GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.

11-Year-Old Indian-American Gitanjali Rao Named America’s Top Yo

Background-

  • Gitanjali Rao, an 11-year-old Indian-American schoolgirl, was named as “America’s top young scientist” for inventing a cost-effective, quick lead-contamination detector in water. The seventh-grade student was inspired by the large-scale lead contamination in water in Flint, Michigan (USA), that came to light recently.
  • The cost-cutting measures employed by Flint led to contaminated water becoming the primary source of water for many. Officials are facing manslaughter charges for allowing lead-contaminated water to be used in the water system in 2014-15.

 

Highlights Of The Development–

  • Rao won $25,000 for taking the top position at the 2017 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. She was chosen from 10 finalists who had worked with scientists for three months to develop their ideas.
  • The competition, which is held every year, asks children to invent a device that could solve everyday problems. The children then upload videos demonstrating their invention and 10 finalists are chosen.
  • Rao’s device uses carbon nanotubes to detect lead contamination. Around 5,300 water systems in the United States are reportedly contaminated by lead.
  • The portable device, which she named Tethys after the Greek goddess of fresh water, allows a sensor linked to a mobile app to deliver accurate and quick analysis of the water sample. Earlier methods were expensive since the sample had to be sent to a lab for reliable testing.
  • The 11-year-old came upon the solution while browsing the website of the MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering. When she read an article on new technologies that could be used to detect hazardous substances, Rao decided to adapt it to detect lead. She sought the help of her parents, Bharathi Rao and Ram Rao, both engineers, her teachers and experts at local colleges.
  • Rao wants to improve upon the device so that it could eventually be used by people. She aspires to become either a geneticist or epidemiologist when she grows up.

Sources- Little India.

 

GS Paper II- Governance.

UP Govt To Start Chief Minister’s Helpline Service.

Background

  • To expeditiously redress the problems of the people, the Yogi Adityanath led Uttar Pradesh government will soon start a chief minister’s helpline service.
  • The UP Cabinet in a meeting presided over by Chief Minister Adityanath approved a proposal in this regard on 24th October, 2017.
  • The UP Cabinet also gave its nod for the constitution of a Prayagraj Mela Pradhikaran (Prayagraj Mela Authority).

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Regarding the helpline service, in the first phase, a call centre will be established in Lucknow.
  • Giving details, UP Energy minister Shrikant Sharma said that for redressal of problems of the common public, a toll-free Mukhyamantri Helpline Seva will be started. In the first phase, a 24-hour call centre will be established in Lucknow.
  • A person sitting in any region of the state can register his or her complaint.
  • After this the complaint will be forwarded to the relevant department for redressal. Once the department says that the complaint has been resolved, the call centre will contact the complainant, and if the problem is not solved then action will be initiated against the concerned official.
  • He also informed that the call centre will be monitored by the chief minister and his office.
  • In another public notice, UP Health minister Sidhartha Nath Singh said that the Ardh Kumbh Mela will now be called Kumbh Mela, while Kumbh Mela will be known as Mahakumbh.
  • The Cabinet has also given its approval for constitution of Prayagraj Mela Pradhikaran. The preparations for the Mela have already started, and the 2019 Ardh Kumbh Mela will be of international standards and earn laurel for the state from tourism point of view.

Sources- Business-Standard.

 

GS Paper III- Security.

Shri Rajnath Singh Attends 56th Raising Day Parade Of Indo-Tibetan Border Police; 50 New ITBP Posts Along China border, Troops To Learn Chinese.

Background

  • The government is considering building 50 more ITBP posts along the India-China border and using technology to ensure a round-the-year temperature of 20 degrees Celsius in all its high-altitude bases, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on 24th October, 2017. Addressing jawans and officers of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) during its 56th Raising Day celebrations , Singh announced a slew of measures to bolster its capabilities.
  • These include construction of 25 border roads in Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh; special lightweight winter clothing for troops deployed above 9,000 feet and an enhanced fleet of snow scooters to patrol the high-altitude areas of the 3,488-km-long Sino-Indian frontier.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • There are 176 border posts along the India-China border at present. He said the government is considering using technology to ensure a temperature of at least 20 degrees Celsius is maintained in all high-altitude ITBP posts that bear the brunt of snow blizzards and sub-zero climate.
  • A senior officer said the move is aimed at ensuring that forward border posts are not abandoned during extreme snow and cold.
  • Singh said he was not satisfied with housing and infrastructure facilities available with the 1962-raised force and he was “seriously” working to improve these areas.
  • The minister said 35 old border posts of the force in very high-altitude areas are being upgraded as “composite” units. He said they are working to enhance road, mobile and satellite connectivity in the border areas for the ITBP.
  • The minister asked ITBP troops to ensure and build good relations with border dwellers as they are “strategic assets” of the country and important stakeholders in keeping the borders safe.
  • Keeping in mind the frequent face offs between the Indian and Chinese troops, ITBP personnel are now learning Chinese during their basic training, he said.
  • Lauding the force, Singh asked ITBP officers to take responsibility of at least one family of personnel killed in the line of duty.
  • The ministry is also working to help jawans who have suffered 50 per cent disability during operations through the Bharat Ke Veer benevolent fund, he said.
  • ITBP Director General (DG) R K Pachnanda said the force has been nominated as the “nodal agency” for obtaining and channelising satellite communication for all border-guarding forces in the country.

Sources- The Indian Express.