Current Affairs Daily Current Affairs 22

23rdFebruary,2022 ; Daily Current Affairs 

Daily Current Affairs   Date : 23rdFebruary,2022

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

Covers 4 Most relevant Sources

  • The Hindu
  • Indian Express
  • PIB
  • Mint

Index

  • National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship (NMMSS) (PIB)
  • Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians (PIB)
  • National Supercomputing Mission (NSM):India emerging a leader in supercomputing (PIB)
  • Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)–Transport Initiative for Asia (TIA) (PIB)
  • Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) (PIB)
  • Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) (TH, pg 10)
  • Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA)(TH, pg 1)
  • Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate (PIB)
  1. National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship (NMMSS) (PIB)

  • Context:The Ministry of Education has approved the continuation of Central Sector National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship (NMMSS)over the 15thFinance Commission cycle for a period of five years i.e. from 2021-22 to 2025-26 with minor modifications in eligibility criteria such as increasing income ceiling from Rs.1.5 lakh per annum to Rs.3.5 lakh per annum and revising the renewal criteria under the scheme.
Analysis
  • The objective of the scheme is to award scholarships to meritorious students of economically weaker sections to arrest their drop-out at class VIII and encourage them to continue their education at secondary stage.
  • One lakh fresh scholarships of Rs.12,000/- per annum (Rs.1000/- per month) per student are awarded to selected students of class 9 every year and their continuation/renewal in classes 10 to 12 for study in State Government, Government-aided and Local body schools under the scheme.
  • Students are selected for award of scholarships through an examination conducted by the State/ UT Governments.
  • 100% funds under the scheme are provided by Central Government.
  1. Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians (PIB)

  • Context:The Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians was awarded to Professor Neena Gupta, a mathematician of the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata, in a virtual ceremony on 22ndFebruary 2022.
Analysis
  • She received the award for the year 2021 for her outstanding work in affine algebraic geometry and commutative algebra.
  • The prize is awarded annually to a researcher from a developing country funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of the Government of India in association with ICTP (International Centre for Theoretical Physics) and the International Mathematical Union (IMU).
  • It is given to young mathematicians less than 45 years of age who have conducted outstanding research in a developing country.
  • It is supported by DST in the memory of Srinivasa Ramanujan, a genius in pure mathematics who was essentially self-taught and made spectacular contributions to elliptic functions, continued fractions, infinite series, and analytical theory of numbers.
  1. National Supercomputing Mission (NSM):India emerging a leader in supercomputing (PIB)

  • Context: India is fast expanding its supercomputer facilities and developing the capacity to manufacture its own supercomputers in the country.
Analysis
  • The National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) envisages empowering our national academic and R&D institutions spread over the country by installing a vast supercomputing grid comprising of high-performance computing facilities.
  • Part of this is being imported from abroad, and part built indigenously, the latter being increased with time.
  • These supercomputers will also be networked on the National Supercomputing grid over the National Knowledge Network (NKN).
  • The NKN is another programme of the government which connects academic institutions and R&D labs over a high speed network.
  • The Mission also includes development of highly professional High Performance Computing (HPC) aware human resource for meeting challenges of development of these applications.
  • The Mission would be implemented and steered jointly by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY).

Objective

  • To make India one of the world leaders in Supercomputing and to enhance India’s capability in solving grand challenge problems of national and global relevance
  • To empower our scientists and researchers with state-of-the-art supercomputing facilities and enable them to carry out cutting-edge research in their respective domains
  • To minimize redundancies and duplication of efforts, and optimize investments in supercomputing
  • To attain global competitiveness and ensure self-reliance in the strategic area of supercomputing technology
  • A new dimension has now been added in India’s march towards leadership position in supercomputing with the convergence of High-Performance Computing (HPC) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  • A 200 AI PF Artificial Intelligence supercomputing system has been created and installed in C-DAC, which can handle incredibly large-scale AI workloads increasing the speed of computing-related to AI several times.
  • PARAM Siddhi – AI, the high-performance computing-artificial intelligence (HPC-AI) supercomputer, has achieved global ranking of 62 in TOP 500 most powerful supercomputer systems in the world, released on 16th November 2020.
  • Param Shivaythe first supercomputer assembled indigenously, was installed in IIT (BHU), followed by Param Shakti and Param Brahma at IIT-Kharagpur and IISER, Pune, respectively.
  • As part of the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM), the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru has installed Param Pravega, one of the most powerful Indian supercomputers.
  • Param Pravega having a supercomputing power of 3.3 petaflops, is the largest supercomputer that has been installed in an Indian academic institution.
  • India has developed an Indigenous server(Rudra), which can meet the High-Performance Computing (HPC) requirements of all governments and PSUs as well as the strategic needs of the country.
  • This is the first time that a server system was made in India, along with the full software stack developed by C-DAC.
  • Besides, a next-generation indigenous HPC interconnect called “Trinetra” has been designed and developed in the country for efficient inter-node communication between compute nodes. This will help improve power efficiency and also support large-scale systems.

Pratyush and Mihir

  • Pratyush and Mihir are the supercomputers established at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and National Center for Medium Range Weather Forecast (NCMRWF), Noida respectively.
  • As of January 2018, Pratyush and Mihir are the fastest supercomputer in India with a maximum speed of 6.8 petaFlops.

Do you know?

  • Supercomputer is any of a class of extremely powerful computers.
  • The term is commonly applied to the fastest high-performance systems available at any given time.

Distinguishing Features

  • Unlike conventional computers, they usually have more than one CPU (central processing unit).
  • Most supercomputers have a very large storage capacity, as well as a very fast input/output capability.
  • Still another distinguishing characteristic of supercomputers is their use of vector arithmetic—i.e., they are able to operate on pairs of lists of numbers rather than on mere pairs of numbers.

What is FLOPS?

  • Floating-point operations per second, or FLOPS, is the unit of measurement that calculates the performance capability of a supercomputer.
  • One petaFLOPS is equal to one thousand teraFLOPS.
  1. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)–Transport Initiative for Asia (TIA) (PIB)
  • Context:NITI Aayog and World Resources Institute (WRI), India, conducted a virtual consultation workshop on ‘Financing for Decarbonization of Transport’ as part of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)–Transport Initiative for Asia (TIA) project.
Analysis
  • With the aim to promote a comprehensive approach to decarbonize transport inIndia, Vietnam, and China, NDC–TIA is a joint programme, supported by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).
  • NITI Aayog is the implementing partner for the India component of the project.
  • India has the world’s second-largest road network, which contributes to maximum greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through all means of transportation.
  1. Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) (PIB)

  • Context:The 25thmeeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was held in Mumbai today, under the Chairpersonship of Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman.
Analysis
  • In pursuance of the announcement made in the Union Budget 2010–11 and with a view to strengthen and institutionalize the mechanism for maintaining financial stability and enhancing inter-regulatory coordination, Indian Government has setup an apex-level Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC).
  • FSDC is not a statutory body.
  • The idea to create such a super regulatory body was first mooted by the Raghuram Rajan Committee in 2008.
  • FSDC has replaced the High Level Coordination Committee on Financial Markets (HLCCFM), which was facilitating regulatory coordination, though informally, prior to the setting up of FSDC.

Composition

  • The Chairman of the FSDC is the Finance Minister of India and its members include the heads of the financial sector regulatory authorities (i.e., SEBI, IRDA, RBI, PFRDA and FMC), Finance Secretary and/or Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (Ministry of Finance), Secretary, (Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance) and the Chief Economic Adviser.
  • The commodities markets regulator, Forward Markets Commission (FMC) was added to the FSDC in December 2013 subsequent to shifting of administrative jurisdiction of commodities market regulation from Ministry of consumer Affairs to Ministry of Finance.
  • Additional Secretary, DEA, Ministry of Finance, will be the Secretary of the Council.

Mandate

  • Without prejudice to the autonomy of regulators, this Council would monitor macro prudential supervision of the economy, including the functioning of large financial conglomerates.
  • It will address inter-regulatory coordination issues and thus spur financial sector development.
  • It will also focus on financial literacy and financial inclusion.
  • What distinguishes FSDC from other such similarly situated organizations across the globe is the additional mandate given for development of financial sector.
  1. Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) (TH, pg 10)
  • Context:The Finance Ministry’s Principal Economic Adviser Sanjeev Sanyal has been inducted into the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister as a full-time member.
Analysis
  • According to the notification, the terms of reference of the Council include to analyse any issue, economic or otherwise, referred to it by the Prime Minister and advising him hereon.
  • Besides, addressing issues of macroeconomic importance and presenting views thereon to the Prime Minister.
  • This could either suo-motu or on reference from the Prime Minister or anyone else.
  • The EAC-PM is an independent body constituted to advise the government, especially the prime minister, on economic and related issues.
  • The Council works closely with the Reserve Bank of India on monetary policy and fiscal framework.
  • The EAC-PM can also opt for professional consultation from private sector and other key stakeholders to find solutions to India’s economic troubles.
  1. Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA)(TH, pg 1)
  • Context:A committee constituted by the Union Home Ministry in December to study the withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, or AFSPA, from Nagaland, slated to submit a report within 45 days as claimed by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, is yet to conclude its findings.
  • Note: You have already prepared this topic in detail from the2 Jan 22.
  1. Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate (PIB)

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is participating in ‘Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate’ being held across the country on the occasion of 75thyear of India’s Independence, ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
  • ‘Vigyan Sarvatra Pujayate’ is a pan-India programme to showcase science, technology & innovation from every part of the country during February 22-28, 2022.