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Prelim Bits 17-08-2021 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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August 17, 2021

Earthquakes in Haiti

Earthquake that occurred along the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault zone in Haiti has wreaked havoc.

  • This fault zone cuts across Haiti’s south-western Tiburon Peninsula. It’s the same fault zone along which the 2010 earthquake occurred.

  • Reason - Haiti sits near the intersection of 2 tectonic plates that make up the Earth’s crust - North American plate and Caribbean plate.
  • There are many fault lines between those plates cut through or near the island of Hispaniola, which Haiti shares with the Dominican Republic.
  • Also, Haiti is densely populated.
  • Many of its buildings are designed to withstand hurricanes, not earthquakes. They are vulnerable to collapse when the ground shakes.
  • Construction of more earthquake-resistant buildings remains a challenge in Haiti, which is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.


  • Earthquakes are the result of the tectonic plates slowly moving against each other and creating friction over time.
  • That friction builds up and eventually the strain that’s stored there overcomes the friction. That’s when the fault moves suddenly and cause earthquake.
  • Earthquakes can cause similar-sized earthquakes on the next portion of the fault.
  • Seismic waves are the vibrations that are generated from earthquakes that travel through the Earth and are recorded on seismographs.

Ramsar Sites

Four wetlands are recognised from the Ramsar Secretariat as Ramsar sites - Sultanpur & Bhindawas (Haryana) and Thol & Wadhvana (Gujarat).

  • With this, the number of Ramsar sites in India is 46 and the surface area covered by these sites is now 1,083,322 hectares.
  • Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary is the largest wetland in Haryana.
  • It is a human-made freshwater wetland.
  • Over 250 bird species use the sanctuary throughout the year as a resting and roosting site.
  • Globally threatened species found here are endangered Egyptian Vulture, Steppe Eagle, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, and Black-bellied Tern.
  • Sultanpur National Park supports more than 220 species of resident, winter migratory and local migratory water birds at critical stages of their life cycles.
  • Species found here are,
    1. Critically endangered sociable lapwing, and
    2. Endangered Egyptian Vulture, Saker Falcon, Pallas’s Fish Eagle and Black-bellied Tern.
  • Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary lies on the Central Asian Flyway.
  • It supports the threatened waterbird species,
    1. Critically endangered White-rumped Vulture, Sociable Lapwing,  
    2. Vulnerable Sarus Crane, Common Pochard and Lesser White-fronted Goose.
  • Wadhvana Wetland provides wintering ground to migratory waterbirds, including the species that migrate on the Central Asian Flyway.
  • Threatened or near-threatened species found here are,
    1. Endangered Pallas’s fish-Eagle,
    2. Vulnerable Common Pochard, and
    3. Near-threatened Dalmatian Pelican, Grey-headed Fish-eagle and Ferruginous Duck.

Ujjwala 2.0

Prime Minister launched the 2nd phase of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) or Ujjwala 2.0 Scheme.

  • Ujjwala 2.0 will provide maximum benefit to the inter-state migrants by providing only “Self Declaration” as address proof to avail the benefit.
  • Along with a deposit-free LPG connection, Ujjwala 2.0 will provide the first refill and a hotplate free of cost to the beneficiaries.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

  • PMUY was launched in 2016 by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) as a flagship scheme.
  • It was launched with an objective to make clean cooking fuel such as LPG available to the rural and deprived households which were otherwise using traditional cooking fuels like firewood, coal, etc.
  • The scheme provides a financial support of Rs 1600 for each LPG connection to the women of the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families.
  • Ujjwala 1.0 targeted to distribute 50 million (5 crore) LPG connections.
  • In 2018, women from 7 other categories were brought under the purview of the PMUY:
    1. SC/ST, those under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY),
    2. Beneficiaries of the Antyoday Anna Yojana (AAY),
    3. Forest Dwellers,
    4. Most backward classes,
    5. Tea gardens and
    6. Islands.

While access to LPG gas stoves and cylinders has been given to 8 crore poor families in the scheme, the use of LPG cylinders remains low.

Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana (PMKSY)

  • This Central Sector Umbrella Scheme is implemented by the Ministry of Food Processing industries (MoFPI) since 2016-17.
  • The implementation period of the scheme is 2016-2020 co-terminus with the 14th Finance Commission cycle.
  • It aims to supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease Agriculture waste.
  • It aims for overall growth and development of food processing sector, including processing of agro- products.
  • This scheme is not region or state-specific but demand-driven.
  • Component schemes of PMKSY,
    1. Mega Food Park,
    2. Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure,
    3. Creation /Expansion of Food Processing & Preservation Capacities,
    4. Infrastructure for Agro-Processing Clusters,
    5. Creation of Backward & Forward linkages,
    6. Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure,
    7. Human Resource and Institutions,
    8. Operation Greens.
  • Under the PMKSY, MoFPI provides mostly credit-linked financial assistance (capital subsidy) in the form of grants-in-aid to entrepreneurs for setting up of food processing / preservation industries.

Forum of Election Management Bodies of South Asia (FEMBoSA)

Chief Election Commissioner of India (Chairman of FEMBoSA) inaugurated the 11th Annual meeting of the FEMBoSA for the year 2021.

  • Election Commission of India (ECI) handed over Chair FEMBoSA role to Election Commission of Bhutan for 2021-22.
  • Thimphu Resolution was unanimously adopted by the FEMBoSA members to extend tenure of chairmanship to 2 years during the current pandemic situation.
  • FEMBoSA is a regional cooperation association of Election Management Bodies (EMBs).
  • It was established at the 3rd Conference of Heads of EMBs of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Countries in 2012.
  • Objectives of FEMBoSA are,
    1. To promote contact among the Election Management Bodies of the SAARC countries;
    2. To share experiences with a view to learning from each other and
    3. To cooperate with one another in enhancing capabilities of the Election Management Bodies towards conducting free and fair elections.
  • FEMBoSA has 8 Member EMBs from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.


Source: PIB, The Hindu, The Indian Express

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