IASbaba Press Information Bureau (PIB) – 29th May to 4th June , 2017

  • June 26, 2017
  • 3
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis, IASbaba's Daily News Analysis
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IASbaba Press Information Bureau 29th May to 4th June 2017



Ministry of Earth Sciences to launch ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ by January 2018

(Topic: Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent))

What: the ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ will improve India’s position in ocean research field.

Polymetallic nodules

  • The program on Poly metallic nodules was initiated at CSIR-NIO with the collection of the first nodule sample from Arabian Sea on board the first Research Vessel Gaveshani in 1981.
  • India was the first country in the world to have been given the Pioneer Area for exploration of deep-sea mineral viz. Polymetallic nodules in the Central Indian Ocean Basin in 1987.
  • Subsequently, Environment Impact Assessment studies for nodule mining, development of metal extraction process, and development of mining technology have been taken up under the national program on Polymetallic nodules funded by Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • Based on the resource evaluation, India has now retained an area of 75,000 sq km with an estimated resource of about 100 million tons of strategic metals such Copper, Nickel, Cobalt besides Manganese and Iron.

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes and National Commission for Scheduled Caste

(Topic: Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism, Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.)

What: Certain Communities suffering from Extreme Social & Economic Backwardness- like Untouchability Primitive Agri-Practices, Lack of Infrastructural facilities, Geographical Isolation- needed special consideration for safeguarding their interests.

These communities were notified as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as per provisions of Art. 341(1) and 342(1) of the Constitution respectively.


  • In order to ensure that the safeguards are properly implemented the Constitution on its inception, provided for appointment of a special office under Article 338 of the Constitution to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards provided for Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes.
  • These commissions report to the President of India.
  • In pursuance of this provision a Special Officer known as the Commissioner for Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes was appointed for the first time in 1950.
  • Art 338 was amended (46th CAA) as it was felt that the office of the Commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was not enough to monitor the safeguards provided to SCs & STs. Here, the single member Special Officer was replaced by multi-member system, called the Commission for SCs & STs
  • The National Commission for SCs & STs came into being consequent upon the 65th Amendment Bill, 1990
  • In the 89th Amendment of the Constitution it was decided to have a separate National Commission for Scheduled Castes & separate National Commission for Scheduled Tribes which came into effect from 2004.

NCSC-  Major functions under art 338

  • To investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Castes under constitution or any other law
  • To inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of SCs
  • To participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development of SCs
  • To annually present report to the President
  • To make in such reports recommendations as to the measures that should be taken by the Union or any State for the effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of SCs


The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) was established by amending Article 338 and inserting a new Article 338A in the Constitution through the Constitution (89th Amendment) Act, 2003.

The term of office of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and each member is three years from the date of assumption of charge.

Chairperson has been given rank of Union Cabinet Minister.

Major functions of commission under 338A

  • To investigate & Monitor matters relating to Safeguards provided for STs under the Constitution or under other laws
  • To inquire into specific complaints relating to Rights & Safeguards of STs
  • To participate and Advise in the Planning Process relating to Socio-economic development of STs
  • To annually present report to the President
  • To discharge such other functions in relation to STs as the President may, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, by rule specify

In news: NCST has expressed its displeasure over the slow progress on the issue of displacement of tribals due to Roukela Steel Plant. NCST also expressed its displeasure over the non issue of Pattas for the agricultural and residential land issued to the displaced tribals and directed the District administration to issue these Pattas immediately.

The commission directed the Union Steel Ministry to constitute a high level committee under a Joint Secretary to investigate that whether the land acquired for the steel plant was handed over to any cooperative society or private organisation and if so, whether the prior permission of the Govt was obtained or not. The committee should also investigate that how much land is being utilised by the steel plant.

Urga Kanjur

(Topic: Culture, Literature)

What: ‘Urga Kanjur’ is a sacred Tibetan Buddhist text.

In news: PM of India presented it to the head priest of the Datsan Gunzechoinei Buddhist Temple, St Petersburg.

The Urga edition of the Tibetan Kanjur was unknown till 1955 when one Prof Raghu Vira brought to India its complete set of 104 volumes with a volume containing the catalogue. It was presented to him by Mongolian prime minister as a unique bibliographic rarity.


Darwaza Band

(Topics: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

What: For promotion of toilet usage across the country’s villages, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has come out with an aggressive new campaign called Darwaza Band.

  • The campaign has been supported by the World Bank and is being rolled out countrywide immediately after the launch.
  • It is designed to encourage behaviour change in men who have toilets but are not using them.
  • Behaviour change has been the focus of Swachh Bharat Mission, which is being pursued through a countrywide comprehensive IEC (Information-Education-Communication) programme.
  • Communication campaigns have been taken up both, at the central and State levels, for promoting sustained use of toilets and for sustaining the Open Defecation Free status achieved.


(Topics: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

In news: In accordance with the Government of India’s policy to introduce online Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR) for Group ‘A’ services, the SPARROW-ITS (Smart Performance Appraisal Report Recording Online Window) was launched.

  • The APARs would be generated and transmitted online to the concerned officers for filling up of the self appraisal.
  • The officer can then submit the self appraisal online through Digitally Signed Signature (DSC) or through E-sign.
  • The subsequent processes of reporting and reviewing would also be done online by the Reporting and Reviewing Officer by using DSC or E-sign.


  • The idea of switch over from manual to online system is to ensure ready access of APAR dossier by the authorized users, preventing loss of APARs in transition, address the issues of ante-dating, remarks recorded by the Reporting Authorities without dates, etc.
  • It brings in transparency into the APAR management system.
  • The APAR dossiers are readily available for promotions at various levels which used to get delayed for want of updated APARs.

INAM-Pro +

(Topics: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

What: INAM-Pro+ is an upgraded version of INAM-Pro, the web portal designed by National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL), launched by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways.

  • It is a web platform for Sale and Purchase of Construction Material and Service
  • INAM-Pro has been highly acclaimed by the construction industry and IT sector and has also been recognized and listed in the Book-on-Innovations “New Beginning”. It initially dealt in cement.
  • Following the success with cement, the portal has recently been upgraded as INAM-Pro+ to include the A to Z of construction materials, equipments/machinery and services like purchase/hiring/lease of new/used products and services in the domains of Construction Materials viz, cement, steel, bitumen, stone aggregates, concrete, bricks, wood, sanitary items, paint etc.

Soil Health Card scheme

(Topics: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

Importance: Soil Health Card helps in increasing the productivity and reduced the cost of production 93% samples for Soil Health Card tested so far

Background: it was initiated for farmers in 2015.

Soil Health Card provides information to farmers on nutrient status of their soil along with recommendations on appropriate dosage of nutrients for improving soil health and its fertility.


Severe cylone Mora

(Topic: Disaster and disaster management.)

What: Bangladesh has evacuated at least 350,000 people as a Cyclone Mora lashed coastal areas. It raised its storm danger signal to the highest level of 10.

The cyclone was expected to weaken in Bangladesh by late morning as it moved inland towards India where authorities have warned of heavy rain in the northeastern states of Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

Severe cyclone

  • If the sustained winds around the centre reach 118 km/h (gusts in excess 165 km/h). then the system is called a severe tropical cyclone.
  • These are referred to as hurricanes or typhoons in other countries. The circular eye or centre of a tropical cyclone is an area characterised by light winds and often by clear skies.
  • Tropical cyclone intensity is defined by the maximum mean wind speed over open flat land or water.

Tropical Cyclone Category System

Category 1

  • A Category 1 cyclone’s strongest winds are GALES with typical gusts over open flat land of 90 – 125 km/h.
  • Negligible house damage. Damage to some crops, trees and caravans

Category 2

  • A Category 2 cyclone’s strongest winds are DESTRUCTIVE winds with typical gusts over open flat land of 125 – 164 km/h.
  • Minor house damage. Significant damage to signs, trees and caravans. Risk of power failure.

Category 3

  • A Category 3 cyclone’s strongest winds are VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds with typical gusts over open flat land of 165 – 224 km/h.
  • Some roof and structural damage. Some caravans destroyed. Power failures likely.
  • These winds correspond to the highest category on the Beaufort scale, Beaufort 12 (Hurricane).

Category 4

  • A Category 4 cyclone’s strongest winds are VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds with typical gusts over open flat land of 225 – 279 km/h.
  • Significant roofing loss and structural damage. Many caravans destroyed. Dangerous airborne debris. Widespread power failures.

Category 5

  • A Category 5 cyclone’s strongest winds are VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds with typical gusts over open flat land of more than 280 km/h.
  • Extremely dangerous with widespread destruction.

Global Tropical Cyclone Terminology

Australian name Australian category US* US Saffir-Simpson category scale* NW Pacific Arabian Sea /Bay of Bengal SW Indian Ocean South Pacific (East of 160E)
Tropical low Tropical depression Tropical depression Depression or severe depression Tropical depression Tropical depression
Tropical cyclone 1 Tropical storm Tropical storm Cyclonic storm Moderate tropical storm Tropical cyclone (Gale)
Tropical cyclone 2 Tropical storm Severe tropical storm Severe cyclonic storm Severe tropical storm Tropical cyclone (Storm)
Severe tropical Cyclone 3 Hurricane 1 Typhoon Very severe cyclonic storm Tropical cyclone Tropical cyclone (Hurricane)
Severe tropical cyclone 4 Hurricane 2 – 3 Typhoon Very severe cyclonic storm Intense tropical cyclone Tropical cyclone (Hurricane)
Severe tropical cyclone 5 Hurricane 4 – 5 Typhoon Super cyclonic storm Very intense tropical cyclone Tropical cyclone (Hurricane)

Waterways in North-east

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

What: Of the 106 new National Waterways that were notified in April 2016 under the National Waterways Act, 2016, 19 are in the North East. These include

  • NW- 16 (river Barak)
  • NW- 95 (river Subansiri)
  • NW- 39 (river Ganol)
  • NW- 93 (river Simsang)
  • NW- 101 (river Tizu and Zungki)
  • NW- 31 (Dhansiri)
  • NW- 62 (river Lohit)
  • NW- 106 (river Umngot)
  • NW- 18 (river Beki)

Some salient features

  • River Brahmaputra connects the North East with Kolkata through the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route.
  • The IBP route offers a seamless connectivity between NW- 1 (Allahabad – Haldia) and ports in Bangladesh via NW- 2 (Pandu, Assam).
  • Along with river Brahmaputra, river Barak too provides inland water transit between India and Bangladesh through Pandu, Karimganj and Silghat (Assam) and Bangladesh’s Narayanganj, Khulna, Mongla, Sirajganj and Ashuganj.

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