Daily Current Affairs: 3rd October 2019: The Hindu+PIB
The following compilation has been made keeping in mind the need of the UPSC IAS exam. Each and every topic which has been included in this compilation is taken from very authentic and relevant source including The Hindu, The Indian Express, Business Standard, Press Information Bureau, etc.
As per the evolving pattern of the UPSC IAS prelims and mains exam each and every topic has been handpicked keeping in mind the syllabus of the exam.
STATION CLEANLINESS SURVEY REPORT
Context: ‘Stations’ Cleanliness Survey Report’ (Cleanliness assessment of Non-suburban and Suburban Stations 2019) has been released by Ministry of Railways and Commerce & Industry.
|Station Cleanliness Survey Report|
Indian Railways have been conducting the 3rd party audit and cleanliness ranking of 407 major stations annually since 2016. This year the survey was expanded to include 720 stations and suburban stations were also included for the first time. Key Highlights of the Report
- The Report positioned top 3 cleanest railways stations from the Western state of Rajasthan.
- Every Station in the Survey are ranked out of a total score of 1000 with each component of Report namely, Process Evaluation, Direct Observation, Citizen Feedback – weighing the 33.33% of the total score.
- In this Cleanliness Survey Report, JAIPUR (score 931.75) ranked on top, followed by Jodhpur (score 927.19) and Durgapura Stations (score 922.50) at 2nd and 3rd positions respectively.
- The top three railway zones in the Survey Report are North Western Railway (score 848.764) followed by South East Central Railway and East Central Railway.
- North Central Railways scored the least with an average score of 631.431.
COMPENSATION ON DELAY: TEJAS EXPRESS
Context: For the first time, passengers who are travelling on the Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express, which will not be operated directly by the Railways, will get compensation for delays. This is the first of its kind offer from any national carrier. For a delay of more than an hour, Rs. 100 will be paid while Rs. 250 will be paid for delay of more than 2 hours.
The above compensation is in addition to the free insurance of Rs. 25-lakh that will be given to passengers of the train. The train is planned to be flagged off on 4th October 2019. However, this practice is not new globally, several countries over the globe compensate passengers for delays – some do so as monetary compensation and some in kind. For example,
- In Japan and Paris, a delay certificate is issued to passengers by railway companies as a proof that a train arrived at a station later than stated in the timetable. The document can be shown in schools or offices for late admission at university exams. The certificate is issued when delays as little as 5 minutes occur.
- In United Kingdom, rail passengers are entitled to get automatic compensation for delayed journeys.
About Tejas Express
- It is India’s first semi-high speed fully air-conditioned train which has been introduced by Indian Railways.
- It was for the first time was run from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus to Karmali, Goa in 2017.
- In March 2019, 2nd edition of Tejas Express of the country was flagged off between Chennai Egmore and Madurai Junction by PM Modi.
- Now, the new Tejas Express will run on New Delhi-Lucknow route for 6 days a week.
Monsoon Mission Coupled Forecast Model (CFS)
Context: An analysis suggests that new monsoon models, known as the Monsoon Mission Coupled Forecast Model (CFS), deployed by the IMD over the last decade don’t performed better than the older ones in long-range forecasting.
|source: The Hindu|
- This year, India ended up with 10% more monsoon rain (or 110% of the long period average LPA of 887 mm) than usual. But, no monsoon models who were tuned to capture long term forecast warned of this unusually high rains.
- It was predicted by the IMD’s workhorse statistical models that All India Monsoon Rainfall (June-September) would be 96% of the LPA while the CFS model said the monsoon would be 94% of the normal and later updated to 99% in August.
What are dynamic models?
- Dynamical models which have failed in the long term prediction employs a very different approach to forecasting the monsoon. Roughly, the model relies on capturing the interactions between the land, ocean and atmosphere and tracking how the changes in each affect the other.
- A mathematical simulation is done on supercomputers for the state of land, atmosphere and ocean at a particulate time, generally March and then these are extrapolated into the monsoon months.
- These dynamical models are also called the Climate Forecast Model (CFS) and has been developed based on a climate model developed by the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), U.S. and it has been implemented on the Prithvi High Performance Computers (HPC) at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune.
How IMD forecasts rainfall? IMD forecasts the category of rainfall, irrespective of country, region or month, the forecast is based on the standardized figures calculated for a period of 50 years. As per the outputs obtained from the weather models, the rainfall is categorised as normal, below normal, or above normal. Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) maintains 5 rainfall distribution categories on an all-India scale. These includes:
- Normal or Near Normal: When % departure of actual rainfall is +/-10% of LPA, that is, between 96-104% of LPA.
- Below normal: When departure of actual rainfall is less than 10% of LPA, that is 90-96% of LPA
- Above normal: When actual rainfall is 104-110% of LPA
- Deficient: When departure of actual rainfall is less than 90% of LPA
- Excess: When departure of actual rainfall is more than 110%.
Also, IMD maintains an independent LPA for every homogenous region of the country. They range from 71.6 cm to 143.83 cm. The region-wise LPA figures when averaged comes out to be an all-India figure of 88.75 cm. The region-wise figures includes:
- 83 cm for East and Northeast India
- 55 cm for Central India
- 61 cm for South Peninsular India
- 50 cm for Northwest India
The monthly LPA figures for the season are: 36 cm for June; 92 cm for July; 13 cm for August and 34 cm for September.
CARBON EMERGENCY ON EARTH
Context: Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO), a 10-year programme at the US National Academy of Sciences, has released a series of papers which estimates the total amount of carbon on Earth. Indicating towards a human induced carbon emergency, the programme includes an analysis of the total carbon dioxide which is released by volcanoes (which are often viewed as a possible main contributor to such emissions) but which, it turns out, contribute much less than human activities.
|Source: Deep Carbon Observatory|
The analysis put up the naturally carbon emissions through volcanic activities other magmatically active regions is estimated at 280 to 360 million tonnes a year, including those also that are released into the oceans from mid-ocean ridges. But according to the DCO’s report, humanity’s annual carbon emissions which is released as a result of the burning of fossil fuels and forests, etc, are 40 to 100 times greater than those released from all volcanic emissions. DCO also pointed out that 1/500th of Earth’s total carbon i.e., 43,500 gigatonnes is above surface in the oceans, on land, and in the atmosphere while the rest is subsurface which sums up to 1.85 billion Gt in all.
RURAL INDIA IS NOW OPEN DEFECATION FREE – PM Modi
Context: PM Modi while addressing Swachh Bharat Diwas programme in Ahmedabad has pointed that Rural India has declared itself open defecation free. According to the PM Modi’s statement, more than 60 crore people were provided with 11 crore toilets in a record of 60 months. What is the criteria for a village to be declared as Open Defecation Free? Under PM Modi’s Swachch Bharat Mission – Grameen, a village is declared Open Defecation Free when:
- There are no visible faeces in the village;
- Every household as well as public/community institution uses safe technology options for disposal of the faecal material.
A verification of the ODF status of such a village is required to be carried out after a village declares itself ODF. This verification process includes access to a toilet facility and its usage, and safe disposal of faecal matter through septic tanks. About Swachch Bharat Mission In order to accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage and to put focus on sanitation, the Prime Minister of India launched the Swachh Bharat Mission on 2nd October, 2014. The Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jalshakti is the Mission Coordinator for SBM with two Sub-Missions, the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) and the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban). Combined together, they aim to achieve Swachh Bharat by 2019, as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th Birth Anniversary. What does it mean for Rural India? In Rural India, this would mean improving the levels of cleanliness through Solid and Liquid Waste Management activities and making villages Open Defecation Free (ODF), clean and sanitized.
National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)
Context: The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has issued a 15-point directive, in order to prevent the immersion of idols in the Ganga or its tributaries during festivals, including Dussehra, Diwali, Chhath and Saraswati Puja. Key Highlights of the 15-point directive
- The 15-point directive has been issued to chief secretaries in 11 Ganga basin states which includes Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Rajasthan.
- The directive have been issued under Section 5 of The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
- According to the directive there will be a complete ban on the immersion of idols and disposal of puja material in Ganga and its tributaries.
- If found violating above directions, a person would be fined with Rs 50,000 as environment compensation which would be levied, collected and deposited with State Pollution Control Boards.
- Also, there would be provision for adequate alternative arrangements in an environmental-friendly manner that would be made for designated idol-immersion sites within the municipal area or bank of river Ganga and its tributaries by constructing temporary confined ponds.
- Further, all the concerned state government, authority, board or corporation will ensure as per the directive that there is no use of synthetic material/ non-biodegradable material, Plaster of Paris (POP), baked clay, resin fibers and thermocol for making of idols. Besides, there should be a strict ban on the use of toxic and non-biodegradable chemical dyes or synthetic paints for painting of idols.
What was the need of such a directive? The very large-scale immersion of idols and puja material in the Ganga and its tributaries during festive occasions, such as Ganesh Chaturthi, Vishwakarma Puja, Durga Puja, Diwali, Chhath Puja and Saraswati Puja, has led to an alarming rise in pollutants in the Ganges and its tributaries. A case study which was carried out on the Hooghly river showed that every year at least 15,000 idols of Goddess Durga are immersed in the Hooghly river alone. The study further states that this releases 16.8 tonnes of varnish and garjan oil and 32 tonnes of colours in the water. These colours contain a very good amount of heavy metals like manganese, lead, mercury and chromium. Also, the study found that during Dusshera, oil and grease in the river increased by 0.99 milligram per litre (mg/l) and the concentration of heavy metals increased by 0.104 mg/l.
Bharat 22 ETF
The Further Fund Offer 2 (FFO 2) of Bharat 22 Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF), which is part of the government’s divestment programme, has been opened for subscription. The FFO is open for all those investors which has minimum application amount for retirement funds and qualified institutional buyers in the anchor category pegged at Rs. 10 crore. Bharat 22 is the 2nd Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) that was launched by the Union Finance Ministry in 2017 after the Nifty BeES which was the First ETF launched in December 2001. The Bharat 22 ETF, which is managed by ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company, intends to raise up to Rs 2,000 crore with an option to retain over-subscription. Bharat 22 comprises 22 stocks including those of central public sector enterprises (CPSEs), PSU banks and holdings under the Specified Undertaking of Unit Trust of India. Bharat 22 is a well diversified ETF spanning six sectors
- Basic materials (4.4%)
- Energy (18.1%)
- Financial (21.1%)
- Industries (21.8%)
- FMCG (14.3%)
- Utilities (20.9%)
Delhi-NCR students create two Guinness records
The records has been made in connection with the environmental protection on occasion of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatama Gandhi. The first record was in the category of ‘environmental sustainability lessons to the largest number of students at one place’ wherein close to 5,000 children participated The second record is of ‘the largest number of assembly and lighting of solar lamps’ in which more than 5,000 students took part.
Inter-State portability for ration cards
An inter-State portability for ration cards has been launched for Rajasthan and Haryana to facilitate the distribution of foodgrains to beneficiaries of the National Food Security scheme. The major beneficiary from the Scheme includes will be the labourers in the unorganised sector, who migrates from one State to the other in search of work. The beneficiaries would be able to purchase their quota of wheat from the fair price shops in either of the States on one ration card. The scheme will later be expanded to cover essential commodities in addition to wheat. The new system was launched on a trial basis in Ramchandrapura village of Neemrana block in Rajasthan’s Alwar district and Subhaseri village in Haryana’s Rewari district.
NH 766 is a major highway between Karnataka and Kerala that passes through the Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka. The highway is in news following the series of protests against a ban on night traffic on the forest stretch of NH 766. The highway was declared a national highway in 1989, then named NH 212, and later renamed NH 766. Although the night ban was first enforced almost a decade ago, the immediate trigger for the current agitation was a recent SC direction to the Ministry of Environment and the NHAI to suggest alternative routes so that NH 766 could be shut down permanently. The directive passed by Supreme Court was in line with increasing number of animals being hit by vehicles at night. Night traffic also affected behaviour biology such as breeding and parental care of animals, disrupt their life cycle and make them stray to human habitats.