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UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 11-06-2021

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June 11, 2021

Delhi’s Master Plan 2041

  • The Delhi Development Authority gave its preliminary approval to the draft Master Plan for Delhi (MPD) 2041. The current Master Plan for Delhi 2021 expires this year.
  • [A city’s master plan is a vision document by the planners and the land-owning agency of the city that gives direction to the future development.
  • It includes analysis, recommendations, and proposals keeping in mind the population, economy, housing, transportation, and land use.]
  • The draft MPD 2041 seeks to foster a sustainable, liveable and vibrant Delhi by 2041. It presents a plan for the city for the next 20 years.
  • Housing Sector - The plan aims to incentivise rented accommodation by inviting private players and government agencies to invest more.
  • It addresses parking problems and suggests a ‘user pays’ principle, which means users of all personal motor vehicles, except for non-motorised ones, have to pay for authorised parking facilities, spaces and streets.
  • It aims to minimise vehicular pollution through key strategies, like a switch to greener fuels for public transport and adoption of mixed-use of transit-oriented development (TOD).
  • Water - It aims improving the quality of water, which is taken from the Yamuna River as well as various lakes, natural drains and baolis.
  • It lays a clear boundary of the buffer zone near the Yamuna River and explores how to develop it.
  • As per the plan, a green buffer of 300-metre width shall be maintained wherever feasible along the entire edge of the river.
  • Health - MPD 2041 plans to reduce vulnerability to airborne epidemics through decentralised workspaces, creation of open areas, etc.,
  • It aims to better habitat design and green-rated developments to reduce dependence on mechanical ventilation systems.
  • It aims to develop common community spaces to provide refuge spots, common kitchens and quarantine space in an emergency.
  • It plans to improve the night-time economy by focusing on cultural festivals, bus, metro, sports facilities, and retail stores included in Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) Night Life Circuit plan.

Maharashtra’s Beed Model of Crop Insurance

  • Maharashtra Chief Minister asked Prime Minister for a state-wide implementation of the ‘Beed model’ of the crop insurance scheme Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yogna (PMFBY).
  • Beed model - Located in the drought-prone Marathwada region, the district of Beed presents a challenge for any insurance company.
  • Farmers here have repeatedly lost crops either to failure of rains or to heavy rains. Given the high payouts, insurance companies have sustained losses.
  • The state government had a difficult time getting bids for tenders to implement the scheme in Beed in the 2020 kharif season.
  • In a normal season where farmers report minimal losses, the state gets back money that can form a corpus to fund the scheme for coming year.
  • However, the state government would have to bear the financial liability in case of losses due to extreme weather events.
  • Significance - The reason why Maharashtra is pushing for this scheme is that in most years, the claims-to-premium ratio is low with the premium being paid to the company.
  • In the Beed model, the profit of the company is expected to reduce and the state government would access another source of funds.
  • Reimbursed amount can lead to lower provisioning by the state for the coming year, or help in financing the paying the bridge amount in case of a year of crop loss.
  • For farmers, however, this model does not have any direct benefit.

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yogna

  • Launched in 2016, the flagship PMFBY insures farm losses against inclement weather events.
  • Farmers pay low rate of the premium 1.5-2% with the rest borne by the state and central governments.
  • It is a central scheme implemented by state agriculture departments as per central guidelines.
  • Prior to 2020, the scheme was optional for farmers who did not have loans pending, but mandatory for loanee farmers. Since 2020, it has been optional for all farmers.

Model Panchayat Citizens Charter

  • A Model Panchayat Citizens Charter or framework for delivery of the services across the 29 sectors, aligning actions with localised Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • It is prepared by Ministry of Panchayati Raj in collaboration with National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR).
  • [NIRDPR is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Rural Development.]
  • The aim of establishing a Citizen charter is to provide services to the people in a time bound manner without any prejudice, redressing their grievances and improving their lives.
  • The Gram Panchayat Citizen Charter would ensure,
    1. Transparent and effective delivery of public services for sustainable development and enhanced citizen service experiences;
    2. Deepening inclusive and accountable Local Self Governments by incorporating diverse views; designing and delivering services.
  • It will make the citizens aware of their rights, and make the Panchayats and their elected representatives directly accountable to the people.
  • The Panchayats will utilise this framework to draw up a Citizens Charter and adopt it through a Gram Sabha resolution by 15th August, 2021.

Raimona National Park

  • Recently, the Assam government created the Raimona National Park in western Assam.
  • Raimona National Park will be administered by the Kachugaon Forest Division of Bodoland Territorial Council.
  • Raimona is bounded on the west by the Sonkosh river, on the east by the Saralbhanga river and on the south by the Pekua river.
  • It adjoins the Buxa Tiger Reserve in West Bengal to its west, Phipsoo Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhutan to its north and the first addition to Manas National Park to the east.
  • Raimona, which has 11 different forest types and subtypes, is home to the golden langur, elephant, tiger, clouded leopard and Indian gaur.
  • Conservation of this area shall provide water security to the people downstream in Kokrajhar and Dhubri district.

Dihing Patkai National Park

  • Recently, the Assam government notified Dihing Patkai as the seventh National Park of the state.
  • [The six other National Parks in Assam are Kaziranga, Manas, Nameri, Orang, Dibru-Saikhowa and Raimona.
  • Assam now has the third most National Parks after the 12 in Madhya Pradesh and nine in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.]
  • Dihing Patkai national park will be administered by Soraipung Range of Digboi Forest Division and Jeypore Range of Dibrugarh Forest Division.
  • Dehing is the name of the river that flows through this forest and Patkai is the hill at the foot of which the sanctuary lies.
  • The Dihing Patkai straddling eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts is a major elephant habitat.
  • It encompasses the erstwhile Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary, Jeypore Reserve Forest and the western block of Upper Dihing Reserve Forest.
  • The forest village area diverted under Forest Conservation Act has been excluded.
  • Stretches of Dirak and Buri Dihing rivers have been included in the park.

Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary is known as the Jeypore Rainforest.
  • It is the only sanctuary in India which is home to seven different species of wild cats - tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, leopard cat, golden cat, jungle cat and marbled cat.
  • It is home to Chinese pangolin, flying fox, barking deer, serow, Malayan giant squirrels, Assamese macaque and White Winged Wood Duck.

Brood X

  • The US President’s first trip abroad was delayed when a swarm of cicadas bombarded the plane Air Force One. These swarms are part of Brood X group, based on their life cycles and periodic appearances.
  • [Cicadas live underground for extended periods of time, typically 13 or 17 years, and feed on roots of trees both underground and above it.
  • The term ‘brood’ refers to a population of cicadas that is isolated from other populations because of differences in their year of emergence or locality.]
  • Brood X is the largest brood of 17-year cicadas and is found in Pennsylvania, northern Virginia, Indiana and eastern Tennessee.
  • Brood X cicadas come out of their underground homes every 17 years. They started emerging in May and will be around until the end of June.
  • The time when they decide to emerge is dependent on weather, specifically when ground temperatures reach about 17-18°C.
  • Significance of Brood X - Because of their sheer numbers and the noise they make, cicadas in Brood X often make headlines.
  • When the brood last emerged in 2004 in Washington DC, the cicadas made an impact on the cultural scene.

Cicadas

  • Among periodical cicadas, there are seven species. There are also some annual cicadas, which come out every year.
  • Underground - When underground, cicada nymphs go through five stages of development. Once they become adults, which take about 17 years for some periodical cicadas, the males emerge from underground.
  • When they come out, they shed their exoskeleton (outer skin) to take their winged form.
  • Emerging Outside - Their emergence is to ensure continuation of their species (procreation).
    1. Male cicadas emerge first and start singing to attract females. They produce the loudest sounds in the insect world.
    2. Female cicadas respond with a clicking sound with their wings.
  • This process lasts for about a month, after which the cicadas die. After mating, the eggs are laid in small twigs and branches.
  • Once they hatch after about six weeks, the nymphs fall to the ground, and burrow their way into the ground. After becoming adults, these nymphs will emerge again 17 years later (or 13 years in some broods).
  • Danger - Cicadas also do not bite or sting, but when the males sing, their collective chorus can reach up to 100 decibels, a noise level that can possibly cause severe damage if you are exposed to it for several hours.
  • The female may damage the small twigs when she lays her eggs in them.

Birthing People

  • In its 2022 fiscal year budget released, the US government has replaced the word ‘mothers’ with ‘birthing people’ in a section that deals with bringing down maternal mortality rates.
  • The policy document lists a range of measures to help end the highest maternal mortality rate and race-based disparities in outcomes among birthing people in the US.
  • Reason for replacement - The term ‘birthing people’ is from the realm of trans-rights activism.
  • It is a step towards making vocabularies less rigid in terms of gender, so that people beyond binary gender identities can be represented.
  • Another argument for the use of ‘birthing people’ is that a surrogate can give birth, who is not the ‘mother’ of the child.
  • Other such terms are Chest-feeding instead of breast-feeding, and ‘menstruating people’ or ‘menstruators’ instead of ‘menstruating women’.

 

Source: PIB, The Hindu, The Indian Express

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