New rules for CDS post
Why in News:
Setting the stage for appointment of the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), the government has amended Service Rules of the Army, Navy and Air Force,
Who have been allowed?
• Retired Service Chiefs and three-star officers eligible for consideration for the country’s top military post.
• The retired officer should not have attained 62 years on the date of appointment.
BacktoBasics: About CDS:
• He’s the Principal Military Adviser to the Defence Minister and Permanent Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee.
• CDS functions as Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) which was created as the fifth department in the Ministry of Defence (MoD)
o The armed forces were brought under the ambit of the DMA, which also deals with works relating to the three Services and with procurement exclusive to the Services, except capital acquisitions which remains with the Department of Defence.
Age limit & Tenure:
• The age limit for the CDS’s post is 65 years with no fixed tenure defined
Why in News:
Recently Kerala’s Education Minister inaugurated the Portal for continuous updation of all students’ details through a ‘digital student profile’ and analysing and improving
What is this portal?
• Sahitham’s objective is mentoring of students by teachers so as to know them better and contribute to their development
• The Sahitham portal allows teachers to track the learning progress of students, including their social skills, language skills, numerical ability, social awareness, aptitude for science, and record these online.
• The portal has been designed by KITE (Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education)
• Kashmiri Hindus, locally known as Pandits, celebrate every year a mela or festival on Zyestha Ashtami at the Mata Kheerbhawani temple at Tulmulla in central Kashmir.
• The temple is dedicated to the goddess Ragnya Devi.
• The temple gets its name from kheer, or milk and rice pudding that pilgrims pour into the spring inside the temple complex as an offering to the goddess.
• Legend has it that the water of the temple’s spring changes colour from white to red and black.
• The colour of the water is said to predict the impending future. If it changes to black, it is seen as inauspicious or an impending disaster.
What are ‘carbon bombs’?
Why in News: A group of environmentalists, lawyers, and activists have come together to identify and ‘defuse carbon bombs’– coal, oil and gas projects that have the potential to contribute significantly to global warming.
What are carbon bombs?
• The usage of the term ‘carbon bombs’ picked up after an investigative project of The Guardian this year.
• Defining the term in its report, The Guardian said that it is “an oil or gas project that will result in at least a billion tonnes of CO2 emissions over its lifetime.”
• In total, around 195 such projects have been identified world over, including in the US, Russia, West Asia, Australia and India
Plan for ‘defusing’ carbon bombs
• The network working towards this goal is called Leave It In the Ground Initiative (LINGO).
• Its mission is to “leave fossil fuels in the ground and learn to live without them.”
• It believes the root of climate change is the burning of fossil fuels, and the 100% use of renewable energy sources is the solution.
Why in news:
At an event to mark World Environment Day recently, the Prime Minister spoke about India’s consistent efforts to combat climate change. During his speech, he also mentioned India’s efforts to create ‘green jobs’
What are ‘green jobs’?
• ‘Green jobs’ refer to a class of jobs that directly have a positive impact on the planet, and contribute to the overall environmental welfare.
• Jobs involving renewable energy, conservation of resources, ensuring energy efficient means are categorised under the same.
• They’re aimed at reducing the negative environmental impact of economic sectors and furthering the process of creating a low-carbon economy.
India and ‘green jobs’
• The Skill Council for Green Jobs was launched by the Union government on October, 2015.
• Aligned to the National Skill Development Missions, it was set up to be a not-for-profit, independent, industry-led initiative.
• Promoted by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII),
• The council aims to help manufacturers and other service providers in India’s ‘green business’ sector to implement industry-led, collaborative skills push the country on the path to truly realising the real potential and significance of ‘green jobs’.
• According to the Skill Council for Green Jobs, awareness and training individuals regarding green jobs skills will ensure limiting greenhouse gas emissions, minimising waste and pollution, protect and restore ecosystems, support adaptation to the effects of climate change.
The way forward
• According to the ILO, India moving to a green economy by the next decade would alone create about 3 million jobs in the renewable energy sector.
• The renewable energy sector created about 47,000 new jobs in 2017 accounting for a 12% increase in just the span of a year, they said.
For India ‘green jobs’ can prove immensely useful to the country with sectors like renewable energy, waste management, green transport and urban farming all having great potential to employ a trained workforce. An integrated, systematic approach, experts believe, is crucial to ensuring this.
TIH’s efforts reach new & emerging technologies to the rural populace
Smart boards and videos can be wistful dreams for students of rural and low resource urban schools. But such dreams have come true for students of 450 schools in remote areas of the Thiruvallur District of Tamil Nadu, which are accessing some of the best quality digital resources. This has been possible through Asha Kanini
About Asha Kanini:
• It is an application to provide easy access to the best quality digital resources to enhance their classroom teaching experience.
• It is developed by Asha Chennai
• The application is network independent, supports most operating systems and devices, and can be customised to work with any language and curriculum.
Who are responsible for the mission?
1. Pravartak [a Technology Innovation Hub supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) at IIT Madras]
2. Asha Chennai (a public charitable trust that works for education of the underprivileged)
Other projects launched by Pravartak:
• Along with several other entrepreneurial start-up companies, Pravartak launched a consortium in deep tech and engineering domain under the mission I-STAC.DB (Indian Space Technologies and Applications Consortium Design Bureau).
o It will focus on building an end-to-end Atmanirbhar ecosystem for space technologies including on-demand access to space, rapid launch capability, satellites, sensors, future generation communication such as 6G, satellite data, and its applications.
o The consortium will work on space vehicle (Light and Super Rocket) design and manufacturing, multiple and rapid rocket launch capabilities, satellite design, manufacturing, assembly and fabrication, software, hardware, and communication components, security systems of satellites in the form of cyber/communication security and physical security as well as ground stations, data processing, assimilation for communication and geospatial application sectors.
• The RASA (Regenerative Agriculture Stack Architecture), a proposed technology stack initiated by Pravartak in collaboration with BNY Mellon
o It will aid the farmers to monitor and fine-tune their cultivation and harvest process in a proactive manner so as to realize maximum benefits.
National Air Sports Policy
Why in news
The Minister of Civil Aviation has launched National Air Sport Policy 2022 (NASP 2022). NASP 2022 lays out the vision of making India as one of the top sports nations by 2030, by providing a safe, affordable, accessible, enjoyable and sustainable air sports ecosystem in India.
Which sports are included in aero-sports
Aero-sports, or ‘air-sports’ cover a range of aerial activities that can broadly be divided into two categories: powered aero-sports and non-powered aero-sports.
• Powered aero-sports include aerobatics, aeromodelling, air racing, drone racing, flyboarding, powered hang-gliding, powered paragliding, rally flying, rotorcraft and ultralight aviation.
• Non-powered aero-sports include activities such as ballooning, cluster ballooning, gliding, hang-gliding, human-powered flying, bungee jumping and parachuting/skydiving.
What is the need of NASP
• India has the potential to be among the leading nations in the world of air sports.
• It has a large geographical expanse, diverse topography, and fair-weather conditions, extending from the Himalayas and the mountainous regions to our states in the northeast to the plains in central India to the coastal regions on the western-eastern coastline.
• It has a large population, especially the youth.
• It has a growing culture for adventure sports and aviation.
• At present India has a very small market size of around 5,000 odd air sports practitioners; it is creating around Rs 80-100 crore of annual revenue in India. The Government is targeting over Rs 8,000 – 10,000 crore annual revenue and generating over 1, 00,000 direct jobs. The economic multiplier benefits in terms of travel, tourism, support services and local infrastructure development will be over three times.
The NASP 2022, is a step in this direction. It has been drafted based on the inputs received from policy makers, air sports practitioners and public at large and will ensure establishment of good quality of infrastructure, equipment, instructors and services.
Air Sports covered in the policy:
• Aero modeling and model rocketry
• Amateur-built and experimental aircraft
• Gliding and powered gliding
• Hang gliding and powered hang gliding
• Parachuting (including skydiving, BASE jumping and wing suits etc.)
• Paragliding and para motoring (including powered parachute trikes etc.)
• Powered aircraft (including ultra light, micro light and light sports aircraft etc.)
• Rotorcraft (including autogyro)
Under the new policy, there will be four-tier governance structure for air sports in India namely
• Air Sports Federation of India (ASFI) as the apex governing body
• National associations for individual air sports or a set of air sports, as appropriate
• Regional (e.g. West/ South/ North East etc.) or State and Union Territory level units of the national air sports associations, as appropriate; and
• District-level air sports associations, as appropriate.
Key Objectives of NASP 2022
• Promote an air sports culture in the country
• Enable adoption of international good practices in safety including but not limited to, air sports infrastructure, equipment, operations, maintenance and training
• Develop a simple, stakeholder-friendly and effective governance structure
• Enhance participation and success of Indian sportspersons in global air sports events; and
• Promote design, development and manufacturing of air sports equipment in India in line with the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
Challenges faced by Air sports industry in India
• Even though India provides excellent conditions from February to June and September to December, most air-sports enthusiasts overfly the country on their way to Australia/New Zealand, primarily due to the regulatory environment and also because of the lack of air-sports infrastructure in the country.
• HIgh prices of equipment are also a big problem. Unlike conventional games like, say football, where the price of a ball is a few hundred rupees and the game can be played in one’s backyard, aero-sport activities are largely restricted to those in the armed forces, those who have retired from the armed forces, those who have deep pockets and those who have been abroad, experienced aero sports and want to continue doing so in India.
• Issues faced by sportspersons wanting to travel abroad to participate in international events: Since most aero-sports are competitive in nature, participants travel around the world to take part in competitions. The process of taking equipment out and bringing it back into the country is complex. There are huge challenges involving planning, documentation, fees and processes. Unlike their foreign counterparts, even before s/he starts, an Indian sportsperson has to obtain security clearance for him/her and the equipment.
Aero-sports are risky and are practiced worldwide with the same mantra: “Safety First”. If they are not practiced with discipline, there will be accidents, which have been known to happen in India due to the lack of an aero-sports policy or regulation. So there is a need for a proper implementation of rules and regulation for a bright future of AIr SPorts in India.
State Food Safety Index
Why in news
The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare released the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)’s 4th State Food Safety Index (SFSI) to measure the performance of States across five parameters of food safety.
About State Food Safety Index (SFSI)
• FSSAI has developed the State Food Safety Index to measure the performance of states on various parameters of Food Safety.
• This index is based on performance of State/ UT on five significant parameters, namely,
1. Human Resources and Institutional Data (with 20% weightage)
2. Compliance (with 30% weightage)
3. Food TestingInfrastructure and Surveillance (with 20% weightage)
4. Training & Capacity Building (with 10% weightage)
5. Consumer Empowerment (with 20% weightage)
• The Index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model that provides an objective framework for evaluating food safety across all States/UTs.
• SFSI was started from 2018-19 with the aim of creating a competitive and positive change in the food safety ecosystem in the country.
• The index will help in providing safe and nutritious food in the country.
Ranking of the States based on SFSI
• This year, among the larger states, Tamil Nadu was the top ranking state, followed by Gujarat and Maharashtra.
• Among the smaller states, Goa stood first followed by Manipur and Sikkim.
• Among UTs, Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi and Chandigarh secured first, second and third ranks.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has been established under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which consolidates various acts & orders that have hitherto handled food related issues in various Ministries and Departments. FSSAI has been created for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption. The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the Administrative Ministry for the implementation of FSSAI. The Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) have been appointed by the Government of India. The Chairperson is in the rank of Secretary to Government of India.
Functions of FSSAI:
• Framing of Regulations to lay down the Standards and guidelines in relation to articles of food and specifying appropriate systems of enforcing various standards thus notified.
• Laying down mechanisms and guidelines for accreditation of certification bodies engaged in certification of food safety management systems for food businesses.
• Laying down procedure and guidelines for accreditation of laboratories and notification of the accredited laboratories.
• To provide scientific advice and technical support to Central Government and State Governments in the matters of framing the policy and rules in areas which have a direct or indirect bearing of food safety and nutrition.
• Collect and collate data regarding food consumption, incidence and prevalence of biological risk, contaminants in food, residues of various contaminants in foods products, identification of emerging risks and introduction of rapid alert systems.
• Contribute to the development of international technical standards for food, sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards. Promote general awareness about food safety and food standards.
National Geo-Spatial Service Portal
Why in news
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) launched the Self Certification Portal for conveying adherence to provisions of Geospatial Guidelines by Individuals, companies, organizations, and Government agencies. The Portal has been developed in collaboration with NIC.
This Portal facilitates entities engaged in map related activities to certify themselves quickly and easily. The portal is built based on Geo-Spatial guidelines released by Govt of India in Feb 2021, which has de-regulated all aspects of mapping activities in India from survey to sales. The self-certification facility for entities in the portal is free and universal.
Entities can be :
1. Individual or Organisation
2. Govt or Private
3. Indian or Foreign
4. Engaged in production or sales etc.
About Geospatial Data Guidelines, 2021
• As per the guidelines, there shall be no requirement for prior approval, security clearance, license or any other restrictions on the collection, generation, preparation, dissemination, storage, publication, updating and/or digitization of Geospatial Data and Maps within the territory of India.
• Individuals, companies, organizations, and Government agencies, shall be free to process the acquired Geospatial Data, build applications and develop solutions in relation to such data and use such data products, applications, solutions, etc. by way of selling, distributing, sharing, swapping, disseminating, publishing, deprecating and destructing.
• Self-certification will be used to convey adherence to these guidelines.
Benefits of the Portal
• Using the Portal will essentially cut down time spent on obtaining clearances and approvals drastically for Geospatial companies, researchers, academia, and innovators for carrying out Geospatial related activities.
• The liberalized Geospatial regime would play a pivotal role to modernize agriculture, manufacturing, construction, utilities, disaster management, urban development and governance.
• The Portal launch is in line with the transformative ideas & announcements in the new Geospatial Data Guidelines released by DST in 2021.
Why in news
A team of Thang-ta players from Jammu and kashmir participated in the The Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) 2022.
• Thang Ta, “The Art of the Sword and Spear” is the traditional martial art of Manipur in Northeast India.
• It integrates various external weapons – the sword, spear, dagger, etc. with the internal practice of physical control through soft movements coordinated with the rhythms of breathing.
• It is part of the great heroic tradition of Manipur. Its origin lies in the timeless creation myths where, according to local legend, all movements of the Manipuris originated from Thang Ta.
• The proper name for Thang-Ta is HUYEN LALLONG (“method of safe-guarding”). As the name implies, Huyen Lallong is more than just the training of fighting skills.
• It is an elaborate system of physical culture that involves breathing methods, meditations, and rituals. Some of the sword and spear forms are entirely ritualistic, although they are composed of material techniques.
• They are to be performed only at special occasions or under special circumstances. For example, there is a spear form that is performed at funerals.
• Perhaps the most famous form is the ritual spear dance done by King Bhagyachandra (ruled 1759-1798) on a mountain top during his exile due to the Burmese invasion in 1762. The Manipuris believe that the ritual was instrumental in driving the Burmese out of Manipur.
Why in news
Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog successfully concluded the 5th Edition of AIM-iLEAP program on ‘Innovations in Audio-Tech’ – a unique step towards using technology to solve the audio industry’s most pressing problems, innovate the future of audio-tech, and boost the Indian culture.
About AIM-iLEAP program
NITI Aayog’s flagship program – Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) has been at the forefront of promoting a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.
AIM has partnered up with Startup Réseau – a leading startup accelerator and operator, to support its various initiatives, programs, and beneficiaries through a structured program that will provide AIM-backed startups with much-needed access to industry, markets, and investors.
AIM iLEAP (Innovative Leadership for Entrepreneurial Agility and Profitability) is a series of Enterprise and Investor Demo Days. AIM iLEAP was launched to support startup success by overcoming two major bottlenecks they face – Market and Investor access.
• The selection of the startups will be determined on the basis of the investible stage.
• Bootcamp Stage: Hosting a five-day virtual bootcamp with the selected startups, to ensure an alignment on success criteria and solution.
• Final Demo Day
• Establishing industry credibility.
• Access to enterprise assets of infrastructure, data, partner networks and customers.
• Potential opportunity to earn a POC(Proof of concept) with participating corporates.
• Attracting investment from attending investors.
• Business Insights during the 5-day Bootcamp preceding the demo day.
• Access to an extended network of mentors from Startup Reseau’s global network.