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Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 20 April, 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. Punjab All Set to become ‘Har Ghar Jal’ State by 2022

Why in news?

Punjab State presented their Jal Jeevan Mission Annual Action Plan on 19 April, 2021 through a video conference. During the presentation, Punjab State reiterated the commitment of the State to achieve the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ target by 2022 as planned.

Key points are:

– Punjab has 34.73 lakh rural household, out of which 25.88 lakh (74.5%) have a tap water supply.

– In 2021-22, the State plans to provide 8.87 lakh tap connections, thereby providing tap connection to every rural household.

– Punjab has 1,634 habitations, which are Arsenic, Fluoride and other contamination affected.

– Out of these 558 habitations have been covered by the State, while for the remaining habitations, as a short-term measure, the State will provide potable water in all the quality-affected habitations.

– The exercise of discussing and finalizing the Annual Action Plan (AAP) of States/ UTs under Jal Jeevan Mission, is done by a national committee chaired by the Secretary, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, members from different Central Ministries/ Departments and NITI Aayog.

– Thereafter, funds are released throughout the year based on quarterly progress and expenditure incurred from time to time, coupled with regular field visits by the national team to guide and provide technical assistance for smooth implementation of the planned activities and help the State achieve the goal set to make every village ‘Har Ghar Jal’ under Jal Jeevan Mission.

– To ensure transparency and accountability, Punjab has set up a well-equipped digital 24×7 call centre with Interactive Voice Responsive System. This analogue grievance redressal system was upgraded in December 2020.

– Last year, the redressal rate was 97.76%. The pending complaints daily monitoring is done by sending reminders to the Executive Engineer via SMS, What’s App messages, e-mail and over the phone.

About Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM)

– JJM is a flagship programme of the Union Government, which aims to provide piped tap water in every rural household.

– In the previous financial year 2020-21, Rs 362 Crore central fund was allocated for the State to provide assured tap water supply. In 2021-22, the State is likely to get Rs. 750 Crore as the central fund.

– Under Jal Jeevan Mission, in 2021-22, in addition to Rs 50,011 Crore budgetary allocation for JJM, there is also Rs 26,940 Crore assured fund available under the 15th Finance Commission tied-grant to RLB/ PRIs for water & sanitation, matching State share and externally aided as well as State-funded projects.

– Thus, in 2021-22, more than Rs. 1 lakh Crore is planned to be invested in the country on ensuring tap water supply to rural homes. This kind of investment in rural areas will boost the rural economy.

– Under Jal Jeevan Mission, efforts are made to dovetail all available resources at village level by a convergence of different programmes viz. MGNREGS, JJM, SBM, 15th Finance Commission Grants to PRIs, CAMPA funds, Local Area Development Funds, etc.

– It was urged to involve the local village community/ Gram Panchayats and or user groups in planning, implementation, management, operation and maintenance of water supply systems in villages to ensure long-term sustainability thereby achieving drinking water security. The State was asked to start IEC campaign for water conservation.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 19 April, 2021

2. Startup India Seed Fund Scheme

Why in news?

Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution Piyush Goyal on 19 April, 2021 launched the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS).

Key points are:

– The Fund aims to provide financial assistance to startups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market-entry, and commercialization.

– The Scheme was announced by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 16th January 2021 in his Grand Plenary address of ‘Prarambh: StartupIndia International Summit’, marking the five-year anniversary of the Startup India initiative.

–  Rs. 945 Crore corpus will be divided over the next 4 years for providing seed funding to eligible startups through eligible incubators across India.

– The scheme is expected to support an estimated 3,600 startups through 300 incubators.

– Speaking on the occasion, Shri Goyal said that this scheme is being launched within 3 months of its announcement, one of the fastest in recent times. He said that times are tough, but our resolve is strong, and never before has it become more important for us to empower our startups.

– The SISFS will Secure seed funding, Inspire innovation, Support transformative ideas, Facilitate implementation, and Start a startup revolution.

– This Scheme will create a robust startup ecosystem, particularly in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns of India, which are often deprived of adequate funding.

– Startup India Seed Fund Scheme will act as a bridge between ideas and their implementation. Independent & ambitious thinking in the Startup ecosystem will encourage entrepreneurship and create a culture that will recognise innovation.

– The motto of Connect, Collaborate & Catalyse, the Government has introduced initiatives like Startup Innovation Challenges, National Startup Awards, Ranking of States, SCO Startup Forum, Prarambh etc.

– The online portal created by DPIIT, for the scheme, will allow incubators to apply for funds under it. An Experts Advisory Committee (EAC) has been created by DPIIT to execute and monitor the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme.

–  Grants of up to Rs 5 Crores shall be provided to the eligible incubators selected by the EAC. The selected incubators shall provide grants of up to Rs 20 lakhs for validation of Proof of Concept, or prototype development, or product trials to startups.

– Furthermore, investments of up to Rs 50 lakhs shall be provided to the startups for market entry, commercialization, or scaling up through convertible debentures or debt-linked instruments.

– The promising startups that are supported at their early stages shall create huge employment opportunities for everyone.

– The Seed Fund Scheme also envisions promoting virtual incubation for startups by enabling 300 incubators to support startups from all corners of the country. The impact of this will be visible by the spur of innovations in tier 2 and tier 3 regions of India.

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3. Webinar on “Khajuraho – Temples of Architectural Splendour”

Why in news?

The Ministry of Tourism’s Dekho Apna Desh Webinar series held its 85th webinar titled “Khajuraho-Temples of Architectural Splendour”on17th April 2021.

Key points are:

– India a land that resounds with the riches and glories of opulent dynasties, powerful rulers, flourishing civilisations, and profound history. India has a splendid heritage that is reflected in its architecture, monuments, arts, crafts & cultures.

– The forts, ancient temples, monuments, grand palaces etc. testify the grandeur of a time gone by and it acts as inventories of India’s seamless past.

– The magnificence of the structures in the country that UNESCO has identified several of them as World Heritage Sites and among it is one such architectural marvel and that is temples of Khajuraho. Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series is an effort to showcase India’s rich diversity under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.

– The webinar was presented by Anurag Shukla, a Regional Level Guide with expertise in Khajuraho temple art, architecture, and iconography. Mr. Shukla is the only guide in Khajuraho who read the inscriptions of Khajuraho.

About Khajuraho Temples

– They were built between 950-1050 AD by the Chandela Dynasty.

– The temples are categorised into three groups that is Eastern, Western and Southern.

– These temples display intricate & exceptional carvings and astounding architectural skill which makes Khajuraho one of the most popular tourist destination among domestic as well as international visitors.

– To name few temples are Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Chaunsat Yogini Temple, Brahma Temple, Chitragupta Temple, Devi Jagdamba Temple, Lakshmana Temple, Matangeshwar Temple, Parsvanath Temple.

– During the webinar, the architecture styles of the temples were also discussed.

– There is a lot more to explore in and around Khajuraho after a must-visit magnificent temples which includes a visit to the State Museum of Tribal and folk art, a Sound and light show in the evening near the Western Group of Temples, Panna National Park and Tiger Reserve, Raneh Waterfalls and many more.

– Under the Ministry of Tourism’s Central Sector Scheme development of nineteen identified iconic destinations in the country following a holistic approach and Khajuraho is of the site to develop as an Iconic Destination.

– Madhya Pradesh is developing Khajuraho as a family destination by adding more dimensions like eco-tourism, heritage trails, rural homestays etc.

– Introduction of hot air ballooning, Buffer mein safar and night safari etc in the Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks of Madhya Pradesh will help to boost the tourism in the State.

–  Very soon Air India was going to start bi-weekly flights from Delhi to Khajuraho via Varanasi from 1st of May 2021. ( actual schedule may be affected because of COVID and should be seen from the official website of Air India).

– The Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series is presented in technical partnership with the National e Governance Department, Ministry of Electronics, and Information Technology.

– The next webinar would be held on 24th April 2021 at 1100 hrs.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 17 April, 2021

4. INAS 323 commissioned at Goa as the first unit of indigenously built ALH MK III enters Naval Service

Why in news?

Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 323, the first unit of the indigenously built ALH Mk III aircraft, was commissioned into the Indian Navy in the presence of Hon’ble Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Shripad Naik and Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Naval Command, at INS Hansa, Goa on 19 Apr 21.

Key points are:

– Addressing the gathering, Hon’ble Raksha Rajya Mantri said that the commissioning of INAS 323 marked yet another milestone in the efforts towards enhancing maritime security and safeguarding maritime interests of the nation, as also embodying the spirit of Atma Nirbhar Bharat.

– The squadron will operate three state-of-the-art ALH Mk III, a multirole helicopter with Shakti engine manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

– The Mk III version of the ALH has an all-glass cockpit and will be used for Search and Rescue, Special Operations and Coastal Surveillance.

– 16 aircraft are under procurement and the aircraft are being delivered in a phased manner to the Indian Navy.

– INAS 323 is commanded by Cdr Samik Nundy, an accomplished and experienced ALH pilot with extensive operational experience.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 16 April, 2021

5. Baikal-GVD (Gigaton Volume Detector) Telescope

Why in news?

Russian scientists have launched one of the world’s biggest underwater neutrino telescopes called the Baikal-GVD (Gigaton Volume Detector) in the waters of Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest lake situated in Siberia.

Key points are:

– The construction of this telescope, which started in 2016, is motivated by the mission to study in detail the elusive fundamental particles called neutrinos and to possibly determine their sources.

– Baikal-GVD Telescope is one of the three largest neutrino detectors in the world along with the IceCube at the South Pole and ANTARES in the Mediterranean Sea.

– GVD is designed to detect high-energy neutrinos that may have come from the Earth’s core or could have been produced during nuclear reactions in the Sun.

– It will aid scientists’ understanding of the origins of the universe since some neutrinos were formed during the Big Bang, others continue to be formed as a result of supernova explosions or because of nuclear reactions in the Sun.

– Fundamental Particles: The universe is made of some fundamental particles that are indivisible. These particles can be classified into quarks and leptons.

– But this only applies to “normal matter” or the matter that scientists know that 5% of the universe is made up of.

– There has been the discovery of over 12 such quarks and leptons, but three of these (protons, neutrons and electrons) make what is referred to as the building block of life– the atom.

– Protons (carry a positive charge) and neutrons (no charge) are types of quarks, whereas electrons (carry a negative charge) are types of leptons.

– In different combinations, these particles can make different kinds of atoms, which in turn make up molecules that form everything– from a human being, to a mobile phone, a planet, and so on.

– Studying what humans and everything around them are made up of gives scientists a window into understanding the universe in a better way.

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6. The uniform civil code (UCC) in Goa

Why in news?

Chief Justice of India S A Bobde recently appreciated the uniform civil code (UCC) in Goa, the only state to have one.

Key points are:

– The CJI urged intellectuals to seriously study the Goa UCC.

– Goa’s Portuguese Civil Code, 1867 is basically an alien code given by the Portuguese.

– Goa’s Civil Code has four parts, dealing with civil capacity, acquisition of rights, right to property, and the breach of rights and remedies.

– It begins in the name of God and Dom Luis, King of Portugal and Algarves.

– The Code has survived by virtue of Section 5(1) of the Goa, Daman and Diu Administration Act, 1962 that permitted its continuance.

– Article 44 of the Constitution says that there should be a Uniform Civil Code. According to this article, “The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”. Since the Directive Principles are only guidelines, it is not mandatory to use them.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 1 April, 2021

7. About Exotic Animals

Why in news?

Recently, the Delhi High Court directed the Centre to take a decision on framing rules to confer protection for exotic animals that are currently not under the purview of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Key points are:

– The court’s order came in response to a petition filed by the animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India about the status of a male hippopotamus rescued from the Asiad Circus in Uttar Pradesh.

– Earlier in June 2020, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change issued an advisory to streamline and formalise the process of importing live exotic animals.

– The term exotic does not have a set definition but it usually refers to a wild animal or one that is more unusual and rare than normal domesticated pets like cats or dogs.

– These are those species that are not usually native to an area and are introduced to an area by humans.

– Illegally traded exotic animals are confiscated under Section 111 of the Customs Act, 1962 which is read with the provision of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Foreign Trade Policy (Import-Export Policy) of India.

– CITES is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species. India is a party to it.

– Also, Sections 48 and 49 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 prohibit trade or commerce in wild animals, animal articles or trophies.

Daily Gist of 'The Hindu', 'PIB', 'Indian Express' and Other Newspapers: 20 April, 2021_40.1

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