Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 17th Feb to 23rd Feb – 2019

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  • February 25, 2019
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Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 17th Feb to 23rd Feb – 2019



Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS)

(Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population)

DDRS is being organized by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. It will cover 13 States of Eastern & North Eastern region namely West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim & Tripura. The stakeholders i.e. the NGOs receiving grant under DDRS, State Government Officers & District level officers will be participating.

Provisions of the scheme

  • Every year more than 600 NGOs are provided with financial assistance for running their projects for the rehabilitation of persons with disability such as Special school, pre-school and early intervention, Halfway Homes and Community Based Rehabilitation etc.
  • The NGOs being funded are catering the rehabilitative services to more than 35000 to 40000 beneficiaries every year.

Facts and figures

  • According to Census 2011, there were about 2.68 crore persons with disabilities in India, constituting 2.21% of the total population in the country.
  • The mandate of the Constitution of India is to ensure equality, freedom, justice and dignity of all individuals, which implies an inclusive society for all, especially the disadvantaged.
  • Article 41 of Part IV (Directive Principles of State Policy – which is particularly relevant with regard to persons with disabilities.
  • In 2015, the Government launched the National Action Plan (NAP) for skill development of persons with disabilities. The NAP envisages skilling of the persons with disabilities on various trades so as to enhance their employability both in the government and private sector and also to enhance the scope of their self-employment

Important initiatives on women’s safety

(Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population)

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has conceptualized several initiatives to promote safety of women in their living spaces, working spaces and the public spaces. Three of these important initiatives are.

  • Panic Button:

The idea of having a panic button on the mobile phone was conceived way back in 2015. Ministry of Telecom mandated a physical panic button on all mobile phones in the country.

This system was then conceptualized in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs and state governments were asked to put in place a dedicated Emergency Response Centre through which the entire system will be operated.

  • SCIM portal under Safe City Project: In order to provide safety for women in public spaces, the Government has identified eight cities for implementation of Safe City project. The 8 major cities which have been chosen are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai. The projects include creation on ground assets & resources and mindset safety of women.

Some of the key features of the safe city project include:

  • Identification of sensitive hot spots in each city,
  • Installation of CCTV surveillance covering the entire hot spot.
  • Automated number plate reading machines to be deployed in extremely sensitive areas.
  • Intensive patrolling in vulnerable areas beyond the identified hot spots.
  • Improving street lighting and public toilet facilities for women.
  • Others like setting up women help desks in police stations, augmentation of women support centres etc.
  • DNA Analysis Facilities in States: In view of the complaints of delay in cases of sexual assault investigations, it was proposed that dedicated DNA analysis facilities should be created in the forensic science laboratories on a mission mode. Timely testing of DNA samples from the crime scene is the quickest process of obtaining forensic evidence in cases of sexual assault on women.

International Vision Zero Conference

(Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population)

Ministry of Labour and Employment started VISION ZERO conference and its relevance to Occupational Safety and Health.  


  • The concept of ‘Vision Zero’ is fast gaining international acceptance and is expected to leverage the efforts of the Government of India to raise the occupational safety and health standards in the country so as to improve the occupational safety and health situation.
  • The concept of Vision Zero is based on four fundamental principles viz.
    • Life is non-negotiable,
    • Humans are fallible,
    • Tolerable limits are defined by human physical resistance, and
    • People are entitled to safe transport and safe workplaces.

The Vision is based on principles of Controlling Risks, Ensuring Safety and Health in Machines, Equipment and Workplaces and Skill Upgradation of Workforce.

National Workshop on Promoting Healthy Diets Through Local Food Systems

(Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population)

Under the aegis of POSHAN Abhiyaan, promoting consumption and household/community production of locally available nutritionally rich food resources has been a priority concern. The academic institutions will serve as resource centres and Nutrition Support Units to the Districts and State administration for technical, training, concurrent monitoring support to achieve the goals of POSHAN Abhiyaan.

POSHAN Abhiyaan

  • The POSHAN (PM’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment) Abhiyaan is aimed to ensure attainment of malnutrition free India by 2022.
  • The programme targets reduction of under-nutrition, anemia and low birth weight by ensuring convergence of evidence-based nutrition interventions and by creating a mass movement (Jan Andolan) for food nutrition in India.
  • One of the key nutrition interventions to meet these targets is to improve the quality of daily diets by making them nutritionally rich and locally sustainable.
  • Academic institutions were also encouraged to frame scientific methodologies and prepare achievable action plans with clearly defined indicators.

Hope Portal

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

National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Organizations (NABH) has revamped Entry-Level Certification Process to make it simpler, digital, faster and user-friendly. The revised process is driven through a new portal called HOPE – Healthcare Organizations’ Platform for Entry-Level-Certification with a focus to promote quality at nascent stages by enrolling a wide range of hospitals across the country including Healthcare Organizations (HCOs) and Small Healthcare Organizations (SHCOs).

Aim of HOPE

  • The aim is to create a momentum for HCOs and SHCOs that want to avail benefits associated with Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and Ayushman Bharat by getting themselves NABH certified along with the primary aim of creating a quality healthcare ecosystem in India.
  • The idea of cashless payment to patients under insurance coverage has been promoted by IRDAI to reduce financial burden on households.
  • The IRDAI has mandated hospitals to ensure a quality healthcare ecosystem through NABH Entry-Level Certification Process.

Activities under HOPE

  • Nationwide awareness workshops to sensitize the hospitals on the entire process of assessment.
  • Call centre support to hospitals through an active helpline for resolving issues while filling the application form.
  • Platform to connect hospitals with certified consultants for assistance in the certification process following a cost effective manner.
  • Knowledge bank providing a comprehensive guidebook, presentation etc. with detailed information of the step-by-step certification procedure.
  • Created a larger and stronger network of qualified assessors

Quality Council of India (QCI)

  • Established in 1997 Quality Council of India (QCI) is an autonomous organization under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • It is the Quality Apex and National Accreditation Body for accreditation and quality promotion in the country.
  • The Council was established to provide a credible, reliable mechanism for third party assessment of products, services and processes which is accepted and recognized globally.


Big Bang Reforms in Oil & Gas Sector  

(Topic: Infrastructure- Energy)

The Union Cabinet approved the Policy framework on reforms in exploration and licensing sector for enhancing domestic exploration and production of oil and gas.


  • The decision signals a paradigm shift in the core goal of the Government, moving from revenue-maximisation to production-maximisation, with focus on exploration. This will incentivise increased investment and production.

Category I basins

  • In Category I basins where potential is established and production is taking place, to give boost to further exploration in unexplored areas of these basins, the weightage of revenue sharing has been reduced from 50% to 30%.
  • Also, in order to ensure that revenue sharing does not disincentivise higher production, the maximum revenue sharing has been capped at 50%.

Category II and Category III basins

  • In the less prospective Category II and Category III basins, revenue sharing has been totally dispensed with and allotment of basins would be solely based on the exploration work programme.
  • On successful discovery, the production and full revenue will accrue to the operator, with Government asking for no share.
  • This is apart from marketing and pricing freedom, which has been assured in all basins.


  • It gives complete marketing and pricing freedom to oil and gas production.
  • In gas, it is also extended this to those fields whose first Field Development Plan (FDP) is yet to be approved.
  • It also gives concession in the royalties in case the oil fields are brought to production earlier.
  • Integrating the recommendations of NITI Aayog, the cabinet decision focuses on enhancing exploration & production activities, which would have massive macro-economic benefits in terms of development of support services, employment generation, transfer of advanced technology etc.

Operation Digital Board (ODB)

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

Operation Digital Board to leverage technology in order to boost quality education in the country. Operation Digital Board is a revolutionary step which will make the learning as well as the teaching process interactive and popularize flipped learning as a pedagogical approach.


  • ODB aims at converting a class room into a digital class room and in addition to availability of e-resources at any time and at any place to students.
  • It will also help in provisioning of personalised adaptive learning as well as Intelligent Tutoring by exploiting emerging technologies like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence & Data Analytics.
  • An expert committee has worked out optimum configuration of the Digital Class Rooms under ODB.

Implementation in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)

  • UGC will be the implementing agency for ODB in HEIs.
  • It is estimated that there would be 5 lakh classrooms in the institutions which are aided by Centre or State Governments. Out of this, based on the readiness, UGC proposed to take up 300 universities and about 10,000 colleges in the first phase covering 2 lakh classrooms.
  • For the 2 lakh class rooms, the cost is estimated at Rs. 2000 crores. This can be implemented as a Central scheme, as a loan from HEFA.

Implementation in Schools

  • Digital / SMART board will be provided in all Government and Government – aided schools having Secondary and Sr. Secondary classes.
  • Nearly 1.5 lakh Secondary / Sr. Secondary schools will be covered under the scheme in collaboration with the State and UTs

All India Citizens Survey of Police Services

(Topic: Internal security)

Ministry of Home Affairs has commissioned the Bureau of Police Research and Development to conduct a pan-India survey called “ALL INDIA CITIZENS SURVEY OF POLICE SERVICES”. The survey will be conducted through the National Council of Applied Economic Research, New Delhi.

Importance of the survey

The outcome of the survey is expected to bring out useful suggestions for stakeholders in formulating and implementing appropriate policy responses and changes in the functioning of police at the cutting edge and for improving crime prevention and investigation, transformation in community policing, improvement in the access to the justice and increased appropriate resource allocation for police in a systematic manner.

Super-Efficient Air Conditioning programme launched by EESL

(Topic: Development of new technology)

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of four National Public Sector Enterprises under Ministry of Power launched its Super-Efficient Air Conditioning Programme.

About Air Conditioners

  • These Super-Efficient Air Conditioners are 40 percent more efficient than, but priced comparably with, the 3-star ACs currently available in the market (ISEER 3.8).
  • EESL is working towards making this programme and its benefits available to all consumers across the nation with the other DISCOMs likely to partner with EESL in future.


  • EESL’s investment in the programme is partially supported by a grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), an independent financing mechanism that was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to address global environmental issues. The GEF is an international partnership of 183 countries, international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector.
  • Further, Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing necessary grant support and loan while United Nations Environment (UNEP) is providing technical assistance support to the Super-Efficient AC programme.

Accepted outcomes

  • The programme directly addresses the prospect of the nearly four-fold increase in energy consumption from buildings and cooling appliances in India by 2032, while also addressing goals of India’s Cooling Action Plan and Hydrochlorofluro carbons Phase Out Management Plan, enabling achievement of India’s targets under the Kigali and Paris Agreements.

Please Note:

NCST Leadership Award: Awards which will be conferred for significant and exemplary services towards Scheduled Tribes in the country.  The awards will be given in 3 categories i.e.

  • Educational Institutions/ Universities,
  • Public Sector Undertakings/Banks and
  • Public Service rendered by an Individual, NGO or Civil Society.

Eco Circuit: Pathanamthitta – Gavi – Vagamon – Thekkady: Major works carried out under the project includes Eco Adventure Tourism Park at Vagamon, Cultural Centre at Kadamanitta, Eco Log Huts at Peerumedu, Idukki, Approach Roads, Walking trails, Rain Shelters at Pine Valley Forest, Thekkady, Kumily, Moozhiyar Dam, Penstock and Kakki Dam in Kerala.

Central Waqf Council: It is a statutory body established in 1964 by the Government of India under Wakf Act, 1954 (now a sub section the Wakf Act, 1995) for the purpose of advising it on matters pertaining to working of the State Wakf Boards and proper administration of the Wakfs in the country.

  • Wakf is a permanent dedication of movable or immovable properties for religious, pious or charitable purposes as recognized by Muslim Law, given by philanthropists. The grant is known as mushrut-ul-khidmat, while a person making such dedication is known as Wakf.
  • The Council is headed by a Chairperson, who is the Union Minister in charge of Wakfs and there are maximum 20 other members, appointed by Government of India as stipulated in the Wakf Act. Presently the chairperson

642nd birth anniversary of Guru Ravidas: Guru Ravidas was a North Indian mystic poet-sant of the bhakti movement during the 14th to 16th century CE. Venerated as a guru (teacher) in the region of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh the devotional songs of Ravidas made a lasting impact upon the bhakti movement.

He was a poet-saint, social reformer and a spiritual figure. He is considered as the founder of 21st-century Ravidassia religion, by a group who previously were associated with Sikhism He gave the people a message of peace, harmony and fraternity. He made people aware of the evils of discrimination and urged overcoming them.

VIVID 2019: VIVID-Vision Insight and Voices as India goes Digital”- the District Informatics Officer (DIO) meet, is being organised by National Informatics Centre (NIC). The meet is held as an initiative to interact with the DIO’s and to share their experiences as well as contribution, as digital change-makers at the grass-root level in the States.

  • VIVID started in 2017, as an annual event, with the objective to empower NIC officials in the field of technology.

Runway to a Billion Opportunities: 12th biennial edition of International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition and declared the Aero India 2019 in Bengaluru.

  • This edition of Aero India, for the first time, combines the defence and civil aviation segments into a holistic event with the co-involvement of the defence and civil aviation ministries in the event.
  • More than 600 Indian Companies and 200 Foreign Companies are participating and witnessing the largest Air show of Asia.

‘Shisht Bharat Abhiyan’: organised by an NGO, theme of the event was to discuss the importance of moral science education in schools and colleges and to include Moral Science as a subject in the educational curriculum.

Atmospheric Water Generator safe Drinking Water: Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) has unveiled its new product, the Atmospheric Water Generator (AWG), an innovative solution to meet the ever-increasing need for drinking water worldwide. BEL’s Atmospheric Water Generator can be used to generate water straight from the humidity present in the atmosphere.

Waste to Wonder” Park in South Delhi: this park has set an example for others, as for the first time scrap has been used to create ‘Wealth from waste’. The efforts should be made towards behavioural change of the people and proper arrangement should be made for waste disposal. A system should be developed for recycling of waste that can be reused. The products which cannot be recycled should be minimally used.


Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi

On India- Korea relation

  • You would go fast if you go alone, but you would go far if you go together

Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu

On Centre-State relation

  • As far as development is concerned, both State and Central governments must work as Team India

President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind

On energy security

  • In today’s era of rapid technological advance, energy and environment are major concerns not only for developing countries but also for developed countries.

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