Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | 21 May, 2021

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Government Advisory on Aerosol and Droplet Transmission of Covid-19

What is the News?

The government of India has issued an updated general advisory on Covid-19. It has warned that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can be transported through Droplets as well as in the form of Aerosols. It can infect people up to 10 meters away.

Covid-19 Transmission: The different modes of transmission of the Covid-19 virus has been the subject of intense discussion since the start of the pandemic.

Droplets Transmission: Initially, it was suggested that the virus spreads predominantly through Droplets.

  • Droplets are large mucus or saliva particles heavier than air that fall toward the ground as soon as they’re expelled.
  • Droplet transmission typically occurs when a droplet containing a virus comes in contact with another person’s eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • These droplets because of their large size are supposed to travel only short distances before falling on the ground. A person 6 feet (2 meters) away is considered safe from infection.

Aerosol Transmission: Recently, scientists have been finding increasing evidence of the Covid virus traveling through aerosols as well:

  • An aerosol is a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in the air.
  • Aerosols can be natural or anthropogenic. Examples of natural aerosols are fog or mist, dust, forest exudates, and geyser steam. Examples of anthropogenic aerosols are particulate air pollutants and smoke.
  • Since aerosols are relatively light. They can carry the virus to much larger distances up to ten meters.
  • Moreover, aerosols can remain suspended in the air for several minutes or even hours. Thereby it greatly increases the chance of infecting a nearby person.
Government Advisory:
  • The Government advisory asks people to keep their indoor spaces well-ventilated by keeping doors and windows open and using exhaust systems.
  • It stresses that the infection transmission risk was much lower in outdoor areas since the virus particles get easily dispersed.
  • Moreover, it advises introducing outdoor air in offices, homes, and larger public spaces and measures to improve ventilation in these spaces. Advisory is the same for both urban and rural areas to curtail the spread of the disease.

Source: The Hindu

National Archives of India

What is the News?

A group of archivists and scholars has called for transparency in the proposed demolition of annexes that form part of the National Archives of India(NAI) in order to make way for the Central Vista project.

About National Archives of India(NAI):
  • National Archives of India (NAI) is a custodian of the non-current records of enduring value of the Government of India. It holds them in trust for the use of administrators and scholars.
  • Origin: It was originally established as the Imperial Record Department in 1891 in Calcutta(Kolkata). This department was transferred to the new capital, New Delhi, In 1911, and it was shifted into the present building in 1926.
  • Nodal Ministry: It functions as an Attached Office of the Department of Culture under the Ministry of Culture.
  • Significance: It is the biggest archival repository in South Asia. It has a vast corpus of records viz., public records, oriental records among others which constitute an invaluable source of information.
  • Headquarters: New Delhi. It also has a Regional Office at Bhopal and three Record Centres at Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, and Pondicherry.
Abhilekh Patal :
  • Abhilekh patal is an online portal to access the National Archives of India’s reference media and its digitized collections via the internet.
  • Meaning: The name ‘Abhilekh patal’ comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Abhilekh’ meaning the records of ancient times and the word ‘patal’ meaning the platform, board, or surface.

Source: Indian Express

China completes Tibet highway

What is the News?

China has completed building a highway in a remote part of southeastern Tibet Autonomous Region(TAR). It includes a 2 km mountain tunnel.

About the Highway:
  • The Highway passes through the world’s deepest canyon, the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon in Tibet. The canyon is located along the Brahmaputra river(known as Yarlung Zangbo in Tibet).
  • The highway connects the Chinese city of Nyingchi with Medog County in Tibet. It will reduce the travel time between the two by around eight hours.
  • Significance: The highway is part of China’s ambitious plans to build roads and tunnels along the length of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India. It is connecting far-flung areas to inland cities and airports.
Concerns for India:
  • The Highway enables greater access to remote areas along the disputed border with Arunachal Pradesh in India.
  • The highway will play a key role in the surveying of and planning for the mega Yarlung Zangbo hydro-power project. China is planning to build this project at the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon.
Other Projects of China along Border Areas:

 Railway Line:

  • China has begun work on a strategically significant railway line that will link Sichuan province with Nyingchi in Tibet. It also lies close to the Arunachal Pradesh border.
Civilian settlements:
  • In 2017, the Chinese Government launched a plan to build “moderately well-off villages” with Civilian settlements in the border areas.
  • These villages will be located close to the border areas, some of which lie in disputed territories claimed by India and Bhutan.
    • Example: In 2020, satellite images showed a new village called Pangda being built by China. This village is located in the area claimed by Bhutan.

Source: The Hindu

India begins export of GI certified “Gholvad Sapota”

What is the News?

A consignment of Dahanu Gholvad sapota (naseberry) has been exported to the United Kingdom from Maharashtra’s Palghar district. This will provide a major boost to future shipments of Geographical Indication(GI) certified products from India.

About Gholvad Sapota:

  • The Geographical Indication(GI) certification of Gholvad Sapota is held by Maharashtra Rajya Chikoo Utpadak Sangh.
  • The fruit is popular for its sweet and unique taste. The unique taste is believed to be derived from the calcium-rich soil of the Gholvad village in Palghar district.

About Sapota:

  • Sapota is a popular tropical winter fruit relished for its sweet flavour. It also has indispensable medicinal properties and therapeutic benefits.
  • The fruit comprises soft, easily digestible pulp made up of natural sugars that are in line with mango, banana and jackfruit.
  • In India, the fruit is grown in Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. Karnataka is the largest grower followed by Maharashtra.

Source: Economic Times

Govt signs MoU with Microsoft for the “Digital Transformation of Tribal Schools”

What is the News?

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs(MTA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Microsoft. The MOU aims to support the digital transformation of Tribal schools such as Eklavya Model Residential Schools(EMRS).

 About the MoU for Digital Transformation of Tribal Schools:

  • As part of the MoU, Microsoft will make Artificial Intelligence(AI) curriculum. This will be available to tribal students in both English and Hindi at all EMRS schools.
  • Teachers across the states will also be trained in a phased manner for using productivity technologies like Office 365 and AI applications in teaching.

Significance of this initiative:

  • This program will ensure that tribal students get a chance to change their future, their environment, their village, and the overall community.
  • The initiative will also enable the professional development of educators and also enable them to use technology in classrooms.
  • It will also be able to bridge the gap between the tribal students and others.
 About Eklavya Model Residential Schools(EMRS):
  • Eklavya Model Residential Schools(EMRS) is a Government of India scheme for model residential schools for Scheduled Tribes across India.
  • Nodal Ministry: The scheme was launched by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in the year 1997-98.
  • Aim: To impart quality education to ST children in remote areas. It will also enable them to avail themselves of opportunities in high and professional educational courses and get employment in various sectors.
    • The schools focus not only on academic education but on the all-around development of the students.
  • Grants: The government of India provides grants for the construction of schools and recurring expenses to the State Governments under Article 275 (1) of the Constitution.
  • Target: Every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons, will have an Eklavya Model Residential School by the year 2022.
  • Significance: The schools will be on par with Navodaya Vidyalayas. It will have special facilities for preserving local art and culture besides providing training in sports and skill development.
Eklavya Model Day Boarding Schools (EMDBS)
  • Eklavya Model Day Boarding School(EMDBS) is being set up wherever the density of ST population is higher in identified Sub-Districts (90% or more).
  • Objective: These schools will be set up for providing additional scope for ST Students seeking to avail school education without residential facility.

Source: PIB

Government launches “CBID Program” on Rehabilitation of Divyangjan

What is the News?

The Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment has virtually launched a 6-month CBID (Community Based Inclusive Development) Program on rehabilitation of Divyangjan(Persons with Disabilities).

About CBID (Community Based Inclusive Development) programme:

  • Developed by: The programme has been co-designed by the Rehabilitation Council of India and the University of Melbourne.
  • Aim: The programme aims to create a pool of Grassroot rehabilitation workers at the community level. These workers will be trained for successfully discharging their duties.
  • After training, the workers can then work alongside the ASHA and Anganwadi workers. They can handle cross-disability issues and facilitate the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society. The workers will be called ‘Divyang Mitra’ i.e. friends of persons with disabilities.
  • Nodal Body: National Board of Examination in Rehabilitation under the Rehabilitation Council of India will conduct examinations. The board will also award certificates to pass-out candidates.

 About Rehabilitation Council of India(RCI):

  • RCI was initially set up as a registered society in 1986. In 1992, the Rehabilitation Council of India Act was enacted by Parliament, and it became a Statutory Body in 1993.
  • Mandate:
    • To develop, standardize and regulate training programmes/ courses at various levels in the field of Rehabilitation and Special Education.
    • To maintain the Central Rehabilitation Register for qualified Professionals/ Personnel and promote Research in Special Education.
    • It will also take punitive action against unqualified persons delivering services to persons with disability.

Source: PIB


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