These current affairs are written in a easy to remember format and are useful for competitive exams like - UPSC Civil Services, UPPSC, BPSC, MPPPSC, State PSCs and other competitive examinations.
What is "PASSEX Exercise" ?
Navies of India and the U.K. participated in a two-day bilateral Passage Exercise (PASSEX) in the Bay of Bengal from July 21 to 22.
Soil Health Card (SHC) scheme was launched on December 5, 2015 to provide soil test based fertilizer use recommendations periodically to the farmers in the country.
Soil Health Card (SHC) is a printed report which contains nutrient status of soil with respect to 12 nutrients: pH, Electrical Conductivity (EC), Organic Carbon (OC), Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Sulphur (S), Zinc (Zn), Boron (B), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn) and Copper (Cu) of farm holdings.
The card is provided to all farmers in the country at an interval of 3 years, farmers can track their soil samples and also obtain their Soil Health Card report.
Under the Phase-I (2015-17) of the scheme, 10.74 crore cards were distributed, while under the Phase-II (2017-19), 11.69 crore cards have been distributed.
Soil health card provides nutrient status of the soil along with prescription about balanced and integrated use of inorganic and organic fertilizers to maintain good health that results in increase in production.
Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) also imparts training, organizes front line demonstrations to educate farmers on this aspect.
The Soil Health Card scheme has led to a decline of 8-10% in the use of chemical fertilizers and also raised productivity by 5-6%.
What is "Gaon Bura" ?
The Assam Cabinet announced that Gaon Buras (village headman), village-level functionaries of the district administration, will henceforth be called "Gaon Pradhans".
The institution of Gaon Bura in Assam dates back to the colonial era, when the British appointed the oldest person in the village as the head, who would oversee matters relating to land and revenue in a particular area.
In Arunachal Pradesh, too, the Gaon Buras (and Buris) are the most important village-level functionaries.
Delhi-based NGO Toxics Link released a study titled, "Quantitative analysis of Microplastics along River Ganga", which has found that the river is heavily polluted with microplastics.
Microplastics are the most notorious because of their small size, on average microplastics are less than 5 mm in length or roughly equal to five pinheads.
Because of their small size, microplastics are ingested by marine habitants including fish, corals, planktons and sea mammals and are then carried further into the food chain.
Untreated sewage, industrial waste and religious offerings that are wrapped in non-degradable plastic add a significant amount of pollutants into the river. As the river flows, these waste and plastic materials break down further and are eventually carried into the ocean.
In May 2015, the government approved the
Programmes launched before this include the Ganga Action Plan (GAP) in 1985, the IIT Consortium (2011) for water diversion and effective treatment, and the National Mission for Clean Ganga in 2011.
The Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) was Launched in 2018 as cacentrally sponsored scheme, is undertaken under the name of "Sabka Sath, Sabka Gaon, Sabka Vikas".
The RGSA helps more than 2.55 lakh Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) to develop governance capabilities to deliver on SDGs through inclusive local governance with focus on optimum utilisation of available resources.
The key principles of SDGs, i.e. leaving no one behind, reaching the farthest first and universal coverage, along with gender equality will be embedded in the design of all capacity building interventions including trainings, training modules and materials.
The implementation and monitoring of the activities of the scheme are broadly aligned for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with main thrust on Panchayats identified under Mission Antyodaya and Aspirational districts as identified by NITI Aayog.
This scheme extends to all States and UTs of the country and will also include institutions of rural local government in non-Part IX areas, where Panchayats do not exist.
The scheme will strengthen Gram Sabhas to function as effective institutions with social inclusion of citizens particularly the vulnerable groups.
It will establish the institutional structure for capacity building of PRIs at the national, state and district level with adequate human resources and infrastructure.