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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

Monthly DNA

27 Jan, 2024

23 Min Read

Sports and Adventure Awards 2023

GS-II : Governance Sports

Recently, the President of India presided over a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan to bestow the prestigious National Sports and Adventure Awards 2023.The awards are administered by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India.

  • Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award:
    • India's highest sporting honor established in 1991-92.
    • Named after hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand.
    • Given for outstanding performances over 4 years.
    • Notable awardees include MC Mary Kom, PV Sindhu, Sachin Tendulkar, and Virat Kohli.

2023: Chirag Shetty and Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy (badminton).

  • Arjuna Award:
    • Instituted in 1961, it was India’s highest sporting honor before the Khel Ratna came into being.
    • Named after the Mahabharata character Arjuna.
    • Awarded for consistent good performance over 4 years.
    • Winners receive a statuette of Arjuna, a certificate, and a cash prize.
    • First awarded to football Olympian PK Banerjee in 1961.
    • First woman awardee: Hockey player Anna Lumsden.
      • 2023: Aditi Gopichand Swami (archery), Mohammed Shami (cricket), Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar (shooting), among others.
  • Dronacharya Award:
    • India's highest sports honor for coaches, instituted in 1985.
    • Named after Dronacharya, Arjuna's coach in Mahabharata.
    • Awardees receive a bronze statue of Dronacharya, a certificate, and a cash prize.
    • First woman awardee: Athletics coach Renu Kohli in 2002.
    • Given for both recent accomplishments and lifetime contributions.

2023:

Regular Category: Lalit Kumar (wrestling), RB Ramesh (chess) among others.

Lifetime Category:Jaskirat Singh Grewal (golf), Bhaskaran E (kabaddi) among others.

  • Major Dhyan Chand Award:
    • Instituted in 2002, honors lifetime achievements in sports.
    • Recognizes contributions to the promotion of sports in an individual capacity.
    • First awardees include Olympian boxer Shahuraj Birajdar and hockey player Ashok Diwan.
      • 2023: Manjusha Kanwar (badminton), Vineet Kumar Sharma (hockey), Kavitha Selvaraj (kabaddi).
  • Maulana Abul Kalam AzadTrophy (MAKA):
    • Oldest National Sports Award in India, instituted in 1956–1957.
    • Given to an institution or university for top performance in inter-university tournaments.
    • Award comprises a rolling MAKA Trophy and a cash prize.
    • First awarded to Bombay University in 1956-57.
      • 2023: Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar (overall winner university); Lovely Professional University, Punjab (first runner -up); Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra (second runner-up).
  • Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar:
    • Instituted in 2009.
    • Awarded to organizations and individuals for sports promotion and development.
    • Categories include talent identification, corporate social responsibility, employment of sportspersons, and sports for development.
      • 2023: JAIN (Deemed-to-be-University), Odisha Mining Corporation Limited.
  • Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award:
    • It has been presented since 1993-1994 and is named after Tenzing Norgay, one of the first two individuals to reach the summit of Mount Everest along with Edmund Hillary in 1953.
    • The recipients are honored for their "outstanding achievement in the field of adventure activities on land, sea and air" over the last three years.
    • The status of this award is considered to be equivalent to the Arjuna Award conferred in the field of sport.
      • 2022: Late Ms. Savita Kanswal (land), Shri Tulsi Chaitanya Mothukuri(water), Shri Anshu Kumar Tiwari (air).

https://pib.gov.in/PressNoteDetails.aspx?NoteId=151772&ModuleId=3

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1988607

Source: pib

National Sports Day 

GS-II : Governance Sports

12th National Sports Daywas celebrated across India on 29 August.

Why is National Sports Day Celebrated?

  • Objective: To commemorate the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand.
  • First NSD: August 29, 2012.
  • Significance: Encourages people of all ages to embrace physical fitness, regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
    • Serves as a catalyst for developing a robust sports culture in India.

Highlights of NSD 2023:

    • Theme - "Sports are an enabler to an inclusive and fit society".
    • National Sports Federations portal launched (for good governance).

  • Major Dhyan Chand was a field hockey player who played international hockey from 1926 to 1949.
    • He was a three-time Olympic gold medalist who secured gold in the 1928, 1932, and 1936 Olympic editions.
  • His exceptional skills in the game made him earn the title ‘magician of hockey.’
    • Dhyan Chand, along with his brother Roop Singh, contributed significantly to India's 35-goal tally, earning them the title of ‘hockey twins.’
    • In 1934, Dhyan Chand was honoured with the captaincy of the Indian team.
  • In 1956, Major Dhyan Chand retired from the army as a Major and was honoured with the Padma Bhushan

National Sports Policy:

India's National Sports Policy functions as a guiding framework channeling the nation's sporting aspirations. This policy underscores grassroots development and talent identification, acknowledging that a strong foundation is vital for sustained success. Athletes, coaches, and the creation of world-class sports infrastructure receive incentives and support, forming a multi-pronged approach that addresses the array of challenges encountered in India's sports sector.

The National Sports Policy outlines a clear roadmap for the holistic growth of sports in the country. It recognizes the importance of nurturing talent from a young age and provides guidelines for the establishment of sports academies and training centers. The policy's emphasis on creating a sports culture at the grassroots level is a testament to its commitment to building a strong foundation for the future.

Source:

19th Asian Games (of 2022, held in 2023)

GS-II : Governance Sports

The Asian Games is the biggest sports competition in Asia, held once every four years. The symbol for the Asian Games is the rising sun with interlocking rings. It is recognised by the International Olympic Committee.

Background and Inauguration:

After the Second World War, many Asian countries gained independence and the Indian International Olympic Committee proposed the idea of Asian Games as a sporting event, where all Asian nations can be represented.The first-ever Asian Games were held in New Delhi in 1951.

Regulation: Asian Games were regulated by the Asian Games Federation from 1951 to 1978. Since 1982, the Olympic Council of Asia has regulated the Asian Games.

India as a Host: India is a founder member of Asian Games and also the host of the first Asian Games. The 9th edition of the Asian Games was also held in New Delhi in November and December 1982. Appu, the Indian elephant, was the first mascot to be used for the Asian Games.

Recently, the 19th Asian Games (of 2022, held in 2023)came to a close at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium (also called Big Lotus) in China. Hockey player PR Sreejesh was India’s flagbearer at the parade of athletes.

The 20th Asian Games will be held in Japan in 2027.

India’s Milestones:

India’s Medals Tally: With an unprecedented haul of 107 medals (28 gold, 38 silvers and 41 bronze), India set a new benchmark for themselves at the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou, the People’s Republic of China.

At the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, India performed well and returned with 70 medals, including a haul of 16 gold medals.

It was the first time in Asian Games history that India’s medals tally crossed the three-figure mark. By doing so, they became the only fourth country after China (383), Japan (188) and the Republic of Korea (190) to win 100 or more medals in a single edition of the Asian Games.

Athletes Performance: Athletics turned out to be the most productive sport with a total of 29 medals - six gold, 14 silver and nine bronze.

Hockey: The India men's hockey team won an Asian Games gold and booked a Paris Olympics berth with a 5-1 thrashing of Japan.

Introduction of New Sports:2023 Games saw two medal sports make their debut: e-Sports and Breakdancing.

Apart from them, Cricket, and board games - Go, Xiangqi, and Chess returned to Asian Games in this edition after not featuring in the 2018 Asiad.

Source:

World Anti-Doping Report 2022

GS-II : Governance Sports

Doping is the act of consuming artificial and often illegal substances to gain an advantage over others in sporting competitions (For example: anabolic steroids, human growth hormones, stimulants and diuretics).

Doping products are often illegally produced, trafficked and distributed. As they are rarely approved for public use, their consumption is dangerous and poses a serious health risk to both professional and amateur sports people.

Anti Doping is opposing or prohibiting illegal doping to improve athletic performance.

India’s Initiatives Related to Anti-Doping:

National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA):

      • NADA was set up as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 in 2005, with a mandate of creating dope-free sports in India.
      • NADA is responsible for planning, implementing, and coordinating India’s anti-doping activities. It adheres to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code and regulations.

The National Anti-Doping Act 2022:

      • The National Anti-Doping Act 2022 provides legal backing to NADA's. for regulating anti-doping activities in sports and to give effect to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) International Convention against doping in sport.

The act aims to ensure the highest standards of integrity while participating and preparing for sports competitions, both domestically and internationally.

National Dope Testing Laboratories (NDTL):NDTL under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, is responsible for sample analysis and research work in the field of dope analysis.The NDTL is WADA-accredited, this accreditation is a testament to the NDTL's commitment to quality and accuracy in its testing procedures.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)anti-doping report, 2022, released by the WADA reveals alarming statistics on global doping violations, emphasising the need for stringent measures to safeguard the integrity of sports.

India Leads Globally in Doping Offences:

    • India emerged with the highest percentage of doping offenders, accounting for 3.26% of tested athletes.
    • Out of 3,865 samples tested by India's National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), 125 returned Adverse Analytical Findings (AAFs), making India the only country with over 100 positive results and the highest among nations testing more than 2,000 samples.
    • An AAF is a report from a WADA-accredited laboratory that identifies the presence of a prohibited substance and/or its metabolites or markers in a sample.
    • Despite being 11th in the number of samples tested, India's doping violations surpassed major sporting nations like Russia, the USA, Italy, and France.

Comparison with Other Nations:

    • South Africa followed India with 2.09% of samples testing positive among nations collecting over 2,000 samples.
    • China tested the most samples (17,357), producing only 0.25% AAFs, while the USA (84) and Russia (85) closely followed India in the number of positive results.

Overall Increase in Testing and AAFs:

    • WADA reported a 6.4% increase in the total number of samples analysed and reported into its Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) in 2022 compared to 2021, signalling a positive trend towards maintaining the integrity of sports.
    • The percentage of AAFs rose from 0.65% in 2021 to 0.77% in 2022.
    • The director general of WADA, emphasised the importance of intelligence-led strategic testing plans along with values-based education, intelligence, investigations, and other strategies to combat doping effectively.

What are the Implications of These Findings for India?

  • Concerns Regarding Athletes:
    • The prevalence of doping among young athletes raises serious concerns about their physical and mental development.Doping poses significant health risks to athletes and undermines their long-term well-being.
    • It is imperative for India to prioritise the health and safety of its athletes by implementing measures to prevent doping and promote clean sports culture.
  • Reputation Damage:
    • India's standing as the country with the highest percentage of doping offenders tarnishes its reputation in the international sports community.
    • The prevalence of doping could erode trust in Indian athletes and cast doubts on their achievements, impacting India's credibility in global sports.
  • Olympic 2024:
    • A total of 142 Indian athletes were caught for doping-related activities in the period between April 2022 and March 2023, data compiled by the NADA has revealed.
    • Doping violations may pose a significant risk of disqualification for Indian athletes in the coming Olympics 2024, depriving them of the opportunity to compete and represent their country at the highest level of sporting competition.
    • The threat of disqualification highlights the need for India to address doping effectively and ensure clean participation in the Olympics.
  • Discrepancies in Testing Efforts:
    • While the total number of samples tested increased from 1,794 in 2021 to 3,865 in 2022, it pales in comparison to countries like China, which tested 17,357 samples (almost five times that of India) but produced just 33 positive results.Despite increased testing, the number of positive cases remains a concern, indicating the need for more comprehensive measures.
  • Regulatory Oversight:
    • India's position at the top of the doping offenders list raises concerns and highlights systemic issues within the country's anti-doping framework.There is a pressing need to strengthen regulatory frameworks and enhance monitoring mechanisms to curb doping effectively.
  • Economic Impact:
    • The doping crisis could have economic repercussions, affecting sponsorships, investments, and revenue streams associated with Indian sports.
    • Upholding integrity in sports is essential to sustain and grow India's sports industry and economy.

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

  • Established in 1999 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to combat doping in sports globally. WADA’s governance and funding are based on equal partnership between the Sport Movement and Governments of the world.
    • The IOC is a not-for-profit independent international organisation committed to building a better world through sport. Established in 1894, it is the supreme authority of the Olympic Movement, fostering collaboration among all parties involved in the Olympic family.
  • Its mission is to promote and coordinate the fight against doping in sports internationally.
  • Headquarters: Montreal (Canada).
  • The World Anti-Doping Code (Code) is the core document produced by WADA that harmonises anti-doping policies, rules and regulations within sports organisations and among public authorities.
    • It is designed to harmonise anti-doping policies and ensure the standards are the same for all athletes.
  • The WADA Prohibited List is the international standard for identifying banned substances and methods in sports.
    • It is updated annually and applies to both in-competition and out-of-competition scenarios, as well as specific sports.

Way FORWARD

China's Approach:Consideration of criminalising doping, with penalties including jail time for athletes and coaches, similar to China's approach.

China criminalised doping in sports resulting in a significant drop in doping cases.Under these rules individuals encouraging athletes to use banned substances may face up to three years in prison and a fine. Organisers of doping may receive even harsher penalties, and knowingly offering banned substances to athletes is deemed a criminal offence.

In the 2022 WADA report, China had significantly fewer positive results, demonstrating the effectiveness of strict penalties.

Source:

Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)

GS-II : Governance Policies and Programmes

Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) is the pool of funds generated by 5% Universal Service Levy that is charged upon all the telecom fund operators on their Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR). This fund is deposited in the Consolidated Fund of India and is dispatched on the approval of the Indian Parliament.

The USOF comes under the Indian Telegraph Act 1885. The act was amended in 2003 to give statutory status to the fund. The Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications governs the fund and related provisions.

The aim of USOF is to provide a balance between the provision of Universal Service to all uncovered areas, including the rural areas.

The USOF is in the news as the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has asked to reduce the license fee by 8% which comprises USOF (5%) and License Fee (3%). The proposal has come on the account of debts faced by Telecom Companies, and the rising demand for telecom services with the advent of Work From Home (WFH) amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Telecom service providers have urged the Ministry of Finance to suspend the universal service obligation fund (USOF) levy until the existing corpus is exhausted.

About Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)

  • USOF was set up by an Act of Parliament in December 2003 by amending the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885.
  • The objective of the USOF is to provide access to telecom services in a nondiscriminatory manner to people in rural and remote areas at affordable and reasonable prices, thereby bridging the rural-urban digital divide.
  • For commercially non-viable rural and remote areas, USOF provides subsidy support in the form of Net Cost or Viability Gap Funding (VGF) to incentivize telecom service providers for the expansion of telecommunications and broadband services in those areas.
  • Funding Mechanism:
    • The USOF is funded through a levy on the revenue earned by telecom operators.
    • The government imposes a Universal Service Levy (USL) on the gross revenue of the telecom companies, which is a percentage of their Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR).
    • This levy is collected and deposited into the USOF.
  • Administration:
    • USOF is headed by the Administrator, USO Fund who is appointed by the Central Government, for the administration of the fund.
    • It is an attached office of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communications.

What is the Telecom Technology Development Fund (TTDF)?

  • USOF officially launched the TTDF Scheme on October 1st, 2022.
  • The TTDF Scheme is aimed at domestic companies and institutions involved in technology design, development, and commercialization of telecommunication products and solutions to enable affordable broadband and mobile services in rural and remote areas.
  • This initiative helps to connect schools with varied volunteers from the Indian Diaspora, namely, young professionals, retired teachers, retired Government officials, retired professionals, NGOs, Private Sector and Public Sector Companies, Corporate Institutions, and many others.
  • Under the scheme, USOF is also targeting to develop standards to meet countrywide requirements and create an ecosystem for research, design, prototyping, use cases, pilots, and proof-of-concept testing, among others.
  • The scheme entails grants to Indian entities to encourage and induct indigenous technologies tailor-made to meet domestic needs.

Adjusted gross revenue (AGR)?

Telecom operators are required to pay license fee and spectrum charges in the form of ‘revenue share’ to the Government. The revenue amount used to calculate this revenue share is known as AGR.

Source: pib

MSMEs in India

GS-III : Economic Issues MSME

  • A recent report of CBRE-CREDAI says that Maharastra, TamilNadu and Uttar Pradesh (top 3 States) contribute 40% of registered MSMEs in India.

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are known by the acronym MSME.

Source:

Peregrine & Vulcan

GS-III : S&T Space

  • The Peregrine lander was built by Pittsburgh-based space robotics firm Astrobotic and aimed to become the first lunar lander constructed by a private company.
  • This is also the first mission to fly under NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, where NASA pays private companies to send scientific equipment to the moon.

Vulcan Centaur is a two-stage-to-orbit, heavy-lift launch vehicle developed by United Launch Alliance (ULA).

Source:

Sisal

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Biodiversity & Environment

  • Sisal is a species of flowering plant native to southern Mexico.
  • Sisal, (Agave sisalana), plant of the family Asparagaceae and its fibre, the most important of the leaf fibre group.
  • The leaves have been used to make twine, cloth, carpets and mezcal, a distilled alcoholic beverage.

A recent study suggests that the sisal leaves could make sanitary napkins more sustainable in India.

Source:

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