Important news topics from August 5, 2020, which are critical for UPSC CSE Examination

1. Shadesmart and Radiant cooling[source]

Developed by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in partnership with the Department of Science & Technology

Shadesmart: Shading system

  • Shadesmart is novel external shading solution for windows in residential and commercial buildings under the project Habitat Model for Efficiency and Comfort.
  • Benefits
    • Innovative and cost-effective solution for achieving indoor comfort with reduced electricity consumption in air conditioning and lighting.
  • ShadeSmart changes its configuration depending upon the Sun’s position.
    For example, when the Sun is in the East direction, East façade windows will be shaded, once the Sun is in South orientation during noon ShadeSmart configuration on East changes to provide unobstructed external views and glare-free daylight.

Radiant cooling perceived COVID safe

  • The second technology, Radiant Cooling, where cooling is achieved through radiant heat transfer, as against regular convective air conditioning is efficient and gives better quality of thermal comfort.
  • Radiant cooled buildings have an extremely high potential of energy-saving (60-70%). Standard protocols for operation of radiant cooled buildings and adaptive thermal comfort standards for radiant cooled buildings in India will make it convenient for the masses to adopt radiant cooling technology.

2. UN Report on the Impact of Covid-19 on Children[source]

Report by UNESCO

  • According to the recently released UN Report on the Impact of Covid-19 on Children, almost 24 million children could drop out or not have access to school next year due to the economic impact of Covid-19.
  • More than 1.6 billion learners across the world have been affected by the disruption of the education system, but the pandemic has also served to exacerbate existing disparities, with vulnerable populations in low-income countries taking a harder and longer hit.
  • For example, during the second quarter of 2020, 86% of children at the primary level have been effectively out of school in poor countries, compared to just 20% in highly developed countries.
  • Girls and young women are likely to be disproportionately affected as school closures make them more vulnerable to child marriage, early pregnancy and gender-based violence.
  • The economic loss might reach $16,000 of lost earnings over a student’s lifetime, translating over time into $10 trillion of lost earnings globally.

3. Nagara Architecture of Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir[source]

The grand temple at Rama Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya will follow the Nagara style of temple architecture.

  • The Nagara style of temple architecture is found in northern India.
    • In the Nagara style, the temple is generally constructed on an upraised platform called jagati. Mandapasare present in front of the Garbhagriha. These are adorned with the Shikhara, the tallest one being above the Garbhagriha.
    • Nagara style doesn’t usually have elaborate boundary walls or gateways.
    • Generally, there is no water tank in the temple premises and the pradakshina patha is covered.
    • The garbhagriha is always located directly under the tallest tower.
  • The basic form of a Hindu temple contains the following architectural elements:
    1. Garbhagriha– the small room where the principle deity/deities of the temple reside
    2. Mandapa– the portico or hall at the entrance of the temple generally designed to house a large number of people
    3. Shikhara– the mountain like spire which can have different shapes from pyramidal to curvilinear
    4. Vahana– the mount or vehicle of the main deity placed generally in line of sight from Garbhagriha
  • Subdivisions: Odisha, Khajuraho, Solanki etc.

4. Pakistan’s New Map[source]

Recently, Pakistan has released a new political map that includes all of Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Sir Creek and Junagadh.

  • The map has been released on the eve of the first anniversary of the abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.
  • The map depicts entire Jammu & Kashmir as a disputed territory and does not show any borders in the east of Kashmir. It has also renamed Kashmir Highway in Islamabad as Srinagar Highway.
  • It claims the Siachen, regions of Sir Creek and the erstwhile state of Junagadh in Gujarat as part of Pakistan’s territory. This is not the first time Pakistan has tried to portray Junagadh as part of its territory. The 2012 Atlas of Pakistan also portrayed Junagadh as a Pakistan’s territory.
  • The map also shows the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) as being part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

5. Expansion of Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS)[Source]

Recently, the government has expanded its Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS)

  • Expanded to cover loans given to larger firms as well as to self-employed people and professionals who have taken loans for business purposes.
  • The loans are extended in the form of additional working capital term loan facility in case of banks and additional term loan facility in case of NBFCs to eligible Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)/business enterprises and interested Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) borrowers.
  • First-time borrowers and Non-Performing Asset (NPA) accounts cannot raise funds under the scheme.
  • The scheme has been expanded to cover:
    • Enterprises with a turnover up to Rs. 250 crore with outstanding loans up to Rs. 50 crore (as on 29th February, 2020).
      • The earlier limit was Rs. 100 crore and Rs 25 crore, respectively.
      • Credit under GECL is provided up to 20% of the borrower’s total outstanding credit up to Rs. 25 crore.
      • The expansion of the limits has increased the maximum amount of loans that can be availed under the Scheme to Rs. 10 crore (20% of 50 crore) from Rs. 5 crore (20% of 25 crore).
    • Individual beneficiaries including both professionals such as doctors, lawyers and chartered accountants, as well as self-employed people such as vendors or taxi drivers.
    • The changes in the ECLGS scheme are likely to make an additional Rs 1 lakh crore eligible.

5. Thenzawl Golf Resort in Mizoram[Source]

Recently, the Thenzawl Golf Resort Project in Mizoram has been virtually inaugurated.

  • Under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
  • Sanctioned under the Integrated Development of New Eco-Tourism under Swadesh Darshan-North East Circuit at Thenzawl and South Zote, District Serchhip and Reiek, Mizoram.
    • Eco-Tourism has been broadly defined as tourism which is ecologically sustainable.
  • A total amount of Rs. 92.25 crore was sanctioned for it, out of which Rs. 64.48 crore was sanctioned for various components at Thenzawl including the golf course which is designed to have facilities of international standards.
    • The competitive advantage of Thenzawl Golf Course is that it will provide quality golfing experience at a fair price.