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UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 30-05-2020

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May 30, 2020

INS Kalinga

  • INS Kalinga is a premier Naval Establishment located on the Visakhapatnam- Bheemunipatnam beach road under the Eastern Naval Command.
  • Recently a 2 MegaWatts (MW) solar photovoltaic plant was commissioned at INS Kalinga.
  • This is in tune with the initiative of the Union government to promote solar power and the objective to achieve 100 GW of solar power by 2022 as part of the National Solar Mission.

National Solar Mission

  • The National Solar Mission is an initiative of the Government of India and State Governments to promote solar power.
  • The mission is one of the several policies of the National Action Plan on Climate Change.
  • The program was inaugurated in 2010 with a target of 20GW by 2022 which was later increased to 100 GW by present government in the 2015 Union budget of India.
  • India increased its solar power generation capacity by nearly 5 times from 2,650 MW to 12,288.83 MW, and the original target of 20 GW was surpassed in 2018, four years ahead of the 2022 deadline.

International Solar Alliance

  • The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an alliance of 121 countries initiated by India, most of them being sunshine countries, which lie either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
  • The primary objective of the alliance is to work for efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
  • The alliance is a treaty-based inter-governmental organization. Countries that do not fall within the Tropics can also join the alliance and enjoy all benefits as other members, with the exception of voting rights.
  • After the United Nations, it will be the largest grouping of states world-wide.
  • The initiative was launched at India Africa Summit, and a meeting of member countries ahead of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in November 2015.
  • The framework agreement of the International Solar Alliance opened for signatures in Marrakech, Morocco in November 2016, and 200 countries have joined.

National Action Plan on Climate Change

  • The National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) was launched in 2008 by the Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change.
  • It aims at creating awareness among the representatives of the public, different agencies of the government, scientists, industry and the communities on the threat posed by climate change and the steps to counter it.
  • There are 8 national missions forming the core of the NAPCC which represent multi-pronged, long term and integrated strategies for achieving key goals in climate change.
  • These are-
  1. National Solar Mission
  2. National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency
  3. National Mission on Sustainable Habitat
  4. National Water Mission
  5. National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem
  6. National Mission for A Green India
  7. National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture
  8. National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change


  • Recently, the foundation stone for a missile park "Agneeprastha" was laid at INS Kalinga.
  • The Missile Park ‘AGNEEPRASTHA’ aims to capture glimpses of missile history of INS Kalinga from its establishment in 1981 till date.
  • It has been set up with a replica of missiles and Ground Support Equipment (GSE) that showcase the evolution of missiles handled by the unit.
  • P-70 'Ametist', an underwater launched anti-ship missile from the arsenal of the old 'Chakra' (Charlie-1 submarine) which was in service with Indian Navy during 1988-91 is the main attraction point in the Park.
  • AGNEEPRASTHA will provide a one-stop arena for motivation and stimulation of curious minds regarding the missiles and related technologies, from school children to Naval personnel and their families.
  • It will be dedicated to all the officers, sailors and support staff of INS Kalinga.
  • It will also commemorate the award of the prestigious Unit Citation to INS Kalinga for the year 2018-19.

Index of Eight Core Industries

  • Index of Eight Core Industries is released by Office of Economic Adviser, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.
  • The eight core industries includes
  1. Coal
  2. Crude Oil
  3. Natural Gas
  4. Refinery Products
  5. Fertilizers
  6. Steel
  7. Cement
  8. Electricity
  • The Eight Core Industries comprise 40.27 per cent of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP)
  • According to the recent report the growth rate of Index of Eight Core Industries for April 2020 declined by 38.1% (provisional) compared to decline of 9 percent (provisional) previous month of March 2020
  • In view of nationwide lockdown during April 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic, eight core industries experienced substantial loss of production.
  • Final growth rate of Index of Eight Core Industries for January’2020 remains unchanged at 2.2%.

Index of Industrial Production

  • The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index that shows the growth rates in different industry groups of the economy in a fixed period of time.
  • It is compiled and published monthly by the Central Statistical Organization (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
  • IIP is a composite indicator that measures the growth rate of industry groups classified under:
  1. Broad sectors, namely, Mining, Manufacturing, and Electricity.
  2. Use-based sectors, namely Basic Goods, Capital Goods, and Intermediate Goods.
  • IIP is the only measure on the physical volume of production.
  • It is used by government agencies including the Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank of India, etc, for policy-making purposes.
  • IIP remains extremely relevant for the calculation of the quarterly and advance GDP estimates.
  • Base Year for IIP is 2011-2012.

Rozgar Setu scheme

  • The Madhya Pradesh Government has announced the launch of the ‘Rozgar Setu’ scheme, to help secure employment for skilled workers who have returned back to their homes and were employed at industries elsewhere.
  • Madhya Pradesh is the first state to devise such a work plan for the workers.
  • The State government will act as a setu (bridge) between workers and employers so that both are benefited.
  • This would fulfil the manpower requirement of industries as well as provide employment to workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.


  • Madhya Pradesh administration also hailed the Centre’s ‘SWAMITVA Yojana’ under which rural areas would be surveyed to help prepare land records.
  • SVAMITVA - Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas scheme.
  • It is a collaborative effort of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, State Panchayati Raj Departments, State Revenue Departments and Survey of India.
  • Through the scheme rural population will be given land ownership records as proof of their right over plots of land.
  • The State government has said the scheme would help gram panchayats secure local sources of revenue.
  • At the panchayat level, it will be easier to draw up development plans and public properties could be protected.
  •  Further, the scheme would help resolve property disputes.

South West Monsoon

  • The period June to September is referred to as the 'Southwest Monsoon' period.
  • Southwest Monsoon period is the principal rainy season for the Indian subcontinent. 
  • This is the summer monsoon period where the southwest monsoon holds away over the country, the whole country receives nearly 75% of its rainfall during this period.                   
  • Southwest monsoon sets in over the extreme southwestern tip of the peninsula between May 28th (on time) - June 5th (delay).
  • The IMD's onset date of June 5 is based on a weather model that has a built-in error margin of four days.
  • Thus a June 5 onset can technically encompass all days from June1 to 9.
  • The earliest onset was on 11th May in 1918 and 1955, while the most delayed onset was on 18th June in 1972.
  • The monsoons advance quickly accompanied with a lot of thunder, lightning and heavy downpour, and this sudden onset of rain is termed as monsoon burst.
  • A key criteria to declaring the monsoon as having arrived is that,
  1. At least 8 of 14 meteorological stations in Kerala and Karnataka consistently measure more than 2.5 mm of rains for two continuous days.
  2. Rainfall apart, sustained windspeeds of 30-40 kmph at 5 to 6 kilometre from the sea level were a key criteria.

Factors Influencing South-West Monsoon Formation

  • The differential heating and cooling of land and water – It creates a low pressure on the landmass of India while the seas around experience comparatively high pressure.
  • The shift of the position of Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) in summer, over the Ganga plain (this is the equatorial trough normally positioned about 5°N of the equator, it is also known as the monsoon-trough during the monsoon season).
  • The presence of the high-pressure area, east of Madagascar, approximately at 20°S over the Indian Ocean, the intensity and position of this high-pressure area affect the Indian Monsoon.
  • The Tibetan plateau gets intensely heated during summer, which results in strong vertical air currents and the formation of low pressure over the plateau at about 9 km above sea level.
  • The movement of the westerly jet stream to the north of the Himalayas and the presence of the tropical easterly jet stream over the Indian peninsula during summer and Tropical Easterly Jet (African Easterly Jet).
  • Southern Oscillation (SO) - Normally when the tropical eastern south Pacific Ocean experiences high pressure, the tropical eastern Indian Ocean experiences low pressure.
  • But in certain years, there is a reversal in the pressure conditions and the eastern Pacific has lower pressure in comparison to the eastern Indian Ocean.
  • This periodic change in pressure conditions is known as the SO.

Inter Tropical Convergence Zone

  • The Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ,) is a broad trough of low pressure in equatorial latitudes.
  • This is where the northeast and the southeast trade winds converge.
  • This convergence zone lies more or less parallel to the equator but moves north or south with the apparent movement of the sun.

Marine Salvage Industry of Alang

  • Alang is a census town in Bhavnagar district in the Indian state of Gujarat.
  • In the past three decades, its beaches have become a major worldwide centre for ship breaking.
  • The shipyards at Alang recycle approximately half of all ships salvaged around the world.
  • It is considered the world's largest graveyard of ships.
  • The yards are located on the Gulf of Khambat, 50 km (31 mi) southeast of Bhavnagar.
  • The employers cannot employ laborers directly, they must be trained by the institute run by Gujarat Maritime Board.
  • The Indian Ship-breaking industry generates resources such as re-rolling scrap, melting scrap, cast Iron scrap, non-ferrous metals, machinery, and wooden articles.
  • The industry is so hazardous that it is said that one worker dies in Alang every day.

Source: PIB, The Hindu, Down to Earth

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