Prelim Snippets 12-09-2019

1.Pokkali Amman Thiruvizha

Why in News?
  • It is a festival which is celebrated once in a decade during September on a small island in the Kosasthalaiyar River, Tamil Nadu
  • The week-long festival is marked by offering food, performing rituals, bursting crackers and playing instruments.
  • It ends with fishermen taking the deity in a procession through the streets of Ennore and finally keeping it back in the 200-year-old Pokkali Amman temple
  • Pokkali Amman was kept for six days from September 6 to 11, along with Vellai Amman in the shrine which was built 10 years ago.
  • The island where nobody lives, came to life during the festival. Fishermen had raised huge banners of the deity, painted the shrine, dressed up both the deities. They believe this deity has the power to get them a better catch in fishing.
  • For the festival, about 3000 fishermen, including women and children, sail in boats to the island.

2.Curriculum for Life Skills (Jeevan Kaushal)

Why in News?
  • Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development launched the Curriculum for Life Skills (JeevanKaushal) designed by University Grants Commission (UGC).
  • UGC constituted Expert Committee prepared a Curriculum for Life Skills (JeevanKaushal) for Under Graduate Programme.
  • The curriculum is designed to impart and strengthen the knowledge, skills and dispositions believed to be the best requisites of the current Industry and thereby empower the talent inherent in each learner.
  • Life Skills like communication skill, interpersonal skill, time management, problem-solving ability, decision making capacity, leadership ability and integrity play a crucial role in boosting the employability of the students.
  • Life skills (JeevanKaushal) curriculum cover the set of human talents acquired by an individual via classroom learning or life experience that can help them to deal with problems encountered in day to day life.
  • This includes the core skills each individual must possess internally as well as externally for the betterment of self and the society as a whole. Adoption of life skills is the key to success and quality in life.

3.’CHC Farm Machinery’ Mobile App for Farmers

Why in News?
  • The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare recently launched a multilingual mobile app ‘CHC Farm Machinery’ during the National Conference on crop residue Management for farmers in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
‘CHC Farm Machinery Mobile App’:
  • The mobile app will allow farmers to avail custom hiring services of CHCs located in a radius of 50 km.
  • CHC Farm Machinery Mobile App connects the farmers with Custom Hiring Service Centers in their area. Farmers can download this mobile app on any android phone from Google Play Store.
  • Farmers can get affordable access to cutting-edge technology at their doorsteps with the help of this Mobile App.

4.Digital initiatives of Ministry of Civil aviation

Why in News:
  • Ministry of Civil aviation’s healthy aviation sector growth initiative – DigiSky, Esahaj, Digiyatra
About DigiSky:
  • An online portal to regulate the entire gamut of activities relating to governance and operation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS)/Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAVs)/drones has been made operational. While ensuring safety and security in drone operations, it will also help in promotion of drone technologies.
Digital Sky Platform:
  • The Digital Sky Platform is the first-of-its-kind national unmanned traffic management (UTM) platform that implements “no permission, no takeoff” (NPNT). Users will be required to do a one-time registration of their drones, pilots and owners.
  • 100% of security clearances pertaining to the Ministry have been made online on Esahaj online portal launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The portal is operational for granting clearances in respect of 24 categories.
  • DigiYatra Trial – For rollout of DigiYatra initiative has been started at Bangalore and Hyderabad airports. The initiative envisages seamless and hassle-free passenger travel using biometric technologies to improve passenger experience, reduce queue waiting time as passengers can walk through e-gates by using advanced security solutions. It will remove redundancies at check points and enhance resource utilization.

5.Man, Portable Antitank Guided Missile

Why in News:
  • In a major boost for Indian Army, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested indigenously developed low weight, fire and forget Man Portable Antitank Guided Missile (MPATGM) in the ranges of Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The MPATGM,or Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile, is an Indian third-generation fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile .
  • The MPATGM is a low weight, fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile (ATGM). It is fitted with a high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead. The missile has a length of about 1,300 mm and a diameter of about 120 mm.It has a weight of 14.5 kg, with its command launch unit (CLU) weighing 14.25 kg.It has a range of about 2.5 km.
  • The MPATGM is equipped with an advanced Imaging Infrared radar (IIR) seeker with integrated avionics. The missile has top attack capability.
  • The missile is derived from India’s Nag ATGM.
  • The missile is incorporated with state-of-the-art Infrared Imaging Seeker along with advanced avionics.

6.Recent Initiatives of Ministry of Human Resource Development

  • Union Human Resource Development Minister, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ attended the First Annual Innovation Festival of the MHRD’s Innovation Cell (MIC). Union Minister also launched the Smart India Hackathon 2020, Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) 2020, and Institution’s Innovation Council 2.0.
IIC 2.0:
  • MHRD’s Innovation Cell has envisioned establishing a strong network of Institution’s Innovation Council (IICs) in Higher Educational Institutes to promote innovation and start-up in academia through multitudinous modes leading to an innovation promotion eco-system in these campuses.
  • The model of IICs operates in hub and spoke format and ensures round the year activities related to innovation, entrepreneurship and IPR in campus.
ARIIA 2020:
  • Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) is an initiative of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India to systematically rank all major educational institutions and universities on indicators related to promotion of “Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development” amongst their students and faculties.
Smart India Hackathon -2020:
  • Smart India Hackathon or SIH is a flagship program and nationwide
  • initiative by MHRD’s Innovation Cell (MIC) and AICTE to provide students a platform to solve some of the pressing problems we face in our daily lives,and thus to inculcate a culture of product innovation and to create a mind- set to solve problems. Hackathon (SIH) is one of the most successful flagship events of MHRD’s Innovation Cell.
Protsahan Mudra:
  • Protsahan Mudra is real time rewards Engine to give rewards to
  • Students and teachers daily or as close to the action that qualifies for the reward. The innovative approach rewarding as a recognition and encouragement tool will democratize the process of Protsahan.

7.The Gig Economy

Why in News:
  • California passes Bill that will reshape Gig Economy
About Gig Economy:
  • A Gig Economy is a free market system in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.

Eg. Ola, Uber Drivers, Food delivery agents.


Why in News?
  • Russia terminates robot Fedor after space odyssey
About FEDOR Robot:
  • Name: Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research (FEDOR)
  • It is the first ever robot sent by Russia to space.
  • This life-size humanoid robot will spend 10 days learning to assist astronauts on the International Space Station.
  • Fedor copies human movements, a key skill that allows it to remotely help astronauts or even people on Earth to carry out tasks while the humans are strapped into an exoskeleton.
  • The Soyuz capsule was used to launch the rocket from the Russia-leased launch pad in Kazakhstan.
  • Fedor is travelling in order to test a new emergency rescue system.
  • Fedor, also known as Skybot F850 was strapped into a specially adapted pilot’s seat, with a small Russian flag in hand.
  • Fedor is not the first robot to go into space. In 2011, NASA sent up Robonaut2, a humanoid robot developed with general Motors and a similar aim of working in high risk environments.
  • It was flown back to Earth in 2018 after experiencing technical problems. In 2013, Japan too sent up a small robot called kirobo along with the ISS’s First Japanese space commander. Developed with Toyota, it was able to hold conservations – albeit only in Japanese.
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