IASbaba PIB Weekly : Press Information Bureau – 20th Aug to 26th Aug, 2018

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  • August 28, 2018
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IASbaba Press Information Bureau 20th to

26th August, 2018


(This week’s PIB is prelims focussed. Hence, enlisting only the important matter to be remembered)

Vinesh Phogat: Won Gold in 50kg wrestling event

Saurabh Chaudhary: Won gold in Men’s 10m Air Pistol event

Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan: Won Gold in Men’s Doubles Tennis event

Indian Rowing Team: Won Gold at Asian Games- 2018

Gift a Skill: An appeal to the nation to ‘Gift a Skill’ to sisters on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.

IIT – PAL: Designed for helping students to prepare for JEE Advanced Exam; will be extended and made available through the SWAYAM portal

Rashtriya Poshan Maah (National Nutrition Month): The month of September

    • There can be a complete turnaround in the area of malnutrition if the Poshan Mission is taken up on warfooting as was the case in the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme.
    • Celebrating the Poshan Maah will give an early thrust to Poshan Abhiyan
    • It is now time to clearly decide the quality of food, the delivery mechanism and outline the responsibilities of aganwadi workers to make the system completely efficient so that it brings ultimate benefit to the children being covered under the ICDS scheme

About Poshan Abhiyaan:

  • The Rs. 9,000-crore mission will strive to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, and low birth weight by 2 per cent and anaemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) by 3 per cent annually over the three-year mission period.
  • Anganwadi supervisors have been roped in for the mission.
  • The focus of the Abhiyaan is on the first 1000 days of the child and preventive care for adolescent girls, women and mothers.
  • Home-based Care for Young Child(HBYC) would be a crucial component of the Abhiyaan.
  • In HBYC, ASHAs supported by Anganwadi workers will visit the homes of children aged between 3 to 15 months and sensitise mothers on energy density and diet of child

Development of National Logistics Portal: To ensure ease of trading in the international and domestic markets.

  • The portal will link all the stakeholders of EXIM, domestic trade and movement and all trade activities on a single platform.
  • The portal will be implemented in phases and will fulfil the commitment of the Government of India to enhance trade competitiveness, create jobs, boost India’s performance in global rankings and pave the way for India to become a logistics hub.

Life events of Gautama Buddha:

  • Kapilvastu (Piprahwa), where he spent his childhood
  • Bodhgaya, where he attained Enlightenment
  • Sarnath, where he delivered his first sermon
  • Kushinagar, where he embraced Mahaparinirvana

The Buddhist Circuit: To facilitate travel and pilgrimage experience for the approximately 500 million-strong community of Buddhists that lives across Asia and other parts of the world.

  • Ministry of Tourism has identified the Buddhist Circuit as one of the thematic circuits for development under its Swadesh Darshan Scheme.
  • Five projects, with a combined outlay of more than 350 crore rupees, have been sanctioned for the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.


‘Buddha Charita’ is the biography of Buddha and was written by Ashvaghosha in Sanskrit. It is the first ever biography written in India. Ashwaghosa was a Buddhist scholar during the reign of Kanishka.

Mudras of Buddha

  • Bhumisparsha mudra – Buddha gesturing to touch the ground to call upon mother Goddess to witness his awakening
  • Abhay Mudra – Palm facing the audience. Gesture of reassurance, blessing and protection
  • Dhyana Mudra – This mudra signifies meditation, concentration of the Good Law and the saṅgha. The two hands are placed on the lap, right hand on left with fingers fully stretched and palm facing upwards.
  • Karana Mudrā: This hand gesture is also called warding off the evil. It expels demons and removes obstacles such as sickness or negative thoughts. It is made by raising the index and the little finger, and folding the other fingers.

A famous painting of 10 headed Buddha is found in these caves: Kanheri caves are a group of caves located in Salsette Island, Mumbai.

Gandhara art:

  • Promoted by Mahayana sect of Buddhism; flourished during the Kushana rule in India
  • The main theme was the new form of Buddhism – Mahayanism– and the evolution of an image of Buddha.

Constitution states…

  • Under Article 49 of the Constitution, the State is under obligation to protect every monument, place or object of artistic or historic interest declared to be of national importance from spoilation, disfigurement, destruction, removal, disposal or export, as the case may be. (DPSP)
  • Under Article 51A(f) of the Constitution, there is fundamental duty to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture. (Fundamental Duties)


  1. “Buddhism was not just a religious revolution, but a social revolution too.” Comment.
  2. Critically analyze the contributions of Buddha to the religion and philosophy of India. What were his main principles and how did he manage to have such a large following?
  3. The theme of Lord Buddha in meditation finds a prominent place in the rich visual art forms of India. Discuss.

Exercise Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Peace Mission 2018

  • Latest in ‘Peace Mission’ series
  • Formally started on 24 August 2018 at Chebarkul, Russia.
  • The exercise will provide an opportunity to the armed forces of SCO nations to train in counter terrorism operations in urban scenario in a multinational and joint environment (Indian and Pakistani armed forces will participate together).  
  • The scope of the exercise includes
    • professional interaction
    • mutual understanding of drills & procedures
    • establishment of joint command and control structures
    • Elimination of terrorist threat in urban counter terrorist scenario.


India has been accorded full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) along with Pakistan.

HQ: Beijing, China

Established in: 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders 6 countries viz. China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan

G20 Members

The G20 membership comprises a mix of the world’s largest advanced and emerging economies, representing about two-thirds of the world’s population, 85 per cent of global gross domestic product and over 75 per cent of global trade.

Current G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting: In Salta, north-west of Argentina

Members: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

5 Thematic Reports on Sustainable Development in Indian Himalayan Region

Recognizing the uniqueness of the Himalayas and the challenges for sustainable development, NITI Aayog had set up 5 Working Groups (WGs) to prepare a roadmap for actions in 5 thematic areas.

Mountain specificities require specific solutions for resilience building that address socio-economic and environmental challenges in the mountain setting. The reports from the five working groups discuss the significance, the challenges, the ongoing actions and a future roadmap.

The themes include:   

  1. Inventory and Revival of Springs in Himalayas for Water Security: Nearly 30% of springs crucial to water security of people are drying and 50% have reported reduced discharge.
  2. Sustainable Tourism in Indian Himalayan Region: Himalayan Tourism growing annually at 6.8% has crated huge challenge related to solid waste, water, traffic, loss of bio-cultural diversity etc.. With the projected arrival of tourists in IHR States to more than double by 2025, urgent actions will be needed to address critical issues of waste management and water crisis in addition to other environmental and social issues.
  3. Transformative Approach to Shifting Cultivation: In the north eastern States, thousands of the households continue to practice slash and burn (shifting cultivation) that need to be addressed in view of ecological, food and nutritional security.
  4. Strengthening Skill & Entrepreneurship Landscape in Himalayas: Predominantly unskilled workforce remains a challenge for the mountains as well that need high priority to address migration of youths.
  5. Data/Information for Informed Decision Making: Challenges related to data availability, data authenticity, compatibility, data quality, validation, user charges for Himalayan States need addressal for informed decision making at different levels of governance.

The key messages from reports include:

  • Spring Mapping and Revival, using 8 steps protocol be taken up across Himalayan States in phased manner.
  • Apply carrying capacity concept to all major tourist destinations; implement and monitor tourism sector Standards and apply performance based incentives for States faring well on the standards.
  • Assessment of nature & extent of Shifting Cultivation area, improved policy coherence, strengthened tenurial security & improved access to related programs/schemes are key recommendations to transform shifting cultivation.
  • Strengthening of skill & entrepreneurship will require focus on identified priority sectors where mountains have advantage, investment in trainers, assessors and training centers in industry partnership.
  • Having a Central Data Management Agency for Himalayas to provide data with high fidelity scenario while addressing data sharing, access, authenticity and comparability issues will go a long way in addressing data related issues.

The call for action include:

  • Setting up of a Himalayan Authority for coordinated and holistic development of entire Himalayan region and launching of “Himalaya Calling”: An Awareness to Action Campaign as people’s movement.
  • The call for actions  also includes suggestions for setting up of Mission on Spring Water Management in Himalayas, National Mission/Program  on Transforming Shifting Cultivation in North Eastern States, demand driven network of skill and entrepreneurship development Centers in Himalayan States, consortium of institutions of high learning for mountain specific research and technology, link  with Hindukush Himalaya Monitoring and Assessment program (HIMAP) and Setting up Central Data Management Agency for Himalayan Database at GB Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development.

2nd Protocol Amending India – Singapore CECA Signed

The signing of the Second Protocol, amending CECA, will boost bilateral trade between India and Singapore.

  • Expand the coverage of tariff concessions
  • Liberalize the Rules of Origin
  • Rationalize Product Specific Rules
  • Include provisions on Certificate of Origin and Cooperation on its verification

Singapore is the second largest trading partner of India within ASEAN and India is the largest trading partner of Singapore in South Asia, with a bilateral trade of USD 17.7 billion in 2017-18.  Singapore’s trade with India constitutes about 21.8% of our total trade with ASEAN and 2.3% of our global trade. India had a trade surplus of USD 2.73 billion with Singapore in 2017-18.


Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu

Expressing concern over the increasing cancer cases in the county

  • Awareness, regular check-ups and screening crucial in dealing with Cancer.
  • Efforts are needed drastically bring down costs of Cancer treatment.
  • India contributes to nearly 60 per cent of head and neck cancer patients worldwide and the number is expected to be double by 2030. This is really a worrisome trend and concrete steps need to be taken arrest this trend.
  • A majority of the cancers are being detected in advanced stages for the simple reason that most of the patients are not presenting themselves early. It should be noted that many developed countries, including Europe and the U.S.A have shown reduction in cancer spread due to effective screening programmes.

Research & innovation in agriculture

  • Research and innovation in the field of agriculture must reach farmers. He has urged scientists and researchers to collaborate with farmers to make agriculture more affordable and viable.
  • Empowering farmer and strengthening agriculture would help in developing rural India
  • Farming technique tested across Andhra Pradesh can be a model for sustainable agriculture as it reduces the heavy input cost on agriculture and help boost productivity. The Zero Budget Natural Farming has the potential to enhance the income or profit margins for farmers who are often under distress owing to debt.
  • Called on both farmers, officials and scientists to make united efforts to facilitate farmers understand new technologies and reduce input cost of agriculture.

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