IASbaba Press Information Bureau 1st – 7th
(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)
About: To promote Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) as an alternative, green transport fuel
Aim: Providing a Sustainable Alternative towards Affordable Transportation as a developmental effort that would benefit both vehicle-users as well as farmers and entrepreneurs
- Besides the potential to boost availability of more affordable transport fuels, better use of agricultural residue, cattle dung and municipal solid waste, the CBG plants will provide an additional revenue source to farmers, and 75,000 direct job opportunities and lakhs of indirect jobs.
- This initiative holds great promise for efficient municipal solid waste management and in tackling the problem of polluted urban air due to farm stubble-burning and carbon emissions.
- Use of CBG will also help bring down dependency on crude oil imports and in realising the Prime Minister’s vision of enhancing farmers’ income, rural employment and entrepreneurship.
Bio-gas is produced naturally through a process of anaerobic decomposition from waste / bio-mass sources like agriculture residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, municipal solid waste, sewage treatment plant waste, etc. After purification, it is compressed and called CBG, which has pure methane content of over 95%.
Compressed Bio-Gas is exactly similar to the commercially available natural gas in its composition and energy potential. With calorific value (~52,000 KJ/kg) and other properties similar to CNG, Compressed Bio-Gas can be used as an alternative, renewable automotive fuel. Given the abundance of biomass in the country, Compressed Bio-Gas has the potential to replace CNG in automotive, industrial and commercial uses in the coming years.
There are multiple benefits from converting agricultural residue, cattle dung and municipal solid waste into CBG on a commercial scale:
- Responsible waste management, reduction in carbon emissions and pollution
- Additional revenue source for farmers
- Boost to entrepreneurship, rural economy and employment
- Support to national commitments in achieving climate change goals
- Reduction in import of natural gas and crude oil
- Buffer against crude oil/gas price fluctuations
Note: The potential for Compressed Bio-Gas production from various sources in India is estimated at about 62 million tonnes per annum.
National Policy on Biofuels 2018: Emphasises active promotion of advanced bio-fuels, including CBG
GOBAR-DHAN (Galvanising Organic Bio-Agro Resources) scheme: To convert cattle dung and solid waste in farms to CBG and compost.
- The scheme proposes to cover 700 projects across the country in 2018-19.
- The programme will be funded under Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) component of Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G) to benefit households in identified villages through Gram Panchayats.
How to produce Compressed Bio-Gas?
It can be produced from various bio-mass/waste sources, including agricultural residue, municipal solid waste, sugarcane press mud, distillery spent wash, cattle dung and sewage treatment plant waste. The other waste streams, i.e, rotten potatoes from cold storages, rotten vegetables, dairy plants, chicken/poultry litter, food waste, horticulture waste, forestry residues and treated organic waste from industrial effluent treatment plants (ETPs) can be used to generate biogas.
MoU between India and Russia on Bilateral Cooperation in the Road Transport and Road Industry: Increased co-operation, exchange and collaboration with Russia will contribute to establish a long-term and effective bilateral relationship of communication and cooperation in road transportation and road industry and Intelligent Transport System (ITS). This will also help in planning and administration of road infrastructure and road network management, transport policy, technologies and standards for the construction and operation of highways in the country and will further go a long way in strengthening ties and bilateral relations between India and Russia.
MoU between India and Russiaon cooperation in the field of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises: It would provide a structured framework and enabling environment to the MSME sector of the two countries to understand each other’s strengths, markets, technologies, policies etc. It aims to enhance enterprise to enterprise cooperation and help initiate sustainable business alliances in terms of technology transfers, joint ventures and business partnerships in MSME sector between the two countries. Cooperation in the field of capacity building, rapid incubation for entrepreneurship development, exposure to each other’s market by encouraging participation in exhibitions are also envisaged in this MoU.
Second Protocol amending the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between India and Singapore: Will enhance bilateral trade and will deepen the Economic Cooperation between India and Singapore. It will also improve utilization of CECA.
Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB)
(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)
Sign $150 Million Loan for Regional Connectivity
Objective: To finance continued improvements to road connectivity and efficiency of the International Trade Corridor in West Bengal and North-Eastern Region of lndia
- The Program aims to expand about 500 kilometers of roads in lndia’s North Bengal and North-Eastern Region that will enable efficient and safe transport within lndia and regionally with other SASEC member countries.
- Program is an important initiative in Regional Connectivity aimed at increasing domestic and regional trade through North Bengal-North East Region International Trade corridor by upgrading key roads. It will give a boost to lndia’s efforts to promote regional connectivity in the South Asia.
Note: ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members- 48 from the region. ln 2017, ADB operations totalled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in co-financing.
Sign $100 Million Loan Agreement: To continue to expand sewerage and drainage coverage, provide sewage treatment and strengthen capacity of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) for resilient urban services.
Sign $150 Million Loan Agreement: To support India’s First Global Skills Park in State of Madhya Pradesh – to enhance the quality of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) System in the State and create a more skilled workforce.
Sign $240 Million Loan: To provide safe drinking water service in 3 West Bengal Districts to about 1.65 million people in three districts of the state of West Bengal affected by arsenic, fluoride, and salinity. Besides reducing the burden of diseases from contaminated groundwater, the project will promote higher service levels compared with rural schemes in India with individual household connections and district metering area based metered continuous water supply, and use of advanced technology for smart water management
Signs $110 Million Loan to Improve Rural Connectivity in Madhya Pradesh: To upgrade of 2,800 kilometers all-weather rural roads in the State of Madhya Pradesh under the Prime Minister’s Rural Roads Program (PMGSY). The overall program is aimed at improving rural connectivity, facilitating safer and more efficient access to livelihood and socio-economic opportunities for rural communities.
Atal Innovation Mission & SIRIUS sign MoU
(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)
Objective: For promotion of innovative cooperation between students of India & Russia
The MoU hopes to remove cultural and language barriers between students of Russia and India, share the best practices in the promotion of educational, scientific, innovative achievements, promote innovative cooperation, and search and develop talented youth of both countries fostering a knowledge driven innovation ecosystem in both the countries.
Atal Innovation Mission
Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is NITI Aayog’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in India. The Atal Innovation Mission has thus two core functions:
- Innovation promotion: to provide a platform where innovative ideas are generated.
- Entrepreneurship promotion: Wherein innovators would be supported and mentored to become successful entrepreneurs at Incubation Centres.
Prelims oriented News
GI Tag for Alphonso from Konkan: Alphonso from Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Palghar, Thane and Raigad districts of Maharashtra, is registered as Geographical Indication (GI).
- A Geographical Indication or a GI is an indication used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. Such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to its origin in that defined geographical locality.
- Darjeeling Tea, Mahabaleshwar Strawberry, Blue Pottery of Jaipur, Banarasi Sarees and TirupatiLaddus are some of the GIs.
- The first product to get a GI tag in India was the Darjeeling tea in 2004.
Exercise Aviaindra: A Biennial Air Force level exercise between Indian and the Russian Federation – to formulate and validate use of airpower in anti-terrorist operation in a bilateral scenario.
Unnat Bharat Abhiyan: New 840 Higher Educational Institutes enrolled
GRAM PANCHAYAT DEVELOPMENT PLAN (GDPD) – Sabki Yojana, Sabka Vikas
- The People’s Plan Campaign will be rolled out as ‘Sabki Yojna Sabka Vikas’ from 2nd October to 31st December 2018. During the campaign, structured Gram Sabha meetings will be held for preparing Gram Panchayat Development Plan for the next financial year 2019-2020.
- Monitoring of People’s Plan Campaign would involve geotagged visuals of GS meetings, report of facilitators in standard format, Plan plus uploading of GDPD for all 29 sectors, visit to Gram Sabhas for every district /state /central level official of concerned departments and NLM(national level monitors) visits to random Gram Sabhas.
Launch of Methanol Cooking Fuel Program of India – For reducing import of crude and an effort to provide clean, import substitute, cost effective and pollution free cooking medium
India and Kazakhstan Defence Cooperation
Includes: Military-technical cooperation, military education and training, joint military exercises, bilateral exchange of visits and cadet youth exchange programs
History: Over 200 Kazakh Defence Forces Personnel have undergone military training in India till date. Both countries successfully conducted a company level joint military exercise ‘KAZIND-2018’ in South Kazakhstan. India and Kazakhstan are bound by historical and cultural ties and this has laid a strong foundation for the multifaceted cooperation. Both countries are Strategic Partners since 2009.
Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu
On News & media
- Truth, objectivity, accuracy, credibility, fairness, impartiality, humanity and accountability seem to have taken a back seat with news purveyors themselves assuming the role of gate-keepers. The disturbing trend of mixing news with views has become the new normal.
- Asked journalists to be extra careful in checking the veracity of information in the present digital era and advised them to guard against ‘fake news’, disinformation and misinformation.
- Freedom of media is not absolute and is circumscribed by certain reasonable restrictions relating to security of State, public order, decency or morality, defamation and contempt of court and sovereignty and integrity of India.
- Media must act as an instrument of reformation in the transformation of India into a leading economic power in the coming decades.
On elderly population
- Called on authorities and all the people working for the welfare of senior citizens to avoid the use of the word ‘Old’ and replace it with ‘Senior’.
- There should be no ‘Old age Homes’ in India, there should only be ‘Homes for the Elderly and Senior Citizens’. The word ‘Old’ invokes a prejudice and does not do justice to the energy and youth of our veterans.
- Rapid proliferation of nuclear families coupled with urbanization of the society, inter-generational bonding has weakened. Elders are the custodians of righteousness, traditions, family honour, samskar and wisdom and it is the responsibility of the present generation or the children of the family to play a greater role in ensuring the welfare of elderly persons.
On Human Rights
- India has been unequivocal in its commitment to the preservation and protection of human rights globally as well as within the country.
- Reaffirmed that human rights were the most natural rights, inherent to all human beings without discrimination. He also tasked the state with the primary responsibility of upholding, respecting, protecting and fulfilling these inalienable rights and he applauded India’s robust human rights protection framework comprising of a fiercely independent and fair judiciary, media, civil society and a number of proactive and independent human right bodies, such as the National Human Rights Commission. India is also a signatory to several of the core UN Human Rights and International Labour Organization’s conventions.
- The contribution of women, who are ‘Shaktiswarupinis’, was indispensable to nation building and added that the principle of gender equality was enshrined in the constitution. The onus should be on parents and teachers to inculcate the principles of gender equality in children. No civilized society would tolerate or accept any form of violence or discrimination against women and children.
- Indian democracy allows space for everyone to express their opinions – ‘dissent’ is welcome but ‘disintegration’ would not be tolerated.
- Human rights did not confer unfettered liberty to anyone to speak against the state or nation and added that human rights are best upheld if they are in harmony with the interests of the nation and fellow citizens. Human Rights are for everyone, in equal measure and therefore the rights of one person could not transgress the rights of another.
- Focus should be on providing assured power, not just free power
- Clean and Cost-effective energy is the need of the hour
- Swachh Bharat is a silent revolution shaping across the country
- Let us have clean Jan (body) + Man (mind) + Dhan (money)
Essay Topic: ‘Union of science and spirituality is the need of the hour’