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UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 16-07-2021

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July 16, 2021


  • Prime Minister inaugurated the JICA-assisted International Cooperation and Convention Centre, also known as 'Rudraksh' in Varanasi.
  • JICA has assisted the construction of the convention centre by providing a Grant in Aid of 3,042 million Japanese yen (INR 200 crore) under the Japanese ODA scheme.
  • Objective of the Project - To provide opportunities for social and cultural interactions between people at this centre, and this would strengthen Varanasi’s competitiveness by developing its tourism sector.
  • It is an environment-friendly building, fit for level 3 of Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA).
  • To know about the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), click here.

Centre for Advanced Transportation Technology and Systems

  • Centre for Advanced Transportation Technology and Systems (CATTS) will be set up at Indian Academy of Highway Engineers (IAHE), Noida, with the help of University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia.
  • [IAHE comes under the control of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MORTH).]
  • The UNSW will help the IAHE in terms of capacity building, technology transfer and creation of enabling environment to establish CATTS.
  • It will also deliver a course, certified by it, on smart transport systems and modelling.
  • The broad scope of CATTS is in the following areas:
    • Building India specific Macro Model (Computable Equilibrium Model) for entire Nation Highway network and in-principle National Highways by UNSW, including coding of simulation software, calibration & validation and scenario analysis.
    • Building India specific Urban Pervasive Data Model for City by UNSW including coding of simulation software, calibration & validation and scenario analysis.
    • A course certified by UNSW on smart transportation systems and modelling will be delivered by UNSW in the form of 3 workshops in India and 3 workshops in Australia.
  • It will also promote industries and startups from Australia and India in the transportation sector, including opportunities for innovation, research and development of advanced transport systems.

Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) Scheme

  • Prime Minister inaugurated development projects in Varanasi like,
    • Tourist Facilitation Centre under the Project “Development of Varanasi Under PRASHAD Scheme - Phase II” and
    • Operation of Cruise Boat from Assi Ghat to RajGhat under the Project “Development of River Cruise in Varanasi under PRASHAD Scheme”.
  • Both of these projects were approved by the Ministry of Tourism in 2018.
  • The ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive’ (PRASHAD) is a Central Sector Scheme fully financed by the Government of India.
  • This scheme was launched as PRASAD by the Ministry of Tourism in 2014-15 with the objective of integrated development of identified pilgrimage destinations.
  • The name was changed from PRASAD to PRASHAD in 2017 with the objective of holistic development of identified pilgrimage destinations.
  • The PRASHAD scheme aimed at infrastructure development such as entry points (Road, Rail and Water Transport), last mile connectivity, basic tourism facilities etc.
  • After the discontinuation of the HRIDAY scheme of the Housing and Urban Development Ministry, the development of Heritage destinations was included in the PRASAD Scheme, changing it to PRASHAD.
  • Implementation Agency - The projects identified under the PRASHAD scheme shall be implemented through the identified agencies by the respective State/ Union Territory Government.
  • Objectives of the scheme are,
    • Rejuvenation and spiritual augmentation of important national/ global pilgrimage and heritage sites.
    • Follow community-based development and create awareness among the local communities.
    • Integrated tourism development of heritage city, local arts, culture, handicrafts, cuisine, etc., to generate livelihood.
    • Strengthen the mechanism for bridging the infrastructural gaps.

Swadesh Darshan Scheme

  • Swadesh Darshan is a Central Sector Scheme, which was launched by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture in 2014 -15 for integrated development of theme based tourist circuits in the country.  
  • Under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, 15 thematic circuits have been identified for development.
  • The 15 theme based circuits are Himalayan, North-East India, Coastal, Desert, Tribal, Eco, Wildlife, Rural, Buddhist, Tirtankar, Krishna, Sufi, Ramayana, Spiritual, Circuit and Heritage Circuit.
  • Under the scheme, the Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to State Governments/Union Territory Administrations for infrastructure development of circuits.
  • This scheme is envisioned to synergise with other schemes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill India, Make in India etc.
  • It has the idea of positioning the tourism sector as a major engine for job creation, driving force for economic growth, building synergy with various sectors to enable tourism to realise its potential.

Tourist Circuit

  • It is defined as a route having at least three major tourist destinations which are distinct and apart.
  • They should have well defined entry and exit points. A tourist who enters should get motivated to visit most of the places identified in the circuit.
  • A Circuit could be confined to a State or could be a regional circuit covering more than one State/Union Territory.
  • These circuits may have one dominant theme and other sub-themes.

Study on Depression

  • A study has concluded that depressive symptoms were significantly accentuated in women, people with diabetes-related complications, and those with low socio-economic status.
  • It was concluded that depressive symptoms are common in patients with diabetes from developing countries.
  • It concluded that around 8-16% of the patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes exhibited moderate depressive symptoms.
  • This called for routine screening, especially in high-risk groups, to reduce the double burden of diabetes and depression and their negative interaction.
  • The study further found that among those who were only on oral glucose lowering drugs, depression was associated with poor glycemic control.
  • It had revealed that those on insulin were also more at risk for macrovascular complications.

P versus NP Problem

  • Some scientists have neared solving a problem in Computer Science related to the P versus NP question.
  • Polynomial versus Nondeterministic Polynomial (P vs. NP) problem is a cornerstone problem of computational complexity.
  • It classifies computing problems into classes according to the time and resources that will be used up in tackling them. It is the question of whether all so-called NP problems are actually P problems.
  • P Problems - A problem is called P, if the problem can be solved in “polynomial time”.
  • It means that an algorithm exists for its solution such that the number of steps in the algorithm is bounded by a polynomial function of n. n corresponds to the length of the input for the problem.
  • NP Problems - A problem is called NP if its solution can be guessed and verified in polynomial time, and nondeterministic means that no particular rule is followed to make the guess.


Source: PIB, News On Air, The Hindu, Live Mint

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