18/11/2019 Prelims Sure Shot
NDRF: New unit to save heritage structures
The National Disaster Response Force is to establish a specialized unit for heritage structures.
- The specialized unit is to be established in every battalion of the NDRF.
- It will help preserve monuments and heritage structures that are damaged and battered by natural disasters.
- It will also hold the responsibility of rescue and restoration of the structure.
About the Unit
The plan is to form set of personnel in each battalion of NDRF. They will become trained professionals on preserving heritage structures in pre and post disaster scenario.
Strategies of UNESCO: To preserve disaster prone Heritages
UNESCO believes that the Earthquake that occurred in Kathmandu in 2015 and the fire at the Royal Palaces of Abomey, Benin are best examples of vulnerability of cultural heritages. In order to preserve them from disasters, the following initiatives were taken by UNESCO
- In 2002, the Budapest Declaration was signed on World Heritage. According to the Declaration it is the responsibility of the “World Heritage Committee” to make sure the properties under World Heritage List are passed on to generations of the future as their rightful inheritance
- The United Nations General Assembly adopted the “Strategy for Risk Reduction at World Heritage Properties” in 2007. It is being implemented by the World Heritage Committee
- The “Sendai Framework” includes several references to culture and heritage under its “Disaster Risk Reduction” framework
BIS: Water Quality Report for state Capitals and New Delhi released
- The Water Quality Report was released by the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs Shri Ram Vilas Paswan. The report is in line with the Jal Jeevan Mission that was launched to provide clean and safe drinking water to all by 2024.
Water Quality Report
- In order to make sure if clean and safe drinking water is provided to all, a study was conducted by the BIS (Bureau of India Standards) to check on the quality of piped drinking water provided in the cities, especially in the state capitals. The cities were then ranked based on the report.
- The study was conducted in two phases. In first phase, samples of drinking water were collected across Delhi and in the second phase the samples were collected from several state capitals. The tests were conducted on parameters such as Chemicals, Toxic substances, Organoleptic tests, Bacteriological tests and physical tests.
Highlights of the report
- In Delhi, out of 11 samples, 10 failed to comply the standards of Indian Standards
- The best performing cities where almost all the samples were up to the standard were Ranchi, Shimla, Bhubaneshwar, Amravati and Raipur.
- The worst performing cities where only very few or none of the samples were under the Indian Standards were Thiruvananthapuram. Chandigarh, Bhopal, Patna, Bengaluru, Gandhinagar, Lucknow, Chennai, Dehradun, Kolkata and Jaipur
Trace Bribery Risk Matrix 2019
- TRACE International, the world’s leading anti-bribery standard setting organization, has released the 2019 edition of Trace Bribery Risk Matrix (TRACE Matrix). TRACE Matrix is a global business bribery risk assessment tool that measures business bribery risk in 200 countries, territories, and autonomous and semi-autonomous regions.
About Trace Bribery Risk Matrix
Ranking Parameter: Trace provides a score from 1 to 100 to each country for each domain and if a country gets a higher score it means it is in a higher risk of business bribery.
Score is based on Four Factors:
- Business Interactions with Government
- Anti-Bribery Deterrence and Enforcement
- Government and Civil Service Transparency
- Capacity for Civil Society Oversight, including the role of the media
Lowest Bribery Risk: New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland
Highest Bribery Risk: Somalia, South Sudan, North Korea, Yemen and Venezuela
With a total risk score of 48, India is ranked higher and has been placed in a better position than neighbouring China whose score is 59. Other countries having a score of 48 in the matrix are: Azerbaijan, Ghana, the Bahamas, Panama, Samoa and Thailand, also have.
Among BRICS nations, South Africa is ahead of other countries with a score of 42 while the scores of Brazil and Russian Federation are 53 and 55, respectively.
Bangladesh is the highest risk country in terms of bribery in South Asia as its total risk score was 72 in this index. Bangladesh was ranked 178 while India stands on 78th rank.
Defence Minister inaugurates Sisseri River Bridge in East Siang
- Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the Sisseri River Bridge at Lower Dibang Valley in East Siang District of Arunachal Pradesh. The bridge will play an important role in the overall development of the area and will immensely contributes to the socio-economic development of the region.
About Sisseri River Bridge
- It is a 200-metre long bridge between Jonai-Pasighat-Ranaghat-Roing road and would cut down the travel time from Pasighat to Roing by about 5 hours. The bridge provides connectivity to Tinsukia via Dhola-Sadia bridge. It will also provide connectivity between Dibang Valley and Siang to meet long-pending demand of people of Arunachal Pradesh.
- The Sisseri River bridge was constructed by Project Brahmank of Border Roads Organisation (BRO). BRO has four projects in Arunachal Pradesh namely Arunank, Vartak, Brahmank and Udayak to maintain and develop the difficult geographical terrain and strategically important area.
- Importance: This bridge will be a part of Trans Arunachal Highway and is also strategically important from a military viewpoint and moreover, infrastructural upgradation is necessary for the security of the North-East as well as the entire country.
- Other Infrastructure Projects undertaken by Centre in Arunachal Pradesh: operationalised Pasighat airport, the proposed: Bhalukpong – Tenga – Tawang railway line, Hollongi airport and Sela Pass tunnel. Government is also committed to establish strong and efficient roadways, railways, airways, waterways and digital network in the region. Moreover, government’s Act East Policy would also open new doors of rapid infrastructural development in North-East region of country, but especially in Arunachal Pradesh as it would also act as a bridge between India and South-East Asian countries.
Household Consumer Expenditure Survey
- The National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation carried out an all-India survey on household consumption expenditure.
- The survey is usually conducted in quinquennial intervals and the last survey was conducted in 2011-2012.
- It generates estimates of household Monthly Per Capita Consumer Expenditure (MPCE) and the distribution of households and persons over the MPCE classes.
- It is designed to collect information regarding expenditure on consumption of goods and services (food and non-food) consumed by households.
- The data are also used for rebasing GDP and other macro-economic indicators.
- The government has decided not to release the survey results due to data quality issues.
Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh
- Ministry of Women and Child Development is going to launch Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh.
- It is a repository of diverse crops across 128 agro-climatic zones in India.
- Its aim is to provide better nutritional outcomes and to fight malnutrition.
- Harvard Chan School of Public Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be a part of this initiative.
- They will document and evaluate promising regional dietary practices and the messaging around them and develop a food atlas on regional agro-food systems.
- It will select around 12 high focus states, which are representative of the geographical, social, economic, cultural and structural diversities of India.
New Rules for Financial Firms
- The government has recently issued framework for bringing ‘systemically important financial service providers’ under the purview of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
- Accordingly, the ministry of Corporate Affairs has notified the IBC rules, 2019 to provide a generic framework for insolvency and liquidation proceedings of systemically important FSPs other than banks.
- Section 227 of the IBC Code enables the Central government to notify such rules for the purpose of insolvency and liquidation proceedings.
- Such rules will be notified in consultation with the financial sector regulators, financial service providers (FSPs) or categories of FSPs.
International Conference on Agricultural Statistics
- The 8th International Conference on Agricultural Statistics (ICAS) will be held in New Delhi.
- It will be organized by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.
- Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, FAO, Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are partners of this conference.
- The theme of the conference is “Statistics for Transformation of Agriculture to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.
- ICAS is a series of conferences that started in 1998 based on overarching need for agricultural data worldwide.
- It is conducted every three years based on overarching need for agricultural data worldwide.
- The last conference was held in Rome in 2016.
Source- PIB, The Hindu