India-based-Neutrino-Observatory-IASToppers
Current Affairs Analysis

12th July 2019 Current Affairs Analysis -IASToppers

India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO); What are neutrinos? Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme; Swadhar Greh scheme; Various schemes for women rehabilitation; International Cooperation (IC) Scheme; Non-lapsable Central Pool of Resources scheme; North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS); NRK (Non-resident Keralites) investment company; Sikhs for Justice group; Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal; Hayabusa; Hayabusa2; Spike missile; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
July 12, 2019

Contents

Polity & Governance

  • Supreme Court asks Punjab, Haryana to stop Sutlej-Yamuna Link protests

Government Schemes & Policies

  • Implementation of Swadhar Greh Scheme to rehabilitate women in difficult circumstances
  • Projects worth Rs 3 400 cr sanctioned for Northeast in 3 yrs Govt

Issues related to Health & Education

  • Formation of STF as per BBBP Guidelines

Defence & Security Issues

  • What is Sikhs for Justice, pro-Khalistan group banned by Indian govt?

Science & Technology

  • TN activists protest as Centre reiterates nod for controversial neutrino project
  • Japan’s Hayabusa2 probe makes ‘perfect’ touchdown on asteroid

Key Facts for Prelims

  • International Cooperation Scheme
  • Spike missile
  • Non-resident Keralite investment company to be formed

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Polity & Governance

Supreme Court asks Punjab, Haryana to stop Sutlej-Yamuna Link protests

The recent Supreme Court order asking Punjab, Haryana and Centre to sort out SYL issue amicably, has brought to centre stage the contentious issue of sharing of waters between the two states.

Sutlej-Yamuna-Link-SYL-Canal-1

What is the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal? and what’s the controversy over it?

  • The creation of Haryana from the old (undivided) Punjab in 1966 threw up the problem of giving Haryana its share of river waters.
  • Punjab was opposed to sharing waters of the Ravi and Beas with Haryana, citing riparian principles, and arguing that it had no water to spare.
  • However, Centre, in 1976, issued a notification allocating to Haryana 3.5 million acre feet (MAF) out of undivided Punjab’s 7.2 MAF.

Sutlej-Yamuna-Link-SYL-Canal iastoppers

  • The Eradi Tribunal headed by Supreme Court Judge V Balakrishna Eradi was set up to reassess availability and sharing of water. The Tribunal, in 1987, recommended an increase in the shares of Punjab and Haryana to 5 MAF and 3.83 MAF, respectively.
  • To enable Haryana to use its share of the waters of the Sutlej and its tributary Beas, a canal linking the Sutlej with the Yamuna, cutting across the state, was planned.
  • A tripartite agreement was also negotiated between Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan in this regard.
  • However, following the protests in Punjab, the Punjab Assembly passed The Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004, terminating its water-sharing agreements, and thus jeopardising the construction of SYL in Punjab.

Why is Haryana’s claim?

  • Haryana has been staking claim on Ravi-Beas waters through SYL canal on the plea that providing water for irrigation was a tough task for the state. In southern parts, where the underground water had depleted up to 1700 feet, there was a problem of drinking water.
  • Haryana has been invoking its contribution to the central food bowl and lamenting that justice had been denied to the state by not providing it its rightful share in the water as assessed by a tribunal.
[Ref: The Hindu, Indian Express]

 

Government Schemes & Policies

Implementation of Swadhar Greh Scheme to rehabilitate women in difficult circumstances

The Ministry of Women and Child Development is implementing the ‘Swadhar Greh Scheme’ for rehabilitation of women in difficult circumstances.

Swadhar-Greh-Scheme

About Swadhar Greh scheme

Swadhar Greh Scheme 1

  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development is implementing the Swadhar Greh Scheme which targets the women victims of difficult circumstances who are in need of institutional support for rehabilitation.

Objectives:

  • To cater to the primary need of shelter, food, clothing, medical treatment and care of the women in distress and who are without any social and economic support.
  • To enable them to regain their emotional strength that gets hampered due to their encounter with unfortunate circumstances.
  • To provide them with legal aid and guidance to enable them to take steps for their readjustment in family/society.

Beneficiaries:

The benefit of the component could be availed by women above 18 years of age of the following categories:

  • Women who are deserted and are without any social and economic support
  • Women survivors of natural disasters who have been rendered homeless and are without any social and economic support;
  • Women prisoners released from jail and are without family, social and economic support;
  • Women victims of domestic violence, family tension or discord, who are made to leave their homes without any means of subsistence and have no special protection from exploitation and/ or facing litigation on account of marital disputes; and
  • Trafficked women/girls rescued or runaway from brothels or other places where they face exploitation and Women affected by HIV/AIDS who do not have any social or economic support. However, such women/ girls should first seek assistance under UJJAWALA Scheme in areas where it is in operation.

Various schemes for women rehabilitation:

Women-Empowerment-Schemes-in-India 1

  • Mahila Shakti Kendra scheme: It empowers rural women through community participation by the involvement of Student Volunteers.
  • Ujjawala scheme: It is a comprehensive scheme to combat trafficking with the objective to prevent trafficking of women and children for commercial sexual exploitation, to facilitate rescue victims and placing them in safe custody, to provide rehabilitation services by providing basic amenities/needs, to facilitate reintegration of victims into the family and society, to facilitate repatriation of cross border victims.
  • Working Women Hostel: It aims at providing safe and affordable accommodation to working women. These hostels have Day care facility for the children of inmates too.
  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme: It is a tri-ministerial initiative of Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health & Family Welfare and Human Resource Development for preventing gender biased sex selective elimination; ensuring survival and protection of the girl child and ensuring education and participation of the girl child.
  • One Stop Centre (OSC) scheme: It facilitates access to an integrated range of services including police, medical, legal, psychological support and temporary shelter to women affected by violence. The Scheme is funded through Nirbhaya Fund.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Projects worth Rs 3 400 cr sanctioned for Northeast in 3 yrs Govt

The Centre has sanctioned projects worth Rs 3,400 crore in the Northeastern states in last three years.

North-east-india-map-iatoppers

  • Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), during the last three years, sanctioned under different schemes and packages like Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR), North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS).
  • Funds were also sanctioned to the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council (KAATC), Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), Dima Hasao Autonomous Territorial Council (DHATC) and Social and Infrastructure Development Fund (SIDF).

About Non-lapsable Central Pool of Resources scheme

  • The broad objective of the Non-lapsable Central Pool of Resources scheme is to ensure speedy development of infrastructure in the North Eastern Region by increasing the flow of budgetary financing for new infrastructure projects in the Region.
  • Both physical and social infrastructure sectors such as Irrigation and Flood Control, Power, Roads and Bridges, Sanitation etc. are considered for providing support under the Central Pool, with projects in physical infrastructure sector receiving priority.

About North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme

worth-Rs-3-400-cr-sanctioned-for-Northeas.

  • North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS) has been approved by the Government of India as a new Central Sector Scheme in 2017.
  • Under NESIDS, 100% centrally funding is provided to the State Governments of North Eastern Region for the projects of physical infrastructure relating to water supply, power and connectivity.
  • The period of Scheme is 2017-18 to 2019-20.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Issues related to Health & Education 

Formation of STF as per BBBP Guidelines

All States and UTs except West Bengal have constituted the State Task Force headed by Chief Secretary/ UT Administration as per the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Scheme guidelines.

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ 2

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme

  • The Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme was introduced in October 2014 to address the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR).

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme

  • It is a tri-ministerial effort of Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health & Family Welfare and Human Resource Development.
  • However, Ministry of Women and Child Development is responsible for budgetary control and administration of the scheme at the Central level.

Objectives:

  • Prevent gender biased sex selective elimination
  • Ensure survival & protection of the girl child
  • Ensure education of the girl child

Components:

The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) initiative has two major components.

Beti-Bachao-Beti-Padhao-BBBP-Scheme-1

  1. Mass Communication Campaign: The campaign aims at ensuring girls are born, nurtured and educated without discrimination. The Campaign interlinks National, State and District level interventions with community level action in 100 districts.
  2. Multi-sectoral action in 161 Gender Critical Districts covering all States/UTs low on CSR

Funding:

  • A budgetary allocation of 100 Cr. has been made under the budget announcement for Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign and 100 Cr. will be mobilized from Plan Outlay of the Planned scheme ‘Care and Protection of Girl Child – A Multi Sectoral Action Plan’ for the 12th Plan.
  • The estimated cost of the Scheme is 200 cr.
[Ref: PIB, Business-standard]

 

Defence & Security Issues

What is Sikhs for Justice, pro-Khalistan group banned by Indian govt?

The Centre banned a separatist group, Sikhs for Justice on grounds of secessionism. Operating out of the United States, the group has been trying to build a campaign for secession of Punjab.

pro-Khalistan-group-banned-by-Indian-govt

What is Sikhs for Justice group?

  • Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), formed in 2007, is a US-based group.
  • The group’s primary objective is to establish an independent and sovereign country in Punjab.

Sikhs_For_Justice-iastoppers

  • The secessionist campaign, called ‘Referendum 2020’, seeks to liberate Punjab from Indian occupation.
  • SFJ has announced to hold polling for referendum in November 2020 which it has planned to hold in Punjab along with major cities of North America, Europe etc.
  • However, the government banned SFJ under Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for its alleged anti-national activities.
  • Moreover, the government blames SFJ for indulging in activities prejudicial to the internal security of India and public order and have the potential of disturbing peace and unity and integrity of the country.
  • SFJ urged Pakistan to support ‘Referendum 2020’, citing the fall of Dhaka in December 1971 with the intervention of Indian army and advice Pakistan to undo its failure to support Sikhs during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
[Ref: Indian Express, News18]

 

Science & Technology

TN activists protest as Centre reiterates nod for controversial neutrino project

The project has received criticism from environmental activists who have alleged that it would be hazardous to the fragile ecosystem in Theni, Tamil Nadu.

India-based-Neutrino-Observatory-IASToppers

About the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO)

  • The INO project, in Theni district of Tamilnadu, is a multi-institutional effort aimed at building an underground laboratory for non-accelerator based high energy and nuclear physics research in India.

India-based-Neutrino-Observatory-1-IASToppers

  • The observatory is placed at the end of a carven in Bodi West Hills on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala boundary to reduce the noise from cosmic rays which would outnumber the rare neutrino interactions.
  • The initial goal of INO is to study neutrinos.
  • It is a mega-science project jointly funded by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

Components of INO:

  • Construction of an underground laboratory and associated surface facilities.
  • Construction of an Iron Calorimeter (ICAL) detector to observe naturally occurring atmospheric neutrinos.
  • Setting up of National Centre for High Energy Physics at Madurai, for the operation and maintenance of the underground laboratory.

Controversy over INO in Tamil Nadu:

  • Environmental activists from Tamilnadu have raised concerns regarding the project being located in the fragile ecosystem of the Western Ghats.
  • Moreover, the activist blame that the project did not took clearance from Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board as well as from Animal Welfare Board of India.
  • The project also did not study the impact of blasting rocks to make INO in western ghats.
  • However, the government says that the INO project does not disturb the ecosystem around the site and does not release any radiation, as it does not have any radioactive substance.

What are neutrinos?

Neutrinos, first proposed by Swiss scientist Wolfgang Pauli in 1930, are the second most widely occurring particle in the universe, only second to photons, the particle which makes up light.

  • In fact, neutrinos are so abundant among us that every second, there are more than 100 trillion of them passing right through each of us — we never even notice them.
  • Neutrinos occur in three different types, or flavours. These are separated in terms of different masses. From experiments so far, we know that neutrinos have a tiny mass, but the ordering of the neutrino mass states is not known and is one of the key questions that remain unanswered till today. This is a major challenge INO will set to resolve, thus completing our picture of the neutrino.

Significance of Neutrinos:

  • Neutrinos hold the key to several important and fundamental questions on the origin of the Universe and the energy production in stars.
  • Another important possible application of neutrinos is in the area of neutrino tomograph of the earth, that is detailed investigation of the structure of the Earth from core onwards. This is possible with neutrinos since they are the only particles which can probe the deep interiors of the Earth.

Why should the laboratory be situated underground?

  • Neutrinos are notoriously difficult to detect in a laboratory because of their extremely weak interaction with matter. The background from cosmic rays (which interact much more readily than neutrinos) and natural radioactivity will make it almost impossible to detect them on the surface of the Earth. This is the reason most neutrino observatories are located deep inside the Earth’s surface.
  • The overburden provided by the Earth matter is transparent to neutrinos whereas most background from cosmic rays is substantially reduced depending on the depth at which the detector is located.
[Ref: Indian Express, The Hindu]

 

Japan’s Hayabusa2 probe makes ‘perfect’ touchdown on asteroid

Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft, which successfully made its second touchdown on asteroid Ryugu on July 12, 2019, has become the first ever space probe to gather material from beneath the surface of an asteroid.

Japans-Hayabusa2-spacecraft

Key facts:

  • Notably, Hayabusa2 is the second Japanese spacecraft to land on an asteroid, after Hayabusa achieved a similar feat back in 2005.
  • Hayabusa-2 made history on 22 February when it successfully touched down on the boulder-strewn asteroid and collected some surface fragment.

Hayabusa:

Hayabusa, formerly known as known as Muses-C, was a Japanese spacecraft that brought back a sample of asteroid material to Earth in 2010, after a mission riddled with technical glitches.

  • The aim of the Hayabusa is to seek clues about the origins of life by landing on Ryugu asteroid.

Hayabusa-iastoppers

  • It was launched in December 2014 and is scheduled to return to Earth at the end of 2020.
  • The spacecraft was originally intended to launch in July 2002. However, a July 2000 failure of Japan’s M-5 rocket forced the delay.
  • The spacecraft touched down on a small near-Earth asteroid called Itokawa and safely brought back minute rocky particles for analysis.
  • Hayabusa carried a tiny mini-lander named “MINERVA” which never landed on asteroid due to technical glitches.

Finding of Hyabusa:

  • Finding of minerals such as olivine and pyroxene, which are common on Earth and have been found on the moon and Mars.
  • Finding of sub-micrometer craters on the surface of the particles

Hayabusa2:

  • Hayabusa2, an asteroid sample-return mission, follows on from Hayabusa mission.
  • Hayabusa2 was launched in December 2014 and rendezvoused with near-Earth asteroid Ryugu in June 2018.
  • Hayabusa2 carries four small rovers to investigate the asteroid surface. MINERVA-II-1 is a container that deployed two rovers, Rover-1A (HIBOU) and Rover-1B (OWL) and Rover-2 carreid by MINERVA-II-2.
  • The fourth rover called ‘Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout’ (MASCOT) was developed by the German Aerospace Center in cooperation with the French space agency.
  • The function of MASCOT is to collect data on the surface structure and mineralogical composition, the thermal behaviour and the magnetic properties of the asteroid.

Hayabusa2

Components:

  • Remote Sensing: Optical Navigation Camera (ONC-T, ONC-W1, ONC-W2), Near-Infrared Camera (NIR3), Thermal-Infrared Camera (TIR), Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR)
  • Sampling: Sampling device (SMP), Small Carry-on Impactor (SCI), Deployable Camera (DCAM3)
  • Four rovers: Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT), Rover-1A, Rover-1B, Rover-2.

The scientific objectives of Hayabusa2 mission:

  • To characterize the asteroid from remote sensing observations (with multispectral cameras, near-infrared spectrometer, thermal infrared imager, laser altimeter) on a macroscopic scale
  • To analyse the samples returned from the asteroid on a microscopic scale.
  • To accomplish context science to complement the remote sensing observations from Hayabusa2,
  • To provide ground truth information down to the microscopic scale for the sample analyses,
  • To accomplish stand-alone science that only a lander can provide e.g. geophysics investigations,
  • To serve as a “scouting” vehicle to guide the sampling site selection of the main spacecraft.

Key facts:

  • Ryugu is a C-type asteroid – a relic from the early days of the Solar System.
  • Scientists think that C-type asteroids contain both organic matter, and trapped water, and might have been responsible for bringing both to Earth, thereby providing the planet with the materials necessary for life to originate.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Key Facts for Prelims

International Cooperation Scheme

The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) is implementing International Cooperation (IC) Scheme.

msme-logo

About the International Cooperation (IC) Scheme:

The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) is implementing International Cooperation (IC) Scheme.

Objectives:

  • Technology infusion and/or upgradation of Indian MSMEs
  • Promotion of the exports of MSMEs
  • Modernisation of MSMEs

Target group:

  • State/Central Government Organisations
  • Industry/Enterprise Associations
  • Registered Societies/Trusts and Organisations associated with the MSME
[Ref: PIB]

 

Spike missile

Spike missiles

  • Indian Army places order for Israeli anti-tank Spike missiles.
  • Israeli anti-tank Spike missiles are multi-platform, cutting-edge precise, multi-mission, and multi-range electro-optical missiles.
  • These missiles have capabilities of fire, observe, update, fire-and-forget as well as allowing attack of hidden targets.
  • These missiles are manufactured by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.
  • These missiles have the capability of targeting anything at a range of four kilometers. These can be deployed in both plains and mountains.

 

Non-resident Keralite investment company to be formed

To channel investments from overseas Keralites for major infrastructure development in Keral, the Kerala Government has decided to form an NRK investment company.

NRK (Non-resident Keralites) investment company

NRK (Non-resident Keralites) investment company

  • The Central government decided to form an NRK investment company with 74 per cent stake of non-resident Keralites and 26 per cent government stake.
  • The main objective of the company is to plan and implement various schemes utilizing NRK investments. For this purpose, a separate subsidiary will be formed under the holding company.
  • Projects in areas of NRI townships, infrastructure and development will be implemented by NRK.
  • The projects planned under ‘Rebuild Kerala’ initiative will also be a priority for the NRK.
  • The Norka Roots chief executive officer will be appointed as the company’s special officer.

Background:

  • Established in 2002, NORA ROOTS is the arm of the state government to promote and execute several welfare activities for millions of Non-resident Keralites across the globe.
  • Key objectives of the agency are to effectively address the challenges faced by the NRKs, protect their rights, rehabilitate the returnees etc.
[Ref: New Indian Express]

 

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