IASbaba PIB Weekly : Press Information Bureau – 22nd April to 28th April, 2018

  • IASbaba
  • April 30, 2018
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IASbaba Press Information Bureau 22nd to 28th April, 2018



Promulgation of Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018

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

Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018 (“the Ordinance”) lays down the measures to empower Indian authorities to attach and confiscate proceeds of crime associated with economic offenders and the properties of the economic offenders and thereby deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.    

Need for the Ordinance: As there have been instances of economic offenders fleeing the jurisdiction of Indian courts, anticipating the commencement, or during the pendency, of criminal proceedings. The absence of such offenders from Indian courts has several deleterious consequences

  • Hampers investigation in criminal cases
  • Wastes precious time of courts of land
  • Undermines the rule of law in India

The Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018, inter alia provides for–

  • Making an application before the Special Court for a declaration that an individual is a fugitive economic offender;
  • Attachment of the property of a fugitive economic offender and proceeds of crime;
  • Issue of a notice by the Special Court to the individual alleged to be a fugitive economic offender;
  • Confiscation of the property of an individual declared as a fugitive economic offender or even the proceeds of crime;
  • Disentitlement of the fugitive economic offender from defending any civil claim; and
  • Appointment of an Administrator to manage and dispose of the confiscated property under the Act

Launch of Atal New India Challenges

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

Why: Came into being following Prime Minister’s clarion call to bring innovations and technologies relevant to the people.

Applicants showing capability, intent, and potential to productize technologies will be awarded grants up to Rs. 1 crore. This grant support will be supplemented by mentoring, handholding, incubating and other support as needed at various stages of commercialisation while generating wider deployment.

Under the Atal New India Challenge, which shall be run in collaboration with five ministries, AIM will invite prospective innovators/MSMEs/start-ups to  design market-ready products, using cutting edge technologies or prototypes across 17 identified focus areas, namely,

  • Climate-smart agriculture
  • Fog vision system for road and rail
  • Prevention of Rail failure using emerging technologies
  • Predictive maintenance of Rolling Stock
  • Alternate fuel based transportation
  • Smart Mobility     
  • Electric Mobility
  • Safe transport
  • Instant Portable Water Quality Testing
  • Affordable Desalination / Recycling Technology
  • Waste management recycling / reuse
  • Garbage composition devices
  • Quality of compost
  • Decentralized composting
  • Mixing blades for composting
  • Waste in public spaces
  • Dissuading public littering

Launch of Van Dhan Scheme

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

Under: Ministry of Tribal Affairs

Value addition assumes critical importance in ensuring remunerative prices to the tribals in this approach. Three stage value additions would be the corner stone for enhancing incomes of the tribals under the scheme.

Under Van Dhan, 10 Self Help Groups of 30 Tribal gatherers is constituted.  They are then trained and provided with working capital to add value to the products, which they collect from the jungle.  Working under the leadership of Collector these groups can then market their products not only within the States but also outside the States.   Training and technical support is provided by TRIFED. It is proposed to develop 30,000 such centres in the country.

The establishment of “Van Dhan Vikas Kendra” is for providing skill upgradation and capacity building training and setting up of primary processing and value addition facility.

This first model Van Dhan Vikas Kendra in Bijapur is being implemented for training of 300 training beneficiaries with a total outlay of Rs.43.38 lakhs for training, providing equipment’s & tools for primary level processing and infrastructure & building for housing the Kendra. This Kendra to start with will have processing facility for Tamarind brick making, Mahua flower storage facility and chironjee cleaning and packaging.

The Van Dhan Vikas Kendras will be important milestone in economic development of tribals involved in collection of MFPs by helping them in optimum utilization of natural resources and provide sustainable MFP-based livelihood in MFP-rich districts.

Cabinet Approves

Memorandum of Understanding between India and Sao Tome and Principe: For Cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy – enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries

MoU between India and World Health Organisation: encourage cooperation between India and WHO to facilitate in improving the public health status of the people in India.

MoU on cooperation in the field of regulation of medical products for human use amongst the medicine regulatory agencies of the BRICS countries – would facilitate better understanding about the regulatory aspects between the parties and could help in increasing India’s export of medical products to BRICS countries.

Declaration of Scheduled Areas in respect of Rajasthan under Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of India: will ensure that the Scheduled Tribes of Rajasthan will get benefits of protective measures available under the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of India.

  • The Scheduled Areas were first notified in the year 1950.

Restructured National Bamboo Mission under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA): The restructured NBM strives to –

  • To increase the area under bamboo plantation in non-forest Government and private lands to supplement farm income and contribute towards resilience to climate change.
  • To improve post-harvest management through establishment of innovative primary processing units, treatment and seasoning plants, primary treatment and seasoning plants, preservation technologies and market infrastructure.
  • To promote product development at micro, small and medium levels and feed bigger industry.
  • To rejuvenate the under developed bamboo industry in India.
  • To promote skill development, capacity building, awareness generation for development of bamboo sector

Impact: Bamboo plantation will contribute to

  • Optimizing farm productivity and income thereby enhancing livelihood opportunities of small & marginal farmers including landless and women as well as provide quality material to industry
  • The Mission will not only serve as a potential instrument for enhancing income of farmers but also contribute towards climate resilience and environmental benefits
  • Help in creating employment generation directly or indirectly in both skilled and unskilled segments.

India signs loan agreement with World Bank for US$ 125 million for “Innovate in India for Inclusiveness Project”

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

Objective: To nurture indigenous innovation, foster local product development and accelerate commercialization process by bridging critical skill and infrastructure gaps to promote affordable and innovative healthcare products generation for inclusive development and increasing competitiveness in India.  

The project would support consortia of public, private, and the academic institutions to overcome the key market failures currently holding back the development of an innovative biopharmaceutical and medical devices industry in India.

The project consists of the following parts:

  • Strengthening of pilot-to market innovation ecosystem
  • Acceleration of the pilot –to-market process for specific products and
  • Project Management and monitoring & Evaluation

Signing of Legal Agreements between Govt. of India and World Bank on National Biopharma Mission

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

Towards strengthening the emerging biotechnology enterprise in India, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology has initiated the Mission programme entitled: Industry-Academia Collaborative Mission for Accelerating Discovery Research to Early Development for Biopharmaceuticals – “Innovate in India (i3) Empowering biotech entrepreneurs & accelerating inclusive innovation”.

Implemented by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) – a Public Sector Undertaking of Department of Biotechnology (DBT)

Aim: To make India a hub for design and development of novel, affordable and effective biopharmaceutical products such as vaccines, biologics and medical devices for combating public health concerns. This Programme of DBT would strengthen

  • Translational capability of academic researchers
  • Empower bio-entrepreneurs and SMEs by decreasing the cost and risk during early stages of product development
  • Elevate the innovation quotient of the industry

The global experience of World Bank would be instrumental in building sustained global linkages, technical assistance and knowledge flow between public private partners for business promotion in biotech sector.


Achieving Land Degradation Neutrality by 2030 A Critical Need

(Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation)


  • Nearly 24 billion tonnes of fertile soil and 27, 000 bio-species are lost every year
  • Nearly 30 per cent of the world’s population lives in dry areas
  • 8 out of 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites are in drylands

Schemes launched for capacity-building of the stakeholders at multiple levels to arrest Land Degradation –

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY):

  • To provide insurance coverage and financial support to the farmers in the event of failure of any of the notified crop as a result of natural calamities, pests & diseases.
  • To stabilise the income of farmers to ensure their continuance in farming.
  • To encourage farmers to adopt innovative and modern agricultural practices.
  • To ensure flow of credit to the agriculture sector.

National Food Security Mission (NFSM): To bring about significant yield gain to the farmers resulting into increase in their income level; the Mission has target of additional production of 25 million tonnes of foodgrains comprising 10 million tonnes of rice, 8 million tonnes of wheat, 4 million tonnes of pulses and 3 million tonnes of coarse cereals

Soil Health Card Scheme: Meant to give each farmer soil nutrient status of his/her holding and advice him/her on the dosage of fertilizers and also the needed soil amendments, that s/he should apply to maintain soil health in the long run.

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PKSY): To ensure access to some means of protective irrigation to all agricultural farms in the country, to produce ‘per drop more crop’, thus bringing much desired rural prosperity.

Swacch Bharat mission: Eliminating open defecation through the construction of household-owned and community-owned toilets and establishing an accountable mechanism of monitoring toilet use.

National Rural Drinking Water Programme: Ensuring provision of safe and adequate drinking water supply through hand-pumps, piped water supply etc. to all rural areas, households and persons.


Addressed for the first time in 1977 in the United Nations Conference on Desertification. This was followed by the adoption of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Paris on 17th June 1994. The Convention entered into force in December 1996.

  • It is one of the three Rio Conventions, along with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
  • India became a signatory to the Convention on October 14, 1994 and ratified it on December 17, 1996.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) is the nodal Ministry to co-ordinate all issues pertaining to the Convention.

Prelims oriented News:

24th April: National Panchayati Raj Day

Justice Bindal Committee related to: Providing recommendations to Inter Country Parental Child Removal Disputes Resolution Authority

  • Authority: To provide a one window solution in cases of inter country removal and retention of Children
  • The Committee has recommended that the Authority may examine the inter country cases of removal and retention of children vis-a-vis the cultural context, merit of the case, and the best interest of the Child.

Government of India and World Bank Signs Agreement to Improve Rural Road Network in Madhya Pradesh: to improve the durability, resilience and safety of the gravel surfaced rural roads and enhance the capacity of the state to manage its rural roads network.

m-Awas: Mobile App (m-Awas) for allotment of General Pool Residential Accommodation (GPRA) through Automated System of Allotment (ASA) – The app will facilitate the applicants of the Central Government accommodation in Delhi as well as those who are in waiting list, to apply for allotment, view waiting list and the allotment lists.

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) granted First Licence to M/s Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd for Liquid Chlorine on All India basis: This product is in liquid form and stored in metal containers. It is usually used as a gas obtained by evaporating the liquid from the metal container. It is used mainly in paper, pulp, textile bleaching, water sterilization and manufacture of chemicals.

First city to run on 100% Renewable Energy during Daytime: Diu – Diu had been importing 73% of its power from Gujarat until last year. It has now adopted a two-pronged approach whereby a 9 MW solar park spread over 50 hectares rocky barren land has been developed besides installing solar panels on the roof tops on 79 government buildings thereby generating 1.3 MW annually. To further enhance its solar capacity, Diu offers its residents a subsidy of Rs 10, 000-50,000 for installing 1-5KW roof top solar panels. Diu is saving about 13,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year. Due to low-cost solar energy, power tariffs have been cut in residential category by 10% last year and 15% this year.


The Vice President of India, Shri Naidu

On Environment

  • Environment protection and Economic development must go together.
  • Fundamental principle of forest management should be based on conservation and sustainable utilization of natural resources.
  • The symbiotic association of man and forest is deeply embedded in the religious and the socio-cultural mind set of our countrymen and it is getting disturbed in recent times due to increasing demand of natural resources and lack of understanding about Mother Nature.

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