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Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 22nd December to 29th December – 2019

  • IASbaba
  • December 30, 2019
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Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 22nd to 29th December, 2019

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GS-2

‘Good Governance Index’ launched on Good Governance Day –  25th Dec

(Topic: Governance)

The Good Governance Day is observed on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The Good Governance Index is a uniform tool across States to assess the Status of Governance and impact of various interventions taken up by the State Government and UTs.

Objectives of GGI –

  • To provide quantifiable data to compare the state of governance in all states and UTs, 
  • Enable states and UTs to formulate and implement suitable strategies for improving governance
  • Shift to result oriented approaches and administration. 

Various principles have been kept in mind while selecting the indicators, i.e. it should be easy to understand & calculate, citizen-centric & result driven, leading to improved results and applicable to all states and UTs, among others. 

The GGI takes into consideration ten sectors: 

1). Agriculture and Allied Sectors, 

2). Commerce & Industries, 

3). Human Resource Development, 

4). Public Health, 

5). Public Infrastructure & Utilities, 

6). Economic Governance, 

7). Social Welfare & Development, 

8). Judicial & Public Security, 

9). Environment

10). Citizen-Centric Governance

These ten Governance Sectors are measured on total 50 indicators. Difference indicators are given different weightage under one Governance Sector to calculate the value. E.g. Under Agriculture & Allied Sector, there are 6 indicators with different weightage, namely: Growth rate of agriculture and allied sector (0.4), growth rate of food grains production (0.1), growth rate of horticulture produce (0.1), growth rate of milk production (0.1), growth rate of meat production (0.1) and crop insurance (0.2). The states and UTs are divided into three groups: a). Big States, b). North-East & Hill States and c). UTs. The states and UTs are ranked on all indicators separately, at the same time composite ranking is also calculated for these states and UTs under their respective groups based upon these indicators.

Year End Review 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs

Important Bills Passed by Parliament

  1. Jammu and Kashmir – Abrogation of Article 370 and 35A ; The Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Act, 2019; The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Act, 2019
  2. National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Act, 2019
  3. Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019
  4. Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019 – aims to increase operational efficiency of SPG in ensuring the security of the Prime Minister of India.
  5. Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 – focus on granting Indian Citizenship to persons belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities on ground of religious persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Marathon deliberations held by Union Home Minister with various stakeholders from North East and their concerns against the CAB 2019 addressed in the final Amendment Act.
  6. Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019 – enhances the punishment for existing offences like illegal manufacture, sale, transfer and  illegal acquiring, possessing or carrying prohibited arms or prohibited ammunition; illicit trafficking of firearms; celebratory gunfire endangering human life. Arms licenses to be issued for 5 years in electronic form, which would prevent forgery. The Amendment would reduce possession of illegal firearms and commission of criminal offences by limiting 2 licenses per person. Ownership of arms by retired and serving personnel of armed forces and sportspersons remains unaffected by the Amendment. Further, Ancestral guns may be retained in a Deactivated State.
  7. Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019 –  to make the constitution of NHRC and SHRCs broader and more inclusive.
  8. Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (Merger of Union Territories) Bill, 2019 – Administrative efficiency, better service delivery and effective implementation of  Central and State Government Schemes to be the focus.

Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh

  1. Abrogation of Article 370 and 35A
    • Historic step to remove Article 370 and 35A of Constitution of India
    • Brought JK & Ladakh at par with other States and UTs
    • All provisions of Constitution of India, without any modifications or exceptions, to now apply to JK & Ladakh
    • Laws of Union Government wrt education, empowerment of SC, ST, Minorities etc to be applicable to JK & Ladakh
    • Boost to local economy and employment opportunities by increasing investment; Reservation to EWS of society in jobs & educational institutions to apply in JK & Ladakh
    • Betterment of socio-economic infrastructure in JK & Ladakh
  2. The Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Act, 2019: Jammu and Kashmir reorganised into
    • Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir with legislature, and
    • Union Territory of Ladakh without Legislature
    • Formally came into force on 31st October, 2019
    • Maps of newly formed UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh released
    • 1st Winter-grade Diesel outlet for Ladakh inaugurated by Union Home Minister; move to boost tourism in extreme weather conditions
  3. The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Act, 2019: 3% reservation in services and educational institutions extended to people living near the International Border (IB) in J&K, in line with reservation given to people living near the Line of Control (LoC)
  4. Amarnath Yatra
    • 3,42,883 yatris had safe and secure Darshan
    • Higher by nearly 20%, as compared to 2018
  1. Kartarpur Sahib Corridor
    • Union Cabinet passed a resolution on 22nd November 2018 to celebrate the historic occasion of 550th Birth Anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Devji in a grand and befitting manner, throughout the country and across the globe
    • India signed the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor Agreement with Pakistan on 24th October, 2019
    • Indian pilgrims of all faiths to undertake year-round Visa-free travel to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib through Kartarpur Sahib Corridor – a long standing demand of followers of Guru Nanak Dev ji
    • State of art Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) developed (estd. project cost – Rs. 400 crore), having modern public amenities and security features; architecture reflecting cultural heritage of Punjab

Strict Action on Terror and Insurgency

  1. National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Act, 2019
    • NIA empowered with extra territorial jurisdiction for investigation of terrorism related offences taking place outside India, in which Indian property/citizens are victims
    • The mandate of NIA is expanded by inclusion of new offences viz. explosive substances, human trafficking, manufacturing/sale of prohibited arms and cyber terrorism, to its Schedule
  2. Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019
    • Central Government empowered to designate individual as terrorist
    • NIA empowered to seize/forfeit property representing proceeds of terrorism in cases investigated by NIA
    • After recent amendment, 4 Individuals viz., Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi and Dawood Ibrahim proscribed as Terrorists
    • Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) banned for another five years under sub-sections of UAPA, 1967
  3. Cyber Crime Control
    • National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal (www.cybercrime.gov.in) launched as a citizen centric initiative to facilitate public for reporting of all types of Cyber Crimes without visiting Police Station
    • The complaints reported on this portal are accessible online to the law enforcement agencies of respective States/UTs for taking appropriate action as per law
    • 12th India Security Summit on ‘Towards New National Cyber Security Strategy’ held in New Delhi
  4. Review Meeting on Left Wing Extremism (LWE)
    • Incidents of LWE violence down from 2258 in 2009 to 833 in 2018
    • Number of deaths dropped from 1005 in 2009 to 240 in 2018
    • Districts affected by naxal violence reduced from 96 in 2010 to 60 in 2018
  5. Smart Fencing – Union Home Minister launched BOLD-QIT (Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique) under Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) on Indo-Bangladesh border in Dhubri district of Assam, as an effective deterrence against illegal infiltration. Two pilot projects covering about 71 Kms on Indo-Pakistan Border (10 Kms) and Indo-Bangladesh Border (61 Kms) of Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) have been completed.
  6. International Drug Syndicate busted – largest seizure of contraband drugs by NCB in India – 20 Kgs of Cocaine, worth Rs. 100 crores, seized.

National Register of Citizens (NRC), Assam published on 31.08.2019

  • A machinery created for detection and deportation of illegal immigrants
  • ‘In-principle’ approval given for setting up of 1000 additional Foreigners Tribunals (FTs)
  • ‘In-principle’ approval given to Assam Government for creation of e-FT platform (estd. cost – Rs. 99 crores)

International Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)

  • launched by Prime Minister during the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on 23rd September, 2019
  • Knowledge exchange platform on different aspects of disaster and calamity resilience of infrastructure
  • Assist countries for Infrastructure Development based on risk context and economic needs
  • Pooling of Technological Expertise of stakeholders

Bilateral Agreements/MoUs

  1. India and Uzbekistan signed Security Cooperation Agreement
  2. MoU between India and Indonesia on combating illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and its precursors
  3. MoUs signed between India and Saudi Arabia in the field of combating illicit trafficking and smuggling of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Chemical Precursors
  4. MoU signed between India and Myanmar on bilateral cooperation for Prevention of Trafficking in Persons
  5. MoU between India and USA to access tip line reports on Missing and Exploited Children

Cabinet approves Atal Bhujal Yojana 

(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services – Water)

The scheme aims to improve ground water management through community participation in identified priority areas in seven States, viz. Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Implementation of the scheme is expected to benefit nearly 8350 Gram Panchayats in 78 districts in these States. ATAL JAL will promote panchayat led ground water management and behavioural change with primary focus on demand side management. 

  • The Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti has taken a pioneering initiative for ensuring long term sustainability of ground water resources in the country through the Atal Bhujal Yojana (ATAL JAL) by adopting a mix of ‘top down’ and ‘bottom up’ approaches in identified ground water stressed blocks in seven states, representing a range of geomorphic, climatic and hydrogeologic and cultural settings.
  • ATAL JAL has been designed with the principal objective of strengthening the institutional framework for participatory ground water management and bringing about behavioral changes at the community level for sustainable ground water resource management. 
  • The scheme envisages undertaking this through various interventions, including awareness programmes, capacity building, convergence of ongoing/new schemes and improved agricultural practices etc.

ATAL JAL has two major components:           

  1. Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building Componentfor strengthening institutional arrangements for sustainable ground water management in the States including improving monitoring networks, capacity building, strengthening of Water User Associations, etc.
  2. Incentive Componentfor incentivising the States for achievements in improved groundwater management practices namely, data dissemination, preparation of water security plans, implementation of management interventions through convergence of ongoing schemes, adopting demand side management practices etc. 

ATAL JAL will result in:   

  1. Institutional strengthening for improving ground water monitoring networks and capacity building of stakeholders at different levels which will enhance ground water data storage, exchange, analysis and dissemination.
  2. Improved and realistic water budgeting based on an improved database and preparation of community-led Water Security Plans at Panchayat level
  3. Implementation of Water Security Plans through convergence of various ongoing/new schemes of the Government of India and State Governments to facilitate judicious and effective utilization of funds for sustainable ground water management.
  4. Efficient use of available ground water resources with emphasis on demand side measures such as micro-irrigation, crop diversification, electricity feeder separation etc. 

Impact:

  1. Source sustainability for Jal Jeevan Mission in the project area with active participation of local communities.
  2. Will contribute towards the goal of doubling the farmers’ income.
  3. Will promote participatory ground water management.
  4. Improved water use efficiency on a mass scale and improved cropping pattern;
  5. Promotion of efficient and equitable use of ground water resources and behavioural change at the community level;

Background: Ground water contributes to nearly 65% of total irrigated area of the country and nearly 85% of the rural drinking water supply. The limited ground water resources in the country are under threat due to the increasing demands of growing population, urbanization and industrialization. Intensive, and unregulated ground water pumping in many areas has caused rapid and widespread decline in ground water levels as well as reduction in the sustainability of ground water abstraction structures. The problem of reduction in ground water availability is further compounded by deteriorating ground water quality in some parts of the country. The increasing stress on ground water due to over- exploitation, contamination and associated environmental impacts threaten to endanger the food security of the nation, unless necessary preventive / remedial measures are taken on priority.


POSHAN Maah

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

September 2019 – POSHAN Maah

Goal: To achieve improvement in nutritional status of Children (0-6 years) and Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM) in a time bound manner in next three years period beginning 2017-18 with fixed targets

S. No Objective Target
1. Prevent and reduce Stunting in children (0- 6 years) By 6% @ 2% p.a.
2. Prevent and reduce under-nutrition (underweight prevalence) in children (0-6 years) By 6% @ 2% p.a.
3. Reduce the prevalence of anemia among young Children(6-59 months) By 9% @ 3% p.a.
4. Reduce the prevalence of anemia among Women and Adolescent Girls in the age group of 15-49 years. By 9% @ 3% p.a.
5. Reduce Low Birth Weight (LBW). By 6% @ 2% p.a.

For achieving the above targets, Poshan Abhiyaan is to ensure convergence of all nutrition related schemes of the Ministry of Women and Child Development on the target population.  This includes convergence of Anganwadi Services, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, Scheme for Adolescent Girls of Ministry of Women & Child Development; Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), National Health Mission (NHM) of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Swachh Bharat Mission of Ministry of Jal Shakti; Public Distribution System (PDS) of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution (CAF&PD), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) of Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and other programmatic interventions of Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation,  Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Convergence Action Plan guidelines in this regard have been issued to all the States/UTs and line Ministries.

Software and dashboard for POSHAN Abhiyaan

  • POSHAN Abhiyaan empowers the frontline functionaries like Anganwadi Workers and Lady Supervisors by providing them with smart phones.  ICDS-Common Application Software have been developed under POSHAN Abhiyaan which enables data capture, ensures assigned service delivery and prompts for interventions wherever required.
  • This data/information is then made available on web-based ICDS-CAS dashboard on a near real time basis, for monitoring, to the supervisory staff at Block, District, State and National level, for action and decision making at their end.  The dashboard displays data and provides reports on various programme areas to the administrative officers to interpret and use the information for improving service delivery. 

Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO)

(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services)

  • Section 28 of the POCSO Act 2012 provides for establishment of Special Courts for the purpose of providing speedy trial. 
  • Further, Section 35 of the POCSO Act provides that the evidence of the child shall be recorded within a period of thirty days of the Special Court taking cognizance of the offence and reasons for delay, if any, shall be recorded by the Special Court. 
  • Section 35 also lays down that the Special Court shall complete the trial, as far as possible, within a period of one year from the date of taking cognizance of the offence.

The Government of India has taken the following steps to ensure speedy dispensation of justice:

  • In furtherance to The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018, the Government has finalized a scheme in August, 2019 for setting up of total of 1023 Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) across the country for expeditious trial and disposal of pending cases pertaining to rape and POCSO Act, 2012, in a time-bound manner under Centrally Sponsored Scheme. The Scheme is for one year spread over two financial years i.e.2019-20 and 2020-21.
  • The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 was enacted for effective deterrence against sexual offences. Further, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 was enacted to prescribe even more stringent penal provisions including death penalty for rape of a girl below age of 12 years. The Act also inter-alia mandates completion of investigation and trials within 2 months each.
  • A “National Database on Sexual Offenders” has been launched on 20th September, 2018 to facilitate investigation and tracking of sexual offenders across the country by law enforcement agencies.
  • An online analytic tool for police called “Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences” has been launched on 19.02.2019 to monitor and track time-bound investigation on sexual assault cases in accordance with the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018.
  • In order to improve investigation, steps have been taken to strengthen DNA analysis units in Central and State Forensic Science Laboratories. This includes setting up of a State-of-the-Art DNA Analysis Unit in Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Chandigarh.
  • Guidelines have been notified for collection of forensic evidence in sexual assault cases and the standard composition in a Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit. 
  • A scheme namely Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Children (CCPWC) has been approved under which an online cybercrime reporting portal (www.cybercrime.gov.in) has been launched on 20th September, 2018 to enable public to report complaints pertaining to child pornography/ child sexual abuse material, rape/gang rape imageries or sexually explicit content.

Digital Initiatives of Aviation Ministry

  1. eGCA: The function & process of DGCA is being moved to an online platform to provide faster delivery of services & regulation oversight. The first module on pilot licensing shall be launched in December 2019.   
  2. DigiSky: DigiSky online portal has been launched for flying Civil Drones. The Beta version of DigiSky is available and captures the entire gamut of activities relating to drones viz. registration of drones and pilots, approval of flight path, post flight analysis etc. based on the distinctive features of No Permission No Take off (NPNT).
  3. E-sahaj: 100% security clearances pertaining to the Ministry have been made online on E-sahaj online portal launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The portal is operational for granting clearances in respect of 24 categories.
  4. DigiYatra: Trial for rollout of DigiYatra has been started at Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports. It envisages seamless and hassle free passenger travel using biometric technologies to improve passenger experience, reduce queue waiting time as passengers can walk through e-gates. It will remove redundancies at check points and enhance resource utilization.
  5. Dashboard of MoCA: The Dashboard of Ministry of Civil Aviation was developed on17 August 2019. It provides real-time data across a number of parameters on air transportation, including RCS-UDAN.
  6. Aviation Job Portal (https://aviationjobs.co.in): A unique web-based portal, which seeks to bring together job seekers and prospective employers in the Indian civil aviation sector.
  7. Air Sewa: An initiative by MoCA to bring all aviation stakeholders to a common platform so as to address the grievances of the air travellers. The status of the issues raised can be tracked online.  The platform also provides updated flight status and is linked to social media.
  8. Lost & Found online portal (https://www.aai.aero/en/lost-found/item-list): Lost & Found online portal has been commissioned in June 2019 to ease out the passenger claiming process for Lost & found Property.

Cabinet approves 

  1. Strategic Tunnel under Rohtang Pass to be renamed after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee: The 8.8-kilometre long tunnel is the world’s longest tunnel above an altitude of 3,000 metres. It will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 kilometres and save crores of rupees in transport costs. It is a 10.5-metre wide single tube bi-lane tunnel with a fire proof emergency egress tunnel built into the main tunnel itself. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) worked relentlessly to overcome major geological, terrain and weather challenges that included the most difficult stretch of the 587-metre Seri Nalah Fault Zone.
  2. Ex-post facto agreement on Security Cooperation between India and Saudi Arabia: The Agreement aims to improve the effectiveness of both countries in the prevention and suppression of crimes including crime relating to terrorism and its financing and organized crime and to establish a framework for enhancing cooperation between the officials of intelligence and law-enforcement agencies of the two countries, in line with national and international obligations.
  3. Ex-post facto the agreement between India and Uzbekistan on Cooperation in the field of Combating Transnational Organized Crime and International Terrorism: The agreement aims to improve the effectiveness of both countries in prevention and suppression of crimes including crime relating to terrorism and its financing, organized crime and to establish a framework for enhancing cooperation between the officials of intelligence and law-enforcement agencies of the two countries, in line with domestic laws and international obligations.
  4. MoU between India and Bangladesh on cooperation in Youth matters: Exchange programmes in the field of Youth Affairs between India and Bangladesh will help in promoting exchange of ideas, values and culture amongst Youth and in consolidating friendly relations.  It will help in developing international perspective among the Youth and expanding their knowledge and expertise in the areas of youth affairs.
  5. Promulgation of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019: The Amendment will remove certain ambiguities in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 and ensure smooth implementation of the Code. 

Under the Amendments, the liability of a corporate debtor for an offence committed prior to the commencement of the corporate insolvency resolution process shall cease, and the corporate debtor shall not be prosecuted for such an offence from the date the resolution plan has been approved by the Adjudicating Authority, if the resolution plan results in the change in the management or control of the corporate debtor to a person who was not:

    • A promoter or in the management or control of the corporate debtor or a related party of such a person; or
    • A person with regard to whom the relevant investigating authority has, on the basis of material in its possession, reason to believe that he had abetted or conspired for the commission of the offence, and has submitted or filed a report or a complaint to the relevant statutory authority or Court.

Subject to relevant provisions the corporate debtor shall, as required, extend all assistance and co-operation to any authority investigating an offence committed prior to the commencement of the corporate insolvency resolution process.

6. Ex-post facto approval to Agreement between India and Sweden on Recognition of Seafarer Certificates: The Agreement will pave the way for recognition of maritime education and training, certificates of competency, endorsements, training and documentary evidence and medical fitness certificates for seafarers issued by the Government of both the countries, in accordance with the provision of regulation 1/10 of the STCW Convention, and cooperation between the two countries in the training certification and management of seafarers. The Agreement will be beneficial to both the countries as Sweden is a ship owning nation while India is a net seafarers supplying nation.

7. MoU between India and Saudi Arabia for cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy: The MoU aims at setting up a framework for cooperation between the two parties in the field of renewable energy in the following areas:-

    • Upgrading the level of technologies and their applications in the field of renewable energy
    • Contributing to the field of renewable energy to raise its efficiency in the national energy combination in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
    • Developing the Renewable energy projects in Solar, Wind, Biogas, Geothermal and other fields of renewable energy
    • Development and localization of value chain in the field of renewable energy
    • Developing and boosting uses of solar energy small applications for buildings, homes and others

8. Signing of MoU between India and Brazil on Bioenergy Cooperation: India and Brazil are major consumers of energy in the world and Brazil is one of the most important trading partners of India in the entire LAC (Latin America and Caribbean) region.

    • Brazil is currently the world’s second largest producer and consumer of biofuels and biofuels and bioelectricity accounted for 18% of Brazil’s energy mix. 
    • India also has a strong focus in the area of bio-fuels and has set a target to achieve 20% blending of ethanol in petrol and 5% blending of biodiesel in diesel by 2030 with the announcement of new policy on Biofuels in 2018.

In this regard, the MoU provides a framework to cooperate and promote investment in biofuel, bioelectricity and biogas supply-chains, including feedstock, industrial conversion, distribution and end use sectors. Few other salient features of the MoU include 

  • Exchange of information on agricultural practices and policies regarding biomass for bioenergy, including sugarcane, corn, rice, oil-crops, and lignocellulosic crops; 
  • policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions levels based on the use of biofuels, using cycle analysis and the issuance of emissions reduction certificates traded in an organized market; 
  • trade aspects and the promotion of a joint position to address market access and sustainability of biofuels, including advanced biofuels; 
  • Engine and fuel modifications / adjustments that may be necessary for different percentages of biofuels blended with fossil fuels

9. Signing of Protocol to amend the Air Services Agreement between India and Switzerland: The amendments in the Air Services Agreement between India and Switzerland will bring it in tune with the developments in the civil aviation sector.  It will provide enabling environment for enhanced and seamless connectivity while providing commercial opportunities to the carriers of both the sides ensuring greater safety and security.

10. Ex-post facto approval to amend the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations: The Union Cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval to the Adaptation of Laws (Amendment) Order, 2019 issued by the President of India under clause (2) of article 372 of the Constitution to amend the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations (BEFR), 1873. The notification will extend BEFR to the State of Manipur to give its indigenous people protection from the provisions of Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 and make necessary changes in the said Regulation.

11. Conduct of Census of India 2021 and updation of National Population Register: Census of India will cover the entire population in the country while NPR will also cover all the population except in the state of Assam.

The Indian Census is largest administrative and statistical exercise in the world. The next decennial Census is due in 2021 and would be conducted in two phases:

    • House listing and Housing Census – April to September, 2020 and
    • Population Enumeration – 9th February to 28th February, 2021.

The National Population Register (NPR) will also be updated along with House listing and Housing Census except in Assam.

  • 30 lakh field functionaries will complete this gigantic exercise of national importance, up from 28 lakh in 2011.
  • Use of mobile app for data collection and the Central portal for monitoring purpose will ensure early release of Census data with improved quality.
  • Data dissemination will be much better and in a user friendly way so that all the queries on required parameters for policy making will be made available on the click of a button.
  • Census-as-a-service (CaaS) will deliver on-demand data to ministries in a clean, machinereadable and actionable format.

Prelims oriented News

Country’s tallest Air Traffic Control tower: Delhi Air Traffic Service Complex (DATS- Complex)

Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh: Will be a repository of diverse crops across 128 agro-climatic zones in India for better nutritional outcomes

  • At the behest of the Ministry of WCD the Harvard Chan School of Public Health through its India Research Center and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will document and evaluate promising regional dietary practices and the messaging around them and develop a food atlas on regional agro-food systems. Both efforts are aimed at mobilizing the diverse sectors of the society.
  • In consultation with Ministry of WCD and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the project team will select around 12 high focus states which are representative of the geographical, social, economic, cultural and structural diversities of India. In each of the states or group of states the team will identify a local partner organization which has relevant work experience in Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) and nutrition for developing the food atlas.

NITI Aayog to Launch SDG India Index & Dashboard 2019–20

  • The SDG India Index and Dashboard 2019–20 have been developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), the United Nations in India, and the Global Green Growth Institute.
  • NITI Aayog has the mandate of overseeing the adoption and monitoring of SDGs in the country, at the national and sub-national level. The SDG India Index, whose first edition was launched in December 2018, was the first tool developed by any large country to monitor the progress towards achieving SDGs at the sub-national level.
  • The SDG India Index and Dashboard 2019 tracks the progress of and ranks all States and UTs on 100 indicators drawn from MoSPI’s National Indicator Framework, comprising 306 indicators. It indicates where the country and its States and UTs currently are on SDG implementation, and charts the distance to be travelled to reach the SDG targets. The Index covers 16 out of 17 SDGs and a qualitative assessment on Goal 17. This marks an improvement over the 2018 Index, which covered only 13 goals.

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana: A flagship scheme of the Government for pregnant women and lactating mothers has achieved a significant milestone by crossing one crore beneficiaries. The total amount disbursed to the beneficiaries under the scheme has crossed Rs. 4,000 crores.

  • PMMVY is a direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme under which cash benefits are provided to pregnant women in their bank account directly to meet enhanced nutritional needs and partially compensate for wage loss. 
  • Under the ‘Scheme’, Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM) receive a cash benefit of Rs. 5,000 in three instalments on fulfilling the respective conditionality, viz. early registration of pregnancy, ante-natal check-up and registration of the birth of the child and completion of first cycle of vaccination for the first living child of the family. 
  • The eligible beneficiaries also receive cash incentive under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY). Thus, on an average, a woman gets Rs. 6,000.

One Stop Centre (OSC) Scheme: The One Stop Centre (OSC) Scheme provides a range of services including police facilitation, medical aid, psycho-social counselling, legal counselling and temporary shelter to women affected by violence in an integrated manner under one roof.

Nirbhaya Fund: Government of India has set up a dedicated fund called Nirbhaya Fund for implementation of initiatives aimed at enhancing the safety and security of women in the country. Under the Nirbhaya Fund, the proposed projects should have the features like

  • Direct impact on safety and security concerns of women
  • Optimum use of existing infrastructure
  • Innovative use of technology
  • No duplication of existing government schemes/ programmes
  • Provision for real time intervention as far as possible
  • Strict privacy and confidentiality of women’s identity
  • Information and defined monitoring mechanism

Sexual Harassment electronic–Box (SHe-Box): Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India has developed an online complaint management system titled Sexual Harassment electronic–Box (SHe-Box) for registering complaints related to sexual harassment at workplace by women, including government and private employees. 

  • Once a complaint is submitted to the SHe-Box portal, it directly reaches to the concerned authority having jurisdiction to take action in the matter.
  • A total number of 203 cases have been disposed of so far which includes cases under Central Government, State Government and Private sector.
  • The SHe-Box portal has been developed with the objective to facilitate the registration of complaints related to sexual harassment of women at workplace.

Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP): PMEGP is a major credit-linked subsidy programme being implemented by the Ministry of MSME since 2008-09. The Scheme is aimed at generating self-employment opportunities through establishment of micro-enterprises in the non-farm sector by helping traditional artisans and unemployed youth in rural as well as urban areas.

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019: The Act will make all the stakeholders responsive and accountable for upholding the principles underlying the Act. It will bring greater accountability on the part of the Central Government and State Governments/Union Territories Administrations for issues concerning Transgender persons. The Act will benefit a large number of transgender persons, mitigate the stigma, discrimination and abuse against this marginalized section and bring them into the mainstream of society. It will lead to greater inclusiveness and will make the transgender persons productive members of the society.

National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) for 2018-25 has been prepared and implemented, which aims at reduction of adverse consequences of drug abuse through a multipronged strategy involving education, de-addiction and rehabilitation of affected individuals and their families. Since 2014-15, under the scheme the total number of beneficiaries are 4,98,247.

Cabinet has approved the proposal of establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) at Sehore, Madhya Pradesh which has been registered as a society under Madhya Pradesh Society Registration Act, 1973 on 28th May 2019, with the objective to promote mental health rehabilitation using an integrated multidisciplinary approach and developing trained professionals in the area of mental health rehabilitation.

India’s First Country Report on Status of Disability and Implementation of United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) was submitted in November,2015 was considered and successfully adopted by United Nations on 03rd September this year along with certain recommendations.

Quotes:

The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah

On films

  • Filmmakers should be conscious of the impact this powerful medium has on people. He urged them to use the powerful medium as an instrument of social change and educate people, promote social harmony and bring about an attitudinal change in society in combating various social ills.
  • The focus should be on creating an artistic rendition of challenges and social ills and resolve the conflicts in a way that reinforces social cohesion and ethical principles
  • We must convey a strong message to combat the current trend of violence against women. All of us in society, particularly those from the film industry, must promote and depict women in a respectable manner.

On Diplomatic Relations

  • India wants to have peaceful relations will all its neighbors, including Pakistan.
  • The abrogation of Article 370 was the need of the hour and would put the state on a rapid growth trajectory. “Recent changes in the structure of the state are intended to extend all the benefits which other Indians have been enjoying all this while.
  • Terming terrorism as the enemy of humanity and a constant roadblock in the path to progress, the Vice President observed that where tension prevailed, no attention could be paid to development.

On conservation of indigenous cattle breeds

  • There is a need to conserve indigenous cattle breeds and strengthen bull mother farms to conserve high merit indigenous breeds. He suggested employing scientific methods in dairying to increase the milk production of dairy animals by scientifically feeding and breeding indigenous nondescript dairy animals.
  • Describing the dairy sector as the backbone of the rural economy after agriculture and plays an important role in the country’s socio-economic development, he said that farmers could achieve financial sustainability and value addition by investing in allied activities such as dairy, fisheries and food processing.  
  • Given the fact that the economy of milk producers largely depends on the potential of the animals they keep, Shri Naidu stressed the need to improve the genetic-merit of our animals by the introduction of superior germs plasm.
  • He opined that there was an urgent need to invest more and enhance research on sectors such as dairy, poultry, fisheries and other allied activities of agriculture to create an ecosystem where the farmers should not depend only on agriculture of economic sustainability.
  • Opining that enhancing milk production, providing self-employment and sustainable income generation to the rural farmers, enhancing the per capita availability of milk should get special attention from all governments.

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