Gist of The Hindu: APRIL 2023
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Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS)
- The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) recently cited the security advisory issued on the basis of the threat perception, to the opposition raised by the passengers about the double metal-detector based checking at the airports.
About Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS):
- It was initially set up as a Cell in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation in January 1978 on the recommendation of the Pande Committee.
- It was reorganized into an independent department under the Ministry of Civil Aviation on 1st April 1987.
- The main responsibilities of BCAS include laying down standards and measures with respect to the security of civil flights at international and domestic airports in India.
- Headquarters: New Delhi
- It has got four Regional Offices located at International airports i.e. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
- Laying down Aviation Security Standards in accordance with Annex 17 to the Chicago Convention of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for airport operators, airline operators, and their security agencies responsible for implementing AVSEC measures.
- Monitoring the implementation of security rules and regulations and carrying out survey of security needs.
- Ensure that the persons implementing security controls are appropriately trained and possess all competencies required to perform their duties.
- Planning and coordination of Aviation security matters.
- Surprise/Dummy checks to test the professional efficiency and alertness of security staff.
- Mock exercise to test the efficacy of Contingency Plans and operational preparedness of the various agencies.
National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts (NTCWPC)
- Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways will inaugurate the National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts (NTCWPC) at IIT Chennai.
About National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts (NTCWPC):
- It is being set up under the Shipping Ministrys flagship Sagarmala Programme.
- Location: It has been established in IIT – Discovery Campus at Chennai in Tamil Nadu at the cost of ₹77 crore.
- It works as the technology arm of the Ministry of Shipping and provides the needful technological support to ports, IWAI and other institutions.
- Mandate: To develop cutting-edge technologies and application products to provide solutions to various challenges faced by the Ports and Shipping Sector.
- It has world-class capabilities for undertaking 2D and 3D investigations of research and consultancy nature for the Port, Coastal, and Waterway sector across all disciplines.
Integrated e-Gram Swaraj and GeM portal
- The Prime Minister will inaugurate an integrated e-GramSwaraj and GeM portal on National Panchayati Raj Day, 24th April.
The Objective of Integration:
- The objective of e-Gram Swaraj–GeM Integration is to enable the Panchayats to procure their goods and services through GeM leveraging the e-Gram Swaraj platform.
- It will help the entire buyer-seller ecosystem to flourish thereby giving a major boost to rural economy and entrepreneurship along with strengthening the Digital India Program.
- Salient features:
- Existing User base of GeM of nearly 60,000 is envisioned to increase to more than 3 lakhs in a phased manner.
- Bringing transparency in procurement by Panchayats by making the process digital.
- Encouragement of local vendors (Proprietors, Self Help groups, Cooperatives etc.) to register on GeM as Panchayats procure largely from such vendors.
- Panchayats will have access to doorstep delivery of quality-assured goods at standardized and competitive rates.
- Major Capacity building being taken by The Ministry of Panchayati Raj and GeM has also trained and appointed business facilitators in all States for handholding of the Panchayat users.
- The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is set to initiate conservation works at Zafar Mahal in south Delhis Mehrauli.
About Zafar Mahal:
- This is the last structure built by the Mughals and served as a summer palace for the Mughal family.
- Location: It is located in Mehrauli village, which is in the Southern part of Delhi.
- It was built in memory of the Hazrat Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakthiar Kaki, the renowned Sufi saint to whom almost all the Mughal Emperors were disciples.
- Zafar Mahal stands next to the Dargah of Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki.
- It was started by Emperor Akhbar Shah II and was finished by the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, who also gave it the present name of Zafar Mahal.
- It consists of two components: one being the Mahal or the palace which was established by Akbar Shah II during 18th century and the other being the entrance gate (Hathi Gate) that was developed during 19th century by Bahadur Shah Zafar II.
- The Zafar Mahal complex also contains some cenotaphs of the later Mughal Emperors.
- The famous festival or the annual procession known as Phulon ki Sair also starts from here and is a festival that had long ago been started by the Khawja Bhaktiyar Kaki himself as a protest against the British.
- India recently launched Operation Kaveri to evacuate its nationals from conflict-torn Sudan.
About Operation Kaveri:
- It is a rescue operation being carried out by the Indian Government to bring back Indian citizens stranded in Sudan.
- According to the official data, the number of Indians in Sudan is around 4,000.
- As part of the operation, two C-130 aircraft and the navy ship INS Sumedha is on standby to safely evacuate stranded Indians.
- Why the need for evacuation? Sudan has been witnessing deadly fighting between the countrys army and a paramilitary group, the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) that has reportedly left several hundreds dead.
- Cause of fighting? It was triggered by disagreement over an internationally backed plan to form a new civilian government four years after the fall of autocrat Omar al-Bashir and two years after the military coup. Both sides accuse the other of thwarting the transition.
- A team of researchers recently developed an electronic biosensor based on DNA aptamers that can detect biomarkers in whole blood samples without the use of reagents.
- They are short, single-stranded DNA or RNA (ssDNA or ssRNA) molecules that can selectively bind to a specific target, including proteins, peptides, carbohydrates, small molecules, toxins, and even live cells.
- Aptamers assume a variety of shapes due to their tendency to form helices and single-stranded loops.
- They can be used as an antibody alternative in a variety of therapeutic, diagnostic, and target-binding applications.
- They can also be readily conjugated to gold nanoparticles or quantum dots as a basis for point-of-care diagnostics.
- Aptamers have been successfully used for the diagnosis and therapy of a broad spectrum of pathogens including bacteria, parasites, and viruses.
What is a Biomarker?
- It is a biological molecule found in blood, other body fluids, or tissues that is a sign of a normal or abnormal process, or of a condition or disease.
- A biomarker may be used to see how well the body responds to a treatment for a disease or condition.
- Indias External Affairs Minister co-chaired the 4th India-CARICOM ministerial meeting with his Jamaican counterpart.
- CARICOM, which stands for Caribbean Community, is the oldest surviving integration movement in the developing world.
- It is an organization of Caribbean countries and dependencies originally established as the Caribbean Community and Commons Market in 1973 by the Treaty of Chaguaramas.
- Promote economic integration and cooperation among its members;
- To ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared;
- To coordinate foreign policy;
- It has 15 members; Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
- Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands have associate member status, and Aruba, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela maintain observer status.
- The Chairmanship of the Community is rotated every six months among the member countries Heads.
Logistics Performance Index (LPI) 2023
- India’s rank in the recently released World Banks Logistics Performance Index 2023 has improved by six places.
About Logistics Performance Index (LPI):
- It is released by World Bank.
- It is an interactive benchmarking tool created to help countries identify the challenges and opportunities they face in their performance on trade logistics and what they can do to improve their performance.
- It measures the ease of establishing reliable supply chain connections and structural factors that make it possible, such as the quality of logistics services, trade and transport-related infrastructure, as well as border controls.
Highlights of LPI 2023:
- The LPI 2023 allows for comparisons across 139 countries.
- The LPI 2023, for the first time, measures the speed of trade with indicators derived from big datasets tracking shipments.
- Singapore and Finland are the most efficient and highest-ranked LPI countries as per the 2023 LPI.
- India is ranked 38 out of 139 countries, climbing six places from the previous index.
- Two major factors for India’s jump in the index could be modernisation and digitalisation, which the report quotes as a reason for emerging economies like India to leapfrog advanced countries.
International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD)
- The Enhanced Linkages between Private Sector and Small-Scale Producers (ELPS) initiative will be set up with an aim of strengthening developing nations agriculture and food systems according to the IFAD President.
- IFAD President recently said that IFAD will set up a new framework to facilitate cooperation between small agricultural producers in developing nations and businesses in Japan and elsewhere
About International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD):
- It is an international financial institution and a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger in rural areas of developing countries.
- IFAD seeks to empower rural people to increase their food security, improve the nutrition of their families and increase their incomes through funding of grants and low-interest loans to several projects.
- Its projects and programmes are carried out in remote and environmentally fragile locations, including least-developed countries and small island developing States.
- IFAD is the only multilateral development institution that focuses exclusively on transforming rural economies and food systems.
- It is a member of the United Nations Development Group (UNDP).
- It was established as an international financial institution in 1977 through United Nations General Assembly Resolution.
- Headquarters: Rome, Italy.
- Membership: Currently, IFAD has 177 Member States, including India.
- The highest decision-making body is the Governing Council which meets every three years.
Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)
- The Indian Government will carry out a sectoral analysis to see how the European Unions (EUs) proposed carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) is set to affect the Indian industry
About Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM):
- It is a proposed European Union (EU) tariff on carbon intensive products.
- Purpose: To put a fair price on the carbon emitted during the production of carbon intensive goods that are entering the EU, and to encourage cleaner industrial production in non-EU countries.
- The CBAM will ensure the carbon price of imports is equivalent to the carbon price of domestic production.
- If implemented as planned, EU importers will have to buy carbon certificates corresponding to the carbon price that would have been paid in the EU, if the goods had been produced locally.
- The price of the certificates would be calculated according to the auction prices in the EU carbon credit market.
- The amount of certificates required would be defined yearly by the quantity of goods and the embedded emissions in those goods imported into the EU.
- Companies in countries with a domestic carbon pricing regime equivalent to the EUs will be able to export to the EU without buying CBAM certificates.
- CBAM will initially cover several specific products in some of the most carbon-intensive sectors at risk of "carbon leakage": iron and steel (including some downstream products such as nuts and bolts), cement, fertilizers, aluminium, electricity and hydrogen.
Courtesy: The Hindu