Facts In News

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    Polity and Governance

    Common Services Centres (CSC) Network

    Syllabus: GS 2/Government Policies & Interventions

    In News 

    • Recently, the Common Services Centres (CSC) received approvals to manage and operate Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) in rural areas.

    About Common Services Centres (CSC)

    • It is a special purpose vehicle of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
    • It is conceptualized as Information and Communications Technology(ICT) enabled front end service delivery points for delivery of Government, Social and Private Sector services in the areas of agriculture, health, education etc.
      •  It also aims to provide access to information, backed with relevant infrastructure and end-to-end services that would allow rural populations the opportunities to enhance their quality of life.
    • Management: It is managed by Local unemployed, educated youth providing opportunities for direct and indirect employment.
    • Other services: 
    • The CSCs have an extensive network of village-level entrepreneurs (VLEs) who run and operate over 2.5 lakh centres across India. 
    • It is easier to use CSCs to do the bulk of the work such as a collection of documents, photographs and other details necessary for the passport process as well as the initial non-police verification.
    • Over the past three years, CSCs have tied up with partners, both public and private sector, across domains by leveraging their presence across the country.
      • Tata Motors signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen its commercial vehicle reach in rural India. 
      • It has also tied up with many FMCG companies such as PepsiCo, Coca Cola, Nestle, Tata Consumer Products, Shahi Masala, Adhar Foods, and Unibic Foods.

    Source : IE

     

    Science and Technology

    Pollen Calendar

    Syllabus: GS 3/Developments, Applications & Effects on Everyday Life

    In News 

    • Recently, Researchers from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) and Panjab University created a pollen calendar for Chandigarh.

    What is a Pollen Calendar?

    • Pollen calendars represent the time dynamics of airborne pollen present in a particular geographical area. They yield readily accessible visual details about various airborne pollen present throughout the year in a single picture.
    • Pollen calendars are location-specific, with concentrations strongly tied to the flora found in the area.
    • Instances of Usage: 
      • Europe, UK and the US are using regional pollen calendars in a big way to prevent and diagnose allergic rhinitis/hay fever and predict the timing and severity of the pollen season.
    • Benefits of pollen calendar:
      • Pollen grains are male biological structures with the primary role of fertilisation, but when inhaled by humans, they may strain the respiratory system and cause allergies.
        • Pollen found suspended in air can cause widespread upper respiratory tract and nasobronchial allergy with manifestations like asthma, seasonal rhinitis, and bronchial irritation.
      • A pollen calendar provides a clear understanding for clinicians, as well as people with allergies to identify the potential allergy triggers and help to limit their exposure during high pollen load season.

    Source: IE

     

    Indian Economy

    RBI Extend Tokenisation

    Syllabus: GS 3/Indian Economy & Related Issues

    In News 

    • Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) directed that no entity or merchant, other than card issuers and card networks, should store card details — or card-on-file (CoF) — from January 1, 2022. 
      • Simultaneously, it has also extended the tokenisation of CoF by card issuers.

    Card-on-file (CoF)

    • A CoF transaction is a transaction where a cardholder has authorised a merchant to store the cardholder’s Mastercard or Visa payment details. 
    • The cardholder then authorises that same merchant to bill the cardholder’s stored Mastercard or Visa account.

    Other announcements 

    • RBI also decided to extend the scope of tokenisation to include consumer devices – laptops, desktops, wearables (wristwatches and bands) and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
      • The facility was available only for mobile phones and tablets of interested cardholders. All other provisions of the circular will continue to be applicable.

    What is Tokenisation?

    • Tokenisation refers to the replacement of actual card details with an alternate code called the “token”, which will be unique for a combination of card, token requestor (the entity which accepts a request from the customer for tokenisation of a card and passes it on to the card network to issue a corresponding token) and device. 
    • A tokenised card transaction is considered safer as the actual card details are not shared with the merchant during transaction processing.

    Benefits and Usage 

    • It reduces the frauds that occur by sharing card details like card numbers and CVV. 
    • The token is used to perform card transactions in contactless mode at point-of-sale terminals, quick response and code payments.

    Source: LM

     

    Indian Polity

    Right to Sit

    Syllabus: GS2/ Indian Polity

    In News

    • Tamil Nadu introduces a bill in the assembly for shops to provide seating facilities to their employees. 
    • The Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments (Amendment) Act, 2021, is inspired by a Kerala bill that was first tabled in July 2018 before it became law in January 2019. 

    Need

    • The problems faced by members of Tamil Nadu’s workforce in industries like jewellery and textiles have been widely reported in recent years.
    • Workers were being forced to stand throughout their daily 10-12 hour shifts and not being allowed timely toilet breaks.
    • Even leaning against a wall was punished. They have varicose veins and joint pain from standing.

    Highlights of the Bill

    • The bill mandates for every premises of establishments to have suitable seating arrangements for all employees so that they may take advantage of any opportunity to sit in the course of their work.

    Significance

    • It would benefit thousands of employees of large and small establishments, particularly those working in textile and jewellery showrooms.

    Conclusion

    • The Right to Sit is a crucial step towards the state’s part to make provisions for just and human conditions at work as enshrined under Article 42 of the Indian Constitution (DPSP). 

     

    Source: TH

     

    Biodiversity & Environment

    Dugong Conservation Reserve

    Syllabus: GS3/ Species In News

    In News

    • Recently, the Tamil Nadu government announced India’s first conservation reserve for Dugongs in Palk Bay.
      • The proposed conservation area has the highest concentration of dugongs in the country.

    About Dugong 

    • Also called the Sea Cow.
    • In an interesting incident, Christopher Colombus mistook them as sea mermaids.
    • It is a herbivorous mammal
    • They live in groups, grazing on seagrass and coming to the surface to breathe.
    • LifeSpan: 70 Years or more
    • They are found in over 30 countries. (Not endemic to India)
    • In India, they are seen in the Gulf of Mannar, Gulf of Kutch, Palk Bay, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
      • Australia has the highest Dugong population due to coral reefs.
    • Conservation Status:
      • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Vulnerable 
      • CITES Appendix I
      • Wildlife Protection Act: Schedule 1
    • Threats:
      • The loss of seagrass habitats
      • Water pollution
      • Degradation of the coastal ecosystem due to developmental activities. 
      • Accidental entanglement in fishing nets and collision with boats, trawlers.
      • Poached for meat

    Conservation Efforts

    • Dugong and Seagrass GrassConservation Project: By Global Economic Facility & UNEP for eight nations in the Indo-Pacific excluding India.
    • MoUs by UNEP & Conservation of Migratory Species.

    Way Forward for Conservation

    • Banning trawling and gill nets in the area.
    • Awareness programmes 
    • Small appreciation awards to fishermen for releasing dugongs.
    • Regular Patrols and Inspections by fisheries and forest departments

    Source: IE