Current Affairs Daily Current Affairs 22

24th January,2021 ; Daily Current Affairs

Daily Current Affairs   Date :24th January,2021

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

Covers 4 Most relevant Sources

  • The Hindu
  • Indian Express
  • PIB
  • Mint

Index

  • A) Agriculture, Geography, Environment and Biodiversity
  • Places in News: Peru (TH, pg 13)
  • Elephant Corridors (TH, pg 1)
  • B) International Relations
  • Oslo Talks (TH, pg 13)
  • C) Indices, Reports, Surveys, Committees and Organisations
  • Subhash Chandra Bose AapdaPrabandhanPuraskar(PIB)
  • D) Schemes/Policies/Initiatives/Social Issues
  • Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) (IE)
  • Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY)(PIB)

 

A) Agriculture, Geography, Environment and Biodiversity

  1. Places in News: Peru (TH, pg 13)
  • Context: Peru declared an environmental emergency to battle an oil spill caused by freak waves from a volcanic eruption in the South Pacific.
  • The stunningly powerful eruption of an undersea volcano near Tonga unleashed tsunami waves around the Pacific and as far away as the United States.
  • In Peru, the oil spill near Lima has fouled beaches, killed birds and harmed the fishing and tourism industries.

Analysis

  • Peru is essentially a tropical country, with its northern tip nearly touching the Equator.
  • Despite its tropical location, a great diversity of climates and economic activities is brought about by the southwest winds and influence of the cold Peru Current (or Humboldt Current), which flows along its Pacific shoreline.
  • In Peru the western coastal plains are separated from the eastern lowland jungle of the Amazon Basin by the high Andes.
  • Peru shares control of Lake Titicaca, world’s highest navigable lake, with Bolivia, at 3821 m.
  • Peru is the third largest country in South America, after Brazil and Argentina. It is made up of a variety of landscapes, from mountains and beaches to deserts and rain forests.
  • Most people live along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, where the capital, Lima, is located.
  • Along Peru’s west coast is a narrow strip of desert 1,555 miles (2,500 kilometers) long.
  • Ancient people, called the Chimú and the Nasca, first inhabited this region thousands of years ago.
  • The coastal desert makes up only about 10 percent of Peru, but it is home to more than half of all Peruvians.
  • The world’s largest rain forest, the Amazon, covers nearly half of Peru.
  • The second highest mountain range Andes runs through Peru. They run from north to south throughout the country. The highest peak, Mount Huascarán, is 22,205 feet (6,768 meters) high.

 

  1. Elephant Corridors (TH)
  • Context:The fragmented and patchy forests of south Bengal have emerged as one of the hotspots of human-elephant conflict in the country, resulting in loss of lives of both humans and pachyderms.
  • Minimising elephant-human conflict is the pressing need of the region and wildlife organisations and experts have now taken up the task of undertaking ecological restoration of elephant corridors in south Bengal.

Analysis

Elephant Corridors

  • Of the available forest cover of 697,898 sq km in India (FSI 2015), only about 110,000 sq km (or 15.75%) is available to elephants.
  • Of this, about 65,000 sq km (59.1%) is notified as Elephant Reserves.
  • Only about 27% of Elephant Reserves are legally protected under the Protected Area network.
  • Of the identified corridors (about 101), 6% of the corridors are in North-eastern Indiaand Northern West Bengal and 27.7% in Southern India.
  • Thereis an inverse relationship between forest cover available in elephant rangingstates and the number of corridors in each state, indicating greater fragmentation of the smaller forest habitats.
  • In other words, the morethe degradation of the habitats, the more the number of corridors.
  • On a zonal basis, the highest number of corridors is present in Northern WestBengal, which has one corridor for every 150 sq km of available elephant habitat.
  • Corridor lands vary from a maximum of 40-45km in Surguja-Jashpur (Chhattisgarh) to a minimum of 0-100 metres inChamrajanagar-Talamalai at Punjur (Karnataka).

Conservation ofElephant Corridors

  • To ensure that corridors are protected and secured, it is important thatthey are legally protected to prevent further fragmentation of habitat andincreased human-elephant conflict.
  • To achieve this, state governmentsshould firstdemarcate and notify these corridors as StateElephant Corridors,which could then be legally protected under appropriate sections of theWild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • It is importantto engage local community-based organisations in corridor areas as ‘GreenCorridor Champions’ (GCCs), who will work as the eyes, ears and voice ofcorridors.

KallarCorridor

  • The Kallar corridor is significant as it connects the Brahmagiri-Nilgiris-Eastern Ghats elephant population range with the Nilambur-Silent Valley-Coimbatore population range.
  • Furthermore, researchers have assessed that the corridor is the only possible transit route for large mammals to move between the forests of the Silent Valley National Park-Mannarkad-Palakkad Forest Divisions and the Nilgiri North Forest Division-Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve.
  • The movement of elephants between the two ranges facilitates genetic exchange, dispersal and access to a variety of seasonal foraging grounds.

Gaj Yatra

  • ‘Gaj Yatra’, an initiative of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), was rolled out from Tura, the principal town of Garo Hills.
  • ’Gaj Yatra’, a “journey celebrating India’s national heritage animal”, aims at securing 100 elephant corridors across India.
  • The Siju-Rewak corridor in Meghalaya is used by some 1,000 elephants to travel between the Balpakram and Nokrek National Parks in the State.

 

B) International Relations

  1. Oslo Talks (TH, pg 13)
  • Context: The first Taliban delegation to visit Europe since returning to power in Afghanistan began talks in Oslo with Afghan civil society members focused on human rights, ahead of highly-anticipated meetings with Western officials.
  • No country has yet recognised the Taliban government, and Norwegian Foreign Minister stressed that the talks would “not represent a legitimisation or recognition of the Taliban”.

Analysis

  • Oslo talks are basically the discussions between Taliban government and the Western powers are being facilitated by Norway.
  • Its focus is to resolve human rights and the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
  • The humanitarian situation has deteriorated drastically since August, when the Taliban stormed back to power 20 years after being toppled.
  • The delegation will be pushed on promises to uphold human rights in return for access to billions of dollars in frozen humanitarian aid

Why Taliban agreed to talks?

  • International aid financed around 80% of the Afghan budget until it was halted in August, and the United States has frozen $9.5 billion in assets in the Afghan central bank.
  • Unemployment has skyrocketed and civil servants’ salaries have not been paid for months.
  • Hunger now threatens 23 million Afghans, or 55% of the population, according to the United Nations, which says it needs $4.4 billion from donor countries this year to address the humanitarian crisis.

 

C) Indices, Reports, Surveys, Committees and Organisations

  1. Subhash Chandra Bose AapdaPrabandhanPuraskar(PIB)
  • To recognize and honour the invaluable contribution and selfless service rendered by individuals and organizations in India in the field of disaster manageent, Government of India has instituted an annual award known as Subhash Chandra Bose AapdaPrabandhanPuraskar.
  • The award is announced every year on 23rdJanuary, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
  • For the year 2022, (i) Gujarat Institute of Disaster Management (in the Institutional category) and (ii) Professor Vinod Sharma (in the Individual category) have been selected for the Subhash Chandra Bose AapdaPrabandhanPuraskar for their excellent work in Disaster Management.

 

D) Schemes/Policies/Initiatives/Social Issues

  1. Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) (IE)
  • Context: A study commissioned by the Ministry of Rural Development has observed that the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) has not made “any significant impact” and that “in the current format… (it) is not achieving the desired purpose”.

Analysis

Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana

  • Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) is a village development project of the Ministry of Rural Development launched in October 2014on the birth anniversary of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan.
  • Under this scheme, each Member of Parliament will take the responsibility of developing physical and institutional infrastructure in three villages by 2019, of which one would be achieved by 2016.
  • Thereafter, five such Adarsh Grams (one per year) will be selected and developed by 2024.
  • Far beyond mere infrastructure development, SAGY aims at instilling certain values in the villagesand their people so that they get transformed into models for others.

The main objectives of SAGY are:

  • To trigger processes which lead to holistic development of the identified Gram Panchayats;
  • To substantially improve the standard of living and quality of life of all sections of the population through;
  • Improved basic amenities
  • Higher productivity
  • Enhanced human development
  • Better livelihood opportunities
  • Reduced disparities
  • Access to rights and entitlements
  • Wider social mobilization
  • Enriched social capital
  • To generate models of local level development and effective local governance which can motivate and inspire neighbouring Gram Panchayats to learn and adapt;
  • To nurture the identified Adarsh Grams as schools of local development to train other Gram Panchayats.

Identification of Adarsh gram:

  • A Gram Panchayat would be the basic unit. It will have a population of 3000-5000 in plain areas and 1000-3000 in hilly, tribal and difficult areas.
  • In districts where this unit size is not available, Gram Panchayats approximating the desirable population size may be chosen.
  • The MP would be free to identify a suitable Gram Panchayat for being developed as Adarsh Gram, other than his/her own village or that of his/her spouse.
  • Lok Sabha MP has to choose a Gram Panchayat from within his/her constituency.
  • Rajya Sabha MP has to choose a Gram Panchayat from the rural area of a district of his/her choice in the State from which he/she is elected.
  • Nominated MPs may choose a Gram Panchayat from the rural area of any district in the country.
  • In the case of urban constituencies, (where there are no Gram Panchayats), the MP will identify a Gram Panchayat from a nearby rural constituency.
  • The Gram Panchayats once selected by members of Parliament (whose tenures have ended on account of resignation or otherwise) would be continued as such under SAGY irrespective of whether activities have already been initiated in the GP under SAGY or not.
  • The newly elected MPs will have the option to select the GP of their choice and two more subsequently by 2019.

 

  1. Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY)
  • Context: An article in PIB.

Analysis

  • Scheduled Castes (SCs), who constitute 16.6% of our population as per 2011 Census, have historically suffered social and educational disabilities and economic deprivation arising therefrom.
  • Article 46 of Part IV (Directive Principles of State Policy) of the Constitution enjoins upon the State to promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
  • Article 38 (2) in the same Part also enjoins upon the State to minimize inequities in income, and to endeavour to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations.
  • To enable an area-based development approacha new scheme called the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY) was launched on a Pilot basis during 2009-10. The Scheme aims at integrated development of villages in which the population of Scheduled Castes is above 50%.
  • The scheme aims to achieve overall development of SC majority villages through convergent implementation of other Central or State Government Schemes and providing gap filling funds to take up activities which do not get covered under existing schemes.
  • The Scheme provides for an ‘Adarsh Gram’ wherein people have access to various basic services so that the minimum needs of all the sections of the society are fully met and disparities are reduced to a minimum.
  • The objective of this Scheme is to ensure integrated development of the selected villages with more than 50% SC population so that, inter alia, there is:
  • (a) Adequate Infrastructure: All requisite infrastructure necessary for the socio-economic development needs are to be provided under the Scheme.
  • (b) Improvement in Socio-Economic Indicators: The identified socio-economic indicators, known as Monitorable Indicators, are to be improved so that the disparity between SC and non-SC population is eliminated and the level of indicators is raised to at least that of the National average.

More specifically, all BPL SC families should have food and livelihood security, all SC children should complete education at least up to the secondary level, all factors leading to maternal and infant mortality are addressed and incidence of malnutrition, especially amongst children and women, is eliminated.