Factly articles for October 30, 2020

11 min read

Cabinet approves Externally Aided Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project – Phase II and Phase III

News: Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister has approved the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) Phase II & Phase III.

Facts:

  • Aim: To improve the safety and operational performance of selected dams across the whole country along with institutional strengthening and generating revenue for sustainable operation and maintenance of dams.
  • Funding: It is an externally aided project with the financial assistance of the World Bank(WB) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank(AIIB).
  • Duration: The Project will be implemented over a period of 10 years duration in two Phases each of six years duration with two years overlapping from April, 2021 to March, 2031.
  • Components:
    • Rehabilitation and improvement of dams and associated appurtenances
    • Dam safety institutional strengthening in participating States and Central agencies
    • Exploration of alternative incidental means at few of selected dams to generate the incidental revenue for sustainable operation and maintenance of dams and
    • Project management.

NITI Aayog, QCI Launch National Program and Project Management Policy Framework Initiative

News: NITI Aayog and Quality Council of India(QCI) has launched the National Program and Project Management Policy Framework(NPMPF).

Facts:

  • Aim: To bring radical reforms in the way infrastructure projects are executed in India.
  • Action Plan: It has an action plan to:
    • Adopt a program and project management approach to infrastructure development
    • Institutionalize and promote the profession of program and project management and build a workforce of such professionals,
    • Enhance institutional capacity and capability of professionals.

Additional Facts:

  • Quality Council of India (QCI): Itwas set up in 1997 jointly by the Government of India and the Indian Industry to establish and operate national accreditation structure and promote quality through National Quality Campaign.
  • Nodal Ministry: Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Industry is the nodal department for QCI.
  • Chairman: The Chairman of QCI is appointed by the Prime Minister on the recommendation of the industry to the government.

Union Minister launches DST initiative SERB – POWER for women scientists

News: Union Minister for Science & Technology has launched a Scheme titled “SERB-POWER (Promoting Opportunities for Women in Exploratory Research)”.

Facts:

  • Aim: To encourage emerging as well as eminent women researchers to undertake R&D activities in frontier areas of science and engineering.
  • Components: The Scheme will have two components namely:
  • SERB-POWER Fellowship:-
    • Target: Women researchers in 35-55 years of age. Up-to 25 Fellowships per year and not more than 75 at any point in time.
    • Components of support: Fellowship of Rs 15,000/- per month in addition to regular income; Research grant of Rs 10 lakh per annum and Overhead of Rs 90,000/- per annum.
    • Duration: Three years without the possibility of extension.Once in a career.
  • SERB – POWER Research Grants: POWER Grants will empower women researchers by funding them under the following two categories:
    • Level I (Applicants from IITs, IISERs, IISc, NITs, Central Universities, and National Labs of Central Government Institutions): The scale of funding is up to 60 lakhs for three years.
    • Level II (Applicants from State Universities / Colleges and Private Academic Institutions): The scale of funding is up to 30 lakhs for three years.

Additional Facts:

  • SERB: It is a statutory body established through an Act of Parliament in 2008.It is chaired by the Secretary to the Department of Science and Technology and has other senior government officials and eminent scientists as members.

Indian Railways launches ‘Operation Meri Saheli’

Facts: Indian Railways has launched ‘Operation Meri Saheli’ with an aim to provide safety and security to lady passengers travelling by trains for their entire journey from starting station to destination station.

Shipping Ministry issues Draft Coastal Shipping Bill,2020

News: The Ministry of Shipping has issued the draft of Coastal Shipping Bill, 2020 for suggestions from the stakeholders and general public.

Facts:

  • About the Bill: The Ministry of Shipping has drafted a Coastal Shipping Bill, 2020 in lieu of part XIV of the Merchant Shipping Act,1958.
  • Key highlights of the Bill:
    • The definition of coastal shipping and coastal waters has been expanded.
    • It is proposed to do away with the requirement of trading licence for Indian flag vessels for coastal trade.
    • The Bill seeks to create a competitive environment and reduce transportation costs, while encouraging Indian vessels to increase their share in coastal shipping.
    • The Bill also proposes integration of coastal maritime transport with inland waterways.
    • There is a provision for a National Coastal and Inland Shipping Strategic Plan.

New tectonically active zone in Himalayas could alter quake study

News: Scientists from Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology(WIHG), Dehradun, have found that the Indus suture zone of Himalayas that was conventionally thought to be locked is tectonically active.

Facts:

  • Indus Suture Zone: It is a suture zone in the Ladakh region where Indian and Asian Plates join.
  • Geological Features that proves Indus Suture Zone is Tectonically active:
    • Sedimentary beds are tilted and thrust broken.
    • Rivers are associated with uplifted terraces.
    • Bedrock shows brittle deformation at much shallower depths.

Additional Facts:

  • Suture Zone: It is a linear belt of intense deformation where distinct terranes or tectonic units with different plate tectonic, metamorphic and paleogeographic histories join together.

Indian Army launches a Software for Infrastructure Management

News: Indian Army has introduced a software named the “Infrastructure Management System(IMS)’ software.

Facts:

  • Aim: To automate the functions related to infrastructure development and management such as ascertaining availability of land, planning and monitoring of works among others.
  • Features: The scope of the software includes the following:
    • To automate works initiation, preparation of list and its approval by the Ministry of Defence(MoD).
    • To accord administrative approval and monitoring of execution by the CFA.
    • To automate approval of accommodation allocation/extension for children education ground, special children and Battle/Physical casualty.
    • Manage cantonment roads including emergency closure.
    • Monitor land encroachment, Old Grant Bungalows, VIP references and transfer/exchange of land.

News: Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister has approved the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) Phase II & Phase III.

Facts:

  • Aim: To improve the safety and operational performance of selected dams across the whole country along with institutional strengthening and generating revenue for sustainable operation and maintenance of dams.
  • Funding: It is an externally aided project with the financial assistance of the World Bank(WB) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank(AIIB).
  • Duration: The Project will be implemented over a period of 10 years duration in two Phases each of six years duration with two years overlapping from April, 2021 to March, 2031.
  • Components:
    • Rehabilitation and improvement of dams and associated appurtenances
    • Dam safety institutional strengthening in participating States and Central agencies
    • Exploration of alternative incidental means at few of selected dams to generate the incidental revenue for sustainable operation and maintenance of dams and
    • Project management.