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IASbaba Press Information Bureau (PIB)- 25th April to 1st May, 2016
Published on May 3, 2016, 10:25 p.m.

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GS-1

“Museum Grant Scheme” for Preservation of Museums and Artefacts

(Topic: Preservation of Indian heritage and culture)

 Objective-

  • To provide financial assistance to the State Governments, Autonomous bodies, Local Bodies, Societies and Trusts registered under the Societies Act for setting up of new Museums as well as for development of existing museums
  • To develop at least 1 Central / State Government Museum located in a State Capital each year.

Museum Grant Schemes-

 

Scheme has three components:-

Component A: Establishment and Development of District and Regional Museums-

  • Under this component museums have been classified into two categories-
  • Category-I -> Government-owned State level Museums and renowned Museums with exquisite collection
  • Category-II -> All other Museums.

Component B: Development of Museums in State Capitals-

  • Financial assistance under this component is provided to existing renowned museums of the Central or State Government located in the Capital cities
  • Maximum financial assistance under this component is limited to Rs. 15 Crore per museum.

Component C: Establishment and Development of Large Scale Museums in Public Private Partnership Mode-

  • To establish large scale museums as joint ventures with State Governments and the civil society in Public Private Partnership Mode.
  • Maximum financial assistance provided under this component is 40% of the project cost subject to maximum of Rs. 20 Crore per museum.
 

Restoration of Jagannath Temple

(Topic: Preservation of Indian heritage and culture)

About- Government’s attention has been drawn to a crack being detected in the 12th Century Shri Jagannath Shrine at Puri, Odisha. During the recent de-plastering work at the interior of Jagmohana of Shri Jagannath Temple, Puri, some cracks have been noticed in the stone beams

Project Mausam- Initiative of Ministry of Culture to be implemented by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as the nodal agency with research support of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and National Museum as associate bodies.

Project aims-

  • To explore the multi-faceted Indian Ocean ‘world’ – collating archaeological and historical research.
  • It is done in order to document the diversity of-> Cultural + Commercial + Religious Interactions in the Indian Ocean – extending from East Africa + Arabian Peninsula+ Indian Subcontinent + Sri Lanka + Southeast Asian archipelago.
  • To promote research on themes related to the study of Maritime Routes through international scientific seminars and meetings and by adopting a multidisciplinary approach.

Project encourages-

  • Production of specialized works, as well as publications for the general public with an attempt at promoting a broader understanding of the concept of a common heritage and multiple identities.
  • An objective of the project is to prepare a dossier for trans-national nomination as World Heritage.
  • Time of commencement and completion of the Project Mausam as per SFC Memorandum is April 2015 and March 2017 respectively.

Government has identified 39 countries to bring on board for trans-national nomination for World Heritage but still has not entered into partnerships.

Intangible Cultural Heritage of India Scheme

(Topic: Preservation of Indian heritage and culture)

About- Scheme for Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage and Diverse Cultural Traditions of India, being implemented through the Sangeet Natak Akademi.

Ministry of Culture is giving financial support to- Individuals + Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) + Cultural Organizations for promotion of art and culture through various schemes.

Some prominent Schemes are as under-

Cultural Function and Production Grant Scheme (CFPGS)-

  • Under CFPGS Scheme Financial Assistance is given to-> ‘Not-for-Profit’ Organisations + NGOs including Societies + Trusts + Universities + Individuals for holding Conferences, Seminar, Workshops, Festivals, Exhibitions, Production of Dance, Drama-Theatre, Music and undertaking small research projects etc. on any art forms/important cultural matters relating to different aspects of Indian Culture.
 

Fellowship Scheme:

Award of Fellowship to outstanding persons in the field of Culture

Award of Scholarship to Young Artists in Different Cultural fields- for advance training in the field of Indian Classical Music, Dance, Theatre, Visual Arts, Folk Arts, etc

Tagore National Fellowship for Cultural Research:-

Scheme has been introduced in order to invigorate and revitalize 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

Scheme for Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage and Diverse Cultural Traditions of India:

Aims to reinvigorate and revitalize various institutions, groups, individuals, non-government organizations, researchers and scholars so that they may engage in activities/projects for strengthening, protecting, preserving and promoting the rich intangible cultural heritage of India.

GS-2

Andhra Pradesh- First state in the country to become Open Defecation Free in urban areas

(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation) About- Andhra Pradesh is set to become the first State in the country to make all of its urban areas ‘Open Defecation Free’ by October 2nd this year, marking the two years of the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission.

Open Defecation Free-

  • Review of progress of urban missions like Smart city Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • During the review, it emerged that Andhra Pradesh which has been in the forefront of construction of toilets in urban areas can make all 100 municipalities Open Defecation Free by October 2 this year as per the action plans in progress.
  • State Governments has also awarded works for construction of 10 Waste to Energy Plants for generating 63 MW of power from the 6,440 tonnes of municipal waste being generated per day in the state
 

‘UJALA’ Scheme in Madhya Pradesh

(Topic: Government schemes and policies and its implementation)

About- Government of India’s National LED programme - Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) was launched in Madhya Pradesh.

Scheme being implemented by- Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of PSUs under the Ministry of Power

UJALA Scheme-

  • In the State, 3 crore LED Bulbs will be distributed in the next 6 months under the Scheme.
  • People of Madhya Pradesh will get energy efficient 9W LED bulbs at an upfront payment of just Rs. 85 per LED bulb.
  • Within just one year, 9 crore bulbs have been distributed under UJALA Scheme, which helped consumers to save Rs 5500 crore every year.
  • UJALA will not only help reduce consumers their electricity bills but also contribute to the energy security of India.
  • UJALA scheme is being monitored in a transparent manner through a national dashboard (delp.in).
  • Distribution of LED bulbs will happen through DISCOM offices, DISCOM bill collection centers, designated EESL kiosks, Weekly haat markets, etc. Consumers can buy these affordable LEDs by presenting any identity card.
  • Bulbs come with a three year free replacement warranty in case of any technical defects.
  • Luminosity of the 9W LED bulbs to be distributed in MP is of 900 lumens, which is the highest in the country. Each 9W LED bulb gives the same luminosity as compared to a 100W incandescent lamp, while consuming less than one tenth of power.
 

Implementation of General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR)

(Topic: Government schemes and policies and its implementation)

About- Government is committed to implement General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) in the country from the next financial year.

Government has taken following steps to overcome the hurdles and implement the GAAR: 

  • Provisions relating to GAAR are contained in Chapter XA and Section 144BA of the Income-tax Act, 1961.
  • Government would constitute a panel as mandated by the law and also, provide for the guidelines on practical aspects relating to implementation of GAAR, in due course.
 

Mobile App namely ‘‘Indian Customs- Guide to Travellers’ launched

(Topic: Government schemes and policies and its implementation)

About- Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has launched mobile app, namely, ‘Indian Customs- Guide to Travellers’.

Mobile App-
  • Developed by Bengaluru Customs to inform international travellers who may, inter-alia, be traders/exporters/importers about Customs Baggage rules.
  • App serves as a ready reckoner of Customs Baggage Rules, 2016 and entitlements to International passengers.
  • It is user friendly and serves as a useful tool for quick and effective dissemination of information about baggage rules and entitlements and thus serves to clarify doubts and concern of International passengers and also ensure better compliance.
 

Literacy in Villages Under Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana

(Topic: Government schemes and policies and its implementation)

About- In order to give fillip to the advancement of goals and objectives of Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) relating to adult education, an initiative was undertaken to align the Saakshar Bharat programme with SAGY in Saakshar Bharat districts through convergence of existing resources available under the scheme.

Aim- To achieve 100 per cent literacy

Target-

  • Plan-wise targets are fixed to achieve higher levels of literacy in a phased manner
  • Present targets are to raise the overall literacy rate of the country to 80 per cent and reduce the gender gap to 10 percentage points by the end of XII Five Year Plan.
 

Use of Hindi Language in Courts

(Topic: Structure, organisation and functioning of executive and judiciary)

About- Article 348 (1) of the Constitution of India provides that all proceedings in the Supreme Court and in every High court shall be in English Language until Parliament by law otherwise provides.

Highlights-

  • Under Article 348 (2), the Governor of the State may, with the previous consent of the President, authorize the use of the Hindi language or any other language used for any official purpose of the State, in the proceedings of the High Court having its principal seat in that State provided that decrees, judgments or orders passed by such High Courts shall be in English.
  • Section 7 of the Official Languages Act, 1963, provides that the use of Hindi or official language of a State in addition to the English language may be authorized, with the consent of the President of India, by the Governor of the State for purpose of judgments etc. made by the High Court for that State.
  • Government had taken up with the Supreme Court of India the proposals of the Governments of Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka seeking consent of the President of India for allowing regional languages in the proceedings of their High Courts. However, the Full Court of the Supreme Court disapproved these proposals.
  • Provision of optional use of Hindi in proceedings has already been made in the High Courts of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.
 

Study of CIMAP related to Use of cow urine for curing Cancer

(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of social sectors/services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)

 

About- Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has reported that its constituent laboratory namely Central Institute of Medicinal & Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow in a study undertaken in collaboration with Go-Vigyan Anusandhan Kendra, Nagpur have found novel use of cow urine distillate (commonly known as Kamdhenu Ark) as activity enhancer and availability facilitator for bioactive molecules including anti-infective and anti-cancer agents.

Study-

  • Cow urine distillate was found to possess the property of bio-enhancement of an anti-cancer natural agent `Taxol` (paclitaxel) which is produced in microscopic amounts by the Yew tree (Taxus spp)
  • Cow urine distillate, besides enhancing the killing activities of different antibiotics on bacteria, could also enhance the cell division inhibitory activity of paclitaxel against the breast cancer cell line MCF-7.
  • Further, a white crystalline precipitate prepared from the cow urine distillate also showed similar activity as that of cow urine distillate.
  • A US patent on the research finding has also been obtained.

Public and private research institutes may seek grant from the Government under various schemes of the Ministry of AYUSH. However, there is no plan with the Ministry of AYUSH to extend separate assistance to the institutions engaged in developing cancer medicine from Cow Urine (Gomutra) only.

CGMP compliant facility for production of vaccines at CRI, Kasauli

(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of social sectors/services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)

About- Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the first of its kind Current Good Manufacturing Practise (CGMP) compliant facility within the Central Government for manufacture of DPT and TT vaccine at the Central Research Institute (CRI), Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh.

CGMP-
  • Recent advancements in regulatory requirements and introduction of CGMP concept in vaccine manufacturing led to the need for creation of CGMP compliant infrastructure and processes.
  • Considering this, CRI has been able to create this CGMP compliant facility for production of DPT group of vaccines with the guidance and support of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • Makes CRI the first Central Government Institute to have CGMP compliant infrastructure for vaccine production.
  • TT vaccine has been commercialized from this facility for Universal Immunization Programme use and production of DPT bulk has been initiated.
  • As it is essential for vaccine manufacturers to have global quality standards, CRI is exploring the feasibility of establishing WHO prequalified CGMP compliant manufacturing facility for yellow fever vaccine and this will enable the institute to supply yellow fever vaccine to African and Latin American countries.

CRI-

  • Has been working as one of the few pioneer institutions in the field of vaccine manufacturing.
  • Institute has plans to manufacture all vaccines viz., Japanese encephalitis vaccine, Rabies vaccine and Typhoid vaccine, which were earlier manufactured in the Institute, after establishing CGMP compliant facilities and application of recent technological advancements.
  • CRI plans to create state of the art, fully dedicated CGMP compliant laboratory for research on vaccine development and various other public health related issues.
  • Institute plans to undertake research on newer vaccine candidates for existing and emerging diseases and to manufacture more efficacious and safer vaccines as also to contribute to the prevention of spread of novel antigenic variants.
 

Eradication of TB 

(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of social sectors/services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)

 

About- As per the World Health Organization (WHO) Global TB report 2015, in the year 2014, 2.2 million cases were estimated in India accounting for 23 percent of global cases.

TB report 2015-

  • This high number is because of our large population even though the incidence, prevalence and mortality due to TB in India has been consistently declining over the last 15 years and India has also achieved the Millennium Development Goal and has halved the TB prevalence and mortality as compared to 1990 levels.
  • Amongst the 22 high Burden countries in the world, India ranks 17thin incidence rate.
  • According to the WHO Global TB Reports from 2013 to 2015, the estimated proportion of Multi- Drug Resistant TB Cases in India is not increasing.
  • Proportion of MDR cases is estimated to be in between 1.9-2.6 percent among new TB cases and between 11- 19 percent among retreatment cases.
  • Detection of MDR-TB cases has been increasing due to availability of more diagnostic facilities for MDR TB and coverage of the entire country through Programmatic Management of Drug Resistant TB under the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP), achieved between 2007 and 2013.
  • RNTCP was launched more than 20 years back. Since then, changes have been effected in the programme from time to time, so as to further improve the programme and its reach.
 

Development of programmes to attract youth towards sports

(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of social sectors/services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)

About-

  • Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs & Sports, has said that Sports is a State subject and, therefore, it is primarily the responsibility of the State Governments to promote sports and create adequate sports infrastructure.
  • Central Government complements/supplements the efforts of the State Governments.
  • For promotion of sports, the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports was implementing Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA) Scheme, Urban Sports Infrastructure Scheme (USIS) and National Sports Talent Search Scheme (NSTSS) which have since been merged into a Central Sector Scheme known as “Khelo”
 

Steps taken by Government to reduce malnutrition in the country

(Topic: Government steps to reduce malnutrition)

About- As per one of the targets under Globally Agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons”.

To address the components of the Target-
  • WCD Ministry is implementing Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme and Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Adolescent Girls i.e. SABLA.
  • While ICDS covers the nutritional needs of children of 6 months- 6 years age, pregnant and lactating mothers, RGSAG Scheme covers the nutritional and non-nutritional components for adolescent girls.
  • Under these schemes, age-appropriate Supplementary Nutrition is provided to the beneficiaries at the Aanganwadi Centres spread across the country.

National Family Health Survey-

  • As per the National Family Health Survey, the proportion of under-weight children below 3 years declined from 43% in 1998-99 to 40% in 2005-06.
  • As per the Rapid Survey on Children (RSoC), 2013-14, commissioned by Ministry of Women and Child Development, there is a reduction in under-weight among less than 5 years of age from 42.5% in NFHS-III to 29.4% and wasting from 19.8% in NFHS-III to 15.1% in RSoC.
  • As per the Rapid Survey on Children (RSoC), 2013-14, mentioned above, the level of stunting among children less than 5 years of age has reduced from 48% in NFHS-II to 38.7% in RSoC.
 

Steps taken by Government to prevent Child Marriages

(Topic: Government steps to prevent child marriages)

About- As per the data of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a total number of 169, 222 and 280 cases have been registered under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA), 2006 in the year 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively.

Government-
  • Government is concerned about the prevalence of Child Marriages in the country and has put in place necessary legislation viz. Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA) 2006 to tackle the problem.
  • States/UTs from time to time are being regularly pursued for effective implementation of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.
  • State Governments are requested to take special initiative to delay marriage by coordinated efforts on Akha Teej—the traditional day for such marriages
  • Advertisements in the press and electronic media educating peoples about the issue of Child Marriage etc are also being taken up.
  • Platforms such as the International Women’s Day and the National Girl Child Day are used to create awareness on issues related to women and to bring to the centre stage issues such as child marriage.
  • Through the Sabla programme of this Ministry, adolescent girls in the age group of 11 to 18 years are imparted training with regard to legal rights of women which also includes the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.
 

India – Saudi Arabia Agreement

(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)      

About- A framework for Investment Promotion Cooperation between Invest India and Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority [SAGIA], Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been signed on 3rd April, 2016.

Aim-

  • Facilitating investments by private sector in the two countries.
  • Invest India will provide all handholding and investment facilitation to Saudi Arabian investors planning to invest in India.

Key sectors of Saudi Arabia’s investment to India identified in the framework are

Infrastructure + Energy + Manufacturing + Transport + Education + Healthcare 

Key sectors of India’s investment to Saudi Arabia in the framework are-

Information & Communication Technology (ICT) + Energy + Chemicals + Construction + Food Processing + Machinery + Healthcare + Life Sciences + Transport and Logistics + Human Capital and Tourism

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Papua New Guinea on cooperation in the field of health area and medical science

(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)

About- Union Cabinet chaired by the PM has given its approval for signing the MoU between India and Papua New Guinea on cooperation in the field of Healthcare and Medical Science.

MoU-

  • Encourage cooperation between the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare of India and the Ministry of Health and HIV/AIDS of the Papua New Guinea through joint initiatives in the health sector.
  • Strengthen bilateral ties between India and Papua New Guinea.
 

India and US to collaborate closely in the field of Traditional Medicine

(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)        

 

About- To achieve the objective, the Ministry of AYUSH signs MoUs for ‘Country to Country’ cooperation in the field of Traditional Medicines.

Work done-

  • Sets-up AYUSH Academic Chairs in foreign Universities/Educational Institutes
  • Establishes AYUSH Information Cells in the premises of the Indian Missions abroad or Indian Cultural Centres for dissemination of authentic information about AYUSH Systems of medicine and enters into MoUs with foreign institutes for undertaking collaborative research.

Ministry of AYUSH is mandated to promote and propagate AYUSH systems of medicine across the globe.

MoU between Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India and the Insurance Authority, United Arab Emirates

(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)        

About- Union Cabinet chaired by the PM has given its ex-post facto approval for the MoU between Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and the Insurance Authority of United Arab Emirates.

MoU provides for-

  • Enhanced cooperation between the two authorities in the field of insurance supervision by providing a framework for co-operation such as channels of communication.
  • It will also result in increasing mutual understanding through the exchange of regulatory and relevant supervisory information including confidential information to enforce or ensure compliance with their respective laws and regulations.
 

Measures taken by the Government to Curb Black Money in the Country

(Topic: Government steps to curb Black Money)

About- Government has taken several measures to effectively deal with the issue of black money, particularly black money stashed away abroad.

Recent major initiatives of the Government in this regard include –

  • Constitution of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Black Money under Chairmanship and Vice-Chairmanship of two former Judges of Hon’ble Supreme Court
  • Enactment of a comprehensive new law - The Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 which has come into force, to specifically and more effectively deal with the issue of black money stashed away abroad
  • Introduction of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015 to amend the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 with a view to, inter alia, enable confiscation of Benami property and provide for prosecution
  • Proactively engaging with foreign governments with a view to facilitate and enhance the exchange of information under Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs)/Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs)/Multilateral Conventions
  • Accordingly high priority to the cases involving black money stashed away abroad for investigation and other follow-up actions including prosecutions in appropriate cases
  • While focusing upon non-intrusive measures, due emphasis on enforcement measures in high impact cases with a view to prosecute the offenders at the earliest for credible deterrence against tax evasion/black money
  • Proactively furthering global efforts to combat tax evasion/black money, inter alia, by joining the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement in respect of Automatic Exchange of Information and having information sharing arrangement with USA under its Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)
  • Constitution of a Multi-Agency Group under the Convenorship of Member(Investigation), Central Board of Direct Taxes on 4th April 2016, inter alia, for facilitating coordinated and speedy investigation in the cases of Indian persons allegedly having undisclosed foreign assets and whose names are included in Panama Papers leaks.
  • Whenever the cases involving remittance of black money abroad or illegal remittance of money abroad are detected, appropriate action is taken by relevant law enforcement agencies such as Income Tax Department, Enforcement Directorate (ED), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) etc.
 

The Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2016

(Topic: Parliamentary bills, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure)

About- Lower House of the Parliament passed The Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2016.

Bill seeks to establish-

  • Regional Centre for Biotechnology, an institution of education, training and research, under the auspices of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in the National Capital Region and declare it to be an institution of national importance.
  • Regional Centre for Biotechnology will take up research and innovation and impart education and training in the new areas of Biotechnology at the interface of multiple disciplines of science creating a hub of technology expertise.

Department of Biotechnology has prepared the National Biotechnology Development Strategy-2015-2020, key elements of the strategy are-

  • Making India ready to meet the challenge of achieving biotech industry of US$100bn by 2020
  • Launching four major missions – Healthcare + Food and Nutrition + Clean Energy + Education
  • Creating a Technology Development and Translation network across the country with global partnership and strategic & focussed investment in building the human capital.
 

GS-3

Development of World Class Convention Centre

(Topic: Industrial policy and promotion and their effects in everyday life)

About- Proposal of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion creation of a World Class State-of-the-Art Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre is planned in Dwarka, New Delhi.

World Class Convention Centre-

  • Proposed Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre will comprise a host of independent and mutually beneficial facilities like exhibition halls, convention centres, banquet halls, auditoria, arena, financial centre, hotels, Food & Beverage (F&B) outlets & retail services.
  • Project at Pragati Maidan is proposed to be implemented on EPC (Turnkey or Design Build) mode.
  • Project at Dwarka is being developed in Public-Private Partnership, utilizing, if necessary, viability gap funding of Government of India.

Importance and usefulness-

  • Proposed projects can become a key facilitator in making the NCR a globally competitive Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) destination.
  • Exhibitions and conventions provide a strong stimulus to the domestic industries, including transportation, travel and tourism, catering and hospitality.
  • Convention and Exhibition industry has a multiplier effect of up to 2 to 6 times, depending upon the type of industry.
  • Exhibitions result in generation of employment, not only directly, but also through the growth in allied industries as a result of the economic stimulus propagated through exhibitions and conventions.
 

Encouraging Organic Farming

(Topic: Promotion of organic farming)         

About- Government is promoting organic farming across the country under various Central Sector Schemes viz.-

  • National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) + Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) + Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) + Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) + National Mission on Oil Seeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP) + National Food Security Mission(NFSM) + Network Project on Organic Farming under ICAR etc.

 

Pattern of assistance is given below-                     

  • Department has been focusing on creating awareness and educating the farmers about organic farming practices in the areas where clusters are formed, under PKVY.
  • Scheme guidelines provide a sum of Rs.80,000 per cluster to undertake mobilization of farmers through exposure visits and training.
  • In addition, various books on production and use of bio-fertilizers have been published in various languages for distribution to the farming community.
  • Radio jingles on organic agriculture are broadcasted on 4 different FM Radio Stations including Delhi, Bangalore, Nagpur and Lucknow.
  • Government is providing assistance for establishment of large mechanised compost plants by State Governments/ other public sector/private industries/private entrepreneurs for fruit and vegetable waste/ agro waste compost unit.
  • Also, assistance is provided to farmers for on-farm production of organic inputs.

NCOF-

  • National Centre of Organic Farming (NCOF), Ghaziabad, a unit under the department undertakes various extension and publicity activities like-> Exhibitions + Radio talks + TV programmes + Distribution of literature on organic inputs/ organic farming etc to educate the farmers.
  • NCOF is also publishing biannually Bio-Fertilizer Newsletter as well as quarterly Organic Farming Newsletter.
  • NCOF organizes 30 days certificate course on organic farming for skill development in organic agriculture sector for youth.
  • Conducts 10 days Refresher course for analysts under Fertilizer Control Order (FCO)
  • 5 Days Trainers Training & 2 Days training for field functionaries and extension staff of the State Government.
  • NCOF has also been organizing farmers’ training and field demonstration programmes (FTFD) on organic farming since 2015-16 in various villages adopted by the Hon’ble Members of Parliament under “Sansad Aadarsh Gram Yojana” (SAGY), through its Regional Centres of Organic Farming (RCOFs).

On-farm input-

  • Cost of organic agriculture largely depends on on-farm generation of inputs.
  • When on-farm organic inputs are used, cost of production per unit area is less than by 13% under organic agriculture than inorganic management.
  • However, if organic inputs from outside the farm are purchased and utilized, the cost of production increases by about 15-20% depending on the nature of inputs used.
  • Integrated Organic Farming System (IOFS) models being developed under NPOF promises to meet 70-80% of organic inputs within the farm thus reducing the market input cost considerably.
 

Overhauling of Mechanism for Fixing MSP for Foodgrains

(Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices)

 

About- Committee constituted by the Government under the chairmanship of Director, National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy (NCAP), to examine the methodological issues in fixing Minimum Support Prices has submitted its Report.

MSP-

  • A study conducted by NITI Aayog on efficiency of MSP has found that MSP declared by the Government has encouraged 78% of the farmers covered under the study for adopting improved methods of farming such as-
  • High yielding varieties of seeds
  • Organic manure
  • Chemical fertilizer
  • Pesticides and improved methods of harvesting etc. due to remunerative price.
  • Study has also revealed that majority of farm households are in favour of MSP since it ensures guaranteed income to the farmers by acting as a floor price.
  • Government offers to procure farmers’ produce at MSP, however, they are free to sell it to Government agencies or in the open market as is advantageous to them.
  • Government has initiated the Central Sector Scheme for promotion of National Agriculture Market through Agri-Tech Infrastructure Fund (A-ITF).
  • Scheme provides for a pan-India electronic trading portal which seeks to network the existing Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) and other market yards to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.
  • To ensure that farmers get adequate price for their produce, States/UTs have been advised to amend their respective State APMC Acts on the lines Model Act, 2003.
  • Model Act provides for
    • direct marketing,
    • contract farming,
    • farmers/consumers markets,
    • setting up of markets in private and cooperative sectors etc.
 

India's Seventh Navigation Satellite IRNSS-1G

(Topic: Science and technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life)

About- In its 35th flight (PSLV-C33), ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle successfully launched the 1425 kg IRNSS-1G, the seventh satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota.

IRNSS-1G
  • It is the seventh of the seven satellites constituting the space segment of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System.
  • IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, ID, IE and 1F, the first six satellites of the constellation, were successfully launched by PSLV.
  • All the six satellites are functioning satisfactorily from their designated orbital positions.
  • IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1500 km around the Indian mainland.
  • A number of ground facilities responsible for satellite ranging and monitoring, generation and transmission of navigation parameters, etc., have been established in eighteen locations across the country.
  • Successful launch of IRNSS-1G, the seventh and final member of IRNSS constellation, signifies the completion of the IRNSS constellation.
  • IRNSS provides two types of services, namely-
  • Standard Positioning Services (SPS) - Provided to all user
  • Restricted Services (RS) - Provided to authorised users.
 

Space Technology for Monitoring Projects

(Topic: Science and technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life)

About- Ministry of Development of North East Region (DoNER) proposes to monitor the progress of various developmental projects in the North East region through satellite images.

Monitoring Projects-

  • Monitoring of various developmental projects is proposed through a GIS cell to be established in the NEC Secretariat, in consultation with North Eastern Space Application Centre (NESAC) located at Umiam, Meghalaya.
  • NESAC is a registered society set up in September, 2000 as a joint initiative of Department of Space (DoS) and NEC for providing remote sensing based natural resource information for application in the areas of-
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Disaster management support
  • Developmental communications.
 

BRICS Satellites

(Topic: Science and technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life)

About-

  • As part of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Cooperation, space agencies of respective nations, including India, are pursuing technical discussions to realise a virtual constellation (network of remote sensing satellites provided by space agencies) in a phased manner, wherein space agencies could provide data from their existing remote sensing satellites.
  • Such virtual constellation is intended to deal with challenges of the mankind such as-Global climate change + Natural disasters + Environmental protection.
 

Launching of GSAT-11

(Topic: Science and technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life)

About- India has plan to realise GSAT-11 spacecraft for launch during the end of 2016 or first quarter of 2017.

GSAT-11-

  • It is a first generation high throughput communication satellite with a lift-off mass of about 5600 kg, operating in Ka/Ku bands.
  • It is a multi-beam satellite with 32 user beams and 8 hub beams over India.
  • It is planned to launch GSAT-11 spacecraft using procured launch services.
  • At present, the indigenous capability to launch this weight class of satellite is not available.
  • The in-orbit testing of GSAT-11 satellite is planned to be conducted from the Master Control Facility (MCF) in Hassan, Karnataka and other suitable locations of ISRO Centres.
  • Spacecraft capability includes providing broadband connectivity to rural areas with higher bandwidth as compared to traditional communication satellites.
 

Real Time Data for Flood Forecast

(Topic: Science and technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life)

About- Central Water Commission under this Ministry maintains a network of 878 stations for collection of flood information and issues flood forecasts to 176 stations located on major rivers and their tributaries in the country.

 

Flood Forecasting-

  • Scheme envisages modernisation of its existing network and provision of an additional 100 flood forecasting stations for real-time flood forecasting
  • Ministry has taken up National Hydrology Project (NHP) and setting up of National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC) at New Delhi.
  • NHP envisages setting up of a system for timely and reliable water resources data acquisition, storage, collation and management.
  • Help in gathering hydro-metrological data for analysis on a real time basis.

NWIC-

  • National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC) shall provide a ‘Single Window’ source of updated data on water resources & allied themes including real time data as per availability
  • Provide value added products and services to all stake holders for its management and sustainable development for the benefit of all communities across the nation.
 

27th IND - INDO Coordinated Patrol

(Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organised crime with terrorism)

About- Indonesian Navy and the Indian Navy have been participating in coordinated patrol (CORPAT) twice a year since 2002 to keep this vital part of the Indian Ocean Region safe and secure for commercial shipping and international trade.

27th Ind-Indo Coordination Patrol-

  • The 27thseries of India – Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) is being conducted from 28 Apr to 19 May 16.
  • Indonesian Navy is being represented by the ship KRI Imam Bonjol and Maritime Patrol Aircraft CN 235 whilst INS Karmuk and one Naval Dornier aircraft are representing the Indian Navy.

Importance-

  • Apart from securing the trade sea route, the coordinated patrol also serves to enhance mutual understanding and inter-operability between the two navies.
  • CORPAT thus reflects the shared concern between the two countries for a peaceful Indian ocean for the benefit of international community.
 

Installation of Solar Power Plant of 200 MW or more Capacity at Jetsar, Rajasthan

(Topic: Infrastructure- Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways)

About- Union Cabinet chaired by the PM has given its approval for utilization of 400 hectares of un-cultivable farm land at the Central State Farm (CSF), Jetsar in Sri Ganganagar District, and Rajasthan for setting up of a solar Power Plant of capacity exceeding 200 MW.

 

Uranium deposits 

(Topic: Infrastructure- Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways)

About- Government has prepared an action plan to upgrade the exploration and research capacity of Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), a constituent unit of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)

 

It is to-

  • Identify and evaluate mineral reserves including uranium required for the successful implementation of atomic energy programme of the country, for discovering new uranium deposits.
  • Capacity increase includes enhancement of-
  • Drilling meterage by departmental rigs
  • Heliborne and ground geophysical surveys
  • Analytical support with the help of latest state-of-the-art instruments/equipments.
  • Department of Atomic Energy has got the requisite technology to produce uranium based nuclear power.
  • Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited(NPCIL), a Public Sector Undertaking of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), has been given the responsibility to set up Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors(PHWRs) using the domestically available uranium resources to augment electricity generation through nuclear power reactors.
  • Production of electricity generation through PHWRs has been one of the successful ventures of DAE since 1970.
  • It would continue to contribute to the ‘Make in India’ Programme of the country.
 

Buddhist Circuit under Swadesh Darshan Scheme

(Topic: Promotion of Tourism)

About- Ministry of Tourism has launched the Swadesh Darshan scheme in the year 2014-15 with a vision to develop theme based tourist circuits on the principles of high tourist value, competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner by synergizing efforts to focus on needs and concerns of all stakeholders to enrich tourist experience and enhance employment opportunities.

The Ministry has identified Buddhist Circuit as one of the thirteen thematic circuits for development under the Swadesh Darshan scheme.

Buddhist Circuit-

  • Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, undertakes several promotional activities in the domestic and international markets for promotion of the varied tourism products and destinations of the country including Buddhist Heritage, Sites and Circuits.
  • Ministry of Tourism organizes International Buddhist Conclave every alternate year since 2010
  • Publicity material and collaterals in English and foreign languages are produced for domestic and international market
  • Media campaigns in the print and electronic media are undertaken in the domestic and international markets
  • Familiarisation tours for trade, media and opinion makers are undertaken from overseas to Buddhist Sites and Circuits in the country under the Hospitality Scheme of the Ministry.
  • Funds are sanctioned to State Governments/Union Territory Administrations for various tourism projects in consultation with them subject to availability of funds, liquidation of pending utilization certificates, submission of suitable Detailed Project Report and adherence to the scheme guidelines.

Under Buddhist Circuit theme, Ministry has sanctioned the project “Construction of Cultural Centre at Bodhgaya, Bihar.”

‘Panic Button and Global Positioning System in Mobile Phone Handsets Rules 2016’ notified

(Topic: Women safety) About- Department of Telecommunications has notified the “Panic Button and Global Positioning System in Mobile Phone Handsets Rules 2016”.

Aim-

To provide safety to women in distress situation— to enable them to send out distress signal to a family member or the police authorities so that they can be rescued.

Panic Button and Global Positioning System-

  • Ministry had discussed this issue with a number of stakeholders as well as Department of Telecommunications and had insisted that a physical panic button is much superior to having an App on the mobile phone.
  • It was argued that a woman in distress does not have more than a second or two to send out a distress message as a perpetrator will often reach out to her mobile phone in the event of a physical/sexual assault.
  • After an elaborate process of discussion and deliberation, the Department of Telecommunications as well stakeholders finally agreed to have this facility installed in the mobile phones.
  • Department of Telecommunications has notified the rules on panic button vide notification dated 22nd April, 2016 issued under section 10 of the Indian Wireless Telegraph Act 1933.
  • Under these rules, all feature phones will have the facility of panic button configured to the numeric key 5 or 9 and all smart phones will have the panic button configured to three times short pressing of the on-off button.
  • Further, all mobile phones will be required to have the facility of identifying the location through satellite based GPS.
  • Ministry of Women and Child Development will now be working with the Department of Telecommunications and the stakeholders to ensure that similar solutions be made available for existing mobile phone handsets in the form of software patches by which same buttons could be configured to send out emergency calls for concerned telephone numbers.
  • Ministry stated that these software patches will be made available for direct download in the smart phones and installation at the mobile phone shops by the concerned manufactures/service providers.