micro-grid system at Simhadri.
  • NTPC is also architecting India’s largest 100 MW floating solar power plant on the reservoir of its Ramagundam thermal power station in Tamil Nadu with the capacity of 100 MW floating solar project with 4.5 lakh photovoltaic panels.


Highest Herbal Park

Why in News

India’s highest altitude herbal park was inaugurated on 21st August, 2021, at Mana village which is close to the Indo-China border in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand.

About Herbal Park

  • The herbal parks in India are part of the government’s efforts to protect and preserve the herbs from depletion and extension, situated at a height of 11,000 feet.
  • It aims to keep the traditional system of medicines of country alive.
  • The research wing of the forest department of Uttarakhand has developed the herbal park over three acres of the land given by Mana Van Panchayat, under the Union Government’s CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, Scheme).
  • It has around 40 species that are found in high-altitude alpine areas in the Himalayan region.
  • As per the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the State biodiversity Board, many of the species in the Herbal Park are endangered and threatened.
  • It includes many significant medicinal herbs also.
  • There are four sections of herbal park:
  • The first section of the park contains species associated with Badrinath (Lord Vishnu), which includes Badri ber, Badri Tulsi, Badri Tree, and the sacred tree of Bhojpatra.
  • The second section is dedicated to the Ashtavarga species. It is a group of eight herbs which are found in the Himalayan region namely:
  • Riddhi (Habenaria Intermedia),
  • Jeevak (Malaxis Acuminata),
  • Vriddhi (Habenaria Edgewothii),
  • Rishbhak (Malaxis Muscifera),
  • Kakoli (Fritillaria Roylei),
  • Ksheer kakoli (Lilium Polyphyllum),
  • Maida (Ploygonatum Cirrhifolium), and
  • Maha Maida (Polygonatum verticillatum). Out of these, four herbs belong to the lily family and the other four belongs to the orchid family.
  • The third section consists of Saussurea species. It also includes Brahmakamal (Saussurea Obvallata) which also happens to be the state flower of Uttarakhand.
  • The fourth section at the park consists of the assorted alpine species including Meethavish, Ateesh, Choru, and Vankakdi. All of these are important medicinal herbs and are also in great demand.

Significance of Mana village

  • Mana village in Uttarakhand is the last Indian village in Chamoli bordering China.
  • It is adjacent to the famous Himalayan Temple of Badrinath.

CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act)

  • The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) Act or Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act was passed by the centre in 2016 and the related rules were notified in 2018.
  • The act provides an appropriate institutional mechanism in the Centre as well as in each State and Union Territory.
  • It ensure expeditious utilization in the efficient and transparent manner of amounts released in lieu of forest land diverted for the non-forest purpose which would mitigate the impact of diversion of such forest land.

Objectives of CAMPA Law

  • Promote afforestation and development activities in order to compensate for forest land that is intended to be diverted to non-forest uses;
  • To lay down effective guidelines for the State;
  • Facilitate necessary assistance in terms of scientific, technological, and other requisites that may be required by the authority responsible for the State CAMPA.
  • To recommend measures based on strategic planning to the authorities of the State CAMPA, and
  • Resolve issues that arise between inter-state and Centre-State.


Smog Tower

Why in News

Recently, Delhi inaugurated India’s first smog tower in Delhi’s Connaught Place that will purify 1,000 cubic metres of air per second within a radius of around 1 km.

Smog Towers

  • Smog towers are structures designed to work as large-scale air purifiers.
  • They are fitted with multiple layers of air filters and fans at the base to suck the air.
  • After the polluted air enters the smog tower, it is purified by the multiple layers before being re-circulated into the atmosphere.
  • The tower is a 20-metre-long structure, which has been set up to improve air quality in a radius of around one kilometre.
  • The tower has been constructed at a cost of ₹20 crore. It will function at full capacity after the monsoon season.
  • Another such tower has been constructed at Anand Vihar, one of the pollution hotspots in the national capital.
  • The 25-metre-tall tower is expected to become operational by the end of August.
  • Both the towers have been built by Tata Projects Limited (TPL), with technical assistance from IIT Bombay and in collaboration with IIT Delhi.
  • The smog towers are being installed on the lines of China, which has experimented with this technology in its capital Beijing and other cities.
  • According to a report by a Swiss group, Delhi was the most polluted capital city in the world in 2020 for the third consecutive year.


National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL)

Why in News

The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) has moved an application to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) seeking licence to set up Rs.6000-crore National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL) or bad bank.

Key Points

  • NARCL was incorporated July in Mumbai following the registration with Registrar of Companies (RoC).
  • According to sources, the company after mobilising an initial capital of Rs 100 crore and fulfilling other legal formalities has approached the RBI seeking licence to undertake asset reconstruction business.
  • The RBI in 2017 raised the capital requirement to Rs 100 crore from the earlier level of Rs 2 crore, keeping in mind the higher amount of cash required to buy bad loans.
  • RBI has its process and procedure for granting licence for such business, it could take next few weeks to obtain licence from the regulator.
  • Finance Minister in Budget 2021-22, announced that the high level of provisioning by public sector banks of their stressed assets calls for measures to clean up bank books.
  • An Asset Reconstruction Company Limited and Asset Management Company would be set up to consolidate and take over the existing stressed debt.
  • It will manage and dispose the assets to alternative investment funds and other potential investors for eventual value realisation.
  • In 2020, IBA made a proposal for the creation of a bad bank for swift resolution of non-performing assets.
  • The government accepted the proposal and decided to go for an asset reconstruction company and asset management company model in this regard.
  • The proposed NARCL would be 51% owned by PSBs and the remaining by private-sector lenders.
  • NARCL will take over identified bad loans of lenders. The lead bank with an offer in the hand of NARCL will go for a ‘Swiss Challenge’, wherein other asset reconstruction players will be invited to better the offer made by a chosen bidder for finding a higher valuation of a non-performing asset on sale.
  • The company will pick up those assets that are 100 per cent provided for by the lenders. Banks have identified around 22 bad loans worth Rs 89,000 crore to be transferred to NARCL in the initial phase.

National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL)

  • National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL) was established on 7th July, 2021.
  • There are 16 banks, 12 state-owned and 4 private banks to invest in NARCL.
  • It has an authorisation capital of Rs 100 crore and paid-up capital of Rs 74.6cr.
  • It will be headed by stressed assets expert from SBI named Padmakumar Madhvani as Managing Director.


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