Current Affairs (26th February 2021)
- Prime Minister highlighted that Government of India is commitment to port-led development which can be seen through the Sagarmala scheme. Tamil Nadu is making a major contribution to India’s industrial growth.
- He also inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of various development projects worth Rs 3,023 crore in Puducherry.
- Prime Minister inaugrated a slew of infrastructure and housing projects for western and southern regions of Tamil Nadu worth over Rs 12,000 crore.
- One of the basic needs for the industry to grow is a continuous power supply and PM dedicated to the nation two major power projects and lay the foundation for one more power project.
- Coimbatore is a city of industry and innovation and development works that are being unveiled will benefit Coimbatore and entire Tamil Nadu.
- Modernisation of the Bhavanisagar dam will irrigate over 2 lakh acres of land and would benefit farmers in the state.
- PM also recalled the words of Wisdom of Saint Thiruvalluvar which said farmers are the ones who truly live and all others live because of them, worshipping them.
- Tamil Nadu has a glorious history of sea trade and port-led development and PM launched various projects related to O. Chidambaranar (VOC) Port, Tuticorin.
- PM recalled the efforts of great freedom fighter Chidambaranar and his vision for vibrant Indian shipping industry and maritime development inspired the country greatly.
- The projects launched will further strengthen cargo handling of the port. It will even support the green port initiative.
- According to PM of India, whenever ports are more efficient, it contributes to India being Atmanirbhar and a global hub for trade as well as logistics.
- “About 575 projects at a total cost of over Rs 6 lakh crores have been identified for implementation during the 2015-2035 period. These works cover ports modernisation, new port development, port connectivity enhancement and coastal community development“.
- PM laid the foundation stone for four- laning of NH 45-A covering Karaikal district at a cost of Rs 2,426 crore.
- Government has made several efforts to improve rural and coastal connectivity to ensure that agricultural produce of farmers gets a good market.
- Government aims ensure production of farmers reaches good markets in a timely manner and good roads would aid in achieving that goal.
- Four laning of the road will also add momentum to the economic activity in this area and generate job opportunities for local youth.
- PM also laid the foundation stone for development of Minor Port at Puducherry at a cost of Rs 44 crore under Sagarmala Scheme. This project will give connectivity to Chennai and facilitate Cargo movement for industries in the Union Territory.
- PM also inaugurated the Blood Centre at JIPMER in Puducherry.
- PM also laid the foundation stone for a 400 meters synthetic track at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex at an estimated cost of Rs seven crore. It will nurture sporting talent among the youth of India.
Guidelines and digital media ethics code for OTT, online streaming and social media platforms
- The Government issued guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules, 2021 and digital media ethics code for Over The Top (OTT), online streaming and social media platforms.
- The rules are intended to empower the ordinary users of digital platforms to seek redressal for their grievances and command accountability in case of infringement of their rights.
- The rules to regulate the content of digital media and OTT platforms have been brought amid the growing outreach of platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime and widespread concerns about issues relating to digital contents.
- Social media platforms have to remove content involving nudity and morphed pictures of women within 24 hrs to ensure online safety and dignity of users, specially women users.
- A grievance redressal mechanism for receiving and resolving complaints from the users or victims will be put in place.
- Social Media Intermediaries will have to appoint a Chief Compliance Officer who will be responsible for ensuring compliance of rules.
- Social media platforms are welcome to do business in India but they need to follow the Constitution and laws of India.
Digital Media Ethics Code :
- It is related to Digital Media and OTT Platforms to regulate digital content. The OTT platforms will self-classify the content into five age based categories and prominently display the classification rating specific to each content together with a content deor informing the user about the nature of the content.
- The Publishers of news on digital media will be required to observe Norms of Journalistic Conduct of the Press Council of India and the Programme Code under the Cable Television Networks Regulation.
- A three-level grievance redressal mechanism has been established under the rules with different levels of self-regulation.
Swachh Iconic Places
- Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti has announced the selection of twelve iconic sites under Phase IV of Swachh Iconic Places.
- These sites include Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra, Sanchi Stupa in Madhya Pradesh, Kumbhalgarh Fort, Jaisalmer Fort and Ramdevra in Rajasthan, Golconda Fort in Telangana and Konark Sun Temple in Odisha.
- Chandigarh’s Rock Garden, Jammu and Kashmir’s Dal Lake, Banke Bihari Temple in Mathura, Agra Fort in Uttar Pradesh and Kalighat Temple in West Bengal are the other sites.
- The initiative aims at enhancing the experience of both domestic and foreign visitors by improving the sanitation and cleanliness standards at and around the sites.
- This project is being coordinated by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jal Shakti in association with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and the concerned State/UT governments.
- Aims to take iconic places and their surroundings to higher standards of Swachhata, so that all visitors benefit and also take away home the message of cleanliness.
- Implementation of the project: It is a collaborative project with three other central Ministries: Urban Development, Culture, Tourism; all levels in the concerned States and more importantly, Public Sector and Private companies as partners.
- Phase I: Ajmer Sharif Dargah, CST Mumbai, Golden Temple, Kamakhya Temple, Maikarnika Ghat, Meenakshi Temple, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, Shree Jagannath Temple, The Taj Mahal and Tirupati Temple.
- Phase II: Gangotri, Yamunotri, Mahakaleshwar Temple, Charminar, Convent and Church of St. Francis of Assissi, Kalady, Gommateswara, Baidyanath Dham, Gaya Tirth and Somnath temple.
- Phase III: RaghavendraSwamy Temple (Andhra Pradesh); Hazardwari Palace (West Bengal); Brahma Sarovar Temple (Haryana); Vidur Kuti (Uttar Pradesh); Mana village (Uttarakhand); Pangong Lake (Ladakh); Nagvasuki Temple (Uttar Pradesh); Ima Keithal/market (Manipur); Sabarimala Temple (Kerala); and Kanvashram (Uttarakhand).
City Innovation Exchange (CiX)
- CiX platform was launched.
- The platform will be a significant addition to the growing innovation ecosystem of India and focuses on fostering innovative practices in cities.
- CiX, through an ‘open innovation’ process, engages with innovators to design-test-deliver on solutions to pressing urban challenges.
- This initiative is among the ongoing efforts to realise vision of Atma Nirbhar Bharat, by making cities more self-reliant and enabled to meet the needs of and provide services to their citizens.
- Designed on the philosophy of ‘everyone is an innovator’, the platform will bring together Citizen Organisations-Academia- Businesses- Government to co-create for the future of Urban India in a transparent and sustainable manner.
- The Smart Cities Mission will partner and effectively collaborate with Startup India, Atal Innovation Mission, AGNIi and other initiatives in the Indian Innovation ecosystem.
- CiX will connect cities to innovators across the national ecosystem to design innovative solutions for their pressing challenges.
- The platform will ease the discovery, design& validation of solutions through a robust, transparent and user centric process that will reduce barriers for innovators and cities to discover fitting solutions.
- Built on the concept of ‘open innovation’, the platform will help in the flow of ideas ‘outside in and inside out’, enhancing the skills and capacity required to deliver smart urban governance.
- Through interaction with the Academia and Businesses/Startups, the platform will benefit cities in the transfer of ideas from ‘labs’ to real environment.
- Similarly, by helping urban governments interact with citizens, the platform will ensure adoption of tested solutions that will be impactful and sustainable.
- The platform in due time will help our cities in adopting solutions that will enhance the quality of life for its residents and significantly improve the Ease of Doing Business.
- The Platform has more than 400 start-ups, 100 smart cities, more than 150 challenges statements and over 215 solutions at the time of launch.
Bamboo Treatment Plant
- Recently, the latest technology Integrated Bamboo Treatment Plant in the premises of North East Cane and Bamboo Development Council (NECBDC) has been inaugrated.
- Bamboo is going to play a lead role in the post-COVID economy, not only for Northeast but, in fact, for the whole of India.
- In the post-COVID era, economic resurgence will keep looking for unexplored and alternative avenues of trade and business and it is here that the huge Bamboo reserves in the North Eastern region, which had remained underutilised for all these years, will come handy and become tool of economy generation.
- In a bid to make aware about the versatile applications of bamboo and its cost-effective products, initiated a country wide drive and are also encouraging Start-Ups and new entrepreneurs to explore business opportunities through bamboo.
- As a part of this, Jammu & Kashmir will set up three Bamboo Clusters through technical know how and collaboration from North East Cane and Bamboo Development Council (NECBDC). Each of the three clusters will be devoted to the production of Agarbatti, baskets and charcoal respectively.
- Highest priority to the growth and development of the North Eastern region and it was a path-breaking decision to exempt home grown bamboo from the purview of the 100 year old Indian Forest Act. This will help in bringing ease of doing business in the bamboo sector for the young entrepreneurs.
- At the same time, during the COVID-pandemic, import duty on Agarbatti coming from other countries has been hiked to nearly 35%. This will discourage import of bamboo made Aggarbatties and encourage domestic production in keeping with “AtmaNirbhar Bharat”.