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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 25 April 2018

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 25 April 2018


Paper 1:

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.


Adopt a Heritage’ scheme


Context: The Tourism ministry has awarded the Letters of Intent to nine agencies for 22 monuments of Phase-IV of the scheme, including the Taj Mahal in Uttar Pradesh, Chittorgarh Fort in Rajasthan.

  • The private players will undertake gap analysis of the actual requirement of the basic and advanced amenities, within the permissible guidelines of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and prepare a Vision Bid Proposal accordingly for the site opted by them.
  • Once vision bid is accepted, MoU will be signed with the related party for upkeep of the Monument for overall enhanced tourist experience.


Adopt a Heritage Project:

What is it? The ‘Adopt a Heritage Scheme’ of Ministry of Tourism was launched on World Tourism Day i.e. 27th September, 2017.  This project is a key initiative of Ministry of Tourism in close collaboration with Ministry of Culture and Archeological Survey of India (ASI), to develop the heritage sites / monuments and making them tourist-friendly to enhance the tourism potential and their cultural importance in a planned and phased manner.

How it works? The project plans to entrust heritage sites/monuments and other tourist sites to private sector companies, public sector companies and individuals for the development of tourist amenities. The project aims to develop synergy among all partners.

Monument Mitras: Successful bidders selected for adopting heritage sites / monuments by the Oversight and Vision Committee shall be called as Monument Mitras. The basic and advanced amenities of the tourist destinations would be provided by them. They would also look after the operations and the maintenance of the amenities. The ‘Monument Mitras’ would associate pride with their CSR activities.


What’s important?

  • For Prelims: Adopt a Heritage, Monument Mitras and World Tourism Day.
  • For Mains: Need for conservation of heritage sites.


Sources: pib.

Paper 2:

Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.


Island Development Agency

Context: The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh, recently chaired the third meeting of the Island Development Agency (IDA). The Island Development Agency reviewed the progress made towards preparation of Development Plans for identified Islands.


About the Island Development Agency (IDA):

What is it?

The IDA was set up on June 1 this year following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s review meeting for the development of islands. The meetings of the agency are chaired by the Union Home Minister.



Members of the IDA include cabinet secretary, home secretary, secretary (environment, forests and climate change), secretary (tourism) and secretary (tribal welfare).


What’s important?

  • For Prelims: IDA and its composition.
  • For Mains: Need for special focus on Island development.


Sources: pib.

Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.


MoU between ICI and IGNTU


Context: A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between the Indian Culinary Institute (ICI) an autonomous body under the Ministry of Tourism, and Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU), Amarkantak. The MOU was signed for imparting collaborative degree programmes including research in the field of culinary arts.


About Indian Culinary Institute (ICI):

ICI is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Tourism. The main objective of setting up of the ICI was to institutionalize a mechanism to support efforts intended to preserve, document, promote and disseminate Indian Cuisine, meet the sectoral requirement of specialists specific to Indian Cuisine, as also of promoting Cuisine as a Niche Tourism product.



  • The ICIs will offer structured regular programmes of study specific to culinary arts and culinary management leading to graduate and post graduate level degrees, promote research and innovation, organize demand driven certificate and diploma courses, document and create data base specific to Indian cuisine and commission studies and survey on cuisine.
  • The ICIs will also help the local youth to get trained in these streams as well as create entrepreneurs and make them self-sufficient.
  • The hotel and tourism industry will also get benefitted by getting the trained and skilled manpower which in turn will enhance their business and thus generate gainful employment.


Facts for Prelims:

  • Indira Gandhi National Tribal University is located in Amarkantak, Anuppur district, Madhya Pradesh.
  • It was established through an Act of Parliament, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University Act, 2007.


What’s important?

For Prelims: IGNTU, ICI.


Sources: pib.


Paper 3:

Topic: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


Innovate in India for Inclusiveness Project


Context: India has signed a loan agreement with World Bank for US$ 125 million for “Innovate in India for Inclusiveness Project”.


About the project:

  • The project seeks to nurture indigenous innovation, foster local product development and accelerate commercialization process by bridging critical skill and infrastructure gaps to promote affordable and innovative healthcare products generation for inclusive development and increasing competitiveness in India.
  • The project would support consortia of public, private, and the academic institutions to overcome the key market failures currently holding back the development of an innovative biopharmaceutical and medical devices industry in India.


The project consists of the following parts:

  • Strengthening of pilot-to market innovation ecosystem.
  • Acceleration of the pilot –to-market process for specific products.
  • Project Management and monitoring & Evaluation.


Sources: pib.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


New system to measure air quality


Context: India is tying up with the United States and Finland to develop a pollution-forecast system that will help anticipate particulate matter (PM) levels at least two days in advance and at a greater resolution than what is possible now. The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) will be coordinating this exercise and the plan is to have a system in place by winter.

  • The new system, to be jointly developed with expertise from the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the U.S.’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will use a different modelling approach as well as computational techniques from that employed in the SAFAR model.



Currently, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), run out of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, serves as the apex forecaster of pollution trends in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad. It generates a likely air quality profile, a day in advance, for these cities.


About SAFAR:

  • The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India, has introduced the System of Air Quality Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
  • It has been introduced for greater metropolitan cities of India to provide location-specific information on air quality in near real time and its forecast 1-3 days in advance for the first time in India.
  • It has been introduced for greater metropolitan cities of India to provide location-specific information on air quality in near real time and its forecast 1-3 days in advance for the first time in India.
  • The World Meteorological Organization has recognised SAFAR as a prototype activity on the basis of the high quality control and standards maintained in its implementation.
  • The ultimate objective of the project is to increase awareness among general public regarding the air quality in their city well in advance so that appropriate mitigation measures and systematic action can be taken up for betterment of air quality and related health issues.


What’s important?

  • For Prelims: SAFAR.
  • For Mains: Air pollution- challenges, mitigation and concerns.


Sources: the hindu.

Topic: Security agencies.


Narcotics Control Bureau

Context: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has raised concerns about the abuse and trafficking of Tramadol, a pain killer and suggested that the availability of Tramadol be substantially reduced in order to track its movement in the market. It is proposed to bring Tramadol, a painkiller, under the ambit of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.


Suggestions by NCB:

  • Manufacture Tramadol and codeine-based cough syrups in small batches to enable authorities to track the manufacturer.
  • Verify the existence of sale premises before a licence is granted by the states and conduct surprise raids in this regard.
  • All the state licensing authorities should re-consider proposal of reduction in batch size for manufacturing such drugs to control the diversion towards its abuse and misuse.


About NCB:

The Narcotics Control Bureau is the apex coordinating agency. The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 which came into effect from the 14th November, 1985 made an express provision for constituting a Central Authority for the purpose of exercising the powers and functions of the Central Government under the Act.

The Bureau, subject to the supervision and control of the Central Government, is to exercise the powers and functions of the Central Government for taking measures with respect to:

  • Co-ordination of actions by various offices, State Governments and other authorities under the N.D.P.S. Act, Customs Act, Drugs and Cosmetics Act and any other law for the time being in force in connection with the enforcement provisions of the NDPS Act, 1985.
  • Implementation of the obligation in respect of counter measures against illicit traffic under the various international conventions and protocols that are in force at present or which may be ratified or acceded to by India in future.
  • Assistance to concerned authorities in foreign countries and concerned international organisations to facilitate coordination and universal action for prevention and suppression of illicit traffic in these drugs and substances.
  • Coordination of actions taken by the other concerned Ministries, Departments and Organizations in respect of matters relating to drug abuse.


Key facts for Prelims:

  • The National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is based on the Directive Principles, contained in Article 47 of the Indian Constitution, which direct the State to endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption, except for medicinal purposes, of intoxicating drugs injurious to health.
  • The government’s policy on the subject which flows from this constitutional provision is also guided by the international conventions on the subject.
  • India is a signatory to the single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the Conventions on Psychotropic Substances, 1971 and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988.


Sources: pib.

Facts for Prelims:


Sagar Kavach:

Context: Coastal security exercise “Sagar Kavach” was recently held in Goa.

Key facts:

  • The exercise is conducted half yearly with an objective to check coastal security mechanism and validate standard operating procedures.
  • The organisations participating in the exercise are Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, Coastal Police, Police Special Branch, Intelligence Bureau, Customs, Department of Port, Department of Fisheries, Director General of Lighthouses and light ships and Fishing Community.


World’s smallest land fern:

Context: Researchers have discovered the world’s smallest land fern in the Ahwa forests of the Western Ghats in Gujarat’s Dang district.

Key facts:

  • The size of the new Malvi’s adder’s-tongue fern Ophioglossum malviae is just one centimetre.
  • The fingernail-sized fern belongs to a group known as the adder’s-tongue ferns, named after their resemblance to a snake’s tongue.
  • The ferns are seasonal and grow with the first monsoon rains. They last only for a few months and new plants are born through their spores next year.