Daily Current Affairs April 17

Mains Topic – GS Paper III – Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development; Tourism Sector


Why in News?

The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India is currently organizing a series of Webinars under the overall theme of ‘DekhoApnaDesh’ with a view to encourage Indians to explore their own country and to enrich the knowledge of stakeholders in the tourism industry, students, general public, etc. on various aspect of tourism sector.

About DekhoApnaDesh

The Ministry of Tourism (MoT) has come up with a very innovative plan to promote travel and tourism within India. They have launched a campaign called Dekho Apna Desh, where the Ministry will reward those who travel to 15 Indian destinations within a year. 

The objective behind the launch of the webinar series is to showcase the diverse and remarkable history of India. It will celebrate the cultural heritage that includes cuisines, dance forms, monuments, arts, festivals, landscapes and other aspects of Indian civilization.

The webinar series will make opportunity for people to explore the wonders of the country via a series of sessions, will bring alive the history and culture of India. Covering myriad destinations across the length of the country, the webinar will let the people experience various tourist attractions, give informative tidbits about them, and also regale them with interesting stories from history. 

DekhoApnaDesh: Key Highlights

  • With a huge impact on tourism due to the ongoing lockdown, Dekho Apna Desh webinar series will help to visit places and destinations virtually with the help of technology.
  • The webinar shall be an ongoing feature of the Ministry of Tourism.
  • The first webinar ‘City of Cities- Delhi’s personal Diary” included interesting anecdotes and social history of the city.
  • The session was conducted by the India City Walks and around 5500 people registered for the session.


Mains Topic – GS Paper III – Conservation, Environment and Biodiversity, Environmental Impact Assessment.


Why in News?

The calving season of the Nilgiri tahr is coming to a close. There is an expectation of increased number of calves owing to the peaceful and undisturbed environs in its habitats, spread across Munnar, in the wake of the lockdown.

About Nilgiri Tahr

The Nilgiri tahr is an ungulate that is endemic to the Nilgiri Hills and the southern portion of the Western & Eastern Ghats in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in Southern India. Its scientific name is Nilgiritragus hylocrius. Nilgiri Tahr is also known as Nilgiri Ibex.

Other Facts about Nilgiri Tahr

  • It has been listed as “Endangered” by IUCN.
  • It has been listed under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 which provides absolute protection and offences under these are prescribed the highest penalties.
  • It is the state animal of Tamil Nadu.
  • It is found in open montane grassland habitat of rain forests eco region.
  • It is endemic to the Nilgiri Hills and the southern portion of the Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
  • The Adult males of Nilgiri Tahr species develop a light grey area or “saddle” on their backs and are hence called “Saddlebacks”.

Threats faced by Nilgiri Tahr

  • Habitat loss, mainly from domestic livestock and spread of invasive plants.
  • Populations of these animals are small and isolated, making them vulnerable to local extinction
  • Poaching
  • Climate Change


Mains Topic – GS Paper III – Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Growth, Development and Employment.


Why in news?

Additional Skill Acquisition Programme (ASAP) has commenced webinars for undergraduate and postgraduate students in view of the difficulty in conducting classes during the COVID-19 lockdown.

About ASAP

Additional Skill Acquisition Programme (ASAP) , a joint initiative of General and Higher Education Departments of state of Kerala, was launched with an objective to impart quality skill education to the higher secondary and undergraduate students alongside their regular curriculum. Owing to the success of the program, attained over the years, the target group has widened to professional colleges and is set to kick off community skilling through the Community Skill Parks.

ASAP’s inclusive skilling approach has paved way to innovative initiatives in the skilling arena. Funded by ADB, ASAP has now spread out its contour to 1210 educational institutions across the state. ASAP is to accentuate the employability of the youth. ASAP gives special edge to those students who are in need of immediate employment.

Areas focused by ASAP

  • Train and develop a highly competent pool of expert personnel and skill trainers.
  • Design and develop NSQF aligned skill courses.
  • Standardize the Assessment and Certification protocols for skill training programmes.
  • Offer consultancy services for skill training and course development.
  • Establish a highly potential Quality Assurance mechanism for skill training.

Initiatives under ASAP

  1. Community Skill Parks: The Community Skill Parks (CSP) are the flagship initiative under Additional Skill Acquisition Programme by Govt. of Kerala. The aim of this project is to set up international level multiskilling center to empower the people of state as well as strengthen the community to secure better livelihood which lead to a stronger economy.
  2. Additional Skill Acquisition Academy (ASAA): Additional Skill Acquisition Academy was envisioned as a holistic solution to the training goals perceived by ASAP. The administration of ASAP skill courses into the regular educational curriculum will be fulfilled through ASAA, where the main curriculum integration and training pool development will take place.
  3. Skill Mentorship for Innovative Life Experience (SMILE): SMILE is designed for 10th standard completed students across the state to inculcate confidence, to develop communication, technical and vocational skills and to make them aware of opportunities to earn a living.  As a career orientation program, it lays emphasis on gaining experiences through skill training from the most relevant industry partners, experience sharing sessions by practitioners as well as getting opportunities to earn meaningful confidence in facing the society.

Career Facilitation: The promise of quality and standard skill education in Kerala is met out by ASAP by offering sensibly constructed industry relevant skill modules which imparts the youth with empoyability skills. . The trainees are allotted to real industrial environments after the completion of the training in order to gain valuable industry exposure and experience in their concerned trade. This includes placement strategies also.