PIB Analysis

DESIRE IAS PIB Mains Special September 2018 

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DESIRE IAS

PIB

Mains Special

September 2018 

GS-1

Nothing …

 

GS-2 (Polity and Governance)

Government constitutes Competition Law Review Committee

Context

  • In pursuance of its objective of ensuring that Legislation is in sync with the needs of strong economic fundamentals, the Government has constituted a Competition Law Review Committee to review the Competition Act.

The Terms of References of the Committee are as follows:-

  • To review the Competition Act/ Rules/ Regulations, in view of changing business environment and bring necessary changes, if required;
  • To look into international best practices in the competition fields, especially anti-trust laws, merger guidelines and handling cross border competition issues;
  • To study other regulatory regimes/ institutional mechanisms/ government policies which overlap with the Competition Act;
  • Any other matters related to competition issue and considered necessary by the Committee.

Background

  • The Competition Act was passed in the year 2002 and the Competition Commission of India was set up in pursuance of the same.
  • The Commission started functioning in right earnest from 2009 and has contributed immensely towards the development of competition and fair play practices in the Indian market.
  • During the past nine years the size of the Indian Economy has grown immensely and India is today amongst the top five Economies in the World and poised to forge ahead further.
  • In this context, it is essential that Competition Law is strengthened, and re-calibrated to promote best practices which result in the citizens of this country achieving their aspirations and value for money.

 

4thWorld Summit on Accreditation (WOSA-2018)

  • Union Minister for HRD Shri Prakash Javadekar Inaugurates 4th World Summit on Accreditation (WOSA-2018). Speaking on this occasion the Minister said that ‘Ratings and Rankings’ both the quality hallmark for any educational institutions therefore accreditation becomes very important.
  • He further said that we need to cover each and every institution under accreditation but right now the number of accredited institutions is very less.
  • He said that that it may be for two reasons first some institutions do not want to come under accreditation and second we have some restriction in our own accreditation mechanism therefore government wants to increase the strength of NBA and NAAC so that more number of institutions can be accredited.

Background

  • The National Board of Accreditation (NBA) is an autonomous organisation under Ministry of Human Resource Development engaged in quality assurance of the programs offered by the professional and technical institutions in India through accreditation.
  • NBA has been accorded Permanent Signatory Status of Washington Accord since June, 2014.
  • It has adopted internationally implemented outcome based assessment and accreditation, to ensure that the graduates of the NBA accredited programs are globally competent and relevant.

WOSA 2018

  • The focus of WOSA 2018 is on “CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES IN OUTCOME BASED ACCREDITATION”.

 

Two-day National Orientation workshop on National e-Vidhan Application

Aim:

  • The focus of the workshop would be to encourage all State Legislatures to move towards e-Vidhan platform and bring in transparency, accountability and responsiveness in their conduct of business, through the use of technology.
  • NeVA is a member-centric, decentralised digital application that makes information available on digital platform about day to day functioning of Legislative Houses covering, among other areas, List of Business (LOB), Notices, Bulletin-1, Bulletin-2, Starred/ Unstarred Questions including reply by the Departments (Q&A), Bills: Introduced/ Consideration & Passing, Synopsis of Proceedings, House Proceedings-Verbatim, Committees Reports, Rules & Procedures, Digital Library, Provisional Calendar, Reference material, Rotation of Ministries, Contacts, BudgetPress Releases etc.
  • The application would host a secure page for each Member of the House for submitting Questions & other Notices.

 

Two Day Regional Conference on Good Governance with Focus on Aspirational Districts

  • The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DAR&PG), Government of India in association with Government of Madhya Pradesh is organizing a Regional Conference on Good Governance with Focus on Aspirational Districts
  • This Conference is an effort to create a common platform to share experiences in the formulation and implementation of Best Practices in Citizen Centric Governance and improved Public Service Delivery through e-Governance, transparent, accountable and citizen-friendly effective administration.

District Disability Rehabilitation Centres to be strengthened

  • All multi-storyed government buildings, railway stations, airports and bus stands are being made accessible for Divyangjan with lifts, ramps and escalators under ‘Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan’.
  • The Ministry has increased the categories of Divyangjan from 7 to 21.
  • Six new scholarships have been started since the year 2015 for the educational upliftment of Divyangjan.
  • Five per cent reservation has been provided to them for higher education and four per cent in Government jobs.
  • More than 7300ADIP Camps have been organised by the Ministry nationwide, for distribution of assistive devices and equipments to Divyangjan.
  • The Ministry has also arranged Cochlear implant surgeries to 1300 hearing impaired children.

Salient features of the District Disability Rehabilitation Centres are:

  1. 310 districts have been identified and 263 DDRCs have been set up;
  2. Awareness generation, early intervention and assessment of the need of assistive devices to Divyangjans;
  3. Therapeutic services such as Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy etc. to Divyangjans through rehabilitation professionals; and
  4. Equipment for rehabilitation services and Cost norms of the Scheme has been revised and enhanced to 2.5 times w.e.f. 01/04/2018.

 

All India Pension Adalat

  • The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurated the ‘Pension Adalat’, organised by the Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India.
  • Pension Adalats will help in on-the-spot redressal of pensioners’ grievances.
  • The Pension Adalats are being convened with the objective of bringing on a common table the aggrieved pensioner, the concerned department, the bank or CGHS representative, wherever relevant, so that such cases can be settled across the table within the framework of extant rules.

Health

Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention in New Delhi.
  • Achieving universal access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene by 2030 is a major challenge in many parts of the world.
  • The Swachh Bharat Mission has been shaped by among the world’s leading specialists on sanitation. It has been scripted by common Indians of uncommon quality – men and women of rare courage, of foresight, social empathy and civic pride.
    • Five important themes that countries may choose to adopt while meeting the problem of insufficient sanitation, these are –
      • ensure people lead the planning;
      • implementation and management of sanitation programmes;
      • use smart and affordable technologies for effective and efficient service delivery;
      • eliminate all forms of inequalities in service delivery;
      • create innovative financing instruments to fund and sustain the sanitation movement; and
      • develop capacities within the government to plan, implement and monitor sanitation programmes.

 

Health Ministry partners with Dell and Tata Trusts

  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, exchanged the MoUs with the Tata Trusts and Dell to provide a technological platform for nationwide prevention, control, screening and management program of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Aim:

  • Bringing healthcare technology transformation in Comprehensive Primary Health Care NCD program under Ayushman Bharat, the Health Ministry is working with Dell as technology partner and the Tata Trusts as deployment partner.
  • A cloud-based mobile, web and analytics solution has been developed to digitize health records to aid the population-based screening program, to bring quality health services at door step, to enable increased productivity for health workers and doctors, and to facilitate monitoring of delivery of services by state and district administrators.

 

Rashtriya Poshan Maah celebrated at CCRAS

Context:

  • Ministry of AYUSH and Central Council of Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), all 25 Clinical Research Institutes of CCRAS are conducting various health care activities during the Rashtriya Poshan Maah being observed in the month of September, 2018.

Activities Undertaken:

  • During the camp,  some medicinal plants of daily use (home remedies) have been displayed for the knowledge of patients, importance of nutrition from an Ayurvedic perspective was shared with the participants, visitors and patients, the female patients at IPD were counselled accordingly along with other OPD patients.
  • Pregnant and lactating mothers were also sensitized towards the significance of nutrition and the banners, charts and brochures have been prepared, displayed and distributed for creating awareness.

Objective:

  • To improve nutritional outcomes for children, adolescents, pregnant women and lactating mothers by leveraging technology, a targeted approach and convergence, issued directives to its Research Councils and Institutes for conducting activities for the welfare of general public.

 

Education

Conference on Academic Leadership on Education for Resurgence

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the Conference on Academic Leadership on Education for Resurgence in Vigyan Bhawan and said that when one thinks of resurgence or revival, the first image that comes to mind is of Swami Vivekananda, who presented before the world, the strength of Indian thought.

 The highlights of PM Modi’s speech:

  • Knowledge and education are not restricted to books
  • The purpose of education is to enable balanced growth of every dimension of a human being, which is not possible without innovation.
  • In our ancient/old universities like Takshshila, Nalanda and Vikramashila, innovation was given emphasis along with Knowledge.
  • In our ancient universities like Nalanda, Vikramshila and Takshashila both knowledge and innovation were equal given importance.
  • I insist that students should give knowledge in the class room of the College, University but they also add them to the aspirations of the country.
  • Centre strives to make educational institutions in the country’s needs at every level.
  • With this vision, we have started the Atal Tinkering Lab. Focusing on increasing trend of innovation in schoolchildren.
  • To improve the infrastructure of education, the Revitalization of Infrastructure and Systems in Education or RISE programme has been started. It aims to spend one lakh crores by 2022.
  • The government has set up HEFA- that is, High Education Funding Agency, which will provide financial assistance in the formation of higher educational institutions.
  • Government has decided to increase the budget of National Higher Education Campaign.

 

I.R.

Indo-Uzbek Business Meet

  • The Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, said that India is committed for a strong economic partnership with Uzbekistan.
  • The services sector has huge potential for boosting economic growth and employment generation and will play an important role in Indo-Uzbekistan partnership.
  • Trade relations between India and Uzbekistan are governed by the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation signed in May 1993. This agreement provides for mutual MFN treatment, promotion of economic, industrial, scientific and technical cooperation, including active participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in bilateral economic cooperation.
  • India and Uzbekistan signed an Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation in 1993, and for Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection in May 1999. The Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation has met ten times.
  • India’s exports to Uzbekistan includes pharmaceutical products, mechanical equipment, vehicles and optical instruments.
  • India imports fruits and vegetables, services, fertilizers and lubricants from Uzbekistan.

 

MoU between NITI Aayog, and Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation (MEDRF)

Context:

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between National Institute for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, and Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation (MEDRF) in the field of social, economic, industrial and regional development programs.

Objective:

  • To explore the potential of cooperation in the framework of preparation and implementation of strategies and programs of social, economic, industrial and regional development. It provides a framework and enabling environment to understand each other’s strengths, market, technologies, policies, etc.

The MoU covers the following areas of cooperation:

  • Conducting and execution of joint research projects related to issues of mutual interest;
  • Exchange of information and research works related to issues of mutual interest   between   the two sides,   including   information   on   government strategies and development programs;
  • Visits of relevant specialists of both sides for participation in joint events;
  • Organization of seminars, conferences and other meetings on agreed agenda; and
  • Other forms of cooperation as per mutual consent of the Sides.

 

President Kovind in Cyprus

  • The President said that India’s overriding mission is its economic growth and modernisation, with the fruits of development reaching all sections of our people.

International Solar Alliance:

  • The President said that earlier this year India co-founded and hosted the inaugural conference of the International Solar Alliance.
  • The ISA is central to our effort to mobilise international resources and technologies to combat climate change. The scope for renewable energy is immense and will be crucial to checking rising temperatures and rising seas. He invited Cyprus to become part of the ISA family.

Agreements Signed:

  • Two bilateral agreements were signed; the first, between the Financial Intelligence Unit, India, and Unit for Combating Money Laundering of Cyprus, aims at sharing financial intelligence and fighting money laundering, terror financing and related crimes.
  • The second agreement commits both countries to greater cooperation on environmental issues.

India and Morocco bilateral cooperation

Context:

  • India and Morocco agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in the field of defence and security.

Two bilateral MoUs:

  • ‘Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Outer Space’ between ISRO and the Moroccan Centre of Remote Sensing and
  • ‘Cooperation in the area of Cyber Security’ between the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT –IN), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Moroccan Computer Response Team (ma-CERT) were signed in the presence of Raksha Mantri and the Moroccan Defence Minister.

 

India and Morocco sign Air Services Agreement

  • India and Morocco signed the revised Air Services Agreement between the two countries enabling greater connectivity through a modernized agreement.

Benefits:

  • Greater air connectivity between India and Morocco and will enable the airlines of each side to enter into code share with airlines of other party, as well as provide greater freedom in mounting direct flights.
  • These developments in the Civil Aviation sector will enable the people of each country to travel to the other country leading to better economic and cultural ties.

 

Vice President’s visit to Serbia, Malta and Romania

Some key outcomes:

  1. India’s aspiration to be on UNSC and for taking forward UN reforms was supported.
  2. India’s stand on terror and support for early adoption of United Nation’s Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism was endorsed.
  3. Strong support for resuming EU-India trade agreement after Romania assumes Presidency of EU.
  4. Business Forums generated a good deal of enthusiasm among the industrialists and businessmen in every country as they got to know about India’s transformative initiatives.  The growth story and the reports from World Bank, IMF quoted by Vice President enhanced awareness.
  5. Romania showed a special interest in Space and Aerospace. Malta expressed its desire to join the International Solar Alliance.
  6. The vice President underscored the growing importance of India on the world stage and drew attention to four key features that need to be recognised. He called them 4Ds – Democracy, Demographic dividend, Demand and Diaspora.
  7. The address to the Serbian Parliament was very well received and the admiration for India as the largest democracy and a vibrant, well-functioning polity was more than evident in the standing ovation the Vice President received at the end of his address.
  8. MOUs entered into related to plant protection, tourism, air services, oil research, diplomatic training and maritime cooperation.
  9. In all the three countries, there was considerable interest in Yoga and Ayurveda and in Romania, the Vice President launched two books on Ayurveda and inaugurated an Ayurveda Information Centre.

 

Relationship between India and Romania

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that India and Romania are growing at an unprecedented and steady pace during his two-day visit to Romania.
  • India signs MoU with Romania in the field of Petroleum and Gas.
  • Romania support’s for resumption of talks on India-European Union Broad-based Trade & Investment Agreement
  • Romania also supports India in its aspiration for a permanent seat in UN Security Council.
  • Romanian companies are also operating in India and the cumulative FDI inflow from Romania to India is around USD 7.5 million.
  • Opportunities for bilateral investment flows between a growing Romanian economy and a huge Indian market in sectors such as IT, automobiles, mining, agriculture and food processing, tourism, healthcare products and energy.

 

MoU between India and South Africa

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and South Africa on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes.

Salient Features:

  • Remote sensing of the earth;
  • Satellite communication and satellite-based navigation;
  • Space science and planetary exploration;
  • Use of spacecraft, launch vehicles, space systems and ground systems;
  • Practical applications of space technology including geospatial tools and techniques; and
  • Other areas of cooperation to be determined by the Parties.

 Cooperating Terms:

  • Planning and implementation of joint space projects of mutual benefit and interest;
  • Establishment, operation and maintenance of ground stations for supporting space activities;
  • Sharing of satellite data, results of experiments, and scientific and technological information;
  • Joint research and developmental activities;
  • Exchange of technical and scientific personnel designated to participate in the cooperative programmes;
  • Capacity building in space science and technology, and space application programmes for societal purposes;
  • Organization of joint symposia, conferences and scientific meetings; and
  • Additional forms of cooperation will be determined in writing upon mutual consent between the Parties.

Benefits:

  • Signing of this MoU shall enable pursuing the potential areas of cooperation such as space science, technology and applications including remote sensing of the earth, satellite communication and satellite-based navigation; space science and planetary exploration; use of spacecraft and space systems and ground systems; and application of space technology.

 

India and Serbia: Celebrates 70 years of diplomatic relations

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that India and Serbia have historic and special relations as co-founders of the Non-Aligned Movement and our relationship is based on mutual trust, mutual understanding and support to each other on issues of core interest.

Discussed on:

  • India and Serbia have historic and special relations as co-founders of the Non-Aligned Movement.
  • India and Serbia celebrate 70 years of establishment of diplomatic relations.
  • Releases commemorative stamp on Swami Vivekananda and Nikola Tesla.
  • Witnesses signing of MoUs on cooperation in the fields of Plant Health and Plant Quarantine and a revised Air Services.
  • Makes joint Press Statement.
  • Witnesses Exhibition on Belgrade/New Delhi – 70 years of Diplomatic Relations.
  • Terrorism is the most serious global threat in today’s world;
  • Holds bilateral discussions with the President of Serbia

 

GS-3

Indian Ports Association appoints Managed Service Provider

  • The five major port trusts, viz, Mumbai Port TrustKolkata Port TrustChennai Port TrustDeendayal Port Trustand Paradip Port Trust have come together in this collaborative effort towards building a common shared platform for modernization and automation of port processes.
  • The key benefits from the system in Port and Shipping sector include:
    • Improve India’s ranking in Ease of doing business
    • Enable faster request processing in delivery of services with better turnaround time
    • Reduction in manual intervention/documentation required
    • Reduction in overall Transaction time and costs
    • Improve the efficiency of port operations, quick turn round of vessel and subsequent less dwell time
    • Dashboard to ports/MOS for Real Time MIS on cargo/ship movements & Exim transactions
    • Simplified and accelerated procedures for cargo entry, exit or transit
    • Enhanced transparency across systems

 

Twenty Embryo Transfer Technology (ETT) centres

  • Twenty Embryo Transfer Technology Centres are being established in the country and a proposal of 19 centres has been approved so far.
  • This was stated by the Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh at the foundation laying ceremony of Embryo transfer Technology ceremony of Embryo Transfer Technology (ETT) centre in the Bharatiya Agro Industries Foundation (BALF), Uruilikanchan, Pune.
  • 3000 high genetic merit bulls of indigenous bovine breeds are being produced from these centres. Two of these centres are to be set up in Nagpur and Pune in Maharashtra.
  • The Minister observed that agriculture and dairy business complement each other for the social and economic upliftment of cattle farmers.
  • To achieve this objective, it is essential to have good quality livestock breed in order to increase production. Under the Rashtriya Gokul Mission, 10 semen centres have been identified for the production of Sex Sorted Semen for the production of more female animals.
  • INDUSCHIP has been developed for genomic selection of indigenous breeds and 6000 dairy animals have been genetically evaluated using INDUSCHIP.
  • Under the Pashu Sanjivni component of the scheme, 9 crore milch animals are being identified using UID (Unique Identification Device).

 

Centre of Excellence for Data Analytics 

  • Union Minister of Electronics & IT, Sh. Ravi Shankar Prasad today inaugurated Centre of Excellence for Data Analytics (CEDA) in New Delhi.
  • Minister of State for Electronics & IT  Sh. S.S. Ahluwalia said that data analysis has been traditionally done since the time of Kautaliya for effective decision making, but today with great capabilities achieved in Information and communication technologies Data analysis can help in effective and efficient governance.
  • Centre of Excellence for Data Analytics (CEDA) will aid in fast-tracking the adoption of advanced analytics in government.

CEDA aims to:

  • Be a focal point and centre of expertise in data analytics for government and public sector

It aims at providing following services to Government:

  1. Data Quality Assurance Services –. The centre will provide data profiling tools and techniques and necessary expertise to analyse the data for quality issues. While data cleaning shall be done for making the data ready for analytical use, recommendations shall also be given in order to help the department take necessary actions to further improve their data collection process.
  2. Custom-built Data Analytics Solutions – Build analytic solutions that are specific to a particular problem which may relate to a single or a combination of departments.
  3. Develop reusable assets– This will be one of the many USPs of the centre. CEDA will build Data Analytic solutions that address a generic data analytics problem that is prevalent across departments or States. Such a solution will then be made available to other departments/states as a pre-built analytic solution that can be operationalized for the new States at a cost effective and a much faster rate.
  4. Knowledge Management – CEDA will implement knowledge repository to collect learnings from across projects and share best practices across initiatives and will ensure usage of best practices in across the government.
  5. Capacity Building and Self Service Analytics – Besides creating the analytics solutions for the government departments, the centre’s focus would also be to train and enable the departments to do self-service analytics by simplifying the data in a manner in which an administrator can use it with minimum technical support.
  6. Change Management – CEDA will help ministries in assessing impact from the analytics solutions and help in understanding changes to organizational roles and responsibilities

 

FDI in Telecom Sector

Aim:

  • Provide relevant information relating to the FDI policy and the telecommunications sector in India at one place to facilitate the stakeholders.
  • Telecom Sector is also playing an important role in agriculture, poverty eradication, disaster preparedness and financial inclusion.
  • FDI an important component of economic growth can play an important role in the sector as it has been doing.

 

India International Science Festival

  • The fourth edition of India International Science Festival will be inaugurated by President of India in Lucknow on October 6, 2018.
  • IISF-2018 with its focal theme “Science for Transformation” will have 23 special events.
  • The Global Indian Science & Technology Stakeholders Meet (GIST), Industry Academia Meet and Science & Technology for Harnessing Innovations (SATHI) – A National startup entrepreneurship summit and Student Science Village are some of the important events, being organized.
  • The Science Village program is linked with the Pradhan Mantri Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana to reach out to the rural masses and propagate science and for seeking scientific solutions to the diverse challenges facing our society, particularly rural India.
  • As World record attempts have been a key part of IISF since 2015, in IISF 2018, a World Record attempt will be made to “isolate DNA” by 500 students from class 8thto 10th 
  • Nav Bharat Nirman and the Science and Literary Festival are the other highlights of IISF 2018.

 

Offset Policy in Defence

  • The Offset Policy was formally announced for the first time in 2005 and has been revised several times.
  • It mandates foreign suppliers of equipment’s to spend certain percent of the contract value in India. It was first revised in 2006 and then again in 2011 and in 2016. Sometimes this may take place with technology transfer.
  • Offset policy necessarily aims at acquisition and development of the state of the art technologies and create world class defence production industry which should be able to meet both domestic and export requirements of the country.

Details

  • The key objectives of the Defence Offset Policy is to leverage the capital acquisitions to develop Indian defence industry by fostering development of internationally competitive enterprises; augmenting capacity for research and development in defence sector and to encourage development of synergistic sector like civil aerospace and internal security.
  • The offset can be discharged by many means such as direct purchase of eligible products/services, FDI in joint ventures and investment towards equipment and transfer of technology.
  • As per Defence Offset Guidelines, the foreign Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) is free to select any Indian company as its offset partner.
  • All successful offset programmes have certain common well defined characteristics, purposeful selection in consonance with well-defined objectives, hard negotiations, detailed planning and close oversight.
  • It is being deduced that Offset Policy aims at defence industrial development of country.

 Concerns

  • Equipment Acquisition in Jeopardy:In their enthusiasm to obtain order, many vendors fail to grasp the full implications of offset liabilities. They tend to take obligation lightly and do not make adequate budgetary provisions.
  • Time Delays:Negotiations and deliberations may hinder fast implementation and may cause undue delay
  • Offset as Incidental Considerations:Offset will work best when aspirations of both the vendor and buyer country are fulfilled and resulting in a win-win situation for both seller and buyer. An analysis of buyers’ perspective on offsets to gain maximum advantages and vendors’ reluctance to give away too much may lead to the impression that offsets aspirations of buyer and possible approach towards same by vendor are dichotomous.
  • Technology received in few countries also show that it was outdated and did not improve competitions of indigenous industry.
  • Offsets did not create new markets for local produce.

Recommendations

  • Offset should not delay main acquisition nor should it drive acquisition of equipment and technology.
  • Wherever feasible, we should resort to direct offsets.
  • Technology being obtained through offsets should be both relevant and contemporary.

 

 

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)

  • An overarching structure, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), under the Defence Minister was constituted for overall guidance of the defence procurement planning process.

Objective:

  • The objective of the Defence Acquisition Council is to ensure expeditious procurement of the approved requirements of the Armed Forces in terms of capabilities sought, and time frame prescribed, by optimally utilizing the allocated budgetary resources.

Context:

  • The DAC accorded approval for procurement of 1000 engines of 1000 BHP for fitment in T-72 tanks of the Army under ‘Buy & Make’ category and at an approximate cost of over Rs 2300 crore. Post transfer of technology most of these engines will be manufactured by Ordnance Factories Board (OFB). The engines will enhance mobility, agility and acceleration of T-72 tanks making them more versatile and effective in the battlefield.

India International Convention and Expo Centre

  • The commission for the India International Convention & Expo Centre in Dwarka (IICC Dwarka) is the result of the international competition organised by the DMICDC (Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation) in January 2017.
  • The Centre is going to be a world-class state-of-the-art Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre, with facilities like financial, hospitality and retail services located in Sector 25, Dwarka.
  • It is a 100% Government owned company under Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project

  • The Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) is an initiative being undertaken by the Central Water Commission (CWC), Government of India with World Bank loan assistance, to improve the safety and performance of selected existing dams and associated appurtenances in a sustainable manner, and to strengthen the dam safety institutional setup in participating Implementing Agencies across participating States as well as in the CWC.

Objective:

  1. Component-I: – Rehabilitation of Dam and its Appurtenant Structures,
  2. Component-II: – Institutional Strengthening and
  3. Component-III: – Project Management.
  • The Scheme envisages comprehensive rehabilitation of 198 existing dam projects located in seven states of India namely, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Jharkhand (Damodar Valley Corporation) and Uttarakhand (Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited).

 

DAY-NRLM

  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the extension of timeline for implementation of the Special Package under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) for Jammu & Kashmir for another period of one year during 2018-19.

Impact:

  • This will help in covering all the vulnerable rural households in the State (estimated at two thirds of the total number of households) within a definite time frame.
  • It will ensure mobilization of households under the auto inclusion category and households with at least one deprivation category listed in the Socio Economic Caste Census – 2011.
  • It will also ensure coverage of all the blocks in Jammu & Kashmir under DAY-NRLM and ensures social inclusion, social development, promotion of livelihoods leading to poverty alleviation in the State.

Background:

  • The Special Package as approved in May 2013 could not be fully implemented due to unavoidable reasons and disturbed conditions in the State.
  • The State Government has requested Government of India to consider extension of the earlier approved implementation schedule of the Special Package and continued funding of DAY-NRLM in Jammu and Kashmir on a demand driven basis without linking allocation with poverty ratio during this extended period.
  • The approval by the Cabinet will give a boost to the vulnerable rural families in Jammu & Kashmir.

 

Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu on Research & innovation in agriculture

  • Research and innovation in the field of agriculture must reach farmers. He has urged scientists and researchers to collaborate with farmers to make agriculture more affordable and viable.
  • Empowering farmer and strengthening agriculture would help in developing rural India
  • Farming technique tested across Andhra Pradesh can be a model for sustainable agriculture as it reduces the heavy input cost on agriculture and help boost productivity. The Zero Budget Natural Farming has the potential to enhance the income or profit margins for farmers who are often under distress owing to debt.
  • Called on both farmers, officials and scientists to make united efforts to facilitate farmers understand new technologies and reduce input cost of agriculture.

 

Indian Railways undertakes various IT initiatives

  • The major initiatives taken by Indian Railways in this regard:

Tracking of trains using newer technologies:

  • A Real Time Train Information System (RTIS) is being implemented, whereby GPS tracking devices would communicate using satellite communications.

Handheld Devices on trains:

  • Handheld Terminals (HHTs) are being provided to the Train Ticket Examiners (TTEs) to be able to check the reserved coaches, allot the vacant berths and transmit information on available berths to the subsequent stations.
  • The HHT can also access the ticketing application and collect excess fares as per rules. The terminal can potentially connect to a Point of Sale (POS) machine and charges can be collected digitally.

Modernisation of Ticketing Website (IRCTC):

  • Over the last four years, the capacity of the website has increased to 20,000 tickets per minute starting from 2000 tickets per minute in 2014, a ten-fold increase.

Paperless Unreserved Ticketing through Mobile Phones:

  • This has eliminated the need for passengers to stand in queue for getting tickets for journey in unreserved compartments of trains.  The ticket is delivered on the Mobile Phone and is embedded with QR Code.

Indian Railway e-Procurement System (IREPS):

  • Complete tendering activity of Indian Railways for procurement of goods, services & works and e-auction of scrap sale is on IREPS.
  • IREPS system is largest such G to B portal in India.
  • It has helped in achieving objectives of transparency, efficiency and improving of ease of doing business.

 

Smart City Expo India 2018

  • The Vice President of India was addressing the inaugural session of the Smart City Expo India 2018, in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

Some important points from his speech:

  • The creation of pedestrian non-motorized zones is the need of the hour curb traffic congestions.
  • Governance at door step is the key objective of smart cities and he asked authorities to work towards digitization of city governance, services, certifications and approvals without unnecessary personal interface.
  • Develop Smart Village at par with Smart Cities.
  • Social development should be at the core of every project undertaken by Smart Cities.
  • Vulnerabilities of the marginalized sections of the society must be kept in mind.

 

 

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