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PRESS INFORMATION BUREAU (PIB) IAS UPSC – 1st November to 7th November – 2020

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  • November 10, 2020
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Press Information Bureau(PIB) IAS UPSC – 1st November to 7th November – 2020

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GS-2

Health Ministry’s telemedicine service eSanjeevani completes 7 lakh consultations

(Topic: Govt. schemes and initiatives; Health)

With over 10,000 consultations being recorded on eSanjeevani per day, it is shaping into the largest OPD services set up in the country. An innovative intervention to deliver health services, eSanjeevani has started making impact in smaller towns and rural areas.

  • It is a national telemedicine service that offers tele-consultations enabling patient to doctor consultations from the confines of their home, as well as doctor to doctor consultations. 
  • This eSanjeevani platform has enabled two types of telemedicine services viz. Doctor-to-Doctor (eSanjeevani) and Patient-to-Doctor (eSanjeevani OPD) Tele-consultations 
  • The former is being implemented under the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centre (AB-HWCs) programme. 
  • The telemedicine platform is hosting over 40 online OPDs, more than half of these are speciality OPDs which include Gynaecology, Psychiatry, Dermatology, ENT, Ophthalmology, antiretroviral therapy (ART) for the AIDS/HIV patients, Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) etc.

The need and impact

While telemedicine is beneficial for the patients, it also is favourable for the doctors practicing telemedicine as it limits the contact with patients who are present virtually. 

  • Removed the requirement of doctor to be at a specific location to provide services
  • Enables States especially the ones with large geographical area, to better management of their human resources
  • Through eSanjeevani, patients desirous of seeking medical consultations are placed in a virtual queue and upon their turn can see a doctor who is available virtually but present in another city. 

Each online OPD consultation generates an ePrescription which can be used to buy medicines or go for diagnostic investigations. States like Kerala and Tamil Nadu have already issued government orders to ensure that ePrescriptions are honored.


India-Italy Virtual Summit

(Topic: India and other countries)

A Virtual Bilateral Summit between Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Italy Prof. Giuseppe Conte was held on 6th November, 2020.

The Summit provided an opportunity to the two leaders to comprehensively review the broad framework of the bilateral relationship. The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen cooperation against common global challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic.

They discussed on – 

  • The leaders discussed a wide range of issues including political, economic, scientific & technological, space and defence cooperation. 
  • On regional and international issues, both sides agreed to coordinate closely at multilateral fora especially G-20. Italy will assume the Presidency of G-20 in December 2021 followed by India in 2022. 
  • Together, India and Italy will be part of the G20 Troika from December, 2020. 
  • India welcomed Italy’s decision to join ISA as soon as the ratification process is completed.

15 MoUs/Agreements in various sectors such as energy, fisheries, ship building, design etc. were signed coinciding with the Summit.

Cabinet approves 

Rs 1810 crore Investment Proposal of 210 MW Luhri Stage-I Hydro Power Project

  • Located on river Sutlej which is situated in Shimla & Kullu districts of Himachal Pradesh
  • This project will generate 758.20 million units of electricity annually.
  • The power generated from the Project will help in providing Grid stability and will improve the power supply position. 
  • Besides adding valuable renewable energy to the Grid, the project would also lead to reduction of 6.1 lakh Tons of carbon dioxide from environment annually, thus contributing to improvement in air quality.
  • The construction activities of the project will result in direct & indirect employment to around 2000 persons and will contribute to overall socio-economic development of the State. 
  • Further, Himachal Pradesh will benefit with free power worth around Rs. 1140 crore from Luhri Stage-I Hydro Electric Project, during Project Life Cycle of 40 years.  The Project Affected Families will be provided with 100 units of free electricity per month for ten years.

Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between India and Spain to develop scientific and technical collaborations in astronomy

  • The activities to be carried out under this MoU will lead to (i) new scientific results; (ii) new technologies; (iii) Capacity building through increased scientific interaction and training; (iv) joint scientific projects etc.
  • The joint research projects, training programmes, conferences, seminars etc. under the MoU will be open to all qualified scientists, students and technologists and will be supported solely on the basis of scientific merit and experience.  
  • The development of segmented telescope technologies as well as the development of robotic telescopes and other future potential specific collaborations.

Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between India and United Kingdom on cooperation in the field of Telecommunication/ICTs

The MoU will contribute in strengthening bilateral cooperation and mutual understanding in the field of Telecommunications/ICTs.  Post-Brexit, the MoU is also aiming for enhanced scope of cooperation and opportunities for India. The Parties have identified the following areas of common interest for cooperation in:-

  • Telecommunications/ICT policy and regulation;
  • Spectrum Management;
  • Telecommunication connectivity including mobile roaming;
  • Telecommunications/ICT technical standardizations and testing & certification;
  • Wireless Communications;
  • Technological development in Telecommunications/ICT including 5G, Internet of Things/Machine to Machine, Cloud Computing, Big Data etc,;
  • Security of Telecommunication Infrastructure, Security in the provision and use of telecommunication services;
  • Building capacity in high technology areas and exchange of expertise wherever possible;
  • Collaboration and Sharing of information on Research & Development on emerging technologies and innovation where appropriate;
  • Exploring opportunities for joint work in signatory countries and third countries on Telecommunications/ICT;
  • Facilitating Trade, investment and technology activities through Telecommunication/ICT industry delegations and visits, events, exhibitions etc. as mutually agreed; and
  • Other forms of cooperation in Telecommunications/ICT as mutually agreed upon by the Parties

Memorandum of Understanding between India and Israel on cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine

The MoU covers the following areas of cooperation:

  1. Exchange and training of medical doctors and other health professionals;
  2. Assistance in development of human resources and setting up of health care facilities;
  3. Exchange of information regarding regulation of pharmaceutical, medical devices and cosmetics;
  4. Sharing expertise for vulnerability assessment for health of citizens against climate risk and public health actions targeted towards mitigation and adaptation;
  5. Sharing of expertise for facilitating climate resilient infrastructure as well as providing support for development of ‘Green Healthcare’ (climate resilient hospitals);
  6. Promote mutual research in various relevant areas; and
  7. Any other area of cooperation as may be mutually decided upon.

Each Party shall encourage the participation of the representatives of their countries in round tables, seminars, symposia, workshops and conferences on issues of cooperation, organized by the other Party’s relevant bodies.

Memorandum of Understanding between India and United Kingdom on cooperation in the field of Medical Products Regulation

The MoU will help in establishing a framework for fruitful cooperation and exchange of information between the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) and the United Kingdom Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (UKMHRA) of United Kingdom in matters relating to Medical products regulation in line with their international responsibilities. The main areas of cooperation between the two Regulatory Authorities include the following:

  • Exchange of safety information, including Pharmacovigilance where there is a particular safety concern related to the other party. This includes safety concerns relating to medicines and medical devices.
  • Participation in scientific and practical conferences, symposia, seminars and fora organized by India and the United Kingdom
  • Exchange of information and cooperation on Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), Good Clinical Practices (GCP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Good Distribution Practices (GDP) and Good Pharmacovigilance Practices (GPvP)
  • Capacity building in mutually agreed areas.
  • Promote an understanding between the Parties of each other’s regulatory framework, requirements and processes; and to facilitate future regulatory strengthening initiatives for both Parties.
  • Exchange of information on laws and regulations regarding medicines and medical devices
  • Information exchange to support efforts to control unlicensed exports and imports
  • Coordination at the international fora

It would facilitate better understanding of the regulatory aspects between the two sides and could help in increased cooperation in the field of medical products regulation and better coordination in international fora.


GS-3

Bamboo – A part of India’s Growth Story

(Topic: Major crops, Agricultural Marketing)

India is destined to play a major role in Post-COVID economic resurgence and North Eastern Region will play a crucial role in it with full exploitation of huge Bamboo resources. It is imperative to make Bamboo a Pan India perspective for its growth and utilization. Bamboo will be the new fuel of New Engine that is North East for India’s growth story.

Recently, 22 bamboo clusters in 9 states were virtually inaugurated 

  • States covered: Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Karnataka.
  • Ministry: Union Ministry for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare
  • A logo for the National Bamboo Mission (NBM) has also been released.

Government’s Efforts

  • India is the world’s second-largest cultivator of bamboo after China, with 136 species and 23 genera spread over 13.96 million hectares, according to the State of Environment report 2018. 
  • The National Bamboo Mission, under the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, has been initiated to provide a boost to livelihood and environmental acreage. 
  • Additionally, in 2017, Parliament ‘declassified’ bamboo as ‘a tree’ on non-forest lands.
  • Similarly, a scheme called SFURTI (Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries) is being implemented by the Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in order to boost traditional industries and bamboo artisans.
  • Amendment has been brought about in the 100 year old Indian Forest Act brought about by the Central government in 2017, as a result of which, home grown bamboo has been exempted from it in order to enhance livelihood opportunities through bamboo.
  • Bamboo Technology Parks were also set up in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh –
    • Objective: To make Bamboo basketry, Agarbatti and Bamboo Charcol.
    • A Mega Bamboo Industrial Park at Ghati near Jammu and Bamboo Technology Training Centre will also come up in the region.
    • It will provide direct employment to nearly 25 thousand people.

Bamboo shoots 

  • Bamboo shoots are emerging as high-value and safe edibles.
  • They are being grown globally along with all other value-added bamboo products.
  • The protein content in fresh bamboo shoots, considered as nutraceutical, can range between 1.49-4.04%. 
  • They also contain 17 amino acids, eight of which are essential for the human body.

Important value additions

  • According to the National Bamboo Mission, India has the highest area (13.96 million hectares) under bamboo and is the second richest country after China in terms of bamboo diversity with 136 species. 
  • The annual production of bamboo in India is 14.6 million tonnes and the bamboo-rattan industry in the country was worth ₹28,005 crore in 2017.
  • Bamboo could be among the cheapest immunity boosters for increasing the human body’s resistance to viral attacks.
  • Bamboo sticks may be reduced to bamboo bales so that moisture is removed therefore making transportation easier and further cheaper as also increasing its calorific value. 

Do you know?

  • The bamboo is considered the grass of life in the northeast India.
  • Bamboo has been a key ingredient in new antimicrobial soaps and hand mists developed by Filipino scientists to fight the novel coronavirus.
  • The term ‘nutraceutical’ is used to describe medicinally or nutritionally functional foods.
  • Bamboo shoots are the edible sprouts of the perennial grass.

Ganga Utsav 2020

(Topic: Environment)

  • The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) celebrates the festival every year.
  • Aim: To promote stakeholder engagement and ensure public participation.
  • It celebrates river Ganga through storytelling, dialogues with eminent personalities, displaying traditional art forms, dance and music performance, etc. 
  • Ganga Task Force (GTF) also conducted an afforestation drive with National Cadet Corps (NCC) cadets and educational tour for youth.
  • Mini Ganga Quest was also held which was designed to make youth and students aware of environmental issues and explain their role in conservation.

Ganga Rejuvenation Monitoring

Recently, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has observed that the pollutants are still being discharged into the river Ganga, despite several directions of various courts.

  • Constitutional Right: Pollution-free environment is the constitutional right of every citizen and constitutional obligation of States. However, the states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and West Bengal are certainly failing in providing pollution free Ganga.
  • Monitoring: The NGT has directed the above states to periodically monitor the rejuvenation of the Ganga.
  • Joint Meetings: It has also called for periodic joint meetings of the above states to consider vital issues like pooling of human resources and sharing best practices for rejuvenation of Ganga.
  • The meetings shall be focussed on preventing discharge of sewage and other pollutants in Ganga directly or through its tributaries or drains connected thereto.

Initiatives Taken to Clean Ganga:

  • Ganga Action Plan: It was the first River Action Plan that was taken up by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in 1985, to improve the water quality by the interception, diversion, and treatment of domestic sewage.
  • The National River Conservation Plan is an extension to the Ganga Action Plan. It aims at cleaning the Ganga river under Ganga Action Plan phase-2.
  • National River Ganga Basin Authority (NRGBA): It was formed by the Government of India in the year 2009 under Section-3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

National Ganga Council (NGC)

  • The National Ganga Council (NGC), which is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi met for the first time at Kanpur since its inception in 2016, with the proposal to save and enhance the population of the Gangetic Dolphin
  • The council also discussed the concept of “River Cities” and an action plan to provide sewer connection to every household in towns along the Ganga and its tributaries.
  • The council consists of chief ministers from five states along the Ganga — Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Jharkhand along with nine Union ministers and NITI Aayog vice-chairman.
  • The central objective of the council is to work on the “protection, prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution in River Ganga and its rejuvenation to its natural and pristine condition and to ensure continuous adequate flow of water”. 

About Gangetic River Dolphins

  • The Gangetic river dolphins were officially discovered in 1801 and are one of the oldest creatures in the world along with some species of turtles, crocodiles and sharks, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
  • In 2009, the Gangetic dolphins were declared India’s National Aquatic animal
  • It is placed under the “endangered” category by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 
  • The Gangetic river dolphins can only live in freshwater and prefer deep waters 
  • They are blind and catch their prey in a unique manner, using ultrasonic sound waves.

River Ganga

  • It is the longest river of India. 
  • It is revered by Hindus as the most sacred river on earth.
  • It originates in the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayas as the Bhagirathi River.
  • The Ganga river basin is one of the most fertile and densely populated areas of the world. 
  • The Ganges River Dolphin, an endangered animal, specifically habitats this river.
  • It ends its journey by emptying into the Bay of Bengal.
  • Ganga was declared as the National River of India on 4th November 2008.

Successful launch of PSLV-C49/EOS-01 Mission

(Topic: Space technology)

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its fifty first flight (PSLV-C49), successfully launched EOS-01 along with nine international customer satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota on November 07, 2020. 

PSLV-C49 is the 2nd flight of PSLV in ‘DL’ configuration (with 2 solid strap-on motors).

  • PSLV-C49 lifted-off from the First Launch Pad of SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota . After 15 minutes and 20 seconds, EOS-01 was successfully injected into its orbit. 
  • Subsequently, nine commercial satellites were injected into their intended orbits. 
  • After separation, the two solar arrays of EOS-01 were deployed automatically and the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru assumed control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration.

EOS-01 is an earth observation satellite, intended for applications in agriculture, forestry and disaster management support.

The nine customer satellites from Lithuania (1), Luxembourg (4) and USA (4) were launched under a commercial arrangement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).


Enhanced version of PINAKA Rocket System successfully Flight Tested

(Topic: Space technology)

Developed by: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)

  • Development of Enhanced Pinaka system was taken up to achieve longer range performance compared to earlier design with reduced length. 
  • The design and development has been carried out by Pune based DRDO laboratories, namely  Armament Research and Development Establishment, ARDE and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory, HEMRL.
  • A total of six rockets were launched in quick succession and the tests met complete mission objectives. Rockets tested have been manufactured by M/s Economic Explosives Limited, Nagpur, to whom the technology has been transferred. All the flight articles were tracked by Range instruments such as telemetry, radar and Electro Optical Tracking Systems which confirmed the flight performance.
  • Enhanced version of the Pinaka rocket would replace the existing Pinaka Mk-I rockets which are currently under production.

Prelims oriented News

President of Tanzania: H.E. John Pombe Magufuli

MALABAR-2.0

  • Phase 1 of the Exercise MALABAR 20 involving participation by Indian Navy (IN), United States Navy (USN), Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF), and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is set to commence off Visakhapatnam in Bay of Bengal from 03 to 06 November 2020.
  • MALABAR series of maritime exercises commenced in 1992 as a bilateral IN-USN exercise. JMSDF  joined MALABAR in 2015. The 2020 edition will now witness participation of the RAN in this joint maritime exercise.
  • The exercise, being conducted as a ‘non-contact, at sea only’ exercise in view of COVID-19 pandemic, will showcase the high-levels of synergy and coordination between the friendly navies, which is based on their shared values and commitment to an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order. MALABAR 20 Phase 1 would witness complex and advanced naval exercises including surface, anti-submarine and anti-air warfare operations, cross deck flying, seamanship evolutions and weapon firing exercises.

Mission Sagar – II

The Government of India is providing assistance to Friendly Foreign Countries to overcome natural calamities and COVID-19 pandemic, and towards the same INS Airavat is carrying a consignment of 100 Tonnes of food aid for the people of Sudan.

  • Mission Sagar-II, follows the first ‘Mission Sagar’ undertaken in May-June 2020, wherein India reached out to Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros, and provided food aid and medicines. As part of Mission Sagar-II, Indian Naval Ship Airavat will deliver food aid to Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti and Eritrea. 
  • Mission Sagar-II, is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region ‘SAGAR’ and highlights the importance accorded by India to relations with her maritime neighbours and further strengthens the existing bond. The Indian Navy is progressing this mission in close coordination with the Ministries of Defence and External Affairs, and other agencies of the Government of India.

360o video-immersive experience in circular dome and Digital Exhibits on Mahatma Gandhi: Installed at Gandhi Darshan, Rajghat, in New Delhi; this was part of two-year long commemoration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Country’s first demonstration plant which produces compressed biogas from biomass: Developed by Praj technologies in Pune

Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) Scheme: A major credit-linked subsidy programme aimed at generating self-employment opportunities through establishment of micro-enterprises in the non-farm sector. Any individual above 18 years of age is eligible to avail benefits of the program.

Prasar Bharati signs MoU with Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-Informatics

To ensure: Education for all

  • Under the ambit of this MoU, 51 DTH education TV channels comprising of Swaymprabha (22 channels) (M/o Education), e-Vidya for classes 1 to 12 (12 channels) of NCERT, Vande Gujarat (Govt. of Gujarat) (16 channels) and DigiShala under M/o Electronics and IT (1 channel) shall be available as DD co-branded channels to all DD FreeDish viewers.
  • This move aims to bring quality educational programmes to every household, including those in rural and remote areas. The services will be available free of cost for all the viewers 24×7, in line with Government’s commitment towards skill development and providing quality education to the last person in the country.

Five years of historic decision to implement OROP

  • Brought in: To benefit more than 2.5 million ex- servicemen and war widows; Armed Forces Personnel retired upto 30.06.2014 were covered under this Order.
  • OROP implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces Personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service regardless of their date of retirement.  Thus, OROP implies bridging the gap between the rate of pension of current and past retirees at periodic intervals.

India is a signatory to the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

As part of its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), India has three quantitative climate change goals viz. 

  • Reduction in the emissions intensity of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 33 to 35 percent by 2030 from 2005 level, 
  • Achieving about 40 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030 and 
  • Creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030

New online system of MSME/Udyam Registration

More than 11 lakh MSMEs have successfully registered themselves by now.

This portal is seamlessly integrated with CBDT and GST networks  as also with the GeM. It may be noted that through this integration, now MSME registration is a totally paperless exercise.

  • 3.72 lakh enterprises have registered under Manufacturing category whereas 6.31 lakh enterprises under Service sector.
  • The share of Micro Enterprises is 93.17% whereas Small and Medium Enterprises are 5.62% and 1.21% respectively.
  • 7.98 lakh enterprises are owned by Male whereas 1.73 lakh enterprises by Female entrepreneurs.
  • 11,188 enterprises are owned by Divyangjan entrepreneurs.
  • The Top 5 Industrial sectors of registrations are – Food Products, Textile, Apparel, Fabricated Metal products and Machinery & equipments.
  • 1,01,03,512 persons have been given employment by these registered units.
  • 5 leading States for Udyam registrations are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.

132nd birth anniversary of Prof. C.V. Raman

  • An acclaimed Physicist, Nobel laureate and Bharat Ratna recipient who was instrumental in India’s growth in the field of science and Physics in particular
  • Sir C.V. Raman is known to have placed India on the world Science map. He was the first person from Asia to be awarded a Nobel Prize in any field of science for his work on Raman Effect. 

The Raman effect has been very useful in many areas of science. 

  • It was found that when light was passed through a substance, a series of colours were seen that could be thought of as a fingerprint of the substance. 
  • This idea has been used in chemistry, medicine, biology and many other areas of science to find out what a substance is made of.
  • National Science Day is celebrated every year on 28 February by the Government of India to commemorate the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’. designated 28 February as in 1986.
  • On this day, Sir C.V. Raman announced the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’ for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1930

Other contributions

  • Professor C V Raman was first to investigate the harmonic nature of the sound of the Indian drums such as the Tabla and the Mridanga.
  • Raman also discovered the quantum photon spin which later proved the quantum nature of light.
  • Today Raman spectroscopy, which relies on these ‘fingerprints,’ is used in laboratories all over the world to identify molecules and to analyze living cells and tissues to detect diseases such as cancer. Iy is being used in life sciences, nuclear science, drugs, bomb-detection, in forensics, in disease diagnosis and in RNA/DNA diagnosis.
  • In 1943, he established the ‘Raman Research Institute’, near Bangalore.
  • Raman and his student, Nagendra Nath, provided the correct theoretical explanation for the acousto-optic effect (light scattering by sound waves), in a series of articles resulting in the celebrated Raman–Nath theory. Modulators, and switching systems based on this effect have enabled optical communication components based on laser systems.
  • Raman was a great scholar, physicist and mentor who not only received Noble Prize for his work Raman’s effect but also encourages and trained hundreds of students in the field of science. He founded the Indian Journal of Physics and the Indian Academy of Sciences. In 1947, he was appointed as the first National Professor by the new government of Independent India.

Films Division is paying tribute to him by streaming a biopic, C.V. Raman (18 Min./ English) – The documentary on Prof Raman throws light into his life and works including the groundbreaking work he did in the field of light scattering which later became famously known in the scientific community as ‘Raman Effect’.

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