1. Government issues a draft policy on Defence exports :-
The Ministry of Defence recently put out a draft on defence production and export for public feedback.
Defence Production & Export Promotion Policy (DPEPP) 2020 :- This document is to provide a focused, structured and significant thrust to defense production capabilities of the country for self-reliance and exports.
- Aim:-Achieving a manufacturing turnover of $25bn or Rs. 75,000crore, including exports of $5bn in aerospace and defence goods and services by 2025.
- Increasing share of domestic production:-In order to enhance procurement from domestic industry, it is necessary that procurement is doubled from the current Rs.70,000crore to Rs.1,40,000crore by 2025.
- Increasing Defence exports:-The policy says that defence projects have been mandated and are supported to promote export of indigenous defence equipment abroad.
- This effort would be supplemented by selected Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSU):-DPSUs would work as export promotion agencies for certain countries with earnings linked to a success fee, to promote export of defense products abroad.
- Subject to strategic considerations, domestically manufactured defence products will also be promoted through Government to Government agreements and Lines of Credit/Funding.
- Aerospace industry:-The policy has identified the opportunities in the aerospace industry in the following segments
- Aircraft build work.
- Aircraft Maintenance.
- Repair and Overhaul (MRO).
- Helicopters, engine manufacturing and MRO work.
- Line replaceable units.
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and upgrades and retrofits.
- Project Management Unit:-A Project Management Unit will also be set up for estimation of development and production lead times specifications and technologies involved.
2. Odisha working on multilingual education for two decades:
- Odisha seems to be at an advantageous position because of using mother tongue based instructions up to Class 5 which is in line with NEP policy
- The State has 62 different tribal communities including 13 particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs).
- Santhali (included in eighth schedule) is most used Tribal language in the state.
About ‘Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)’:
- PVTGs are more vulnerable among the tribal groups.
- They have declining or stagnant population, low level of literacy, pre-agricultural level of technology and are economically backward.
- They generally inhabit remote localities having poor infrastructure and administrative support.
- PVTG’s are highest in Odisha.
3. State needs help from the centre in order to combat Locust attack:-
Why in news?
Rajasthan government asked help from the centre (central assistance) to deal with Locust problem.
The Locust Warning Organization has also warned that this year locust attack is one of the worst desert locust attacks in decades.
- Swarms of desert locusts entered western India from Pakistan and destroyed crops in many states such as Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh (UP), and Madhya Pradesh.
Impact of Locust Attack:-
- Affecting Food Security:
- Increase of locust breeding will have a detrimental effect on rice, maize and sorghum.
- The Food and Agriculture Organization has warned that the locust attack could lead to a major threat to food security.
- Affecting Farmers: Livelihoods of farmers may be devastated due to crop damage done by locust and would also affect the agricultural supply chain.
- Affecting Urban Areas: The desert locusts have been invading green spaces in urban areas.
They may affect day-to-day transactions as supply chain gets disrupted.
- The effects of locust in rural areas may aggravate, as the national lockdown has made the availability and transportation of pesticide difficult.
Relation between Climate Change and Swarm of Locust:-There are two meteorological drivers behind the current locust attack in India:
- One, unseasonal heavy rains in the spring-breeding tracts in Arabian Peninsula in March-April.
- Two, strong westerly winds from the Arabian peninsula to India.
- According to meteorologists, a differential pattern of warming in the Indian Ocean (Indian-ocean dipole) may be a trigger.
Measures needs to be taken:-
- Immediate Measure: A proactive control of locust attack through aerial spraying of the optimum quantity of insecticides in all potential breeding sites is required, along with continuous monitoring of the crops during the ensuing Kharif season.
- Strengthening Research Framework for Climate Change: Due to the emergence of new dimensions of climate change, it is important that India puts in more funds to predict the course of the present global environmental changes to understand the sources, consequences, and formulate national responses.
- Strengthening Decentralization: There is a need to strengthen disaster management framework at the local level as highlighted by the Fourteenth Finance Commission report and Disaster Management Act, 2005.
- Regional Cooperation: There is a need for collective regional efforts, as these locusts usually breed in the dry areas of Eastern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula and enter finally to India.
4. MGNREGS running out of funds:-
- Recent study showed that almost 50% of allocated MGNREGS funds used.
- A number of gram panchayats in vulnerable areas have already exhausted their funds for the scheme.
About MGNREGS:- The local government will have to legally provide at least 100 days for unskilled labor. The scheme was introduced as a social measure that guarantees “the right to work”.
- Creation of durable assets in rural areas such as wells, ponds, roads and canals.
- Reduce urban migration from rural areas.
- Job seeker has to complete 18 years of age at the time of application.
- The applicant must be part of a local household (i.e. application must be made with local Gram Panchayat).
- The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD), Government of India is monitoring the entire implementation of this scheme in association with state governments.
5. Rakhis tied to trees in Aravallis:-
Why in news?
Some residents, tied rakhi to trees in Aravalis which expresses their love and care for the Aravalis.
- Desert Expansion:-The deforestation of the Aravalli range leads to the expansion of the Thar Desert towards Delhi and Haryana.
- Groundwater scarcity:-High levels of natural cracks and fissures in the Aravali hills make this mountain range a superior zone for recharging groundwater, present which is in the red zone, ground water reserviors are under severe strain.
Action taken for conservation of Aravalis:- The degradation of the Aravalis threatens National Capital Region’s water security.
- The National Conservation Zone (NCZ), as defined in the Delhi NCR Regional Plan 2021, covers the entire Aravalli range.
- It includes its forests, water bodies and groundwater recharge areas.
- In this zone, construction is allowed only on 0.5% of the area and that too only for regional parks and sanctuaries.
- Construction for commercial, residential, tourism and real estate purposes is strictly barred.