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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 16 November 2016



Insights Daily Current Affairs, 16 November 2016


Paper 3 Topic: Disaster and disaster management.


Special Committee for Inter-Linking of Rivers


The Union Cabinet has approved constitution of ‘special committee for inter-linking of rivers’ in compliance with a Supreme Court order.


Significance of this move:

  • This move will help in monitoring of the precious Inter-linking of River Projects to be carried out under National Perspective Plan 1980 of Government of India.
  • The Status-cum-Progress Report of Special Committee for Inter-linking of Rivers will be submitted bi-annually for information of Cabinet. This will facilitate faster and appropriate decisions in the interest of the country as expeditiously as possible.



The apex court of India had given the go ahead for the controversial inter-linking river project, seeking to transfer water from surplus to water deficit areas in the country. In its final judgement in 2012, the court had expressed the “pious hope of speedy implementation” to bring the project to a success.

  • The court had also directed the Centre to constitute a ‘special committee’ forthwith for inter-linking of rivers for the benefit of the entire nation.
  • The project, in the pipeline since 1980, has been touted by the Centre as one solution to a number of problems: making water available for irrigating 35 million hectares; enabling full use of existing irrigation projects; generating power to the tune of 34,000 MW with added benefits, including flood control.

Sources: pib.


Paper 3 Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.


Hunar haat


It was recently inaugurated at New Delhi. The exhibition is aimed at promoting and supporting artisans from Minority communities and providing them domestic as well as international market for display and sell their products.


Key facts:

  • It is being organised for the first time at India International Trade Fair (2016). Union minority affairs ministry has organized the market.
  • The market provides artisans from minority communities a chance to display their products and skills at an international platform.
  • The special feature of this unique market is that besides providing free of cost stalls to artisans and craftsmen, the Union minority affairs ministry will also make arrangements for their transport and will help in their daily expenses so that these expert artisans can reach Delhi easily and display their arts and skills at an international platform.
  • Over 184 master artisans will showcase their traditional art at this special crafts bazaar.

Sources: pib.


Paper 3 Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.


Agreement between India and ADB


The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India have signed a $500 million loan to build a 9.8 km long road bridge across the Ganges River.


Key facts:

  • The bridge aims to improve transport connectivity between North and South Bihar and acts as a better link between the State Capital, Patna, and the surrounding areas.
  • This will be India’s longest river bridge and is expected to benefit over 9 million people.
  • The bridge will be a boon for the inhabitants of Raghopur Diara river island who will gain year-round road access. Currently, the 250,000 inhabitants of the island rely on boats and a seasonal pontoon bridge as their only links to Patna.
  • The bridge, using state-of-the-art engineering techniques, will be the first of its kind in India. The height and length have been designed to minimize impacts on the river itself and to ensure the bridge will be able to withstand climate-related stresses such as a rise in the water level.
  • Along with ADB’s loan and $900,000 in technical assistance to improve bridge operation and management, the state government of Bihar will provide support equivalent to $215 million. The project is expected to be completed by the end of December 2020.

Sources: pib.


Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


Hand-in-Hand 2016


It is a joint military exercise between India and China which recently began in Pune. India has organised this joint military exercise.


Key facts:

  • The exercise is aimed at sharing the expertise in drills and practices while tackling insurgency and terrorism and thereby promote healthy military-to-military relations between India and China.
  • This is the sixth such joint exercise being organised between the two countries. First such exercise was held in China at Kunming of Yunnan province in 2007.
  • Forming part of different levels of the military-to-military engagement across the entire spectrum of operations, this exercise will enrich the two contingents in further honing basic military skills.
  • The first phase of the exercise consists of familiarisation with weapons and equipment. Thereafter, the second phase consists of basic training that includes combat conditioning, firing of personal weapon, support weapon and practice of drills like establishment of covert observation post, house clearing, cordon & search and humanitarian and disaster relief operations.

Sources: pib.


Paper 3 Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.


‘272 products registered as geographical indication so far’


As many as 272 products such as Sangli raisins, Banaras metal repousse craft and Beed custard apple have been registered as geographical indications since September 2003, according to a government data.

  • During this fiscal so far, 11 products have been registered as GI from states including Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. In 2015-16, 26 items got GI status.


What GI tag?

GI status is an indication that identifies goods as produced from a particular area, which has special quality or reputation attributable to its geographical origin.


GI registration confers:

  • Legal protection to the products.
  • Prevents unauthorised use of a GI by others.
  • Helps consumers get quality products of desired traits.
  • Promotes economic prosperity of producers of goods by enhancing demand in national and international markets.


Key facts:

  • The GI tag is an indication which is definite to a geographical territory. It is used for agricultural, natural and manufactured goods.
  • India’s Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act 1999, has come into force with effect from September 15, 2003.
  • For a product to get GI tag, the goods need to be produced or processed or prepared in that region. It is also essential that the product has special quality or reputation.
  • Under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, geographical indications are covered as an element of intellectual property rights (IPRs).
  • They are also covered under the WTO’s Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement.
  • The famous goods which carry this tag include Basmati rice, Darjeeling Tea, Chanderi Fabric, Mysore Silk, Kullu Shawl, Kangra Tea, Thanjavur Paintings, Allahabad Surkha, Farrukhabad Prints, Lucknow Zardozi and Kashmir Walnut Wood Carving.

Sources: bs.


Paper 3 Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


Pune researchers fabricate a flexible nanogenerator for wearable electronics


Researchers have produced a wearable electronics that uses a portable nanogenerator which generates electric power when pressure or twist is applied.

  • The nanogenerator, fabricated by researchers, produced 14 volts when thumb pressure was applied.


How was this produced?

To produce the nanogenerator, researchers electrospun a piezoelectric polymer [P(VDF-TrFE)] directly onto a flexible, conducting carbon cloth. The carbon cloth was produced by the researchers by heating a piece of cotton cloth at 800 degree C for several hours in an inert atmosphere.

  • To improve the piezo voltage of the polymer fibres, the researchers coated the fibres with a stronger, inorganic ferroelectric material (BaTiO3) paste. The nanoparticles from the coating helps fill the gaps between the polymer nanofibres and increase the piezoelectric property.
  • In addition, the ferroelectric material was also incorporated into the polymer to further enhance the piezoelectric property. This was done right when the polymer was electrospun.
  • The coated polymer was covered by another piece of flexible carbon cloth before the device was sealed. The carbon cloth on either side of the device acted as two electrodes. The carbon cloth too contributes to the enhanced piezo voltage generated by the nanogenerator through its peculiar morphology as a substrate.


How it operates?

The cloth has a surface microstructure which produces good bonding between the cloth (electrode) and the active layer. The bonding will be poor in the case of a metal layer. Due to the roughness of the cloth surface, when you press or flex the device the applied force is transmitted along different directions of the piezoelectric active layer. And this improves the piezoelectric property of the nanogenerator. If the electrode were a flat metallic surface then the force applied would be transmitted in only one direction.

When thumb pressure was applied on the polymer alone 2-3 volt was produced. In the case of the polymer with BaTiO3 coating, the piezo voltage generated was 7-8 volt. But 14 volt was produced when BaTiO3 was incorporated into the polymer and also coated on the fibre surface.


Sources: the hindu.