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Current Affairs – 7 September 2021

Panel for ‘Ecosystem’ for Startup Accelerators

The Indian Express

GS 3: Economy

Context:

  • Recently, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) formed 10-member panel to develop ‘Ecosystem’ for startups accelerators.

About:

  • This Panel is chaired by Ajay Prakash Sawhney.
  • It will oversee the implementation of Start-up Accelerators of MeitY for Product Innovation, Development and Growth (SAMRIDH) Scheme.
  • It will make a process to help existing and upcoming startup accelerators.
  • These accelerators would then select information technology-based startups to scale for solving India’s problems creating positive impact.
  • They would also have to build customised accelerators programmes that fit the needs of the selected startups.

SAMRIDH:

  • It was recently launched to identify 300 startups.
  • It aims to aid them with investor connect, international immersion and customer connect over the next 3 years.
  • It is being implemented by MeitY Start-up Hub (MSH).
  • It will also facilitate equal matching investment by the investor/accelerator.
  • An investment of upto Rs. 40 lakh to the start-up based on current valuation and growth stage of the Start-up will be provided through selected accelerators.

 

Women In Judiciary

The Hindu

GS 2: Polity and Governance

Context:

  • Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana lamented that “very few women find representation at the top”.
  • He also admitted that even a “mere” 11% representation of women on the Bench of the Supreme Court was achieved with “great difficulty”.

About:

  • His remarks come within days of the SC Collegium, led by him, made a history by successfully recommending three women judges to the court in one go.
  • The court has four women judges now, the highest ever.
  • He refused to accept sole credit for the recent appointment of nine judges to the Supreme Court in one shot.
  • The Collegium had followed this feat by recommending a whopping 68 judges to 12 High Courts, again in one go.

Challenges:

  • A majority of women lawyers suffered within the profession and continued to face significant challenges even after they reached the top.
  • Women lacked basic amenities in court complexes.
  • Women do not have restrooms in lower courts.
  • It is difficult for them to wait for long hours in the court corridors.

 

Taliban and Mexico Drug Cartels

Indian Express

GS 3: Security

Context:

  • Taliban in Afghanistan may fuel the narcotic drug market in India and the world with help of Mexico Drug Cartels.

What are Narcotic Drugs?

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) defines narcotics as any substance that modifies the consumer’s perception, behaviour and cognition, mood or motor functioning.
  • As per an estimate, currently, more than 35 million people globally suffer from drug disorders.
  • The illicit trafficking of drugs is becoming an issue including in India.

Background of the Speculations

  • Afghanistan and Mexico might appear distant from one another on a world map and are also separated by major historical, sociological and religious differences.
  • But there are a number of similarities between Taliban and Mexican Drug Cartels as listed below:
    • Drugs as Source of Finances
      • They both are united by the fact that they are financially dependent on drug trafficking
    • Extreme Violence for Political Power and gaining Territory
      • Further, they both use extreme violence to expand their political power and control of territory.
      • Ahead of the recent elections in Mexico in June, numerous opposition candidates were threatened and killed by the cartels.
      • Cartels were also reported to buy votes more openly than ever before.
    • Transnational Network
      • Both have a transnational presence as “drug-trafficking organizations”, as highlighted by renowned experts in 2009 to the US Congress
      • The expert group has pointed out dangerous similarities that have only increased since 2009.

Way Forward for India

  • Keep a Check on Customs and Immigration Points:
    • Any country can not control the happenings of foreign nations but isolate itself by filtering the incoming goods and people.
    • India can upgrade its customs and Immigration management system to closely monitor the influx of drugs.
  • Sealing the porous Land Borders:
    • Few major areas of concern are Nepal, Myanmar and the Pakistan border.
    • Such hotspots must be identified with appropriate intelligence gathering and sealed for future infiltration.
    • Advanced border management technologies like BOLT-QT can be deployed.
  • Aware Citizens about the problems of using Psychotropic Drugs especially in Border Areas:
    • The drug market thrives because of customers.
    • If India can educate its citizens and ensure youth participation in the Drug-Free India Campaign, a lot of problems can be solved.

 

NALCO NAMASYA Mobile App

PIB

Prelims: Current events of national importance

Context:

  • National Auminium Company Ltd (NALCO), a Navratna CPSE under the Ministry of Mines, has been playing a key role in empowering the Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs).
  • It provided a modern & innovative platform ‘NALCO Micro And Small enterprise Yogayog Application’ (NAMASYA), a bi-lingual App developed exclusively for the benefit of the Company’s MSE Vendors.

About:

  • The NAMASYA App provides a platform to highlight the Company’s efforts towards development of MSEs.
  • The App empowers MSEs with required information about vendor registration process, items which can be supplied by them with technical specification, vendor development and training programmes of NALCO.
  • As a responsible Corporate and India’s leading producer and exporter of alumina and aluminium, the Company has taken several initiatives towards easing the process of doing business, especially for the MSE sector involved in mining and metal business, and furthering inclusive growth and sustainable development in its ecosystem.

 

Inspiration4

Indian Express

GS 3: Science and Technology

Context:

  • SpaceX announced that ‘Inspiration4’, its first all-civilian, non-governmental spaceflight, is on track for launch on September 15.
  • The Crew Dragon spacecraft is set to be launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida in the US. It will take a group of four private citizens into space for three days.

What is Inspiration4?

  • All four seats on the spacecraft have been purchased by US billionaire Jared Isaacman, founder of the fintech company Shift4 Payments.
  • This is a part of an effort to raise millions for the Tennessee-based St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a paediatric treatment and research facility that focuses on children’s catastrophic diseases, particularly leukaemia and other cancers.
  • The mission involves circling the Earth for three days, and then splashing down into the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Inspiration4 will orbit the Earth at 575km, higher than the International Space Station (408km) and the Hubble space telescope (547km). This will be the farthest distance travelled by a crewed mission since 2009, when astronauts last went to repair the Hubble.
  • Usually, the SpaceX module is used for travelling to the ISS, where it has to dock or join the floating laboratory. Since Inspiration4 is not going to the ISS, the docking port has been removed and has been replaced with a dome window instead.
  • This dome window will offer breath-taking views of the Earth for the four travellers. The window has been inspired by the Cupola, a module on the ISS used to make observations about our planet.

Why is the journey significant?

  • According to a report in the Independent, the journey will present an opportunity for collecting large amounts of health data that will aid in planning future crewed space missions.
  • As per the report, they will collect data on ECG (electrocardiograph) activity, movement, sleep, heart rate and rhythm, blood oxygen saturation, cabin noise and light intensity, which will help in assessing behavioural and cognitive changes over the journey.
  • The travellers will undergo balance and prescription tests just before and after their journey to assess their response to the change in gravity. Immune system function will also be monitored by collecting blood. Their organ systems will also be monitored by an AI-powered ultrasound device.
  • Along with the recent space journeys by billionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson, Inspiration4 is seen as part of an effort to open up space travel to non-professionals.

 

Outmigration from AP

The Hindu

GS 3: Security

Context:

  • The MLAs of Arunachal Pradesh representing constituencies bordering Tibetan China have formed a forum to prevent the outmigration of villagers and modify the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) to suit local needs.

Need for such a step:

  • People are migrating to urban areas within Arunachal Pradesh or beyond for livelihood. Many villages are almost abandoned today.
  • Besides, a decades-old plan of the State government to prepare border area residents as a line of defence hasn’t gone well.
  • Also, BADP was improperly implemented because of unclear guidelines.

Border Area Development Programme (BADP):

  • It was initiated in the western region during the Seventh Five-Year Plan from 1985-1990 and extended to the other regions.
  • The programme covers 456 blocks of 119 border districts in 16 States and two Union Territories abutting the international boundary.
  • Its schemes include construction of primary health centres, schools, supply of drinking water, community centres, connectivity, drainage to enable sustainable living in border areas.
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