Argutes

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 07 October 2021

1. HIMS

The Delhi Cabinet gave a financial nod to its ambitious Health Information Management System (HIMS) project.

Insights

  1. Each citizen will have a health card, which will be a repository of their medical information.
  2. Doctors will be able to see a patient’s medical history using the card and the patients will be able to make appointments from home.
  3. The health card will act as a unique health identifier for each individual through which everything from their medical history to appointment dates can be accessed.
  4. All citizens between 1 and 18 years would be issued a health card linked to their parent’s health card.
  5. All newborns (up to 1 year) would be linked to their mother’s health card.

2. SVAMITVA Yojna

The SVAMITVA Yojna has enhanced the strength of the rural economy and it will write a new chapter on the development of villages in the country.

Insights

  1. The SVAMITVA (Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas) scheme was launched as a central sector scheme to promote a socio-economically empowered and self-reliant rural India.
  2. The scheme aims at the establishment of clear ownership of property in rural areas by mapping of land parcels using drone technology
  3. It provides a ‘record of rights’ to eligible households by issuing legal ownership cards to them.
  4. SVAMITVA Property cards will be provided to the landowners by the Government authorities, under this scheme
  5. In each state, the Revenue Department / Land Records Department, along with the State Panchayati Raj Department and the Nodal Ministry will work to carry out the objectives of the scheme
  6. Under the pilot project, the scheme was successfully implemented in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Karnataka.
  7. Now, it will be rolled out in the entire country to provide property cards to people.
  8. It will save villagers from borrowing money from third parties and now, on the basis of their property papers, they will get loans from banks.

Click here to know more

3. PM MITRA

The Union Cabinet approved the setting up of seven Mega Integrated Textile Region and Apparel (PM MITRA) parks with a total outlay of 4,445 crores in the next five years.

Insights

  1. The PM MITRA will be developed by a special purpose vehicle owned by state governments and the central government in PPP mode.
  2. PM MITRA is inspired by the 5F vision.
  3. The ‘5F’ Formula encompasses – Farm to fiber; fiber to factory; factory to fashion; fashion to foreign. This integrated vision will help to further the growth of the textile sector in the economy.
  4. The 7 Mega Integrated Textile Region and Apparel Parks (PM MITRA) will be set up at Greenfield / Brownfield sites located in different willing States.
  5. Proposals of State Governments having ready availability of contiguous and encumbrance-free land parcel of 1,000+ acres along with other textiles related facilities & ecosystem are welcome.
  6. Maximum Development Capital Support (DCS) of  500 crores to all Greenfield PM MITRA and a maximum of 200 Crore to Brownfield PM MITRA will be provided.

4. State of the Education Report (SOER)-2021 for India: No Teachers, No Class

On the occasion of World Teacher’s Day, “United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)” released its “State of the Education Report (SOER)-2021 for India: No Teachers, No Class”.

Insights

  1. The report is the annual flagship publication of UNESCO New Delhi.
  2. The report is prepared on the basis of extensive research.
  3. This is the third edition of the State of Education Report.
  4. This year, the report focuses on the theme of “teachers, teaching and teacher education”, highlighting that the work of teaching is complex.
  5. The report attempts to provide an understanding of the key aspects of the teaching profession and also provides a profile of the 9.6 million teaching workforce.
  6. The report also highlights the challenges of intricate teaching routines as well as their professional development.
  7. Findings in the report were prepared on the basis of analysis of Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) and Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) data.

Findings

  1. As per the report, there are around 1.2 lakh single-teacher schools in India. It accounts for 7.15 percent of 11.51 lakh schools. Out of this, 89 percent are in rural areas.
  2. 51 percent of total schools are employing 95 lakh teachers.
  3. The report notes that India requires 11.16 lakh, additional teachers, to meet the current shortfall.
  4. States with a high percentage of single-teacher schools are- Arunachal Pradesh (18.22%), Goa (16.08%), Telangana (15.71%), Andhra Pradesh (14.4%), Jharkhand (13.81%), Uttarakhand (13.64%), Madhya Pradesh (13.08 %) and Rajasthan (10.08 %).

5. Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme

  1. CHCDS scheme was approved with a total outlay of Rs 160 crore.
  2. The scheme will continue up to March 2026 now.
  3. Under the scheme, infrastructural support, design & technology upgradation, market access etc will be provided to handicrafts artisans.

Insights

  1. CHCDS schemes was launched to create world-class infrastructure which will cater to the business needs of local artisans & SMEs in order to boost production and export.
  2. These clusters have been set with the objective of assisting the artisans & entrepreneurs in setting up world-class units with modern infrastructure, adequate training, the latest technology, and human resource development inputs.
  3. It is also coupled with market linkages and production diversification.
  4. The scheme will also provide for Emporiums, Common Facility Centres, Raw Material Banks, Trade Common Production Centres, Facilitation Centres, Design & Resource Centres.

6. Aadhar enabled Payment System

  1. is an online payment system through which people can carry out financial transactions basically send money or receive money From one bank account to another, on a micro-ATM or Point-on-Sale (POS) machine by furnishing their Aadhar number and verifying it with the help of their fingerprint or Iris scan.
  2. AePS adds another level of security and it is less risky as bank details are not required to be furnished while carrying out fund transfers.
  3. AePS is developed by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) to achieve the goal of Financial Inclusion.
  4. One of the main objectives of AePS was to facilitate disbursements of Government entitlements like Social Security pension, NREGA, Handicapped Old Age Pension, etc.
  5. Payment is done using Aadhaar and authentication thereof as supported by UIDAI.

The Issue:

  1. These days we are witnessing scams that are exposing the vulnerabilities of AePS.
  2. Under AePS, any person can withdraw money from her bank account using a local business correspondent (BC).
  3. A Banking Correspondent is an informal Bank agent with having a micro-ATM or point-of-sale (PoS) machine.
  4. Supposedly a bank account holder A wants to withdraw 1000 cash then she will ask the Banking Correspondent For the same and will furnish Aadhar and biometric details.
  5. The BC will use the Aadhaar and biometric details of A and will transfer 1000 from the account of A to his own account.
  6. Account of a will be debited and account of BC will be credited.
  7. The BC will give 1000 cash from his own pocket to A.
  8. But what if BC took 1500 from the account of A and gave only 1000 cash to A and does not provide him the transfer receipt.
  9. This is fraud and is more prevalent in case A is poor and uneducated.
  10. BCs deny receipts to poor people even if they demand.
  11. As a safeguard, some PoS machines have a voice-over, but the voice-over is easy to disable.
  12. There lies one major vulnerability of AePS.
  13. Even a BC can take money from any poor account holder, without giving her a single rupee, on the pretext of helping them to get a government scheme.
  14. What BC requires is a fingerprint that can be taken on the POS machine in the name of any government scheme. Aadhar can be easily known.
  15. APS is a valuable facility for people who don’t have access to banks.
  16. The risk gets huge when banks refuse to disburse the small amount to the customers and send them to BCs instead.
  17. The vulnerabilities of AePS are putting countless people in danger of being robbed of their hard-earned savings.

7. Heli Borne Survey

A heliborne survey for water management in Rajasthan was launched

Significance of this survey

  1. The arid areas in northwest India spread over parts of the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, and Punjab cover nearly 12 percent of the total geographical area of the country and are home to more than 8 crore people.
  2. With annual rainfall in the range of less than 100 to 400 mm, this area faces an acute shortage of water throughout the year
  3. It is proposed to take up high-resolution aquifer mapping and management to augment the groundwater resources.
  4. The new technique would help in water conservation, identification of new places for groundwater recharging, and that too at a lesser cost than the prevalent ones like digging tube wells using geophysics and remote sensing techniques.
  5. The project is aimed at mapping potential groundwater sources and their management for providing safe drinking water to millions of people living in the water-scarce arid regions of the country.
  6. The findings of this survey will help in devising new schemes for improvement in water level in water scant areas.

Survey Methodology

  1. The survey is the outcome of an agreement between the Central Groundwater Board, Jal shakti ministry, and the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research-National Geophysical Research Institute (CSIR-NGRI), Hyderabad.
  2. CSIR, along with the NGRI, have undertaken ‘High-Resolution Aquifer Mapping & Management in Arid Regions of North-Western India’ to augment the groundwater resources.
  3. The heliborne geophysical mapping technique provides a high-resolution 3D image of the sub-surface up to a depth of 500 meters below the ground.
  4. This heliborne survey will cover larger areas to derive more accurate data.
  5. This is a project of Rs 150 crore and will be implemented in two phases in collaboration with the ministry of Jal shakti as a part of the National Aquifer Mapping and Management (NAQUIM) program.
  6. This project is expected to bring high visibility to CSIR in implementing the government of India’s most ambitious project Jal Jeevan Mission.

Aquifer mapping

  1.  Aquifer mapping is a process wherein a combination of geologic, geophysical, hydrologic, and chemical field and laboratory analyses are applied to characterize the quantity, quality, and sustainability of groundwater in aquifers.
  2. There has been a paradigm shift from “groundwater development” to “groundwater management”.
  3. An accurate and comprehensive micro-level picture of groundwater in India through aquifer mapping in different hydrogeological settings will enable robust groundwater management plans at the appropriate scale to be devised and implemented for this common-pool resource.
  4. This will help to achieve drinking water security, improved irrigation facility, and sustainability in water resources development in large parts of rural India, and many parts of urban India as well.
  5. The National Aquifer Mapping and Management (NAQUIM) program is important for planning suitable adaptation strategies to meet climate change also.

8. Biodegradable Polymer

In a major breakthrough, scientists have developed an environmentally friendly, non-toxic, biodegradable polymer using guar gum and chitosan, both of which are polysaccharides extracted from guar beans and shells of crab and shrimps.

Insights

  1. The fabricated guar gum-chitosan film which has high water stability, high mechanical strength, and excellent resistance to harsh environmental conditions can potentially be used in packaging applications.
  2. Polysaccharide is one of the biopolymers with high potential for use in the synthesis of packaging material.
  3. However, due to some drawbacks of polysaccharides, such as low mechanical properties, high water-solubility, and low barrier properties, they are not preferred.
  4. Scientists have fabricated a guar gum-chitosan composite film which is a cross-linked polysaccharide without using any plasticizer
  5. It is fabricated with the help of a method called the solution casting method (a simple technique to make polymer films).
  6. The superior mechanical strength, water repellent properties, and resistance to harsh environmental conditions of the fabricated cross-linked guar gum-chitosan increase its potential of being used in packaging applications.
  7. The fabricated biopolymer composite film had high water stability, high mechanical strength, and excellent resistance to harsh environmental conditions.
  8. The mechanical strength of cross-linked guar gum-chitosan composite film was higher compared to general biopolymer (biopolymer are known to possess poor strength).
  9. The cross-linked guar gum-chitosan composite film was also highly water repellent or hydrophobic due to its high contact angle.
  10. It had low water vapor permeability when compared with the film made only from chitosan.

9. JIMEX

  1. The fifth edition of the India-Japan Maritime Bilateral Exercise (JIMEX) will be held in the Arabian Sea with a special focus on maritime security cooperation.
  2. JIMEX, a series of maritime exercises that commenced in January 2012.
  3. It is conducted by the Indian Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force.
  4. The last edition of JIMEX was conducted in September 2020.
  5. JIMEX-21 aims to develop a common understanding of operational procedures and enhance inter-operability through the conduct of a multitude of advanced exercises, across the entire spectrum of maritime operations.

Click here to view the previous article on JIMEX

10. Dare to Dream 2.0

  1. Awards for ‘Dare to Dream 2.0’ Contest of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) was distributed.
  2. The ‘Dare to Dream 2.0’ is an open challenge to promote the innovators and startups of the country, for innovation in defense and aerospace technologies in the country after the call of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
  3. Award money, up to Rs.10 lakh for startup and Rs. 5 lakh to an individual category, will be given to the winners.
  4.  ‘Dare to Dream 3.0’ was launched to promote innovators & startups and provide a platform for the young ignited minds in the country.
  5. Dare to Dream is DRDO’s pan-India contest to promote Indian academicians, individuals, and startups to develop emerging defense and aerospace technologies/systems.
  6. DRDO provides technical and financial support to the winners for the realization of their ideas under the Technology Development Fund (TDF) scheme.