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Current Affairs 8 March 2024 for UPSC And State PSC Exam

NAMASTE Scheme- Safety and Empowerment of Sanitation Workers

The Government has rolled out the National Action for Mechanized Sanitation Ecosystem (NAMASTE) Scheme, signifying a robust commitment to enhancing the safety and dignity of those involved in sewer and septic tank cleaning. This groundbreaking initiative is spearheaded by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Scheme Overview and Objectives

Spanning three years from FY 2023-24 to FY 2025-26 with a budget of ₹349.73 crores, the NAMASTE Scheme is set to transform the sanitation sector. It aims to mechanize sanitation processes, eliminating the need for manual cleaning and ensuring worker safety. The scheme promises comprehensive benefits for Sewer and Septic Tank Workers (SSWs), including personal protective equipment (PPE), safety training, health insurance, and support for starting sanitation enterprises.

Digital Profiling and Worker Identification

A cornerstone of the NAMASTE Scheme is the digital profiling of SSWs, intended to create a national database and assign unique NAMASTE IDs. This initiative has already seen significant progress, with thousands of workers surveyed and validated across various states.

Training and Capacity Building

Extensive training sessions on the profiling process and the NAMASTE Mobile App have been conducted, reaching over 2,000 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) nationwide. These sessions are designed to familiarize local officials and surveyors with the scheme’s objectives and technical aspects, ensuring accurate and efficient worker profiling.

Launching and Implementation

The scheme has launched multiple projects across different states, focusing on areas like health insurance coverage under PM-JAY and occupational safety training. Additionally, it provides capital subsidies for purchasing sanitation-related vehicles/equipment and distributes safety devices to enhance working conditions.

Towards a Safer Sanitation Ecosystem

The NAMASTE Scheme represents a significant step forward in safeguarding the well-being of India’s sanitation workers. By offering a suite of benefits and focusing on mechanization and skill development, the scheme not only aims to eliminate hazardous manual cleaning practices but also to uplift the sanitation workforce, empowering them with the tools and opportunities needed for a safer and more dignified work environment.

Prime Minister Unveils Tourism Boost with 52 Projects Under Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD Schemes

Revitalizing Indian Tourism: A Multifaceted Approach

In a significant move to enhance India’s tourism infrastructure, the Prime Minister has inaugurated and launched 52 projects valued at over ₹1400 crores. These initiatives, spread across the nation, are part of the Swadesh Darshan and Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) schemes.

Spotlight on Key Projects

Among the notable projects is the ‘Integrated Development of Hazratbal Shrine’ in Srinagar, aimed at enriching the cultural and spiritual experience for visitors. Additionally, 43 other projects, aimed at developing pilgrimage and heritage sites, have been initiated to further enrich India’s diverse tourism landscape.

Innovative Campaigns to Bolster Tourism

The Prime Minister has also introduced visionary campaigns to engage both domestic and international audiences:

  • Dekho Apna Desh People’s Choice 2024: A nationwide poll to identify top tourist attractions, encouraging public participation in shaping India’s tourism future.
  • Chalo India Global Diaspora Campaign: An initiative inviting Indian diaspora members to become ambassadors of Incredible India, promoting tourism among their global networks.

Fostering Destination Development

The Challenge Based Destination Development (CBDD) scheme, aiming to create sustainable and responsible tourism destinations, was also highlighted. With 42 destinations across 25 States/UTs chosen for development, this scheme aligns with India’s broader tourism goals.

Swadesh Darshan Scheme- A Legacy of Growth

Launched in 2014-15, the Swadesh Darshan Scheme has significantly contributed to the development of tourism infrastructure, supporting 76 projects across India. The revamped Swadesh Darshan 2.0 aims to further this legacy by promoting sustainable and responsible tourism through collaborative efforts with States/UTs and local governments.

Promoting Local Engagement

The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of supporting local communities by encouraging tourists to purchase local products. Highlighting Jammu & Kashmir’s potential as a premier wedding destination, he underscored the region’s remarkable growth in tourism, with record numbers visiting in the recent past.

“Sea Defenders-2024″: Strengthening Indo-US Maritime Collaboration

In a significant move to enhance Indo-US maritime cooperation, the US Coast Guard Ship Bertholf docked at Port Blair on March 7, 2024. This visit sets the stage for the collaborative maritime exercise “Sea Defenders-2024” with the Indian Coast Guard (ICG), scheduled for March 9-10, 2024, off the coast of Port Blair.

Exercise Objectives and Scenarios

“Sea Defenders-2024” aims to fortify bilateral maritime security and cooperation, focusing on a range of simulated threats and emergency response exercises. Participants will engage in realistic scenarios including maritime piracy, asymmetric threats like drone attacks on commercial vessels, joint search and rescue missions, extensive firefighting drills, marine pollution management, and counter-drug operations. A key highlight will be a simulated medical evacuation to bolster preparedness for maritime emergencies.

USCGC Bertholf: A Maritime Powerhouse

The Legend-class USCG Cutter Bertholf, renowned for its advanced capabilities, plays a pivotal role in this exercise. Equipped with sophisticated sensors, communication systems, and a helicopter landing pad, the Bertholf exemplifies the US Coast Guard’s commitment to complex law enforcement and national security missions. Its journey from Alameda, California, covering over 16,000 Nautical Miles to reach India, underscores the shared dedication to maintaining maritime safety and promoting a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific.

Deepening Indo-US Maritime Ties

This joint exercise is a testament to the robust partnership between the Indian and United States Coast Guards, reflecting a broader strategic alliance between the two nations. Regular interactions, including training, exercises, and cooperative measures, have cemented a professional relationship aimed at addressing global maritime challenges. The visit of USCG Ship Midgett to Chennai in September 2022 further illustrates the ongoing commitment to enhancing maritime cooperation and security in the region.

James Webb Space Telescope Unveils Ancient Galaxy’s Rapid Transition to Dormancy

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has made a groundbreaking discovery by capturing an image of the oldest-known galaxy that ceased star formation 13 billion years ago. This remarkable find offers a unique window into the early universe, providing insights into the life cycles of ancient galaxies.

Universe’s Youthful Era

Identified when the universe was a mere 700 million years old, this galaxy’s existence aligns closely with the universe’s estimated age of 13.8 billion years. The study, published in Nature, highlights the galaxy’s brief yet intense star-forming epoch that lasted between 30 to 90 million years, before abruptly ending 10 to 20 million years before the JWST’s observation.

Deciphering the End of Star Formation

The cessation of star formation in this galaxy poses intriguing questions about the mechanisms that regulate or halt this process within galaxies. The JWST’s findings may shed light on whether the factors influencing star formation have evolved over the eons.

A Comparative Analysis with Hubble’s Discoveries

Prior observations by the Hubble Space Telescope had identified six early, massive “dead” galaxies that ceased star formation due to the depletion of the necessary cold hydrogen gas. These galaxies were active in star birth around three billion years post-Big Bang. However, JWST’s capabilities enable the detection of “dead” galaxies with higher redshift and lower mass, offering a deeper understanding of early galactic dynamics.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

It is a space science observatory and the largest, most powerful telescope ever launched into space. It serves as the scientific successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. JWST was developed through a collaboration involving NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

Launched on December 25, 2021, the JWST is designed to offer unprecedented resolution and sensitivity, allowing astronomers to observe some of the most distant events and objects in the universe, including the formation of the first galaxies, stars, and planetary systems. Unlike Hubble, which primarily observes in the near ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared spectra, JWST focuses on the infrared range, enabling it to look further back in time and to see through clouds of dust that can obscure other wavelengths of light.

The Role of Gas in Galactic Evolution

The early universe, abundant in gas, facilitated rampant star formation, akin to an “all-you-can-eat buffet.” However, the cessation of star formation in later eras points towards the exhaustion of this gas supply, potentially influenced by internal factors such as supermassive black holes or the rapid consumption of gas by star formation without adequate replenishment. Despite its current dormant state, researchers do not dismiss the possibility of this ancient galaxy reigniting star formation. Ongoing and future observations may unveil further details about this galaxy’s past and potential future.

Expanding the Search for Dormant Early Galaxies

The research team is committed to identifying more galaxies from the universe’s formative years to unravel the mysteries behind the cessation of star formation. These efforts aim to enrich our understanding of galactic evolution and the intricate processes governing the cosmos.

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Hey there! I'm Nikesh, a content writer at Adda247. I specialize in creating informative content focused on UPSC and State PSC exams. Join me as we unravel the complexities of these exams and turn aspirations into achievements together!

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