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IASbaba Press Information Bureau (PIB)- 27th June to 3rd July, 2016

  • July 5, 2016
  • 3
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis, IASbaba's Daily News Analysis
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GS-2

 Union HRD Minister launches ‘Prashikshak’- A teacher education portal

(Topic: Government policies and its implementation)

About- Union Minister for Human Resource Development dedicated ‘Prashikshak’ – a teacher education portal, to the nation

Established through- Joint collaboration between Ministry of Human Resource Development and Central Square Foundation

Objective-

  • To strengthen District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) and bring quality teachers into the Indian school education system
  • Compare the performance of their institute against other DIETs in the state/country as well as helping aspiring teachers make informed decision making.

Prashikshak Portal-

  • Prashikshak is a unique IT initiative, a first of its kind in the country, which will contain a comprehensive database of all DIETs in the country with all relevant performance indicators.
  • It will help benchmark DIETs to enable aspiring teachers to make informed choices about their future.
  • It will give the opportunity to Central and State Governments to do real time monitoring of the institutions.
  • Major users of Prashikshak will be Pre-service teacher educators, DIET principals and faculty, policy makers at District, State Government and National level and General Public.

Coverage-

  • Prashiskshak Portal has started only for DIETs, it will cover block level institutes in the future and identify gaps at the bottom of the pyramid.
  • Ministry of HRD also has plans for enhancing Prashikshak to cover all Govt. Teacher Education Institutions in the country, which are recognized by the National Council for Teacher Education.

DIETs-

  • Created in the early 1990s to strengthen elementary education and support the decentralization of education to the district level, under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Teacher Education.
  • DIETs offer pre-service and in-service teacher training programmes for government elementary school teachers.
  • Also undertake studies in education, annual academic planning and reviews, and function as resource centres for teaching learning and material development.

 

Central Ministries & Departments to be linked to the online Pension Sanction and Payment Tracking System ‘Bhavishya’

(Topic: Government policies and its implementation)

About- Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS (IC) for Youth Affairs and Sports, MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, all Central Ministries and Departments will be linked to the online Pension Sanction and Payment Tracking System ‘Bhavishya’ very soon.

Benefit- With this step, the pension release to the retired employees will be expedited and it will also help quick resolution of pending issues.

Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare has taken various initiatives for the welfare of the pensioners-

 

Bhavishya-

  • Introduced transparency and accountability into the pension sanction and payment process, thereby helping eliminate delays and bringing satisfaction to the retiring employees and pensioners.
  • System keeps retiring employees and administration informed of the progress of pension sanction process through SMS/e-mail.

Sankalp-

  • It is an initiative for motivating retiring employees and pensioners to take up voluntary work after retirement so as to channelize their experience and skill towards productive work for society and nation building.
  • Department has so far registered 1,812 Pensioners, 16 Organisations and 19 Pensioners Associations under this project.
  • Some Pensioners Associations have done exemplary work under the initiative.

Anubhav-        

  • Initiative is to showcase the outstanding work done by retiring employee that contributed to the efficiency, economy and effectiveness in Government functioning.
  • It is envisaged that over a period of time this will create a wealth of information, institutional memory and innovative ideas and will motivate employees.

Jeevan Pramaan-

  • It is a facility created for submission of Aadhaar based digital life certificate.
  • Scheme provides an excellent facility for the benefit of pensioners to submit their digital life certificate from the comfort of their homes.
  • Pensioners Associations are actively involved in motivating their fellow pensioners to get their pension accounts seeded with Aadhaar Number.
  • Due to continuous efforts, as on date around 34 lakh i.e 71% of Central Government pensioners have seeded their bank accounts with Aadhaar Numbers.

 

Inauguration of Smart model village pilot project at Rashtrapati Bhavan

(Topic: Government policies and its implementation)

Five villages developed into the smart villages under this pilot project are-

  • Dhaula
  • Alipur
  • Harichandpur
  • Taj Nagar from Gurgaon district
  • Rojka Meo from Mewat district of Haryana.

 

World Bank Logistics Performance Index

(Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and further structure, mandate)

About- India has improved its ranking in the World Bank Group’s bi-annual “Logistics Performance Index 2016”, jumping from 54th in 2014 to 35th in 2016.

India’s jump of 19 positions in the ranking demonstrates the commitment of various Ministries and agencies of Government of India to make it easy to do business in India.

World Bank

  • World Bank studies the policy regulation as well as supply chain performance outcomes across six sub-indices of the Logistics Performance Index and ranks countries based on their performance in all the indices.
  • It is a perception survey based on the feedback of operators on the ground as they are the people who can best assess the aspects of logistics performance.
  • Feedback of companies responsible for moving goods around the world like multinational freight forwarders and express carriers is taken on a structured online survey.
  • Various aspects of international trade relating to streamlining border clearance procedures, ensuring access to physical infrastructure and quality of logistics services are assessed.

World Bank Group’s bi-annual report ‘Connecting to Compete 2016: Trade Logistics in the Global Economy’

  • Captures critical information about the complexity of international trade.
  • Logistics Performance Index (LPI) within the report scores 160 countries on key criteria of logistics performance.

Scores are based on two sources of information-

  • Worldwide survey of logistics professionals operating on the ground (such as global freight forwarders and express carriers), who provide feedback on the countries in which they operate and with whom they trade
  • Quantitative data on the performance of key components of the supply chain, such as the time, cost and required procedures to import and export goods.

Global trade depends on

  • Logistics and how efficiently countries import and export goods determine how they grow and compete in the global economy.
  • Countries with efficient logistics can easily connect firms to domestic and international markets through reliable supply chains.
  • Countries with inefficient logistics face high costs – both in terms of time and money – in international trade and global supply chains.
  • India’s improvement in Logistics Performance Index is ample evidence that our competitiveness in manufacturing and services is also improving which will provide the required boost to the Make in India programme.

 

MoU between India and Tanzania

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

About- For bilateral cooperation in water resources management and development

Areas of enhanced cooperation include-

  • Techniques in: Water harvesting, Surface and groundwater management, Development and aquifer recharge
  • Collaboration and sharing of expertise on the areas mutually agreed will benefit the country in techniques in: Water harvesting, Water conservation, Surface and groundwater management and development, Aquifer recharge.
  • Government shall encourage: Exchange of experts, Organization of training programs, Study tours and other such activities including demonstrative pilot studies, in order to build capacities in the areas mentioned above.

Background-

  • Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (WR, RD &GR) has been envisaging bilateral cooperation with other countries in water resources development and management.
  • These are mainly through sharing of policy and technical expertise, conducting of training courses, workshops, scientific and technical symposia, exchange of experts and study tours.
  • Enhanced cooperation comes in the wake of the visit of Minister of Water Resources, RD and GR, Government of Tanzania to New Delhi on 16th July, 2014. The two sides discussed the issue of water harvesting and management practices and decided to have a MoU after mutual consultations.

 

Memorandum of Agreement: JNU and National Institute of Animal Welfare

(Topic: Grouping and agreements of different institutions)         

About- National Institute of Animal Welfare (NIAW) and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (JNU) have signed a MoA to conduct academic programmes that will focus on development of Animal Welfare Sciences.

Help in- Preparing competent manpower to man various posts in zoos, municipalities, slaughter houses and veterinary hospitals.

National Institute of Animal Welfare (NIAW)

  • It was set up to meet the education and training needs of the Animal Welfare sector across the country.
  • Institute had launched short term courses in 2005, which has so far trained more than 1000 personnel, already engaged in Animal Welfare and those handling animals in the formal and non-formal sector.
  • A website for NIAW will be in place, illustrating information on the programmes, resources available and facilities such as animal shelter/ houses, OT Labs etc.

 

MoU: Coal Quality Analysis

(Topic: Grouping and agreements of different institutions) 

 

About- CSIR- Centre Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CSIR-CIMFR) signed a MoU with Coal Supplying companies and Power Utilities for quality analysis of coal being supplied to power utilities by coal companies.

Aim- Collaboration will enhance energy efficient use of coal by power sector.

Help- Consumers of India significantly by giving them cheaper more affordable power in the years to come

 

CSIR-CIMFR-

  • It would make use of its knowledge based support in maintaining the quality of coal at national level for the entire power sector.
  • It is estimated that about 300 million metric tons of coal samples would be analyzed for quality per year.
  • Contract value of the project is around Rs. 250 crore per annum at minimum.
  • It is also expected that this project will result in improvement in performance of power plants besides leveraging benefits to the consumer in particular and society as a whole.
  • Endeavour would help the nation in sustainable energy supply and security planning for future as it may reduce import of thermal coal.

 

Union Home Minister chairs 22nd meeting of Eastern Zonal Council at Ranchi


(Topic: Development of Eastern zone states)

About- Union Home Minister chaired the 22nd meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council held at Ranchi, Jharkhand.
Eastern Zonal Council states- Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha and West Bengal

Issues discussed-

  • Modernisation of State Police Forces
  • Measures to curb communal tension and Left Wing Extremism (LWE)
  • Curbing of drug trafficking, measures for bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India
  • Issues relating to fisheries, productivity of livestock and poultry to usher Blue Revolution.
  • Issues of sharing of water of major rivers, development of Railways, construction of Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) and Multi –Sectoral Development Programme in the Eastern Zone were also discussed in detail.
  • Zonal Council also reviewed the progress of the implementation of the recommendations made at the previous meeting of the Council held at Patna last year.
  • Issue of Internal Security in general and in the Eastern Zone in particular was also discussed in the meeting. Internal Security matters and its challenges need to be dealt with resolute action and on the principles of Cooperative Federalism

Five Zonal Councils- Eastern, Western, Northern, Southern and Central in addition to the North East Council which is under the administrative ambit of the Ministry for Development of North Eastern Region (DONER).

Zonal Councils are- Advisory Bodies mandated to discuss and make recommendations on any matter of common interest in the subjects such as economic and social sectors, infrastructure, health, security related matters and various other developmental schemes.

 

 

Launch of new Nurse Practitioner courses and ‘Live Register’ for Nurses

(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of social sector/ services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)

About- Launch of two new Nurse Practitioner Courses, one in Critical Care and the other in Primary Healthcare and also launched a web-based ‘Live Register’ for Nurses.

Live Register-

  • Through the Live Register accurate data of active and registered nurses will be made available online.
  • Help the Government in better manpower planning and for making policy level decisions for the nursing professionals in India.
  • Government has given high priority for improving the Nursing and Midwifery cadre through skill development and continued professional development.
  • Government has undertaken major expansion of nursing and technical education leading to a three-fold increase in the numbers of nursing institutions and in the number of students passing out of these institutions.
    • Some of these are establishment of ANM/GNM schools, up-gradation of institutions from School of Nursing to College of Nursing, Training of Nurses, development of 11 one year specialisation courses, revision of curriculum for all nursing programs, establishment of national PhD consortium for Nursing Research.
    • Nurse Practitioner in Critical Care Program will be a two-year residential M.Sc degree in Nurse Practitioner in Critical care.
    • On completion of the program Nurses will be qualified to assume responsibility and accountability for the care of critically ill patients.
    • Nurse Practitioner in Primary Healthcare Program will be a one-year residential Post Graduate diploma program.

 

GS-3

Development of Port-Rail Connectivity Projects approved under Sagarmala Programme

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

About-Ministry of Railways will be taking up 21 port-rail connectivity projects, as identified under the port-connectivity enhancement objective of Sagarmala, the flagship programme of the Ministry of Shipping.

Aim- Strengthening the rail evacuation network and the last mile connectivity to the ports.

Help-

  • In transportation of thermal coal from Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) to various coastal power plants in southern India via coastal shipping.
  • Other rail connectivity projects to major ports like Tuticorin and non-Major ports like Dhamra, Gopalpur, Krishnapatnam have also been proposed.
  • Enhance port connectivity to the hinterland and help in reducing logistics cost and time for cargo movement making Indian trade more competitive.

Indian Port Rail Corporation Limited (IPRCL)-

  • It has been incorporated by the Ministry of Shipping, would take up the projects after prioritizing them.
  • IPRCL has already awarded 3 port connectivity projects for Vishakhapatnam and Chennai ports for quick evacuation of cargo and another 19 projects are in the pipeline.
  • In addition, another six projects are being considered by the Indian Port Rail Corporation Limited (IPRCL).

Sagarmala-

  • It is the flagship programme of the Ministry of Shipping for promoting port-led development in India.
  • It aims to achieve capacity expansion and modernization of sea-ports along India’s coastline, enhance port connectivity to the hinterland, facilitate port led- industrialization to promote trade and sustainable development of coastal communities.

National Perspective Plan for Sagarmala Programme-

  • It which was released in April by the Prime Minister identifies projects under the 4 major objectives of the programme-
  • Port Modernization & New Port Development
  • Port Connectivity Enhancement
  • Port-led Industrialization
  • Coastal Community Development.
  • More than 150 projects have been identified which will mobilize investment of more than Rs. 4 lac crore and generate approximately 1 crore new jobs, including 40 lac direct jobs, over a period of 10 years.
  • Projects are expected to generate annual logistics cost savings of close to Rs 35,000 crore and provide boost to India’s merchandise exports by $110 billion by 2025.

 

Launch of initial plantation drive on 1,500 km of National Highways under Green Highways Project

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

About- Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping launched the initial plantation drive on 1,500 km of National Highways under the National Green Highways Mission.

Green Highways Project-

  • Government has made it mandatory to set aside 1 per cent of the total project cost of any NH contract to a Green Fund corpus that will be used for plantation purposes.
  • Afforestation is expected to help in sequestering approximately 12 lakh mt. carbon annually.

 ‘Adopt a Green Highway’ Program- The National Green Highway Mission initiated the program’ to engage corporates, Public  Sector units, Government organizations and other institutions for developing green corridor along National Highways through plantation and allied activity on avenue, median and other available nearby land patches

‘Kisan Harit Rajmarg Yojana’- Yojana is a pilot scheme to extend green belt beyond the existing ‘Right of Way’ of highways by engaging farmers and providing alternative livelihood option to the nearby communities.

 

International Solar Alliance Cell and World Bank Signs Declaration: Promoting Solar Energy

(Topic: Steps for promoting solar energy)

About- Interim Administrative Cell of the International Solar Alliance (ISA Cell) and the World Bank declared their intention to promote solar energy globally.

Benefits-

  • Joint Declaration by the ISA cell and the World Bank will help in Accelerating mobilization of finance for solar energy
  • Bank will have a major role in mobilizing more than US $1000 billion in investments that will be needed by 2030, to meet ISA’s goals for the massive deployment of affordable solar energy.

Two Programmes of the ISA launched-

  • Affordable finance at scale
  • Scaling solar applications for agricultural use

Major areas identified for working jointly include-

  • Developing a roadmap to mobilize financing
  • Developing financing instruments including credit enhancement, reduce hedging costs/currency risk, bond raising in locally denominated currencies etc. which support solar energy development and deployment
  • Supporting ISA’s plans for solar energy through technical assistance and knowledge transfer
  • Working on mobilization of concessional financing through existing or, if needed, new trust funds
  • Supporting RE-INVEST events.
  • Interim Administrative Cell of International Solar Alliance (ISA Cell) and the UNDP have joined hands for promoting ISA objectives in 121 prospective ISA   member countries.
  • Establishment of 24×7 knowledge centre is under way with the help of UNDP and NIC, Government of India.

 

ICMR-CEEW Launch the ‘Solar for Healthcare’ Initiative 

(Topic: Steps for promoting solar energy)

Focus on- Providing effective health care delivery at the last mile by reducing uncertainty in critical infrastructure, particularly electricity supply via cost effective solar-based solutions.

About collaboration-

  • Collaboration with CEEW will bring together synergies between the objective of ‘time to care’ as mandated in the National Health Mission (NHM) and clean energy as outlined under the National Solar Mission (NSM).
  • Under this collaboration, on a pilot basis, install solar systems at select PHCs in partnership with three state governments and evaluate its impact on healthcare delivery and health outcomes.
  • Aim of the collaboration is to create resilient health systems in rural India, benefitting primarily women and children.
  • As of 2015, nearly 35 million citizens in rural India rely on un-electrified PHCs for primary health services.
  • In the absence of electricity, services catered by health institutions such as institutional deliveries, paediatric emergencies, and administering of vaccines get severely affected.
  • Electricity access in health centres is also imperative as a means to facilitate communication services, tele-health applications and to retain skilled health workers.
  • Collaboration with ICMR supports the systematic and productive advancement in national policies, regulations and actions to leverage solar energy for a social purpose: enhancing the quality of healthcare delivery at various levels of governance
  • Synergy between health and energy are the two specific goals of this initiative, and the efforts within this collaboration advances on both fronts.

 

MRSAM Successfully Test Fired

(Topic: Achievements of Indians in science and technology, indigenization of technology and developing new technology)

About- Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) was successfully test-fired from the Integrated Test Range off Odisha Coast.

MRSAM jointly developed by- DRDO and IAI of Israel for the Indian Air Force.

Missile guided by a Radar system and on-board avionics successfully hit a Pilotless target aircraft.

Industries Contributed- Many Indian industries like BEL, L&T, BDL, TATA group of companies besides other private industries have contributed to the development of a number of subsystems which have been put into use in this flight test. The MRSAM system provides reliable air defence at medium ranges.

 

 

CMRS: Crop Manager for Rice-based Systems

(Topic: Major crops cropping pattern in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, r- technology in aid of farmers)

About- Union Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Minister, launched Crop Manager for Rice-based Systems (CMRS) – a web based App for better crop and Nutrient management released for Bihar farmers in a program organised at ICAR-RCER in Patna.

CMRS-

  • Crop Manager for Rice-based Systems (CMRS) is a web-based App which can be used with computer, mobile and tablet and aims to increase farmer’s net income and sustain the productivity for rice-based cropping systems in Bihar, India.
  • CMRS provides irrigated and rain-fed farmers with rice-based cropping systems in Bihar with a crop and nutrient management guideline customized to the needs of an individual farmer
  • CMRS uses a farmer’s answers to questions on farming practices to automatically generate a rice, wheat, or rabi maize management guideline.
  • App will be a part of Digital India program, and will be linked with Soil Health scheme for bringing access to new technologies to rural India.
  • CMRS is designed for use by extension workers, crop advisers, input providers, and providers of services who interview a farmer using a personal computer, smartphone, or tablet.
  • CMRS was adapted, evaluated, and verified in Bihar through collaboration of IRRI with the Indian Council for Agricultural Research- RCER (ICAR), Bihar Agricultural University (BAU), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and Rajendra Agricultural University (RAU) and CIMMYT.

 

Environment Minister launches web portal for mining of sand and minor minerals

(Topic: Environmental management and development and their applications and effects in everyday life)

About- A new web portal has been launched for online submission and monitoring of environmental approvals for mining of sand and minor minerals.

Aim- Web portal will lead to the empowerment of the project proponent, as it not only enhances transparency of the entire application process, but also enables the proponents to track their applications online.

 

About web portal-

  • It is a district-level, web-based and role-based workflow application for online submission and monitoring of proposals for Category B’2’projects.
  • Web-based application automates the entire tracking of proposals, which includes online submissions of a new proposal, editing/updating the details of proposals at each stage of the workflow.
  • Some of the features of the application include–
  • Submission of all projects in a single window interface; facilitate management in effective monitoring
  • Delays in the clearance process can be ascertained; a unique ID for each proposal for future reference
  • On-the-fly generation of all required reports
  • Automatic mailer notification to take instance action; accessible from any PC having internet facility and different types of privileges/roles for users as per their responsibilities.

Objectives-

  • Enhancing efficiency, transparency and accountability in the environment clearance process
  • Reduction in turnaround time for activity
  • Enhance responsiveness through workflows automation and availability of real-time information
  • Enhance ease and convenience of citizens and businesses in accessing information and services
  • Achieve standardisation in processes across the states; online real-time monitoring and adherence to timelines for verification
  • Stage-wise approval and compliance mechanism and a more user-friendly application process.

                                        

‘Ornamental Fish Culture and Management for Livelihood Improvement of Rural Women’

(Topic: Steps taken for promoting fish culture)

Aim- For imparting training to rural women for their empowerment through ornamental fish farming

Ornamental fish farming programme-

  • It is for livelihood improvement of fisher women
  • Plan was formulated in 2010 for implementation from 2011-12 for five years. However, the plan has not been initiated so far.
  • Aim of this programme was to improve the economic condition of rural women through self employment and for this it was decided to provide Rs. 1.0 lakh per woman for establishment of one unit.
  • It was decided that the financial help would be provided by National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) and 50% of total cost would be given to each trained woman. However, due to non-implementation of the programme, the state has been deprived of the financial assistance by the NFDB.
  • Now the Central Government has established the training centre on ornamental fish culture and management at Patna, which will help the farmers of Bihar to get trained in the state itself.

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