IASbaba PIB Weekly : Press Information Bureau – 1st April to 7th April, 2018

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  • April 10, 2018
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IASbaba Press Information Bureau 1st April to 7th April, 2018



Constitution of a High Powered Committee to examine the system of conducting Class X and Class XII examination

(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education)

The Ministry of Human Resource Development has constituted a High Powered Committee to examine the entire system of conducting Class X and Class XII examination conducted by the CBSE with a view to prevent leakages.

The terms of reference of the Committee are as under:

  • To revisit all aspects related to the security checks built into the system for ensuring that the Question papers reach the examinees without tampering.
  • To examine and assess all areas of potential weakness in the present system of transporting question papers from the printing presses to the examinees.
  • To suggest ways in which the system can be made more secure with the use of technology and minimization of human intervention.

Capacity Building Programme for Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) of Panchayati Raj

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

Project by: Ministry of Women & Child Development

Implementation by: National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD), an autonomous body functioning under the aegis of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India.

Vision: Moving the country from “women development to women-led development”

Issue: Role of EWRs remained ineffective, despite their large presence in the directly elected local governance. The project is aimed to work on developing EWRs as “change agents”, while improving their leadership qualities and management skills for better implementation of various programmes of the Government.

The training of EWRs is being done through a two tier training programme –

  • In the first phase, an intensive training program for EWRs of Panchayati Raj Institutions and Resource persons/Master Trainers was organized on 27th November, 2017.
  • The training in second phase is being imparted through these Master trainers.

General trainings being organized in the country for Elected Representatives do not focus on the gender component in details and also fall short on the needs of these women representatives to address the specific challenges faced by them at the grassroots level.

The Ministry has developed training modules regarding

  • Laws for protection of women and children
  • Development schemes and programmes (State and Center)
  • Information Communication Technology (ICT) for the EWRs
  • Participatory planning and asset creation
  • Monitoring of Public Works and leadership qualities.

This targeted approach to build capacities of these grassroots leaders has been envisaged to yield more desired development outcomes. It will help to empower the women members and heads of panchayats so that they can govern the villages more effectively.

Deendayal Antodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission

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

Aim: Alleviating rural poverty & fostering diversified livelihoods through sustainable community institutions of poor

It is a flagship programme of the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) that seeks to alleviate rural poverty through building sustainable community institutions of the poor. The centrally sponsored programme is implemented in partnership with the State governments.

Community Institution Building – Financial year 2017-18

  • More than 82 lakh households mobilized into 6.96 lakh Self Help Group (SHGs) across the country.
  • More than 4.75 crore women have been mobilized into more than 40 lakh SHGs.
  • Cumulatively, these community institutions have been provided more than Rs. 4,444 crore as capitalization support.

Mahila Kisan Shashaktikaran Pariyojana and Value Chain Initiatives

Objective: In order to promote agro-ecological practices that increase women farmers’ income and reduce their input costs and risks, the Mission has been implementing the Mahila Kisan Shashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP).

  • More than 33 lakh women farmers were being supported under this scheme.
  • Further, about 8 lakh Mahila Kisans have been mobilized into 86,000 Producer Groups (PGs) which are federated into 126 Producer Companies (PCs).
  • These value chain development initiatives have contributed significantly to the farmers’ income from agriculture, horticulture, dairying, fisheries and Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) related activities.
  • Small and marginal farmers producing Maize, Mango, Floriculture, Dairy, Goatery etc., have benefited significantly through the value chain interventions across different states. As of February 2018, more than 1.05 lakh SHG members have been covered under these interventions.

Community Livelihood Professionals

The community driven implementation strategy is the cornerstone of the Mission.

More than 1.72 lakh community members have been trained and deployed to provide support to the community institutions in a variety of themes, such as bookkeeping, training and capacity building, financial services etc.  This also includes more than 22,000 Community Livelihoods Resource Persons (CLRPs) such as Krishi Sakhi and Pashu Sakhi who provide 24 X 7 door step extension services to the small and marginal farmers including dairy farmers.

Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Programme & Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana

  • As part of its non-farm livelihoods strategy, DAY-NRLM is implementing Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP) and Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY).
  • SVEP aims to support entrepreneurs in rural areas to set up local enterprises.
  • Implemented in 17 States since 2016-17, about 16,600 enterprises have been supported under SVEP resulting in gainful employment for about 40,000 persons.

Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY), was launched in August 2017 to provide safe, affordable and community monitored rural transport services to connect remote rural villages. As of March 2018, proposals from 17 States have been approved and 288 vehicles are operating.   

Deendayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDUGKY) aims at building placement linked skills of the rual youth and place them in relatively higher wage employment sectors of the economy.

Rural Self Employment Training Institutes: The Mission is in partnership with 31 Banks and State Governments, is supporting Rural Self Employment Institutes (RSETIs) for skilling of rural youth to take up gainful self-employment. In FY 2017-18, a total of 4.23 lakhs candidates have been trained and 3.34 lakhs candidates have been settled.

Independent Assessment of DAY-NRLM: Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), was entrusted to carry out the independent assessment of design, strategy and impacts of DAY-NRLM. As part of the study, survey of nearly 4500 households spanning across 746 villages was conducted during January – March 2017.

The results indicate that the households in the treatment areas:

  • Have a higher number of livestock assets as compared to control areas – On an average, each household in a Mission village had more than 2.34 productive livestock assets compared to a similar household in non-Mission village
  • Show a higher proclivity to save in formal institutions;
  • Have a higher loan size (about 67% more than the loan size in the control areas) and are more likely to borrow from formal financial sources; NRLM households also pay a lower rate of interest
  • Have 22% higher (net) income than the households in the control areas, largely due to income from enterprises. On an average, each NRLM village had 11 enterprises more than the non-NRLM villages – suggesting livelihood diversification in NRLM villages.
  • Participate more in PRIs – NRLM households participate 3 times more than their counterparts

Promotion of Farm Livelihoods: DAY-NRLM plans to

    • Include another 5 lakh women farmers under its farm livelihoods interventions like sustainable agriculture, livestock and NTFP based activities with major focus on North East states.
    • Further, the Mission aims at supporting an additional 75000 SHG member households through farm-based value chain initiatives.
  • It would also promote 15 large size farm-based producer enterprises to provide market linkages to women producers.
  • In addition, organic cultivation will be promoted in 1000 village clusters across States.

Promotion of Non-Farm Livelihoods: It is also expected that Start Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP) will support an additional 25000 entrepreneurs during the year 2018-19. In addition, it is expected that by March 2019, about 1500 vehicles will be operating across 17 States under Aajeevika Gram Express Yojana (AGEY).

Setting up of Rural Haats: Development of haats has emerged as one of the most important strategies to market SHG products and agricultural produce. To facilitate marketing of rural produce, it is proposed to set up haats at village and block levels in convergence with MGNREGS and the District and State level using DAY-NRLM resources. It is proposed to set up 4567 rural haats across the country during FY 2018-19

Enabling rural poor’s access to formal sources of finance: The Mission will continue to promote access of SHGs to bank credit and other financial services. In FY 18-19, it is planned to link 22 lakh SHGs to bank credit for total loan amount of Rs. 42500 crores, taking the SHG Bank loan outstanding to Rs. 75000 crore. The Mission will make efforts to expand Banking services to underserved regions through alternate channels in partnerships with various banks.

Deendayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana: More emphasis will be placed on long-term training for better placement outcomes. The Industries will be invited to partner as Project Implementing Agency (PIA) and/or own a training batch and will have proactive engagement with Industry heads through workshops & conferences. It is envisaged that the increased engagement of Institutions of MSME & other prestigious Government Institutions for taking up DDUGKY program will lead to high end training with better salaries & District-wise survey for skilled manpower requirement.

Rural Self Employment Training Institutes:

    • An increased involvement of State Government has been envisaged in planning and implementation of skill development of rural poor through RSETIs. This would facilitate better mobilization (using Kaushal Panjee app) and identification of needy candidates in rural poor households.
    • The mission is launching Standard Operating Procedures for greater transparency, efficiency and Quality assurance in the implementation of skill training in RSETIs.
  • Mission is facilitating partnership of Industry Bodies with RSETIs to enable scaling up of rural entrepreneurs.

Development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups

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

There are 75 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) notified as on date in the country.  The criteria followed for determination of PVTGs are as under:

  • A pre-agriculture level of technology;
  • A stagnant or declining population;
  • Extremely low literacy; and
  • A subsistence level of economy.

Development of PVTGs:

  • Covers the 75 identified PVTGs among Scheduled Tribes in 18 States/ UT of Andaman & Nicobar Islands.  
  • It is a flexible scheme and covers funding for activities like housing, land distribution, land development, agricultural development, animal husbandry, construction of link roads, and installation of non-conventional sources of energy for lighting purpose, social security including Janshree Beema Yojana or any other innovative activity meant for the comprehensive socio-economic development of PVTGs.  
  • Priority is also assigned to PVTGs under the schemes of Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Tribal Sub-Scheme (TSS), Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution, Grants-in-aid to Voluntary Organisations working for the welfare of Schedule Tribes and Strengthening of Education among ST Girls in Low Literacy Districts.

Digital Initiative for Ease of Export

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

Launched by: IC, the official export certification body of Government of India

Aim: To keep pace with changing dynamics of the world.

  • For credible inspection and certification
  • To strengthen the confidence on Indian produce, three portals have been developed to reduce transaction time and cost in a transparent manner – provide an opportunity for ease of export and plays an important role in the Go Green initiative by reducing paper usage and saving millions trees.
  • To provide fast, efficient and transparent services for ease of doing business in all sectors the complete export food chain has been integrated in this digital platform. Primary production, chain catch, aquaculture pond, dairy farms and apiaries are all linked. Processing units, testing laboratories, official controls and exports have complete traceability.
  • One lab one assessment portal provides unified approach to all stakeholders like accreditation bodies, regulators and laboratories by bringing them together on a common platform. Simplified procedures for granting joint certification and joint decisions helps in reducing cost, time and multiplicity of assessment.
  • The Export Alert Monitoring portal monitors non compliances raised by importing countries. The portal will enable monitoring of alerts and action taken by multiple organizations involved in initial certification in the food safety & biosecurity and analysing the trend, understanding the trade barriers to reduce the alerts and enhance the export trade.

Cabinet Approves:

Cooperation Arrangement between India and Afghanistan for cooperation in the field of food safety and related areas: The areas of cooperation include the following:

  • Establishment of a mechanism of information exchange and communication;
  • Facilitating technical exchange on identified topics of interest especially about import procedures, quality control operations, sampling, testing, packaging and labeling
  • Facilitating/organization of joint seminars, workshops, visits, lectures, training programme, etc.

MoU between India and Iran on the establishment of an expert group on trade remedy measures: will promote cooperation between the two countries in area of trade remedies such as exchange of information, capacity building activities, cooperation in investigations related to anti-dumping and countervailing duty, etc.

MoU between India and Canada to foster cross-border partnerships focused on research excellence and industry-academic collaboration: The MoU enables Indian and Canadian researchers to undertake graduate level academic research mobility and cross-border industry-academic cooperation.

MoU between India and United Arab Emirates on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector: The MoU will provide a platform to Indian Railways to interact and share the latest developments and knowledge in the railway sector. The MoU will facilitate exchange of information, expert meetings, seminars technical visits and implementation of jointly agreed cooperation projects.

Rightsizing the Competition Commission of India: The proposal is expected to result in reduction of three Posts of Members of the Commission in pursuance of the Governments objective of “Minimum Government – Maximum Governance”.

Protection of Human Rights (Amendments) Bill, 2018: Salient Features:

  • It proposes to include “National Commission for Protection of Child Rights” as deemed Member of the Commission;
  • It proposes to add a woman Member in the composition of the Commission;
  • It proposes to enlarge the scope of eligibility and scope of selection of Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission as well as the State Human Rights Commission; and
  • It proposes to incorporate a mechanism to look after the cases of human rights violation in the Union Territories.
  • It proposes to amend the term of office of Chairperson and Members of National Human Rights Commission and State Human Rights Commission to make it in consonance with the terms of Chairperson and Members of other Commissions.


BS-VI fuel will bring down sulphur level by 80 percent from current BSIV levels

(Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation)

Objective: To proactively advance the roll-out of BS-VI fuel in Delhi from April 2018, instead of April 2020 after taking stock of the alarming pollution situation in Delhi in winters.

  • BS-VI fuel will bring down sulphur by 5 times from the current BS-IV levels – this is an 80 percent reduction which makes it extremely clean.
  • It will improve emissions from the existing fleet, even from the older vehicles on road.
  • BS-VI is as clean as CNG or even cleaner than CNG in some respects

With the introduction of BSVI, India joins the small list of Asia – Pacific nations -Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and China. China is using it only for heavy vehicles.

Prelims oriented News:

5th April: National Maritime Day

7th April: World Health Day

Dark Net: Was used for sale and purchase of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances

Utkal Divas – Odisha Formation Day (Konark Sun Temple is Odisha’s pride)

Commonwealth Games:

  • Gold Medal in the Women’s 53 kg weightlifting event: Weightlifter K Sanjita Chanu
  • Won a bronze in Weightlifting: Weightlifter Deepak Lather (youngest Indian weightlifter to claim a Commonwealth Games medal)
  • Gold Medal in the Men’s 77 kg weightlifting event: Sathish Kumar Sivalingam

Swadhar Greh Scheme: Targets the women victims of difficult circumstances who are in need of institutional support for rehabilitation so that they could lead their life with dignity. The Scheme envisages providing shelter, food, clothing and health as well as economic and social security for these women.

Mahila Shakti Kendra: To empower rural women through community participation

The scheme is envisaged to work at various levels, and at the National level (domain based knowledge support) and State level (State Resource Centre for Women) technical support to the respective governments on issues related to women is provided.

  • Student volunteers will play an instrumental role in awareness generation regarding various important government schemes/ programmes as well as social issues.
  • District Level Centre for Women (DLCW) has also been envisaged for 640 districts to be covered in phased manner. These centres will serve as a link between village, block and state level in facilitating women centric schemes and also give foothold for Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme at the district level.

POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission): under Innovation component, envisages undertaking activities to be implemented intended to improve the service delivery system, capacity building of front line functionaries and community engagement for better nutritional outcomes.

PM Ujwala Yojana: To prevent pollution and facilitate the healthy atmosphere in the families of poor peoplethe objective of the central government to give gas connections to 5 crore families by 2019.

Indian Railways inducts New Machine 09-3x Dynamic Tamping Express: It is a latest high output integrated tamping machine having multiple functions, so far being carried out by different machines. These machines have been manufactured in India under MAKE IN INDIA initiative with imported components. 42 more such machines have been planned to be included in Indian Railway maintenance fleet over next three years.

  • Measure pre & post track geometry
  • Correct the track to required geometry
  • Can tamp three sleepers simultaneously
  • Stabilize and measure post tamping track parameters under load to ensure quality of work done. This eliminates the need for a separate stabilisation machine which reduces operating costs and track possession time.
  • This machine will vibrate & compact the loose stone ballast after tamping for safe movements of trains.

This will further improve the safety, reliability and economy in maintenance of tracks over Indian Railways. This will also eliminate manual measurement of track quality after maintenance.

Mechanism for marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support price (MSP) and development of Value chain for MFP: objective of providing fair price to MFP gatherers, enhance their income level and ensure sustainable harvesting of MFPs. The MSP scheme seeks to establish a framework to ensure fair prices for the produce collected by them, assurance of buying at a particular price, primary processing, storage, transportation etc., while ensuring sustainability of the resource base.

Establishment of the first multipurpose “Van Dhan Vikas Kendra” on pilot basis: in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh State for providing skill upgradation and capacity building training and setting up of primary processing and value addition facility. This Kendra to start with will have processing facility for Tamarind brick making, Mahua flower storage facility and chironjee cleaning and packaging.

Satellites launched by ISRO in the last four years

  • Communication satellites carried communication transponders in different frequency bands of C, Extended C, Ku, Ka and S-band for telecommunication, broadcast and mobile communication services.
  • Navigation satellites were part of the indigenous constellation NavIC, India’s own regional navigation system. Navigation satellites carried navigation payloads in L and S-bands for providing position, navigation and timing services.
  • Earth Observation satellites are used for deriving inputs for Natural Resource Management, Disaster Management, Cartographic Applications, Weather, Climate and Ocean Studies.
  • Astrosat (Science payload) is a unique multi wavelength observatory in space. It provides an opportunity for observation of celestial sources in Ultra-Violet, Optical and X-ray wavelength bands.
  • ISRO has launched satellites for Technology demonstration and student satellites to encourage young generation to work in the field of space.

Baobab sapling planted in the gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan: It was gifted by the University of Madagascar as a gesture of goodwill in return for the Neem tree that the President planted at the University campus in Antananarivo during his State visit to Madagascar in March.

  • Has a life span of over 2000 years
  • High in medicinal and nutritional properties, quite like the Neem tree

Trishul Special Olympics & Paralympic Games: For Special Children – a total 69 Children between ages 7 and 18 yrs, of Special Schools supported by the AFWWA (Air Force Wives Welfare Association) will be receiving training from Special Olympics Bharat, Resource Team on Athletics, Bocce, Powerlifting and Roller Skating

Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan (RAA):

  • A convergent framework across School Education and Higher Education aiming to encourage children towards learning Science and Mathematics and to develop their interest through activities related to Science and Mathematics.
  • One of the interventions under RAA is strengthening of school Science and Mathematics laboratories, through the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA).
  • Important interventions i.e. Science Fair/Exhibition and Talent Search at district level; mathematics and science kits to schools, visit to higher institutions of students and learning enhancement of students have been approved.

Atal Innovation Mission is establishing Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) in schools across India. The objective of this scheme is to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds; and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing etc.

Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching (PMMMNMTT) aims at addressing comprehensively all issues related to teachers, teaching, teacher preparation, professional development, curriculum design, and developing assessment & evaluation methodology, research in developing effective Pedagogy.

Government has taken up far-reaching education reforms to improve quality and access to education

Aimed at expanding access to quality education, new premier higher education institutions have been opened across the country, marking the highest ever such expansion in the history after Independence.

SWAYAM MOOCs portal ( (Study Webs of Active learning for Young Aspiring Minds) is an indigenous MOOCs portal that provides high quality education – anyone, anytime, anywhere at no cost- has been made operational. The portal has courses by the best teachers in the country and offers video lectures, e-reading material, discussion forum and assessment system – resulting in award of credits to the successful learners. Up to 20 % credit transfer into the academic record of students, is allowed now, for the courses taken on the SWAYAM portal.

The initiative of National Digital Library (NDL) is a virtual repository of learning resources with a single window search facility. It has already brought together 15 million digital books and journals and 31 lakh learners are using this facility. It supports all academic levels including researchers and life-long learners, all disciplines, all popular form of access devices and differently abled learners.

Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA) is a new initiative to make use the knowledge base in the higher educational institutions for plugging technology gaps in the rural areas. In this year, 750 institutions are being selected on challenge mode. This is expected to enrich rural India by way of customising existing technology as per local needs and also by improving the implementation of existing government schemes.

Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching (PMMMNMTT) scheme has been launched to address the issues of supply of qualified teachers, attracting talent into teaching profession, raising the quality teaching in schools and colleges.

Constitution of a Committee to draft National Education Policy under the Chairmanship of eminent scientist Dr. K. Kasturirangan

Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme: To promote mutual understanding between States & UTs in India which have diverse cultures, traditions, languages etc., through a process of sustained mutual engagement between the people. All States and UTs are paired with each other for a period of one year, after which the pairing would change. The objective is to break the inhibitions arising from diversity in culture through participative appreciation and engagement by people so that a spirit of oneness is created in the process for the nation.

Under Swachh Bharat programme: To promote Swachhta in the form of an attitude of zero tolerance to anything unhygienic. It has initiated Swachhta Rankings of Higher Educational Institutions and Swachhta Action Plans have been prepared.

Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) is an initiative to garner best international knowledge and experience into the country’s higher education so as to enable Indian students & faculty to interact with best academic and industry experts from across the world.

IMPRINT India is an effort to direct research in the premier institutions into areas of social relevance. 10 such domains have been identified which could substantially impact the living standards of the rural areas

The Uchchtar Avishkar Yojana (UAY) has been launched to promote industry specific need-based research so as to keep up the competitiveness of Indian industry in the global market.

Prime Minister Research Fellows (PMRF) scheme is launched to support 1000 bright undergraduate students every year, for direct admission in the research programmes in the reputed institutions like IISc, IITs. The fellowship carries a lot of social recognition and it ranges from Rs 70,000 to 80,000 per month for 5 year period.

Smart India Hackathon initiative is to promote innovation in the students by encouraging out of the box solutions for common problems faced by the society at large.

National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) is the biggest ranking exercise launched in 2015, in which more than 3,500 institutions participated. It is one of the biggest efforts for bringing in accountability and transparency in the higher educational institutions. The ranks are released in the various categories of institutions namely Universities, Engineering, Management, Pharmacy etc..

Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA): for creation of a fund with government equity of Rs. 1000 crores, to give a big push for building up robust higher educational institutions. The HEFA would finance the academic and research infrastructure projects through a 10 year loan.  

Rashtriya Uchchatar Siksha Abhiyan (RUSA): To provide more assistance for infrastructure to Universities and Colleges, creation of Model Degree colleges, Cluster universitites, Upgradation of autonomous colleges and Vocationalisation of higher education.

Vidyalaxmi portal provides one-window clearance for the Education Loans with Interest Subvention.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) provides assistance to State Governments and UTs to ensure free and compulsory quality elementary education for all children in the age group of 6-14 years in accordance with the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory (RTE) Act, 2009.

Preference for opening of school is given to tribal areas, and areas with high concentration of Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and minority population. Under the SSA, the districts with high concentration of population of SCs, STs and Muslims have been identified as Special Focus Districts (SFDs). The criteria for identifying the SFDs in case of SCs and STs is a population of 25% and above, while for Muslims, it is 20% and above population.

Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs):

  • Residential schools at upper primary level for girls belonging to disadvantaged groups such as SC, ST, OBC, Minority and BPL.
  • Aims to reduce gender gap at elementary education and is operational in Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs).

Note: The dropout rate of girls at primary level has been steadily decreasing in the last three years.

Six monuments / historical sites in North Eastern States identified for listing under World Heritage Site:

  1. Apatani Cultural Landscape, Arunachal Pradesh
  2. Iconic Saree Weaving Clusters of India
  3. Moidams – the Mound – Burial System of the Ahom Dynasty, Assam
  4. Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh
  5. River Island of Majuli in midstream of Brahmaputra River in Assam
  6. Thembang Fortified Village, Arunachal Pradesh

Person in News

Babu Jagjivan Ram

  • An Indian independence activist and politician from Bihar.
  • He was instrumental in foundation of the All-India Depressed Classes League, an organisation dedicated to attaining equality for untouchables, in 1935 and was elected to Bihar Legislative Assembly in 1937, after which he organised the rural labour movement.
  • In 1946, he became the youngest minister in Jawaharlal Nehru’s interim government, the first cabinet of India as a Labour Minister and also a member of Constituent Assembly of India, where he ensured that social justice was enshrined in the Constitution.
  • He was the Defence Minister of India during the Indo-Pak war of 1971, which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh.
  • His contribution to the Green Revolution in India and modernising Indian agriculture, during his two tenures as Union Agriculture Minister are still remembered, especial during 1974 drought when he was asked to hold the additional portfolio to tide over the food crisis.


The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu

On Science & New India

  • We need a scientific renaissance in our country and the excellence and quest for the best should be the goal posts of the new India.
  • The spirit of enquiry and the spirit of enhancing public wellbeing should be the guiding principles.
  • The new India will be a scientific India and it will be a technological India. It will be an India that will be sustained by knowledge and science, what is called as ‘Gyana’ and ‘Vigyana’ in Indian parlance
  • Scientific approach that relies on evidence and raising relevant questions and seeking answers should be internalized
  • Students should be encouraged to ‘discover’ rather than be ‘told’ the answers and rote memorization should be discouraged. We have to bring back the fun into the learning process and the joy of knowing, the joy of discovering, and the joy of innovating lies at the core of scientific temper. This should be the heart of the schooling and educational processes at various levels
  • Quoting Confucius, the Vice President said that teaching, learning process should be reoriented keeping in view the basic principles encapsulated in his famous saying “I learn and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand”.

Must Read: E-Way Bill + MNREGS

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