IASbaba Press Information Bureau (PIB)- 6th June to 13th June, 2016

  • June 16, 2016
  • 9
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis, IASbaba's Daily News Analysis
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(Topic: Government polices and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)

Suryamitra initiative-

  • A part of Make in India; a residential program which is 100% funded by Govt. of India and implemented by NISE across the country
  • Suryamitra course is a 600 hours (i.e. 3 months) skill development program.
  • Designed to create:
    • Skilled manpower in installation
    • Commissioning, Operation & Maintenance of solar power plants and equipment
  • To achieve and maintain the target of 100 GW solar power plants for 25 years, India requires about 6.5 lakh personnel, trained in solar energy sector (estimated by CII).
  • Course is designed and oriented as per requirement of solar industry.
  • Institutes like universities, polytechnics, ITIs etc. are executing the “Suryamitra” skill development program at various locations in the country.
  • About 80% of the Suryamitras are placed in various solar industries with decent salaries and rest are becoming entrepreneurs in the field of solar energy.


  • Enhance the employment of trained youth in solar PV technology.
  • Improve the businesses of solar entrepreneurs because of quality servicing, maintenance and repairing professionals are now available to customers at the click of a button on their mobiles.
  • Very useful in the field of Renewable energy to serve customers at their doorsteps with quality installation, repair, and O&M services.
  • NISE has checks and controls in place to ensure that all Suryamitras offer quality service at reasonable price to their customers.
  • App would act as an effective catalyst in creating demand for solar products in the country and in offering employment and business opportunities for Suryamitras.


  • National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), an autonomous institution of Ministry of New and Renewable (MNRE), is the apex National R&D institution in the field Solar Energy.
  • Institute is involved inàDemonstration, Standardization, Interactive research, Training and testing of solar energy technologies and systems


I&B Ministry frames New Print Media Advertisement policy 

(Topic: Government polices and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)


  • To promote transparency and accountability in issuing of advertisements in print media.
  • Focuses on streamlining release of Government advertisements and to also promote equity and fairness among various categories of newspapers/periodicals.

Key highlights of the policy are-

Promoting Transparency & Accountability-

  • First time the policy introduces a New Marking Systemfor newspapers to incentivize Newspapers who have better professional standing and get their circulation verified by ABC/ RNI.
  • Ensure transparency and accountability in the release of advertisements by DAVP.
  • Marking system is based on six objective criterions with different marks allotted to each criterion.

Incentivizing all categories of Newspapers

  • Policy stipulates that the rate structure for payment against advertisements released by DAVP will be as per recommendations of the Rate Structure Committee.
  • Policy framework provides a premium for prominent placing of adsin newspapers and journals whose circulation is certified by ABC/RNI.

Ensuring Equity and Fairness in release of Government Advertisement

  • New policy in pursuance with the broad social objectives of the Government has structured the empanelment procedure to ensure fairness among various categories of Newspapers/Journals.
  • Policy also mentions relaxation in empanelment procedure to provide special encouragement for Regional language/Dialects small and medium newspapers, Mass circulated newspapers (circulation >1 lakh), newspapers in North Eastern states, Jammu & Kashmir and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
  • Policy emphasizes that DAVP shall make efforts to release more social messages and related advertisements which are not date specific to periodicals.
  • To promote equity based regional outreach, the policy emphasizes that the budget for all India release of advertisements shall be divided among states based on total circulation of newspapers in each State /Language.
  • Policy mentions that PSUs and Autonomous bodies may issue the advertisements directly at DAVP rates to newspapers empanelled with DAVP.

Ensuring Quick and Timely payment by client Ministries to DAVP

  • Policy directs all clients of DAVP to issue Letter of Authority/Cheque/DD/NEFT/RTGS up to 80 % of the actual expenditure in the previous year within the first month of the new financial year and clear all the remaining payments before February 28thof the financial year.
  • DAVP is the nodal agency of the Government of India for advertising on behalf of various Ministries/Departments/PSUs/Autonomous organizations which are funded by the Government.


India Post Payments Bank

(Topic: Government polices and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)

About- Cabinet has on 1st June 2016, given its nod to the setting up of the IPPB under the Department of Posts to further financial inclusion in the country.

One of the guiding principles-

  • India Post Payments Bank would be co-creating value propositions and products with its customers and other stakeholders.
  • Initiated a nationwide survey to understand the needs of different segments of customers.

About the India Post Payments Bank-

  • India Post Payments Bank will offer digitally enabled payments, banking and remittance services of all kinds between entities and individuals and also provide access to insurance, mutual funds, pension and credit products in partnership with third party financial service providers and Banks.
  • To emerge as the main vehicle of financial inclusion in the country by bringing the physical reach of 1.55 lakh post offices and a modern payments platform powered by ubiquitous information and communication technologies together to create a national payments architecture that can be accessed by all users like never before.
  • Stakeholders of the India Post Payments Bank within the Government and outside are looking at this new entity as a catalyst to social and financial inclusion.


MoU: National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) Ltd. and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA)

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

Objectives- To facilitate QIA to study investment opportunities in the infrastructure sector in India and develop a framework for exchange of information with regard to such investments opportunities, in order to enable both sides to decide on joint investments


  • It is the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar.
  • Long-term investors and access investment opportunities across all geographical areas, sectors and asset classes.
  • Majority of their investments are outside Qatar with assets spanning a wide range of sectors and spread across asset classes.
  • Fund deploys a wide range of investment strategies and invests through a carefully selected network of top-tier fund managers.


  • Aim- To attract investment from both domestic and international sources for maximizing economic impact mainly through infrastructure development in commercially viable projects, both greenfield and brownfield, including stalled projects
  • Established as a category 2 Alternate Investment Funds (AIF) as per the regulations of the Securities and Exchange Board of India.


Observational Campaign to study Small-Scale Processes and Large-Scale Monsoon Variability—Joint Indo-UK Effort 

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

National Monsoon Mission-

  • Programme launched by Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) in 2012
  • To improve monsoon prediction at all temporal and spatial scales through joint efforts of national and international scientific communities.

Challenges faced-

  • Although there has been considerable progress in research in monsoon modelling and predictions, however processes operating at small scales pose a major challenge towards improved prediction.
  • Paucity of data at smaller space and time scales, have a major effect on the large-scale variability of the monsoon.
  • Improved understanding of the smaller scale physical processes will help—
    • Improving the computer simulation models
    • Parameterization of physical process

And in turn will produce improved monsoon prediction

Why need of Observational Campaign?

  • To address the issue of better understanding of processes that drive the variability, and predictability of the South Asian Monsoon, India and United Kingdom have embarked on an ambitious plan to carry out a large-scale joint observational campaign.
  • Involving the deployment of UK’s BAe-146-301 atmospheric research aircraft with sophisticated scientific instruments and India’s Sagar Nidhi and Sindhu Sadhna research ships during the period May-July 2016.
  • UK’s instrumented aircraft is a special aircraft which can fly at a very low-level for taking the observations.
  • Aircraft observations will be augmented by special observational programs over the land using boundary layer flux towers, radars, Microwave Radiometers etc.

Observational campaign will start on- 8th June 2016 and will last till end of July

South West Asian Aerosol – Monsoon Interactions (SWAAMI)

  • Involves measurements of aerosols across northern India and the Bay of Bengal during the pre-monsoon which will then be synthesized with long term measurements from ground based networks and data from previous intensive campaigns.
  • Study is expected to characterize the mechanisms by which aerosols influence the Indian monsoon

Interaction of Convective Organization and Monsoon Precipitation, Atmosphere, Surface and Sea (INCOMPASS)

  • Aims to capture the key surface-atmosphere feedback processes in models.
  • Study will improve the skill of rainfall prediction in operational weather and climate models by way of better understanding and representation of interactions between the land surface, boundary layer, convection, the large-scale environment and monsoon variability on a range of scales.

BoBBLE: Bay of Bengal Boundary Layer Experiment

  • Aim is to determine, quantify and model ocean-atmosphere interactions that drive variability in the South Asian monsoon.
  • Under this project, an observational campaign will be undertaken in the Bay of Bengal during June-July 2016 along with the analysis of wider observational and reanalysis-based data sets, and a set of hierarchical modelling experiments.
  • Study will improve the understanding about the role of thermodynamic surface and mixed layer processes in the monsoon as well as the role of large-scale ocean structure, ocean dynamics and ocean biogeochemistry in the monsoon.



NRDC inks MoA with Andhra Pradesh government to start Agribusiness incubation centres

(Topic: Agreement between different government organisations for development)

About- Andhra Pradesh Government through its AP Food Processing Society has entered into a MoA with the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) by establishing Smart Agribusiness Platform Networks of Andhra Pradesh (SAPNAP).


  • Creation of enabling ecosystem for accelerated growth of agribusiness by involving all the stakeholders
  • To strengthen the agribusiness & food processing sector

SAPNAP have two key development platforms

  • Smart Agribusiness Value-chains: Focus on- Intelligence Analytics, Big Data, Innovations & Partnerships
  • Smart Agribusiness Incubators & Accelerators
  • Focus on- Establishment of 13 district level incubators with enabling infrastructure and ecosystem for start-ups, enterprise development and FPO mentoring.
  • Consists of office or lab spaces, trial fields, common facilities, pilot equipment and start-up ecosystem to help new enterprises.

NRDC – Knowledge partner in the programme and would provide the required technologies / know-how / IPRs and other value added techno-commercial services to the Start-ups of SAPNAP and linkages to the national and international Stakeholders.


TCI –IIM report on the Operational Efficiency of Freight Transportation by Road in India

(Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, and Railways etc)

Report is based on– A study commissioned by the Transport Corporation of India (TCI), of 28 routes in the country over the period 2014-15.

Objective of the study-

  • To make an assessment of the operational efficiency of freight transportation by road and recommend ways to improve the same.
  • To encourage multi – modal transportation of goods in a big way as this is more efficient, economic and environment friendly.
  • Recommends promoting transportation of freight by railways and waterways.


  • Recommends although the average journey time and vehicle speed have improved across all the major routes, more needs to be done to reduce stoppage delays as this not only leads to wastage of time but also raises fuel consumption cost.
  • Besides improving the toll collection infrastructure, the number of stops for various other purpose, such as documentation check and tax collection at state borders/check posts and on-road police intervention, should be minimized and the process of document checking and tax collection simplified to facilitate a smooth and seamless flow of goods across the country.
  • Recommends that Government should ensure that trucker replace their old, fuel-inefficient vehicles with new-generation fuel-efficient vehicles like multi-axle tractor-trailer units.

Steps taken by Ministry-

  • To facilitate safe, seamless and efficient transportation of people and goods by road.
  • On the safety front engineering solutions are mandatorily being incorporated into road designs to make them safer, accident black spots are being rectified, safety standards are being set for automobiles, issue of driving licenses is being computerized and training centres are being set up for drivers.
  • To cut down delays due to stoppage, Electronic Toll Collection is being brought in soon and 380 Toll Plazas have been equipped for this.
  • Building roadside amenities, green highways, widening of National Highways, conversion of State Highways to National Highways and ensuring speedy construction are other steps that are being taken to make road transport efficient.
  • Actively working to promote transportation of freight through waterways, as this brings down logistics cost drastically. In China about 47 % of the freight is carried through waterways, in Japan and Korea it is about 43-44 percent and in European countries more than 40 percent. In India only about 6 percent of the freight is carried through waterways.
  • Ministry is committed to raising this percentage on a priority basis as this will make Indian products more competitive and for this, many waterways projects are already under various stages of implementation.


Minister of Railways launched various services facilities/initiatives

(Topic: Infrastructure- Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, and Railways etc)

Indian Railways- Working at a skyrocketing speed to ensure:

  • Modernization of Railways,
  • Safety and security of passengers,
  • Improved passenger amenities
  • Reduced expenditure & Technological solutions etc.


Janani Sewa

  • Introduced on IR in order to mitigate the hardships of the mothers travelling with their infants.
  • Under this scheme, Railways shall ensure availability of essential items like baby food, hot milk and hot water etc. at Railway Stations.
  • Facility is being introduced at over 25 stations including New Delhi, Mumbai CSTM, Mumbai Central, Howrah, Chennai Central, Nagpur, Pune, Surat, Lucknow, Moradabad etc.


Green Port initiatives at Cochin

(Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment)

Cochin Port has been promoting several “GREEN PORT” initiatives which include-

  • Cold Frontage Shore Power supply has been introduced at the berths
  • Construction of a Septage Treatment Plant is in progress at South end of Willingdon Island.
  • Effluent Treatment Plant has been established in the Cochin Port Trust Hospital
  • Bio Gas Plant has been installed in the CISF Barrack complex
  • Action has been initiated for establishment of a150 KW Solar Power Plant on the roof top of Port Substation, installation of Bio Gas Plant in the Nursing School and a Vermi Compost Plant in Willingdon Island
  • Port has also decided to lease out land in Willingdon Island for Organic Farming

(What do you mean by Organic Farming?)


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