Prelims Daily Current Affairs
Mahajobs Portal: Maharashtra
Why in News
- The Maharashtra Government has launched a portal named ‘Mahajobs’ for job seekers and employers, owing to the economic situation caused by Covid-19 pandemic.
- Aim: To make local manpower available to companies and employment opportunities to workers.
- Functioning: The job seekers and providers/industrial units can register themselves on the Portal. The Portal has identified 17 sectors including engineering, logistics, and chemicals, and provides for selecting jobs across 950 trades mainly for local youth who would need to produce domicile certificates.
- There would be regular reviews of the jobs provided. There would be a study on the kind of problems faced by employers as well as youth seeking employment.
- Developed by: Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC).
- Corresponding Initiative at the National Level: National Career Service Project, implemented by the Ministry of Labour & Employment, works towards bridging the gap between job seekers and employers.
G4 Virus and Disease Surveillance
Why in News
- Recently, scientists have identified a new strain of Swine Flu (H1N1) virus namely, G4 EA H1N1. It has started infecting Chinese pigs and also has the potential of triggering a pandemic.
- Risk Involved: G4 EA H1N (also known as G4) replicates efficiently in human airway paths and so far, has infected a few people without actually making them ill. Thus, greater vigilance in monitoring people is needed because humans have no inbuilt immunity against this new strain of the virus, much like SARS-CoV-2.
- Regional Disease Surveillance: Most countries have their own disease surveillance mechanisms in place to monitor and track emerging diseases.
- India has the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP) to strengthen/maintain decentralized laboratory based and IT enabled disease surveillance systems for epidemic prone diseases to monitor disease trends. It was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in assistance with the World Bank, in 2004.
Global Level Surveillance: Countrywise alerts need to be shared on the global network so that other nations at equal risk might be warned before the outbreak hits their shores. The World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) is one of the initiatives which makes scientific predictions based on global data about diseases.
GOARN is a global technical partnership aimed to engage theresources of technical agencies beyond the United Nations for rapid identification, confirmation and response to public health emergencies of international importance.
World Bank’s Support to India for MSMEs
Why in News
- Recently, the World Bank (WB) and the Government of India has signed the USD 750 million agreement for an Emergency Response Programme for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Emergency Response Programmes are dedicated towards enhancing the resilience of communities and livelihoods in order to address fragility, poverty and vulnerability to conflict and disaster.
- Financial Support: The USD 750 million loan which is being granted from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD – a part of the WB group), has a maturity of 19 years including a 5-year grace period.
- The WB groups and its private sector arm – the International Finance Corporation (IFC), will support the government’s initiatives to protect the MSME sector which is severely impacted by the Covid-19
- Earlier, the World Bank has committed to support India’s emergency Covid-19 response, including the new MSME project with USD 2.75 billion.
- The first USD 1 billion emergency support was announced in April 2020 for immediate support to India’s health sector.
- Another USD 1 billion project was approved in May to increase cash transfers and food benefits to the poor and vulnerable, including a more consolidated delivery platform – accessible to both rural and urban populations.
- Unlocking Liquidity: the program will support the government’s efforts to channel liquidity to the MSME sector by de-risking lending from banks and Non- Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) to MSMEs through a range of instruments, including credit guarantees.
- Strengthening NBFCs and SFBs: The programme will address the urgent and varied needs of the MSMEs by improving the funding capacity of key market-oriented channels of credit, such as the NBFCs and Small Finance Bank (SFBs).
- Enabling Financial Innovations: Currently only about 8% of MSMEs are served by formal credit channels. The program will incentivize and mainstream the use of fintech and digital financial services in MSME lending and payments.
World Bank Group: With 189 member countries, the World Bank Group is a unique global partnership which consists of five development institutions.
- International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) provides loans, credits, and grants.
- International Development Association (IDA) provides low- or no-interest loans to low-income countries.
- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) provides investment, advice, and asset management to companies and governments.
- The Multilateral Guarantee Agency (MIGA) insures lenders and investors against political risk such as war.
- The International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) settles investment-disputes between investors and countries. India is not a member of ICSID.
National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation (NATMO)
Why in news
- NATMO publishes 4th updated version of its COVID-19 Dashboard.
- NATMO was established in 1956 as the National Atlas Organisation
- It was renamed in 1978 to give it a broad-based responsibility in the field of thematic cartography and geographical research. It is under the administrative control of the Department of Science &Technology of the Government of India.
- It is headquartered in Kolkata.
Major functions of NATMO:
- Compilation of the National Atlas of India
- Preparation of the National Atlas maps in regional languages
- Preparation of thematic maps based on research studies on environmental and associated aspects and their impact on social and economic development
- Any other work entrusted by the Central Government or its agencies to NATMO
- Installation of automated Mapping System for increasing speed and efficiency in mapping .
- Remote Sensing & GIS, Digital Image processing etc.
Israel launches Ofek 16 satellite to complete intelligence coverage
Why in news
- Israel Defence Ministryhas announced the successful launch of a new “Ofek 16” spy satellite into orbit by using a locally-developed Shavit rocket from a launch pad at Palmachim airbase in central Israel. This was the first launch of an Israeli spy satellite into space since the Ofek-11 which entered orbit in September 2016.
- Ofek 16 is an electro-optical reconnaissance satellitewith advanced capabilities including breakthrough ‘blue and white’ technology and its payload was developed by defence firm Elbit Systems.
- The satellite was tested by engineers from the Ministry of Defense and State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries [ISRAI.UL]before starting full operations.
- IDF’s (Israel Defense Force) 9900 Intelligence Unit will be responsible for the Ofek 16 satellite once it gets operational.
- ‘OFEC 16’ started sending data and started orbiting around the Earth. It will also monitor Iran and developments in its nuclear and missile programs.