Continuing the series in this uissue we shall discuss the following:
1. The Vikasini Programme
4.Membership for Palestine in the UN
5.Famous Malayalam Novelist George Varghese passes away
7.Multi Sectoral Development Programme for Minosrities (MSDP)
8.Innovative Practices: Forests
10.Biological Diversity Act
11. Antarctica expedition
12. Indira Paryawan Building
42. Current Affairs 2012 December First week Unit Two
Continuing the series in this uissue we shall discuss the following:
24 thoughts on “42. Current Affairs 2012 December First week Unit Two”
1. The Girls’s School Dropout Program (GSDP) is undertaken as part of the Vikasini activity. ‘VIKASINI’ literally means Developing and Empowering Women. It aims to empower women especially those belonging to the disadvantaged section of women.
The project centre is located in west Delhi covering a wide area sprawled with over more than one hundred thousand population amidst several slums. From among 300 colleges 137 colleges have already replicated the model in Innovative Education as developed by AIACHE. About 60 colleges have replicated the National Service Scheme on Child Labor.
It is partly supported by the Ministry of Convergence Government of NCR, Delhi in reaching out to vulnerable groups in the society. The All India Association for Christian Higher Education (AIACHE) in 2006, entered into a partnership with the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) to support the project “Girls’ School Dropout Program (GSDP)” for a period of three years.
2. E-Setu has become the electronic bridge between the people and the government especially for people in distant places. ‘Setu’ in the local language means bridge. E-Setu has been considered as a unique example of Government-to-Citizen (G2C)
The e-Setu practice is a sincere attempt to bridge the citizen’s access to Information and government services. It attempts to provide public services delivery at the doorsteps of common man with mixed success. Instead of the citizens had to travel to offices at the district headquarters from remote far away villages everyday to receive various services like receiving certificates /copies of public records, etc , the practice has helped to avail these in the vicinity of their villages through the e-Setu platforms. With this the loss for the citizens in the form of loss of day’s income, cost of transportation, uncertainty regarding availability of the relevant official / information is drastically reduced. Citizen services and grievances or requirements are fulfilled within a maximum period of 10 days and at minimal user charges. E-Setu is thus a bridge to address delay, time consuming and costly public service delivery using technology or online platform.
3. Lokvani, whose inception took place on 9 November, 2004 in the district of Sitapur in Uttar Pradesh, is a self-sustaining, Public Private Partnership (PPP) based e-governance solution providing transparent, accountable and responsive administration.
Lokvani is a public-private partnership e-Governance programme which has been initiated with the combined efforts of both the district administration as well as the National Informatics Centre in the district of Sitapur which has an 88% rural population with a 38.86% literacy rate (Times of India, 2005; Pioneer 2005).
It is an outstanding example of a highly cost-efficient, economically self-reliant and user financed community network. This solution is targeted at 3.6 million citizens residing within the district, located in the province of Uttar Pradesh, which is the world’s sixth largest political entity in terms of population. Lokvani has been projected as a commitment to the people in providing them with transparent, credible and accountable systems of governance. This system is grounded in the rule of law, encompassing civil, political as well as economic and social rights underpinned by accountable and efficient public administration for the multiphase development of rural people. The primary objective of the IT solution is to bridge the digital divide and “connect” the common man to the strategy makers in a seamless fashion.
Lokvani stands out amongst all other e-Governance projects as it symbolizes the success of the concept of e-accountability, the next step of e- Governance. While other e-Governance efforts are limited to serving the citizens by providing existing services electronically, Lokvani goes beyond that and makes government functionaries accountable to the citizens.
4. IBSA backs Palestinian bid for UN membership
Press Trust Of India
Ramallah, November 20, 2011
Affirming their commitment to creation of a Palestinian state, key leaders from India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) held talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who applauded their efforts in mobilising support for his side’s bid for UN membership. “There is absolutely no justification for stalling the Palestinian bid” for UN membership, said minister of state for external affairs E Ahamed, who along with Ambassador Paulo Cordeiro de Andrade Pinto of Brazil and Marius Fransman, South Africa’s deputy minister for International Relations and Cooperation, met Abbas on Saturday.
“We are committed to it (Palestinian bid for UN membership) and will work together with like-minded countries like Brazil and South Africa to push it towards fructification,” Ahamed said.
• Famous Malayalam novelist George Varghese Kakkanadan passed away in Kollam. He was one the pioneers of modern Malayalam literature who breathed his last on 19 October. He wrote a number of famous short stories and modernised the Malayalam novel. Kakkanadan was rebel, whose rebellious personality reflected in most of his works. Every part of his writing depicted his rebellious nature against the social codes etc.
• Dr. Manmohan Singh paid a visit to Gangtok that was rattled by an Earthquake. He made an airborne study of the areas that were hugely affected by the quake all through the state. The Prime Minister surveyed all the affected areas, such as Mangan, Chungthang, Lachen and Lachung and also visited to see the casualties in a Govt. Hospital of the capital. He was explained about the loss of human life as well as property. Plus, the relief and rehabilitation attempts were studied at a meeting that saw the Governor Mr. B.P Singh, Chief Minister Mr. Chamling and other top ministers. Dr. Manmohan Singh later expressed his grief and said that he was extremely distraught at the terrible loss of lives, the injuries and the broad harm that was resulted by these tremors. He further stated that a central team of experts will turn up in Gangtok in seven days’ time to identify suitable designs for damaged residents meant to be rebuilt. He also stated that all these constructions will be backed wholly by the Central government and from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (this lone relief fund is estimated to be worth INR 1000 cr.).
1. Districts Under the Multi-Sectoral Development Programme (MSDP) for the Welfare of Minorities
90 Minority Concentration Districts (MCDs) have been included under the Multi- sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) for the welfare of Minorities. The funds under MsDP are allocated to the States/Districts for the entire 11th Five Year Plan and not year wise. The Minority Concentration Districts were selected for implementation of MsDP on the basis of specified backwardness parameters and concentration of minority population. None of the districts in Rajasthan was eligible for identification as MCD under the MsDP as per these criteria
2 -Innovative Good Practices developed by Stakeholders in Forestry Sector
It is rightly believed that publicity is no substitute for good work, yet even good work does need publicity. Foresters, by nature, are not media savvy and hence, even excellent work is neither reported nor appreciated to the desired level. To correct this imbalance, the Ministry of Environment & Forests developed the idea of listing the innovative good practices developed by various stakeholders of forestry sector across the country, and publishing the same as “Voices from the Field”. The aim is not only to narrate the good practices, but to also include the views and reactions of the different actors. The book was released recently during the 1st Indian Forest Congress held at Delhi.
Village mini-grids are important components of universal access to electricity in the country particularly for those villages where grid connectivity is either not feasible or not cost effective.
Under the RGGVY scheme launched by Government of India for attainment of Goal of providing access to electricity to all households, a provision of Rs.540 crore has been kept as subsidy requirement for electrification of villages where grid connectivity is either not feasible or not cost effective for Decentralized Distributed Generation (DDG) during 11th Plan period. DDG may be from conventional or renewable or non-conventional sources such as biomass, bio fuel, bio gas, mini hydro, geo thermal, solar, etc. The funding is on the pattern of 90% subsidy from Government of India and 10% loan from REC or from own funds of the state/loan from financial institutions. The DDG projects would be owned by State Government. Implementing Agencies of the projects shall be either the State Renewable Energy Development Agencies (SREDAs)/ Departments promoting renewable energy or State Utilities or the identified CPSUs. Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) is the Nodal Agency for DDG scheme. So far, 86 projects have been sanctioned under DDG scheme as under:-
Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and It’s Main Provisions
In pursuance to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), India had enacted the Biological Diversity Act in 2002 following a widespread consultative process over a period of eight years. The Biological Rules were notified thereafter in 2004.The Act gives effect to the provision of the CBD. It also addresses access to biological resources and associated traditional knowledge to ensure equitable sharing of benefits arising out of their use to the country and its people, thereby contributing to achieving the third objective of the CBD. India is one of the first few countries to have enacted such legislation. The Act is to be implemented through a three-tiered institutional structure: National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs) and Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs).
The NBA deals with all matters relating to requests for access by foreign individuals, institutions or companies, and transfer of results of research to any foreigner. While granting approvals, NBA imposes conditions which secure equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of biological resources and associated knowledge. These benefits could include monetary gains; grant of joint ownership of Intellectual property Rights (IPRs), transfer of technology, association of Indian scientists in research and development, setting up of venture capital funds etc. Further, NBA’s approval is also required before seeking any IPR based on biological material and associated knowledge obtained from India. The NBA also has power to oppose grant of IPRs in any other country on biological resources or associated knowledge obtained or derived from India.
The State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs), constituted by the State Governments, deal with all matters relating to access by Indians for commercial purposes. The Indian industry is required to provide prior intimation to the concerned SBB about the use of biological resources. The SBB has the power to restrict any such activity which violates the objectives of conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of benefits.
The legislation provides for exemptions : to local people and community for free access to use biological resources within India; to growers and cultivators of biodiversity , and vaids and hakims to use biological resources; through notification by Central Government of normally traded commodities as not to adversely affect trade of these items; for collaborative research through government sponsored or government approved institutions subject to overall guidelines and approval of the Central Government; and to value added products.
Team of National South Pole Expedition and their Equipments
India’s National South Pole Expedition (2010) is a part of international celebration of centenary of man’s reaching South Pole in 1911.The first expedition to the South Pole went exactly 100 years ago. It started in 1902 and completed in 1911. Taking into account the expertise required for travelling in the highly crevassed terrain at sub-zero temperatures touching minus 45° C and strong winds up to 200 km/hr., only the scientists who have the experience of wintering over in Antarctica and knowhow of snow vehicles have been included in the team. The scientists are also expert in the field of specific scientific activity proposed to be undertaken during the traverse to South Pole.
The team comprises of 8 members. Dr Rasik Ravindra, Director of National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) who is 62 years old is leader of the team. There are other 5 scientists and two drivers. The Scientific Equipments which will be carried are a dual frequency ground penetrating radar, shallow ice coring machine with hoisting mechanism. (Available with NCAOR), digital flux-gate magnetometer (available with IIG), vehicle mounted weather station or alternatively wind/pressure/ temperature/humidity measuring hard held devices and high pixel digital camera with wide angle and magnifying lens with stand and a video camera.
Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, is named after Smt. .Indira Gandhi who gave paramount importance to the preservation and conservation of the environment and its natural resources. Indira Paryavaran Bhawan has been conceived as an intelligent, energy efficient green building with open office system and modern facilities. Given the nature, method and manner of the construction of the building the Ministry aims for the same to be credited with the prestigious platinum rating under LEED-INDIA (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a green building rating system of the Indian Green Building Council).
The design philosophy of the project focuses on incorporating various conventional and unconventional green building features. These include the efficient use of rescues such as materials, water and energy; waste management; improved indoor air quality; optimizing investment through reduced operational costs; and minimizing negative environmental impact of the building . the design approach includes careful site planning, appropriate architectural features, water and energy conservation measures, and use of locally available materials. A new dedicated office building will accommodate all core units such as the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and the Central pollution Control Board at one place for better co-ordination and efficiency.
It will conserve natural areas and trees to reduce adverse environmental impact. Large landscaped areas with plants and water bodies will help reduce ambient temperature. Rain water harvesting system for runoff management and ground water recharge, reduction in heat island effect by plantation of trees, and use of high alb Edo materials which reflect most of soar energy are few of the features of the new building. Blend of traditional, locally available material as well as new materials such as sand stone, insulated glazing, reflective coating and vegetation on roof will also be adopted.