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19th December – Prelims Booster

Seawater quality to be monitored

The National Centre for Coastal Research has launched a buoy off the Cooum river and Marine beach to monitor seawater quality. 

Details –

  • The buoy, deployed 2 km into the sea, will help monitor and forecast changes in seawater quality.
  • The sensor-equipped beach buoy was placed off the Cooum river as pollutants reach the sea though the waterway.
  • The buoy will monitor meteorological parameters such as humidity, wind speed and solar radiation, and have sensors to check current speed, sea surface temperature, wave period, wave height and wave direction.
  • Seven water quality sensors, including temperature, conductivity, pH, turbidity and dissolved oxygen, will help measure pollution in coastal water.

About National Centre for Coastal Research –

NCCR is a research institute, situated in Chennai, under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

Limit deputation of IPS officers in paramilitary at 25% : RS Panel

A Rajya Sabha committee has objected to the overuse of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) for rigorous internal security and election related duties to the extent that even the reserved battalions are deployed not giving them enough time for rest and recuperation.

Details –

  • To boost the morale of the CAPFs, the committee insisted on limiting deputation of officers from the IPS and the armed forces to CAPFs at 25% and the CAPFs cadres should be given an opportunity to become the Director General of respective forces.
  • The committee insisted on paying paramilitary service pay to the CAPF on par with the defence forces personnel.

About CAPF –

The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) refers to seven security forces in India under the authority of Ministry of Home Affairs.

  • Assam Rifles (AR)
  • Border Security Force (BSF)
  • Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)
  • Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)
  • Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)
  • National Security Guard (NSG)
  • Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)

Government aims to provide broadband access to all villages by 2022

The government has announced a new ‘mission’ aimed at providing broadband access to all villages by 2022, entailing an investment of around ₹7 lakh crore from various stakeholders.

About National Broadband Mission –

  • The National Broadband Mission will facilitate universal and equitable access to broadband services across the country, especially in rural and remote areas.
  • It would also aim at significantly improving quality of services for mobile and Internet.
  • Under the mission, the government plans to lay incremental 30 lakh route km of optical fibre cable, while also increasing tower density from 0.42 to 1 tower per thousand of population by 2024.
  • The mission envisages stakeholder investment of $100 billion (₹7 lakh crore) including ₹70,000 crore from Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) in the coming years and “address policy and regulatory changes required to accelerate the expansion and creation of digital infrastructure and services.”
  • The vision of the national broadband mission is to fast-track growth of digital communications infrastructure, bridge the digital divide, facilitate digital empowerment and inclusion, and provide affordable and universal access of broadband for all.

About Universal Service Obligation Fund –

  • USOF, established in 2002, provides effective subsidies to ensure telegraph services are provided to everyone across India, especially in the rural and remote areas. It is headed by the USOF Administrator who reports to the Secretary, Department of Telecommunications (DoT). 
  • Funds come from the Universal Service Levy (USL) of 5% charged from all the telecom operators on their Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) which are then deposited into the Consolidated Fund of India, and require prior parliamentary approval to be dispatched.
  • The USOF works through a bidding process, where funds are given to the enterprise quoting the lowest bid. However, the funds for NOFN were made an exception to this process since BBNL was the sole party involved in the implementation having being specifically created for it. 

ADB, India sign $250 million loan to expand energy efficiency investments in India

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India has signed a $250 million loan to Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) to expand energy efficiency investments in India that will benefit agricultural, residential and institutional consumers. In addition, $46 million financing will be provided from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), to be administered by ADB.

About ADB’s Clean Technology Fund –

  • The Clean Energy Fund is a multi-partner trust fund established in April 2007 under the Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility.
  • The objective of the facility is to improve energy security in developing member countries and decrease the rate of climate change through increased use of clean energy.
  • All ADB developing member countries are eligible to receive support from the fund.
  • Australia, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom support the fund.

About EESL –

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is a joint venture of public sector undertakings (PSUs) under the Ministry of Power.

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