- MILAN 2022
- Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
- National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship
- Quantum key distribution
Focus: GS III Security challenges
Why in News?
The latest edition of Indian Navy’s multilateral exercise MILAN 2022 is scheduled to commence from 25 Feb 22 in the ‘City of Destiny’, Visakhapatnam.
- MILAN 22 is being conducted over a duration of 9 days in two phases with the harbour phase scheduled from 25 to 28 February and Sea Phase from 01 to 04 March.
- India is celebrating the 75th year of its independence in 2022, and MILAN 22 provides an opportunity to commemorate this milestone with our friends and partners.
- The theme of the MILAN 2022 exercise is ‘Camaraderie – Cohesion – Collaboration’ which aims to project India as a responsible maritime power to the world at large.
- The aim of the exercise is to hone operational skills, imbibe best practices and procedures, and enable doctrinal learning in the maritime domain, through professional interaction between friendly navies.
- Milan is a multilateral naval exercise hosted by the Indian Navy under the aegis of the Andaman and Nicobar Command.
- The biennial event which started in 1995 features professional exercises and seminars, social events and sporting fixtures between participating nations.
- The Navy has held 10 editions of the Milan exercise, with the theme of “synergy across the seas” to enhance professional interactions between friendly foreign navies and learn best practices from each other, since 1995.
Milan exercises in the past
- The event has been held biennially except for 2001, 2005, and 2016. The 2001 and 2016 editions were not held because of the International Fleet Review, while the 2005 event was postponed to 2006 due to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.
- The most recent edition of Milan was held at HQENC Visakhapatnam in 2018, as the 2020 edition of Milan (Over 40 countries were expected to participate in the exercise in 2020) was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
Focus: GS-II: Social Justice and Governance (Welfare Schemes, Government Policies & Interventions)
Why in News?
With the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), approx 1 lakh people have got employment through the LPG distribution system. The LPG coverage has increased from 61.9 % to near saturation level in last five years.
About Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) – 1
- The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) is a government scheme launched in 2016 which envisages the distribution of 50 million LPG connections to women below the poverty line.
- PMUY is a scheme of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
- There are 27.87 Crore active LPG consumers in the country, with the PMUY beneficiaries accounting for over 8 crores.
Advantages of PMUY:
- Providing LPG connections to BPL households will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in the country.
- This measure will empower women and protect their health.
- It will reduce drudgery and the time spent on cooking.
- It will also provide employment for rural youth in the supply chain of cooking gas.
Why was PMUY Necessary?
- As per the estimates of the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 5 lakh deaths in India occurred due to unclean cooking fuel.
- These deaths were caused mostly due to non-communicable diseases including heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer.
- Providing LPG connections to families below the poverty line will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in the country.
- The scheme can be a tool for women empowerment in that LPG connections and clean cooking fuel can reduce cooking time and effort, and in most of India, cooking is a responsibility shouldered solely by women.
- The scheme also provides employment to the rural youth in the supply chain of cooking gas.
- The PMUY-II is aimed to provide maximum benefit to the migrants who live in other states and find it difficult to submit address proof.
- Now they will only have to give “Self Declaration” to avail the benefit.
- The scheme provides a financial support of Rs 1600 for each LPG connection to the BPL households.
- Along with a deposit-free LPG connection, Ujjwala 2.0 will provide the first refill and a hotplate free of cost to the beneficiaries.
- Under Ujjwala 2.0, an additional 10 million LPG connections will be provided to the beneficiaries. Government has also fixed a target of providing piped gas to 21 lakh homes in 50 districts.
National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship
Focus: GS II- Education
Why in News?
Recently, the Ministry of Education has approved the continuation of National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship (NMMSS) over the 15th Finance Commission cycle for a period of five years i.e. from 2021-22 to 2025-26 with financial outlay of Rs. 1827.00 crore.
About National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme:
- Background: The ‘National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme’ (NMMSS) is a Central Sector Scheme launched in May, 2008 to provide scholarships for meritorious students of classes IX to XII. The scheme is on-boarded on the National Scholarship Portal (NSP).
- Objective: To award scholarships to meritorious students of economically weaker sections to arrest their drop out at class VIII and encourage them to continue their study and complete secondary stage.
- Coverage: The scheme envisages award of one lakh fresh scholarships every year to selected students of class IX and their continuation/renewal in classes X to XII for study in a State Government, Government-aided and Local body schools under the scheme.
- Scholarship Amount: An amount of Rs. 12000/- per student per annum. The rate of scholarship has been enhanced from Rs. 6000/- to Rs. 12000/- per year with effect from 1st April, 2017.
Eligibility criteria to appear in NMMSS selection test:
- Students whose parental income from all sources is not more than Rs. 1,50,000/- per annum are eligible to avail the scholarships.
- The student must have minimum of 55 % marks or equivalent grade in Class VII examination for appearing in selection test for award of scholarship (relaxable by 5% for SC and ST students).
- The student should be studying as regular student in a Government, Government-aided and local body schools. Students of NVS, KVS and residential schools are not entitled for the scholarships.
- There is reservation as per State Government norms.
Quantum key distribution
Focus: GS III- Science and Technology
Why in News?
A joint team of scientists from DRDO and IIT Delhi, for the first time in the country successfully demonstrated Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) link between Prayagraj and Vindhyachal in Uttar Pradesh, a distance of more than 100 kilometers.
What is Quantum key distribution?
- Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a secure communication method for exchanging encryption keys only known between shared parties.
- The communication method uses properties found in quantum physics to exchange cryptographic keys in such a way that is provable and guarantees security.
- QKD enables two parties to produce and share a key that is then used to encrypt and decrypt messages.
- Specifically, QKD is the method of distributing the key — not the key itself or the messages it can enable users to send.
How does QKD work?
The security of QKD is based on a fundamental characteristic of quantum mechanics:
- The act of measuring a quantum system disturbs the system.
- Thus, an eavesdropper trying to intercept a quantum exchange will inevitably leave detectable traces.
- The legitimate exchanging parties can decide either to discard the corrupted information, or reduce the information available to the eavesdropper to nought by distilling a shorter key.
A QKD implementation typically includes the following components:
- A fiber or free-space quantum channel to send quantum states of light between the transmitter (Alice) and receiver (Bob). This channel does not need to be secured
- A public but authenticated communication link between the two parties to perform post-processing steps and distill a correct and secret key
- A key exchange protocol that exploits quantum properties to ensure security by detecting eavesdropping or errors, and by calculating the amount of information that has been intercepted or lost
Both errors and potential information leakage are removed during subsequent error correction and privacy amplification post-processing steps, leaving Bob and Alice with a shared key known only to them.
Advantages of QKD
- QKD uses the laws of physics to guarantee its security.
- This is as opposed to its classical counterparts which rely on computational hardness and mathematical intractability.
- QKD is also future-proof. This means that it is impossible to store information obtained during the key exchange process and hack it at a later time.
- This makes it very attractive in securing data that have lengthy lifespans.
- QKD gives the ability to detect eavesdropping which is also a distinct advantage.