5th March | UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS
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5th March Current Affairs MCQs
Swachhta Saarthi Fellowship
Relevance: Government Schemes and Initiatives
Context: The Union Government’s Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor has launched Swachhta Saarthi Fellowship.
About Swachhta Saarthi Fellowship:
- This Fellowship is for the students, community workers, self-help groups and municipal and sanitary workers engaged in tackling the waste management scientifically and sustainably.
- The fellowship is an initiative to empower young innovators in community work of waste management, awareness campaigns, waste surveys, and studies as Swachhta Saarthis and implement actions to reduce waste for a greener planet.
- The fellowship has been launched under the Government’s “Waste to Wealth” Mission. The Waste to Wealth Mission is one of the nine national missions of the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC).
- It is aimed to empower interested students and citizens to continuously engage in their attempts to reduce waste in cities and rural areas, read an official statement.
- The fellowship is open to school students from Class 9 to Class 12 and college students including undergraduate, postgraduate and research students.
- It is also open to citizens working in the community and through SHGs, municipal or sanitary workers working beyond specifications of their job requirement/descriptions.
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Context: Himalayan Serow spotted in Assam for the First Time.
About Himalayan Serow:
- It’s a medium-sized mammal with a large head, thick neck, short limbs, long, mule-like ears, and a coat of dark hair.
- It is considered a flagship species due to its specialized habitat requirements of dense and undisturbed forests.
- Taxonomically, Himalayan Serow is a subspecies of the mainland serow.
- There are several species of serows, and all of them are found in
- The Himalayan serow, or Capricornis sumatraensis that, is restricted to the Himalayan region.
- Himalayan serows are
- Habitat: They inhabit steep hills with rocky slopes, especially limestone regions up to 3,000 m above sea level, and also in hill and mountain forest areas with gentler terrain.
- Distribution: They are known to be found in eastern, central, and western Himalayas, but not in the Trans Himalayan region.
- IUCN status: Vulnerable
- It is listed under Schedule I of The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which provides absolute protection.
Webinar on Harnessing Education, Research and Skill Development
Relevance: Government Schemes and Initiatives
Context: The Prime Minister addressed the Inaugural session of Webinar on Harnessing Education, Research and Skill Development for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
- The webinar was organized jointly by the Ministries/ Departments of Education, Science & Technology, Biotechnology, Earth Sciences, Skill Development, Space, Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals & Petrochemicals, with the department of Higher Education as the nodal Ministry.
- The objective was to brainstorm and discuss ways for effective implementation of Budget provisions regarding education sector, with experts and industry representatives.
India Telecom 2021
Context: Telecom Equipment Export Promotion Council (TEEPC) organised India Telecom 2021.
About India Telecom 2021:
- It is an Exclusive International Business Expo being held virtually under Market Access Initiative Scheme (MAI) of Department of Commerce, Government of India and with support of Department of Telecommunications & Ministry of External Affairs.
- India Telecom 2021 is a platform for convergence of technologies and business exchange.
- This mega event has become ‘a must attend’ mega event for Telecom and IT Stakeholders as it includes strategies and learning that transcend the two most important present day industries having potential of unlocking huge demand of ICT services across multiple domains. It’s the place to network, meet and shape the future.
- This event is of great significance to Indian exporters and has a very high impact. India is a fast-growing telecom market fueled by data growth.
- This local demand is a driver of domestic telecom companies to create innovative, high-quality products and solutions that can serve the needs of both India and emerging markets across the globe. In addition to offering state of the art telecom products and services, Indian companies are open to partner and provide skill development and training to our overseas buyers.
Telecom Equipment Export Promotion Council (TEEPC):
- TEPC has been set up by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Ministry of Communications, Government of India to promote and develop of Export of Telecom Equipment and Services.
- It works under Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communication.
- The council undertakes several activities aimed at exports promotion such as Commissioning of Studies to find potential markets, holding of National/International Seminars and facilitating participation of exporters in various overseas exhibitions.
The council also disseminates trade related data to its members. The council makes various recommendations to the Government for making necessary changes in various policies and
Ease of Living Index (EoLI) 2020 and the Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2020
Context: Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs announced the release of the final rankings of Ease of Living Index (EoLI) 2020 and the Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2020.
More on News:
- Ease of Living Index, 2020:
- Bengaluru emerged as the top performer in the Million+ category.
- Shimla ranked first in Less than Million category.
- Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2020:
- In the Million+ category, Indore has emerged as the highest ranked municipality.
New Delhi Municipal Council ranked first in
About Ease of Living Index, 2020:
- The Ease of Living Index (EoLI) is an assessment tool that evaluates the quality of life and the impact of various initiatives for urban development.
- It provides a comprehensive understanding of participating cities across India based on quality of life, economic-ability of a city, and its sustainability and resilience.
- The assessment also incorporates the residents’ view on the services provided by city administration through a Citizen Perception Survey.
- The EoLI 2020 strengthens its scope by consolidating the framework with the addition of a Citizen Perception Survey in the index, holding a weightage of 30%.
- It examines the outcomes that lead to existing living conditions through pillars of Quality of Life, Economic Ability, Sustainability, spanning across 13 categories of -Education, Health, Housing and Shelter, WASH and SWM, Mobility, Safety and Security, Recreation, Level of Economic Development, Economic Opportunities, Environment, Green Spaces, and Buildings, Energy Consumption, and City Resilience, that account for 70% of the overall outcome.
- The Citizen Perception Survey (CPS) was undertaken to help validate citizens’ experience of their city in terms of service delivery.
- Bhubaneswar had the highest CPS score.
Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2020:
- The Municipal Performance Index (MPI) was launched as an accompaniment to the Ease of Living Index.
- It seeks to examine local government practice in municipalities across areas of services, finance, policy, technology and governance. It seeks to simplify and evaluate the complexities in local governance practice and promote the ethos of transparency and accountability.
- The Municipal Performance Index assessment was also undertaken for the first time in the country.
- Whereas, the Ease of Living Index measures an outcome of the indicator, Municipal Performance Index focuses on the factors that produce those outcomes. The latter serves in determining elements that prevent efficient local governance in service delivery mechanisms, planning, financial systems, and governance practice.
- The Municipal Performance Index is an effort to assess and analyse the performance of Indian municipalities based on their defined set of functions.
- The responsibilities of a municipality span across a range of verticals that include provision of basic pubic services to more complex domains like urban planning.
Turkmenistan Special Forces in India
Context: Turkmenistan Special Forces Commenced Training at Indian Special Forces Training School.
More on News:
- The Indian Special Forces (SF) have over a period earned immense respect and reputation of being one of the finest Special Forces in the world due to its professionalism, operational expertise, and sacrifice.
- Based on a request from the Turkmenistan Special Forces, the Special Forces Training School (SFTS) of the Indian Army, which is a unique institution providing training to the Indian Army’s Special Forces, has commenced training of paratroopers from the Turkmenistan Special Forces.
- Turkmenistan is located in the southwest of the Central Asiaregion.
- It is bordered by Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and the Caspian Sea.
Simlipal Forest Fire
Context: The massive fire has threatened to cause damage to Simlipal Biosphere Reserve.
More on News:
- The Simlipal forest reserve area frequently witnesses forest fires during dry weather conditions.
- A fire which started in the biosphere reserve area in February and has been raging for nearly a week now, was finally brought under control.
Simlipal Biosphere Reserve:
- It is a national park and a tiger reserve situated in
- It lies in the eastern end of the eastern ghat.
- It was formally designated a tiger reserve under Project Tiger in May 1973.
- The Government of Orissa declared Simlipal as a wildlife sanctuary in 1979 with an area of 2750 sq. km.
- Later in 1980, Government of Orissa proposed 303 sq. km of the sanctuary as National Park. Further in 1986, the area of the National Park was increased to 845.70 sq. km.
- The Government of India declared it as a biosphere reserve in 1994. UNESCO added this National Park to its list of Biosphere Reserves in May 2009.
- This tiger reserve also comes under Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve that includes the adjacent Hadgarh and Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuaries.
- Apart from its biodiversity, the region around Simlipal forests is home to a variety of tribes. Prominent among these are Kolha, Santhala, Bhumija, Bhatudi, Gondas, Khadia, Mankadia and Sahara.
- Sal is a dominant tree species in this reserve.
- It holds the highest tiger population in the state of Orissa.
- Waterfalls: Joranda and Barehipani.
- The park is surrounded by high plateaus and hills, the highest peak being the twin peaks of Khairiburu and Meghashini (1515m above mean sea level). At least twelve rivers cut across the plain area, all of which drain into the Bay of Bengal. The prominent among them are Burhabalanga, Palpala Bandan, Salandi, Kahairi and Deo.
Distribution Camp for Providing Aids and Assistive Devices
Relevance: Government Schemes and Initiatives
Context: Distribution Camp for Providing Aids and Assistive Devices has been organised in Arunachal Pradesh.
About Distribution Camp for Providing Aids and Assistive Devices:
- The central government has organised an inaugural camp for distribution of Aids and Assistive Devices to pre-identified Divyangjan under ADIP Scheme and Senior Citizens beneficiaries under the Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana.
- The camp organized by Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO) working under the aegis of Department of Empowerment of Person with Disability (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) in association with Social Justice Empowerment & Tribal Affairs Department, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh and District administration, Itanagar.
- The Camps will be conducted as per new approved Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by Ministry in wake of COVID 19 pandemic.
About Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana:
Launch in: 2017
Ministry: Department of Empowerment of Person with Disability (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
- Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana is scheme for providing Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for Senior citizens belonging to BPL category at free of cost.
- This is a Central Sector Scheme, fully funded by the Central Government.
- The expenditure for implementation of the scheme is being met from the “Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund“.
- Under the Scheme, assisted living devices such as Walking Sticks, Elbow Crutches, Walkers/ Crutches, Tripods/ Quadpods, Hearing Aids, Wheelchairs, Artificial Dentures and Spectacles are provided free of cost to the beneficiary senior citizens.
- The Scheme is being implemented by the Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO).
- The devices are distributed in the camp mode. The beneficiaries are identified through Assessment Camps organised in collaboration with the respective State Government/District Administration and the devices are distributed in Distribution Camps organised in the selected districts. For the senior citizens aged 80 years or more, the devices are provided at their doorsteps.
Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO):
- It is a Public Sector Unit (PSU) under an aegis of Department of Empowerment of Person with Disability (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE).
- HQ: Kanpur
- Foundation: 1972
- It is 100% owned Govt. of India Central Public Sector Enterprises with an objective of benefiting the persons with disability to the maximum extent possible by manufacturing Rehabilitation Aids for persons with disabilities and by promoting, encouraging and developing the availability, use, supply and distribution of Artificial Limbs and other Rehabilitation Aids to the disabled persons of the country.
- The Corporation is the only manufacturing company producing various types of assistive devices under one roof to serve all types of disabilities across the country.
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