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July 7, 2021
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6th July Current Affairs

Project BOLD

In News:

The project was launched by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) recently from the tribal village Nichla Mandwa in Udaipur, Rajasthan.

Details:

5000 saplings of special bamboo species – BambusaTulda and BambusaPolymorpha specially brought from Assam – have been planted in vacant arid Gram Panchayat land.

KVIC has thus created a world record of planting the highest number of bamboo saplings on a single day at one location.

About the Project BOLD:

BOLD stands for Bamboo Oasis on Lands in Drought.

Launched by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).

The initiative has been launched as part of KVIC’s “Khadi Bamboo Festival” to celebrate 75 years of independence “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”.

Objectives: To create bamboo-based green patches in arid and semi-arid land zones, To reduce desertification and provide livelihood and multi-disciplinary rural industry support.

Why Bamboo was chosen?

Bamboos grow very fast and in about three years’ time, they could be harvested.Bamboos are also known for conserving water and reducing evaporation of water from the land surface, which is an important feature in arid and drought-prone regions.

Khadi and Village Industries Commission:

  • KVIC is a statutory body established under the Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act, 1956.
  • The KVIC is charged with the planning, promotion, organisation and implementation of programmes for the development of Khadi and other village industries in the rural areas in coordination with other agencies engaged in rural development wherever necessary.
  • It functions under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

Fly Ash

In News:

Seeking potential overseas off-takers for the flyash produced by its thermal power plants, NTPC has invited Expression of Interest (EoI) for sale of the residual product to the West Asian and other regions.

Details:

It will supply the ash from power plants to ports and the total quantum earmarked for export is 14.5 million tonne (MT) per year.

Background:

As per the norms set by the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change, thermal plants are supposed to utilise 100% of fly ash from the fourth year of operation.

What is Fly Ash?

Popularly known as Flue ash or pulverised fuel ash, it is a coal combustion product.

Composition:

Composed of the particulates that are driven out of coal-fired boilers together with the flue gases.

Depending upon the source and composition of the coal being burned, the components of fly ash vary considerably, but all fly ash includes substantial amounts of silicon dioxide (SiO2), aluminium oxide (Al2O3) and calcium oxide (CaO), the main mineral compounds in coal-bearing rock strata.

Minor constituents include: arsenic, beryllium, boron, cadmium, chromium, hexavalent chromium, cobalt, lead, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, selenium, strontium, thallium, and vanadium, along with very small concentrations of dioxins and PAH compounds. It also has unburnt carbon.

Health and environmental hazards:

Toxic heavy metals present: All the heavy metals found in fly ash nickel, cadmium, arsenic, chromium, lead, etc—are toxic in nature. They are minute, poisonous particles accumulate in the respiratory tract, and cause gradual poisoning.

Radiation: For an equal amount of electricity generated, fly ash contains a hundred times more radiation than nuclear waste secured via dry cask or water storage.

Water pollution: The breaching of ash dykes and consequent ash spills occur frequently in India, polluting a large number of water bodies.

Effects on environment: The destruction of mangroves, drastic reduction in crop yields, and the pollution of groundwater in the Rann of Kutch from the ash sludge of adjoining Coal power plants has been well documented.

However, fly ash can be used in the following ways:

  • Concrete production, as a substitute material for Portland cement, sand.
  • Fly-ash pellets which can replace normal aggregate in concrete mixture.
  • Embankments and other structural fills.
  • Cement clinker production – (as a substitute material for clay).
  • Stabilization of soft soils.
  • Road subbase construction.
  • As aggregate substitute material (e.g. for brick production).
  • Agricultural uses: soil amendment, fertilizer, cattle feeders, soil stabilization in stock feed yards, and agricultural stakes.
  • Loose application on rivers to melt ice.
  • Loose application on roads and parking lots for ice control.

Draft anti-trafficking Bill

In News:

The Ministry of Women and Child Welfare has invited suggestions and comments for its Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021.

Highlights of the Bill:

The bill proposes stringent punishments for offenders, including hefty fines and seizing of their properties.

The Bill also extends beyond the protection of women and children as victims to now include transgenders as well as any person who may be a victim of trafficking.

The draft also does away with the provision that a victim necessarily needs to be transported from one place to another to be defined as a victim.

Exploitation has been defined to include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation including pornography, any act of physical exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or forced removal of organs etc.

Applicability- The law will extend to:

  • All citizens inside as well as outside India.
  • Persons on any ship or aircraft registered in India wherever it may be or carrying Indian citizens wherever they may be.
  • A foreign national or a stateless person who has his or her residence in India at the time of commission of offence under this Act.
  • Every offence of trafficking in persons with cross-border implications.
  • Defence personnel and government servants, doctors and paramedical staff or anyone in a position of authority.

What are the constitutional & legislative provisions related to Trafficking in India?

Trafficking in Human Beings or Persons is prohibited under the Constitution of India under Article 23 (1).

The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITPA) is the premier legislation for prevention of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.

Criminal Law (amendment) Act 2013 has come into force wherein Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code has been substituted with Section 370 and 370A IPC which provide for comprehensive measures to counter the menace of human trafficking.

Trafficking in Persons report 2021:

According to the Trafficking in Persons report 2021, released by the US State Department, the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in an increase in vulnerability to human trafficking and interrupted existing anti-traffic efforts.

While India did not meet the minimum standards to eliminate trafficking, the government was making significant efforts, although these were inadequate, especially when it came to bonded labour.

Swami Vivekananda

In News:

Death Anniversary- 4th July.

About Swami Vivekananda:

He was a true luminary, credited with enlightening the western world about Hinduism.

He was an ardent disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa and a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India.

He pushed for national integration in colonial India, and his famous speech remains as the one that he gave in Chicago in 1893 (Parliament of the World Religions).

In 1984 the Government of India declared that 12 January, the birthday of Swami Vivekananda, will be celebrated as National Youth Day.

Early life- contributions:

Born in Kolkata on January 12, 1863 in Kolkata, Swami Vivekananda was known as Narendra Nath Datta in his pre-monastic life.

He is known to have introduced the Hindu philosophies of Yoga and Vedanta to the West.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had called Vivekananda the “maker of modern India.”

In 1893, he took the name ‘Vivekananda’ after Maharaja Ajit Singh of the Khetri State requested him to do so.

He formed the Ramakrishna Mission in 1897 “to set in motion a machinery which will bring noblest ideas to the doorstep of even the poorest and the meanest.”

In 1899, he established the Belur Math, which became his permanent abode.

He preached ‘neo-Vedanta’, an interpretation of Hinduism through a Western lens, and believed in combining spirituality with material progress.

Books written by him:

‘Raja Yoga’, ‘Jnana Yoga’, ‘Karma Yoga’ are some of the books he wrote.