Prelim Snippets 20-09-2019

1.Area 51:

Why in News?
  • On September 20, some two million people plan — or claim to plan — to storm a US Air Force facility called Area 51. On a Facebook event titled “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of us”, two million people have clicked “attending” and another 1.4 million have clicked “interested”
About Area 51:
  • A 38,400-acre facility, Area 51 is in Southern Nevada. Officially known as the Nevada Test and Training Range
  • Area 51 is part of the Nellis Air Force Baseand is used as a training centre for the US Air Force. The name originates from its location of the Nevada map.
Conspiracy Theories:
  • Several Americans believed it was where the government hid bodies of aliens and UFOs
  • Some believed it was where the government held “meetings” with extra-terrestrials, and others speculated it was where the government developed “time travel” technology.
  • The CIA, has been using the facility since 1955 to develop and test supersonic aircraft and stealth fighter jets.It was only in 2013 that the CIA published declassified documents admitting that the Area 51 is a secret military site.

2.Keeladi Findings:

Context :The Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department (TNAD) has stated that the cultural deposits unearthed during excavations at Keeladi in Sivaganga district, Tamil Nadu could be safely dated to a period between 6th century BCE and 1st century CE .

About the Report:
  • The report titled, ‘Keeladi-An Urban Settlement of Sangam Age on the Banks of River Vaigai’, was published by the TNAD.
  • The results from the fourth excavations suggested that the second urbanisation [the first being Indus] of the Vaigai plains happened in Tamil Nadu around 6th century BCE as it happened in the Gangetic plains.The recent scientific dates obtained for Keeladi findings push back the date of Tamil-Brahmi script to another century, i.e., 6th century BCE.

 3.WAWE Summit 2019

Context: Union HRD Minister launched Waste Management Accelerator for Aspiring Women Entrepreneurs (WAWE Summit 2019).

About the Summit:
  • It will be the largest gathering of young women students to promote entrepreneurship in waste management and providing alternatives to single use plastic carry bags.
  • Revolving around the theme of “Make your own bag” , it aims at empowering women to take up income generation activity and entrepreneurship in waste management through making a business out of this record creating concept.
  • The WAWE Summit will be held in November-December 2019.
  • It will be jointly organized by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Institute of Waste Management (IIWM) at Jaipur.     

4.POSHAN Abhiyaan

Why in News?
  • A study by Lancet has shown that India is unlikely to meet “Poshan Abhiyaan” Scheme Targets
  • Reduce the level of stunting in children (0-6 years) under-nutrition (underweight prevalence) in children (0-6 years) and Low Birth Weight at 2% per annum
  • Reduce anaemia among young children (6-59 months), women and adolescent girls at 3% per annum across the country.
  • The Abhiyaan ensures convergence with various programmes, organising Community Based Events; incentivizing States/UTs for achieving goals.
  • Community Mobilization and Awareness Advocacy leading to Jan Andolan – to educate the people on nutritional aspects. Incremental Learning Approach (ILA); strengthening Field Functionaries.
  • Under the Abhiyan, all districts of the States/UTs have been covered for implementation in a phased manner.

5.LCA Tejas

Context: Shri Rajnath Singh scripted history by becoming the first Raksha Mantri to fly the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) ‘Tejas’.

  • 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”.

6.National Tiger Conservation Authority

Context: Tiger count up but official photos show one in seven could just be a paper tiger

About NTCA:
  • It is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change constituted under enabling provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
  • It was initially launched in 2005, following the recommendations of the Tiger Task Force. It was given statutory status by 2006 amendment of the Wildlife Protection Act
  • It is set up under the chairmanship of the Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change
  • It approves the reserve specific tiger conservation plan prepared by the State Government.
  • Evaluate and assess various aspects of sustainable ecology and disallow any ecologically unsustainable land use such as, mining, industry and other projects within the tiger reserves;
  • Provide for management focus and measures for addressing conflicts of men and wild animal and to emphasize on co-existence in forest areas outside the National Parks, sanctuaries or tiger reserve, in the working plan code;
  • Provide information on protection measures including future conservation plan, estimation of population of tiger and its natural prey species, status of habitats, disease surveillance, mortality survey, patrolling, reports on untoward happenings and such other management aspects as it may deem fit including future plan conservation;

7.Tiger Census in India

Context: Tiger count up but official photos show one in seven could just be a paper tiger

About the Tiger Census:
  • Every 4 year the National Tiger Conservation Authority conducts a tiger census across India to figure out the Royal Bengal Tiger population in India.
Key Facts:
  • As per the report, the total population of Tiger in India is 2967. In 2014, the count was 2,226 which reflected an increase of 741 individuals (aged more than one year), or 33%, in four years.
  • India has achieved the target of doubling the tiger count four years ahead of the deadline of 2022.
  • The top Tiger States of India (by Tiger population) – Madhya Pradesh (526); Karnataka (524); Uttarakhand (442)
  • Top states in terms of Percentage increase in Tiger population: Madhya Pradesh (71%),Maharashtra (64%), Karnataka (29%).
  • States with maximum Tiger Population Growth or Increase (since 2006) – Kerala (313 %), Tamil Nadu (247%), Bihar (210%).
  • Worst Performing States – Chhattisgarh and Mizoram saw a decline in tiger population.
  • Maximum improvement since 2014 – Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu

8.KALIA Scheme

Context : Accusation by opposition parties about misappropriation in KALIA scheme

About the Scheme:
  • KALIA stands for “Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation”. This scheme has been launched to accelerate agricultural prosperity and elimination of poverty.
  • All small and marginal farmers along with landless agricultural households, vulnerable agricultural household, landless agricultural labourers and sharecroppers/actual cultivators are eligible under different components of KALIA.
  • Financial aid of Rs.25,000 per farm family over five seasons will be provided to small and marginal farmers so that they can purchase seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and use assistance towards labour.
  • This scheme has come into effect from the 2018-19  Rabi season.Financial assistance of Rs 12500/ will be provided to each landless agricultural household for agricultural allied activities.  Life Insurance Cover , Crop loan are also part of the Scheme .

9.Fish Production in India:

Tag: Economics – Agriculture

Context: The Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying released the “Handbook on Fisheries Statistics – 2018”

Facts from the Handbook:
  • The total fish production of 12.59 million metric tonnes was registered during 2017-18 with a contribution of 8.90 million metric tonnes from inland sector and 3.69 million metric tonnes from marine sector.
  • The average growth in fish production during 2017-18 stands at 10.14% when compared to 2016-17 (11.43 million metric tonnes).
  • This is mainly due to 14.05% growth in Inland fisheries when compared to 2016-17 (7.80 million metric tonnes).
  • India is currently world’s second largest producers of fish. It is also world number two in aquaculture production as well as in inland capture fisheries.
  • The percentage contribution of inland fish production in the total fish production of 29% during the year 1950-51 and has increased to 71% in the year 2017-18.
  • Andhra Pradesh has recorded the highest production of inland fish (34.50 lakh tones) whereas Gujarat is the leading state in Marine fish (7.01 Lakh tonnes) in the country.

10.NEAT Scheme

Context : Ministry of HRD has announced a new PPP Scheme, National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT) for using  AI technology for better learning outcomes in Higher Education.

About the Scheme:
  • MHRD proposes to launch and operationalize NEAT in early November 2019.
  • The objective is to use Artificial Intelligence to make learning more personalized and customised as per the requirements of the learner.
  • This requires development of technologies in Adaptive Learning to address the diversity of learners.
  • There are a number of start-up companies developing this and MHRD would like to recognise such efforts and bring them under a common platform so that learners can access it easily.
  • Educating the youth is a National effort and MHRD proposes to create a National Alliance with such technology developing EdTech Companies through a PPP model.




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