Insights Daily Current Affairs, 29 May 2018
Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
“Transformation of aspirational” districts programme
Context: The Tata Trusts has joined hands with the government to help it in development initiatives in eight worst Naxal-affected districts in Chhattisgarh, which were covered under the “transformation of aspirational” districts programme.
- As per the pact, the Tata Trusts will help the government in conducting surveys and providing ground level and technical support in raising the living standards of citizens and ensuring inclusive growth for all.
About Transformation of Aspirational Districts Programme:
‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ was launched in January with an aim to quickly and effectively transform some of the most underdeveloped districts in the country.
- The broad contours of the programme are Convergence (of Central & State Schemes), Collaboration (of Central, State level ‘Prabhari’ Officers & District Collectors), and Competition among districts driven by a mass Movement.
- This will converge the central and state schemes, collaborate central, state and district collectors to strengthen these districts by identifying the low-hanging fruits for immediate improvement, measure progress and then rank the district by getting the data on a real-time basis.
Selection of backward districts:
The 115 districts, including 35 affected by left-wing extremism, were selected on parameters like deprivation (extent of landless households), health & nutrition (institutional delivery, stunting of children and wasting in children), education (elementary dropout rate and adverse pupil-teacher ratio) and infrastructure (un-electrified homes, lack of toilets, villages not connected by road and lack of drinking water).
Significance of the scheme:
- With states as the main drivers, this program will focus on the strength of each district, identify low-hanging fruits for immediate improvement, measure progress, and rank districts.
- Under the programme, identified districts are prodded and encouraged to first catch-up with the best district within their state, and subsequently aspire to become one of the best in the country, by competing with, and learning from others.
Need for the development of backward districts:
India cannot grow at a high rate on a long run until these districts catch up, whatever high are the GDP number, it has no meaning until the benefit of growth percolates down to very basic level. Ensuring progress in areas facing the most severe challenges and improving conditions in remote and rural regions are prerequisites for India to reach the next stage of its economic and human development.
Through its massive scale and innovative use of data, the aspirational districts programme (ADP) will help India move towards its goals.
- For Prelims: Transformation of Aspirational Districts programme, Prabhari officers.
- For Mains: Cooperative federalism and its significance.
Topic: India and its neighbourhood- relations.
India’s second IT corridor in China
Context: The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has launched its second IT corridor in China to cash in on the burgeoning Chinese software market which remained elusive despite the presence of top Indian technology firms.
- The newly established Digital Collaborative Opportunities Plaza (SIDCOP) platform at Guiyang in China provides market access to Indian IT firms in the huge Chinese market.
- The Guiyang corridor will focus on Big Data. Last December, the NASSCOM established its first SIDCOP platform in the Chinese port city of Dalian, which is India’s first IT hub in China. Dalian corridor’s focus was on IOT (Internet of Things).
- The corridor is aimed at setting up local offices and assisting companies from Guiyang to establish software and IT units in India.
India’s top IT firms have a big presence in China, specially multi-nationals and IT Corridor at Dalian which are expected to provide a gateway for the Indian IT-small and medium-sized enterprises.
India is a world leader in the area of Information Technology and IT-enabled services with annual revenue of over $164 billion and exports of over $120 billion. The country has been demanding China to provide market access to Indian IT and pharmaceutical firms for several years to reduce bilateral trade deficit.
- For India, getting access to China’s IT market, valued at over $493 billion in 2013 by the ministry of industry and information technology of China, is important to address the massive trade deficit which has now spiralled to over $51 billion. The Chinese IT market grew exponentially since then.
- The two corridors, which were started in collaboration with China’s provincial governments, are expected to provide the much-needed big opening for Indian IT firms.
For Prelims and Mains: India’s IT corridors and their significance.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Conservation related topics.
‘Green’ Cricket in India
The main aim of the partnership is to spread greater awareness about key environmental challenges that are facing the country and highlight alternate and more sustainable solutions.
- Through the agreement, the BCCI will endeavor to reduce its environmental impact by greening its operations and engaging cricketers and fans in green initiatives.
- The partnership will help make cricket green and sensitise spectators towards minimising waste generation during matches.
- The partnership will also focus on phasing out single-use plastic across stadiums and cricket events in the country.
As global host of World Environment Day in 2018, India is leading the global charge to #BeatPlasticPollution in the country, and around the world. It is estimated that the world uses 10 million plastic bags every minute, and much of ends up in our oceans and landfills and is ingested by marine animals and wildlife.
About UN Environment:
UN Environment is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UN Environment works with governments, the private sector, civil society and with other UN entities and international organizations across the world.
About the Board of Control for Cricket in India:
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is the national governing body for cricket in India. Today, the BCCI has 30 full-time members. It organizes – among others – the Indian Premiere League.
About World Environment Day:
World Environment Day is the single largest celebration of our environment each year. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated across the globe.
For Prelims: World Environment Day, BCCI and UNEP.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Conservation related issues.
Context: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) has rolled out the ‘Gaj Yatra’ from Tura, the principal town of Garo Hills in Meghalaya. The event involves taking an elephant mascot across districts frequented by jumbo herds for generating awareness among the people.
The role of Nokmas, traditional custodians of the land, is important here in supporting the move towards co-existence between man and animal and helping conservationists for the success of the initiative.
About Gaj Yatra:
- ‘Gaj Yatra’, a nationwide campaign to protect elephants, was launched on the occasion of World Elephant Day in 2017. The campaign is planned to cover 12 elephant range states. The elephant is part of India’s animal heritage and the Government celebrates this day to spread awareness about the conservation of the species.
- The 15 months campaign will be led by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). The campaign aims to create awareness about elephant corridors to encourage free movement in their habitat.
WORLD ELEPHANT DAY:
World Elephant Day is an annual global event celebrated across the world on August 12, dedicated to the preservation and protection of elephants. The goal of World Elephant Day is to create awareness about the plight of elephants and to share knowledge and positive solutions for the better care and management of captive and wild elephants.
- African elephants are listed as “vulnerable” and Asian elephants as “endangered” in the IUCN Red List of threatened species. As per the available population estimates, there are about 400,000 African elephants and 40,000 Asian elephants.
- World Elephant Day is celebrated to focus the attention of various stakeholders in supporting various conservation policies to help protect elephants, including improving enforcement policies to prevent illegal poaching and trade in ivory, conserving elephant habitats, providing better treatment for captive elephants and reintroducing captive elephants into sanctuaries.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas.
Inner Line Permit
Context: The Manipur government is all set to introduce the Inner Line Permit bill in the forthcoming monsoon session of the assembly.
The Manipur Assembly had passed three bills in this connection in 2015 but the President did not give assent to one bill while the two others were rejected even as most tribals in the state had objected to the bills terming them as “anti-tribal”.
The influx of foreign tourists has increased exponentially in Manipur, thus creating a demographic imbalance in the region. If this was not enough, illegal immigration from Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar has also contributed to the crisis. This has created fear among the locals over employment and availability of resources. At a time where there already exists stiff competition between the locals and outsiders over jobs, the outsiders mostly settle for low paid work. Hence, locals feel ILP fails to safeguard the interests of the indigenous people.
WHAT IS THE INNER LINE PERMIT?
The Inner Line Permit (ILP) is an official travel document issued by the Government of India to grant inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period. It is obligatory for Indians residing outside those states to obtain permission prior to entering the protected areas.
- Currently, the Inner Line Permit is operational in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
- The document has been issued under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 and the conditions and restrictions vary from state to state.
- It can be issued for travel purposes solely. Visitors are not allowed to purchase property in these regions. However, there might be a different set of rules for long term visitors, though they are not valid for central government employees and security forces.
- For Prelims: All about ILP.
- For Mains: Significance and Challenges posed by ILP.
Sources: the hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems:
Context: India has concluded price negotiations with Russia for a nearly Rs 40,000 crore deal to procure S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems for the Indian Air Force.
- In 2016, India and Russia had signed an agreement on the ‘Triumf’ interceptor-based missile system which can destroy incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones at ranges of up to 400 km.
- S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system.