News: A multi-disciplinary Technical Committee in the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti has recommended five technologies specifically three technologies for drinking water and two technologies for sanitation.
The five technologies that have been recommended are:
- Grundfos AQpure: It is a solar energy based water treatment plant based on ultra filtration.
- Janajal Water on Wheel: It is an Internet of Things(IoT) based electric vehicle based on GPS location to enable delivery of safe water to the doorstep of households
- Presto Online Chlorinator: It is a non-electricity dependent online chlorinator for disinfection of water for removal of bacterial contamination.
- Johkasou technology: It is an inbuilt packaged black (sewage) and grey water (Kitchen and bath water) treatment system having advanced anaerobic-aerobic configuration that can be installed underground
- FBTec®: It is a site assembled decentralised sewage treatment system using fixed filter media.
- Jal Jeevan Mission: It was launched in 2019 with an aim to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India.
- The mission will be based on a community approach to water and will include extensive Information, Education and communication as a key component of the mission.
News: The 4th Global Conference on Criminal Finances and Cryptocurrencies was held virtually.
- About the Conference: The annual Conference is an initiative of the Working Group on Cryptocurrencies and Money Laundering established in 2016 by Interpol, Europol and the Basel Institute on Governance.
- Aim: To strengthen knowledge, expertise and best practices for investigations into financial crimes and intelligence on virtual assets and cryptocurrencies.
- Cryptocurrency: It is a virtual currency used for financial transactions.It uses blockchain technology for various transactions.
- International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL): It is an intergovernmental organization established in 1923 with the aim to facilitate worldwide police cooperation and crime control in around 194 countries.Headquarters: Lyon,France.
- Europol: It is the European Union’s law enforcement agency. Its main goal is to achieve a safer Europe for the benefit of all the EU citizens. Headquarters: The Hague, the Netherlands.
- Basel Institute on Governance: It was established in 2003 as a not-for-profit Swiss foundation dedicated to working with public and private partners around the world to prevent and combat corruption.
News: China launches its Chang’e-5 probe at Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in southern Hainan Province.
- Chang’e 5 Mission: It is a Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) lunar sample return mission.
- Aim: To land in the Mons Rumker region of the moon, operate for one lunar day(two weeks) and return a 2 kg sample of lunar regolith possibly from as deep as 2 meters.
- Significance: It will help scientists learn about the Moon’s origins, formation and volcanic activity on its surface.
- Previous Moon Missions:
- In 1959, the Soviet Union’s uncrewed Luna 1 and 2 became the first rover to visit the Moon.
- In 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to step on the Moon as part of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission.
- In 2008, India’s first lunar program Chandrayaan 1 was launched.
- In 2009, USA began a new series of robotic lunar missions with the launch of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS).
News: On the completion of three years of the UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) app, the international version of the app has been launched.
- UMANG App: It is developed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MeitY) and National e-Governance Division (NeGD) to drive Mobile Governance in India.
- Purpose: It provides a single platform for all Indian Citizens to access pan India e-Gov services ranging from Central to Local Government bodies and other citizen centric services.
- UMANG International Version: The UMANG international version is for select countries including US, UK, Canada, Australia, UAE, Netherlands, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand and will help Indian international students, NRIs and Indian tourists abroad to avail government of India services anytime.
News: The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy(MNRE) has expanded the scope of the PM-KUSUM scheme to enable greater solar energy generation in the farm sector.
Key changes made:
- The solar capacity target under the scheme has been increased to 30.8 gigawatt(GW) (earlier 25,750 MW) by 2022.
- Besides barren, fallow and agricultural lands, solar power plants can also be installed on pasture land and marshy land of farmers.
- To support small farmers, solar projects smaller than 500 kW may be allowed (earlier not allowed) by states based on techno-commercial feasibility.
- PM-KUSUM Scheme: It was launched in 2019 with the aim to provide financial and water security to farmers by encouraging farmers to generate solar power in their farms.
- Components: Scheme has 3 components:
- Component A: setting up of 10,000 megawatts of decentralised ground/ stilt mounted grid connected solar or other renewable energy-based power plants.
- Component B: Off grid solar pumps. Individual farmers will be supported to install 20 lakh (up from 17.50 lakh) standalone solar Agriculture pumps
- Component C: Solarization of 15 lakh (up from 10 lakh) grid-connected solar powered agriculture pumps.
News: The Ministry of Environment and Forests(MoEF) has issued fresh guidelines to accelerate environmental appraisal of projects.
- Expert appraisal committees(EAC): It exists at the Union as well as state levels (state expert appraisal committee or SEAC) to advise the government on environmental clearance of development projects.
- Role of EAC: They advise on whether a proposed project beyond a certain size ought to be commissioned and recommend ways to mitigate the potential environmental impact.Their advice is critical to the MoEF’s eventual decision to either clear or red flag a project.
- Who conducts the process? It is conducted by independent panels of experts that have representatives from the government as well as from outside, trained in matters of ecology, wildlife and habitat preservation.
- Committees: There are separate EAC committees for industrial projects, coal mining, non-coal mining, river and hydroelectric projects, each with its own independent chairperson and committee members.
- What are the changes made?
- All Expert Appraisal Committees(EAC) have to meet twice every month to fast-track the process of granting approvals.
- Environment clearance proposals that had been submitted 10 days before the EAC meetings would also have to be appraised. This deadline was 15 days earlier.