Weekly PIB Analysis News (15th To 21th July)
MAPPING for PRELIMS
National highway number 54 state through which passing : Assam, Mizoram
National highway number 54 starting from : Dabaka
Prelims Important Topics
1-Successful Test Firing of Bramos
- BrahMos will provide a major strategic deterrence against China and Pakistan and can be utilized in ‘multi-mission’ roles such as precision strikes on terror camps across the LoC, against high-value naval targets, including aircraft carriers and nuclear bunkers.
- Supersonic cruise missile
- Designed and developed by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture of India and Russia
- It has derived its name from the names of two rivers, India’s Brahmaputra River and Russia’s Moskva River.
- It operates on fire and forget principal
- Capable of being launched from land, sea, sub-sea and air against sea and land targets
- Carrying capacity : 300 Kg (both conventional and nuclear)
- Speed : Mach 3 (that is, three times the speed of sound)
- Max Range : 290 Km. Its range was extended to 450 km and plan is to increase it to 600km.
- It is two-stage missile, the first one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant.
- BrahMos missile already has been inducted into the Indian Army and Navy
2-Status of Development of Inland Waterways in the Country
- The Government is working to develop inland waterways as an alternative mode of transport in the country, which is cleaner and cheaper than both road and rail transport. There are 111 National Waterways in the country today, after 106 waterways were declared as National Waterways, adding to the list of 5 existing NW, in 2016.
- Some of the National Waterways in the country are already operational/ navigable and are being used for transportation.
- As per RITES Report of 2014 on “Integrated National Waterways Transportation Grid”, the logistic cost of transportation by Inland Water Transport (IWT) mode is lower than rail and road as given below:
- The significant cost saving shows that the promotion of Inland Water Transport (IWT) would have positive impact on the overall logistics cost.
3-SAFAR System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting
AFAR – the state of art Air Quality and Weather Forecast system has been unveiled by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). The giant true colour LED display gives out real-time air quality index on 24×7 basis with colour coding along with 72-hour advance forecast. Based on the Air Quality Index on a particular day, health advisory and related precaution will be notified to prepare citizens well in advance. The system is first of its kind in India and is the most advanced system. It is installed at Chandni Chowk in Delhi. There are proposals to implement SAFAR in the other three cities i.e, Pune, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
- SAFAR is operationalized by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
- It was indigenously developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology.
- In addition to regular air quality and weather parameters like Carbon Monoxide, Particulate Matter -PM2.5, PM10, Nitrogen Oxides, Sulfur Dioxide and Ozone, it will measure Black carbon, Mercury, sun’s UV-Index (UVI) and PM1 in real time.
- It can also provide the measurement of online automatic ultrafine particles Mercury and PM1, both of which have direct relevance to human health.
- It will also monitor the existence harmful pollutants of Xylene, Toluene and Benzene.
- Preparedness of air pollution and weather extremes and public awareness will be accelerated.
- It will lead to a better understanding of linkages among climate, pollution, emissions, and weather.
- It will monitor all weather parameters like humidity, rainfall, temperature, wind direction and wind speed.
1-Conservation efforts of Rural Heritage will help promote Tourism and Development in Rural India
- inauguration of the 7th Annual General Body Meeting of Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development (ITRHD), in New Delhi
- ITRHD -an NGO devoted to preservation of Indian Heritage and Culture in Rural India and working in about 7 states of India.
- ITRHD’s conservation works of 17th -19th century village of terracotta temples, Maluti, dumka, in Jharkand.
- The Maluti Project was inaugurated by Prime Minister of India, The project involves conserving 62 temples of the108 temples which were in a dilapidated condition.
- encourage cultural awareness in the Locals. Tourist Circuits of such not-know places for the development of such places.
- ITRHD works for Conserving and nurturing rural heritage- foundation for sustainable economic growth- as it ensures livelihood to rural residents in their traditional habitat, and increases the pride and self-confidence of the entire community
1- 8th BRICS Health Ministers’ Meeting at Durban
- India is committed to eliminating TB by 2025
- India today is more firmly committed to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as articulated in its National Health Policy.
- Recently launched an ambitious programme called ‘Ayushman Bharat’ i.e. Long Live India.
- “The programme rests on the twin pillars of Health and Wellness Centres for provision of comprehensive primary healthcare services and National Health Protection Mission for secondary and tertiary care that aims to cover around 100 million families,”.
- India’s achievement in reducing the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) by 77%, from 556 per 100000 live births in 1990 to 130 per 100 000 live births in 2016
- This achievement puts the country on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of MMR below 70 by 2030.
- BRICS is an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa
- Originally it was BRIC (S. Africa included in 2010). Term coined in 2001
- Members are :
- Major emerging national economies
- Developing or newly industrialised nations
- G 20 members
- First formal summit was held in 2009 in Russia
- Formed in 2011
- It encourages commercial, political and cultural cooperation between the BRICS nations
- New Development Bank is an outcome of this platform
- Except India, all other members GDP is slowing down bringing average GDP growth of the BRICS to near zero
- As of 2015, the five BRICS countries represent over 3 billion people, or 42% of the world population
2-RTI activists hold meeting
- Only 36 per cent in rural and 38 per cent urban areas have heard of the RTI Act
- 45% public information officers did not received any training
- Data: At least 50 lakh RTI applications filed in India every year
Advantages of RTI
- Transparency: It ensures the right of the citizen to acquire as much information they want regarding the working of government activities, rules and regulations,etc
- Citizen-centric approach: The authorities have to give out information when asked by citizens and this made them alert and think twice before taking any random step.
- Reduction in corruption: All information is accessible and it has taken a relatively down-curve.
- It empowers the person to access information about any rights which affects them directly indirectly.
Issue à Official Secrets vs RTI
- controversial debate on the utility of the Official Secrets Act, 1923.
- The OSA was enacted keeping in view the National Security and Sovereignty.
- It made an offence to obtain, collect, record, publish a secret document. However, it was so vast in its scope that it made it prone to misuse and gave the executive a carte blanche to act arbitrarily.
- This situation gave rise to many problems. Some of which are as following:
- Problem of classification of information as the word Secret was nowhere defined in the Act. Govt. has a wide discretion to classify any information as secret.
- The excessive discretion many a times lead to arbitrariness which can give rise to discrimination and subvert the right to equality under Art. 14.
- It also violated the freedom of speech and expression under Art. 19(1)(a).
- As Right to freedom of information has been incorporated under broad ambit of Right to Life, the OSA,1923 violated Article 21.
- There were many ambiguities regarding determination of an offence, prosecution procedures etc. It being a Penal law, the ambiguities favored the accused.
Critical Analysis of Performance of RTI
- There are many areas which are out of limits of RIT act (Even, application of RTI to judiciary and legislature is limited).
- The exclusion of law enforcement agencies is major cause of discontent of RIT supporters.
- Disregard of announcements of Chief Information Commission by political parties indicate the lack of power to enforce the rulings of CIC.
- The recent controversy of non-appointment of CIC for a long-time shows the apathy of government towards the act.
- Official Secrets Act, framed by colonial power still restricts much information out of the purview whether they did not have any relevance to security and integrity of India. For example Correspondence related to Subhash Chandra Bose.
- All the government organisations were asked to put in public general information but this was not followed by many institutions and there is no deadline to this provision.
- Information is presented in a technical language by government departments
- Maintenance of information is not automated and efficient
- Awareness of act is low among masses
- Costs is sometimes high
- Bureaucratic pre-eminence in information commissions results in promotion of traditional bureaucratic ethos of secrecy and lack of accountability.
3-FDI Inflow reaches 61.96 USD Billion in 2017-18
- Measures taken by the Government on FDI policy liberalization along with improvement in ease of doing business climate has resulted in growth of total FDI inflows.
- The country has been recording highest ever FDI since 2015-16.
- It increased from 55.56 USD billion in 2015-16 to 60.22 USD billion in 2016-17 and reached to 61.96 USD billion in 2017-18.
These figures surpass the FDI inflows of any of the preceding financial years. Year wise increase in the total FDI inflows is given below
4-Samagra Shiksha Scheme to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels of school education
- The Department of School Education and Literacy has formulated the Samagra Shiksha – an Integrated Scheme for School Education as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme and it is being implemented throughout the country with effect from the year 2018-19.
- This programme subsumes the three erstwhile Centrally Sponsored
- Schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA),
- Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and
- Teacher Education (TE).
- It is an overarching programme for the school education sector extending from pre-school to class XII and aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels of school education.
- It envisages the ‘school’ as a continuum from pre-school, primary, upper primary, secondary to senior secondary levels.
The major interventions, across all levels of school education, under the scheme are:
- (i) Universal Access including Infrastructure Development and Retention;
- (ii) Gender and Equity;
- (iii) Inclusive Education;
- (iv) Quality;
- (v) Financial support for Teacher Salary;
- (vi) Digital initiatives;
- (vii) Entitlements under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 including uniforms, textbooks etc.;
- (viii) Pre-school Education;
- (ix) Vocational Education;
- (x) Sports and Physical Education;
- (xi) Strengthening of Teacher Education and Training;
- (xii) Monitoring and
- (xiii) Programme Management.
- The main emphasis of the Scheme is on improving quality of school education and the strategy for all interventions would be to enhance the Learning Outcomes at all levels of schooling.
1-Reconstitution of National Bamboo Mission
National Bamboo Mission
It has an outlay of Rs.1290 crore to promote bamboo sector in a holistic manner.
Bamboo is ‘Green Gold’.
The National Bamboo Mission is a wholly-sponsored central scheme.
- To increase the area under bamboo plantation in non forest Government and private lands to supplement farm income and contribute towards resilience to climate change as well as availability of quality raw material requirement of industries. The bamboo plantations will be promoted predominantly in farmers’ fields, homesteads, community lands, arable wastelands, and along irrigation canals, water bodies etc.
- To improve post-harvest management through establishment of innovative primary processing units near the source of production, primary treatment and seasoning plants, preservation technologies and market infrastructure.
- To promote product development keeping in view market demand, by assisting R&D, entrepreneurship & business models at micro, small and medium levels and feed bigger industry.
- To rejuvenate the under developed bamboo industry in India.
- To promote skill development, capacity building, awareness generation for development of bamboo sector from production to market demand.
How will it advance the economy?
- Bamboo is essentially a type of grass, but its classification as a tree for 90 years prevented the northeast, which grows 67% of India’s bamboo, from exploiting it
- The inclusion of bamboo in forest produce items has affected its marketability as bamboo grown by farmers could not be harvested
- The introduction of a new policy for transit of bamboo from non-forest areas will further boost the bamboo sector in the Northeast, where more than 50 per cent of India’s bamboo resources are available
2-Doubling the income of farmers
- Government has set a target of doubling of farmers’ income by the year 2022
- At present, thirteen draft volumes of ‘Strategy for Doubling Farmers’ Income by 2022’ prepared by the Committee have been uploaded on the website of this Department for seeking public opinion.
- In order to realise net positive returns for the farmer, schemes as follows, are being promoted and implemented in a major way through the States/UTs viz:-
Soil Health Card (SHC) scheme;
Neem Coated Urea (NCU);
Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY);
Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY);
National Agriculture Market scheme (e-NAM);
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY);
National Food Security Mission (NFSM);
Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH);
National Mission on Oilseeds & Oilpalm (NMOOP);
National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA);
National Mission on Agricultural Extension & Technology (NMAET)
and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).
- In addition, schemes relating to tree plantation (Har Medh Par Ped), Bee Keeping, Dairy and Fisheries are also implemented. All these schemes are implemented to enhance production and productivity of agriculture and thereby enhance income of farmers.
- Minimum Support Price (MSP) is notified for both Kharif & Rabi crops based on the recommendations of the Commission on Agriculture Costs & Prices (CACP). The Commission collects & analyses data on cost of cultivation and recommends MSP.
3-Cabinet approves Special Package for Irrigation Projects in Vidarbha, Marathwada and other chronically drought prone areas of Rest of Maharashtra
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister has approved the implementation of Centrally Sponsored-Scheme for completion of 83 Minor Irrigation projects and 8 major/medium irrigation projects of Marathawada, Vidharbha and drought prone areas of the rest of Maharashtra.
- Completion of these projects will ensure assured source of water to the farmers in the command area of these projects.
- This will increase yield of their crops and thereby increase the income of the farmers.
- Progress of the projects would be monitored by State as well as Central Water Commission.