Daily Gist of 'The Hindu', 'PIB', 'Indian Express' and Other Newspapers: 13 March, 2021_00.1
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Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 13 March, 2021

Daily news will speed up the preparation for the Civil Services Examination and it also plays a crucial role to grasp the current affairs topic comprehensively. Here we have covered most of the topics related to various categories including National, International, Sports, Science and Technology, and so on.

1. AmritMahotsav
Why in news?
RK Singh, Minister of State (I/C) for Power and New & Renewable Energy and Minister of State for Skill Development &Entrepreneurship, launches “Energy Efficiency Enterprise (E3) Certifications Programme for Brick Manufacturing Sector” in order to kick-start a series of events from Ministry of Power, Government of India under ‘AzadiKaAmritMahotsav’.
Key points are:
– On this occasion, Shri R K Singh appreciated the responses received from the bricks manufacturing enterprises for availing this certificate.
– He congratulated them for agreeing to shift from conventional to efficient technologies and product shift towards low-density bricks with better thermal insulation.
– He further stated that implementation of E3 Certification will lead to multiple benefits in terms of energy savings in the brick manufacturing process and improved quality of bricks resulting in cost savings to builders as well as energy savings to occupiers of buildings due to better thermal comfort and improved insulation properties.
– RK Singh urged the brick manufacturing industries to become E-3 capable in the next 2-3 years.
– During the event, Alok Kumar, Secretary (Power) said that India is the world’s second-largest producer of bricks and this demand is expected to multiply three to four times over the next 20 years, through an E3 Certification program.
– He emphasized that the brick manufacturing industry consumes about 45-50 million tonnes of coal equivalent annually, amounting to 5-15% of the total energy consumption in the country.
– The burnt clay brick sector has immense potential for energy efficiency and the proposed E3 Certification Scheme is aimed at tapping huge energy efficacy potential in this sector. Energy-saving of 7 Million Tonnes of oil equivalent (MTOE) per year and CO, savings of about 25 Million Tonnes by 2030 are estimated through the adoption of E3 Certification by 7500 Bricks manufacturing units.
– E3 Certification Scheme seeks to accelerate brick sector modernization, using market incentives to create customer demand to fulfil the vision for Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
– By availingE3 Certification, the brick units shall shift towards the adoption of more efficient technologies for making energy-efficient bricks. Such bricks will be useful in complying with the requirements of the Energy Conservation Buildings Code (ECBC).
– It is proposed to nudge the agencies/departments in the public sector like CPWD, NBCC, State Public Works Department Railways and Urban local bodies, etc., to create demand for energy-efficient/hollow bricks.

Daily Gist of 'The Hindu', 'PIB', 'Indian Express' and Other Newspapers: 13 March, 2021_50.1

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2. Jal Jeevan Mission
Why in news?
The Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat is chairing a Conference of States/ UTs Ministers on Jal Jeevan Mission on 13th March, 2021 with all Ministers of States/ UTs in-charge of Rural Water Supply and reviewing the progress made under Jal Jeevan Mission- a flagship programme of the Union Government for providing tap water connection in every rural household by 2024.
Key points are:
– The Minister of State for Jal Shakti- Shri Rattan Lal Kataria, Secretary DDWS- Shri Pankaj Kumar, Addl Secretary & Mission Director- Shri Bharat Lal will be present at the conference.
– The conference is organized to discuss planning, implementation and progress made so far as well as the way forward so that the remaining households in villages get tap water connections at the earliest.
– Reaffirming its commitment towards public health and well-being the Union Budget 2021-22 saw a quantum jump from Rs 11,500 crore in 2020-21 to Rs 50,011 crore in 2021-22.
– Immediately following the budget announcement, the Hon’ble Prime Minister chaired a high-level consultation with various stakeholders from the private sector, policymakers, academia, to invite ideas on ways to speed up the implementation of JJMin 2021-22.
– Since the announcement of the Jal Jeevan Mission on 15th August 2019, significant progress has been made across the country and so far, more than 3.79 Crore rural households have been provided with tap water connections.
– Undeterred in the spirit of JJM, since the beginning of the Mission, as on date, more than 3.79 Crore HHs are provided with tap water connections, i.e. more than 7 Crore rural families (36.65%) started getting clean water in their homes, i.e. more than 1/3rd of rural household are getting potable water through taps.
– Every family living in 52 districts, 672 Blocks, 42,322 Panchayats and 81,863 villages are getting assured tap water supply in their homes.
– In the conference – Hon’ble Minister Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawati’s scheduled to release the ‘Drinking water quality testing, monitoring & surveillance’ and also launch the JJM – Water Quality Management Information System (WQMIS).
– The Mission has developed the online portal and mobile app on WQMIS in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
– Under the mission aim is to provide 12 Crore household tap connections with an investment of more than 1 lakh crore annually for the next three years. Further, waterworks are planned for the remaining villages of the country.
– ‘Har Ghar Jal’ programme aims to skill 20 lakh skilled and semi-skilled workforce for building water supply infrastructure, water quality testing and for Operation & Management (O&M).
– The programme aims to mobilize people for the long-term sustainability of water supply systems in rural India.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 12 March, 2021
3. Ayya Vaikunda Swamikal
Why in news?
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid his respects to Ayya Vaikunda Swamikal on his birth anniversary on 12 March, 2021.
In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, “On his birth anniversary, I pay my respects to Ayya Vaikunda Swamikal, a great thinker and social reformer of the 19th century. His teachings helped society overcome social barriers and united people. His emphasis on equality continues to inspire us”.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 11 March, 2021
4. Space hurricane
Why in news?
Scientists from China recently discovered a space hurricane for the first time ever above the North pole.
Key points are:
– Previously, it was believed, space hurricanes were a theoretical phenomenon.
– As per their report, the hurricane measured roughly 600 miles across and rained down charged electrons for as long as eight hours.
– The space hurricane spun counterclockwise at speeds up to 4,700 miles per hour, the academic paper reported.
– The hurricane was reported in space directly above the North Pole.
– The new finding could help scientists learn more about how the Sun affects Earth’s atmosphere, gathering more details on how space weather might harm satellites and other objects in orbit.
About space hurricanes
– They are thought to be a result of the solar wind and Earth’s magnetic field interacting.
– It is a huge, funnel-like, spiral geomagnetic storm that occurs above the polar Ionosphere of Earth, during extremely quiet conditions.
– They are related to the aurora borealis phenomenon, as the electron precipitation from the storm’s funnel produces gigantic, cyclone-shaped auroras.
– They are made up of plasmas, consisting of extremely hot ionized gases that rotate at extremely high speeds.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 10 March, 2021
5. Annual democracy report
Why in news?
The fifth annual democracy report, titled ‘Autocratisation goes viral’, has been released by Sweden’s organisation Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Institute.
Key points are:
– The report summarises the state of democracies of the world against the backdrop of developments that have taken place over the past decade.
– India’s position has been downgraded from “the world’s largest democracy” to an “electoral autocracy”.
– Reasons behind the downgrade: “muzzling” of the media, and overuse of defamation and sedition laws.
– In censorship, India is now as autocratic as is Pakistan, and worse than both its neighbours Bangladesh and Nepal.
– The use of defamation “frequently used to silence journalists” and the use of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) have placed constraints on civil society and gone against the Constitution’s commitment to secularism.
– Universities and authorities have also punished students and activists in universities engaging in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).”
– As per the report civil society is being increasingly muzzled while organisations aligned with the “Hindutva movement” have gained freedom.
– Liberal democracies have diminished over the past decade from 41 countries to 32 countries.
– The global decline during the past 10 years is steep and continues in 2020, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.
– The level of democracy enjoyed by the average global citizen in 2020 is down to levels last found around 1990.
– “Electoral autocracies” remain the most popular regime type, and along with closed autocracies, number 87 states, home to 68 per cent of the world’s population.
– Several G20 nations such as Brazil, India, Turkey, and the United States of America are part of this drift.
– The number of democratising countries has dropped by almost half to 16, hosting a mere 4 per cent of the global population.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 9 March, 2021
6. Expansion of the Mid-day Meal Scheme
Why in news?
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education has recommended that all government schools start providing free breakfast in the coming academic year, as a part of an expansion of the midday meal scheme envisaged by the National Education Policy.
Key points are:
– The National Education Policy identifies “providing food and nutrition” as one of the key long-term thrust areas for financing to cultivate a robust education system.
– Research shows that the morning hours nutritious breakfast can be productive for the study of cognitively more demanding subjects and hence these hours may be leveraged by providing a simple but energizing breakfast in addition to midday meals.
– Severe funding Crunch is likely to delay the scheme.
– The Centre’s current expenditure on the Midday meals scheme is about 11000 crore. Free breakfast would involve an additional budget of 4000 crore but the School Education Department saw a budget cut of almost 5000 crore for the year 2020-21.
About Midday Meal Scheme
– The Midday meal scheme (under the Ministry of Education) is a centrally sponsored scheme that was launched in 1995.
– It is the world’s largest school meal programme aimed to attain the goal of universalization of primary education.
– Provides cooked meals to every child within the age group of six to fourteen years studying in classes I to VIII who enrols and attends the school.
– Address hunger and malnutrition, increase enrolment and attendance in school, improve socialisation among castes, provide employment at the grassroots level especially to women.

Daily Gist of 'The Hindu', 'PIB', 'Indian Express' and Other Newspapers: 13 March, 2021_60.1

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