fbpx
Prelims Booster

30th October – Prelims Booster

Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) Phase II & Phase III with the financial assistance of the World Bank (WB), and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to improve the safety and operational performance of selected dams across the whole country, along with institutional strengthening with system wide management approach.

Background –

  • In April 2012, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation through Central Water Commission with an objective to improve safety and operational performance of selected dams, along with institutional strengthening with system wide management approach, embarked upon the six year Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) with World Bank assistance at a cost of INR 2100 Crore (US$ 437.5 million).
  • The project originally envisaged the rehabilitation and improvement of 223 dam projects in four states namely, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Tamil Nadu. Later Karnataka, Uttarakhand (UJVNL) and Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) joined the DRIP, and number of dams in DRIP portfolio increased to 257; due to the addition/deletion of few dams during implementation by partner agencies, presently 198 dam projects are being rehabilitated.

Details –

  • The project cost is Rs 10,211 crore. The Project will be implemented over a period of 10 years duration in two Phases, each of six years duration with two years overlapping from April, 2021 to March, 2031. The share of external funding is Rs 7,000 crore of the total project cost, and balance Rs 3,211 crore is to be borne by the concerned Implementing Agencies (IAs). The contribution of Central Government is Rs 1,024 crore as loan liability and Rs 285 crore as counter-part funding for Central Component. 
  • A total of 736 dams are covered under the project with 213 being covered in phase I, which started in 2011.
  • India stands third in the world for the number of dams (5,334). China stands first followed by the US.
  • There are around 4,011 dams under construction in India.

Objectives –

DRIP Phase II & Phase III envisages the following objectives –

  • To improve the safety and performance of selected existing dams and associated appurtenances in a sustainable manner.
  • To strengthen the dam safety institutional setup in participating states as well as at central level, and
  • To explore the alternative incidental means at few of selected dams to generate the incidental revenue for sustainable operation and maintenance of dams

Components of DRIP –

To achieve the above objectives, DRIP Phase II & Phase III has following components:

  • Rehabilitation and improvement of dams and associated appurtenances,
  • Dam safety institutional strengthening in participating States and Central agencies,
  • Exploration of alternative incidental means at few of selected dams to generate the incidental revenue for sustainable operation and maintenance of dams, and
  • Project management.

National Productivity Council

National Productivity Council (NPC) has been granted accreditation for undertaking inspection and audit work in the area of Food Safety Audit and Scientific Storage of Agricultural Products. This accreditation is valid for a period of three years.

About National Productivity Council –

  • National Productivity Council (NPC) is a national level autonomous organisation under the administrative control of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade to promote productivity culture in India.
  • Established as a registered society in 1958 by the Government of India, it is a tripartite non-profit organisation with equal representation from the government, employers and workers’ organisations, apart from technical and professional institutions including members from local productivity councils and chamber of commerce on its Governing Body.
  • NPC is a constituent of the Tokyo-based Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an Inter Governmental Body, of which the Government of India is a founder member.

Operation Meri Saheli

Indian Railways has launched “Meri Saheli” initiative for focused action on security of women across all zones with an objective to provide safety and security to lady passengers travelling by trains for their entire journey from starting station to destination station.

What is the project?

  • An initiative of Railways Protection Force, the Strategy of the entails interaction with lady passengers especially those travelling alone by a team of young lady RPF personnel at the originating station.
  • These lady passengers are briefed about all precautions to be taken during the journey and told to dial 182 in case they face or see any problem in the coach. The RPF team collects only the seat numbers of the ladies and conveys them to stoppages en-route.
  • The platform duty RPF personnel at the stopping stations en-route keep unobtrusive watch over the concerned coaches and berths and if need arises, interact with the lady passengers. RPF/RPSF escort onboard also covers all the coaches/identified berths during its duty period.
  • RPF teams at the destination collect the feedback from the identified lady passengers. The feedback is then analysed and corrective action, if any, is taken. If some distress call comes from a train covered under “Meri Saheli” initiative, the disposal of the call is monitored at the level of senior officers.

Background –

The “Meri Saheli” initiative was started as a pilot project in South Eastern Railway in September 2020 and after getting encouraging response from lady passengers, it was extended to all zones and KRCL (Konkan Railways Corporation Limited) w.e.f. 17.10.2020.

SERB POWER

Union Ministry of Science and Technology has launched a Scheme titled “SERB-POWER (Promoting Opportunities for Women in Exploratory Research)”, designed exclusively for women scientists.

The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a Statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has been contemplating to institute a scheme to mitigate gender disparity in science and engineering research in various S&T programs in Indian academic institutions and R&D laboratories.

Details –

SERB – POWER Scheme will have two components namely (i) SERB-POWER Fellowship (ii) SERB- POWER Research Grants.

Salient features of the SERB-POWER Fellowship –

  • Target – Women researchers in 35-55 years of age. Up-to 25 Fellowships per year and not more than 75 at any point in time.
  • Components of support – Fellowship of Rs. 15,000/- per month in addition to regular income; Research grant of Rs. 10 lakh per annum; and Overhead of Rs. 90,000/- per annum.
  • Duration – Three years, without the possibility of extension. Once in a career.

Salient features of the SERB – POWER Research Grants –

POWER Grants will empower women researchers by funding them under following two categories –

  • Level I (Applicants from IITs, IISERs, IISc, NITs, Central Universities, and National Labs of Central Government Institutions): The scale of funding is up to 60 lakhs for three years.
  • Level II (Applicants from State Universities / Colleges and Private Academic Institutions): The scale of funding is up to 30 lakhs for three years.
  • POWER Grant will be regulated through terms of reference conforming to SERB-CRG (Science and Engineering Research Board-Core Research Grant) guidelines.

Significance –

It was felt that SERB-POWER Fellowships and Grants will also serve as a benchmark of recognition in the national scenario. These Schemes of the Government will definitely empower women scientists and cultivate women friendly culture in our academic and research institutions and ensure more women in leadership positions in decision making bodies.

Annual State of Education Report

Recently, the Annual State of Education Report (ASER) survey was conducted in September i.e. during the sixth month of school closures due to COVID-19 across the country.

What are the findings of the survey?

  • About 20% of rural children have no textbooks at home.
  • In Andhra Pradesh, less than 35% of children had textbooks, and only 60% had textbooks in Rajasthan. More than 98% had textbooks in West Bengal, Nagaland and Assam.
  • In the week of the survey, about one in three rural children had done no learning activity at all. About two in three had no learning material or activity given by their school that week, and only one in 10 had access to live online classes.
  • The levels of smartphone ownership have almost doubled from 2018, but a third of children with smartphone access still did not receive any learning materials.
  • It found that 5.3% of rural children aged 6-10 years had not yet enrolled in school this year, in comparison to just 1.8% in 2018. This seems to indicate that due to the disruptions caused by the pandemic, families are waiting for the physical opening of schools to enrol their youngest children, with about 10% of six-year-olds not in school.
  • Among 15-16 year-olds, however, enrolment levels are actually slightly higher than in 2018. Enrolment patterns also show a slight shift toward government schools, with private schools seeing a drop in enrolment in all age groups.
  • In 2018, ASER surveyors found that about 36% of rural households with schoolgoing children had smartphones. By 2020, that figure had spiked to 62%. About 11% of families bought a new phone after the lockdown, of which 80% were smartphones.
  • WhatsApp was by far the most popular mode of transmitting learning materials to students, with 75% of students who got some input receiving it via the app. About a quarter of those who got input had personal contact with a teacher.

Background –

ASER is a nationwide survey of rural education and learning outcomes in terms of reading and arithmetic skills that has been conducted by the NGO Pratham for the last 15 years. This year, the survey was conducted via phone calls, reaching 52,227 rural households with school age children in 30 States and Union Territories.

Water on the Moon

The Moon has water at places where none had been detected before, and has potentially more water than previously believed in regions where it was already understood to exist.

What was known about water on the Moon?

  • Previous Moon studies, including by the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Chandrayaan-1 mission, have provided evidence for the existence of water. In 2009, the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument aboard Chandrayaan-1 found water molecules in the polar regions.
  • A paper in Nature Geoscience In August 2013 analysed M3 data to report the detection of magmatic water (water originating from the deep interiors) on the Moon’s surface.
  • However, what was not established in such studies — based on observations by the Chandrayaan-1 mission, NASA’s Cassini and Deep Impact comet mission, and NASA’s ground-based Infrared Telescope Facility — was whether the detected molecules were water as we know it (H20) or in the form of hydroxyl (OH).

What is different this time?

  • This time, it is confirmed H20 molecules, discovered in Clavius Crater in the Moon’s southern hemisphere. And it is the first time water has been detected on the sunlit side, showing it is not restricted to the shadowy regions.
  • SOFIA, which is a modified Boeing 747SP jetliner that flies at altitudes up to 45,000 feet, has an infrared camera that picked up the wavelength unique to water molecules. The data showed water in concentrations of 100-412 parts per million trapped in 1 cubic metre of soil.

How could the water have formed?

Space rocks carrying small amounts of water could have bombarded the Moon. Alternatively, the Sun’s solar wind could have carried hydrogen, which then reacted with minerals in the lunar soil to create hydroxyl, which later transformed into water.

What next?

SOFIA will look for water in additional sunlit locations to learn more about how the water is produced, stored, and moved across the Moon. Meanwhile, NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) will carry out a mission to create the first water resource maps of the Moon.

MCQs

1. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the ‘Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project’?

  1. It was started in the year 2012 to improve the safety and operational performance of all the dams in India.
  2. The Government of India and World Bank is co-funding the second and third phase of DRIP which is set to begin from the year 2021.

Select the correct codes from below –

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer – D

Explanation – In April 2012, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation through Central Water Commission with an objective to improve safety and operational performance of selected dams, along with institutional strengthening with system wide management approach, embarked upon the six year Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) with World Bank assistance at a cost of INR 2100 Crore (US$ 437.5 million). The project originally envisaged the rehabilitation and improvement of 223 dam projects in four states namely, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Tamil Nadu. Later Karnataka, Uttarakhand (UJVNL) and Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) joined the DRIP, and number of dams in DRIP portfolio increased to 257; due to the addition/deletion of few dams during implementation by partner agencies, presently 198 dam projects are being rehabilitated. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) Phase II & Phase III with the financial assistance of the World Bank (WB), and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to improve the safety and operational performance of selected dams across the whole country, along with institutional strengthening with system wide management approach.

2. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the ‘National Productivity Council’?

  1. It aims to promote productivity culture in India.
  2. It was established in the year 1958 as a registered society by the Government of India.
  3. It is chaired by the Prime Minister of India.

Select the correct codes from below –

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. All of the above

Answer – A

Explanation – National Productivity Council (NPC) is a national level autonomous organisation under the administrative control of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade to promote productivity culture in India. Established as a registered society in 1958 by the Government of India, it is a tripartite non-profit organisation with equal representation from the government, employers and workers’ organisations, apart from technical and professional institutions including members from local productivity councils and chamber of commerce on its Governing Body. NPC is a constituent of the Tokyo-based Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an Inter Governmental Body, of which the Government of India is a founder member.

3. ‘Operation Meri Saheli’ is launched by the –

  1. Ministry of Women and Child Development
  2. Ministry of Panchayati Raj
  3. Ministry of Railways
  4. Ministry of Home Affairs

Answer – C

Explanation – Indian Railways has launched “Meri Saheli” initiative for focused action on security of women across all zones with an objective to provide safety and security to lady passengers travelling by trains for their entire journey from starting station to destination station.

4. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the ‘SERB-POWER’ scheme?

  1. The scheme is designed exclusively for women scientists to mitigate gender disparity in science and engineering research in various S&T programs in Indian academic institutions and R&D laboratories.
  2. The scheme is being designed and implemented by the Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology.

Select the correct codes from below –

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer – C

Explanation – Union Ministry of Science and Technology has launched a Scheme titled “SERB-POWER (Promoting Opportunities for Women in Exploratory Research)”, designed exclusively for women scientists. The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a Statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has been contemplating to institute a scheme to mitigate gender disparity in science and engineering research in various S&T programs in Indian academic institutions and R&D laboratories.

5. The ‘Annual State of Education Report’ is released by the –

  1. Department of School Education and Literacy
  2. Department of Higher Education
  3. All India Council for Technical Education
  4. None of the above

Answer – D

Explanation – ASER is a nationwide survey of rural education and learning outcomes in terms of reading and arithmetic skills that has been conducted by the NGO Pratham for the last 15 years.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

izmir eskort Bornova escort izmir escort Alsancak escort bayan denizli eskort antalya escort antalya escort escort ankara eryaman escort Ankara escort izmir escort izmir escort
ankara escort
anadolu yakası escort