December 2019

Daily Current Affairs (03-12-19)

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

POWER OF SIBERIA GAS PIPELINE

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

International Relations [Paper-I]: International Treaties and Forums, their structure and mandate

News

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin remotely inaugurated the “Power of Siberia” gas pipeline.

About the Pipeline

  • It is also known as China–Russia East-Route Natural Gas pipeline.
  • It is the first cross-border gas pipeline between Russia and China, adding a prominent eastern dimension to Moscow’s energy blueprint.
  • It is a massive cross-border undertaking which is central to China’s energy security and for bolstering special ties between Beijing and Moscow.
  • The 30-year project is anchored by a $400 billion gas deal.

Key Features

  • Under the contract, Russia will deliver 1 trillion cubic meters of natural gas to China over the next 30 years.
  • Next year, Moscow will supply around 5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas, but the volume will gradually rise to 38 billion cubic meters per year.
  • From Siberia to China’s Yangtze River delta in Shanghai, the massive pipeline will cover 8,000 km, with 5,111 km inside China, passing through nine provinces and municipalities.
  • Gas is being sourced from Chayandinskoye and Kovytka fields in eastern Siberia, and is then piped to Blagoveshchensk — the last town on the Russian side of the border. From there, it is tunneled under the Amur River, before entering Heihe on the Chinese side.
  • The new pipeline is an emblem of closer energy integration in Eurasia, with Russia and China as the key partners.
[Source: The Hindu]

 

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

INTENSIFIED MISSION INDRADHANUSH (IMI) 2.0

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Science and Technology [Paper-II]: Public Health and Community Medicine, Health Care

News

Central government launched nationwide vaccination drive to prevent eight diseases under Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0 across the country.

IMI 2.0

  • It is the central government’s flagship scheme, aimed at immunizing children under the age of 2 years and pregnant women against eight vaccine preventable diseases.
  • The IMI covers vaccines for diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, poliomyelitis, tuberculosis, measles, meningitis and Hepatitis B.
  • Vaccines for Japanese encephalitis and hemophilus influenza are also being provided in selected areas.
  • The IMI 2.0 aims to achieve targets of full immunization coverage in 272 districts spread over 27 States. The IMI 2.0 will be carried out between December 2019 and March 2020.
  • Under this campaign, vaccination services will be provided free of cost to the drop out and left out children and pregnant women.
  • The government aims to reach each and every child up to two years of age and all those pregnant women who have been left uncovered under the routine immunization programme.

IMI 2.0 Portal

  • The portal has been designed to capture information on the blockwise target of children and pregnant women to be vaccinated during the IMI drive and also the coverage data during the rounds of activity.
  • The data will be entered at the district level.
  • This will help the Programme officers and administrators at the block, district, state and national level to have real time information on the progress of the campaign and also take timely action on slow progress in any particular area.
[Source: PIB]

 

HISTORY

NATIONAL MARITIME HERITAGE MUSEUM, LOTHAL

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

History [Paper-I]: Salient features and major landmarks of Ancient and Medieval India

News

Central government has decided to establish a National Maritime Heritage Museum at Lothal, a Harappan site on the Saurashtra coast in Gujarat. It will be India’s first maritime museum.

About the Maritime Museum

  • The museum will be an independent research centre of underwater archaeology for reconstruction of maritime history, archaeology of boat building and materials traded.
  • It will have on display salvaged material from shipwreck sites in the Indian Ocean waters.
  • The museum is being set up with technical help from the Portuguese Maritime Heritage Museum.
  • The central government has appointed the first Director General for the museum which will be attached to the Maritime Board of the Gujarat government.

Why Lothal was chosen?

  • Lothal is the site of one of the oldest ports in India dating to the Bronze Age.
  • Lothal was chosen as it has lots of archaeological remains and was a centre of maritime activities during the Harappan era.

Underwater Archaeology

  • Underwater archaeology is a specialized branch of archaeology that involves recovering submerged remains such as ports, shipwrecks and studying proxy records of maritime activity from archaeological excavations as well as archival and historical records.
  • A shipwreck is the remains of a ship that has wrecked, which are found either beached on land or sunken to the bottom of a body of water.
  • There are an estimated three million undiscovered shipwrecks lying on the ocean floor, according to the UNESCO.
  • Between 1824 and 1962, over 12,000 sailing ships and war vessels were lost at sea. Many of them got wrecked in Indian coastal waters.

Indian Scenario

  • In India, shipwreck studies were initiated in 1989 off Sunchi Reef in Goa waters.
  • Later on, shipwreck were excavated and studied off St George’s Reef, Amee Shoals of Goa as well as in Poompuhar, Konark and Lakshadweep waters by the marine archaeology centre at the Goa-based CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography (NIO).
  • Archaeological evidence from the Persian Gulf and Southeast Asia shows that Indian maritime voyagers ventured into western and eastern seas of the Indian Ocean some 4,000 years ago.

Significance

  • Some shipwrecks are of great of historical importance.
  • Studying sunken ships could fill the gaps in India’s maritime history and trade links with other countries.
  • The studies have vast potential, given the fact that India has a rich maritime history.
  • The Dart Mouth belonging to the East India Company was carrying treasure when it is said to have sunk off Masulipatnam in 1719.
  • Indian ship P&O Liner Indus which carried the Buddhist sculptures of Bharhut stupa is known to have sunk in 1882 to the seabed of Sri Lankan waters.
[Source: The Hindu, vigyanprasar.gov]

 

FACTS OF THE DAY 

YSR AASARA SCHEME
  • Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister launched the YSR Aasara scheme under which post-operative sustenance allowance of Rs.225 each per day will be paid for the period of treatment to those covered by Aarogyasri.
  • All families whose annual income is below 5 lakh per annum will be covered under the scheme. Any medical treatment above Rs.1,000 will be covered.
  • The scheme will be extended to cover 2,000 types of diseases from January 1, 2020, and a monthly allowance of 10,000 will be provided to each to all those afflicted with kidney disease and thalassemia.
  • Cycles of chemotherapy and radiotherapy have been brought under the ambit of the scheme.
  • The scheme was introduced by the state government with the intention that the family should not suffer financially if the family gets sick.
BALLON D’OR 2019
  • Argentine professional footballer Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or for 2019. It is the sixth time Messi has won the prestigious award.
  • Ballon d’Or Féminin, commonly known as the Women’s Ballon d’Or was won by Megan Rapinoe of the United States.
EXERCISE HAND-IN-HAND-2019
  • 8th India-China joint training exercise ‘HAND-IN-HAND 2019’ with the theme counter terrorism under United Nations mandate will be held at Umroi, Meghalaya from 07 to 20 December 2019.
  • The aim of the exercise is to practice joint planning and conduct of counter terrorist operations in semi urban terrain.
  • Two tactical exercises are scheduled during the training; one on counter terrorism scenario and the other on Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.
FIRST WOMAN PILOT OF INDIAN NAVY
  • Sub-lieutenant Shivangi became the first woman pilot for the Indian Navy. She was born in the city of Muzaffarpur in Bihar.
  • Shivangi was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 2018 after her initial training. Shivangi joined operational duties at the Kochi naval base.
  • She will be flying the Dornier surveillance aircraft of the Indian Navy.
EXERCISE SURYA KIRAN – XIV
  • The 14th edition of bilateral annual military exercise SURYA KIRAN between Indian and Nepal Army commenced at Nepal.
  • The 13th edition of the joint military exercise was held at Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand in June, 2018.
  • The aim of this exercise is to conduct a battalion level combined training between Indian Army and Nepal Army with a scope to enhance interoperability at military level in jungle warfare, counter terrorist operations in mountainous terrain, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief operations, medical and environmental conservation including aviation aspects.
INDIA-SWEDEN HEALTHCARE INNOVATION CENTRE
  • India and Sweden signed a Memorandum of Understanding for India-Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre in New Delhi.
  • The Healthcare Innovation Centre in collaboration between the Swedish Trade Commissioner’s Office, AIIMS Delhi and AIIMS Jodhpur aims to develop an ecosystem of open innovation that start-ups and the healthcare delivery stakeholders can use to collaborate and address current and future challenges in the healthcare sector.
INDIA’S FIRST ‘EAT RIGHT STATION’
  • The Mumbai Central Terminus of the Western Railway was certified as India’s first “Eat Right Station” with a 4-Star rating awarded by the FSSAI as a part of ‘Eat Right India’ movement.
  • The focus of the movement is on improving the health and well-being of people by ensuring they eat healthy. ‘Eat Right India’ movement is built on two broad pillars of ‘Eat Healthy’ and ‘Eat Safe’.
  • It aims to engage, excite and enable citizens to improve their health and well-being.
POSHAN ANTHEM
  • Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu launched the POSHAN Anthem in New Delhi.
  • The aim of the POSHAN Anthem is to inspire people to join the movement to fight the scourge of malnutrition.
  • The anthem covers issues of women and children like anaemia and it also embodies the aspirations of young Indians.
  • The goal of Poshan Abhiyaan is to achieve improvement in nutritional status of Children (0-6 years) and Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM) in a time bound manner in next three-year period beginning 2017-18.

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