Prelim Snippets 14-09-2019

1.Counter Magnet Areas

Context: The National Capital Region Planning Board has approved the proposal of Government of Punjab to consider Patiala-Rajpura corridor as Counter Magnet Area to NCR.

About Counter Magnet Areas:
  • Counter-magnet towns are identified as those that can be developed as alternative centres of growth and attract migrants to them rather than “Metropolitan Magnets” like Delhi. Promoting growth of counter magnet towns are the principal components of the strategy to reduce both migration and population explosion in the metropolitan area.

2.4P1000 or 4per1000 Initiative

Context: TRIFED introduced the “The 4P1000 Initiative: The Tribal Perspective through Bamboonomics” in the side event and explained the genesis of the revolution during the global meet (COP 14 of UNCCD) in New Delhi.

About 4per1000 initiative:
  • The international initiative “4 per 1000”, launched by France on 1 December 2015 at the COP 21, consists of federating all voluntary stakeholders  of the public and private sectors (national governments, local and regional governments, companies, trade organisations, NGOs, research facilities, etc.) under the framework of the Lima-Paris Action Plan (LPAP).
  • Aim: To demonstrate that agriculture, and in particular agricultural soils can play a crucial role where food security and climate change are concerned.
  • The “4 per 1000” initiative is intended to complement those necessary efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, globally and generally in the economy as a whole. It is voluntary; it is up to each member to define how they want to contribute to the goals.


Why in News?
  • The white-water Rafting Expedition christened ‘RUDRASHILA’ being undertaken by Kalidhar Battalion under the aegis of Battle Axe Division was Flagged Off on 11 September 2019 at Jaisalmer.
About Rudrashila:
  • The expedition christened ‘Rudrashila’ has been organised to commemorate the 75th Raising day of the Kalidhar Battalion.
  • ‘Rudrashila’ takes its name from the famed Rudraprayag tributary of the Ganges River in the Mountains of Uttarakhand.
  • ‘Kalidhar Batttalion’ was raised on 01 November 1943 and has participated in all major operations of the Indian Army including two overseas assignments in Korea in 1953 and UN peacekeeping Mission in Congo in 2005-06.
  • Under the expedition soldiers will cover a total distance of 140 kilometers from Rudraprayag to Rishikesh over some of the most difficult and dangerous rapids in mighty Ganges River.

4.Drought Toolbox

Why in News?
  • The ongoing 14th Conference of Parties (COP14) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) witnessed the official release of the Drought Toolbox, which can be used by countries to assess drought risks in their regions much in advance, and prepare to deal with the water scarcity.
  • It is a tool developed by UNCCD together with their counterparts from other UN organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization and World Meteorological Organization, as well as from the University of Nebraska in the US.
  • The drought toolbox uses 30 parameters, including soil moisture, rainfall data and temperature data of the present and past, can accurately evaluate the vulnerability of different geographic regions to drought. Already 70 countries have shown interest in making use of the toolbox, said UNCCD officials.

5.Hindi Diwas 2019

Context: Hindi Diwas 2019 is being celebrated on 14th September.

  • Hindi Diwas is celebrated every year on September 14 a day that marks the importance of the language and showcases its rich history and socio-political significance.
  • The Constituent Assembly of India had, in 1949, recognised and adopted Hindi — an Indo-Aryan language — as the Official Language of the newly formed nation on this very day.
  • 14th September 1949 also marked the 50th birthday of Beohar Rajendra Simha, the acclaimed Hindi-stalwart. This day has been celebrated as ‘Hindi Day’ since then.
  • When India became independent, there were efforts by the government to widen the reach of the language. But well before that, in its 1925 Karachi session, the Indian National Congress had decided for Hindustani — the blend of Hindi and Urdu — to be made the lingua franca of independent India.
  • This resolution, however, was modified later, and with the coming of Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, it was suggested that Hindi alone be made the national language.
  • We celebrate Hindi Diwas because we acknowledge the significance of the language that is spoken by 43.6 per cent speakers in India, who identify Hindi as their mother tongue — as of 2011 census.
  • The language has other variants as well, like Awadhi, Braj and Khadi Boli.

6.World University Rankings 2019

Why in News?
  • The World University Rankings was recently released by the UK-based Times Higher Education.
  • Oxford University continues to lead the rankings table followed by California Institute of Technology and University of Cambridge. Stanford University and MIT complete the top Five Table.
  • For the first time since 2012, no Indian institution featured among the top 300.
  • The country’s best performing institution, IISc-Bangalore, slipped 50 places from the 251-300 ranking cohort into the 301-350 bracket.
  • The dip was on account of a significant fall in its citation impact score offsetting improvements in research environment, teaching environment and industry income.
Why India Slipped?
  • The best Indian institutions are generally characterized by relatively strong scores for teaching environment and industry income.
  • But they perform poorly when it comes to international outlook in comparison to both regional and international counterparts.
  • Even as India dropped out of the top 300, it increased its representation in the rankings from 49 universities last year to 56 this time.
  • As a result, India holds on to its place as the fifth most-represented nation in the world and the third most-represented in Asia (behind Japan and mainland China).
  • It has eight more universities than Germany, which is sixth in the country ranking, but 25 fewer than China.

7.LCA Tejas

Context: For the first time, India’s indigenously-built naval variant of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas made a successful “arrested landing” in Goa.

  • It is an Indian single-engine, delta wing, multirole light fighter designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
  • It came from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, which began in the 1980s to replace India’s ageing MiG-21 fighters.
  • It is pegged as the world’s smallest and lightest supersonic Fighter Aircraft in its class.
  • In 2003, the LCA was officially named “Tejas”.
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