IASbaba PIB Weekly : Press Information Bureau – 12th Nov to 18th Nov, 2018

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  • November 20, 2018
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IASbaba PIB Weekly: Press Information Bureau – 12th to 18th November, 2018



Maternity Leave Incentive Scheme

(Topic: Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.)

Purpose of this Act:

  • To regulate the employment of women in certain establishments for certain period before and after child birth
  • To provide maternity benefit and certain other benefits

Act amended through the: Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 which, inter alia, has increased the paid maternity leave to women employees from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.

The Ministry of Labour & Employment is working on an incentive scheme wherein 7 weeks’ wages would be reimbursed to employers who employ women workers with wage ceiling upto Rs. 15000/- and provide the maternity benefit of 26 weeks paid leave, subject to certain conditions.

It is estimated that approximately an amount of Rs. 400 crores would be the financial implication for Government of India, Ministry of Labour & Employment for implementing the proposed incentive scheme.

Major Impact: The proposed Scheme, if approved and implemented, shall ensure the women in this country an equal access to employment and other approved benefits along with adequate safety and secure environment. Also, the women shall continue to bear the major share of household work as well as child care. The work places will be more and more responsive to the family needs of the working women.

NITI Aayog Constitutes Himalayan State Regional Council

(Topic: Governance, Organisations; Federalism; Government policies and issues arising out of their design and implementation)

Purpose: To ensure sustainable development of the Indian Himalayan region

The Council has been constituted to review and implement identified action points based on the Reports of five Working Groups, which were established along thematic areas to prepare a roadmap for action. Recognizing the uniqueness of the Himalayas and the challenges for sustainable development, Five Working Groups were constituted by NITI Aayog in 2017. These Working Groups were tasked with preparing a roadmap for action across five thematic areas namely,

  1. Inventory and Revival of Springs in Himalayas for Water Security,
  2. Sustainable Tourism in Indian Himalayan Region,
  3. Shifting Cultivation: Towards Transformation Approach,
  4. Strengthening Skill & Entrepreneurship (E&S) Landscape in Himalayas, and
  5. Data/Information for Informed Decision Making.

Nodal agency for the Sustainable development in the Himalayan Region: The Himalayan States Regional Council will be the which consists of the twelve States namely Jammu &Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, two districts of Assam namely Dima Hasao and KarbiAnglong and Darjeeling and Kalimpong in West Bengal.

Action points include: river basin development and regional cooperation, spring mapping and revival across Himalayas in phased manner for water security; develop, implement and monitor tourism sector standards as well as bring policy coherence, strengthen skill & entrepreneurship with focus on identified priority sectors, among other action points.

Launch of Leadership for Academicians Programme (LEAP) and Annual Refresher Programme in Teaching (ARPIT)

(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation + Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)

Leadership for Academicians Programme (LEAP) is a three weeks Flagship leadership development training programme (2 weeks domestic and one week foreign training) for second level academic functionaries in public funded higher education institutions.

The main objective is to prepare second tier academic heads who are potentially likely to assume leadership roles in the future.

  • The programme would provide senior faculty, with high academic credentials, the required leadership and managerial skills including skills of problem-solving, handling stress, team building work, conflict management, developing communication skills, understanding and coping with the complexity and challenges of governance in HEIs, financial & general administration.
  • The implementation of LEAP Programme will be through 15 NIRF top ranked Indian Institutions. The foreign Universities identified for the training are also within the top 100 in the world global rankings.

LEAP will fulfill the critical need to combine academic and administrative leadership which will make higher education institutions perform their roles of developing better students who will be future torch bearers.

Annual Refresher Programme in Teaching (ARPIT), a major and unique initiative of online professional development of 15 lakh higher education faculty using the MOOCs platform SWAYAM. For implementing ARPIT, 75 discipline-specific institutions have been identified and notified as National Resource Centres (NRCs) in the first phase, which are tasked to prepare online training material with focus on latest developments in the discipline, new & emerging trends, pedagogical improvements and methodologies for transacting revised curriculum.

Must solve:

  1. Combining the qualities of a good teacher and an effective leader is still more daunting task but not an impossible task. Do you agree? Comment.
  2. A leader must talk for all generations, present and future; only then institutional growth can be achieved. Discuss.

Agreements Signed with India

India and Morocco sign Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters: The Agreement will strengthen bilateral cooperation with Morocco and enhance effectiveness and provide a broad legal framework for prevention, investigation and prosecution of crimes; as well as in tracing, restraint and confiscation of funds meant to finance terrorist acts.

Morocco & India agree to assist in Legal & Commercial Matters: The agreement will enhance co-operation in the service of summons, judicial documents, letters of request and the execution of judgments decrees and arbitral awards.

  • Service of summons and other judicial documents or processes;
  • Taking of evidence in civil matters;
  • Production, identification or examination of documents, recordings;
  • The execution of a Letter of Request for taking of evidence in civil matters;
  • Recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards.

Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Sign $105 Million Loan to Support Hydropower Transmission in Himachal Pradesh:

  • The program is aimed at developing and expanding the transmission network to evacuate clean and renewable power generated from the State’s hydropower sources to load centers within and outside the State.
  • It also supports the institutional capacity development of the state transmission utility, Himachal Pradesh Power Transmission Corporation Limited (HPPTCL), as the executing agency for this project.

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.

Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) sign $300 Million Loan to support India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL) in India: The Project will enhance availability of long-term finance for PPP projects, improve operational capacity of IIFCL, and expand the portfolio of infrastructure financing instruments available to IIFCL. The Project supports the renewed effort of the Government of India in accelerating infrastructure growth through increased Private Sector investment. The Project is relevant and responsive to the constraints to bank based infrastructure financing, fiscal space creation, and repercussions on GDP growth.

Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (Adb) Sign $ 169 Million Loan to Provide Water and Sanitation Services in Tamil Nadu: The State has faced recurring droughts and erratic monsoons in the recent past resulting in severe water scarcity and urban flooding. With ADB’s support the State will be able to address these complex urban challenges through innovative and climate-resilient investment and deeper institutional support.

Though Tamil Nadu is the most urbanized of India’s large States, urban service levels remain low, with less than half of households served by piped water, only 42% of households are covered by a sewerage network, with 43% of sewage disposed directly into waterways untreated.

  • The program will develop climate-resilient sewerage collection and treatment and drainage systems in 10 cities, and install the country’s first solar-powered sewage treatment plant. Introduction of smart water management systems will help reduce non-revenue water and strengthen operational efficiency.
  • Around 4 million people will benefit from piped water and sewerage connections and improved drainage.
  • The program will boost institutional capacity, public awareness, and urban governance as part of a comprehensive approach for developing livable cities.

Prelims oriented News:

World Toilet Day: 19th November

Rural Jharkhand: Declared ODF

Severe Cyclonic storm which created havoc over Southwest Bay of Bengal: ‘GAJA’

Bhoomi Rashi Portal: The portal allows for totally digital and paper-less processing of land acquisition cases, and has resulted in transparent, quick, corruption-free and error-free handling of land acquisition cases. It has also made the possible real-time tracking of activities and generation of reports relating to land acquisition.

SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region): ‘SAGAR’ is in consonance with India’s ‘Act East’ policy and the nation’s diplomatic, economic and military outreach in the region.

Samudra Shakti: Between Indian Navy – Indonesian Navy Bilateral Exercise; The aim of the exercise is to strengthen bilateral relations, expand maritime co-operation, enhance interoperability and exchange best practices.

Two important projects under Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism inaugurated: Development of North East Circuits:

  • Bhalukpong- Bomdila – Tawang Project
  • Nafra- Seppa- Pappu, Pasa, Pakke Valleys- Sangdupota- New Sagalee- Ziro- Yomcha Project

7th RCEP Inter-Sessional Ministerial Meeting in Singapore

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a mega regional free trade agreement being negotiated amongst 16 countries, comprising 10 ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) plus six ASEAN FTA partners, namely Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and New Zealand.

Both in STRACAP and SPS negotiations, India managed to obtain balanced outcomes in the application of the Dispute Settlement Mechanism. India showed flexibility on the principle of ‘consensus’ in the Institutional Provisions Chapter which helped in its successful conclusion during the meeting.

Global Digital Content Market (GDCM) 2018

India has been chosen as a host nation for the conference by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) due to the strong creative industry in the country in films, music and media.

Focus for this year’s conference: Asia Pacific region

Aim of GDCM 2018: To give industry stakeholders a platform to come together and discuss new avenues in the films, music, gaming and creative industry along with points of challenge that is presented due to the changing creative landscape because of the disruption brought about by digital technologies.

Successful launch of GSLV MK III-D2 carrying GSAT-29 satellite

India’s GSAT-29 communication satellite was successfully launched by the second developmental flight of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MarkIII (GSLV MkIII-D2)

GSLV Mk III is a three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Two massive boosters with solid propellant constitute the first stage, the core with liquid propellant form the second stage and the cryogenic engine completes the final stage.

GSAT-29 is a multiband, multi-beam communication satellite, intended to serve as test bed for several new and critical technologies. Its Ku-band and Ka-band payloads are configured to cater to the communication requirements of users including those from remote areas especially from Jammu & Kashmir and North-Eastern regions of India.

RERA is bringing positive transformative changes in the industry

  • 33,750 Projects & 26,018 Agents have been registered under RERA so far
  • Maharashtra leads with 18,392 Projects & 17,188 Agents Registrations
  • 3rd Regional Workshop on “RERA-a new era of transparency & accountability in Real Estate

Must Read: Link

Chhath Pooja

An ancient Hindu Vedic festival historically native to the Indian subcontinent, more specifically, the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh as well as the Madhesh region of Nepal.

  • The Chhath Puja is dedicated to the Sun and his Sister [Chhathi maiya (goddess)] in order to thank them for bestowing the bounties of life on earth and to request the granting of certain wishes.
  • Chhath does not involve any idol worship + not a gender-specific festival.
  • This is the only festival which signifies both the rising and setting sun


Hon’ble President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind

On Biotechnology, S&T

Life sciences today offer a frontier that is still largely unexplored. It is worth noting that while textbooks of the foundations of physics change little from year to year, textbooks of biology and medicine are a work in progress even at fundamental levels. The sciences of genetics, of evolution and of human development have yielded enormous knowledge in recent years, but we are only at the beginnings of a new age of exploration.

Today, through science and technology, humans wield unimaginable power over the future of our planet. We therefore have a responsibility like never before. And scientists, particularly bio-scientists, are our soldiers and generals in the battle to safeguard our planet, our species and our future. To my mind, there are four frontlines in this battle.

  1. The first is the environment. Our air, water and soil must be cleaned. While we do so, we must mitigate the consequences on human and livestock health. An enhanced thrust on studying human and animal health in real environments and finding solutions to problems such as asthma, respiratory disorders and cancers is needed.
  2. The second frontline is that of lifestyle diseases. Diabetes, hypertension and cardiac diseases are on the rise. In the quarter-century since 1990, the number of Indians living with diabetes grew from 26 million to 65 million. In the same period, the incidence of all cancers increased by almost 30 per cent. Diet and lifestyle are key factors, as also maternal, foetal and neonatal health. Both prevention and treatment are vital.
  3. The third frontline is infectious disease. While we take on known infectious diseases, lesser-known ones threaten to expand. Here too we must study the disease in the context of its environment and all its hosts. For example, how does Nipah virus reside in bats? How may its infection spread? How do we test candidate vaccines for humans? These are global challenges. Disease, like science, knows no boundaries. Pandemic influenza viruses don’t need passports and visas to spread. On the other hand, the shrinking of animal habitats is creating room for zoonotic diseases and diseases that jump species.
  4. The final frontline is diseases of the brain. Factors that include urban stress and a significant elderly population have left India facing a mental health epidemic. Preventive measures, relevant to our genetics and our lifestyle, are in the realm of theory, waiting to be discovered. We must discover these if our people are to age well, with full mental capacities. If this is not researched by us in our population, ailments such as dementia will be a major problem – and solutions from elsewhere will not fit here.

Vice President of India, Shri. M. Venkaiah Naidu

On Multilateralism

  • Multilateralism has emerged as the most effective modality for decision-making and conflict resolution
  • India has always believed in the principle of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ which means the World is one family- collective endeavor for collective benefit. We need united efforts of the world to deal with global development priorities such as eradication of poverty, providing education, health care, employment and gender parity
  • Thousands of brave Indian soldiers had sacrificed their lives 100 years ago fighting for the cause of righteousness and in the interest of peace, human liberty and freedom

At International Conference ‘Asian Patent Attorneys Association’

Knowledge is a treasure that cannot be stolen, neither can it be confiscated by the State, nor can it be divided among siblings. It is not burdensome to carry. It increases when we share it with others sharing. Knowledge is a treasure that is better than other riches.”

  • Innovation is for the betterment of mankind and India is encouraging the spirit of innovation among the educated enterprising youth.
  • Intellectual Property Rights hold special importance in the knowledge economy. The new regime of intellectual Property Rights bring a paradigm shift in social exchanges and cultural ethos in communities especially at a time when the world had moved away from viewing knowledge as a mere community asset started treating it as intellectual property.
  • Emphasis on tangible hard assets is being shifted to intangible soft assets and intellectual properties. India fully recognizes that an effective and robust intellectual property protection regime is essential to attract technology, investment, incentivise innovation and creation of IP assets
  • As the communities’ transit to new phase of Intellectual Property based economy, no conversation on intellectual property rights can be complete without considering the balance of the rights and obligations of IP holders and define what constitutes a genuine, path-breaking intellectual property?

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