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10 August Current Affairs

Quit India Movement

In News:

76th anniversary of Quit India movement was observed on August 8th, 2018.

Details:

It was in 1942 when the world was going through the havoc caused by World War II. India too was facing the heat and after the Cripps Mission had failed, and on 8 August 1942, Mahatma Gandhi made a Do or Die call through the Quit India movement. Large protests and demonstrations were held all over the country. However, as the movement didn’t get too much support from the outside, it was crushed and the British refused to grant immediate Independence, saying that it could happen only after the war had ended.

Who started Quit India Movement?

The Quit India movement was started by Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 but drew protests from the All-India Congress Committee demanding what Gandhi called was “An Orderly British Withdrawal” from India. This forced the British to act immediately and soon all the senior INC leaders were imprisoned without trial within hours of Gandhi’s speech.

Where was the Quit India Speech given?

On 14th July 1942, the Congress Working Committee at Wardha had passed a resolution demanding complete independence from the British government. On August 8, 1942, Mahatma Gandhi made a Do or Die call in his Quit India speech which was delivered in Bombay at the Gowalia Tank Maidan. Even though the speech caused some turmoil within the party and even leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Maulana Azad were apprehensive and critical of the call, but backed it and stuck with Gandhi’s leadership until the end.

Other key facts:

  • Several national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Abdul Kalam Azad, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel were arrested.
  • The Congress was declared an unlawful association, leaders were arrested and its offices all over the country were raided and their funds were frozen.
  • The first half of the movement was peaceful with demonstrations and processions. The peaceful protest was carried till Mahatma Gandhi’s release.
  • The second half of the movement was violent with raids and setting fire at post offices, government buildings and railway stations. Lord Linlithgow adopted the policy of violence.
  • The Viceroy’s Council of Muslims, Communist Party and Americans supported Britishers.

Source: The Hindu

One District One Product (Ek Zila – Ek Ut padan) Scheme

In News:

Uttar Pradesh government had recently organized ‘One District One Product’ Summit to promote traditional industries in every district of the state.

Details:

The ODOP Summit is stated to be the first of its kind in the country and is expected to give a big boost to the MSME and handicraft in the state.

The summit, which aims to give boost to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), will be a corollary of the UP Investors Summit held in the state capital in February this year, followed by the groundbreaking ceremony for the launch of 81 projects in July.

About ODOP:

  • ODOP is aimed at giving a major push to traditional industries synonymous with the respective districts of the state.
  • The objective of the ODOP is to optimise production, productivity and income, preservation and development of local crafts, promotion of art, improvement in product quality and skill development.
  • Under this, one product indigenous to every district would be showcased at the three-day UP Diwas event. This will boost economic development of the state, and also help in generation of five lakh new jobs annually.

Background:

ODOP is basically a Japanese business development concept, which gained prominence in 1979. It is aimed at promoting a competitive and staple product from a specific area to push sales and improve the standard of living of the local population. Over time, it has been replicated in other Asian countries as well.

Facts for Prelims:

UP is uniquely famous for product-specific traditional industrial hubs across 75 districts, including Varanasi (Banarasi silk sari), Bhadohi (carpet), Lucknow (chikan), Kanpur (leather goods), Agra (leather footwear), Aligarh (locks), Moradabad (brassware), Meerut (sports goods) and Saharanpur (wooden products).

Source: The Hindu

World Biofuel day 2018

In News:

World Biofuel Day is observed every year on 10th August to create awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels and to highlight the various efforts made by the Government in the biofuel sector.

About World Bio Fuel Day:

Every year 10th August is observed as World Bio-Fuel Day in a bid to create awareness about non fossil-fuels (Green Fuels). On this day in 1893, Sir Rudolph Diesel (inventor of the diesel engine) for the first time successfully ran mechanical engine with Peanut Oil. His research experiment had predicted that vegetable oil is going to replace the fossil fuels in the next century to fuel different mechanical engines. Thus to mark this extraordinary achievement, World Biofuel Day is observed every year on 10th August.

Government initiatives to promote the use of Biofuels:

Since 2014, the Government of India has taken a number of initiatives to increase blending of biofuels. The major interventions include administrative price mechanism for ethanol, simplifying the procurement procedures of OMCs, amending the provisions of Industries (Development & Regulation) Act, 1951 and enabling lignocellulosic route for ethanol procurement.

The Government approved the National Policy on Biofuels-2018 in June 2018. The policy has the objective of reaching 20% ethanol-blending and 5% biodiesel-blending by the year 2030.  Among other things, the policy expands the scope of feedstock for ethanol production and has provided for incentives for production of advanced biofuels.

Recently, the Government has increased the price of C-heavy molasses-based ethanol to Rs. 43.70 from Rs. 40.85 to give a boost to EBP Programme. Price of B-heavy molasses-based ethanol and sugarcane juice-based ethanol has been fixed for the first time at Rs. 47.40. The Government has reduced GST on ethanol for blending in fuel from 18% to 5%.  The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas is making all efforts to increase ethanol supply for petrol and has taken several steps in this direction.

Outcomes:

These interventions of the Government of India have shown positive results. Ethanol blending in petrol has increased from 38 crore litres in the ethanol supply year 2013-14 to an estimated 141 crore litres in the ethanol supply year 2017-18.  Bio-diesel blending in the country started from 10th August, 2015 and in the year 2018-19, Oil Marketing Companies have allocated 7.6 crore litres of biodiesel.  Oil PSUs are also planning to set up 12 Second Generation (2G) Bio-refineries to augment ethanol supply and address environmental issues arising out of burning of agricultural biomass.

Source: PIB

Global Innovation Index

In News:

NITI Aayog has proposed to join hands with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to develop a Roadmap for Top 10 Rank in Global Innovation Index (GII).

India’s performance in GII:

India’s rank on the Global Innovation Index (GII) has improved from 60 in 2017 to 57 in 2018. India has been consistently climbing the GII ranking for the past two years.

There is a need to:

  • Transform India’s Innovation Ecosystem by formulating a New Innovation Policy to attract R&D investment into cutting edge technologies and build appropriate infrastructure and institutions.
  • Tap Global hotspots of Innovation in latest technologies like AI, Blockchain and Robotics etc.
  • Connect Tinkering labs in schools with start-ups, business and high end educational institutions.
  • Target efficient, productive and outcome driven R&D in the Government Sector.

GII 2018:

  • GII is jointly released by Cornell University, INSEAD and World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). GII ranks 126 economies based on 80 indicators.
  • The GII 2018 marks the 11th edition of the GII, and the beginning of its second decade providing data and insights gathered from tracking innovation across the globe.
  • This year’s edition, is dedicated to the theme of Energizing the World with Innovation. It analyses the energy innovation landscape of the next decade and identifies possible breakthroughs in fields such as energy production, storage, distribution, and consumption.
  • It also looks at how breakthrough innovation occurs at the grassroots level and describes how small-scale renewable systems are on the rise.

Performance of India:

  • This year, India has moved up 3 places as compared to 60th rank in GII 2017 and emerged as top-ranked economy in Central and South Asia. It has consistently moving up on global ranking from 81st in 2015 to 57th this year.
  • India is a top performer in the lower middle income group, where it is ranked at fifth position. It is the most innovative country in its region of central and southern Asia.
  • In the indicators that capture the quality of innovation inputs and outputs, India is ranked second after China in the lower and upper middle income group combined.
  • However, India has fared badly on indicators such as ease of starting business, political stability and safety, overall education and environmental performance.

Performance of other countries:

  • Switzerland is at the top. Since 2011, Switzerland has been ranked at the top every year.
  • This year, Netherlands follows at second place and Sweden at third. The US drops down to sixth from fourth last year.
  • Four of the top five innovation clusters are in Asia, based on patents and publishing. San Francisco is the only innovation cluster outside Asia among the top five.
  • Tokyo is at the top, and two of the top five clusters are in China.
  • China, at 17, broke into the world’s top 20 most-innovative economies.
  • On a new indicator – mobile-app creation – Cyprus, Finland and Lithuania emerged as global leaders in development of mobile apps relative to GDP.

Source: The Hindu

National Energy Storage Mission

In News:

In February 2018, an Expert Committee under the chairpersonship of Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, with representatives from relevant Ministries, industry associations, research institutions and experts was constituted by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy to propose draft for setting up National Energy Storage Mission (NESM) for India.

Details:

The proposal:

The Expert Committee referred has proposed a draft NESM with objective to strive for leadership in energy storage sector by creating an enabling policy and regulatory framework that encourages manufacturing, deployment, innovation and further cost reduction.

Key areas for energy storage application include:

  • Integrating renewable energy with distribution and transmission grids.
  • Setting Rural microgrids with diversified loads or stand-alone systems.
  • Developing Storage component of electric mobility plans.

Highlights of the draft National Energy Storage Mission (NESM):

  • The draft expects to kick-start grid-connected energy storage in India, set up a regulatory framework, and encourage indigenous manufacture of batteries.
  • The draft sets a “realistic target” of 15-20 gigawatt hours (GWh) of grid-connected storage within the next five years. Power grids do not currently use storage options that would help in smoothly integrating renewable energy sources.
  • The mission will focus on seven verticals: indigenous manufacturing; an assessment of technology and cost trends; a policy and regulatory framework; financing, business models and market creation; research and development; standards and testing; and grid planning for energy storage.

Significance and the need for energy storage:

Energy Storage is one of the most crucial & critical components of India’s energy infrastructure strategy and also for supporting India’s sustained thrust to renewables.

Renewable energy sources now make up almost one-fifth of India’s total installed power capacity. However, as power grids increase their share of solar and wind energy, the problem remains that the peak supply of renewable sources does not always meet peak demand. For instance, solar energy generation may be at its peak at noon, but unless stored, it will not be available when needed to light up homes at night. Moreover, renewable sources are inherently intermittent: there are days when the wind doesn’t blow or the sky is cloudy.

Source: The Hindu

National Disaster Response Force

In News:

Union Cabinet has given approval for raising of four additional battalions of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to strengthen the India’s disaster response set up.

Key facts:

The objective of raising four additional battalions is to reduce response time keeping in view vast geographic area of the country.

These battalions will be placed in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi National Capital Region based on their disaster vulnerability profile.

About NDRF:

The Disaster Management Act has made the statutory provisions for constitution of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for the purpose of specialized response to natural and man-made disasters.

Background:

Two national calamities in quick succession in the form of Orissa Super Cyclone (1999) and Gujarat Earthquake (2001) brought about the realization of the need of having a specialist response mechanism at National Level to effectively respond to disasters. This realization led to the enactment of the DM Act on 26 Dec 2005.

ROLE AND MANDATE OF NDRF:

  • Specialized response during disasters.
  • Proactive deployment during impending disaster situations.
  • Acquire and continually upgrade its own training and skills.
  • Liaison, Reconnaissance, Rehearsals and Mock Drills.
  • Impart basic and operational level training to State Response Forces (Police, Civil Defence and Home Guards).
  • Community Capacity Building Programme.
  • Organize Public Awareness Campaigns.

Source: PIB

Train Captain Service

In News:

In order to introduce the concept of a single person/leader responsible for coordinating the entire team and facilitating all services during the complete journey of the train, instructions have been issued introducing the concept of Train Captain.

Details:

In trains like Rajdhani/ Shatabdi/ Duronto and other trains where a Train Superintendent (TS) is on end to end basis, TS shall be nominated as “Train Captain” and made responsible for all the facilities on train. In all other trains, where TS is not present, Zonal Railways are to nominate the senior most ticket checking staff as Train Captain.

Source: PIB

Joint issue of postage stamp between India and South Africa

In News:

The Union Cabinet was recently apprised of joint issue of Postage Stamps on India-South Africa on the theme, “20 Years of Strategic Partnership between India and South Africa”. The joint stamps were released in June 2018.

Details:

The Commemorative Postage Stamps on India-South Africa: Joint Issue depicts image of DeendayalUpadhyaya and Oliver Reginald Tambo of South Africa. An MoU was signed to this effect between India and South Africa in May 2018.

Source: PIB

Unnat Bharat Programme 2.0

  • The Government has recently launched the phase-2 of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan.
  • It is the flagship programme of Ministry of Human Resource and Development.
  • It aims to link the Higher Education Institutions with atleast (5) villages, to enable the institutions contribute to the economic and social betterment of these village communities using their knowledge base.
  • The institutions will provide the knowledge and technology support to improve the livelihoods in rural areas.
  • It will also helps in upgrading the capabilities of both the public and private sectors.
  • Both technical and non-technical institutions have been invited to build systems in villages as per their strengths.
  • Each selected institute would adopt a cluster of villages / panchayats and gradually expand the outreach over a period of time.
  • IIT Delhi has been designated to function as the National Coordinating Institute for this program.

Global Innovation Index – 2018

  • The 2018 edition of the index was recently launched in New Delhi.
  • The event was organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) along with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
  • The index developed jointly by Cornell University, the Paris-based business school Insead and WIPO in Geneva.
  • The top rankers of 2018 are Switzerland, Netherlands and Sweden.
  • India’s rank has been improved from 60 in 2017 to 57 in 2018.
  • India also ranked 1st in ICT service exports category and 4th in labour productivity growth.
  • The GII indicators are grouped into innovation inputs and outputs.
  • Innovation inputs capture the efforts made by the country to boost innovation.
  • Innovation outputs measure the results of these efforts in terms of scientific publications, patents, trademarks, production, exports and other outputs.
  • India is 2nd among middle-income economies (after China) in the indicators that capture the quality of the innovation inputs and outputs.
  • NITI Aayog has decided to join hands with CII to develop a Roadmap for Top 10 Rank in GII.

Radio Galaxy Spotted

  • Radio galaxy are colossal galaxies with a super massive black hole in their centre that actively accretes gas and dust from its surroundings.
  • They are very rare objects in the universe.
  • Most distant radio galaxy ever known, located at a distance of 12 billion light-years was discovered by Indian Telescope.
  • It was found using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) in Pune, operated by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics.
  • The distance to this galaxy was determined using the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii and the Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona.
  • This discovery is important for understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies.

Thermal Battery Plant

  • World’s first-ever thermal battery plant was recently inaugurated in Andhra Pradesh.
  • It aims to create a new energy storage form with commercial applications, maintaining a low carbon footprint and less dependent on external factors like weather.
  • Conventional battery technology is based on the system of charging/discharging cycles that are driven by electricity. Eg. Lithium ion battery used in electronic devices.
  • Thermal batteries, use thermal energy to operate, i.e. the energy created by temperature differences.
  • The energy transfer in thermal batteries helps store heat when heat travels from one part of the battery setup to the other.
  • Working of Thermal Battery – It consists of two parts such as a cool zone known as sink, and a hot source called source.
  • When the sink of a thermal battery receives heat, it transforms physically or chemically, thereby storing energy, while the source cools down.
  • During operation, the sink is cooled down, so it releases the stored energy, while the source heats up.
  • Applications – Electric vehicles, Telecom infrastructures, Power intensive industries.

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