Current Affairs Daily Current Affairs 22

31stMarch,2022 ; Daily Current Affairs

Daily Current Affairs   Date : 31stMarch,2022

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

Covers 4 Most relevant Sources

  • The Hindu
  • Indian Express
  • PIB
  • Mint

Index

  • BIMSTEC has adopted its Charter (TH, pg 1)
  • IMEX-22 and IONS (TH, pg 14)
  • Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) (TH, pg 14)
  • ISRO’s NETRA Project (TH, pg 6)
  • UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) (PIB)
  • National Water Mission (NWM), Catch the Rain and Sahi FasalCampaigns (PIB)
  • Hornbill Nest Adoption Program (HNAP)
  • What Is Shrinkflation?
  • National Health Authority (NHA) (TH, pg 14)

 

  1. BIMSTEC has adopted its Charter (TH, pg 1)

  • Context: Seven-nation regional grouping BIMSTEC(Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation)adopted a charter to expand its overall cooperation and firmed up a master plan for transport connectivity at a virtual summit hosted by Sri Lanka.

Analysis

  • Under this Charter, the members are expected to meet once in every two years.
  • India also called for a Free Trade Agreement among the member countries.
  • The leaders of the BIMSTEC member countries also approved a complete reorganisation of the grouping’s cooperation activities.
  • Henceforth, the BIMSTEC cooperation activities will take place in seven pillars and each of the member countries will lead one pillar. India will lead the security pillar of the BIMSTEC.
  • India has been making concerted efforts to make BIMSTEC a vibrant forum for regional cooperation as initiatives under SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) were not moving forward for a variety of reasons.

Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)

  • BIMSTECcame into being in June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration. It is headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • It constitutes seven Member States: five deriving from South Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and two from Southeast Asia, including Myanmar and Thailand.
  • The regional group constitutes a bridge between South and South East Asia and represents a reinforcement of relations among these countries.
  • BIMSTEC has also established a platform for intra-regional cooperation between SAARC and ASEAN members. 

Objectives of BIMSTEC

  • To accelerate the economic growth and social progress in the sub-region through joint endeavours in a spirit of equality and partnership.
  • To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest in the economic, social, technical and scientific fields.
  • To provide assistance to each other in the form of training and research facilities in the educational, professional and technical spheres.
  • To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organizations with similar aims and purposes.

PANEX-21

  • It is a disaster management exercise of the multilateral grouping Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).
  • It is being undertaken to review Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) mechanism.
  1. IMEX-22 and IONS (TH, pg 14)

  • Context: The regional grouping Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) conducted its maiden edition of maritime exercise, IMEX-22, at Goa and in the Arabian Sea from March 26 to 30.

Analysis

Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)

  • The IONS is a regional forum of Indian Ocean littoral states launched by Indiain February 2008.
  • It is a voluntary initiativethat seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral States of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues.
  • The littoral zone is the part of a sea, lake or river that is close to the shore.
  • These States are represented by the heads of their navies.
  • Under the IONS charter of business adopted in 2014, the forum has working groups on
  • Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR),
  • Information Security and Interoperability (IS&I) and
  • Maritime Security (anti-piracy).
  • IONS, which was started by Indian Navy in 2008, has grown into a formidable organisation with 24 ‘Member’ nations and ‘Eight’ observers, which have been geographically grouped into the following four sub-regions:
  • South Asian Littorals: India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and United Kingdom (British Indian Ocean Territory).
  • West Asian Littorals: Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates
  • East African Littorals: France (Reunion), Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, and Tanzania.
  • South East Asian and Australian Littorals:  Australia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

Observers

  • There are eight states with observer status: China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, Netherlands, Russia and Spain.

IONS Chairmanship

  • IONS Chairmanship is rotated sequentially through each of the four sub-regions.
  • Continuing with the active engagement within IONS, Bangladesh, the then ‘Chair’ of IONS conducted the first ever operational exercise called International Multilateral Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) under the IONS Charter in 2017.

7th edition of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)

  • The 7th edition of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), a biennial event, was hosted by the French Navy at La Réunion in June-July 2021.
  • France has assumed the Chairmanship on 29 Jun 21 for a two-year tenure.
  1. Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) (TH, pg 14)

  • Context: The Army version of the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM), developed jointly by India and Israel, is ready for induction, as the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted another round of two successful flight tests of the Missile.

Analysis

  • The Army version of the MRSAM is a land-based configuration of the long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) or Barak-8 naval air defence system, which is designed to operate from naval vessels.
  • MRSAM missile is equipped with an advanced active radio frequency (RF) seeker and can move at a maximum speed of Mach 2 (twice the speed of sound).
  • The RF seeker, located in the front section of the missile, is used to detect moving targets in all weather conditions.
  • The Indian Air Force has already inducted the Air Force version of the medium range surface-to-air-missile (MRSAM) system capable of knocking out aerial threats such as enemy fighter jets, missiles, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles at a range of 70 km.
  • The system is capable of hitting multiple targets simultaneously up to a range of 70 km, even in bad weather.
  • A naval version of the MRSAM is already deployed on a few Indian warships to boost their anti-air warfare capabilities.

Army Air Defence steps up procurement

  • After several delays in its modernisation process, the Army Air Defence (AD) is looking at major progress in the next few months in terms of deals and trials.
  • These include additional indigenous Akash surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, the under-development medium range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) and Igla-S very short-range air defence (VSHORAD) systems from Russia.
  • Akash is the indigenously designed and developed medium-range SAM system with a range of 25 km.
  • In addition, the Army variant of the MRSAM (which can engage targets up to a range of 70 km), is nearing induction.
  • Air defence functions at three levels – gun/missile system, medium range and high range. Within this, the AD guns are of two types: AD gun missile system and the AD self-propelled guns. The Army is looking for guns in both the categories.
  • In the medium segment, it has the indigenous Akash SAM, while MRSAM fits in the high range.
  1. ISRO’s NETRA Project (TH, pg 6)

  • Context: With space junk posing increasing threat to Indian assets in space, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is building up its orbital debris tracking capability by deploying new radars and optical telescopes under the Network for Space Objects Tracking and Analysis (NETRA) project.

Analysis

  • ‘Project NETRA’ is an early warning system in space to detect debris and other hazards to Indian satellites.
  • It will give India its own capability in space situational awareness (SSA) like the other space powers.
  • It will also serve as a system for warning against missile or space attack for the country adding a new ring to the country’s overall security, as space and defence.
  • India’s SSA will first be for low-earth orbits or LEO which have remote-sensing spacecraft.

Kessler Syndrome

  • A situation in the context of space where one collision would create a cloud of debris that leads to other collisions, which in turn would generate even more debris, leading to a runaway effect called a “collision cascade” with the result that low Earth orbit would become unusable.
  • For more details on ‘Space Debris’ refer 22 Jan 22 file.
  1. UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) (PIB)

  • Context:Kozhikode has been proposed by the Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) to be branded as a ‘City of Literature’ with the help of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Analysis

  • In Nov 2021, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) picked up Srinagar as part of the creative city network under the Crafts and Folk Arts category.
  • UNESCO designates the creative cities in seven fields — Craft, Folk Art, Media Arts, Film Design, Gastronomy, Literature and Music.
  • The Srinagar city has been designated the creative city in the field of Crafts and Folk Arts — only second city in India in this category after
  • While Mumbai has been honoured in the film category, Chennai and Varanasi have been made part of UCCN for their music. Hyderabad is a UCCN city in the gastronomy category.
  • The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.
  • The cities which currently make up this network work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.
  • Every year, UNESCO seeks applications for various cities across the globe for putting them under its UCCN project.
  • The applications in India are routed through the Ministry of Culture.
  1. National Water Mission (NWM), Catch the Rain and Sahi FasalCampaigns (PIB)

  • Context: National Water Mission (NWM) of Ministry of Jal Shakti has initiated “Catch the Rain” campaign.

Analysis

National Water Mission (NWM)

  • It is being implemented by the Ministry of Jal Shakti.

Goals of NWM

  • Comprehensive water data base in public domain and assessment of impact of climate change on water resources;
  • Promotion of citizen and State action for water conservation, augmentation and preservation;
  • Focused attention to vulnerable areas including overexploited areas;
  • Increasing water use efficiency by 20%;
  • Promotion of basin level integrated water resources management.

“Catch the Rain” Campaign: Objectives

 

  • To promote creation of Rain Water Harvesting Structures (RWHS) suitable to the climatic conditions and sub-soil strata to store rain water.
  • It drives to make water harvesting pits, rooftop RWHS and check dams; removal of encroachments and de-silting of tanks to increase their storage capacity; removal of obstructions in the channels which bring water to them from the catchment areas;
  • It includes repairs to traditional water harvesting structures like step-wells and using defunct bore-wells and old wells to put the water back to aquifers etc.
  • Some of the activities suggested are to be taken up with peoples’ active participation under this campaign.
  • To facilitate these activities, states have been requested to open “Rain Centers”in each district– in Collectorates/Municipalities or GP offices.
  • Under the “Catch The Rain” initiative, all water bodies in the districts are to be enumerated, (checked with revenue records) and encroachments to be removed.

SahiFasalCampaign

  • SahiFasal campaign was launched by National Water Mission to nudge farmers in the water stressed areas to grow crops which are not water intensive, but use water very efficiently; and are economically remunerative; are healthy and nutritious; suited to the agro-climatic-hydro characteristics of the area; and are environmentally friendly.
  1. Hornbill Nest Adoption Program (HNAP)

  • Context: The Hornbill Nest Adoption Program (HNAP), a community-based hornbill conservation programme by the Nyishi tribeof Arunachal Pradesh is celebrating its tenth year of success in 2022.

Analysis

  • HNAP operates in the forests outside Arunachal Pradesh’s Pakke Tiger Reserve.
  • Hornbills are indicators of the health of a forest, they are seed dispersers and rightly called the ‘farmers of the forest’; but they are globally threatened by habitat loss, fragmentation and hunting.
  • Pakke Tiger Reserve and its environs harbour four species: the great hornbill, rufous-necked hornbill, wreathed hornbill and the oriental pied hornbill.
  • Three of these, including the wreathed hornbill, are classified as ‘vulnerable’ species.
  • Hornbills are particularly vulnerable during the breeding season when the female hornbill seals herself inside a tree cavity during a long incubation and fledging period that lasts almost four months.
  • Earlier, most Nyishi followed animistic beliefs. The men wear elaborate headgear called ‘podum’, which is a woven cane cap adorned with the upper beak and casque of the great hornbill and also the tail feathers of other birds such as the racket-tailed drongo or a raptor.
  • But now many people have switched to using artificial beaks made of fibreglass.

The diversity of hornbills in India

  • India has nine hornbill species, of which four are found in the Western Ghats:
  • Indian Grey Hornbill (endemic to India),
  • Malabar Grey Hornbill (endemic to the Western Ghats),
  • Malabar Pied Hornbill (endemic to India and Sri Lanka) and
  • The widely distributed but vulnerable Great Hornbill.
  • India also has one species that has one of the smallest ranges of any hornbill:
  • the Narcondam Hornbill, found only on the island of Narcondam.These species are non-migratory birds and are endemic to Narcondam Island, which is an extinct volcano.
  • All the species of hornbills are listed in the Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of India.

Indian Hornbills and their Conservation Status

  • 1. Great Hornbill (Vulnerable) are the largest Hornbills in India.
  • 2. Rufous-Necked Hornbill (Vulnerable).
  • 3. Wreathed Hornbill (Vulnerable)
  • 4. White-Throated Brown Hornbill (Near Threatened)
  • 5. Oriental Pied Hornbill (Least Concern).
  • 6. Malabar Pied Hornbill (Near Threatened).
  • 7. Indian Grey Hornbill (Least Concern).
  • 8. Malabar Grey Hornbill (Least Concern).
  • 9. Narcondam Hornbill (Endangered)

Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary

  • The Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary in located in Kiphire district of Nagaland.
  • The sanctuary is considered to be an abode for many wildlife animals such as leopards, tigers, wild buffaloes, hoolock gibbons and mithun.
  • Hornbill, the most popular bird in Nagaland is also abundantly found in the Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • It was established in the year 1983, and it lies along the international border with Myanmar.
  • The services of Alemba Yimchunger, a forest guard at the Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary, have been recognised with Earth Day Network Star, an award by a U.S.-based international environment organisation that engages with green groups in 195 countries.

Hornbill Festival

  • To encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote cultural heritage of Nagaland, the Government of Nagaland organizes the Hornbill Festival every year in the first week of December at Kisama, near Kohima.
  • It is also called the ‘Festival of Festivals’.

Hornbill Watch Initiative

  • There are nine hornbill species in India, but experts say that information on hornbill distribution in the country is not very clear.
  • The Hornbill Watch initiative, an interactive web interface that allows a person to report on hornbills anywhere in India, is aimed at bridging this gap.
  1. What Is Shrinkflation?

  • Shrinkflation is the practice of reducing the size of a product while maintaining its sticker price.
  • Raising the price per given amount is a strategy employed by companies, mainly in the food and beverage industries, to stealthily boost profit margins or maintain them in the face of rising input costs.
  1. National Health Authority (NHA) (TH, pg 14)

  • The National Health Authority (NHA), the attached office of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare which runs the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, would “design, build, roll-out and implement the Central Sector Scheme, Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.