UPSC IAS Prelims 2022 Material| Current Affairs | Miscellaneous topics in news

Dear Friends,

This post is a part of our current affairs series for the UPSC IAS Prelims 2022. In this post, we have covered all of the current affairs linked to Miscellaneous topics.

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WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (WHO GCTM)

News

The Union Cabinet has approved the establishment of the WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine(WHO GCTM).

About WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (WHO GCTM)

WHO GCTM will be the first and only global outposted Centre (office) for traditional medicine across the globe.

It will be established under the Ministry of AYUSH.

Location: Jamnagar, Gujarat.

Purpose: The Centre will help 1) To position AYUSH systems across the globe, 2) To ensure quality, safety and efficacy, accessibility and rational use of traditional medicine, 3) To help develop norms, standards and guidelines, tools and methodologies for collecting data, undertaking analytics and assessing impact, 4) To develop specific capacity building and training programmes in the areas of relevance.


Sagar Parikrama

News

The Union Minister for Fisheries inaugurated the ‘Sagar Parikrama’.

About Sagar Parikrama

Organized by: Ministry of Fisheries, National Fisheries Development Board along with Government of Gujarat, Indian Coast Guard, Fishery Survey of India and Gujarat Maritime Board.

Purpose: It is a navigation journey to be conducted in all coastal states/UTs through a pre-decided sea route to demonstrate solidarity with all fisherfolk, fish farmers and concerned stakeholders.

The journey shall focus on the sustainable balance between the utilization of marine fisheries resources for food security of the nation and livelihoods of coastal fisher communities and protection of marine ecosystems.

Part of: This initiative has been launched as a part of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsava’ (Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsava is one of the significant initiatives of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of independence and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements).

Note: Oceans are vital to the economies, security and livelihoods of Indian coastal states. India has a coastline of 8118 km covering 9 maritime States/4 UTs and providing livelihood support to millions of coastal fisherfolk.


National Water Awards

Announced by:  Ministry of Jal Shakti

Significance: It is the 3rd National Water Awards-2020.

Objective:

-To recognize and encourage meritorious work and efforts made by States, individuals, organizations, etc across India in attaining the government’s vision of a ‘Jal Samridh Bharat’. Under this, stakeholders are encouraged to adopt a holistic approach towards water resources management in the country.

– To create awareness among the people about the importance of water and attempts to motivate them to adopt best water usage practices.

About National Water Awards

It was first launched by the Jal Shakti Ministry in 2018. Award has been given under 11 different categories – Best State, Best District, Best Village Panchayat, Best Urban Local Body, Best Media (Print & Electronic), Best School, etc. Winners will be awarded a citation, trophy and cash prize.

Under the 3rd National Water Awards, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu enlisted as top three under the Best State category.


FASTER Platform

News

The Chief Justice of India has launched the FASTER (Fast and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records) platform.

About FASTER Platform

Purpose: It is a digital platform to communicate interim orders, stay orders, and bail orders of the Supreme Court to authorities concerned through a secured electronic communication channel.

Developed by: Registry of the Supreme Court in collaboration with the National Informatics Centre(NIC).

Need: The idea of creating this platform came after CJI came across a report about the delay in the release of prisoners owing to the delay in physical orders reaching the prison authorities.

Working of  FASTER Platform

FASTER Cell: It has been established in the Registry of the Supreme Court. The cell will transmit digitally signed records of proceedings or orders related to bail and release passed by the court to the nodal officers and duty holders concerned through email.

Nodal Officers: To reach all districts of India, 73 nodal officers have been nominated at various levels. All nodal officers have been connected through a specific Judicial Communication Network(JCN) by creating a secured pathway.

Significance of FASTER Platform

Firstly, it will ensure that undertrials are not made to wait for days on end behind bars to be released because the certified hard copies of their bail orders took time to reach the prison.

Secondly, it will help in preventing unnecessary arrests and custody of people even after the court had already granted them its protection.


ADIGRAMS (Adivasi Grants Management System) Portal

Launched by: Ministry of Tribal Affairs(MoTA).

Aim: To provide a central database for the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the State Tribal Development/ Welfare Department to access, interact and analyze up-to-date scheme-wise Physical and financial information and progress.

The portal will also completely digitize the process of proposal submission and approval under various schemes of MoTA.

Schemes covered under the portal: The portal covers the following schemes of MoTA:

– Grants under Article 275 (1) of the Constitution of India.

– Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Tribal Sub-Scheme (TSS).

– Scheme for development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).

– Institutional Support for Development and Marketing of Tribal Produce.

– Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Development of Value Chain for MFP (MSP for MFPs).


National Behaviour Change Communication Framework for Garbage Free Cities

News

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched the ‘National Behaviour Change Communication Framework for Garbage Free Cities’.

About the National Behaviour Change Communication Framework for Garbage Free Cities

Launched by: Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs under Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0.

Aim: To strengthen the ongoing Jan Andolan for ‘Garbage Free Cities’.

Purpose: The framework serves as a guiding document and blueprint for States and Cities to undertake large scale multimedia campaigns along with intensive and focused interpersonal communication campaigns.

Focus Areas: The framework focuses on intensifying messaging around the key focus areas of source segregation, collection, transportation, and processing of waste, plastic waste management, and remediation of legacy dumpsites to truly transform the urban landscape of India.


Atal New India Challenge 2.0 (ANIC 2.0)

News

Atal Innovation Mission has launched the phase 1 of the 2nd edition of the Atal New India Challenge (ANIC 2.0)

About Atal New India Challenge

Atal New India Challenge is a flagship program of Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog.

Aim: To seek, select, support and nurture technology-based innovations that solve sectoral challenges of national importance and societal relevance.

Goal: To support innovations in areas critical to India’s development and growth – Education, Health, Water and Sanitation, Housing, Energy, Mobility, and Space Application among others.

The challenge addresses the second Commercialization Valley of Death – supporting innovators scale over the risks associated with access to resources for testing, piloting and market creation.

Funding: The challenge supports selected start-ups through the commercialization stage over a course of 12 – 18 months with a funding of up to INR 1 crore along with other associated support from the AIM’s innovation ecosystem.

About Valley of Death

The Valley of death is an expression used by Venture Capitalists(VCs) to describe the critical initial phase of a startup company.

During this period, startup companies operate without any existing revenue, relying on their initial invested capital.

Surviving the Death Valley curve means beginning to generate sufficient revenue to become self-sustainable before the initial invested capital runs dry. This is a significant milestone for startup companies.


Azadi Ki Amrit Kahaniya

News

The Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting has launched ‘Azadi Ki Amrit Kahaniya’.

About Azadi Ki Amrit Kahaniya

Launched by: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting(I&B) in collaboration with major OTT platform Netflix.

Aim: To bring out beautiful stories of inspirational Indians on various themes including Women Empowerment, Environment & Sustainability and others.

In the first phase, short videos featuring seven Women Changemakers from across the country will be released.

The Seven Changemakers include

  1. a)Poonam Nautiyal, a healthcare worker who walked miles across the Bageshwar district in Uttarakhand to vaccinate everyone; b)Tessy Thomas, the first woman scientist to head a missile project in India;  c) Tanvi Jagadish, India’s first competitive woman stand-up paddleboarder among others.

Significance: The diverse set of stories will help motivate and empower Indians from every corner of the country.


Broadcast Seva Portal

Launched by: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting(I&B).

Purpose: It is an online portal aimed at improving the ease of doing business in the broadcast industry.

Features: The portal can be used by broadcasters for speedy filing and processing of applications, various kinds of licences, permissions, registrations,  tracking applications, calculating fees and executing payments.

Significance of the Portal: The portal will reduce the turnaround time of applications and at the same time will help applicants track their progress.

It will also reduce the human interface that was required earlier and thus add to the capacity building of the Ministry and will be a major step towards ease of doing business.


Integrated Command and Control Centre(ICCCs)

News

The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister has announced that 80 Integrated Command and Control Centres(ICCCs) have already been set up while the remaining 20 will be completed by August 15, 2022.

About the Integrated Command and Control Centre(ICCCs)
ICCC
Source: smartnet.niua

ICCCs are an integral component of the Smart Cities Mission. The mission aims to set up ICCCs for each city.

These ICCCs are designed to enable authorities to monitor the status of various amenities in real-time.

They are aimed at controlling and monitoring water and power supply, sanitation, traffic movement, integrated building management, city connectivity and Internet infrastructure among other parameters.

Hence, they basically act as a “nerve center” of a Smart City for operations management.

Services provided by ICCCs

ICCCs act as the nodal point of availability of all online data and information relating to smart services included in a smart city. Such as LED street lighting, CCTV surveillance cameras, and air quality sensors among others.

They are a source for integrated traffic management monitoring.

They are now also linked to the CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Networks and Systems) network under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, they also served as war rooms for Covid-19 management.


National Cyber Security Incident Response Exercise(NCX India)

News

The National Security Advisor has inaugurated the National Cyber Security Incident Response Exercise(NCX India).

About the National Cyber Security Incident Response Exercise(NCX India)

Conducted by: National Security Council Secretariat(NSCS) in association with Data Security Council of India (DSCI) as the knowledge partner and supported by the Defence Research and Development Organization(DRDO).

Purpose: It aims to train senior management and technical personnel of Government/Critical Sector organizations and agencies on contemporary cyber threats and handling cyber incidents and response.

Areas: The participants will be trained on various key cyber security areas such as Intrusion Detection Techniques, Malware Information Sharing platforms (MISP), Vulnerability Handling & Penetration Testing, Network Protocols & Data Flows among others.

Significance: The exercise will help strategic leaders to better understand cyber threats, assess readiness and develop skills for cyber crisis management and cooperation.

About the National Security Council(NSC)

NSC is an executive government agency tasked with advising the Prime Minister’s Office on matters of national security and strategic interest.

Established in: It was established by the former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1998.

Structure: NSC is a three-tier structure body. The three tiers are the Strategic Policy Group, the National Security Advisory Board and a secretariat from the Joint Intelligence Committee.


e-Detailed Accident Report portal

News

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in consultation with the insurance companies has developed a portal named ‘e-DAR’ (e-Detailed Accident Report).

About the e-DAR Portal

Aim: To provide instant information on road accidents with a few clicks to help accelerate accident compensation claims and also check fake claims.

Purpose: The portal can be used by the police to upload the accident reports on it. The portal will alert the concerned insurance company and the details of the vehicles and owners can be fetched as it is linked to the Vaahan portal. Hence, the portal can reduce the paperwork related to the accident claim process.

The portal ​​will be linked to the Integrated Road Accident Database(iRAD). It will also be linked to other government portals like Vaahan as it would help get access to information on driving license details and registration of vehicles.

Features of the portal

The portal will have features to geo-tag the accident locations, giving automatic alerts to the concerned investigating officer.

Also, it has provisions to upload photos and videos relating to the accident and damaged vehicles.

Apart from the state police, an engineer from the Public Works Department or the local body will receive an alert on his mobile device. The concerned official will then visit the accident site, examine it and feed the required details such as the road design.

Moreover, there will be multiple checks in the portal to restrict fake claims by linking the check with FIR No, vehicles involved in the accident and the date of the accident.


Utsav Portal

News

The Union Minister for Tourism has launched Utsav Portal at the Amrit Samagam Conference.

About Utsav Portal

Launched by: Ministry of Tourism

Aim: It is a digital initiative that aims to

– Showcase all the events, festivals and live darshans across India to promote different regions of the country as popular tourist destinations worldwide.

– Let the devotees and travellers experience and view the sights of some of the well-known religious divine shrines in India in the form of Live Darshan.

About Amrit Samagam

Organized by: Ministry of Culture

Aim: To reflect on the progress of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav(AKAM) so far, gather best practices and ideate on the strategies to be adopted for the remaining period of the celebration, especially for upcoming crucial initiatives.


Parliamentary Committee on Official Language

News

The Union Home Minister has presided over the 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee.

About the Parliamentary Committee on Official Language

Setup in: 1976 under section 4 of the Official Languages Act,1963.

Mandate: The Committee shall review the progress made in the use of Hindi for the Official purposes of the Union and submit a report to the President making recommendations. The President shall then lay the report before each House of Parliament and send it to all the State Governments.

Composition: The Committee comprises 30 members of Parliament, 20 from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha. These members are to be elected respectively by the members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.

Chairman: As a convention, the Union Home Minister has been the Chairman of the Committee from time to time.

Official Language of the Union

Article 343 of the Constitution of India stated that the official language of the Union is Hindi in Devanagari script, with the official use of English to continue for 15 years from 1947.

Later, the Official Languages Act of 1963 allowed for the continuation of English alongside Hindi in the Indian government indefinitely until legislation decides to change it.

Key highlights from the 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee

During the meeting, Union Home Minister suggested that:

– Hindi should be accepted as an alternative to English and not to local languages.

– Elementary knowledge of Hindi should be given to students up to Class 9 and pay more attention to Hindi teaching examinations.

– Republish the Hindi dictionary by revising it.

Note: Currently, 70% of the agenda of the Cabinet is prepared in Hindi. Nine tribal communities of the North East have converted their dialects’ scripts to Devanagari. Apart from this, all the eight states of the North East have agreed to make Hindi compulsory in schools up to Class X.


GO 111

News

Environmentalists and activists are criticizing the Telangana government for withdrawing a Government Order(GO) 111 protecting the historic Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar reservoirs in Hyderabad, which they say will destroy the fragile surrounding ecosystem.

About GO 111

In 1996, the Government of erstwhile (undivided) Andhra Pradesh issued GO 111 prohibiting development or construction works in the catchment area of the Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar lakes up to a radius of 10 km.

The GO prohibited the setting up of industries, residential colonies, and hotels among others which cause pollution.

The aim of the restrictions was to protect the catchment area and to keep reservoirs pollution-free. The lakes had been supplying water to Hyderabad for nearly 70 years and were the main source of drinking water for the city at the time.

History of Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar

Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar were built in 1920 and 1927, respectively, under the last Nizam-era ruler Mir Osman Ali Khan, after the devastating 1908 floods in Hyderabad.

The reservoirs were created by building dams on the River Musi (Musi is also known as Moosa or Muchkunda and is a major tributary of the Krishna River).

Reason for withdrawing GO 111

Hyderabad city no longer depends on these two reservoirs for water supply, and there was no need to continue with the restrictions on development in the catchment radius.

Criticism of withdrawal

Environmentalists have said that these reservoirs are still an important water source for the city.

The Murugavani National Park between the twin reservoirs and the entire area acts as a heat absorption unit for the city and if that is allowed to get concretised, the city would become a furnace.


Exercise NATPOLREX

News

Defence Secretary has inaugurated the 8th edition of the two-day National Level Pollution Response Exercise, ‘NATPOLREX-VIII’.

About Exercise NATPOLREX

Conducted by: Indian Coast Guard(ICG).

Purpose: It is a marine spill preparedness exercise.

Objective: To enhance the preparedness and response capability of all the stakeholders in combating marine spills.

– To validate the procedures and guidelines as contained in the National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOSDCP) at the national and regional levels under the aegis of South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme(SACEP).

During the exercise, various components of NOSDCP were invoked to validate and improve the contingency plans and evaluate the preparedness of the resource agencies as well as stakeholders to meet any marine spill disaster at sea.


UGC’s Dual Degree Programme

News

The University Grants Commission(UGC) has issued guidelines to allow students to pursue two academic programmes simultaneously at higher education institutes recognised by it or statutory councils or the Government of India.

About the UGC Dual Degree Programme

The UGC Dual Degree Programmes allow students to pursue two physical degrees from two different universities or institutions at the same time.

Aim: The rationale behind the decision is to help students gain diverse skills. It is also aimed at translating the New Education Policy(NEP) vision of breaking down interdisciplinary separations.

Applicability of the Programme

The Dual Degree Programme will be allowed for physical degrees, online degrees and even diploma programmes. It will be applicable for all academic programmes other than PhD.

But the students cannot claim the retrospective benefits of the programme.

Moreover, the time schedule for classes and other academic activities for both degree programmes do not clash with each other.

This means that if a student is pursuing B.Tech from IIT Delhi in the morning or regular session, he can opt for a BA in Sanskrit from Delhi University, provided it is offered in the evening session.

Challenges associated with Dual Degree Programme

Increase Burden on Universities: This decision will increase the load on universities. It also doesn’t increase the number of students enrolling in universities because the same student will study two courses. So, the gross enrolment ratio [GER] in higher education will not go up.

– Note: According to the All India Survey on Higher Education(AISHE) 2019-20, GER for higher education is at 27.1%. The NEP has set the target of raising this to 50% by 2035.

More Demand for Teachers: It will also lead to a demand for more teachers in universities when thousands of vacancies for current needs haven’t been filled.


Kanya CRISP-M tool

News

The Union Minister of Rural Development has launched the Climate Resilience Information System and Planning (CRISP-M) tool.

About the CRISP-M tool

CRISP-M is a web and mobile phone-based Geographic Information System(GIS) aided tool that has been designed to help communities make climate-smart decisions.

The tool will help integrate climate information in the GIS-based planning and implementation of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA.

This tool will be used in seven states where the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Government of UK and Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India are jointly working towards climate resilience.

The states are Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Rajasthan.


Earth shot Prize

News

Delhi-based company Takachar is one among five winners of the first-ever Earth shot Prize, also called “Eco Oscar”. They won the prize in the “Clean Our Air” category for their technology to create fuel, fertiliser and other speciality chemicals from agricultural waste.

About the Earth shot Prize

Earthshot Prize is also called the “Eco Oscars”. It is an award set up by Prince William and the Royal Foundation.

Objective: To honour five finalists between 2021 and 2030 for developing solutions to fight the climate crisis.

The prize is inspired by US President John F Kennedy’s “Moonshot” programme, which resulted in the US Apollo lunar launches and the first man setting foot on the Moon in 1969.

Categories: The year 2021 was the first year when awards were handed out to five finalists for their contributions towards the five UN Sustainable Development Goals — restoration and protection of nature, air cleanliness, ocean revival, waste-free living and climate action.

Prize Money: The winner will receive prize money of £1 million. Each winner will also receive a global platform and prestigious profile, with their stories being showcased over the decade with the ambition that their solutions lead to mass adoption, replication and scaling.


Ayush Van

News

Union Minister of AYUSH has inaugurated Ayush Van.

About Ayush Van

Ayush Van is a dedicated forest for Ayurvedic plants. It is located at the Deendayal Port Trust (DPT) in Kutch, Gujarat.

The Ayush Van was set up in 30 acres of land allotted by DPT in a green-belt area The tree plantation is done to improve greenery in urban areas and increase the density of tree cover in the Kutch region.

The Ayush Van will help to realise the huge potential and benefits of the medicinal plants in India.


SAKSHAM Centres

News

As part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, a total of 152 Centre for Financial Literacy & Service Delivery (SAKSHAM) Centres have been launched under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) of the Ministry of Rural Development.

About SAKSHAM Centres

SAKSHAM Centres are also known as Centre for Financial Literacy & Service Delivery. They are a one-stop solution/single window system for the basic financial needs of Self-Help Group (SHG) households in rural areas.

Objective: To provide financial literacy & facilitate delivery of financial services (savings, credit, insurance, pensions etc) to SHG members and rural poor.

Managed by: These Centers will be managed by the SHG network, largely at the level of the Cluster Level Federations (CLFs) with the help of trained Community Resource Persons(CRPs).

Training of CRPs: These CRPs will be provided residential training at Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs) established by the Lead Bank of the district.

About SAKSHAM App

The SAKSHAM is a mobile & web-based application launched by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD).

Purpose: The app will be used by the community resource person of the Centre to know the penetration of various financial services for each SHG & village, identify major gaps and accordingly provide training and deliver the required financial services.

The application will also measure the impact of the programme on regular intervals for mid-course correction in strategy if any.


National Fund to Control Drug Abuse

News

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has recently recommended that the National Fund to Control Drug Abuse be used to carry out de-addiction programmes, rather than just policing activities.

About the National Fund to Control Drug Abuse

The National Fund to Control Drug Abuse was created in accordance with a provision of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

Purpose: The Act states that the fund would be used to combat illicit trafficking of narcotics, rehabilitate addicts and prevent drug abuse.

Funding: Under the NDPS Act, the sale proceeds of any property forfeited, grants made by any person and institution and income from the investments of the fund go towards the fund.

Data on Usage of Drugs

According to World Drug Report 2021, around 275 million people used drugs worldwide last year, while over 36 million people suffered from drug use disorders. Opioids continue to account for the largest burden of disease attributed to drug use.

In India, the number of drug users is in the crores. According to the Social Justice Ministry report on the magnitude of substance use in 2019, there were 3.1 crore cannabis users (of which 25 lakh were dependent users) and 2.3 crore opioid users (of which 28 lakh were dependent users).


AI Pe Charcha (AI Dialogue)

News

National e Governance Division(NeGD) of the Ministry of Electronics and IT is organising AI Pe Charcha (AI Dialogue).

About AI Pe Charcha (AI Dialogue)

AI Pe Charcha is a series of panel discussions involving various global and domestic leaders from the Government and industry, researchers and academicians sharing their views & experiences and challenges around Artificial Intelligence.

Theme: AI for Date Driven Governance.

About the National e-Governance Division

National e-Governance Division was created in 2009 by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology as an Independent Business Division under the Digital India Corporation.

Mandate: To support the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology in Programme Management and implementation of e-Governance projects and initiatives undertaken by Ministries/ Departments, both at the Central and State levels.

About Digital India Corporation

Digital India Corporation is a not for profit company set up by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) under Section 8 of Companies Act 2013.

Purpose: It provides strategic support to Ministries/ States for carrying forward the mission of Digital India by way of Capacity Building for e-Governance projects, promoting best practises, etc.


Bharat series (BH-series) vehicle registration system

News

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has notified Bharat series of “BH” series of registration to ensure seamless transfer of vehicles across states.

About the Existing system
  1. Currently, under Section 47 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, a vehicle can reside in another state with the same registration for 12 months during which it has to be re-registered in the new state.
  2. To get re-registered, the vehicle has to first get a No Objection Certificate(NOC) from the state where the vehicle is currently registered.
  3. Moreover, when one had earlier bought and registered a new personal vehicle in the parent state, the state had charged the road tax up front for the whole registered life of the vehicle, which is 15 years.
  4. But when this same vehicle relocates to another state after say five years, the parent state has to refund the remaining 10 years of road tax it has already received. This provision to get a refund from the parent state is a very cumbersome process and varies from one state to another.
About the BH Series

BH number series is a newly introduced number series for vehicle registration across India. It is specifically meant for those vehicle owners who shift from one state to another on a regular basis due to their transferable nature of jobs.

The BH signifies Bharat and will replace the state letters in the number plate denoting the state of vehicle registration, like UP or DL.

Eligible condition to apply for BH Series
  1. The vehicle registration facility under the ‘BH’ series will be available to defence personnel, employees of Central government, state governments, Central/State PSUs
  2. Further, individuals working in private sector companies/organisations, which have their offices in five or more states/Union Territories can also avail of this registration.

As the employees in these services have a transferable job, moving from one state to another every 2-3 years.

Difference between BH series and the existing system
  1. The new system amends Rule 47 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989. It now says that vehicles bearing the BH registration mark will not require to be re-registered in a new state once it relocates.
  2. Moreover, vehicles registered under the BH system will be levied road tax for two years and in multiple of two thereafter, instead of the owner paying for the whole amount of 15 years’ worth of road tax upfront. This frees the owner from having to seek a refund before or after relocation because the tax has not been prepaid.

President’s Colour

News

The President of India awarded the President’s Colour to Indian Naval Aviation at the ceremonial parade to be held at INS Hansa, Goa.

About President’s Colour

President’s Colour is the highest honour bestowed on a military unit in recognition of its exceptional service to the nation.

The Indian Navy was the first amongst the Indian Armed Forces to be awarded the President’s Colour in 1951.

Subsequent recipients of the President’s Colour in the Navy include Southern Naval Command, Eastern Naval Command, Western Naval Command, Eastern Fleet, Western Fleet, Submarine Arm, INS Shivaji and the Indian Naval Academy.

About Naval Aviation

Indian Naval Aviation came into existence in 1951, with the acquisition of the first Sealand aircraft, and commissioning of INS Garuda, the first Naval Air Station in 1953.

Currently, Indian Naval Aviation has nine air stations and three naval air enclaves along the Indian coastline and in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.


Karbi Anglong Agreement

News

The Government of India has signed a tripartite Karbi Anglong agreement with five insurgent groups to put an end to years of violence and bring peace and prosperity in the state of Assam.

About Karbi Anglong

Karbi Anglong is the largest district in Assam. The district is administered by Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council according to the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India.

The district comprises various tribal and ethnic groups including the Kukis, Dimasas, Garos, Rengma Nagas, Tiwas and Karbis.

This diversity also led to different outfits and fuelled an insurgency that did not allow the region to develop. This agreement hopes to set aside the insurgency.

Key Features of the Karbi Anglong Agreement

Under the agreement, 5 militant organizations laid down arms and more than 1000 of their armed cadres have given up violence and joined the mainstream society in February 2021.

Development Package: A special development package of ₹1000 crore will be allocated over five years by the Central Government and the Assam Government to take up special projects for the development of Karbi areas.

Greater Autonomy: This agreement will transfer as much autonomy as possible in exercising their rights to the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, without affecting the territorial and administrative integrity of Assam.

Protection of Culture: This agreement will ensure the protection of the culture, identity, language, etc. of the Karbi people and all-round development of the region.

Karbi Welfare Council: The Government of Assam will set up a Karbi Welfare Council to focus on the development of the Karbi people living outside the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council area.

Finance: The Consolidated Fund of the State will be amended to meet the resources of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council.


Naga peace process

News

Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi resigned as interlocutor for the Naga peace talks. The government is understood to be unhappy over the handling of the Naga peace process by Ravi over the past year and a half, during which time he disagreed openly with the insurgent group NSCN(IM).

Naga sources have said the NSCN(IM) views Ravi’s removal as Governor of Nagaland and interlocutor as a victory.

About the Naga peace process

It refers to ongoing talks between the Indian government and Naga insurgent groups, in particular the NSCN(IM), since 1997 with the aim to sign a Naga Peace Accord.

  • The Naga Peace accord was signed in 2015 between the Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland(Isak-Muivah).
  • The content of the agreement has not been disclosed but it contains the broad principles that would guide the future deliberations between the Government of India and NSCN(IM).
  • The agreement recognises the uniqueness of Naga history and culture by the Indian Government.
Rise of Naga nationalism

The British had annexed Assam in 1826, in which they subsequently created the Naga Hills district and went on to extend its boundaries.

The assertion of Naga nationalism, which began during British rule, has continued after Independence, and even after Nagaland became a state.

Along the way, the unresolved issues gave rise to decades of insurgency that claimed thousands of lives, including of civilians.

About NSCN(IM)

The NSCN-IM is an insurgent group of Nagas operating in Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh.

Its objective is to establish Greater Nagaland (Nagalim) consisting of all Naga inhabited areas in Northeast India

NSCN-IM has also demanded a separate flag and constitution for the Nagas.

About the Government’s stand

The Centre has ruled out any disintegration of the States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur in order to merge the Naga-inhabited areas with the existing State of Nagaland.

The Central government has also ruled out a separate flag and Constitution for the Nagas.


Left Wing Extremism

News

The Union Minister of Home Affairs chaired a review meeting on Left Wing Extremism in New Delhi.

About Left Wing Extremism

LWE organizations are the groups that try to bring change through violent revolution. They are against democratic institutions and use violence to subvert the democratic processes at the ground level.

These groups prevent the developmental processes in the least developed regions of the country & try to misguide the people by keeping them ignorant of current happenings.

Incidents of Left Wing Extremism at present
LWE incidents
Source: PIB

The incidents of Left Wing Extremism has come down by 70% from an all-time high of 2258 in 2009 to 665 in 2020.

The resultant deaths have also come down by 82% from an all-time high of 1005 in 2010 to 183 in 2020.

The area under Maoist’s influence was also restricted with the geographical spread shrunk from 96 in 2010 to just 53 districts in 2020.

About the government initiatives taken to curb Left Wing Extremism

The National Policy and Action Plan was launched in 2015 to address the Left Wing Extremism (LWE). The significant features of the policy are zero tolerance towards violence coupled with a big push to developmental activities, so that benefits of development reach the poor and vulnerable in the affected areas.

Operation ‘SAMADHAN’: It is the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)’s initiative to deal with the Naxal problem. The acronym SAMADHAN stands for Smart leadership, Aggressive strategy, Motivation and training, Actionable Intelligence, Dashboard Based KPIs (key performance indicators) and KRAs (key result areas), harnessing technology, action plan for each theater, and No access to financing.

Development Initiatives in Left Wing Extremism Areas

Special Central Assistance (SCA): for filling critical gaps in public infrastructure and services of emergent nature.

Road Connectivity Project for construction of 5,412 km roads.

New Mobile Towers have been installed, and 2542 additional towers will be installed in the next 18 months

Opening of Schools: For imparting quality education to the youth in areas affected by LWE, special focus is given to the opening of Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS).

Financial inclusion- for ensuring the presence of banking facilities within 5 km to all citizens residing in LWE affected areas.


National Single Window System (NSWS)

News

The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry has launched the National Single Window System (NSWS) for investors and businesses.

About the National Single Window System (NSWS)

National Single Window System is a one-stop digital platform that aims at allowing investors to apply for various pre-operations approvals required for commencing a business in the country.

The system aims to make the business registration process easier, allowing the beneficiary to get significant approvals online, without having to run to the government offices for approvals and can avail themselves of services with just a click.

Currently, the platform hosts approvals across 18 Central Departments & 9 States. Another 14 Central depts & 5 states will be added by December 2021.

Services offered by NCWS

Know Your Approval (KYA) Service: This feature generates a list of approvals that must be obtained before a business may begin operations. It does it by asking the investor a series of questions about their anticipated business operations, and then determining which permissions are required based on the answers.

Common Registration Form: Unified information capturing system and a universal registration form has been intended to guarantee a single point of submission of information and documents across Ministries and States.

State registration form: It allows investors to access the corresponding State Single Window System with a single click.

Applicant dashboard: Provides a single online interface to apply, track and respond to the queries pertaining to approvals and registrations across ministries and States.

Document repository: An online centralized storage service for investors to enable one-time document submission and use the same across multiple approvals. This eliminates the need to submit documents at multiple portals.

E-Communication module: It enables online response to queries and clarification requests related to applications by Ministries and States.


Elder Line

News

The government of India has launched the first pan-India toll-free helpline–14567–for senior citizens called the ‘Elder Line’.

About the Elder Line

Elder Line is the first pan-India toll-free helpline–14567–for senior citizens.

Aim: To provide free information and guidance on pension and legal issues, extend emotional support and intervene in cases of abuse.

The intent is basically to provide senior citizens or their well-wishers with one platform to connect and share their concerns, get information and guidance on problems that they face on a day-to-day basis without having to struggle for it.

Launched by: Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.

Technical support: Tata Trusts and National Stock Exchange (NSE) Foundation.

Reason for launching Elderline

India is expected to have nearly 20% elderly population, i.e. over 300 million senior citizens by 2050. This is significant as many countries have a population less than this number.

This age group faces various mental, emotional, financial, legal and physical challenges, and the pandemic has further exacerbated it.

Hence, taking cognisance of the growing need to support the elderlies in the country, the Government of India has launched the Elder Line.


 

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