The National Festival for Children of Child Care Institutions (CCIs)- “Hausla 2018” of the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) was inaugurated by the Secretary, Shri Rakesh Srivastava, today in New Delhi. The inter-Child Care Institution festival is witnessing participation of more than 600 Children drawn from CCIs from 18 states in the various events like painting competition, athletics meet, football, chess competition and speech writing as part of the Festival.
Speaking at the 4 dayEvent, from 26 to 29th November 2018,Secretary MWCD said that the idea behind the entire event is to provide a national platform for the children from CCIs across India to showcase their talent, to make them realise the hidden talent they possess and to help take it forward in their life. He said that this event would instil confidence in them to achieve greater heights in life. He also resolved to make the event like Hausla even stronger. He also said that the event shall inspire children of Child Care Institutions so that they can reach the National Stage for expressing their capabilities. The theme for the event is “Child Safety”.
Children will be participating in various events like Debate, painting competition, athletics meet, football, chess competition and Safe Neighborhood Day. CIF and NIPCCD will be assisting the Ministry in organizing the events.
The details of the proposed events are as follows: Painting Competition on 26th November 2018: The creative talent in children is infinite and amazing, so much so that even the entire universe may seem like a small canvas to them. A creative activity like painting also helps in the development of the brain of a child. Expressing themselves through painting allows children to take part in an activity that is fun and fulfilling. It encourages them to look at situations with an open & creative mind. With this background in consideration, a painting competition is being organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development on 26th November, 2018 for children from all the Child Care Institutions across the country at NIPCCD. The paintings will be judged by a panel of three judges.
Debate Competition on 26th November,2018: In today’s competitive space where excellence is a cliché, it is wise to make children aware as well as ready for the outer world. Perhaps, there are ways in which children compete and succeed. But individual expression has become very limited. Today’s children are largely engrossed in technology, leaving behind the real interaction. This is why it is necessary to encourage children into participating in activities like debates which shall have a long-term impression on a child’s self-expression. In this regard, a debate competition is being organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development on 26th November, 2018 at NIPCCD. The children shall be judged by a panel of three judges.
3. Athletics Meet, Chess Competition and Football Matches on 28-29 November 2018: Through play, children explore, invent and create. They also develop social skills, learn to express their emotions, and gain confidence about their own capabilities. The Ministry is organizing athletics meet (100 meters race, 200 m race, 100 x 4 meter relay race, long jump, high jump), chess competition and football matches for boys and girls from CCIs. The events will be organized at JawaharLal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi.
To encourage children, prominent sportsperson might also be invited on 28th November 2018 (morning) to inaugurate sports meet along with Secretary, WCD. 4. Safe Neighborhood Project Day on 27th November 2018: It is not just the home environment that influences a child; the neighborhood in which he/she lives does too. A close-knit neighborhood can provide a sense of belonging, safety, and support. Feeling safe in the neighborhood is important for mental health and overall well-being and is linked to lower rates of mental illness, greater social interaction, and neighborhood trust. This activity is aimed to empower and inspire children to voice their opinions on what they perceive as Safety in a Neighborhood. The children will make models, do role-play, theatre, skit, sing, dance etc. on the subject. The children shall be judged by a panel of judges from MWCD.
The Concluding Ceremony on 29th November 2018: The four-day long celebration will culminate through the concluding ceremony which will be organized on 29th November (evening) at Siri Fort Auditorium, HauzKhas, New Delhi. The event will include a cultural programme by the children of CCIs, presentation of Best State Team Award based on performance during Hausla 2018 and Prize distribution to all winners of each individual event by Hon’ble Minister, WCD.
All 35 States / UTS & All Scheduled Commercial Banks, RRBS/Cooperative Banks Likely to be on Board Paisa Portal by Year End
A centralized electronic platform for processing interest subvention on bank loans to beneficiaries under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) named “PAiSA – Portal for Affordable Credit and Interest Subvention Access”, was launched here today. The web platform has been designed and developed by Allahabad Bank which is the Nodal bank. Launching the portal, Sh Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs said , “PAiSA is yet another effort by the government to connect directly with the beneficiaries, ensuring that there is greater transparency and efficiency in delivery of services. DBT of subvention on monthly basis under DAY-NULM will give the necessary financial support to small entrepreneurs in a timely manner”.
The portal was launched during the course of a day long National Workshop on Municipal Finance and Urban Planning organised by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and provided a platform to identify key areas of concern regarding municipal finance and urban planning, and exploring the options available to resolve them by inviting senior officials / experts to shed light on best practices. More than 300 delegates comprising officers from the States, Urban Local Bodies, Town Planning Offices across the country and Banks participated in the workshop.
All 35 states / UTs & all scheduled commercial banks, RRBs and Cooperative Banks are expected to be on board the PAiSA portal the year end.
India has 15 Agroclimatic zones and 17000-18000 species of flowering plants of which 6000-7000 are estimated to have medicinal usage in folk and documented systems of medicine, like Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy. About 960 species of medicinal plants are estimated to be in trade of which 178 species have annual consumption levels in excess of 100 metric tones. The National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) set-up in November 2000 by the Government of India has the primary mandate of coordinating all matters relating to medicinal plants and support policies and programmes for growth of trade, export, conservation and cultivation. The Board is located in the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha & Homeopathy (AYUSH) of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
The NMPB Portal is an attempt to collect under one umbrella the entire knowledge base on plants and herbs after appropriate verification and empirical validation of all available therapeutic knowledge of the flora in India . This is being done by the collaborative efforts of some pf the leading Indian Institutions and private and public stake holders. NMPB has over several open houses events studies and meeting with diverse groups of persons and organisations has been able to create this repository which is an ongoing exercise adding new information both scientific, and commercial.
In addition, integration and reorientation of some existing databases to bring them under the umbrella of the common portal for easy one point access to this repository of knowledge. This Portal envisages the dissemination of knowledge in creating sustainable cultivation, collection, packaging and distribution methods to ensure that active ingredients are retained at their optimum yields. At the same time ensuring that communities involved in the cultivation, procurement and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) get their true value in return.
Aim: To raise awareness about violence against women and girls, end violence against women. It also seeks to show that prevention is possible against violence of women.
Theme and its significance: “Orange the World: #HearMeToo”. It aims to reinforce UNiTE Campaign’s commitment to create world free from violence for all women and girls and reaching out to most marginalized people including migrants, refugees, indigenous peoples, minorities and populations affected by natural disasters and conflicts.
Background: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women was instituted by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in December 1999. This day is commemorated in memory of Mirabal sisters who were three political activists from Dominican Republic. They were brutally assassinated during the Rafael Trujillo dictatorship (1930-1961) in 1960.
Why we must eliminate violence against women? Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today, remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it.
In general terms, it manifests itself in physical, sexual and psychological forms, encompassing: Intimate partner violence (battering, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide). Sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber- harassment). Human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation). Female genital mutilation. Child marriage.
Violence against women- definition: The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women issued by the UN General Assembly in 1993, defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”
Alarming Figures: 1 in 3 women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, most frequently by an intimate partner. Only 52% of women married or in a union freely make their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use and health care. Worldwide, almost 750 million women and girls alive today were married before their 18th birthday; while 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM).
1 in 2 women killed worldwide were killed by their partners or family in 2012; while only 1 out of 20 men were killed under similar circumstances. 71% of all human trafficking victims worldwide are women and girls, and 3 out of 4 of these women and girls are sexually exploited. Violence against women is as serious a cause of death and incapacity among women of reproductive age as cancer, and a greater cause of ill health than traffic accidents and malaria combined.
Why? More than 200 years of cyclone track history in the Odisha coast reveals that the Titli cyclone is the rarest of rare in terms of its characteristics such as recurvature after landfall and retaining its destructive potential after landfall and recurvature away from the coastal areas for more than two days.
Background: Earlier, India Meteorological Department had called the formation of Titli as a ‘rarest of rare’ occurrence. The severe cyclone had changed its path after landfall.
What can we learn from this? The Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA)faced challenges in anticipating and managing Titli’s impact due to lack of impact-based actionable early warning information and prior experience not only in India but also elsewhere. The OSDMA, by learning the lessons from Titli cyclone, could evolve measures to minimise impacts in both coastal and non-coastal regions more effectively in future.
The RIMES has recommended that a detailed risk assessment has to be carried out for Odisha to understand the risks in the light of the Titli devastation.
About RIMES: RIMES, is an inter-governmental body registered under the United Nations. It is being owned and managed by 45 collaborating countries in Asia Pacific and Africa Region. The programme unit of the agency is located in Thailand. At present, India is chairing RIMES.
RIMES evolved from the efforts of countries in Africa and Asia, in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, to establish a regional early warning system within a multi-hazard framework for the generation and communication of early warning information, and capacity building for preparedness and response to trans-boundary hazards.
What is Constitution day? Constitution day which is also known as the Samvidhan Divas is celebrated every year on November 26 to mark the day on which the Constitution of India was adopted. While the adoption of the Constitution took place on November 26, 1949, it came into effect on January 26, 1950.
The draft of the constitution was prepared by the drafting committee under BR Ambedkar’s aegis. According to the government notification, the Constitution Day was also a tribute to Ambedkar.
Earlier, this day was commemorated as National Law Day, after a resolution by the Supreme Court Bar Association, a lawyers’ body, in 1979.
Celebrations this year: With the collective efforts of the Buddhist Association for the blind and the Saavi Foundation and Swagat Thorat, for the first time the constitution will be made available in Braille. As part of the joint project, the constitution will be made available in five parts in Braille for the benefit of visually challenged individuals.
Key highlights of the report: The documentation proves that the islands, comprising only 0.25% of India’s geographical area, are home to more than 10% of the country’s fauna species. It has 11,009 species.
Endemic species: The Narcondam hornbill, its habitat restricted to a lone island; the Nicobar megapode, a bird that builds nests on the ground; the Nicobar treeshrew, a small mole-like mammal; the Long-tailed Nicobar macaque, and the Andaman day gecko, are among the 1,067 endemic faunal species found only on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and nowhere else.
Among birds, endemism is quite high, with 36 among 344 species of birds found only on the islands. Many of these bird species are placed in the IUCN Red List of threatened species under the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA).
Endemic reptiles: Eight species of amphibians and 23 species of reptiles are endemic to the islands, and thus are at high risk of being threatened.
Marine faunal diversity: Includes coral reefs and its associated fauna. In all, 555 species of scleractinian corals (hard or stony corals) are found in the island ecosystem, all which are placed under Schedule I of the WPA. Similarly, all species of gorgonian (sea fans) and calcerous sponge are listed under different schedules of the WPA.
Concerns: The publication cautions that tourism, illegal construction and mining are posing a threat to the islands’ biodiversity, which is already vulnerable to volatile climatic factors. Some of the species in A&N Islands are restricted to a very small area and thus more vulnerable to any anthropogenic threat. Any stress can have a long-lasting impact on the islands’ biodiversity, devastating the population size of any endemic fauna, followed by extinction within a limited span of time.
Vulnerable species: Of the ten species of marine fauna found on the islands, the dugong/sea cow, and the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, are both classified as Vulnerable under the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species. Among the 46 terrestrial mammalian species found, three species have been categorised as Critically Endangered — Andaman shrew (Crocidura andamanensis), Jenkin’s shrew (C. jenkinsi) and Nicobar shrew (C. nicobarica). Five species are listed as Endangered, nine species as Vulnerable, and one species as Near Threatened, according to the IUCN.
Background: The total area of the A&N Islands, which comprises of 572 islands, islets and rocky outcrops, is about 8,249 sq. km. The population of the islands, which includes six particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs) — Great Andamanese, Onge, Jarawa, Sentinelese, Nicobarese and Shompens — is not more than 4 lakh.
What’s made the location more vulnerable? In a recent development, the Government of India relaxed the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) norms for some foreign nationalities notified under the Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order, 1963, to visit 29 of its inhabited islands, till December 31, 2022. This has triggered further concerns of increased anthropogenic pressures over the islands’ ecosystem. Some of the islands removed from the RAP list have no habitation except PVTG like Sentinelese in case of North Sentinel Island.
The development paradigm that is being pushed for this place at the macro level, such as tourism, construction and development of military, are not taking in account three factors — ecological fragility of the area (the endemism), geological volatility (earthquakes and tsunamis), and the impact they will have on local communities.
How will it be done? It has been agreed that joint long route patrolling comprising SSB, Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) and Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR) field staff would be held at regular intervals.
Stress will be laid on intelligence and information sharing among various security agencies about activities of wildlife and forest criminals. A mechanism to establish SSB border outpost level communication and information sharing will be developed to strengthen the safety of Dudhwa.
Dudhwa Tiger Reserve: It is protected area in Uttar Pradesh that stretches mainly across the Lakhimpur Kheri and Bahraich districts. It comprises Dudhwa National Park, Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary and Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary. It shares north-eastern boundary with Nepal, which is defined to large extent by Mohana River.
The area is vast Terai alluvial floodplain traversed by numerous rivers and streams flowing in south-easterly direction. Faunal diversity: Apart from tigers, it is also home to swamp deer, sambar deer, barking deer, spotted deer, hog deer, Indian rhinoceros, sloth bear, ratel, jackal, civets, jungle cat, fishing cat, etc.
Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB): It is Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) entrusted with guarding country’s border with Nepal and Bhutan. It was established in 1963 and functions under administrative control of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Its headquarters are in New Delhi.
It has specialist jurisdictions for national border patrol, security, and integrity.
This geo-engineering technique known as stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI) could limit rising temperatures that are causing climate change.
What are Stratospheric Sulphur Aerosols? Stratospheric sulfur aerosols are sulfur-rich particles which exist in the stratosphere region of the Earth’s atmosphere. The layer of the atmosphere in which they exist is known as the Junge layer, or simply the stratospheric aerosol layer.
These particles consist of a mixture of sulfuric acid and water. They are created naturally, such as by photochemical decomposition of sulfur-containing gases, e.g. carbonyl sulfide.
Sulfur aerosols are common in the troposphere as a result of pollution with sulfur dioxide from burning coal, and from natural processes. Volcanoes are a major source of particles in the stratosphere as the force of the volcanic eruption propels sulfur-containing gases into the stratosphere.
What is Stratospheric Aerosol Injection (SAI)? Under SAI delivery of precursor sulfide gases such as sulfuric acid, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) or sulfur dioxide (SO2) are sprayed by artillery, aircraft and balloons.
It would involve the use of huge hoses, cannons or specially designed aircraft to spray large quantities of sulphate particles into the upper layer of the atmosphere to act as a reflective barrier against sunlight.
Total costs estimated to launch a hypothetical SAI effort 15 years from now would be $3.5 billion and average annual operating costs would be about $2.25 billion a year over 15 years.
Discounting other methods of deployment because of cost and feasibility, the research assumes a special aircraft can be designed to fly at an altitude of about 20 km and carry a load of 25 tonnes.
Significance: This proposed method could counter most climatic changes, take effect rapidly, have very low direct implementation costs, and be reversible in its direct climatic effects.
Benefits of the SAI: Mimics a natural process. It is technologically feasible. The method is economically feasible and efficient.
Possible side effects: Tropospheric Ozone depletion. Whitening of the sky. Tropopause warming and the humidification of the stratosphere. Involves Health effects. Stratospheric temperature rise and circulation change.
The technique is designed to forecast the expected impact as a result of expected weather. Hazard and vulnerability are taken into consideration in this forecast approach.
Need: The heavy downpour had led to floods in Kerala and was result of climate change. State Government had blamed IMD for lapses in its part for wrong rain forecast. IMD had forecasted estimated 98.5 mm rain in the state between 9 and 15 August, 2018 but Kerala received was 352.2 mm of rainfall resulting in severe flooding.
Significance: Pre-event scenario will help state governments authorities to minutely monitor impact of rainfall and take real-time decisions. It will help to avoid disastrous situation similar to Kerala floods. It can generate scenario to help take decisions to release water or not from reservoirs after heavy downpour. It will be helpful for every state authority to take decision. This system can be run in pre-event scenario.
India Meteorological Department (IMD): It is national meteorological service of the country and chief government agency dealing in everything related to meteorology, seismology and associated subjects. It was formed in 1875. It functions under Ministry of Earth Sciences. It is headquartered in New Delhi.
Mandate: Undertake meteorological observations and provide current information and forecasting information for most favourable operation of weather-dependent activities such as irrigation, agriculture, aviation, shipping etc. Offer warning against severe weather phenomenon such as tropical cyclones, norwesters, dust storms, heat waves, cold waves, heavy rains, heavy snow, etc.
Provide met-related statistics needed for agriculture, industries, water resources management, oil exploration, and any other strategically important activities for the country.
Engage in research in meteorology and allied subjects. Detect and locate earthquakes and evaluate of seismicity in various parts of the country for developmental projects.
To consolidate bilateral defence relations with Russia, and To explore new avenues for defence cooperation.
Background: The Indian Navy and the Russian Federation Navy cooperates on many aspects like operational interactions, training, hydrography cooperation and exchange of Subject Matter Experts in various fields through the medium of Navy-to-Navy staff Talks.
They both have conducted bilateral Maritime Exercise ‘INDRA NAVY’, since 2003, followed by INDRA Tri-Services Exercise since 2017 (Next edition of INDRA NAVY Exercise is scheduled at Viskhapatnam in December 2018).
Department of Personnel and Training (DOP&T): It is the nodal department for the Right to Information and Central Information Commission. So far it has successfully covered nearly 2000 public authorities under the RTI Act.
Background: Right to Information Act 2005 mandates timely response to citizen requests for government information.
It is an initiative taken by Department of Personnel and Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions to provide a RTI Portal Gateway to the citizens for quick search of information on the details of first Appellate Authorities, PIO, etc.
It replaces the erstwhile Freedom of information Act, 2002. Under the provisions of the Act, any citizen of India may request information from a “public authority” (a body of Government or “instrumentality of State”) which is required to reply expeditiously or within thirty days. The Act also requires every public authority to computerise their records for wide dissemination.
The Act is applicable to whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir. Objective of the RTI Act: To empower the citizens, promote transparency and accountability in the working of the Government, contain corruption, and make our democracy work for the people in real sense. It is a big step towards making the citizens informed about the activities of the Government.
A new species of a deep sea shark- the Pygmy false catshark, has been found in the northern Indian Ocean, the first such discovery in India since 2011 when the Mangalore houndshark was identified.
The Pygmy false catshark is currently known only from deep waters (200-1000m depth) and has a length of about 65cm. It is dark brown without any prominent patterns.
The new species was found off the southwestern coast of India and north of Sri Lanka.
Its scientific name is Planonasus indicus – from ‘planus’ meaning flat and ‘nasus’ meaning nose.
The new species was first observed was on April 26, 2008, when it was caught in fishing nets in Kochi, Kerala.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has unveiled 70-feet tall statue of Lord Buddha at Rajgir in Nalanda district of state. It is second tallest statue of Buddha in the country.
Key Facts: The statue has been installed above 16 metre radius pedestal in middle of lake Ghora Katora. Ghora Katora is natural lake surrounded by five hills. It has been made from 45,000 cubic foot pink sand stone.
The Odisha government has come out with lexicons of 21 tribal languages. The bilingual tribal dictionaries will be used in multilingual education (MLE) initiated by the State government at the elementary level in tribal-dominated districts.
The bilingual tribal dictionaries for MLE and trilingual tribal language proficiency modules in all the 21 tribal languages have been formulated by the Special Development Council. Both will help in enhancing proficiency in tribal languages.
Background: Odisha has a unique place on the tribal map of India for having the maximum number of Scheduled Tribe communities. The State is home to 62 different tribal communities, including 13 particularly vulnerable tribal groups. These tribes speak 21 languages and 74 dialects. Of the 21 tribal languages, seven have their own scripts. However, Odia is used as the medium of communication in the dictionaries.