9 PM Current Affairs Brief – September 23rd, 2019

E-Beat Book System and E-Saathi app 

News:Union Minister for Home Affairs has launched the E-Beat Book System and the ‘E-Saathi App’ for Chandigarh police.

Facts:

About E-Beat book system:

  • The ‘E-Beat Book’ is a web and mobile based application which will ease the collection, updation and analysis of information related to crime and criminals in a real time. 
  • Chandigarh has been divided in 54 divisions.In each division,there is one ‘Atal Sehbhagita Kendra’s that is under the supervision of a Beat Officer, having an Android Phone to use the app. 
  • The E-Beat Book would be linked with Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems(CCTNS) which would help in a real time updation of crime/criminal data. 
  • The citizen can directly approach the ‘Atal Sehbhagita Kendra’ for redressal of their grievances and can render their suggestions too.

E-Saathi app:

  • The ‘E-Saathi’ App would help the general public to remain in touch with the police and also give suggestions to facilitate participatory community policing(‘Your Police at Your Doorstep’ initiative). 
  • The beat officer would be able to provide services like passport verification, tenant verification among others at a click of a button through the app without the people needing to visit the police station.

Additional information:

Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems(CCTNS):

  • CCTNS is a project initiated in June 2009.It comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The project is aimed at creating a comprehensive and integrated system for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of policing at the Police Station level.
  • The project seeks to (a) deliver various web based police related services to citizens (b) facilitate a pan-India search of crime and criminal records of individuals through a national database (c) generate crime and criminal reports at the state and central level to inform policy interventions (d)computerised police processes and (e)establish a basic platform for an Inter-operable Criminal Justice System(ICJS).

All India Survey on Higher Education(AISHE) 

News:Union Minister for Human resource and development(HRD) has released the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2018-19.

Facts:

About All India Survey on Higher Education(AISHE): 

  • The AISHE Survey was initiated in the year 2011 to prepare a robust database on higher education.
  • Under this,the ministry of HRD collects online information on Universities, Colleges and other Higher Educational Institutions.
  • The data is collected on several parameters such as teachers, student enrolment, programmes, examination results, education finance and infrastructure.
  • Further,the indicators of educational development such as Institution Density, Gross Enrolment Ratio, Pupil-teacher ratio, Gender Parity Index, Per Student Expenditure are also calculated under the survey.

Highlights of the survey:

  • The top 8 States in terms of highest number of colleges in India are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
  • According to the survey, the present Gross Enrolment Ratio(GER) in higher education is around 26.3% up from 25.8% in 2017-18.
  • The Gender Parity Index(GPI) which measures the the male:female ratio in higher education has increased over the last five years from 0.92 in 2014-15 to 1 in 2018-19.
  • The survey has said that the highest share of foreign students comes from the neighbouring countries of which Nepal is first followed by Afghanistan, Bangladesh , Sudan, Bhutan and Nigeria.
  • The students enrolment in B.Tech and M.Tech programmes has seen a dramatic fall.This has led to an overall dip in enrolment in professionals courses which has hit a four-year low.

Additional information:

Gross Enrolment Ratio(GER):

  • Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Higher education in India is calculated for 18-23 years of age group. 
  • The total enrolment in higher education regardless of age is expressed as a percentage to the eligible official population (18-23 years) in a given year. 
  • The GER is widely used to show the general level of participation in and capacity of higher education.The data includes details on gender wise gross enrolment ratio in higher education for all categories.

SEBI sets up panel to suggest norms for social stock exchanges 

News:Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI) has constituted a working group on Social Stock Exchanges (SSE).

Facts:

  • In Budget 2019,Finance Minister had proposed a social stock exchange for social enterprises and voluntary organisations working for social welfare to help them raise capital through debt, equity and mutual fund.

About the working group:

  • The working group has been constituted under the chairmanship of Ishaat Hussain,Director,SBI Foundation.
  • The group shall examine and make recommendations with respect to possible structures and mechanisms, within the securities market domain to facilitate the raising of funds by social enterprises and voluntary organizations.

Additional information:

Social stock exchange:

  • Social stock exchange is a platform that allows investors to buy shares in a social enterprise that has been allowed by the exchange. 
  • The aim of this initiative is to help social and voluntary organisations which work for social causes to raise capital as equity or debt or a unit of mutual fund.
  • SSE already exist in countries such as Singapore,UK among others. These countries allow firms operating in sectors such as health, environment and transportation to raise risk capital.

Tamil Nadu’s new electric vehicle policy

News:The Tamil Nadu State Government has introduced its first-ever electric vehicle (EV) policy,2019.

Facts:

  • Tamil Nadu is known as the Detroit of South India.It accounts for 6.4% of the electric vehicles sold in the country as of July 31,2019.

About Electric Vehicle policy:

  • The policy aims to create a comprehensive Electric Vehicle(EV) ecosystem in the State.It has set out a vision to attract ₹50,000 crore in investments and create 1.5 lakh new jobs.
  • The policy has provided various concessions to manufacturers of the e-vehicles.
  • To encourage start-ups in the EV sector,incubation services will be offered in the form of office space, common facilities and mentoring support. 
  • An EV Venture Capital Fund will be created to offer financial support to EV start-ups to enable them to scale up their business. 
  • EV-related and charging infrastructure manufacturing units will be provided 100% exemption on electricity tax till December 2025. 
  • The government will also provide a higher capital subsidy of 20% of the eligible investment over 20 years in cases where units are engaged in making EV batteries.

Ganga Data Collector

News:Wildlife Institute of India(WII) has launched a mobile application named “Ganga Data Collector”.

Facts:

About Ganga data collector:

  • The application aims to provide field researchers with a complete data entry solution to monitor the aquatic population in the Ganga river.
  • The application has been launched under the Biodiversity and Ganga Conservation project initiated by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) of Union Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • The application will be used by scientists of WII, Ganga Praharis and staff of the forest department in the 11 states of the Ganga Basin for faster collection of more authentic and accurate data related to water quality and aquatic life in Ganga. 

Additional information:

NMCG:

  • NMCG is the implementation wing of the National Ganga Council.It is registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860.NMCG implements the Namami Gange programme.
  • The government through the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities Order, 2016 has declared NMCG as an Authority.
  • It has been given powers to issue directions and also to exercise the powers under the Environment (Protection) Act,1986.

Namami Gange programme:

  • The Namami Gange was launched in 2015.It is an Integrated Conservation Mission which seeks effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of River Ganga.
  • The main pillars of Namami Gange Programme are (a) Sewerage Treatment Infrastructure, (b) River-Surface Cleaning, (c) Afforestation,  (d) Industrial Effluent Monitoring, (e) River-Front Development, (f) Biodiversity, (g) Ganga Gram and (h) Public Awareness.

Ganga Prahari:

  • Ganga Praharis are self-motivated and trained volunteers from among the local communities working for biodiversity conservation and cleanliness of the Ganga River.
  • They are roped-in by Wildlife Institute of India (WII) as part of the “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” project.
  • The Ganga Praharis will be the role models in inspiring other members of the community to join hands in the efforts for conservation of the biodiversity of river Ganga.Thus,each Prahari shall work on the model of ‘Each One Make Ten’.

Wildlife Institute of India (WII) 

  • WII is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change,Government of India.
  • It was established in 1982.The  institute is based in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
  • It is an internationally acclaimed Institution which offers training programs, academic courses and advisory in wildlife research and management.

Quad to meet: Foreign Ministers of India, US, Japan and Australia

News:The foreign ministers of the Quadrilateral group of India, US, Australia and Japan are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting.

Facts:

About the Quad group:

  • Quadrilateral Security Dialogue(QSD) is the strategic dialogue between four countries viz. India, United States, Japan and Australia.
  • It was originally initiated in 2007 but later disbanded with withdrawal of Australia.It has later revived in 2017.
  • The Quad is viewed as four democracies with a shared objective to ensure and support a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
  • The concept of quadrilateral cooperation is also linked to China’s emergence as a great power.The fear of China’s growing unilateralism drives major nations to strive to reduce the regional imbalance by banding together.

Significance for India:

  • The Quad group provides India a powerful platform to advance its interests in East Asia.
  • It will deepen India’s ties with the US, Australia and Japan with benefits in diplomatic leverage and sharing of burden in defense.
  • It will also provide India significant chance in shaping US policies in Afghanistan-Pakistan to the benefit of India.
  • It will provide a powerful platform to advance Indian interest in region and strengthen Act East policy.
  • It will also help India and other three Nations to counter China’s One Belt One Road(OBOR) initiative.As India has refused to join OBOR it helps India to connect with other markets like Central Asian and South East Asian markets.

Assam Rifles

News:The defence establishment and the Ministry of Home affairs are once again in disagreement over the control of Assam Rifles.

Facts:

What is the issue?

  • Assam Rifles which the oldest paramilitary force of India is under dual control of two ministries.
  • The administrative control of Assam Rifles lies with the Home Ministry, while the operational control is with the Defence Ministry.
  • The dual leadership has caused administrative problems and many Assam Rifle personnel were being deprived of promotion and allowances at par with Indian army.

Assam rifles:

  • The Assam Rifles is one of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in India.
  • It was formed in 1835 as a militia called the ‘Cachar Levy’ to primarily protect British Tea estates and their settlements against tribal raids.
  • The force operates in the North Eastern part of India and complements the Indian Army in countering the insurgency and guarding the borders.

Petronet to invest $2.5 bn in Tellurian’s Louisiana project

News:Indian Prime Minister has met the US President on the visit to the US for  

UN General Assembly meeting on September 27,2019.

Facts

Highlights of the meeting:

  • Indian Prime Minister held a meeting with the CEO’s of 17 global energy companies in Houston,US.
  • The objective of the meeting was to deepen our energy cooperation as part of our strategic energy partnership 
  • During the meeting,India’s Petronet LNG Limited(PLL) has signed an MoU with US natural gas company Tellurian Inc of 2.5-billion liquified natural gas(LNG) supply.
  • As per the MoU,Petronet will invest in Tellurian’s proposed Driftwood LNG export terminal in exchange for the rights to 5 million metric tonnes of LNG per year for over 40 years 
  • India and the US has also planned to further strengthen their Strategic Energy Partnership that was launched in New Delhi in April,2019.
  • They have created four working groups under the Strategic Energy Partnership namely (a)oil and gas (b)power and energy efficiency, (c)renewable energy and (d)sustainable development.

Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current(AMOC)

News:A new study has suggested that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current (AMOC) is getting help from the warming up of Indian Ocean.

Facts:

About Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current(AMOC):

  • Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current(AMOC) is a large system of ocean currents operating In the Atlantic which circulates the water between the north and the south. 
  • AMOC ensures the oceans are continually mixed, and heat and energy are distributed around Earth.

How AMOC operates?

  • The AMOC is a large system of ocean currents like a conveyor belt, driven by differences in temperature and salt content – the water’s density.
  • As warm water flows northwards in the Atlantic, it cools, while evaporation increases its salt content.
  • The low temperature and high salt content makes the water denser and this dense water sinks deep into the ocean.
  • The cold, dense water deep below slowly spreads southward.Eventually, it gets pulled back to the surface and warms again and the circulation is complete.

About the study:

  • For thousands of years, Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) has remained stable.
  • But for the last 15 years,scientists have said that AMOC may be slowing which could have drastic consequences on global climate.
  • However, the rising temperatures in the Indian Ocean can help to boost the AMOC and delay slow down.
  • The study has said that warming in the Indian Ocean generates additional precipitation which in turn draws more air from other parts of the world, including the Atlantic. 
  • The higher level of precipitation in the Indian Ocean will reduce precipitation in the Atlantic and increase salinity in the waters.
  • This saltier water in the Atlantic will get cold much quicker than usual and sink faster.
  • The above process would act as a jump start for AMOC intensifying the circulation.
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