Daily Current Affairs for 30th December 2022

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Why in News?

Reportedly, an expert panel set up by the Uttarakhand government found that ground subsidence has induced structural defects in Joshimath.

About Joshimath

  • Joshimath is a town in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand.
  • It is the gateway to Badrinath temple (part of Char Dhams), Hemkund Sahib (Sikh Shrine), Auli (skiing destination) and Valley of Flowers (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

C:\Users\Mohit\Documents\13 dec\sink3.pngAbout Land Subsidence

  • Land Subsidence is the gradual settling or sudden sinking of Earth’s surface because of underground material movement, a superimposed load or a combination of both.
  • Land Subsidence can be caused by natural and human activities.
  • It can harm structures like buildings, sewer systems, storm drainages, bridges, and highways, as well as it can cause accidents that can result in fatalities.

Reasons for Land Subsidence in Joshimath

  • The town’s foundation is unstable because it is situated in a former landslide zone. Close proximity to significant tectonic discontinuities.
  • It is situated in the middle slopes of the hill bound by streams such as Karmanasa and Dhaknala along with Dhauliganga and Alaknanda rivers.
  • Burgeoning Anthropogenic Pressure, i.e. Building of dams, numerous homes, resorts etc. with footfall higher than its carrying capacity.



Why in News?

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released recommendation on ‘Spectrum Requirements of National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) for Train Control System for RRTS Corridors.

NCRTC requires spectrum in four areas, i.e.

  • Train radio: Communication between trains and tracks for signalling and traffic management.
  • Train positioning: High-precision information on train position, motion parameters (e.g.speed) etc.
  • Train remote control: Data communication between a locomotive and a ground-based system.
  • Train surveillance: Capture and transmit videos of public and trackside areas, driver cabs etc.

C:\Users\Mohit\Documents\13 dec\tt3.png

Important Recommendations from TRAI

  • Spectrum Allocation: Assign 5 MHz (paired) spectrum in 700 MHz band to NCRTC for use in RRTS corridors and to other RRTS/Metro which are geographically separated with no likely interference.
  • Licence Requirement: Separate category of Permission/ License for Captive Non-Public Network for Railway Networks (CNPN-R) may be created with a simple and light touch.

Spectrum Charges:

  • Auction Determined Price for 10 years allocation should be 0.5 times of the Auction Determined Price in the latest 2022 Auction for 700 MHz spectrum band.
  • Flexible terms for making payments, including the option of making a complete upfront payment, part upfront payment, as well as equal annual instalments.


Amrit Bharat Station Scheme

Why in News?

Ministry of Railways has formulated a new policy for modernization of stations named “Amrit Bharat Station” scheme. Amrit Bharat Station scheme envisages development of stations on a continuous basis with a long term vision.

About the Scheme

  • The scheme aims at preparation of Master Plans of the Railway stations and implementation of the Master Plan in phases to enhance the facilities including and beyond the Minimum Essential Amenities (MEA) and aiming for creation of Roof Plazas and city centres at the station in long run.
  • The scheme shall aim to meet the needs of the stakeholders, station usage studies as far as possible based on availability of funds and inter-se priority.
  • The scheme shall cater for introduction of new amenities as well as upgradation and replacement of existing amenities.
  • This scheme will also cover the stations where detailed techno-economic feasibility studies have been conducted or are being conducted but the work for construction of Roof Plazas has not been taken up yet, ensuring the phasing of Master Plan being suitably implemented and relocation of structures and utilities being given more emphasis in the phasing plans.

Facilities under this scheme

  • The Master Plans to have elementary details of the most appropriate location of Roof Plaza to be created in future.
  • High level platforms (760-840 mm) shall be provided at all categories of stations. Length of the platforms shall generally be 600m.
  • Station approaches shall be improved to ensure smooth access by widening of roads, removal of unwanted structures, properly designed signages, dedicated pedestrian pathways, well planned parking areas, improved lighting etc.
  • Provisions may be made such that as far as possible the station provides free WiFi access to its users. The Master Plan should have suitable spaces earmarked for 5G towers.
  • Sufficient number of toilets shall be provided at all categories of stations with separate provisions for women and Divyangjan.



Why in News?

It is an annual report based on parameters of road accidents like the number of accidents, fatalities, fatal accidents, injuries, etc.

Key Highlights

  • Road accidents decreased by 8.1 % and injuries decreased by 14.8 % in 2021 compared to 2019.
  • Fatalities, however, on accounts of road accidents increased by 1.9 percent in 2021 corresponding to the same period in 2019.
  • In 2020, there is an unprecedented decrease in accidents, fatalities, and injuries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Uttar Pradesh accounted for the largest share of fatalities at 13.8% followed by Tamil Nadu (10%).

C:\Users\Mohit\Documents\13 dec\rod2.pngInitiatives for road safety

  • The Road Safety Programme – funded by the World Bank for capacity building of states.
  • Integrated Road Accident Database (iRAD) system for analysis of road accidents data to enhance road safety.
  • National Road Safety Board under Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019.
  • Scheme for District Driving Training Centres.
  • Awards for outstanding work in the field of Road Safety.
  • India is a signatory to Brasilia Declaration on Road Safety (2015).


Purse Seine Fishing

GS Paper: 3- Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation,

Important for

Prelims exam:  Purse seine fishing

Mains exam:

Why in News?

The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that a restriction on purse seine fishing, which is known to hurt endangered species, imposed by some coastal States, is unjustified.

About Purse seine fishing

  • In the open ocean, it surrounds dense shoals of pelagic or midwater fish with a large vertical net before drawing in the edges like the drawstring of a drawstring bag.
  • The school of fish is surrounded by a vertical net “curtain”, the bottom of which is then pulled together to cage the fish, much like tightening the cords of a drawstring bag.
  • On the western beaches of India, it is frequently used.


What is the Issue?

  • In their respective territorial seas of up to 12 nautical miles, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, Odisha, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu Andaman and Nicobar Islands all forbid this type of fishing.
  • States like Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, and West Bengal haven’t enacted any such restrictions on purse seine fishing, either.

Why states are divided over this?

  • It is related to worries in some States about the declining stocks of small, pelagic shoaling fish on the western shores, including sardines, mackerel, anchovies, and trevally.
  • According to the scientific community, the El Nino phenomena and other climatic factors are to blame for the decrease in such fish catches over the past ten years.
  • Fishermen who use more conventional techniques have directly blamed the expansion of purse seine fishing.
  • If the prohibition is lifted, they worry that the supply of these little fish may further decline.

How does the Centre see this plan?

  • The Union government’s Fisheries Department has advocated for the relaxation of the purse seine fishing ban.
  • According to the expert panel, given the evidence at hand, this method of fishing “per se has not resulted in any severe resource depletion so far”.
  • Under specific restrictions, it advised using purse seines to fish in territorial seas and the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Way ahead

  • A national management strategy for purse seine fisheries should exist.
  • An incomplete ban in certain states can harm fishers in other states.

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