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Economy

Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP)

Why in news?

  • Review meeting of World Bank loan assisted “Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP)” programme was held.

SANKALP programme:

  • SANKALP is an outcome-oriented centrally sponsored programme of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) with a special focus on decentralised planning and quality improvement.
  • It focuses on the overall skilling ecosystem covering both Central and State agencies.
  • SANKALP aims to implement the mandate of the National Skill Development Mission (NSDM).
 
  • Under SANKALP four key result areas have been identified: (i) Institutional Strengthening(at National, State & District level); (ii) Quality Assurance Quality Assurance of skill development programs; (iii) Inclusion of marginalised population in skill development; and (iv) Expanding Skills through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).

The main objectives of the project are:

  • Creating convergence among all skill training activities, both State-led and Government of India funded, at the state level;
  • Improving quality of skill development programs through enablers such as building a pool of quality trainers and assessors, developing model curriculum and content, and standardizing assessment and certification;
  • Establishing robust monitoring and evaluation system for skill training programs;
  • Providing access to skill training opportunities to the disadvantaged sections; and
  • Creating industry led and demand driven skill training capacity.

Related Information Plus

Skills Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE):

  • It is a World Bank assisted-Government of India project with the objective of improving the relevance and efficiency of skills training provided through Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and apprenticeships. 
  • The schemes aim to develop a robust mechanism for delivering quality skill development training by strengthening institutions such as State Skill Development Missions (SSDMs), National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), Sector Skill Councils (SSCs), ITIs and National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) etc.
  • The schemes shall support universalization of National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) including National Quality Assurance Framework (NQAF) across the skill development schemes of central and state governments thus ensuring standardization in skill delivery, content and training output. 

It is a Central Sector Scheme (CSS) covering the following areas:

  • Improved performance of ITI.
  • Increased Capacities of State Governments to support ITIs and Apprenticeship Training
  • Improved Teaching and Learning.
  • Improved and Broadened Apprenticeship Training.
Pashmina Products

Why in news?

  • Pashmina Products Receive BIS Certification.

Changthangi or Pashmina goat:

  • The Changthangi or Pashmina goat, is a special breed of goat indigenous to the high altitude regions of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • They are raised for ultra-fine cashmere wool, known as Pashmina once woven.
  • The Textiles are handspun and were first woven in Kashmir. The Changthangi goat grows a thick, warn undercoat which is the source of Kashmir Pashmina wool – the world’s finest cashmere measuring between 12-15 microns in fiber thickness.
 
  • These goats are generally domesticated and reared by nomadic communities called the Changpa in the Changthang region of Greater Ladakh.
  • The Changthangi goats have revitalized the economy of Changthang, Leh and Ladakh region.

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS):

  • BIS is the National Standard Body of India established under the BIS Act 2016 (The Act replaced Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986) for the harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • BIS has been providing traceability and tangibility benefits to the national economy in a number of ways – providing safe reliable quality goods; minimizing health hazards to consumers; promoting exports and imports substitute; control over proliferation of varieties etc. through standardization, certification and testing.
  • Works under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.

Science & technology

E-cigarettes

Why in news?

  • The Bombay High Court stayed the State government’s action against e-cigarettes and said it will determine if e-cigarettes fall under the definition of drugs.

E-cigarettes:

  • ENDS includes a battery, an atomiser and a cartridge, which contains liquid nicotine, propylene glycol and flavours to attract kids and youth.
  • They heat a liquid to generate a nicotine-containing aerosol, instead of burning tobacco, they do not produce toxic tars. 
  • At high temperatures, e-cigarettes produce carcinogens such as formaldehyde, although these are fewer in number compared to regular cigarettes. They also increase the odds of lung disease and myocardial infarction, but to a lesser extent than normal cigarettes do.
  • Punjab was the first Indian State to declare ENDS as unapproved under the Drugs and Cosmetics (D&C) Act in 2013.
  • Presently, more States, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Jharkhand, have formally declared ENDS as unapproved products, though the D&C Act is applicable pan-India and Haryana booked violators even without a formal declaration. 
  • E-cigarettes are not currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a quit smoking aid.

Harmful effects:

  • “Use of e-cigarettes has documented adverse effects on humans which include DNA damage; carcinogenesis; cellular, molecular and immunological toxicity; respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological disorders and adverse impact on foetal development and pregnancy,’’.
  • E-cigarette use adversely affects the cardiovascular system, impairs respiratory immune cell function and airways in a way similar to cigarette smoking and is responsible for severe respiratory disease. It also poses risk to foetus, infant, and child brain development.
 
 Kala-azar

Why in news?

  • Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad have been able to achieve controlled and sustained release of the drug that can also be used for treating kala-azar.

Kala-azar:

  • Kala-azar also known as black fever is caused by the leishmania parasite which is transmitted by the bites from female sandflies.
  • It is characterized by irregular bouts of fever, substantial weight loss, swelling of the spleen and liver, and anaemia.
  • India accounts for half the global burden of Kala-azar disease.
  • It belongs to Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) family of diseases which affect poorest populations.
  • Elimination of Kala azar is defined as reducing annual incidence of disease to less than 1 case per 10,000 people at the sub-district level.
  • It is endemic to Indian subcontinent in 119 districts in four countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal).
  • It is second-largest parasitic killer in world after Malaria.

CURRENT AFFAIRS CAPSULES:

Canine Distemper Virus (CDV)
  • Canine distemper is a contagious and serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of puppies and dogs.
  • It can be transmitted from CDV-infected dogs living in and around wildlife sanctuaries.

International relation

RCEP

Why in news?

  • India Participates in 8th RCEP Inter-Sessional Ministerial Meeting in Beijing.
  • India has told China that the proposed mega free trade agreement RCEP should address the causes of high trade imbalances among the member countries.

RCEP:

  • The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is a mega regional free trade agreement being negotiated amongst 16 countries.
  • It aims to cover goods, services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property rights.
  • The RCEP bloc comprises 10 ASEAN group members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam), and their trade partners India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
  • India registered a trade deficit in 2018-19 with 11 RCEP member countries of the 16 nations that have been negotiating a mega trade pact since November 2012.
  • RECP trade agreement would cover 47.4% of the global population, 32.2% of the global economy, 29.1% of global trade, and 32.5% of global investment flows in 2018.

Environment

Ranthambhore National Park 
  • Location - Rajasthan
  • Ranthambore national park was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1957 and in 1974 it gained the protection of "Project Tiger". It got its status of a National Park in 1981.

Map Aidede Programme

Mountain passes of Himachal Pradesh
  • Shingo La
  • Shipki La
  • Debsa Pass
  • Pin Parbati Pass
  • Takling La
  • Parang La
  • Jalori Pass 

PREVIOUS YEAR QUESTION

  1. Consider the following statements:
  2. Natural gas occurs in the Gondwana beds.
  3. Mica occurs in abundance in Kodarma.
  4. Dharwars are famous for petroleum.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • 1 and 2 (b)2 only
  • 2 and 3 (d) None