Prelim Snippets- 20.02.2020

1. Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen)

Why in News?
  • The Cabinet has approved the launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) Phase – II.
Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen):
  • The Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) or SBM – G is a sub-mission of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan for the rural areas.
  • The SBM – G seeks to eliminate open defecation from the country.
  • It also aims at improving access to sanitation.
  • In addition, it seeks to generate awareness to motivate communities to adopt sustainable sanitation practices, and encourage the use of appropriate technologies for sanitation.
Objectives of the Mission:
  • Improving the quality of life in rural areas by promoting cleanliness and eliminating open defecation.
  • Motivating communities and panchayati raj institutions to adopt sustainable sanitation practices.
  • Encouraging appropriate technologies for Sustainable Sanitation.
  • Developing community-managed solid and liquid Waste Management Systems.
  • The key components of the implementation of SBM-G will Include:
    • Start-up activities including preparation of state plans.
    • Information Education Communication (IEC) activities.
    • Capacity building of functionaries.
    • Construction of household toilets.
    • Construction of community sanitary complexes.
    • A revolving fund at the district level to assist Self Help Groups and others in providing cheap finance to their members.
    • Funds for rural sanitary marts, where materials for the construction of toilets, etc., may be purchased.
    • Funds for solid and Liquid Waste Management.
    • Under SBM-G, the construction of toilets in government schools and aganwadis will be done by the Ministry of Human Resource Development and Ministry of Women and Child Development, respectively.
    • The mission is under the Ministry of Jal Shakti.

    2. World’s largest’ Subterranean Fish

    Why in News?
    • Systematic exploration of the Meghalayan caves has been underway for almost 30 years and hundreds of kilometres of cave passages have been explored and mapped. In a cave in a remote forested area of Meghalaya’s Jaintia Hills a research expedition found large specie of a subterranean fish (occurring under the earth’s surface).

    Blind fish:
    • The blind fish was over 40 cm. It has not been named so far.
    • It is nearly five times the mean length (85mm/8.5 cm) for all known subterranean fish to date.The only other species exceeding 300mm (30 cm) in length are eel-like Synbranchidae with nothing like the bulk of the new fish.
    • The 250-known subterranean (occurring under the earth’s surface) fish species around the world measure only around 8.5 cm on average.
    • The specialists say that possibly one (or more) populations of these fish became isolated deeper in the caves and over generations became adapted to the dark, losing their eyes in the process.
    • The experts feel that the fish species is very similar to the Golden Mahseer or the Tor Putitora, one of the most famous game fish of the Himalayan rivers.
    • Unique characters that distinguishes it from the Golden Mahseer is the lack of pigmentation, a lack of eyes and of course, its subterranean habitat – being locked in caves.
    • There are ‘normal’ Golden Mahseer in the area too but there is not much surface water (at least in the dry winter months) so fish end up in the cave pools and underground rivers.
    Subterranean Ecosystems:
    • Subterranean ecosystems are considered extreme, high-stress environments characterised by darkness, truncated food webs and food scarcity.
    • Despite this, they harbour exceptional vertebrate and invertebrate taxa (21,000+ species), many of which are evolutionarily unique, and relics of ancient fauna given their long-term isolation.
    • Many cave fish show different adaptations – some don’t have eyes, some have reduced eyes, some don’t have fins, some have weird body shapes.

    3. National Cyber Security strategy (NCSS) 2020

    Why in News?
    • The draft of National Cyber Security Strategy 2020, that envisages creating a secure cyberspace in India, is ready and will soon be sent to key ministries for comments before seeking the Cabinet Approval.
    • The vision of the strategy is to ensure a safe, secure, resilient, trusted and vibrant cyberspace for India’s prosperity.
    • The National Cyber Security Strategy 2020 is being prepared to fill the gaps and meet the target envisaged in National Cyber Security Policy 2020.
    • India is actively walking towards a National Cyber Security Policy which is imperative for the goal of a USD 5 trillion economy.
    Pillars of Strategy:
    • Secure (The National Cyberspace)
    • Strengthen (Structures, People, Processes, Capabilities)
    • Synergise (Resources including Cooperation and Collaboration)
    Need for NCSS 2020:
    • India was one of the first few countries to propound a futuristic National Cyber Security Policy 2013(NCSP 2013). Since the adoption of NCSP 2013, the technologies, platforms, threats, services and aspirations have changed tremendously.
    • However, Cyber intrusions and attacks have increased in scope and sophistication targeting sensitive personal and business data, and critical information infrastructure, with impact on national economy and security.
    • Threats from organised cybercriminal groups, technological cold wars, and increasing state sponsored cyber-attacks have also emerged. Further, existing structures may need to be revamped or revitalised. Thus, a need exists for the formulation of a National Cyber Security Strategy 2020.

    4. Khajuraho Dance Festival

    Why in News?
    • Khajuraho Dance Festival will be held on February 20-26, 2020 in the premises located near the West Temple Group in Khajuraho.
    About Khajuraho Dance Festival:
    • It is celebrated every year at Khajuraho, a world famous tourist destination.
    • It is organized by the Madhya Pradesh Government, Department of Culture
    • It is a 6-day festival showcased classical dances including Kathak, Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Mohiniattam.
    • In the festival, dances were performed in an open- air auditorium, in front of Vishwanatha Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Chitragupta Temple dedicated to Sun God.
    • Art Mart: It is part of festival showcased paintings of international artists from Germany, France and China among other countries.

    5. Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC)

    • Kangaroo mother care (KMC) is recently seen in news.
    About Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC):
    • It is the intervention where babies are placed in skin-to-skin contact with their mothers and exclusively breast fed.
    • WHO recommends that it be continued till baby attains a weight of 2.5 kg or till babies wriggle out.
    • Skin-to-skin contact:  It should ideally start at birth, but is helpful at any time. It should ideally be continuous day and night, but even shorter periods are still helpful.
    • Exclusive breastfeeding: Direct suckling by the baby from the breasts is all that is needed for most mothers and babies.  For very premature babies, expressing milk and addition of some essential nutrients may be needed.
    • Support to the dyad: Whatever is needed for the medical, emotional, psychological and physical well-being of mother and baby is provided to them, without separating them.
    • This might mean adding ultramodern equipment if available, or purely intense psychological support in contexts with no resources. It can even mean going home very early.
    Significance Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC):
    • KMC benefits are much beyond preventing hypothermia.  It also promotes growth and development of the child and increases mother child bonding, and also reduces stress in both mother and baby.
    • The results recently published in the Lancet show that kangaroo mother care improved survival by 30% and 25%, in babies till 28 days and six months of age, respectively.
    • Such care for all infants with low birthweight could substantially reduce neonatal and infant mortality.


    6. National Statistical Commission

    Why in News?
    • The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has recently released the draft National Statistical Commission (NSC) Bill in public domain for feedback.
    About NSC Bill:
    • It seeks to establish NSC as the nodal, autonomous and statutory body for all core statistical activities. It also proposes the NSC to be a body corporate. The current body lacks statutory backing
    • The Government of India set up the National Statistical Commission (NSC), on the recommendations of the Rangarajan Commission, which reviewed the Indian Statistical System in  2001.
    • It is a recommending body that helps the national statistical system in evolving better
    • Composition: It has a part-time Chairperson, 4 part-time Members and an ex-officio Member, each having specialization and experience in specified statistical fields.
    • The Chief Statistician of India is the Secretary of the Commission. He is also the Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

    7. Changes in Crop Insurance Schemes

    Why in News?
    • Centre has recently cuts its share in crop insurance schemes.
    Recent changes in PMFBY and RWBCIS:
    • Centre has slashed its share of the premium subsidy to just 25% in irrigated areas and 30% for unirrigated areas from the Kharif season of 2020.
    • Previously the subside share was 50% in irrigated areas and unirrigated areas.
    • The Cabinet approved the revamp of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and the Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS).
    • In both the schemes the enrolment has been made voluntary for all farmers.
    • RWBCIS aims to mitigate the hardship of the insured farmers against the likelihood of financial loss on account of anticipated crop loss resulting from adverse weather conditions relating to rainfall, temperature, wind, humidity etc.
    • PMFBY aims to provide insurance coverage and financial support to the farmers in the event of failure of any of the notified crop as a result of natural calamities pests & diseases.
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