Daily Current Affairs

31ST DECEMBER,2020 : MOST POWERFUL DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS CONCEPTS

UPSC PRELIMS+MAINS 

Index

  1. A) Schemes, Policies, Initiatives, Awards and Social Issues
  2. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) (PIB)
  3. Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) (PIB)
  4. Light House Projects (PIB)
  5. e-Courts Mission Mode Project (PIB)
  6. B) Economy
  7. All about Bitcoin (TH)
  8. C) Art, Culture and History
  9. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Port Blair (PIB)
  10. D) Science and Technology, Defence, Space
  11. Leishmaniasis or Kala-azar (TH)
  12. Akash Missile (TH)
  13. E) Miscellaneous
  14. Introduction of Real Time Market (RTM) and Green Term Ahead Market (GTAM) through Power Exchange (PIB)
  15. Security Constraint Economic Despatch (SCED) (PIB)
  16. INSACOG (PIB)
  17. One Nation, One Grid, One Frequency (PIB)
  18. RAISE programme (PIB)

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

  1. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) (PIB)

  • The Ministry of Power has launched Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) for rural areas with the following objectives:
  • To provide electrification to all villages
  • Separation of agriculture and non-agriculture feeders facilitating judicious rostering of supply to agricultural & non-agricultural consumers in the rural areas
  • Improvement of Sub-transmission and distribution network to improve the quality and reliability of the supply
  • Metering to reduce the losses
  • The funding mechanism of DDUGJY is as under:
Agency Nature of support Quantum of support
(Percentage of project cost)
Other than Special Category States Special Category States #
Govt of India Grant 60 85
Discom Contribution* Own Fund 10 5
Lender (FIs/ Banks) Loan 30 10
Additional Grant from GOI on achievement of prescribed milestones Grant 50% of total loan component (30%) i.e. 15% 50% of total loan component (10%) i.e. 5%
Maximum Grant by GOI (including additional grant on achievement of prescribed milestones) Grant 75% 90%
  • Minimum contribution by Discom(s) is 10% (5% in case of Special Category States).
  • Special Category States (All North Eastern States including Sikkim, J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand)
  • The erstwhile Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) scheme for village electrification and providing electricity distribution infrastructure in the rural areas has been subsumed in the DDUGJY scheme.
  • Rural Electrification Corporation is the Nodal Agency for implementation of DDUGJY.
  • 100% grant shall be provided by GoI towards expenditure incurred on activities for bridging the missing links of National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN), Creation of Rural Electrification Data Hub at Rural Electrification Corporation & Project Management Agency (PMA) as per provision in the scheme.
  • All Discoms including private sector Discoms and State Power Departments will be eligible for financial assistance under the scheme.
  • Discoms where the distribution of power supply in rural areas is with them, projects under the scheme will be implemented through a State Government Agency and the assets to be created under the scheme will be owned by the State Government/State owned companies.
  1. Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) (PIB)

  • The scheme covers urban areas under distribution utilities in India.
  • The objective of the scheme is to ensure
  • (i) 24×7 power supplies for consumers in urban area,
  • (ii) reduction of AT&C losses and
  • (iii) providing access to all urban households.
  • Ministry of Power, Government of India notified “Integrated Power Development Scheme” (IPDS) in 2014 with following components:
  • Strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution networks in the urban areas including provisioning of solar panel.
  • Metering of distribution transformers / feeders / consumers in the urban areas.
  • IT enablement of distribution sector and strengthening of distribution network.
  • Schemes for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and IT enablement of all 4041 towns as per Census 2011.
  • Underground cabling to include additional demand of States and smart metering solution for performing UDAY States and Solar panels on Govt. buildings with net-metering are also permissible under the scheme.

Eligible Utilities

  • All Discoms will be eligible for financial assistance under the scheme.

Funding pattern

  • GoI Grant = 60% (85% for special category States).
  • Additional Grant = 15% (5% for special category States) – linked to achievement of milestones.
  1. Light House Projects (PIB)

  • Context: PM to lay Foundation Stone of Light House Projects under GHTC-India

Analysis

Light House Projects

  • The Light House Projects (LHPs) showcase the best of new-age alternate global technologies, materials and processes in the construction sector for the first time in the country at such a large scale.
  • They are being constructed under GHTC-India which envisages to provide an ecosystem for adoption of innovative technologies in the housing construction sector in a holistic manner.
  • The LHPs are being constructed at Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Rajkot (Gujarat), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Agartala (Tripura) and Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).
  • They comprise about 1000 houses at each location along with allied infrastructure facilities.
  • These projects will demonstrate and deliver ready to live houses at an expedited pace within twelve months, as compared to conventional brick and mortar construction, and will be more economical, sustainable, of high quality and durability.

GHTC-India

  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India has conceptualized a Global Housing Technology Challenge – India (GHTC- India) which aims to identify and mainstream a basket of innovative technologies from across the globe that are sustainable and disaster-resilient.
  • Such technologies would be cost effective, speedier and ensure a higher quality of construction of houses, meeting diverse geo-climatic conditions and desired functional needs.
  • The GHTC-India platform aspires to provide an eco-system for the adoption of innovative technologies in the housing construction sector in a holistic manner. Lighthouse projects are envisaged that will be built using these innovative technologies and further support will be provided to upcoming domestic technologies to foster an environment of research and development. Conceptualised through extensive consultations with various stakeholders, GHTC-India leverages the scale and successes of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) and its Technology Sub-Mission.
  • To enable a technology transition, GHTC-India will encourage participation from across the affordable urban housing and construction sectors, such as technology providers, researchers, start-ups, developers, academia, public sector agencies, and civil society organizations.

ASHA-India

  • Affordable Sustainable Housing Accelerators – India (ASHA-India) aims to promote domestic research and entrepreneurship by providing incubation and acceleration support to potential future technologies.
  • Under ASHA-India initiative, five ASHA-India Centres have been set up for providing incubation and acceleration support.
  • The technologies, processes and materials identified through this initiative will provide a major fillip to young creative minds, start-ups, innovators and entrepreneurs.
  1. e-Courts Mission Mode Project (PIB)

  • Context: E-committee of Supreme court of India was conferred with the Platinum award for Excellence in Digital Governance by the President of India.
  • E-Courts project visioned and implemented by the eCommittee, Supreme court of India along with Department of Justice and NIC (National Information Centre) is a Mission Mode Project of Government of India.
  • Citizens can access Case status, causelist, court orders anywhere, any time through e-courts services website, mobile app, sms email services from the 3293 court complexes.
  • Moreover, Citizens/litigants/Lawyers and can get the details of 13.79 Cr cases, 13.12 Cr orders and judgments available online 24 X7 free of cost.
  • During Pandemic 55,417,58 cases heard by courts through video conferencing using the digital infrastructure provided by the ecourts project.
  • E-committee of supreme court of India consists of Patron-in-Chief Mr Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, Chief Justice of India; Chairperson Dr Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, Judge, Supreme Court of India; Vice-Chairperson Mr Justice R.C. Chavan, Former Judge, Bombay High Court and four members.

Analysis

  • Under e-Courts Project, one of the largest digital networks of the world was conceived by Department of Justice along with the e-Committee of the Supreme Court of India to connect the 2992 court complexes located all over India by a high-speed Wide Area Network (WAN) via different modes of connectivity such as Optical Fiber Cable (OFC), Radio Frequency (RF), Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) etc.
  • Many courts under the e-Courts project are located in far flung areas where terrestrial cable cannot be used for providing connectivity. Such areas are termed as Technically Not Feasible (TNF).
  • Connectivity is being established at TNF sites using alternative means like RF, VSAT etc.
  • The cost of providing connectivity through alternative means like VSAT is much higher.
  • As part of National e-Governance Plan, e-Courts Project is an Integrated Mission Mode Project under implementation since 2007 for the ICT development of the Indian Judiciary based on the ‘National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology in Indian Judiciary’.
  • A mission mode project (MMP) is an individual project within the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) that focuses on one aspect of electronic governance, such as banking, land records or commercial taxes etc.
  • Within NeGP 2.0, “mission mode” implies that projects have clearly defined objectives, scopes, and implementation timelines and milestones, as well as measurable outcomes and service levels.
  • The objective of the e-Courts project is to provide designated services to litigants, lawyers and the judiciary by universal computerization of district and subordinate courts in the country by leveraging Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for improved justice delivery.
  • The project aimed at providing necessary hardware and software applications to enable courts to deliver e-services, and to enable the judiciary to monitor and manage the functioning of courts.
  • The courts are envisaged to provide a host of e-Services such as – case filing, certified copies of orders and judgments and case status, to litigants and public at large through the e-Courts portal.
  • The portal has been linked to the e-Taal, which is a web portal for dissemination of e-Transaction statistics of Central and State level e-Governance Projects including Mission Mode Projects.
  • The Government approved the computerization of 14,249 district & subordinate Courts under the e-Courts Phase I project (2007-2015).
  • Envisaging further ICT enhancement through universal computerization of all the courts, the Phase II of the project was approved by the Cabinet in July 2015 with a cost of Rs 1670 crore under which 16,845 courts have been computerized.
  • Envisaging further ICT enhancement through universal computerisation of all the courts, use of cloud computing, digitization of case records of last 20 years and enhanced availability of e-services to lawyers and litigants through e-filing, e-payment gateways and mobile applications etc., the Phase II of the project was proposed.
  • The Phase II of the project would focus not only on the computerisation of courts across the country but also help in the automation of workflow management which would enable the courts to exercise greater control over the management of cases.
  • The services envisaged to be taken up during Phase II, which would be at the disposal of the citizens, include:
  • installation of touch screen-based Kiosks with printers in each Court Complex,
  • fetching information through Mobile,
  • facilitating improved performance of courts through change management and process reengineering,
  • installation of Video Conferencing facility at all Court Complexes and corresponding jails,
  • connecting all courts in the country to the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) through Wide Area Network and additional redundant connectivity,
  • electronic movement of records from taluka/trial to appeal courts,
  • use of e-filing, e-Payment and mobile applications and also for the composite set of services to be provided through the Judicial Service Centres.
  • Further, the judiciary can also benefit from the project by provisioning of hand-held process service devices for process servers to ensure transparent and time bound delivery of court notices and summons, Digital Signature Certificates (DSCs) to Court officials to enable them to issue certified e-documents to lawyers and litigants, and provisioning of laptops and printers to Judicial Officers.
  • Also, the use of solar energy has also been proposed at some court complexes enabling the courts to help the environment actively.
  • In line with the Digital India Programme of the Government of India which emphasises on Citizen centric services, the project would also focus on Digital Infrastructure as a Core Utility to Every Citizen providing Governance and Services on Demand subsequently digitally empowering the Citizens.
  • Specifically, the main objectives of the e-Court Project are as follows:
  • To provide efficient & time-bound citizen-centric service delivery.
  • To develop, install & implement decision support systems in courts.
  • To automate the processes to provide transparency of Information access to its stakeholders.
  • To enhance judicial productivity both qualitatively & quantitatively, to make the justice delivery system affordable, accessible, cost-effective & transparent.

 B) Economy

5.All about Bitcoin (TH)

  • Context: Bitcoin recently hit a record $28,599.99, its highest ever price.
  • Bitcoin has increasingly seen demand from larger U.S. investors due to its perceived inflation-hedging qualities, potential for quick gains and expectations it would become a mainstream payments method.

Analysis

How does a Bitcoin work?

  • The origin of Bitcoin is unclear, as is who founded it. A person, or a group of people, who went by the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto are said to have conceptualised an accounting system in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Nakamoto published a white paper about a peer-to-peer electronic cash system, which would “allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution”.
  • Bitcoin from a user’s perspective is “nothing more than a mobile app or computer program that provides a personal Bitcoin wallet and allows a user to send and receive Bitcoins with them”.
  • Bitcoins are generally identified with a Bitcoin address, which comprises 26-35 alphanumeric characters starting with either “1” or “3”.
    • This address, which remains anonymous, represents the destination of a Bitcoin, or a fraction.
  • Originally, the Bitcoin was intended to provide an alternative to fiat money and become a universally accepted medium of exchange directly between two involved parties.
  • However, after Bitcoins picked up momentum, some entities started establishing exchanges — on lines of stock exchanges — for people to buy and sell Bitcoins against fiat money such as dollars or euros or pounds.
  • Early proponents of the cryptocurrency argued that once an exchange was established, all the strengths of a Bitcoin went away, considering a third party institution was involved once again for money to change hands.

Are records of Bitcoin transactions maintained?

  • Nakamoto mooted an idea for a publicly available, open ledger that would contain all the transactions ever made, albeit in an anonymous and an encrypted form.
  • This ledger is called blockchain.
  • The block chain is a shared public ledgeron which the entire Bitcoin network relies. All confirmed transactions are included in the block chain.
    • It allows Bitcoin wallets to calculate their spendable balance so that new transactions can be verified thereby ensuring they’re actually owned by the spender.
  • The integrity and the chronological order of the block chain are enforced with cryptography.
  • Considering the public and open nature of the ledger, proponents of this currency system believe it could help weed out corruption and inefficiencies in the system.
  • In a traditional financial deal in which two parties are using fiat money, a third-party organisation — usually a central bank — assures that the money is genuine and the transaction is recorded.
  • With Bitcoin, a chain of computers is constantly working towards authenticating the transactions by solving complex cryptographic puzzles.
  • For solving the puzzles, these systems are rewarded with Bitcoins. This process is called Bitcoin mining.

How does one acquire a Bitcoin?

  • One can either mine a new Bitcoin if they have the computing capacity, purchase them via exchanges, or acquire them in over-the-counter, person-to-person transactions. A Bitcoin exchange functions like a bank where a person buys and sells Bitcoins with traditional currency.
  • Depending on the demand and supply, the price of a Bitcoin keeps fluctuating.
  • Miners are the people who validate a Bitcoin transaction and secure the network with their hardware. The Bitcoin protocol is designed in such a way that new Bitcoins are created at a fixed rate. No developer has the power to manipulate the system to increase his profits.
  • One unique aspect of Bitcoin is that only 21 million units will ever be created.
  • However, transactions can be denominated in sub-units of a Bitcoin.
    • A Satoshi is the smallest fraction of a Bitcoin.

What has led to the rise in Bitcoin prices?

  • The biggest factor has been the fact that some pension funds and insurance funds took permission to park a small part of their portfolio in Bitcoins.

C) Art, Culture and History

6.Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Port Blair (PIB)

Context: PM remembers Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on 75th Anniversary of tricolor hoisting at Port Blair

Analysis

Chronology of landmark events in the life of Subhas Chandra Bose

  • Subhas Chandra Bose was born on January 23, 1897 in Cuttack, Orissa.
  • To fulfill his parents wishes he went to England in 1919 to compete for Indian Civil Services.
  • In England he appeared for the Indian Civil Service competitive examination in 1920, and came out fourth in order of merit. However, Subhas Chandra Bose was deeply disturbed by the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre, and left his Civil Services apprenticeship midway to return to India in 1921.
  • After returning to India Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose came under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi and joined the Indian National Congress.
  • On Gandhiji’s instructions, he started working under Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, whom he later acknowledged his political guru.
  • Soon he showed his leadership mettle and gained his way up in the Congress’ hierarchy.
  • In 1928 the Motilal Nehru Committee appointed by the Congress declared in favour of Domination Status, but Subhas Chandra Bose along with Jawaharlal Nehru opposed it, and both asserted that they would be satisfied with nothing short of complete independence for India.
  • Subhas also announced the formation of the Independence League (IIL).
  • Subhas Chandra Bose was jailed during Civil Disobedience movement in 1930.
  • He was released in 1931 after Gandhi-Irwin pact was signed. He protested against the Gandhi-Irwin pact and opposed the suspension of Civil Disobedience movement specially when Bhagat Singh and his associates were hanged.
  • Subash Chandra Bose was soon arrested again under the infamous Bengal Regulation.
  • After an year he was released on medical grounds and was banished from India to Europe. He took steps to establish centres in different European capitals with a view to promoting politico-cultural contacts between India and Europe.
  • Defying the ban on his entry to India, Subash Chandra Bose returned to India and was again arrested and jailed for a year.
  • After the General Elections of 1937, Congress came to power in seven states and Subash Chandra Bose was released.
  • Shortly afterwards he was elected President of the Haripura Congress Session in 1938.
  • During his term as Congress President, he talked of planning in concrete terms, and set up a National planning Committee in October that year.
  • At the end of his first term, the presidential election to the Tripuri Congress session took place early 1939. Subhas Chandra Bose was re-elected, defeating Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya who had been backed by Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress Working Committee.
  • Clouds of World War II were on the horizon and he brought a resolution to give the British six months to hand India over to the Indians, failing which there would be a revolt. There was much opposition to his rigid stand, and he resigned from the post of president and formed a progressive group known as the Forward Block.
  • Subhas Chandra Bose now started a mass movement against utilizing Indian resources and men for the great war.There was a tremendous response to his call and he was put under house arrest in Calcutta.
  • In January 1941, Subhas Chandra Bose disappeared from his home in Calcutta and reached Germany via Afghanistan.
  • Working on the maxim that “an enemy’s enemy is a friend”, he sought cooperation of Germany and Japan against British Empire.
  • In January 1942, he began his regular broadcasts from Radio Berlin, which aroused tremendous enthusiasm in India.
  • In July 1943, he arrived in Singapore from Germany.
  • In Singapore he took over the reins of the Indian Independence Movement in East Asia from Rash Behari Bose and organised the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army) comprising mainly of Indian prisoners of war.
  • He was hailed as Netaji by the Army as well as by the Indian civilian population in East Asia.

D) Science and Technology, Defence, Space

7.Leishmaniasis or Kala-azar (TH)

  • Context: Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare chaired an event to review the status of the disease Kala-Azar in the four states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
  • Kala Azar is the 2nd largest parasitic killer in the world after Malaria and results in a 95% fatality rate if the patients are not treated.
  • Additionally, up to 20% of the patients who are correctly treated and cured, develop a skin condition called Post-Kala-Azar Dermal Leishmaniasis (PKDL) which surfaces within months to years after treatment.
  • These patients can contain large amounts of parasites in their skin lesions, making them an important source of transmission.
  • There are 54 districts in four states namely Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal that are currently affected by Kala-azar with sporadic cases in other states like Assam, HP, J&K, Kerala, Sikkim, and Uttarakhand.

Analysis

Leishmaniasis

  • The leishmaniases are a group of diseases caused by protozoan parasites from more than 20 Leishmania species.
  • These parasites are transmitted to humans by the bites of the infected female phlebotomine sandfly, which feed on blood to produce eggs.
  • Some 70 animal species, including humans, have been found as natural reservoir hosts of Leishmania parasites.
  • Most people infected by the parasite do not develop any symptom at all in their life.
  • Therefore, the term leishmaniasis refers to the fact of becoming sick due to a Leishmania infection and not the mere fact of being infected with the parasite.
  • There are 3 main forms of leishmaniases – Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) (also known as kala-azar, which is and the most serious form of the disease), Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) (the most common), and Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (ML).
  • Post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis is usually a sequel of visceral leishmaniasis that appears as macular, papular or nodular rash usually on the face, upper arms, and other parts of the body.
  • The disease affects some of the poorest people on earth, and is associated with malnutrition, population displacement, poor housing, a weak immune system and lack of financial resources.
  • Leishmaniasis is linked to environmental changes such as deforestation, building of dams, irrigation schemes, and urbanization.
  • Leishmaniasis is climate-sensitive as changes in temperature, rainfall and humidity can have strong effects on vectors and reservoir hosts by altering their distribution and influencing their survival and population sizes.
  • In 2018, more than 95% of new VL cases reported to WHO occurred in 10 countries: Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Kenya, Nepal, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.
  • In 2018 over 85% of new CL cases occurred in 10 countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Pakistan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Tunisia.
  • Over 90% of ML cases occur in Bolivia, Brazil, Ethiopia and Peru.
  • (absolutely no need to cram the names of countries, just note that a particular form of the disease in more common in India than the others…GET CLEVER! GET SELECTED!).
  • India is endemic for CL and VL in the Indian sub-continent.
  • CL occurs in the north-western states of India (foci in Rajasthan and Punjab). The most affected area in Rajasthan is Bikaner district.
  • Historically, VL was widely prevalent in India.

Kala-azar (Visceral leishmaniasis, VL)

  • Kala-azar is characterised by bouts of fever, weight loss, anaemia, and an enlargement of the spleen and liver that shows up as a pot belly.
  • Often, cases of kala-azar are mistaken as malaria. The disease is debilitating and almost always fatal when left untreated.
  • Kala azar is largely a disease of the poor. It has been endemic to four states in India – Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • India has been trying to eliminate kala azar for decades but with little success.
  • In 2014, the government launched the Kala Azar Elimination Programme with support from international agencies to eliminate the disease by 2017.
  • The programme focusses on the four endemic states and has been on the verge of eliminating the disease but has been struggling to cross the finish line.
  • Eliminating kala azar in India is defined as achieving an annual incidence of less than one case per 10,000 people at the sub-district level.
  • India first set itself a target to eliminate kala azar in 2010, then in 2015 and then in 2017.
  • For decades, the disease continued to linger and spread in endemic areas for lack of a good effective treatment and lack of political will.
  • However, in recent years eliminating the disease has been within reach.
  • The development and use of a liposomal amphotericin drug in 2014 became what many kala azar experts call a “game changer”.
  • When administered intravenously, the drug can cure the disease in a day.
  • The kala azar elimination programme also expects Accredited Social Health Activists or ASHAs to send people who have had fever for more than two weeks to a hospital.
  • ASHAs are health workers in rural areas who help people in their communities to access public health services and help with providing antenatal care, bringing women to health facilities for institutional deliveries, and implementing immunisation programmes.
  • Kala Azar is one of the most neglected tropical diseases.

What are “neglected tropical diseases”?

  • There are four primary criteria that define an illness as a neglected tropical disease (NTD):
  • First, there is a significant burden of mortality and morbidity.
  • Secondly, a majority of incidents occur in the world’s tropical and sub-tropical regions, and it particularly impacts the poor.
  • Thirdly, the disease is amenable to treatment, as well as prevention.
  • Finally, the overall level of investment in research addressing the disease, from prevention to diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation, is exceptionally low in comparison to its impact.

Some of the neglected tropical diseases identified by WHO are:

  • Buruli ulcer
  • Chagas disease
  • Dengue and Chikungunya
  • Dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease)
  • Echinococcosis
  • Foodborne trematodiases
  • Human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Leprosy (Hansen’s disease)
  • Lymphatic filariasis
  • Mycetoma, chromoblastomycosis and other deep mycoses
  • Onchocerciasis (river blindness)
  • Rabies
  • Scabies and other ectoparasites
  • Schistosomiasis
  • Soil-transmitted helminthiases
  • Snakebite envenoming
  • Taeniasis/Cysticercosis
  • Trachoma
  • Yaws (Endemic treponematoses)
  1. Akash Missile (TH)

  • Context: Cabinet Approves Export of Akash Missile System to friendly countries.
  • Under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat, India is growing in its capabilities of manufacturing wide variety of Defence platforms and missiles. Akash is country’s important missile with over 96 percent indigenisation.

Analysis

  • AKASH is a Short Range Surface to Air Missile system with a range of 25 Kms to protect vulnerable areas and vulnerable points from air attacks.
  • AKASH Weapon System can simultaneously engage Multiple Targets in Group Mode or Autonomous Mode.
  • It has built in Electronic Counter-Counter Measures (ECCM) features.
  • The entire weapon system has been configured on mobile platforms.
  • AKASH Weapon Systems has been inducted and is operational with the Indian Air Force (IAF) as well as the Indian Army (IA).
  • It was developed as part of the Integrated Guided-Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) other than Nag, Agni, Trishul, and Prithvi missiles.
  • The supersonic missile has a range of around 25 km and up to the altitude of 18,000 metres.
  • The missile uses high-energy solid propellant for the booster and ramjet-rocket propulsion for the sustainer phase. The missile system is said to be highly mobile.
  • Several variants of the missile — Akash MK1, Akash-MK2 — with improved accuracy and higher ranges are under development by the DRDO.

 E) Miscellaneous

9.Introduction of Real Time Market (RTM) and Green Term Ahead Market (GTAM) through Power Exchange (PIB)

  • Real Time Market (RTM) was launched from 01.06.2020 enabling Discoms and other buyers to procure power nearer to delivery time.
  • Green Term Ahead Market (GTAM) was launched from 21.08.2020 enabling procurement of renewable power from the Power Exchanges.
  • The introduction of Green Markets on the Power Exchanges will facilitate achievement of green energy targets in a most efficient and cost-optimized manner.
  1. Security Constraint Economic Despatch (SCED) (PIB)

  • In order to reduce the cost of power procured by the Distribution Licensees, a Pilot system of Security Constraint Economic Despatch (SCED) was introduced in the last year where for thermal Inter State Generating Stations (ISGS), the merit order dispatch at national level shall be followed. Hence the cheapest generation will be available at the maximum level.
  • Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has vide order dated 18.4.2020 has extended the time for pilot for a further period up to 31st March, 2021.
  • The Commission has also expanded the ambit of SCED by including the generators other than the thermal ISGS whose tariff is determined by the Commission.
  1. INSACOG (PIB)

  • The government has launched the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG), comprising 10 labs.
  • The overall aim of the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium is to monitor the genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2 on a regular basis through a multi-laboratory network.
  1. One Nation, One Grid, One Frequency (PIB)

  • India has already attained the status ofOne Nation, One Grid, One Frequency’ and there are now no constraints in inter-regional transfer of power.
  • Synchronisation of all regional grids helps in optimal utilization of scarce natural resources by transfer of Power from Resource centric regions to Load centric regions.
  • Further, this shall pave way for establishment of vibrant Electricity market facilitating trading of power across regions.
  • One Nation One Grid shall synchronously connect all the regional grids and there will be one national frequency.
  • Earlier, the regional grids had asynchronous connections with each other that enable transmission of high voltage direct current. But this is a cumbersome and inefficient way to transmit power and the capacity is limited.
  • The responsibilities of the regulators and grid managers are now that much higher with the entire country united in a single grid. Lapses such as those that caused the western and northern grids to collapse on two consecutive days in July 2012 can lead to disastrous consequences in a unified grid.
  1. RAISE programme (PIB)

  • Retrofit of Air-conditioning to improve Indoor Air Quality for Safety and Efficiency (RAISE) programme was launched by Union Power Minister in July 2020.
  • The programme focuses on improving indoor air quality (IAQ), thermal comfort, and energy efficiency (EE) in office’s air conditioning system.
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