Argutes

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 02 October 2021

1. Drink from Tap mission

  1. The Drink from Tap project has been started in Puri, Odisha.
  2. For the first time in India, under the project, people can avail high-quality drinking water directly from the tap on a 24-hour basis.
  3. The project would benefit 2.5 lakh citizens of Puri and 2 crore tourists who visit the tourist place every year.
  4. Under this mission, 24×7 water supply directly drinkable from tap, meeting IS 10500 quality standards is being provided to all households of Puri.
  5. Now people, need not have to move around with water bottles and Puri would no more be burdened with 400 metric tonnes of plastic waste.
  6. Under the project, water fountains have been developed at 400 locations in Puri.
  7. The project is being undertaken with financial support from UNICEF, which will hopefully help in achieving the state government’s target.
  8. It is under the State’s 5T initiative.
  9.  Puri city has become the first city in the country to achieve this unique distinction of joining the league of international cities like London, New York, Singapore and Tokyo

2. SACRED Portal

The government has come up with an online employment exchange platform to cater to senior citizens seeking job opportunities.

Insights

  1. It is named Senior Able Citizens for Re-Employment in Dignity (SACRED)
  2. The portal developed by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
  3.  Citizens above 60 years of age can register on the portal and find jobs and work opportunities.
  4. The Employment Portal will serve not only the senior citizens seeking employment, but also the employers, the Self Help Groups (SHGs), the senior citizens gaining skills, and other agencies or individuals.
  5. A number of Rs. 10 Cr would be provided for funding for the platform development along with a maintenance grant of @ Rs. 2 Cr per year for 5 years.
  6. The portal is shaped on the recommendations of the Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) report on startups for the elderly.

3. DigiSaksham

DigiSaksham – a digital skills program to enhance the employability of youth by imparting digital skills that are required in an increasingly technology-driven era was launched recently

About the program

  1. This joint initiative with Microsoft India is an extension of the Government’s ongoing programs to support the youth from rural and semi-urban areas.
  2. Through this initiative, free-of-cost training in digital skills including basic skills as well as advanced computing will be provided to more than 3 lakh youths in the first year.
  3. The Jobseekers can access the training through National Career Service (NCS) Portal (www.ncs.gov.in).
  4. The initiative gives priority to the job-seekers of semi-urban areas belonging to disadvantaged communities, including those who have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  5. Microsoft India has also roped in Aga Khan Rural Support Programme-India and its knowledge partner TMI e2E Academy for rolling out this digital initiative.
  6. DigiSaksham will be implemented in the field by Aga Khan Rural Support Programme India (AKRSP-I).
  7. There will be basically three types of training viz. Digital Skills
    • Self-paced learning,
    • VILT mode training (Virtual Instructor-led)
    • ILT mode training (Instructor-led).

The ILT training which is in-person training would be conducted at the Model Career Centres (MCCs) and National Career Service Centres (NCSC) for SCs/STs across the country.

National Career Service

  1. The Ministry of Labour and Employment is implementing the National Career Service (NCS) Project as a Mission Mode Project for the transformation of the National Employment Service to provide a variety of employment-related services.
  2. The services under NCS are available online which was dedicated to the Nation
  3. All the services available in the portal are free of cost for all stakeholders including jobseekers, employers, training providers, and placement organizations.
  4. The NCS portals can be accessed directly or from Career Centres (Employment Exchanges), Common Service Centres, post offices, mobile devices, cyber cafes, etc.

Click here to know more

4. Best Practices in the Performance of District Hospitals study

The study conducted was by the government’s top think tank NITI Aayog. The findings of the study are significant as it was conducted just before the outbreak of Covid-19.

Highlights of the study

  1. A district hospital in India has on average 24 beds per 1 lakh population, with Bihar having the lowest average of six beds and Puducherry the highest of 222
  2. District hospitals in India have a range of 1 to 408 beds per 1 lakh population. 217 district hospitals were found to have at least 22 beds for every 1 lakh population.
  3. The NITI Aayog report also shows that in 15 states and UTs, the average number of beds in a district hospital was lower than 22 beds per 1 lakh population as recommended by the IPHS 2012 guidelines
  4. The Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) 2012 guidelines recommend district hospitals to maintain at least 22 beds per 1 lakh population.
  5. The average number of beds per lakh population in a district hospital was higher than the recommended figure of 22 beds per lakh of the population across 21 states and Uts

5. One sun, one world, one grid, or Green Grid

The COP26 UN climate change conference, scheduled to be held at Scotland’s Glasgow will most likely see India and the United Kingdom announcing the joint declaration on “one sun, one world, one grid” — or OSOWOG.

 

What is OSOWOG or the Green Grid?

  1. The OSOWOG was first floated in 2018 during the first assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) by India.
  2. The idea behind the concept is a trans-national electricity grid supplying solar power across the globe.
  3. The ambitious OSOWOG will connect 140 countries through a common grid that will be used to transfer solar power.
  4. The vision behind the OSOWOG mantra is “the Sun never sets” and is a constant at some geographical location, globally, at any given point of time.
  5. With India at the fulcrum, the solar spectrum can easily be divided into two broad zones, which is the far East which would include countries like Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Lao, Cambodia, and far West which would cover the Middle East and Africa Region
  6. It has been taken up under the technical assistance program of the World Bank.
  7. OSOWOG is planned to be completed in three phases.
    • The first phase will entail interconnectivity within the Asian continent
    • The second phase will add Africa
    • The third phase will globalize the whole project.

Why is OSOWOG needed?

  1. With OSOWOG, India is planning to take a leadership position.
  2. A new energy sector paradigm is needed as we are facing a huge inflection point in electricity generation and consumption.
  3. Potential benefits include widespread scale-up in energy access, abatement in carbon emissions, lower cost, and improved livelihoods.
  4. India will need a strong coalition of international partners to realize this vision.
  5. India’s plan to have an inter-continent power infrastructure is a fairly new idea.
  6. The aim of the Green Grids Initiative is to help achieve the pace and scale of reforms to infrastructure and market structures needed to underpin the global energy transition.
  7. Additionally, it will allow national renewable energy management centers in India to grow as regional and global management centers.

Drawbacks of OSOWOG

  1. The mechanism of cost-sharing will be challenging, given the varied priorities of participating countries depending on their socio-economic orders.
  2. The OSOWOG will be an expensive, complex, and very slow progress project.
  3. The strategic benefits, if any, of having a single grid will be obliterated in the wake of any geopolitical problem.
  4. Any disruption caused due to any bilateral/multilateral issues can potentially affect critical services in multiple continents and countries.
  5. Also, there is a difference in voltage, frequency, and specifications of the grid in most regions. Maintaining grid stability with just renewable generation would be technically difficult.

6. Green Term Loan

NTPC Renewable Energy Ltd (REL) a fully-owned subsidiary of state-owned power generator NTPC, has signed its first green term loan agreement for Rs 500 crore.

Insights

  1. The loan agreement is at a competitive rate with a tenure of 15 years with the Bank of India
  2. It is for 470 Mw solar projects in Rajasthan and 200 Mw in Gujarat

NTPC

  1. NTPC Limited, formerly known as National Thermal Power Corporation Limited, is an Indian statutory corporation.
  2. It engaged in the generation of electricity and allied activities.
  3. It is a statutory corporation incorporated under the Companies Act 1956 and is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Power, Government of India.
  4. The headquarters of the company is situated in New Delhi.
  5. NTPC’s core function is the generation and distribution of electricity to State Electricity Boards in India.
  6. The body also undertakes consultancy and turnkey project contracts that involve engineering, project management, construction management, and operation and management of power plants.

NTPC-REL

  1. NTPC Renewable Energy Ltd (REL) a fully-owned subsidiary of state-owned power generator NTPC
  2. It is set up for its renewable energy projects in October 2020.
  3. NTPC-REL would construct what would be India’s largest single local solar power park of 4.75 Gw in Kutch.
  4. NTPC-REL has received the approval of the nodal ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE)

Green Term Loan

A green loan is a form of financing that seeks to enable and empower businesses to finance projects which have a distinct environmental impact, or rather, which are directed towards financing green projects.

7. Indo-US Industrial Security Joint Working Group

India and the United States have agreed in principle to establish an Indo-US Industrial Security Joint Working Group

Insights

  1. This Joint Working Group was agreed upon during the Industrial Security Agreement summit held between the two sides from September 27 to October 1 in New Delhi.
  2. The summit was organized to develop a protocol for exchanging classified information between the defense industries of both nations.
  3. The Industrial Security Annex (ISA) was signed during the India-U.S. 2+2 ministerial dialogue in December 2019
  4. It is meant to facilitate the exchange of classified information between the defense industries of both countries.
  5. The ISA is a part of the General Security Of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), one of the