Polity & Governance
- Amitabh Kant panel to identify digital payment modes
- AirSewa portal launched
- Apparel & Garment Making Centre at Imphal, Manipur
Art & Culture
- 500th Anniversary of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Coming to Vrindavan
Science & Technology
- Railways to introduce ‘Tri-Netra’ to check collisions
- Scientists develop artificial human lung model using 3D printing
- India hosts World Robot Olympiad for the first time
Key Facts for Prelims
- 26th November: Constitution Day or Samvidhan Diwas
Polity & Governance
Amitabh Kant panel to identify digital payment modes
In a transformative attempt to weed out black money and corruption from public life, the Union Government has constituted a Committee to identify all possible modes of digital payment across sectors.
- The committee is headed by Amitabh Kant, the CEO of NITI Aayog, the government’s policy think tank.
Mandate of the committee:
- The aim of the committee is to identify various digital payment systems appropriate to different sectors of the economy and coordinate efforts to make them accessible and user-friendly.
- The Committee will identify and operationalize in the earliest possible time frame user-friendly digital payment options in all sectors of the economy. This is integral part of the Governments strategy to transform India into a cashless economy.
- The committee will also identify and access infrastructural and bottlenecks affecting the access and utility of digital payment options.
- To achieve expeditious movement into the cashless, digital payments economy across all States and sectors, it will engage regularly with Central Ministries, regulators, State governments, district administration, local bodies, trade and industry associations etc. to promote rapid adoption of digital payment systems.
- The committee aims to establish and monitor an implementation framework with strict timelines to ensure that nearly 80% of the transaction in India moves to the digital-only platform.
- The committee will also attempt to estimate costs involved in various digital payments options and oversee implementation of measures to make such transaction between Government and Citizens cheaper than cash transaction.
- An action plan on advocacy, awareness and handholding efforts among public, micro enterprises and other stakeholders will also be implemented by the committee.
- In this regard, the committee will organize training and capacity building of various states/UTs, Ministries/Departments of the Government of India, representatives of States/UTs, Trade and Industry Bodies as well as other stakeholders.
- The committee was set up following a directive from the Prime Minister’s Office to back up the demonetisation move.
- The Union Government is working towards moving all government transactions to the cashless mode, through a new single window e-payment system that businesses or individuals can use to make payments to any central or state department.
AirSewa portal launched
The aviation ministry has launched the AirSewa portal and mobile app.
What is ‘AirSewa’?
- AirSewa is an initiative of the Ministry of Civil Aviation to offer people a convenient and hassle-free air travel experience.
- Flight delays, refunds, long queues and lack of proper facilities at airports and complaints of lost baggage were the most common problems that air travellers faced. AirSewa was an attempt to provide such a systematic approach to redressing passenger grievances.
About the portal:
- The portal will include a mechanism for grievance redressal, back-office operations for grievance handling, flight status and airport information.
- It will be operated through an interactive web portal as well as through a mobile app for both android and iOS platforms.
- Users will have an option to check the flight status and schedule between any of airports. Flights can be searched on the basis of flight number or for all flights to a particular airport.
- Airport Information will display basic weather information and connecting flight details from the airport. Airport information will include basic details and contact information regarding airport services like wheel Chair, transport/parking, rest and relax, Wifi services etc.
Grievance redressal mechanism provided by the portal:
- With the launch of AirSewa, passengers will be able to register their grievances through the mobile app or a web portal.
- The users will also have the facility to upload voice or video along with an elaborate description of their issues.
- They will be given a unique reference number for each of their reported grievances which would also be communicated through an email as well as an SMS.
- The Users can track the status and response to these grievances through the mobile application as well as the web application based on the reference number provided.
- Once the grievance is closed the user has an option to provide his feedback and rate the overall experience and satisfaction.
Apparel & Garment Making Centre at Imphal, Manipur
An Apparel & Garment Making Centre will shortly be inaugurated at Imphal, Manipur.
- The Manipur State Government has allocated land admeasuring approximately 1.5 acres at Lamboikongnangkhong, Imphal, Manipur for this centre.
- The Centre at Imphal has been constructed under the North-East Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS).
- The project has been completed by the Manipur Handlooms and Handicrafts Development Corporation (MHHDC).
- The capacity building through this centre will include skill development, Market linkages and Management Support including Design Services.
About the North-East Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS):
- The scheme was launched by the Union Textile Ministry. Under this intervention, each state now has one centre with three units having approximately 100 machines each.
- The project is fully funded by the Ministry with an estimated cost of Rs. 18.18 crores for one Apparel Center in each state.
- The central assistance is towards construction of physical infrastructure, machinery for the units and towards capacity building of workers for a period of 3 years.
Art & Culture
500th Anniversary of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Coming to Vrindavan
Government of India is commemorating the 500th anniversary of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Coming to Vrindava.
- As a part of year-long celebrations of commemoration of “500th Anniversary of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Coming to Vrindavan, Ministry of Culture has released a Commemorative Non-Circulation Coin of ₹500 and a Circulation Coin of ₹10.
- Besides, government is organizing various programmes and Exhibitions on Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s life and teachings in association with Vrindavan Research Institute and ISKCON.
About Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu:
- Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is a famous Hindi Saint and social reformer.
- He was a distinguished promoter for the Vaishnava School of Bhakti Yoga.
- The Bhakti movement initiated by him strove to eradicate the evils of caste and feudal systems of medieval India.
- He propagated the worship of Shri Krishna and popularized the chanting of “Hare Krishna Mantra” to all without any discrimination.
- In the year 1515, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited Vrindavan, with the objective of locating the lost holy places associated with Lord Krishna’s transcendent pastimes.
- It is believed that through his intuitive powers, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was able to locate all the places associated with Lord Sri Krishna and restore the pristine purity of the religious practices of the yore.
Science & Technology
Railways to introduce ‘Tri-Netra’ to check collisions
Railways may soon get an advanced system, called “Tri-Netra”, on its trains to reduce train accidents.
- A proposal in this regard has already been initiated.
- TRI-NETRA stands for – Terrain imaging for diesel dRivers INfra-red, Enhanced opTical &Radar Assisted system.
- TRI-NETRA system shall be made up of
- High-resolution optical video camera,
- High sensitivity infra-red video camera and
- A radar-based terrain mapping system.
- These three components of the system shall act as three eyes (Tri-Netra) of the Locomotive Pilot.
- The concept of TRI-NETRA was developed by Development Cell under the guidance of Member Mechanical, Railway Board.
- The idea is based on how to use the technology employed by fighter aircrafts to see through clouds and operate in pitch darkness and the technology used by naval ships in mapping the ocean floor and navigating in the night.
- Such an “assisted vision” system is not available readily in any of the advanced railway systems but the manufacturers and technology partners who develop components of such systems for defence are very excited with the concept.
How it works?
- TRI-NETRA is designed to “see” the terrain ahead of the running locomotive during inclement weather by combining the images captured by the three sub-systems and to create a composite video image which shall be displayed in front of the Loco Pilot on a computer monitor.
Significance of TRI-NETRA:
- TRI-NETRA will give the locomotive pilot a clear view of the track ahead in bad visibility conditions so that he can apply brakes well in time.
- Conversely, locomotive pilot can speed up the train even in poor visibility if the TRI-NETRA system shows that the track ahead is clear of obstruction.
- The system shall also map the terrain ahead so that the driver knows when he is approaching a station or a signal.
Scientists develop artificial human lung model using 3D printing
Scientists have developed a model of a functioning human lung using 3D printing and other technologies.
- The model can be used to simulate problems like asthma or other chronic diseases and their treatments.
- It is mechanical- and computer-based model of the lung developed by utilizing an array of modern technologies including 3D printing.
- It can help devise treatment methods with more precision than past testing and tailor it to individual patients.
- It can also be used as a reference model for developing inhaled drugs.
- It can show whether an inhaled drug will settle in the concrete areas where we need it to.
What is 3D Printing?
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), refers to various processes used to synthesize a three-dimensional object
- A 3D printer is a type of industrial robot.
- In 3D printing, successive layers of material are formed under computer control to create an object.
- These objects can be of almost any shape or geometry and are produced from a 3D model or other electronic data source.
Medical Applications of 3D Printing:
- 3D printers are used to manufacture a variety of medical devices. They have the capacity to print medical devices with complex geometry or features that match a patient’s unique anatomy.
- Some devices are printed from a standard design to make multiple identical copies of the same device.
- Other devices are created from a specific patient’s imaging data. Those devices are called patient-matched or patient-specific.
- Commercially available 3D printed medical devices include:
- Instrumentation (e.g., guides to assist with proper surgical placement of a device),
- Implants (e.g., cranial plates or hip joints), and
- External prostheses (e.g., hands).
India hosts World Robot Olympiad for the first time
India, for the first time, hosted the 13th edition of the World Robot Olympiad on the sidelines of trade fair in New Delhi.
- The international championship has been organised by National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the India STEM Foundation (ISF).
- It aims to find innovative solutions using robotics technology to reduce, manage and recycle waste.
- The theme of the event is ‘Rap the Scrap’ selected in line with Union Government’s Swachh Bharat Mission.
- It will see participation of over 2000 students from 54 countries.
- The 12th edition of World Robot Olympiad was held in Doha, Qatar in November 2015.
- The 2017, World Robot Olympiad will be held in Costa Rica.
About World Robot Olympiad:
- World Robot Olympiad is a global robotics competition that seeks to bring together young minds from across the world to develop their creativity and problem solving skills through challenging and educational robotics competition.
- It was formally established in 2003 and was for the first time held in 2004 in Singapore.
- Japan, Singapore, China and South Korea are considered the founding countries of the competition.
Key Facts for Prelims
26th November: Constitution Day or Samvidhan Diwas
- The Samvidhan Diwas or the Constitution Day of India is being observed on 26th November to spread awareness of Indian Constitution.
- In October 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had declared 26 November as Constitution Day as part of year-long nationwide celebrations of 125th birth Anniversary of Dr. B R Ambedkar, Chairman of the Drafting Committee of Constituent Assembly.
- On this day in 1949, constitution of India was adopted and came into force on January 26, 1950 marking the beginning of a new era in the history of free India.
- The Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) is the nodal Ministry for the celebration of Constitution Day.
- This year it is second edition of the Constitution Day.
- The day is celebrated to value and preserve the rich heritage of composite culture and to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.
- The day will also promote to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures.