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Weekly PIB Analysis | PIB News Analysis 2nd Week August 2022

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Swadesh Darshan Scheme (SDS)

  • Details:
    • The Ministry of Tourism under its ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme provides financial assistance to State Governments/Union Territory (UT) Administrations/Central Agencies etc. for the development of tourism infrastructure in the country.
    • The projects under this scheme are sanctioned subject to availability of funds, submission of suitable Detailed Project Reports (DPR), adherence to scheme guidelines and utilisation of funds released earlier, etc. The Ministry of Tourism under its Swadesh Darshan Scheme (SDS) has sanctioned 10 projects under the theme of Coastal Circuit.
    • The Ministry of Tourism has now revamped its Swadesh Darshan scheme as Swadesh Darshan 2.0 (SD2.0) in order to develop sustainable and responsible destination centric approach with the following objectives:
      • To enhance the contribution of tourism to the local economies.
      • To create jobs including self-employment for local communities.
      • To enhance the skills of local youth in tourism and hospitality.
      • To increase private sector investment in tourism and hospitality.
      • To preserve and enhance the local cultural and natural resources.

SMILE – 75

  • Context: Comprehensive rehabilitation of the persons engaged in the act of begging.
  • Details:
    • In the spirit of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India, has identified 75 Municipal Corporations to implement comprehensive rehabilitation of persons engaged in the act of begging under “SMILE: Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise” named as “SMILE–75 Initiative”.
    • Under the SMILE-75 initiative, seventy-five Municipal Corporations in collaboration with NGOs and other stakeholders will cover several comprehensive welfare measures for persons who are engaged in the act of begging with a focus extensively on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, awareness, education, skill development, economic linkages and convergence with other Government welfare programmes, etc.

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    • The Government of India has recognised the persistent problem of destitution and beggary and formulated a comprehensive scheme of SMILE (Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise) which includes a sub-scheme of comprehensive rehabilitation for persons engaged in begging that covers identification, rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, and education, skill development for a decent job and self-employment/entrepreneurship.

ECI hosts virtual Asian Regional Forum Meet

  • Details:
    • The meet was a precursor to the “Summit for Electoral Democracy” to be hosted by the National Electoral Institute of Mexico in September 2022.
    • Chief Election Commissioner of India, Shri Rajiv Kumar in his keynote address said that democracy and democratic institutions flourish only when all groups are fully represented. Democracy is meaningful when it is inclusive, accessible and participative (despite the social, political and economic differences).
    • CEC urged all Election Management Bodies (EMBs) for continuous self-evaluation and strengthening of their systems, to meet the rising expectations from citizens and deal with the emerging challenges during the electoral process. He added that the framework for assessment and so-called ranking of democracies by global evaluating agencies should be objective and contextual, factoring in the magnitude, socio, cultural & geographical context in which each country and EMB functions.
    • CEC said that the Commission undertook a far-sighted reform during the Covid-19 period by introducing the Postal Ballot facility for 80+ senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PwD) and those who were COVID positive/suspect. CEC said that there is scope to explore the possibilities of remote voting for the inclusion of migrant voters as well as marginalised voters to end barriers in the electoral processes more effectively.
    • The initiatives taken by the Election Commission of India over the years to ensure “No Voter is Left Behind” include ‘Basic Minimum Facilities’ at polling stations, all-women managed polling stations, separate queues & toilets for women, postal ballot facility, Braille EPIC, wheelchair facility with volunteers, transport to and from the polling station, a mobile app for Persons with Disabilities, recognizing transgender as the third gender and creating an Accessibility Division within ECI among others.
    • Representatives from Election Management Bodies of Mexico, Mauritius, Philippines, Nepal, Uzbekistan, Maldives, International IDEA, Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) and International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) participated in the meet.
    • The Asian Regional Forum (ARF) meet had two sessions – the first session on ‘Inclusive Elections’ and the second session on ‘Accessible Elections’.

National Intellectual Property Awareness Mission (NIPAM)

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  • Details:
    • NIPAM has achieved the target of imparting Intellectual Property (IP) awareness and basic training to 1 million students covering 3662 educational institutions in 28 states and 7 Union Territories.
  • About:
    • NIPAM was launched on 8th Dec 2021 as a part of the “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” celebrations.
    • It is a flagship programme to impart Intellectual Property (IP) awareness and basic training.
    • The program is being implemented by the Intellectual Property Office, the Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDTM), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

World Elephant Day

  • About World Elephant Day:
    • The day has been observed every year since 2012 to spread awareness of the significance of elephants and their conservation.
    • It was started by a Thailand-based organization, Elephant Reintroduction Foundation in collaboration with Canadian filmmaker Patricia Sims.
    • The day aims at urging people and organizations to work to stop the illegal poaching and trade of elephant ivory and other wildlife products, protect wild elephant habitats, and provide sanctuaries and alternative habitats for domestic elephants to live freely.

World Sanskrit Day

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  • Context: World Sanskrit Day 2022 was observed on August 12.
  • World Sanskrit Day:
    • It is an annual observance aimed at the revival and maintenance of the ancient Sanskrit language.
    • It is celebrated on Shraavana Poornima, which is the full moon day of the Shraavana month in the Hindu calendar.
    • The day also coincides with the festival of Raksha Bandhan.
    • The day is celebrated since 1969 when the Union Ministry of Education issued instructions to celebrate Sanskrit Day at the Central and State levels in India.
  • On World Sanskrit Day, events such as speeches, seminars, verses recitation competitions, etc. are conducted all over the country.

India adds 11 more wetlands to the list of Ramsar Sites

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  • Context: India adds 11 more Ramsar Sites making the total number of sites 75 in 75th year of Independence.
  • Details:
    • The new sites included in the Ramsar list can be divided into – Four sites in Tamil Nadu, Three in Odisha, Two in Jammu & Kashmir, and One each in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
    • The Ramsar designation of these sites will help in the conservation and management of wetlands and wise use of their resources
    • A total of 28 sites have been declared as Ramsar sites in 2022. Based on the date of designation mentioned on the Ramsar Certificate, the number is 19 for the year 2022 and 14 for the year 2021.
  • Tampara Lake(Odisha):
    • It is a freshwater lake in Odisha.
    • Lake supports 46 species of fishes, 60 species of birds, 48 species of phytoplanktons, and seven species of terrestrial plants and macrophytes.
    • It provides shelter to vulnerable species like Cyprinus carpio, common pochard (Aythya ferina), and river tern (Sterna aurantia)
  • Hirakud Reservoir(Odisha):
    • It is the largest earthen reservoir in Odisha.
    • The reservoir has a vast diversity of flora and fauna, including some with high conservation significance.
    • It is a major habitation area for 54 species of fish.
  • Ansupa Lake(Odisha):
    • It is a freshwater lake located in the Cuttack district of Odisha.
    • It is an oxbow lake sculpted by River Mahanadi and has an area of 231 ha.
    • It houses 61 species of fishes, 194 species of birds, and 26 species of mammals apart from 244 species of macrophytes.
    • The wetland provides a safe shelter to three threatened bird species- Rynchops albicollis (EN), Sterna acuticauda (EN) and Sterna aurantia (VU) and three threatened fish species- Clarias magur (Clariidae) (EN), Cyprinus carpio (Cyprinidae) (VU) and Wallago attu (VU).
  • Yashwant Sagar(Madhya Pradesh):
    • It is an Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Indore.
    • It is used a commercial scale for fish culture.
    • It is a habitat for Sarus Crane in central India, which are categorized as Vulnerable.
    • The backwaters of the lake has many shallow areas, which are conducive for waders and waterfowl.
    • Owing to its shallow reed beds, the wetland is considered heaven to a large variety of winter migratory birds.
  • Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary(Tamil Nadu):
    • It is situated in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu.
    • It is a declared protected area since 1989 and a Bird Sanctuary, under the jurisdiction of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department.
    • The sanctuary is an ideal breeding ground for winter migratory birds.
  • Suchindram Theroor Wetland Complex(Tamil Nadu):
    • It is part of the Suchindrum-Theroor Manakudi Conservation Reserve.
    • It is an Important Bird Area lying at the southern tip of the Central Asian flyway of migratory birds.
    • It was formed for birds’ nesting purposes and it attracts thousands of birds every year.
    • Approximately 250 species of birds have been recorded in the area,out of which 53 are migratory, 12 endemic, and 4 threatened species.
  • Vaduvur Bird Sanctuary(Tamil Nadu):
    • It is a man-made irrigation tank and shelter for migratory birds.
    • Large concentrations of wintering waterfowl such as Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope, Northern Pintail Anas acuta, Garganey Anas querquedula were observed in tanks.
  • Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary(Tamil Nadu):
    • It is a Protected area in the vicinity of Mudukulathur Ramanathapuram District, Tamil Nadu.
    • It is an important nesting site for several migratory species like heron that roost in the babul trees of the region. The migratory waterbirds arrives in October and include painted stork, white ibis, black ibis, little egret, and great egret.
  • Thane Creek(Maharashtra):
    • Ulhas River is the largest source of freshwater for the creek.
    • The area is a prominent part of the wetland complex of the Central Asian Flyway of the birds
    • It has been declared as an Important Bird Area (IBA).
  • Hygam Wetland Conservation Reserve(Jammu and Kashmir):
    • It falls under the River Jhelum basin and is situated in the Baramulla district.
    • It is categorized as an Important Bird Area (IBA).
    • Due to the high rate of siltation, Hygam Wetland lost its wetland characteristics and in many regions changed its profile into a landmass. This has resulted in further loss of habitation for visiting migratory birds.
  • Shallbugh Wetland Conservation Reserve(Jammu and Kashmir):
    • The Reserve is in  Srinagar.
    • The majority of the area of the wetland dries up between September and March.
    • The area has extensive reedbeds of Phragmites communis and Typha angustata, and rich growth of Nymphaea candida and N. stellata on open water. It serves as an abode to more than four lakh resident and migratory birds of at least 21 species.
    • The wetland is an important breeding ground for several species of waterbirds.

Bal Aadhar Initiative

  • Context: Enrolment of children aged 0 – 5 under the Bal Aadhar Initiative.
  • Details:
    • More than 79 lakh children in the 0 – 5 age group have been enrolled under the UIDAI’s (Unique Identification Authority of India) Bal Aadhar Initiative during the first four months of the current financial year (April – July 2022).
    • States like Himachal Pradesh and Haryana have covered more than 70% of the targeted age group.
    • Aadhar saturation among adults is almost 100%. It acts as a catalyst for both ease of living and ease of doing business.
    • Bal Aadhar acts as a facilitator in availing several welfare benefits and acts as a digital photo identity for children right from birth.
    • The facial image of the child is taken for enrolment. Biometric authentication of the parent/guardian and a proof of relationship document, preferably a birth certificate are collected at the time of enrolment.
    • Bal Aadhar is issued in blue colour (differentiating it from normal aadhar).
    • On attaining the age of five, a child is required to furnish his/her biometrics at an Aadhar Seva Kendra to complete a process called mandatory biometric update (MBU), and is then issued a normal aadhar.




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