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11 November Current Affairs

Steel scrap recycling policy

In News:

In a bid to ensure quality scrap for the steel industry, the government has come out with a Steel Scrap Recycling Policy that aims to reduce imports, conserve resources and save energy.

Details:

The policy resulted from the Indian government’s National Steel Policy of 2017, in which the country is expected to have 300 million mt/year of steel production capacity by 2030.

Key features of the policy:

The policy aims to promote circular economy in the steel sector”, besides promoting “a formal and scientific collection, dismantling and processing activities for end of life products.

It envisages a framework to facilitate and promote establishment of metal scrapping centres in India, which will ensure scientific processing and recycling of ferrous scrap generated from various sources and a variety of products.

It also aims to decongest the Indian cities from reuse of ferrous scrap, besides creating a mechanism for treating waste streams and residues produced from dismantling and shredding facilities in compliance to Hazardous & Other Wastes (Management & Trans boundary Movement) Rules, 2016 issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The policy is based on “6Rs principles of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, Redesign and Remanufacture through scientific handling, processing and disposal of all types of recyclable scraps including non-ferrous scraps, through authorized centers / facility”.

Need for a policy in this regard:

The country’s steel scrap imports were valued at Rs 24,500 crore in 2017-18, while the deficit was to the tune of 7 MT.

The scrap policy will ensure processing and recycling of products in an organised, safe and environment friendly manner, besides evolving a responsive ecosystem and producing high quality ferrous scrap for quality steel production minimising the dependency on imports.

And the gap between demand and supply of scrap can be reduced in the future and the country may be self-sufficient by 2030.

The scrapping policy shall ensure that quality scrap is available for the steel industry.

Use of scrap and benefits associated:

Scrap is an important input for the electric furnaces. If quality scrap is provided as the charge to the electric furnaces, then the furnaces can produce high grade steel. High grade steel scrap shall not have the impurities if processing is done with the scrap processing centres and by shredders etc.

There is a worldwide trend to increase steel production using scrap as the main raw material as recycling of scrap helps in conservation of vital natural resources besides other numerous benefits.

The use of every tonne of scrap shall save 1.1 tonne of iron ore, 630 kg of coking coal and 55 kg of limestone. There shall be considerable saving in specific energy consumption also.

Kalapani Territory

In News:

Nepal government has strongly objected to the inclusion of ‘Kalapani’ under the Indian Territory as per the newly released political map of India.

Details:

In the latest map, India included Kalapani into the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand.

Nepal government says that Kalapani is an integral part of the country and that talks are still on between New Delhi and Kathmandu over this “unresolved” area.

Foreign secretaries of both countries have been assigned the responsibility to resolve the remaining border-related issues between India and Nepal.

Where is it located?

Kalapani is located at an altitude of 3600m on the Kailash Manasarovar route.

It borders Uttarakhand in India and Sudurpashchim Pradesh in Nepal.

Since the Indo-China war of 1962, Kalapani is controlled by India’s Indo-Tibetan Border Police.

Nepal claims that the river located towards the west of the territory is the main Kali river and thus it falls in its territory, India claims a ridgeline towards the east of the Kalapani territory and hence, includes it in the Indian Union.

Genesis of the dispute:

Under the treaty of Sugauli signed between Nepal and the British East India Company in 1816, the Kali River was located as Nepal’s western boundary with India. It, however, made no mention of a ridgeline and subsequent maps of the areas drawn by British surveyors showed the source of the Kali river at different places.

This discrepancy has led to the boundary disputes between India and Nepal, with each country producing maps including the territory in their own area to support their claims. The exact size of the Kalapani territory also varies in different sources.

Kerala Fibre Optic Network Project

In News:

The Kerala Cabinet has approved a Rs 1,548-crore fiber-optic network project.

Details:

To be completed by December 2020, the project seeks to fulfil the government’s aim of making internet access a ‘citizen’s right’.

About the fiber- optic network project:

Objective: To provide free high-speed internet connection to around 2 million families in the state.

Aim:

Aims to provide free high-speed internet to over 20 lakh below poverty line (BPL) households.

It is a collaborative initiative of the state’s power utility Kerala State Electricity Board and Kerala State IT Infrastructure Ltd.

Internet service providers and cable television operators can also join the optic-fibre network project to provide their services.

As many as 30,000 government offices and schools would be linked through the high-speed network, said the state government.

Significance:

The project is expected to help the country’s IT industry and open major opportunities in the fields of artificial intelligence, blockchain, and startups. It is also expected to help in better management of the transport sector.

“No Money For Terror” Conference

In News:

India will host the next edition of the ”No Money For Terror” conference to be held in 2020. The announcement was made at the ”No Money For Terror” conference in Melbourne, Australia.

Key facts:

The ”No Money For Terror” conference is organised by Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) of over 100 countries, jointly called The Egmont Group.

Recognising the importance of international cooperation in the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism, a group of FIUs met a few years ago at the Egmont Arenberg Palace in Brussels, Belgium, and decided to establish an informal network of FIUs for the stimulation of international co-operation.

The Egmont Group was created to provide FIUs around the world a forum to exchange information confidentially to combat money-laundering, the financing of terrorism and other predicate offences.

Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism:

Terrorists and terrorist organizations rely on money to sustain themselves and to carry out terrorist acts. Money for terrorists is derived from a wide variety of sources.

While terrorists are not greatly concerned with disguising the origin of money, they are concerned with concealing its destination and the purpose for which it has been collected. Terrorists and terrorist organizations therefore employ techniques similar to those used by money launderers to hide their money.

The ability to prevent and detect money-laundering is a highly effective means of identifying criminals and terrorists and the underlying activity from which money is derived.

The application of intelligence and investigative techniques can be one way of detecting and disrupting the activities of terrorists and terrorist organizations.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

In News:

Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) announced and distributed Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) certificates to 500 candidates to boost their morale.

About:

Certified candidates are trained and assessed on their skill set under the Recognition of prior Learning program of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) of MSDE.

RPL recognizes and certifies skills acquired through informal means, bringing about a major shift from un-organized sector to organized economy.

The RPL program of Skill India aims to certify the workforce as per the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) to rewards and enhance the value of skilled manpower.

The certification will mobilise quality workforce and will reduce employer dependence for recognition, particularly for women who form a large part of the workforce engaged in footwear making.

National Capital Region (NCR)-2041

In News:

The inaugural conclave “National Capital Region (NCR)-2041” with the theme “Planning for Tomorrow’s Greatest Capital Region” will be held in Delhi on 11th November 2019. The Conclave will be chaired by Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Govt. of India.

About:

The National Capital Region (NCR) is a distinct federal setup having the National Capital Territory of Delhi as its core. It is a unique example of inter-state regional planning and development.

The NCR covers around 55,083 sq.kms. of area with around 60 million population.

The constituent areas of the National Capital Region are as under:

Entire National Capital Territory of Delhi

Haryana sub-region comprises of districts of Gurugram, Faridabad, Rohtak, Sonepat, Rewari, Jhajjar, Mewat, Palwal, Panipat, Mahendregarh, Jind, Karnal, Bhiwani and Charkhi Dadri.

Rajasthan sub-region comprises of districts of Alwar and Bharatpur.

Uttar Pradesh Sub-region comprises of districts of Gautam Buddha Nagar, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Bulandsahr, Baghpat, Hapur, Muzaffarnagar and Shamli.

National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) was constituted by the Act of Parliament in 1985, as a statutory body under the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Govt. of India. It is tasked to evolve policies for the control of land-uses and development of infrastructure in the region so as to avoid any haphazard development.

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