PIB Analysis

DESIRE IAS PIB PRLIMS SPECIAL OCTOBER -2018 for UPSC CSE Exam

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PIB

PRLIMS

SPECIAL

OCTOBER -2018

Govt Initiative  

1- Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP)

  • Under – control of the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals& Fertilizers,
  • Jan Aushadhi” is the novel project launched by Government of India in the year 2008 for the noble cause – Quality Medicines at Affordable Prices for All. The campaign was undertaken through sale of generic medicines through exclusive outlets namely “Jan Aushadhi Medical Store” in various districts of the country. The first “Jan Aushadhi Medical Store” was opened on 25thNov 2008 at Amritsar in Punjab.
  • It was envisaged that the scheme would run on a self-sustaining business model, and not be dependent on government subsidies or assistance beyond the initial support. It was to be run on the principle of “No Profit, No loss”.

Objectives of PMBJP

Making quality medicines available at affordable prices for all, particularly the poor and disadvantaged, through exclusive outlets “Jan Aushadhi Medical Store”, so as to reduce out of pocket expenses in healthcare.

Vision

To bring down the healthcare budget of every citizen of India through providing Quality generic Medicines at Affordable Prices.

Mission:

  • Create awareness among public regarding generic medicines.
  • Create demand for generic medicines through medical practitioners.
  • Create awareness through education and awareness program that high price need not be synonymous with high quality.
  • Provide all the commonly used generic medicines covering all the therapeutic groups.
  • Provide all the related health care products too under the scheme.

Key features of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP):

  • State Governments or any organization / reputed NGOs / Trusts / Private hospitals / Charitable institutions / Doctors / Unemployed pharmacist/ individual entrepreneurs are eligible to apply for new Jan Aushadhi stores.
  • The applicants shall have to employ one B Pharma / D Pharma degree holder as Pharmacist in their proposed store.
  • Applications shall be submitted to BPPI either online or offline.
  • Jan Aushadhi stores can be located within Government hospital premises as well as Private hospital premises or anywhere outside.
  • BPPI shall establish a Central Ware House, C&F agents at different locations and Distributors in all the States/UTs.
  • 20% trade margin shall be included in MRP for retailers and 10% for distributors.
  • Jan Aushadhi medicines will be sold through “Mobile Jan Aushadhi Vans” after all requisite approvals are obtained.

Implementation Agency for PMBJP:

  • BPPI (Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India), under the administrative control of the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals& Fertilizers, Government of India will be the implementation agency for the PMJAY.
  • BPPI has been established under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Government of India, with the support of all the Pharma CPSUs for coordinating procurement, supply and marketing of generic drugs through the Jan Aushadhi stores.
  • In 2010, BPPI got registered as an independent society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 as a separate legal entity.

About Jan Aushadhi Store (JAS)

  • JAS has been opened across the country.
  • The normal working hours of JAS are 8 Am to 8 PM.
  • All therapeutic medicines are made available from Jan Aushadhi Stores.
  • In addition to medicines and surgical items supplied by BPPI, Jan Aushadhi stores also sell allied medical products commonly sold in chemist shops so as to improve the viability of running the Jan Aushadhi store.
  • The number of Janaushadhi stores in the country has grown to more than 4300 in 640 districts,

2-Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY)

Context:

  • Gram Sabhas across the country have been asked to inform the farmers about the enrolment and benefits of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojan (PMFBY) at the beginning of the Rabi Season.
  • The Gram Sabhas will also inform the farmers on how they can insure their crops under the Scheme.

First season for PMFBY with its revised operational guidelines:

  • The companies to reduce premium rates, especially as the general cut-off date for enrolment has been advanced by 15 days for both seasons.
  • The farmers get 72 hours to intimate individual claims against the existing 48 hours.
  • This can be done through any of the channels provided under the Scheme and directly on the portal of PMFBY.
  • The farmers can access dedicated grievance redressal authorities.
  • Revised operational guidelines provide for appointment of District Level Grievance Redressal Officer and creation of State and District Grievance Redressal Cells for fast redressal of grievances.
  • Non-loanee farmers can approach designated Common Service Centres, banks and insurance agents for insuring their crops or directly enrol on the portal.
  • Farmers who avail short term crop loans from formal financial institutions at concessional rates of interest are automatically covered under the Scheme.

 

3-MoU signed between Lady Irwin College & MoRD for Roshni

Context:

  • Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development  and Lady Irwin College, have signed  a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for establishing ROSHNI – Centre of Women Collectives led Social Action.
  • ROSHNI is technically and financially supported by UNICEF India serving as a technical support unit at national level for DAY-NRLM and is embedded in the Department of Development Communication and Extension, Lady Irwin College, New Delhi.

Aim:

  • DAY-NRLM aims to reach out to 8-10 crore rural poor households (based on SECC 2011) in a time bound manner, and, stay engaged with them till they come out of abject poverty.
  • It envisions breaking the self-perpetuating cycle of malnutrition- illness- out-of-pocket expenditure for treatment-poverty through its savings and enterprise approach and layering of Food, Health, Nutrition and WASH (FHNW) interventions through Self-help groups (SHG) and their federations.

About:

  • DAY-NRLM is MoRD’s nodal agency for implementation of the convergent action plan under the POSHAN Abhiyaan, which in addition to MORD includes the Ministry of Woman and Child Development and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • The four areas of convergence are – mobilisation for fixed day health, nutrition and WASH camps (Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Day-VHSND), convergence through behaviour change communication, convergence through common use of infrastructure and promotion of nutri-based livelihoods for women collectives.

About Roshni:

  • Roshni aims to work with women collectives for social action on FHNW interventions in alignment with DAY-NRLM Dashasutra strategy and supporting implementation of convergent action plan under POSHAN Abhiyaan.
  • Roshni will learn from Swabhimaan and similar models, and extend support to DAY-NRLM for expanding the scope of FHNW interventions.
  • The Centre will lead knowledge creation, capacity building for scale-up of convergent action plan, learning and re- learning in Swabhimaan sites and provide policy guidance to DAY-NRLM on POSHAN Abhiyaan initiatives.

 

4- Udyam Abhilasha

Context:

  • On the occasion of Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi yesterday i.e. October 02, 2018, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), had launched a National Level Entrepreneurship Awareness Campaign, Udyam Abhilasha in 115 Aspirational Districts identified by NITI Aayog in 28 States and reaching to around 15,000 youth.

Objective:

  • The campaign would create and strengthen cadre of more than 800 trainers to provide entrepreneurship training to the aspiring youths across these districts thus encouraging them to enter the admired segment of entrepreneurs.
  • to inspire rural youth in aspirational districts to be entrepreneurs by assisting them to set up their own enterprise,
  • to impart trainings through digital medium across the country,
  • to create business opportunities for CSC VLEs,
  • to focus on women aspirants in these aspirational districts to encourage women entrepreneurship and
  • to assist participants to become bankable and avail credit facility from banks to set up their own enterprise.

Background:

  • Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), is the Principal Financial Institution for the Promotion, Financing, Development and Coordination of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector.
  • SIDBI meets the financial and developmental needs of the MSME sector with a Credit+ approach to make it strong, vibrant and globally competitive.
  • SIDBI, under its revamped strategy SIDBI 2.0, has adopted the theme of ease of access to MSEs and being Impact Multiplier & Digital Aggregator.

 

5- SATAT: To promote Compressed Bio-Gas

  • Petroleum Minister launches SATAT initiative to promote Compressed Bio-Gas as an alternative, green transport fuel.

Aim:

  • Providing a Sustainable Alternative towards Affordable Transportation as a developmental effort that would benefit both vehicle-users as well as farmers and entrepreneurs.
  • It holds great promise for efficient municipal solid waste management and in tackling the problem of polluted urban air due to farm stubble-burning and carbon emissions.
  • Use of CBG will also help bring down dependency on crude oil imports and in realising the Prime Minister’s vision of enhancing farmers’ income, rural employment and entrepreneurship.

Background:

  • Bio-gas is produced naturally through a process of anaerobic decomposition from waste / bio-mass sources like agriculture residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, municipal solid waste, sewage treatment plant waste, etc. After purification, it is compressed and called CBG, which has pure methane content of over 95%.
  • Compressed Bio-Gas is exactly similar to the commercially available natural gas in its composition and energy potential.

 

New Portals

1- Impactful Policy Research in Social Science’ (IMPRESS)

  • launched the web portal of the Scheme “Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences (IMPRESS)”.

About the Scheme:

  • 1500 research projects will be awarded for 2 years to support the social science research in the higher educational institutions and to enable research to guide policy making.

The objectives of the scheme are:

  • To identify and fund research proposals in social sciences with maximum impact on the governance and society.
  • To focus research on (11) broad thematic areas such as:
    • State and Democracy,
    • Urban transform–ation,
    • Media, Culture and Society,
    • Employment,
    • Skills and Rural transformation,
    • Governance,
    • Innovation and Public Policy,
    • Growth,
    • Macro-trade and Economic Policy,
    • Agriculture and Rural Development,
    • Health and Environment,
    • Science and Education,
    • Social Media and Technology,
    • Politics,
    • Law and Economics.
  • To ensure selection of projects through a transparent, competitive process on online mode.
  • To provide opportunity for social science researchers in any institution in the country, including all Universities (Central and State), private institutions with 12(B) status conferred by UGC.
  • ICSSR funded/recognised research institutes will also be eligible to submit research proposals on the given themes and sub-themes.

The following will be the modalities for implementation:

  • There will be (4) calls for proposals – October, 2018, February 2019, September 2019 and February 2020.  The process of evaluation of the proposals and selection will be completed within 90 days from the date of call for proposals.
  • The experts for evaluation of proposals will be persons of eminence and selected using objective criteria.
  • There will be a regular monitoring of the progress of projects using the online portal, in which the progress can be directly updated by the Project Coordinator.
  • There will be a third party evaluation of the projects in March 2021.

 

2-“Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC)”

  • launched   the web portal of the Scheme “Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC)”.

Aim:

  • At improving the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian Institutions and the best institutions in the world.

Salient Feature of SPARC are:

  • This scheme will improve research ecosystem of  India’s higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian Institutions and the best institutions in the world from 28 selected nations to jointly solve problems of national and international relevance.

 

3- Digi Yatra

  • The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Shri Suresh Prabhu released the policy on biometric based digital processing of passengers at airports called “Digi Yatra”.
  • DigiYatra Central Platform will be operational by end of February, 2019. Bangalore & Hyderabad International Airports will be ready with pilot implementation by end of February, 2019.
  • Any service provider involved in facilitating travel of passenger from door to door will be able to use this platform in future through innovative solutions.
  • It is a Facial Recognition based passenger processing which is a common standard being adopted the world over.

Process Involved:

  • This DigiYatra ID will be shared by passengers while booking ticket.
  • Airlines will share the passenger data and DigiYatraID with the departure airport.
  • A passenger who has created the Digi Yatra ID has to undergo a one time verification at the departure airport during his/her first travel.
  • If a passenger opted for Aadhar based verification, the identity will be verified online. On successful verification, facial biometric will be captured and stored in the Digi Yatra ID profile of the passenger.
  • In case the passenger has chosen any other identity for creating Digi Yatra ID, verification will be done manually by Security personal and facial biometric will be captured and stored in the Digi Yatra ID profile.
  • A successfully registered passenger can go directly to the entry point E-Gate of the airport and scan the barcode/ QR code of the ticket/ Boarding pass. A camera will capture the face for comparing with DigiYatraID Photo. On successful verification of the travel details and facial matching, the E-Gate will open. The system will also generate a token in the system combining the face of passenger with PNR of the ticket, so that at subsequent check points the ticket details will be available on face recognition.

 

4- Self4Society

  • Professionals keen on doing volunteer work in their free time will be provided a platform by the government through an app, #Self4Society, developed by MyGov.
  • The app will have incentives, gamification and intra- and inter-company competitions, and social networking
  • This platform is going to create a big opportunity for the masses and will lead to a better outcome of the efforts of professionals who have keen interest in volunteering.

 

5- Central Warehouse and Digital Cash Management System

  • Union Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Shri Mansukh Mandaviya inaugurated the hi-tech Central Warehouse, setup by the Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI).

About:

  • The hi-tech Central Warehouse would facilitate seamless distribution of Jan Aushadhi generic medicines to all PMBJP Kendra functional across the country.
  • The Minister had inaugurated the Digital Cash Management System for Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP), to be implemented as a partnership between BPPI and Bank of Baroda.

About:

  • This System will be implemented at all PMBJP Kendras for purchasing medicines and cashless payment system with BPPI.
  • Bank of Baroda will also provide loan to all PMBJP Kendra for purchasing medicines. The cashless transactions will be done only through unique virtual accounts opened by Bank of Baroda for each and every PMBJP Kendra, across the country.

 

In PIB News

1- Invest India – WhatsApp partner

Context:

  • In an effort to fuel the growth of India’s entrepreneurial and small business community, Invest India through its flagship initiative Startup India Hub has partnered with WhatsApp on a program that focuses on the proliferation of startups, promoting economic growth and generating employment opportunities in India.
  • WhatsApp will invest quarter of a million dollars as seed funding to the top 5 winners of the ‘WhatsApp Startup Challenge’ and an additional $ 250,000 will be directed to a select few from the entrepreneurial community to promote their WhatsApp business number on Facebook and drive discovery of their businesses.
  • This way customers will be able to find the business and start talking to them on that WhatsApp number.
  • Invest India is also working with WhatsApp to drive awareness about its business tools in around 15 states impacting over 60,000 businesses in the coming months through tools such as Startup India ‘Yatra’ program and other in-person training events.
  • The Startup community is the future of India and will be the platform through which the millions of youth of this country will be gainfully employed.
  • WhatsApp cares deeply about helping businesses connect with customers and grow.
  • The more opportunities that are given the more startups will become engines of India’s economic growth.

Background:

  • In the last 2 years at the Startup India programme, there are over 13,000 startups registered with Startup India program that spread across 448 districts covering all 29 States and 6 Union Territories.

2- Statue of Unity

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, will dedicate the world’s tallest statue, the “Statue of Unity”, to the Nation, at Kevadiya in Gujarat.
  • The 182 metre statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, will be dedicated to the nation on his birth anniversary, at Kevadiya in Narmada District of Gujarat.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

  • He was born on 31 October, 1875 at Karamsand, Gujarat and died on 15 December 1950 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. He is known as Iron Man of India or Bismarck of India. By profession, he was barrister (lawyer) and had successfully practiced law. Later he left law practice and joined the Indian national movement under leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • In India’s independence struggle, he played a major role in organizing peasants’ movements on Gandhian principles in Bardoli and Kheda in Gujarat and during the Quit India movement.
  • His biggest contribution to India was his role in the integration of the over 500 princely states with India during 1947-49. He is also remembered as Patron Saint of India’s civil servants for establishing modern All-India services. He was posthumously conferred with Bharat Ratna, India’s highest Civilian honour, in 1991.

3-Gujarat’s first Mega Food Park in Surat

  • Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurated the first Mega Food Park in Gujarat.

About:

  • The Park is located at Village Shah and Vasravi, Taluka Mangrol, District Surat.
  • The Park also has a common administrative building for office and other uses by the entrepreneurs and 4 PPCs at Bharuch, Padra (Vadodara), Valsad and Navsari having facilities for primary processing and storage near the farms.
  • The Park will also provide direct and indirect employment to 5,000 persons and benefit about 25,000 farmers in the CPC and PPC catchment areas.

Aim:

  • At giving a major boost to the food processing sector by adding value and reducing food wastage at each stage of the supply chain with particular focus on perishables, Ministry of Food Processing Industries is implementing Mega Food Park Scheme in the country.
  • Mega Food Parks create modern infrastructure facilities for food processing along the value chain from farm to market with strong forward and backward linkages through a cluster based approach.

Common facilities and enabling infrastructure is created at Central Processing Centre and facilities for primary processing and storage is created near the farm in the form of Primary Processing Centers (PPCs) and Collection Centers (CCs).

4-Vigilance Awareness Week

  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will observe the Vigilance Awareness Week from 29thOctober to 3rdNovember, 2018 as per the directions of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), Government of India.

Theme:

  • The theme of the vigilance awareness this year is “Eradicate Corruption- Make a New India.”

Aim:

  • The CVC aims to promote integrity, transparency and accountability in public life.

Benefits:

  • The observation of Vigilance Awareness Week creates greater awareness among public and encourages all the stakeholders to collectively participate in prevention of and fight against Corruption.
  • During the week-long Vigilance Awareness campaign, various activities like seminars, debates and essay competitions will be organized in the Ministry to sensitize and motivate its officers and staff to remain vigilant and transparent in their work in order to eradicate corruption in all spheres of life.

 

5-India’s first container movement on inland waterways

Context:

  • Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) will transport container cargo belonging to the food and beverage giant PepsiCo (India) from Kolkata to Varanasi on river Ganga (National Waterway-1) tomorrow.
  • This would be the country’s first container movement on inland vessel post-independence, and a milestone moment in the history of India’s IWT sector.

About:

  • PepsiCo (India) will move 16 containers – equivalent to 16 truckloads- filled with food and snacks in the vessel MV RN Tagore which will reach Varanasi in 9-10 days.
  • MV RN Tagore will make its return journey with fertilizers belonging to IFFCO that will be procured from its Phulpur plant near Allahabad.
  • The event coincides with another momentous day for IWT in India as IWAI’s first foray into Public Private Partnership (PPP) model will become a reality with the handing over of operation and management of its terminals in Kolkata to M/s Summit Alliance Port East Gateway (India) Pvt Ltd. (SAPEL) on a supply, operate and maintain (SOM) model.
  • Container cargo transport comes with several inherent advantages, as it reduces the handling cost, allows easier modal shift, reduces pilferages and damage, it also enables cargo owners to reduce their carbon footprints.
  • The government is developing NW-1 (River Ganga) under JMVP from Haldia to Varanasi (1390 Km) with the technical and financial assistance of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs 5369 crore.

 

6- India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2018

  • India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2018 – a marquee event which provided a peep into the exciting future in the rapidly evolving area of digital communications.

Theme:

  • “New Digital Horizons – Connect. Create. Innovate.”-established the IMC as a regular platform for global and local stakeholders in the sector to collaborate in the cause of exploring opportunities and leveraging possibilities, with specific focus on South and South-East Asia.

Highlights of the Event:

  • The Government of India announced the commitment of the industry to roll out One Million WiFi Hotspots in the Country by December 2019.
  • The National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP) 2018 was also unveiled at the event. NFAP 2018 frees up a total of 605 MHz spectrum in the 5-GHz band for Wi-Fi services.

 

7- Electoral Bond Scheme 2018

  • Government of India has notified the Electoral Bond Scheme 2018; as per provisions of the Scheme, Electoral Bonds may be purchased by a person who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India.
  • A person being an individual can buy Electoral Bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals.
  • Only the Political Parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and which secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last General Election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the State, shall be eligible to receive the Electoral Bonds.
  • The Electoral Bonds shall be encashed by an eligible Political Party only through a Bank account with the Authorized Bank.
  • Electoral Bonds shall be valid for fifteen calendar days from the date of issue and no payment shall be made to any payee Political Party if the Electoral Bond is deposited after expiry of the validity period.
  • The Electoral Bond deposited by an eligible Political Party in its account shall be credited on the same day.

 

8- International Arya Mahasammelan-2018

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the International Arya Mahasammelan – 2018 in Delhi.
  • The President enumerated about Swami Dayanand Saraswati:
    • He showed us the path of renaissance and self-pride.
    • He was an intrepid warrior of social and spiritual reform.
    • He took effective measures for educational and social reform especially for women empowerment and eradication of untouchability. His work is relevant even in the present times both for Indian society and the entire world.
    • He had worked for eradication of discrimination in society on the basis of caste, creed and sect and motivated everyone to become Arya – that is – the best.
  • In Mahasammelan they discussed on the issues such as prevention of superstition, modernization, women empowerment, tribal welfare, and management of natural calamities.
  • The President said that we will be celebrating 200thbirth anniversary of Swami Dayanand Saraswati in 2024 and will also celebrate the 150thanniversary of the Arya Samaj in 2025.
  • Past laureates include distinguished global personalities like former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and renowned international relief organizations like Doctors without Borders and Oxfam.

 

9- Creation of Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF)

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for creation of special Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF).

Benefits:

  • Creation of fisheries infrastructure facilities both in marine and Inland fisheries sectors.
  • To augment fish production to achieve its target of 15 million tonne by 2020 set under the Blue Revolutio, and to achieve a sustainable growth of 8% -9% thereafter to reach the fish production to the level of about 20 MMT by 2022-23.
  • Employment opportunities to over 9.40 lakh fishers/fishermen/fisherfolk and other entrepreneurs in fishing and allied activities.
  • To attract private investment in creation and management of fisheries infrastructure facilities.
  • Adoption of new technologies.

 

10-75th Anniversary of Formation of Azad Hind Government

Context

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoisted the national flag at the Red Fort in New Delhi morning to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Azad Hind government formed by freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

Details

  • On October 21, 1943, Bose had announced the formation of the country’s first independent government in Singapore.
  • It was a part of a political movement originating in the 1940s outside India with the purpose of allying with the Axis powers to free India from British Rule
  • It was established by Indian nationalists-in-exile during the latter part of the Second World War in Singapore with monetary, military and political assistance from Imperial Japan
  • Its army, the “Azad Hind Fauj” (Indian National Army or the INA), went into action against the British Indian Army and the allied forces

 

11- Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)

Context

Vice President leaves for Belgium to attend 12th ASEM Summit

  • It is an intergovernmental process established in 1996 to foster dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe
  • It comprises 53 partners: 30 European and 21 Asian countries, the European Union and the ASEAN Secretariat.
  • ASEM addresses political, economic, financial, social, cultural, and educational issues of common interest, in a spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership.
  • ASEM is bi-annual event conducted as an informal and flexible process on the basis of equal partnership, mutual respect and mutual benefit and to promote the exchange of ideas and best practices and thus act as breeding ground for new policy ideas.
  • The theme of the 2018 ASEM Summit is ‘Global Partners for Global Challenges’.

 

12- World Food Day

  • World Food Day is a day of action dedicated to tackling global hunger.
  • The theme of World Food Day 2018 is ‘Our actions are our future – A zero hunger world by 2030 is possible’.

Aim:

  • The Government of India aims to transform India’s agricultural sector to contribute to the achievements of global environmental objectives.
  • A new project has been launched in association with FAO, India office known as ‘Green-agriculture: transforming Indian agriculture for global environmental benefits and the conservation of critical biodiversity and forest landscapes’.

Initiatives taken:

  • The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana, a national level programme, was launched to create world-class food processing infrastructure. This is expected to leverage investment of five billion US dollars, benefit two million farmers and generate more than half a million jobs over the next two years.”
  • Mega Food Parks aim to link agro-processing clusters with key production centres. This will offer immense value proposition in crops such as potato, pineapple, oranges and apples. Farmers groups are being encouraged to set up units in these parks, thereby reducing wastage and transportation costs, and creating new jobs.”

 

13- Goa Maritime Symposium – 2018

  • The Goa Maritime Symposium – 2018, the second edition of the Goa Maritime Symposium (GSM) – a forum towards fostering friendly relations with the maritime neighbours – was inaugurated by the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba PVSM, AVSM, ADC, at INS Mandovi at Goa.
  • The “Naval War College Journal”, an academic compendium with ideas and papers from writers and thinkers on maritime strategy and security, was also released on the occasion by the CNS.

Theme:

  • The theme of the seminar was “Building Stronger Maritime Partnerships in IOR”.
  • The deliberations were focused on capacity building among IOR Navies to tackle emerging maritime threats, in addition to discussing cooperative strategies for enhancing interoperability among partner maritime agencies.

About:

  • The GMS was conceptualised and first held in Nov 2016 aimed at establishing academic excellence as well as sharing of ideas among India’s maritime neighbours’ by facilitating interaction between senior representatives of navies and maritime agencies in the IOR.
  • It plays a constructive role in bringing together stakeholders involved in evolving strategies, policies and implementation mechanisms in the maritime domain.

 

14-BBNL key for implementation of Bharat Net project

  • BBNL has played a key role in leading the successful implementation of the Bharat Net project fordigitally connecting all 2,50,000 Gram Panchayats (GPs) in the country.

Objective:

  • To facilitate the delivery of e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking and other services to citizens in every part of our country, on a non-discriminatory basis. We have completed approximately 50% of the project, and the remainder is targeted for completion by March 2019.

About Bharat Net:

  • Phase I: The target of completing 1,00,000 GPs under phase-I of Bharat Net was achieved in December 2017.
  • Phase ll: Bharat Net Phase-II is planned to connect the remaining 1,50,000 GPs, using an optimal mix of media, by 31 Mar, 2019.

Phase II is being implemented through three models – state-led model, CPSU model, and private sector model

15-World Bank’s Human Capital Index

Context-The World Bank released a Human Capital Index (HCI) as part of the World Development Report 2019.

About HCI & its Theme:

  • Broader theme of the World Development Report (WDR) this year is “The Changing Nature of Work”. As part of this report, the World Bank has launched a Human Capital Project (HCP).
  • The HCP programme is claimed to be a program of advocacy, measurement, and analytical work to raise awareness and increase demand for interventions to build human capital.
  • There are three components of HCP- a cross-country human capital measurement metric called the Human Capital Index (HCI), a programme of measurement and research to inform policy action, and a programme of support for country strategies to accelerate investment in human capital.
  • The HCI has been constructed for 157 countries.
  • It claims to seek to measure the amount of human capital that a child born today can expect to attain by age 18.
  • The HCI index values are contended to convey the productivity of the next generation of workers, compared to a benchmark of complete standard education and full health.

The HCI has three components:

  • 1-Survival, as measured by under-5 mortality rates;
  • 2-Expected years of Quality-Adjusted Schoolwhich combines information on the quantity and quality of education (quality is measured by harmonizing test scores from major international student achievement testing programs and quantity from number of years of school that a child can expect to obtain by age 18 given the prevailing pattern of enrolment rates across grades in respective countries); and
  • 3-Health environmentusing two proxies of (a) adult survival rates and (b) the rate of stunting for children under age 5.

Human Development Index:

  • UNDP constructs Human Development Index (HDI) for several years.
  • The HCI uses survival rates and stunting rate instead of life expectancy as measure of health, and quality-adjusted learning instead of merely years of schooling as measure of education.
  • HCI also excludes per capita income whereas the HDI uses it.
  • Two significant changes from HDI are exclusion of income component and introduction of quality adjustment in learning. Exclusion of income element and introduction of quality adjustment makes HCI far less representative of Human Capital Development than the Index claims it to be.
  • The first HCI published today at the Annual Meetings of the Fund Bank comes with a conclusion that for 56% of the world’s population the HCI is at or below 0.50; and for 92% it is at or below 0.75. Hence only 8% of the population can expect to be 75% as productive as they could be.
  • The HCI measures the Index outcomes for each country as a fraction of maximum value of 1. As expected the advanced economies such as North America and Europe mostly have HCI value of above 0.75, while South Asia and Sub Saharan Africa have the lowest HCI among the regions. The HCI for India has been estimated at 0.44. The quality adjusted learning has been measured in case of India by using the data as old as 2009.

The key observations regarding HCI for India in the Report are as under:

  • Human Capital Index: A child born in India today will be only 44 per cent as productive when she grows up as she could be if she enjoyed complete education and full health.
  • The HCI in India for females is marginally better than that for males.
  • Further, there has been marked improvement in the HCI components  in India  over the last five years.
  • Probability of Survival to Age 5: 96 out of 100 children born in India survive to age 5.
  • Expected Years of School: In India, a child who starts school at age 4 can expect to complete 10.2 years of school by her 18th
  • Harmonized Test Scores: Students in India score 355 on a scale where 625 represents advanced attainment and 300 represents minimum attainment.
  • Learning-adjusted Years of School: Factoring in what children actually learn, expected years of school is only 5.8 years.
  • Adult Survival Rate: Across India, 83 per cent of 15-year olds will survive until age 60.
  • Healthy Growth (Not Stunted Rate): 62 out of 100 children are not stunted. 38 out of 100 children are stunted, and so at risk of cognitive and physical limitations that can last a lifetime.
  • Gender Differences: In India, HCI for girls is marginally higher than for boys.

16-TITLI

  • Very severe cyclonic storm ‘Titli’ to move north-westwards for next 12 hours and then re-curve north-eastwards towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha.
  • Rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and extremely heavy falls at Isolated Places over south Odisha.
  • Cyclone Titli has been named by Pakistan.
  • Both the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea experience cyclonic events, however the frequency and intensity of cyclones in the Bay of Bengal is higher.
  • Moreover, nearly 58% of cyclones formed in the Bay of Bengal reach the coast as compared to only 25% of those formed in the Arabian Sea.

Temporal and Spatial Distribution of Cyclone

  • The reason that cyclones such as Titli, Phailin (2013) and Hudhud (2014) typically strike in October is that wind shear (the difference within wind speeds and direction at two different levels) is low during this time; low wind shear, when combined with surface sea temperatures greater than 26°C, raises the likelihood of cyclones. In monsoon season, cyclones are rare because of high wind shear.
  • Since sea surface temperatures and humidity both directly correlate with chances of cyclone formation, the Bay of Bengal is a more likely target because it gets higher rainfall, and because the slow winds around it keep temperatures relatively high: about 28 degrees around the year. Warm air currents enhance this surface temperature and aid the formation of cyclones.
  • In addition, the Bay receives higher rainfall and constant inflow of fresh water from the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers. This means that the Bay’s surface water keeps getting refreshed, making it impossible for the warm water to mix with the cooler water below, making it ideal for a depression.
  • On the other hand, the Arabian Sea receives stronger winds that help dissipate the heat, and the lack of constant fresh water supply helps the warm water mix with the cool water, reducing the temperature.
  • Due to the lack of any large landmass between the Pacific and the Bay of Bengal, cyclonic winds easily move into the Bay of Bengal. Once here, the winds encounter the Western Ghats and the Himalayas, either becoming weak or getting blocked in the Bay, but never reaching the Arabian Sea.
  • Adjacent to the northwest Pacific, which is one of the world’s most active basins for typhoons, the Bay of Bengal receives the remnants of major landfalls in the Philippines, China and South Asia. From these places come low-pressure systems that develop into a monsoon depression or a cyclone.

Prediction and Evacuation

  • According to scientists, the prediction is difficult because of budgetary and meteorological factors. E.g.:
    • The US has dedicated aircraft that fly directly into the clouds to study moisture levels and gather various data on cyclone profile. While, India largely rely on satellite images (a top view) that reveals little data on moisture content and intensity.
    • Indian scientists get a more detailed picture only when a cyclone is 300-400 km from the coast, which reduces preparation time.

17-LUBAN

  • Tropical Cyclone Luban is spinning through the Arabian Sea.
  • It is forecast to track toward Oman, Yemen or the Gulf of Aden in the week ahead.
  • The cyclone is named as Luban by oman authorities.
  • Tropical cyclones are most likely to develop in the Arabian Sea in the spring and fall.
  • It usually affects the Arabian Peninsula every one to two years.
  • The cyclone typically weaken as they approach the Arabian Peninsula due to dry desert air.
  • This year, Cyclone Sagar made landfall in western Somalia in May. It was the country’s strongest and westernmost tropical cyclone in records dating to the mid-1960s.

18-GI Tag for Alphonso Mango from Konkan

  • Alphonso Mango from Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and other adjoining areas in Maharashtra, gets a Geographical Indication (GI) Tag.
  • The king of mangoes, Alphonso, better known as ‘Hapus’ in Maharashtra has long been one of the world’s most popular fruit and is exported to various countries including Japan, Korea and Europe. New markets such as USA and Australia have recently opened up.

About GI:

  • A Geographical Indication or a GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • Darjeeling Tea, Mahabaleshwar Strawberry, Blue Pottery of Jaipur, Banarasi Sarees and Tirupati Laddus are some of the GIs.
  • GI products can benefit the rural economy in remote areas, by supplementing the incomes of artisans, farmers, weavers and craftsmen.
  • Our rural artisans possess unique skills and knowledge of traditional practices and methods, passed down from generation to generation, which need to be protected and promoted.

Recent developments:

  • Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu launched the logo and tagline for the Geographical Indications (GI) of India and said that the GI will give the rightful share of intellectual property to the artisan and the place of origin of the product.
  • The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has taken several initiatives and is actively involved in promotion and marketing of GIs with a vision to enhance the horizon both socially and economically for GI producers.

The first product to get a GI tag in India was the Darjeeling tea in 2004. There are a total of 325 products from India that carry this indication

19- GeM

  • The National Mission on GeM was launched by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, on 5thof September 2018.

Aim:

  • Creating awareness about GeM, train buyers and sellers, get them registered on GeM and increase the procurement through GeM.
  • This drive has been taken up for the promotion of inclusiveness of all sections of categories of sellers and service providers, highlighting and communicating the value addition in joining GeM, achieving cashless, contactless and paperless transactions, increasing overall efficiency and maximising ease of availability of goods and services.
  • The ongoing National Mission has led to an average saving of 25% across categories.

 

Defense

1- INS Tarangini

  • The sail training ship of Indian Navy, INS Tarangini based at Kochi, returned after a seven month long sailing across the world to a grand reception at naval base,
  • During the voyage, the ship has proudly ‘shown the flag’ and highlighted the diverse culture of India across 15 ports in 13 countries.

About : INS Tarangini

  • INS Tarangini is a three masted ‘square rigged’ barque which carries a total of 20 sails.
  • She is the First Sail Training Ship in Indian Navy and was commissioned on 11 Nov 1997.
  • In her 21 years of glorious service, she has sailed over 2,20,000 nautical miles to date across the world’s oceans.
  • She is the first of two Sail Training Ships in the First Training Squadron, the other being INS Sudarshini.
  • The primary role of these Sail Training Ships is to develop character and professionalism, as well as inculcate the qualities of initiative, courage, resilience and esprit-de-corps amongst the Sea Trainees and also impart practical training to them, primarily on navigation, sailing and seamanship.

2-MedWatch

  • The Indian Air Force has launched an innovative mobile health App named ‘MedWatch’ in keeping with the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Digital India, Ayushman Bharat and Mission Indradhanush’ on the occasion of 86th
  • The app is conceived by the doctors of IAF and developed in house by Directorate of Information Technology (DIT) with ZERO financial outlay.

About:

  • ‘MedWatch’ will provide correct, Scientific and authentic health information to air warriors and all citizens of India.
  • The app is available on www.apps.mgov.gov.inand comprises of host of features like information on basic First Aid, Health topics and Nutritional Facts; reminders for timely Medical Review, Vaccination and utility tools like Health Record Card, BMI calculator, helpline numbers and web links.
  • ‘MedWatch’ is the first mobile health app in the three Armed Services.
  • The MedWatch mobile health app is an Indian Air Force initiative and a small contribution to our citizen.

 

3-JIMEX

  • JIMEX-18 is aimed to enhance interoperability, improve understanding and imbibe the best practices of each other.
  • It will comprise a Harbour Phase and a Sea Phase
  • The Harbour Phase of the exercise will include professional and social interactions between ship’s crews, sports fixtures and operational planning for the Sea Phase.
  • The Sea Phase would include Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercises, VBSS (Visit, Board, Search and Seizure) Drills, Gun Firings, Cross Deck Helo Operations and coordinated operations in Anti-Submarine/ Anti-Air threat scenarios.

Significance

  • The last edition of JIMEX was conducted in Dec 2013 off Chennai.
  • The conduct of JIMEX-18 after five years is indicative of an upswing in the Indo-Japanese defence relations and the continued efforts of both Governments to work closely to enhance safety and security of the global commons in keeping with ‘rule based order’.
  • The two navies have been working in close coordination in Anti-Piracy Operations in the Gulf of Aden (GoA) for the past few years.

 

4- 72nd Infantry Day Celebrations

Aim:

To commemorate the selfless dedication to duty by Indian Army’s gallant Infantrymen, a wreath laying ceremony was organised at ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’.

About:

  • General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff, along with senior officers, laid wreaths in a solemn ceremony.
  • Sepoy Boota Singh, a recipient of Vir Chakra in 1971 War represented the veterans.
  • Infantry celebrates 27 October each year as Infantry Day to commemorate the first Infantry action post-independence.

Background:

  • In response to the threat posed to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our Nation, on this day in 1947, the leading elements of the Indian Army from 1stBattalion of the SIKH Regiment air landed at Srinagar and gallantly fought the raiders aided by Pakistan Army.

This bold action by the Indian Army and indomitable courage displayed by the Infantrymen reversed the tide of events and thwarted the adversary’s nefarious designs

Awards in News

1- Shri Rajkumar Singhajit Singh bags Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony for 2014

  • A doyen of Manipuri dance Shri Rajkumar Singhajit Singh has been selected for the Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony for the year 2014.

Context:

  • The award recognizes his contribution in keeping the tradition of Manipuri dance alive and vibrant, promoting harmony through dance and also pays tribute to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, who, deeply influenced by Manipuri dance, made it an integral part of the education curriculum at Visva Bharati.

 

About him:

  • He has distinguished himself both as an outstanding teacher, performer and choreographer.
  • His work over the years bears witness to his creativity within the framework of traditional Manipuri dance.
  • His choreography has been enriched by elements incorporated from various forms of performing arts of Manipur such as Thang-ta, Nata-Sankirtana, Lai-haraoba and Rasleela.

Background:

  • The Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony for the years 2015 & 2016 is being conferred on the Chhayanaut (a cultural organization of Bangladesh) and on one of India’s greatest sculptors, Shri Ram Vanji Sutar, respectively.
  • The first Tagore Award was conferred on Pt. Ravi Shankar, the Indian Sitar Maestro in 2012 and second was conferred on Shri Zubin Mehta in 2013.
  • The award carries an amount of Rs. 1 crore, a citation in a scroll, a plaque as well as an exquisite traditional handicraft/ handloom item. The award is open to all persons regardless of nationality, race, language, caste, creed or sex.

2- Future Policy Gold Award

Context

  • Sikkim has won the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Future Policy Gold Award for its achievement in becoming the world’s first totally organic agriculture state.

Details

  • Sikkim won the Future Policy Award 2018, beating 51 nominated policies from 25 countries
  • Sikkim became the first state in India to officially announce adoption of organic farming in the year 2003 to ensure long term sustenance of soil fertility, protection of environment and ecology, healthy living and decreasing the risk of health ailments.
  • In 2003, Sikkim stopped imports of chemical fertilizers in the State and since then the cultivatable land there is practically organic and farmers of Sikkim are traditional users of organic manure.
  • Nicknamed the “Oscar for best policies”, the award is co-organised with the FAO by The World Future Council (WFC) and IFOAM — Organics International, and recognises “the world’s best laws and policies promoting agroecology”.
  • Brazil, Denmark, Quito and Ecuador shared the Silver award.

 

3- ESIC wins ‘ISSA GOOD Practice Award, Asia & the Pacific 2018’

  • The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has won the ‘ISSA Good Practice Award’ for Administrative Solution for Coverage Extension at the “Regional Social Security Forum for Asia and the Pacific” held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • The award recognizes the measures taken by ESIC for extension of coverage-SPREE (Scheme for Promoting Registration of Employers and Employees), reduced rate of contribution rates for 24 months in newly implemented areas and raising the wage limit for coverage under the ESI Act, etc.

About:

  • The Regional Social Security Forum for Asia and the Pacific is a triennial Forum, which is the most important social security event in the Region.  For the triennial Regional Forum, ISSA invites submissions for the ISSA Good Practices Award for Asia and the Pacific Regions.
  • The Forum provides unique opportunities to CEOs and Managers of ISSA Member Institutions to discuss key social security challenges and share their experiences.

4- Carnot Prize

  • Recognising the pathbreaking transformations in India’s energy, the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design is awarding its fourth annual Carnot Prize to Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Coal and former Minister of Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Government of India.

About:

  • The Carnot Prize is the Kleinman Center’s annual recognition of distinguished contributions to energy policy through scholarship or practice.
  • The most prestigious award in the energy sector, Carnot Prize is named after French physicist Nicolas Sadi Carnot who recognised that the power of the steam engine would “produce a great revolution”in human development.
  • Mark Alan Hughes, founding faculty director, Kleinman Center, commended India’s electrification drive – “Providing power to the world’s energy poor turns on the lights—and also empowers education, sanitation, and health care. It closes the gap between the haves and have nots.”

Indian Initiatives:

  • In the last four years, energy efficiency has become a people’s movement in India, making the Government’s UJALA scheme the world’s largest LED distribution programme, and along with private sector participation, 130 crore LED bulbs have been distributed, making India brighter and cleaner.
  • It is a matter of immense pride for India that in several newly electrified villages, the first consumers of electricity are using LED bulbs and rooftop solar panels, realising India’s vision of sustainable, universal, and affordable energy access.

 

5- PM awarded the 2018 Seoul Peace Prize

  • The Seoul Peace Prize Committee has decided to confer the 2018 Seoul Peace Prize on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, in recognition of his dedication to improving international cooperation, raising global economic growth, accelerating the Human Development of the people of India by fostering economic growth in the world’s fastest growing large economy and furthering the development of democracy through anti-corruption and social integration efforts.
  • The Committee lauded PM’s initiatives to make the government cleaner through anti-corruption measures and demonetization.
  • The Committee also credited Prime Minister for his contribution towards regional and global peace through a proactive foreign policy with countries around the world under the ‘Modi Doctrine’ and the ‘Act East Policy.’
  • Prime Minister Modi is the fourteenth recipient of this award.

Background

  • The Seoul Peace Prize was established in 1990 to commemorate the success of the 24th Olympic Games held in Seoul, Republic of Korea – an event in which 160 nations from across the world took part, creating harmony and friendship and a worldwide atmosphere of peace and reconciliation.
  • The Seoul Peace Prize was established to crystallize the Korean people’s yearning for peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the rest of the world.
  • The Seoul Peace Prize has been awarded biennially to those individuals who have made their mark through contributions to the harmony of mankind, reconciliation between nations and to world peace.