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11th May Current Affairs

Contents

  1. Norms issued for restart of industrial units: NDMA
  2. Massive revamp of Forest Ministry units
  3. NIV develops ELISA test to detect antibodies
  4. Kalapani row
  5. Clashes in Ladakh & Sikkim
  6. Centre plans to check Chinese FPI flows

NORMS ISSUED FOR RESTART OF INDUSTRIAL UNITS: NDMA

Focus: GS-III Disaster Management, Industry and Infrastructure

Why in news?

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has issued a series of guidelines for restarting manufacturing industries after the lockdown period.

Certain economic activities have already been allowed on gradual lifting of restrictions in some zones.

Highlights of the guidelines

  • Instructions have been issued on safekeeping of hazardous and flammable materials.
  • Guidelines also pertain to chemical disasters, management of chemical (terrorism) disasters, and strengthening of safety and security for transportation of Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants (POL) tankers.
  • The State governments have been told to ensure, through the district officials concerned, that the off-site disaster management plan of the respective Major Accidental Hazard (MAH) units are up-to-date.
  • Employees are to be sensitised to identify abnormalities such as strange sounds or smell, exposed wires, vibrations, leaks, smoke, abnormal wobbling, irregular grinding or other potentially hazardous signs requiring urgent attention.
  • All lockout and tag-out procedures should be in place on a daily basis.
  • Specific orders have been given on storage of raw material, manufacturing processes, storage of products and functioning of workers, besides physical and social distancing measures.
  • The employers should provide hand santisers, masks, face protection shields and PPEs, ensure 24-hour sanitisation of the factory premises, accommodation of workers should also be sanitised regularly, and their temperature checked twice a day.
  • Those showing symptoms should not report to work.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

  • National Disaster Management Authority, abbreviated as NDMA, is an apex Body of Government of India, with a mandate to lay down policies for disaster management.
  • NDMA was established through the Disaster Management Act enacted by the Government of India on 23 December 2005.
  • Hence, NDMA is a Statutory body.
  • NDMA is responsible for framing policies, laying down guidelines and best-practices for coordinating with the State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) to ensure a holistic and distributed approach to disaster management.
  • It is headed by the Prime Minister of India and can have up to nine other members. Since 2014, there have been four other members.
  • The tenure of the members of the NDMA shall be five years.
  • The phrase disaster management is to be understood to mean ‘a continuous and integrated process of planning, organising, coordinating and implementing measures, which are necessary or expedient for prevention of danger or threat of any disaster, mitigation or reduction of risk of any disaster or severity of its consequences, capacity building, preparedness to deal with any disaster, prompt response, assessing the severity or magnitude of effects of any disaster, evacuation, rescue, relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction’.

Disaster Management Act, 2005

  • The Disaster Management Act, 2005, (23 December 2005) received the assent of The President of India on 9 January 2006.
  • The Act extends to the whole of India.
  • The Act provides for “the effective management of disasters and for matters connected there with or incidental thereto.”
  • The Act calls for the establishment of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
  • The Act under Section 8 enjoins the Central Government to Constitute a National Executive Committee (NEC).
  • All State Governments are mandated under Section 14 of the act to establish a State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA).
  • The Chairperson of District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) will be the Collector or District Magistrate or Deputy Commissioner of the district.
  • The Section 44–45 of the Act provides for constituting a National Disaster Response Force “for the purpose of specialist response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster” under a Director General to be appointed by the Central Government.

-Source: The Hindu


MASSIVE REVAMP OF FOREST MINISTRY UNITS

Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology

Why in news?

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has introduced a massive restructuring plan that entails merging the 10 regional offices of the MoEF&CC and 19 centres of the Forest Survey of India (FSI), National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) and Central Zoo Authority (CZA) into just 19 regional offices of the Ministry.

Details and Criticisms

  • The stated objective of merging regional offices with the NTCA, WCCB, CZA and FSI centres is improving efficiency and ensuring better coordination.
  • These important organisations have very different objectives — forest management, species conservation, enforcement and research.
  • That this reorganisation exercise is being carried out secretly during lockdown is a cause of concern.
  • Reorganisation can result in loss of independence and integrity of NTCA, WCCB and FSI.
  • Pressure can be exerted on the officials to accord clearances for environmentally-disastrous projects.
  • There is, however, no plan to reduce staff strength in the restructuring.

Forest Survey of India (FSI)

  • Forest Survey of India (FSI) is a Government of India Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change organization founded in June 1981 and headquartered at Dehradun.
  • FSI was founded for conducting forest surveys, studies and research to periodically monitor the changing situation of land and forest resources and present the data for national planning, conservation and sustainable management of environmental protection as well for the implementation of social forestry projects.
  • One of the most important activity of FSI is making the State of Forest Report biennially (once every two years). The report gives an assessment of the latest forest cover in India, and the changes thereof.

National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)

  • The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 was amended in 2006 to provide for constituting the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) responsible for implementation of the Project Tiger plan.
  • Hence, NTCA is a Statutory Body.
  • NTCA was established in December 2005. It is set up under the Chairmanship of the Minister for Environment and Forests.
  • The Inspector General of Forests, in charge of project Tiger, will be ex-officio Member Secretary.
  • NTCA was established following a recommendation of the Tiger Task Force, constituted by the Prime Minister of India for reorganised management of Project Tiger and the many Tiger Reserves in India.

Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB)

  • Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) a Statutory Body established by the Government of India under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to combat organised wildlife crime.
  • The Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2006 provisions came in to force on 4 September 2006 and WCCB became Operational in 2008.
  • WCCB won the prestigious 2010 Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Awards for its outstanding work on wildlife law enforcement in the country.
  • UNEP has also awarded WCCB with Asia Environment Enforcement Award, 2018.

Central Zoo Authority (CZA

  • The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) is the body of the government of India responsible for oversight of zoos.
  • Central Zoo Authority is a Statutory Body whose main objective is to enforce minimum standards and norms for upkeep and health care of animals in India zoos.
  • Zoos are regulated as per the provisions of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 and are guided by the National Zoo Policy, 1992. The Wild Life Protection was amended in 1991 to establish the Central Zoo Authority.

Extra Prelims Bit – Survey Organisations:

  1. FSI (Forest Survey of India)  
  2. ASI (Archaeological Survey of India)
  3. BSI (Botanical Survey of India)
  4. FiSI (Fishery Survey of India)
  5. GSI (Geological Survey of India)
  6. IIEE (Indian Institute of Ecology and Environment)
  7. NIO (National Institute of Oceanography)
  8. RGCCI (Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India)
  9. SI (Survey of India)
  10. ZSI (Zoological Survey of India)

are key national survey organisations of India.

-Source: The Hindu


NIV DEVELOPS ELISA TEST TO DETECT ANTIBODIES

Focus: GS-III Science and Technology

Why in news?

The Pune-based National Institute of Virology (NIV) has developed an immunological assay — enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) — to detect antibodies that the body develops in response to infection by the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus.

Details

  • This is the first time India has developed an indigenous ELISA test for coronavirus.
  • This kit was validated at two sites in Mumbai and has high sensitivity and accuracy.
  • It has the advantage of testing 90 samples together in a single run of 2.5 hours.
  • Since the ELISA test is based on detection of antibodies, it can only help in knowing if the person has been previously infected by coronavirus.

Read More about “COVID KAVACH ELISA” here: https://www.legacyias.com/pib-10th-may/

(2nd Article of 10th May PIB summary)

-Source: The Hindu

KALAPANI ROW

Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

Nepal will increase the number of security outposts and deploy more armed personnel in the border with India.

Kathmandu expects India to avoid any unilateral measures in the Kalapani region and remain committed to the ‘fixed border’ principle as agreed during the past official talks.

This comes after India completed the road connectivity from Dharchula to Lipulekh (China Border) famously known as Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra Route.

Kalapani Region

  • The Kalapani region is claimed by Nepal but India has been maintaining that the new political map of 2019 has shown the territory “accurately” as part of Uttarakhand.
  • This region is under Indian administration as part of Pithoragarh district in the Uttarakhand state.
  • According to Nepal’s claim, it lies in Darchula district, Sudurpashchim Pradesh.
  • It is marked by the Kalapani river, one of the headwaters of the Kali River in the Himalayas at an altitude of 3600–5200 meters.
  • The valley of Kalapani, with the Lipulekh Pass at the top, forms the Indian route to Kailash–Manasarovar, an ancient pilgrimage site.
  • It is also the traditional trading route to Tibet for the Bhotiyas of Uttarakhand.
  • The Treaty of Sugauli signed by the Kingdom of Nepal and British India (after Anglo-Nepalese War) in 1816 located the Kali River as Nepal’s western boundary with India.
  • The discrepancy in locating the source of the river led to boundary disputes between India and Nepal, with each country producing maps supporting their own claims.
  • The Kali River forms the boundary between India and Nepal in this region. However, India states that the headwaters of the river are not included in the boundary.

Kali River (Sharda river or Kali Ganga in Uttarakhand)

  • Kali River joins Ghagra river in Uttar Pradesh, which is a tributary of Ganga.
  • Tanakpur hydro-electric project, Chameliya hydro-electric project, Sharda Barrage are the projects on the river.

Read More about the New Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra Route here: https://www.legacyias.com/pib-8th-may/

(1st Article of 8th May PIB Summary)

-Source: The Hindu


CLASHES IN LADAKH & SIKKIM

Focus: GS-III Internal Security

Why in news?

The Border tensions between India and China have flared up once again with at least two incidents of violent clashes and stone-pelting taking place between rival troops in Ladakh and Sikkim.

Details

  • The clash in eastern Ladakh, in particular, led both India and China to send additional troop reinforcements to the border area.
  • The Army played down the two incidents as “temporary and shortduration face-offs” that were resolved by “local commanders as per mutually-accepted protocols” through dialogue and flag meetings.
  • Concerns were regarding aggressive patrolling by People’s Liberation Army along the 3,488-km long Line of Actual Control (LAC), stretching from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The second clash took place at an altitude of over 5,000 metres in the Naku La sector in north Sikkim.

Line of Actual Control

  • The Line of Actual Control (LAC) is a demarcation line that separates Indian-controlled territory from Chinese-controlled territory in the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, formed after the 1962 war.
  • The LAC is the effective military border which separates Indian controlled areas of Jammu and Kashmir from Aksai Chin.
  • It is to be noted that this border is NOT a legally recognised international boundary, but rather it is the practical boundary.
  • Conventionally, India considers the Johnson line of 1865, marked by a civil servant W.H. Johnson, which put Aksai Chin in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • On the other hand, China recognises the Macartney-Macdonald Line as the actual boundary which puts Aksai Chin in Xinjiang region of China.

-Source: Times of India


CENTRE PLANS TO CHECK CHINESE FPI FLOWS

Focus: GS-III Indian Economy

Why in news?

After foreign direct investment (FDI), the government is now looking to clamp down on unbridled access of Chinese portfolio investors into the Indian market as it seeks to plug a possible loophole that investors from across the border can use to acquire shares in listed domestic companies.

Details

  • The department of economic affairs is looking at options, including the possibility of mandating the ‘approval route’ for Chinese foreign portfolio investment (FPI) as well. FPI investors typically acquire smaller shares and keep churning their investment.
  • The Centre will initiate the steps in consultation with Sebi.
  • In contrast, FDI is a more long-term and stable source of funding, which the government had recently blocked for Chinese investors through the automatic route and mandated that direct investment from countries that share a border with India will only be permitted with prior approval government approval.

Read in full detail about the Indian Government approval being made mandatory for FDIs at: https://www.legacyias.com/19th-april-current-affairs/

(1st Article in 19th April Current Affairs)

-Source: Times of India

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