18thFebruary,2022 ; Daily Current Affairs 

Daily Current Affairs   Date : 18thFebruary,2022

 (30+ Questions hit in Prelims 2021 from this series)

Covers 4 Most relevant Sources

  • The Hindu
  • Indian Express
  • PIB
  • Mint


  • Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM) (PIB)
  • Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) (PIB)
  • Green Hydrogen/ Green Ammonia Policy (PIB)
  • Several Operations Under Different Names Launched by the RPF (PIB)
  • Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA)(PIB)
  • Japanese Encephalitis (PIB)
  • Falkland Islands (IE)
  • Freedom 2 Walk & Cycle Challenge (PIB)
  1. Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM) (PIB)

  • Context:Union Health Secretary reviewed the operationalisation status of Prime Minister Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PM-ABHIM)which has now renamed PM – Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM).
  • Announced in the Budget 2021-22, the AyushmanBharat Health Infrastructure Mission, is aimed at filling gaps in public health infrastructure, especially in critical care facilities and primary care in both urban and rural areas.This scheme is in addition to the National Health Mission.
  • People will have access to a full range of diagnostic services in the public healthcare system through a network of laboratories across the country, and integrated public health labs will be set up in all the districts.
  • Two container-based hospitals (Central SectorComponent) with comprehensive medical facilities will be kept ready at all times which can be swiftly mobilized by rail or air to respond to any calamity or disaster in the country.
  • To strengthen grass root public health institutions to deliver universal Comprehensive Primary Health Care;
  • To strengthen public health institutions and public health governance capacities, to meet challenges posed by the current and future pandemics/epidemics with capacities for comprehensive diagnostic and treatment including for critical care services.
  • To expand and build an IT enabled disease surveillance system by developing a network of surveillance laboratories at block, district, regional and national levels, Points of Entry and in Metropolitan areas, for effectively detecting, investigating, preventing and combating Public Health Emergencies and Disease Outbreaks.
  • To support research on COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and to develop core capacity to deliver the One Health Approach to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks in animals and humans.
Components of PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission
  • The Scheme is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with some Central Sector components.
Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) Components:
  • Support for infrastructure development for Ayushman Bharat – Health & Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) in rural areas in 7 High Focus States (Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal) and 3 North Eastern States (Assam, Manipur and Meghalaya).
  • Ayushman Bharat – Health & Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) in Urban areas
  • Block Public Health Units (BPHUs)
  • Integrated District Public Health Laboratories in all districts.
  • Critical Care Hospital Blocks in all districts with a population more than 5 lakhs, in state government medical colleges / District Hospitals.
Central Sector (CS) Components
  • Critical Care Hospital Blocks in 12 Central Institutions.
  • Strengthening surveillance of infectious diseases and outbreak response.
  • Strengthening surveillance capacities at Points of Entry.
  • Strengthening Disaster and Epidemic Preparedness.
  • Bio-security preparedness and strengthening Pandemic Research
  • Support for setting up of a National Institution for One Health
  • Note:‘Prime Minister Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana’ (PMASBY) scheme was renamed as PM – Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM).

Do you know?

  • 5% of all deaths in India in 2016 were due to communicable diseases, maternal, neonatal and nutritional disorders while non-communicable diseases and injuries accounted for 61.8% and 10.7% deaths respectively.
  1. Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) (PIB)

  • Context:An article in PIB.
  • Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) is a major credit-linked subsidy programme being implemented by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) (Ministry of MSME)since 2008-09.
  • The Scheme is aimed at generating self-employment opportunities through establishment of micro-enterprises in the non-farm sector by helping traditional artisans and unemployed youth in rural as well as urban areas.
  • It is introduced by merging the two schemes, namely Prime Minister’s Rojgar Yojana (PMRY) and Rural Employment Generation Programme (REGP).
  • PMEGP is a central sector scheme administered by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
  • Any individual above 18 years of age is eligible.
  • Under the scheme, loan is being provided by all Public Sector Banks, selected Private Sector Banks and Co-operative Banks with margin money subsidy being given by Ministry of MSME through KVIC.
  • For setting up of projects costing above Rs.10 lakh in the manufacturing sector and above Rs. 5 lakh in the business /service sector, the beneficiaries should possess at least VIII standard pass educational qualification.
  • Further, Ministry of MSME has also introduced a new component of second financial assistance for expansion/upgrading the existing PMEGP/MUDRA units for manufacturing unit up to Rs.1.00 cr. and for service/ trading unit up to Rs.25.00 lakhs with subsidy of 15% (20% for NER and Hilly state) from the year 2018-19.
  • The maximum cost of projects should be Rs. 25 lakh in the manufacturing sector and Rs. 10 lakh in the service sector.
  • Benefit may be availed under PMEGP for setting up of new units only.
  • At the national level, the Scheme is being implemented by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), a statutory organization under the administrative control of the Ministry of MSME as the single nodal agency.
  • At the State level, the Scheme is implemented through State KVIC Directorates, State Khadi and Village Industries Boards (KVIBs) and District Industries Centres (DICs) and banks.
  • The units that have already availed Government Subsidy under any other scheme of Government of India or State Government are NOT eligible.
  • A minimum target of 75 projects per district is awarded to all districts of the country to achieve Inclusive Growth.
  • To generate continuous and sustainable employment opportunities in Rural and Urban areas of the country
  • To provide continuous and sustainable employment to a large segment of traditional and prospective artisans, rural and urban unemployed youth in the country through setting up of micro enterprises.
  • To facilitate participation of financial institutions for higher credit flow to micro sector.
Amended Guidelines
  • In a significant policy decision, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has done away with the role of District Level Task Force Committee (DLTFC), headed by the Distt. Collectors, in recommending the proposals under the Prime Minister Employment Generation Program (PMEGP), thereby simplifying the entire procedure.
  • As per the amended guidelines, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), the nodal agency for implementing PMEGP scheme, will directly clear the proposals/applications of the prospective entrepreneurs and will forward it to the Banks for taking credit decisions.
  • As of now, the proposals were scrutinized by the DLTFC, that often led to inordinate delays in sanctioning of the projects.
  • The district Collectors/Magistrates heading the DLTFC were often preoccupied with local administrative issues and hence works pertaining to the approval of PMEGP applications was not on their priority at all.
  1. Green Hydrogen/ Green Ammonia Policy (PIB)

  • Context: Ministry of Power has notified Green Hydrogen/ Green Ammonia Policy.

The policy provides as follows:

  • Green Hydrogen / Ammonia manufacturers may purchase renewable power from the power exchange or set up renewable energy capacity themselves or through any other, developer, anywhere.
  • Open access will be granted within 15 days of receipt of application.
  • The Green Hydrogen / Ammonia manufacturer can bank his unconsumed renewable power, up to 30 days, with distribution company and take it back when required.
  • Distribution licensees can also procure and supply Renewable Energy to the manufacturers of Green Hydrogen / Green Ammonia in their States at concessional prices which will only include the cost of procurement, wheeling charges and a small margin as determined by the State Commission.
  • Waiver of inter-state transmission charges for a period of 25 years will be allowed to the manufacturers of Green Hydrogen and Green Ammonia for the projects commissioned before 30th June 2025.
  • The manufacturers of Green Hydrogen / Ammonia and the renewable energy plant shall be given connectivity to the grid on priority basis to avoid any procedural delays.
  • The benefit of Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) will be granted incentive to the hydrogen/Ammonia manufacturer and the Distribution licensee for consumption of renewable power.
  • To ensure ease of doing business a single portal for carrying out all the activities including statutory clearances in a time bound manner will be set up by MNRE.
  • Connectivity, at the generation end and the Green Hydrogen / Green Ammonia manufacturing end, to the ISTS for Renewable Energy capacity set up for the purpose of manufacturing Green Hydrogen / Green Ammonia shall be granted on priority.
  • Manufacturers of Green Hydrogen / Green Ammonia shall be allowed to set up bunkers near Ports for storage of Green Ammonia for export / use by shipping. The land for the storage for this purpose shall be provided by the respective Port Authorities at applicable charges.

Do you know?

  • The National Hydrogen Mission was launched on India’s 75th Independence Day (i.e. 15thAugust, 2021).
  • The Mission aims to aid the government in meeting its climate targets and making India a green hydrogen hub.
  • This will help in meeting the target of production of 5 million tonnes of Green hydrogen by 2030 and the related development of renewable energy capacity.
  • Hydrogen and Ammonia are envisaged to be the future fuels to replace fossil fuels.
  • Production of these fuels by using power from renewable energy, termed as green hydrogen and green ammonia, is one of the major requirements towards environmentally sustainable energy security of the nation.
  1. Several Operations Under Different Names Launched by the RPF (PIB)

  • Context:Railway Protection Force (RPF) is entrusted with the responsibility of security of railway property, passenger area, passengers and matters connected therewith.
  • To provide impetus to various activities of the force personnel which they are performing even beyond their assigned duties, it has been decided to launch several operations under different names starting from January 2022.
  • RPF has been saving lives of persons in danger of coming under the wheels of running trains at various railway stations and railway area night and day going beyond their call of duty risking their own lives under “Mission Jeewan Raksha”.
  • RPF has played important role in reuniting the children in need of care and protection, lost/separated from their family or escaped from their homes due to several reasons under “Operation Nanhe Fariste”.
  • To provide better security to the women passengers several new initiatives were taken under the code name “Mahila Suraksha”.
  • RPF personnel go out of the way to help pregnant women who go into labor during their train journeys, in childbirth under “Operation Matrishakti”.
  • Though Policing is a state subject under 7th Schedule of the Indian Constitution, RPF supplements the efforts of state police in the field of combating passenger crime under “Operation Yatri Suraksha”.
  • To curb the menace of Human Trafficking through railways, RPF has been working in coordination with other stake holders round the clock under Operation “AAHT”.
  • Passengers, many a times, leave behind their belongings in haste to catch trains or leave the station. RPF personnel act as guardians and help secure these belongings with an aim to restore them to their rightful owners under “Operation Amanat”.
  • In order to give focused attention to drive against smuggling of narcotics through rail, RPF has launched “Operation NARCOS”.
  • Transportation by trains has become a major conduit for tax evaders/law breakers. RPF has launched a separate operation called “Operation Satark” against illegal transportation of Tobacco Products, unaccounted cash, illegal liquor, unaccounted precious items, smuggled goods etc.
  • RPF has taken stringent action under “Operation WILEP” against the smugglers involved in illegal trade of wildlife through railways.
  • RPF acts as Sentinels on Rail and helps state police/law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in detection of serious cases reported from their respective areas of operation under Operation “Rail Prahari”.
  • Under “Operation Dignity”, RPF rescued 80 adult men and 153 adult women who were in distress needing immediate care and protection.
  • Under “Operation Sewa”, RPF provided assistance to more than 1000 elderly, sick, divyang persons during their travel by activities ranging from arranging medicines, infant food, wheel chairs, stretchers, medical help to carrying divyang/elderly persons on their shoulders.
  • RPF personnel acknowledge the responsibility of being “citizens in uniform” and will continue to secure, assist and serve in right earnest in the service of nation and its citizens to realize motto of the Force “Yash Labhaswa” or “Attain Honour”.
  1. Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA)(PIB)

  • Context: The celebration of the 10thFoundation Day of Global Innovation and Technology Alliance(GITA).
  • Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA) is a “not–for–profit” Section-8 Public Private Partnership (PPP) company promoted jointly by the Technology Development Board (TDB), Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
  • It is Government’s arm’s length entity under PPP mode to professionally manage the Government’s funds for providing flexibility to industry for undertaking R&D along with global partners.
  • The GITA platform encourages industrial investments in innovative technology solutions by
  • Mapping technology gaps,
  • Undertaking expert evaluation of technologies available across the globe,
  • Facilitating techno–strategic collaborative partnerships appropriate for Indian economy
  • Connecting industrial and institutional partners for synergistic matchmaking and
  • Providing soft funding for technology development / acquisition / deployment.
  • To catalyze India’s recognition as a key innovator and provider of technologies at the global level.
  • To inspire Indian industrial community to recognize RD&D (Research Development & Deployment) as a key and sustainable driver for individual and collective business growth.
  • To enhance risk appetite of Indian industry for taking up innovative projects by inculcating a culture of RD&D (Research Development & Deployment) and sensitizing the importance of protecting intellectual property.
  • To create a vibrant skilled work force to take up research activities and in turn strengthen the RD&D (Research Development & Deployment) ecosystem of India.
  • To become an enabler for transfer of world class technologies to India through viable arrangements.
  • Funding
  • GITA extends financial support in form of Grant/ Conditional Grant to promote industrial R&D, Innovation, Technology Acquisition and International S & T collaborative efforts.
  • Capacity building
  • GITA catalyzes innovation and empowers ideas by offering specialized Information, matchmaking, IP protection etc. in the areas of technology design and IPR management.
  • Strengthening ecosystem
  • GITA is involved in Technical, Financial, Strategic policy research and recommendation to industry, research institution, State & Central Government and offers global networking platforms.
  • Deployment
  • GITA is mandated to facilitate the implementation of various innovative and revolutionary scientific and technological industrial research and development projects worldwide.
  1. Japanese Encephalitis (PIB)

  • Context:Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV) is the leading cause of mosquito-borne encephalitis in South-East Asia and Western Pacific and is often misdiagnosed as Dengue.
  • As there is no cure available for JEV, early detection is essential to mitigate a breakout.
  • Since the conventional methods for JEV diagnosis are expensive, more hazardous and time-consuming, National Institute of Animal Biotechnology, Hyderabad has developed a method for the rapid, sensitive and specific detection of the Non-Structural 1 (NS1) secretory protein, which is suitable biomarker for JEV found circulating in the blood.
  • Japanese encephalitis virus JEV is the most important cause of viral encephalitis in Asia.
  • It is a mosquito-borne flavivirus, and belongs to the same genus as dengue, yellow fever and West Nile viruses.
  • The first case of Japanese encephalitis viral disease (JE) was documented in 1871 in Japan.
  • JE primarily affects children. Most adults in endemic countries have natural immunity after childhood infection, but individuals of any age may be affected.
  • Most JEV infections are mild (fever and headache) or without apparent symptoms, but approximately 1 in 250 infections results in severe clinical illness.
  • Of those who survive, 20%–30% suffer permanent intellectual, behavioural or neurological sequelae such as paralysis, recurrent seizures or the inability to speak.
  • JEV is transmitted to humans through bites from infected mosquitoes of the Culexspecies (mainly Culex tritaeniorhynchus).
  • Humans, once infected, do not develop sufficient viraemia to infect feeding mosquitoes.
  • The virus exists in a transmission cycle between mosquitoes, pigs and/or water birds (enzootic cycle).
  • The disease is predominantly found in rural and periurban settings, where humans live in closer proximity to these vertebrate hosts.
  • In most temperate areas of Asia, JEV is transmitted mainly during the warm season, when large epidemics can occur.
  • In the tropics and subtropics, transmission can occur year-round but often intensifies during the rainy season and pre-harvest period in rice-cultivating regions.
  • There is no antiviral treatment for patients with JE. Treatment is supportive to relieve symptoms and stabilize the patient.
  • Safe and effective JE vaccines are available to prevent disease.
  • In case of India, JEV has its endemic zones running along the Gangetic plain including states of UP (east), Bihar, West Bengal and Assam, and parts of Tamil Nadu.
Link with Unripe Litchi Fruit
  • In India, AES outbreaks in north and eastern India have been linked to severely malnourished children eating unripe litchi fruit on empty stomachs.
  • Unripe fruit contain the toxins hypoglycin A and methylenecyclopropylglycine (MCPG), which cause vomiting, sudden high fever and seizures serious enough to require hospitalisation in young, severely malnourished children, if ingested in large quantities.
  • Vaccination: As per Govt. of India guidelines, 2 doses of JE vaccine have been approved to be included in Universal Immunization Program (UIP).
  • The vaccine is effective in few genotypes of AES as well.
  • Essential oils from plant extracts such as citronella oil, lemongrass oil and neem oil can be used as natural repellent against mosquitoes.
  1. Falkland Islands (IE)

  • Context: UK has objected to China backing Argentina’s claim to the Falkland Islands.
  • In the Falklands War between the United Kingdom and Argentina, UK wrested control of the islands.
  • Argentina has maintained that the Falklands were illegally taken from it in 1833 and invaded the British colony in 1982.
  • The Falkland Islands are located off the coast of Argentina in the south Atlantic Ocean.
  • They are also called Malvinas Islands. It is an internally self-governing overseas territory of the United Kingdom in the South Atlantic Ocean.
  • There are two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland
  • The Malvinas (Falkland) Current is a branch of the Circumpolar Current and flows northward along the continental shelf of Argentina until it reaches the Brazil Current offshore the Rio de la Plata.
  • It is a cold water current that flows northward along the Atlantic coast of Patagonia where it meets Brazilian Warm current.
  1. Freedom 2 Walk & Cycle Challenge (PIB)

  • Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), as part of the activities being undertaken under Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav (AKAM) launched two unique national level challenges for the first time- “Freedom 2 Walk & Cycle Challenge for City Leaders” & “Inter- City Freedom 2 Walk & Cycle Challenge for Citizens” between 1st to 26th January 2022.

In addition to being events that motivate citizens to adopt healthier life choices in a celebratory spirit, the Challenges serve the larger purpose of a long-term behavioral change in citizens towards taking up walking & cycling, and to make city leaders as walking and cycling champions in each city

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