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IASbaba Press Information Bureau (PIB)- 22nd Aug to 28th Aug, 2016

  • September 2, 2016
  • 1
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis, IASbaba's Daily News Analysis
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GS-2

BRICS Disaster Risk Reduction meet adopts Udaipur Declaration 

(Topic: Global grouping and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)

Udaipur Declaration-

  • Udaipur meeting has successfully adopted the Udaipur Declaration whereby have resolved to set up a dedicated Joint Task Force for Disaster Risk Management for-> Regular dialogue+ Exchange + Mutual support + Collaboration among BRICS Countries.
  • Roadmap for implementation of the three-year Joint Action Plan (JAP) for BRICS emergency services (2016-18) was also finalised.
  • JAP was agreed upon at the first meeting of BRICS Ministers for Disaster Management at St. Petersburg in Russia
  • Agreed on a road map for implementation of the Joint Action Plan where all have resolved to work together on exchange of Information/experiences on disaster management, research & technology exchange on forecasting and early warning for floods and extreme weather events and capacity building of stakeholders for disaster management.

Issues discussed-

  • BRICS nations have made a clear move from relief-centric to a holistic approach to disasters with a greater emphasis on prevention, mitigation and preparedness.
  • Highlights the importance of forecasting and early warning systems to help authorities in alerting the communities as well as responding swiftly to a situation.
  • Meeting discussed the advances in technology and knowledge sharing amongst member countries to enable them in leveraging it to reduce disaster risk.

Possible solutions-

  • Mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction, use of advanced technology in providing early warning, need for adequate funding to deal with rehabilitation and reconstruction after a disaster and the impact of climate change on disasters are common challenges faced by all of us.
  • Deliberations have been very useful and the participating countries got an opportunity to learn about the disaster management structure, system and processes followed in other BRICS countries.

India, the current BRICS chair, will host the 8th BRICS Summit in Goa in October, 2016.

India and Germany join hands on skill agenda

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

  • It will run for three years starting August 2016 with a budget of EUR 3,000,000 (22.6 Crores INR) – made available by the German Government and aims to foster conditions which will help create and improve cooperative workplace-based vocational training in India’s industrial clusters.
  • Project will be implemented in three selected clusters, which include the Automobile cluster in Maharashtra and Electronics cluster in Bangalore.
  • Play an important role in supporting MSDE’s existing programmes to scale up apprenticeship training.
  • Project will be implemented under the umbrella of the ‘Joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of Skill Development and Vocational Education and Training (VET)’, signed during the Indo- German intergovernmental consultations on 5th October 2015 in New Delhi.

German technical assistance will be used to- Enhance industry institute partnerships between Indian and German organizations, build capacity of local training institutions and foster industry linkages which will help adapt elements of the German dual system, into the Indian context.

 

Indo-German partnership

  • India recognize the fact that Germany’s dual system is widely acclaimed as one of the best in the world, noted for its close linkages between industry and training institutions.
  • Provides a competitive edge to German industry and businesses. Need to adapt elements of the German VET system to the Indian context to ensure that skill training in India is closely aligned with the requirements of industry.

Why Germany?

  • Germany has been one of countries which is on top of the manufacturing and innovation pyramid and continues to develop most high end products. It has some of the best working models in sustainable workforce development which is the reason for the country’s economic progress.
  • Partnership with Germany will help strengthen our skill development initiatives. The recent budget allocations that have been made for promoting apprenticeship programs in the country will help our plans see daylight
  • Germany is known for its excellent vocational education system that relies on the strong participation and engagement of the private sector. Having a very long standing partnership with India, Germany is pleased to support the “Skill India” and “Make in India” initiatives with a new bilateral programme on vocational education and training.
  • Engagement of private enterprises, including German firms, as carriers for skill development will be crucial for the success. Launch of a new bilateral partner programme at the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE).

 

MoU with South Africa: To establish cooperation in Grassroots Innovation

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

About- Union Cabinet chaired by the PM has been apprised of the signing of a MoU between India and South Africa to establish cooperation in Grassroots Innovation. MoU was signed on July 07, 2016 at Pretoria in pursuance to the Inter-Government Agreement between two countries for cooperation in Science & Technology.

MoU-

  • Both countries will jointly organise various programmes such as forums, seminars, workshops, and training on matters related to innovation
  • Share open source technologies with each other and jointly develop projects (and including partnering with relevant industries in the respective countries) to assist innovators in converting their ideas into commercially viable innovations leading to joint technology development and transfer of technology for Societal benefit.
  • MoU will provide a mechanism and help in creating an ecosystem that will promote inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship at the grass-root level in both countries with particular focus on indigenous knowledge systems and Agriculture Biotechnology.

 

Interactive Meet for Discovered Small Field Bid Round 2016 held at Dubai, UAE

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

Interactive Meet for Discovered Small Field-

  • Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), the technical arm of MoPNG highlighted the offering of 46 Contract Areas consisting of 67 small fields for exploration and production of oil and gas in India having 625 Million Barrels of Oil and Oil Equivalent Gas (O+OEG) in-place volumes, spread over 1500 sq. km.
  • This initiative under the broad policy framework of Hydrocarbon and Exploration License Policy (HELP) is in line with PM’s vision of reducing import dependency on oil and gas by 10% by 2022 in India.
  • As part of the new bid round 2016, a single uniform policy would be issued for exploration and development of conventional as well as unconventional hydrocarbon resources, based on Revenue Sharing Contract Model replacing the earlier Production Sharing Contract Model.
  • Other incentives would include no signature bonus, no mandatory work programme and fiscal incentives such as no oil cess, exemption of custom duty and graded royalty rates.
  • There were multiple presentations with regards to Ease of Doing Business in India as well as on details of the new bid round.

Key Highlights-

  • Presentations given during the sessions highlighted the key statistics and overall macroeconomic scenario of Indian economy with oil and gas focus, the advantages of the operating environment in India, and also discussed India’s positive upstream investment environment and the attractiveness of the Indian economy, compared to other Asian economies.
  • Presentations were also made on the Indian Taxation Regime for E&P sector discussing the direct and indirect tax law pertaining to the oil and gas sector, and on the facilities and infrastructure available near the offered fields for the use of prospective bidders.
  • A virtual data room was launched to assist investors to view geoscientific and geophysical data online—to help investors have a broad and initial understanding of the financial viability of the contract areas on offer and a facilitation cell to handle queries, was also informed.

 

Sugamya Pustakalaya- An online library for persons with visual disabilities launched

(Topic: Government Schemes)

About- “Sugamya Pustakalaya: A step towards an Accessible Digital India” (An online library for persons with visual disabilities)

  • It is an online platform that makes accessible content available to print-disabled people. The library houses publications across diverse subjects and languages and multiple accessible formats.
  • Created by- Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in collaboration with member organizations of Daisy Forum of India and powered by TCS Access.
  • Books are available in Accessible formats for people with visual impairment and other print disabilities.
  • Integrating libraries across India and the Globe, including the largest international library, ‘Bookshare’.

In case of End User i.e. person with Print Disability

  • The next time a person with Print Disability needs to read a book, he can skip the laborious process of looking for volunteers to read them to him or scan and edit them.
  • A quick search on the Sugamya Pustakalaya will help him access the book of his choice at the click of a button. He will need to be a registered print-disabled member with one of the member DFI organizations to download the book or procure it offline through their member organization.
  • He can access all the books in the library at a click of a button. He can read the publications on any device of his choice- mobile phones, tablets, computers, DAISY players or even in braille using refreshable braille displays. He could also request for a braille copy through member organizations that have Braille presses.

 

GS-3

Electropreneur Park bolsters domestic electronics manufacturing with early stage start-up incubation

(Topic: Electronics manufacturing)

About- Initiatives like ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Design in India ‘along with ‘Startup India’ taken by Government of India have injected new hopes in India’s electronics system design and product development space. Taking the vision forward, Electropreneur Park has been set-up at University of Delhi, South Campus to incubate 50 early stage start-ups and create atleast 5 global companies over a period of 5 years.

Initiative was taken by- Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), managed by Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) and implemented by India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA).

Objective-

  • The park will focus on IP creation and Product Development to result in increased domestic value addition and will witness a unique integration of academia, industry, government and other incubation eco-system elements.
  • Platform will also encourage R&D, innovation, Entrepreneurship in the ESDM sector in India and provide assistance during prototyping, development and commercialization for the products, conceptualized at Electropreneur Park, produced through the scheme for India and other growth markets.

Best-in-class facilities- Initiative will provide the selected entrepreneurs with

  • State-of-art laboratories as per international standard,
  • ESDM mentorship by industry veterans and academicians,
  • Efficient supply chain
  • An eco-system that will bring in a bouquet of shared services and facilities to the incubatees like Taxation, Legal, Finance, Accounting, Patent Search, Training, interns, business counselling, etc.
  • EP will also provide access to funding agencies to facilitate seed funding for the promising ventures and ensure a smooth transition from an incubatee to a self-sufficient electronics company.

 

About Electropreneur Park –

  • Funded by Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY), Government of India, the Electropreneur Park is an Incubation Centre under PPP mode in the Electronic Systems Design & Manufacturing (ESDM) sector.
  • Electropreneur Park will develop, promote, recruit, incubate, mentor, and create breakthrough innovations in the ESDM sector

 

First training program on Government e-Marketplace (GeM) for Government users

(Topic: Marketplace and government programmes)

Participants- The training session was attended by more than 60 procurement officers from about 20 Central Government organizations based in Delhi and is the first such training program to be followed by similar pan-India training sessions for all the Central Government procurement officers.

What is GeM?

  • GeM is a completely online and end-to-end integrated e-procurement portal for products and services that has been developed by DGS&D with technical support from NeGD.
  • GeM will enable Government buyers to make use of new technologies to procure goods and services in a more transparent, accountable and efficient manner and with the same ease and efficiency that is presently offered by e-commerce sites.
  • It has been made mandatory on GeM to make payment to the vendors within 10 days of receipt of goods/services, efforts should be made to further reduce this time span as time is money and ultimately the cost of delayed payment is born by the Government.
  • GeM has a potential to grow and will bring in a lot of credibility and comfort in procurement decision making within the Government.

 

Delhi poised to get New Air Force Aerospace Museum

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

About- Delhi will soon have a sprawling new Aerospace Museum close to the international airport focused mainly on Nation’s rich aviation history.

Aim- New Aerospace Museum is not only meant to preserve the glorious tradition of the IAF but also to create awareness in general public about India’s rich Aerospace heritage.
The IAF believes that the Museum would be a popular tourist attraction and a landmark in India’s capital city. The new museum would be ready for the tourists within 3-5 years.

IAF presently has a museum near the technical area of Air Force Station Palam, which was established in 1967. The museum has an average footfall of 500 tourists daily and exhibits details about combat operations undertaken by the IAF depicting IAF’s rich history since its formation in 1932 to present date, along with the display of various aircraft and equipment on the IAF’s inventory, since its inception.

Government planning to set up Indian Council for Fertilizers Research

(Topic: Fertilizers, storage and supply)

About- Union Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs has advocated a “3 A” approach towards fertilizers in the country, these being authenticity (Quality), availability and affordability.

Aim- Government should be able to provide last mile timely availability of quality fertilizers at affordable rates to the farmers. This would ensure the fertilizers security of the country which is essential for the food security.

Shortage and recovery of Urea-

  • Till two years back, there used to be shortage of urea, leading to its hoarding, black-marketing and smuggling.
  • Indian Fertilizer manufacturers for running the plants at over 100 per cent capacity and achieving an all time record of 245 lakh MT urea production last year.
  • Minister said that the timely imports, pre-positioning of the fertilizers, contribution of the States in timely distribution, and cooperation of the Railways through Good Rake Movement also helped in making the fertilizer position comfortable in the country.

Enforcement of quality checks-

  • State Government officials to enforce quality checks on the fertilizers, undertake district level planning for supply of fertilizers, ensure early turnaround of rakes, provide adequate storage facilities, and take benefit of pre-positioning.
  • States to initiate a drive against those who indulge in hoarding, black-marketing, diversion and smuggling of fertilizers.
  • The unethical practices of the retailers/companies to tag certain items for selling to farmers along with the required fertilizers, should be discouraged.
  • Minister also emphasized on the issue of soil security and ways to compost initiative. Government is reviving the sick fertilizer PSU and the basic principle of producing where it is being consumed.

Indian Council for Fertilizers Research-

  • Government is soon planning to set up Indian Council for Fertilizers Research, on the lines of ICMR and ICAR.
  • Research is very much required to discover and develop various means and ways of producing quality fertilizers, fortified fertilizers, hybrid fertilizers, nutrients and various combinations which are good for the soil.
  • Research has a role to play in the all aspects of the fertilizer chain which includes production, transportation, storage, availability, application, etc.

Central and the State Government officials dealing with the various aspects of fertilizers discussed various issues concerning the sector including-  Availability and supply of fertilizers, implementation of Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme, fertilization and neem-coating of urea, quality control of fertilizers, issues in Fertilizer Monitoring System and promotion of city compost.

Regional Connectivity Scheme

(Topic: Infrastructure- Civil Aviation)

About- Ministry of Civil Aviation, State Government of Maharashtra and Airports Authority of India today signed a tri-partite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), thereby kicking off the collaborative process of the three agencies coming together for successful launch of the Regional Connectivity Scheme.

State Government of Maharashtra has formally agreed to– Provide the concessions required from the State Governments in the Regional Connectivity Scheme, thereby becoming the first state in the country to do so.

Discussion on various other aviation related issues-

  • The subject of rehabilitation of slums (that have come up right next to the Mumbai International Airport) was deliberated upon in details.  Early operationlization of several available airports and airstrips in the State (like Shirdi, Kolhapur, Nasik, Sholapur etc) also figured prominently in the discussions.
  • Emphasis on timely completion of the project by following timelines for all sub-activities

 

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