Daily Current Affairs - 06-03-2021

The Indian Medicines Pharmaceutical Corporation Limited (IMPCL) and the Government e-Market (GeM) portal has inked a deal under which the IMPCL will now sell its products on the e-Market (GeM) portal of the government.

Highlights

The Ayurvedic and Unani medicines of the IMPCL will now be featured in the GeM portal to hundreds of the government sector buyers. This will help in the quick procurement of these medicines by the Central and State Government institutions to use them in the healthcare programmes. This facility will also help in streamlining the procurement and distribution of the Ayurvedic and Unani medicines by the State governments. The thousands of patients and other clients who visit the Government Ayush hospitals will benefit from this increased availability of the medicines even in the far-flung Ayush Hospitals and Clinics. Under the deal, the GeM has created 31 categories which covers around 311 medicines which are live in marketplace. These medicines can now be uploaded by the IMPCL on GeM Portal.

Government e Marketplace (GeM)

It is an online platform for the public procurement which was launched on August 9, 2016. The platform was launched by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It seeks to create an open and transparent procurement platform for the government buyers. It is owned by GeM Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). GeM SPV is 100 per cent owned by Government under the Ministry of Commerce and Industries. It is a paperless, contactless and cashless online marketplace which was created after replacing the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D).

Indian Medicines Pharmaceutical Corporation Limited (IMPCL)

IMPCL was established in the year 1978 with the objective of manufacturing and supply the genuine and efficacious Indian System of Medicines to Central Government Research Units, open market, Government Hospitals and State Government related Departments.

The Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, has announced that the Delhi Cabinet has given approval to constitute the Delhi Board of School Education on March 6, 2021.

Highlight

Arvind Kejriwal also stated that, there are some 1000 govt schools and 1700 private schools functional in the Union territory of Delhi. He said, all the government schools and most of the private schools here are affiliated with Central Board of Secondary Education. The government has also planned to include 20-25 schools under the Delhi board of School Education in the academic session 2021-2022. The Chief Minister stated that, the CBSE affiliation of all these schools will be scrapped. They would be given affiliation under the new board. The schools which will be selected for affiliation after discussing with Principals, teachers and parents. The Chief Minister also hope that, all the schools will come forward to voluntarily get the affiliation with the new board within four-five years.

About Delhi Board of School Education

The Delhi Board of School Education will comprise of a governing body which will be headed by Education minister of Delhi government. It will also comprise of an executive body which will be headed by a chief executive officer. The new board has been constituted with the aim of imparting such education that will prepare a patriotic and self-dependent student who will serve the society and Nation in the selfless manner. The Board also seeks to bring about the best international practices and high-end techniques to the school education of the state. It will bestow the education in accordance with the aptitude of the students. The new board will not be focusing on rote learning but it will be on personality development and understanding of the concepts.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in association with the SBI Payments have announce to launch the ‘RuPay SoftPoS’ for millions of Indian merchants. This technology will be helpful in transforming the NFC enabled smartphones into merchant Point of Sale (PoS) terminals for retailers.

About RuPay SoftPoS

With the help of RuPay SOftPoS system, the merchants will be able to accept the contactless payments of up to ₹5000 by simple tap and pay mechanism using their smartphones. This system will be providing a cost-effective acceptance to the infrastructure for the retailers at nominal cost. This will also to proliferate the digital payment acceptance in millions of underserved Indian MSMEs. Under the mechanism, the merchants will be able to convert their android smartphone devices into payment terminal by downloading the supported app. The system will revolutionize the way micro and small merchants receive. It will also create a demarcated shift in the tendency of merchants to deal in cash towards accepting a secure, contactless and digital payments.

How this system will work?

This system is a convenient and a superior transaction system. Under it, once the contactless menu is chosen, appropriate amount is entered. Then the RuPay card will be tapped on the merchant’s mobile and make all these transactions instantaneously. After the transaction is approved, receipt of successful transaction will be generated in real time. This facility can be availed on the NCMC cards and RuPay Tokenized Card on mobile or wearable so as to make payments in a secure manner.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)

It is an umbrella organisation that operates the retail payments and settlement systems across India. It was founded in December 2008. NPCI is a not-for-profit organisation which is registered under Section 8 of the Companies Act 2013. It was set up by Reserve Bank of India and Indian Banks’ Association.

Recently, a report was commissioned by the Amazon Web Services (AWS) on India’s Digital skilled workforce. The report highlights that, digital skills are becoming a significant component for employees in order to perform their jobs efficiently. The digitisation journey has further accelerated in the view of ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic to a certain extent for individuals and organisations.

Highlights

The AWS report highlights that, the present workforce of India comprises of only 12% digitally skilled employees. This number requiring the digital skills will need to be increased by nine-fold by 2025. The research made a survey on over 500 digital workers across India. It also surveyed around 3,196 workers across the six countries in Asia-Pacific (APAC) region such as India, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia and South Korea.

Findings of the report

Report suggests that, in order to meet the projected demand of the digitally skilled employees, all the six APAC countries will require 5.7 billion skill sessions while India will require 3.9 billion digital skill sessions in next five years. They will also require different policy approaches so as to address their priorities and challenges.

A State Bank of India’s report highlights that, the pan-India Prices of fuels will drop if the petrol and diesel are brought under the GST regime to ₹75 and ₹68 a litre, respectively.

Highlights of the report

The report suggests that, the central and the state government should discuss the fuel taxes as they are the major source of tax revenue. Reserve bank of India had also asked for a “calibrated and coordinated reduction” in the taxes which the state and central government levy.

The United Nations report have called to scale up the carbon capture, use and storage in light with the Paris Agreement on Climate change which aims for the net-zero emissions goal in order to limit the global warming.

Highlights

The scaling-up “carbon capture, use & storage” (CCUS) technology comprises of the component like capturing the CO2 emissions from the coal and gas power plants. It also seeks to capture carbon emissions from the heavy industry for its deep underground storage or reusing it.  United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) stated that deployment of CCUS technology on a large scale would permit the countries to decarbonize these sectors. The UN report have warned that, time is nearing to deliver the Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development. The countries like United states, Scandinavia, and United Kingdom are leading the way. On the other hand, the smaller nations need the international partners and financing.

Carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS)

CCUS is a significant carbon emissions reduction technology. This technology can be applied all across the energy sector. These technologies comprise of the process to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from fuel combustion or industrial processes, transporting the CO2 through the ship or pipeline, and lastly to use it as a resource in order to create valuable products or services or to store it permanently underground in the geological formations. These technologies further provided for the carbon removal or negative emissions of the carbon dioxide either coming from the bio-based process or from the atmosphere directly.

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

It is one among the five regional commissions that works under the jurisdiction of United Nations Economic and Social Council. The commission was set up with the objective of promoting economic cooperation and integrations among member states. It comprises of 56 member states. Some of the non-European members include: Canada, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Israel, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and United States of America.

The state of Madhya Pradesh has introduced the night safaris in the three national parks in Madhya Pradesh on March 4, 2021. This move by the state is a major boost for the state which is already known for its robust tourism industry.

Highlights

With the introduction of night safaris in three national parks, wildlife enthusiasts can now experience the majestic animals at night. The three parks include the Bandhavgarh National Park, Kanha National Park and Pench National Park. Usually, safaris are conducted during the day because tourists feel safer in the daylight. But because of day safaris, tourists miss out to witness nocturnal animals in their natural habitat. So, now the state hopes to organise the safaris in a controlled manner. Under the safaris, the routes will be decided by the state. They would ensure that, neither the animals nor the tourists get vulnerable to harm. The night safari can be booked on the Wildlife Safari Reservation portal. This portal is operated by forest department of the state.

Bandhavgarh National Park

It is a national park located in Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. The park has an area of 105 square kilometres. The park was declared a national park in the year 1968. It was designated as the Tiger Reserve in 1993. Currently, the core area is spread over 716 square kilometres. The density of the tiger population at Bandhavgarh stands at 8 tigers per km2, which is highest known population density. The park is also known for the breeding population of leopards and deer. The state has fixed the time slot of 6:30 pm and 9:30 pm. The safari would be conducted in the buffer zone.  Under the night safari, tourists can spot deer.

Pench National Park

This national park was established in Madhya Pradesh in the year 1975. It has an area of 257.26 km2. The park derives the name from Pench River. The park was designated a sanctuary in the year 1965, a national park in 1975 and tiger reserve in 1992. This park will be carrying the night safaris between 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm. Tourists can spot animals like jackal, wild boar and nocturnal birds.

Kanha National Park

At this park, safaris will be carried out between 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm. The park is home to Barasingha, which tourists can spot during night safaris. The park is also known as Kanha–Kisli National Park. It is the largest national park of Madhya Pradesh.

The United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) published the “Food Waste Index Report, 2021”. As per the UNEP report, estimated 931 million tonnes of food were wasted across the world 2019. The agency also highlighted that this amount of wasted food can circle the Earth seven times.

Key Facts

The index report was published by the UNEP in collaboration with the partner organisation WRAP. Out of the total waste generation, households accounts for the sixty-one per cent of waste, food services accounts for 26 per cent from foo waste while, the retail accounts for 13 per cent waste. The report also highlights 17 per cent of total global food production is wasted. The agency stated that, weight roughly equals to 23 million fully loaded 40-tonne trucks is enough to circle Earth seven times. capita per year which accounts for 91,646,213 tonnes in a year. As per the report, every country that has measured food waste which was substantial independent of income level. Further, the waste coming from the households comprises of the 11 percent of the total food available at consumption level. The agency further highlighted that, on the global per capita stage 121 kgs of consumer food is wasted per year out of which 74 kgs waste is generated from the households.

Food Waste in India

The household waste in India is 50 kg per capita per year which equals 68,760,163 tonnes per year. On the other hand, the household food waste in USA is 59 kg per capita per year which equals the 19,359,951 tonnes per year. The Report highlighted that, In China household waste is 64 kg per capita per year which accounts for 91,646,213 tonnes in a year.

Hunger across world

The report mentioned that, in the year 2019, “More than 690 million people were affected by hunger”. This estimate would further rise amid the Covid-19an estimate that is expected to increase further amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The report estimates that around three billion people unable to afford any healthy diet. Thus, the consumers should help in reducing the food waste at home.