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Ganga Quest 2019

Why in news?

Union Minister for Jal Shakti gives away Ganga Quest 2019 Awards.

About the news

  • Ganga Praharis were also felicitated during the event.

About Ganga Quest 2019

  • It is a month-long online quiz organized for awareness and knowledge dissemination about river Ganga.
  • The quiz was launched on 22nd April 2019 (World Earth Day) and ended on 22nd May, 2019 (World Biodiversity Day).
  • It was conducted by NMCG in partnership with Wild Life Institute of India, Tree Craze foundation, GIZ and VA Tech WABAG.
  • Schools under CBSE Board, Navodaya Vidyalayas and other schools and academic institutions participated actively in the quiz competition.
  • The competition was done for four categories - upto class 8, class 8-10, class 11-12 and open for all.

About Ganga Prahari                                                       

  • Ganga Praharis are self-motivated and trained volunteers from among the local communities working for biodiversity conservation and cleanliness of the Ganga River with the ultimate objectives of restoring the Nirmal and Aviral Dhara.
  • The National Mission for Clean Ganga-Wildlife Institute of India (NMCG-WII) project ‘
 
  • Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation’ is involving members of the local community in the five Ganga states (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal) as guardians of the river known as Ganga Praharis.
  • The aim of this initiative is to establish a motivated cadre of “Ganga Prahari” to support the local level institutions and monitor the quality of the natural resources of the river by mobilizing local communities at the grassroots level.
  • These ‘Praharis’ have to be above 18 years of age on the date of joining the project.
National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (2018-2023)

Why in news?

Workshops on prevention of drug use to be held for students by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment under the five-year National action plan for drug demand reduction (2018-23).

About the plan

  • It is five year national plan to address the problem of drug and substance abuse in the country,
  • The National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (2018-2023) aims to employ a multi-pronged strategy involving education, de-addiction and rehabilitation of affected individuals and their families to address the issue.
  • The objective of the NAPDDR is to create awareness and educate people about the ill-effects of drugs abuse on the individual, family, workplace and the society at large in order to integrate them back into the society.
  • The plan focuses on preventive education, awareness generation, counselling, treatment and rehabilitation of drug-dependent people, besides training and capacity-building of service providers through collaborative efforts of the Centre, state and NGOs.

Planned Measures

  • Coordination with implementing agencies for controlling sale of sedatives, painkillers and muscle relaxant drugs.
  • Checking online sale of drugs by stringent monitoring by cyber cell under the national action plan.
  • Holding awareness generation programmes at schools, colleges, universities, workplaces.
  • Awareness generation through social, print, digital and online media, and engagement of celebrities.
  • Strengthening the national toll-free helpline for drug prevention.
  • Database on substance use will be maintained.
  • State level action plan for ensuring facility of de-addiction centres in each district.
  • Ensure availability of treatment for drug dependents in prisons, juvenile homes and children homes.
  • The ministry, in collaboration with the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) under the AIIMS, is also conducting a national survey on the extent and pattern of substance abuse.
National Testing Agency

Why in news?

National Testing Agency declares result of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (UG) – 2019.

About NTA

  • National Testing Agency (NTA) has been established as a premier, specialist, autonomous and self-sustained testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for admission/fellowship in higher educational institutions.
  • It is to assess competence of candidates for admissions and recruitment matching with research based international standards, efficiency, transparency and error free delivery.
  • The National Testing Agency is entrusted to address all such issues using best in every field, from test preparation, to test delivery and to test marking.
  • It has been approved by the Union Council of Ministers and established in November 2017.
  • NTA will be holding
  • The Joint Entrance Examination – Main (JEE Main) twice a year
  • The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET)
 
  • National Eligibility Test (NET)
  • Common Management Admission Test (CMAT)
  • Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT)

Organisation

  • The NTA will be chaired by an eminent educationist who will be appointed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • There will be a Board of Governors comprising members from user institutions.
  • The CEO will be Director General (DG) appointed by Government and will be assisted by 9 verticals of academicians and experts.
  • The administration of the NTA has been entrusted to the Governing Body.
 

Economy

Fiscal Performance Index (FPI)

Why in news?

Industry body CII has come out with a 'Fiscal Performance Index' to assess quality of budgets presented by the Centre and state governments.

About the index

  • The composite Fiscal Performance Index (FPI) developed by CII is an innovative tool using multiple indicators to examine quality of Budgets at the Central and State levels.
  • The index has been constructed using UNDP's Human Development Index methodology.
  • The proposed composite index of fiscal performance comprises six components for holistic assessment of the quality of government budgets.
  1. Quality of revenue expenditure
  2. Quality of capital expenditure
  3. Quality of revenue
  4. Degree of fiscal prudence I: fiscal deficit to GDP
  5. Degree of fiscal prudence II: revenue deficit to GDP
  6. Debt index
  • As per the new index, expenditure on infrastructure, education, healthcare and other social sectors can be considered beneficial for economic growth.

About CII

  • CII is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organization, playing a proactive role in India's development process.
  • Founded in 1895, India's premier business association has members, from the private as well as public sectors, including SMEs and MNCs.
  • It works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the development of India, partnering industry, Government, and civil society, through advisory and consultative processes.
  • CII works with the Government on policy issues.
  • It assists industry to identify and execute corporate citizenship programmes.
  • The CII Theme for 2019-20 is ‘Competitiveness of India Inc./India@75: Forging Ahead’.
Economic Census

Why in news?

The statistics ministry has decided to use mobile phone application for conducting 7th economic census beginning next month, which will speed up the process of data collection and analysis.

About the census

  • Indian economic census is the census of the Indian economy through counting all entrepreneurial units in the country which involved in any economic activities of either agricultural or non-agricultural sector which engaged in production and/or distribution of goods and/or services not for
 
  • the sole purpose of own consumption.
  • It provides detailed information on operational and other characteristics such as number of establishments, number of persons employed, source of finance, type of ownership etc.
  • These information used for micro level/ decentralized planning and to assess contribution of various sectors of the economy in the gross domestic product (GDP).
  • The census will provide insights of all economic activities and ownership patterns of businesses across the country.

Who conducts the census?

  • The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) partnered with CSC e-Governance services India Ltd (CSC SPV) to conduct the census.
  • In 1976, Government of India launched a plan scheme called Economic Census and Surveys.
  • In 1977 Central Statistical Organisation conducted First economic census in collaboration with the Directorate of Economics & Statistics (DES) in the States/Union Territories.

Science and Technology

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)

Why in news?

It has become imperative that every pregnant woman be screened for high blood glucose even if no symptoms are exhibited.

About the news

  • It is essential to prevent children from becoming predisposed to diabetes or other non-communicable diseases (NCD).
  • The aim should be to target keeping the new born’s birth weight appropriate for the gestational age (2.5-3.5 kg) to prevent the offspring developing NCD in the future.

About GDM

  • It is defined as any degree of glucose intolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy.
  • It increases the risk to pregnant women and newborns and leads to poor pregnancy outcomes.
  • It holds a longer-term risk of obesity and glucose intolerance in offspring.
  • Mothers with GDM have an excess of hypertensive disorders during pregnancy and a high risk of diabetes mellitus thereafter.
  • Higher glucose transfer to the foetus, when the mother has high blood sugar, stimulates the foetal pancreatic cells to start secreting insulin earlier and in higher quantities.
  • Once initiated, it becomes self-perpetuating.
  • Diagnosing and treating GDM can reduce perinatal complications.
  • Nutritional management is the cornerstone of treatment.
  • Insulin, glyburide and metformin can be used to intensify treatment.

Current Affair Capsules

Equator Prize
  • The Equator Prize is awarded biennially to recognize community efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and is organized by the Equator Initiative within the United Nations Development Programme.
  • UNDP announces six women from Deccan Development Society (DDS) groups as winner of ‘Equator Prize’.
Confetti
  • It is the first interactive game show launched by the Social networking giant Facebook.
Kharga Prahar
  • It is a major training exercise conducted by the Indian Army in Punjab.

The Indian Army’s II Corps, based in Ambala is known as Kharga Corps.

MAP AIDED PROGRAM

National Parks of Rajasthan
  • Darrah National Park ( Mukundra hills)
  • Desert National Park (great Indian Bustard)
  • Keoladeo National Park
  • Ranthambore National Park
  • Sariska Tiger Reserve

Previous Year Questions Revision Series (Pqrs)

  1. Consider the following statements:
  2. In India, the Himalayas are spread over five States only.
  3. Western Ghats are spread over five States only.
  4. Pulicat Lake is spread over two States only.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only                 (b) 3 only                     (c) 2 and 3 only           (d) 1 and 3 only