Green Skill Development Programme
- The Union Environment Ministry launched its full-fledged Green Skill Development Programme(GSDP) that aims to train over 5.5 lakh workers in environment and forest sectors in the country through 30 courses by 2021.
- The pilot project of GSDP was launched in June 2017.
- The project was launched for skilling Biodiversity Conservationists (Basic Course) and Para-taxonomists (Advance Course) of 3 months duration each at 10 locations, spread over 9 bio-geographic regions of the country.
- ENVIS (Environment Information System) RPs in Botanical Survey of India (BSI), Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) and their respective regional offices were the nodal Centres for the pilot programme.
- Now Ministry is going to launch the project to all-India level.
- It is a ranking exercise taken up by the Government of India to assess rural and urban areas for their levels of cleanliness and active implementation of Swachhata mission initiatives in a timely and innovative manner.
- The Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India takes up the Swachh Survekshan in urban areas and the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in rural areas.
- The Quality Council of India (QCI) has been commissioned with the responsibility of carrying out the assessment.
- Bio-fuels are a source of energy derived from the conversion of carbon-fixing biomass through thermal, chemical or biochemical processes.
- Their popularity arises from the fact that they are cheaper and less environmentally polluting than fossil fuels.
- 1st generation biofuel– Directly using the food crops like wheat and sugar for making ethanol and oilseeds for biodiesel by the conventional method of fermentation. These fuels emitted more greenhouse gases.
- 2nd generation biofuel– Non-food crops and feedstock instead of food crops. Example: Wood, grass, seed crops, organic waste etc.
- 3rd generation biofuel– Use specially engineered Algae whose biomass is used to convert into biofuels. The greenhouse gas emission here will be low in comparison to others.
- 4th generation biofuel– is aimed at not only producing sustainable energy but also a way of capturing and storing co2.
Bharat Inclusion Initiative
- IIM-Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) has launched the Bharat Inclusion Initiative, with a commitment of $25.
- The initiative will focus on incubating and backing start-ups that work in areas such as financial inclusion, livelihood, education and health.
- The initiative aims to channelize approximately $25 Million over the next 3-4 years in backing start-ups using digital technology to offer services to the unserved.
- The critically endangered Bengal florican use not just protected grasslands but agricultural fields, too.
- It is also called as Bengal Bustard.
- Bengal floricans which are fewer than 1,000 adult remain in the world in two very fragmented populations.
- One of them is in the grasslands of the terai, the fertile foothills of the Himalayas.
- The other area is around Cambodia and Vietnam.
- It inhabits lowland dry, or seasonally inundated natural and semi-natural grasslands.
- The grasslands are often interspersed with scattered scrub or patchy open forest.
- It is under the CITES appendix 1.
- Kolleru hosted Pelican Festival at the Atapaka bird sanctuary earlier this year.
- The Lake is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the country.
- More than 5,000 spot-billed pelicans, also known as grey-headed pelicans, visited the lake.
- The birds roost, breed and fly with their young ones during the winter season in the region.
- Kolleru is the nesting place for many migratory birds.
- It is located between the delta of Godavari and Krishna River.
- Similarly a three-day annual Flamingo Festival was held at Pulicat Lake and Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh.
Great Indian Bustard
- The following are the sanctuaries that shelter or were set up to conserve a very unique species that’s now critically endangered – the great Indian bustard.
- Desert National Park, Thar Desert, Rajasthan
- It is the State bird of Rajasthan.
- The Desert National Park is spread across Jaisalmer and Barmer districts of Rajasthan.
- The Park also welcomes the migrant Houbara Bustard and several other bird species
- Kutch Bustard Sanctuary, Gujarat
- The sanctuary is dominated by vast swathes of grasslands.
- It was declared a sanctuary in 1992
- Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, Maharashtra
- It is also known as the Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary of Maharashtra.
- This sanctuary is located in Ninnaj, over 20 km from the city of Solapur.
- Unconfirmed reports suggest that today those sprawling grasslands are home to perhaps not a single bustard.
- The great Indian bustard (or simply Indian bustard) is a large, white-and-brown bird with wing markings and a black crown.
- A bird native to India and Pakistan, it has today lost almost 90 % of its original habitats.
- It is believed to have disappeared from States such as Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
- The largest population is found in Rajasthan, with a few birds in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
- Researchers at the Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico have developed a biologically inspired membrane.
- It can capture 90 per cent of carbon dioxide from the smoke of coal-fired power plants at a low cost.
- They call it a “memzyme” as it has an enzyme, carbonic anhydrase, developed by living cells over millenia to help get rid of CO2.
- The 18 nanometer water-based membrane has the capability to capture the overwhelming majority of CO2 molecules from a rising cloud of coal smoke.
- The membrane turns the gas briefly into carbonic acid and then bicarbonate before exiting immediately downstream as CO2 gas.
- This pure form of CO2 can be harvested and used by oil companies for resource extraction
National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation
- The Union Cabinet has approved the establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
- It will be established as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 under the aegis of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.
- The main objectives of the NIMHR are
- to provide rehabilitation services to the persons with mental illness,
- capacity development in the area of mental health rehabilitation,
- policy framing and advanced research in mental health rehabilitation.
- NIMHR will be the first of its kind in the country in the area of mental health rehabilitation.
- M.kodial is the latest addition to India’s frog fauna.
- It is also known as the Mangaluru narrow-mouthed frog.
- It is christened as Microhyla kodial after the city of Mangaluru (called kodial in the Konkani language).
- The frog is seen only in a small industrial region, a former timber dumping yard.
- It is surrounded by seaport, petrochemical, chemical and refinery industries.
Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana
- The Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) was announced in 2003 with objectives of correcting regional imbalances in the availability of affordable/ reliable tertiary healthcare services and also to augment facilities for quality medical education in the country.
- It is a central sector scheme.
- The scheme has two components: Setting up of new AIIMS and upgradation of government medical colleges.
- Mascot IP Nani is a tech-savvy grandmother who helps the government and enforcement agencies in combating IP crimes with the help of her grandson “Chhotu” aka Aditya.
- The IP mascot will spread awareness about the importance of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) among people, especially children, in an interesting manner.
- This character is also in line with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) campaign for the World IP Day which celebrates the brilliance, ingenuity, curiosity and courage of the women who are driving change in our world and shaping our common future.
Network For Spectrum (NFS) Project:
- Network For Spectrum (NFS) project is for laying of alternate communication network for Defence Services.
- The project is being implemented by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).
- The project will also have forward linkages to other related industries such as telecom equipment manufacturing and other telecommunication related services.
- The NFS project will boost the communication capabilities of the Defence Forces in a major way leading to enhanced national operational preparedness.
- The project is crucial since the armed forces will migrate all their communication needs to this optic-fibre network and free more bandwidth for commercial telephony services.