Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 14th October to 22nd October – 2019

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  • October 21, 2019
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Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 14th to 22nd October, 2019



Release of two diagnostic kits developed under ‘Make in India’ initiative by Indian Council of Agricultural Research – Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar

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

1. Bluetongue sandwich ELISA (sELISA) for detection of Antigen

  • Bluetongue (BT) virus is an insect-transmitted viral disease of domestic and wild ruminants that includes the camelid species. The disease is widespread among the sheep, goats, cattle, buffaloes and camels in the country. 
  • With the help of the Kit, the Bluetongue Virus can be controlled with the vaccination of susceptible animals, vector control and quarantine of infected animals with the good management practices. 
  • Apart from the vaccination, the early diagnosis and isolation of the infected animals are one of the commonly suggested preventive methods for controlling the spreading of the disease.

2. Japanese Encephalitis lgM ELISA kit for for the control of Swine

  • JE is a re-emerging viral zoonotic disease leading to death of children every year in the country
  • Helpful for assessing the active infection of JE virus in the swine population which predicts the outbreak of JE in the humans. 
  • As compared to the commercial kit available in the market at a price of Rs. 52,000; the ICAR-IVRI developed is available for the farmers at a minimal price of Rs. 5,000 only.
  • This indigenous technology will not just help save foreign exchange as the newly developed kits cost ten times lesser than the imported ones but also has the potential to earn foreign exchange.          

India Innovation Index 2019

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

NITI Aayog with Institute for Competitiveness as the knowledge partner released the India Innovation Index (III) 2019. 

  • The aim is to create a holistic tool which can be used by policymakers across the country to identify the challenges to be addressed and strengths to build on when designing the economic growth policies for their regions. 
  • The states have been bifurcated into three categories: major states, north-east, and hill states, and union territories/city states/small states.

The index attempts to create an extensive framework for the continual evaluation of the innovation environment of 29 states and seven union territories in India and intends to perform the following three functions- 

1) Ranking of states and UTs based on their index scores, 

2) Recognizing opportunities and challenges, and 

3) Assisting in tailoring governmental policies to foster innovation.

The India Innovation Index 2019 is calculated as the average of the scores of its two dimensions – Enablers and Performance. 

The Enablers are the factors that underpin innovative capacities, grouped in five pillars: 

(1) Human Capital, 

(2) Investment, 

(3) Knowledge Workers, 

(4) Business Environment, and 

(5) Safety and Legal Environment. 

The Performance dimension captures benefits that a nation derives from the inputs, divided in two pillars: 

(6) Knowledge Output and 

(7) Knowledge Diffusion

Key Results:

  • Karnataka is the most innovative major state in India. Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Telangana, Haryana, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh form the remaining top ten major states respectively. 
  • The top ten major states are majorly concentrated in southern and western India. 
  • Sikkim and Delhi take the top spots among the north- eastern & hill states, and union territories/city states/small states respectively. 
  • Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh are the most efficient states in translating inputs into output.

India has a unique opportunity among its myriad challenges to become the innovation leader in the world. Cluster-based innovation should be leveraged upon as the focal point of competitiveness. The index is a great beginning to improve the environment of innovation in the country as it focuses on both the input and output components of the idea.

India-Netherlands Bilateral Ties

(Topic: India and other countries)

Economic partnership is a key pillar of India-Netherlands bilateral ties. 

The Netherlands is India’s 4th largest trading partner in the European Union. Netherlands is also among the leading investors in India.  Indian companies have made significant investment in Netherlands as well. Dutch companies have a global name in the fields of agriculture, water management, port development, waste management and urban planning.

On the strong foundation of our historic ties, we have created a partnership driven by innovation, investment and technology. Smart Solutions, Smart Cities, green energy, start-ups and new-age products are bringing us together. India is excited to share and learn from Netherlands on river rejuvenation.

The Netherlands today is home to the largest Indian community on mainland Europe. The growing Indian student and professional community in Netherlands is making our cultural knot stronger and our technology partnership deeper.

Launched the second phase of the LOTUS-HR (Local Treatment of Urban Sewage streams for Healthy Reuseplant)

  • The project was initiated in July 2017 and aims to demonstrate a novel holistic (waste) water management approach that will produce clean water which can be reused for various purposes.
  • The innovative pilot scale modular plant upon commissioning will treat 10,000 L sewage water per day and will showcase a self-sustaining model for the end user.
  • This pilot scale facility will employ multiple technologies so that the data generated at the pilot scale becomes a tool-box of treatment technologies for replication at other sites in Delhi as well as other parts of India where similar drains exist. 
  • The rationale is that the mixing and matching of technologies from this tool-box will depend on the quantity (flow rate) and quality (pollutant load) of drain water, land availability, site accessibility as well as topography.
  • The Indo-Dutch collaboration aims to pave new ways to create techno entrepreneurship and encourage a sustainable business model to convert sewage water into clean water for healthy re-use.


Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying releases 20th Livestock Census

Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying has released the 20th Livestock Census report today.The Census will prove beneficial not just for policy makers but also for agriculturists, traders, entrepreneurs, dairying industry and masses in general. This release provides some key results reflecting the aggregate counts of various species as well as its comparison with previous census.

Total Livestock population increases 4.6% over Census-2012, Increases to 535.78 million

Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying releases 20th Livestock Census

Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying releases 20th Livestock Census

Key results of the 20th Livestock Census:

  • The total Livestock population is 535.78 million in the country showing an increase of 4.6% over Livestock Census-2012
  • Total Bovine population (Cattle, Buffalo, Mithun and Yak) is 302.79 Million in 2019 which shows an increase of about 1% over the previous census.
  • The total number of cattle in the country in 2019 is 192.49 million showing an increase of 0.8 % over previous Census.
  • The Female Cattle (Cows population) is 145.12 million, increased by 18.0% over the previous census (2012).
  • The Exotic/Crossbred and Indigenous/Non-descript Cattle population in the country is 50.42 million and 142.11 million respectively. 
  • The Indigenous/Non-descript female cattle population has increased by 10% in 2019 as compared to previous census.
  • The population of the total Exotic/Crossbred Cattle has increased by 26.9 % in 2019 as compared to previous census.
  • There is a decline of 6 % in the total Indigenous/ Non-descript cattle population over the previous census. However, the pace of decline of Indigenous/ Non-descript cattle population during 2012-2019 is much lesser than as compared to the 2007-12 which was about 9%
  • The total buffaloes in the country is 109.85 million showing an increase of about 1.0% over previous Census
  • The total milch animals (in-milk and dry) in cows and buffaloes is 125.34 million, an increase of 6.0 % over the previous census
  • The total sheep in the country is 74.26 million in 2019, increased by 14.1% over previous Census.
  • The Goat population in the country in 2019 is 148.88 million showing an increase of 10.1% over the previous census.
  • The total Pigs in the country is 9.06 Million in the current Censusdeclined by 12.03% over the previous Census.
  • The other livestock including mithun, yak, horses, ponies, mule, donkeys, camel together contribute around 0.23% of the total livestock and their total count is 1.24 million.
  • The total poultry in the country is 851.81 million in 2019, registered an increase of 16.8% in the total poultry.
  • The total birds in the backyard poultry in the country is 317.07 million. The backyard poultry has increased by around 46% as compared to previous Census.
  • The total Commercial Poultry in the country is 534.74 million in 2019, increased by 4.5% over previous Census.

The major thrust given to 20th Livestock Census is the collection of data through tablets computers. The 20th livestock census is indeed a unique attempt as for the first time such a major initiative has been take to digitise household level data through online transmission from the field.  National Informatics Centre (NIC) has developed a mobile Application software and was used for data collection as well as online transmission of data from the field to the NIC server.

Prelims Oriented News:

2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel: Abhijit Banerjee

  • He has made notable contributions in the field of poverty alleviation.
  • Other winners: Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer

Most Eminent Senior Citizen Award: To legal luminary, scholar and former Attorney General, Shri K. Parasaran

  • Terms the Award as a fitting recognition to the ‘Pitamaha’ of the Indian Bar’; who has tried to blend both “dharma” and “nyaya” and embodies the ideal expressed by poet Kalidasa who had said, in the epic poem, Raghuvamsham, “ vruddhatvam jarasaa vinaa” or the ability to constantly grow in stature without growing old.
  • Shri Parasaran was honored with the Award on the occasion of the Elder’s Day celebration of Age Care India, an organization working for the welfare of the elderly.

Indian Railways launches 09 ‘Sewa Service’ Trains: 

  • These Sewa trains will provide connectivity to the far-flung areas where stoppages of premiere trains were not possible
  • Sewa Service’ trains have been planned with spare rakes as a part of ‘sweating of assets’ initiative by the Indian Railways to have better utilization of the rolling stock

Bridgital Nation: Written by Shri N Chandrasekaran and Ms. Roopa Purushottam

  • The book presents a powerful vision of the future where technology and human beings co-exist in a mutually beneficial ecosystem. 
  • It argues that instead of accepting technology as replacement of human labour, India can use it as an aid to generate more jobs. 
  • The cutting edge digital tools can act as a bridge between aspirations and achievements – hence the term ‘bridgital’.

Essay Topic: Technology is a bridge, not a divider

Quick Points:

  • Technology has been a key component of government schemes in order to reform, transform and perform
  • Use of data intelligence, digital mapping and real time monitoring in Ujjwala Yojana which has transformed the lives of millions of women
  • How technology has helped in empowering people through schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana and Ayushman Bharat
  • Government has used technology to remove silos amongst government departments and build a bridge between supply systems and demand, through innovative ideas like Government e-market Place (GeM)
  • How technology was used to create a robust Start-Up system in the country, especially in tier-2 and tier 3 cities – which has helped in the development of an entirely new ecosystem of startups
  • Creation of India Post Payment Bank: the need to convert challenges posed by technology into opportunities – The disruption caused by technology to the entire postal organization was converted into a technology intensive banking system, benefitting millions through postal bank which transformed ‘dakiya into a Bank Babu’.

Food Safety Mitra (FSM) scheme: For strengthening and scaling up ‘Eat Right India’ movement

  • Will support small and medium scale food businesses to comply with the food safety laws and facilitate licensing and registration, hygiene ratings and training. Apart from strengthening food safety, this scheme would also create new employment opportunities for youth, particularly with food and nutrition background. The FSMs would undergo training and certification by FSSAI to do their work and get paid by food businesses for their services.
  • Also launched ‘Eat Right Jacket’ and ‘Eat Right Jhola’ on World Food Day 2019: Will be used by the field staff. This jacket has a smart design to hold tech devices like tablets/smart phone, a QR code and RFID tag for identification and tracking. Apart from providing safety to field staff on duty, this would bring in efficiency, professionalism and transparency in food safety administration and bring in a sense of ownership & visibility of FSOs.  The ‘Eat Right Jhola’, a reusable cloth bag shall replace plastic bags for grocery shopping in various retail chains. Since on repeated use, bags are often contaminated with microorganisms and bacteria, proper and regular washing of cloth bags is essential to ensure safety and hygiene. These cloth bags are being provided on rental basis through a private textile rental service company.
  • The theme for this day was ‘Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World’.

One Nation One Tag – FASTag: Process for having a unified electronic system across the country

  • Under the National Electronic Toll Collection programme of the Ministry, toll collection at national highways toll plazas is done through RFID based FASTags. However, collection at state highways toll plazas is done either manually or through other tags. This leads to inconvenience for the road users. 
  • The Ministry is therefore encouraging states to come onboard FASTag, so that seamless movement of transport can be assured across the nation. 
  • For this, Scheme Guidelines for Inclusion of Sate/ City Toll Plaza under NETC programme (FASTag) was circulated to all states by Indian Highways Management Corp Ltd (IHMCL). The Scheme offers participating state authorities/agencies shorter turnaround time by allowing them to be a part of the robust FASTag solution architecture which already supports approx. 6 million tags with approximately daily 10 lakh transactions.
  • FASTag is being positioned as the ‘Aadhaar’ for a vehicle.

Department of Posts should strive for 25 crore postal savings accounts from the current 17 crore in coming years

  • Should make efforts to link the same with the accounts of India Post Payments Bank for achieving the goal of financial inclusion
  • Should come forward to forge partnership with global companies and the administrative issues, if any, would be resolved amicably.
  • To work on a set of special stamps on Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram) in the wake of successful informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping due to its historic significance

Over the years India Post has been providing services through its network of 1,55,000 post offices. As a part of its savings bank schemes, the department has opened 1.47 lakh Sukanya Samridhi Yojna accounts for benefitting the girl child. With the setting up of 13,352 Aadhaar centres, 420 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras and a robust digital platform through its Digital Advancement of Rural Post Offices (DARPAN) for A New India , the Department of Posts is trying to provide quality citizen centric services to the customers.

National Postal Week: 9th to 15th October

World Post Day: 9th October; This year, this day was celebrated as 50th World Post Day by UPU (Universal of Postal Union).

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