IASbaba PIB Weekly : Press Information Bureau – 27th Aug to 1st Sep, 2018

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  • September 8, 2018
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IASbaba Press Information Bureau 27th Aug to

1st September, 2018



Launch of Innovation Cell and Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA)

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

By: M/o HRD

Aim: Systematically foster the culture of innovation in Higher Education Institutions

The primary mandate of Innovation Cell is to encourage, inspire and nurture young students by exposing them to new ideas and processes resulting in innovative activities in their formative years fostered through Network of Innovation clubs in Higher Educational Institutions.

Decade 2010-20: ‘Decade of Innovation’, to unleash the creative potential of every Indian.

India has improved on global stage in terms of Innovation ranking from 86th place, 5 years ago, to 57th place this year.

Cabinet approves

Signing of MoU between India and Bulgaria in the field of tourism: Bulgaria is a potential tourism markets for India (India received approximately 5288 tourists from Bulgaria in 2017). The main objectives are:

  • To expand bilateral cooperation in the tourism sector
  • To exchange information and data related to tourism
  • To encourage cooperation between tourism stakeholders including Hotels and Tour operators,
  • To establish exchange programme for cooperation in Human Resource Development
  • To exchange visits of Tour Operators / Media /Opinion Makers for promotion of two way tourism
  • To exchange experiences in the areas of promotion, marketing, destination development and management
  • Foster bilateral cooperation through film tourism for promoting the two countries as attractive tourism destinations and
  • To promote safe, honourable and sustainable tourism

Signing of Air Services Agreement between India and Morocco: The Air Services Agreement signifies an important landmark in the civil aviation relations between India and Morocco and has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchanges between the two countries.  It will provide enabling environment for enhanced and seamless connectivity while providing commercial opportunities to the carriers of both the sides ensuring greater safety and security.

Trade Cooperation Framework between India and Rwanda: will facilitate better trade and economic relations

Memorandum of Understanding between India and USA in insurance regulatory sector: The MoU provides a framework for cooperation and coordination, including for the exchange of information and research assistance with respect to each Authority’s overview and other lawful responsibilities.  Under the agreement, both the countries intend to share their experiences on various regulatory functions and to provide mutual assistance including training activities. India andUSA have also agreed to continue to facilitate cooperation on international standard-setting activities, financial stability and the development and implementation of consumer protection through sound prudential regulation of the insurance sector.

Umbrella scheme “Ocean Services, Technology, Observations, Resources Modelling and Science (O-SMART)” of Ministry of Earth Sciences: The important deliverables during the next 2 years envisage include

  • Strengthening of Ocean Observations and Modelling
  • Strengthening of Ocean Services for Fishermen
  • Setting up Marine Coastal Observatories for monitoring marine pollution in 2018
  • Setting up Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Plant (OTEC) in Kavaratti
  • Acquisition of 2 Coastal Research Vessels for Coastal research
  • Continuation of Ocean Survey and Exploration of Minerals and Living Resources
  • Technology Development for Deep Ocean Mining- Deep Mining System and Manned Submersibles
  • Setting up Six Desalination Plants in Lakshadweep

MoU between India and United Kingdom and Northern Irelandon the Cooperation in the fields of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries: Aims to develop bilateral cooperation in the field of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries for the purpose of increasing production and productivity of Indian livestock and fisheries.

Government of India and the World Bank sign $300 Million Agreement to help scale-up India’s Energy Efficiency Program

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

To be implemented by: Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL)

Will help scale-up the deployment of energy saving measures in residential and public sectors, strengthen EESL’s institutional capacity, and enhance its access to commercial financing.

The investments under the Program are expected to avoid lifetime greenhouse gas emissions of 170 million tons of CO2, and contribute to avoiding an estimated 10 GW of additional generation capacity. This would be over 50 percent of the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency target of 19.6 GW indicated in India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Accord.

The Program will help tackle the financing, awareness, technical and capacity barriers faced by new energy efficiency programs and support the UJALA program of the Government of India.

Key Components of the Operation include:

    • Creating sustainable markets for LED lights and energy efficient ceiling fans
    • Facilitating well-structured and scalable investments in public street lighting
    • Developing sustainable business models for emerging market segments such as super-efficient air conditioning and agricultural water pumping systems
    • Strengthening the institutional capacity of EESL
  • Increase private sector participation in energy efficiency, including through private sector energy service companies

The Government of India, Government of Rajasthan and World Bank sign a $250 Million Agreement to Support Electricity Distribution Sector Reforms in Rajasthan

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

Aim: To support the Government of Rajasthan in improving the performance of its Electricity Distribution Sector under the State’s 24×7 Power for All program

The key areas that the program will support include:

  • Strengthening Governance in the Distribution Sector in the State by establishing Annual Performance MoUs between the DISCOMs and the State Government
  • Putting in place a Performance Management System
  • Providing incentives to employees for improving performance
  • Financial Restructuring and recovery in the Sector by transferring considerable amounts of the DISCOMs debt to the State
  • Bringing in more discipline in the revenue requirements of DISCOMs
  • Taking initiatives in reducing the costs of energy procurement
  • Improving the operational performance of the DISCOMs through initiatives like publishing feeder level energy audits and increased usage of IT among others.


Regulations for Drones

(Topic: Security; Science and Technology)

Drones are a technology platform which has wide-ranging applications from photography to agriculture, from infrastructure asset maintenance to insurance. Drones range in size from very small and those that can carry multiple kilograms of payload.

The preparation of these drone regulations through a Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) has taken multiple years because:

  • Drone technologies have been evolving very rapidly
  • Many countries are still experimenting with their drone regulations and no ICAO stands have been developed
  • India’s security environment necessitates extra precautions

Instead of simply digitizing a paper-based process for registering and operating drones, India has formulated an all-digital process – The Digital Sky Platform

  • The first-of-its-kind national unmanned traffic management (UTM) platform that implements “no permission, no takeoff” (NPNT)
  • Users will be required to do a one-time registration of their drones, pilots and owners.
  • For every flight (exempted for the nano category), users will be required to ask for permission to fly on a mobile app and an automated process permits or denies the request instantly.
  • To prevent unauthorized flights and to ensure public safety, any drone without a digital permit to fly will simply not be able to takeoff.
  • The UTM operates as a traffic regulator in the drone airspace and coordinates closely with the defense and civilian air traffic controllers (ATCs) to ensure that drones remain on the approved flight paths.

Launch of National Mission on GeM

(Topic: Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers)

What: National Mission on Government e Marketplace (GeM) to accelerate the adoption and use of GeM by major central Ministries, State Governments and their agencies – provides online, end to end solution for procurement of commonly used goods and services.


  • Promote inclusiveness, transparency and efficiency in public procurement
  • Achieve cashless, contactless and paperless transaction
  • This will increase overall efficiency and lead to cost saving on government expenditure in procurement.

Release of India’s National REDD+ Strategy

(Topic: Environment and Conservation of Biodiversity)


(a) Reducing emissions from deforestation;

(b) Reducing emissions from forest degradation;

(c) Conservation of forest carbon stocks;

(d) Sustainable management of forests;

(e) Enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

Was first negotiated: Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2005, with the objective of mitigating climate change through reducing net emissions of greenhouse gases through enhanced forest management in developing countries.

Forest Carbon Partnership Facility: Assists the countries in their ‘REDD+ (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation+)’ efforts by providing them with financial and technical assistance

India & REDD+:

  • India has communicated in its Nationally Determined Contribution under Paris Agreement, that it will capture 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of Carbon dioxide through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
  • The Strategy builds upon existing national circumstances which have been updated in line with India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change, Green India Mission and India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to UNFCCC.
  • The strategy seeks to address drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and also developing a roadmap for enhancement of forest carbon stocks and achieving sustainable management of forests through REDD+ actions.

Refer: Link 1

Prelims Qn (2016)

Proper design and effective implementation of UN-REDD+ Programme can significantly contribute to

  1. Protection of biodiversity
  2. Resilience of forest ecosystems
  3. Poverty reduction

Select the correct answer using the code given below

  1. a) 1 and 2 only
  2. b) 3 Only
  3. c) 2 and 3 only
  4. d) 1, 2 and 3 (Solution)

Prelims oriented News:

Neeraj Chopra: Won Gold in the Men’s Javelin Throw Final

Arpinder Singh: Won Gold in Men’s Triple Jump event

India’s First Standardised Modern Ship Design for Ganga: By Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)

  • This marks attaining of a critical milestone in the growth of the country’s Inland Water Transport (IWT) sector as it will help overcome the unique navigation challenges river Ganga throws due to its complex river morphology, hydraulics, acute bends, shifting channels, meanders and current.
  • It will serve as an enabler for domestic shipbuilding industry working on inland vessels and open huge possibilities for cargo and passenger movement on National Waterway-1.

India’s first Indian human mission will be launched by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) – `Gaganyaan — India’s maiden human spaceflight programme’: 2022 (75th year of Indian independence)

  • Will make India the fourth nation in the world to launch a Human Spaceflight Mission. So far, only the USA, Russia and China have launched human spaceflight missions.
  • GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle, which has the necessary payload capability for this mission, will be used to launch Gaganyaan.
  • Objectives of the Mission as:
    • Enhancement of science and technology levels in the country
    • A national project involving several institutes, academia and industry
    • Improvement of industrial growth
    • Inspiring youth
    • Development of technology for social benefits
    • Improving international collaboration

India’s first biofuel powered flight: The Spicejet flight, featuring a latest generation Q400 aircraft

  • Developed indigenously by CSIR
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 15 percent and sulfur oxides (SOx) emissions by over 99 percent
  • Provide indigenous jet fuel supply security
  • Possible cost savings as feedstock availability at farm level scales up
  • Superior engine performance and reduced maintenance cost for the airline operators

RCEP: Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

An ASEAN-centred proposal for a regional free trade area.


10 ASEAN states: (Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) CLIMBB-PSTV +

Six states with which ASEAN has existing FTAs (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand) JACSIN

Launched in: November 2012 at the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia

Viewed as: Alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement


Purpose: ASEAN+6 RECP—aimed at transforming the region by higher economic growth through more cross-border trade and investment.

Objective:  To achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement that will cover trade in goods, trade in services, investment, economic and technical co-operation, intellectual property, competition, dispute settlement and other issues.

ASEAN has emerged as the second largest trade partner of India in 2017-18 with bilateral trade valued at US$ 81.33 billion, comprising 10.58% of India’s total trade with the world.

Refer: Link 1 + Link 2


BIMSTEC: Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation

BIMSTEC member states— Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan, and Nepal —are among the countries dependent on the Bay of Bengal

When: 1997

Permanent secretariat: Dhaka

Year of BIMSTEC Tourism: 2015

Country to host the first military exercise of the group focussing on counter-terrorism: India

Refer: Link 1 + Link 2

Solve (Mains): “Compared to the South Asian Trade Area (SAFTA), the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multisectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation Free Trade Area (BIMSTEC FTA) seems to be more promising.” Critically evaluate.

India seems to be giving prominence to BIMSTEC owing largely to the failed narrative of SAARC. Comment. Also examine the potential of BIMSTEC as a bridge between South Asia and Southeast Asia.

MoU signed between Department of Biotechnology and International Energy Agency on Enhancing Innovation for the Clean Energy Transition

The MoU seeks to deepen co-operation in support of clean energy innovations to accelerate the research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of clean energy technologies in India and will help support the generation of data for policymaking and improve knowledge of good policy practices for innovation in India and around the world.

The MoU will ensure cooperation for sharing of energy policies on RD&D and sharing of best practices on data collection and analysis. This MoU also has a provision for activities such as training and capacity building and accelerating energy innovation by identifying sources of finance.

MOVE: India’s First Global Mobility Summit 2018

The Summit will constitute three designated components – The Conclave, Digital Exhibition, and Featured Events. It will help drive the government’s goals for vehicle electrification, renewable energy integration and job growth and also speed up India’s transition to a clean energy economy.

Krishna Kutir: Home for 1000 widows at Vrindavan, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB):

  • Has been envisioned as an accessible, affordable and trusted bank for the common man, to help speedily achieve the financial inclusion objectives of the Union Government.
  • It will leverage the vast network of the Department of Posts, which covers every corner of the country with more than 300,000 Postmen and Grameen Dak Sewaks.
  • IPPB will hence significantly augment the reach of the banking sector in India.
  • The launch of IPPB marks another significant milestone in the Union Government’s endeavour to take the benefits of a rapidly developing India to the remotest corners of our country.


Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu

On Rural India

  • Planners, Parliamentarians and Press must have a bias towards rural India
  • We cannot afford to have “Two Indias”
  • Encourage Rural Innovators & remove bottlenecks regarding infrastructure, funds, connectivity
  • Government and private sector must come together in a big way to promote innovative rural technologies and transform the rural economy
  • Self-help groups should be involved in the development as it not only brings down the income gap but also encourages Women Empowerment
  • India, with its youth potential, must strive to become a technology power house. There is a need to create innovation labs with the focus on ‘Design for Tomorrow’s India’.
  • Five I’s crucial for transforming rural economy:
    • Irrigation
    • Infrastructure
    • Reduced Interest rates
    • Insurance
    • Innovation
  • Massive migration from villages to cities due to 5 E’s –
    • Education
    • Employment
    • Entertainment
    • Enhanced medical facilities
    • Economic opportunities

On cyber warfare

  • The era of New Age cyber warfare, and the new enemy can be combated only through the power of knowledge.
  • The BPR&D should evolve best practices, policies and procedures in policing to combat emerging new age National Security threats.
  • Knowledge and competence of our police forces and the ability to innovate, improvise and implement will be critical in strengthening national security.
  • We need a “Surakshit Bharat” as much as a “Samruddh Bharat” and we cannot have a “Surakshit Bharat” without a “Saksham Bharat”.
  • The set up for combating the new enemy in Cyber Space can no longer be housed within the walls of a seemingly secure single government agency.
  • Called for a reorientation of the existing paradigm and said that all security agencies must work in close coordination and also with the private sector manning to establish a foolproof ecosystem.
  • Government & private sector must establish joint mechanisms to protect the police a force against the future challenges, including, the threats of modern warfare. All police forces of the country have to equip themselves with the cyber forensic techniques and knowledge to counter a cyber-attack or investigate a cyber-crime.

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