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Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 31st Dec to 6th Jan – 2019

  • IASbaba
  • January 7, 2019
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Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 31st Dec to 6th Jan – 2019

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GS-2

Menstrual Hygiene for Adolescent girls Schemes

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

Objective: To address the need of menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls residing primarily in rural areas

Funds are provided to States/UTs through National Health Mission for decentralized procurement of sanitary napkins packs for provision primarily to rural adolescent girls at subsidized rates as per proposals received from the States and UTs in their Programme Implementation Plans.

This scheme encompasses the following:

  • Increasing awareness among adolescent girls on Menstrual Hygiene
  • Improving access to and use of high-quality sanitary napkins by adolescent girls in rural areas.
  • Ensuring safe disposal of Sanitary Napkins in an environmentally friendly manner.
  • Provision of funds to ASHAs to hold monthly meeting with adolescents to discuss issues related to menstrual hygiene.

A range of IEC material has been developed around Menstrual hygiene Scheme, using a 360 degree approach to create awareness among adolescent girls about safe & hygienic menstrual health practices which includes audio, video and reading materials for adolescent girls and job-aids for ASHAs and other field level functionaries for communicating with adolescent girls.

ASHAs across the country are trained and play a significant role in promotion of use and distribution of the sanitary napkins.

Department of Health Research, under the Ministry of Health, is involved in assessment of all newer, alternative, environment friendly menstrual hygiene products to look into their safety and acceptability features.

Cabinet approves/apprised of

MoU between India and Morocco on Cooperation in the area of Cyber Security: The MoU intends to promote closer cooperation for exchange of knowledge and experience in detection, resolution and prevention of security-related incidents between India and Morocco. Implementation of the MoU will result in significant mutual benefits in the Cyber Security sector, through institutional and capacity building with Morocco in the field of Cyber Security.

High level committee to implement Clause 6 of Assam Accord Several Longstanding demands of Bodos also approved: After Assam agitation of 1979-1985, Assam Accord was signed on 15th August, 1985. Clause 6 of the Assam Accord envisaged that appropriate constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people. The Committee shall examine the effectiveness of actions since 1985 to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, will hold  discussions with all stakeholders and assess the required quantum of reservation of seats in Assam Legislative Assembly and local bodies for Assamese people. The Committee will also assess the requirement of measures to be taken to protect Assamese and other indigenous languages of Assam, quantum of reservation in employment under Government of Assam and other measures to protect, preserve and promote cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of Assamese people.

First-ever three-way merger in Indian Banking with amalgamation of Vijaya, Dena and Bank of Baroda: with Bank of Baroda as the transferee bank and Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank as transferor banks. The amalgamation will be the first-ever three-way consolidation of banks in India, with the amalgamated bank being India’s second largest Public Sector Bank.

  • Help create a strong globally competitive bank with economies of scale and enable realisation of wide-ranging synergies.
  • Leveraging of networks, low-cost deposits and subsidiaries of the three banks has the potential of yielding significant synergies for positioning the consolidated entity for substantial rise in customer base, market reach, operational efficiency, wider bouquet of products and services, and improved access for customers.
  • The amalgamated bank will be better equipped in the changing environment to meet the credit needs of a growing economy, absorb shocks and capacity to raise resources. Economies of scale and wider scope would position it for improved profitability, wider product offerings, and adoption of technology and best practices across amalgamating entities for cost efficiency and improved risk management, and financial inclusion through wider reach.
  • It would also enable creation of a bank with scale comparable to global banks and capable of competing effectively in India and globally.
  • Strengths of individual banks – such as Dena Bank’s relatively higher access to low-cost CASA deposits, Vijaya Bank’s profitability and availability of capital for growth, and the extensive and global network and offerings of BoB will translate into advantages in terms of market reach, operational efficiencies and the ability to support a wider offering of product and services.
  • The amalgamated banks will have access to a wider talent pool, and a large database that may be leveraged through analytics for competitive advantage in a rapidly digitalising banking context. Benefits would also flow as a result of wider reach and distribution network and reduction in distribution costs for the products and services through subsidiaries.
  • Public at large shall benefit in terms of enhanced access to banking services through a stronger network, the ability to support a wider offering of product and services, and easy access to credit.

Amendment to the Trade Unions Act, 1926 to make provisions regarding Recognition of Trade Unions: The approval will facilitate:

  • Recognition of Trade Unions at Central and State level;
  • Ensure true representation of workers in the tripartite bodies;
  • Check on the arbitrary nomination of workers’ representatives by the Government; and
  • Reduce litigations and industrial unrest.

Restructuring of National Health Agency as “National Health Authority” for better implementation of Pradhan Mantri – Jan Arogya Yojana: With this approval, the existing society “National Health Agency” has been dissolved and will be replaced by National Health Authority as an attached office to Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

Continuation of Rastriya Yuva Sashaktikaran Karyakram Scheme: The Scheme aims to develop the personality and leadership qualities of the youth and to engage them in nation building activities.

  • Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan(NYKS)
  • National Youth Corps (NYC)
  • National Programme for Youth & Adolescent Development (NPYAD)
  • International Cooperation
  • Youth Hostels (YH)
  • Assistance to Scouting & Guiding Organizations
  • National Discipline Scheme (NDS)
  • National Young Leaders Programme (NYLP)

The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2018’ for revision in list of Scheduled Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh: After the Bill becomes an Act, member of the communities newly listed in the revised list of Scheduled Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh will also be able to derive benefits meant for STs under the existing schemes of the Government.

Continuation of Umbrella scheme for “Family Welfare and Other Health Interventions” during 2017-18 to 2019-20: The five schemes listed in the proposal are crucial to attaining the goals and objectives laid out in National Health Policy (NHP) 2017, and international commitments in the form of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

SwasthaNagrikAbhiyan(SNA): For dissemination of information on health issues to create awareness among citizens of India of ail age/sex/locations and appropriately influence their health seeking behavior to encourage healthy lifestyles and empower the citizens.

Free Supply of Contraceptives: For providing free supply of contraceptives including   condoms, Oral Contraceptive Pills, Pregnancy Test Kits, other contraceptives, etc. to States with a view to improve Maternal and Child Health and achieving population stabilization.

MIS Scheme now proposed as Health Surveys and Health Research (HSHR): For sourcing of data on population, health and nutrition for India and its States including through periodically conducted National Family Health Survey, which is one of the largest surveys of its kind worldwide. The NFHS provides valuable data for policy and programmes right up to the district level.

Social Marketing of Contraceptives: For branding, attractively packaging, marketing arid selling of products and services related to Family Planning for low-income groups at affordable prices.

Population Research Centres (PRCs): For third party evaluation of the scheme on PRCs and specially of those centres which are being considered for continuation will be carried out.


Indo-US 2+2 Dialogue

(Topic:

  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests)

The launch is a reflection of the shared commitment by Prime Minister Modi and President Trump to provide a positive, forward-looking vision for the India-U.S. strategic partnership and to promote synergy in their diplomatic and security efforts. They resolved to continue meetings in this format on an annual basis.

Celebrating over 70 years of diplomatic cooperation, the Ministers reaffirmed their view that India and the United States, as sovereign democracies founded on the values of freedom, justice, and commitment to the rule of law, must continue to lead global efforts to promote peace, prosperity, and security.

Recognizing their two countries are strategic partners, major and independent stakeholders in world affairs, the Ministers committed to work together on regional and global issues, including in bilateral, trilateral, and quadrilateral formats. The two sides further decided to establish secure communication between the Minister of External Affairs of India and the U.S. Secretary of State, and between the Minister of Defense of India and the U.S. Secretary of Defense, to help maintain regular high-level communication on emerging developments.

Strengthening the Defense and Security Partnership:

  • The Ministers reaffirmed the strategic importance of India’s designation as a Major Defense Partner (MDP) of the United States and committed to expand the scope of India’s MDP status and take mutually agreed upon steps to strengthen defense ties further and promote better defense and security coordination and cooperation.
  • They welcomed the inclusion of India by the United States among the top tier of countries entitled to license-free exports, re-exports, and transfers under License Exception Strategic Trade Authorization (STA-1) and also committed to explore other means to support further expansion in two-way trade in defense items and defense manufacturing supply chain linkages. They welcomed the signing of a Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) that will facilitate access to advanced defense systems and enable India to optimally utilize its existing U.S.-origin platforms. The Ministers also announced their readiness to begin negotiations on an Industrial Security Annex (ISA) that would support closer defense industry cooperation and collaboration.  
  • Recognizing their rapidly growing military-to-military ties, the two sides committed to the creation of a new, tri-services exercise and to further increase personnel exchanges between the two militaries and defense organizations.
  • To encourage and prioritize co-production and co-development projects through the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), and to pursue other avenues of defense innovation cooperation.

Partners in the Indo-Pacific and Beyond:

  • Both sides committed to work together and in concert with other partners toward advancing   a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, based on recognition of ASEAN centrality and on respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, rule of law, good governance, free and fair trade, and freedom of navigation and overflight. Noting the importance of infrastructure and
  • Connectivity for the Indo-Pacific region, both sides emphasized the need to work collectively with other partner countries to support transparent, responsible, and sustainable debt financing practices in infrastructure development.            
  • The Ministers reaffirmed their shared commitment to a united, sovereign, democratic, inclusive, stable, prosperous, and peaceful Afghanistan. The two sides expressed support for an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process.
  • India welcomed the recent U.S.-North Korea summit. The two sides pledged to work together to counter North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction programs and to hold accountable those countries that have supported them.  
  • The United States welcomed India’s accession to the Australia Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement, and the Missile Technology Control Regime and reiterated its full support for India’s immediate accession to the Nuclear Suppliers Group.       

Promoting Prosperity and People-to-People Ties:

  • Both sides committed to further expanding and balancing the trade and economic partnership consistent with their leaders’ 2017 joint statement, including by facilitating trade, improving market access, and addressing issues of interest to both sides.
  • Both sides looked forward to full implementation of the civil nuclear energy partnership and collaboration between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Westinghouse Electric Company for the establishment of six nuclear power plants in India.
  • Observing the strong ties of family, education, and business, and the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation that unite their people, the Ministers highlighted the unmatched people-to-people ties between their countries and recognized the benefits to both nations and the world from these ties, including the free flow of ideas and collaboration in health, space, oceans, and other areas of science and technology.

Must Read: Link


GS-3

Reducing Carbon Emission by Altering the Method of Farming

(Topic: Agriculture, Environment)

Initiative have been taken to make agriculture more adaptive and resilient to climate variability and in the process to reduce carbon emission.

Soil, water and crop management practices that reduce carbon emission include:

  • Increasing the area under System of Rice Intensification (SRI) as an alternative to transplanted paddy.
  • Deployment of zero tillage drill machines and other residue management equipment which enable planting of rabi crop in the standing residue of rice crop to avoid its burning.
  • Alternate wetting and drying, direct seeded rice system of rice cultivation, use of slow release nitrogen fertilizers, integrated nutrient management practices, leaf colour chart-based nitrogen application, use of urea super granules etc.
  • Mandatory Neem coating of urea.
  • Promotion of micro irrigation under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY)-Per Drop More Crop.
  • Planting of trees under National Food Security Mission (NFSM), Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI), Sub-Mission on Agro Forestry (SMAF) and National Bamboo Mission (NBM).
  • 45 models of Integrated Farming System (IFS) have been developed for replication in Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and in the States for enabling climate resilient agriculture.
  • Climate resilient villages have been developed by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), one in each of 151 districts. Climate Vulnerability Atlas has been prepared under National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA).  District Agriculture Contingency Plans have been developed for 633 districts in order to give real time agro advisories for overcoming climate risks.

National Bamboo Mission (NBM)

(Topic: Schemes and policies under Agriculture)

The scheme aims to supplement farm income of farmers with focus on the development of complete value chain of bamboo sector to link growers with consumers.  

Major objectives of the Mission are:

  • To increase the area under bamboo plantation in non-forest Government and private lands to supplement farm income and contribute towards resilience to climate change as well as availability of quality raw material requirement of industries.
  • To improve post-harvest management through establishment of innovative primary processing units near the source of production, primary treatment and seasoning plants, preservation technologies and market infrastructure.
  • To promote product development keeping in view market demand, by assisting R&D, entrepreneurship & business models at micro small and medium levels and feed bigger industry.
  • To rejuvenate the under developed bamboo industry in India.
  • To promote skill development capacity building, awareness generation for development of bamboo sector from production to market demand.
  • To re-align efforts so as to reduce dependency on import of bamboo and bamboo products by way of improved productivity and suitability of domestic raw material for industry, so as to enhance income of the primary producers.

Prelims oriented News:

1st rank in ‘Swachh Survekshan’ 2017: Indore

Affordable Housing Fund (AHF) was established in National Housing Bank (NHB) with an objective to improve the affordability of the target group to own their homes.

The “Ease of Living” Index is an initiative of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to help cities assess their liveability vis-à-vis global and national benchmarks and encourage cities to move towards an ‘outcome-based’ approach to urban planning and management.

CITIIS (Cities Investments to Innovate Integrate and Sustain) was launched in partnership with Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and European Union.

  • A Loan of EUR 100 million will be extended by AFD which shall be given as a grant to Smart Cities for implementation of 15 innovative projects selected through the All-India Challenge.
  • The projects would be in four sectors- sustainable mobility, public open spaces, urban governance & ICT and social and organizational innovation in low-income settlements.
  • Technical support with global expertise will be provided for preparation and implementation of selected demonstrative projects.

Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA): The core objective of this transformative legislation is to ensure regulation and promotion of real estate sector in an efficient manner and to protect the interest of home buyers.

Municipal bonds are an important instrument to mobilise financial resources for investment in Urban Infrastructure.

I-Metros (Indian Metro Rail Organisations’ Society) – a platform to exchange ideas, pooling of knowledge and sharing of experience, best practices, innovations etc. among the Indian metro rail companies to nurture excellence in performance

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme being implemented in the statutory towns in the country for reducing the poverty and vulnerability of urban poor households since April 2014. The primary target of DAY-NULM is urban poor, including urban homeless & urban street vendors and emphasis is laid on mobilisation of vulnerable sections of urban population into Self Help Groups (SHGs).

The World Bank has recently released the Doing Business Report (DBR) 2019 and the country’s rank in Construction Permits indicator has gone up to 52 from 181, a year ago. This could be possible due to the reforms implemented and consistent efforts of the Municipal Corporations of Delhi and Mumbai in facilitating Ease of Doing Business in construction permits.

National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) to enhance the experience of religious tourists visiting prominent heritage sites is being implemented in 12 cities, namely, Ajmer, Amaravati, Amritsar, Badami, Dwaraka, Gaya, Kancheepuram, Mathura, Puri, Varanasi, Velankanni and Warangal.

Setting up of two Defence Production Corridors: One each in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Tamil Nadu

INSV Tarini: The first-ever all-women crew circumnavigated the globe in an indigenously built 56-foot Indian Navy Sailing Vessel

Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) ‘Tejas’: India joined the elite group of nation which have developed the Air-to-Air refuelling system for military class aircraft when Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) ‘Tejas’ successfully completed mid-air refuelling trial by wet (actual) engagement, transferring 1,900 kgs fuel from IAF IL78 mid-air refuelling tanker

Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti: To migrate from the culture of seeking Transfer of Technology (ToT) from foreign sources to generating Intellectual Property in India, to achieve the goal of self-reliance in Defence sector.

Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) a scheme of Department of Defence Production (DDP), formulated in collaboration with Start Up India and Atal Innovation Mission, with the objective of bringing Start-ups to solve problems of defence production, innovate new technologies required by defence forces and reduce dependence on imported technology. iDEX is aimed at creation of an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, Start-ups, Individual Innovators, R&D institutes and Academia and provide them grants/funding and other support to carry out R&D.

ShaGun (from the words Shaala and Gunvatta) which has two parts i.e., one is a Repository of good practices, photographs, videos, studies, newspaper articles etc on elementary education, State /UT wise has been developed. Its purpose is to showcase success stories and also to provide a platform for all stakeholders to learn from each other, and instill a positive competitive spirit among all the States and UTs.

The second part is the online monitoring module of Shagun which measures state-level performance and progress against key educational indicators which enables the Government of India and the State and UT Departments of education to conduct real-time assessments which normal paper-based monitoring mechanisms did not allow. Through Shagun, the data collection and reporting processes have been simplified; resulting in a totally transparent and efficient system.

Shaala Siddhi is a School Standards and Evaluation Framework, developed by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), which enables the schools to self-evaluate based on seven key domains.

e-PATHSHALA: a single point repository of e ­resources containing NCERT textbooks and various other learning resources has been developed for showcasing and disseminating all educational resources including textbooks, audio, video, periodicals, and a variety of other print and non-­print materials.

Diksha Portal: The portal envisages to help teachers boost their teaching skills and create their own separate profile with their skills and knowledge, and help in improving quality of education with use of latest technologies in education sector.

Rashtriya Gokul Mission: Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries has been implementing Rashtriya Gokul Mission with the aim of development and conservation of indigenous bovine breeds.

Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme:

  • Under the CHCDS, need based funding is provided for various interventions like technology upgradation, product development, setting up of Value Addition Centre, Common Facility Centre (CFC), Marketing Complex, Dye House and Corpus Fund for Yarn Depot
  • Under the scheme, various projects like setting up of Common Facility Centre, Dye House, Garmenting Unit, Silk Spinning Unit, Automatic Silk Reeling Unit etc. have been taken up in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode, which are functional.
  • The scheme is under implementation in eight mega handloom Clusters i.e. Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Sivasagar (Assam), Virudhanagar (Tamil Nadu), Murshidabad (West Bengal), Prakasam & Guntur districts (Andhra Pradesh), Godda & neighbouring districts (Jharkhand), Bhagalpur (Bihar) and Trichy (Tamil Nadu).

BhoomiRashi portal: In the past years, acquisition of land for the purpose of National Highway projects, payment of compensation to the land owners etc were done manually by physical movement of documents in the form of files. However, in that procedure some constraints viz. delay in issuing notification, errors in the land/area details etc were being faced. In order to overcome these issues, to cut short delays and avoid parking of public funds with the Competent Authority for Land Acquisition (CALA), Ministry has developed a web-based Utility –BhoomiRashi to fully digitize and automate the entire process of land acquisition.

With the operation of this Portal, the land acquisition process has been expedited significantly, become error-free and more transparent and the notifications at every stage are being processed on real time basis. While the physical processing of the cases usually took considerable time, ranging from weeks to even months, and there were errors whose rectification caused further delays, the processing time using this portal has been reduced to less than two weeks in a majority of cases and even a few days in some cases.

Samagra Shiksha scheme focuses on improvement of quality of education by providing support for  different interventions like; in-service training of teachers and schools heads, conduct of achievement surveys at National and State level,  provision of textbooks as per Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, remedial teaching for academically weaker students, ICT and digital initiatives, vocational education, composite school grant to every school for providing a conducive learning environment  has been increased and from this year provisions for library grants and grants for sports and physical education have also been introduced.

Geographical Indications (GIs) are registered as per the provisions of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999. As on 24.12.2018, 330 GIs have been registered.

  • GIs have been defined under Article 22(1) of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement as: “Indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a member, or a region or a locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographic origin.”
  • The GI tag ensures that none other than those registered as authorised users (or at least those residing inside the geographic territory) are allowed to use the popular product name.
  • Darjeeling tea became the first GI tagged product in India, in 2004-05
  • List of GI products from India

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP): A proposed Free Trade Agreement between ten ASEAN member states and their six Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners namely India, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and Republic of Korea

  • Expected to provide market access for India’s goods and services exports and encourage greater investments and technology into India.
  • It would also facilitate India’s MSMEs to effectively integrate into the regional value and supply chains.
  • India is not a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) which is a grouping of twenty-one countries in the Asia Pacific region with an aim to deepen and strengthen economic and technological cooperation amongst APEC member countries.

INDO-France Pact for Sustainable Development

  • India and France are today the leading nations in the fight against climate change. The joint hosting by India and France of the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) on 11th March 2018 in New Delhi and the first General Assembly in New Delhi from 2nd to 5th October 2018 has bolstered our joint resolve to fight climate change.
  • The second India-France Dialogue on Africa, which took place on 11th December 2018, provided both countries an opportunity to exchange views on the latest developments in Africa as well as to explore possibilities for joint endeavour to contribute towards peace, stability and prosperity in Africa.

Ministry of Food Processing Industries

Mega Food Parks: Mega Food Parks create modern infrastructure facilities for food processing along the value chain from farm to market with strong forward and backward linkages through a cluster-based approach. Common facilities and enabling infrastructure is created at Central Processing Centre and facilities for primary processing and storage is created near the farm in the form of Primary Processing Centers (PPCs) and Collection Centers (CCs).

Integrated Cold Chain: Ministry of Food Processing Industries is implementing the Scheme of Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure as one of the component of Pradhan Mantri Kisan SampadaYojana with the objective of arresting post-harvest losses of horticulture & non-horticulture produce and providing remunerative price to farmers for their produce. The integrated cold chain and preservation infrastructure can be set up by individuals, groups of entrepreneurs, cooperative societies, Self Help Groups (SHGs), Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), NGOs, Central/State PSUs, etc.

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