Government Schemes & Policies
- Swachh Survekshan Grameen Awards 2019
Issues related to Health & Education
- Minister for Health Inaugurated Conference on Access to Medical Products
- Vice President Urges Parliamentarians to prioritize child welfare
- Udan 4.0 to Offer Priority Routes Connecting Bilaspur and Ambikapur Airports in Chhattisgarh
- Government approved the development of five industrial corridor projects
Science & Technology
- Satellites to Assess Pollution Status
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Government Schemes & Policies
Swachh Survekshan Grameen Awards 2019
Minister Ministry of Jal Shakti conferred the Swachh Survekshan Grameen (SSG) 2019 awards to top ranked states, union territories, and districts in the various categories on the occasion of World Toilet Day.
WHAT IS SWACHH SURVEKSHAN GRAMEEN (SSG) AWARD?
- Swachh Survekshan Grameen (SSG) is a rural cleanliness survey to rank all states and districts on basis of qualitative and quantitative sanitation parameters.
- It is undertaken by the Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti (DDWS).
- It is based on a comprehensive set of parameters including self-reporting by Districts, data from the SBM-G IMIS, district-level surveys of public places like schools, Haat bazaars etc. and citizen’s perception of Swachhata and their recommendations for improvement of the program.
The weights to different elements of the SSG are:
- Direct Observation of sanitation in public places (30%)
- Citizen’s Feedback including feedback from common citizens, key influencers at the village level and from citizens online using the App (35%)
- Service Level Progress on sanitation related parameters (35%)
- SSG has played a crucial role in assessing the Swachhata status on ground, particularly at public places in rural areas through group discussions and feedback collection.
- As part of SSG 2019, more than 17,000 villages across India were covered.
OVERALL RANKING OF SSG 2019:
- Top 3 States – 1) Tamil Nadu, 2) Haryana, 3) Gujarat
- Top 3 Districts – 1) Peddapalli, Telangana, 2) Faridabad, Haryana, 3) Rewari, Haryana
- State with maximum citizen participation – Uttar Pradesh
Issues related to Health & Education
Minister for Health Inaugurated Conference on Access to Medical Products
Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare as inaugurated the ‘2019 World Conference on Access to Medical Products: Achieving the SDGs 2030’.
- The main objective of the 2019 World Conference is to track the progress on recommendations from the 2018 World Conference for access to medical products for achieving Universal health coverage (UHC) in the context of SDGs.
ABOUT THE WORLD CONFERENCE ON ACCESS TO MEDICAL PRODUCTS
- It is being jointly organized by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the World Health Organization, in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR); Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC); and Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI).
- It was launched in 2017.
- The World Health Assembly recently adopted resolution WHA 72.8 ‘Improving the transparency of markets for medicines, vaccines, and other health products’.
- The 11 member countries of the South-East Asia region adopted the Delhi Declaration on ‘Improving access to essential medical products in the South-East Asia Region and beyond’ in September 2018. It reaffirmed their commitment to making essential medicines affordable and accessible to all.
Vice President Urges Parliamentarians to prioritize child welfare
Addressing the ‘National Summit for Every Child in India’ organized by UNICEF in Parliament Vice President of India urged all Parliamentarians to take a solemn resolve to continue their crusade to evolve child-centred policies.
CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
- The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is a human rights treaty which sets out the rights of children.
- Adopted in 1989, it is the world’s most widely ratified human rights treatyin history.
- Nations that ratify this convention are bound to it by international law. Compliance is monitored by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
- Currently, 196 countriesare party to it, including every member of the United Nations except the United States. India ratified this convention in 1992.
- Article 30 of the Convention gives children the right to ‘learn and use the language and customs of their families’.
This Convention establishes 4 principles:
- Best interest of the child
- Right to life, survival and development
- Respect for the views of the child
The Convention was completed in 2000 with two Protocols and in 2011 with a third one:
The optional Protocol regarding the,
- Involvement of children in armed conflicts
- Sale of children, children prostitution and children pornography
- Complaints procedure before the Committee on the Rights of the Child
WORLD CHILDREN’S DAY:
World Children’s Day is celebrated on 20th November each year to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide, and improve children’s welfare.
Why chose 20th November as World Children’s Day?
- The United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959.
- The UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.
Udan 4.0 to Offer Priority Routes Connecting Bilaspur and Ambikapur Airports in Chhattisgarh
Minister of state for Civil Aviation discussed demands received for connectivity of Bilaspur and Ambikapur in Chhattisgarh and said that the Ministry is committed to connect these airports at these airports.
- Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh) is significant both culturally and commercially. It is recognized for its distinct characteristics such as high rice quality called Doobraj and the contribution of the Kosa silk industry to the handloom sector.
ABOUT UDAN (UDE DESH KA AAM NAAGRIK) SCHEME
- UDAN or Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) is a scheme of Ministry of Civil aviation to develop regional airport and to give a boost to regional connectivity.
- It is a component of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) which was released in June 2016.
- It aims to stimulate regional connectivity with flights covering distances up to 800 km through a market-based mechanism. It focuses on states having unconnected regions.
- It addresses the challenges relating to the issue of lack of infrastructure by upgrading the airports and cutting down the cost of operations by extending various incentives to airlines.
SALIENT FEATURES OF THE SCHEME
- Operational for a period of 10 years.
- A demand driven scheme where the interested airlines and helicopter operators are selected through bidding process.
- Makes flying affordable by capping fares at Rs. 2500 per seat per hour.
- A Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF) was created to fund the scheme via a levy on certain flights. States are contributing 20 % to the fund.
- Amount collected as Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF) is used to provide financial support to airlines in the form of Viability Gap Funding (VGF) for operations. The States bears the 20% share of VGF and 10% for North Eastern States and Union Territories.
- Central government provides concessions on Value Added Tax (VAT) and service tax and liberal code sharing for airports under this scheme.
- Under this phase, 5 airlines companies were awarded 128 flight routes to 70 airports (including 36 newly made operational airports)
- In 2018, the Ministry of Civil Aviation announced 73 underserved and unserved airports.
- For the first time, helipads were also connected under phase 2 of UDAN scheme.
- Inclusion of Tourism Routes under UDAN 3 in coordination with the Ministry of Tourism.
- Inclusion of Seaplanes for connecting Water Aerodromes.
- Bringing in a number of routes in the North-East Region under the ambit of UDAN.
- It will make flying easier and affordable for the common man.
- It is hailed as the first-of-its-kind scheme globally to stimulate regional connectivity through a market-based mechanism.
- India is already among the fastest growing aviation markets in the world. But infrastructure constraints at airports in big cities could slow down this growth. UDAN can provide a fillip to India’s aviation industry. It could boost passenger numbers and provide feeder traffic to networks in big centres.
- The scheme is expected to have positive effects on the economy in terms of employment and investment.
- Air connectivity has a multiplier effect on tourism, investments, economic growth, job creation. Getting the nooks and corners of India linked up, directly or indirectly, through the fastest mode of transportation can open up the country like never before.
- Cheap fares on regional routes can mean a horde of first-time fliers taking to the skies, making accessible to them new economic opportunities and quick connections in times of emergencies.
CHALLENGES IN IMPLEMENTATION
- Poor infrastructure is the main area of concern for the success of the scheme. The area which needs to be addressed is operationally of airports in far furlong areas and availability of bays at the private airports in the metro cities.
- The second most concern issue is huge shortage of pilots.
- Lack of favorable rules and still long pending reforms in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
- The complex rules and regulations practiced by Airport Authority of India.
Government approved the development of five industrial corridor projects
Government of India has approved the development of five industrial corridor projects to be implemented through National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust (NICDIT).
FIVE INDUSTRIAL CORRIDORS FOR DEVELOPMENT
Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC)
Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra
Amritsar Kolkata Industrial Corridor (AKIC)
Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal
Chennai Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC)
Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala
East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC) with Vizag Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC) as Phase-1
West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu
Bengaluru Mumbai Industrial Corridor (BMIC)
ABOUT NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL CORRIDOR DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION TRUST (NICDIT)
NICDIT is an apex body under the administrative control of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) for coordinated development of the following industrial corridors:
- Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC)
- Chennai Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC)
- Amritsar Kolkata Industrial Corridor (AKIC)
- Bengaluru Mumbai Industrial Corridor (BMIC)
- Vizag Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC)
NICDIT was earlier known as the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project Implementation Trust Fund (DMIC-PITF).
- Channelize Government’s funds as well as institutional funds ensuring that the corridors are properly planned
- Support project development activities, appraise, approve and sanction projects
- Coordinate all central efforts for the development of Industrial Corridor projects
Science & Technology
Satellites to Assess Pollution Status
The Imager payload on-board ISRO’s INSAT-3D & 3DR satellites is used to monitor Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD), which is indicator of particles and smoke from biomass burning affecting visibility and increase of PM2.5 and PM10 concentration in the atmosphere.
FINDINGS OF THE IMAGER PAYLOAD ON-BOARD ISRO’S INSAT-3D & 3DR SATELLITES
- Aerosol optical depth (AOD), PM2.5 (Particulate Matter with diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers) and PM10 concentrations are higher over Indo-Gangetic Plain covering parts of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar during October and November.
- High concentration of these pollutants is seen originating from parts of Punjab and Haryana during stubble burning.
- Fire occurrences increased by 4% over Punjab and Haryana region during October- November between 2003 and 2017.
- There is a high probability of transportation of smoke aerosols from Punjab & Haryana, towards down-wind regions of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been carrying out monitoring of stubble burning since 2015.
WHAT IS INSAT-3D?
- INSAT-3D is an advanced weather satellite of India with improved Imaging System and Atmospheric Sounder.
- Launched in 2013, it is designed for enhanced meteorological observations, monitoring of land and ocean surfaces, generating vertical profile of the atmosphere in terms of temperature and humidity for weather forecasting and disaster warning.
WHAT IS INSAT-3DR?
INSAT-3DR similar to INSAT-3D, is an advanced meteorological satellite of India.
The significant improvements in INSAT-3DR are:
- Imaging in Middle Infrared band to provide night time pictures of low clouds and fog
- Imaging in Thermal Infrared bands for estimation of Sea Surface Temperature (SST) with better accuracy
- Higher Spatial Resolution in the Visible and Thermal Infrared bands
WHAT IS AEROSOL OPTICAL DEPTH (AOD)?
- Aerosol optical depth is a measure of the extinction of the solar beam by dust and haze. In other words, particles in the atmosphere (dust, smoke, pollution) can block sunlight by absorbing or by scattering light.
- AOD tells how much direct sunlight is prevented from reaching the ground by these aerosol particles.
- It does not have any unit.