Daily Current Affairs

To The Point Notes


1.Combating Urban Water Woes

Challenge: Cities grapple with dwindling groundwater, dry wells, and sudden floods.

Innovation: SAM emerges as a promising approach to urban water management.

The Fix: This pilot program strategically taps shallow aquifers (100-120 ft deep) by pumping out water. During rainfall, the emptied space acts as a sponge, naturally collecting and filtering rainwater from surrounding areas to replenish the aquifer.

Benefits: SAM offers a multi-pronged solution:

  • Groundwater Recharge: By creating space in the aquifer, SAM facilitates rainwater infiltration, leading to a rise in the water table and improved water security.
  • Sustainable Water Source: This technique promotes a long-term solution for urban water needs.
  • Natural Purification: As water percolates through the ground, natural filtration processes remove contaminants, enhancing water quality.

Implementation: The program falls under the ambit of AMRUT, a Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) initiative. The National Institute of Urban Affairs spearheads the project, currently piloting it in 10 cities across India. This collaborative effort involves Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and local NGOs, fostering a comprehensive approach to urban water management.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/shallow-aquifer-management-pilot-models-at-habsiguda-and-sainikpuri/article68201060.ece




2.Misleading Celebrity Ads & Advertising Standards Council Of India (ASCI) Action

ASCI Report Highlights:

  • Celebrity Endorsements: Over 100 ads featuring celebrities violated ASCI guidelines due to lack of due diligence by celebrities. Personal care, food & beverages, and illegal betting were top categories.
  • Misleading Ads: ASCI investigated over 8000 ads, with 81% containing misleading claims and 34% promoting harmful products/situations. Digital ads (85%) had a lower compliance rate (75%) compared to print/TV (97%).
  • Enforcement Actions:
    • 3200 ads reported to regulators for legal violations.
    • 1311 illegal betting ads forwarded to Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.
    • 1249 healthcare ads reported to Ministry of Ayush for potential drug law violations.
  • Sector-wise Violations: Healthcare led violations (19%), followed by illegal betting (17%), personal care (13%), and education (12%). Baby care emerged as a new violator category with influencer promotions being a major concern (81% of baby care cases).

Key Takeaways:

  • ASCI plays a crucial role in curbing misleading advertisements, especially those featuring celebrities.
  • Digital advertising needs stricter monitoring due to lower compliance rates.
  • Specific sectors like healthcare and baby care require increased vigilance due to potential harm to consumers.


Source : https://theprint.in/economy/advertisement-authority-acted-against-101-advertisements-featuring-celebrities/2097994/



3.Sweet Sorghum: A Boon for Drought-Stricken Regions

Why in News?

  • Sweet sorghum emerges as a promising solution for drought-prone areas, particularly in regions affected by El-Nino.

Key Points:

  • Hardy and Drought-Resistant: Sweet sorghum, a type of millet, thrives in dry conditions. It can enter a dormant state during extended droughts and resume growth when rains return.
  • Climate and Soil Preferences: While well-drained soil is crucial, heavy rainfall can hinder sugar production. Soil type (red, black, laterite, loamy) and depth influence water needs.
  • Ideal for Arid Regions: Sweet sorghum tolerates low water and nitrogen inputs, salinity, and drought stress. It can even utilize stalk juice to meet water needs during scarcity.
  • Multiple Uses: This versatile crop offers grains for food, animal feed, and a sugary juice for syrup, ethanol, and bio-based products.

Unique Advantages:

  • Unlike other crops, sweet sorghum provides grains, animal feed, and sugary juice.
  • Its grains are used in traditional and commercial beer production.

Source : https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/africa/sweet-sorghum-is-a-hardy-nutritious-biofuel-crop-that-offers-solutions-in-drought-hit-southern-africa-96295


4.National Sample Survey Office (NSSO)

What it was:

  • Conducted large-scale sample surveys across India on socio-economic issues.
  • Collected data through household surveys, Annual Survey of Industries, etc.
  • Maintained a database for urban sample surveys.
  • Headed by a Director General under Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI).

Divisions (Before Merger):

  • Survey Design & Research (Kolkata): Planned surveys, defined concepts, designed questionnaires, analyzed results.
  • Field Operations (Delhi/Faridabad): Collected data for NSS surveys.
  • Data Processing (Kolkata): Processed and analyzed survey data.
  • Survey Coordination (New Delhi): Coordinated activities between NSS divisions.

Current Status:

  • Merged with Central Statistical Office (CSO) in 2019 to form the National Statistical Office (NSO).


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