IASbaba Press Information Bureau (PIB)- 14th to 20th December 2015

  • December 21, 2015
  • 4
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis, IASbaba's Daily News Analysis, PIB
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Upliftment of Extremely Poor Section

(Welfare Schemes for Weaker Section of Society)


  • Extremely poor people having annual income less than Rs.1.00 lakh
  • Do not belong to any social category such as SC/ST/OBC and have been categorized as Economically Backward Classes (EBCs)


Dr.Ambedkar Post-Matric Scholarship for EBC Students-

  • Centrally sponsored scheme
  • Implementation:State Government and Union Territories
  • Objective: To provide financial assistance to the EBC students studying at post-matriculation or post-secondary stage
  • The scholarship for Commercial Pilot License (CPL) course is also covered under this scheme

Dr. Ambedkar Scheme of Interest Subsidy on Educational Loans for Overseas Studies

  • Beneficiaries:Students belonging to the Economically Backward Classes (EBCs)
  • Objectives:
    • To award interest subsidy to meritorious EBC students
    • Provide them better opportunities for higher education abroad
    • Enhance their employability
  • Working Mechanism:
    • Interest payable by the students availing the education loans of the IBA for the period of moratorium (i.e. course period, plus one year or six months after getting job, whichever is earlier) as prescribed under the Education Loan Scheme of the IBA, shall be borne by the Government of India
    • After the period of moratorium is over, the interest on the outstanding loan amount shall be paid by the student, in accordance with the existing Educational Loan Scheme as may be amended from time to time
    • The candidate will bear the Principal instalments and interest beyond moratorium period
    • The students should have secured admission in the approved courses at Masters, M.Phil or Ph.D levels abroad. He/She should have availed loan from a scheduled bank under the Education Loan Scheme of the Indian Banks Association (IBA) for the purpose


NaiManzil Scheme for Minorities 

(Topic: Welfare Schemes for Minorities)


  • To benefit the minority youths in the age group of 17 to 35 years who are school-dropouts or educated in the community education institutions like Madarsas
  • Providing them an integrated input of formal education (up till Class VIII or X)
  • Skill training along with certification—enable them to seek better employment in the organized sector and equipping them with better lives

Basic Bridge Programme:

  • For Class VIII or Class X
  • Non-residential programme of 9-12 months duration for their education and training in trade based skills for sustained livelihood/gainful employment

Girls:Minimum 30% seats for minority girls

Covers— Entire country


Amendments in the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Bill, 2015

(Topic: Structure, Organisation and Functioning of the Executive and the judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government)

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its ex-post facto approval to official amendments in the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Bill, 2015, as introduced in the Lok Sabha

The amendments as under-

  • In Clause 10 to the Bill, the words, “Commercial Appellate Division” will be substituted by the words, “Commercial Division”
  • First Provision to Clause 7 of the Bill will also be amended to clarify that the said provision will also be applicable to the pending cases


  • Reduce burden on the Division Bench
  • Amendment in Proviso to Clause 7 of the Bill will bring more clarity


Govt Appoints Justice L Narasimha Reddy to Head Judicial Committee on OROP 

(Topic: Appointment of various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies)

The Central Government has appointed Justice L Narasimha Reddy, retired Chief Justice of Patna High Court to head the Judicial Committee which will look into the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for the Ex-Servicemen

Deadline:Committee given six-month deadline for submission of its recommendations


  • Give interim reports to the government on any of the matters related to its terms of reference
  • The Committee shall take into account the financial impact of its recommendations
  • The Terms of Reference for the Committee shall be to examine and make recommendations on references received from the Central Government on the following matters-
    • Measures for the removal of anomalies that may arise in the implementation of the OROP as notified by the Government on 07 November 2015
    • Measures for the removal of anomalies that may arise out of inter-services issues of the three forces due to implementation of OROP order as notified by the Government on 07 November 2015
    • Implications on Service matters
    • Any other matter referred by the Central Government on implementation of the OROP or related issues


“Operation Smile-II” to start from 1st January, 2016 throughout the country 

(Topic: Government Welfare Policies)


  • To rescue/rehabilitate the missing children
  • Follow up of the exercise Operation Smile which helped in rescuing and rehabilitating 9146 missing children

Activities to be undertaken:

  • All children residing in shelter homes, platforms, bus stands, roads, religious places, etc. are to be screened by trained police personnel
  • During the operation, the particulars of such identified children will be uploaded on the ‘Missing child’ portal of the Ministry of Women and Child Development by the respective State Police
  • Rehabilitation measures whenever needed are to be taken up in coordination with the other line Departments like Department of Women & Child Development, Police, Labour, etc so that scope of re-victimization is eliminated
  • Public awareness should be increased by way of national campaign, advertisement on national media, etc


Appointment of Central Information Commissioner

(Topic: Appointment of various Constitutional posts, power, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies)

Appointed: Radha Krishna Mathur, former Defence Secretary

  • Serve as CIC for the next three years
  • Will be the 8th CIC of India

Succeeded: Vijai Sharma

First time the Union Government appointed somebody other than a serving Information Commissioner to the post


Zero – Accidents Mission 

(Topic: Railways and Security)

Safety is accorded the highest priority by Indian Railways and possible steps are undertaken on a continual basis to prevent accidents and to enhance safety

Steps Include-                                       

  • Timely replacement of over-aged assets,
  • Adoption of suitable technologies for up gradation and maintenance of track,
  • Rolling stock,
  • Signalling and interlocking systems,
  • Safety drives,
  • Greater emphasis on training of officials
  • Inspections at regular intervals to monitor and educate staff for observance of safe practices
  • Safety devices/systems being used to prevent accidents include complete track circuiting,
  • Provision of Block Proving Axle Counters (BPAC),
  • Auxiliary Warning System (AWS),
  • Colour Light LED Signals,
  • Vigilance Control Device (VCD)



Lok Sabha passes ‘Atomic Energy Bill 2015’ 

(Topic: Constitutional Amendments)


  • Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill, 2015 passed in Lok Sabha
  • Passed with voice vote from both treasury as well as opposition benches
  • To be referred to Rajya Sabha

Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill, 2015

  • To amend the Atomic Energy Act, 1962
  • Empowers Central Government to produce , develop , control and use Atomic Energy
  • Provision allow formation of Joint venture between Nuclear Power Cooperation of India Limited
  • Under the Act, a license is required for-
    • Acquisition
    • Production
    • Use
    • Export and Import of any plant designed for the production and development of atomic energy research
  • Bill makes consequential amendments to state that such license will only be granted to entities such as a government company or a department of Union Government


  • To overcome difficulties encountered in the setting up of new nuclear projects and enhancement of Nuclear Power Generation
  • Will pave way for Atomic Energy Units, including Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) to enter into joint –ventures with other Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and government sector companies


Union Cabinet approved Amendments in the Constitution (Schedule Castes) Order,1950

(Topic: Constitutional Amendments)


The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for introduction of a Bill in the Parliament for certain amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950

To modify the list of Scheduled Castes in respect of five States namely-

  • Chhattisgarh,
  • Haryana,
  • Kerala,
  • Odisha,
  • West Bengal

After the Bill becomes an Act, members of the communities included in the list of Scheduled Castes will be able to derive benefits meant for Scheduled Castes under the existing schemes.

Some of the major schemes of this kind include-

  • Post Matric Scholarship,
  • National Overseas Scholarship,
  • Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship,
  • Top Class Education,
  • Concessional Loans from National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation,
  • Hostels for SC boys and girls etc
  • Reservation in services and admission to educational institutions


Memorandum of Understanding in Energy Saving and Energy Efficiency among BRICS countries 

(Topic: Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and Affecting India’s Interest)



Area of Cooperation: Energy Saving + Energy Efficiency


  • Joint scientific and technological research,
  • Conferencing and holding of lectures and seminars;
  • Capacity building and technology transfer;
  • Technology development, sharing policies and best practices;
  • Encouragement of use of energy efficient and energy saving approaches and instruments in the work of the business entities of the BRICS countries, carried out within the BRICS countries in Consultation with the host country




Year End Review-2015 for the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry 

(Topic: Effects of liberalisation on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth)


  • GDP at factor cost is no longer relevant in the New Series.
  • As per the international practices, industry-wise estimates have been presented as Gross Value Added (GVA) at basic prices, while ‘GDP at market prices’ of old series has been referred as GDP in new series
  • India’s growth rate of the GVA at Basic Price at constant (2011-12) prices in 2014-15 was 7.2 % with growth of GVA in industry at 4.5 % and in manufacturing at 5.3 %.
  • Thesectoral share in GVA at basic price at constant (2011-12) price of manufacturing sector was 18.1 % in 2014-15

Doing Business-

  • In doing Business Report 2015, India was ranked at 142 among 189 countries
  • India’s rank for 2015 has been re-calculated and reported in Doing Business Report for 2016.  The revised rank on account of various reforms initiated by the Government is 134
  • Our position has further improved in 2016 ranking to 130thrank

Good Governance Measures Taken-

  • Major Initiatives have been taken for improving ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in India through
    • Simplification and rationalization of the existing rules and procedure
    • Use of information technology to make governance more efficient and effective
  • Several steps have been taken in the past 18 months to give the necessary thrust to manufacturing, whose share in the GDP has hovered around 15% for many year

 Ease of Doing Business-

  • eBiz Portal
  • Assessment of State Implementation of Business Reforms
  • Reforms in Policy and Procedures for Industrial License (IL) and Industrial Entrepreneur Memorandum (IEM)


Make in India-

  • To promote India as an important investment destination and a global hub for manufacturing design and innovation
  • Make in India New Dynamic Portalwith the objective to generate awareness about the investment opportunities and prospects of the country, to promote India as a preferred investment destination in the markets overseas and to increase Indian share of Global FDI
  • India participated as partner country in Hannover Messe Fair, 2015organized in Germany during 12-17 April, 2015


Invest India-

  • A joint venture between the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), State Governments of India and the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)
  • To promote investment in the country, “Investment Facilitation Cell” has been set-up under the Make in India initiative


Liberalisation in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)-

  • Defence Industry has been permitted through the Government route up to 49%
  • Construction, operation and maintenance of identified railway transport infrastructure up to 100% has been permitted through the automatic route
  • The norms for FDI in Construction Development Projects (which already permitted 100% FDI through automatic route) have been further liberalised
  • FDI up to 100% under the automatic route both for green field and brown field projects for manufacturing of defined medical device
  • FDI in insurance sector has been raised from 26% to 49%
  • The definition of Non Resident Indian (NRI)investment has been liberalised under Schedule 4 of FEMA

Industrial Corridors-

  • Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC)
  • Bengaluru-Mumbai Economic Corridor (BMEC)
  • Vizag Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC)


PSLV Successfully Launches Six Satellites from Singapore 

(Topic: Achievements of Indians in Science and Technology)

ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C29 successfully launched six satellites from Singapore, into an orbit of 549 km height inclined at an angle of 15 deg to the equator- from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), SHAR, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh (December 16, 2015)

About the Satellites-

  • TeLEOS-1, the primary satellite: It is the major payload and is a remote sensing satellite weighing 400Kg with mission life 5 yearsand the other five satellites were co. passenger payloads.
  • Launched as part of the agreement entered into between—
    • ST Electronics (Satcom& Sensor Systems), Singapore
    • Antrix Corporation Limited, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), a government of India Company under the Department of Space (DOS)



  • Disaster Monitoring
  • Urban Planning for the city state

ISRO has put into 51 foreign satellites belonging to 19 countries successfully which includes countries like USA,UK,France and Germany among others. This is the eleventh flight of PSLV in ‘core-alone’ configuration (without the use of solid strap-on motors)


Garwood Award for ‘Outstanding Global Leader in Open Innovation’ presented to President Mukherjee

(Topic: Awards to Renowned Personalities)


The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee received Garwood Award for ‘Outstanding Global Leader in Open Innovation’ from UC Berkeley-Haas School of Businesson December 17, 2015 at RashtrapatiBhavan

The award was presented to the President for promoting open innovation for-

Taking initiative of hosting and gathering global innovators at the first-ever Global Round-table on the Inclusive Innovations at RashtrapatiBhavan

Organizing first Festival of Innovation at the RashtrapatiBhavan to link together global leaders from technological + financial + educational sectors for the promotion of increased scalability in national and international grassroots innovation

Launching the first Innovations Scholars’ ‘In-Residence’ programme to promote the spirit of innovation and provide a thriving creative atmosphere for grassroots innovation activities that will have the potential to transform the global landscape

Urging higher education leaders to establish Innovation Clubs to catalyze the collaboration between institutions of higher learning and grassroots innovations

Being a primary supporter of Micro-Venture Innovation Finance which empowers grassroots innovators with the fundamental resources to provide their products and services to global markets;

Being an initiator for innovative solutions towards financial inclusion via national programs that will promote worldwide economic success and for spearheading the establishment of an Innovation promotion platform involving academics, entrepreneurs, and researchers to foster an intercontinental medium of innovation, R&D and scientific research

About the Award—

The University of California, Berkeley, one of the most prestigious educational institutes in the world, has established the Garwood Award to acknowledge individuals who have

Embraced + Supported + Encouraged open innovation in a significant and impactful way



Government has taken Steps to Protect Vultures 

(Topic: Environment and to Protect Endangered Species)


Steps Taken-

Protection status of White backed, Long Billed and Slender Billed Vultures has been upgraded from Schedule IV to Schedule I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972


  • Two workshops were organized in consultation with scientists in New Delhi in September 2000 and April, 2004 to work out a comprehensive strategy for conservation of vultures
  • Bombay Natural History Society in collaboration with the Haryana State Forest Department has taken up a project on conservation breeding of vultures. A ‘Vulture Captive Care facility’ has been established at Panchkula
  • The Ministry of Health has issued Gazette Notification prohibiting manufacture and restricting packaging of multi-dose vials of Diclofenac
  • State Governments advised to set up vulture care centres for the conservation of three species of vultures
  • National Action Plan (2006) on Vulture Conservation
  • By: Government of India
  • The Action Plan provides for-
    • Strategies and
    • Actions for containing the decline of vulture population(through ex-situ, in-situ vulture conservation)
  • Department of forests of all states/UTs has been requested to constitute a Monitoring committee for vulture conservation with a view to implement the Action Plan, 2006 and for recovery of existing vulture sites
  • Captive breeding centres have also been set up through Central Zoo Authorityat Zoos at-
    • Bhopal,
    • Bhubaneswar,
    • Junagarh,
    • Hyderabad
  • Initiatives to strengthen the mass education and awareness for vulture conservation


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