‘Swachhagraha “Bapu Ko Karyanjali”-A Mission, An Exhibition’.
About: Prime Minister inaugurated the exhibition entitled ‘‘Swachhagraha “Bapu Ko Karyanjali”-A Mission, An Exhibition’ on the occasion of 100th Anniversary of Champaran Satyagrah in National Archives of India (NAI) Janpath, New Delhi.
- This exhibition is a humble tribute to Gandhi Ji on hundred years of his first experiment of Satyagraha in India, in Champaran and is an attempt to sensitize future generations to fulfill Gandhi’s dream of ‘Swachh Bharat’, where society’s reflection would be as clean as the thoughts within, of every citizen of India. This digital and experiential exhibition strives to connect the essential principles of Satyagrah ‘Jeevan-Chakra’ evolved by Gandhi Ji.
- Gandhi Ji was initially reluctant to visit Champaran. Rather, he had hardly knew where Champaran was and was unaware of the conditions of the farmers who cultivated Indigo.
- Upon his arrival in Patna on 10th April 1917 and thence to in Motihari on 15th April, he immediately realized that his stay there would be a long haul. The drama of Champaran has been succinctly depicted in this exhibition.
- During his stay, Gandhi Ji delved in detail with the problems of people. Social practices of scavenging, illiteracy, issues covering women and health were found to be the main impediments. These obstacles were common to the political issues that Gandhi Ji confronted. Satyagraha was the weapon he employed to overcome hurdles on both these fronts.
- The Champaran Satyagraha changed the dynamics of Indian politics, catapulting Gandhi Ji to the forefront of India’s freedom struggle. For the first time, people of India realized the power of non-violence and passive resistance, based on action.
Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah
About: Vice President delivered the first Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah Memorial Lecture of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), Hyderabad.
- Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah was the fifth sultan of the Qutb Shahi dynasty of Golkonda and the founder of Hyderabad.
- He built the famous Charminar
- He was an accomplished poet and wrote his poetry in Persian, Telugu and Urdu
- As the first author in the Urdu language he composed his verses in the Persian diwan style.
Qutb Shahi dynasty
- The Qutb Shahi dynasty (or Golconda Sultanate) was a Muslim Turkmens dynasty that initially patronized Persianate culture.
- The Golconda sultanate was constantly in conflict with the Adil Shahis and Nizam Shahis.
- In 1636, Shah Jahan forced the Qutb Shahis to recognize Mughal suzerainty, which lasted until 1687 when the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb conquered the Golcondan sultanate.
About: UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of M.Phil./ Ph.D Degrees), Regulation, 2016, mandates that after successful completion of the evaluation process and before the announcement of the award of the M.Phil./Ph.D. degree(s), the Institution concerned shall submit an electronic copy of the M.Phil. dissertation /Ph. D. thesis to the Information and library Network (INFLIBNET)
- This will make the thesis accessible to all Institutions/Colleges.
- To implement this provision, Shodhganga repository was set up.
- The task of setting-up of this repository was assigned to INFLIBNET Centre, Gandhinagar – an Inter-University Centre of the University Grants Commission (UGC).
Objectives of Shodhganga
- Develop a national repository of theses and dissertations with an intuitive interface which enables submission of electronic version of theses and dissertations by Universities in India
- Avoid unnecessary duplication and repetition which will save huge resources, both human and financial
- Providing access to Indian theses and dissertations in open access to world-wide academic community
- Extend access to plagiarism detection software to eligible universities
- Fund eligible Universities (that are under purview of the UGC) for digitization of back lists of theses submitted to their universities.
Features of Shodhganga
- Facilitates Universities to deposit their theses in the respective Departments / Centres.
- Permits online or offline submission of theses by students on voluntary basis.
- Shodhganga interface supports basic search, advanced search and subject-wise browsing.
Unnat Bharat Abhiyan
About: The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) along with the Ministries of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj has agreed to link all Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) with rural development processes under Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA).
To involve professional and other higher educational institutions of the country in the process of indigenous development of self-sufficient and sustainable village clusters in tune with the notion of ‘GramSwaraj’ propounded by Mahatma Gandhi.
Steps for Elimination of TB
(Topic: Health and Family Welfare)
About: The Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme is being implemented under the aegis of the National Health Mission with the following steps
According to the WHO Global TB Reports, the estimated proportion of Multi- Drug Resistant TB Cases in India is not increasing. The proportion of MDR cases is estimated to be in between 1.9 – 2.6 percent among new TB cases and between 11- 19 percent among retreatment cases.
The Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme is being implemented under the aegis of the National Health Mission with the following steps
- Strengthening and improving quality of basic TB services,
- Addressing TB HIV co-infection, other co-morbidities and MDR-TB
- Engaging with care providers both in the public and the private sector
- Targeted intervention in the vulnerable population and strengthening urban TB control along with active case finding activities
- Integrating newer molecular diagnostics for TB in the health system (CBNAAT) for early diagnosis of MDR TB
- Leveraging of Information Communication Technology for enhancing TB notification and strengthening of monitoring.
Elimination of Leprosy
(Topic: Health and Family Welfare)
About: Analysis of geographical distribution of leprosy by World Health Organization (WHO) shows that India accounted for the largest number of cases of leprosy at 60% of the global new cases reported during 2015 by 136 countries.
With a view to eliminating leprosy from the country, a three-pronged strategy has been adopted for early detection of leprosy cases in the community during 2016-17:
- Leprosy Case Detection Campaign for high endemic districts.
- Focused Leprosy Campaign for hot spots.
- Specific plan for Case Detection in Hard to reach areas.
Assisted Reproductive Techniques (Regulation) Bill
(Topic: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare)
About: Surrogacy has been prohibited for foreign nationals issued by Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure the following:
- No visa should be issued by the Indian Missions/Posts to foreign nationals intending to visit India for commissioning surrogacy.
- No permission should be granted by the Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRROs)/Foreigners Registration Officers (FROs) to Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders to commission surrogacy in India.
- No exit permission should be granted by the FRROs/FROs to the child/children to be born through surrogacy to foreign nationals including OCI cardholders. However, for child/children born through surrogacy already commissioned on or before issue of this Circular, exit permission will be decided by FRROs/FROs on case to case basis.
‘Making New India’ to be theme of Civil Services Day 2017
(Topic: Government Policies)
About: “Making New India” will be the theme for Civil Services Day, 2017. A unique feature of this year’s event, , that on the advice of Prime Minister, young IAS Collectors and probationers of the last four years from 2013 to 2016, were engaged to send their responses as feedback.
This year’s awards, will be based primarily on excellence in implementation of five priority programmes of Government of India, which include
- Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY),
- Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY),
- Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY),
- e-National Agriculture Market (eNAM) and
- “Start Up India, Stand Up India”.
Haldia Port Tops the List in The First Ever Ranking of Ports on Sanitation Parameters
(Topic: Infrastructure Development)
About: The twelve major ports under the Ministry of Shipping have been ranked on sanitation parameters for the first time.
- The assessment methodology included official interview, direct observation by the designated team from Quality Council of India and stakeholder’s interaction.
- The exercise was undertaken during the ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’ observed from the 16th to 31st of March 2017. The ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’ was a major sanitation and cleanliness campaign. It not only emphasized cleanliness and sanitation but brought the focus on the setting up of ‘Green Ports’ for sustainable, environment friendly, long term development of ports.
- All 193 lighthouses across India have been solarized and this mega drive culminated during the ‘Swachhata Pakhwada’.
Web Portal “Bharat ke Veer”
(Topic: Science and Technology)
About: Union Home Minister inaugurated the web portal and mobile application named “Bharat ke Veer” on the occasion of Valour Day of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The portal is an IT based platform, with an objective to enable willing donors to contribute towards the family of a CRPF and CAPF who sacrificed his/her life in line of duty.
Working of portal.
- The amount so donated will be credited to the account of ‘Next of Kin’ of those Central Armed Police Force/Central Para Military Force soldiers. The actor Akshay Kumar was the Guest of Honour during the function.
- This domain allows anyone to financially support the bravehearts of his choice or towards the “Bharat Ke Veer” corpus.
- This website is technically supported by National Informatics Centre (NIC) and powered by State Bank of India.
- To ensure maximum coverage, a cap of 15 lakh rupees is imposed and the donors would be alerted if the amount exceeds, so that they can choose to divert part of the donation to another braveheart account or to the “Bharat Ke Veer” corpus.
- “Bharat Ke Veer” corpus would be managed by a committee made up of eminent persons of repute and senior Government officials, who would decide to disburse the fund equitably to the braveheart’s family on need basis.
- The Valour Day is celebrated in remembrance of an act of unparalleled bravery displayed by a small contingent of CRPF personnel, pitted against a full-fledged infantry brigade of Pakistani Army, trying to overrun their post, at Sardar Post, Rann of Kutch, Gujarat on April 09, 1965.
- The CRPF successfully defended the post till the arrival of reinforcements.
About: The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE) Awards at the 8th Public Sector Day function held in New Delhi.
- Invaluable contribution made by our Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) since independence when PSEs had been chosen as the vehicle of industrialization in our country.
- Their overall net profit increased by 12.5 percent during 2015-16. This is appreciable since they have continued to perform well despite the fact that the global fiscal and economic scenario and industrial climate is not very encouraging.
(Topic: Science and Technology)
About: Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences launched a new web portal “nakshe” on occasion of 250th anniversary of Survey of India(SoI).
- Topographic maps or Open Series Maps (OSM) containing natural and man-made geographical features including terrain or topography are prepared by the SoI since its inception in 1767.
- It is in conformity with the National Map Policy-2005.
- These OSM maps have been made available for free download from “nakshe” web portal in pdf format on 1:50,000 scale through Aaadhar enabled user authentication process.
Survey of India
- Foundation for the scientific survey and mapping of the country was laid with The Great Trignometric Survey (GTS) in 19th century on this day i.e. 10th April, 1802, by noted surveyors Col. Lambton and Sir George Everest.
- Survey of India is the principal mapping agency of India.
- It is the oldest scientific department in India and one of the oldest survey establishments in the world.
- Foundation for the scientific survey and mapping of the country was laid with The Great Trignometric Survey (GTS) in 19th century on 10th April 1802.
- SoI has surveyed and mapped each and every part of the country and these maps have played an invaluable role in the saga of India’s nation building
- SoI is pivotal in the foundation of almost all major developmental activities of modern India.
About: Realizing the immense scope for development of fisheries and aquaculture, the Government of India has restructured the Central Plan Scheme under an umbrella of Blue Revolution. The restructured Central Sector Scheme on Blue Revolution: Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries (CSS) approved by the Government provides for a focused development and management of the fisheries sector to increase both fish production and fish productivity from aquaculture and fisheries resources of the inland and marine fisheries sector including deep sea fishing.
The scheme has the following components:
- National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) and its activities.
- Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture.
- Development of Marine Fisheries, Infrastructure and Post-Harvest Operations.
- Strengthening of Database & Geographical Information System of the Fisheries Sector.
- Institutional Arrangement for Fisheries Sector.
- Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) and other need-based Interventions.
- National Scheme on Welfare of Fishermen.
The Scheme Blue Revolution:
- The Blue Revolution is being implemented to achieve economic prosperity of fishermen and fish farmers and to contribute towards food and nutritional security through optimum utilization of water resources for fisheries development in a sustainable manner, keeping in view the bio-security and environmental concerns.
- Under the scheme, it has been targeted to enhance the fish production from 107.95 lakh tonnes in 2015-16 to about 150 lakh tonnes by the end of the financial year 2019-20.
- It is also expected to augment the export earnings with a focus on increased benefit flow to the fishers and fish farmers to attain the target of doubling their income.
- The Department has prepared a detailed National Fisheries Action Plan-2020(NFAP) for the next 5 years with an aim of enhancing fish production and productivity and to achieve the concept of Blue Revolution.
- The approach was initiated considering the various fisheries resources available in the country like ponds & tanks, wetlands, brackish water, cold water, lakes & reservoirs, rivers and canals and the marine sector.
Coast Guard’s Measures to protect Fishermen
About: There have been no report about killing of any Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy during the last three years. However, there are reports about an incident of firing in Palk Bay.
Steps taken to protect fishermen
- Indian Coast Guard provides assistance to Indian fishermen at sea while they are in distress through regular patrolling.
- It also conducts community Interaction Programmes to educate fishermen among other issues, on the perils of cross border fishing.
- For better accessibility, the Coast Guard has provided a toll free telephone number 1554 for search and rescue assistance to fishermen at sea.
- Under operation ‘Tasha’, Indian Navy and Coast Guard ships are deployed in Palk Bay area to prevent any illegal activity and also to protect the Indian fishermen from any attack, while they are fishing in Indian waters.
- Indian Coast Guard have also distributed a total of 1,853 Distress Alert Transmitters (DATs) free of cost to fishermen in the coastal states of India which provide the location of a distressed fisherman to the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, Chennai.
- Whenever any such incident of attack and consequent detention of our fishermen by the Sri Lankan authorities are reported, Government through diplomatic channels, immediately takes up the matter with the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure that the Sri Lankan authorities act with restraint and our fishermen are treated in a humane manner and are released expeditiously.
About: Reserve Bank of India, has advised that it has not given any license / authorization to any entity / company to operate schemes or to deal with Bitcoin or any virtual currency. As such, any user, holder, investor, trader, etc. dealing with Virtual Currencies will be doing so at their own risk.
- The creation, trading or usage of VCs including Bitcoins, as a medium of payment is not authorized by any central bank or monetary authority. No regulatory approval, registration or authorisation have been obtained by the entities concerned for carrying on such activities.
- The absence of counter parties in the usage of VCs including Bitcoins, for illicit and illegal activities in anonymous/ pseudonymous systems could subject the users to unintentional breaches of anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) laws.
Portable Kit to Check Water Contamination
About: National Centre for Compositional Characterisation of Materials (NCCCM), Chemistry Group, BARC, located at Hyderabad has developed a portable visual detection kit for detection of hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] between 5 to 500 ng/ml ( ppb) range in water within 5 minutes.
trivalent chromium (Cr III) and hexavalent chromium (Cr VI)
- Chromium exists in the environment primarily in two valence states, trivalent chromium (Cr III) and hexavalent chromium (Cr VI).
- Cr (III) is biologically important element and needed for glucose and lipid metabolism.
- Cr (VI), however, is considered toxic and IARC (International Agency for Research in Cancer, WHO) has classified it as a group 1 agent, defined as carcinogenic to humans.
- Three reagents kept inside different bottles are to be added to the clear water sample. Reagent 1 and Reagent 2 are added and mixed for two minutes.
- The third reagent is then added and mixed thoroughly (shaken for 1-2 minutes).
- Within 5 minutes, a pink color develops in the top layer and the intensity of this is compared by visual inspection to obtain the Cr(VI) range in water.
- By this method Cr(VI) can be detected in drinking water sources such as ground water, lake water, river water, etc.
- According to Indian standard IS10500, maximum permissible limit for Cr(VI) in drinking water is 50 ng/mL and as per United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) it is 10 ng/mL and the kit meets the requirements of both the standards.
- The technology of this kit has been transferred to M/S LTek Systems, Nagpur for commercialization of the product for societal benefit.
Introduction of GST
- Tax on sale or purchase of goods within a State as per Entry List II of Seventh Schedule of the Constitution is a State subject.
- VAT was introduced which ensured that credit of taxes paid on the inputs were available to a tax payer while discharging his output tax liability.
- This helped in minimizing cascading of taxes at the State level and in increasing compliance because of the in-built mechanism of transfer of input tax credit.
- VAT led to a simplification of taxes at the State level.
- Presently, the Constitution empowers the Central Government to levy excise duty on manufacturing and service tax on the supply of services. Similarly, it empowers the State Governments to levy sales tax or value added tax (VAT) on the sale of goods.
- Further, central sales tax (CST) is levied on intra-State sale of goods by the Central Government, but collected and retained by the exporting States.
- Many States also levy an entry tax on the entry of goods in local areas.
- This exclusive division of fiscal powers has led to a multiplicity of indirect taxes in the country.
- This multiplicity of taxes at the State and Central levels has resulted in a complex indirect tax structure in the country that is ridden with hidden costs for the trade and industry.
- There is no uniformity of tax rates and structure across States
- There is cascading of taxes due to ‘tax on tax’.
- No credit of excise duty and service tax paid at the stage of manufacture is available to the traders while paying the State level sales tax or VAT, and vice-versa
- No credit of State taxes paid in one State can be availed in other States.
- Hence, the prices of goods and services get artificially inflated to the extent of this ‘tax on tax’.
- GST introduction
- The proposed dual GST envisages taxation of the same taxable event, i.e., supply of goods and services, simultaneously by both the Centre and the States.
- Therefore, both Centre and States will be empowered to levy GST across the value chain from the stage of manufacture to consumption.
- The credit of GST paid on inputs at every stage of value addition would be available for the discharge of GST liability on the output, thereby ensuring GST is charged only on the component of value addition at each stage.
- GST will simplify and harmonise the indirect tax regime in the country. It is expected to reduce cost of production and inflation in the economy, thereby making the Indian trade and industry more competitive, domestically as well as internationally.
- GST will broaden the tax base, and result in better tax compliance due to a robust IT infrastructure.
- Due to the seamless transfer of input tax credit from one stage to another in the chain of value addition, there is an in-built mechanism in the design of GST that would incentivize tax compliance by traders.
BHIM-Aadhar–a digital payment platform launched by the Prime Minister on Ambedkar Jayanti in Nagpur
About: BHIM Aadhaar platform for merchants, Cash back and Referral bonus schemes for BHIM and 75 townships going less-cash.
BHIM-Aadhaar digital payment platform
- BHIM-Aadhaar, the merchant interface of the BHIM App, will pave the way for making digital payments by using the Aadhaar platform.
- Any Indian citizen can pay digitally using their biometric data like their thumb imprint on a merchants’ biometric enabled device which could be smart phone having a biometric reader.
- Any citizen without access to smart phones, internet, debit or credit cards will be able to transact digitally through the BHIM Aadhaar platform.
Cash back and Referral bonus
- They are two incentive schemes to ensure that the culture of digital payments permeates down to the grassroots
- Under the Referral bonus scheme both the existing user who refers BHIM and the new user who adopts BHIM would get a cash bonus credited directly to their account.
- Under the Cashback scheme the merchants will get a cash back on every transaction using BHIM.
- Both schemes are to be administered by MEITY and implemented by NPCI.
Initial schemes were Lucky GrahakYojana and DigiDhanVyaparYojana came to an end after a rigorous 100 day information, education and communication campaign led by NITI Aayog to make digital payments a mass movement in India.
Less cash township
- In order to achieve the target of 2500 crore digital transactions during the current financial year, there are going to be 75 townships spread all over India as ‘less-cash townships’.
- A less-cash township is one where the deployment of payment acceptance infrastructure is complete, all the families in the township are covered under training programs.
- These townships are likely to generate over 1.5 lakh digital transactions every day thereby leading to about 5.5 crore digital transactions in a year.
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