GS PAPER - 02 GOVERNANCE - Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Ministry of Defence has awarded Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE)contract to build eight Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Crafts (ASWSWCs) for Indian Navy.
Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Crafts (ASWSWCs) :
These are designed for a deep displacement of 750 tons, speed of 25 knots and complement of 57 and capable of full-scale sub surface surveillance of coastal waters, SAU and Coordinated ASW operations with Aircraft.
In addition, the vessels shall have the capability to interdict/ destroy sub surface targets in coastal waters.
These can also be deployed for Search and Rescue by day and night in coastal areas. In their secondary role, these will be capable to prosecute intruding aircraft, and lay mines in the sea bed.
The vessels are equipped with highly advanced state-of-the-art integrated platform management systems including Propulsion Machinery, Auxiliary Machinery, Power Generation and Distribution Machinery and Damage Control Machinery, etc.
These warships will be built as per Classification Society Rules and Naval Ship Regulations and will conform to latest Marine Pollution Standards of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).
The design and construction of these ships at GRSE is another significant milestone in the ‘Make In India’ Initiative of the Government of India.
Seminar on ‘Use of Technical Textiles in Water Resources Works’
GS PAPER - 03 science and technology - Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
One day Technical Seminar was organized by Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation on “Use of Technical Textiles in Water Resources Works”.
Technical Textile :
A technical textile is a textile product manufactured for non-aesthetic purposes, where function is the primary criterion.
Technical textiles include
Textiles for automotive applications, medical textiles (e.g., implants)
Geotextiles (reinforcement of embankments)
Agro-textiles (textiles for crop protection)
And protective clothing (e.g., heat and radiation protection for fire fighter clothing molten metal protection for welders, stab protection and bulletproof vests, and spacesuits).
Technical Textiles are being used globally for last several decades.
These materials have provided innovative engineering solutions for several applications in civil and geotechnical engineering, for infrastructure water resources projects.
Even while Technical Textiles have been extensively used in developed as well as many developing countries, India has yet to capitalise the technical, economic and environmental benefits on large scale.
Various parts of India are subjected to floods and environmental degradation.
In some of the terrains, the flood management and control can rely on Technical Textiles tubes, containers and bags.
Technical Textiles have been found to perform better than concrete as water protection component because of permeability, flexibility and ease of underwater placement.
Respond to plea on EVMs and VVPATs, SC tells EC
GS PAPER - 02 GOVERNANCE - Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Election Commission of India and the Union of India on a petition seeking decriminalising the act of reporting of deviant behavior or malfunctioning of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail on the ground that holding voters liable for pointing out any defect in the machine is against their Right of Expression.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took note of the plea, which alleged that Rule 49MA of 'The Conduct of Elections Rules' was unconstitutional as it criminalizes reporting of malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails.
The plea alleged that putting the onus on the elector in cases of arbitrary deviant behaviour of machines used in election process, infringes upon a citizen's right to freedom of expression under the Constitution.
Concerns about Rule 49MA of the Conduct of Elections Rules:
The Election Commission(EC) in his response has defended strict punishment and penalty for questioning Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT).It said that Section 49MA is necessary to ensure that mischievous elements do not make false complaints that may hinder the electoral process.
According to Section 49MA of the Code of Election Rules,1961 if a person files a complaint regarding discrepancy in the EVM and if after investigation it is found to be false or incorrect,then the complainant can be prosecuted under Section 177 of the Indian Penal Code for furnishing false information.This section invites six months in jail or a fine of Rs 1,000 or both.
The petitioner in its plea had said that Section 49MA was unconstitutional as it criminalised reporting of malfunctioning of EVM or VVPATs.The plea contended that the onus of proving an allegation cannot be on a voter when machines used for voting showed deviant behaviour.
Further,the petitioner had also said that Section 49 MA deters people from coming forth to complain.The rule infringes upon a citizen’s right to freedom of expression which is a fundamental right of free expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.
Source :- Business Standard
China spends 4 times more than India on defence:Sipri
GS PAPER - 02 INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS - India and its neighborhood- relations.
According to a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute(SIPRI),World's military expenditure increased by 2.6 per cent, reaching $1822 billion in 2018 with India along with United States, China, Saudi Arabia and France contributing 60 per cent of the amount
Key Highlights :
India was the world’s fourth biggest military spender in 2018 behind the United States,China and Saudi Arabia.
India's military spending went up by 3.1 per cent to $66.5 billion while Pakistan's grew by 11 percent to reach $11.4 billion.
The US, of course, is the world’s largest spender on defence, with a military expenditure almost equal to the next eight countries combined.
Further,the report shows that China’s expenditure is much greater than the collective expenditure of India,Japan,South Korea,and Australia.
China’s military expenditure has increased for the 24th consecutive year and its spending in 2018 was almost 10 times higher than that in 1994.
Source :- Times Of India
Drug resistant diseases could kill 10 million a year by 2050
GS PAPER - 02 GOVERNANCE - Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health
A Report released by the UN Ad Hoc Interagency Coordinating Group on Antimicrobial Resistance, has said that drug-resistant diseases could cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050
Key Highlights :
The report states that, by 2030, antimicrobial resistance could force up to 24 million people into extreme poverty.
Currently, at least 7,00,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant diseases, including 2,30,000 people who die from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
It also noted that more and more common diseases, including respiratory tract infections, sexually transmitted infections and urinary tract infections, are becoming untreatable; lifesaving medical procedures are becoming riskier, and food systems are getting increasingly precarious.
Governments should prioritise national action plans to scale-up financing and capacity-building efforts, put in place stronger regulatory systems,
Countries must put in place stronger regulatory systems and support awareness programs for responsible and prudent use of antimicrobials by professionals in human, animal and plant health and invest in ambitious research and development for new technologies to combat antimicrobial resistance.
Source :- The Hindu
Committee constituted to oversee clean air programme
GS PAPER - 03 ENVIRONMENT - Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has constituted a committee to implement the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
The committee will be chaired by the Secretary, Union Environment Ministry and has among its members the Joint Secretary (Thermal), Ministry of Power; Director-General, The Energy Resources Institute (TERI), the Delhi-based think-tank; and Professor Sachidananda Tripathi, Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K).
The NCAP unveiled in January is envisaged as a scheme to provide the States and the Centre with a framework to combat air pollution.
The committee would be headquartered in New Delhi
inter-ministerial organisation and cooperation
sharing information and resolving issues that could arise between ministries,
Give overall guidance and directions to effectively implement the programmes.
The NCAP is envisioned as a five-year action plan with 2019 as the first year. There would be a review every five years.
The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) database on air pollution over the years has listed Tier I and Tier II Indian cities as some of the most polluted places in the world.
In 2018, 14 of the world’s 15 most polluted cities were in India.
National Clean Air Programme (NCAP):
In 2019, National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) has been launched for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution in India
This is the first ever effort in the country to frame a national framework for air quality management with a time-bound reduction target.
The programme will not be notified under the Environment Protection Act or any other Act to create a firm mandate with a strong legal back up for cities and regions to implement NCAP in a time bound manner for effective reduction.
Goal of NCAP is to meet the prescribed annual average ambient air quality standards at all locations in the country in a stipulated time frame.
The tentative national level target of 20%–30% reduction of PM2.5 and PM10 concentration by 2024 is proposed under theNCAP taking 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration.
To augment and evolve effective and proficient ambient air quality monitoring network across the country for ensuring comprehensive and reliable database
To have efficient data dissemination and public outreach mechanism for timely measures for prevention and mitigation of air pollution and for inclusive public participation in both planning and implementation of the programmes and policies of government on air pollution
To have feasible management plan for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution.