ASPIRANTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 04 FEB 2022

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

  • Philosohper Saint Ramanujacharya

GS Paper 2:

  • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana
  • Promoting Blue Economy

GS Paper 3:

  • Saffron Bowl project

GS Paper 1

Philosohper Saint Ramanujacharya

Why in News?

The Prime Minister will inaugurate the Statue of Equality, a statue of Ramanujacharya, on the outskirts of Hyderabad, Telangana.

  • India is celebrating his 1,000th birth anniversary as the ‘Festival of Equality’, upholding the view that the world is one family, ‘vasudhaiva kutumbakam’,”

What Are the Basic Facts About Statue ? 

  • It is a 216-feet tall statue, which is made of ‘panchaloha’, a combination of five metals: gold, silver, copper, brass, and zync.
  • It is among one of the tallest metallic statues in sitting position in the world.
  • The statue is mounted on a 54-feet high base building named ‘Bhadra Vedi’. It has floors devoted for a vedic digital library and research center, ancient Indian texts, a theater, an educational gallery detailing many works of Sri Ramanujacharya.

Who was Ramanujacharya ?

  • Born in 1017 in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu, Ramanujacharya is revered as a Vedic philosopher and social reformer.
  • He was named Lakshmana at the time of his birth. He was also referred to as Ilaya Perumal which means the radiant one.
  • He traveled across India, advocating equality and social justice.
  • He revived the Bhakti movement, and his preachings inspired other Bhakti schools of thought. He is considered to be the inspiration for poets like Annamacharya, Bhakta Ramdas, Thyagaraja, Kabir, and Meerabai.
  • He is famous as the chief proponent of Vishishtadvaita subschool of Vedānta.
    • VishishtAdvaita (literally “Advaita with uniqueness; qualifications”) is a non-dualistic school of Vedanta philosophy.
    • It is non-dualism of the qualified whole, in which Brahman alone is seen as the Supreme Reality, but is characterized by multiplicity.
    • He went on to write nine scriptures known as the navaratnas, and composed numerous commentaries on Vedic scriptures.
    • Ramanuja’s most important writings include his commentary on the Vedanta Sutras (the Sri Bhasya, or “True Commentary”), and his commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita (the Gitabhasya, or “Commentary on the Gita”).
    • His other writings include the Vedartha Samgraha (“Summary of the Meaning of the Veda”), the Vedantasara (“Essence of Vedanta”), and Vedantadipa (“Lamp of Vedanta”)
    • He has also stressed the need of being in tune with nature and not to over-exploit.

Why is it called the Statue of Equality?

  • Ramanuja was an advocate of social equality among all sections of people centuries ago, and encouraged temples to open their doors to everyone irrespective of caste or position in society at a time when people of many castes were forbidden from entering them.
  • He took education to those who were deprived of it. His greatest contribution is the propagation of the concept of “vasudhaiva kutumbakam”, which translates as “all the universe is one family”.
  • He traveled across India for several decades, propagating his ideas of social equality and universal brotherhood from temple podiums.
  • He embraced the socially marginalized and condemned, and asked royal courts to treat them as equals.
  • He spoke of universal salvation through devotion to God, compassion, humility, equality, and mutual respect, which is known as Sri Vaishnavam Sampradaya.
  • Ramanujacharya liberated millions from social, cultural, gender, educational, and economic discrimination with the foundational conviction that every human is equal regardless of nationality, gender, race, caste, or creed.

GS Paper 2

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana:

Why in News?

     Recently, the Government has clarified that Aadhaar of Husbands is not mandatory under the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, PMMVY, to facilitate the inclusion of single mothers and abandoned mothers.

What is Aadhar?

  • Aadhar is a 12-digit unique identification (UID) number, which is mandated by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to all the residents of India.
  • UIDAI is a statutory authority established on 12 July 2016 by the Government of India under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, following the provisions of the Aadhaar Act 2016.
  • The UIDAI was initially set up by the Government of India in January 2009, as an attached office under the aegis of the Planning Commission

What is PMMVY?

  • It is a maternity benefit programme being implemented in all districts of the country with effect from 1st January, 2017.
  • It is a centrally sponsored scheme being executed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • Cash benefits are provided to pregnant women in their bank account directly to meet enhanced nutritional needs and partially compensate for wage loss.

What makes this Scheme Different?

  • Implementation of the scheme is closely monitored by the central and state governments through the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana – Common Application Software (PMMVY-CAS).
  • PMMVY-CAS is a web based software application that enables tracking the status of each beneficiary under the scheme, resulting in expedited, accountable and better grievance redressal.

Who are the Beneficiaries?

  • All Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM), excluding those who are in regular employment with the Central Government or the State Governments or PSUs or those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law for the time being in force.
  • All eligible Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers who have their pregnancy on or after 1st January 2017 for the first child in the family.

What are the Benefits under the Scheme?

  • Beneficiaries receive a cash benefit of Rs. 5,000 in three installments on fulfilling the following conditions:
    • Early registration of pregnancy
    • Ante-natal check-up
    • Registration of the birth of the child and completion of the first cycle of vaccination for the first living child of the family.
  • The eligible beneficiaries also receive cash incentive under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY). Thus, on an average, a woman gets Rs. 6,000.

What are the Other Schemes related to Women?

Promoting Blue Economy:

Why in News?

Recently, the union minister of science and technology and earth science said that the Blue Economy is the sixth dimension of Government of India’s Vision of New India by 2030.

  • A Draft Policy document on Blue Economy has been prepared by the Ministry Of Earth Sciences taking into consideration the reports of the expert working groups which emphasizes holistic development and growth of India’s Blue Economy.

What is India’s Vision of New India by 2030?

  • In the Union Budget of India 2019 the Finance Minister laid out the Vision 2030 while highlighting India’s transformation in the last five years.
  • India is poised to become a USD5 tn economy by 2025 and aspires to become a USD10 tn economy by 2030.
  • The dimensions of Vision-2030 outlined are as follows:
    • To create physical and social infrastructure for ten trillion dollar economy and to provide ease of living.
    • Digital India led by the youths with innumerable start-ups and million of jobs.
    • To make India pollution free by focusing on Electrical Vehicles and renewables.
    • Rural industrialisation using modern technologies to generate massive employment.
    • Clean rivers, with safe drinking water to all Indians and efficient use of water in irrigation using micro-irrigation techniques.
    • Besides scaling up Sagarmala, India’s coastline and ocean waters will power development
    • Through our space programme – Gaganyaan, India becoming the launch-pad of satellites for the World
    • Self sufficiency in food production and producing food in the most organic way.
    • A healthy India by 2030 and a distress free health care and wellness system for all. Ayushman Bharat and women participation would be an important component in it.
    • Employees working with elected Government, transforming India into Minimum Government Maximum Governance nation.

What is the Blue Economy?

  • The concept was introduced by Gunter Pauli in his 2010 book- “The Blue Economy: 10 years, 100 innovations, 100 million jobs”.
  • It is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health.
  • It advocates the greening of ocean development strategies for higher productivity and conservation of ocean’s health.
  • Blue Economy emphasizes on integration of development of the ocean economy with social inclusion, environmental sustainability, combined with innovative business models.
  • It encompasses–
    • Renewable Energy: Sustainable marine energy can play a vital role in social and economic development.
    • Fisheries: Sustainable fisheries can generate more revenue, more fish and help restore fish stocks.
    • Maritime Transport: Over 80% of international goods traded are transported by sea.
    • Tourism: Ocean and coastal tourism can bring jobs and economic growth.
    • Climate Change: Oceans are an important carbon sink (blue carbon) and help mitigate climate change.
    • Waste Management: Better waste management on land can help oceans recover.

What is the Significance of the Blue Economy?

  • High Return on Investment: According to a research commissioned by the high-level panel for a sustainable ocean economy shows that USD1 invested in key ocean activities yields five times i.e. USD5 in return, often more.
  • Synergy With SDG: It supports all of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG14 ‘life below water’.
  • Sustainable Energy: Supporting the increasing demand for renewable energy, offshore regions have tremendous potential in the form of offshore wind, waves, ocean currents including tidal currents, and thermal energy.
  • Importance For India: With an over 7,500-km-long coastline spread across nine coastal states, 12 major, and 200 minor ports, India’s blue economy supports 95% of the country’s business through transportation and contributes an estimated 4% to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

What are the Steps taken to Promote Blue Economy?

  • Deep Ocean Mission: It was launched with an intention to develop technologies to harness the living and non-living resources from the deep-oceans.
  • India-Norway Task Force on Blue Economy for Sustainable Development: It was inaugurated jointly by both the countries in 2020 to develop and follow up joint initiatives between the two countries.
  • Sagarmala Project: The Sagarmala project is the strategic initiative for port-led development through the extensive use of IT enabled services for modernization of ports.
  • O-SMART: India has an umbrella scheme by the name of O-SMART which aims at regulated use of oceans, marine resources for sustainable development.
  • Integrated Coastal Zone Management: It focuses on conservation of coastal and marine resources, and improving livelihood opportunities for coastal communities etc.
  • National Fisheries Policy: India has a National Fisheries policy for promoting ‘Blue Growth Initiative’ which focuses on sustainable utilization of fisheries wealth from marine and other aquatic resources.

Way Forward

  • With its vast maritime interests, the blue economy occupies a vital potential position in India’s economic growth.
  • It could well be the next multiplier of GDP and well-being, provided sustainability and socio-economic welfare are kept center-stage.
  • India should look to adopt the Gandhian approach of balancing economic benefits with sustainability for meeting the broader goals of growth, employment generation, equity and protection of environment.

GS Paper 3

Saffron Bowl project:

Why in News?

        North East Center for Technology Application and Reach (NECTAR) under Saffron Bowl project has identified a few locations in Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya for saffron cultivation.

  • The total cost of the whole project is Rs. 17.68 lakhs for Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya.
  • NECTAR is an autonomous body under the Department of Science & Technology (DST) , which supported a pilot project to explore the feasibility of growing saffron in the North East region of India, with the same quality and higher quantity.

What is the Reason for Extending Saffron Cultivation to the North- East?

  • Initially, Saffron production was confined to very few and specific regions of Kashmir.
  • Though the National Saffron Mission brought in several measures, the area of production was too low. There were not enough bore wells in the saffron growing regions.
  • India cultivates about 6 to 7 tonnes of saffron while the demand is 100 tonne.
  • To meet the growing demand of saffron the Ministry of Science and Technology, through the DST, is now looking at extending its cultivation to some states in the Northeast (Sikkim now, and later to Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh).
  • There is a huge similarity of climate and geographical conditions between Kashmir and few regions of Northeast.
    • In Arunachal Pradesh, there is a good growth of organic saffron with flowers. In Meghalaya, sample plantations were grown at Cherrapunji, Mawsmai and Lalingtop sites.
  • It will also diversify agriculture and provide new opportunities to the farmers in the North-East.

What is Saffron and Why is it Important?

  • Saffron:

    • Saffron is a plant whose dried stigmas (thread-like parts of the flower) are used to make saffron spice.
    • Saffron cultivation is believed to have been introduced in Kashmir by Central Asian immigrants around the 1st Century BCE.
    • It has been associated with traditional Kashmiri cuisine and represents the rich cultural heritage of the region.
    • It is a very precious and costly product.
    • In ancient Sanskrit literature, saffron is referred to as ‘bahukam’.
    • It is cultivated and harvested in the Karewa (highlands) of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Importance:
    • It rejuvenates health and is used in cosmetics and for medicinal purposes.
    • It has been associated with traditional Kashmiri cuisine and represents the rich cultural heritage of the region.

What are the Seasons and Conditions of Cultivation?

  • Season:
    • In India, saffron Corms (seeds) are cultivated during the months of June and July and at some places in August and September.
    • It starts flowering in October.

  • Conditions:
    • Altitude: Saffron grows well at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level. It needs a photoperiod (sunlight) of 12 hours.
    • Soil: It grows in many different soil types but thrives best in calcareous (soil that has calcium carbonate in abundance), humus-rich and well-drained soil with a pH between 6 and 8.
    • Climate: For saffron cultivation, we need an explicit climatological summer and winter with temperatures ranging from no more than 35 or 40 degree Celsius in summer to about –15 or –20 degree Celsius in winter.
    • Rainfall: It also requires adequate rainfall that is 1000-1500 mm per annum.

What are the Major Saffron Producing Regions in India ?

What are Other Initiatives to Promote Saffron Cultivation?

  • The National Saffron Mission was sanctioned by the central government in the year 2010 in order to extend support for creation of irrigation facilities through tube wells and sprinkler sets which would help in production of better crops in the area of saffron production.
  • Recently, the Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (CSIR-IHBT) and the Government of Himachal Pradesh, have jointly decided to increase the production of the two spices namely, Saffron and Heeng (asafoetida).
  • Under this plan, IHBT will be introducing new varieties of saffron and heeng from the exporting countries and will be standardized under Indian conditions.

Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE for Motivation and Fast Updates

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Motivational and New analysis videos

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *