IASbaba Press Information Bureau (PIB)- 13th June to 19th June, 2016

  • June 21, 2016
  • 1
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis, IASbaba's Daily News Analysis
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Union HRD Minister launches a new initiative ‘Vidyanjali’

(Topic: Government Schemes and policies)

Aim- To inculcate reading habits among children and creating a reading culture at school and community level

Vidyanjali- It is a step forward in creating an ecosystem, wherein education will be attached with imbibing knowledge and improving learning output—

  • Instil fresh enthusiasm in school children to take up reading and will re-energise the teaching-learning process at schools.
  • Emphasis on the significance of providing timely remedial support to improve the learning outcomes of school children, thereby reducing the number of school drop outs
  • Vidyanjali, which is being implemented under the overall aegis of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, will enhance the community involvement in Government run elementary schools and effectively engage children in reading, creative writing, public speaking,  play acting, preparing story books etc.
  • MyGov team to create a module under Vidyanjali wherein NRI community or others, who want to contribute by providing additional teaching-learning aids like books etc. and other resources, can do so in conjunction with state and district administration.


Non Resident Indians (NRIs) can now join and subscribe to NPS online through eNPS

(Topic: Government Schemes and policies)

Non Resident Indian- India has the second-largest Diaspora in the world, with around 29 million people living in over 200 countries and out of these 25% live in the Gulf countries.


How NPS is beneficial and its procedure?

  • Provide a long term solution to their old age income security.
  • NPS has been available to NRIs for some time through Bank offices and now, to further ease the process of joining, eNPS is being extended to Non-Resident Indian subscribers.
  • Through eNPS, a subscriber will be able to open an NPS account from the comfort of his home.
  • NRIs can now open NPS Accounts online if they have Aadhaar Card or PAN card

 NPS accounts-

  • Repatriable basis- An NRI will have to remit the amount through his/her NRE/FCNR/NRO account
  • Non Repatriable basis- NRIs will be able to join NPS through their NRE/FCNR/NRO accounts at the time of maturity or during partial withdrawal, the NPS funds would be deposited only in their NRO accounts.

Repatriable and Non-Repatriable schemes importance- Appeal to NRIs who intend to return to India after their employment abroad, in view of their attractive returns, low cost, flexibility and their being regulated by the PFRDA, a Regulator established by the Central Government


Cabinet approves Civil Aviation Policy

(Topic: Government Schemes and policies)

First time since Independence that an integrated Civil Aviation Policy has been brought out by the Ministry of Civil Aviation

Refer: http://iasbaba.com/2016/06/iasbabas-daily-current-affairs-16th-june-2016/



MoU with Taiwan- Cooperation in the field of Agriculture and Allied Sector 

(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)

MoU provides-        

  • Cooperation in the fields of: Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Aquaculture, Food Processing, Genetic Resources as well as Environmental Sustainability
  • Both sides will encourage: Private sector in both countries to enter into cooperation in these areas.
  • Cooperation b/w the two sides involve exchange of: Visits, Information, Technology, Training, and Expansion of agricultural trade while reducing trade barriers
  • MoU will be initially signed for a period of five years and shall be automatically renewed for a subsequent periods of five years unless either party expresses its desire/intention to terminate it
  • Joint Working Committee Constituted: To identify priority areas of mutual interest and follow up on the progress of implementation of the activities identified by both sides


MoU between ISRO and Canadian Space Agency (CSA): Cooperation in the field of outer space

(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)

MoU provide-

  • Establishment of joint team, drawing members from ISRO and CSA, which will further work out the plan of action including examination and defining cooperative projects and the time-frame.
  • Opportunities for diverse research in the field of peaceful uses of space technologies.


  • Successful space cooperation is being pursued through two Implementing arrangements in the field of Satellite Tracking Network Operations, and in the field of the ultra Violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) Detector Subsystem, in support of the ASTROSAT astronomy mission
  • Aimed at: Future cooperation in and use of outer space for peaceful purposes to reinforce scientific and technological development and the ties between two countries at government, industrial and academic levels.


Air Services Agreement between India and Taiwan

(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)

Importance- Air Services Agreement signifies an important landmark in the civil aviation relations between India and Taiwan, and has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchanges between the two parties.



Work under progress for launching LNG Barges on Ganga

(Topic: Infrastructure – Waterways and environmental concerns)

About- Ministry of Shipping reviewed the follow up action on a MOU between Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Petronet LNG.

It is for- Providing an LNG based alternative, fuel efficient and environment-friendly mode of transport on National Waterways.

Objective of-

  • Promoting the usage of LNG Barges on National Waterway-1(Ganga)
  • IWAI and Petronet LNG have been asked to plan and coordinate their work plans in a manner such that LNG Barges could commence navigation on NW1 by December 2018.

LPG Barges-

  • Both the options of switching over from the existing diesel to LNG barges and introduction of new LNG barges are being considered.
  • Although the switching over from traditional fuel (diesel) to LNG will entail an initial capital expenditure, the investment is likely to be recovered in four to five years at current prices.
  • Higher fuel efficiency and negligible pollution are major attendant benefits of the new fuel.
  • As per the present pricing, operating LNG barges will be much cheaper than diesel as fuel.
  • LNG Barges would be a step towards achieving the commitments made by the country at COP 21.

Petronet LNG

  • It will design, construct and operate LNG unloading, storage, bunkering and reloading facilities on the National Waterways (NWs).
  • Four of the top public sector companies in the hydrocarbon sector of the country, viz. ONGC, Indian Oil Corporation, BPCL and GAIL own 50% of the equity in Petronet LNG, while 10% is held by GDF SUEZ and the balance 40% is held by the public.
  • Petronet LNG Ltd plans to set up a base depot at Haldia and fuelling stations at Sahibganj (Jharkhand), Patna (Bihar) and Ghazipur (UP).


  • Facilitate the switchover of bunker fuel from diesel to LNG by persuading the barge owners and the operators about the benefits of LNG.
  • IWAI will also provide land, wherever possible, for the setting up of LNG storage and will develop jetties to facilitate bunkering.
  • There is a potential for 17.5 MT of cargo on NW-1 by 2020
  • IWAI was requested to explore the feasibility of seeking funding for the introduction of LNG Barges under the Ganga Action Plan. As National Waterways in Goa offer immense opportunities in transportation of iron ore and are closer to LNG storage facilities, the introduction of LNG Barges is being considered for that region too.


Ganges-Danube Cultural Festival of India in Hungary

(Topic: Water conservation, promotion and creating awareness)

Festival will showcase-

  • Indian culture – Dance, Music, Yoga , Film and exhibitions
  • Indian martial art experts and puppet artists
  • Hungarian artists proficient in Indian art forms will also participate in the programme
  • Following events of the Festival will be staged in different cities of-
  • “Shri Patel Ras Mandal” Folk Dance Group of Latipur, Jamnagar, Gujarat
  • Kalaripayattu
  • The Mystical Forest Dance
  • Mehendi Demonstration
  • Lac Bangle Demonstration
  • Kathputli Show


Drinking Water Ministry organizes national-level Water Conservation workshop

(Topic: Water conservation, promotion and creating awareness)

Water Conservation Workshop- Water conservation should be a continuous activity and measures should be taken in the short term, medium term and long term to conserve our limited water resources.

  • To take this idea forward and intensify efforts, the Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation organized a ‘National Workshop on Pre-Monsoon Water Conservation Measures’ in the capital today.
  • To engage officials from various State Governments, NGOs, domain experts and industry personnel and share best practices on Water Conservation and Rainwater Harvesting.
  • Workshop highlighting successful local initiatives this included the watershed program in Hivre Bazaar (Maharashtra) and other states; rain water harvesting programme in Tamil Nadu; rain water harvesting system innovations in Kedia Farm Pattern; and Decentralized approaches to Water Conservation in various States.

Need to focus on the 3R’s – Reduce, Recharge and Recycle – which are the critical success factors for ensuring water security


FASTag Roll-out and Facilitation

(Topic: Infrastructure- Roadways)

Aim- In order to promote cashless payment through FASTag at Toll Plazas on National Highways, NHAI has decided to provide FASTag to existing monthly pass holders by absorbing the one-time cost of their FASTags.


  • Has a onetime fee of Rs. 200 and is affixed on the wind screen of the vehicle.
  • Dedicated FASTag lane will be ensured at 48 toll plazas on Delhi – Mumbai, Mumbai-Chennai Corridors
  • Various events/ activities viz. awareness drive on benefits of FASTag, such as identification of bulk customers through transport/truckers associations etc. will be organized on these two corridors.


  • Near non-stop movement of vehicles through toll plazas and convenience of cashless payments of toll fee with nationwide inter-operable Electronic Toll Collection Services.
  • It employs RFID technology for making toll payments directly from the pre-paid account linked to it.
  • FASTags are available on sale from selected toll plazas on National Highways and designated branches of participating banks.
  • Can be recharged by making payments through cheque or online through credit card/debit card/NEFT/RTGS or through net-banking.
  • Minimum recharge amount is Rs.100 and can be up to Rs.1.00 lac in the multiples of Rs 100.
  • FASTag users shall get SMS alerts for all their toll transactions, low balance etc.


  • Use of FASTag shall increase user convenience from payments without stops at toll plazas thus saving on time, money and fuel.
  • Online payments shall improve transparency of toll transactions and reduce revenue leakages.
  • Improving overall efficiency and commercial competitiveness.


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