(Topic: Government efforts for promotion of Handicrafts and Handloom Products)
Exhibition-cum-Sale of Handicraft and Handloom products from the North Eastern States of India
- First organized effort to bring modern ready-made garment industry in the North East, and a significant step towards the Make in India initiative of the Government.
- Project comes under the North-East Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS)—will develop entrepreneurship through various capacity building measures and also train the people to work efficiently on high-end garment machines.
- Each Apparel and Garment Making Centre set up under the initiative is estimated to generate direct employment for 1,200 people.
- Help develop an ecosystem that will trigger further investments and employment
- Dilli Haat stall, devoted exclusively to the North East, has been set up on permanent basis by the North Eastern Handicrafts and Handlooms Development Corporation Ltd (NEHHDC) to give further boost to the development and promotion of North East handicrafts and handloom products.
- PM has also encouraged setting up of Start-Ups and hoped that exhibitions like this will promote new ventures in cottage industry in the NER.
- Launched a Coffee Table book titled “Celebrating Cottage – A Tribute to Indian Crafts and Craftpersons” and a “Cottage Mobile App”.
- The Exhibition-cum-Sale of exclusive products, specially created by award-winning craft persons, master craft persons and Shilp-Gurus from North Eastern States of India, is being organised by the Central Cottage Industries Corporation of India (CCI) Ltd at the CCI Emporium.
- Ambit of products showcased in the exhibition include a wide range of high quality handcrafted and authentic range of bamboo handicrafts, grass handicrafts, cane handicrafts, handloom textiles & made ups, pottery and jewellery, representing the crafts traditions and cultural ethos of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.
Workshop on Pre-Retirement counselling on ‘Sankalp’ and ‘Anubhav’
(Topic: Government schemes and policies and their implementation)
Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare-
- Besides dealing with the pension policy of Central Government Employees, has also been trying to ensure a purposeful and dignified life for retiring employees.
- For this purpose Pre-Retirement Counselling Workshops are organized wherein the retiring employees are counselled on issues regarding steps and precaution to ensure timely payment of their retirement dues
- CGHS/medical facilities available after retirement and other related issues- encouragement to employees to involve themselves in the social activities by using the time and skill available with them.
Workshop will help-
- Provide motivation and guidance to the retiring employees to prepare their Will for smooth transition of their Estates and other assets, as the retiring Government employees get a lump-sum amount by way of gratuity, PF accumulations and commuted value of pension.
- Told about the safe investment options available to them where they could put their financial retirement benefits to meet their future needs.
Cabinet approves MoU’s between India and Qatar
(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)
For strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism
- To create favourable conditions for-> Long-term co-operation in the field of tourism for the mutual benefits.
- To exchange-> Expertise + Publications + Information/data and statistics related to tourism.
- To encourage cooperation through-> Exchange of programmes + Propaganda and advertising materials + Publications + Films + Promotion + Marketing of their tourism products via media etc.
- To exchange visits of ->Tour Operators / Media /Opinion Makers for promotion of two way tourism.
- To encourage -> Co-operation between tourism sectors + Tour operators + Travel agents and other tourism private sector’s firms and bureaus in the two countries.
- To encourage -> Public and the private sectors to invest in tourism.
For cooperation in Skill Development and Recognition of qualifications
- Workforce mobility
- Skill development and placement of youth in overseas jobs in Qatar
Co-operation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters
Aim- To entering into a bilateral Agreement on co-operation Customs matters between India and Qatar
Agreement will help in-
- Availability of relevant information for the prevention and investigation of Customs offences.
- Agreement is also expected to facilitate trade and ensure efficient clearance of goods traded between the countries.
India and Qatar Relation-
- Qatar is an important trading partner of India; Trade between the two countries has been expanding over the years.
- In view of the steady growth in bilateral trade, it was felt imperative to provide- A legal framework for sharing of information and intelligence between the Customs authorities of the two countries to help in proper application of
- Customs laws
- Prevention and investigation of Customs offences
- To facilitate legitimate trade
- It takes care of Indian Customs’ concerns and requirements, particularly in the area of exchange of information on correctness of the Customs value declared, the authenticity of certificates of origin of goods and the description of the goods traded between the two countries.
Cabinet approves MoU between USA and India to enhance cooperation in wildlife conservation
(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)
Aim- To enhance cooperation in the field of wildlife conservation and combating wildlife trafficking.
India’s benefit- India will benefit from the expertise of the US Institutions in the field of –
- Wildlife conservation and management of wildlife areas
- Combating illegal trade of wildlife and their derivatives.
Areas of cooperation-
- Wildlife Forensics and Conservation Genetics: Useful in species conservation efforts and better scientific evidence collection in wild life crimes leading to better enforcement.
- Natural World Heritage Conservation: Facilitating the institutional capacity of the existing UNESCO Category -2 – centre at Wildlife Institute of India
- Nature Interpretation and Conservation Awareness: Use of information technology in strengthening interface of forest managers with the people for sensitising people, especially the youth and children in understanding complex issues of conservation of biological diversity.
Chennai Metro Rail Project Phase-I
(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)
About- Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister has given its ex-post facto approval to the proposal for Chennai Metro Rail Phase-I Project from Washermanpet to Wimconagar.
Covers a length of- 9.051 km.
Benefit- Extension will provide improved access to public transport for dense population comprising predominantly industrial workers to move towards the central business district of the city for work.
Amendment to the Resolutions – Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB)
Proposed amendments are as under-
- Selection of candidates from State Public Enterprises and Private Sector as non-internal candidates for a period of five years for appointment in Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs)
- Holding of office by the Chairperson and Members of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) for a period of 3 years from assumption of charge or until attaining the age of 65 years or until further orders whichever is earlier.
- To provide a wider pool of professionals for selection by impact allowing the candidates from State Public Sector Enterprises (SPSEs) and private Sector to be considered for senior positions in the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).
- Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) would also benefit by the skill-sets and domain expertise of those coming from the State Public Sector Enterprises (SPSEs) as well the private sector.
- It would also ensure that the Central PSE senior management gets the benefit of the perspective gained both within and outside.
MOU between the Directorate General of Civil Aviation of India (DGCA) and the French Civil Aviation Authority
It is to- Implement Technical Cooperation Programme for promotion and implementation of Standards and Recommended Practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Technical programme will be beneficial for-
- Enhancement of skills and expertise of DGCA’s officers
- Implementation of the cooperation between the two parties for imparting training of- Engineers + Technicians + Managers Etc.
To cooperate through the following actions-
- By exchanging information concerning the various techniques used to reach the objectives
- By sending French experts or instructors to India for training missions
- By receiving experts, or instructors of India, in France for training missions.
Universal Identity Cards for the Persons with Disabilities
(Topic: Welfare schemes and policies for disabled persons)
About- Union Government is ready with Universal Identity cards for the persons with disabilities.
- All the preparatory work has been done including design of the card by National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
- Very soon these will be passed on to the States for the distribution.
- State Governments have been asked to gear themselves up to identify the persons with disabilities in their respective states, so that within one and half year all the disabled persons can have universal identity cards.
- Cards will be linked with the Aadhar card and data will be available online which will ensure transparency.
- Help the persons with disabilities to avail all Government schemes and reservation. These Cards will be recognisable by all the States.
- State governments to launch a campaign from next academic year to identify such students, to award them scholarships.
- To avoid any delay and leakages his ministry has adopted DBT channel to pass on the scholarships.
- To provide skill training to about 25 lakh the persons with disabilities and to arrange finance through NHFDC to economically empower them.
- Under Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan, States were advised to give approval for the building plan only when it has accessibility provisions for the persons with disabilities as per recently issued NBCC code.
- State Governments to identify public utility buildings, to carry out access audit and making it disabled friendly.
- Plan has been prepared to make about 3000 identified Union Government and State Government sites accessible to the persons with disabilities.
- 650 such sites already have been made accessible for the persons with disabilities.
Short term Yoga programmes included in Tourist Visa and e-Tourist Visa
(Topic: Government steps for promotion of tourism and yoga)
About- Ministry of Home Affairs has taken a decision to include short term yoga programmes in Tourist Visa and e-Tourist Visa.
- Realizing the spread and importance of yoga world over, the Government has decided to include “attending a short term yoga programme” in the list of permissible activities under Tourist Visa.
- Besides, the Government has decided to include “attending a short term yoga programme” and “short duration medical treatment under Indian systems of medicine” in the list of permissible activities under e-Tourist Visa.
- Tourist Visa is granted to a foreigner whose sole objective of visiting India is-> Recreation + Sightseeing + Casual visit to meet friends or relatives
- E-Tourist Visa is granted to a foreigner whose sole objective of visiting India is-> Recreation + Sightseeing + Casual visit to meet friends or relatives + Short duration medical treatment or casual business visit.
All Indian Mission abroad and Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRROs)/ Foreigners Registration Officers (FROs) in the country have been requested to take action as per above amendments.
WCD Ministry to hold first ever “All India Women Journalists’ Workshop”
(Topic: Governmental steps for women development)
About- Ministry of Women and Child Development, in association with Press Information Bureau, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting is organizing the first ever “All India Women Journalists’ Workshop” on 7th June, 2016 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
Women journalists’ represent- Print and electronic and online media across the country including small and regional media organizations
- Conference will bring together 250 journalists from all parts of the country together on a single platform
- Conference will be a unique gathering of women journalists, who specialize in social sector reporting, coming together to understand, discuss and deliberate on issues concerning women and children.
- Ministry of Women and Child Development will be showcasing the achievements during the last two years and also obtain a feedback on a number of issues concerning women and children especially on the recently released Draft National Policy for Women, Draft Anti Trafficking Bill, Draft Regulations under JJ Act.
- Ministry is also looking forward to new ideas/ areas concerning women and children which could be taken up in the coming months.
‘Kalpana Chawla Chair’ on Geospatial Technology for Indian Railways
(Topic: Science and Technology)
About- MoU between Ministry of Railways and PEC University of Technology for setting up of ‘Kalpana Chawla Chair’ on Geospatial Technology for Indian Railways at PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh.
Objective- To encourage research activities in Geo-spatial Technology and to strengthen Indian Railways especially Railway projects where use of remote sensing data, global positioning system (GPS) and Geographical information System (GIS) is predominant.
- Indian Railways to develop in house solutions to the problems which are often outsourced to western countries
- In developing applications to remove day to day engineering and technological problems and geospatial solutions to Indian Railways
Kalpana Chawla Chair-
- Academic chair is being instituted in fond memory of Late Kalpana Chawla, an Indo – American Astronaut and Alumnus of PEC during the year 1978-82 .
- She was incidentally the first woman of Indian origin in space.
- To honour her contributions in Aerospace Engineering Indian Railways decided to institute the academic chair in the area of Geo-spatial Technology in her alma mater.
Mission Innovation and Clean Energy Ministerial
(Topic: Science and technology)
CEM Member representing- Energy Ministers from Nations with 90% of Clean Energy Investments and 75% of GHG Emissions.
Focus on- Advancing Clean Energy Cooperation and Implementing PRIS Agreement Commitments.
Agreed to launch- An enhanced effort called – “ CEM 2.0”- To increase its effectiveness by creating an International Secretariat to support CEM initiative.
Launched- Three new high-impact campaigns that will promote the procurement of electricity from->
- Renewable Energy
- Commercial and industrial energy efficiency
- Advanced cooling technologies
- MI was announced on November 30, 2015 by the leaders of 20 countries that have a shared desire to accelerate global clean energy innovation during COP 21 in Paris.
- The ‘Mission Innovation’ (MI) is an effort to accelerate public and private global clean energy innovation, including through participating countries doubling their respective clean energy research and development investment
- Concerted effort to enhance the pace of innovation and scale of transformation through this clean energy revolution launch to meet the requirement for economic, energy security goals in timely manner.
- India is Founding Member of the Steering Committee and also a Member of the two sub-groups: Joint research and Capacity Building and Private Sector Engagement.
- During the meeting, India will be announcing its current investment and doubling Plan in Clean Energy Research. Formal announcement on new Joint collaborations with Mission Innovation Countries will also be made by the Minister.
- Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) is a high-level global forum to share lessons learnt and best practices, and to encourage the transition to a global clean energy economy. Initiatives are based on areas of common interest among participating Governments and other stakeholders.
- CEM is the initiative of the USA. Presently, 23 countries are members of CEM. There are 13 initiatives under CEM covering energy efficiency, clean energy supply and cross cutting areas.
- Since its launch in 2010, the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) has come a long way. Its various initiatives were instrumental in leading significant collaborative work amongst members in context of clean energy supply, demand side management and relevant cross cutting issues.
- During the 7thClean Energy Ministerial the Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences will also launch the Global Cooling Challenge.
India Signs Grant Agreement with IBRD—Global Environment Facility for Efficient and Sustainable City Bus Service Project
(Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment)
About- An agreement for Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Grant of USD 9.20 Million with the World Bank for “Efficient and Sustainable City Bus Service Project” was signed.
Representatives from- Ministry of Urban Development and State Governments of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Chandigarh (UT) were also present on the occasion.
- To improve the efficiency and attractiveness of city bus transport and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the demonstration cities.
- It comprises-
- A national capacity building component to be implemented by Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD);
- City demonstration projects in the cities of Bhopal, Chandigarh, Jaipur and Mira Bhayandar.
National Disaster Management Plan
(Topic: Disaster and disaster management)
About- PM released the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP), this is the first ever national plan prepared in the country.
Aim- To make India disaster resilient and significantly reduce the loss of lives and assets
Plan is based on the four priority themes of the “Sendai Framework,” namely-
- Understanding disaster risk,
- Improving disaster risk governance
- Investing in disaster risk reduction (through structural and non-structural measures) and disaster preparedness
- Early warning and building back better in the aftermath of a disaster.
Salient Features of the Plan-
- Plan covers all phases of disaster management-> Prevention + Mitigation + Response + Recovery.
- It provides for-> Horizontal + Vertical integration among all the agencies and departments of the Government.
- Plan also spells out the roles and responsibilities of all levels of Government right up to Panchayat and Urban Local Body level in a matrix format.
- Plan has a regional approach, which will be beneficial not only for disaster management but also for development planning.
- Designed in such a way that it can be implemented in a scalable manner in all phases of disaster management.
- Identifies major activities such as-> Early warning + Information dissemination + Medical care + Fuel + Transportation + Search and rescue + Evacuation, etc.
- Aim- To serve as a checklist for agencies responding to a disaster.
- Provides a generalized framework for recovery and offers flexibility to assess a situation and build back better.
- To prepare communities to cope with disasters, it emphasizes on a greater need for Information, Education and Communication activities.
Working Group on Maritime Situational Awareness
(Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organised crime with terrorism)
About- The 19th Plenary Session of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) took place in Mahe, Seychelles during 31 May – 3 June 2016.
India’s taking over as co-chair of- Working Group on Maritime Situational Awareness is in recognition of its pro-active role in combating the problem of piracy off the Somalian Coast and in the Indian Ocean Region.
- Seychelles is the current chairman of the CGPCS for the biennium 2016-17
- CGPCS was set up as a group of interested and affected nations, industry associations and multilateral agencies to take pro-active steps for checking piracy in the Indian Ocean region through a UN Security Council resolution.
- In its 7 year of working the Contact Group has been able to effectively deal with the issues relating to piracy off the coast of Somalia.
- CGPCS has been spearheading its efforts through four Working Groups (WGs) focused on-> Capacity Building on legal + Judicial framework and processes + Poverty alleviation in Somalia + Improving Maritime Situational Awareness in Indian Ocean Region + Coordinating efforts for Disrupting Piracy Networks.
Indian Navy and Coast Guard have played a very important role by-
- Enhanced patrolling in the high seas and providing armed naval escorts to ships moving in the area.
- Other countries and organisations such as EU, US-led Combined Maritime Forces, NATO, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea have also significantly contributed to increased alertness and patrolling in the region due to which the piracy problem has been largely contained.
- To protect Indian ships and Indian citizens employed in sea-faring duties, Indian Navy commenced anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden from 23 October 2008.
- In addition to escorting Indian-flagged ships, ships of other countries have also been escorted by the Indian Navy.
- Merchant ships are currently being escorted along the entire length (490 nm long and 20 nm wide) of the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) which is heavily patrolled by Indian Navy vessels.
- According to information received more than 25 IN ships are deployed for patrolling, escorting ships and in anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden.
- To maintain high degree of alertness in the region, around 19 coastal security operations and exercises have been undertaken over the past year.
Afghan-India Friendship Dam
(Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, and Railways)
About- PM jointly inaugurated the Afghan-India Friendship Dam (Salma Dam)
Project executed and implemented by- WAPCOS Ltd., a Government of India Undertaking under Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation
Afghan-India Friendship Dam-
- It is a multipurpose project planned for generating 42 MW of power, irrigating 75000 hectares of land, water supply and other benefits to the people of Afghanistan.
- Salma Dam is a landmark infrastructure project undertaken by Government of India on river Hari Rud, in Herat province of Afghanistan.
- Project is located 165 km east of Herat town and connected with earthen road.
- Due to security reasons Indian engineers and technicians involved with the project have been reaching the site once in a month by helicopter service provided by Government of Afghanistan.
- All equipment and material were transported from India to Bander-e-Abbas port of Iran via sea and then along 1200 km by road from there to Islam Kila border post at Iran-Aghanistan border and then further 300 km by road from the border post to the site.
World’s Space Agencies unite to face the Climate Challenge
(Topic: Climate change and challenges)
Context- For the first time, under the impetus of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the French Space Agency (CNES), space agencies of more than 60 countries agreed to engage their satellites, to coordinate their methods and their data to monitor human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.
Aim- To inter-calibrate these satellite data so that they can be combined and compared over time (i.e. it is to make the transition to closely coordinated and easily accessible ‘big space data’).
Importance of satellites-
- Without satellites, the reality of global warming would not have been recognised and the subsequent historic agreement at the United Nations headquarters in New York on April 22, 2016 would not have been signed.
- Out of the 50 essential climate variables being monitored today, 26 – including:
- Rising sea level
- Sea ice extent and greenhouse gas concentrations in all layers of the atmosphere – can be measured only from space.
Key to effectively implementing the Paris Agreement lies in- Ability to verify that nations are fulfilling their commitments to curb greenhouse gas emissions and only satellites can do that.
ISRO and CNES-
- World’s space agencies decided to establish “an independent, international system” to centralise data from their Earth-observing satellites through the ‘New Delhi Declaration’ that officially came into effect on May 16, 2016.
- Earth observation satellites provide a vital means of obtaining measurements of the climate system from a global perspective.
- ISRO is committed for the continuity of earth observation data, through the thematic series of satellites, with improvements en-route, to meet contemporary as well as future needs.
- ISRO is also engaging with CNES, JAXA and NASA for realising joint missions for global climate observation with advanced instruments.
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