04th Oct, 2018-IAS Current Affairs
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India’s First Global Skills Park in State of Madhya Pradesh
- Global Skills Park is going to be established in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
- It is funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB).
- ADB and Government of India recently signed a $150 million loan agreement to establish the park.
- GSP is the first multi-skills park in India.
- It aims to enhance the quality of Technical and Vocational Education & Training (TVET) System in the State and create a more skilled workforce.
- The GSP campus will be in Bhopal which consists of
- Core Advanced Training Institutes including the Center for Occupational Skills Acquisition,
- Center for Advanced Agricultural Training and
- Other support services focusing on entrepreneurship, training of trainers, and skill-related research.
Asian Development Bank
- ADB was conceived in the early 1960s as a financial institution that would be Asian in character and foster economic growth and cooperation in one of the poorest regions in the world.
- It is headquartered at Manila, Philippines.
- ADB now has 67 members of which 48 from within Asia and Pacific while remaining 19 from outside.
- The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and non-regional developed countries.
- ADB assists its members, and partners, by providing loans, technical assistance, grants, and equity investments to promote social and economic development.
- ADB is modeled closely on the World Bank, and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members’ capital subscriptions.
- India is a founding member and the fourth largest shareholder.
- ADB’s recent projects in India – Safe drinking water project in West Bengal, Sewerage and drainage project in Kolkata.
- Other Projects – East coast economic corridor, solar rooftop investment program, Mechi river bridge project in Indo-Nepal border, TAPI gas pipeline, South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program, supporting fiscal reforms in West Bengal State.
10 Odisha villages declare their habitats untouchability-free GS2: SOCIETY
- As a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, 10 villages in seven panchayats in the Daringbadi block of Odisha’s Kandhamal district declared their habitats untouchability-free.
- In the gramsabha meetings of the seven panchayats held , resolutions relating to complete eradication of untouchability by pallisabha (smaller village or hamlet councils) in these 10 villages were approved.
- This path-breaking decision could be taken up by these villages, inhabited mostly by tribals and Scheduled Castes, due to a month-long effort by social organisations Jagruti and Antaranga, of Kandhamal.
Swachh Survekshan Grameen Awards 2018 GS2: governance, prelims
- National Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018 commissioned by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
- Prime Minister gave awards to top Ranked State, District, and State.
- Haryana was ranked as the best State while Satara District of Maharashtra was ranked as the best district.
- Uttar Pradesh was rewarded for maximum citizens’ participation.
- This ranking was done based on a comprehensive set of parameters including surveys of public places like schools, Anganwadis, PHCs, Haat/ Bazaars, Panchayat and citizen’s perception of Swachhata.
- The top-ranked States and Districts which received awards are as below:
Top 3 States: 1. Haryana, 2. Gujarat 3. Maharashtra
Top 3 Districts: 1. Satara, Maharashtra 2. Rewari, Haryana 3. Pedapalli, Telangana
- States with maximum citizen participation: 1. Uttar Pradesh 2. Gujarat 3. Maharashtra
Districts with maximum citizens’ participation: 1. Nashik, Maharashtra 2. Solapur, Maharashtra 3. Chittorgarh, Rajasthan
88 million-year-old isle and crater to be geo-parks GS1: Geography, prelims
- An ancient circular lake created by a meteorite strike in Maharashtra and a hexagonal mosaic of basaltic rocks in an island off Udupi are poised to become global geoparks.
- Lonar Lake in Maharashtra and St. Mary’s Island and Malpe beach in coastal Karnataka are the GSI’s candidates for UNESCO Global Geopark Network status.
- The Geopark tag is akin to that of a ‘World Heritage Site’ for historical monuments that can bring India’s famed geological features to the global stage.
- Lonar crater became a geo-heritage site in 1979 is the only world famous known meteorite crater in basaltic rock.
- It is a relatively young geologically, at just 50,000 years old.
- A meteorite estimated to weigh two-million-tonnes slammed into the Earth, creating a 1.83-km diameter crater where the lake formed.
St. Mary’s Island
- Mary’s Island declared a national geo-heritage site in 1975.
- It is estimated to be an 88-million-year-old formation that goes back to a time when Greater India broke away from Madagascar.
Fall Armyworm: Nipping a problem in the bud GS3: science & tech
- India has to effectively deal with this new insect pest that can devastate maize and a host of other crops.
- This pest has been seen in the Americas for several decades.
- Fall Armyworm (FAW) scientifically known as Spodoptera frugiperda) has been recently reported in Karnataka and also parts of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.
- It has been detected mainly in maize fields.
About Fall Armyworm
- The female moth lays eggs and the caterpillars hatching from these eat parts of the host crop plants, before pupating and turning into new moths.
- This highly-destructive and the invasive pest has been seen in the Americas for several decades, but its prevalence outside was noted for the first time in West Africa in early 2016.
- According to the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center at Mexico also known as CIMMYT damaged more than 1.5 million hectares of Africa’s maize crop.
- An effective IPM strategy would need to incorporate host plant resistance (through breeding), biological and cultural control.
- The use of environmentally-safer chemical and biopesticides for crop protection.
- Spraying of chemicals should be avoided unless the pest load has crossed economic threshold levels.
- The eggs laid by the moths are discernible to the naked eye. Farmers can be trained to recognize and destroy the egg masses, so as to prevent the caterpillars from emerging.
‘1,200 km/hour’: World’s first Hyperloop passenger capsule unveiled GS3: Science & Tech, prelims
World’s First Hyperloop Capsule
- Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc. unveiled its first full-scale passenger capsule, offering the world a peek at the future of travel.
- The capsule, 105 feet (32 meters) long and weighing 5 tons, was shown in Spain.
- Named as the Quintero One, the product is made almost entirely out of composite material.
- Hyperloop is a technology that gained popularity after billionaire Elon Musk touted it in 2013, prompting several companies to join the race to build a high-speed transportation system.
- It envisages moving passengers in capsules at speeds of more than 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) per hour through low-pressure tubes, in order to reduce friction.
- The technology will be able to propel trains faster than existing methods such as the Maglev, which uses a levitation technology to lift the train cars above a track to eliminate surface drag.
Hyperloop in India
- Billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop One held discussions in India, aiming to offer passengers in the futuristic technology fares that are cheaper than local airlines.
- Branson has signed a preliminary agreement in Mumbai for a broad hyperloop framework and mooted a Mumbai-Pune system that would shrink travel time to 25 minutes and save about three hours.
Gujarat acts to save its pride GS3: Environment
- The Gujarat government got stunned by the deaths of 23 lions since September.
- It initially considered that the lions had died due to infighting for territorial domination.
- It has now launched rescue efforts and also called experts from outside, including London, and imported a vaccine from the United States.
- More than 500 lions had already been screened to detect viral infections in the big cats in the Gir forests and revenue areas.
- Many are battling for their lives as a deadly outbreak of Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) and tick-borne Babesiosis is killing the cats.
- According to the State Forest Department, of the 23 deaths, four lions died of CDV, and 17 were killed by a tick-borne infection.
- According to experts, the Gujarat government was warned in 2011, when experts analysed tissues from a 2007 Gir lion carcass.
- It found the presence of highly contagious Peste Des Petits Ruminants Virus (PPRV), which carries an 80%-100% chance of mortality.
Toilet-for-all: WHO calls for more investment GS2: Governance
First Global Guidelines on Sanitation and Health
- In its first such guidelines, the WHO warned that world will not reach the goal of universal sanitation coverage by 2030 unless countries make comprehensive policy shifts and invest more funds.
- By adopting these new guidelines, countries can significantly reduce the diarrheal deaths due to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene.
- WHO developed the new guidelines because current sanitation programmes are not achieving anticipated health gains.
- There is a lack of authoritative health-based guidance on sanitation.
Four Principal Recommendations
- Sanitation interventions should ensure entire communities have access to toilets that safely contain excreta.
- The full sanitation system should be undergo local health risk assessments to protect individuals and communities from exposure to excreta – whether this be from unsafe toilets, leaking storage or inadequate treatment.
- Sanitation should be integrated into regular local government-led planning and service provision to avert the higher costs associated with retrofitting sanitation and to ensure sustainability.
- The health sector should invest more and play a coordinating role in sanitation planning to protect public health.
Why invest more on Sanitation?
- Poor sanitation is a major factor in transmission of neglected tropical diseases.
- For every US $1 invested in sanitation, WHO estimates a nearly six-fold return as measured by lower health costs, increased productivity and fewer premature deaths.
- Worldwide, 2.3 billion people lack basic sanitation with almost half forced to defecate in the open.
- They are among the 4.5 billion without access to safely managed sanitation services.