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Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 1st March to 7th March – 2020

  • IASbaba
  • March 9, 2020
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Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 1st to 7th March, 2020

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GS-2

Steps taken by the Government for the rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants

(Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure)

It has been the endeavour of the Government of India to ensure the safe return of Kashmiri migrants by providing various rehabilitation facilities and to create an environment conducive for their return to the Valley.

Under the Prime Minister’s Development Package, 2015 (PMDP- 2015):

  1. Creation of 3,000 State Government jobs for the Kashmiri migrants at an outlay of Rs. 1,080 crores.    
  2. Construction of 6,000 transit accommodations at an outlay of Rs. 920 crores for accommodating 3000 Kashmiri migrants employed under PMRP- 2008 and for 3000 additional migrants under PMDP-2015. 849 flats are available for accommodation and 560 flats are under construction.

In addition to the above, the Government of India reimburses monthly cash relief to the eligible Kashmiri migrants settled in Jammu.  Since the year 2014, the monthly cash relief has been enhanced twice i.e. from Rs. 6600/- per family to Rs. 10,000/- per family in 2015 and to Rs. 13,000/- per family in 2018.  In addition, dry ration is also provided to these Kashmiri migrants.

In case of Kashmiri migrants settled in Delhi, the Government of India reimburses the expenditure incurred by the Government of NCT of Delhi (GNCTD) on the monthly cash relief of Rs.3250/- per person out of which the share of GNCTD is Rs. 1000/- per person.


Schemes for the welfare and upliftment of every section of the society

(Topic: Government policies for vulnerable sections of the society)

The Government is implementing various schemes for the welfare and upliftment of every section of the society including minorities especially economically weaker & downtrodden sections all over the country. The Ministry in particular implements programmes/schemes for the six (6) centrally notified minority communities namely, Buddhists, Christians, Jains, Muslims, Parsis and Sikhs as under:- 

  • Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme, Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme, Merit-cum-Means based Scholarship Scheme – For educational empowerment of students.
  • Maulana Azad National Fellowship Scheme – Provide fellowships in the form of financial assistance.
  • Naya Savera – Free Coaching and Allied Scheme – The Scheme aims to provide free coaching to students/candidates belonging to minority communities for qualifying in entrance examinations of technical/ professional courses and Competitive examinations.   
  • Padho Pardesh – Scheme of interest subsidy to students of minority communities on educational loans for overseas higher studies. 
  • Nai Udaan – Support for students clearing Prelims conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), State Public Service Commission (PSC) Staff Selection Commission (SSC) etc.
  • Nai Roshni – Leadership development of women belonging to minority communities..
  • Seekho Aur Kamao – Skill development scheme for youth of 14 – 35 years age group and aiming at improving the employability of existing workers, school dropouts etc.
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) restructured in May 2018 earlier known as MsDP – Implemented for the benefit of the people from all sections of the society  in identified Minority Concentration Areas for creation of assets in education, skill and health sectors. 
  • Jiyo Parsi – Scheme for containing population decline of Parsis in India.
  • USTTAD (Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) launched 
  • Nai Manzil – A scheme for formal school education & skilling of school dropouts 
  • Hamari Dharohar- A scheme to preserve rich heritage of minority communities of India under the overall concept of Indian culture implemented since 2014-15.
  • Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF) implements education and skill related schemes as follows:- 
    1. Begum Hazrat Mahal National Scholarship for Meritorious Girls belonging to the Minorities
    2. Gharib Nawaz Employment Scheme started in 2017-18. for providing short term job oriented skill development courses to youth belonging to minority communities
    3. Bridge Course for madarsa students & school dropouts by Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh and Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi under Nai Manzil scheme
    4. Swachh Vidyalaya
  • Equity to National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC) for providing concessional loans to minorities for self-employment and income generating ventures.  
  • Schemes for strengthening State Waqf Boards and coordinates arrangements for annual Haj pilgrimage 
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK): In identified Minority Concentration Areas (MCAs) of the country with the objective of developing socio-economic assets and basic amenities in these areas to bring them at par with other parts of the country. The thrust of the PMJVK programme is to allocate at least 80% of the resources for education, health and skill development and at least 33-40% of the resources for women centric projects.  

Ministry of Culture – Updates

  1. Sahitya Akademi, an autonomous organization under Ministry of Culture, encourages the preservation and promotion of languages, especially the unrecognized and tribal languages.
  2. Nomination dossiers of ‘Dholavira: A Harappan City’ and ‘Monuments and Forts of Deccan Sultanate’ have been submitted for inclusion in the World Heritage List for the year 2020

(Read up on: Group of Monuments at Mandu + Bhedaghat (Narmada Valley))

      3. Scheme of Scholarship and Fellowship for Promotion of Art and Culture

(i) ‘Award of Scholarships to Young Artists in Different Cultural Fields’: Up to 400 scholarships (in a Batch Year) are awarded to persons of outstanding promise in the age group of 18-25 years. An amount of Rs. 5,000/- p.m. is given for 2 years for advanced training within India.

(ii) ‘Award of Senior/Junior Fellowships to Outstanding Persons in the Fields of Culture’: Up to 400 Senior/Junior Fellowships (in a Batch Year) are awarded to outstanding persons in the age group above 40 years (Sr.) and 25 to 40 years (Jr.) respectively. An amount of 20,000/-p.m. and Rs. 10,000/- p.m. is given to Senior/Junior Fellows respectively for 2 years for cultural research.

(iii) ‘Tagore National Fellowship for Cultural Research: Up to 25 Scholarships and 15 Fellowships (in a Batch Year) are awarded to outstanding personsin order to invigorate and revitalise the various institutions under the Ministry of Culture (MoC) and other identified cultural institutions in the country, by encouraging scholars/ academicians to affiliate themselves with these institutions to work on projects of mutual interest. An honorarium of Rs. 80,000/- p.m. plus contingencies and Rs. 50,000/-p.m.plus contingencies is given to Fellows and Scholars respectively for 2 years.

      4. Octave:  To promote and propagate the rich cultural heritage of North East region comprising of eight States namely Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, Nagaland,  Manipur and Tripura to the rest of India.

      5. Government has taken various measures to promote Sanskrit language

  1. Providing financial assistance to Adarsh Sanskrit Mahavidyalayas / Shodha Sansthans.
  2. Award of merit scholarships to students of Sanskrit Pathasala to College level.
  3. Financial assistance to NGOs / Higher Educational Institutions of Sanskrit for various Research Projects / Programmes.
  4. Retired eminent Sanskrit scholars are engaged under the Shastra Chudamani scheme for teaching. 
  5. Sanskrit is also taught through Non-formal Sanskrit Education (NFSE) programme, by setting up Non-Formal Sanskrit learning centres, in reputed institutions like Indian Institutes Technology, Ayurveda institutions, Modern Colleges and Universities.
  6. Presidential awards for Sanskrit Language are awarded annually to 16 senior scholars and to 5 young scholars.
  7. Financial Assistance for Publication, Reprint of rare Sanskrit books.
  8. Ashtaadashi containing eighteen Projects for sustaining the growth of Sanskrit has been implemented.
  9. Development of Sanskrit Dictionary to school students.
  10. Development of E-content in Sanskrit language for online professional development programme for teachers at secondary stage.
  11. 21-day refresher course for Sanskrit teachers of Andaman and Nicobar Islands at Upper primary stage.
  12. Development of Sanskrit workbook “Abhyasavan Bhava” at Secondary stage.
  13. Development of various e-contents for teachers and students
  14. Ongoing project: Development of compendium of ancient Indian education thoughts in Sanskrit.

Cabinet approves 

MoU between India and Côte d’lvoire for cooperation in the field of Health

  • Exchange & training of medical doctors, officials, other health professionals and experts in the field of advanced medical technology, nuclear medicine, renal transplantation, cardiac surgery, nephrology, hemodialysis and medical research;
  • Regulation of drugs and pharmaceutical products;
  • Assistance in development of human resources and setting up of health care facilities;
  • Medical and health research development;
  • Management of healthcare sector and public health services including medical evacuations;
  • Procurement of generic and essential drugs and assistance in sourcing of drug supplies;
  • Collaboration and research in the field of HIV/AIDS;
  • Development and improving the techniques and strategies for epidemiological surveillance;
  • Exchange of best practices in the field of primary health care;
  • Sharing of know-how on management of hospitals and community healthcare centers;
  • The promotion of public health and sharing of experiences in medical waste
  • management;
  • Health promotion and disease prevention;
  • Non-Communicable Diseases;
  • Occupational and Environmental Health;
  • Medical Research

Foreign Direct Investment policy on Civil Aviation: The proposed changes in FDI Policy will enable foreign investment by NRIs into M/s Air India Ltd. up to 100%, under automatic route. Above amendment to the FDI Policy are meant to liberalise and simplify the FDI policy to provide ease of doing business in the country.  Leading to largest FDI inflows and thereby contributing to growth of investment, income and employment.

Companies (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019: The Bill would remove criminality under the Act in case of defaults which can be determined objectively and which, otherwise, lack the element of fraud or do not involve larger public interest.  This would also lead to further de-clogging of the criminal justice system in the country. The Bill would also further ease of living for law abiding corporates.


Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Signs MoU with Amazon for E-Marketing of Products Made by Self Help Groups across the Country

(Topic: Government policies for vulnerable sections of the society)

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) under Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs today signed MoU with Amazon for e marketing of products made by Self Help Groups (SHGs) across the country in urban areas.  

With an underlying narrative of women empowerment, the collaboration aims to provide access to wider customer base for products made by SHGs and strengthening the mission of creating sustainable livelihoods in urban areas. The Government of India is focused on building sustainable public-private partnerships that positively impact every section of society. This collaboration will be instrumental in unleashing the innate entrepreneurial potential of urban women.

About DAY-NULM

A Flagship programme of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to reduce poverty and vulnerability of the urban poor households by enabling them to access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities, resulting in an appreciable improvement in their livelihoods on a sustainable basis, through building strong grassroots level institutions of the poor.


GS-3

Black carbon from agricultural burning & forest fire may influence melting of Gangotri Glacier

(Topic: Environment and Climate change)

Black carbon concentration in the region increases by 400 times during summer, according to a study. The study suggests agricultural burning and forest fire as the reason behind this seasonal increase. This can trigger glacial melt because of the light-absorbing nature of black carbon.

Study: By Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, (WIHG), an autonomous institution under Department of Science & Technology

Glacier in discussion: Conducted at Chirbasa station near Gangotri Glacier

The seasonal cycle of increase was significantly influenced by the emissions resulting from agriculture burning (in western part of the country), forest fires (along the Himalayan slopes) in summer, and to some extent by the contribution from long-range transport of pollutants in winter, depending the prevailing meteorological conditions.

The Equivalent Black Carbon (EBC) aerosols contribute significantly towards global warming due to its light-absorbing nature. Their presence in the eco-sensitive zone, such as the Himalayan glacier valleys, is a matter of serious concern and needs to be meticulously monitored. However, baseline data on BC is rarely available from most of the glaciated Himalayan region.


Biomethanation of rice straw to solve stubble burning

(Topic: Environment and Climate change)

  • Efforts are on to produce bio-gas for kitchen use and quality manure for fields using bio-methanation of rice straw by anaerobic digestion method. Six domestic level paddy straw based bio-gas plants have been installed in Punjab for field trials and further study is in progress.
  • R&D project has been supported on refinement and demonstration of an integrated process technology for conversion of crop residues into ethanol and methane for use as transport fuels.
  • A major focus on agriculture waste/stubble management (waste to wealth), alternative to burning, has been taken up under waste management technologies programme and proposals are being considered.

Flow Diverter Stents Technology for the treatment of Aneurysms of brain

(Topic: New Technology – Medicine)

Flow diverters stents when deployed in the artery in the brain bearing the aneurysms, divert blood flow away from the aneurysm, thus reducing the chances of its rupture from the pressure of blood flow.

Intracranial aneurysm is a localized ballooning, bulging or dilation of arteries in the brain caused by progressive weakening of the inner muscles of the wall of the blood vessels.

Spontaneous rupture of the aneurysm can result in bleeding into the space around the brain resulting condition called a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Subarachnoid hemorrhage can lead to paralysis, coma or death.

The Surgical treatment of an aneurysm involves opening the skull and a clip on the neck of aneurysm, so that it is cut off from the path of blood flow.

  • Flow diverters have the advantages of being flexible and adaptable to the shape and course of the vessel
  • Flow diverters also promote healing of the vessel wall by removing the constant stress of blood flow on it

The Chitra flow diverter is designed to have better grip on the walls of arteries of complex shapes in order to reduce the risk of migration of the device. The unique design is in its weave also makes this stent resistant to kinking or twisting, when it is placed in tortuous arteries and those with complex shapes. Even a 180 degrees bend does not occlude the lumen of the stent. Portion of the wires is made radio opaque for better visibility in X –Rays and fluoroscopy thus aiding accurate delivery of the diverter in the blood vessel.

Nitinol, a super elastic alloy with shape memory was acquired from National Aero Space Laboratories, Bengaluru (CSIR-NAL). When the device is deployed at the site, it is released from its crimped locked position and assumes the desired and originally designed shape because of the shape memory property of Nitinol. The flow diverter is delivered to the aneurysm in the brain using a delivery system. The delivery system has also been developed by the team


‘GenomeIndia: Cataloguing the Genetic Variation in Indians’ project

(Topic: New Technology – Medicine)

Sanctioned by: Department of Biotechnology (DBT)

Purpose: To do it for total 10,000 individuals representing the country’s diverse population in 3 years. 

  • Will facilitate future human genetics research in the country with greater precision
  • Help to design a genome wide association array for the Indian population to develop precision healthcare and diagnostics for major diseases at affordable costs.

The data security and sharing measures for this project will be governed by the rules and regulations formulated by Government of India. The personal information of all individuals consenting to participate in the study is stripped off from any further records in this project. This process of de-identification ensures that the personal information of the participants is not compromised. Additionally, ethical measures are strictly adhered to in order to maintain data security and protection.


Development of new explosive detection device

(Topic: New Technology – Security)

Developed by: DRDO & IISc Bangalore

Device: RaIDer-X

  • Has the capability to detect explosives from a stand-off distance. 
  • The data library can be built in the system to expand its capability to detect a number of explosives in pure form as well as with the contaminants. 
  • Bulk explosive in concealed condition can also be detected by the device.

The need: Detection of explosives is a compelling need of the hour. Security agencies are continuously monitoring vulnerable targets with the help of intelligence agencies to thwart the attempts of anti-social elements. 


New and Innovative Measures by the Ministry of Defence

(Topic: Defence and security)

To improve work culture, bring more transparency and accountability and also enhance result orientation which are as under:-

  1. Measures for promoting Probity, Public Accountability and Transparency in defence capital procurements:
  • Execution of Pre Contract Integrity Pact (PCIP) for all cases above Rs. 20 crore is being done to ensure integrity in procurement process. 
  • Guidelines for Handling of Complaints provide for time bound disposal of complaints and are aligned to CVC/DoP&T guidelines. 
  • Instructions have been issued for ascertaining vigilance status of L-1 vendor before seeking approval of the Competent Financial Authority.  
  • Guidelines for Penalties in Business Dealings with Entities and Capacity Assessment for Shipbuilding Entities have been notified.

    2. Measures undertaken by Services to improve work culture, transparency:

  • The Organizations follow a fair and transparent policy in distribution of work, posting, grant of leave, honours and award etc. through constant monitoring of cases on weekly and monthly basis and ensuring timelines and accountability. 
  • IT resources are being exploited to the optimum to ensure monitoring of work flow, pendency of cases and achievement of results.  
  • Online tests for selection of personnel through examination web portal have been started which increased IAF’s testing capability by 8 to 10 times and facilitated candidates to appear for exams in their nearby locations.  
  • IAF has successfully implemented Project e-MMS (e-Maintenance Management System) which is a versatile maintenance management tool. 
  • Non-classified communications have been moved towards paperless office using software developed by IAF.  
  • An Automation Cell have been set up by IAF to digitize, automate and reengineer various operational, maintenance and administrative tasks of IAF with an aim to bring transparency and accountability. 
  • IHQ MoD (Navy) has also commenced centralized online recruitment of Naval Civilians to lead a fair and transparent recruitment process.

     3. Installation of biometric attendance system

     4. Implementation of IT to monitor workflow, pendency of cases and achievements of results

     5. Performance Management System (PMS) to improve individual performance

A surge in start-ups dealing with defence production and indigenisation of imported equipment

  • Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) framework: Launched for achieving self-reliance and to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, startups, individual innovators, R&D institutes and academia. Under iDEX, the projects or problem statements are identified based on the requirements projected by the Armed Forces, OFB & DPSUs.
  • Government has notified a ‘Policy for indigenisation of components and spares used in Defence Platforms’ in March, 2019 with the objective to create a domestic industry ecosystem.
  • Industrial licensing regime for Indian manufacturers in Defence sector has been liberalized. This has reduced entry barriers for new entrants in defence sector, particularly SMEs.
  • FDI Policy has been revised and under the revised policy, Foreign Investment up to 49 % is allowed through automatic route and above 49 % under the Government route.
  • Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) has evolved a new industry friendly ToT policy for transfer of DRDO developed technologies to industries. DRDO has also promulgated new patent policy to facilitate Indian industries to get free access to use DRDO patents.
  • DRDO has launched a program termed as Technology Development Fund (TDF) for meeting the requirements of Tri-Services, Defence Production and DRDO. The scheme has been established to promote self-reliance in Defence Technology as a part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative by encouraging participation of public/private industries especially MSMEs.
  • Third Party Inspection (TPI) of Defence Stores: To align with the Government of India initiative to promote Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs and private sector and achieve national vision of “Make in India”, the Department has formulated Policy Document on ‘Utilisation of Third Party Inspection Services’ for effective administration of inspection function of out-sourced work with involvement of third parties for inspection services.
  • Mission Raksha Gyanshakti: This Mission was launched with the objective to encourage IPR for self-reliance in defence. IPR is the key enabler for developing an ecosystem of innovation and indigenization. As part of Mission Raksha Gyanshakti, an IPR Division has been constituted in DDP.

Steps to curb Maoists

(Topic: Defence and security)

No Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) are being withdrawn from Left Wing Extremism theatre. However, depending on dynamic security scenario CAPFs are redeployed from one area to another. 

As per Seventh schedule of Constitution of India, ‘Police’ and ‘Public Order’ are State subjects. However, the Central Government supplements the efforts of the State Governments over a wide range of measures including security, development and ensuring rights & entitlements of local communities.

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is supporting the State Governments extensively by deployment of CAPF Battalions, provision of helicopters, sanction of India Reserve Battalions (IRBs)/ Special India Reserve Battalions (SIRBs) etc. Funds are provided under Modernization of Police Force (MPF) Scheme, Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme and Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS) for modernization and training of State Police.

On development front, apart from flagship schemes of the Central Government, several initiatives have been taken for development of roads, installation of mobile towers, skill development, improving network of banks and post offices, besides strengthening of  health and education facilities. Steadfast implementation of the National Policy and Action Plan-2015 has resulted in consistent decline in both LWE violence and geographical spread of LWE influence

Prelims oriented News:

Gender Parity Index (GPI): Reflect equitable participation of girls in the School system

  • To bring gender parity in School Education, various interventions  have been targeted for girls under Samagra Shiksha which include opening of schools in the neighbourhood as defined by the State, provision of free text-books to girls up to Class VIII, uniforms to all girls up to class VIII, provision of gender segregated toilets in all schools, teachers’ sensitization programmes to promote girls’ participation,  provision for Self-Defence training for the girls from classes VI to XII, stipend to CWSN girls from class I to Class XII, construction of residential quarters for teachers in remote/hilly areas/in areas with difficult terrain.   
  • In addition to this, to reduce gender gaps at all levels of school education and for providing quality education to girls from disadvantaged groups, Kasturba Gandhi BalikaVidyalayas (KGBVs) have been sanctioned in Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs) under SamagraShiksha.  KGBVs are residential schools from class VI to XII for girls belonging to disadvantaged groups such as SC, ST, OBC, Minority and Below Poverty Line (BPL).A total of 5930 KGBVs have been sanctioned under SamagraShiksha as on 30.09.2019. Out of it, 4881 are operational enrolling 6.18 lakh girls.

Nationwide “AYUSH Grid”: Ministry of AYUSH has conceptualized AYUSH GRID Project for digitalization of the entire AYUSH Sector.

  • Aims to bring onboard all AYUSH facilities including hospitals and laboratories and to promote traditional systems of healthcare

The Ministry of AYUSH has developed National Ayurveda Morbidity Codes (NAMC), a comprehensive classification of diseases described in Ayurveda as well as Standardized Ayurveda Terminologies. Under this project, some common disease condition have been identified and accordingly the Proforma and manual of selected disease conditions is being drafted and validated through scientific methods in  phased manner.

Jan aushadhi Diwas: 7th March

Kishori Health Cards: For Adolescent Girls in Angawadi Centres (AWCs) to record the information about the weight, height, Body Mass Index (BMI) along with other services provided under the scheme.

Elephant deaths by train accidents showing a declining trend: A number of measures taken by Zonal Railways in coordination with Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change have resulted in saving of elephants –

  • Imposition of permanent and temporary speed restrictions in identified elephant corridors.
  • Provision of signage board to warn loco pilots about identified elephant corridors.
  • Sensitization of train crew and Station Masters on a regular basis.
  • Need based clearance of vegetation on the sides of track within railway land.
  • Construction of underpasses and ramps for movement of elephants at identified locations.  Work is in progress at one more location in East Central Railway.
  • Installation of Honey Bee sound system to scare away the elephants from coming near the track.
  • Provision of fencing at isolated locations both by Railway and Forest Department.
  • Deputing Forest Department staff in Railway control offices to liaison with Railway and engagement of elephant trackers by Forest Department for timely action by alerting Station Masters and Loco Pilots.
  • Frequent coordination meetings between State Forest Department and Railway department.

Approval for Automated Facial Recognition System by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB): 

  • Will use police records and will be accessible only to Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Will facilitate better identification of criminals, unidentified dead bodies and missing/found children and persons
  • Will not violate privacy

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)

  • LPG coverage has increased from 55% to 97.4%.the scheme has acted as one of the biggest catalyst of socio-economic change in the status of women in the country.
  • Household pollution has been a reason of health hazard, which has been curbed with the availability of safe and environment friendly LPG fuel to poor women of the society.
  • Way forward: Behavioral change, further strengthening of supply chain, shift towards cleaner energy, innovative ways to increase refills, sustain adoption

Women in Defence Forces:

  • Indian Navy (except Medical, Dental and MNS branch): 527 (5.12%)
  • Indian Air Forces: 1601 (13.81%)
  • The commanding posts in the Indian Air Force (IAF) are decided purely on merit basis.

SC has granted permanent commission to the women officers as per their qualification, professional experience, specialization, if any and organization requirement.

India’s rank has gone up from 142 to 63 in 2019 in Ease of doing Business

Since 2014, India’s rank has gone up from 142 to 63 in 2019.

The State Reforms Action Plan prepared by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) requires States and UTs to have a Single Window System across various Departments with the following features:

  • Allow online submission of application without the need to submit physical copies of the application
  • Eliminate physical touch-point for document submission and verification
  • Allow applicant to track status of application online
  • Ensure the applicant receives an SMS/e-mail notification as and when the application is submitted and/or query israised and/or application is approved/rejected
  • Mandate that all queries/clarifications related to investors’ application are sought in one go and within 7 days ofreceipt of the application

Jal Shakti Abhiyan

Time bound campaign with a mission mode approach intended to improve water availability including ground water conditions in the water stressed blocks of 256 districts in India

  • Water conservation & rainwater harvesting
  • Renovation of traditional & other water-bodies/tanks
  • Reuse and recharge of bore-wells
  • Watershed development
  • Intensive afforestation 

Law for Rain Water Harvesting: Model Building Bye Laws, 2016, has been issued for guidance of the States/UTs which has a chapter on ‘Rainwater Harvesting’.

  • 33 States/UTs have adopted the rainwater harvesting provisions. The implementation of the rainwater harvesting policy comes within the purview of the State Government/Urban Local Body / Urban Development Authority. 
  • As per Model Building Bye Laws- 2016, provision of rainwater harvesting is applicable to all residential plots above 100 sq.m.
  • In order to regulate the over-exploitation and consequent depletion of ground water, the Ministry has circulated a Model Bill to all the States/UTs to enable them to enact suitable ground water legislation for regulation of its development, which includes provision of rain water harvesting. So far, 15 States/UTs have adopted and implemented the ground water legislation on the lines of Model Bill.
  • Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) has been constituted under Section 3(3) of the ‘Environment (Protection) Act, 1986’ for the purpose of regulation and control of ground water development and management in the Country. CGWA is regulating ground water withdrawal by industries / infrastructure/ mining projects in the country for which guidelines/ criteria have been framed which includes rainwater harvesting as one of the provisions while issuing No Objection Certificate.
  • Water being a State subject, initiatives on water management including conservation and water harvesting in the Country is primarily States’ responsibility

Scientists identify bacteria that can replace fertilizers & fungicides in tea plants

Researchers at Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST) Guwahati, an autonomous institute under Department of Science & Technology, have found significant plant-growth-promoting and antifungal activities of endophyticactino bacteria associated with Tea plant and related genera, Eurya to find potent plant growth-promoting strains. Application of endophytic Actinobacteria could reduce chemical inputs in Tea plantation.

The team led by Dr. Debajit Thakur from IASST isolated 46 endophyticactino bacteria (predominantly free-living microorganisms) found in diverse environments that lives within a plant for at least part of its life cycle without causing apparent disease associated with Tea plants and characterized through molecular techniques. 

  • Out of 46 isolates, 21 isolates inhibited the growth of at least one test fungal phytopathogens and strains SA25 and SA29 exhibited broad-spectrum antifungal activity.
  • Most of the endophyticactino bacteria isolates having antifungal activity showed presence of chitinase, NRPS (Nonribosomal peptides synthetase) or PKS-1 (Polyketide Synthase) gene, suggesting the presence of distinctive mechanisms to inhibit the growth of pathogenic plant fungi. 
  • Actinobacterial strain SA1, T1LA3, and SA14 were further tested for their efficacy in promoting the growth of commercial tea clones namely, TV1, TV9, TV18, and TV22 in nursery conditions. 
  • All the endophytic isolates tested showed significant differences in terms of plant growth-promoting parameters in the treated plants compared to untreated control.

This research finding confirms that endophyticactino bacteria have the potential to exhibit multiple growth-promoting traits such as IAA production, phosphate solubilization, siderophore production and so on that positively influence tea growth and production and can hence be used in the management and sustainability of Teacrop. 

Tea (Camellia sinensis) plays an important role in the Indian economy as a major portion of the tea produced is exported. However, in the recent years, due to higher demand of chemical residue-free made tea by the importing countries has led to a decline in the export of tea. The present study attempts the use of endophyticactino bacteria having plant beneficial characteristics to reduce and replace the use of chemical inputs in the tea industry.

Per Capita Availability of Water: Water availability per person is dependent on population of the country and for India, per capita water availability in the country is reducing due to increase in population. 

  • As per Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, 135 litre per capita per day (lpcd) has been suggested as the benchmark for urban water supply. 
  • For rural areas, a minimum service delivery of 55 lpcd has been fixed under Jal Jeevan Mission, which may be enhanced to higher level by states.
  • As mentioned in the report of National Commission for Integrated Water Resources Development (NCIWRD), the percentage of water used for irrigation out of the total water use for the year 1997-98 was 83.30%. 
  • Further, as per NCIWRD report, the percentage of water used for irrigation out of the total water use for the year 2025 under high demand scenario was estimated as 72.48%.

Jeevan Kaushal Curriculum: To upgrade life skills of undergraduate students; covers the courses on communication skills, professional skills, leadership & management skills and universal human values.

  • Enhance one’s ability to be fully self-aware by helping oneself to overcome all fears and insecurities and to grow fully from inside out and outside in
  • Increase one’s knowledge and awareness of emotional competency and emotional intelligence at place of study/work
  • Provide opportunity for realising one’s potential through practical experience
  • Develop interpersonal skills and adopt good leadership behaviour for empowerment of self and others
  • Set appropriate goals, manage stress and time effectively
  • Manage competency-mix at all levels for achieving excellence with ethics

Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY): Envisages creation of critical fisheries infrastructure and cold chain facilities in all States/Union Territories to preserve shelf life of fish and reduce its wastage and spoilage. This include construction of cold storages, ice plants, creation of whole sale and retail fish markets, support for acquisition of refrigerated and insulated trucks and live fish vending centres, two and three wheelers vehicles with ice boxes.

Ministry of Jal Shakti has drafted bills namely National Water Framework Bill, River Basin Management (RBM) Bill and Model Bill to ‘Regulate and Control the Development and Management of Ground Water’ for bringing reforms in water sector

The draft RBM Bill proposes optimum development of inter-State rivers by facilitating inter-State coordination ensuring scientific planning of land and water resources taking basin/sub-basin as unit with unified perspectives of water in all its forms (including soil moisture, ground and surface water). The draft RBM Bill has been circulated to all States/Union Territories, concerned Central Government’s Ministries/Departments for pre-legislative consultations.

The National Water Framework Bill provides an overarching national legal framework based on principles for protection, conservation, regulation and management of water as a vital and stressed natural resource, under which legislation and executive action on water can take place at all levels of governance. The draft National Water Framework Bill has been circulated to States/UTs and the concerned Central Ministries for obtaining their views/comments.

National Policy on Biofuels 2018 

  • Envisages increase usage of biofuels in the energy and transportation sectors of the country.
  • The policy aims to utilize, develop and promote domestic feedstock and its utilization for production of biofuels thereby increasingly substituting fossil fuels. 
  • National Policy on Biofuels 2018 envisages an indicative target of 20% blending of ethanol in petrol and 5% blending of bio-diesel in diesel by 2030. 
  • Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) are also promoting cleaner fuels in the country

Ekam (Entrepreneurship, Knowledge, Awareness, Marketing) Fest: Promote Craftsmanship & Products of Divyang Artisans And Entrepreneurs

  • An effort for promoting entrepreneurship and knowledge among Divyangjan community,
  • Generating awareness among society about potentialities of PwDs
  • Providing a major marketing opportunity to PwDs entrepreneurs

The word Ekam also represents the inclusiveness, oneness and unity which appropriately describe the efforts being put in by NHFDC to develop the marketing platform and aggregation of the products through promotion of entrepreneurship, knowledge sharing, Awareness creation and marketing initiatives amongst the Divyangjan.  

Subsidy to Artisans under Solar Charkha Mission

  • The scheme Mission Solar Charkha is enterprise driven scheme and envisages setting up of ‘Solar Charkha Clusters’ which will have 200 to 2042 beneficiaries (Spinners, Weavers, Stitchers and other skilled artisans).  
  • Each spinner will be given two charkhas of 10 spindles each.
  • As part of the scheme no subsidy is given, however subsidy to the tune of Rs.9.60 crore is provided for procurement of charkha and looms to the Implementing or Promoting Agency for a full-scale Solar Charkha Cluster involving a total investment of about Rs.38.625 crore.
  • These solar charkhas are to be operated using solar power which is a renewable energy source. It will help in development of Green Economy as it is an environment friendly programme. It will also generate sustainable employment for the artisans.

Memorandum of Understanding between Indian Air Force and Savitribai Phule Pune University: As a unique initiative of Indian Air Force, the IAF and Savitribai Phule Pune University entered into an academic collaboration by signing a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a ‘Chair of Excellence’ at Department of Defence & Strategic Studies. To pay tribute to the legend and commemorate the centenary birth year of the MIAF, the IAF has named it as “Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh Chair of Excellence”. The Chair will

  • Enable IAF officers to pursue Doctoral Research and higher studies in Defence & Strategic Studies and allied fields.
  • Facilitate research and higher studies in the area of National Defence and allied fields of Air Force officers. 
  • Inculcate a strategic outlook and build a pool of strategic thinkers.

Think about it:

  • ‘Since child labour is a result of socio-economic conditions, a definite timeline for elimination of child labour cannot be ascertained.’ What are your views on this statement by the Ministry?
  • Investing in women is not just a social expenditure but it is an investment in the economy. Do you agree? Substantiate

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