December 2019

Daily Current Affairs (24-12-19)

POLITY & GOVERNANCE

NAGPUR RESOLUTION: A HOLISTIC APPROACH FOR EMPOWERING CITIZENS

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Governance [Paper-I]: Public Policy and Governance

News

  • The ‘Nagpur Resolution- A holistic approach for empowering citizens’ was adopted during the Valedictory session of the two-day Regional Conference on ‘Improving Public Service Delivery – Role of Governments’, in Nagpur, Maharashtra.
  • The conference was organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Government of India, in collaboration with the Government of Maharashtra and the Maharashtra State Commission for Right to Public Services.

About the Resolution

The Conference resolved that Government of India and the State Governments shall collaborate to:

  • To empower the citizens by policy interventions for better service delivery through timely updation of citizens charters, implementation of enactments and benchmarking standards for continuous improvement;
  • To empower citizens by adopting a bottom-up approach to bring massive improvements in quality of grievance redressal and reduction in timelines of grievance redressal;
  • To adopt a holistic approach of systemic public grievance reforms through improved mapping, formulation of monitoring matrix, data collection and evaluation in quality of grievance redressal;
  • To provide an enabling environment for States and Ministries/ Departments of the Government of India for creating web portals and to adopt a holistic approach for improved service delivery through digital platforms;
  • To focus on dynamic policy making and strategic decisions, monitoring of implementation, appointment of key personnel, coordination and evaluation;
  • To achieve a sense of common identity by exchange of technical expertise in the areas of Improved Service Delivery between the paired States under the Ek Bharat – Shresht Bharat Program;
  • To work towards long-term engagements in the areas of Improved Service Delivery for Empowering Citizens through greater cooperation between the DARPG and the participating States and,
  • To ensure timely publication of Good Governance Index to identify the quality of governance in 10 sectors especially those pertaining to welfare and infrastructure at the Union, State and District level.
[Source: PIB]

 

ENVIRONMENT

BAR­HEADED GOOSE (ANSER INDICUS)

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Environment [Paper-II]: Biodiversity – its importance and concerns, Forest and wildlife

News

  • A six member team attached to Pathanamthitta Bird-watchers has spotted Anser Indicus, the Bar-headed goose in the wetlands of Karingali Puncha, near Pandalam, in Pathanamthitta district, Kerala.
  • Two years ago, a few birds were observed in the Periyar Lake at Thekkady. Before that some other observations were made in the Thrissur kole fields and in Kollam.
  • Large flocks used to visit the Koonthakulam bird sanctuary at Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. However, it is rare that the bird is spotted in Kerala.

About Bar-headed goose

  • The bar-headed goose was the 336th bird species found in Pathanamthitta district.
  • They are found in Central China and Mongolia and they breed there.
  • They start the migration to the Indian sub-continent during the winter and stay here till the end of the season.
  • They are one of the birds which can fly even at very high altitude. They come to India and return to their homes by crossing the Himalayan ranges.
  • Their ability to sustain the high oxygen demands of flight in the air that is exceedingly oxygen-thin is exceptional.
  • The capacity of bar-headed geese to transport and consume oxygen at high rates in hypoxia distinguishes this species from similar lowland waterfowl.
[Source: The Hindu]

 

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

CORE CATCHER

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Science and Technology [Paper-II]: India’s energy resources and dependence, Renewable and Non renewable energy resources

News

  • Rosatom State Corporation Engineering Division has announced that it had installed a core melt localisation device (CMLD) or “core catcher” at Unit 3 of Tamil Nadu’s Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP).
  • The device is designed to localise and cool the molten core material in case of a meltdown accident.

What is the protective “core catcher” device?

  • Molten core material, or corium, is lava-like material that gets formed in the core of a nuclear reactor in the event of a meltdown accident.
  • Such an accident occurs when the nuclear fission reaction taking place inside a reactor is not sufficiently cooled, and the buildup of heat causes fuel rods to melt down.
  • The corium so formed can remain radioactive for several decades, even centuries.
  • In the past, meltdown accidents have occurred at Chernobyl in Russia in 1986 and at Fukushima in Japan in 2011.
  • According to the Rosatom website, the core catcher is a cone shaped metal structure that weighs about 800 tonnes.
  • The structure is double walled, with the gap between the two walls filled with FAOG (ferric and aluminium oxide granules).
  • The core catcher is filled with a ceramic mixture also including ferric oxide and aluminium oxide, called sacrificial material’.
  • The sacrificial material prevents the corium from trickling through and also acts as a cooling mechanism.
  • The core catcher device is installed at the bottom of the nuclear station’s protective shell, and is designed to save the latter as well as exude radioactive emission in the environment in case of a serious accident.
  • At Kudankulam, it has been installed in the design position under the reactor pit of Unit 3, and has been adapted to the relevant site conditions and safety requirements.
  • The device has improved seismic resistance, hydro-dynamic and shock strength as well as equipped with flood protection and simplified installation and assembly technology.

[Source: Indian Express]

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

FOREIGN SECRETARY
  • Government has appointed India’s Ambassador to the United States Harsh Vardhan Shringla as the next Foreign Secretary.
  • He will take over from the incumbent, Vijay Gokhale, an expert on China and East Asia, who succeeded S. Jaishankar as foreign secretary in January 2018.
CAMBRIDGE FIVE
  • Russia honoured two members of the British “Cambridge Five” spy ring that passed information to the Soviet Union during World War II.
  • The two members, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean were honoured with a memorial plaque and a tribute from the head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service.
  • Cambridge Five was a KGB group of British spies who passed information to the Soviet Union during World War II and the early stages of the Cold War.
  • The group comprised Donald Maclean (1913-83), Guy Burgess (1911-63), Harold ‘Kim’ Philby (1912-88) and Anthony Blunt (1907-83).
US MILITARY ‘SPACE FORCE’
  • United States President Donald Trump has signed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, authorising the establishment of Space Force which would become the sixth branch of the armed forces.
  • Space Force would become the youngest US military branch and the first new service since the establishment of the US Air Force back in 1947.
  • The Space Force would be part of the Department of the Air Force. It will be funded by an initial 40 million Dollar for its first year.
  • It is not intended to put troops into orbit, but will protect US assets – such as the hundreds of satellites used for communication and surveillance.
INDIA’S FIRST LONG DISTANCE CNG BUS
  • Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan unveiled India’s first long distance CNG bus fitted with CNG cylinders in New Delhi.
  • It can travel around one thousand kilometres in a single fill.
  • The first long range interstate CNG bus will ply from Delhi to Dehradun.
  • The project has been executed by Indraprastha Gas Limited, the largest CNG distribution company in the country.

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