Daily Current Affairs for 23th Aug 2023

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SECL ke Sushrut Initiative

Why in news?

  • Chhattisgarh-based Coal India Subsidiary, SECL will provide free residential medical coaching to students of Class 12th Under its CSR initiative, “SECL ke Sushrut”. The company will mentor and provide coaching to students to help them prepare for the national medical entrance exam – NEET.

About the ‘SECL ke Sushrut’ Initiative

  • The selection of students for the coaching will be through a competitive exam based on the same pattern as NEET.
  • Under the programme coaching will be provided to a total batch of 35 students in partnership with a Bilaspur-based private coaching institute.
  • The program will be residential with regular national-level test series and mentoring and will include lodging and boarding facilities.

Eligibility Criteria

  • To be eligible to apply for the coaching the student must have passed Class 12th  in 2023 with minimum 60% marks.
  • The applicant must be domiciled in MP or Chhattisgarh, and they must reside in or their school must be located within 25 km radius of SECL Establishment in the Operating Districts of Korba, Raigarh, Koriya, Surguja, Surajpur, Balrampur & Manendragarh-Chirmiri-Bharatpur Districts of Chhattisgarh & Umaria, Annuppur & Shahdol Districts of Madhya Pradesh only.
  • In addition to above Gross Income of the Parents/Guardians of the applicant should not be more than ₹ 8,00,000/- (Rupees Eight lakhs per Annum).
  • Income Certificate from appropriate Government authority/Income Tax Return of Parents or Ward’s Name registered in Below Poverty Line (BPL) Card/ Antyodaya Anna Yojana Card will have to be submitted before admission to coaching programme.
  • In the total seats offered for coaching reservation will also be implemented as per Ministry of Coal’s policy whereby 14% seats for SC, 23% for ST, and 13% seats for OBC will be reserved.

Expected benefits of the Initiative

  • The move will greatly benefit students from poor economic background, especially in villages in coal belt areas of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, aspiring to become doctors but are unable to afford medical coaching.



Permanent Diversion of Paravanar River Course

Why in news?

  • The long pending and vital work of permanent diversion of Paravanar river course has been completed on 21st August 2023. The major portion of 10.5 kms out of the total 12 kms had already been completed and from 26th July 2023, NLCIL took up the pending portion of 1.5 kms.

About the diversion

  • The temporary alignment of Paravanar river course is just 60 meters away from Mine-2 cut face.
  • This Paravanar river has to handle storm water from the catchment area of more than 100 sq. kms from the north-west and southern areas.
  • As several villages are involved in this area, it has become of paramount importance to safeguard the habitats as well as agricultural fields from inundation during incessant and heavy rains.
  • Taking the accountability and responsibility of safeguarding the villages around mines, NLCIL took up the critical task of providing an adequate and permanent water way through the work of permanent diversion of Paravanar.
  • The approximate area involved for the permanent diversion of Paravanar for the total length of 12 kms is 18 hectares.
  • Already, several acres of lands are being irrigated with the Paravanar river water being let out by NLCIL mines throughout the year.
  • With the commissioning of present Paravanar permanent river course, additional extent of agricultural lands will now get water for irrigation for several acres.
  • Also, the continuous source of water in Paravanar river will help augmenting of ground water availability.

About Paravanar river

  • Paravanar River basin which is a leaf shaped river basin and second smallest river basin of Tamil Nadu lies within Cuddalore District of Tamil Nadu.
  • The Paravanar River is not a matured river and is seasonal and ephemeral.
  • It originates from the streams in the highlands at northwest of Neyveli lignite corporation area, i.e. from Semmakottai Reserve forest, at an altitude of about 100 m above MSL near Raghavankuppam and Kovilankuppam villages respectively.
  • There are a number of small streams (Odai’s) joining the river Paravanar in the upper reaches and flows towards east and drains into the Walajah Tank.
  • The Sengal Odai originates near Mulaikuppam village and Kanniyakovil odai originates at South East of NeyveliTownship. These two odais merge at West of Ellaikudi village, where river middle Paravanar originates and flows in to Perumal tank.



The Annual Capacity Building Plan (ACBP)

  • Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Shri Giriraj Singh launches the Annual Capacity Building Plan of Department of Rural Development, Department of Land Resources and Ministry of Panchayati Raj.

About the ACBP

  • Annual Capacity Building Plan (ACBP) is a plan document that is developed based on the competency enhancement requirements of the officials of the Ministry/Department/Organization (MDO).
  • That is ascertained through carrying out Competency Need Analysis (CNA) and prioritization of the competencies based on requirement of the officials and also importance of the competency to the ministry so that the resources invested by MDO on Capacity Building are optimized.
  • Capacity Building Commission has devised the approach for preparation of Annual Capacity Building Plan through 3 lenses namely National Priorities, Citizen Centricity, Emerging Technology.
  • Along with 3 Pillars- Individual, Organizational and Institutional, that are used as the guiding light for development of an ACBP to positively contribute for achievement of the objective.
  • A Capacity Building Unit (CBU) has been notified in all three Departments to implement and sustain ACBP.
  • A budgetary outlay of 2.5 % of salary head of the Department will be ear-marked for implementation of ACBP. CBU will prioritize the training needs of officers for Quarter 2, Quarter 3 & Quarter 4.
  • The trainings will be both in online and offline mode. CBC has identified institutes and knowledge partners to impart trainings in various issue to officers. 
  • The Ministry will also assess the impact of the trainings imparted to various officials and staff to ascertain the efficacy of ACBP.

Expected benefits of the Plan

  • ACBP will have a profound impact in improving the efficiency and work ethics of all Departments, thereby, expedite the achievements of PM’s Vision for New India @2047.
  • This Plan will play a Pivotal role in service delivery, program implementation and performing core governance functions.
  • It will enhance the abilities of the officials by attending need-based training to acquire relevant competencies to enable them to perform better so that the Ministry/Department can achieve the objectives set out with citizens centricity for improved performance.



North East Industrial Development Scheme

Why in news?

According to a recent report, the north east region is facing serious environmental problems due to deforestation, mining, and other activities.

About North East India:

  • Northeast India is a biodiverse region with abundant natural resources.
  • North-East India comprises eight states: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura.
  • These states are located in the easternmost part of India and share borders with China, Bhutan, and Myanmar.
  • The North East Industrial Development Scheme(NEIDS) is a step in the right direction.

About the North East Industrial Development Scheme:

North East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS) has been launched to further catalyse the industrial development in the North Eastern Region including Sikkim.

  • It has come into force from 01.04.2017 and will remain in force up to 31.03.2022.
  • The Scheme covers new units in the manufacturing and services sectors.
  • The scheme provides for Central Capital Investment Incentive for access to credit, Central Interest Incentive, Central Comprehensive Insurance Incentive, Goods and Services Tax Reimbursement, Income Tax Reimbursement, Transport Incentive; and Employment Incentive to the extent indicated in the gazette notification against each of the components.

Analysis of the news:

  • The government needs to develop sustainable policies that will promote economic development without harming the environment.
  • The government should consider creating uniform environmental legislation



Surge in Methane Levels on Earth

Why in news?

The recent surge in methane levels in Earth’s atmosphere has raised concerns about the planet’s ongoing climate transition. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is much more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.

  • Methane emissions are increasing due to human activities such as fossil fuel production and agriculture, as well as natural sources such as wetlands.
  • Due to methane surge earth is suspected to go into a “termination-level transition” which refers to a significant and abrupt shift in Earth’s climate from one state to another.

About Methane:

  • Methane is a colorless, odorless gas that is the simplest hydrocarbon. It is the second most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere after carbon dioxide.
  • Methane has a global warming potential that is 28-36 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period. Methane is emitted from a variety of sources such as Agriculture & Livestock, Fossil Fuel , Industrial Pollution etc.
  • Methane is a short-lived greenhouse gas, which means that it breaks down in the atmosphere more quickly than carbon dioxide.

Efforts to combat methane:

  • Global Methane Commitment: The Global Methane Commitment is a voluntary commitment by countries to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030. Nearly 100 countries have signed the language agreement, but India n is not a signatory.
  • Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) to detect and respond to methane emissions.
  • “Harit Dhara” (HD): The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has developed “Harit Dhara” (HD), an anti-methanogenic feed additive that can reduce livestock methane emissions by 17-20%.
  • India’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Programme: India’s Greenhouse Gas Program is an industry-led inititive to measure and monitor greenhouse gas emissions.



National Automated Fingerprint Identification System

Why in news?

The National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) team of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) recently won the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances’ Gold Award for Excellence in Government Process Reengineering for Digital Transformation Category-1 (DARPG).

About NAFIS:

  • Within 24 hours of being captured, criminals are given a distinctive 10-digit National Fingerprint Number (NFN) through NAFIS, a national database run by NCRB that quickly records crime-related fingerprints.
  • NFN stays with the criminal throughout their life and links numerous offences reported under various FIRs to the same ID.
  • State-specific sequential numbers are included in ID along with the state code (first two digits).
  • By connecting names of people of interest to warrants, alerts, and relevant criminal information in police reference systems, NAFIS quickly identifies people of interest.



Bharat NCAP: Indian Car Assessment Programme

Why in news?

Recently, the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways launched the Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (Bharat NCAP) aiming to enhance road safety by elevating vehicle safety standards for up to 3.5-tonne vehicles in India.

  • The program is to commence from 1st Oct 2023 on a voluntary basis.

About the Bharat NCAP:

  • The Bharat New Car Assessment Program, usually known as the Bharat NCAP, is a proposed New Car Assessment Program for India.
  • Cars sold in the country will be assigned by star ratings after an evaluation of three parameters — adult occupant protection, child occupant protection, and safety assist technologies present in the car.
  • Phase Wise Implementation: It will be implemented in phases, according to the plans being drawn up by the National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project in coordination with the Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT).
  • The Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (Bharat NCAP) is modelled on the Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP).
  • It is the 10th NCAP in the world and is being set up by the government of India.
  • Eligibility: The new programme will be applicable to passenger vehicles with not more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat with a gross vehicle weight not exceeding 3,500 kg.
  • It will be based on the soon to ­be published Automotive Industry Standard 197, which lays down testing protocols.

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