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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 14th April 2021

  • IASbaba
  • April 14, 2021
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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Launch of Aahaar kranti

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – II – Health 

In news

  • `Aahaar Kranti’ Mission was launched recently. 
  • Ministry: Ministry of Health 

Key takeaways 

  • Aim: To spread the message of the need for a nutritionally balanced diet and to understand the importance of access to all local fruits and vegetables.
  • Launched by: Vijnana Bharati (Vibha) and Global Indian Scientists’ and Technocrats’ Forum (GIST) 
  • Motto: ‘Good Diet-Good Cognition’
  • It is designed to address the problem of `hunger and diseases in abundance’
  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)’s Pravasi Bharatiya Academic and Scientific Sampark (Prabhaas) is collaborating along with various central and state government ministries and agencies 
  • Focus: Training teachers, who, in turn, will pass on the message to the multitudes of students, and through them to their families and finally the society at large.
  • Such a strategy was adopted for the eradication of Polio and it turned out to be a grand success.

Do you know? 

  • Studies estimate that India produces as much as two times the amount of calories that it consumes. 
  • However, many in the country are still malnourished. 
  • The root cause of this strange phenomenon is a lack of nutritional awareness in all sections of our society.
  • The United Nations has also declared 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 
  • UN sustainable goal # 3 emphasizes on human well-being. 

Aluminium-Air Battery

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Sci & tech 

In news

  • State-owned Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. has entered into a joint venture with Israel-based battery technology startup, Phinergy to develop aluminium-air technology based battery systems for electric vehicles and stationary storage, as well as hydrogen storage solutions.

Key takeaways 

  • Top automakers, including Maruti Suzuki and Ashok Leyland, have already signed letters of intent with the newly formed joint venture to commercially deploy the battery solutions produced by IOC Phinergy.
  • Aluminium-air batteries are said to be a lower cost and more energy-dense alternative to lithium-ion batteries which are currently in widespread use for electric vehicles in India.
  • Aluminium-air batteries utilise oxygen in the air which reacts with an aluminium hydroxide solution to oxidise the aluminium and produce electricity.

Benefits

  • Aluminium-air battery-based electric vehicles are expected to offer much greater range of 400 km or more per battery compared to lithium-ion batteries which currently offer a range of 150-200 km per full charge.
  • The aluminium plate in an aluminium-air battery is converted into aluminium trihydroxide over time and that aluminium can be reclaimed from aluminium trihydroxide or even traded directly for industrial uses.
  • Such batteries are also expected to be significantly cheaper than lithium-ion batteries, thereby reducing the cost of electric vehicle.

Concerns

  • They cannot be recharged like lithium-ion batteries.
  • Therefore, large scale use of aluminium-air battery based vehicles would require the wide availability of battery swapping stations

India Energy Dashboards (IED) Version 2.0 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Energy sector 

In news

  • The India Energy Dashboards Version 2.0 was launched by NITI Aayog.

Key takeaways 

  • India Energy Dashboards (IED) is an endeavour to provide single-window access to the energy data for the country.
  • Energy data published/provided by Central Electricity Authority, Coal Controller’s Organisation, and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is compiled in the Dashboards.
  • NITI Aayog launched the Version 1.0 in May 2017.
  • The key features of the enhanced version, India Energy Dashboards Version 2.0, are –
  1. The IED provides time series data from FY 2005-06 until FY 2019-20;
  2. Enhanced data download – It enables easy downloading of data into convenient spreadsheet formats in a cleaner, more intuitive way;
  3. IED provides data at sub-yearly frequencies as well. This includes monthly data and API linked data from some portals maintained by the government agencies.
  4. The monthly data is sourced from the monthly reports that are regularly published for the electricity, petroleum and natural gas sectors.
  5. API linked data from Saubhagya, UJALA, PRAAPTI, and Vidyut PRAVAH has been incorporated in the portal.

DGFT ‘Trade Facilitation ’ mobile App 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Economy 

In news

  • DGFT ‘Trade Facilitation’ Mobile App was recently launched for promoting ease of doing business and providing quick access to information to importers/exporters.
  • Ministry: Ministry of Commerce & Industry Minister

Key takeaways 

  • Developed by: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), as per the directions of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).
  • It provides: 
  1. Real-time trade policy updates, notifications, application status alert, tracking help requests
  2. Explore item-wise Export-Import policy & statistics, Track IEC Portfolio
  3. AI-based 24*7 assistance for trade queries
  4. DGFT services made accessible to all
  5. Your Trade Dashboard accessible anytime &anywhere

Place in news: Thwaites Glacier 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Climate change 

In news

  • Researchers at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg are now saying that fears related to the melting of Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier are worse than previously thought, owing to the supply of warm water flowing underneath at a rate underestimated in the past.

Key takeaways 

  • The Thwaites Glacier is 120 km wide at its broadest, fast-moving, and melting fast over the years.
  • Because of its size (1.9 lakh square km), it contains enough water to raise the world sea level by more than half a metre.
  • Studies have found the amount of ice flowing out of it has nearly doubled over the past 30 years.
  • Today, Thwaites’s melting already contributes 4% to global sea level rise each year. 
  • It is estimated that it would collapse into the sea in 200-900 years.
  • Thwaites is important for Antarctica as it slows the ice behind it from freely flowing into the ocean.
  • Because of the risk it faces — and poses — Thwaites is often called the Doomsday Glacier.

Do you know? 

  • The grounding line is the place below a glacier at which the ice transitions between resting fully on bedrock and floating on the ocean as an ice shelf. The location of the line is a pointer to the rate of retreat of a glacier.

Pic courtesy: Click here 


Miscellaneous

Seroja (Cyclone)

  • Tropical cyclone Seroja has ripped across a 1,000km stretch of Western Australia, leaving a trail of damage.

  • The name Seroja means lotus in Indonesian.


 (Mains Focus)


GOVERNANCE/ SOCIETY

Topic:

  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. 

Empowering Street Vendors

Benefits of Street Vendors

  • Cost benefit for Consumers: By making goods and services available at doorsteps, or at places that are conveniently accessible, street vendors reduce the transaction costs of everyday purchases for consumers. 
  • Increased Labour Hours: Street vendors also play a significant role in increasing the labour hours of these strata. 
  • Beneficial in Urban areas: Street vendors through their decentralized presene have a major role in reducing the cost of living in urban cities.
  • Brings Equity in Supply Chain: The street-vending economy also ensures equitable distribution of economic gains across its production and distribution value chains.

Issues

  • Institutionalized Neglect: With urban planners focusing on building cityscapes that are attractive for investments, street vendors experience systemic and institutionalized contempt.
  • Debt trap due to COVID-19: The pandemic exacerbated the condition of street vendors, most of whom had to exhaust their savings to survive, with many forced to enter a steep debt cycle.
  • Harassment by administration: Traditionally, street vendors have remained a neglected lot, and have been subject to harassment by police and local governments.
  • Patchy implementation of Policies: Ground level implementation of the Street Vendors Act, 2014 has remained patchy.
  • Market Failure to take care of Street Vendors: There is very little institutionalized support that street vendors could get, resulting in a market failure that needed to be addressed through government intervention.

Way Ahead

  • The PM SVANidhi scheme of the Union government, under which street vendors are provided a micro-credit facility, is designed to enable them to jump-start their commercial activity. So far, 2 million vendors have availed of this credit facility, with 40% of the beneficiaries being women.
  • Inclusion in Urban Developmental Planning: Street Vendors role needs and strengths must be factored into every aspect of urban development planning.
  • Support from Civil Society: Indian street vendors also need robust public patronage for them to achieve their full potential. Such patronage would build a strong business case for their growth and help eliminate the market failures that mark the country’s street-vending landscape.

Connecting the dots:

  • PM SVANidhi scheme

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)

Note:

  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.
  • Comments Up-voted by IASbaba are also the “correct answers”.

Q.1 Which of the following is incorrect regarding Aluminium-air battery?

  1. Aluminium-air battery-based electric vehicles are expected to offer much greater range of 400 km or more per battery.
  2. The aluminium plate in an aluminium-air battery is converted into aluminium trihydroxide over time and that aluminium can be reclaimed.
  3. Such batteries are also expected to be cheaper than lithium-ion batteries.
  4. They can be recharged like lithium-ion batteries.

Q.2 UN has declared Year 2021 as the year of:

  1. Artificial Intelligence
  2. Small and Medium Industries
  3. Fruits and vegetables
  4. Non-communicable diseases

Q.3 Ahaar Kranti mission aims at which of the following?

  1. Nutritionally balanced diet
  2. Access to all local fruits and vegetables
  3. Clean drinking water
  4. Both (a) and (b)

ANSWERS FOR 13th April 2021 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 A
2 D

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