Daily Current Affairs - 06-10-2021

The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is observing the “Mental Health Awareness Campaign Week”, starting from October 5, 2021.

Highlights

Activities under the campaign

Other activities being held under the Mental Health Awareness Campaign Week include:

  1. Virtual awareness workshops by NIMHANS, Bengaluru in association with Educational Institutions & other organisations
  2. Cycle rallies in Delhi,
  3. Green ribbon campaign,
  4. Short film release in regional languages,
  5. Launch of #breakthestigma hashtag campaign and
  6. Quiz or slogan competitions on mental health.

World Mental health Day

World Mental Health Day is observed globally to raise awareness regarding the mental health issues and mobilizing efforts to support mental health. This year, the day will be observed at a time when covid-19 pandemic has transformed the daily lives to significant extent. This has given rise to various mental health issues among people.

History of the day

First World Mental health day was celebrated in 1992 as an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health. Until 1994, the day had no specific theme. But in 1994, the Day was celebrated with a theme on the suggestion of Secretary General Eugene Brody. Theme in 1994 was “Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World”.

World Federation for Mental Health

It is a global mental health organization having its members and contacts in around 150 countries.

Department of Ex-servicemen welfare working under ‘Ministry of Defence’ has integrated ‘Electronic Pension Payment Order’ (EPPO) with the Digi Locker.

Key facts

Significance of the move

This move will enable all the Defence Pensioners to obtain the latest copy of Pension Payment Order, instantly from Digi Locker. Initiative would create a permanent record of Pension Payment Order in the Locker. It will also do away with the “time eliminate delays” in reaching the Pension Payment Order to new pensioners. Necessity to hand over a physical copy for the order will also be eliminated with the new initiative. It will also enable the Defence Pensioners to access Electronic Pension Payment Order from anywhere on the globe.

Service provider

Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (PCDA) Pension, Allahabad was registered as a Service Provider. It will provide Electronic Pension Payment Orders of more than 23 lakhs Defence Pensioners using the Digi Locker platform.

About DigiLocker

It is an Indian digitization online service under the Digital India initiative, provided by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). The locker provides a cloud account to every Aadhaar holder and enable them to access authentic documents or certificates like vehicle registration, driving license, academic mark sheet etc in digital format. All these documents are accessed from the original issuers of these certificates. Locker has 1GB storage space for each account for uploading scanned copies of legacy documents.

Union Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh, launched state-of-the-art Heli-borne survey technology on October 5, 2021.

Highlights

Heli Survey Technology

Aim of the project

This project has been developed with the aim of mapping potential groundwater sources and its management in providing safe drinking water to people in the water scarce arid regions of India.

Two Phases of the project

The mega project worth Rs. 150 crores will be implemented in two phases. To implement the project, CSIR has collaborated with the Ministry of Jal Shakti under the “National Aquifer Mapping Project”.  This project will bring high visibility to CSIR to implement the Jal Jeevan Mission project.

Significance of the technology

Water technologies of CSIR from source finding to water treatment will positively contribute towards “Har Ghar Hal se Jal” scheme as well as “doubling farmer’s income goals”.

Arid areas in India

Arid areas in north western India are spread across the States of Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat and Punjab. The area covers about 12% of the total geographical area in India and is home to about 8 crore people. Annual rainfall in arid areas is in the range of 100 to 400 mm. Thus, there is an acute shortage of water throughout the year.

The Nobel Prize 2021 for physics was awarded to three scientists from Japan, Germany and Italy. Secretary-general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Goran Hansson, announced the winners on October 5, 2021.

Key facts

Demonstration by Syukuro Manabe

Since 1960s, he had demonstrated how increases in amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases the global temperatures. This demonstration laid the foundations for current climate models.

Demonstration by Klaus Hasselmann

He had created a model to link weather and climate. This model helped in explaining why climate models can be reliable despite the chaotic nature of weather. He also demonstrated ways to look after specific signs of human influence on the climate.

Model developed by Giorgio Parisi

He built a deep physical and mathematical model. This model made it possible to understand the complex systems in fields of mathematics, machine learning, biology and neuroscience.

Background

In the year 2020, the prize was conferred to  Andrea Ghez from America, Roger Penrose from Britain and Reinhard Genzel from Germany for their research into black holes.

About Nobel Prize

The award comes with a gold medal as well as 10 million Swedish kronor. Money for prize comes from a bequest left by the creator of prize & Swedish inventor, Alfred Nobel.

Ministry of road, transport & highways launched a scheme for “Good Samaritans” on October 4, 2021.

Key facts

National Level Awards

What is golden hour?

‘Golden hour’ is the 1-hour time period after a traumatic injury. During this period, there is the highest possibilities of preventing death by providing prompt medical care.

Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, 2019

Rules had been notified under Section 134A of the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019, on September 29, 2020 by the ministry.

Delhi Cabinet has given its financial nod for ambitious “Health Information Management System (HIMS) project”.

HIMS health card

What data can be accessed?

Health card will be a unique health identifier for each individual using which everything, from the medical history of patients to appointment dates, can be accessed.

Who will be issued the card?

Citizens aged 1 to 18 years will get their health card linked to their parent’s health card, while new-borns (aged up to 1 year) will be linked to their mother’s health card.

Approval related to food-grains

On the occasion, Cabinet also approved Rs 48.14 crore for procurement, distribution and transportation of food grains for citizens who are not having ration cards but are residing in Delhi. This decision will benefit around 40 lakh non-PDS beneficiaries in the Capital. Government will provide non-PDS food-grains in Delhi to the target beneficiaries through identified schools or locations. To provide free ration to the beneficiaries, 16000 metric tonnes of wheat and 4,000 metric tonnes of rice will be required.

Who will meet the demand of food grains?

Delhi government will buy the ration from “Food Corporation of India”. Around Rs 42.4 crore will be spent for the purchase and Rs 2.1 crore will be spent on transportation.

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”, on October 5, 2021.

Key Facts

Findings of the report

UNESCO Recommendations 

UNESCO suggests:

  1. To improve the terms of employment of teachers across public and private schools
  2. To increase the number of teachers and improve their working conditions across the North Eastern states, rural areas as well as aspirational districts.
  3. To recognize teachers as frontline workers etc.

A team of Indian scientists have developed a non-toxic, environmentally friendly, biodegradable polymer using guar gum and chitosan.

Key Facts

Polysaccharide

Polysaccharide is one of the biopolymers having high potential for use in synthesis of packaging material. But due to some drawbacks of polysaccharides, like low mechanical properties, low barrier properties and high water-solubility, they are not preferred for packaging materials.

Guar gum-chitosan composite film

To overcome the challenges associated with polysaccharide, the team of scientists fabricated a guar gum-chitosan composite film. It is a cross-linked polysaccharide that do not use any plasticizer with the help “solution casting method”.

Properties of the film

The Fabricated biopolymer composite film had high water stability, high mechanical strength as well as excellent resistance towards harsh environmental conditions. The fabricated cross-linked film is not easily soluble in water. As per scientists, it did not dissolve even after 240 hours. Furthermore, the mechanical strength is higher compared to general biopolymer. It is highly water repellent or hydrophobic because of its high contact angle of 92.8º.  Water vapor permeability is low as compared to the film made only from chitosan.

Ministry of Textiles has approved the continuation of Comprehensive Handicrafts Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS) on October 5, 2021.

Key facts

Aim of the scheme

CHCDS schemes was launched to create world-class infrastructure which will caters to the business needs of local artisans & SMEs in order to boost production and export. These clusters have been set with the objective of assisting the artisans & entrepreneurs in setting up world-class units with modern infrastructure, adequate training, latest technology, and human resource development inputs. It is also coupled with market linkages and production diversification.

Provisions under CHCDS

Under CHCDS, interventions such as Baseline Survey & Activity Mapping, Skill Training, Marketing events, Improved Tool Kits, Publicity, Seminars, capacity building, Design workshops, etc will be provided. Scheme will also provide for Emporiums, Common Facility Centres, Raw Material Banks, Trade Common Production Centres, Facilitation Centres, Design & Resource Centres.

Who will undertake the projects?

Integrated projects will be taken up for development with the help of Central or State Handicrafts Corporations, Autonomous body Council Institute, Registered Co- operatives, Registered SPV, Producer company of artisans, that are having good experience in handicrafts sector.

Focus of the projects

These products will focus on integration of scattered artisans, building grass root level enterprises for them and linking them to SMEs in the handicrafts sector in order to ensure economies of scale. Mega handicraft clusters comprising of 10,000 artisans will be selected for overall development under the scheme.

The Ministry of Tourism is organising a “Buddhist Circuit Train FAM Tour and Conference from October 4 to October 8, 2021 in a bid to tap the potential of the Buddhist tourism.

About FAM Tour

Buddhist Tourism in India

India is among world’s largest reservoirs of history, culture, heritage, philosophy, and religion.  With these reservoirs, India is counted amongst the most desired destinations for tourists as well as pilgrims. India has a rich ancient Buddhist Heritage comprising of important sites associated with Lord Buddha. Indian Buddhist heritage is of great interest for the followers of Buddhism across the world. It has remained an inspiration & guide to traditions and customs of India.

Buddhist Conclave

Buddhist Conclave is organised by Ministry of Tourism every alternate year. It is organised with the objective of promoting India as a Buddhist Destination and major markets worldwide. In the year 2021, the International Buddhist Conclave is scheduled from November 17 to 21.

Other initiatives by Ministry of Tourism

The Indian Navy and The Japan maritime Self-Defence Force is scheduled to start the Fifth edition of India – Japan Maritime Bilateral Exercise called in the Arabian Sea from October 6, 2021.

Key Facts

Aim of the JIMEX-21

JIMEX-21 is being conducted with the aim of developing a common understanding of operational procedures and enhancing an inter-operability by conducting a multitude of advanced exercises, in the entire spectrum of maritime operations. These multi-faceted tactical exercises will consolidate the coordination developed by both the navies.

About JIMEX Exercise

JIMEX series of exercises was started in January 2012. It mainly focuses on maritime security cooperation. These exercises are conducted between Indian Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, biennially.

Other Military Exercises between both the countries

Besides JIMEX, India and Japan conduct a joint land military exercise called ‘Dharma Guardian’, annually. They also conduct a Joint Air Force exercise called ‘Shinyuu Maitri’. India and Japan are also involved in a Trilateral Maritime Exercise called Malabar with the USA.

Union Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, released a report titled “The State of the World’s Children 2021: On My Mind: promoting, protecting and caring for children’s mental health” on October 5, 2021 in New Delhi. The state of World’s Children 2021 report is UNICEF’s global flagship publication.

Key Points

The State of the World’s Children 2021 report

This report examines the mental health of child, adolescent and caregiver. It focuses on risks and protective factors at critical moments if life course. It also digs into the social determinants which ultimately shape mental health and well-being. The report also calls for commitment, communication and action in order to promote good mental health for every child. It also seeks to protect vulnerable children and care for children facing the challenges.

Findings of the report

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has proposed an amendment to the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, in a bid to liberalise the forest laws.

Status of the amendments

Ministry has sent the proposed amendments to all the state governments, asking for their objections and suggestions within 15 days. The draft proposal will be drawn and placed before Parliament after taking suggestions from states into consideration.

Key facts

Forest (Conservation) Act (FCA)

FCA was promulgated in the year 1980. Before a “1996 Supreme Court judgement” in TN Godavarman Thirumulpad versus Union of India & Others case, forest land was defined by “1927 Forest Act”. But in the 1996 case, Supreme court included all areas under the definition of forest that are recorded as ‘forest’ under any government record.

Why this amendment was put forward?

The definition of forest under the forest act was problematic in case of railways and roads. There is land that both the ministries own, but they cannot use it without getting permission from the MoEFCC. These permissions are granted in about 2-4 years, causing delays in several projects.

U.S.-Japanese scientist Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann of Germany and Giorgio Parisi of Italy won the Nobel Physics Prize for climate models and the understanding of physical systems.

About:

* Manabe, 90, and Dr. Hasselmann, 89, share one half of the 10 million kronor ($1.1 million) prize for their research on climate models, while Dr. Parisi, 73, won the other half for his work on the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems.

* This is the first time climate scientists have been awarded the Physics Nobel.

* The IPCC had won the Peace Nobel in 2007, an acknowledgement of its efforts in creating awareness for the fight against climate change, while a Chemistry Nobel to Paul Crutzen in 1995, for his work on the ozone layer, is considered the only other time someone from atmospheric sciences has won this honour.

 

Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare released UNICEF’s global flagship publication – “The State of the World’s Children 2021; On My Mind: promoting, protecting and caring for children’s mental health”.

About:

The report details the significant impact of COVID-19 pandemic on children’s mental health.

The report has found that around 14 percent of 15 to 24-year-olds in India, or 1 in 7, reported often feeling depressed or having little interest in doing things. Across 21 countries, the median was one in five young people.

In the UNICEF survey across 21 countries, only 41 per cent of young people in India were willing to seek support for mental health problems, compared to an average of 83 per cent for 21 countries.

As per the report, India was the only one of 21 countries where only a minority of young people felt that people experiencing mental health issues should reach out to others. In every other country, a majority of young people (ranging from 56 to 95 per cent) felt that reaching out was the best way to deal with mental health issues.

Over 286 million children up to grade 6 were out of school in India between 2020-2021. UNICEF's rapid assessment in 2021 found that only 60 per cent could access digital classrooms. Many would not be able to continue their education.

Meanwhile, wide gaps persist between mental health needs and mental health funding. India has spent only 0.05 per cent of its health budget annually on mental health, according to Indian Journal of Psychiatry 2017.

As the trend of nuclear family instead of joint family has increased in our society, mental health problems have become frequent in children.

41 Industrial Parks have been assessed as "Leaders" in the Industrial Park Ratings System Report released by DPIIT.

About:

90 Industrial Parks have been rated as under Challenger category while 185 have been rated as under "Aspirers".

The 2nd edition of the Industrial Park Rating System (IPRS) Report was launched by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. The IPRS 2.0 Report will enhance India’s industrial competitiveness and attract investment.

The IPRS pilot exercise was launched in 2018, with an objective of enhancing industrial infrastructure competitiveness and supporting policy development for enabling industrialization across the country

Based on the learnings from the pilot stage, the Government started the IPRS 2.0 in 2020.

All the States of India and 51 SEZs, including 29 Private, have participated the IPRS 2.0 Report. 24 Private Sector Industrial Parks have also been nominated.

India Industrial Land Bank (IILB)

The Report is an extension of the India Industrial Land Bank which features more than 4,400 industrial parks in a GIS-enabled database to help investors identify their preferred location for investment. The portal is currently integrated with industry-based GIS system of 21 States and UTs and plot-wise information in these are updated on a real-time basis, he said.

The India Industrial Land Bank (IILB) provides details of more than 5.6 lakh hectares, roughly the size bigger than 30-40 countries, on the click of a button and prospective entrepreneurs can apply sitting from anywhere across the world.

The GIS-enabled IILB acts as a one-stop source of information on Industrial Infrastructure.

Significant scaling up in coverage of Industrial Parks on this Land Bank has played a key role in facilitating the IPRS.

First consignment of Geographical Identification (GI) tagged sweet dish Mihidana sourced from Bardhaman, West Bengal has been exported to the Kingdom of Bahrain.

About:

Recently, to commemorate the historical legacy of a century old sweet delicacy & GI certified - Jaynagarer Moa, prepared from popped-rice ball & fresh date-palm jaggery, in Jaynagar, West Bengal, India Post in collaboration with APEDA released a specially designed envelope.

In January, 2021, a consignment of Jaynagar Moa was exported to the Kingdom of Bahrain.

In August, 2021, India Post released a special cover on West Bengal''s sweetmeats Mihidana and Sitabhog.

West Bengal’s Bardhaman got the GI tag for the century-old sweetmeats in 2017.

The fifth edition of India – Japan Maritime Bilateral Exercise, JIMEX, between the Indian Navy (IN) and the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF), will be held in Arabian Sea from 06 to 08 October 2021.

About:

JIMEX series of exercises commenced in January 2012 with special focus on maritime security cooperation. The last edition of JIMEX was conducted in September 2020.

JIMEX-21 aims to develop common understanding of operational procedures and enhance inter-operability through conduct of a multitude of advanced exercises, across the entire spectrum of maritime operations.

Multi-faceted tactical exercises involving weapon firings, cross-deck helicopter operations and complex surface, anti-submarine and air warfare drills will consolidate coordination developed by the two navies.

Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) is taking steps to effectively tackle dust pollution emanating from roads, right of way and open areas spread across the National Capital Region (NCR).

About:

To this end, directions have been issued by CAQM to all road owning/ maintaining/ road construction agencies of the State Governments of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), Rajasthan, Haryana and GNCTD to set up Dust Control & Management Cells in their respective states.

The Cell will regularly monitor the compliance of road dust control measures by the authorities concerned and will also keep track of the progress of measures undertaken.

Apart from this, exhaustive reports prepared on a monthly basis by the cell will help in the fight against dust pollution more systematically.

10-point dust monitoring parameter

CAQM has formulated a 10-point dust monitoring parameter in this regard.

This parameter involves a variety of measures that needs to be strictly adopted by the Dust Control & Management Cells.

These measures include:
* optimum utilization of road sweeping machines,

* scientific disposal of dust collected in designated sites/ landfills,

* water sprinkling to suppress dust especially after mechanized sweeping,

* augmentation of mechanized sweeping and sprinkling capacity,

* proper management of roads to ensure potholes-free roads,

* laying or repairing roads in a manner which extensively supports mechanized sweeping,

* conversion of non-paved roadsides into paved one or into a green area,

* greening of central verges,

* laying cemented roads over bituminous roads especially in industrial areas and,

* identification of hotspots of road dust and target-specific implementation of road dust control measures.

Ministry of Coal Notifies rules for 50% Sale of Coal from Captive Mines.

About:

The Ministry of Coal has amended Mineral Concession Rules, 1960 with a view to allowing sale of coal or lignite, on payment of additional amount, by the lessee of a captive mine up to 50 percent of the total coal or lignite produced in a financial year, after meeting the requirement of the end use plant linked with the mine.

Earlier this year, the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Amendment Act had been amended to this effect. This is applicable for both the private and public sector captive mines.

With this amendment, the Government has paved the way for releasing of additional coal in the market by greater utilization of mining capacities of captive coal and lignite blocks, which were being only partly utilized owing to limited production of coal for meeting their captive needs.

Availability of additional coal will ease pressure on power plants and will also aid in import-substitution of coal.

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has notified constitution of the National Road Safety Board, along with Rules thereof, on 3rd September, 2021.

About:

The Head Office of the Board shall be in the National Capital Region and the Board may establish offices at other places in India.

It shall consist of the Chairman and not less than three, but not exceeding seven Members, to be appointed by the Central Government.

The Board shall be responsible for promoting road safety, innovation and adoption of new technology and for regulating traffic and motor vehicles.

Ministry of Textiles has approved continuation of Comprehensive Handicrafts Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS) with a total outlay of Rs 160 crore.

About:

The scheme will continue up to March 2026.

Infrastructural support, market access, design and technology up-gradation support etc will be provided to handicrafts artisans under this scheme.

Objective of setting up these clusters is to assist the artisans & entrepreneurs to set up world-class units with modern infrastructure, latest technology, and adequate training and human resource development inputs, coupled with market linkages and production diversification.

The focus will be on integration of scattered artisans, building their grass root level enterprises and linking them to SMEs in the handicrafts sector to ensure economies of scale.

The mega handicraft clusters having more than 10,000 artisans will be selected for overall development under this scheme.

Ministry of Ayush has recently noticed safety concerns on use of Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) that were published in social media and in some scientific journals.

About:

This advisory is being issued to confirm that Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) is safe to use but some similar looking plants like Tinospora crispa may be harmful.

Guduchi is a popularly known herb, familiar as Giloy and is being used in therapeutics since long in AYUSH systems.

Guduchi’s hepato-protective properties are also well established. Guduchi is known for its immense therapeutic applications and the practices are regulated in accordance with various applicable provisions.

Features of Tinospora cordifolia

Stem: Green in colour; Not having small rounded projections; No milky secretion.

Leaves: heart shaped with groovy notch at the base.

Petals: Six in number

Drupes (Bunch of fruit): Spherical or ball shaped; red in colour.

The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is observing the “Mental Health Awareness Campaign Week”, starting from October 5, 2021.

Highlights

Activities under the campaign

Other activities being held under the Mental Health Awareness Campaign Week include:

  1. Virtual awareness workshops by NIMHANS, Bengaluru in association with Educational Institutions & other organisations
  2. Cycle rallies in Delhi,
  3. Green ribbon campaign,
  4. Short film release in regional languages,
  5. Launch of #breakthestigma hashtag campaign and
  6. Quiz or slogan competitions on mental health.

World Mental health Day

World Mental Health Day is observed globally to raise awareness regarding the mental health issues and mobilizing efforts to support mental health. This year, the day will be observed at a time when covid-19 pandemic has transformed the daily lives to significant extent. This has given rise to various mental health issues among people.

History of the day

First World Mental health day was celebrated in 1992 as an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health. Until 1994, the day had no specific theme. But in 1994, the Day was celebrated with a theme on the suggestion of Secretary General Eugene Brody. Theme in 1994 was “Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World”.

World Federation for Mental Health

It is a global mental health organization having its members and contacts in around 150 countries.

Department of Ex-servicemen welfare working under ‘Ministry of Defence’ has integrated ‘Electronic Pension Payment Order’ (EPPO) with the Digi Locker.

Key facts

Significance of the move

This move will enable all the Defence Pensioners to obtain the latest copy of Pension Payment Order, instantly from Digi Locker. Initiative would create a permanent record of Pension Payment Order in the Locker. It will also do away with the “time eliminate delays” in reaching the Pension Payment Order to new pensioners. Necessity to hand over a physical copy for the order will also be eliminated with the new initiative. It will also enable the Defence Pensioners to access Electronic Pension Payment Order from anywhere on the globe.

Service provider

Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (PCDA) Pension, Allahabad was registered as a Service Provider. It will provide Electronic Pension Payment Orders of more than 23 lakhs Defence Pensioners using the Digi Locker platform.

About DigiLocker

It is an Indian digitization online service under the Digital India initiative, provided by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). The locker provides a cloud account to every Aadhaar holder and enable them to access authentic documents or certificates like vehicle registration, driving license, academic mark sheet etc in digital format. All these documents are accessed from the original issuers of these certificates. Locker has 1GB storage space for each account for uploading scanned copies of legacy documents.

Union Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh, launched state-of-the-art Heli-borne survey technology on October 5, 2021.

Highlights

Heli Survey Technology

Aim of the project

This project has been developed with the aim of mapping potential groundwater sources and its management in providing safe drinking water to people in the water scarce arid regions of India.

Two Phases of the project

The mega project worth Rs. 150 crores will be implemented in two phases. To implement the project, CSIR has collaborated with the Ministry of Jal Shakti under the “National Aquifer Mapping Project”.  This project will bring high visibility to CSIR to implement the Jal Jeevan Mission project.

Significance of the technology

Water technologies of CSIR from source finding to water treatment will positively contribute towards “Har Ghar Hal se Jal” scheme as well as “doubling farmer’s income goals”.

Arid areas in India

Arid areas in north western India are spread across the States of Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat and Punjab. The area covers about 12% of the total geographical area in India and is home to about 8 crore people. Annual rainfall in arid areas is in the range of 100 to 400 mm. Thus, there is an acute shortage of water throughout the year.

The Nobel Prize 2021 for physics was awarded to three scientists from Japan, Germany and Italy. Secretary-general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Goran Hansson, announced the winners on October 5, 2021.

Key facts

Demonstration by Syukuro Manabe

Since 1960s, he had demonstrated how increases in amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases the global temperatures. This demonstration laid the foundations for current climate models.

Demonstration by Klaus Hasselmann

He had created a model to link weather and climate. This model helped in explaining why climate models can be reliable despite the chaotic nature of weather. He also demonstrated ways to look after specific signs of human influence on the climate.

Model developed by Giorgio Parisi

He built a deep physical and mathematical model. This model made it possible to understand the complex systems in fields of mathematics, machine learning, biology and neuroscience.

Background

In the year 2020, the prize was conferred to  Andrea Ghez from America, Roger Penrose from Britain and Reinhard Genzel from Germany for their research into black holes.

About Nobel Prize

The award comes with a gold medal as well as 10 million Swedish kronor. Money for prize comes from a bequest left by the creator of prize & Swedish inventor, Alfred Nobel.

Ministry of road, transport & highways launched a scheme for “Good Samaritans” on October 4, 2021.

Key facts

National Level Awards

What is golden hour?

‘Golden hour’ is the 1-hour time period after a traumatic injury. During this period, there is the highest possibilities of preventing death by providing prompt medical care.

Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, 2019

Rules had been notified under Section 134A of the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019, on September 29, 2020 by the ministry.

Delhi Cabinet has given its financial nod for ambitious “Health Information Management System (HIMS) project”.

HIMS health card

What data can be accessed?

Health card will be a unique health identifier for each individual using which everything, from the medical history of patients to appointment dates, can be accessed.

Who will be issued the card?

Citizens aged 1 to 18 years will get their health card linked to their parent’s health card, while new-borns (aged up to 1 year) will be linked to their mother’s health card.

Approval related to food-grains

On the occasion, Cabinet also approved Rs 48.14 crore for procurement, distribution and transportation of food grains for citizens who are not having ration cards but are residing in Delhi. This decision will benefit around 40 lakh non-PDS beneficiaries in the Capital. Government will provide non-PDS food-grains in Delhi to the target beneficiaries through identified schools or locations. To provide free ration to the beneficiaries, 16000 metric tonnes of wheat and 4,000 metric tonnes of rice will be required.

Who will meet the demand of food grains?

Delhi government will buy the ration from “Food Corporation of India”. Around Rs 42.4 crore will be spent for the purchase and Rs 2.1 crore will be spent on transportation.

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”, on October 5, 2021.

Key Facts

Findings of the report

UNESCO Recommendations 

UNESCO suggests:

  1. To improve the terms of employment of teachers across public and private schools
  2. To increase the number of teachers and improve their working conditions across the North Eastern states, rural areas as well as aspirational districts.
  3. To recognize teachers as frontline workers etc.

A team of Indian scientists have developed a non-toxic, environmentally friendly, biodegradable polymer using guar gum and chitosan.

Key Facts

Polysaccharide

Polysaccharide is one of the biopolymers having high potential for use in synthesis of packaging material. But due to some drawbacks of polysaccharides, like low mechanical properties, low barrier properties and high water-solubility, they are not preferred for packaging materials.

Guar gum-chitosan composite film

To overcome the challenges associated with polysaccharide, the team of scientists fabricated a guar gum-chitosan composite film. It is a cross-linked polysaccharide that do not use any plasticizer with the help “solution casting method”.

Properties of the film

The Fabricated biopolymer composite film had high water stability, high mechanical strength as well as excellent resistance towards harsh environmental conditions. The fabricated cross-linked film is not easily soluble in water. As per scientists, it did not dissolve even after 240 hours. Furthermore, the mechanical strength is higher compared to general biopolymer. It is highly water repellent or hydrophobic because of its high contact angle of 92.8º.  Water vapor permeability is low as compared to the film made only from chitosan.

Ministry of Textiles has approved the continuation of Comprehensive Handicrafts Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS) on October 5, 2021.

Key facts

Aim of the scheme

CHCDS schemes was launched to create world-class infrastructure which will caters to the business needs of local artisans & SMEs in order to boost production and export. These clusters have been set with the objective of assisting the artisans & entrepreneurs in setting up world-class units with modern infrastructure, adequate training, latest technology, and human resource development inputs. It is also coupled with market linkages and production diversification.

Provisions under CHCDS

Under CHCDS, interventions such as Baseline Survey & Activity Mapping, Skill Training, Marketing events, Improved Tool Kits, Publicity, Seminars, capacity building, Design workshops, etc will be provided. Scheme will also provide for Emporiums, Common Facility Centres, Raw Material Banks, Trade Common Production Centres, Facilitation Centres, Design & Resource Centres.

Who will undertake the projects?

Integrated projects will be taken up for development with the help of Central or State Handicrafts Corporations, Autonomous body Council Institute, Registered Co- operatives, Registered SPV, Producer company of artisans, that are having good experience in handicrafts sector.

Focus of the projects

These products will focus on integration of scattered artisans, building grass root level enterprises for them and linking them to SMEs in the handicrafts sector in order to ensure economies of scale. Mega handicraft clusters comprising of 10,000 artisans will be selected for overall development under the scheme.

The Ministry of Tourism is organising a “Buddhist Circuit Train FAM Tour and Conference from October 4 to October 8, 2021 in a bid to tap the potential of the Buddhist tourism.

About FAM Tour

Buddhist Tourism in India

India is among world’s largest reservoirs of history, culture, heritage, philosophy, and religion.  With these reservoirs, India is counted amongst the most desired destinations for tourists as well as pilgrims. India has a rich ancient Buddhist Heritage comprising of important sites associated with Lord Buddha. Indian Buddhist heritage is of great interest for the followers of Buddhism across the world. It has remained an inspiration & guide to traditions and customs of India.

Buddhist Conclave

Buddhist Conclave is organised by Ministry of Tourism every alternate year. It is organised with the objective of promoting India as a Buddhist Destination and major markets worldwide. In the year 2021, the International Buddhist Conclave is scheduled from November 17 to 21.

Other initiatives by Ministry of Tourism

The Indian Navy and The Japan maritime Self-Defence Force is scheduled to start the Fifth edition of India – Japan Maritime Bilateral Exercise called in the Arabian Sea from October 6, 2021.

Key Facts

Aim of the JIMEX-21

JIMEX-21 is being conducted with the aim of developing a common understanding of operational procedures and enhancing an inter-operability by conducting a multitude of advanced exercises, in the entire spectrum of maritime operations. These multi-faceted tactical exercises will consolidate the coordination developed by both the navies.

About JIMEX Exercise

JIMEX series of exercises was started in January 2012. It mainly focuses on maritime security cooperation. These exercises are conducted between Indian Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, biennially.

Other Military Exercises between both the countries

Besides JIMEX, India and Japan conduct a joint land military exercise called ‘Dharma Guardian’, annually. They also conduct a Joint Air Force exercise called ‘Shinyuu Maitri’. India and Japan are also involved in a Trilateral Maritime Exercise called Malabar with the USA.

Union Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, released a report titled “The State of the World’s Children 2021: On My Mind: promoting, protecting and caring for children’s mental health” on October 5, 2021 in New Delhi. The state of World’s Children 2021 report is UNICEF’s global flagship publication.

Key Points

The State of the World’s Children 2021 report

This report examines the mental health of child, adolescent and caregiver. It focuses on risks and protective factors at critical moments if life course. It also digs into the social determinants which ultimately shape mental health and well-being. The report also calls for commitment, communication and action in order to promote good mental health for every child. It also seeks to protect vulnerable children and care for children facing the challenges.

Findings of the report

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has proposed an amendment to the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, in a bid to liberalise the forest laws.

Status of the amendments

Ministry has sent the proposed amendments to all the state governments, asking for their objections and suggestions within 15 days. The draft proposal will be drawn and placed before Parliament after taking suggestions from states into consideration.

Key facts

Forest (Conservation) Act (FCA)

FCA was promulgated in the year 1980. Before a “1996 Supreme Court judgement” in TN Godavarman Thirumulpad versus Union of India & Others case, forest land was defined by “1927 Forest Act”. But in the 1996 case, Supreme court included all areas under the definition of forest that are recorded as ‘forest’ under any government record.

Why this amendment was put forward?

The definition of forest under the forest act was problematic in case of railways and roads. There is land that both the ministries own, but they cannot use it without getting permission from the MoEFCC. These permissions are granted in about 2-4 years, causing delays in several projects.