1.Digital Sky Platform
- An online IT platform developed for handling UIN, UAOP applications, permission to fly drones in India.
- A first of its kind that implements ‘no permission, no take-off’ (NPNT) – a novel system of software-based self-enforcement to minimize deviations from the Civil Aviation Rules.
- Katowic & India Pavilion: One World One Sun One Grid
- On the sidelines of COP-24, India will be setting up a Pavilion to create awareness about India’s positive climate actions in various sectors of the economy.
- The theme of this year’s India Pavilion is ‘One World One Sun One Grid
- India Plan for emission reduction
- India made a voluntary pledge in 2009 to reduce the emission intensity of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 20-25 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020 (excluding emissions from agriculture).
- As per the various reports, we are on the way to achieve this target. India enhanced its climate goals in 2015 outlining eight (8) goals for 2021-2030, including reduction of the emission intensity of its GDP by 33-35 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.
- India’s climate actions are synchronised with its development goals and simultaneously reflect its bold vision for combating climate change.
- Hornbill Festival 2018
- Hornbill Festivalin Nagaland is a popular festival.
- The Hornbill Festival takes place between the 1st December, which happens to be the Nagaland Formation Day, till the 7th of December, annually.
- Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) for Nagaland
- Nagaland is the first amongst the North-Eastern States and the second State in India to launch Pan-India single emergency number ‘112’ under ERSS.
- Under this project, one Emergency Response Centre (ERC) has been established in Kohima along with 3 District Command Centers (DCCs), namely Kohima, Dimapur and Mokokchung.
- The Emergency Response Centre is capable of receiving emergency calls through voice call to 112, email, panic buttons activated calls and 112 India mobile App.
- Shri Sunil Arora takes over as new Chief Election Commissioner of India
- Ex Cope
- Ex Cope India-18 is the fourth edition in the series of Bilateral Joint exercise held between IAF and USAF, which is conducted in India.
- This is the first time, the exercise is being planned at two Air Force bases, Kalaikunda and Panagarh from 03-14 Dec 18.
- The aim of exercise is to provide operational exposure and undertake mutual exchange of best practices towards enhancing operational capability.
- SHINYUU Maitri-18
- Japanese Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) is in India for a bilateral air exercise SHINYUU Maitri-18 with Indian Air Force from 03-07 Dec 18 at A F Station Agra.
- The theme of the exercise is joint Mobility/Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief (HADR) on Transport aircraft. The JASDF C2 aircraft along with aircrew/observers are part of this first air exercise between the two Air Forces.
- The focus of the exercise is set for the IAF and JASDF crews to undertake Joint Mobility/ HADR operations. Display of heavy loading/ off loading are also planned to be practiced during this exercise.
- Green Good Deeds Movement
- By Ministry of enviournment
- A societal movement of Green Good Deeds, which are small positive actions to be performed by individuals or organisations to strengthen the cause of environmental protection
- It is an idea to take environmental awareness to the people and get them involved. Formally launched in January 2018, the campaign lauds small positive actions performed by individuals or organisations to strengthen the cause of environmental protection.
- The Ministry has drawn up a list of over 600 Green Good Deeds and asked people to alter their behaviour to Green Good Behaviour to fulfill their Green Social Responsibility. These small, positive actions, to be performed by individuals or organisation to strengthen the cause of environmental protection
10.World Custom Organisation
- World Customs Organization (WCO), established in 1952 as the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC) is an independent intergovernmental body whose mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations.
- WCO represents 182 Customs administrations across the globe that collectively process approximately 98% of world trade. As the global centre of Customs expertise, the WCO is the only international organization with competence in Customs matters and can rightly call itself the voice of the international Customs community.
- The WCO’s governing body – the Council – relies on the competence and skills of a Secretariat and a range of technical and advisory committees to accomplish its mission. The Secretariat comprises over 100 international officials, technical experts and support staff of some nationalities.
- As a forum for dialogue and exchange of experiences between national Customs delegates, the WCO offers its Members a range of Conventions and other international instruments, as well as technical assistance and training services provided either directly by the Secretariat, or with its participation. The Secretariat also actively supports its Members in their endeavours to modernize and build capacity within their national Customs administrations.
- 60% of India’s bamboo is grown in North East region
- Swadesh Darshan Project in the state of Nagaland
- Development of Tribal Circuit: Peren-Kohima-Wokha Project”
- This is the first project to be implemented in the state under Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
What is Swadesh Darshan Project
- Swadesh Darshan scheme is one among the flagship schemes of the Ministry of Tourism for development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritised manner.
- Under this scheme the Government is focussing on development of quality infrastructure in the country with objective of providing better experience and facilities to the visitors on one hand and on other hand fostering the economic growth.
- The scheme was launched in 2014 -15 and as on date the Ministry has sanctioned 73 projects worth projects for Rs. 5873.26 Crore to 30 States and UTs. 30 projects / major components of these projects are expected to be completed this year. 8 projects have been inaugurated as on date under the scheme.
- India Water Impact Summit-2018
India Water Impact Summit is an annual event where stakeholders get together to discuss, debate and develop model solutions for some of the biggest water related problems in the country. The Summit will focus on three key aspects:
- Spotlight on 5 states: Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi and Bihar. The objective is to showcase the efforts and works going on within the respective states.
- Ganga Financing Forum: The 2018 Summit also introduces the inaugural Ganga Financing Forum that will bring a number of institutions to a common knowledge, information and partnership platform. The Hybrid Annuity Model has redefined the economic landscape of water and waste-water treatment in India. All tenders have been successfully bid out and financial closures being achieved. Additionally, the Government is also now encouraging development of smaller decentralised waste water treatment projects. The Financing Forum will bring together financial institutions and investors interested in Namami Gange programmes.
- Technology and Innovation: Implementation of the pilot/demonstration programme known as the Environment Technology Verification (ETV) process. This will provide an opportunity to technology and innovation companies from around the world to showcase their solutions for addressing the problems prevalent in the river basin.
- GSAT-11 launched successfully from French Guiana
- Heaviest and most-advanced high throughput communication satellite
- The launch vehicle Ariane 5 VA-246 lifted off from Kourou Launch Base, French Guiana at 02:07 am (IST) carrying India’s GSAT-11 and South Korea’s GEO-KOMPSAT-2A satellites, as scheduled. Ariane 5 is one of three launch vehicles operated by Arianespace along with Soyuz and Vega.
- The 5,854-kg GSAT-11 will provide high data rate connectivity to users of Indian mainland and islands through 32 user beams in Ku-band and 8 hub beams in Ka-band.
- “GSAT-11 will boost the broadband connectivity to rural and inaccessible Gram Panchayats in the country coming under the Bharat Net Project, which is part of Digital India Programm
- GSAT-11 will act as a forerunner to all future high throughput communication satellite
- Soil Health Cards (SHC) for optimal utilization of fertilizers
- Soil Health Card Scheme has been taken up for the first time in a comprehensive manner across the country.
- Under the scheme soil health cards are provided to all farmers so as to enable the farmers to apply appropriate recommended dosages of nutrients for crop production and improving soil health and its fertility.
- Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM): In Ministry of Finance
- Shahpurkandi Dam (National Project) on river Ravi
- Indus Waters Treaty was signed between India and Pakistan in 1960 for sharing of Indus waters. According to the Treaty, India got the full rights for utilization of waters of the three Eastern Rivers namely Ravi, Beas and Satluj.
- Some of the water of the River Ravi at present is going waste through the MadhopurHeadworks downstream to Pakistan. Implementation of the project would minimise such wastage of water.
- A Bilateral agreement was signed between Punjab and J&K in Jan, 1979. As per the agreement, construction of RanjitSagar Dam (Thein Dam) and Shahpurkandi Dam was to be taken up by Punjab Govt. RanjitSagar Dam was commissioned in Aug, 2000. The ShahpurKandi Dam project is proposed on River Ravi, 11 d/s of RanjitSagarDam and 8 km u/s of Madhopur Head Works.
- The Project was initially approved by the Planning Commission during November, 2001 and was included under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Scheme (AIBP) of this Ministry for funding its irrigation component.
- National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems
National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) to be implemented by Department of Science &Technology
The Mission addresses the ever increasing technological requirements of the society, and takes into account the international trends and road maps of leading countries for the next generation technologies. The mission implementation would develop and bring:
- Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) and associated technologies within reach in the country,
- adoption of CPS technologies to address India specific National / Regional issues,
- produce Next Generation skilled manpower in CPS,
- catalyze Translational Research,
- accelerate entrepreneurship and start-up ecosystem development in CPS,
- give impetus to advanced research in CPS, Technology development and higher education in Science, Technology and Engineering disciplines, and
- place India at par with other advanced countries and derive several direct and indirect benefits.
- CPS technologies provide a cutting edge to a Nation’s scientific, engineering, and technological innovative capabilities; support other missions of the government, provide industrial and economic competitiveness and have truly became a Strategic Resource.
- Volume, scale and complexity of emerging applications demand continued evolution of new technologies for the foreseeable future.
- The proposed Mission would act as an engine of growth that would benefit national initiatives in health, education, energy, environment, agriculture, strategic cum security, and industrial sectors, Industry 4.0, SMART Cities, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) etc.
- CPS is an integrated system of upcoming technology, which in turn is being taken up on priority basis by countries in the race for development.
- CPS will indeed bring a paradigm shift in entire skill sets requirement. The job opportunities will be enhanced through the Mission by imparting advanced skills and generating skilled manpower as per the requirement of the industry/ society.
- As Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Start-up Ecosystem is an integral part of the proposed NM-ICPS, the start-ups will also create a number of technology driven job opportunities in CPS and allied areas. Accordingly, it is estimated that, about 40,000 jobs will be created in the short term and about 2,00,000 in long term.
The Mission will feed the Central Ministries/ Departments and State Govts and also the Industry to effectively use the CPS technologies in their projects and schemes for the benefit of the society.
NM-ICPS is a Pan India Mission and covers entire gamut of India that includes Central Ministries, State Governments, Industry and Academia.
CPS and its associated technologies, like Artificial Intelligence (Al), Internet of Things (loT), Machine Learning (ML), Deep Learning (DP), Big Data Analytics, Robotics,Quantum Computing, Quantum Communication, Quantum encryption (Quantum Key Distribution), Data Science & Predictive analytics, Cyber Security for physical infrastructure and other infrastructure, have pervaded and is playing a transformative role in almost every field of human endeavour all most in all sectors. It has become imperative for government and industries to be prepared to adopt these emerging and disruptive technologies in order to remain competitive, drive societal progress, generate employment, foster economic growth and to improve the overall quality of life and sustainability of the environment.
- Annual Startup India Venture Capital Summit 2018 to be held in Goa
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Government of Goa, is hosting the annual Startup India Venture Capital Summit in Goa
- Sino-India Joint Exercise Hand-in-Hand 2018
- Exercise Hand-in-Hand is conducted annually as part of military diplomacy and interaction between armies of India and China. The joint exercise for the year 2018 will be conducted from 10 to 23 December 2018 at Chengdu, China.
- The aim of the exercise is to build and promote close relations between armies of both the countries and to enhance ability of joint exercise commander to take military contingents of both nations under command. The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an International Counter Insurgency/ Counter Terrorist environment under UN mandate.
- “Ideate for India – Creative Solutions using Technology
- The aim of this National Challenge is to give school students across the country a platform and opportunity to become solution creators for the problems they see around them and their communities.
- “Ideate for India” will empower and enable these students to transition from being ‘users’ of technology to become ‘creators’ of new indigenous technologies to solve local problems in their community by re-imagining solutions to work out critical local issues.
- The Challenge has been designed and launched by the National e-Governance Division, Ministry of Electronics & IT in collaboration with Intel India, with support from the Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSE&L), Ministry of Human Resource Development. The DoSE&L will help reach out to State Education Departments, NVS, KVS and CBSE authorities to propagate the National Challenge amongst schools across the country.
- Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs)
- The core functions of FIU-IND in relation to foreign FIUs include screening and processing requests from foreign Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), disseminating information to foreign FIUs, establishing and maintaining relationship with foreign FIUs, and facilitating, administering and negotiating MoUs with foreign FIUs.
- Most of the foreign FIUs require an MoU to be signed for sharing of information with them.
- Food and Agriculture organisation (FAO) Council approves India’s proposal to observe an International Year of Millets in 2023
- 160th session of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Council, currently underway in Rome, approved India’s proposal to observe an International Year of Millets in 2023.
- FAO Council also approved India’s membership to the Executive Board of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) for 2020 and 2021 for which the Minister expressed his deepest gratitude to other member countries for their support.
- NITI Aayog Launches Global Hackathon On Artificial Intelligence
- With the vision to further expand the idea of‘Artificial Intelligence, AI for All’ articulated in the National AI Strategy, NITI Aayog organises hackathons to source sustainable, innovative and technologically-enabled solutions to address various challenges in the development space.
- NITI Aayog organized its first hackathon, ‘MoveHack’ in August, on the sidelines of the Global Mobility Summit 2018, with the aim of garnering cutting-edge mobility applications. Over 2,000 submissions were received out of which the Top 10 teams were awarded at the summit.
- The ‘AI 4 All Global Hackathon’ was announced at the AI conference organized by NITI Aayog, in partnership with the ORF, held in Mumbai in November 2018.
- The hackathon will be run two stages with Stage One ending 15 January 2019 and Stage Two, which will only include shortlisted participants from the previous stage, will conclude on 15 March 2019
- INDRA NAVY
- Bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Russian Federation
- 1st International Conference on Sustainable Water Management
- The first International Conference under the aegis of National Hydrology Project, Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation is being organised by Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) during 10-11 December, 2018 at Indian School of Business (ISB), Mohali on the theme ‘Sustainable Water Management’. The theme of the Conference deals with promoting integrated and sustainable development and management of Water Resources
- The aim of the Conference is to foster the participation of and dialogue between various stakeholders, including governments, the scientific and academic communities, so as to promote sustainable policies for water management, to create awareness of water-related problems, motivate commitment at the highest level for their solution and thus promote better management of water resources at local, regional, national and international levels.
- Streamlining of National Pension System
Union Cabinet in its Meeting has approved the following proposal for streamlining the National Pension System (NPS).
- Enhancement of the mandatory contribution by the Central Government for its employees covered under NPS Tier-I from the existing 10% to 14%.
- Providing freedom of choice for selection of Pension Funds and pattern of investment to central government employees.
- Payment of compensation for non-deposit or delayed deposit of NPS contributions during 2004-2012.
- Tax exemption limit for lump sum withdrawal on exit has been enhanced to 60%. With this, the entire withdrawal will now be exempt from income tax. (At present, 40% of the total accumulated corpus utilized for purchase of annuity is already tax exempted. Out of 60% of the accumulated corpus withdrawn by the NPS subscriber at the time of retirement, 40% is tax exempt and balance 20% is taxable.)
- Contribution by the Government employees under Tier-II of NPS will now be covered under Section 80 C for deduction up to Rs. 1.50 lakh for the purpose of income tax at par with the other schemes such as General Provident Fund, Contributory Provident Fund, Employees Provident Fund and Public Provident Fund provided that there is a lock-in period of 3 years.
- The new entrants to the central government service on or after 01.01.2004 are covered under the National Pension System (NPS).
- The Seventh Pay Commission (7th CPC), during its deliberations, examined certain concerns regarding NPS and made recommendations in the year 2015.
- The 7th CPC recommended for setting up of a Committee of Secretaries in this regard. Accordingly, a Committee of Secretaries was constituted by the Government to suggest measures for streamlining the implementation of NPS in the year 2016. The Committee submitted its report in the year 2018. Accordingly, based on the recommendations of the Committee, draft Cabinet Note was placed before the Cabinet for its approval.
Implementation strategy and targets
The proposed changes to NPS would be made applicable immediately once time critical decisions are taken in consultation with the other concerned Ministries / Departments.
- Renewable energy Targets of India
- Solar Power: The Government has revised the target of Grid Connected Solar Power Projects from 20,000 MW by the year 2021-22 to 100,000 MW by the year 2021-22 under the National Solar Mission.
- Wind Power: The country currently has the fourth highest wind installed capacity in the world with total installed capacity of 34.98 GW as on October, 2018 against a target of 60 GW by 2022. Further, around 9.4 GW capacity is under implementation or have been tendered out.
- Bio Mass Power: Waste to Energy projects are also being set up for generation of Energy from Urban, Industrial and Agricultural Waste / Residues such as municipal solid wastes, vegetable and other market wastes, slaughterhouse waste, agricultural residues and industrial wastes & effluents. A total capacity of 9.54 GW ofgrid connected bio-powerhas been installed in the country as on October 2018 against a target of 10 GW bio-power by 2022. This includes 8.73 GW from bagasse cogeneration, 0.68 GW from non-bagasse cogeneration and 0.13 GW from waste to energy.
- Small Hydropower: A total capacity of 4.5 GW of grid connected small hydro power has been installed in the country as on October 2018 against a target of 5 GW small hydro power by 2022. Further, 126 no. of projects of capacity 0.73 GW are under various stages of implementation.
- Energy Storage is one of the crucial & critical components of India’s energy infrastructure strategy and also for supporting India’s sustained thrust to renewables and electric mobility. With an objective to strive towards leadership in the energy storage sector by creating an enabling policy and regulatory framework, a comprehensive National Energy Storage Mission (NESM) has been developed. The Mission focuses on demand creation, indigenous manufacturing, innovation and necessary policy support for proliferation of Energy Storage in the country.
- Partners’ Forum 2018
Why in news:
The Government of India, in association with the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), is hosting a two-day international conference on 12th and 13th December 2018, bringing together about 1500 participants from across 85 countries to improve the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents. The invited countries have been selected from across all regions and income levels and include countries that are currently chairing key global and regional bodies (e.g. G7, G20, BRICS, etc.).
This is the fourth in a series of global high-level multi-country, multi-stakeholder events aimed at sustaining global momentum for issues related to health of women, children and adolescents.
What is Partners Forum:
- Partners’ Forum is a global health partnership launched in September 2005 to accelerate efforts to reduce child and maternal mortality, improve adolescent, child, newborn and maternal health. This partnership is an alliance of more than 1,000 plus members, across 10 constituencies in 92 countries: academic, research and teaching institutions; donors and foundations; health care professionals; multilateral agencies; non-governmental organizations; partner countries; global financing mechanisms and the private sector.
- The previous chapters were held in Johannesburg, South Africa (2014), New Delhi, India (2010) and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (2007). This is the second time India is hosting the Partners’ Forum.
What is PMNCH
- PMNCH’s mission is to support the global health community to work successfully towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly the health related SDGs as articulated in the Strategy for Women’s Children’s and Adolescents’ Health in support of ‘Every Woman Every Child’ (EWEC) movement.
- The programme of the Partners’ Forum will be framed around the objectives of the Global Strategy of Survive – Thrive – Transform. The programme will include four high-level plenaries that will focus on political leadership, multi-sectoral action, accountability and power of partnership. Each high-level plenary will be followed by six concurrent sessions that provide the opportunity for more detailed discussions to on Forum’s key themes.
- The Forum will also present and explore the findings of the 12 Success Factors case studies that showcase how countries are collaborating across sectors to improve women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health. The case studies will be published in a special Partners’ Forum edition of the BMJ (originally called British Medical Journal) and disseminated widely.
The Partners’ Forum will showcase learning from across six regions: Africa, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Americas, South East Asia and Western Pacific on six thematic areas:
- Early Childhood Development (Germany & Chile);
- Adolescent Health and Well-Being (USA & Indonesia);
- Quality, Equity and Dignity (QED) in Services (India & Cambodia);
From India, Intensified Mission Indradhanush has been selected as one of the case studies under QED theme.
- Sexual and Reproductive Health (Malawi & Malaysia) and;
- Empowerment of Women, Girls and Communities (South Africa & Guatemala); and
- in Humanitarian and Fragile Settings (Sierra Leone & Afghanistan)
- ENSURE Portal
- A portal ENSURE- National Livestock Mission-EDEG developed by NABARD and operated under the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries
- Under the Mission’s component called Entrepreneurship Development and Employment Generation (EDEG), subsidy payment for activities related to poultry, small ruminants, pigs etc. through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) goes directly to the beneficiary’s account. In order to make it better, simpler and transparent, the NABARD has developed an online portal “ENSURE” (https://ensure.nabard.org) so that the information related to beneficiary and processing of application can be made readily available.
- Port Community System ‘PCS1x’
- Indian Ports Association (IPA), under the guidance of Ministry of Shipping launched the Port Community System ‘PCS1x’
- PCS 1x’ is a cloud based new generation technology, with user-friendly interface. This system seamlessly integrates 8 new stakeholders besides the 19 existing stakeholders from the maritime trade on a single platform.
- The platform offers value added services such as notification engine, workflow, mobile application, track and trace, better user interface, better security features, improved inclusion by offering dashboard for those with no IT capability.
- A unique feature of ‘PCS1x’ is that it can latch on to third party software which provides services to the maritime industry thereby enabling the stakeholders to access wide network of services. The system enables single sign on facility to provide one stop interface to all the functionalities across all stakeholders. Another major feature is the deployment of a world class state of the art payment aggregator solution which removes dependency on bank specific payment eco system.
- This system will enable trade to have an improved communication with the customs as they have also embarked on an Application Programming Interface (API) based architecture, thereby enabling real time interaction.
- This System offers a database that acts as a single data point to all transactions. Itcaptures and stores data on its first occurrence thereby reducing manual intervention, the need to enter transaction data at various points and thereby reducing errors in the process. It is estimated that this feature alone will reduce 11/2 to 2 days in a life of transaction. The application will have a cascading effect in reducing dwell time and overall cost of transaction. The platform has the potential to revolutionize maritime trade in India and bring it at par with global best practices and pave the way to improve the Ease of Doing Business world ranking and Logistics Performance Index (LPI) ranks.
- A major training and outreach program is under way to educate the stakeholders about the uses and benefits of ‘PCS 1x
- Sugarcane Development Programme
- Sugarcane Development Programme under National Food Security Mission – Commercial Crops (NFSM-CC) in 13
- Major sugarcane growing states of the country viz. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh,Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh from 2014-15.
- Under this scheme thrust has been given on transfer of technology through frontline demonstrations and training in order to extend benefits to the farmers.
- The components under NFSM-CC Sugarcane includes demonstration on inter-cropping and single bud chip technology with sugarcane, assistance for breeder seed production, production / supply of tissue culture plantlets/seedlings, distribution of plant protection chemicals and bio-agents, etc. The Central Government also fixes Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane, well in advance of sowing season, to induce farmers to sow sugarcane. FRP is a minimum benchmark price below which sugar mills cannot purchase cane from the cane growers.
- Deep Sea Submarine Rescue System Inducted into the Indian Navy
- Indian Navy’s first flyaway Deep Sea Submarine Rescue System was formally inducted
- The Indian Navy’s Deep Sea Submarine Rescue System considered to be the most advanced system currently in operation globally, is capable of undertaking rescue from a disabled Submarine upto 650 m depth.
- The DSRV, which is operated by a crew of three, can rescue 14 personnel from a disabled Submarine at one time and can operate in extreme sea conditions (upto Sea State 6).
- FAME-India Scheme
- In order to promote manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicle technology and to ensure sustainable growth of the same, Department of Heavy Industry is implementing FAME-India Scheme- Phase-I [Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India] from 1st April 2015. The scheme, which was initially upto 31st April 2017, has been extended upto 31st March, 2019 or till Notification of FAME-II, whichever is earlier.
- The Phase-II of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME-India) Scheme proposes to give a push to electric vehicles (EVs) in public transport and seeks to encourage adoption of EVs by way of market creation and demand aggregation. The draft scheme envisages the holistic growth of EV industry, including providing for charging infrastructure, research and development of EV technologies and push towards greater indigenization. The scheme has not been finalized yet.
- Since inception of the scheme, several segments have been added to the scheme so as to ensure that more people take advantage of this scheme. In this spirit, support to fully electric buses have been added to the scheme to support electrification of public transport.
- Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMGEP)
- Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) is a flagship credit-linked subsidy programme of Government of India being implemented by the Ministry of MSME. The Scheme is aimed at generating self-employment opportunities through establishment of micro-enterprises in the non-farm sector by helping traditional artisans and unemployed youth in rural as well as urban areas.
- Under PMEGP, general category beneficiaries can avail of margin money subsidy of 25 % of the project cost in rural areas and 15% in urban areas. For beneficiaries belonging to special categories such as Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe/OBC /Minorities/Women, Ex-serviceman, Physically Handicapped, NER, Hill and Border areas etc. the margin money subsidy is 35% in rural areas and 25% in urban areas. Any individual above 18 years of age is eligible. For setting up of projects costing above Rs.10 lakh in the manufacturing sector and above Rs. 5 lakh in the business /service sector, the beneficiaries should possess at least VIII standard pass educational qualification. The maximum cost of projects is Rs. 25 lakh in the manufacturing sector and Rs. 10 lakh in the service sector. Benefit can be availed under PMEGP for setting up of new units only. An online PMEGP e- portal https://www.kviconline.gov.in/pmegpeportal/pmegphome/index.jsphas beenset up from 1st July 2016. Entire process is real time and online. The applicant has to apply on the portal and can track the status of the application on the PMEGP-e-portal. There is an online feedback mechanism for providing feedback by the beneficiaries.
- Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is the nodal implementation agency at the national level. At the state and district level, state offices of KVIC, Khadi and Village Industries Boards (KVIBs) and District Industry Centres (DIC) are the implementing agencies.
- National Mission on GeM (NMG)
National Mission on GeM (NMG) was launched on 5th September 2018 till 17th October 2018. The objective of the Mission was to accelerate the adoption and use of Procurement by Major Central Ministries, States and UTs and their agencies (including CPSUs/PSUs, Local Bodies) on the GeM platform. The objectives of the NMG were to:
- Promote inclusiveness by catapulting various categories of sellers and service providers
- Highlight and communicate ‘value add’ by way of transparency and efficiency in public procurement, including corruption free governance.
- Achieve cashless, contactless and paperless transaction, in line with Digital India objectives.
- Increase overall efficiency leading to significant cost saving on government expenditure in Procurement.
- Maximizing ease in availability of all types of products and services bought by Government buyers.
- National Medical Devices Promotion Council to be set up under DIPP
The Medical Devices Industry (MDI) plays a critical role in the healthcare ecosystem and is indispensable to achieve the goal of health for all citizens of the country. The manufacturing and trade in MDI is growing steadily which includes a wide range of products. Although the industry has been growing in double digits but is predominantly import-driven with imports accounting for over 65% of the domestic market.
As Indian manufacturing companies and startups move towards creating innovative products, the setting-up of the Council will spur domestic manufacturing in this sector.
The Council will be headed by Secretary, DIPP. Apart from the concerned departments of Government of India, it will also have representatives from health care industry and quality control institutions. Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone, Visakhapatnam, will provide technical support to the Council.
The National Medical Devices Promotion Council will have the following objectives and activities:
- Act as a facilitating and promotion & developmental body for the Indian MDI.
- Hold periodic seminars, workshops and all related networking activities to garner views of the industry and understand best global practices in the sector and deliberate on various parameters for inclusion in the industrial and trade policies in medical devices.
- Identify redundant processes and render technical assistance to the agencies and departments concerned to simplify the approval processes involved in medical device industry promotion & development.
- Enable entry of emerging interventions and support certifications for manufacturers to reach levels of global trade norms and lead India to an export driven market in the sector.
- Support dissemination and documentation of international norms and standards for medical devices, by capturing the best practices in the global market and facilitate domestic manufacturers to rise to international level of understanding of regulatory and non regulatory needs of the industry.
- Drive a robust and dynamic Preferential Market Access (PMA) policy, by identifying the strengths of the Indian manufacturers and discouraging unfair trade practices in imports; while ensuring pro-active monitoring of public procurement notices across India to ensure compliance with PMA guidelines of DIPP and DoP.
- Undertake validation of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) and other such entities within MDI sector, which add value to the industry strength in manufacturing to gain foothold for new entrants.
- Make recommendations to government based on industry feedback and global practices on policy and process interventions to strengthen the medical technology sector, including trade interventions for related markets.
- Contribution of various sectors to GDP
|Share of sectors in GVA at current prices (per cent)|
|Sector||2015-16 (2nd RE)||2016-17 (1st RE)||2017-18 (PE)|
|Agriculture, forestry & fishing||17.7||17.9||17.1|
|(Of which) Manufacturing||16.8||16.8||16.7|
|Source: Central Statistics Office;
Notes: 2nd RE: Second Revised Estimates, 1st RE: First Revised Estimates, PE: Provisional Estimates.
- ECO Niwas Samhita 2018 – an Energy Conservation Building Code for Residential Buildings
- Ministry of Power has launched the ECO Niwas Samhita 2018,an Energy Conservation Building Code for Residential Buildings (ECBC-R).
- TheCode was launched on the occasion of National Energy Conservation Day 2018
- The implementation of this Codeis willgive a fillip to energy efficiency in residential sector. It aimstobenefit the occupants and the environment by promotingenergy efficiency in design and construction of homes, apartments and townships.
- This Code has been prepared after extensive consultations with all stakeholders, consisting of architects & experts including building material suppliers and developers. The parameters listed in the Code have been developed based on large number of parameters using climate and energy related data. Initially, Part-I of the Codehas been launched which prescribesminimum standards for building envelope designswith the purpose of designing energy efficient residential buildings.
- The Code is expected to assist large number of architects and builders who are involved in design and construction of new residential complexesin different parts of the country. Implementation of this Code will have potential for energy savings to the tune of 125 Billion Units of electricity per year by 2030, which is equivalent to about 100 million ton of Co2 emission.
- ECBC for commercial buildings was already in place and revised and updated version of ECBC for commercial buildings was launchedin June 2017. It is estimated that energy demand in the building sector will rise from around 350 billion units in 2018 to approximately 1000 billion units by year 2030.
- Expansion of beneficiaries list under Pradhan MantriUjjwalaYojana
- Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) cleared the proposal of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas to release deposit free LPG connections to poor families, who have not been considered earlier for release of LPG connections under Pradhan MantriUjjwalaYojana (PMUY) on account of their names not been covered either in Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) list or the seven identified categories i.e. SC/STs households, beneficiaries of Pradhan MantriAwasYojana(PMAY) (Gramin), Antyodaya Anna Yojana(AAY), Forest dwellers, Most Backward Classes (MBC), Tea & Ex-Tea Garden Tribes, people residing in Islands / river islands, whose names did not appear in the SECC Iist.
- Considering several representations received from various quarters, now, poor families who could not get LPG connection under PMUY are now eligible to get a connection subject to fulfilling the eligibility norms and furnishing required documents.
- PMUY was launched on 1st May, 2016 through which deposit free LPG connections are released with the cash assistance of Rs 1600/- per connection by Government of India and also, interest free loan to purchase stove and refill by Oil Marketing Companies.
- Provision of LPG, among other things, so far, more than 5.86 crore LPG connections have been released under PMUY against the target of 8 crore. 48% of the beneficiaries are SC/STs.
- Adopt a heritage
- The ‘Adopt A Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan’, scheme launched on 27th September, 2017
- It is a collaborative effort by Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), State/UTs Governments and envisages development and maintenance of tourist amenities at heritage sites and making them tourist friendly, to enhance tourism potential and cultural importance in a planned and phased manner.
- The project primarily focuses on providing basic amenities that include cleanliness, public conveniences, safe drinking water, ease of access for tourists, signages, illumination, Wi-fi etc.
- No fund is given by Ministry of Tourism. The Project envisages involvement of Private/Public Companies / Organizations and Individuals to adopt Monuments, Natural Heritage Sites and other Tourist Sites in the country, primarily under CSR.
- The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed specifies installation of one signage at the monument indicating that monument has been adopted by respective firm/organization.
- Providing basic facilities/amenities (e.g. drinking water, toilet blocks, facilities for physically challenged, pathways, cultural notice boards/signage, vehicle parking, cloak rooms, etc.) to tourists visiting centrally protected monuments and sites are the regular activities which the Archaeological Survey of India undertakes. Improvement and upgradation of these public facilities/amenities is a continuous process. Basic public facilities are available at all World Heritage Sites and ASI’s ticketed monuments, as also at majority of those protected monuments that are visited by a large numbers of tourists. Further, Archaeological Survey of India has identified 100 monuments as “Adarsh Smarak” for upgradation of existing facilities/amenities like Wi-Fi, cafeteria, interpretation centre, brail signage, modern toilets etc. on the basis of actual requirement and feasibility on case to case basis.
- Project ‘Mausam’
- It is the initiative of Ministry of Culture to be implemented by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as the nodal agency with research support of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and National Museum as associate bodies.
- This project aims to explore the multi-faceted Indian Ocean ‘world’ – collating archaeological and historical research in order to document the diversity of cultural, commercial and religious interactions in the Indian Ocean.
- The main objective of the project is to inscribe places and sites identified under Project Mausam as trans-national nomination for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
- Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences (IMPRESS) Scheme
- Under the Scheme, 1500 research projects will be awarded for 2 years to support the social science research in the higher educational institutions and to enable research to guide policy making.
- The Indian Council of Social Science and Research (ICSSR) will be the project implementing agency.
The broad objectives of the scheme are:
- To identify and fund research proposals in social sciences with maximum impact on the governance and society.
- To focus research on (11) broad thematic areas such as : State and Democracy, Urban transformation, Media, Culture and Society, Employment, Skills and Rural transformation , Governance, Innovation and Public Policy, Growth, Macro-trade and Economic Policy, Agriculture and Rural Development, Health and Environment, Science and Education, Social Media and Technology, Politics, Law and Economics. The sub- theme areas will be decided on the basis of Expert Groups’ advice before notifying the scheme and calling for applications.
- To ensure selection of projects through a transparent, competitive process on online mode.
- To provide opportunity for social science researchers in any institution in the country, including all Universities (Central and State), private institutions with 12(B) status conferred by UGC.
- ICSSR funded/ recognized research institutes will also be eligible to submit research proposals on the given themes and sub-themes.
- BHASHA SANGAM Program
- The Department of School Education & Literacy has initiated Bhasha Sangam – A Celebration of Linguistic Diversity which marks the appreciation of the unique symphony of languages of our country, from 20thNovember to 21st December, 2018.
- In order to celebrate the unique characteristic of our country, Bhasha Sangam provides an opportunity to schools and educational institution (BIETS, DIETs, CTEs/IASEs, SCERTs, SIEs, School Boards, Directorates of School Education, etc.) to provide multilingual exposure to students in Indian Languages.
- The objective is to familiarize every child with simple dialogues in all the 22 languages under Schedule VIII of the Constitution of India, taking up one language on each working day, to enhance linguistic tolerance and promote national integration.
- Unnat Bharat Abhiyan
- Government has launched Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA) on 11th November, 2014.
- Unnat Bharat Abhiyan aims to link the Higher Education Institutions withatleast (5) villages, so that these institutions can contribute to the economic and social betterment of these village communities usingtheir knowledge base. Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is inspired by the vision of transformational change in rural development processes by leveraging knowledge institutions to help build the architecture of an Inclusive India. It also aims to create a virtuous cycle between the society and an inclusive university system, with the latter providing knowledge base; practices for emerging livelihoods and to upgrade the capabilities of both the public and private sectors
Objectives of the scheme are (i) To engage the faculty and students of Higher Educational Institutions in understanding rural realities; (ii) Identify and select existing innovative technologies, enable customization of existing technologies and development of new technologies, or devise implementation methods for innovative solutions, as required by people; and (iii) To allow Higher Educational Institutions to contribute to devising systems for smooth implementation of various Government Programs.
Under Skill India Mission, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship is implementing a flagship scheme known as Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) with an objective to provide skilling to one crore people under Short Term Training (STT), Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Special Project (SP) across the country for over four years i.e. 2016-2020. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 2016-20 has two components known as Centrally Sponsored Centrally Managed (CSCM) being implemented by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Centrally Sponsored State Managed (CSSM) being implemented by State Skill Development Missions of the States/ UTs popularly known as State- Engagement Component of PMKVY (2016-20).
- National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture
- National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) has been made operational from the year 2014-15 which aims at making agriculture more productive, sustainable, remunerative and climate resilient by promoting location specific integrated /composite farming systems; soil and moisture conservation measures; comprehensive soil health management; eﬃcient water management practices and mainstreaming rainfed technologies.
- On Farm Water Management (OFWM) was implemented as one of the component of NMSA during 2014-15 with the objective of enhancing water use efficiency by promoting technological interventions like drip & sprinkler technologies, efficient water application & distribution system, secondary storage etc. Thereafter, these activities have been subsumed under the ‘Per Drop More Crop (PDMC)’ component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) during 2015-16.
- The PMKSY-PDMC mainly focuses on water use efficiency at farm level through precision/ Micro Irrigation (Drip and Sprinkler Irrigation).
- Besides, promoting precision irrigation and better on farm water management practices to optimize the use of available water resources, the component also supports micro level water storage or water conservation /management activities to supplement source creation. Since, 2015-16 an area of 30.69 lakh ha has been brought under micro irrigation so far.
- Rainfed Area Development Programme is implemented as a component under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture since 2014-15 in the country. The programme focuses on Integrated Farming System for enhancing productivity and minimizing risks associated with climatic variability. Under this system, crops is integrated with activities like horticulture, livestock, fishery, vermi-organic compost, green manuaring, apiculture etc. to enable farmers maximising farm returns for sustained livelihood and mitigate the impacts of drought, flood or other extreme weather events with the income opportunity from allied activities. Since inception of the scheme, an area of 3.42 lakh ha has been brought under Integrated Farming System.
- Soil Health Management (SHM) is one of the components under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA). SHM aims at promoting Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) through judicious use of chemical fertilizers including secondary and micro nutrients in conjunction with organic manures and bio fertilizers for improving soil health and its productivity, strengthening of soil and fertilizer testing facilities to improve soil test based recommendations to farmers for improving soil fertility.
- The activities include trainings and demonstrations on balanced use of fertilizers. Besides, “Soil Health Card” Scheme is under implementation in the country since, February, 2015 to provide Soil Health Card to all farmers in the country. Soil Health Card will provide information to farmers on soil nutrients status of their soil and recommendation on appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied for improving soil health and its fertility.
- Issue of commemorative Postage Stamp on Rajkumar Shukla (Revise Indigo Movement from History)
- National Register of Citizens
- The Citizenship Act, 1955 provides for compulsorily registration of every citizen of India and issuance of National Identity Card to him.
- The Citizenship Rules, 2003 framed under the Citizenship Act, 1955 prescribe the manner of preparation of the National Register of Citizens.
- There is a special provision under the Rules to prepare National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam which is application based and distinct from the rest of India where the process is enumeration based.
- The applications for preparation of NRC in Assam were invited in May-August, 2015 and after necessary scrutiny & verification, the draft NRC has been published on 30th July, 2018. After the publication of draft NRC, the process of filing claims & objections on the draft NRC has started on 25.09.2018 and will remain open upto 31.12.2018 whereafter the verification process will commence from 15.02.2019 in accordance with the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Any person, who does not find his/her name in the draft NRC may file the claims. Similarly, any person can file objections in respect of inclusion of any name in the draft NRC list. Total number of persons included in the draft NRC is 2,89,83,677 out of 3.30 crore. Hon’ble Supreme Court of India is monitoring the NRC process in the State of Assam.
- Reusable Rocket Technology
- ISRO is working on reusable technology for reducing the cost of access to space including the development of a winged body unmanned reusable launch vehicle for launching payloads into low earth orbits.
- ISRO has successfully developed a scaled down (1:5) technology demonstration version of Reusable Launch Vehicle – Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) vehicle and successfully carried out the first experimental mission on May 23, 2016 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. In this mission, critical technologies such as autonomous navigation, guidance & control and reusable thermal protection system have been successfully demonstrated.
- Development of Reusable Launch Vehicles is a technical challenge and it involves the development of many cutting edge technologies. A series of technology demonstration missions would be required to validate these technologies. In the next phase, an autonomous runway landing experiment is planned releasing the RLV-TD vehicle from a helicopter to demonstrate the runway approach and landing capability. This will be followed by an end-to-end orbital re-entry mission demonstration using a Technology Demonstration Vehicle boosted by propulsion systems.
- ISRO has undertaken the development & qualification of Semi-Cryogenic engine. Further development activities are planned to realise a Semi-cryogenic stage and uprated version of the high thrust GSLV Mk III cryogenic stage, in order to increase the payload capacity of GSLV Mk III from 4 tonnes to 6.5 tonnes.
- GOBARdhan scheme
- Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation launched the Galvanising Organic Bio-Agro Resource dhan or “GOBARdhan” scheme on 30th April 2018, at Karnal, Haryana.
- The scheme is aimed at keeping villages clean while increasing the income of farmers and cattle owners by promoting local entrepreneurs to convert cattle dung, and other organic resources, to biogas and organic manure.
51.Arya & Ready Scheme of ICAR
- In order to make agriculture more attractive to rural educated youth, the Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture (ARYA) scheme is proving to be very effective.
- The Student READY (Rural Entrepreneurship Awareness Development Yojana) programme has also been initiated to reorient graduates of agriculture and allied subjects for ensuring and assuring employability and developing entrepreneurs.
- States’ Startup Ranking 2018
States have been identified as leaders across various categories such as Start-up policy leaders, incubation hubs, seeding innovation, scaling innovation, regulatory change champions, procurement leaders, communication champions, North-Eastern leader, and hill state leader. The key objective of the exercise was to encourage States and Union Territories to take proactive steps towards strengthening the Start-up ecosystems in their states. The methodology has been aimed at creating a healthy competition among States to further learn, share and adopt good practices.
A total of 27 States and 3 Union Territories participated in the exercise. Evaluation committee comprising independent experts from the Start-up ecosystem assessed the responses across various parameters.
On the basis of performance in these categories, the States have been recognised as the Best Performer, Top Performers, Leaders, Aspiring Leaders, Emerging States and Beginners, as follows:
- Best Performer: Gujarat
- Top Performers: Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, and Rajasthan
- Leaders: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana
- Aspiring Leaders:Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal
- Emerging States: Assam, Delhi, Goa, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Uttarakhand
- Beginners: Chandigarh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim, and Tripura
- Postage stamp in memory of Paika Rebellion
Pre-dating what has been popularly regarded as the fist war of independence in 1857, the Paika Bidroha (Paika Rebellion) of 1817 in Odisha briefly shook the foundations of British rule in the eastern part of India.
Who were Paikas:
Paikas were essentially the peasant militias of the Gajapati rulers of Odisha who rendered military service to the king during times of war while taking up cultivation during times of peace. They unfurled the banner of rebellion against the British under the leadership of Baxi Jagandhu Bidyadhara as early as 1817 to throw off the British yoke.
Initial phase of Movement
Rulers of Khurda were traditionally the custodians of Jagannath Temple and ruled as the deputy of lord Jagannath on earth. They symbolised the political and cultural freedom of the people of Odisha. The British, having established their sway over Bengal Province and Madras Province to the north and south of Odisha, occupied it in 1803.The Gajapati King of Odisha Mukunda Deva-ll was a minor then and initial resistance by Jai Rajguru, the custodian of Mukunda Deva-II, was put down brutally and Jai Rajguru was torn apart alive.
A few years later, it was the Paikas under Baxi Jagabandhu, the hereditary chief of the militia army of the Gajapati King, who rose in rebellion, taking support of tribals and other sections of society. The rebellion started in March 1817 and spread quickly. Though Paikas played a larger role in the rebellion against the British, it was by no means a rebellion by a small group of people belonging to a particular class. The tribals of Ghumusar (part of present day Ganjam and Kandhmal Districts) and other sections of the population actively took part in it. In fact, the Paika Bidroha got the opportune moment to spread when 4OOtribals of Ghumsar entered Khurda protesting against the British rule. The Paikas attacked British symbols of power, setting ablaze police stations, administrative offices and the treasury during their march towards Khurda, from where the British fled. The Paikas were supported by the rajas of Kanika, Kujang, Nayagarh and Ghumusar and zamindars, village heads and ordinary peasants. The rebellion quickly spread to Purl, Pipli Cuttack and other parts of the province. The British were initially taken aback and then tried to regain lost ground but faced stiff resistance from the rebelling Paikas. Many a battle ensued with some victories to the rebels, but the British finally managed to defeat them within three months.
- Widespread suppression followed with many killed and imprisoned. Many more were tortured. Some rebels fought a guerilla war till 1819 but were captured and killed. Baxi Jagabandhu was finally arrested in 1825 and died in captivity in 1829. Though the Paika Bidroha enjoys a cult status in Odisha with children growing up with stories of the brave fight against the British, it has unfortunately received less attention at the national level than it should have got.While the reasons can be many for such scant attention to such a significant event of the history in India, it is heartening that the Government of India has decided to give the event its due recognition by commemorating its 200 anniversary in a befitting manner.
- Asiatic Lion Conservation Project
- Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India has launched the “Asiatic Lion Conservation Project” with an aim to protect and conserve the world’s last ranging free population of Asiatic Lion and its associated ecosystem.
- “The Asiatic Lion Conservation Project” will strengthen the ongoing measures for conservation and recovery of Asiatic Lion with the help of state-of-the –art techniques/ instruments, regular scientific research studies, disease management, Modern surveillance/ patrolling techniques. The Union minister further stated that the total budget of the project for 3 years that amounts to nearly Rs. 9784 lakh will be funded from the Centrally Sponsored Scheme- Development of Wildlife Habitat (CSS-DWH) with the contributing ratio being 60:40 of Central and State share.
Asiatic lions that once ranged from Persia (Iran) to Palamau in Eastern India were almost driven to extinction by indiscriminate hunting and habitat loss. A single population of less than 50 lions persisted in the Gir forests of Gujarat by late 1890’s. With timely and stringent protection offered by the State Government and the Center Government, Asiatic lions have increased to the current population of over 500 numbers. The last census in the year 2015 showed the population of 523 Asiatic Lions in Gir Protected Area Network of 1648.79 sq. km. that includes Gir National Park, Gir Sanctuary, Pania Sanctuary, Mitiyala Sanctuary adjoining reserved forests, Protected Forests, and Unclassed Forests.
- Employment augmenting schemes of Ministry of Minority Affairs
- Seekho aur Kamao (Learn & Earn)”:This is a placement linked skill development scheme for minorities aimed at upgrading the skills of minority youth in various modern/traditional skills depending upon their qualification, present economic trends and market potential, which can earn them suitable employment or make them suitably skilled to go for self-employment.
- (Nai Manzil: Scheme has been launched on 08th August, 2015 with an aims to benefit the minority youth who do not have a formal school leaving certificate i.e. those in the category of school dropouts or educated in the community education institutions like Madarsas, in order to provide them formal education and skills, and enable them to seek better employment in the organized sector and thus to equip them for better lives.
- The Ministry is also implementing USTTAD scheme wherein, inter-alia capacities of in traditional arts/crafts are built with a view to increasing their market potentials.
- Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK)
Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram(PMJVK) earlier known as Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) is an area development programme implemented in identified Minority Concentration Areas (MCAs) of the country for the remaining period of 14th Finance Commission. The MCAs are relatively backward areas having substantial population of minority communities. These areas are identified as per Census, 2011 data related to backwardness indicators and population of all notified minority communities as a whole residing in the area. The objective of the scheme is to bring the identified MCAs at par with the national average by providing infrastructure related to education, skill, health etcin locations having the highest population of minority communities and make the assets available to the entire population living in the catchment area.
- Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP)
Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP), the sub-scheme under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) has the objective of helping rural households including women to set-up enterprises.
The scheme was approved during 2015-16 and the enterprise formation started in 2017-18. As on 30th November 2018, a total of 30,352 enterprises were formed across 20 States where the scheme is operational.
- Young Sports Talent
The following initiatives have been taken by this Ministry for identification and nurturing of sporting talents including those from rural areas:
- The revamped “Khelo India – National Programme for Development of Sports” has a dedicated vertical ‘Talent Identification and Development’. The relevant provisions of the Scheme are given in Annexure.
- A National Sports Talent Search Portal (NSTSP) has been launched by the Sports Authority of India (SAI), where players, both boys and girls belonging to various sports disciplines can register themselves and upload their performance / achievements in different sports events through an online application process.
- The SAI has been implementing a number of sports promotional schemes across the country to identify talented sports persons in the age group of 8-25 years including those from rural areas and nurture them to excel at national and international competitions.
- SDG India Index: Baseline Report 2018
What are SDG:
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which came into being in September 2015, are in the Third year of global implementation. The SDGs are ambitious global aspirations on development that address key aspects of universal wellbeing, across different socio-economic, cultural, geographical divisions as well as the interconnectedness among the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development.
SDG & Niti Ayog
NITI Aayog has the twin mandate to oversee the implementation of SDGs in the country, and promote Competitive and Cooperative Federalism among States and Union Territories (UTs).
In exercise of these roles, NITI has developed the SDG India Index, a comprehensive Index to measure progress of States / UTs, through a single measurable Index and the First Baseline Report for 2018, prepared with the support of Global Green Growth Institute and UN in India.
- Developed by: The SDG India Index, which was developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI), Global Green Growth Institute and United Nations in India
- The SDG India Index tracks progress of all States and UTs on 62 Priority Indicators selected by NITI Aayog, which in turn is guided by MoSPI’s National Indicator Framework comprising 306 indicators and based on multiple-round consultations with Union Ministries/Departments and States/UTs.
- The Index spans 13 out of 17 SDGs. Progress on SDGs 12, 13 & 14 could not be measured as relevant State/UT level data were not available and SDG 17 was left out as it focuses on international partnerships.
- A composite score was computed between the range of 0-100 for each State and UT based on their aggregate performance across 13 SDGs, whichindicates average performance of State/UT towards achieving 13 SDGs & their respective targets.
If a State/UT achieves a score of 100, it signifies that it has achieved the 2030 national targets. The higher the score of a State/UT, the greater the distance to target achieved.
Classification Criteria based on SDG India Index Score is as follows:
- Aspirant: 0-49
- Performer: 50-64
- Front Runner: 65-99
- Achiever: 100
- The SDG India Indexis available via an interactive dashboard which has cross-sectoral relevance across policy, civil society, business and academia. The Index is designed to function as a tool for focussed policy dialogue, formulation and implementation, moving towards development action pegged to globally recognisable metrics of SDG framework.
- The Index also supplements NITI Aayog’s continuous efforts towards encouraging evidence-based policy making by supporting States/UTs to benchmark their progress, identifying priority areas and share best practices.
|SDG India Index Score Range||42-69||57-68|
|Top Performer/s||Himachal Pradesh & Kerala||Chandigarh|
|Aspirant||Uttar Pradesh||Dadra & Nagar Haveli|
- NABCB Accreditation Secures Recognition in Asia- Pacific Region
Why in News
- National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB), India’s national accreditation body, has secured equivalence for its accreditation programme for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS) Certification Bodies in Asia- Pacific region.
- It has signed the Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) of the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC) on 19 December 2018.
Any industry carrying ISO 45001 certificate with NABCB logo will be recognized in the Asia Pacific region. The immediate beneficiary of this equivalence is the Indian Industry which is exporting products to various countries specially in the Asia Pacific region. It can also be used by regulators for establishing confidence in certified units as Goa Government has done by accepting OHSMS certification under NABCB accreditation in lieu of annual audits under Factories’ Act.
Now, NABCB can facilitate export of Indian goods into the world market by attesting that these are certified as per international standards by competent certifying bodies.
- NABCB is the third accreditation body in the Asia Pacific Region to become internationally equivalent in the region, the other two being the accreditation bodies of Hong Kong and Mexico. The MLA with PAC would facilitate signing MLA with International Accreditation Forum (IAF) to secure full international equivalence. IAF signatory member status signifies that the accreditation of certification bodies by NABCB for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems will be accepted as internationally equivalent.
- NABCB, a constituent Board of the Quality Council of India, is responsible for accreditation of certification/inspection bodies as per applicable international standards under an international system of equivalence.
- Accreditation reduces risk for business and its customers by assuring that accredited Certification Bodies (CBs) are competent to carry out the work they undertake within their scope of accreditation. Accreditation Bodies (ABs) that are members of PAC and the CBs they accredit are required to comply with appropriate international standards and the applicable PAC application documents for the consistent application of those standards.
- Accreditation has become an essential tool for getting acceptance of inspection, testing and certification done in India internationally and it is referenced in many bilateral Free Trade Agreements like the India – Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement in which NABCB accreditation is a requirement for certification of electrical/electronic and telecom products. Thus, accreditation eliminates technical barriers to trade and facilitates export of Indian products in world market.
- ODF+ and ODF++ Protocols’
‘ODF+ and ODF++ protocols’, with a focus on sustaining ODF outcomes and achieving holistic sanitation (wherein ODF+ protocol focuses on O&M of community / public toilets by ensuring functionality and proper maintenance of CT/PTs for their continued usage, and ODF++ focuses on addressing safe management of faecal sludge from toilets, and ensuring that no untreated sludge is discharged into open drains, water bodies or in the open).
- Samagra Shiksha Scheme
- Samagra Shiksha – an Integrated Scheme for School Education has been launched throughout the country as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with effect from the year 2018-19.
- Combination of Three Schemes: This programme subsumes the three erstwhile Centrally Sponsored Schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE).
- It is an overarching programme for the school education sector extending from pre-school to class XII and aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels of school education. It envisages the ‘school’ as a continuum from pre-school, primary, upper primary, secondary to senior secondary levels. The States/UTs are assisted by the central government to implement the Samagra Shiksha as a programme for providing universal access and retention, bridging of gender and social category gaps in education and enhancement of learning level of children at all levels of school education.
The major interventions under the scheme are: (i) Universal Access including Infrastructure Development and Retention; (ii) Gender and Equity; (iii) Inclusive Education; (iv) Quality; (v) Financial support for Teacher Salary; (vi) Digital initiatives; (vii) Entitlements under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 including uniforms, textbooks etc.;(viii) Pre-school Education; (ix) Vocational Education; (x) Sports and Physical Education; and (xi) Strengthening of Teacher Education and Training. The main emphasis of the Scheme is on improving quality of school education and the strategy of all interventions would be to enhance the Learning Outcomes at all levels of schooling.
- Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region
- IFC – IOR shall be a collaborative construct that will work with partners, countries as well as international agencies; to enhance maritime security and safety.
- It would also aim to work closely with the multi-national constructs and other information fusion centres said the Admiral. He further added that the IFC-IOR would work towards capability building in the region, coordination of incident response and disaster relief, and in time, also share submarine safety information.
The information exchange at the IFC-IOR would be initially undertaken by virtual means, using telephone calls, faxes, emails and video conferencing over internet. Subsequently, to enable better interaction, quicker analysis of information and provide timely inputs, the IFC-IOR would host Liaison Officers from partner countries. Additionally, towards enhancing capability building, the IFC-IOR would undertake conduct of exercises and training capsules in maritime information collation and sharing.
63.Model of e-Commerce
Inventory based model of e-commerce- Inventory based model of e-commerce means an e-commerce activity where inventory of goods and services is owned by e-commerce entity and is sold to the consumers directly.
Marketplace based model of e-commerce- Marketplace based model of e-commerce means providing of an information technology platform by an e-commerce entity on a digital & electronic network to act as a facilitator between buyer and seller.
64.Second Delta Ranking of Aspirational districts
- The Aspirational District Programme was launched by the Prime Minister on January 5, 2018.
- It aims to rapidly transform the districts that have shown relatively lesser progress in key social areas and have emerged as pockets of under-development, thereby posing a challenge to ensure balanced regional development.
The first Delta ranking for the Aspirational Districts was released in June 2018.It ranked the Aspirational Districts on improved performance across five developmental areas of Health and Nutrition, Education, Agriculture and Water Resources, Financial Inclusion and Skill Development, and Basic Infrastructure, over the months of April and May 2018, on the basis of self-reported data.
65.NIMZ Vs SEZ
The main objective of Special Economic Zones is promotion of exports, while NIMZs are based on the principle of industrial growth in partnership with States and focuses on manufacturing growth and employment generation. NIMZs are different from SEZs in terms of size, level of infrastructure planning, governance structures related to regulatory procedures, and exit policies.
National Investment & Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs) are one of the important instruments of National Manufacturing Policy, 2011. NIMZs are envisaged as large areas of developed land with the requisite eco-system for promoting world class manufacturing activity. So far, three NIMZs namely Prakasam (Andhra Pradesh), Sangareddy (Telangana) and Kalinganagar (Odisha) have been accorded final approval and 13 NIMZs have been accorded in-principle approval. Besides these, eight Investment Regions along the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project have also been declared as NIMZs.
- Electoral Bonds
- Electoral Bonds shall be valid for fifteen calendar daysfrom the date of issue and no payment shall be made to any payee Political Party if the Electoral Bond is deposited after expiry of the validity period.
- The Electoral Bond deposited by an eligible Political Party in its account shall be credited on the same day.
- Earlier, the Government of India had notified the Electoral Bond Scheme 2018 vide Gazette Notification No. 20 dated 02nd January 2018.
- As per provisions of the Scheme, Electoral Bonds may be purchased by a person, who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India. A person being an individual can buy Electoral Bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals.
- Only the Political Parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and which secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last General Election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the State, shall be eligible to receive the Electoral Bonds. The Electoral Bonds shall be encashed by an eligible Political Party only through a Bank account with the Authorized Bank.
- Submission of India’s Second Biennial Update Report (BUR) to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Union Cabinet chaired has approved Submission of India’s second Biennial Update Report (BUR) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change towards fulfilment of the reporting obligation under the Convention.
- The scope of BUR is to provide an update to India’s first BUR to UNFCCC. The BUR contains five major components — National Circumstances; National Greenhouse Gas Inventory; Mitigation Actions; Finance, Technology and Capacity Building Needs and Support Received and Domestic Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) arrangements.
- BUR has been prepared based on a range of studies conducted at the national level.
- The BUR has undergone multitier review process, through peer review, review by Technical Advisory Committee of Experts chaired by Additional Secretary (Climate Change) and by National Steering Committee chaired by Secretary (EF&CC). The National Steering Committee is an inter-ministerial body comprising NITI Aayog, Agricultural Research and Education, Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Economic Affairs, External Affairs, New and Renewable Energy, Science & Technology, Coal, Power, Railway Board, Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Petroleum & Natural Gas, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Rural Development, Housing and Urban Affairs, Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Steel, Civil Aviation, Statistics and Programme Implementation and India Meteorological Department. The BUR has been finalized after addressing all the relevant comments and modifications as per the multi-tier review process.
- In 2014, a total of 26,07,488 Gigagram (Gg) CC-2 equivalent* (around 2.607 billion tonnes of CC-2 equivalent) of GHGs were emitted from all activities (excluding LULUCF) in India. The net national GHG emissions after including LULUCF were 23,06,295 Gg COa equivalent (around 2.306 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent). Out of the total emissions, energy sector accounted for 73%, IPPU 8%, agriculture 16% and waste sector 3%. About 12% of emissions were offset by the carbon sink action of forestland, cropland and settlements.
- Mahila Police Volunteers (MPVs)
The Ministry of Women and Child Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs has envisaged engagement of Mahila Police Volunteers (MPVs) in the States/UTs who will act as a link between police and community and help women in distress. All Chief Secretaries of States/UTs were requested to adopt this initiative in their respective States. Haryana is the first state to adopt the initiative at Karnal and Mahindergarh District on a pilot basis under Nirbhaya Fund during the financial year 2016-2017. Further, the proposals of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh have also been approved for implementation of MPVs.
- Under the scheme, the Mahila Police volunteer is required to mobilize community to form Mahila and ShishuRakshak Dals (MASRD) to act as community watch groups. As the, scheme is at the nascent stage of operationalisation at the field level, no impact assessment on MPVs scheme has been done so far.
- Sixth National Report to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD)
- India submitted its Sixth National Report (NR6) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) .The report was submitted online to the CBD Secretariat by the Union Environment Minister, during the inaugural session of the 13thNational Meeting of the State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs) organized by the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), New Delhi. The Minister also released the document ‘Progress on India’s National Biodiversity Targets: A Preview’ on the occasion.
- The NR6 provides an update of progress in achievement of 12 National Biodiversity Targets (NBT) developed under the Convention process in line with the 20 global Aichi biodiversity targets. Briefly, the Report highlights that while India has exceeded/overachieved two NBTs, it is on track to achieve eight NBTs and in respect of the remaining two NBTs also, India is striving to meet the targets by the stipulated time of 2020.
- With well over 20 percent of its total geographical area under biodiversity conservation, India has exceeded the terrestrial component of 17 percent of Aichi target 11, and 20 percent of corresponding NBT relating to areas under biodiversity management. Similarly, India has also made noteworthy achievement towards NBT relating to access and benefit sharing (ABS) by operationalising the Nagoya Protocol on ABS. Having published the first internationally recognized certificate of compliance (IRCC) under the Protocol in 2015, India has since published nearly 75% of the IRCCs published so far on ABS Clearing House. Thus, in respect of these two NBTs (6 and 9), the progress made by India has exceeded the targets.
GS PAPER I
- Cabinet approves Amendment in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012
Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for Amendment in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 to make punishment more stringent for committing sexual crimes against children.
- The POCSO Act, 2012 was enacted to Protect the Children from Offences of Sexual Assault, Sexual harassment and pornography with due regard for safeguarding the interest and well-being of children. The Act defines a child as any person below eighteen years of age, and regards the best interests and welfare of the child as matter of paramount importance at every stage, to ensure the healthy physical, emotional, intellectual and social development of the child. The act is gender neutral.
- The amendment in Section-4, Section-5, Section-6, Section-9, Section-14, Section-15 and Section-42 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, is made to address the aspects of child sexual abuse in appropriate manner. The modification is made to address the need for stringent measures required to deter the rising trend of child sex abuse in the country.
- To discourage the trend of child sexual abuse by acting as a deterrent Section-4, Section-5 and Section-6 are proposed to be amended to provide option of stringent punishment, including death penalty, for committing aggravated penetrative sexual assault crime on a child to protect the children from sexual abuse.
- The amendments are also proposed in section-9 to protect children from sexual offences in times of natural calamities and disasters and in cases where children are administered, in any way, any hormone or any chemical substance, to attains early sexual maturity for the purpose of penetrative sexual assault.
- Section-14 and Section-15 of the POCSO Act, 2012 are also proposed to be amended to address the menace of the child pornography. It is proposed to levy fine for not destroying/or deleting/ or reporting the pornographic material involving a child. The person can be further penalized with jail term or fine or both for transmitting/propagating/administrating such material in any manner except for the purpose of reporting as may be prescribed and for use as evidence in court. Penal provisions have been made more stringent for storing/possessing any pornographic material in any form involving a child for commercial purpose.
The amendment is expected to discourage the trend of child sexual abuse by acting as a deterrent due to strong penal provisions incorporated in the Act. It may protect the interest of vulnerable children in times of distress and ensures their safety and dignity. The amendment aims to establish clarity regarding the aspects of child abuse and punishment thereof.
GS PAPER II
- HIV/AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017
- Came in to force in September 2017
- HIV/AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017 was unanimously passed by the Government and it has also come into force. “This Act provides an enabling environment to HIV affected and infected population where they get a seamless access to services and a comprehensive grievance redressal mechanism with ombudsman at the Centre and Complaints Officer at establishments,
Some important Provisions
- The Act, safeguards the rights of people living with HIV and affected by HIV. The provisions of the Act address HIV-related discrimination, strengthen the existing programme by bringing in legal accountability, and establish formal mechanisms for inquiring into complaints and redressing grievances.
- The Act seeks to prevent and control the spread of HIV and AIDS, prohibits discrimination against persons with HIV and AIDS. The Act lists various grounds on which discrimination against HIV positive persons and those living with them is prohibited. These include the denial, termination, discontinuation or unfair treatment with regard to: (i) employment, (ii) educational establishments, (iii) health care services, (iv) residing or renting property, (v) standing for public or private office, and (vi) provision of insurance (unless based on actuarial studies). The requirement for HIV testing as a pre-requisite for obtaining employment or accessing health care or education is also prohibited.
- Every HIV infected or affected person below the age of 18 years has the right to reside in a shared household and enjoy the facilities of the household. The Act also prohibits any individual from publishing information or advocating feelings of hatred against HIV positive persons and those living with them. As per provisions of the Act, a person between the age of 12 to 18 years who has sufficient maturity in understanding and managing the affairs of his HIV or AIDS affected family shall be competent to act as a guardian of another sibling below 18 years of age to be applicable in the matters relating to admission to educational establishments, operating bank accounts, managing property, care and treatment, amongst others. As per the provisions of the Act, every person in the care and custody of the state shall have right to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and counseling services.
2.India Russia Relation
There is a need to further build upon the traditional friendship between the two countries for mutual advantage in the fields of economy, human development and cultural cooperation
- Good governance is a reflection of the successful functioning of the institutions of state with the welfare of citizens as its noble goal
- Good governance is possible only through active involvement of civil society
Soft power is not restricted to culture alone. It can include any element of a country that is (or seems) attractive to other people, communities or countries. Below are some prominent examples of soft power:
- Cuisine –the popularity of Dosa and butter chicken masala is an example of India’s soft power, while McDonald’s is America’s soft power.
- Democracy- The parliamentary democratic system of India definitely appeals to many people across the globe. The smooth manner in which power gets transferred from one party to another either at the national level or in various States is India’s USP.
- Films –I have already mentioned about Bollywood. Many of our actors like the legendary Amitabh Bachchan, Rajnikanth and Priyanka Chopra are popular in several countries. One of the best examples is the extreme popularity of “Awara Hoon” song in Russia. The most recent example is that of ‘Baahubali’.
- Sports:India’s Sachin Tendulkar, M S Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Viswanathan Anand and many other sports stars are well known in many countries.
- People –Prominent Indian CEOs like Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai.
- Music and dance:Different genres of Indian music and various dance forms, including Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi, have legions of followers across the globe.
- Diaspora:The presence of Indian diaspora can be effectively leveraged through soft power to project India’s viewpoint and increase the outreach.
- Cabinet approves setting up of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2018
- The draft bill provides for the constitution of a National Commission with four autonomous boards entrusted with conducting overall education of Ayurveda, under Board of Ayurveda and Unani, Siddha &Sowarigpa under Board of Unaini, Siddha and Sowarigpa. There are two common Boards namely, Board of assessment and rating to assess and grant permission to educational institutions of Indian systems of Medicine and Board of ethics and registration of practitioners of Indian systems of medicine to maintain National Register and ethical issues relating to practice under the National Commission for Indian Medicine.
- It also proposes a common entrance exam and an exit exam, which all graduates will have to clear to get practicing licenses. Further, a teacher’s eligibility test has been proposed in the Bill to assess the standard of teachers before appointment and promotions.
- The draft bill is aimed at bringing reforms in the medical education of Indian medicine sector in lines with the National Medical Commission proposed for setting up for Allopathy system of medicine.
- The proposed regulatory structure will enable transparency and accountability for protecting the interest of the general public. The NCIM will promote availability of affordable healthcare services in all parts of the country.
- Capacity Building Programme for Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) of Panchayati Raj Institutions
Government of India has initiated the Capacity Building Programme for Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) of Panchayati Raj Institutions with an objective of empowering them by developing leadership capacities so that they serve as catalysts for social change and function as peer facilitators in the field, become vocal for their rights and participate effectively in the governance processes.
GS PAPER III
- Drone Guidelines
- Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), popularly referred to as drones, are a technology platform with wide-ranging applications. In August 2018, India had announced the release of its Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) to enable safe flying of RPAS in India. The CAR detailed the obligations of operators, remote pilots/ users and manufacturers/ OEM for safe operations of RPAS and co-operative use of airspace.
- Nano drones in India can start flying legally from December , 2018. For micro and above categories, operators and pilots are required to register on the Digital Sky Portal.
- If an RPAS does not have permission to fly, it will not be allowed to take-off under the policy of NoPermission-No-Takeoff (NPNT
- All RPAS except nano and those owned by NTRO, ARC and Central Intelligence Agencies are to be registered and issued with Unique Identification Number (UIN).
- Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP) shall be required for RPA operators except for nano RPAS operating below 50 ft., micro RPAS operating below 200 ft., and those owned by NTRO, ARC and Central Intelligence Agencies.
- The mandatory equipment required for operation of RPAS except nano category are (a) GNSS (GPS), (b) Return-To-Home (RTH), (c) Anti-collision light, (d) ID-Plate, (e) Flight controller with flight data logging capability, and (f) RF ID and SIM/ No-Permission No Take off (NPNT).
- As of now, RPAS to operate within visual line of sight (VLoS), during day time only, and upto maximum400 ft. altitude.
- For flying in controlled Airspace, filing of flight plan and obtaining Air Defence Clearance (ADC) /Flight Information Centre (FIC) number shall be necessary.
- Minimum manufacturing standards and training requirements of Remote Pilots of small and above categories of RPAS have been specified in the regulation.
No Drone Zones:
- The regulation defines “No Drone Zones” around airports;near international border, Vijay Chowk in Delhi; State Secretariat Complex in State Capitals, strategic locations/vital and military installations; etc.
- Operations through Digital Platform:
- Operations of RPAS to be enabled through Digital Sky Platform. The RPAS operations will be based on NPNT (No Permission, No Take off).
- There will be different colour zones visible to the applicant while applying in the digital sky platform, viz, Red Zone: flying not permitted, Yellow Zone (controlled airspace): permission required before flying, andGreen Zone (uncontrolled airspace): automatic permission.
- Agriculture Export Policy, 2018
Objectives of the Agriculture Export Policy are as under:
- To double agricultural exports from present ~US$ 30+ Billion to ~US$ 60+ Billion by 2022 and reach US$ 100 Billion in the next few years thereafter, with a stable trade policy regime.
- To diversify our export basket, destinations and boost high value and value added agricultural exports including focus on perishables.
- To promote novel, indigenous, organic, ethnic, traditional and non-traditional Agri products exports.
- To provide an institutional mechanism for pursuing market access, tackling barriers and deal with sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues.
- To strive to double India’s share in world agri exports by integrating with global value chain at the earliest.
- Enable farmers to get benefit of export opportunities in overseas market.
Elements of Agriculture Export Policy:
- The recommendations in the Agriculture Export Policy have been organised in two categories – Strategic and Operational – as detailed below:
- Champion Sector
- 12 identified Champion Services Sectors for promoting their development, and realizing their potential. These include Information Technology & Information Technology enabled Services (IT &ITeS), Tourism and Hospitality Services, Medical Value Travel, Transport and Logistics Services, Accounting and Finance Services, Audio Visual Services, Legal Services, Communication Services, Construction and Related Engineering Services, Environmental Services, Financial Services and Education Services.
- SEZ Policy review committee report
TheGovernment had constituted a Group of eminent persons under the Chairmanship of Baba Kalyani, Chairman M/s. Bharat Forge to study the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Policy of India on 04.06.2018. The Group submitted its report to the Governmentlast month. The key recommendations of the Group are as under:
- Framework shift from export growth to broad-based Employment and Economic Growth (Employment and Economic Enclaves-3Es).
- Formulation of separate rules and procedures for manufacturing and service SEZs.
- Shift from supply driven to demand driven approach for 3Es development to improve efficiency of investment-based on certain industries, current level of existing inventory in the region.
- Enabling framework for Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) in 3Es in sync with State EoDB initiatives. One integrated online portal for new investments, operational requirements and exits related matters.
- Enhance competitiveness by enabling ecosystem development by funding high speed multi modal connectivity, business services and utility infrastructure. Critical to provide support to create high quality infrastructure either within or linked to the zones eg. High Speed Rail, Express roadways, Passenger/Cargo airports, shipping ports, warehouses etc.
- Promote integrated industrial and urban development- walk to work zones, States and center to coordinate on the frame work development to bring linkages between all initiatives.
- Procedural relaxations for developers and tenants to improve operational and exit issues.
- Extension of Sunset Clause and retaining tax or duty benefits.
- Broad-banding definition of services/allowing multiple services to come together.
- Additional enablers and procedural relaxations.
- Unified regulator for IFSC.
- Utilizing Multi Services SEZ IFSC for all the inbound and out bound investment of the country.
- Incentives for availing services from IFSC SEZ by domestic institutions.
- Extension of benefit under services Export incentives scheme.
- Allowing alternate sectors to invest in sector specific SEZs/ 3Es.
- Flexibility of long term lease for developers and tenants.
- Facility of sub-contracting for customers outside 3Es/SEZs without any restriction or cap at any level.
- Specified domestic supplies supporting ‘Make in India’ to be considered in NFE computation.
- Export duty should not be levied on goods supplied to developers and used in manufacture of goods exported.
- Flexibility in usage of NPA by developers and sale space to investors/ units.
- Infrastructure status to improve access to finance and enable long term borrowing.
- Promote MSME participation in 3Es and enable manufacturing enabling service players to locate in 3E.
- Dispute resolution through arbitration and commercial courts.
- Measures being taken to Control and Prevent Frauds in Banks
Number of measures being taken to control and prevent frauds in banks, including, inter alia, the following:
- Government has issued “Framework for timely detection, reporting, investigation etc. relating to large value bank frauds” to Public Sector Banks (PSBs), which provides, inter-alia, that: All accounts exceeding Rs. 50 crore, if classified as Non-Performing Assets be examined by banks from the angle of possible fraud, and a report placed before the bank’s Committee for Review of NPAs on the findings of this investigation;
- Examination be initiated for wilful default immediately upon reporting fraud to RBI; and
- Report on the borrower be sought from the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau in case an account turns NPA.
- Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 has been enacted to deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside thejurisdiction of Indian courts. It provides for attachment of property of a fugitive economic offender, confiscation of such offender’s property and disentitlement of the offender from defending any civil claim.
- Central Fraud Registry (CFR), based on Fraud Monitoring Returns filed by banks and select financial institutions, has been set up by RBI as a searchable online central database for use by banks.
- For enforcement of auditing standards and ensuring the quality of audits Government has initiated establishment of National Financial Reporting Authority as an independent regulator.
PSBs have been instructed to—
- ensure implementation, within stipulated deadlines, measures prescribed by RBI for strengthening the SWIFT operating environment in banks,
- decide on publishing photographs of wilful defaulters, in terms of RBI’s instructions and as per their Board-approved policy,
- meticulously follow RBI’s framework for dealing with loan frauds and Red Flagged Accounts,
- implement RBI guidelines to prevent skimming of ATM/debit/credit cards, and
- ensure legal audit of title documents in respect of large value loan accounts,
- obtain certified copy of the passport of the promoters/directors and other authorised signatories of companies availing loan facilities of more than Rs. 50 crore,
- strictly ensure rotational transfer of officials/employees.
- Steps taken by Government to promote use of Domestically Manufactured Drugs and Medicines
- National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Policy, 2012 (NPPP-2012) was notified with the objective to put in place a regulatory framework for pricing of drugs so as to ensure availability of required medicines – “essential medicines” at reasonable prices even while providing sufficient opportunity for innovation and competition to support the growth of pharma industry thereby meeting the goals of employment and shared economic well-being for all.
- In order to promote and to make available quality generic medicines at affordable prices to all through specific outlets, a scheme in the name of ‘Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana’ (PMBJP) is functioning across the country.
- In order to promote domestically manufactured drugs, the Government is providing financial support for research and development through Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Research Programme (DPRP) run by the Department of Science & Technology. The companies undertaking Research & Development activities are provided income tax benefits.
- The Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013, Para-32(iii) provides exemptions from price control to a manufacturer producing a new drug involving a new delivery system developed through indigenous Research and Development for a period of five years from the date of its market approval in India.
- The government vide its notification dated 28th January, 2016 has withdrawn exemption of customs duty on certain categories on Bulk Drugs/APIs to provide level playing field to the domestic manufacturers
- Cyber Security
Some specific measures taken by the Government of India to strengthen cyber security system in the country are as under:
- National Cyber Security Coordinator (NCSC) under National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) coordinates with different agencies at the national level for cyber security matters.
- Information Technology Act, 2000 was enacted to provide legal recognition for electronic communication, electronic commerce and cyber crimes etc. IT Act has deterrent provisions to deal with cyber threats and cyber attacks.
- The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) issues alerts and advisories regarding latest cyber threats and countermeasures on regular basis.
- National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) has been established for protection of critical information infrastructure in the country.
- Cyber security exercises are being conducted regularly to enable assessment of preparedness of organizations in Government and critical sectors.
- (vi) Guidelines have been issued for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) regarding their key roles and responsibilities for securing applications / infrastructure and compliance.
- Cyber Swachhta Kendra (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre) has been launched for detection of malicious programs and provide free tools to remove the same.
- National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC) has set up to generate necessary situational awareness of existing and potential cyber security threats and enable timely information sharing for proactive, preventive and protective actions by individual entities.
- All the new government websites and applications are audited prior to their hosting and on regular basis after hosting.
- CERT-In conducts regular training programmes for network / system administrators and Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) of Government and critical sector organisations regarding securing the IT infrastructure and mitigating cyber attacks.
- Under Cyber Crime Prevention for Women and Children (CCPWC) Scheme, Government of India has released grants to States/UTs including Andhra Pradesh for setting up of a Cyber Forensic cum Training Laboratory and organizing capacity building programme on cyber awareness and cyber crime investigation. Rs. 4.42 Crore has been released to Andhra Pradesh for the purpose.
- A Division has been established under the Ministry of Home Affairs to deal with Cyber and Information Security.
- NITI Aayog releases Strategy for New India @ 75
The NITI Aayog unveiled its comprehensive national Strategy for New India, which defines clear objectives for 2022-23. It is a detailed exposition acrossforty-one crucial areas, that recognizesthe progress already made, identifies binding constraints, and suggests the way
The forty-one chapters in the document have been disaggregated under four sections: Drivers, Infrastructure, Inclusion and Governance.
The first section on Drivers focuses on the engines of economic performance with chapters on growth and employment, doubling of farmers’ incomes; upgrading the science, technology and innovation eco-system; and promoting sunrise sectors like fintech and tourism.
Some of the key recommendations in the section on drivers include:
- Steadily accelerate the economy to achieve a GDP growth rate of about 8% on average during 2018-23. This will raisethe economy’s size in real terms from USD 2.7trillion in 2017-18 to nearly USD 4 trillion by2022-23. Increase the investment rate as measured by gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) from the present 29% to 36% of GDP by 2022.
- In agriculture, shift the emphasis to converting farmers to ‘agripreneurs’ by further expandinge-National Agriculture Markets and replacing the Agricultural Produce Marketing CommitteeAct with the Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing Act.
- Give a strong push to ‘Zero Budget Natural Farming’ techniques that reduce costs,improve land quality and increase farmers’ incomes. This has emerged as a tested method for putting environmentcarbon back into the land.
- To ensure maximum employment creation, complete codification of labor laws and a massiveeffort must be made to upscale and expand apprenticeships.
- Launch a mission “Explore in India” by revamping minerals exploration and licensing policy.
The second section on Infrastructure deals with the physical foundations of growth which are crucial to enhancing the competitiveness of Indian business as also ensuring the citizens’ ease of living. Some of the key recommendations in the section on infrastructure include:
- Expedite the establishment of the Rail Development Authority (RDA), which is already approved. RDAwill advise or make informed decisions on an integrated, transparent and dynamic pricing mechanismfor the railways.
- Double the share of freight transported by coastal shipping and inland waterways. Initially,viability gap funding will be provided until the infrastructure is fully developed. Develop an IT-enabled platformfor integrating different modes of transport and promoting multi-modal anddigitized mobility.
- With the completion of the Bharat Net programme in 2019, all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats will be digitallyconnected. Aim to deliver all government services at the state, district, and gram panchayat level digitally by2022-23.
The section on Inclusion deals with the urgent task of investing in the capabilities of all of India’s citizens. The three themes in this section revolve around the dimensions of health, education and mainstreaming of traditionally marginalized sections of the population. Some of the key recommendations in the section on inclusion include:
- Successfully implementing the Ayushman Bharat programme including the establishment of 150,000 health and wellness centres across the country, and rolling out the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan (PM-JAY).
- Create a focal point for public health at the central level with state counterparts. Promote integrative medicine curriculum.
- Upgrade the quality of the school education system and skills, including the creation of a new innovation ecosystem at the ground level by establishing at least 10,000 Atal Tinkering Labs by 2020.
- Conceptualize an electronic national educational registry for tracking each child’s learning outcomes.
- As already done in rural areas, give a huge push to affordable housing in urban areas to improve workers’ living conditions and ensure equity while providing a strong impetus to economic growth.
The final section on Governance delves deep into how the governance structures can be streamlined and processes optimized to achieve better developmental outcomes. Some of the key recommendations in the section on governance include:
- Implement the recommendations of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission as a preludeto appointing a successor for designing reforms in the changing context of emerging technologies andgrowing complexity of the economy.
- Set up a new autonomous body, viz., the Arbitration Council of India to grade arbitralinstitutions and accredit arbitrators to make the arbitration process cost effective and speedy, and to preemptthe need for court intervention.
- Address the backlog of pending cases – shift part of workload out of regular court system.
- Expand the scope of Swachh Bharat Mission to cover initiatives for landfills, plastic waste and municipal waste and generating wealth from waste.
- Cabinet approves Indian Human Spaceflight Initiative: Gaganyaan Programme
Cabinet has approved the Gaganyaan Programme with demonstration of Indian Human Spaceflight capability to low earth orbit for a mission duration ranging from one orbital period to a maximum of seven days. A human rated GSLV Mk-lll will be used to carry the orbital module which will have necessary provisions for sustaining a 3-member crew for the duration of the mission. The necessary infrastructure for crew training, realization of flight systems and ground infrastructure will be established to support the Gaganyaan Programme. ISRO will collaborate extensively with National agencies, laboratories, academia and industry to accomplish the Gaganyaan Programme objectives.
- Gaganyaan Programme will establish a broader framework for collaboration between ISRO, academia, industry, national agencies and other scientific organizations.
- It This will allow pooling in of diverse technological and industrial capabilities and enable broader participation in research opportunities and technology development benefitting large number of students and researchers.
- The flight system realization will be through Industry.
- It is expected to generate employment and train human resources in advanced technologies.
- It will inspire large number of young students to take up science and technology careers for national development.
- Gaganyaan Programme is a national effort and will involve the participation of the Industry, Academia and National Agencies spread across the length and breadth of the country
- The programme is expected to spur research and development within the country in niche science and technology domains.
- Huge potential for technology spinoffs in areas such as medicine, agriculture, industrial safety, pollution, waste management, water and food resource management etc.
- Human spaceflight programme will provide a unique micro-gravity platform in space for conducting experiments and test bed for future technologies.
- The programme is expected to give impetus to economic activities within the country in terms of employment generation, human resource development and enhanced industrial capabilities.
- Human Spaceflight capability will enable India to participate as a collaborating partner in future Global space exploration initiatives with long term national benefits.
- ISRO has completed the development of launch vehicle GSLV Mk-lll which has the necessary payload capability to launch a 3-member crew module in low earth orbit. ISRO has also tested the crew escape system which is an essential technology for human space flight. The aerodynamic characterization of crew module has b3een completed as part of GSLV Mk-lll X mission flight. Elements of life support system and Space suit also have been realized and tested. In addition, the orbital & re-entry mission and recovery operations have been flight demonstrated in Space Capsule Re-entry experiment (SRE) mission. ISRO has developed and demonstrated most of the baseline technologies essential for undertaking human spaceflight mission. Globally also, there is a renewed interest in undertaking manned exploration initiatives.
GS PAPER IV
- Emotional Intelligence refers to the capability of a person to manage his or her emotions and possess the capability to control the emotions of others as well.
- Leaders with higher Emotional Intelligence are more effective in their work. This has five major components — self perception, self expression, intra-personal, problem solving and stress management.
- Emotional Intelligence deepen understanding in areas like empathy, flexibility, assertiveness, stress tolerance and impulse control and give an opportunity for further development.
- A culture of Emotional Intelligence is the most productive and positive culture and is the corner stone of innovation, efficiency and effectiveness.
2.PM Speech: Man ki Baat (Some key points can be used in Ethics Paper)
- My dear countrymen, this December we had to bear the loss of some extraordinary, exemplary countrymen. On the 19th of December, Dr. Jayachandran passed away in Chennai. People fondly called him ‘MakkalMaaruthuvar’ since he had a special place in their hearts. Dr. Jayachandran was known for his efforts of making the most economical treatment possible available to the poor. People tell us that he would be ever ready & eager, when it came to treatment of patients. In the case of elderly patients, he would even bear the cost of their travelling to and fro. On the betterindia.com website, I have read about many of his endeavours that serve as an inspiration to society.
- On similar lines, on the 25th of December, I learnt of the loss of SulagittiNarsamma in Karnataka. SulagittiNarsamma was a midwife, aiding pregnant women during childbirth. In Karnataka, especially in far-off, remote places, thousands of women availed of her services. In the beginning of this year, she was honoured with a Padma Shri. There are many exemplary personalities such as Dr. Jaya Chandran and SulagittiNarsamma, who dedicated their lives to the welfare of all in society. Since we are referring to healthcare, I would like to mention the social endeavour of doctors in Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh. Recently, I was told by some of our party workers that a few young doctors in the town set up camps offering free treatment for the underprivileged. Every month, the Heart Lungs Critical Centre there organizes such camps, where free diagnosis and treatment for a host of ailments is done. Every month, hundreds of poor patients are benefitting from these camps. The dedication of these doctor friends engaged in selfless service is truly worthy of praise. Today, I’m saying it with pride that it was collective efforts that made the ‘Swachch Bharat Mission’ a successful campaign. I was told that a few days ago, in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, over three lakh people came together to work for the sanitation campaign.
- I do believe that by doing so more and more people will get to know about our heroes who brought a change in society. Spreading negativity is fairly easy. But some really good work is being done around us, in our society. And all this has been possible through the collective efforts of a 130 crore countrymen.
- Sports has its own significance in every society. When a game is being played, the spectators too experience a rush of energy in their beings. We observe name, fame and laurels when it comes to sportspersons. But, at times, in the background, there exist many things that are much higher, much greater than the world of sports. Let me tell you about one of our daughters from Kashmir who won a gold medal in a Karate Championship in Korea. Hanaya is 12 years old and lives in Anantnag, Kashmir. Hanaya trained hard in Karate with perseverance & fervor, studied its nuances and proved herself. On behalf of all countrymen, I wish her a bright future. Best wishes and blessings to Hanaya. Similarly, the media discussed extensively about the 16 year old Rajani. You too must have read it. Rajani has won a gold medal at the Junior Women’s Boxing Championship. The moment Rajani won the medal she rushed to a nearby milk stall & drank a glass of milk. After that, she wrapped a cloth around the medal & kept it in a bag. You must be wondering why Rajani did that ! She did it in honour of her father Jasmer Singh ji who sells lassi, at a stall in Panipat. According to Rajani, her father has sacrificed a lot, undergone hardships to help her reach where she is. Early every morning, Jasmer Singh used to leave for work before Rajani and her siblings woke up. When Rajani approached her father, expressing her wish to learn boxing, he encouraged her, arranging for whatever possible resources that he could. Rajani had to start her training in boxing with old gloves, since those days, the family was not too well, financially. Despite so many hurdles, Rajani did not lose heart & went ahead with her training in boxing. She has won a medal in Serbia too. My best wishes and blessings to Rajani. I also congratulate her parents Jasmer Singh ji and Usha Rani Ji for supporting & encouraging Rajani. This very month, 20 year old Vedangi Kulkarni from Pune became the fastest Asian to traverse the globe riding a bicycle. She rode for 159 days, covering around 300 kilometres every day. Just imagine… 300 kms of cycling every day ! Her passion for cycling is indeed commendable. Don’t news of such achievements, such accomplishments inspire us? Especially my young friends, when we hear about such feats, we derive inspiration to touch heights despite obstacles
- If your resolve is strong, if your fervor, your enthusiasm is without bounds, all your hurdles halt in their tracks. Hardships can never turn into obstacles. When we come to know of such examples, we too feel inspired every moment of our life.
Some Terms/ Quotation
- Agriculture & Partnership
Through human history, agriculture has moved ahead with cross-fertilisation. It is the ideal stage for partnerships, for symbiosis and for mutual learning and sharing. Partnerships can be formed across sectors and across geographies. In previous decades, manufacturing and mechanisation have been of appreciable utility to agriculture. Today a strong relationship is emerging between agriculture and the services sector. Biotechnology, nanotechnology, data science, remote-sensing imaging, autonomous aerial and ground vehicles, and artificial intelligence hold the key to generating more value for agriculture
- Art & Culture
- Art and dance forms act as bridge between the value systems of ancient India and the new generation.
- Classical music and arts represent India’s cultural glory and they represent the eternal and everlasting principles of life that promote discipline, obedience and peaceful coexistence.
- Time and again studies have shown that children who are engaged in music and other art forms tend to have better cognitive skills and do well in academics as well. Practicing music, dance or any art form helps children improve memory, auditory skills and the attention span.
- People with special needs require empathy and not sympathy
- 3 Essential “S”s of Climate Finance – Scope, Scale and Speed
- Public art not only beautifies the cityscape, it also captures its soul
- Ekam Sat Vipra: Bahudha Vadanti(एकम्सद् विप्रा: बहुधा वदंति) – Truth is one, wise men express it in many ways and this inclusiveness is the essence of India
- Building blocks of the Republican Ethic are equality, egalitarianism and education
- Reform, Perform and Transform’
- Practice ‘Educate and Enforce’ to promote safe driving
- Revamp school education system to make children life-long learners
- Education system must promote excellence, equity and empathy
- The values we live by and the ideals that serve as our guiding stars were equally important to channel our thoughts and actions in a purposeful direction. “That is what we call “Viveka” or wisdom, the ability to separate the ‘good’ from the ‘bad’ and develop the ability to choose the ‘good’. “Vigyana” must be blended with “Viveka”.
- Good Governance and Reforms must empower the last man in the queue
- Development strategy to be effective & should help achieve broad-based economic growth;
- Need to nurture sustainable agricultural practices and place great emphasis on the efficiency to meet the food and nutrition needs of India
- 7 Cs:Common, Connected, Convenient, Congestion-free, Charged, Clean and Cutting-edge.