Ramakrishna Mission and Ramakrishna Movement
One of the most prominent religious figures of India during the nineteenth century, Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa was a mystic and a yogi who translated complex spiritual concepts into lucid and easily intelligible manner. Born in a simple Bengali rural family in 1836, Ramakrishna was as simple yogi. He pursued the Divine throughout his life in various forms and believed in divine embodiment of the Supreme Being in every individual. Ramakrishna was the embodiment of spiritual salvation to troubled souls from all walks of life.
He was a key figure in revival of Hinduism in Bengal at a time when intense spiritual crisis was gripping the province leading to predominance of young Bengalis embracing Brahmoism and Christianity. His legacy did not end with his death in 1886; his most prominent disciple Swami Vivekananda carried on his teachings and philosophy to the world through Ramakrishna Mission. In essence, his teachings were as traditional as ancient sages and seer, yet he remains contemporary throughout the ages.
Ramakrishna Mission and Ramakrishna Math
- Ramakrishna Math is a monastic organization for men brought into existence by Sri Ramakrishna (1836-1886), the great 19th century saint of Bengal.
- Ramakrishna Mission is a registered society in which monks of Ramakrishna Math and lay devotees cooperate in conducting various types of social service mainly in India.
- It was founded by Sri Ramakrishna’s chief apostle, Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), one of the foremost thinkers and religious leaders of the present age, who is regarded as ‘one of the main moulders of the modern world’, in the words of an eminent Western scholar A. L. Basham. Although Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission are legally and financially separate, they are closely inter-related in several other ways, and are to be regarded as twin organizations.
Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)
- Swami Vivekananda, known in his pre-monastic life as Narendra Nath Datta, was born in an affluent family in Kolkata on 12 January 1863.
- At the threshold of youth, he had to pass through a period of spiritual crisis when he was assailed by doubts about the existence of God. It was at that time he first heard about Sri Ramakrishna from one of his English professors at college. Apart from removing doubts from the mind of Narendra, Sri Ramakrishna won him over through his pure, unselfish love.
- During his travels all over India, Swami Vivekananda was deeply moved to see the appalling poverty and backwardness of the masses. He was the first religious leader in India to understand and openly declare that the real cause of India’s downfall was the neglect of the masses. The immediate need was to provide food and other bare necessities of life to the hungry millions.
- It was in this context that Vivekananda grasped the crux of the problem of poverty in India (which had escaped the attention of social reformers of his days): owing to centuries of oppression, the downtrodden masses had lost faith in their capacity to improve their lot.
Li-Ion cell technology
ISRO has transferred its indigenous technology to produce space-grade Li-Ion cells to BHEL.
A lithium-ion battery or Li-ion battery (abbreviated as LIB) is a type of rechargeable battery.
- Li-ion batteries use an intercalated lithium compound as one electrode material, compared to the metallic lithium used in a non-rechargeable lithium battery.
- The electrolyte, which allows for ionic movement, and the two electrodes are the constituent components of a lithium-ion battery cell.
Working: In this, lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging.
Application: They are one of the most popular types of rechargeable batteries for portable electronics. LIBs are also growing in popularity for military, battery electric vehicle and aerospace applications.
Benefits: They have high energy density, tiny memory effect and low self-discharge.
Safety hazards: These batteries can pose unique safety hazards since they contain a flammable electrolyte and may be kept pressurized. A battery cell charged too quickly could cause a short circuit, leading to explosions and fires.
BHEL will be sending a team of senior officers for study of the techno-commercial issues soon. Based upon the recommendations of the team, further process towards formation of Joint Venture will be carried forward.
- With this, India has finally taken steps into its energy security and clean energy commitment to the world.
- This project will bring energy independence by replacing oil imports with abundant renewable. It will also create integrated manufacturing ecosystem resulting in self-reliance and lower cost.
Defence Acquisition Council
An overarching structure, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), under the Defence Minister was constituted for overall guidance of the defence procurement planning process.
The composition of the DAC is as follows:
Defence Minister: Chairman
Minister of State for Defence: Member
Chief of Army Staff: Member
Chief of Naval Staff: Member
Chief of Air Staff: Member
Defence Secretary: Member
Secretary Defence Research & Development: Member
Secretary Defence Production: Member
Chief of Integrated Staff Committees HQ IDS: Member
Director General (Acquisition): Member
Dy. Chief of Integrated Defence: Staff Member Secretary
The objective of the Defence Acquisition Council is to ensure expeditious procurement of the approved requirements of the Armed Forces in terms of capabilities sought, and time frame prescribed, by optimally utilizing the allocated budgetary resources.
The functions of the DAC include:
- in-principle approval of 15 Year Long-Term Integrated Perspective Plan for Defence Forces;
- accord of Acceptance of Necessity to acquisition proposals;
- categorization of the acquisition proposals relating to ‘Buy’, ‘Buy & Make’ and ‘Make’;
- issues relating to Single vendor clearance;
- decision regarding ‘offset’ provisions in respect of acquisition proposals above Rs. 300 crores;
- decisions regarding Transfer of Technology under ‘Buy & Make’ category of acquisition proposals; and
- Field Trial evaluation.
ADB, India sign $451 Million Loan to strengthen Power Connectivity in Tamil Nadu
- It is a regional development bank
- established on 19 December 1966.
- headquartered — Manila, Philippines.
- official United Nations Observer.
The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP, formerly the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East or ECAFE) and non-regional developed countries.
It is modeled closely on the World Bank, and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members’ capital subscriptions.
Roles and functions:
- ADB defines itself as a social development organization that is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.
- This is carried out through investments – in the form of loans, grants and information sharing – in infrastructure, health care services, financial and public administration systems, helping nations prepare for the impact of climate change or better manage their natural resources, as well as other areas.
The Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2019 Introduced in Lok Sabha today
- The Bill aims to consolidate and amend the laws relating to trade unions, conditions of employment in industrial establishment or undertaking, investigation and settlement of industrial disputes.
- The draft code on Industrial Relations has been prepared after amalgamating, simplifying and rationalizing the relevant provisions of following three Central Labour Acts viz: The Trade Unions Act, 1926, The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 and The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
The Union Cabinet approved the Industrial Relations Code, 2019 on November 20, 2019
- Setting up of two-member tribunal (in place of one member) introducing a concept that some of the important cases will be adjudicated jointly and the rest by a single member resulting speedier disposal of cases.
- To impart flexibility to the exit provisions (relating to retrenchment etc.), for which, the threshold for prior approval of appropriate Government has been kept unchanged at 100 employees, but added a provision for changing ‘such number of employees’ through notification.
- The re-skilling fund is to be utilised for crediting to workers in the manner to be prescribed.
- Definition of Fixed Term Employment and that it would not lead to any notice period and payment of compensation on retrenchment excluded.
- Vesting of powers with the government officers for adjudication of disputes involving penalty as fines thereby lessening the burden on tribunal.
Char Dham Programme
The project involves developing and widening 900-km of national highways connecting the holy Hindu pilgrimage sites of; Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri at an estimated cost of Rs.12,000 crores.
The highway will be called Char Dham Mahamarg(Char Dham Highway) and the highway construction project will be called as Char Dham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojana (Char Dham Highway Development Project).
The roads will be widened from 12m to 24m and the project will involve construction of tunnels, bypasses, bridges, subways and viaducts.
Green Highway Policy
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has come up with an initiative which aims at turning National Highways (NH) stretches into Green Corridors.
The National Highway (NH) stretches will be made green corridors by planting trees, landscaping, and laying grass turfs and ornamental shrubs.
This initiative to make the NH stretches eco-friendly is part of the green highways policy to “tree-line” 96,000 km of NHs across the country.
Funding: A Green Highways Fund would be set apart utilising 1% of the civil work cost while arriving at total road project cost.
The funds to be transferred to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) would be used exclusively for plantation and maintenance on all NH stretches being developed on the Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) and Build Operate Transfer (BOT) mode.
The NHAI will act as Fund Manager for maintaining the account and for release of the payments made by the Regional Officer or Project Director based on the recommendation of the monitoring agency-Indian Highways Management Company Ltd (IHMCL).
Initially, at least one NH corridor in each State would be taken up for model plantation, which would be replicated in other stretches subsequently. The plantation and maintenance would be done through empanelled agencies of MoRTH through competitive bidding.
The Green Highways (Plantation and Maintenance) Policy, 2015 will be effective for all the new NH projects to be sanctioned from September this year.
Green Highway (Plantation, Transplantation, Beautification and Maintenance) Policy 2015
- Aims to help environment, help local communities, and generate employment
- First year target to cover 6000Km
- Green Highways Fund: 1% of total cost of highway projects
- The objectives of the policy include developing a policy framework for the plantation of trees along highways, reducing the impact of air pollution and dust, providing shade on glaring hot roads during summer, reducing the impact of noise pollution and soil erosion, preventing the glare from the headlights of incoming vehicles, and generating employment
- There will be a strong monitoring mechanism in place by using ISRO’s Bhuvan and GAGAN satellite systems. Every planted tree will be counted and auditing will be done. The agencies performing well will receive annual awards