Daily Current Affairs: 12th September 2019: The Hindu+PIB
India’s Tallest Air Traffic Control Tower
Context: India’s tallest Air Traffic Control tower was inaugurated at the Indira Gandhi International Airport which will ensure up-scaled services and systems for efficient, smooth and uninterrupted air traffic management.
Apart from above, a number of other initiatives has been taken by the Ministry of Civil Aviation in the past 100 days in the direction of enabling affordable flying and healthy aviation sector growth. These includes:
- The airports of Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru have been awarded to a private grant provider through Public Private Partnership (PPP) in order to bring efficiency in delivery, expertise, enterprise and professionalism in the public sector.
- ‘Aviation Jobs’ which is a unique web-based portal launched by Ministry of Civil Aviation in late August this year, seeks to bring together job seekers and prospective employers in the Indian civil aviation sector. It acts as a common platform that enables candidates to register their job interests across various sub-sectors.
- Apart from above functionalities, it also facilitates sourcing of information about candidates available in the market by prospective employers with a motive to improve prospects for employment or re-employment in the civil aviation ecosystem.
- Also, 34 routes have been operationalized and awarded under round 1, 2 and 3of the Tourism Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS). The connectivities provided by this RCS will include:
- 4 unserved (Jharsuguda, Mysore, Kolhapur and Jalgaon) and 4 underserved (Gwalior, Belgaum, Durgapur and Shillong) airports which will be connecting 10 served (Raipur, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Goa, Kochi, Rajahmundry and Vizag) airports under the scheme.
What are the initiatives under the Digital India Scheme?
As part of the Digital initiatives, the Ministry has taken up the following steps:
- eDGCA project: The project has been conceptualized to completely automate the processes and functions of DGCA and its constituent directorates as well as to provide a strong base for IT infrastructure and service delivery framework.
- DigiSky: It is an online portal that regulate the entire group of activities relating to governance and operation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS)/Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAVs)/drones has been made operational.
- E-Sahaj: It is a online portal on which 100% of security clearances pertaining to the Ministry have been made online. The portal has been launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The portal is operational for granting clearances in respect of 24 categories.
- DigiYatra Trial: It is for rollout of DigiYatra initiative and has been started at Bangalore and Hyderabad airports. The initiative provides the hassle free passenger travel using biometric technologies to improve passenger experience, reduce queue waiting time as passengers can walk through e-gates by using advanced security solutions.
- National Trust managed by Airport Authority of India (AAI) has been created by rationalizing the respective JVs or AAI accounts to pool all the Aviation Security Fee (ASF) previously known as the Passenger Service Fee (PSF) which is charged as part of the passenger fare and was till now collected by the airlines and deposited in an escrow account of respective JVs or AAI account.
Man Portable Antitank Guided Missile (MPATGM)
Context: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested indigenously developed low weight, fire and forget Man Portable Antitank Guided Missile (MPATGM) in the ranges of Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh.
This is the 3rd in the series of successful testing of MPATGM. The missile is incorporated with state-of-the-art Infrared Imaging Seeker along with advanced avionics.
Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile or MPATGM, is an Indian 3rd-generation fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile which is currently under development by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in partnership with Indian defence contractor VEM Technologies Private Limited. The missile is derived from India’s Nag ATGM. The MPATGM is a low weight, fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) which is fitted with a high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead.
What about its previous tests?
First Trial of the MPATGM was successfully carried out by DRDO on September 15, 2018 which was followed by another successful trial of the MPATGM on September 16, 2018. Again on March 13, 2019 DRDO successfully tested the MPATGM in the Rajasthan desert. This was also followed by another successful test next day on March 14, 2019.
Context: The 10th day of the 14th Conference of Parties (COP14) to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) which is currently underway at India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida launched the Drought Tool Box following its theme for 10th Day at UNCCD i.e., SDG-15
What does SDG-15 says?
The SDG-15 refers to: Protecting, restoring and promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
What is Drought Toolbox?
The toolbox so launched is a one-stop shop for all actions on drought. This toolbox acts as a knowledge bank which contains tools that helps in strengthening the ability of countries to anticipate and prepare for drought effectively. This toolbox will also aid countries in mitigating the impact of droughts as well as contains tools that enable communities to anticipate and find the land management tools that help them to build resilience to drought. Background: India is the host country of the ongoing UNCCD COP14 which began from 2nd September, 2019 and will culminate on 13th September 2019. The Conference is expected to agree on about 30 decisions that will help to ramp up and elaborate further actions needed on the ground to ensure that the Convention’s goals for 2018-2030 are achieved. The events included are Youth Forum, a Gender Caucus, a Science Day , a Sand and Dust Storms Day, a Business Day, a Local and Regional Governments Day, the GEF Day , the Land for Life Day and a Drought Day.
Swachhata Hi Seva (SHS) 2019
Context: Swachhata Hi Seva (SHS) 2019, a massive countrywide awareness and mobilization campaign on Swachhata has been launched by PM Modi at Mathura. The launch of SHS was organized jointly by the central Departments of Animal Husbandry and Dairying and Drinking Water and Sanitation and the Government of Uttar Pradesh. SHS 2019 has been launched with a special focus on ‘plastic waste awareness and management’. Swachhata Hi Seva 2019 would see mass awareness generation activities on plastic waste management between 11th September to 1st October, nationwide Shramdaan for plastic waste collection and segregation on 2nd October, and recycling and effective disposal of the collected plastic waste from 3rd October to Diwali, 27th October 2019.
National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)
Context: The 119th meeting of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes was held on 11th September, 2019.
The meeting took place to deliberate the issue of inclusion of UT of Ladakh under Fifth/Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India. The issue was earlier discussed in the 118th Meeting of the Commission held on 27th August, 2019.
Why UT of Ladakh need to be included under Fifth/Sixth Schedule of Indian constitution?
The newly created UT of Ladakh is predominantly a tribal region in the country. The Scheduled Tribe population represent 66.8 % in Leh, 73.35 % in Nubra, 97.05 % in Khalsti, 83.49 % in Kargil, 89.96 % in Sanku and 99.16 % in Zanskar areas of the Ladakh region. According to official records, the region is inhabited by following Scheduled Tribes, namely : Balti; Beda; Bot, Boto; Brokpa, Drokpa, Dard, Shin; Changpa; Garra; Mon and Purigpa. A number of communities including Sunni Muslims in the region, who are not covered by the official records are also claiming for Scheduled Tribe status.
What does the Fifth/Sixth Schedule of Indian Constitution says?
The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution deals with the administration and control of Scheduled Areas as well as of Scheduled Tribes residing in any State other than the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. At present, 10 States namely Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana have Fifth Schedule Areas. The 6th Schedule of the Indian Constitution deals with “Administration of north east states.” The Purpose is to serve as special provision for tribal area in north east States (Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram). These tribal areas are to be administered as autonomous districts.
Ban on e-cigarettes
Context: Centre is set to bring an ordinance to ban e-cigarettes in the country.
The law would make production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution or advertisements of ecigarettes a cognizable offence.
Punishment under the Bill
As per the draft bill, the offence will be punishable with jail up to 1 year or fine up to Rs. 1 lakh or both for first-time offenders, and jail of up to 3 years and fine up to Rs 5 lakh for repeat offenders. The storage of e-cigarettes shall also be punishable with imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to Rs 50,000 or both.
What are e-cigarettes?
It is a handheld battery-powered vaporizer that simulates smoking, including the hand-to-mouth action of smoking, but without burning tobacco. Instead of cigarette smoke, the user inhales an aerosol, commonly called vapor. E-cigarettes typically have a heating element that atomizes a liquid solution called e-liquid. The E-liquids usually contain propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine, flavorings, additives, and differing amounts of contaminants. It is to be noted that India has the 2nd largest number of tobacco users (268 million ) in the world. Out of these at least 12 lakh die every year from tobacco-related diseases.
16th AEM-India Consultations
Recently a meeting has been held at Bangkok for the 16th AEM-India Consultations between Economic ministers from 10 ASEAN Member States and the Ministry of Commerce of India. During the meeting, India and ASEAN agreed to review their FTA in goods to make it more business-friendly and boost economic ties. A joint committee has also been constituted for this purpose. India is the ASEAN’s 6th largest trading partner and 6th largest source of FDI among the ASEAN Dialogue Partners. The India-ASEAN FTA in goods was signed in 2009 and came into force from January 2010. Under the pact, two trading partners set timelines for eliminating duties on the maximum number of goods traded between the two regions.
This new species found by Paleontologists is supposed to be one of the largest flying animals.
Cryodrakon or “cold dragon” is a genus of azhadarchid pterosaur that lived over 77 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period in what is now Canada. It contains a single species, Cryodrakon boreas, which is recovered from the Dinosaur Park Formation (in Alberta, Canada). The species had a wing span of over 10 metres and is believed to be the first pterosaur to be discovered in Canada. Exercise HimVijay The Army is scheduled to conduct a major Exercise ‘HimVijay’ from October in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam with its newly created Integrated Battle Groups (IBG) which involves 15,000 troops. The concept of the Integrated Battle Groups was war gamed and tested by the 9 Corps early this year. The Army is in the process of reorganising its major Corps into the IBGs. Each IBG is tailor made based on Threat, Terrain and Task and resources will be allotted based on the three T’s. They are tailored to mobilise within 12-48 hrs based on their location. MARKET INTERVENTION SCHEME (MIS) The Centre has announced that it will procure apples directly from the growers in Jammu & Kashmir and money will be directly transferred to their accounts. The decision has been taken amidst the mounting losses to apple growers in the Kashmir Valley. NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India) is slated to complete the process by December 15 through state agencies under the Special Market Intervention Price Scheme of Central Government.
- This MIS is implemented by the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation (Government of India). The scheme covers all those agricultural and horticultural commodities for which Minimum Support Price (MSP) are not fixed and are generally perishable in nature.
- Its main objective is to provide remunerative prices to the farmers in case of rise in production and fall in prices.
- Under the Scheme, funds are not allocated to the States. Instead, central share of losses as per the guidelines of MIS is released to the State Govt/UTs, for which MIS has been approved.