PIB Analysis : 25th 26th and 27th

PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. ECOSOC
  2. VARAHA
  3. Exercise Malabar
  4. Sardar Patel National unity Award
  5. National Water Mission Awards
  6. CARICOM
  7. Voluntary Code of Ethics
  8. Indigenous Fuel Cell System
  9. National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

1 . United Nation Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)


Context : To commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi – a global icon of peace and non-violence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted a high-level event on the sidelines of the 74th UNGA in the ECOSOC Chamber of the UN Headquarters.

About ECOSOC

  • The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is the United Nations’ central platform for reflection, debate, and innovative thinking on sustainable development.

Mandate

  • ECOSOC, one of the six main organs of the United Nations established by the UN Charter in 1946, is the principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on economic, social and environmental issues, as well as for implementation of the internationally agreed development goals.
  • ECOSOC serves as the central mechanism for the activities of the United Nations system and its specialized agencies, and supervises the subsidiary and expert bodies in the economic, social and environmental fields.
  • ECOSOC has undergone reforms in the last decade to strengthen the Council and its working methods, giving special attention to the integrated and coordinated implementation of, and follow-up to, the outcomes of all major United Nations conferences summits in the economic, social, environmental and related fields.

Functions

  • ECOSOC engages a wide variety of stakeholders – policymakers, parliamentarians, academics, major groups, foundations, business sector representatives and 3,200+ registered non-governmental organizations – in a productive dialogue on sustainable development through a programmatic cycle of meetings.
  • The work of the Council is guided by an issue-based approach, and there is an annual theme that accompanies each programmatic cycle, ensuring a sustained and focused discussion among multiple stakeholders.
  • At the 2005 World Summit, Heads of State and Government mandated the Economic and Social Council to hold Annual Ministerial Reviews (AMR) and a biennial Development Cooperation Forum (DCF).

Programmatic cycle of ECOSOC

  • High-Level Segment
    • High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) provides political leadership, guidance and recommendations for sustainable development, follow-up and review progress in the implementation of sustainable development commitments;
    • Annual Ministerial Review (AMR), held annually since 2007, assesses progress in the implementation of the United Nations development agenda;  
    • Development Cooperation Forum (DCF), held on a biannual basis since 2007, reviews trends and progress in development cooperation on a biannual basis.
  • Integration Segment, held annually since 2014, promotes the balanced integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development both within the United Nations system and beyond.
  • Humanitarian Affairs Segment, that takes place in alternate years in New York and Geneva, seeks to strengthen the coordination of the United Nations’ humanitarian efforts.
  • Operational Activities for Development Segment, held annually, provides overall coordination and guidance for United Nations funds and programmes on a system-wide basis.
  • Coordination and Management Meetings (CMM), held throughout the year, review the reports of its subsidiary and expert bodies; promote system-wide coordination and review of development issues; and consider special country situation or regional issues.  
  • Youth Forum, held annually since 2012, brings the voice of youth into the discussion of the Millennium Development Goals and post-2015 development agenda.
  • Partnership Forum, held annually since 2008 and linked to the theme of the Council’s Annual Ministerial Review, aims at finding innovative ways to collaborate with the private sector and foundations in search of solutions for the many development challenges facing governments today.

2 . VARAHA


About ICGS VARAHA

  • ICGS ‘Varaha’, the state-of-the-art offshore patrol vessel, was commissioned into the Coast Guard fleet.
  • It is the fourth among the series of seven ships to be delivered by L&T with features like ultra-advanced navigation, communication sensors and machinery.
  • It will operate from the port of New Mangalore on the West Coast covering Exclusive Economic Zone up to Kanyakumari.
  • ICGS ‘Varaha’ is capable of operating the indigenously-developed Advanced Light Helicopter by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The ship is well equipped with high speed boats, medical facilities and modern surveillance systems.

3 . Exercise Malabar


About Exercise Malabar

  • The 23rd edition of the Trilateral Maritime Exercise MALABAR, is scheduled between the navies of India, Japan and USA from 26 Sep to 04 Oct 19 off the coast of Japan.
  • MALABAR 2019 would endeavour to further strengthen India – Japan – US Naval cooperation and enhance interoperability, based on shared values and principles.
  • The Exercise would encompass conduct of complex maritime operations in the surface, sub-surface and air domains, and focus on Anti-Submarine Warfare, Anti-Air and Anti-Surface Firings, Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO) including Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS) and tactical scenario based Exercise at Sea.
  • In addition, the partner navies would conduct official protocol visits, professional interactions including Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEE), reciprocal ship visits, sports fixtures and social events during the harbour phase.
  • Two frontline indigenously designed and built Indian Naval Ships, the Multipurpose Guided Missile Frigate Sahyadri and ASW Corvette Kiltan, with Rear Admiral Suraj Berry, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet embarked onboard, arrived at Sasebo today, to participate in the Exercise. In addition to the ships, a ‘P8I’ Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft, also arrived in Japan for the Exercise. 

4 . Sardar Patel National unity Award


Context : A notification instituting the Sardar Patel National Unity Award was issued by Ministry of Home Affairs on 20th September, 2019.

About Sardar Patel National unity Award

  • Government of India has instituted the highest civilian award in the field of contribution to the unity and integrity of India, in the name of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
  • The Award seeks to recognize notable and inspiring contributions to promote the cause of national unity and integrity and to reinforce the value of a strong and united India.
  • The award will be announced on the occasion of the National Unity Day, i.e. the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel on 31st October.
  • The Award would consist of a medal and a citation. No monetary grant or cash award would be attached to this Award. Not more than three Awards would be given in a year. It would not be conferred posthumously except in very rare and highly deserving cases.
  • The Award shall be conferred by the President by a Sanad under his hand and seal and presented by him in a presentation ceremony along with the Padma award presentation ceremony held in Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Award Committee

  • An Award Committee would be constituted by the Prime Minister, which would include the Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Secretary to the President, Home Secretary as Members and three-four eminent persons selected by the Prime Minister.

Eligibility

  • Any Indian national or institution or organization based in India would be able to nominate an individual for consideration for this Award. Individuals may also nominate themselves. State Governments, UT Administrations and Ministries of Government of India may also send nominations.
  • The Nominations would be invited every year. The applications would need to be filed online on the website specifically designed by Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • All citizens, without distinction of religion, race caste, gender, place of birth, age or occupation, and any institution/organization would be eligible for the Award.

5 . National Water Mission Awards


About National Water Mission Awards

  • NWM,Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti has initiated the ‘National Water Mission Awards’ to recognize excellence in water conservation, efficient water use and sustainable water management practices.
  • NWM has 5 goals and 39 strategies prescribed in the Mission Document. One of the strategies of NWM under Goal IV is to incentivize the organization/ companies through awards for water conservation and efficient use of water.
  • Hence, the NWM has initiated the ‘National Water Mission Awards’ to recognize excellence in water conservation, efficient water use and sustainable water management practices.
  • The awards are given in ten categories defined under five goals of NWM :
    • Comprehensive Water Data Base in Public Domain.
    • Assessment of the impact of Climate Change on Water Resources.
    • Promotion of citizen and state action for water conservation, augmentation and
    • Focused attention to vulnerable areas including over-exploited area.
    • Increasing Water use efficiency by 20% (Local Individuals/Farmers/Citizens)
    • Increasing Water use efficiency by 20% (Water Users Associations/ Self Help Groups/ Resident Welfare Associations).
    • Increasing Water use efficiency by 20% (Public Agencies –ULBs/Cities, Govt Organisations).
    • Increasing Water use efficiency by 20% (Industries/Corporate).
    • Increasing Water use efficiency by 20% (Small and Medium Enterprises).
    • Promotion of basin level integrated water resources management.

The prize money for the award

  • First – Rs. 2 lakh; Second – Rs. 1.5 lakh and Third – Rs. 1 lakh.

6 . CARICOM


About CARICOM

  • The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is a grouping of   twenty countries: fifteen Member States  and five  Associate Members.
  • It is home to  approximately sixteen million citizens, 60% of whom are under the age of 30,  and from the main ethnic groups of Indigenous Peoples, Africans, Indians, Europeans, Chinese,  Portuguese and Javanese.
  • The Community is multi-lingual; with English as the major language complemented by French and Dutch  and  variations of these, as well as African and Asian expressions.
  • CARICOM came into being  on 4 July 1973 with the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas by Prime Ministers Errol Barrow for Barbados, Forbes Burnham for Guyana, Michael Manley for Jamaica and Eric Williams for Trinidad and Tobago.The Treaty was later revised in 2002 to allow for the eventual establishment of a single market and a single economy.
  • CARICOM rests on four main pillars: economic integration; foreign policy coordination;human and social development; and security.

7 . Voluntary Code of Ethics


Context : Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) on behalf of its members has agreed to observe the “Voluntary Code of Ethics” during all future elections including the ongoing General Elections to the Haryana & Maharashtra legislative assemblies and various bye elections being held simultaneously.

About Voluntary Code of Ethics

  • IAMAI and social media platforms Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Google, Sharechat and TikTok had presented and observed this “Voluntary Code of Ethics” during the General Election to 17thLok Sabha 2019. 
  • IAMAI has assured the Commission that the platforms will cooperate in ensuring the conduct of free and fair elections.
  • As a result of Commission’s vigorous persuasion, all the major social media platforms and IAMAI came together and mutually devised this “Voluntary Code of Ethics” for the General Elections 2019.

The highlighted features of “Voluntary Code of Ethics” are as follows:

  • Social Media platforms will voluntarily undertake information, education and communication campaigns to build awareness including electoral laws and other related instructions.
  • Social Media platforms have created a high priority dedicated grievance redressal channel for taking expeditions action on the cases  reported by the ECI.
  • Social Media Platforms and ECI have developed a notification  mechanism by this ECI can notify the relevant platforms of potential  violations of Section 126 of the R.P. Act, 1951 and other electoral laws.
  • Platforms will ensure that all political advertisements on their platforms are pre-certified from the Media Certification and Monitoring Committees as per the directions of Hon’ble Supreme Court.
  • Participating platforms are committed to facilitate transparency in   paid political advertisements, including utilising their pre-existing labels/disclosure technology for such advertisements.

8 . Indigenous Fuel Cell System


Context : The President of India, Shri Ram NathKovind, unveiled the first Indigenous High Temperature Fuel Cell System developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in partnership with Indian industries under India’s flagship program named “New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI)” 

About the Fuel Cell

  • The 5.0 kW fuel cell system generates power in a green manner using methanol / bio-methane, with heat and water as bi-products for further use; amounting to greater than 70% efficiency, which otherwise may not be possible by other energy sources.
  • The Fuel Cells developed are based on High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane (HTPEM) Technology.
  • The development is most suitable for distributed stationary power applications like; for small offices, commercial units, data centers etc.; where highly reliable power is essential with simultaneous requirement for air-conditioning.
  • This system will also meet the requirement of efficient, clean and reliable backup power generator for telecom towers, remote locations and strategic applications as well.
  • This development would replace Diesel Generating (DG) sets and help reduce India’s dependence on crude oil.
  • Development has placed India in the league of developed nations which are in possession of such a knowledgebase. C
  • In the field of clean energy, Fuel Cell distributed power generation systems are emerging as promising alternative to grid power.
  • The Fuel Cells fit well in India’s mission of replacing diesel with green and alternate fuels.
  • The development of fuel cell technology is indigenous and carries immense national importance in terms of non-grid energy security.

About Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Technology

PEM
  • The proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) uses a water-based, acidic polymer membrane as its electrolyte, with platinum-based electrodes.
  • PEMFC cells operate at relatively low temperatures (below 100 degrees Celsius) and can tailor electrical output to meet dynamic power requirements. Due to the relatively low temperatures and the use of precious metal-based electrodes, these cells must operate on pure hydrogen.
  • PEMFC cells are currently the leading technology for light duty vehicles and materials handling vehicles, and to a lesser extent for stationary and other applications.
  • The PEMFC fuel cell is also sometimes called a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (also PEMFC).
  • Hydrogen fuel is processed at the anode where electrons are separated from protons on the surface of a platinum-based catalyst. The protons pass through the membrane to the cathode side of the cell while the electrons travel in an external circuit, generating the electrical output of the cell. On the cathode side, another precious metal electrode combines the protons and electrons with oxygen to produce water, which is expelled as the only waste product; oxygen can be provided in a purified form, or extracted at the electrode directly from the air.

High temperature PEMFC (HT PEMFC)

  • A variant of the PEMFC which operates at elevated temperatures is known as the high temperature PEMFC (HT PEMFC).
  • By changing the electrolyte from being water-based to a mineral acid-based system, HT PEMFCs can operate up to 200 degrees Celsius.
  • This overcomes some of the current limitations with regard to fuel purity with HT PEMFCs able to process reformate containing small quantities of Carbon Monoxide (CO). The balance of plant can also be simplified through elimination of the humidifier.

Benefits

  • HT-PEM Technology enables simple and cost effective fuel cell systems that can operate on fuel sources available today, such as natural gas, propane, and methanol. When compared to low temperature PEM fuel cells, subsystems for membrane humidification and carbon monoxide clean up from reformate can be eliminated.

New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI)

  • As a part of New Millennium initiative, the Government mounted a farsighted R&D Programme named ‘New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI)’ in Public-Private Partnership mode in 2000-01. The programme was announced as part of the Union Budget in the year 2000. The responsibility of conceptualizing, evolving and implementing the programme has been assigned to the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR).
  • The trigger for NMITLI programme was:
    • From incremental innovation to disruptive innovation;
    • Tolerance for risk taking and failure;
    • Best minds in India to take up the grand challenge for collaborative excellence;
    • Technology leadership.
  • The NMITLI focus is to:
    • identify niche areas where India can gain leadership in about 10-15 years;
    • develop projects involving best brains of the country through a rigorous process;
    • build knowledge network of partners from public funded institutions and private industries;
    • develop new methods of working together for collaborative excellence;
    • focus on proof-of-concept; and
    • provide a pipeline of cutting edge Indian innovation for conventional technology financing bodies as against the ‘usual safe bets.
  • Features
    • Proactive
    • Project development through national consultation & churning
    • Investment in areas where India has a sustainable comparative advantage
    • Invitation (not application) to the best
    • Close monitoring & foreclosure
    • Govt. / CSIR seeks no direct returns • Equitable IPR sharing

9 . National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)


Context : Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri G. Kishan Reddy, inaugurated the 15th Formation Day of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

About NDMA

  • On 23 December 2005, the Government of India enacted the Disaster Management Act, which envisaged the creation of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), headed by the Prime Minister, and State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) headed by respective Chief Ministers, to spearhead and implement a holistic and integrated approach to Disaster Management in India.
  • Vision of NDMA is to build a safer and disaster resilient India by a holistic, pro-active, technology driven and sustainable development strategy that involves all stakeholders and fosters a culture of prevention, preparedness and mitigation.

Functions and Responsiblities

NDMA, as the apex body, is mandated to lay down the policies, plans and guidelines for Disaster Management to ensure timely and effective response to disasters. Towards this, it has the following responsibilities:-

  • Lay down policies on disaster management ;
  • Approve the National Plan;
  • Approve plans prepared by the Ministries or Departments of the Government of India in accordance with the National Plan;
  • Lay down guidelines to be followed by the State Authorities in drawing up the State Plan;
  • Lay down guidelines to be followed by the different Ministries or Departments of the Government of India for the Purpose of integrating the measures for prevention of disaster or the mitigation of its effects in their development plans and projects;
  • Coordinate the enforcement and implementation of the policy and plans for disaster management;
  • Recommend provision of funds for the purpose of mitigation;
  • Provide such support to other countries affected by major disasters as may be determined by the Central Government;
  • Take such other measures for the prevention of disaster, or the mitigation, or preparedness and capacity building for dealing with threatening disaster situations or disasters as it may consider necessary;
  • Lay down broad policies and guidelines for the functioning of the National Institute of Disaster Management.

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