National Current Affairs – UPSC/KAS Exams- 8th February 2019

Paramanu Tech 2019


Topic: Science and Technology

In News: ‘Parmanu Tech 2019’ conference was organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). The conference discussed issues related to Nuclear Energy and Radiation Technologies.

More on the topic:

  • India has covered a long journey since inception of Atomic Energy programme by Dr Homi Bhabha based on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
  • India has achieved a unique place in the international community for progress in space technology as well as nuclear energy.
  • India has always used technology for constructive use and never for destructive purpose.
  • It is a dilemma that most of the societal applications of nuclear energy are not much known to the people. Focused efforts are required to create awareness about benefits of nuclear energy and to allay the fears about radiation and its harms.
  • Nuclear energy will be a big and cost-effective source of energy in future when the other sources of power are gradually depleting.

Uses of Nuclear Energy

  • Health care: Nuclear Medicine and Radiation therapy
  • Agricultural & Industrial Applications: Food Irradiator, improved seeds varieties, water purification technologies, urban waste management technologies, industrial application of radioisotopes and radiation technologies particularly in petroleum industry for monitoring process lines, breakdown maintenance, dredging operations in sea ports, non-destructive techniques.

Source: The Hindu

Mega Silk Event


Topic: Economy

In News:  Ministry of Textiles, in association with Central Silk Board, is organizing an event, Surging Silk – Accomplishment and way forward, in New Delhi.

More on the Topic:

  • The event is being organized to highlight the growth of silk industry in India over the past 4 years. It focusses on distribution of Buniyaad Tasar Silk Reeling Machines to women reelers from tribal areas, as part of total eradication of the age old practice of thigh reeling.
  • In order to eradicate thigh reeling practice in tasar silk sector and to ensure rightful earning to the poor rural and tribal women reelers, Central Silk Technological Research Institute has developed a machine in association with an entrepreneur from Champa, Chhattisgarh.
  • The machine developed is known as Buniyaad Reeling machine. This machine will improve the quality and productivity of tasar silk yarn and reduce the drudgery of women.
  • The machine is available with solar power and pedal attachments. Machine manufactures have already been identified for production and delivery of the machines to the reelers.

India and Sericulture:

  • India is the second largest producer of silk in the world after China.
  • India has the distinction of producing all the four types of silk i.e. (a) Mulberry silk (91.7%); (b) Tasar silk (1.4%); (c) Eri silk (6.4%); and (d) Muga silk (.5%) which are produced by different species of silkworms.
  • Mulberry silk is produced extensively in the States of Karnataka, West Bengal and Jammu & Kashmir. Similarly, Tasar silk worms are reared traditionally by the tribes of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa; Muga and Eri silk are produced exclusively in Assam. The food plant of silkworms is Mulberry for producing Mulberry silk.

Steps taken by the government to develop sericulture in India:

  • Integrated Scheme for the Development of Silk Industry’ for development of Sericulture industry in various states including Tamil Nadu, focusing on intervention in critical areas such as Feed, Seed, Breed, Post Cocoon Technology and Capacity Building.
  • Cold Storage facilities and Bivoltine grainages have been strengthened to produce quality Bivoltine silkworm seed.
  • Silkworm Seed Act is being implemented to bring quality standards in silkworm seed production to improve the productivity and quality of silk.
  • Central Silk Board has developed latest technology packages, improved farm machineries, indigenous automatic reeling units and Vanya silk reeling and spinning units to reduce drudgery and improve quality and productivity of Vanya silk.
  • Forest Conservation Act has been amended to treat non mulberry sericulture as forest based activity enabling the farmers to undertake Vanya silkworm rearing in the natural host plantation in the forests.
  • Government of India through Central Sericulture training Institute of Central Silk Board (CSB) has been providing the technical support for post Cocoon sector, including the weaving sector. Introduction of all four varieties of silks to Handloom weavers, Introduction of spun silk as weft yarn in Ikkats weaving, Conversion of traditional Patola fabrics in to garments are some of the extention programme that has been carried out by Ministry of Textiles. To promote silk infrastructure in the country.

Model Mains Question: Discuss about the importance of sericulture and the actions taken by government to promote the same.

Source: The Hindu

Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog


Topic: Government Policies

In News: Cabinet approved the proposal for establishment of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog for Conservation protection and development of cows and their progeny.

More on the Topic:

  • The Aayog will work in collaboration with Veterinary, Animal Sciences or Agriculture University or departments or organizations of the Central/State Government engaged in the task of research in the field of breeding and rearing of cow, organic manure, biogas etc.
  • It will take up scientific activities for genetic upgradation and increasing productivity of cows.
  • It will provide the policy framework and direction to the cow conservation and development programmes in the country and for ensuring proper implementation of laws with respect to the welfare of cows.
  • The setting up of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog will lead to conservation, protection and development of cattle population in the country including development and conservation of indigenous breeds.
  • It will result in increased growth of livestock sector which is more inclusive, benefitting women, and small and marginal farmers.

Source: The Hindu

Income-Tax Ombudsman


Topic: Economy

In News: The Union Cabinet chaired has approved the proposal for Abolition of Institution of Income-Tax Ombudsman and Indirect Tax Ombudsman.

More on the Topic:

  • The approval comes in the wake of alternative complaint redressal mechanisms chosen by public and the institution of Ombudsman could not prove to be more effective than regular existing parallel channels of grievance redressal.
  • The Institution of Income-Tax Ombudsman was created in the year 2003 to deal with grievances of public related to settlement of complaints relating to Income Tax. However, the Institution of Ombudsman failed to achieve its objectives.
  • It was observed that institution of new complaints have in turn fallen to single digits. Also, tax payers started preferring alternate methods of grievance redressal like CPGRAMS (Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System), AaykarSevaKendras etc. further, it was also decided in 2011 to close vacant offices of Indirect Tax Ombudsman.

Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System:

  • Public Grievances Redressal is one of the flagship initiatives for the reformation in governance started by Central government through addressing the grievances of general public.
  • It was created in June 2007 by DARPG(Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances).
  • Under the public grievance mechanism any citizen of India can raise their problems, grievance or pleas to the central government and state government Ministries and Departments.
  • Grievance can be submitted to all important portfolio ministers and Departments. The system has been designed in-house by the PMO team with the help of National Informatics Centre.It has a telephonic feedback feature also.

Source:The Hindu

Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme

Topic: Government Schemes

In News: Cabinet committee reviewed member of parliament local area development scheme.

More on the Topic:

  • Under the scheme, each MP of Lok Sabha has the choice to suggest to the District Collector for works upto Rs.5 crores/annum to be taken up in his/her constituency.
  • The responsibility of implementation of MPLADS is taken care by the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Division.
  • The division is under the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation, which has issued guidelines including implementation and monitoring of the scheme.
  • The Rajya Sabha MP can recommend works in one or more districts in the State from where he/she has been elected.
  • The Nominated Members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha may select any one or more Districts from any one State in the Country for implementation of their choice of work under the scheme.

Source: PIB

National Mission on Libraries


Topic: Culture

In News: Ministry of culture was congratulated for the successful implementation of national mission on libraries.

More on the Topic:

  • National Mission on Libraries High Level Committee has been set up by Ministry of Culture, Government of India on 2012.
  • It was in pursuance of National Knowledge Commission recommendations for sustained attention for development of Libraries and Information Science Sector.
  • National Mission on Libraries set up four working groups and after deliberating on the recommendations of the working groups formulated the scheme “National Mission on Libraries (NML) – up gradation of libraries providing service to the public”.

The scheme consists of four components:

  • Creation of National Virtual Library of India (NVLI)
  • Setting up of NML Model Libraries,
  • Quantitative & Qualitative Survey of Libraries
  • Capacity Building
  • The purpose of National Virtual Library of India is to facilitate a comprehensive database on digital resources on information about India and on information generated in India, in an open access environment.
  • The Quantitative & Qualitative Survey of Libraries would be undertaken to prepare a baseline data of libraries in India through a survey of 5000 Libraries.
  • The Capacity Building would be undertaken to enhance the professional competence of library personnel.

Source: The Hindu


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