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[Newsbits] 5.12.2023 – IN-SPACe, INS Sandhayak, NCRB data on Farmer Suicides & more

newsbits mindmap notes
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Key points from the mind map:

  • Introduction: The Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2023 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on August 1, 2023, aiming to amend the Advocates Act, 1961 and repeal certain sections of the Legal Practitioners Act, 1879.
  • Lok Sabha Approval: The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on December 4, 2023.
  • Key Features: The bill primarily focuses on the regulation of ‘touts’ in the legal system, defining touts and establishing penalties for such activities, including imprisonment and fines.
  • Legal Practitioners Act, 1879: It highlights the repeal of obsolete provisions from this Act while preserving certain sections.
  • Advocates Act, 1961: The bill consolidates the law related to legal practitioners and Bar Councils, aiming to regulate the legal profession solely through this Act.
  • Goal: The overarching goal is to repeal outdated pre-independence Acts and to modernize the regulation of the legal profession in India.

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/ Space
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Key points from the mind map:

  • Formation and Structure: IN-SPACe was established in 2020, operating under the jurisdiction of the Government of India, with its headquarters in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Prime Minister Narendra Modi serves as the Minister responsible.
  • Role and Objectives: As an autonomous agency under the Department of Space, IN-SPACe is a single-window independent nodal agency that supervises and authorizes space activities of Non-Government Entities (NGEs).
  • Facilitation of Private Sector: IN-SPACe was created to enable the participation of the Indian private sector in space activities, marking a significant policy shift in June 2020.
  • Directorates: IN-SPACe consists of three directorates: Promotion, Technical, and Program Management and Authorization.
  • IN-SPACe as a Link: It acts as a link between ISRO and the private sector, evaluating and facilitating their demands in the space sector.
  • Autonomy and Leadership: IN-SPACe functions as an autonomous body with a board that includes members from the private sector. Dr. Pawan Kumar Goenka serves as its chairman.
  • Recent Developments (December 2023):
    • The Indian Space Policy 2023 was approved, which is a comprehensive document defining the roles of ISRO, IN-SPACe, and NSIL and removing barriers for non-government entities in the space sector.
    • A new Foreign Direct Investment policy for the space sector is set to be finalized to attract global investment.
    • India’s space economy, currently valued at about $8 billion, is expected to grow significantly, with aspirations to become a hub for small satellite manufacturing and launching small launch vehicles.
    • India’s competitive advantages in the space sector include new institutional support, state-level policies, a large domestic market, a high number of STEM graduates, and competitive labor costs.
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Recent Updates

  • Increase in Contamination Instances: BIS revised the permissible limit for Arsenic in 2015 from 50 ppb to 10 ppb, and increased sampling points.
  • Collaborations and Studies: CGWB and National Institute of Hydrology (NIH) report on mitigation, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Geological Survey of India focusing on 8 states, and recognition of the issue as a global health issue with World Health Organization’s (WHO) permissible limit being 10 microgram per liter.

Geographical Distribution

  • Arsenic Contamination: Found in 230 districts across 25 states.
  • Fluoride Contamination: Found in 469 districts across 27 states.

Causes of Contamination

  • Arsenic: Sources include both anthropogenic and geogenic, with hotspots in the Ganga-Meghna-Brahmaputra basin and Bihar being majorly affected.
  • Fluoride: Sources include basic rocks with fluoride minerals, overuse of groundwater, and coal burning for energy.

Health Impacts

  • Arsenic Poisoning: Can lead to Skin, Lung, Kidney, Bladder Cancer, and other health issues such as skin manifestations, gastrointestinal disorders, neurological effects, hormone disruption, and infertility.
  • Fluoride Contamination: Can lead to Dental fluorosis, Skeletal fluorosis, and chronic diseases such as miscarriages, renal injury, arteriosclerosis, and myocardial damage.

Central Ground Water Board (CGWB)

  • Role: Monitors ground water quality and generates regional scale data.
  • Findings: Identified contaminants in various parts of India including Arsenic, Fluoride, Nitrate, Iron, and Heavy Metals, which are beyond the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) permissible limits.
  • Technical Assistance: Provided cement sealing technology for contamination-free aquifers in areas such as the Gangetic flood plains and states like West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh.

Water Management

  • State Responsibility: States are responsible for initiatives for ground water quality.
  • Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB): Implements the Water (Prevention & Control) Act, 1974 and the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

Government Initiatives

  • Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM): Aims to provide potable tap water supply to rural households by 2024, with a focus on quality-affected habitations and Arsenic and Fluoride contamination.
  • Funding Allocation: 10% weightage is given for population in contaminated areas, with interim measures including the installation of community water purification plants.
  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT): Focuses on water supply projects in difficult areas, including those with Arsenic and Fluoride contamination.

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Key points from the mind map:

  • Sandhayak-Class Survey Ships: Operated by the Indian Navy for hydrographic surveys, both in shallow coastal and deep oceanic areas.
  • New INS Sandhayak: Launched on December 5, 2021, by GRSE as the first of four advanced survey vessels, delivered to the Indian Navy on December 4, 2023.
  • Technical Specifications: The original Sandhayak-class ships have a displacement of 1,929 long tons, a length of 87.8 meters, and a speed of 16 knots. The new INS Sandhayak is larger, with a displacement of 3,300 tonnes and a length of 110 meters.
  • Capabilities: Equipped with advanced surveying, navigational, and communication systems for producing digital navigational charts and publications. They can also assist in war and natural calamities.
  • Survey Equipment: Includes multi-beam swath echo sounding systems, differential GPS, motion sensors, sea gravimeter, magnetometer, and oceanographic sensors.
  • Builders: The Sandhayak-class ships were built by GRSE, Kolkata, and Goa Shipyard, Ltd., Vasco.
  • Ships in Class: Includes Sandhayak (decommissioned), Investigator, Nirdeshak (decommissioned), Nirupak, Sarveshak, Jamuna, Darshak, and Sutlej.
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Key points from the mind map:

  • Event Nature and Timing: IIGF-2023 is a hybrid event held on December 5, 2023, in New Delhi.
  • Multi-Stakeholder Platform: It brings together government, civil society, private sector, technical community, and international organizations.
  • Theme: The overarching theme is “Moving Forward – Calibrating Bharat’s Digital Agenda.”
  • Major Issues: Focuses on building a secure cyberspace, enabling innovation, bridging divides, and leadership in global digital governance.
  • Notable Participants: Includes Indian government officials and representatives from UN IGF and ICANN.
  • Agenda and Discussions: Covers a range of topics including internet accessibility, security, data privacy, and advanced technologies like AI, IoT, and blockchain.
/ Farmers
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Key points from the mind map:

  • Statistical Trends: The NCRB data for 2022 shows a 3.7% increase in farmer suicides compared to 2021, with a total of 11,290 reported cases.
  • Demographic Details: More agricultural laborers (53%) committed suicide compared to farmers/cultivators. The majority of suicides were by males.
  • Regional Variations: Maharashtra had the highest number of suicides, with significant increases in Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
  • Contributing Factors: Drought, untimely rainfall, and climate change-related disasters are major contributing factors, along with economic challenges like stagnant incomes and increasing dependency on wages.
  • Discrepancies in Reporting: Field data, especially from Punjab, suggests severe undercounting in NCRB’s data, with significant methodological concerns.
  • Potential Solutions: The role of social protection programs like MGNREGS in mitigating climate vulnerability and providing support to the agricultural sector is emphasized.
/ Industries/Sectors
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Key points from the mind map:

  • NM-ICPS Overview: A Government of India initiative under the Department of Science & Technology focusing on research and development in areas like cybernetics, mechatronics, IoT, AI, etc.
  • Focus Areas of NM-ICPS: Emphasizes development in key sectors including health, education, energy, environment, agriculture, security, and Industry 4.0.
  • Financial Aspects: NM-ICPS provides Rs 115 crore for each TIH over five years, while SAMRIDHI offers up to Rs 40 lakh per startup.
  • Impact of NM-ICPS: 496 technological products developed, creation of 928 jobs, numerous skill development programs, intellectual activities, and international collaborations.
  • Technology Innovation Hubs (TIHs): 25 TIHs established across India under NM-ICPS, contributing to various sectors with innovative technologies.
  • SAMRIDHI Program: Launched by MeitY to support Indian software product startups with up to Rs 40 lakh investment, aiming to accelerate 300 startups.
  • SAMRIDHI’s Goal: To enhance the growth of the Indian startup ecosystem, positioning India as the third largest unicorn hub globally.
  • Implementation and Eligibility: Both initiatives are implemented through specific agencies and target academic and R&D institutions, with NM-ICPS focusing on top-ranking institutions.
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