PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE
- National Broadband Mission
- Annual Solar Eclipse
- Bharat Vandana Park
- CNRS and CSIR
- Exercise ‘Apharan’
- National Maritime Search and Rescue Board (NMSARB)
- Phase–III of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana
- National Committee for Commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi
- National Rail Transport Institute
- Population Stabilization
1 . National Broadband Mission
Context : The Minister for Communications, Law & Justice and Electronics and Information Technology, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad launched the National Broadband Mission (NBM)
About National Broadband mission
The vision of the NBM is to fast track growth of digital communications infrastructure, bridge the digital divide, facilitate digital empowerment and inclusion and provide affordable and universal access of broadband for all.
Some of the objectives of the Mission which is structured with strong emphasis on the three principles of universality, affordability and quality are:
- Broadband access to all villages by 2022
- Facilitate universal and equitable access to broadband services for across the country and especially in rural and remote areas
- Laying of incremental 30 lakhs route km of Optical Fiber Cable and increase in tower density from 0.42 to 1.0 tower per thousand of population by 2024
- Significantly improve quality of services for mobile and internet
- Develop innovative implementation models for Right of Way (RoW) and to work with States/UTs for having consistent policies pertaining to expansion of digital infrastructure including for RoW approvals required for laying of OFC
- Develop a Broadband Readiness Index (BRI) to measure the availability of digital communications infrastructure and conducive policy ecosystem within a State/UT.
- Creation of a digital fiber map of the Digital Communications network and infrastructure, including Optical Fiber Cables and Towers, across the country
- Investment from stakeholders of USD 100 billion (Rs 7 Lakh Crore) including Rs 70,000 crore from Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)
- Address policy and regulatory changes required to accelerate the expansion and creation of digital infrastructure and services
- Work with all stakeholders including the concerned Ministries / Departments/ Agencies, and Ministry of Finance, for enabling investments for the Mission
2 . Brahmos
Context : Defence Research & Development Organisation(DRDO), Indian Air Force (IAF) and BrahMos jointly successfully conducted two BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles tests today, one each from land and air platforms.
About the News
- The first missile launch was from a land based mobile launcher, where most of the components were indigenous, including themissile airframe, fuel management system and DRDO designed seeker.
- The second launch of the missile was carried out by Indian Air force (IAF) from SU-30MKI platform against a sea target. The test conducted in user configuration, revalidated the ship attack capability of the advanced air-launched cruise missile.
- During the test, the missile was gravity dropped from the air combat platform’s fuselage and the two-stage weapon’s engine fired up and the missile straightaway propelled towards the intended target positioned at the sea, piercing it with pin point accuracy.
About Brahmos Missile
- BRAHMOS is the first supersonic cruise missile known to be in service.
- BRAHMOS is a two-stage missile with a solid propellant booster engine as its first stage which brings it to supersonic speed and then gets separated.
- The liquid ramjet or the second stage then takes the missile closer to 3 Mach speed in cruise phase.
- Stealth technology and guidance system with advanced embedded software provides the missile with special features.
- The missile has flight range of up to 290-km with supersonic speed all through the flight, leading to shorter flight time, consequently ensuring lower dispersion of targets, quicker engagement time and non-interception by any known weapon system in the world.
- It operates on ‘Fire and Forget Principle’, adopting varieties of flights on its way to the target. Its destructive power is enhanced due to large kinetic energy on impact.
- The missile has identical configuration for land, sea and subsea platforms and uses a Transport Launch Canister (TLC) for transportation, storage and laun
3 . Annual Solar Eclipse
Context : An annular eclipse of the Sun will occur on December 26, 2019 (5 Pausha, 1941 Saka Era).
About Solar Eclipse
- A solar eclipse occurs on a new moon day when the Moon comes in between the Earth and the Sun and when all the three objects are aligned.
- An annular solar eclipse will occur when the angular diameter of the Moon falls short of that of the Sun so that it cannot cover up the latter completely. As a result a ring of the Sun’s disk remains visible around the Moon.
- Eclipsed Sun should not be viewed with the naked eye, even for a very short time. It will cause permanent damage of the eyes leading to blindness even when the moon covers most portion of the Sun.
- Safe technique to observe the solar eclipse is either by using proper filter like aluminized Mylar, black polymer, welding glass of shade number 14 or by making projection of Sun’s image on a white board by telescope.
- From India annular phase will be visible in the morning after sunrise from some places within a narrow corridor of southern part of the country (parts of Karnataka, Kerala & Tamil Nadu) and it will be seen as partial solar eclipse from the rest part of the country.
- The narrow corridor of annular phase of the eclipse will pass through the southern part of the country through certain places like Cannanore, Coimbatore, Kozhikode, Madurai, Mangalore, Ooty, Tiruchirappalli etc. In India, the obscuration of the Sun by the Moon at the time of greatest phase of the annular eclipse will be nearly 93%. As one moves towards the north and south of the country from the annular path, the duration of the partial eclipse decreases.
4 . Bharat Vandana Park
Context : Shri Amit Shah, Union Home Minister today laid the foundation stone of Bharat Vandana Park at Sector 20, Dwarka i
About the Park
- Benefits of the Project:
The following potential benefits of urban parks are included:
- Human health and wellbeing, i.e. positive impacts of parks and park use on human health (both mental and physical) and wellbeing, either through direct or indirect effects such as recreation and leisure activities.
- Social cohesion / identity: the role of urban parks in strengthening social ties, relations and cohesion.
- Tourism: leisure visits outside of the own living or working environment, typically longer term stays. Apart from potentially promoting the health and wellbeing of visitors, tourism is also of interest due to its contributions to the local economy.
- Biodiversity: the role of parks in harboring and promoting biodiversity, and species diversity in particular. Biodiversity has a direct link to human wellbeing (e.g., through nature experience), while it also provides an important base for ecosystem functioning and thus a range of ecosystem services
- Educational benefits: Parks are increasingly used as an outdoor classroom for school subjects such as environmental studies and provide valuable venues for research projects. As a result, they can help rekindle the relationship between urban residents and the natural world.
- Environmental and Ecological Benefits: Urban green protects soils and moderates harsh urban climate for example by cooling the air, reducing wind speed and giving shade. Healthy environments lead to healthy economies and societies. Parks are pollution ameliorators and help counter the pollution. Acts as physical filters helping to reduce air pollutants such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. They also help in reducing the rate of ozone production and in capturing dusts and volatile organic compounds.
- Parks and other green spaces make important contributions to groundwater recharge and have substantially lower surface water runoff rates
Master Plan Zoning
The park has been conceptualized by dividing the site into different areas (zones) each having its own function and special elements as detailed below:
- Congregational Area : A large green space that can be used for various activities. Primarily this area consists of cultural ground, paved plaza, food court, toilet block, café restaurant.
- Recreational zone : Recreational zone can be used for various cultural activities like concerts, shows etc. This zone primarily consist of amphitheater, pavilion, food courts, viewing deck, Special elements of wall of India also stands adjacent to the amphitheaters.
- Eco-Trail zone : This zone consists of Tree walk which is a special feature of the park. These are walkways that are attached to the trunks of the trees .The walkways are supported at different levels to have a closer look at the nature. Eco-trail consist of pedestrian eco-trail/Tree walk, Green zone, also wall of India lies adjacent to this zone
- Eco-forest : This is a dense green zone. Primarily this zone consists of Herbal Vatika meant as display garden for medicinal plants.
- Conservatory : This zone consists of conservatory glass domes in which plants are kept in controlled environment.
- Fun Park : This area is specially designed for kids and their activities. This zone primarily consists of kids play area, boulder garden, VR gaming zone.
- Adventure Park : This zone pertains to activities like zip line that can be enjoyed by the visitors. Zip-line consists of a pulley suspended on a cable. It is designed to enable person propelled by gravity to travel from top to bottom of the inclined cable.
- Lake View Restaurant : This area consists of five numbers lake view restaurants. Other water features shall also be provided to have beautiful view while dining at these lake view restaurants
- Mini India : Mini-India is conceptualized to outline the heritage of India. Mini India will have reproductions of various famous monuments of different Indian states to be built at a miniature scale 1:25. Other features of this segment will be Landscape Park of some states, crafts bazaar, Mini India boating canal etc.
- Central VandanaSarovar : This central sarovar acts as focal points for the park. Viewing deck around the sarovar shall be provided.
5 . CNRS and CSIR
Context : A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed here today between the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), India and the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), France to establish a framework for cooperation between the two towards promotion and support of scientific and technological research.
- Founded in 1939, CNRS is the largest fundamental research organization in Europe.
- CNRS is an interdisciplinary public research organisation under the administrative supervision of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research.
- CNRS carries out research in the areas of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Earth Sciences and Astronomy, Ecology & Environment, Engineering & Systems Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physics, Nuclear & Particle Physics, Information S&T, and Humanities & Social Science through its ten institutes.
- CNRS performs fundamental research on applied objectives with French companies in France and also abroad.
- CNRS ranks among the leading global research institutions for its excellent research and innovation achievements and has 22 Nobel Laureates and 12 Field medal recipients.
- CNRS is funded by public money and also receives competitive funding. Though CNRS is a fundamental research organization, it performs fundamental research on applied objectives with French companies in France and also abroad. CNRS has set up four such co-funded centers with industry partnership in China, Japan and Singapore to address local needs.
- Set up in 1942 as an autonomous body, CSIR is now the largest publically funded multi-disciplinary industrial R&D organization in India under the administrative supervision of Ministry of Science and Technology, GOI.
- The 37 R&D institutes of CSIR being manned by around 3600 scientists with support from about 5100 S&T staff, conduct research in a wide spectrum of science and technology from aerospace, instrumentation, environmental engineering, mining, minerals & materials, housing and structures to oceanography, chemicals, drugs, and biotechnology.
- CSIR provides technological intervention in many areas with regard to societal efforts including environment, health, drinking water, food, housing, energy, and farm and non-farm sectors.
- CSIR India caters to the technological needs of Indian as well as foreign industries based in India and abroad. CSIR is technologically strong, has a vast network of world-class research institutes spread across the country.
6 . Exercise Apharan
Context : The Indian Navy, in collaboration with Indian Coast Guard, Cochin Port Trust and all other concerned stake holders, conducted a large scale Anti Hijacking Exercise off the Port of Kochi on 18 Dec 19.
About Exercise Apharan
- The Exercise code named “Apharan” saw participation of multiple agencies, including more than 12 ships and helicopters of the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and Cochin Port Trust.
- The Exercise ‘Apharan’ was aimed at streamlining the response mechanism/ preparedness to thwart any attempt by Anti-National Elements to hijack a merchant vessel or attempt forced entry of a rogue/commandeered merchant vessel into Kochi harbour.
- Within the ambit of Coastal Security architecture, hijacking of a merchant vessel is one of the challenging scenarios, response to which requires synergy of resources, assets and efforts of all stake holders including the State Govt.
7 . National Maritime Search and Rescue Authority
- The Indian Coast Guard is responsible for executing /Coordinating Search and Rescue (SAR) missions in the Indian Maritime Search and Rescue Region (ISRR).
- Director General Indian Coast Guard is the National Maritime SAR Coordinating Authority (NMSARCA).
- Under NMSARCA, the ISRR of India is divided into three areas with Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCCs) located at Mumbai, Chennai and Port Blair.
- There are 10 Maritime Rescue Sub Centres (MRSCs) and 03 Maritime Rescue Sub Sub Centres (MRSSCs) operate under these MRCCs.
- The multi mission Indian Coast Guard Stations located along the coast, deploys state of the art ships and aircraft to provide SAR coverage in ISRR.
8 . Phase–III of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana
Context : The Union Minister of Rural Development, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare & Panchayati Raj, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar launched Phase III of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)
About Phase III of PMGSY
- Phase III of PMGSY involves consolidation of Through Routes and Major Rural Links connecting habitations to Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs), Higher Secondary Schools and Hospitals.
- Under the PMGSY-III Scheme, it is proposed to consolidate 1,25,000 Km road length in the States. The duration of the scheme is 2019-20 to 2024-25.
- The funds would be shared in the ratio of 60:40 between the Centre and State for all States except for 8 North Eastern and 3 Himalayan States (Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand) for which it is 90:10.
9 . National Committee for Commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi
Context : The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, presided over the second meeting of the National Committee for Commemoration of the 150th Birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at Rashtrapati Bhavan
About the Committee
- The National Committee was constituted for commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at the national and international level.
- This Committee includes Vice-President, Prime Minister, Chief Ministers of all states, representatives from across the political spectrum, Gandhians, thinkers, and eminent persons from all walks of life.
- The Committee also has nine international members, including two former Secretaries-General of the United Nations – Mr Kofi Annan and Mr Ban Ki-Moon.
10 . Sashastra Seema Bal
- In the wake of the Chinese conflict in 1962, it was felt that the borders of the country could not be protected with the force of rifles alone.
- It required the backing and resolute will of a committed border population. In addition, it needed an in-depth understanding and familiarity of the terrain as well as the culture and ethos of the border population.
- A need was, therefore, realized for the creation of a unique, unconventional yet specialized organization, which would function in the far, flung, vulnerable, strategic, remote, climatically and topographically difficult border areas and motivate the border population across several states towards the cause of protecting our national sovereignty.
- Special Service Bureau (now Sashastra Seema Bal) was thus conceived in November 1962 and eventually created in March 1963 with the sole objective of achieving ‘Total security preparedness’ in the remote border areas for performing a ‘stay-behind’ role in the event of a war.
About Sashastra Seema Bal
- After the Kargil war, the K. Subramanayam Committee’s Report was considered by a Group of Ministers for relocation of all Para-military forces to achieve optimum efficiency by assigning one border for each force.
- SSB was declared as a Border Guarding Force in 15th January, 2001 under the Ministry of Home Affairs and renamed as “Sashastra Seema Bal” on 15th December, 2003. On 19 June, 2001 SSB was given the mandate to guard the Indo-Nepal Border (1751 Kms.) and was declared the Lead Intelligence Agency for that area.
- The added responsibility of guarding Indo – Bhutan Border was given to SSB on 12th March, 2004 along with being declared the Lead Intelligence Agency for that border.
- SSB is now spread along the International border across Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. SSB’s present charter of duties is to:
- Safeguard the security of assigned borders of India and promote sense of security among the people living in border areas
- Prevent trans-border crimes, smuggling and any other illegal activities
- Prevent unauthorized entry into or exit from the territory of India
- Carry out civic action programme in the area of responsibility
- Perform any other duty assigned by the Central Government.(SSB is being deployed for Law & Order, Counter Insurgency Operations and Election duty
- The challenges of manning the open border are more daunting than securing a closed border.
- The 2450 kms long Indo- Nepal and Indo- Bhutan border is more challenging because the open border not only provides alluring encouragement to traffickers and smugglers but, also offers huge opportunities for militants/ ANEs trained on foreign soil to infiltrate and pose a serious threat to national security.
- It is extremely difficult to seal the entire border effectively owing to its porosity and visa free regime on one hand and social economic and cultural relationship of bordering countries on the other, but SSB, by virtue of its enormous past experience of working at grass root level in remote areas, is able to muster people’s support and cooperation besides physically guarding the border and maintaining its sanctity.
11 . National Rail Transport Institute
Context : The National Rail Transport Institute, a deemed to be university under the Ministry of Railways, signed an MoU with the University of Birmingham in Rail Bhawan, New Delhi on December 18th, 2019 to set up its first Centre of Excellence for Next Generation Transportation Systems.
About the Centre of Excellence
- This Centre will be involved in promoting development of the Rail and Transportation sector in India which include offering post-graduate, doctoral and post-doctoral programmes, customized training programmes for in-service professionals, undertaking joint research projects in areas such as signalling, communication, asset maintenance, traction and safety and developing benchmarks, standards and certifications for specialized skills.
- It will also be involved in organising knowledge events, conferences, workshops to disseminate trends, latest research, global best practices and developments in the transportation sector, accessible to industry and academia.
- Indian Railways is a founding partner of this centre and would provide proprietary data, professional expertise, spare equipment and other available resources directly or through its Centralised Training Institutes and research organisations. The centre would also invite partnerships from other industry and academic organisations as it develops in the future.
About the National Rail Transport Institute
- The National Rail Transport Institute has been set up as a deemed to be university and has been operational since 2018.
- In addition to Schools and Departments in various disciplines, NRTI aims to develop interdisciplinary Centres of Excellence which would be collaborative constructs to promote research and education to the transportation sector.
- NRTI’s strategy is focussed upon sourcing the best expertise from around the world from leading global institutions through institutional partnerships for collaborating on developing curriculum, research projects and executive education programs
12 . Population Stabilization
Context : NITI Aayog is organising a National Consultation titled “Realizing the vision of population stabilization: leaving no one behind” with Population Foundation of India
- India, with a current population size of 1.37 billion, has the second largest population in the world.
- We are also at a stage where birth rates are falling but the population continues to grow due to the fact that more than 30 per cent of the population is young and in the reproductive age group.
- Nearly 30 million currently married women in the age group of 15-49 yearswithin this critical cohort of young people have unmet needs in family planning, which limit theirability to delay or avoid pregnancy by not having access or the agency to use contraception.
- Family planning is considered universally as the smartest development investment. For India to realize its sustainable development goals and economic aspirations, it is important to ensure that people have informed access to contraception and quality family planning services.
Some of the key recommendations expected to emerge from the meeting are as follows:
- Increasing the basket of contraceptive choices, with greater focus on spacing methods and helping women make informed choices about delaying pregnancy and spacing between children.
- Addressing social determinants of health such as age at marriage and sex-selective practices.
- Strengthening quality of care, including counseling services, managing side effects and family planning support.
- Increasing budgetary allocations for family planning, to align with the unmet needs of India’s young people who constitute nearly 30 per cent of our population.
- Addressing existing socio-cultural barriers towards contraception by investing extensively in innovative behaviour-change communication strategies.
- Treating population stabilisation and family planning as a national priority, fostering inter-departmental convergence and ensuring multisectoral participation and integration.
About Population Foundation of India
- Population Foundation of India (PFI) is a national NGO, which promotes and advocates for the effective formulation and implementation of gender sensitive population, health and development strategies and policies. The organisation was founded in 1970 by a group of socially committed industrialists under the leadership of the late JRD Tata and Dr Bharat Ram.
- PFI addresses population issues within the larger discourse of empowering women and men, so that they are able to take informed decisions related to their fertility, health and well-being.
- It works with the government, both at the national and state levels, and with NGOs, in the areas of community action for health, urban health, scaling up of successful pilots and social and behaviour change communication.