IASbaba PIB Weekly : Press Information Bureau – 23rd Sep to 30th Sep, 2018

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  • October 1, 2018
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IASbaba Press Information Bureau 23rd to 30th

September, 2018



PM launches Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY)


  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, etc.
  • Health and Social Security)

Vision: To provide the poorest of the poor, and the underprivileged sections of society, with better healthcare and treatment

Focus is on both: “Affordable Healthcare” and “Preventive Healthcare”

Two major initiatives:

Health and Wellness Centre: Foundation of India’s health system

    • 1.5 lakh centres will provide – comprehensive health care, including for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services, provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services
    • The budget has allocated Rs.1200 crore for this flagship programme
  • Contribution of the private sector through CSR and philanthropic institutions in adopting these centres is also envisaged.

National Health Protection Scheme:

  • Will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries)
  • Coverage of up to ₹5 lakh a family a year will be provided for secondary- and tertiary-care hospitalization (50 crore beneficiaries)

Must Read: Link1

Three Best Performing States in “Ease of Living Index”

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

  1. Andhra Pradesh
  2. Odisha
  3. Madhya Pradesh

Ease of Living Index:

Launched by: The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA)

Ease of Living Index is a transformative initiative of the Ministry to help the cities assess their livability vis-à-vis national and global benchmarks

  • Will encourage all cities to move towards an ‘outcome-based’ approach to urban planning and management and promote healthy competition among cities
  • Seeks to assist cities in undertaking a 360-degree assessment of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
  • The government hopes that it will lead to a healthy competition between cities, based on the rankings, and generate acute interest, comparisons, critiques and analysis by citizens.

Ease of Living framework

  • Comprised four pillars namely Institutional, Social, Economic and Physical which are further broken down into 78 indicators across 15 categories (governance, identity and culture, education, health, safety and security, economy, affordable housing, land use planning, public open spaces, transportation and mobility, assured water supply, waste-water management, solid waste management, power, and quality of environment).
  • It has close linkage with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Of the 17 SDG goals, 8 goals are directly linked to India’s ease of living assessment framework with SDG 11

SDG 11: Aimed at making our cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable and is measured through a set of 30 indicators.

Cabinet Approves:

National Digital Communications Policy-2018

The key objectives of the policy are:

  • Broadband for all
  • Creating four million additional jobs in the Digital Communications sector
  • Enhancing the contribution of the Digital Communications sector to 8% of India’s GDP from ~ 6% in 2017
  • Propelling India to the Top 50 Nations in the ICT Development Index of ITU from 134 in 2017
  • Enhancing India’s contribution to Global Value Chains
  • Ensuring Digital Sovereignty

The policy aims to:

  • Provide universal broadband connectivity at 50 Mbps to every citizen;
  • Provide 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022;
  • Ensure connectivity to all uncovered areas;
  • Attract investments of USD 100 billion in the Digital Communications Sector;
  • Train one million manpower for building New Age Skill;
  • Expand IoT ecosystem to 5 billion connected devices;
  • Establish a comprehensive data protection regime for digital communications that safeguards the privacy, autonomy and choice of individuals
  • Facilitate India’s effective participation in the global digital economy;
  • Enforce accountability through appropriate institutional mechanisms to assure citizens of safe
  • Secure digital communications infrastructure and services

MoU between India and Uzbekistan

On Mutual Cooperation in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Narcotics, Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursors: The MoU will help in

  • Mutual cooperation in regulation of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, and in combating drug trafficking
  • It is an effective framework to deal with all issues requiring mutual assistance and cooperation in the areas identified.
  • Facilitate effective institutional interaction between both the Governments
  • Help in curbing transnational narcotics trafficking.

Cooperation in the Sphere of Law & Justice:

  • The MoU takes care of concerns and requirements in the field of exchange of experience by legal professionals, Government functionaries and their training and effective legal aid mechanism for resolution.
  • The MoU will facilitate greater cooperation between India and Uzbekistan in providing legal services in both countries in the field of exchange of experience through information sharing visits, and training between both countries on enhancing legal capacities of Government functionaries.

For strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism:

  • Will help the two countries in creating an institutional mechanism for enhancing cooperation in the tourism sector
  • Help in increasing foreign tourist arrivals from Uzbekistan to the country. This in turn will result in economic development and employment generation.
  • The MoU shall create favourable conditions for long-term tourism cooperation for the mutual benefits of all stakeholders within the broader framework and areas of cooperation.  
  • It will explore to incorporate the best practices in order to implement the measures that will realizes the objectives set out in it.

On cooperation for establishment of Uzbek-Indian Free Pharmaceutical Zone in the Andijan region of Uzbekistan:

  • The MoU will create an enabling framework of cooperation for setting up an Uzbek-Indian Free Pharmaceuticals Zone in Andijan region of Uzbekistan.
  • It will also facilitate Indian pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies to invest in and establish production facilities in the Uzbek-Indian Free Pharma Zone of Andijan for manufacture of Pharmaceutical Products.

On cooperation in the field of Agriculture and Allied sectors:

  • Exchange of information regarding laws, standards and product samples of mutual interest;
  • Establishment of joint agriculture clusters in Uzbekistan;
  • Exchange   of experience   in the field   of crop production   and their diversification;
  • Exchange of experience in the field of seed production based on modern technology; exchange of information concerning certification of seed in accordance with the legislation of the States of the Parties; exchange of samples of seeds on beneficial terms.
  • Application of technology for enhanced water use efficiency in agriculture and allied sectors, including irrigation;
  • Conduct of joint scientific research on genetics, breeding, biotechnology, plant   protection, soil productivity conservation, mechanization, water resources, and mutual application of scientific results;
  • Development and extension of cooperation in the field of plant quarantine;
  • Exchange of experience in the field of animal husbandry, including animal health, poultry, genomics, setting up of quarantine facilities;
  • Exchange of information between research institutes in the fields of agriculture and food industry on scientific and practical activities (fairs, exhibitions, conferences, symposia)
  • Cooperation in agricultural and food trade;
  • Explore setting up of food processing joint ventures;

On cooperation in health and medical science:

  • Expanding opportunities for the development of business cooperation in the field of medical equipment, including equipment for teaching and research laboratories of institutions of medical education, and pharmaceutical products;
  • Strengthening of primary health care and setting up of health care facilities;
  • Medical and health research development, as well as exchange of experience in these areas;
  • Exchange of experiences and technologies in the field of telemedicine and electronic-health information systems;
  • Maternal and child health protection;
  • Development and improvement of the techniques and strategies for epidemiological surveillance and communicable and non-communicable diseases control;
  • Regulation of drugs and pharmaceutical products

MoU between India and South Korea for enhancing cooperation in Applied Science and Industrial Technology: To promote bilateral cooperation in the fields of applied science and industrial technologies for the purposes of promoting sustainable development and enhanced quality of life.

MoU between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK)

  • ICAI and ICPAK will provide opportunities to key members of the reciprocal body’s staff to learn from their knowledge and experience through informal work placements to be agreed through a work schedule.
  • Jointly promote activities to raise awareness and the overall visibility of the ICAI/ ICPAK strategic partnership and the collaboration outlined in this MoU with members.
  • ICAI and ICPAK will collaborate on benchmarking initiatives and trainee accountant exchange programmes.

Major impact:

India is Kenya’s sixth largest trading partner and the largest exporter to Kenya. The Kenyan economy is expected to be amongst the top performers in Africa in 2017 in terms of growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Kenya has a largely diversified economic base and aims to seek increased access to the Indian market for Kenyan goods, while India is interested in exploring ways to become Kenya’s top foreign trading partner.

Considering that Kenya’s economy is one of the top amongst the African countries and the kind of investments and trusts entrusted by the two counties in the recent past, India’s Chartered Accountants have already been playing a significant role in the economic growth of the country; there is a lot of scope for professional opportunities for Indian Chartered Accountants in Kenya.

India and the United Nations to sign a Five-Year Sustainable Development Framework (2018-2022)

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

Government of India-United Nations Sustainable Development Framework (SDF) 2018-2022 outlines the work of UN agencies in India, to support the achievement of key development outcomes that have been identified in consultation with the government and are aligned to the national priorities.

The NITI Aayog is the national counterpart for the UN in India for the operationalization of the UNSDF.

The UNSDF 2018-22 comprises of seven priority areas that outline the work that UN agencies will undertake jointly or individually, fully aligned with the priorities of the GoI. The seven priority areas outlined in the UNSDF are:

  1. Poverty and Urbanization;
  2. Health, Water, and Sanitation;
  3. Education and Employability;
  4. Nutrition and Food Security;
  5. Climate Change, Clean Energy, and Disaster Resilience;
  6. Skilling, Entrepreneurship, and Job Creation; and
  7. Gender Equality and Youth Development


Launch of Financial Inclusion Index

(Topic: Indian Economy – Financial Inclusion and Inclusive Growth)

By: Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance

Will be a measure of access and usage of a basket of formal financial products and services that includes savings, remittances, credit, insurance and pension products.

The index will have three measurement dimensions:

  • Access to financial services
  • Usage of financial services
  • Quality

The single composite index gives a snap shot of level of financial inclusion that would guide Macro Policy perspective –

  • The various components of the index will also help to measure financial services for use of internal policy making.
  • Financial Inclusion Index can be used directly as a composite measure in development indicators.
  • It enables fulfilment of G20 Financial Inclusion Indicators requirements.
  • It will also facilitate researchers to study the impact of financial inclusion and other macro-economic variables.

Air pollution control device WAYU (Wind Augmentation PurifYing Unit)

(Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation)

Developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) as a part of Technology Development Project being funded by Department of Science and Technology.

The prototype device that has been indigenously developed has the capacity to purify air in an area of 500 meter square. The device consumes only half a unit of electricity for 10 hours of running and has a maintenance cost of only Rs. 1500 per month.

The device works on two principles – Wind generation for dilution of air pollutants and Active Pollutants removal.

  • The device has filters for Particulate Matter removal and activated carbon (charcoal) and UV lamps for poisonous gases removal such as VOCs and Carbon Monoxide.
  • The device has one fan and filter for sucking and removing Particulate Matter.
  • There are two UV lamps and half kg of activated carbon charcoal coated with special chemical Titanium Dioxide.

To launch SATAT initiative to promote Compressed Bio-Gas as an alternative, green transport fuel

(Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation)

SATAT, the initiative is aimed at providing a Sustainable Alternative towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) as a developmental effort that would benefit both vehicle-users as well as farmers and entrepreneurs.

Has the potential to boost availability of more affordable transport fuels, better use of agricultural residue, cattle dung and municipal solid waste, as well as to provide an additional revenue source to farmers.

To be launched on the penultimate day of the ongoing Swachhta Hi Seva fortnight, a mass movement to fulfil Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of a Clean India, 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.


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

The potential for Compressed Bio-Gas production from various sources in India is estimated at about 62 million tonnes per annum.

It is planned to roll out 5,000 Compressed Bio-Gas plants across India in a phased manner, with 250 plants by the year 2020, 1,000 plants by 2022 and 5,000 plants by 2025. These plants are expected to produce 15 million tonnes of CBG per annum, which is about 40% of current CNG consumption of 44 million tonnes per annum in the country. At an investment of approx. Rs. 1.7 lakh crore, this initiative is expected to generate direct employment for 75,000 people and produce 50 million tonnes of bio-manure for crops.

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.

Compressed Bio-Gas 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.

Distribution: Compressed Bio-Gas networks can be integrated with city gas distribution (CGD) networks to boost supplies to domestic and retail users in existing and upcoming markets. Besides retailing from OMC fuel stations, Compressed Bio-Gas can at a later date be injected into CGD pipelines too for efficient distribution and optimised access of a cleaner and more affordable fuel.

Prelims Oriented News

23rd September: International Day of Sign Languages (Theme: With Sign Language, Everyone is Included!)

Rail Heritage Digitisation Project: The project is a landmark effort, first of its kind in this part of the globe, to showcase country’s Rail Heritage to National and International audience (in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture)

20th Livestock Census: A breed-wise Livestock Census which will be helpful for framing policies or programmes for breed improvement. The initiatives on collection of breed-wise reliable information of various species will give vital information for determination of threatened indigenous breeds and to take initiatives for their conservation.

Brand Ambassador of Tribes India (TRIFED): Ms. Mary Kom

PM Kisan SAMPADA Yojana: Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters – a comprehensive package which will result in creation of modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlet.

Agmark online system: To conduct quality control functions – through the Agmark online system, certificate of authorisation (domestic), permission of printing press, permission of laboratories (domestic) and services related to laboratory information management system will be provided online.

Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojna

  • For Insured Persons (IP) covered under the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948
  • This scheme is a relief payable in cash directly to the Bank Account in case of unemployment and while they search for new engagement.

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra: Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship’s initiative towards creation of standardized infrastructure for delivery of skill training which are equipped to run industry-driven courses of high quality with focus on employability and create an aspirational value for skill development training.


  • Sikkim’s first-ever airport: At Pakyong (part of the UDAN scheme); first airport in the Himalayan State, and the 100th airport in the country.
  • First “Organic State” of India (Union Government has initiated the “Mission Organic Value Development for North Eastern Region.”)
  • First “Open Defecation Free” (ODF) State of India
  • Young cricketer from Sikkim, Nilesh Lamichanay, recently became the first cricketer from the State to score a century in the Vijay Hazare Trophy

National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA): e-Vidhan to make the functioning of the State Legislatures paperless and integrate all 40 Legislative Houses on to ‘One Nation One Application’

Jan Dhan Darshak: Will act as a guide for the common people in locating a financial service touch point at a given location in the country.

Successful Flight Test of Astra BVR Air-to-Air Missile

  • Astra, the indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM)
  • The flight test assumes significance as it was part of the series of final pre-induction trials. Astra is the best in class weapon system and has undergone more than twenty developmental trials.


The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind

On Swachh Bharat

  • Drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene are central to Sustainable Development Goal 6, especially targets 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3. Target 6.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals calls for countries to end open defecation, ensure everyone has access to a basic toilet and put in place systems for safe management of excreta.
  • Improving access to sanitation and eradicating open defecation have enormous implications. They are critical social and economic investments. The absence of a suitable toilet and appropriate hygiene and sanitation practices can lead to malnutrition and life-long disadvantages. Therefore, for us in India – as elsewhere – a mission such as Swachh Bharat is critical to securing our human capital and our demographic dividend – and to giving our children a better future. No young girl should have to give up school only because a girls’ toilet is not available. Such an occurrence would be a scar on our collective conscience.
  • Swachh Bharat is a revolution playing out in real time. As an instrument of mass mobilisation, as a people’s movement, and as a national goal towards which there is near total commitment, Swachh Bharat represents the spirit of our Independence movement. India is striving to eliminate open defecation in its entirety by October 2, 2019.
  • Five important themes that countries may choose to adopt while meeting the problem of insufficient sanitation. These are –
    • Ensure people lead the planning, implementation and management of sanitation programmes;
    • Use smart and affordable technologies for effective and efficient service delivery;
    • Eliminate all forms of inequalities in service delivery;
    • Create innovative financing instruments to fund and sustain the sanitation movement;
    • Develop capacities within the government to plan, implement and monitor sanitation programmes

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu

On Smart Cities

  • Social development should be at the core of every project undertaken by Smart Cities – asked city planners to accord highest priority to the livelihood, security, health, education and skilling of the poor, migrants, and women and said that vulnerabilities of the marginalized sections of the society must be kept in mind.
  • Vulnerabilities of the marginalized sections of the society must be kept in mind
  • India cannot afford lopsided development by allowing the villages to lag behind – Develop Smart Village at par with Smart Cities
  • Pedestrian non-motorized zones are the need of the hour
  • Need to address the concerns of air, water, soil and sound pollution in cities, apart from the need to promote energy efficiency, recycling urban waste, sustainable soil and land use
  • Governance at door step is the key objective of smart cities and he asked authorities to work towards digitization of city governance, services, certifications and approvals without unnecessary personal interface.
  • No line but online should be the mantra to cut down red tape and provide citizen-centric services. This singular step will save the time and effort of citizens and enhance the overall efficiency of the city

On Indian cuisine

  • Indian food heritage is a mixture of art and science and is exceptionally vast and diverse.
  • The rich cultural diversity, native ethnicity, unique flavor of each region and different customs are best encapsulated by the Indian cuisine, which became enriched over thousands of years due to the intermingling of people belonging to different religions, languages and eating habits.
  • ‘Annam Parabrahma Swaroopam’, loosely translated as ‘Food is like God’ is a part of our collective conscience and our ethos.
  • Indian cuisine reflects the culture and tradition of the country which includes varied landscapes, linguistic diversity, colorful festivals, and multi-ethnicity

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