Insights Daily Current Affairs, 17 August 2016
Paper 1 Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
DoNER (Ministry Of Development Of North Eastern Region, North East India) Minister Remembers Tirot Sing’s Contribution to Freedom Struggle
The sacrifices of Tirot Sing, the legendary freedom fighter from Meghalaya, were recently commemorated. The function was part of a 15-day campaign undertaken by the Government of India to hold a series of programmes across the country to commemorate the sacrifices of the freedom fighters at their respective places of origin.
Tirot Sing was one of the greatest freedom fighters to hail from the northeast. In the attempt to prevent the Khasi Hills from falling into colonial hands, Tirot Sing, a Khasi chief, had raised the battle cry against the invasive British forces on April 4, 1829, but was eventually captured and defeated. He died in captivity in Dhaka on July 17, 1835.
Paper 3 Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
NHAI collaborates with PFC under Adopt a Green Highway Program
National Green Highways Mission (NGHM) under NHAI has collaborated with Power Finance Corporation Ltd. (PFC) for plantations work on NH 7 in Nagpur region (Borkhedi – Wadner, & Khatara – Kelapur) covering 87 km stretch. Power Finance Corporation Ltd. has provided financial assistance of Rs. 13 crore for plantation and five year maintenance under their CSR funds.
- This marks the first collaboration with the National Green Highways Mission – NHAI under their ‘Adopt a Green Highways’ Program.
Adopt a Green Highway Program is an initiative by NGHM to engage Corporates, Public Sector Units, Governmental organizations, institutions and individuals under CSR and Public Private Partnership for developing green corridor along NHs.
National Green Highways Mission:
NGHM was launched under the Green Highways Policy, 2015 to provide a holistic vision of developing eco-friendly and green National Highways.
- The mission aims to provide a green canopy along 100,000km of highways and create jobs for 1 million youth.
- The government has made it mandatory to set aside 1% of the total project cost of any national highway contract to a Green Fund for plantation.
- Main motto of this mission is to help the environment, help local communities, and generate employment by planting trees along all the highways in the country.
Paper 3 Topic: infrastructure.
India set to seize big opportunity in logistic costs saving through Sagarmala
A new report by Ministry of Shipping has said that Sagarmala project can save up to Rs 35,000-40,000 crore by 2025 per annum for India by optimizing logistics flows for key commodities. The study says that augmenting operational efficiency of ports and optimizing logistics evacuation can be a big boost to Indian trade.
What else the report says?
- Citing the example of maritime nations such as China, South Korea and Japan, the report says that ‘port-led development’ can be effectively used to save money.
- The project can give boost to Indian trade and help seize the big opportunity of growth in Indian cargo traffic at ports which is estimated to increase to 2.5 bn MMTPA by 2025.
- The study estimates the potential to save around Rs 35,000-40,000 crore per annum by optimizing logistics flows for key commodities by 2025.
The Sagarmala is a series of projects to leverage the country’s coastline and inland waterways to drive industrial development. Sagarmala, integrated with the development of inland waterways, is expected to reduce cost and time for transporting goods, benefiting industries and export/import trade.
The project is mammoth with 150 initiatives with a total outlay of ₹4 lakh crore, spread across four broad areas:
- One, modernise port infrastructure, add up to six new ports and enhance capacity.
- Two, improve port connectivity through rail corridors, freight-friendly expressways and inland waterways.
- Three, create 14 coastal economic zones or CEZs and a special economic zone at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai with manufacturing clusters to enable port-led industrialisation.
- Four, develop skills of fishermen and other coastal and island communities.
- To implement this, State governments would set up State Sagarmala committees, headed by the chief minister or the minister in charge of ports.
- At the central level, a Sagarmala Development Company (SDC) will be set upto provide equity support to assist various special purpose vehicles (SPVs) set up for various projects.
Paper 3 Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
China has launched the world’s first quantum satellite- Quantum Experiments at Space Scale, or QUESS. It is an effort to establish communications that cannot be hacked.
- In its two-year mission, QUESS is designed to establish ‘hack-proof’ quantum communications by transmitting uncrackable keys from space to the ground.
- The satellite will be put into Earth orbit around 500 km above ground.
- The craft’s main instrument is a “Sagnac” interferometer that is used to generate two entangled infrared photons by shining an ultraviolet laser on a non-linear optical crystal.
- The main goals of QUESS will be to demonstrate quantum key distribution (QKD) between the satellite and two stations on the ground – the Nanshan 25 m telescope at the Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory in western China and the Xinglong Observatory in Yanshan, around 200 km south of Beijing.
How does it work?
The satellite will create pairs of so-called entangled photons – tiny sub-atomic particles of light whose properties are dependent on each other – beaming one half of each pair down to base stations in China and Austria.
- This special kind of laser has several curious properties, one of which is known as “the observer effect” – its quantum state cannot be observed without changing it.
- So, if the satellite were to encode an encryption key in that quantum state, any interception would be obvious. It would also change the key, making it useless.
- If it works, it will solve the central problem of encrypted communications – how to distribute keys without interception – promising hack-proof communications. The encrypted message itself can be transmitted normally after the key exchange.
Quantum communication boasts ultra-high security as a quantum photon can neither be separated nor duplicated. It is hence impossible to wiretap, intercept or crack the information transmitted through it. Quantum communications technology is nearly impossible to hack because any interference to transmission of information destroys it.
Sources: the hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
- Navroz festival: It is a Parsi New Year festival. While the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Middle Easterns celebrate the festival on March 21, the first day of the Zoroastrian calendar, in India there is another version of the festival that is followed according to the Shahanshahi calendar and falls during the later months of the year. The dates change every year since the calendar doesn’t account for leap years. Also known as Pateti, Navroz will be celebrated on August 17th this year in India. The festivities on this day symbolize happiness, harmony and amity for the Parsi community. The time of the festival is decided in Iran and then it is passed on to the entire Zoroastrian population in the world.
- Regional Maritime Security Course (RMSC): In continuation of Indian Navy’s foreign cooperation initiatives, a Regional Maritime Security Course (RMSC) for officers of the rank of Colonel/ equivalent of Maritime Security Agencies from Friendly Foreign Countries (FFCs) at Naval War College, Goa recently commenced. The module includes International Relations Theory, International Maritime Law, UNCLOS, Energy and Natural Resources Security, Maritime Domain Awareness, Indian Ocean Studies as well as a table top Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief/ Out of Area Contingency exercise. The course would provide a concrete forum for developing common understanding of regional maritime security issues, disseminate the IN perspective on the subject, as well as provide an opportunity for IN officers undergoing the Naval Higher Command Course to interact with the foreign participants, and understand the perspectives of regional navies, on issues of common concern.