24 September Current Affairs
September 24, 2019
26 September Current Affairs
September 26, 2019
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25 September Current Affairs

VAHAN

In News:

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has reiterated the necessity of linking all vehicle data with VAHAN database to avoid harassment and inconvenience to citizens under the amended Motor Vehicles (MV) Act.

About:

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has set up a central depository called Vahan to store data relating to all vehicles.

As per the directions of the Supreme Court, the Ministry had earlier issued a notification for amendment in the rule 115 of central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 for linkage of PUC certificate with VAHAN database.

The States and UTs have been asked to ensure that all PUC centres upload emission test data electronically to VAHAN database as per guidelines issued in compliance with Supreme Court directions.

UMMID and NIDAN

In News:

Union Health Minister launched ‘UMMID’ initiative to tackle inherited genetic diseases of newborn babies. He also inaugurated NIDAN (National Inherited Diseases Administration) Kendras.

About:

Full Name: UMMID (Unique Methods of Management and treatment of Inherited Disorders).

Objective: The new initiative aims at creating awareness about genetic disorders amongst clinicians and establish molecular diagnostics in hospitals so that the benefits of developments in medical genetics could reach patients.

Bodies involved: Department of Biotechnology (DBT),M/o Science and Technology has started the UMMID Initiative.

Strategy: The UMMID initiative aims to –

establish NIDAN Kendras to provide counselling, prenatal testing and diagnosis, management, and multidisciplinary care in Government Hospitals wherein the influx of patients is more, produce skilled clinicians in Human Genetics, and undertake screening of pregnant women and new born babies for inherited genetic diseases in hospitals at aspirational districts.

ISPATI IRADA

In News:

Union Minister for Steel participated in the Chintan Shivir: Towards a Vibrant, Efficient and Globally Competitive Indian Steel sector, organized by Ministry of Steel.

About:

The event aims to bring all stakeholders together to deliberate on a roadmap for making Indian Steel Sector more vibrant, efficient and globally competitive.

Launching the new logo of Steel Ministry “ISPATI IRADA”, the Minister said that the “ISAPTI IRADA” campaign aims to increase appropriate usage of steel in the country and bring more strength to society.

The brand “Ispati Irada” will be allowed to be used by entities working on this theme.

International Day of Sign Languages

In News:

International Day of Sign Languages was observed on September 23, 2019.

About:

United Nations has declared 23rd September as International Sign Language Day. This day was formally accepted by the United Nations Assembly in 2017.

Sign languages are fully-fledged natural languages, structurally distinct from the spoken languages.

The objective of the day is to raise awareness of the importance of sign language in the full realization of the human rights of people who are deaf.

The theme of this year is “Sign Language Rights for All”.

Janganana Bhawan

In News:

Union Minister for Home Affairs, Amit Shah laid the Foundation Stone for construction of Janganana Bhawan – a new building of the Registrar General of India (RGI) that conducts census –in New Delhi.

About:

Announcing that the 2021 census exercise would be carried out digitally, Union Home Minister Amit Shah suggested one card for all utilities in future.

He said there was no formal proposal for the common utility card, but digital census had the potential to bring all cards such as Aadhaar, passport, bank account, and driving licence on one platform.

The decennial census exercise will be undertaken in 2021 and, for the first time, move from paper to digital format. Mr. Shah said ₹12,000 crore would be spent on preparation of the National Population Register (NPR) and census.

Ayushman Bharat

In News:

Ayushman Bharat – the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana has completed one year of its launch.

About:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the scheme on September 23, 2019 from Ranchi, Jharkhand last year.

The main aim of the scheme is to provide universal health care to the poor, needy and vulnerable sections of the country.

The scheme provides a health cover of five lakh rupees annually to vulnerable families and aims at benefiting more than ten crore poor families all over the country.

Achievements during last one year:

In the last one year, more than 46 lakh beneficiaries have availed cashless treatment under the scheme worth ₹7,500 crore with 60% of the amount being spent on tertiary care.

This has resulted in saving of over 12 thousand crore rupees to the beneficiary families.

Currently, 32 States and Union Territories are implementing the scheme and more than 10 crore beneficiary cards have been issued.

Over eighteen thousand hospitals are providing services across the country, out of which more than 50 per cent are private hospitals.

United Nations Climate Action Summit

In News:

At the United Nations Climate Action Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India’s renewable energy target will be increased to 450 GW.

Key highlights of his speech:

Modi reiterated India’s commitment to the creation of 175 GW renewable energy capacity by 2022 under the Paris Climate Agreement. India’s renewable energy target will be further increased to 450 GW.

India would spend approximately $50 billion “in the next few years” on the Jal Jeevan Mission to conserve water, harvest rainwater and develop water resources.

80 countries have joined the International Solar Alliance initiated by India.

He also announced two international initiatives.

First, a platform with Sweden and other countries, for governments and the private sector to work together to develop low carbon pathways for industry.

Second, a Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure. This initiative was approved by the Union Cabinet last month and ₹480 crore has been allocated for technical assistance and projects. The U.K., Australia and island nations such as Fiji and the Maldives will be part of this coalition.

Paris climate agreement

In News:

Russia has formally adopted the 2015 Paris climate agreement and will now allocate financial resources to developing countries for prevention and adaptation to climate change.

About:

The Paris Agreement, which Russia signed in 2016, gives countries a choice in how to join the accords by ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the agreement, depending on their national legislation.

The decision to “accept” the accord signifies “Russia’s consent to the obligations under the Paris Agreement.”

While not formally named a “ratification,” the government said in a statement that the decree signifies Russia’s adoption of the agreement and “Russia’s consent to the obligations under the Paris Agreement”.

One of the world’s key energy producers, Russia has remained one of the largest economies and polluters that signed but failed to ratify the accord.

Particulate Matter (PM) emissions

In News:

Gujarat government has launched what is being described as the world’s first market for trading in Particulate Matter (PM) emissions.

Salient features of the Gujarat scheme:

Launched in Surat, the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is a regulatory tool that is aimed at reducing the pollution load in an area and at the same time minimising the cost of compliance for the industry.

ETS is a market in which the traded commodity is particulate matter emissions.

The Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) sets a cap on the total emission load from all industries.

Various industries can buy and sell the ability to emit particulate matter, by trading permits (in kilograms) under this cap. For this reason, ETS is also called a cap-and-trade market.

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

In News:

According to a new UN report compiled by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the world is falling badly behind in the race to avert climate disaster, with the five-year period ending 2019 set to be the hottest ever.

Key findings of the report:

Average global temperature between 2015-2019 is on track to be the hottest of any five-year period on record.

The period is currently estimated to be 1.1 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial (1850-1900) times and 0.2 degrees Celsius warmer than 2011-2015. The past four years were already the hottest since record-keeping began in 1850.

Rather than falling, carbon dioxide grew two percent in 2018, reaching a record high of 37 billion tonnes.

There is also no sign yet of reaching what is known as “peak emissions,” the point at which levels will start to fall, though these are not growing at the same rate as the global economy.

The extent of Arctic summer sea ice has declined at a rate of 12% per decade over the past 40 years, with the four lowest values between 2015 and 2019.

Overall, the amount of ice lost from the Antarctic ice sheet increased by a factor of six each year between 1979 and 2017, while glacier loss for 2015-19 is also the highest for any five-year period on record.

Naming of Cyclones

In News:

Tropical Storm Hikaa develops into Cyclone.

How are cyclones named?

Each Tropical Cyclone basin in the world has its own rotating list of names.

For cyclones in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, the naming system was agreed by eight member countries of a group called WMO/ESCAP and took effect in 2004.

How the names are chosen?

The member countries submitted eight names each. The first cyclone after the list was adopted was given the name in the first row of the first column — Onil, proposed by Bangladesh.

Subsequent cyclones are being named sequentially, column-wise, with each cyclone given the name immediately below that of the previous cyclone.

Once the bottom of the column is reached, the sequence moves to the top of the next column. So far, the first seven columns have been exhausted.

Why name cyclones?

Makes it easier for the media to report on these cyclones, heightens interest in warnings, and increases community preparedness.

Easier to remember than numbers and technical terms.

Why eastern coast of India is more vulnerable?

In addition to the storms that originate in the southeast Bay of Bengal and the adjoining Andaman Sea, breakaway typhoons over the Northwest Pacific move across the South China Sea into the Bay of Bengal, intensifying into cyclones.

In contrast, Arabian Sea cyclones are mostly their own formations and they also generally move north-west, away from India’s west coast.

Besides, the Arabian Sea is colder than the Bay of Bengal, which inhibits the formation and intensification of the cyclonic system in the former. Warm sea surface temperature is an ideal platform for cyclones.

Facts for prelims:

Cyclones are given many names in different regions of the world – They are known as typhoons in the China Sea and Pacific Ocean; hurricanes in the West Indian islands in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean; tornados in the Guinea lands of West Africa and southern USA.; willy-willies in north-western Australia and tropical cyclones in the Indian Ocean.

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