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[Mission 2024] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 29 August 2023

 

InstaLinks :  help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions ina your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

  1. Flood Plain Zoning

 

GS Paper 2:

  1. 9 years of PM Jhan Dhan Yojana

 

GS Paper 3:

  1. Aditya-L1 solar mission

 

Content for Mains Enrichment

  1. Fire Prevention Zone (Canada)
  2. India’s First Solar Roof Cycling Track (Hyderabad)
  3. Solution for Mitigating human-wildlife conflict

 

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. SVAMITVA Scheme
  2. 6th Census Report on Minor Irrigation (MI) Schemes
  3. 23rd August will be celebrated as the National Space Day
  4. Solar Orbiter Spacecraft Discovers Tiny Jets That Could Power the Solar Wind
  5. IU CN’s Tiger Programme Launches Phase IV Call for Concept Notes
  6. Acroynym “RAISE” for Business
  7. Emperor Penguin
  8. Chinese Navy is testing the most powerful coil gun ever built
  9. Military exercises in News

 

Flood Plain Zoning

GS1/GS3 Paper 

 Syllabus: Geography/ Disaster Management

 

Source: IE

 Context: Reckless urbanization near riverbeds is a key factor in recent floods in Punjab. Experts from the National Institute of Hydrology emphasize the need for floodplain zoning plans as a long-term solution to mitigate flood losses.

 

What is Flood Plain Zoning?

Floodplain zoning is a land use planning strategy that designates specific areas along rivers and water bodies for various uses based on their susceptibility to flooding.

Aim: The aim of floodplain zoning is to regulate development in these areas to minimize the potential damage and risks associated with floods.

 

Example of floodplain zoning:

The areas along the river are divided into different zones based on the likelihood and severity of flooding:

  • High-Risk Zone (Zone A): This zone is closest to the river and has the highest risk of flooding during heavy rain events.
    • In this zone, only limited and essential structures are allowed, such as flood-resistant community centres, parks, and open spaces. Permanent residential or commercial buildings are prohibited to prevent damage and loss of life.
  • Moderate-Risk Zone (Zone B): This zone is located slightly farther from the river and has a moderate risk of flooding.
    • Here, some residential and commercial development is allowed, but structures must adhere to flood-resistant design standards. Building elevations might be required to keep living spaces above potential flood levels.
  • Low-Risk Zone (Zone C): This zone is situated at a greater distance from the river and has a lower risk of flooding.
    • In this area, most types of development are permitted, including homes, businesses, and recreational facilities. However, structures might still need to meet certain flood-resistant criteria to ensure safety.

 

Different aspects of Flood Plain Zoning:

Aspects  
Benefit Well-maintained flood plains act as natural defences against flooding and recharge groundwater levels.
Identification of flood plains based on topography helps in better land use planning.
It not only reduces the damage caused by floods but also maintains the ecological balance of the floodplain and helps recharge groundwater levels.
Proper zoning can prevent unsuitable constructions and concretization of flood plains.
Challenges Lack of zoning leads to encroachment and mismanagement of flood plains.
Unsuitable constructions push floods further inland and delay floodwater drainage.
Floodplain degradation affects soil fertility and quality.

 

States have shown resistance to implementing floodplain management, including potential legislation, primarily due to population pressure and the lack of alternative livelihoods.

Current Situation Punjab lacks proper floodplain zoning despite NGT directions.
Four states (Manipur, the erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand) have adopted floodplain zoning on paper but implementation is limited.
Environmental activists and NGOs in Punjab are advocating for floodplain zoning.

 

NDMA guidelines:

As per guidelines on floodplain zoning by the National Disaster Management Authority, defence installations, industries, and public utilities like hospitals, electricity installations, water supply, telephone exchanges, aerodromes, railway stations, commercial centres, etc. should be located such that they are above the levels corresponding to a 100-year frequency or the maximum observed flood levels.

 

NGT direction:

According to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), there should be no construction within a 500 m area from the central lining of a river.

 

Model Bill for Flood Plain Zoning:

The Model Bill for Flood Plain Zoning outlines provisions for flood zoning authorities, surveys, delineation of flood plain areas, notification of limits, prohibition of flood plain use, compensation, and crucially, removal of obstructions for unimpeded water flow. It proposes replacing low-lying settlements with parks and playgrounds to reduce the loss of life and property.

  

Mains Links:

What is floodplain? What is its ecological significance? Floodplains of some of India’s rivers are said to be under severe pressure from various anthropogenic activities. Examine these activities and their impact on floodplains. (15M)

9 years of PM Jhan Dhan Yojana

GS2 Paper

 Syllabus: Government policies and intervention

 

Source: PIB

 Context: The government is celebrating 9 years of completion of Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) in revolutionizing financial inclusion in India.

 

What is financial inclusion?

It is ensuring access to financial services and credit for vulnerable groups at an affordable cost. In India, it’s vital for development and progress. Access to a transaction account is a key step, allowing storage, payments, and transfers, acting as a gateway to broader financial services.

 

What is PMJDY?

The PMJDY, the world’s largest financial inclusion mission, reached a significant milestone by surpassing 500 million accounts after nine years since its launch.

 

About the scheme:

Key Successes of PMJDY:

Aspects: Examples
Achievement ·        Providing banking access to rural and urban populations alike

·        Crossed 500 million accounts

·        Over ₹2 lakh crore deposit

Women Empowerment Increased financial inclusion for women; over 55% of accounts belong to women
Rural & Semi-Urban Focus Extending banking facilities to underserved regions; 67% of accounts opened in these areas
RuPay Cards Offering insurance benefits to account holders; About 340 million were issued with ₹2 lakh accident insurance cover
Inclusion Empowering financially vulnerable sections; Brought marginalized sections into the formal banking system
Financial Benefits Enabling individuals to save and transfer funds securely; Savings brought into the formal financial system, remittance opportunities, freedom from usurious money lenders
Role in Welfare Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT) using PMJDY accounts; Used to distribute welfare packages without pilferage, including COVID-19 financial assistance, PM-Kisan, MGNREGA, and insurance covers
Digital Platform Providing easy access to banking services; the Jan Dhan Darshak app locates banking touchpoints
JAM Architecture Facilitating direct transfer of government benefits; Part of JAM (Jan-Dhan, Aadhaar, mobile) system for subsidy delivery and benefits transfer
Formalisation of Financial System It provides an avenue for the poor to bring their savings into the formal financial system, an avenue to remit money to their families in villages besides taking them out of the clutches of the usurious money lenders

 

 

Conclusion:

Efforts are being made to provide micro-insurance coverage to PMJDY account holders, with eligible individuals being targeted for inclusion in schemes like PMJJBY and PMSBY. To facilitate this, acceptance infrastructure is being established across the country. Moreover, steps are being taken to enhance the access of PMJDY account holders to micro-credit and micro-investment options such as flexi-recurring deposits.

 

Insta Links:

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana

 

Mains Links:

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is necessary for bringing the unbanked to the institutional finance fold. Do you agree with this for the financial inclusion of the poorer section of Indian society? Give arguments to justify your opinion. ( UPSC 2016)

 

Prelims Links:

‘Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana’ has been launched for (UPSC 2015)

(a) providing housing loans to poor people at cheaper interest rates
(b) promoting women’s Self-Help Groups in backward areas
(c) promoting financial inclusion in the country
(d) providing financial help to the marginalized communities

 

Ans: (c)

Aditya-L1 solar mission

GS paper 3

 Syllabus: Science and Technology: Space

 

Source: HT, IE

 

Context:  The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch the Aditya-L1 solar mission on September 2, 2023.

More about the news:

  • The spacecraft will be launched from the Sriharikota spaceport on the PSLV rocket.
  • Aim: Aditya-L1 aims to study the Sun from a halo orbit around the Lagrangian point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth systems, about 1.5 million km away from Earth.

We already discussed Aditya-L1 a few days back in our FFP. Here we will analyse its significance.

 

Aspect Explanation
Mission Objective To study the Sun, its upper atmospheric dynamics (chromosphere and corona), and understand the physics of the solar corona and its heating mechanism for the five-year time period.

Launch Vehicle Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)
Orbit L1 orbit (First Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth system)
Primary Payload Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC)
Other Payloads Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT), Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS), High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS), Aditya Solar wind Particle EXperiment (ASPEX), Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA)
Significance of VELC VELC is a solar coronagraph capable of simultaneous imaging, spectroscopy, and spectro-polarimetry. It can image the solar corona down to 1.05 times the solar radius.
Purpose of Studying the Sun To gain a deeper understanding of the Sun’s radiation, heat, flow of particles, and magnetic fields; provide clues about the high temperature of the solar corona; understand space weather dynamics; and offer early warnings for solar events.
Importance of L1 Point L1 point provides an unobstructed view of the Sun, even during phenomena like an eclipse; allows payloads to directly observe the Sun; makes the mission fuel-efficient.
Significance of Lagrange Points Lagrange points are equilibrium positions in space where the gravitational forces of two large bodies, like the Earth and the Sun, produce enhanced regions of attraction and repulsion.
Benefits of Studying the Sun from Space Provides more detailed information due to the absence of Earth’s atmosphere; helps understand solar phenomena; enables monitoring of solar events and their potential impacts on Earth.

 

Other Solar Missions by Different Countries:

United States ·        Parker Solar Probe (August 2018): Touched the Sun’s upper atmosphere, sampled particles and magnetic fields in December 2021

·        Solar Orbiter (February 2020): Explores the Sun’s changing space environment

Japan ·        Hinotori (ASTRO-A, 1981): Studied solar flares using hard X-rays

·        Yohkoh (SOLAR-A, 1991): Studied solar activity

·        Hinode (SOLAR-B, 2006): Studied the Sun’s impact on Earth.

Europe ·        Ulysses (October 1990): Studied space environment above and below the Sun’s poles

·        Proba-2 (October 2001): Part of solar exploratory missions.

·        Upcoming: Proba-3 (2024), Smile (2025)

China Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory (ASO-S, October 2022): Launched to observe the Sun.

 

The Aditya-L1 mission by ISRO holds significant importance for India due to its focus on studying the Sun and the solar corona. This mission aims to achieve the following:

  • Scientific Understanding: The mission’s primary objective is to deepen our understanding of the Sun, its radiation, magnetic fields, and the flow of particles.
  • Space Weather Forecasting: By studying the Sun’s behaviour, the mission can contribute to predicting space weather events, such as solar flares, that can disrupt satellite communications and other technologies on Earth.
  • Technological Advancement: Developing a space-based observatory to study the Sun demonstrates India’s technological prowess in space exploration and adds to its reputation in the global space community.
  • International Collaboration: Participating in solar research aligns with international efforts to understand the Sun and its effects.
  • Education and Inspiration: The mission inspires future scientists, engineers, and researchers by showcasing India’s achievements in space science and encouraging the pursuit of space-related careers.
  • Data for Innovation: The collected data can lead to innovations in technology, materials science, and various other fields that can benefit India’s technological landscape.

 

Insta Links:

Aditya-L1

 

Mains Links:

Discuss India’s achievements in the field of Space Science and Technology. How the application of this technology has helped India in its socio-economic development? (UPSC 2016)

 

Prelims Links: (UPSC 2013)

Consider the following phenomena:

  1. Size of the sun at dusk
  2. Colour of the sun at dawn
  3. Moon being visible at dawn
  4. Twinkle of stars in the sky
  5. Polestar being visible in the sky

 

 

Which of the above are optical illusions?

(a) 1, 2 and 4 only

(b) 3, 4 and 5 only

(c) 1, 2 and 4 only

(d) 2, 3 and 5 only

 

Fire Prevention Zone (Canada)

Content for Mains Enrichment

 

Source: IE

In Canada, a well-constructed fire prevention zone established by a local Indigenous logging company proved crucial in safeguarding a community from a threatening wildfire.

Fire prevention zones are designated areas meticulously managed to mitigate the risk of wildfire spread and associated damage.

The Indigenous logging company, Ntityix Development, employed traditional Indigenous forestry practices to craft the fire prevention zone. These practices encompassed activities such as forest thinning, clearing debris from the ground, and controlled burning of debris and ground cover. This approach aimed to curtail the availability of fuel for wildfires.

Usage: The example can be used in disaster management Questions. It underscores the significance of proactive initiatives such as fire prevention zones, especially as climate change intensifies wildfire seasons.

 India’s First Solar Roof Cycling Track (Hyderabad)

Content for Mains Enrichment

 

Source: TH

 Hyderabad is embracing a sustainable shift towards cycling, with the introduction of an innovative solar roof cycling track (23 KM long) near the city’s Outer Ring Road (ORR).

 

The track encompasses three lanes and consists of two segments. Distinguished by its 16MW solar panels fixed on the roof, this project sets an impressive sustainability precedent.

Usage: The example can be used in governance/disaster management/ environment Questions.

Solution for Mitigating human-wildlife conflict

Content for Mains Enrichment 

 

Source: TH

 In Assam’s Udalguri district, efforts are underway to secure a significant elephant habitat and reduce human-elephant conflicts. This initiative involves planting 25,000 saplings of native tree species, including Amla and bel, both crucial for elephants’ diets. The project spans a 100-hectare habitat within the Rowta Reserve Forest, situated in proximity to Bhutan’s border.

The chosen tree species, such as gamhari, jamun, bhumura, arjun, elephant apple, and khair, are studied to be essential components of elephants’ diets.

Furthermore, to promote human-elephant coexistence, alternative livelihood opportunities have been provided to communities impacted by conflicts with elephants. Training in poultry farming has been extended to villagers, particularly women, across the Garo Hills region.

 Usage: This holistic approach underscores the importance of restoring natural habitats, ensuring biodiversity, and fostering harmonious relationships between humans and wildlife. The example can be used in Environment conservation Questions.

SVAMITVA Scheme

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: PIB

 Context: The SVAMITVA Scheme, initiated by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, has been awarded the prestigious National Award for e-Governance 2023 (Gold) for its innovative use of emerging technologies to provide citizen-centric services.

  • The award was presented at the 26th National Conference on e-Governance (NCeG). The scheme employs advanced technologies such as drones and GIS (Geographic Information System) to conduct surveys and mapping of inhabited areas in villages.
  • This allows property owners in rural regions to receive official ownership documents, known as Property Cards.

 

Benefits:

  • These cards have multiple benefits, including enabling property owners to access bank loans and other financial opportunities using their rural residential assets as collateral.
  • The technology aids in resolving land-related disputes through the creation of highly accurate maps with 5cm precision.

The collaborative effort involves the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Survey of India, State Revenue and Panchayati Raj Departments, and NIC-GIS.

6th Census Report on Minor Irrigation (MI) Schemes

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: PIB

 Context: The Ministry of Jal Shakti has released the 6th census report on minor irrigation (MI) schemes, providing crucial data for effective planning and policy-making in this sector.

  

Key Highlights:

  • The census reveals that there are a total of 23.14 million minor irrigation schemes in India, with 94.8% (21.93 million) being Ground Water (GW) schemes and 5.2% (1.21 million) being Surface Water (SW) schemes.
  • Uttar Pradesh holds the highest number of MI schemes, followed by Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.
  • The report indicates a growth of 1.42 million MI schemes compared to the previous census, with a 6.9% increase in GW schemes and a 1.2% increase in SW schemes.
  • The ownership of MI schemes is primarily private (96.6%), with a notable finding that 18.1% of individually owned schemes are owned by women.

23rd August will be celebrated as the National Space Day

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 Source: PIB

 Context: The Prime Minister visited the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru and addressed the ISRO team about the success of Chandrayaan-3.

  

Key Highlights from PM speech:

  • The Prime Minister celebrated the achievement of Chandrayaan-3 as a significant scientific milestone that demonstrates India’s prowess in space exploration. He also announced that the point of Chandrayaan-3’s landing would be known as ‘Shiv Shakti.’
  • He acknowledged the contribution of women scientists and referred to the Chandrayaan-2 landing site as ‘Tiranga,’ highlighting its significance in inspiring efforts and overcoming failures.
  • He announced that August 23rd will be observed as ‘National Space Day’ to celebrate science, technology, and innovation.

He emphasized the role of space technology in governance, linking it to initiatives like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, education, healthcare, and disaster management. He encouraged ISRO to organize hackathons on ‘Space Technology in Governance’ to make governance more effective.

Solar Orbiter Spacecraft Discovers Tiny Jets That Could Power the Solar Wind

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: Hindustan Times

 

Context: The ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter spacecraft has identified numerous small jets of material emanating from the Sun’s outer atmosphere, lasting for 20 to 100 seconds and expelling plasma at speeds around 100 km/s.

  • These jets, detected by Solar Orbiter’s Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) instrument, could potentially be the source of the solar wind.
  • Composed of charged particles (called picoflare jets), the solar wind continuously escapes the Sun and affects space dynamics.

 

These observations shed light on how and where the solar wind is generated, a longstanding challenge in solar research. The jets are associated with plasma ejections from the solar atmosphere, and their discovery suggests that the solar wind may originate from intermittent, highly energetic outflows rather than just a steady flow.

IUCN’s Tiger Programme Launches Phase IV Call for Concept Notes

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: IUCN

  

Context: The Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHCP) has launched a Call for Concept Notes for Phase IV of the Tiger Programme, aiming to further protect big cats and their environments.

  • This phase will expand eligibility to include species beyond tigers.
  • Leopards and both mainland and Sunda clouded leopards are now eligible for funding. The call is open to countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, and Thailand, focusing on specific conservation areas.

 

The ITHCP’s success in increasing tiger populations by 40% since 2015 highlights the effectiveness of such initiatives. This phase signifies a vital step towards safeguarding diverse species, their habitats, and surrounding communities.

  

About ITHCP:

ITHCP, launched in 2014, is a strategic funding mechanism supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

/ 29 August 2023, Today's Article

Acroynym “RAISE” for Business

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: PIB

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the B20 Summit India 2023, highlighting various aspects related to business, sustainability, and global cooperation.

  • The B20 Summit India is a platform for policymakers, business leaders, and experts to discuss policy recommendations for G20. Its theme is “RAISE”.
Term Explanation
R – Responsible Emphasizes the need for businesses to act responsibly and consider their impact on society and the environment.
A – Accelerated Refers to the need for businesses to drive economic growth and development through rapid progress and innovation.
I – Innovative Highlights the importance of innovation in business strategies to adapt to changing global dynamics.
S – Sustainable Advocates for businesses to adopt practices that ensure long-term sustainability for both the economy and the planet.
E – Equitable Focuses on promoting fairness and inclusiveness in business practices, ensuring benefits are shared widely.

 

Other Key points:

  • The PM also proposed the idea of an “International Consumer Care Day” to strengthen trust between businesses and consumers.
  • The Prime Minister emphasized India’s role in creating a trusted global supply chain and promoting sustainability. He called for businesses to go beyond profit and focus on supply chain resilience and sustainability.

Emperor Penguin

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  

Source: IE

 Why disappearance of sea ice cause catastrophic breeding failure of emperor penguins?

Emperor penguins’ breeding cycle heavily relies on stable sea ice, where they spend their entire breeding cycle. The sea ice, present from April to December, provides the necessary platform for their breeding and fledging activities (the stage in the development of young birds when they acquire the feathers and abilities necessary for flight.).

As a result of the loss of sea ice, the penguin chicks were unable to develop their waterproof adult wings and regulate their body temperature. This led to their vulnerability to drowning or freezing to death.

While emperor penguins usually adapt to localized ice loss by moving to stable sites, the extensive shrinking of sea ice extent makes this strategy unfeasible.

This incident marked the first recorded instance of widespread breeding failure of emperor penguins across multiple colonies due to sea ice loss.

Chinese Navy is testing the most powerful coil gun ever built

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: Business Standard

 

Context: The Chinese navy is reportedly testing an advanced coil gun, an electromagnetic weapon that can launch high-speed projectiles with exceptional velocity.

  • Coil guns, also known as magnetic accelerators, have the potential to revolutionize warfare by allowing faster and more devastating attacks on enemy targets. These weapons could be used for launching missiles or satellites into space.
  • Compared to traditional artillery, the coil gun offers advantages such as faster launch speeds and lower launch costs.
  • The potential applications of coil guns extend to weapon systems, near-earth satellites, and high-speed missile launches.

 

The technology involves a series of energized coils along the barrel of the gun that generate a magnetic field to propel the projectile forward without touching the barrel’s walls. This approach prevents wear on components and enables repeated firings. Despite the technology’s existence for decades, challenges in materials science have limited the development of powerful coil gun models.

Military exercises in News

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: PIB

 Exercise BRIGHT STAR-23: An Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent has departed to participate in Exercise BRIGHT STAR-23, a biennial multilateral tri-service exercise scheduled to take place at Cairo (West) Air Base, Egypt, from August 27 to September 16, 2023.

This marks the first time that the IAF is participating in Ex BRIGHT STAR-23, joining contingents from the United States of America, Saudi Arabia, Greece, and Qatar.

Other exercises between India and Egypt: Exercise Cyclone-I: It Is a bilateral exercise between the special forces of the Indian Army and the Egyptian Army. The first edition of the exercise was held in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan in January 2023.

  

Also in the News: 

AUSINDEX-23 is a biennial maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy

 

Read the CA in PDF format here: 

 


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