Head-on-Generation-(HOG)-system-IASToppers
Current Affairs Analysis

22nd & 23rd September 2019 Current Affairs Analysis -IASToppers

Head on Generation (HOG) system; AISHE 2018-19 report; Recogonition of Prior Learning (RPL) certificates; Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY); Leather Sector Skill Council (LSSC); Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches; PACEsetter fund; Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA); National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP); The Kargil to Kohima (K2K) Ultra-Marathon- “Glory Run”; Kargil War Memorial; Kohima War Cemetery; Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE); Sagittarius A*; Black Holes; Happy Seeder (HS) or Turbo Happy Seeder (THS); Nonylphenols; West Bank; Plagiarism Detention Software; ShodhShuddhi; HD-3226 or Pusa Yashasvi; Mochi Swabhimaan Initiative; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
September 23, 2019

Contents

Government Schemes & Policies

  • Minister, Skill Development distributes certificates to RPL trainees under PMKVY

Issues related to Health & Education

  • Gender gap narrows in higher education enrolment: AISHE report
  • HRD Minister launches Plagiarism Detention Software
  • Union HRD Minister Chairs the Special Meeting of CABE

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

  • NIDM to organize a Workshop on Post Disaster Needs Assessment
  • MNRE awards grants to four projects in second round of PACE setter Fund programme

Bilateral & International Relations

  • Israel Cuts Power in Parts of West Bank Over Debts

Science & Technology

  • Our detergents have a hazardous chemical in them: Study
  • Sagittarius A*: A black hole at the centre of the Milky Way
  • Head on Generation (HOG) technology will help Railways become less polluting, cost-efficient

Key Facts for Prelims

  • New blockbuster wheat from IARI
  • Happy Seeder
  • ‘Glory Run’ flagged off to commemorate 20th year of Kargil Victory
  • Mochi Swabhimaan Initiative

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Government Schemes & Policies

Minister, Skill Development distributes certificates to RPL trainees under PMKVY

Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship distributed Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) certificates to the graduating trainees under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) of Skill India.

Leather-sector-1

  • The outstanding candidates, certified under RPL, were given Best in Class Employer Scheme and HRD Scheme certificates during the ceremony.

About Recogonition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognition-of-Prior-Learning

Recogonition of Prior Learning (RPL), under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), is an assessment process used to evaluate a person’s existing skill sets and knowledge gained either by formal, non-formal or informal learning.

Objectives

RPL has threefold objectives:

  1. To align the competencies of the un-regulated workforce to the standardized National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF),
  2. To enhance the employability opportunities of an individual as well as provide alternative routes to higher education
  3. To provide opportunities for reducing inequalities based on privileging certain forms of knowledge over others.

5 step Process of RPL

five-steps-of-Recognition-of-Prior-Learning

  • Mobilization: Mobilization involves activities related to mobilization of potential candidates who are skilled but uncertified.
  • Counselling and pre-screening: Potential candidates are counselled about PMKVY, what is RPL, and how the skill certification will assist them in transforming their life.
  • Orientation: All candidates are mandatorily provided orientation of 12 hours
  • Final assessment: Assessment of candidates is conducted by the assessment bodies accredited by the Sector Skill Councils (SSCs).
  • Certification and pay-out: SSC, upon approving the result, issues the certificate to successful candidate.

Significance of RPL certificates:

  • RPL certificates are given under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) of Skill India to the unorganised semi-skilled and unskilled workers.
  • These certificates can help them get assessed and certified on their current competencies as per NSQF levels (National Skills Qualifications Framework).
  • RPL also shows them a path to bridge their current knowledge and skill levels to reach a competency level or go for higher skills for professional growth.
  • The RPL scheme envisions to impart skill-based training to one crore people between 2016 and 2020.
  • The certificates can give workers the chance to go for higher education in their respective fields.
  • It will also give them different options in upgrading and upskilling.
  • RPL certificates certify skills acquired informally and drive young people to venture into aspirational job roles.
  • The industry will also be benefitted because formalizing the skills of employees will give a clear picture of the available skill sets, skill gaps and the need for upgradation to achieve desired quality and productivity benchmarks.

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)

Pradhan-Mantri-Kaushal-Vikas-Yojana

  • PMKVY is flagship Skill Certification Scheme of Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE)launched in July 2015.
  • Its objective is to enable a large number of Indian youth to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood.
  • Under this Scheme, individuals with prior learning experience or skills are also assessed and certified under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).
  • Government will pay complete training and assessment fees. The training includes soft skills, personal grooming, behavioural change.
  • It is implemented through the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).
  • Skill training is based on the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF)and industry led standards.

Background

  • Every year more than 13 million Indians enter the working age but the country has an annual training capacity of 3 million on adding up all the training and educational capacities.
  • This gap of more than 10 million is very difficult to bridge considering long gestation training periods, capacity building lacunae etc.
  • Addressing this issue is critical to realizing the demographic dividend potential of India.

About Leather Sector Skill Council (LSSC)

Leather-Sector-Skill-Council

  • Set up in 2012, the Leather Sector Skill Council (LSSC) is an NSDC approved non-profit organization dedicated to meet the demand for skilled workforce in the leather industry in India.
  • The council, in partnership with Council for Leather Exports (CLE), caters to the training and employment needs of various sub-sectors in the leather industry.

Leather sector of India

Leather

  • Globally, India is the second largest producer of leather garments and footwear.
  • The Government of India has allowed 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in the leather sector.
  • India accounts for about 13% of the world’s leather production.
  • The leather and leather products industry contribute less than 1% to India’s GDP and Footwear industry contributes about 2% to India’s GDP.
  • Indian leather industry has huge potential for exports. It can reach USD 9.0 billion by 2020, from the present level of USD 5.85 billion.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Issues related to Health & Education

Gender gap narrows in higher education enrolment: AISHE report

According to the latest All-India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) released by the HRD ministry, in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, there are now more females in the age group of 18-23 enrolling for higher education than male students.

Gender-gap-narrows-in-higher-education-1

Highlights of the AISHE 2018-19

  • Total enrolment in higher education has been estimated to be 4 million with 19.2 million males and 18.2 million females.
  • The gross enrolment ratio (GER) has increased from 25.8 in 2017-18 to 26.3 in 2018-19. For Scheduled Castes, GER is 23% and for Scheduled Tribes, it is 17.2%.
  • Uttar Pradesh comes at number one with the highest student enrolment followed by Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

Streams

  • At Undergraduate level the highest number (35.9%) of students are enrolled in Arts/ Humanities/Social Sciences courses followed by Science (16.5%), Engineering and Technology (13.5%) and Commerce (14.1%).
  • At D. level, maximum number of students are enrolled in Science stream followed by Engineering and Technology. On the other hand, at Post Graduate level, maximum students are enrolled in Social Science stream followed by Management.

Gender Gap

Gender-gap-narrows-in-higher-education-4

  • In Uttar Pradesh, there are an over 90,000 more girls than males enrolled for higher education in UP.
  • In Karnataka too, the number of females is higher (1,600) than males.
  • The general trend indicates the narrowing of the gender gap with female enrolment improving from 47.6% in 2017-18 to 48.6% in 2018-19.

Number of Universities

  • Number of universities has grown by 93 (993 from 900) in 2018-19 and total HEIs (higher educational institutions) from 49,960 to 51,650 in the same period.
  • The top eight states in terms of highest number of colleges in India are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
  • Just 10 districts in India have nearly 10% of the country’s colleges. Significantly, most of these districts are either in south or western part of the country.
  • Bihar has the least number of colleges– only seven colleges for every lakh of eligible population.
[Ref: Times of India, Hindustan Times]

 

HRD Minister launches Plagiarism Detention Software

Union HRD Minister launched the Plagiarism Detention Software (PDS) “ShodhShuddhi” during the special Meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) held in New Delhi.

HRD-Minister-Chairs-the-Special-Meeting-1

About ShodhShuddhi

  • ShodhShuddhi is being implemented by INFLIBNET, an Inter University Centre (IUC) of University Grants Commission (UGC).

Significance 

  • PDS will significantly help to improve the quality of research outcome by ensuring the originality of ideas and publication of the research scholars.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Union HRD Minister Chairs the Special Meeting of CABE

Union Human Resource Minister chaired the Special Meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) held in New Delhi.

HRD-Minister-Chairs-the-Special-Meeting

  • The main agenda of the Special meeting of CABE was to discuss the Draft National Education Policy 2019 (DNEP 2019).

About Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE)

Central-Advisory-Board-of-Education-(CABE)

  • Central Advisory Board of Education is the oldest advisory body of the Government of India in education.

Background:

  • The idea of central Advisory Board of Education was first put forward by the Calcutta University Commission (1917-19). Almost simultaneously the Government of India Act, 1919 decided to make education mainly a provincial by limiting the control of the Central Government.
  • This decision changed the character of the Government of India from that of an executive to an advisory authority.
  • Subsequently, a Central Advisory Board of Education was set up in 1920 under the chairmanship of Education Commissioner to the Government of India.
  • However, owing to a financial crisis, it was abolished in 1923. A Report of Hartog Committee (1928) observed that the separation between the Government of India and education is unfortunate. Hence, it was revived in 1935 and had continued to exist till 1994. It was reconstituted by the Government in July 2004.

Functions:

  • CABE has a particularly important role to play at the present juncture in view of the significant socio-economic and socio-cultural developments taking place in the country and for the review of the National Policy on Education which is also due.

Composition:

  • It consists of nominated members representing various interests in addition to elected members from the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, and the representatives of the Government of India, State Governments and UT Administrations.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

NIDM to organize a Workshop on Post Disaster Needs Assessment

The National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) is organizing one day National workshop on Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA).

NIDM-to-organize-a-Workshop

  • National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), undertook the study for developing a scientific tool on Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), under the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP).

What is Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA)?

  • The PDNA tool was developed by the UN Development Group, the World Bank and the European Union as one of the key commitments of their 2008 agreement to develop and use common assessment and recovery planning approaches in post-crisis scenario.
  • In the aftermath of disasters, affected countries need to invest significant resources, guided by a comprehensive assessment that estimates damages and losses, and identifies the needs of the affected population.
  • Hence, Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) is the first step towards developing a holistic recovery programme.

About National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP)

  • National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP) was conceptualized by Indian government to address cyclone risks in the country.

Cyclone

  • National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) is the implementing agency of the Project.
  • The Financing and Project Agreements of NCRMP were signed between the Department of Economic Affairs, World Bank and the State Governments of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha in 2011.
  • The overall objective of the Project is to undertake suitable structural and non-structural measures to mitigate the effects of cyclones in the coastal states and UTs of India.
  • The Project has identified 13 cyclone prone States and UTs that have been classified into two categories, based on the frequency of occurrence of cyclone, size of population and the existing institutional mechanism for disaster management.

These categories are:

  • Category I: Higher vulnerability Statese. Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
  • Category II: Lower vulnerability Statese. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Goa, Pondicherry, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

These project is divided in two phases:

Phase-I: It was implemented under the aegis of MHA in collaboration with the Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, and the National Institute for Disaster Management (NIDM). First phase was completed in March 2018.

Phase-II: Government of India approved Phase-II in 2015 for five years up to March, 2020 covering States of Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerela, Maharashtra and West Bengal with the World Bank funding.

[Ref: PIB]

 

MNRE awards grants to four projects in second round of PACE setter Fund programme 

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Awarded Grants to the awardees of the second round of PACEsetter fund programme in a ceremony.

MNRE-awards

About PACEsetter fund

  • The PACEsetter fund was constituted by India and the USA in 2015 as a joint fund to provide early-stage grant funding to accelerate the commercialization of innovative off-grid clean energy products, systems, and business models.

PACEsetter-Fund

  • It is a Rs. 50 crore (USD 7.9 million) fund jointly capitalized by the Governments of the Republic of India and the United States of America.
  • The Fund will award grants for direct support of innovative technology, business models, and programs including but not limited to: rural energy services companies (full scale integrated operators); rural distribution companies/franchisees; operations/maintenance companies; technology implementers/ system integrators; and enterprises.

Eligibility:

MNRE-awards-1

  • To be eligible, projects must be focused on improving the viability of off grid renewable energy businesses and organizations, under served individuals and communities in India without access to grid connected power or with limited or intermittent access less than 8 hours per day using small scale (under 1 megawatt) clean energy systems.

 [Ref: PIB]

 

Bilateral & International Relations

Israel Cuts Power in Parts of West Bank Over Debts

Israel’s national electricity company cut power to parts of the occupied West Bank due to outstanding payments amounting to nearly USD 483 million.

West-Bank-Over-Debts-Amounting-to-$483-Million

About the West Bank:

  • The West Bank is a landlocked territory, which is bordered by Jordan to the east and the Green Line separating it and Israel in the north, south and west.

West-Bank

  • The territory was occupied by Israel during the six-day war in 1967.
  • Under the Oslo Accords, which was signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in September 1993, the two sides agreed that West Bank and Gaza Strip would be treated as a single territorial unit.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Science & Technology

Our detergents have a hazardous chemical in them: Study

The detergents may have a harmful chemical called Nonylphenol (NP) which is banned in several countries or is being phased out owing to its harmful effects on humans and aquatic organisms.

detergents-have-a-hazardous-chemical

What is the issue?

  • In a study conducted by New Delhi-based non-profit Toxics Link, twelve detergent samples that were analysed contained banned Nonylphenol chemical.
  • The concentration in the detergent samples was found to be very high in products of international corporations, despite they have declared their products to be nonylphenol free in other countries.

What is Nonylphenol?

nonylphenol

  • Nonylphenols are surfactants that are used in a wide variety of industrial applications and consumer products such as in laundry detergents.
  • It has amphiphilic properties (a compound possessing both hydrophilic (water-loving) and lipophilic (fat-loving) properties).

Adverse health effects of Nonylphenol:

  • It is a persistent, toxic, bio-accumulative chemical which acts as a hormone disruptor. Many studies said that Nonylphenol could be carcinogenic.
  • Besides, its exposure through water, soil and food crops may result in a burning sensation, cough, laboured breathing, sore throat, unconsciousness, skin irritation and burns.
  • It is also toxic for aquatic animals.

Regulation:

  • The Bureau of Industry Standards (BIS) has set the standard of phenolic compounds for drinking water (0.001 mg/L) and surface water (5.0 mg/L). However, unlike other countries, India does not have specific standards for Nonylphenol in drinking water and surface water.
[Ref: Down to Earth]

 

Sagittarius A*: A black hole at the centre of the Milky Way

In 2019, Sagittarius A* has shown unusual activity, and the area around it has been much brighter than usual.

Sagittarius A

What is the Sagittarius A*?

  • Sagittarius A* is a supermassive black hole the at the center of the Milky Way, near the border of the constellations Sagittarius and Scorpius.

What is the unusual about Sagittarius A*?

  • In 2019, Sagittarius A* has shown unusual activity as the area around it has been much brighter than usual.

Reason for unusual activity of Sagittarius A*

  • A black hole does not emit light by itself, but the matter that it consumes can be a source of light. A large quantity of gas from the S0-2 star, which travelled close to the Sagittarius A* in 2018, may now source of increased brightness of Sagittarius A*.
  • Other possibilities of the heightened activity, are that Sagittarius A* could be growing faster than usual in size, or that the current model that measures its level of brightness is inadequate and is in need of an update.

Black Holes

black hole

  • A black hole is an object in space that is so dense and has such strong gravity that no matter or light can escape its pull. Because no light can escape, it is black and invisible.
  • Due to high density, they are small in size. According to NASA, a black hole 20 times the mass of the sun could fit inside a ball 16 kilometres wide.
  • Supermassive black holes are found at the centre of most galaxies, including our own Milky Way.

How does Black hole forms?

  • In the final stages of a start, stars die/burst with a bang in massive explosions known as supernovae. Such a burst throws star matter out into space but leaves behind the stellar core (core material of star).
  • While the star was alive, nuclear fusion created a constant outward push that balanced the inward pull of gravity from the star’s own mass.
  • In the stellar remnants of a supernova, however, there are no longer forces to oppose that gravity, so the star core begins to collapse in on itself.
  • This mass collapses into an infinitely small point called a black hole. Packing all of that bulk, into such a tiny point gives black holes their powerful gravitational pull.
[Ref: Indian Express]

 

Head on Generation (HOG) technology will help Railways become less polluting, cost-efficient

The Railway Ministry announced that it would be upgrading all existing Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches with the Head on Generation (HOG) technology, a move that would cause the trains to become more cost-efficient and less polluting

Indian-railway

About Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches

About Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches

  • The LHB passenger coaches of Indian Railways have been built in India at the Asansol-based Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW) after the Railways purchased their technology from the German manufacturer Linke Hofmann Busch in 1996.
  • These coaches were originally designed to operate on the End on Generation (EOG)
  • Under the EOG system, the load of air conditioning, lights, fans, and pantry, etc. (called Hotel Load) is provided with electricity from two large diesel generator sets. The generator cars are attached to either end of the train, giving the system its name – End on Generation.

What is Head on Generation (HOG) system?

Head-on-Generation-(HOG)-system

  • As opposed to the older EOG system, the Head on Generation (HOG) system runs the hotel load by taking electricity from the overhead electric lines through the pantograph.
  • Pantograph is an apparatus mounted on the roof of an electric train to collect power through contact with an overhead electric line.

Significance of HOG Technology

Extra Space

  • Since the HOG-fitted trains do not require power from diesel generators, they only have one emergency generator car attached, instead of two regular generator cars.
  • The extra space created would now be used for an LSLRD (LHB Second Luggage, Guard & Divyaang Compartment), meaning more passengers can be accommodated.

Cost-effective

  • Once all LHB trains get HOG system, it would save INR 1390 crores every year.
  • The increased cost efficiency is because of the low price per unit of electricity in the HOG system at INR 6/unit, as compared to the price of INR 22/unit in the EOG system.

Environment friendly

  • The HOG system is free of air and noise pollution. The system would bring down yearly CO2 (1724.6 tonnes/annum) and NOx (7.48 tonnes/annum) emissions to zero.
  • The reduction in emissions could also help the Railways accrue carbon credits, and trade them on the international market.
  • It will also reduce noise pollution created by generator.

How is it different from the present EOG technology?

  • Under the End on Generation (EOG) system, the train’s ‘hotel load’ (the load of air conditioning, lights, fans, and pantry, etc.) is provided with electricity from two large diesel generator sets, which supply 3-phase power at 750 Volts 50 Hz to the entire length of the train.
  • Each coach then picks up the power supply through a 60 KVA transformer, bringing down the voltage to 110 volts at which level the equipment in the compartment is run. The generator cars are attached to either end of the train, giving the system its name.

What are ICF Coaches?

ICF Coaches

  • ICF stands for “Integral Coach Factory” which is one of the railways’ main coach production plants. The Integral Coach Factory is located in Perambur near Chennai.
  • The ICF design refers to the conventional design of coaches seen across trains in India.

LHB Coach advantages over ICF Coaches

LHB Coach advantages over ICF Coaches

  • The LHB coaches can travel at a higher speed. The maximum permissible speed for LHB coaches in 160 kmph (ICF has 110 kmph).
  • The LHB coaches are anti-telescopic. These coaches do not penetrate into the adjacent coaches in case of accidents.
  • During collision or derailment, the LHB coaches do not climb on the adjacent coaches, due to the use of Center Buffer Couling (CBC), instead of the dual buffer system.
  • The LHB coaches are 1.7 meters longer than the conventional ICF coaches. This enhances the seating capacity of the LHB coaches.
  • The LBH has lesser moving parts than the ICF bogie. This results in high durability of the bogie and requires less maintenance. FIAT bogie facilitates higher speeds.
  • The weight per meter of this coach is less than the ICF coach and is easier to haul.
  • The materials used for manufacturing the LBH are of superior quality and require less maintenance.
  • These coaches are equipped with controlled discharge toilet system (CDTS) and Bio-toilets, which are environmental friendly.
  • The LHB coaches use advanced pneumatic disc brake system for efficient braking at higher speeds.
  • Noise generated by these coaches is 40% less than the ICF coaches.
  • The Air Conditioning in theses coaches is of higher capacity and is controlled by a micro-processor.
  • These coaches are of lower cost when compared to the ICF coaches.
  • The ICF coaches require Periodic Overhaul(POH) once in 18 months. While the LHB coaches requires POH once in 24 months. EVen the maintenance cost is less than that of ICF coaches.
[Ref: Indian Express]

 

Key Facts for Prelims

New blockbuster wheat from IARI

After HD-2967 and HD-3086, which together occupy roughly 40% of the country’s total wheat area, the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has released HD-3226 variety for planting in the upcoming rabi crop season.

New-blockbuster-wheat-from-IARI

About HD-3226

New-variety-Pusa-yashavi-of-wheat

  • The HD-3226 or Pusa Yashasvi is the new variety of wheat.

Quality Parameters

  • High Protein content (12.8% average) and High gluten 9 (which contributes to strength and elasticity of the dough)
  • Good grain appearance, high sedimentation value and high extraction rate
  • More Zinc content
  • Suitable for highest bread quality and bread loaf

Disease Resistance

  • Highly resistant to Yellow, Brown and Black rust
  • Highly resistant to Karnal bunt, Powdery mildew, loose smut and foot rot

Yield

  • The average yield of HD 3226 is 57 q/ha while the genetic yield potential is 79 q/ha.

Possibility for early sowing

New-blockbuster-wheat-from-IARI-1

  • Farmers can plant HD-3326 even 7-10 days before it sowings season, immediately after harvesting paddy. They could use a Happy Seeder to directly drill the wheat seeds in the field, without any ploughing or burning the leftover paddy stubble and loose straw.
  • This isn’t possible with HD-2967 or HD-3086, where the crop tends to prematurely flower on sowing early.
  • Being able to sow in Late-October (earlier than sowing season) is an advantage in these times, when temperatures are starting to shoot up by mid-March itself, impacting grain-filling.

Zero-tillage planting

  • HD-3226 is also ideal for zero-tillage planting, while not prone to yellow rust attack

Background

  • PBW-343, the most famous wheat variety that the Punjab Agricultural University introduced in 1995, was being grown in nearly 10 mh across India till the last decade.
  • But due to its vulnerability to yellow and brown rust, the HD-2967 (Pusa Borlaug) in 2011-12 and Pusa-3086 (Pusa Gautami) in 2013-14, took the place of PBW-343.
  • However, HD-2967, too, has now become susceptible to yellow rust, while HD-3086 is starting to show susceptibility to brown rust.
[Ref: Indian Express]

 

Happy Seeder

Chief minister of Punjab faced opposition from farmers during Kisan Mela at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) when he said that using Happy Seeders for direct wheat sowing leads to increased productivity’, and hence farmers must ‘stop burning paddy stubble’ to clear the fields.

Happy-Seeder 1

Reason for opposition

  • Despite using the Super-SMS (Straw Management System) equipment, farmers have to burn the stubble because Happy Seeder doesn’t work on thick bunches of straw left behind.

What is Happy Seeder?

Happy-Seeder

  • Happy Seeder (HS) or Turbo Happy Seeder (THS) is a tractor-operated machine developed by the Punjab Agricultural University in collaboration with Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), for in-situ management of paddy stubble (straw).

How does it work?

  • After harvesting the paddy field using a combined harvester fitted with Super-SMS (Straw Management System) equipment, which chops and evenly spreads the stubble in the field, farmers can directly sow wheat seeds using Happy Seeder with the stubble’s organic value adding to the soil.
  • In other words, it cuts and lifts straw, then sows wheat into the bare soil, and deposits the straw over the sown area as
[Ref: Indian Express]

 

‘Glory Run’ flagged off to commemorate 20th year of Kargil Victory

The Kargil to Kohima (K2K) Ultra-Marathon- “Glory Run” was flagged off by Air Vice Marshal from Kargil War Memorial, Drass.

Kargil-to-Kohima-Ultra-Marathon

About Kargil to Kohima (K2K) Ultra-Marathon

  • The Kargil to Kohima (K2K) Ultra-Marathon- “Glory Run” is being undertaken by Indian Air Force from Kargil War Memorial, Drass to Kohima War Cemetery, Kohima (Nagaland) to commemorate 20th year of Kargil Victory.

Kargil-to-Kohima-Ultra-Marathon-1

  • The aim of the expedition is to promote awareness for Pedestrian Safety and recently launched Fit India Movement by Indian Prime Minister as well as to pay tribute to Indian soldiers.

About Kargil war

  • The Kargil War took place between India and Pakistan 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir.

kargil-war

  • It began with the infiltration of both Pakistani troops and terrorists into Indian territory. The infiltrators positioned themselves in key locations including Tololing Heights, Tiger Hill and Point 4875 (Batra Top), that gave them a strategic advantage during the start of the conflict.
  • As a retaliation, Indian Army launched ‘Operation Vijay’ against Pakistan infiltration. Safed Sagar, the Indian Air Force’s operation, was also a major part of the Kargil war. It used air power at the height of 32,000 feet for the first time.
  • Indian Army declared the military operation successful on July 26, 1999. Since then the day has been celebrated annually as Kargil Vijay Diwas.

About Kargil War Memorial

  • Kargil War Memorial was built by the Indian army to commemorate the memory of Kargil war martyrs.
  • It is the located across the Tiger Hill near Dras which is the coldest inhabited place in India and the second coldest in the world after Siberia.

About Kohima War Cemetary

kohima-war-cemetery

  • The Kohima War Cemetary was built in remembrance of the British and Indian soldiers who gave up their lives during the Second World War against the Japanese.
  • Also known as the ‘Battle of Kohima’, this battle was fought in 1944.
  • This is considered to be one of the fiercest battles fought in the east and in Nagaland too and is also known as the ‘Stalingrad of The East’.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Mochi Swabhimaan Initiative

Mochi Swabhimaan Initiative

  • Mochi Swabhimaan Initiative is a nationwide effort in which Leather Sector Skill Council (LSSC) will support the cobbler community who provide leather-based services, with CSR funds.
  • This will ensure that they work in a dignified manner by bringing respect to their skills by giving them better working environment in the form of kiosks/umbrellas. 
  • Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has launched this initiative.
  • LSSC is an NSDC approved non-profit organization set up in 2012 dedicated to meet the demand for skilled workforce in the leather industry.

 

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