AFPA

First Convergence Project in Goa

The Energy Efficient Services Ltd concluded an MoU with the Dept. of New and Clean Energy, Goa, on 17th November 2020. As per the deal, India’s first renewable energy convergence plan for agriculture and rural areas ought to be built in Goa.

About this initiative:

The project seeks to focus on energy technologies that have developed based on ideas that incorporate climate change, clean energy and artificial intelligence. The key aim of the project is to link sectors such as LED lighting, solar energy and energy storage and provide solutions that will allow decarbonisation.

How will Goa benefit from the project?

Goa has set a target of producing 150 MW of renewable energy over the next three years. It also plans to set up 100 MW of solar power plants. The project will help Goa achieve its objectives.

What are Convergence Projects?

Convergence projects would be programs where physical, social, structural and economic infrastructure is combined. It also requires a variety of schemes to accomplish its aims. For eg, India’s Smart City mission is a convergence initiative. Which includes the Ministry of Urban Planning, the Ministry of Electricity, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energies, etc. It achieves its objectives in large areas including road infrastructure growth, tap water connectivity, homes for all the internet, etc.

 

 

The ODOP Digital Map of India

GIS One District One Product (ODOP) interactive map of India was introduced by the Ministry of Food Processing.

More about:

  • The interactive ODOP map gives comprehensive information on ODOP goods to all stakeholders.
  • The GIS ODOP digital map of India offers information about ODOP items from all states and encourages the involvement of stakeholders.
  • The digital map also provides indices for tribal, SC, ST, and aspirational districts. It will encourage stakeholders to make deliberate attempts to improve their value chain.

 

 

Reasons for Trigger in the Assam-Mizoram border

Simmering tension prevailed on the Assam-Mizoram border following a violent confrontation between the citizens of the two states, injuring many of them, officials said on Sunday.

What causes turmoil?

  • 3 districts of Assam’s Barak Valley which are Cachar, Hailakandi as well as Karimganj—are bordering Kolasib and Mamit districts in Mizoram.
  • On 9th October, a farm hut, as well as a betel nut plantation mainly categorised into 2 residents of Mizoram, was set on fire in the region bordering Karimganj (Assam) and Mamit (Mizoram) districts.
  • Some citizens in Assam reportedly pelted stones at Mizoram police on the next day and Mizoram residents fought back.
  • Assam-based groups also blocked NH306 and other roads leading to Mizoram. The blockade was lifted on 22 October after talks between the two States and mediation by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • Yet Mizoram’s reluctance to withdraw from the contested areas led to another blockade on 28 October.
  • The situation started to even get out of hand whenever the Assamese guy called Imtiaz Ali Laskar was killed in detention in Mizoram. Although Mizoram stated that he was a drug peddler, Assam also said that he was a bad firewood collector.

 

 

Mumbai- The 1st Indian city with designated infrastructure for women

As a step towards women’s empowerment, Mumbai has now become the first city in the world to have an urban plan that contains provisions for dedicated spaces for women’s interests. The urban plan does have a gender-specific emphasis on the development of physical and social facilities for women and also includes about 90 land reserves to meet women’s needs, like education, health, housing and protection. This game-changing proposal has a whole chapter titled ‘Sex, Special Classes and Social Justice,’ added by the BMC under the Revised Draft Development Plan 2034.

According to sources, the newly built plan includes 24 municipalities in the city and the proposed projects include the building of a child care centre in Goregaon and a skills growth centre in Sion-Koliwada, which is almost on the verge of completion.

2 houses in Bhandup including Goregaon as well as women’s rentals in Antop Hill, Bhandup as well as Goregaon are one of the numerous project layouts that have been finalised and are pending bids.

 

 

India awarded the best airport for carbon management

Delhi Airport becomes the 1st airport in the Asia-Pacific area to cross a Level 4+ certified airport under ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation. This means that IGI Airport in Delhi in the capital city has been named as the best carbon-reduction airport in the Asia Pacific region.

Then in 2016, Delhi Airport becomes the 1st Carbon Free Airport in the Asia Pacific area in 2016. GMR-led DIAL has announced that it plans to establish Net Zero Carbon Emission Airports by 2030.

What is the ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation?

Airport Carbon Accreditation seems to be the national benchmark for carbon control in the airport market. It aims to promote and allow airports and their partners to adopt best practices in the management of GHG and to reduce emissions. The ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation System was initiated in 2009.

20th November observed World Children’s Day

Every year the World Children’s Day is held on 20th November to encourage universal unity and understanding of children around the world and to strengthen the health of children.

Remarks:

  • The 20th of November is a significant day since the United Nations General Assembly enacted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959. The United Nations General Assembly ratified the Convention on the Protection of the Child in 1989.
  • Intending to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the establishment of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has launched a campaign called “Going Blue.” The Assembly of India is now a member of the Parliament.
  • Home India celebrates Children’s Day each year on the 14th of November. In 1992, India adopted the Treaty on the Protection of the Child.
  • Death rates for children under 5 years of age have fallen dramatically from 117 in 1,000 live deliveries in 1990 to 39 in 2016. The percentage of children providing clean water rose from 62% in 1992 towards 92% in 2019.

 

 

India signs a 120 million US Dollars deal with World Bank

On 19th November 2020, India as well as the World Bank concluded USD 120 million to revitalise the transportation industry in the state of Meghalaya. The plan helps to enhance the 300 km critical road segment through climate-sensitive and natural solutions.

About the Meghalayan Integrated Transport Programme:

The project would allow Meghalaya to develop as a big hub for trade with border nations including Nepal, Bhutan as well as Bangladesh. The scheme will appeal to small-scale manufacturing, fisheries, tourism, healthcare and education centres. About 5,362 households in Meghalaya neglect transport access. That would improve access to healthcare services. In the region, more than 500,00 residents of the state would profit. The project is projected to produce 8 million person-days of direct jobs.

The project serves as a support to the “Restart Meghalaya Mission.”

 

 

India-Luxembourg’s Virtual Summit

PM Narendra Modi arranged a digital summit alongside Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel on 19th November 2020. This will be the 1st stand-alone summit amongst India and Luxembourg during the last 2 decades.

Addressing the gathering, PM Modi said he was delighted that ISRO has finally introduced Luxembourg’s 4 satellites as well as accepted Luxembourg’s intention to support the International Solar Alliance, which is a global campaign led by India.

 

 

Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has initiated the Safaimitra Suraksha Task in 243 locations to guarantee that no sewer or septic tank worker life will ever be wasted due to the problem of ‘hazardous cleaning.’

Main take-offs:

The Competition was introduced on the eve of World Toilette Day.

Aim: to discourage ‘hazardous cleaning’ of sewers as well as septic tanks and to encourage their mechanized cleaning.

Representatives from 243 cities around the country made a vow to mechanise all sewage and septic tank cleaning activities by 30 April 2021.

The proposal is under the centre of the Swachh Bharat-Urban Mission (SBM-U)

The real on-the-ground evaluation of the participating nations will be carried out by an outside agency in May 2021 and the findings will be announced on 15th August 2021.

Cities will be rewarded in 3 subcategories – with such a populace of even more than 10 lakhs, including 3-10 lakhs as well as up to 3 lakhs, with a combined prize fund of 52 crores to be presented to successful cities in all classes.

 

 

ISB and ICWA signs MoU

The Hyderabad’s premier institute Indian School of Business (ISB), as well as the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), unveiled the MoU on Tuesday to toil in the fields of diplomacy, culture, economics and commerce, education, foreign diplomacy, research, social sciences, communications as well as media.

Aim of the MoU:

The MoU aims to facilitate and support initiatives that lead to a deeper understanding as well as ties between India with global partners, co-sponsor bilateral workshops, seminars including panel discussions on domestic and national topics of mutual concern, among several other areas of collaboration.

What India’s legislation says on holding ‘office of profit’?

Under Article 102(1) as well as Article 191(1) of the Indian Constitution, an MP or even an MLA is forbidden from having an office of profit under the federal or local administration.

Why the news?

The Joint Parliamentary Committee for the Office of Profit is contemplating on whether a Member of Parliament will continue to lecture at a university as well as on the grounds of the terms of the “Office of Profit” rules.

What is the “Office of Profit?”

When an MLA or an MP occupies a political office and derives income from it the office is referred to as a “profit office.”

An individual shall be disqualified if he holds a benefits office under a federal or state govt other than an office which has been deemed not to be disqualified by legislation enacted by a parliament or a state legislature.

 

 

The Growth of Cord Blood Banking

Stem cell banking has been heavily promoted over the last decade, even though its application is only in experimental phases.

Stem cell banking firms will have access to the data of their parents and will continue to reach their prospective clients long before arrival and offer attractive packages.

Companies persuade parents to use cells for a couple of years, promising potential medicinal use.

Enormous premiums are paid by parents to retain cells only by emotional ads.

That being said, as per the Indian Medical Research Council (ICMR), there seems to be no scientific rationale for the storage of cord blood for potential self-use, and this procedure also poses ethical and social questions.

Commercial stem cell banking is not recommended by the ICMR.

Private preservation of cord blood is recommended where an older infant is in the family with a disease that can be treated with these cells and the mother is anticipating the next child.

Among other cases, parents should be trained at this particular time regarding the drawbacks of banking.

Banking of Cord Blood:

Cord blood seems to be the blood of an infant left in the umbilical cord and placenta following birth. Cord blood banking includes taking umbilical cord blood, an abundant supply of stem cells, and storing it for potential use It contains specific cells called hematopoietic stem cells that could be used to cure some kinds of diseases.

Hematopoietic stem cells can develop into various types of blood cells in the body.

Worldwide, cord blood banking is approved as a supply of hematopoietic stem cells (derived from bone marrow, peripheral blood or umbilical cord blood) for haematological diseases and conditions in which it is required to be used.

For any other cases, the use of cord blood as a source of stem cells is not yet known. For many other cases, the use of cord blood as just a source of stem cells has not yet been established.

 

 

The Five Eyes Group of Countries

India enters the UK as a 7th member against encrypted social media communications, which is called the Five Eyes’ alliance of nations.

Group of countries ‘Five Eyes’:

The Five Eyes (FVEY) is a security coalition between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US.

The roots of the FVEY can be dated directly to the Atlantic Charter, which had been issued in August 1941 to set out the Allied priorities for the post-war region.

These nations are party to the United Kingdom-USA Multilateral Deal, a Mutual Cooperation Arrangement on Signal Intelligence.

India is one of 7 countries behind the UK-led movement against end-to-end encryption of communications by social media companies such as Facebook, which they claim hinders law enforcement by restricting any links to them.

 

 

Willow Warbler- First time in India

Lately, Willow Warbler was seen for the 1st time in our country at the Vellayani-Punchakkari paddy agricultural fields in Kerala.

Such paddy fields are just a birding destination in the suburbs of Thiruvananthapuram and are considered to harbour more than 213 species of birds, including both resident and migratory birds.

Main Points:

Scientific Name: Phyloscopus trochilus.

Habitat: dogs in northern and temperate Europe and the Palearctic.

The Palearctic ecozone is among the 8 ecozones on Earth that includes Asia northern of the Himalayas, with portions of western Asia and much of East Asia and Africa north of the Sahara.

Migration: Migrating to sub-Saharan Africa during early winter.

Characteristics:

It’s among the longest migratory birds in the world.

The bird weighs about 10 grammes, and its long wing feathers help it travel long distances.

Warblers are usually difficult to classify due to the small size and switch of plumage twice a year.

They are among the most difficult bird groups to classify in the field because of their striking similarities to each other.

Threats: The species is threatened by drought conditions through its wintering grounds and habitat changes due to human growing population.

 

 

India home to two most powerful supercomputers of the world

India’s leading and fastest supercomputer which is PARAM-Siddhi AI listed 63rd throughout the Top 500 ranking of the globe’s most successful supercomputers.

The supercomputer has been set up earlier in 2020 under the National Supercomputer Project (NSM) and will be mounted in the Advanced Computing Development Center (C-DAC) unit. The Top 500 project lists the world’s strongest supercomputers and has been released twice a year.

Main highlights:

PARAM-Siddhi is the 2nd Indian supercomputer to be included in the top 100 of the Top500 list. Pratyush, which is a supercomputer used for forecasting the weather conditions at the IITM, has been listed 78th in the November version of the ranking. It was listed 66th in the June rankings reported for the initiative.

Mihir, which is one more India’s supercomputer, listed as 146th, Pratyush adds to release enough computing power to equalize PARAM-Siddhi.

 

 

Use of GPC in eliminating HIV risk

The Union Health Minister is meeting the Global Preventive Coalition (GPC) for HIV Elimination.

About the GPC:

The Global HIV Prevention Coalition (GPC) was founded in October 2017 to reinforce and sustain a political commitment to primary prevention by developing a shared agenda between the UN Member States, donors, civil society organisations and implementers.

GPC takes the world and the nation as its focal point and aims to ensure that it is responsible for delivering large-scale preventive programmes to fulfil the objectives of the 2016 Political Agreement on the End of AIDS, including reducing the incidence of HIV infection by 75% and reducing the number of infections to fewer than 500 000 by 2020 and ending the AIDS outbreak by 2030.

The GPC is sponsored by UNAIDS.