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[Newsbits] 6.01.2024: PRITHVI Scheme, Alvaro Cyclone, REJUPAVE & more

newsbits mindmap notes
Alvaro Cyclone mind map
Recent News
First cyclone of 2024
Landfall on January 1
When
Formed December 30-31, 2023
Made landfall January 1, 2024
Why
Natural climatic event
What
Strong winds
Heavy rains
Named Alvaro
Where
Madagascar
Morombe landfall
Mozambique Channel origin
Who
Madagascar affected
World Meteorological Organization involved
How
Tracked eastward
389 km southwest of Antananarivo
Significance
Early warning importance highlighted
Challenges
Over 16,000 affected
8,400 displaced
5 deaths reported
Inadequate early warning systems
Way Forward
Need for disaster preparedness
Effective mitigation measures required
Flood forecasting improvement
Early warning capacity strengthening

Cyclone Alvaro, the first of 2024, made landfall in Morombe, Madagascar, on January 1. Originating in the Mozambique Channel, it brought strong winds and heavy rain, affecting over 16,000 people, displacing 8,400, and causing at least 5 deaths. Regions like Atsimo-Andrefana, Haute Matsiatra, and Menabe were severely hit. The cyclone highlighted Madagascar’s vulnerability to climate-related disasters and underscored the need for more robust early warning systems and disaster preparedness, particularly in areas prone to flooding and severe weather.

/ Fundamental Rights
Draft Press and Periodicals Rules 2024 mind map
Recent News
Released by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
Consultation period until February 4, 2024
When
Released on January 6, 2024
Why
To implement Press and Registration of Periodicals Act, 2023
Replace colonial-era Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867
What
Powers to Press Registrar General
Conduct or authorize inspections
Verify circulation
Initiate audits
Press Sewa Portal
Digital registration process
Simplify communication
Registration within 15 days of approval
Appellate board for disputes
Where
India
Who
Press Registrar General
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
Editors Guild of India
Voiced concerns
How
Online application
Streamlining registration process
Inclusion of digital news media
Significance
Streamlining administrative process
Modernizing registration
Including digital news media
Challenges
Concerns over press freedom
Expansion of PRG's powers
Vagueness of provisions
Way Forward
Stakeholder consultations
Balancing regulation and freedom

The Draft Press and Periodicals Rules 2024 in India, released by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, aim to modernize and streamline the process of registering newspapers and periodicals. Replacing the colonial-era Press and Registration of Books Act of 1867, these rules propose digital registration through the Press Sewa Portal and grant the Press Registrar General authority for inspections and audits, especially under certain circumstances such as irregular circulation reports. These rules have stirred debate over potential implications for press freedom, with concerns raised by the Editors Guild of India about the expansion of the Press Registrar’s powers and the vagueness of some provisions. The introduction of an appellate board for registration disputes is seen as a positive step. The consultation period for these rules is an opportunity for stakeholders to influence the future of press regulation in India.

/ Diseases
Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii mind map
Recent News
January 2024
Novel antibiotic class
Roche scientists' discovery
Targets CRAB
Tethered macrocyclic peptides
Inhibit bacterium's wall
Zosurabalpin
Highly effective
Treating CRAB
In vitro and mouse models
Human trials
Starting phase
Results expected
Later in the year
When
Identified recently
Trials beginning
Why
CRAB highly resistant
Mortality rates
40% to 60%
Limited treatment options
Often multi-drug resistant
What
Tethered MCP antibiotics
Block LPS transport
Essential for resistance
Zosurabalpin
Inhibits LptB_{2}FGC complex
Effective against 129 isolates
Where
Global concern
Research based in Basel
Who
Roche Innovation Center
Basel researchers
World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
How
Screening 45,000 compounds
Identifying potent MCPs
Lab and mouse experiments
Significance
Promising treatment paradigm
Potential for invasive infections
Challenges
High mortality rates
Limited current treatments
Way Forward
Await human trial results
Further development of zosurabalpin

Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) is a highly drug-resistant bacterial pathogen causing nosocomial infections with mortality rates between 40% to 60%. Recently, scientists at Roche have discovered a novel class of tethered macrocyclic peptide (MCP) antibiotics effective against CRAB. These MCPs work by blocking the transport of lipopolysaccharide, crucial for the bacterium’s resistance. The promising antibiotic candidate, zosurabalpin, has shown high efficacy in vitro and in mouse models, with human clinical trials underway. In India, a study highlighted the presence of bla_{OXA-51-like} in all CRAB isolates, with bla_{OXA-23-like} and bla_{NDM-like} being predominant, indicating a potential emerging lineage of carbapenem resistance.

India and Mauritius Joint Small Satellite mind map
Cabinet Approval
Union Cabinet Approval
Indian Space Research Organisation
Mauritius Research and Innovation Council
Project Details
Development of joint satellite
Use of MRIC's Ground Station
Budget
Rs 20 crore
Funded by Government of India
No additional exchange of funds
Timeline
15 months for realization
Significance
Boost to Indian industries
Involvement in subsystems creation
Employment opportunities
History of Cooperation
Space cooperation since late 1980s
ISRO's ground station in Mauritius
Future Expectations
Continuous support from Mauritius
Reciprocal support for ISRO missions
MoU Signing
Occurred on November 1, 2023
Coincided with Aapravasi Diwas event

India and Mauritius have embarked on a collaborative venture to develop a joint small satellite, an initiative that was officially sanctioned by India’s Union Cabinet. This endeavor, involving the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council (MRIC), is not just a singular project but a continuation of a long-standing partnership in space technology that dates back to the late 1980s. The project is budgeted at Rs 20 crore, funded by the Indian government, and is expected to be realized within 15 months. A key aspect of this collaboration is the utilization of MRIC’s Ground Station, which bolsters the project’s capabilities. The partnership is poised to invigorate Indian industries through involvement in subsystem creation, generating employment opportunities and enhancing technical competencies. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for this project aligns with historical ties and anticipates mutual support for future space missions, reinforcing the strategic and technological bond between India and Mauritius.

/ Geography
PRITHVI Scheme mind map
Recent News
Approved January 2024
Indian Government initiative
When
Period 2021-2026
Why
Advance Earth System Sciences
What
Budget Rs. 4,797 Crore
Incorporates five sub-schemes
Atmosphere and Climate Research
Ocean Services, Technology
Polar Science, Cryosphere Research
Seismology and Geosciences
Research, Education, Outreach
Where
Pan-India Implementation
Who
Led by Prime Minister Modi
Ministry of Earth Sciences
How
Consolidating existing programs
Enhancing research capabilities
Significance
Improved earth science research
Long-term observational augmentation
Predictive modeling development
Exploration of polar, high seas
Sustainable resource harnessing
Societal, environmental benefits
Challenges
Integration complexity
Large-scale implementation
Way Forward
Cross-disciplinary projects
Addressing climate, ocean challenges
Sustainable resource utilization

In simple terms, the PRITHVI Scheme is a significant project approved by the Indian government, spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with a budget of Rs. 4,797 crore. Spanning from 2021 to 2026, its aim is to unify and enhance Earth System Sciences research in India. It integrates five existing sub-schemes, focusing on various aspects of earth sciences such as atmospheric and climate research, ocean services, polar science, seismology, and outreach programs. The scheme promises to transform India’s approach to research and practical applications in Earth System Sciences, offering societal, environmental, and economic benefits​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.

/ Space
Rotating Detonation Rocket Engine mind map
Recent News
January 6, 2024
NASA tests
Halves travel time to Mars
25,810 newtons of thrust
September 27
3D-printed RDRE tested
2,630 kg thrust
When
Recent tests in 2024
Development since 2010
Why
More efficient space travel
Reduce fuel consumption
What
Continuous detonation wave
Superior to deflagrative combustion
25% more efficient
Disadvantages
Instability
Noise
Where
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
Huntsville, Alabama
Who
NASA
US Navy
Naval Research Laboratory
GE
DARPA
RTX
Aerojet Rocketdyne
Daniel Paxson
Glenn Research Center
NPO Energomash
US Air Force
JAXA
Warsaw Institute of Aviation
BPMI
Chongqing University
TWR
How
Detonation wave in annular channel
Fuel and oxidizer injected
Significance
Halves Mars travel time
Potentially cheaper space exploration
Use a wide range of fuels
Challenges
Maintaining stable combustion
Managing high temperatures and pressures
Material degradation
Way Forward
Addressing stability and durability issues
Developing more efficient and powerful engines
Expanding fuel and oxidizer options

In simple terms, the Rotating Detonation Rocket Engine (RDRE) represents a significant advancement in rocket propulsion technology. Unlike traditional rocket engines that rely on deflagrative combustion, the RDRE uses a continuous detonation wave, making it potentially more efficient and powerful. This technology, still in development, promises to reduce travel time to destinations like Mars, offer more cost-effective space exploration, and use a broader range of fuels. However, it faces challenges like achieving stable combustion over long periods, handling high temperatures and pressures, and preventing material degradation.

/ Space
NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program mind map
Recent News
2024 Phase I Awardees
Selected 13 Concepts
From US Companies, Institutions
Maximum $175,000 Grants
Examples of Concepts
Flying Fixed-wing Craft on Mars
Proposed by Ge-Cheng Zha
Swarm of Tiny Spacecraft to Proxima Centauri
Proposed by Thomas Eubanks
Survive and Return Sample from Venus
Proposed by Geoff Landis
When
Announced January 2024
Why
Fund Innovative Ideas
Transform Future NASA Missions
What
Early-Stage Technology Concept Studies
Not Official NASA Missions
Diversity of Projects
From Quantum Sensors to Spacecraft Communication
Where
United States
Who
NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate
NASA Associate Administrator Jim Free
NIAC Program Executive Mike LaPointe
How
Investigate Concept Premise
Roadmap Technology Development
Identify Challenges, Opportunities
Significance
Inspiring Successful Past Missions
Ingenuity Helicopter on Mars
Instruments on MarCO CubeSats

The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program supports pioneering ideas and early-stage technology concept studies that could revolutionize future NASA missions. This program focuses on innovations from diverse sources, aiming to change what’s possible in aerospace by supporting transformative space technology research. In January 2024, NASA announced 13 innovative concepts selected under this program from various U.S. companies and institutions, with each receiving a maximum grant of $175,000. These concepts range from fixed-wing flight on Mars and a swarm of tiny spacecraft traveling to Proxima Centauri, to a spacecraft designed to survive Venus’ harsh environment and return a sample from its surface. The program, funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, has been instrumental in inspiring successful past missions and continues to push the boundaries of space exploration.

“Counting the Cost 2023: A Year of Climate Breakdown” Report mind map
Report Overview
Analysis Focus
Top 20 costliest climate disasters
2023 data
Global Inequality Highlighted
Disparate impact on poor countries
Analysis Method
New methodology for economic impact
Per head of population
by Christian Aid
Key Findings
Disasters Included
Floods
Cyclones
Droughts
Heatwaves
Geographic Spread
14 countries affected
Varying susceptibility
Economic Impact
Hundreds of billions of dollars
Developing countries majorly affected
Social Impact
Millions displaced or killed
Livelihoods and assets lost
Case Study
Cyclone Freddy in Malawi
Economic and personal losses
Injustice Highlighted
Double Injustice
Worst affected contributed least to climate change
Recommendations
Climate Finance
Urged increase by world leaders
Early Warning Systems
Investment in prediction and preparation
Government Actions
Emission cuts
Adaptation to climate change
Support for Loss and Damage Fund
Report Release
Date
27 December 2023
Language
English

The “Counting the Cost 2023: A Year of Climate Breakdown” report by Christian Aid provides a critical analysis of the economic and human costs of climate-related disasters in 2023. It highlights the unequal impact of these disasters across different countries, with a particular focus on how poorer nations bear a disproportionate burden. The report uses a novel methodology to assess the economic impacts per head of population in the affected countries. It calls for increased climate finance, investment in early warning systems, and urgent action to cut emissions and adapt to climate change, emphasizing the need for a well-resourced loss and damage fund.

/ Festivals & Fairs
Uttar Purvi Mahotsav 2024 mind map
Recent News
January 2024
Inaugural Edition
When
13th to 17th January
Where
Bharat Mandapam
Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
Why
Celebrate North East India
Cultural, Economic Potential
What
Participants
250 Weavers, Farmers, Entrepreneurs
Performances
Traditional Dances
Music, Fashion Shows
Economic Initiatives
Buyer-Seller Meets
Digital Commerce via ONDC
Who
Organizers
Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region
NEHHDC
CPSE
How
Showcasing
Arts, Crafts
Culture
Fostering Economic Exchanges
Handlooms, Handicrafts
Agro Products, Tourism
Significance
Cultural Preservation
Showcasing Heritage
Promoting Traditions
Economic Empowerment
Opportunities for Artisans
Market Creation
Panel Discussions
Developmental Aspirations
Women Leaders, Youth Contributions
Tourism Promotion
Cultural Exchange
Attracting Tourists

The Uttar Purvi Mahotsav 2024, scheduled from January 13th to 17th in New Delhi, is a significant cultural festival highlighting the rich heritage of Northeast India. Organized by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region and NEHHDC, it represents a vibrant amalgamation of traditional arts, dances, music, and fashion, focusing on showcasing the diverse cultural and economic potentials of the Northeast. Featuring 250 participants including weavers, farmers, and entrepreneurs, the festival aims to foster economic opportunities through buyer-seller meets and digital commerce initiatives. Panel discussions will address regional development and empowerment themes, while the festival as a whole serves as a platform for cultural preservation, economic empowerment, and tourism promotion, embodying the unity and evolving socio-economic landscape of Northeast India.

Non-Aligned Movement Summit mind map
Recent News
19th NAM Summit
When
January 2024
Where
Kampala, Uganda
Who
Host
Uganda
Chair
Uganda (2024-2027)
India's Representative
Dr. S Jaishankar (External Affairs Minister)
Membership
120 Member States
Including Palestine
17 Observer Countries
10 Observer Organizations
Founding Members
Yugoslavia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Ghana
Founders
Josip Broz Tito, Gamal Abdel Nasser
Jawaharlal Nehru, Sukarno, Kwame Nkrumah
What
Initial Purpose
Represent interests of developing nations
Avoid alignment with Western or Soviet blocs
Post-Cold War Mission
Focus on South-South cooperation
Independent collaboration platform
Agenda and Participants
Senior Officials Meeting
January 15-16, 2024
Draft Kampala Final Outcome Document discussion
Ministerial Meeting
January 17-18, 2024
Committee on Palestine
Document adoption for Heads of State
Heads of State and Government Summit
January 19-20, 2024
Plenary Sessions
Final document adoption
Closing Ceremony

In simple terms, the NAM Summit is a gathering of nations that prefer not to align themselves with major power blocks like NATO or the former Soviet Union. Founded during the Cold War, its purpose was to give a voice to developing countries and maintain their independence in international affairs. The 19th NAM Summit in Uganda reflects the continued significance of this movement, with its focus on South-South cooperation and providing a platform for independent collaboration among nations. Representatives from across the world, including India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr. S Jaishankar, will discuss various global issues, with the outcomes impacting both the member states and the broader international community.

/ Tourism Sector
Navya Ayodhya Project mind map
Recent News
Gains Momentum
Date
January 2024
Paying Guest Scheme
464 Certificates Issued
From 600 Applicants
Significant for Tourism
When
January 2024
Latest Developments
Why
Enhance Tourism
Paying Guest Scheme
Preparations
For Lord Ram's Consecration Ceremony
Date
January 22, 2024
What
Paying Guest Scheme
Includes Over 500 Building Owners
Greenfield Township
Total Area
1438 Acres
Phase 1
583 Acres
487 Acres Acquired
Phases 2 and 3
855 Acres
Commercial Areas
And Parks
Where
Ayodhya
Uttar Pradesh
Who
Spearheaded by
Yogi Government
Uttar Pradesh
Key Personnel
Commissioner Gaurav Dayal
District Magistrate Nitish Kumar
How
Paying Guest Scheme
Connects Building Owners
Provides Certificates
Rents for Accommodation
Rs 1500 to Rs 2500
Significance
Boosts Tourism
Generates Additional Income
Promotes Cultural Exchange
Strengthening Cultural Relationships
Enhances Hospitality
Tradition in Ayodhya

The ‘Navya Ayodhya’ project, initiated by the Yogi Government of Uttar Pradesh, is primarily focused on transforming Ayodhya into a major tourist destination. A significant component of this project is the Paying Guest Scheme, which involves local building owners providing accommodation to tourists, thereby generating additional income and enhancing the city’s hospitality tradition. The project also includes the development of a Greenfield Township, covering an area of 1438 acres, to create a pollution-free and well-facilitated environment for residents and visitors. While I couldn’t access specific details about the full provisions, objectives, or challenges of the project, its current focus seems to be on boosting tourism and cultural exchange in Ayodhya.

/ Road
REJUPAVE mind map
Recent News
January 2024
Used at
Sela Road Tunnel
LDY Road Section
Location
Indo-China Border
Arunachal Pradesh
What
Developed by
CSIR-CRRI
Oldest road research
Bio-oil-based
Asphalt modifier
100% biooil
Reduces heating
For bituminous mixes
Preserves temperature
During transit
When
Developed
Before 2024
Applied
January 2024
Why
Challenges
High-altitude roads
Low and sub-zero temperatures
Solution
Preserve temperature
Reduce heating requirement
Where
High-altitude areas
Arunachal Pradesh
Sela Tunnel
LDY Road
Who
CSIR-CRRI
Central Road Research Institute
BRO
Border Roads Organisation
How
Application
Bituminous road construction
Temperature reduction
30°C to 40°C
Minimizes heat loss
During transit
In snowfall conditions
Significance
Eco-friendly
100% bio-based
Operational capacity
Improvement for defence forces
All-weather connectivity
To Tawang district
Challenges
Technological adaptation
In extreme conditions
Long-term durability
Under variable temperatures
Way Forward
Expand use
National and State Highways
Urban Roads
Adaptation
For different climate zones

REJUPAVE is an indigenous technology developed by the CSIR-Central Road Research Institute (CSIR-CRRI), primarily used for constructing and maintaining bituminous roads in high-altitude areas, particularly under low and sub-zero temperature conditions. It is a bio-oil-based asphalt modifier that significantly reduces the heating requirement of bituminous mixes while preserving their temperature during transit. This eco-friendly technology has been successfully implemented by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) at strategic locations like the Sela Road Tunnel and LDY Road Section near the Indo-China border in Arunachal Pradesh. The technology addresses major challenges in road construction in difficult terrains and contributes to the operational capacity improvement of defence forces and all-weather connectivity in remote regions.

/ Elections & Democracy
ECI Stricter Norms for RUPPs mind map
Recent News
ECI Announces
Revised Rules
for Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPPs)
Before 2024 Elections
When
Announcement Date
Thursday
Parliamentary Election
Year 2024
Why
Streamlining Process
Ensuring Fairness
Transparency in Elections
What
Eligibility Criteria
Submission of Reports
Contribution Reports
Audited Annual Accounts
Last Three Financial Years
Election Expenditure Statements
Last Two Elections
Application Process
Prescribed Proforma
Based on 1968 Order
RUPPs Definition
Newly Registered Parties
No Specific Vote Percentage
Not Contested Elections
Symbol Order
1968 Election Symbols Order
Paragraph 15
Resolves Disputes
Where
India
Who
Election Commission of India
Autonomous Authority
Administers Elections
Union and State
Established 1950
Chief Election Commissioner
Shri Rajiv Kumar
Election Commissioner
Shri Anup Chandra Pandey
How
Enforcement of Rules
Compliance Verification
Action Against Defaulters
Inactive RUPPs
253 Declared Inactive
86 Non-existent Deleted
Compliance Requirements
Section 29A RP Act
Contest Elections
Within Five Years
Then Continuously
Significance
Structured Process
Fairness in Symbol Allocation
Smooth Election Conduct
Challenges
Increased Scrutiny
Potential Challenges
For New Parties
Way Forward
Continued Enforcement
Adherence to Norms

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has introduced stricter norms for the allotment of symbols to Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPPs), particularly in the context of the upcoming 2024 Parliamentary elections. These revisions aim to streamline the symbol allocation process, emphasizing transparency and fairness. The new criteria require RUPPs to submit their contribution reports, audited annual accounts for the past three financial years, and election expenditure statements for their last two contested elections. Additionally, RUPPs, including newly registered parties or those that haven’t attained specific vote percentages, need to adhere to these regulations to qualify for common symbol allotment. The ECI’s move ensures a more structured process for election participation, while also holding parties accountable for compliance with established norms.

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