IASbaba Press Information Bureau (PIB)- 21st to 27th December 2015

  • December 28, 2015
  • 3
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis, IASbaba's Daily News Analysis, PIB
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Identification of Archaeological Site in Kaushambi  

(Topic: Indian Heritage and Culture)


  • In Uttar Pradesh
  • Not been proposed to be connected with the Buddhist circuit so far

Monuments declared protected and preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)-

  • Fort attributed to Jay Chandra (Karra Tehsil- Sirathu)
  • The ancient fortress, Kosam (Tehsil Manjhampur)
  • Artificial cave-hill of Pabhosa (Tehsil- Manjhampur)
  • Traces of a large brick building on the summit of Pabhosa hill, Pabhosa(Tehsil-Manjhampur)

Steps Taken-

  • Conservation work is attended regularly depending upon-
    • Need of repairs
    • Availability of resources
  • As per Ancient Monument Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958, an area of 100 mtrs from protected boundary has been declared as prohibited area and an area of 200 mtrs further beyond prohibited limit has been declared as regulated area, in which construction activities are regulated
  • New constructions are not allowed in prohibited area. However, no restriction on sale and purchase of land



MSME Amendment Bill, 2015 

(Topic:  ConstitutionalAmendments Bill)

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Amendment) Bill, 2015:

The investment limit prescribed for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country, is proposed as under:

Manufacturing enterprises:

  • Micro enterprise Investment in plant and machinery: Not exceed fifty lakh rupees
  • Small enterprise Investment in plant and machinery: More than fifty lakh rupees but  does not exceed ten crore rupee
  • Medium enterprise Investment in plant and machinery: More than ten crore rupees but does not exceed thirty crore rupees

Service enterprises:

  • Micro enterprise Investment in equipments: Not exceed twenty lakh rupees.
  • Small enterprise Investment in equipments: More than twenty lakh rupees but does not   exceed five crore rupees
  • Medium enterprise Investment in equipments: More than five crore rupees but does not exceed fifteen crore rupees


  • Enhance the existing limit for investment in plant and machinery considering changes in price index and cost of inputs consistent with the emerging role of the MSMEs in various Global Value Chains,
  • Include medium enterprises apart from small enterprises in section to enable the aforesaid category of enterprises to avail the benefits and become competitive,
  • Empower the Central Government to revise the existing limit for investment, by notification, considering the inflation and dynamic market situation


Union Minister of Human Resource Development Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani Launched All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 

(Topic: Issues Relating to Human Resource Development, Education)


About Survey-

  • The Union Minister of Human Resource Development Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani launched the Sixth All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) in New Delhi
  • Entire voluntary survey, based on motivation of respondents without any statutory mandate in place for collecting information of this nature

Main items of data collection under survey are –

  • Basic details,
  • Programme details,
  • Teaching and Non-Teaching staff,
  • Student Enrolment,
  • Examination Result,
  • Infrastructure,
  • Scholarships and Financial

Coverage: All the Higher Education (HE) institutions of the country including-

  • Universities,
  • Colleges and
  • Stand-Alone institutions

Participatory effort between: State Governments + Regulatory Statutory Authorities + Ministries of the Government of India 

Steps to be taken-

  • The AISHE data is the source of information for ‘Know Your College’ portal (KYC) knowyourcollege-gov.in/
  • State universities in conjunction with regulatory bodies like AICTE should strive to update curriculum, which may include –
    • Industry participation,
    • Use of ICT enabled education,
    • Collaboration with international organizations to make education more dynamic and increase employability
  • To explore the feasibility of replicating best practices like ‘Jnana-Samnvay’ of Karnataka at national level


  • The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) has shown significant improvement from 19.4% in 2010-11 to 23.6% in 2014-15
  • Target of 30% GER by 2020 as envisaged in 12th Plan would be achieved


Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill 2015

(Topic: Constitutional Amendments)


The Rajya Sabha passed the landmark Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill 2015 on 22 Dec, 2015and the Bill will now become an Act with the Presidential approval—

  • Under Section 15, special provisions have been made to tackle child offenders committing heinous offences in the age group of 16-18 years and to be treated as adults
  • Bill replaces the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 which addresses children in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection
  • Any 16-18 year old, who commits a lesser offence, may be tried as an adult if he is apprehended after the age of 21years

About the Bill-

  • Justice Juvenile Boards (JJB) and Child Welfare Committees (CWC) will be constituted in each district.
  • JJB will conduct a preliminary inquiry to determine whether a juvenile offender is to be sent for rehabilitation or be tried as an adult
  • The trail of the case will take place accordingly by the board which will consist of psychologists and social experts
  • CWC will determine institutional care for children in the need of care and protection
  • Proper rehabilitation and social integration measures for institutional and non-institutional children will be proposed
  • Penalties have been prescribed for-
  • Cruelty against a child,
  • Offering a narcotic substance to a child,
  • Abduction or selling a child
  • Streamline adoption procedures for orphaned, abandoned and surrendered children by making mandatory registration of all institutions engaged in providing child care
  • Eligibility of adoptive parents and the procedure for adoption have been included in the bill


  • The provision of trying a juvenile committing a serious or heinous offence as an adult based on date of apprehension could violate the Article 14 (Right to Equality) and Article 21(requiring that laws and procedure are fair and reasonable)
  • The provision also countered the spirit of Article 20(1) by according a higher penalty for the same offence, if the person is apprehended after 21 years of age
  • Some penalties provided in the Bill are not in proportion to the gravity of the offence, like, the penalty for selling a child is lower than that for offering intoxicating or psychotropic substances to a child
  • The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child requires all signatory countries to treat every child under the age of 18years as equal and this provision of trying a juvenile as an adult contravenes the Convention
  • The Standing Committee, which examined the bill, observed that it was based on misleading data regarding juvenile crimes and violated certain provisions of the Constitution


On Good Governance Day, announcement of  4 new IT-based initiatives for citizen-centric health services 

(Topic: Issues relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/ Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)


Four new IT-based initiatives announced on Good Governance Day, to mark the birth anniversary of Bharat RatnaShri Madan Mohan Malaviya and birthday of Bharat RatnaShri Atal Bihari Vajpayee


  • Kilkari (Major IT initiative) an audio-based mobile service
  • Delivers weekly audio messages to families about pregnancy, child birth and child care
  • Each pregnant woman and infant’s mother need to be registered on Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS),
  • Web- enabled name-based system to monitor and ensure delivery of full spectrum of services to all pregnant women and children,
  • Receive weekly voice messages relevant to the stage of pregnancy or age of the infant

First phase of implementation: Messages would be sent to the pregnant women and infants’ mothers in six States in Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and HPDs of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Languages in the first phase:Hindi, English and Odiya languages in the first phase, later expanded to other languages to cover the entire country


  • Messages will empower and educate women and parents to help create a better environment for maternal and child health
  • Services will be provided for free to the beneficiaries
  • Benefit over 2 crore pregnant women and 2 crore infants, annually

Mobile Academy-

  • About 9000,000 ASHAs will be trained using mobile services
  • Once registered, ASHAs can access the 240-minute course via their mobile phones
  • The course is divided into eleven chapters each containing four lessons and has a quiz at the end of each chapter
  • ASHAs successfully completing the course by securing more than minimum prescribed marks will receive a Certificate of completion from the Government

Usefulness –

  • Enhance their inter-personal skills
  • Complete the standardized course at their convenience via Digital bookmarking technology


Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP)

  • Toll free number, with a call centre is being started to provide round the clock support for patient counselling and treatment support services
  • Call centre will have trained personnel to provide feedback to patients and also link or refer chest symptomatic persons to RNTCP services.
  • Initiative being started in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi


  • Callers can give a missed call or call to get complete support for diagnosis, treatment
  • Support for the completion of treatment on the national toll free number


  • IT-enabled tool to help tobacco users quit tobacco
  • Built on a helpline concept -register beneficiaries on the basis of a missed call
  • The counselling would be done through a two-way SMS process


Two Mobile Apps Launched for Farmers 

(Topic: E-technology in aid of Farmers)


Launched by-

  • Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister, ShRadha Mohan Singh
  • Launching of mobile apps is the part of the week long celebrations of “Kishan Jai Vigyan Week”to celebrate birth anniversary of Shri. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Ch. Charan Singh

Crop Insurance Mobile App-

  • Government of India spends huge amounts in extending crop insurance to the farmers to provide relief in case of unforeseen eventualities
  • Crop insurance is extended by both public and private insurance companies
  • States/UTs nominate insurance companies to extend insurance cover for different crops in districts/blocks
  • Specific period has been identified during which farmers can avail this facility
  • Due to administrative and technical reasons much of this information is not able to reach to the farmers well in time to take advantage of these schemes


  • To find out complete details about cover available
  • To calculate the Insurance Premium for notified crops based on area, coverage amount and loan amount in case of a loaned farmer
  • To get details of normal sum insured + extended sum insured + premium details + subsidy information of any notified crop in any notified area

AgriMarket Mobile App-

  • Farmers sometimes have to suffer losses due to distress sales in absence of correct market information
  • They can take an informed decision based on information about the ongoing prices in markets around them as to which market they should take their produce for selling


  • To keep them abreast with crop prices around them
  • To receive the updates in the market price of crops in the markets within 50 km of the device’s location- App automatically captures the location of person using mobile GPS and fetches the market prices of crops in those markets which fall within the range of 50 km.
  • There is another option to get price of any market and any crop in case person does not want to use GPS location
  • The prevailing prices are fetched from the Agmarknet portal


Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries – a Central Sector Scheme on Blue Revolution

(Topic: Food Processing and Related Industries in India)

Umbrella scheme for integrated development and management of fisheries, for a period of five years

All activities are being undertaken by the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) towards realizing “Blue Revolution”

Central Sector Scheme covers development and management of-

  • Inland fisheries,
  • Aquaculture,
  • Marine fisheries including deep sea fishing,
  • Mariculture

Scheme has the following six broad components: 

  • National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) and its activities,
  • Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture,
  • Development of Marine Fisheries, Infrastructure and Post Harvest Operations,
  • Strengthening of Database & Geographical Information System of the Fisheries Sector,
  • Institutional Arrangement for Fisheries Sector and
  • Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) and other need-based Interventions.

Components of the scheme namely-

  • Strengthening of Database & Geographical Information System of the Fisheries Sector,
  • Institutional Arrangement for the Fisheries Sector and
  • Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) and
  • Other need-based Interventions would be implemented departmentally (Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DADF)

The scheme provides for suitable linkages and convergence with-

  • The “Sagarmala Project” of the Ministry of Shipping,
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNAREGA),
  • RashtriyaKrishiVikasYojana (RKVY),
  • National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) etc.


  • At a focussed and integrated approach for development and management of fisheries and aquaculture sector to ensure a sustained annual growth rate of 6% – 8% as against an overall annual growth rate of about 4% during the 11th Five Year Plan period
  • Multi-dimensional activities, focuses mainly on increasing production + productivity from aquaculture and fisheries resources, both inland and marine
  • Scheme intended to utilise most of the unutilised fisheries resources keeping in view the overall sustainability, bio-security and environmental concerns
  • To encourage economically weaker section
  • To encourage increasing private investment, entrepreneurship development, more Public Private Partnership (PPP) and better leveraging of institutional finance
  • To benefit the entire fisheries sector covering about 14.50 million fishers


PM attends Demonstration of First Prototype of Retrofitted Electric Bus 

(Topic: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment)

First prototype of a diesel bus converted into a battery operated electric bus

  • Cost effective, environmentally clean electric buses are a significant step in the direction of combating pollution
  • ISRO is making Lithium –Ion batteries which will cost only INR 5 lakh as against the INR 50 lakh cost of imported batteries
  • Ten more buses are proposed to be retrofitted for use by State Transport Undertakings by March 2016
  • Large scale conversions of diesel buses to electric will be taken up after evaluating the success of the pilot project


Converted buses part of: Pilot project of Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) 

The project demonstrates: Government’s commitment to reduce vehicular pollution while opting for strong environment friendly mobility solutions

The prototype developed by: KPIT, Pune (consultations from CIRT)

Steps Taken: Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has taken up an initiative of converting existing diesel buses into non-polluting electric buses


  • To fight the growing pollution that results from harmful emissions from diesel buses,
  • Electric buses are considered to be the most environment friendly form of public transport in urban areas
  • Procurement of new electric buses is on the agenda of various State Transport undertakings
  • Converted buses would be very useful as they would cost about one-fourth of the cost of a new electric bus



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