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Insights Daily Current Events, 11 April 2016

Insights Daily Current Events, 11 April 2016

Paper 3 Topic: conservation.

Massive effort to conserve Olive Ridleys

Wildlife authorities have launched a massive exercise to conserve Olive Ridley turtles in the Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS) in Andhra Pradesh.

Details:

  • The officials, in collaboration with the local communities, have collected over 10,500 eggs of the turtles. They are being conserved in the rookeries set up within the KWS limits.
  • 139 artificial nests have been arranged in the three rookeries set up as part of the in situ conservation method.
  • The first batch of hatchlings will be released into the sea by April 24 as the incubation period ranges from 45 to 60 days.

Members of the Yanadi tribe are directly involved in the conservation bid. They have been given the task of collecting the eggs on the beach and maintaining the rookeries.

About Olive Ridley turtles:

Also known as the Pacific ridley sea turtle, Olive turtles are a medium-sized species of sea turtle found in warm and tropical waters, primarily in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

  • They are best known for their behavior of synchronized nesting in mass numbers.
  • The olive ridley is classified as Vulnerable according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), and is listed in Appendix I of CITES.
  • The Convention on Migratory Species and the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles have also provided olive ridleys with protection, leading to increased conservation and management for this marine turtle.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Supply of look-alike drugs in Kerala hospitals to end

The Kerala Medical Services Corporation Limited (KMSCL) has decided to stop procuring look-alike medicines to government hospitals and dispensaries in the State.

Why?

KMSCL has initiated measures to stop the procurement of look-alike medicines in the wake of complaints of wrong usage and confusion, reported from different parts of the State.

  • Several medicines meant for critical health issues were wrongly administered to other patients as the medicines looked similar.
  • Various civil society groups had also raised concerns over the situation that put the lives of people, including children, at risk in the State. Following this, the doctors had demanded withdrawal of all look-alike medicines.

KMSCL, the government company that procures all essential medicines for government hospitals, will no longer accept medicines with the same label.

What now?

KMSCL has now included a clause in its tender which says labels and colours of all medicines should be different. Manufacturers failing to comply with this will invite a penalty of five per cent of the total value of the drugs in question and its rejection too.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3 Topic: infrastructure.

Panel gives green light to Sagarmala port project

The apex committee for the Sagarmala project has approved the national perspective plan on Sagarmala port project.

  • The project targets to provide one crore employment. Port-led development has potential for direct employment generation for 40 lakh persons and for 60 lakh persons indirectly.

Sagarmala Initiative:

The Sagarmala project seeks to develop a string of ports around India’s coast. The objective of this initiative is to promote “Port-led development” along India’s 7500 km long coastline.

  • It aims to develop access to new development regions with intermodal solutions and promotion of the optimum modal split, enhanced connectivity with main economic centres and beyond through expansion of rail, inland water, coastal and road services.
  • The Union Ministry of Shipping has been appointed as the nodal ministry for this initiative.

The Sagarmala initiative will address challenges by focusing on three pillars of development, namely:

  • Supporting and enabling Port-led Development through appropriate policy and institutional interventions and providing for an institutional framework for ensuring inter-agency and ministries/departments/states’ collaboration for integrated development.
  • Port Infrastructure Enhancement, including modernization and setting up of new ports.
  • Efficient Evacuation to and from hinterland.

Other objectives:

  • In addition to strengthening port and evacuation infrastructure, it also aims at simplifying procedures used at ports for cargo movement and promotes usage of electronic channels for information exchange leading to quick, efficient, hassle-free and seamless cargo movement.
  • It also strives to ensure sustainable development of the population living in the Coastal Economic Zone (CEZ). This would be done by synergising and coordinating with State Governments and line Ministries of Central Government through their existing schemes and programmes such as those related to community and rural development, tribal development and employment generation, fisheries, skill development, tourism promotion etc.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3 Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday.

A new state of matter detected

An international team of scientists has successfully detected a mysterious new state of matter that causes electrons, thought to be nature’s indivisible building blocks, to break into pieces.

What is the new state called?

The new state is known as a quantum spin liquid.

Background:

Scientists have found this new state in a two-dimensional material with a structure similar to graphene. They were first predicted 40 years ago and were thought to be hiding in certain magnetic materials, but had not been conclusively sighted in nature.

What happens in this state?

In a typical magnetic material, electrons each behave like tiny bar magnets. When a material is cooled to a low enough temperature, they will order themselves so that all the north magnetic poles point in the same direction. But in a material containing a spin liquid state, even if cooled to absolute zero, the bar magnets would not align but form an entangled soup.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

PMO’s no to smart cards, insists on Aadhaar

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has issued strict instructions to the Information Technology Ministry to ensure that States and the Central government stop issuing smart cards for new programmes for beneficiaries, and to rely on the Aadhaar-based Direct Benefit Transfer platform instead. Aadhaar is now backed by a law.

Details:

PMO has asked the department to examine the need for state and central government departments to issue separate smart cards in the light of the near universal coverage of Aadhaar and the delivery of the most public welfare benefits through Aadhaar enabled platforms.

  • The move will impact ministries such as Labour, Social Justice and Health, which are in the process or have already rolled out smart cards.
  • The IT department has also been asked to prepare policy on the delivery of various public services using Aadhaar, Jan Dhan Yojana and existing platforms without the issuance of new smart cards.

The government had recently said that over 100 crore people, constituting 93% of the adult population, had a unique identification (UID) number under the Aadhaar platform.

What experts say?

Experts are sceptical of the government’s move. They argue, “Smart cards are always better than biometrics. If that was not the case, the global financial infrastructure today will be working on biometrics and not on smart cards.”

  • Also, smart cards work using cryptography, which is more fool-proof than biometrics. Biometrics allow for remote, covert and non-consensual identification.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3 Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

To prevent Pathankot-like attacks, India plans 5-layer ‘lock’ at Pakistan border

The government has given its nod to the ‘Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System‘ (CIBMS) for 24x7x365 surveillance of the border through technology. It is a five-layer elaborate plan to completely stop infiltration on the 2,900-km western border with Pakistan.

  • It entails round-the-clock surveillance through sophisticated technology which in effect will totally “lock” India’s western border to prevent Pathankot-like terror attacks and smuggling.

Five layers include:

  1. CCTV cameras.
  2. Thermal image and night-vision devices.
  3. Battlefield surveillance radar.
  4. Underground monitoring sensors.
  5. Laser barriers.

Details:

  • The integrated set-up will ensure that if one device doesn’t work, another will alert the control room in case of a transgression. Laser barriers will cover 130 unfenced sections including riverine and mountain terrain from Jammu & Kashmir to Gujarat — often used by the infiltrators.
  • The new plan would also help security forces catch those who help in infiltration from the Indian side of the border, as the radars would have a 360-degree coverage and the cameras would work dayand-night looking on both sides.
  • Interestingly, it is also the first time since Independence that India will completely lock its western border.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Facts for Prelims from “The Hindu”:

  • Mother Teresa has been posthumously conferred with the U.K.’s prestigious Founders Award, which is given to recognise exemplary achievements of people within the global Asian community.
  • The birth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar, father of the Indian Constitution, will be observed on April 13 at the United Nations for the first time with focus on combating inequalities to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The IIT-Kharagpur has won an award from the Indian government for being the top academic institute for patents in 2016. The Indian Intellectual property office confers national intellectual property awards on outstanding innovators, organisations and companies in the fields of patents, designs, trademarks, and geographical indications on the occasion of World IP Day every year. The National IP Award carries an amount of Rs 1,00,000, a citation and a memento.
  • Drug major Sun Pharmaceutical Industries has received approval from the US health regulator for its non-steroid drug BromSite, used to treat inflammation and prevent pain in patients undergoing cataract surgery.
  • The world’s count of wild tigers roaming forests from Russia to Vietnam has gone up for the first time in more than a century, with 3,890 counted by conservation groups and national governments in the latest global census. The tally marks a turnaround from the last worldwide estimate in 2010, when the number of tigers in the wild hit an all-time low of about 3,200, according to the World Wildlife Fund and the Global Tiger Forum. Interestingly, India alone holds more than half of the world’s tigers, with 2,226 tigers roaming reserves across the country, from the southern tip of Kerala state to the eastern swamps in West Bengal, according to its last count in 2014. Also, this is the first time tiger counts are increasing since 1900, when there were more than 100,000 tigers in the wild.
  • Saudi Arabia’s king has announced that a bridge linking the country to Egypt will be built over the Red Sea.