UPSC Prelims News of 29 December 2022
Context: The ‘Dhanu Yatra’ festival, the largest open-air theatre festival began at Bargarh in Odisha.
About Dhanu Yatra:
- Dhanu Yatra is an eleven day long annual open-air theatre festival stretching more than 5 square Km and comprising a village and a town in between.
- Virtually every villager has a role to play in the theatre festival and for the entire eleven days.
- The plays in the festival start with the dethroning of Emperor Ugrasen of Mathura by angry Kansa over his sister Devaki’s marriage with Vasudev.
- The festival concludes with the death of demon king Kansa and restoration of the throne to Ugrasen.
- Dhanu Yatra was started after the harvesting season of the year 1947-48, immediately after independence of India as a reflection of joyous atmosphere in the society.
- Since then it is performed every year at the end of the harvesting of paddy.
- During the festival, Bargarh town and the adjacent areas become the kingdom of Kansa – ‘The Mathura Nagari’.
- The river Jeera flowing near Bargarh becomes river Jamuna and ‘Ambapali’ on the other side of the river becomes ‘Gopapura’.
- King Kansa is the central attraction of the Dhanu Yatra and people of Bargarh oblige what King Kansa orders during the course of the festival.
Context: Inactivated low pathogenic avian influenza (H9N2) vaccine technology for chickens has been transferred to private entities.
More on the News:
- Until now, India had no vaccine available for Avian Influenza despite periodic outbreaks across the country.
- The indigenously developed inactivated H9N2 vaccine for poultry uses a local isolate, thereby ensuring that the vaccine is made from the local strain and not by importing any exotic strain.
- H9N2 is a subtype of the influenza A virus, which causes human influenza as well as bird flu.
- They are found worldwide in wild birds and are endemic in poultry in many areas.
- Implications: The infection causes comorbidity in poultry flocks, leading to huge economic losses to poultry farmers.
- The disease usually has a low mortality rate (up to 6 percent), but can increase significantly in the presence of other infections.
- The infection could also lead to an irreversible egg production drop in layer birds and a performance loss in broilers.
- Human infection: Human infections are rare and also under-reported due to typically mild symptoms.
Social Stock Exchange
Context: Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) approved the introduction of the Social Stock Exchange (SSE) as a separate segment of BSE.
- Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 was invoked by the government, to publish a gazette notification announcing a new security as “zero coupon zero principal“.
- SEBI in July 2022, notified rules for Social Stock Exchange (SSE) to provide social enterprises with an additional avenue to raise funds.
- On December 19, the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE India) received an in-principle approval from the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to set-up SSE as a separate segment.
About Social Stock Exchange (SSE)
- SSE is meant to serve the private and non-profit sectors and will help them in raising funds through the exchange.
- Social enterprises eligible to participate in the SSE will be Not-for-Profit organisations (NPOs) and for-profit social enterprises.
- Objective: Unlocking large pools of social capital, and encourage blended finance structures, so that conventional capital can partner with social capital to address the urgent challenges of COVID-19.
- Eligible Activities:
- Eradicating hunger poverty, malnutrition and inequality
- Promoting healthcare, supporting education, employability and livelihoods
- Gender equality empowerment of women and LGBTQIA communities
- Supporting incubators of social enterprise.
- Minimum Requirement: SEBI said that NPO needs to be registered as a charitable trust and should be registered for at least three years;
- Must have spent at least Rs 50 lakh annually in the past financial year;
- Should have received a funding of at least Rs 10 lakh in the past financial year.
- Transparency: NPOs need to make disclosure of financial statements for last three financial years, details of past social impact and risks that they see to its work and how it proposes to mitigate these.
- Minimum issue size of Rs 1 crore and a minimum application size for subscription of Rs 2 lakh are currently required for SSE.
- Instruments NPOs offer on SSEs: Such as zero-coupon-zero-principal bonds, social venture funds, and mutual funds, providing a wide option to “donor” investors looking to invest with an objective to create a social impact.
- Ineligible from SSE: Corporate foundations, political or religious organisations or activities, professional or trade associations, infrastructure companies, and housing companies will not be eligible to be identified as social enterprises.
eHRMS 2.0 Portal
Context: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh has launched revamped Probity Portal, e-HRMS 2.0 Portal and Mobile Application of iGoT Karmayogi Portal.
About the e-HRMS 2.0 Portal
- e-HRMS 2.0 is an online portal to provide services to the employees of Central Secretariat Service (CSS), Central Secretariat Stenographers’ Service (CSSS) and Central Secretariat Clerical Service (CSCS).
- Why e-HRMS 2.0?
- The earlier iteration of the e-HRMS was limited in scope, where employees could avail limited services and it was not connected with other HR applications.
- As a result, the employees were unable to get full benefits of digital service deliveries and seamless connection with HR applications and initiatives of the Govt.
- Features: The revamped e-HRMS 2.0 Portal will provide the following services in a digital mode to the employees – Transfers (Rotation/Mutual), Deputation, APAR, IPR, iGOT Trainings, Vigilance Status, Deputation Opportunities, Service Book and other basic HR Services like Leave, Tour, Reimbursements etc.
- The revamped e-HRMS 2.0 is the first digital system in Govt. of India to provide end-to-end HR Services.
- With the launch of this system, DoP&T will be moving towards total digitization of HR Services.
- Revamped e-HRMS 2.0 will save several thousand man-hours and tonnes of printing paper. This will also go a long way in improving employee satisfaction, promoting ease of doing/processing HR work and enhancing productivity and transparency in administrative functioning.
About the iGoT Karmayogi Portal
- The iGOT Karmayogi platform is envisaged as a democratized, competency driven solution space that all of the government can access to enhance their execution capabilities.
- iGOT-Karmayogi mobile app and the platform will allow all government servants, at multiple levels, to undergo continuous training, depending on their domain areas.
- The app and the platform will provide anytime-anywhere-any-device learning to train about two crore users which was hitherto not achievable through traditional measures.