Theme: Groupings & Agreements Involving India and/or Affecting India’s Interests
Source: The Hindu
Why in news: Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni is on first visit to India, will also be the Chief guest at the 8th Raisina Dialogue.
About Raisina Dialogue
- The Raisina Dialogue is an annual conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community.
- It takes its name from the Raisina Hill, the seat of the Indian government
- The conference is hosted by the Observer Research Foundation in partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.
- The first Raisina Dialogue was held in 2016
- The Dialogue is structured as a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral discussion, involving heads of state, cabinet ministers and local government officials, who are joined by thought leaders from the private sector, media and academia.
- Every year, leaders in politics, business, media, and civil society converge in New Delhi to discuss the state of the world and explore opportunities for cooperation on a wide range of contemporary matters.
- It is designed to explore prospects and opportunities for Asian integration as well as Asia’s integration with the larger world.
- It is predicated on India’s vital role in the Indian Ocean Region and how India along with its partners can build a stable regional and world order.
- The dialogue is a platform that brings together India’s friends and partners seeking common ground.
- The Raisina Dialogue has grown in stature and profile to emerge as a leading global conference on international affairs since its inception in 2016.
- It brings together leaders from the global strategic and policy-making community to discuss key geopolitical developments and strategic issues facing the world. It maps the evolving geopolitical and geoeconomic trendlines, questions the persisting dogma and encourages future oriented thinking.
- It reinforces rules based international order by having on board different voices and opinions and bringing forth a consensus amongst them.
About Observer Research Foundation:
- Established in 1990, the ORF is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that conducts policy research on good governance, foreign policy, and sustainable economic development for India.
- It is an independent think tank based in New Delhi with three centres in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.
- It seeks to lead and aid policy thinking towards building a strong and prosperous India in a fair and equitable world and helps discover and inform India’s choices.
- It carries Indian voices and ideas to forums shaping global debates.
- It provides non-partisan, independent, well-researched analyses and inputs to diverse decision-makers in governments, business communities, and academia and civil society around the world.
Static Part to be referred: Raisina Dialogue; Observer Research Foundation
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Theme: Government policies & Intervention; Agriculture
Why in news: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi transferred the 13th installment of about Rs 16,800 crore under the ambitious Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme of the Government of India to the bank accounts of more than 8 crore beneficiary farmers across the country
- The PM-KISAN scheme was launched on 24th February, 2019 to supplement financial needs of land holding farmers.
Salient Features of PM-KISAN
- The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme is a Central Sector Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Scheme.
- Under the scheme financial assistance of Rs.6000 per annum is provided to all landholding farmer families across the country
- The amount is transferred in three four-monthly installments of Rs. 2000 each, directly into the bank accounts of the farmers families identified by the State/UT Governments.
- It aims to supplement the financial needs of the Small and Marginal Farmers (SMFs) in procuring various inputs to ensure proper crop health and appropriate yields, commensurate with the anticipated farm income at the end of each crop cycle.
- This would also protect them from undue reliance on moneylenders for meeting such expenses and ensure their continuance in the farming activities
Scope of the Scheme:
- The scheme was initially meant for Small and Marginal Farmers (SMFs) having landholding up to 2 hectares but scope of the scheme was extended to cover all landholding farmers.
Funding and Implementation:
- It is a Central Sector Scheme with 100% funding from the Government of India.
- It is being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
- The State Governments identify the beneficiaries and share the list with the Centre.
PM-KISAN Mobile App:
- The PM-KISAN Mobile App developed and designed by the National Informatics Centre in collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has been launched.
- The farmers can view the status of their application, update or carry out corrections of their Aadhaar cards and also check the history of credits to their bank accounts.
Static Part to be referred: PM-KISAN; Direct Benefit Transfer; PM-KISAN mobile App; Central Sector Scheme
Also Read: Daily Current Affairs | Prelims Bits | 27th Feb
Source: The Indian Express
Why in news: The draft of the proposed initiative — MIIRA — was placed during the first Agriculture Deputies Meeting under the Agriculture Working Group (AWG), G20 at Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
- The acronym MIIRA stands for ‘Millet International Initiative for Research and Awareness’.
- It will be aimed at coordinating millet research programmes at the international level.
- It is in line with the UN declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets, the proposal for which was moved by India and supported by 72 countries.
Aim of the MIIRA:
- MIIRA will aim to connect millet research organisations across the world while also supporting research on these crops
- Besides setting up a web platform to connect researchers and holding international research conferences, the plan is also to raise awareness for promoting the consumption of millet.
- For MIIRA to take off, India will contribute the “seed money”, while each G20 member will later have to contribute to its budget in the form of a membership fee.
- The MIIRA secretariat will be in Delhi
- Millets are small-grained cereals such as sorghum (jowar), pearl millet (bajra), foxtail millet (kangni/ Italian millet), little millet (kutki), kodo millet, finger millet (ragi/ mandua), proso millet (cheena/ common millet), etc.
- These crops require less water than rice and wheat, and are mainly grown in rainfed areas.
- Now grown in more than 130 countries, millets are the traditional food for more than half a billion people in Asia and Africa.
- Gobally, jowar is the most widely grown millet crop and its major producers are the US, China, Australia, India, Argentina, Nigeria, and Sudan.
- Bajra, another major millet crop, is mainly grown in some African countries and India, where millets are mainly a kharif crop.
- In India, bajra (3.67%), jowar (2.13%), and ragi (0.48%) accounted for about 7% of the gross cropped area in the country (during 2018-19).
- In 2018, the Agriculture Ministry declared millets as ‘Nutri Cereals’ for their “high nutritive value”. In the Union Budget 2022-23, the Finance Minister has described millets as “Shree Anna”.
- The Indian Institute of Millet Research, Hyderabad will be supported as the Centre of Excellence for sharing best practices, research and technologies at the international level
Static Part to be referred: MIIRA; Millets;
Also Read: Daily Current Affairs | Manual Scavenging | 27th Feb
Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative
Theme: Cyber Security; Cyber Warfare
Why in news: Recently, National e-Governance Division (NeGD), under its Capacity Building scheme, organised the 34th Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) Deep-Dive training programme under MeitY’s initiative Cyber Surakshit Bharat
About Cyber Surakshit Bharat:
- Cyber Surakshit Bharat was conceptualised with the mission to spread awareness about cyber-crime and build capacities of Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and frontline IT officials, across all government departments
- It is to ensure adequate safety measures to combat the growing menace – Organizations need to defend their digital infrastructures and become future-ready in tackling cyber-attacks.
- It was launched in 2018 by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
- The CISO training is the first-of-its-kind of partnership between the Government and industry consortium under Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.
- The objective of the programme is to educate and enable the Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) and Broader IT community to address the challenges of Cybersecurity:
- Create awareness on the emerging landscape of cyber threats.
- Provide in-depth understanding of related solutions.
- Applicable frameworks, guidelines & policies related to cyber security.
- Share best practices to learn from success & failures.
- Provide key inputs to take informed decisions on Cyber Security related issues in their respective functional area.
- Officers from Central and State/UT Governments and subordinate agencies/PSUs, including public sector Banks and Insurance companies, technical wings of police and security forces:
- Designated Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs),
- CTOs and Member of Technical/PMU teams, Officers responsible to observe security of the IT systems in their respective organization.
- NeGD , an arm of the Ministry of Electronics and IT, will provide logistic support in arranging the training programmes, whereas the industry consortium will provide technical support for the training.
Static Part to be referred: Cyber Surakshit Bharat; Cyber Security;
National Science Day
Theme: Science and Technology
Source: The Indian Express
Why in news: In 1986, the Government of India, under then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, designated February 28 as National Science Day to commemorate the announcement of the discovery of the “Raman Effect”
- National Science Day is observed every year on February 28 to commemorate the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’.
- On this day, the great Indian scientist, CV Raman, invented the ‘Raman Effect’ and won the Nobel Prize in the year 1930.
- The government of India honoured him with the Bharat Ratna in the year 1954.
- The first National Science Day was celebrated on February 28, 1987.
- This year’s edition is being celebrated under the theme of “Global Science for Global Wellbeing”, in light of India’s G20 presidency.
About The Raman Effect:
- The Raman Effect refers to the phenomenon in which when a stream of light passes through a liquid, a fraction of the light scattered by the liquid is of a different colour.
- This happens due to the change in the wavelength of light that occurs when a light beam is deflected by molecules.
- In general, when light interacts with an object, it can either be reflected, refracted or transmitted.
- The change in the energy of the light is affected by the vibrations of the molecule or material under observation, leading to a change in its wavelength
The importance of the discovery
- The character of the scattered radiations provides an insight into the ultimate structure of the scattering substance.
- It also gives birth to a new field known as Raman spectroscopy as a basic analytical tool to conduct nondestructive chemical analysis for both organic and inorganic compounds.
Also Read: Daily Current Affairs | Heat wave | 27th Feb
Static Part to be referred: National Science Day; Raman Effect
Source: The Hindu
Why in news: Educational Testing Service (ETS) announced that they have been selected by the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) for establishing PARAKH, the country’s first national assessment regulator.
- Performance Assessment, Review and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development (PARAKH) will act as a top body for setting norms, standards and guidelines of student assessment and evaluation for all recognised school education boards in the country.
- PARAKH has been launched as part of the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP)-2020 that envisaged a standard-setting body to advise school boards regarding new assessment patterns and latest research, and promote collaborations between them.
- It will act as a constituent unit of the NCERT.
- ETS, which conducts key tests such as TOEFL and GRE, has been chosen by the National Council for Education Research (NCERT) for setting up the regulatory platform.
- PARAKH will be an independent organisation affiliated to the Education Ministry.
- It will be looking into 3 major areas
- Large-scale assessment like the National Achievement Survey.
- School-based assessments.
- Capacity building.
Uniform Norms & Guidelines:
- Setting norms, standards and guidelines for student assessment and evaluation for all recognized school boards of India.
Enhance Assessment Pattern:
- It will encourage and help school boards to shift their assessment patterns towards meeting the skill requirements of the 21st century.
Reduce Disparity in Evaluation:
- It will bring uniformity across the state and central boards which currently follow different standards of evaluation, leading to wide disparities in scores.
- It would bring in the “uniformity in assessment” across the 62 boards in 36 States and Union Territories.
- The benchmark assessment framework will seek to put an end to the emphasis on rote learning, as envisaged by the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
Static Part to be referred: PARAKH; National Education Policy 2020; NCERT
Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav
Theme: History and Culture
Why in News: President of India addressed the 14th Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav at Bikaner, Rajasthan
About Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav:
- Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav is the flagship festival of the Ministry of Culture.
- It has been organized since 2015 with the active participation of Seven Zonal Culture Centres.
- It was started with an intention to exhibit the rich cultural heritage of the country in all its rich and varied dimensions namely, Handicrafts, Cuisine, Painting, Sculpture and Performing Arts- Folk, Tribal, Classical and Contemporary- all at one place.
- It has been playing a pivotal role to take the vibrant culture of India out to the masses instead of confining it to auditoria and galleries.
- It has been instrumental in showcasing folk and tribal art, dance, music, cuisines & culture of one state in other states reinforcing the cherished goal of “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat”.
- It also provides an effective platform to the artists and artisans to support their livelihood.
- It reconnects the people (especially the youth) with their indigenous culture, its multifaceted nature, magnificence, and historical importance in the context of ‘India as a Nation’ over the millennia.
Static Part to be referred: Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav; Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.
Also Read: Daily Current affairs | Prelims Facts | 24th Feb