FC-for-IAS-Prelims-2018-CA-Day-47
70 Days WAR Plan

Day#47 Current Affairs Flash Cards [70 Days WAR Plan]

Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS); “Sanskriti Kumbh”; Deep Space Gateway (DSG); Bhartiya Shiksha Board (BSB); Anti-dumping duty; Sirsi Supari of Karnataka, Marayur Jaggery and Coorg Arabica; Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN); Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development (IAIARD); Rhi-Tiddim Road Project;
By IT's Core Team
May 07, 2019

 

 

 

Between which two countries, the MoU for construction of Rhi-Tiddim Road Project was signed?

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Answer:

The MoU for construction of Rhi-Tiddim Road Project was signed between Myanmar and India.

Enrich Your Learning:

Rhi-Tiddim Road Project:

  • The project involves development of an estimated 80 km road connecting Tiddim in Chin State to Rihkhawdar (Rih) which is on the Myanmar India border (Chin State-Mizoram State).
  • The Road would not only facilitate development in a very remote part of Chin State but also facilitate border trade and commerce between Myanmar and India.
  • The MoU for construction of Rhi-Tiddim was signed in December 2012 during the visit of the External Affairs Minister to Myanmar.

 

 

 

What is the objective behind setting up India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development (IAIARD) in Africa?

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Answer:

  • India has decided to set up India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development (IAIARD) in Africa to augment efforts to develop agro-financing and agrarian economy in the continent of Africa.

Enrich Your Learning:

India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development (IAIARD):

  • Ministry of External Affairs signed an MoU with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Consultancy Service (NABCONS) for setting up India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development (IAIARD) in Malawi.
  • IAIARD aims to complement the efforts of the Government of India to enhance capacity in the areas of agro-financing and entrepreneurship development for African countries.
  • IAIARD will be a Pan-African Institute wherein trainees not only from Malawi but also from other African countries, will receive training to develop their human resources and build their capacity.
  • IAIARD will develop training programmes in the areas of micro-financing and agro-financing, among others.
  • The entire expenditure on faculty from India, the travel, logistics and training course expenses for students from other African countries will be borne by the Government of India for an initial period of three years.
  • IAIARD is the first of its kind developed in an African country by India. This will further strengthen the bilateral relations with Malawi and India’s relations with African Union.

 

 

 

What is the aim of Indian Bridge Management System launched recently?

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Answer:

  • The Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS) aims to fill the gap by preparing a data base of all bridges in the country and detailing their structural condition so that timely action can be taken to repair the structures or build new ones in their place.

Enrich Your Learning:

Indian Bridge Management System:

  • A major step was taken towards ensuring safety of bridges in the country, when the Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping formally launched the Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS) in New Delhi.
  • IBMS is being developed to create an inventory of all bridges in the country and rate their structural condition so that timely repair and rehabilitation work can be carried out based on the criticality of the structure.
  • IBMS aims to fill this gap by preparing a data base of all bridges in the country and detailing their structural condition so that timely action can be taken to repair the structures or build new ones in their place.
  • IBMS is the largest platform in the world owned by a single owner, with database that could exceed 1,50,000 bridge structures.
  • So far 1,15,000 bridges have been inventorized, of which 85,000 are culverts and the rest are bridges.

Working of the IBMS:

  • During inventory creation each bridge is assigned a unique identification number or National Identity Number based on the state, RTO zone and whether it is situated on an National Highway, State Highway or is a district road.
  • Then the precise location of the bridge in terms of latitude-longitude is collected through GPS and based on this, the bridge is assigned a Bridge Location Number.
  • Thereafter, engineering characteristics like the design, materials, type of bridge, its age, loading, traffic lane, length, width of carriage way etc are collected and are used to assign a Bridge Classification Number to the structure.
  • These are then used to do a structural rating of the structure on a scale of 0 to 9, and each bridge is assigned a Structural Rating Number.
  • The rating is done for each component of the structure like integral and non-integral deck, superstructure, substructure, bank and channel, structural evaluation, deck geometry, vertical clearance, waterway efficiency etc.
  • In addition to the structural rating, the bridges are also being assigned Socio-Economic Bridge Rating Number which will decide the importance of the structure in relation to its contribution to daily socio-economic activity of the area in its vicinity.
  • Based on this inventory IBMS will analyse data and identify bridges that need attention.
  • Further inspection will be carried out wherever required to improve the operational availability of the structure, enhance its life and prioritize repair and rehabilitation work.
  • The data will help to decide which bridge needs critical attention, or which needs to be rebuilt.

 

 

 

What is the goal of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)?

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Answer:

  • FAO’s goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.

Enrich Your Learning:

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):

  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
  • With over 194 member states, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide. It believes that everyone can play a part in ending hunger.
  • Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate arguments and debate policy.
  • FAO is also a source of knowledge and information, and helps developing countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices, ensuring good nutrition and food security for all.
  • The agency is directed by the Conference of Member Nations, which meets every two years to review the work carried out by the organization and to Work and Budget for the next two-year period.

Priority work areas:

FAO has outlined the following priorities in its fight against hunger.

  • Help eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition – contribute to the eradication of hunger by facilitating policies and political commitments to support food security and by making sure that up-to-date information about hunger and nutrition challenges and solutions is available and accessible.
  • Make agriculture, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable – promote evidence-based policies and practices to support highly productive agricultural sectors (crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries), while ensuring that the natural resource base does not suffer in the process.
  • Reduce rural poverty – help the rural poor gain access to the resources and services they need – including rural employment and social protection – to forge a path out of poverty.
  • Enable inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems – help to build safe and efficient food systems that support smallholder agriculture and reduce poverty and hunger in rural areas.
  • Increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises – help countries to prepare for natural and human-caused disasters by reducing their risk and enhancing the resilience of their food and agricultural systems.

Two fundamental areas of work – gender and governance – are fully integrated in the above strategic objective action plans.

 

 

 

What is the objective of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN)?

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Answer:

  • The Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) was set up to provide financial assistance to patients, living below poverty line and who are suffering from major life threatening diseases, to receive medical treatment at any of the super speciality Hospitals/Institutes or other Government hospitals.

Enrich Your Learning:

Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN):

  • The scheme Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) is under implementation in the country.

The details of scheme and salient features are given below:

  • The Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) has been set up in 1997 and registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, as a Society.
  • The RAN was set up to provide financial assistance to patients, living below poverty line and who are suffering from major life threatening diseases, to receive medical treatment at any of the super speciality Hospitals/Institutes or other Government hospitals.
  • The financial assistance to such patients is released in the form of ‘one-time grant’, which is released to the Medical Superintendent of the Hospital in which the treatment has been/is being received.
  • Under RAN Revolving Funds have been set up in 13 Central Government Hospitals/Institutions located all over India for providing financial assistance for treatment up to Rs. 2 lakh.
  • In addition, financial assistance is provided for individual cases referred by Government hospitals/institutions, which do not have a Revolving Fund and for cases referred by 13 Government hospitals/institutions with Revolving Funds for assistance exceeding Rs. 2 lakh.
  • All the Super-speciality hospitals/institutes or other Government Hospitals situated in all States/UTs including Andhra Pradesh are covered for providing medical treatment to the patients living below poverty line under the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi Scheme.

 

 

 

Give information on mentioned three products: Sirsi Supari of Karnataka, Marayur Jaggery and Coorg Arabica, which got GI tag recently.

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

Sirsi Supari of Karnataka:

  • For the first time in the arecanut sector, ‘Sirsi Supari’ grown in Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka has received the Geographic Indication (GI) tag.
  • It is cultivated in Yellapura, Siddapura and Sirsi taluks.
  • The particular arecanut “is medium in size, somewhat flat and rounded in shape, somewhat ash coloured, and has a hard seed.
  • The arecanut grown in these taluks have unique features like a round and flattened coin shape, particular texture, size, cross-sectional views, taste, etc.
  • These features are not seen in arecanut grown in any other regions. Its average dry weight is 7.5 g and average thickness is 16 mm.
  • This particular variety has a unique taste due to differences in chemical composition.
  • The total average flavonoids content in it is around 90 whereas in others it is around 80.
  • ‘Sirsi Supari’ is medium sized and round in shape. It has a somewhat ash coloured hard seed.
  • The fruit of ‘Sirsi Supari’ turns from yellow to scarlet as it ripens, and consists of a thick fibrous pericarp (husk) that encloses this seed.
  • Sirsi Supari’ is used both as ‘chali’ (white arecanut) and red arecanut.
  • The ‘chali’ variety is made by peeling the ripened nuts and sun drying them later.
  • The red arecanut is produced by harvesting the tender nuts, then boiling and colouring them, then making them into different grades and finally sun drying them.

Marayur Jaggery:

  • The Marayur jaggery has finally got the geographical indication (GI) tag, making it safe for consumption while rejuvenating the traditional way of production and ensuring a safe market in future.
  • The dark brown Maryur jaggery is handmade at household units in Marayur and Kanthallur in Kerala.
  • It has high sweetness with less saltiness, high content of iron, less sodium insoluble impurities, less and organic method of production.
  • The produce is free of impurities and the sugar cane fields are free of chemical pesticides and fertilisers.

Coorg arabica coffee:

  • Coorg Arabica coffee is grown specifically in the region of Kodagu district in Karnataka.
  • Coffee cultivation is an integral part of the lives of the people of Kodagu district and forms the backbone of the economy of the district till today.
  • The district has a unique biotic and abiotic conditions which provides uniqueness to the Coffee grown in it.
  • The terrain provided for coffee by the broader landscape provides it a unique aroma and flavour notes to the coffee when roasted.

 

 

 

What is Anti-dumping duty?

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Answer:

  • An anti-dumping duty is a protectionist tariff that a domestic government imposes on foreign imports that it believes are priced below fair market value.

Enrich Your Learning:

  • Countries initiate anti-dumping probes to determine if the domestic industry has been hurt by a surge in below-cost imports. To counter it they impose duties under the multi-lateral WTO regime.
  • Anti-dumping steps are taken to ensure fair trade and provide a level-playing field to the domestic industry.
  • They are not a measure to restrict imports or cause an unjustified increase in cost of products.
  • The use of anti-dumping measure as an instrument of fair competition is permitted by the WTO.
  • When a country exports its products to other countries with a selling price below the cost price of the same product in other countries then it is called as dumping of products. This harms the profitability of domestic companies.
  • Anti-dumping steps are taken to ensure fair trade and provide a level-playing field to the domestic industry.

Mechanism for imposition:

  • Anti-Dumping Duty is imposed under the multilateral World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime and varies from product to product and from country to country.
  • In India, anti-dumping duty is recommended by the Union Ministry of Commerce (i.e. by DGAD) and imposed by the Union Finance Ministry.

Why in news?

  • To protect players from cheap imports, India has imposed anti-dumping duty on as many as 99 Chinese products as on January 28 this year.
  • Government has been taking continuous and sustained steps to bridge trade deficit by lowering the trade barriers for Indian exports to China
  • During April-December 20181-19, imports from China stood at USD 53.87 billion as against USD 76.38 billion in 2017-18. 

Aim:

  • The duty is aimed at ensuring fair trade practices and creating a level-playing field for domestic producers with regard to foreign producers and exporters. 

Chinese products on which the duty was imposed:

  • Chemicals and petrochemicals, fibres and yarn, machinery items, pharmaceutical, rubber and steel items

 

 

 

What do you know about the Bhartiya Shiksha Board (BSB), recently appeared in news?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

  • The Human Resource Development Ministry has given approval for the setting of Bhartiya Shiksha Board (BSB).
  • Maharshi Sandipani Rashtriya Vedavidya Pratishthan (MSRVP) MSRVP a fully-funded autonomous body under the HRD Ministry working on promotion of ‘ved vidya’

Responsibilities of BSB

  • Bhartiya Shiksha Board will standardise Vedic education.
  • The Board to be set up as first national School Board for Vedic Education
  • It will draft syllabus, conduct exams and issue certificates to gurukuls, pathshalas etc.
  • Once this Board starts to function, it will be beneficial for institutions such as Acharyakulam, Vidya Bharati schools (run by the RSS) and gurukuls run by the Arya Samaj.

 

 

 

What is Deep Space Gateway (DSG)?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

About DSG:

  • The Deep Space Gateway (DSG) is a crew-tended cislunar space station planned by ESA, NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA and CSA for construction in the 2020s.
  • Formerly known as the Deep Space Gateway, the station was renamed in NASA’s proposal for the 2019 United States federal budget.
  • Unlike the ISS, the proposed Deep Space Gateway (DSG) will orbit the moon rather than Earth.
  • The station would be used as a staging point for the proposed Deep Space Transport which is a concept of a reusable vehicle that uses electric and chemical propulsion and would be specifically designed for crewed missions to destinations such as Mars.
  • It is also being considered by international partners for use as a staging ground for robotic and crewed lunar surface missions.

 

 

 

What is “Sanskriti Kumbh”?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

What is “Sanskriti Kumbh”?

  • The biggest cultural festival “Sanskriti Kumbh” is the conglomeration of Spiritual Consciousness and Cultural Heritage of India being celebrated in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh.
  • The Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India has organized Sanskriti Kumbh with intent to showcase the rich Cultural Heritage of India in all its rich and varied dimensions.

Purpose:

  • To showcase the rich Cultural Heritage of India in all its rich and varied dimensions viz. Performing Arts- Folk, Tribal and Classical art forms, Handicrafts, Cuisines, Exhibitions etc. all in one place.

Key Facts:

  • Kumbh Mela is one of the oldest and largest congregation in the world.
  • This time Kumbh is being organized in the city of Prayagraj which is located at the confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna and Mystic river of Saraswati.
  • Kumbh Mela is attended by millions of people irrespective of all caste, creed, sex and region.
  • Sanskriti Kumbh is deemed to showcase all aspects of Indian Culture in different areas designated for the same.
  • The folk dances, representing states from EAST WEST NORTH SOUTH India, showcase the spirit of Unity in Diversity that is Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.
  • The artists representing 7 Zonal Cultural Centres have been enjoined upon the task of performing at main stage as well as taking it to different locations of Kumbh Mela.

Significance:

  • The significance of Kumbh Mela has been enhanced at the Global level as the UNESCO has inscribed Kumbh Mela on the list of Intangible Cultural heritage for humanity in 2017.

 

 

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