16 March 2023 Daily Current Affairs

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1) Consider the following statements about ‘Water Heritage Sites’

  1. Water heritage sites are declared under Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1958
  2. At present there is only central fund allocated/disbursed for maintenance of these sites

Select the correct statement(s)

a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2

There is no provision under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 to declare a site as a “Water Heritage Site” under Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

At present there is no central fund allocated/disbursed for maintenance of these sites.

2)‘Doha Political Declaration’ which was adopted recently is related to

a) War induced displacement
b) Least developed countries
c) South-South cooperation
d) Minority rights

3)With reference to ‘Dragon Fruit’, consider the following statements

  1. It is a tropical fruit native to South-East Asia
  2. It grows in all kinds of soil and does not require much water
  3. Malaysia is the largest producer and exporter of Dragon Fruit
  4. It can endure temperatures up to 40 °C and short periods of frost
    Choose the correct answer using the code given below
    a) 1 and 2 only
    b) 2 and 4 only
    c) 1 and 3 only
    d) 3 and 4 only

Pitaya or dragon fruit is native to the region of southern Mexico and along the Pacific coasts of Guatemala, Costa Rica, and El Salvador.

The world’s largest producer and exporter of dragon fruit is Vietnam, where the plant was brought by the French in the 19th century.

Prelims Specific News Items

1) What is the News?
The 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) concluded with the adoption of the ‘Doha Political Declaration’ by world leaders.

What is the Doha Political Declaration?
The declaration focuses on implementing the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA).

What is the Doha Programme of Action(DPoA)?
DPoA for the Decade (2022-2031) was agreed upon during the first part of the LDC5 conference in March 2022 in New York, the US.

It is a 10-year plan to put the world’s 46 most vulnerable countries back on track to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

DPoA consisted of six key focus areas:
1) Eradicating Poverty,
2) Leveraging the potential of science and technology to fight against multidimensional vulnerabilities and to achieve the SDGs,
3) Addressing Climate Change,
4) Environmental Degradation,
5) Recovering from Covid-19 and 6) building resilience against future shocks for risk-informed sustainable development.

What is the need for this declaration?
The 46 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are being hit the hardest by multiple crises including the Covid-19 Pandemic, Climate Crisis, growing Inequalities, rising Debt Burdens and economic shocks.

They have contributed minimally to Carbon Dioxide Emissions, but disproportionately bear the burden of climate change impacts.

These countries, which include 33 African nations, face the challenge of high debt costs while having inadequate liquidity to provide essential services.

2)IMD had developed mobile App ‘MAUSAM’ for weather forecasting,
‘Meghdoot’ for Agromet advisory dissemination and
‘Damini’ for lightning alert.

3)Geological Survey of India (GSI), an attached office of Ministry of Mines, carried out a G3 stage mineral exploration project during Field Season 2020-21 and 2021-22 in Salal-Haimna areas of Reasi district, Jammu & Kashmir and estimated an inferred resource (G3) of 5.9 million tonnes of lithium ore and the report has been handed over to the Government of Union Territory of J&K

About Geological Survey of India:

The Geological Survey of India (GSI) is a scientific agency.
It is one of the oldest of such organisations in the world and the second oldest survey in India after Survey of India (founded in 1767).
GSI, headquartered at Kolkata, has six Regional offices located at Lucknow, Jaipur, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Shillong and Kolkata.
Presently, Geological Survey of India is an attached office to the Ministry of Mines.

4)National Commission for De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNT) was constituted by Government of India in February 2014, inter-alia, to prepare a state-wise list of castes belonging to De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes. As per the report, a total of 1262 communities have been identified as De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic communities across the country which inter-alia includes Bagdi, Lohar and Banjara Communities.

What is SEED Scheme

The Department has launched a scheme namely “Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNT Communities (SEED)” for providing basic facilities to these communities.

Department of Social Justice and Empowerment through Niti Ayog and Anthropological Survey of India is conducting ethnographic studies of DNT Communities.

5) The National Education Policy 2020 has stipulated that attaining foundational literacy and numeracy for all children must become an immediate national mission. Toward this end, the Department of School Education & Literacy has launched a National Mission called “National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN Bharat)” by the Government on 5th July, 2021 for ensuring that every child in the country necessarily attains foundational literacy and numeracy by the end of Grade 3, by 2026-27.

This Mission has been set up under the aegis of the centrally sponsored scheme of SamagraShiksha, and will focus on following areas; providing access and retaining children in foundational year of schooling; teacher capacity building; development of high quality and diversified Student and Teacher Resources/Learning Materials; and tracking the progress of each child in achieving learning outcomes.

NIPUN Bharat is one of the components of the NEP 2020. It covers 3 year Foundational Literacy and numeracy in the preschool and Grade 1, 2 and 3.

6) Measures to Ease Adoption of Child :-

The Government has simplified its policy pertaining to adoption under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2021, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Amendment Rules, 2022 and the Adoption Regulations, 2022.

Some of the key amendments done in the Adoption Regulations, 2022 include

(i) issue of Adoption Order by District Magistrate instead of Court,

(ii) upper age limit for Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) reduced to 85 years for couple and 40 years for a single PAP in case they are adopting a child below 2 years,

(iii) 7-day adoption effort launched by Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) for Resident Indian (RI), Non- Resident Indian (NRI), and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) PAPs,

(iv) Chief Medical Officer (CMO) to determine the health status of the child based on Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016,

(v) strict time line has been laid down for uploading LFA (Legally Free for Adoption) within maximum period of ten days,

(vi) PAPs with more than two children do not qualify to get referral for a normal child,

(vii) mandatory counselling has been stipulated for all the relevant stakeholders like prospective parents and older children at pre-adoption, adoption and post-adoption stages,

(viii) time lines at various stages like uploading of LFA (Legally Free for Adoption) within ten days, examination of special needs children within a period of fifteen days by the Chief Medical Officer and verification of adoption application documents by District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) within five days,

(ix) emphasis on foster adoption of adoptable children already in foster care after a period of two years,

(x) stringent measures have been provisioned for PAPs becoming reason for disruption or dissolution and

(xi) where the child has remained with a foster family for a minimum of five years other than in pre-adoption foster care, the term has been reduced to two years for adoption of the child.

7) PM- MITRA Scheme

Notification issued for setting up of 7 Mega Integrated Textile Region and Apparel (PM MITRA) Parks :-

The scheme aims to realise the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi of building an Aatmanirbhar Bharat and to position India strongly on the Global textiles map.

PM MITRA Parks is envisaged to help India in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9 (“Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”).

PM MITRA is inspired by the 5F vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister. The ‘5F’ Formula encompasses – Farm to fibre; fibre to factory; factory to fashion; fashion to foreign.

This integrated vision will help furthering the growth of textile sector in the economy. No other competing nation has a complete textile ecosystem like us. India is strong in all five Fs.

The scheme is to develop integrated large scale and modern industrial infrastructure facility for entire value-chain of the textile industry. It will reduce logistics costs and improve competitiveness of Indian Textiles. The scheme will help India in attracting investments, boosting employment generation and position itself strongly in the global textile market. These parks are envisaged to be located at sites which have inherent strength for Textile Industry to flourish and have necessary linkages to succeed.

The 7 PM Mega Integrated Textile Region and Apparel (PM MITRA) Parks will be setup at Greenfield / Brownfield sites located in different willing States. Proposals of State Governments having ready availability of contiguous and encumbrance-free land parcel of 1,000+ acres along with other textiles related facilities & ecosystem are welcome.

8) Eurasian Otter

Eurasian otter raises hope for J&K stream:-

3 Eurasian Otters were sighted in the Neeru stream, which is a tributary of the Chenab river.

Eurasian Otter is Near Threatened in IUCN.

Though its presence is good news since Eurasian Otter is an Indicator Species, which indicates good health of the surrounding environment.

Locally it is called as Huder or Hud.

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