Daily Current Affairs

12TH JANUARY,2021 : MOST POWERFUL DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS CONCEPTS

UPSC PRELIMS+MAINS

Index

  1. A) Schemes, Policies, Initiatives, Awards and Social Issues
  2. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)
  3. B) Agriculture, Geography, Environment and Biodiversity
  4. Dzukou Valley (TH)
  5. C) Polity, Bills, Acts and Judgments
  6. Duration of Panchayats and State Election Commission (TH)
  7. Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) (PIB)
  8. Regional Connectivity Scheme – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (PIB)
  9. Year End Review: 2020- Department of Telecommunications (PIB)
  10. National Energy Conservation Awards (NECA) (PIB)
  11. D) Economic Developments: India and World
  12. Earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization (EBITA) (PIB)
  13. E) Science and Technology, Defence, Space
  14. Smellicopter: An autonomous drone inspired by Moths (TH)
  15. F) Art, Culture and History
  16. Toda Tribe (TH)
  17. G) Miscellaneous
  18. Sea Vigil 21 (PIB)
  19. Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) (PIB)
  20. Khadi Prakritik Paint (PIB)

 

A) Schemes, Policies, Initiatives, Awards and Social Issues

  1. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) (PIB)

  • Context: PM-KISAN payments worth ₹1,364 crores have been wrongly made to more than 20 lakh ineligible beneficiaries and income tax payer farmers, according to information provided by the Agriculture Ministry in response to an RTI request.

Analysis

  • PM-KISAN is the Centre’s flagship scheme to provide income support worth ₹6,000 a year to farming families.
  • When it was launched just before the general election in 2019, it was meant to cover only small and marginal farmers who owned less than two hectares. Later that year, large farmers were included in the scheme as the government removed the land size criterion.

Benefits and Eligibility conditions

  • It is a Central Sector Scheme and is being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare.
  • All land-holding eligible farmer families (subject to the prevalent exclusion criteria) are to avail of the benefits under this scheme.
  • The Scheme initially provided income support to all Small and Marginal Farmers’ families across the country, holding cultivable land upto 2 hectares.
  • Its ambit was later expanded to cover all farmer families in the country irrespective of the size of their landholdings, subject to exclusion criteria.
  • The amount, 6,000 rupees per annum per family, is being released in three 4-monthly installments of Rs.2000/- each over the year, to be credited into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer mode.
  • The Scheme is expected to cover around 14.5 crore beneficiaries.
  • Special provisions have been made for the North-Eastern States where land ownership rights are community-based, Forest Dwellers and Jharkhand, which does not have updated land records and restrictions on the transfer of land.

Exclusion Categories

  • The following categories of beneficiaries of higher economic status shall not be eligible for benefit under the scheme:
  • All Institutional Landholders.
  • Farmer families in which one or more of its members belong to following categories:
  • Former and present holders of constitutional posts
  • Former and present Ministers/ State Ministers and former/present Members of LokSabha/ RajyaSabha/ State Legislative Assemblies/ State Legislative Councils,former and present Mayors of Municipal Corporations, former and present Chairpersons of District Panchayats.
  • All serving or retired officers and employees of Central/ State Government Ministries /Offices/Departments and its field units Central or State PSEs and Attached offices /Autonomous Institutions under Government as well as regular employees of the Local Bodies (Excluding Multi-Tasking Staff /Class IV/Group D employees)
  • All superannuated/retired pensioners whose monthly pension is Rs.10,000/-or more (Excluding Multi-Tasking Staff / Class IV/Group D employees) of above category
  • All Persons who paid Income Tax in last assessment year
  • Professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Chartered Accountants, and Architects registered with Professional bodies and carrying out profession by undertaking practices.
  • Responsibility of identifying the landholder farmer family eligible for benefit under the scheme shall be of the State/UT Government.

 B) Agriculture, Geography, Environment and Biodiversity

2.Dzukou Valley (TH)

  • Context: The wildfire at Dzukou Valley, straddling the Manipur-Nagaland border, has been doused after it raged for two weeks.

Analysis

  • Tribals burn down forest areas for hunting the terrified wild animals and doing shifting cultivation.
  • There are some disputes between Manipur and Nagaland which also lays claim to the valley.
  • Dzeko Valley in Nagaland also called the (valley of flowers of North East) is more popular with trekkers for its interesting and challenging trekking circuits.
  • It prides itself for being one of the most-visited tourist sites in not only Nagaland but the entire Northeast India.
  • Dzüko Lily- a flower is found only in this valley. These rare flowers begin to bloom during the onset of the monsoon season.

 C) Polity, Bills, Acts and Judgments

3.Duration of Panchayats and State Election Commission (TH)

  • Context:P. High Court stayed gram panchayat elections and suspended State Election Commission (SEC) order for polls in February ‘in the interest of public health.’

Analysis

Duration of Panchayats

  • The 73rd Amendment Act of 1992 provides for a five-year term of office to the panchayat at every level. However, it can be dissolved before the completion of its term.
  • Further, fresh elections to constitute a panchayat shall be completed
  • (a) before the expiry of its duration of five years; or
  • (b) in case of dissolution, before the expiry of a period of six months from the date of its dissolution.
  • But, where the remainder of the period (for which the dissolved Panchayat would have continued) is less than six months, it shall not be necessary to hold any election for constituting the new panchayat for such period.
  • Moreover, a panchayat constituted upon the dissolution of a Panchayat before the expiration of its duration shall continue only for the remainder of the period for which the dissolved Panchayat would have continued had it not been so dissolved.
  • In other words, a panchayat reconstituted after premature dissolution does not enjoy the full period of five years but remains in office only for the remainder of the period.

State Election Commission

  • The superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls and the conduct of all elections to the panchayats shall be vested in the state election commission.
  • It consists of a state election commissioner to be appointed by the governor.
  • His conditions of service and tenure of office shall also be determined by the governor.
  • He shall not be removed from the office except in the manner and on the grounds prescribed for the removal of a judge of the state high court.
  • A judge of a high court can be removed from his office by the president on the recommendation of the Parliament.
  • This means that a state election commissioner cannot be removed by the governor, though appointed by him.
  • His conditions of service shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
  • The state legislature may make provisions with respect to all matters relating to elections to the panchayats.
  1. Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) (PIB)

  • Context: The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has approved an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the tragic hospital fire in Bhandara, Maharashtra. He has also approved Rs. 50,000 to those seriously injured.

Analysis

  • In pursuance of an appeal by the then Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru in January, 1948, the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) was established with public contributions to assist displaced persons from Pakistan.
  • A very large proportion of the funds stands committed to be utilized in a phased manner for various schemes announced by PM.
  • The resources of the PMNRF are now utilized primarily to render immediate relief to families of those killed in natural calamities like floods, cyclones and earthquakes, etc. and to the victims of the major accidents and riots.
  • Assistance from PMNRF is also rendered, to partially defray the expenses for medical treatment like heart surgeries, kidney transplantation, cancer treatment and acid attack etc.
  • The fund consists entirely of public contributions and does not get any budgetary support.
  • PMNRF accepts only voluntary donations by individuals and institutions.
  • Contributions flowing out of budgetary sources of Government or from the balance sheets of the public sector undertakings are not accepted.
  • Conditional contributions, where the donor specifically mentions that the amount is meant for a particular purpose, are not accepted in the Fund.
  • The corpus of the fund is invested in various forms with scheduled commercial banks and other agencies.
  • The disbursement out of the fund is made at the discretion of the Prime Minister, and in accordance with the Prime Minister’s directions.
  • PMNRF has not been constituted by the Parliament.
  • The fund is recognized as a Trust under the Income Tax Act and the same is managed by Prime Minister or multiple delegates for national causes.
  • PMNRF is exempt under Income Tax Act, 1961 for return purposes.
  • Contributions towards PMNRF are notified for 100% deduction from taxable income under section 80(G) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
  • Prime Minister is the Chairman of PMNRF and is assisted by Officers/ Staff on honorary basis.
  1. Regional Connectivity Scheme – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (PIB)

  • Context: First direct flight between Kalaburagi to Tirupati flagged off under under the RCS-UDAN (Regional Connectivity Scheme – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik
  • Covered in detail in 9th Oct file.
  1. Year-End Review: 2020- Department of Telecommunications (PIB)

National Broadband Mission

  • The government announced a new ‘mission’ – National Broadband Mission – aimed at:
  • providing broadband access in all villages and remote areas in the country by 2022;
  • entailing investments of around ₹7 lakh crore ($100 billion) from various stakeholders, including ₹70,000 crore from Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF);
  • significantly improving quality of services for mobile and internet;
  • laying incremental 30 lakh route km of Optical Fiber Cable; and
  • increasing tower density from 0.42 to 1 tower per thousand of population by 2024.
  • Additionally, a Broadband Readiness Index will be developed to measure the availability of digital communications infrastructure within a State/UT.

BharatNet Project

  • National Optical Fiber Network (NoFN) (now renamed as BharatNet) project was launched in 2012.
  • The project involves connecting all the 2,50,000 gram panchayats (GPs) in the country through optical fibre to the block headquarters for provision of both bandwidth and dark fiber (A dark fibre or unlit fibre is an unused optical fibre, available for use in fibre-optic communication) on a universal and non- discriminatory basis.
  • The network is capable of providing scalable bandwidth of up to 1 GBPS upgradeable to 10 Gbps at a later stage.
  • The project is a Centre-State collaborative project, with the States contributing free Rights of Way for establishing the Optical Fibre Network.
  • Under BharatNet project around 1.50 lakh Gram Panchayats (GPs) have already been connected with high speed broadband connectivity which will help in launching various services in the rural areas.
  • As on 28.12.2020, Wi-Fi hotspots have been installed in GPs and about 4.8 Lakh Fiber to The Home (FTTH) broadband connections have been provided. In addition to Wi-Fi hotspots, the number of GPs taken on SWAN (State Wide Area Network) stands at 5330.
  • The scope of BharatNet has now been enhanced to connect all 6 Lakh inhabited villages in the country.
  • To leverage the potential and entrepreneurship of private sector, a major part of the roll out is being done through Public-Private Partnership.
  • Three Phases
  • For the purpose of implementation, the Bharatnet project covering all 2,50,000 Gram Panchayats has been divided in to three Phases.
  • BharatNet phase-1 was completed in December 2017, by covering about one lakh Gram Panchayats covering 3 lakh villages.
  • Under Phase-II, targeted to be completed by March 2019, connectivity will be provided to remaining 1.5 lakh GPs in the country using an optimal mix of underground fibre, optic fibre cable (OFC) over power lines, radio and satellite media.
  • OFC over electricity poles is a new element of the BharatNet strategy as the mode of connectivity by aerial OFC has several advantages, including lower cost, speedier implementation, easy maintenance and utilization of existing power line infrastructure.
  • Phase-2 of the project is 100 percent Made in India as from fibre to design to software everything has been spearheaded by C-DoT (Centre for Development of Telematics).
  • The last mile connectivity to citizens was proposed to be provided creating Wi-Fi hotspots in gram panchayats.
  • In the third phase from 2019 to 2023, a state-of-the-art, future-proof network, including fiber between districts and blocks, with ring topology to provide redundancy would be created.
  • The network will be used for various citizen centric services such as e-health, e-education, e-medicine etc.
  • The government is also aiming to convert at least 15% of the total villages to digital village in the next 3-4 years.
  • Digital Village, which was conceptualized by the Common Service Centre (CSC) SPV under the Ministry of Electronics and IT, is a village where citizens can avail various e-services of the central and the State governments, as well as of private players.
  • These include banking, insurance, tele-medicine, pension and e-governance services. Such villages are also equipped with LED bulb assembly unit, sanitary napkin unit, and rural-Wifi infrastructure.
  • In the interim budget 2019-20, the Finance Minister had announced the government’s target of one lakh villages as Digital Villages over the five years.

GramNet, NagarNet and JanWiFi

  • Gram Net will be connecting all key rural development institutions with 10 Mbps upgradeable to 100 Mbps in the future.
  • NagarNet will be establishing 1 million public Wi-Fi hotspots in urban areas.
  • JanWiFi aims at establishing 2 million Wi-Fi Hotspots in rural areas.

Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)

  • The entire project is being funded by Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), which was set up for improving telecom services in rural and remote areas of the country.
  • It is a non-lapsable fund.
  • Credits to this fund require parliamentary approval.
  • It has been created under department of telecommunications, Ministry of communication and information technology.
  • The resources for meeting the Universal Service Obligation (USO) would be raised through a ‘Universal Access Levy (UAL)’, which would be a percentage of the revenue earned by the operators under various licenses.
  • The Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Act, 2003 gives statutory status to the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
  • The Fund has a provision for allocation under gender budgeting,for providing services to women, like broadband access to women SHGs.

Objective of USOF

  • Economic:Network extension & stimulate uptake of the ICT services
  • Social:Mainstreaming the underserved & un-served areas/groups by bridging the Access Gap.
  • Political:To enable citizens exercise their political rights in an informed way and
  • Constitutional:Equitable distribution of the fruits of the telecom/digital revolution and fair allocation of national resource (pooled USO levy) via targeted subsidies.

Other Projects and Initiatives

  • Submarine Optical Fiber Cable (OFC) Connectivity between Chennai and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
  • Submarine OFC Connectivity between Kochi and Lakshadweep.
  • Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan for North Eastern Region (NER): In order to provide connectivity to uncovered areas of North Eastern Region (NER), the Department is executing a project to install of 2004 towers to cover 2128 villages and National Highways.
  • Mobile connectivity to uncovered villages of and Ladakh
  • 4G service in Aspirational Districts
  • Public Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI): covered in detail in 10th Dec file.
  • A web-based portal, “SARAL SANCHAR” (Simplified Application for Registration and Licenses) for issuing of various types of Licenses and Registration Certificates for OSPs (Other Service Providers) has been developed by the Department of Telecommunications.
  1. National Energy Conservation Awards (NECA) (PIB)

  • Context: Ministry of Power, in association with Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), organized the 30thNational Energy Conservation Awards (NECA)

  • During the event, the Standards and Labelling Programme for Air Compressors and Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV on voluntary basis was initiated.
  • BEE has developed a Management Information System (MIS) portal namely State-wise Actions on Annual Targets and Headways on Energy Efficiency (SAATHEE) which will facilitate real-time monitoring of the progress of implementation of various Energy Conservation endeavours at State level.
  • BEE is a statutory body under Ministry of Power which is mandated to implement policy and programmes in energy efficiency and conservation.

Analysis

National Energy Conservation Awards

  • The Ministry of Power has launched a scheme in 1991, to give national recognition through awards to industries and establishments that have taken special efforts to reduce energy consumption while maintaining their production.
  • The awards were given away for the first time on December 14, 1991, which was declared as the `National Energy Conservation Day’.
  • The annual energy conservation awards recognize innovation and achievements in energy conservation by the industries, buildings, zonal railways, state designated agencies; manufacturers of BEE star labeled appliances, electricity distribution companies, municipalities etc.
  • 17 sectors covering 5 categories – Industry, buildings, Transport, Instituions and Appliances are included in the Awards.
  • Electrical energy savings is calculated in terms of equivalent avoided capacity (mw) per year by the participating units through the implementation of energy-saving projects.

Standards & Labeling Programme

  • The Standards & Labeling Programme is one of the major thrust areas of BEE.
  • A key objective of this scheme is to provide the consumer an informed choice about the energy saving and thereby the cost saving potential of the relevant marketed product.
  • The scheme targets display of energy performance labels on high energy end use equipment & appliances and lays down minimum energy performance standards.
  • Presently, S&L program covers star rating for 26 appliances/equipment. List of the appliances covered under the ambit of Star Labeling is as given below:
Mandatory Appliances Voluntary Appliances
1.Room Air Conditioners 11. Induction Motors
2.Frost Free Refrigerators 12. Pump Sets
3.Tubular Florescent Lamp 13. Ceiling Fans
4. Distribution Transformer 14.LPG -Stoves
5.Room Air Conditioner (Casettes, Floor Standing) 15. Washing Machine
6. Direct Cool Refrigerator 16. Computer (Notebooks/Laptops)
7. Color TV 17. Ballast (Electronic/ Magnetic)
8.Electric Geysers 18. Office equipment’s (Printer, Copier, Scanner, MFD’s)
9. Variable Capacity Inverter Air conditioners 19. Diesel Engine Driven Mono-set Pumps
10. LED Lamps 20. Solid State Inverter
  21. DG Sets
  22. Chillers
  23. Microwave Oven
  24. Solar Water Heater
  25. Light Commercial Air Conditioner
  26. Deep freezers
  • The labels have been designed after a great deal of research. The labels contain a number of items. The highlight though is the ‘STARS’. More is the stars more efficient is the appliance.
  • An additional aspect that you must know about the labelling program is that it is getting updated every year. A BEE 5 star rated model in 2020 may be equivalent to BEE ¾ star model in 2021.
  • The star rating plan is different for products manufactured/imported or assembled in different years.
  • Although BEE star rated appliances do comply with Indian Standards, but higher star rating does not mean better quality.

 D) Economic Developments: India and World

8.Earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization (EBITA) (PIB)

  • Context: BSNL & MTNL turns EBITDA positive within 1 year of approval of revival plan by Union Cabinet.

What Is EBITA?

  • EBITA refers to the earnings of a company before interest, tax, and expenses of amortization are deducted.
  • EBITA is a measure of company profitability used by investors.
  • It is helpful for comparison of one company to another in the same industry.
  • EBITA includes the cost of assets but excludes the associated financial costs; hence it can more accurately present a company’s performance.
  • A company’s EBITA is considered by some analysts and investors to be a more accurate representation of its real earnings.
  • It removes from the equation the taxes owed, the interest on company debt, and the effects of amortization, which is the accounting practice of writing off the cost of an intangible asset over a period of years.
  • One benefit is that it more clearly indicates how much cash flow a company has on hand to reinvest in the business or pay dividends.
  • EBITA measures the profits of a company available for payment to its lenders, investors, funding for amortization, and transfer to reserves.
  • EBITA provides a measurement of the operational efficiency of a company or increase in business activities or otherwise.
  • Another similar measure adds depreciation to the list of factors to be eliminated from the earnings total. That is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA).

EBITA vs. EBITDA

  • EBITA is not used as commonly as EBITDA, which adds depreciation into the calculation.
  • Depreciation, in company accounting, is the recording of the reduced value of the company’s tangible assets over time. It’s a way of accounting for the wear and tear on assets such as equipment and facilities.
  • Some companies, such as those in the utilities, manufacturing, and telecommunications industries, require significant expenditures in equipment and infrastructure, which are reflected in their books.
  • Both EBITA and EBITDA are useful tools in gauging a company’s operating profitability.
  • Profitability is earnings generated throughout the ordinary course of doing business.
  • A clearer picture of the company’s profitability may be gained if capital expenditures and financing costs are subtracted from the official earnings total.
  • Analysts generally consider both EBITA and EBITDA to be reliable indicators of a company’s cash flow.
  • However, some industries require significant investment in fixed assets.
  • Using EBITA to evaluate companies in those industries may distort a company’s profitability by ignoring the depreciation of those assets.
  • EBITA is deemed to be a more appropriate measure of its operating profitability.
  • In other words, the EBITA measurement may be used instead of EBITDA for companies that have substantial capital expenditures which may skew the numbers.

E) Science and Technology, Defence, Space

9.Smellicopter: An autonomous drone inspired by Moths (TH)

  • Context: Researchers at the University of Washington and the University of Maryland have developed the ‘smellicopter’ an autonomous drone that uses live antennae from a moth to smell and avoid obstacles as it travels in the air.
  • Moths can use their antennae to sense chemicals in the environment. Incorporating a live antenna from a moth as a sensor makes this drone tune and search in rescue operations. It also helps navigate an area with unexploded devices.

Analysis

All about Moths

  • Moths vary greatly in size, ranging in wingspan from about 4 mm (0.16 inch) to nearly 30 cm (about 1 foot).
  • Highly adapted, they live in all the habitats except polar habitats.
  • Compared with butterflies, moths have stouter bodies and duller colouring.
  • Moths also have distinctive feathery or thick antennae.
  • the moth life cycle has four stages: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis), and adult (imago).
  • The larvae and adults of most moth species are plant eaters.
  • Larvae in particular do considerable damage to ornamental trees and shrubs and to many other plants of economic importance.
  • The bollworm and measuring worm are two of the most destructive types of moth larvae.
  • Some moths are notorious for their ability to impersonate other animals.
  • To avoid being eaten, some moths have evolved to look like less palatable insects, such as wasps, tarantulas and the praying mantis.
  • Some moths even mimic bird droppings.
  • While some moths, particularly caterpillars such as the corn earworm, bollworm are major agricultural pests, many others are important pollinators.
  • Their hairy bodies make moths great pollinators — they pick up pollen from any flower they land on.

Do you Know?

  • While some moths suck nectar, others don’t eat at all.
  • For instance, the adult Luna moth doesn’t even have a mouth. After it emerges from its cocoon, it lives for about a week. Its sole mission in life? To mate and lay eggs.
  • Though they lack noses, moths are expert sniffers. They detect odor molecules using their antennae instead of through nostrils.  Male giant silkworm moths have elaborate, feather-shaped antennae with hairlike scent receptors that allow them to detect a single molecule of a female moth’s sex hormone from 7 miles (11 kilometers) away.
  • Because of their abundance, moths are major players at the bottom of the food chain. They’re a huge source of food for bats.
  • In some parts of the world, moths are a major food source for people, too. More than 90 percent of people in some African countries eat moth and butterfly caterpillars.
  • Caterpillars are packed with protein and healthy fats, and research shows that 100 grams of these insects provides more than 100 percent of the daily requirement of some vital minerals, such as potassium, calcium, zinc and iron.

 F) Art, Culture and History

10.Toda Tribe (TH)

  • Context: A fashion label collaborates with the reclusive Toda tribe of The Nilgiris to celebrate ethnic motifs and embroidery
  • These tribals in the Nilgiris are working with the fashion brand on their famous Toda embroidery, which has been awarded the GI tag.
  • A Dravidian ethnic group of the Nilgiris, the Toda people live in small huts made with bamboo and mud called munds.
  • There are currently about 2,000-odd Todas living in the district.

Analysis

  • Todas, a tribal group in the higher altitudes of the Nilgiris, settled there 3,500-4,000 years ago when a climate change occurred in southern India.
  • This buffalo-tending pastoral community is widely believed to be the earliest people to move into the upper Nilgiri plateau perhaps during the 1st century AD.
  • It remained relatively isolated, until ‘discovered’ during the early 19th century by the erstwhile British administration.
  • The Toda people are living only on the upper plateau of the Nilgiri hills with an average elevation of 2300 ft. at the junction of the Eastern and the Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu State of India.
  • It has been inferred that the Toda people are not aborigines, but came probably as conquerors or immigrants from the sea.
  • Of all the tribes of South India, the Todas of the Nilgiris remain as the most widely studied ethnic group till date, owing to its
  • unique physical characteristics (such as tall stature, fair complexion, pointed and long nose),
  • culture traits (such as half-barrel shaped huts, buffalo-centred culture, lacto-vegetarianism, weaving of embroidered shawl, the putkuli) and linguistic features (Toda language has characteristics of proto-Dravidian language).
  • Toda lands are part of The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO-designated International Biosphere Reserve and their territory has been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Figure 1 Munds: House of Toda People

  • Todas mostly have large herd of buffaloes. Their livelihood is mainly by producing milk products.
  • And they are also experts in silver-smith works. This tribe lives in munds, which consist of five buildings or huts, out of which they use three as dwellings, one as a dairy and the other as shelter for the calves at night.
  • Todas have belief that they were the descendants of the Pandavas. True to that belief, they follow polyandry (polygamy in which a woman has more than one husband)Toda tribes are vegetarians. People do not eat meat, eggs which can hatch (fertilised eggs) and fish but some villagers eat fish. They make Buffalo milk into butter, butter milk, yogurt, cheese and drink it plain. Rice is the main food which is eaten with dairy and curries.  

Puthukuli – An embroidery art practiced by the Toda tribes

  • Todas can be easily identified with their dressing style. Toda Tribe dress consists of a single piece of cloth for both men and women.
  • These shawls are adorned with the Toda embroidery, called Poothkuli or Puthukuli
  • The style of work is called Pugur in Toda language (meaning flower) using red and black threads on a white background giving a rich effect.
  • Todas generally create their tattoo motifs and patterns using these threads. A white fabric is beautifully enriched with rich red and black motifs.
  • Poothukuli holds a very important role in their festivals and funerals.

 G) Miscellaneous

11.Sea Vigil 21 (PIB)

  • Context: second edition of largest coastal defence exercise.

Analysis

  • The second edition of the biennial pan-India coastal defence exercise ‘Sea Vigil-21’ will be conducted on 12-13 January 2021.
  • The exercise, inaugural edition of which was conducted in January 2019; will be undertaken along the entire 7516 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India and will involve all the 13 coastal States and Union Territories along with other maritime stakeholders, including the fishing and coastal communities.
  • The exercise is a build up towards the major Theatre level exercise TROPEX [Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercise] which Indian Navy conducts every two years.
  • SEA VIGIL and TROPEX together will cover the entire spectrum of maritime security challenges, including transition from peace to conflict.
  • Assets of the Indian Navy, Coast Guard, Customs and other maritime agencies will participate in SEA VIGIL.
  1. Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) (PIB)

  • Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change released Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of 146 National Park and Wildlife Sanctuaries in the Country.
  • In order to assess the efficacy of Protected Areas, evaluation of management effectiveness is required.
  • At present, India has a network of 903 Protected Areas in the country covering about 5% of the total geographic area of the country.
  1. Khadi Prakritik Paint (PIB)

  • Innovative new paint developed by Khadi and Village Industries Commission launched.
  • The eco-friendly, non-toxic paint, is a first-of-its-kind product, with anti-fungal, anti-bacterial properties.
  • Based on cow dung as its main ingredient, the paint is cost-effective and odorless, and has been certified by Bureau of Indian Standards.
  • Khadi Prakritik Paint is available in two forms distemper paint and plastic emulsion paint
  • Production of Khadi Prakritik Paint is aligned with the vision of increasing farmers’ income.
  • The paint is free from heavy metals like lead, mercury, chromium, arsenic, cadmium and others.
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