IASbaba PIB Weekly : Press Information Bureau – 8th April to 14th April, 2018

  • IASbaba
  • April 16, 2018
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IASbaba's Press Information Bureau
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IASbaba Press Information Bureau 8th to 14th April, 2018



Launch of online dashboard to monitor public grievances on real time basis

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

  • The dashboard will monitor public grievances on real time basis and periodically review progress of systemic reforms.
  • The systemic reforms and their monitoring metrics, catering to grievance issues are highlighted on the dashboard. This will enable concerned Ministries/Departments to monitor implementation of these reforms.

Pradhan MantriAwasYojana – Gramin (PMAY-G)

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

The erstwhile rural housing programme, Indira AwaasYojana (IAY), was restructured into PMAY-G.

To achieve “Housing for All by 2022”, a target of completing one crore PMAY-G new pucca houses in rural areas by 31st March, 2019 and 2.95 crore pucca houses by 2022 was set. Of these, 51 lakh houses were to be completed by 31st March, 2018, which included completion of expected 2 lakh incomplete IAY houses as well.

Construction of bigger and better houses has been possible due to

  • Transparent beneficiary selection
  • Capacity building of beneficiaries
  • Timely availability of funds to the beneficiaries
  • Structured monitoring and course-correction based on the feedback on implementation

Facilitated by payment of assistance directly into the beneficiary account through IT-DBT platform directly from single State Nodal Account maintained at the State level. Use of IT-DBT platform has ensured transparent, hassle-free and quality programme implementation.  Payment to beneficiaries under PMAY-G, is routed through Public Financial Management System (PFMS).

Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) has led to:

  • Reduction in time and cost in house construction
  • Transparency leading to stoppage of leakages
  • Ease in tracking fund flow to beneficiaries
  • Better quality of construction of houses.

Pucca houses constructed under PMAY-G with facilities like toilet, LPG connection, electricity connection, drinking water etc. is changing rural landscape at a very fast pace

Launch of e-FRRO scheme

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

e-FRRO: e-Foreigners Regional Registration Office – to provide fast and efficient services to foreigners visiting India so that they have a pleasant experience of their stay here.

Aimed at building a centralized, transparent online platform for the foreigners to avail visa related services and to provide Faceless, Cashless and Paperless services to the foreigners with user friendly experience

  • The e-FRRO scheme would be a quantum jump in improving the ease of service delivery with respect to foreigners visiting and staying in India.
  • In the new system, foreigners would be able to get as many as 27 Visa and Immigration related services in India from the comfort of their place of stay.
  • Using the e-FRRO application, foreigners can apply online on the portal and obtain the service(s) through email/post without appearing in person at the FRO/FRRO office.

Cabinet Approves

MoU between India and the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland: on the return of Illegal Migrants

  • Will facilitate that the Visa Free Agreement for holders of Diplomatic passports as well as liberalization of UK Visa Regime for those who are travelling to the UK legally, after conclusion of the MoU
  • It will ensure the return of persons who have no lawful basis to be in the territory of the other Party after verification of nationality to its satisfaction.
  • It will help in streamlining the procedure of return of nationals who are caught to be staying illegally, belonging to the other party in a specified time-frame.

Headquarters (Host country) Agreement between India and the International Solar Alliance

  • The Headquarters Agreement will institutionalize the functional arrangements between India and ISA.  
  • It will help in smooth transition of ISA as international inter-governmental organization.
  • Creation of ISA will lead to accelerated solar technology development and deployment in ISA member countries including India.

Exploration and Exploitation of Coal Bed Methane (CBM) from areas under Coal Mining Lease allotted to Coal India Limited (CIL) and its Subsidiaries

  • The decision is in line with the Government’s initiatives of ‘Ease of Doing Business’.  It will expedite the exploration and exploitation of CBM, enhance the availability of natural gas and reduce the gap in demand and supply of natural gas.
  • The increased development activities for exploration and exploitation of CBM gas reserves in-and-around the block will generate economic activities which in turn has potential to create employment opportunities in CBM operations and in the industries.

MoU between India and the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland on the return of Illegal Migrants

  • The MoU will facilitate that the Visa Free Agreement for holders of Diplomatic passports as well as liberalization of UK Visa Regime for those who are travelling to the UK legally, after conclusion of the MoU.
  • It will ensure the return of persons who have no lawful basis to be in the territory of the other Party after verification of nationality to its satisfaction.
  • It will help in streamlining the procedure of return of nationals who are caught to be staying illegally, belonging to the other party in a specified time-frame.

MoU between Indian Army and Axis Bank

(Topic: India and its neighbourhood relations)

  • MoU will benefit a large number of serving and retired Army personnel who are having their accounts with Axis bank; and also provide them an opportunity to access modern banking facilities.
  • Army personnel will get free personal accident death cover and free permanent total disability cover of Rs 30 lakh and free educational cover of up to Rs 2 Lakh for children between the age of 12 and 20 years.

India signs MoU with Republic of Korea

(Topic: India and its neighbourhood relations)

On: Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency of Seafarers

This paves the way for the two governments to mutually recognize the certificates of maritime education and training, competency, endorsements and medical fitness of seafarers issued by each other.

Indian Consortium and Saudi Aramco Sign MoU

(Topic: India and its neighbourhood relations)

An Indian Consortium consisting of IOCL, BPCL and HPCL and Saudi Aramco signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly develop and build an integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex, Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. (RRPCL) in the State of Maharashtra.  Saudi Aramco may also seek to include a strategic partner to co-invest in the project.

  • The strategic partnership brings together crude supply, resources, technologies, experience and expertise of these multiple oil companies with an established commercial presence around the world.
  • The refinery will be capable of processing 1.2 million barrels of crude oil per day (60 million metric tonnes per annum, or MMTPA).
  • It will produce a range of refined petroleum products, including petrol and diesel meeting BS-VI fuel efficiency norms.
  • The Refinery will also provide feedstock for the integrated petrochemicals complex, which will be capable of producing approx. 18 million tonnes per annum of petrochemical products.
  • RRPCL will rank among the world’s largest refining & petrochemicals projects and will be designed to meet India’s fast-growing fuels and petrochemicals demand.  The project cost is estimated at around Rs.3 lakh crore (USD 44 billion).

AIIB decides to invest $140M to improve Rural Connectivity in India

(Topic: India and its neighbourhood relations)

Aims to improve the rural road connectivity and management for residents of about 5,640 villages who use the rural roads for daily activities – approximately 1.5 Million rural residents in State of Madhya Pradesh are going to directly benefit from improved livelihoods, education and mobility

  • Livelihoods of the rural population will be improved by expanding income earning opportunities through better farm-to-market road connections.
  • Moreover, more children are expected to enroll in higher education programs and school attendance is expected to further improve.
  • The road maintenance pilot under the Project will employ more women, contributing to gender equality and income generation
  • The Project also aims to improve durability and accessibility, and enhance resilience to climate change of the gravel surfaced rural road in State of Madhya Pradesh while building the capacity of the State to manage its rural road network and road safety.

The planned activities under the Project are:

  • Upgrading the gravel surfaced roads to a sealed surface standard.
  • Providing additional linkages to villages with potential for high growth
  • Enhancing institutional capacity through implementing/upgrading a rural road asset management system and strengthening design and research and quality assurance capacity of the implementation agency
  • Developing road safety management capacity with road accident data management system and piloting a comprehensive road safety program.
  • Supporting design, implementation and management


Indian Railways setting new Benchmarks in Environmental Management

(Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation)

Pursuing sustainable growth through preserving the environment is one of the hallmarks of Indian Railways. To further spread its green initiatives, Indian Railways had entered into partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

CII’s GreenCo Rating System: A first-of-its-kind rating in the world that facilitates companies in improving their overall green performance

  • GreenCo focus on major environmental areas including- energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, waste management, resource conservation, green supply chain, product stewardship and life cycle assessment.
  • GreenCo has helped Indian Railways bring in a focused approach towards green practices by strengthening its energy conservation initiatives, facilitating renewable energy opportunities, water management and waste management.

MNRE calls for ‘Expression of Interest’ for first offshore wind energy project of 1000 MW capacity

(Topic: Infrastructure: Energy)

  • The National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) an autonomous body under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has called for ‘Expression of Interest’ (EoI) for the first offshore wind energy project of India.
  • The global EoI is intended to shortlist prospective offshore wind energy developers for a 1000 MW offshore wind energy project in Gulf of Khambat, off the coast of Gujarat.
  • The proposed area is located 23-40 km seaward side from Pipavav port. MNRE plans to install at least 5 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2022.

The first offshore LiDAR was installed in Gulf of Khambhat in Gujarat for measurement of wind resource and National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) is collecting wind speed data from November, 2017 onwards. Areas off the coasts of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are two identified areas for development of offshore wind power. The second LiDAR would be installed off Tamil Nadu coast by September, 2018. In addition NIWE is planning to set up few more LiDARs for assessment of offshore wind resources. Besides necessary Geo-Technical and Geo-Physical studies off the coast of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are underway.

At global level, it has been observed that, offshore wind energy while being better than onshore wind in terms of efficiency is also becoming competitive and comparable in terms of tariffs. With a large energy market in India, the EoI is expected to evince keen interest from leading players of offshore wind turbine manufacturers and developers. Indian industry can also participate along with suitable tie up with global players.

PSLV-C41 successfully launches IRNSS-1I navigation satellite

(Topic: Awareness in the fields of Space)

  • In its forty third flight, ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C41 successfully launched the 1,425 kg IRNSS-1I Navigation Satellite today from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota.
  • IRNSS-1I is the latest member of the ‘Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC)’ system.  NavIC, also known as Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), is an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1,500 km around the Indian mainland.

Till now, PSLV has successfully launched 52 Indian satellites and 237 customer satellites from abroad.

Prelims Oriented News:

8th Theatre Olympics aimed to showcase the rich heritage and culture across the length and breadth of the country.

Founder of Homoeopathy: Dr. Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann

World Homeopathy Day: 10th April

Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojana:

  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is a scheme of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas for providing LPG connections to women from Below Poverty Line (BPL) households.
  • Under the scheme, five crore (now 8 crores) LPG connections are to be provided to BPL households. The identification of eligible BPL families will be made in consultation with the State Governments and the Union Territories.
  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) aims to safeguard the health of women & children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel – LPG, so that they don’t have to compromise their health in smoky kitchens or wander in unsafe areas collecting firewood.

Budget 2018 Update: Initially, government target was to provide free LPG connections to about 5 crore poor women. But now the target of providing free connection increased to 8 crore poor women.

E-way Bill: As per the decision of GST Council, e-Way Bill system for all inter-State movement of goods has been rolled-out. It is expected that trade and industry will be further facilitated insofar as the transport of goods is concerned, thereby eventually paving the way for a nation-wide single e-Way Bill system

NHAI signs agreement for its First International Project: To provide seamless vehicular movement for enhancing trade, business, health, education and tourism between Indian, Myanmar and Thailand, the National Highways Authority of India has signed an agreement for upgradation of Yagyi – Kalewa section of highway (Milepost 40/0 to Milepost 115/5) in Myanmar to two lane with earthen shoulder.  

“Satyagrah se Swachhagrah” campaign:

    • Mahatma Gandhi launched the Champaran Satyagrah over a century ago, on 10th April, 1917 against the Britishers to fight for the rights of farmers who were forced to undertake indigo cultivation.
    • April 10th, 2018 marks the end of the centenary year celebrations of the Champaran Satyagrah, and is going to be celebrated through the “Satyagrah se Swachhagrah” campaign.
    • Swachhagrahis are the ‘foot soldiers’ and motivators to implement the Community Approaches to Sanitation (CAS) at the village level. Swachhagrahis are key to driving progress towards achieving an open defaecation free nation.
  • Swatch Bharat Leads to Swasth Bharat and Samruddhi Bharat

CWG Updates:

  • Indian women’s Table Tennis team won the Gold Medal at the Commonwealth Games
  • Weightlifter Vikas Thakur on winning the Bronze medal
  • Punam Yadav won the Gold Medal in the 69 Kg women’s weightlifting event.
  • Manu Bhaker bagged a Gold in the women’s 10m Air Pistol event.
  • Heena Sidhu won the Silver in the women’s 10m Air Pistol event.
  • Ravi Kumar has won the Bronze in the men’s 10m Air Rifle event.
  • Tejaswini Sawant won Gold in the women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions event.
  • Anjum Moudgil bagged the Silver in the women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions event

MUDRA Yojana:

  • To “fund the unfunded” by bringing such enterprises to the formal financial system and extending affordable credit to them
  • It enables a small borrower to borrow from all Public Sector Banks such as PSU Banks, Regional Rural Banks and Cooperative Banks, Private Sector Banks, Foreign Banks, Micro Finance Institutions (MFI) and Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFC) for loans upto Rs 10 lakhs for non-farm income generating activities.
  • As on 23rd March, 2018, 4,53,51,509 loans have been sanctioned, amounting to Rs. 2,28,144.72 Crore. The total amount disbursed under this scheme is Rs. 220596.05 Crore
  • Loan of upto Rs. 50000 is given under sub-scheme ‘Shishu’ between Rs. 50,000 to 5 Lakhs under sub-scheme ‘Kishore’ and between Rs. 5 Lakhs to Rs.10 Lakhs under sub-scheme ‘Tarun’.

Locate it on the map:

  • Malabo
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Swaziland
  • Zambia

Person in News

Mahatma Phule

  • An Indian social activist, a thinker, anti-caste social reformer and a writer from Maharashtra
  • His work extended to many fields including eradication of untouchability and the caste system, women’s emancipation and the reform of Hindu family life.
  • In 1873, Phule, along with his followers, formed the Satyashodhak Samaj (Society of Seekers of Truth) to attain equal rights for people from lower castes.
  • Phule is regarded as an important figure of the social reform movement in Maharashtra.
  • He and his wife, Savitribai Phule, were pioneers of women’s education in India. He is most known for his efforts to educate women and lower caste people. The couple were among the first native Indians to open a school for girls in India.

Dr B.R. Ambedkar

  • An Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer who inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement and campaigned against social discrimination against Untouchables (Dalits), while also supporting the rights of women and labour
  • He was Independent India’s first law minister, the principal architect of the Constitution of India and a founding father of the Republic of India


PM Narendra Modi, at the Eighth Regional 3R Forum in Asia and the Pacific

“The mantra of 3R – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle- is at the heart of any vision towards the sustainable development of mankind. All stakeholders –producers, consumers and the State alike must adhere to this golden principle which can contribute significantly in solving the twin challenges of waste management as well as the sustainable development”.

3R FORUM: Aims and Objectives

  • Aims  to address  how 3R and resource efficiency  measures can provide complementary  benefits in making cities and countries  clean, smart, liveable and resilient.
  • Aims  to generate  policy-level,  institutional level  and technological insights  towards effective implementation  of 3R and resource efficiency to  foster circular economic development,  sustainable change in current use of  natural resources and ultimately achieve  a zero waste society.
  • Seeks  to engage  the public and  private sector to  explore various partnership opportunities  in areas of 3R and waste management for  moving towards a zero waste society.
  • The  Forum  further  provides an  opportunity to  establish insightful  linkages between the  principles of 3R and resource  efficiency and the objectives of Swachh Bharat Mission (Clean India Mission).
  • Through this Forum, India aims to strengthen this focus through its ‘Mission Zero Waste’ approach thereby encouraging cities, industries and other diverse stakeholders to see look at waste as a resource.

8TH Regional 3 R Forum

  • MoHUA is actively promoting the concept of source segregation, both at household level and by bulk waste generators, to not only reduce the total amount of waste going into landfills, but also to ensure improved quality of input waste going into waste processing plants
  • MOHUA is also actively promoting a variety of decentralised composting options among waste generators, including enforcing mandatory compliance by bulk waste generators for on-site processing of their wet waste generated.

Parallely, MoHUA is encouraging the recycle and reuse of dry waste for higher value and earning potential.

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu

On Internal Security

  • CRPF is truly the strongest pillar of the country’s internal security apparatus.
  • Ballot is infinitely more powerful than the bullet
  • Terrorism, the enemy of humanity must be rooted out
  • Peace is the pre-condition for progress and development

On Energy

India’s Energy Future has four pillars –

  • Energy Access
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Energy Sustainability
  • Energy Security

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