Insights Daily Current Affairs, 04 November 2017
Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
Hindi writer Krishna Sobti chosen for Jnanpith Award
Noted writer of Hindi literature Krishna Sobti will be conferred with the country’s highest literary honour, Jnanpith Award this year in 2017.
- Sobti will be awarded with a cash prize of Rs 11 lakh, a certificate and a memento as part of the 53rd Jnanpith Award ceremony.
About Jnanpith awards:
- The Jnanpith Award is one of the prestigious literary honours in the country. The award was instituted in 1961.
- Eligibility: Any Indian citizen who writes in any of the official languages of India is eligible for the honour.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana
The government has launched a Pan India scholarship program for school children called Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana to increase the reach of Philately.
About the scheme:
What is it? Under the scheme of SPARSH (Scholarship for Promotion of Aptitude & Research in Stamps as a Hobby), it is proposed to award annual scholarships to children of Standard VI to IX having good academic record and also pursuing Philately as a hobby through a competitive selection process in all postal circles.
Selection: To avail this scholarship, a child must be a student of a recognized school within India and the concerned school should have a Philately Club and the candidate should be a member of the Club.
- In case the school Philately Club hasn’t been established a student having his own Philately Deposit Account will also be considered. Every prospective school, which participates in the competition, would be assigned a Philately mentor to be chosen from amongst the renowned Philatelists.
- The Philately mentor would help in formation of the School level Philately Club, providing guidance to young and aspiring Philatelists on how to pursue the hobby and also helping the aspiring Philatelists on their Philately Projects etc.
- Selections under the scheme would be made based on the evaluation of Project work on Philately & performance in Philately Quiz conducted by the Circles.
Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
UNESCO launches Strategic Framework for Education in Emergencies in the Arab Region
UNESCO has launched a Strategic Framework for Education in Emergencies in the Arab Region (2018-2021).
About the Strategic framework:
What is it? The Strategic Framework for Education in Emergencies in the Arab Region (2018-2012) aims to respond to the Education crisis in the region through supporting Member States in meeting their educational needs, and helping them meet the commitments set out in SDG4 which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030.
Why Arab region? Education has been deeply affected by the scale of crisis in the Arab Region, with over 13 million children and youth not going to school due to conflict.
Goals: The Strategic Framework consists of four strategic goals anchored in the three pillars of education: Access, Quality and System Strengthening.
Significance of the framework: The Framework aims to increase access to quality learning opportunities for children and youth, to empower them with values, knowledge and skills for life and work, to support teachers and enhance the resilience of education systems.
Coastal Berth Scheme
The Ministry of Shipping has extended the period of the Coastal Berth scheme of the flagship Sagarmala Programme for three years, upto 31st March, 2020 and expanded its scope to cover capital dredging at Major Ports and preparation of DPR for coastal berth project, in Oct 2017.
About the Coastal Berth Scheme:
What is it? The Coastal Berth Scheme aims to provide financial support to ports or state governments for creation of infrastructure for movement of cargo and passenger by sea or national waterways.
Implementation: The projects under the Scheme are distributed over eight states with the highest number of projects in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh & Goa.
Financial assistance: The admissible financial assistance from Central Government is 50% of the total cost of the project. The financial assistance will also be provided for the preparation of DPRs for the projects to be considered under this scheme. The balance expenditure has to be incurred by the respective Ports/ concerned State Governments (including State Maritime Boards) from their own resources.
Significance of the scheme: The scheme aims to promote coastal shipping and increase its share in domestic cargo movement in India. Better infrastructure for coastal shipping will decongest rail and road network besides ensuring cost competitive and effective multi-modal transportation solution. The country has high potential to use coastal shipping for its internal cargo movement given its 7500 kms long coastline.
What you need to know about Sagarmala?
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.
Topic: disaster management.
The recent boiler explosion at NTPC’s Unchahar power plant in Rae Bareli underscores the importance of inspections and protocols for hazardous industrial operations.
Regulation of Boilers:
High pressure boilers are hazardous pieces of equipment, which are strictly regulated with special laws. In fact, the basic objective of the Indian Boilers Act, 1923 is to ensure the safety of life and protection of property by mandating uniform standards in the quality and upkeep of these units.
Reasons for the accident at Rae Bareli:
- First of all, the state government failed miserably in meeting the objective of ensuring the safety of life and protection of property by mandating uniform standards in the quality and upkeep of these units is evident from the accident at the public sector facility.
- To enhance the ease of doing business in India, the government has relaxed crucial safety checks. Self-certification and third-party certification of facilities has received support from policymakers even in the case of boilers.
What needs to be done?
- Regulatory mechanism: The Unchahar accident shows it is in everyone’s interest to have a transparent regulatory mechanism for hazardous industrial activity.
- Reporting: The safety and welfare of workers and the public at large cannot be compromised. A rigorous approach to accident reporting must become part of the process if the weak spots in regulation are to be addressed.
- The loss suffered by families of workers due to an accident that could have been averted cannot be compensated just financially. It must be the Centre’s endeavour to see that measures taken to make it easy to do business do not translate into lack of regulation, and putting lives at risk.
- Administrative reform can eliminate the corruption of inspector raj and achieve transparent regulation, while keeping the workplace safe.
The accident was entirely preventable because boilers are designed to provide warnings as soon as dangerous pressure builds up and trigger automatic safety devices at a critical point. They should undergo periodic inspections to ensure that all these features are working and intact. The incident calls for an inquiry into the quality of the equipment and the fuel used. Ideally, these aspects should be investigated by an external agency and not the NTPC.
Sources: the hindu.