AFPA

The World Radio Day 2021 is observed on February 13, 2021

 

Theme 2021: ‘New World, New Radio.’

History

February 13 was selected as the day to observe world radio day because, on this day, the United Nations radio was established in the year 1946. The UN General Assembly officially accepted the UNESCO’s proposal to make this day ‘World Radio Day’ on January 14, 2013.

The theme is further sub-divided into three parts-

  • ‘Evolution: The world changes, radio evolves.’
  • ‘Innovation: The world changes, radio adapts and innovates.’
  • ‘Connection: The world changes, radio connects.’

 

 

 

New Chief Justice to Manipur High Court

 

Justice Puligoru Venkata Sanjay Kumar was appointed as the Chief Justice of the High Court. The President of India, Mr. Ram Nath Kovind, has exercised his power under Article 217 of India’s Constitution. Before this stint, the justice is serving as a judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court. 

Similar News: Justice Pushpa Virendra Ganediwala was appointed as the Additional Judge of Bombay High Court. 

 

 

 

Punjab was listed as the 13th state to complete One Nation One Ration Card System Reform 

 

The Punjab government has given a green signal to list the state under ‘One Nation One Ration Card System’ reforms. The condition becomes the 13th state to join the reform and successfully undertake the same stipulated by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance. 

Before Punjab, 12 states of the nation have already joined the reforms, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, and Uttar Pradesh. 

What is the One Nation one Ration Card System?

– It is an essential people-centric report that allows and ensures ration availability to beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) and other welfare schemes. 

The migrant workers and their families are especially considered under the scheme so that they can get Fair Price Shop for affordable and quality foodgrains across the country.

– Daily wagers, urban low like rag pickers, street dwellers, temporary workers (of organized and unorganized sectors), domestic workers, etc., are the other beneficiaries of the scheme. 

Advantages of the scheme

– Allows states in better targeting of beneficiaries

– Helps to eliminate bogus/duplicate/ineligible cardholders

– Ensures seamless inter-state portability and availability of ration

– Allows biometric authentication, etc.

 

 

 

The Technology Information, Forecasting, and Assessment Council (TIFAC) released initiatives

 

  1. SAKSHAM (Shramik Shakti Manch) Job Portal and 
  2. A Seaweed Mission.

About TIFAC:

It is an autonomous organization set up in the year 1988. The Department of Science & Technology looks after the technology domain, assess the technology trajectories, and support innovation in select areas of national importance.

About Saksham Portal

  • It is a portal developed for jobs/mapping the skills of Shramiks (migrant workers) by considering the requirements of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and other industries/companies all across the nation. It is a pan India Portal. 
  • It will facilitate the creation of 10 lakh blue-collar jobs.

Features

High Technology Enabled: The portal uses algorithm and Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools for geospatial information on demand and availability of Shramiks and provides an analysis of suitable migrant workers’ skill training programs. The mission allows updates in data/information related to migrant workers automatically through WhatsApp and other online link sources.

Advantages

The mission would empower Shramiks as they would project their candidature directly to the government, MSMEs & other employers and would also address aspects related to their skill and kind (level) of work they can perform.

It will minimize workers’ migration as it is expected to provide job opportunities in proximate their native place.

It would also eliminate the dependence of industry on contractors (middlemen) for their human resources requirements.

Other Related Initiatives 

ShramShakti Portal (Ministry of Tribal Affairs).

ASEEM Portal (Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship).

NMIS Dashboard (National Disaster Management Authority).

Seaweeds Mission

 

Background 

India has a mere share of 0.01-0.02% out of the global seaweed production of 32 million tons. The production costs around 12 billion US dollars globally, in which China produces 57%, Indonesia 28%, followed by South Korea.

Despite several advantages, commercial seaweed cultivation has not taken place in the country at an appropriate scale, as practiced in South-East Asian countries.

Why is the Mission Important?

It has been launched for commercial farming of seaweeds and its processing for value addition towards boosting the national economy.

According to a study, if seaweed cultivation is done in 10 million hectares (in India’s EEZ), it can generate employment for 50 million people, set up a new industry, contribute to national GDP, and enhance ocean productivity, promoting blue economy, etc. 

Following activities would be done under the mission

– Establishment of demonstration farms over one hectare to cultivate seaweeds nearshore and onshore along the Indian coast.

– Establishment of seaweed nurseries to supply seed material for large scale seaweed farming.

– Establishment of demonstration plants for processing technologies/recipes.

What are Seaweeds?

Seaweed or sea vegetables are the primitive, marine non-flowering marine algae without roots, stems, and leaves that grow in the sea and play a significant role in aquatic ecosystems. They’re a food source that grows along rocky shorelines worldwide, but it’s most commonly found in Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, India, and China.

Large seaweeds form dense, which act as underwater nurseries for fish, snails, and sea urchins.

Location

Seaweeds are found predominantly in the intertidal region, shallow and deep waters of the ocean, and estuaries and backwaters.

Ecological Importance

It absorbs the excess nutrients and balances out the ecosystem.

It releases oxygen through every part of their bodies while performing photosynthesis and supplies organic nutrients to other marine life forms.

Seaweed has a significant role in mitigating climate change as it is capable of afforesting 9% of the ocean and is possible to sequester 53 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually. 

Other Utilities

– They can be used as natural fertilizers to improve the quality and quantity of agricultural produce.

– When livestock is fed with seaweed, the Gober gas produced let substantially less methane emission.

– Useful in beach erosion if buried on the beach.

– It can be commercialized as an ingredient in preparing toothpaste, cosmetics, paints, etc.

 

 

 

Parliamentary Standing Committee report praised Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) for providing sustainable livelihood to the unskilled workers, including the inter-state migrant labourers

 

What are the observations of Standing Committees?

Depicting the scheme as the best stated that the project is a specific and significant welfare provision that provides “sustainable livelihood” to unskilled workers.

Over seven crore households (10.43 crore individuals) have already benefitted from the scheme, and 330 crore person days have been created till February 2021 during the current financial year 2022, which has been the highest for any year since the inception of the scheme in 2006.

What are the Standing Committee’s Suggestions for further improvement?

The system must provide Instant and Immediate Relief and be ready to effectively deal with emergent situations like the migrants faced during the pandemic.

There is a requirement for Credible databases of unorganized workers, especially that of migrant laborers so that different steps can be taken and policies can be made.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)

It is one of the most extensive work guarantee programs in the world.

Launch

It was launched on February 2, 2006, in the nation’s father’s name by enacting the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act was passed on August 23, 2005.

Objective

‘To guarantee 100 days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-related unskilled manual work.’

Additional potential reforms

–   Empower Gram Panchayats with adequate resources, powers, and responsibilities to sanction works, provide work on demand, and authorize wage payments to ensure no delays in payments.

–   Provisions for social auditing so that the performance, especially towards immediate stakeholders, can be analyzed and create awareness regarding government policies and measures in rural areas.

Why in News?

Recently, fifteen bonded labourers were rescued in Guna, Madhya Pradesh. These laborers were going through inhuman treatment and torture by their employers.

What is Bonded Labour?

It is a kind of practice in which employers give high-interest loans to employees who work at low wages to pay off the loan.

The apex court of India has termed bonded labor as the payment of wages that are below the legal minimum wages.

Bonded labor historically belonged to the rural (Gramin) economies where marginal farmers or peasants from economically weaker communities were bound to work under big farmers or for landlords.

Bonded labor is currently found to exist in rural and urban areas, mainly in unorganized sectors like agricultural labor, domestic workers, and in industries such as brick kilns, stone quarries, coal mining, etc.

International Laws

India is pledged to end modern slavery by 2030 under the Sustainable Development Goal by ending forced labor, human trafficking, and child labor.

India is also a signatory of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957.

India also aspires to improve its rank in the Global Slavery Index. It ranked 53rd among 167 countries.

Constitutional Provisions

Article 21 provides the Right to Life and Personal Liberty.

Article 23 controls forced labor.

Article 24 stands against the employment of children (below the age of fourteen years) in factories.

Article 39 guides the govt to secure the health and strength of workers and that citizens are not forced by economic.

Related Laws enacted in the parliament

Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act 1976.

The Act allows pan India implementation in partnership with respective state governments.

District level Vigilance Committees oversee the status of exploitation of labourers as bonded labourers as an institutional mechanism.

The Vigilance committee advises District Magistrate (DM) to ensure proper implementation of laws.

Central Sector Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Labourers (2016)

Financial assistance up to Rs. Three lakhs are provided to release bonded labourers for their livelihood.

Principal Reasons for the Persistence of Bonded Labour

Uneducated people.

Low conviction rates.

Migratory nature of bonded labor.

Inappropriate implementation of acts and laws by the authorities.

Inappropriate Punishment

Unchanneled cooperation among the various level of governments.

Way forward to End Bonded Labour

The govt should organize national campaigns to spread awareness and educate the public on reporting and identifying bonded labor victims.

Efficient rehabilitation of rescued bonded labours to prevent them from being trapped into bonded labor again.

Ensure daily and sufficient wages to the victims.

 

 

 

Ministry of Coal has initiated commercial auction of coal mines using the National Coal Index (NCI). The NCI was rolled out in June 2020

 

About

It is a price index that shows the alteration of coal price in a particular month/period relative to the fixed base year.

The base year for the NCI is Financial Year 2017-18.

Coal

–   Coal is the predominantly used fossil fuel, which holds 55% energy need of India, from automobile to electricity.

–   Depending upon the usage, the coal is divided into two types:

Coking Coal

This type of coal produces coke (When it is subjected to high-temperature heating in the absence of air to a temperature above 600 degree Celsius). Coke is used to make steel by using iron ore and limestone in steel plants. Coking coal consists of a low ash percentage.

Non-Coking Coal

These types of coal do not possess any coaking properties.

It is also known as steam coal or thermal coal used in a thermal power station to generate electricity.

The coal is used for other heating purposes and cement, fertilizer, glass, ceramic, paper, chemicals, and brick.

Coal is also classified and ranked into four types

  1. Anthracite,
  2. Bituminous,
  3. Sub-bituminous, and
  4. Lignite.

These types are classified and ranked according to the amounts of carbon in the coal and the amount of heat energy the coal can generate.

Pakistan test-fired Babur Missile

 

In the second week of February, Pakistan has test-fired a short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile, namely ‘Babur’ from a multi-tube missile launcher. According to Pakistan, the rocket can hit land and maritime targets with high precision above 400 km. Recently the neighbor has also tested a capable nuclear missile named, Ghazanvi.

 

 

 

CoWIN to be integrated with Aaarogya Setu

 

Indian Govt has published two online portals, Aaarogya Setu App for COVID-19 tracing and CoWIN, to supervise the Covid-19 vaccine Registrations. CoWIN stands for COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network.

About Aarogya Setu

– The app was developed by the National Informatics entre under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

– It uses Bluetooth and GPS to trace COVID-19 patients.

CoWIN Portal

It was developed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the United Nations Development Program.     

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology

Union Minister – Ravi Shankar Prasad

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Union Minister – Harsh Vardhan

 

 

 

The National Productivity day is observed on February 12, 2021

 

To create awareness about productivity and maximum output with optimum utilization of resources, the National Productivity Council has organized the National Productivity Day on February 12, 2021. The other reason to celebrate the day is to mark the formation of the National Productivity Council. The National Productivity Week will also be observed from February 12 to February 18, 2021.

National Productivity Council (NPC)

– Chairman: Guruprasad Mohapatra

– Director-General: Arun Kumar Jha

– HQ: New Delhi

 

 

 

Rajnath Singh launched 57000 water structures under ‘Jal Abhishekam’ in Madhya Pradesh

 

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has launched the ‘Jal Abhishekam’ Campaign from New Delhi to inaugurate the 57000 water structures worth Rs. 2000 crore. The launch was done in a program organized by the state government of Madhya Pradesh led by Shivraj Singh Chauhan.

 

 

 

Jammu & Kashmir has signed to get 1st Impact-based Flood Forecasting System

 

The Union Territory has signed an agreement with a United Kingdom Space Agency program. It will be the first Flood Forecasting program of the nation.

The central govt of India will fully finance the project. The J&K will be benefitted from the project as planned; an organized and quick response can be made during flood events.

What is Impact-Based Flood Forecasting?

It is a mechanism that predicts impacts to people, physical things like houses, livestock, and even crops to forecast the floods.

In recent years India has faced numerous events about floods. According to the United Nations Office For Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), India is the third most flood-prone country after China and the USA.

About Jammu and Kashmir

Lt Governor – Manoj Sinha

Capital – Srinagar (Summer); Jammu (Winter)