Type: Govt. Schemes

Telecom and Postal Sector – Spectrum Allocation, Call Drops, Predatory Pricing, etc Indian Polity

Portal on mobile tower emissions

  1. The Telecom Department has opened a web portal — ‘tarang sanchar’ — to allay misconceptions and fear of health issues due to Electro-Magnetic Fields (EMF) emissions from mobile phone towers.
  2. One can check any tower and its EMF signal compliance status on this web portal.
  3. Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said, “some people have been propagating myths and misconceptions” about EMF emissions to prevent development, adding that the Centre has been making efforts to dispel such myths.


Prelims Trivia.

Higher Education – RUSA, NIRF, HEFA, etc. Human Resource Development

[pib] What is RUSA?

What is RUSA?

  1. Context: Union Minister of Human Resource Development Shri Prakash Javadekar launched the unique portal and mobile app of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA)
  2. RUSA is a body under the aegis of the Ministry of Human Resource Development
  3. Aim: to improve quality of education
  4. Under the concept of RUSA the quality of education can go up by improving the research labs infrastructure and creating smart class rooms and various other programmes by which the quality enhancement and value addition to the students happen
  5. The portal is a one-stop for States’ Higher Education Plans, decision of the States’ Higher Education Councils and details of the resources under this scheme
  6. RUSA is the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) of the Department of Higher Education, MHRD which aims to provide strategic central funding to State Higher Education Departments and Institutions and achieve the broad objectives of access, equity and excellence
  7. The State Higher Education Departments and Institutions undertake certain governance, academic and administrative reforms as a pre-requisite to be entitled for RUSA grants


Learn about RUSA for Prelims. Note the features and track its performance for mains too.

Food Processing Industry: Issues and Developments Agriculture

Revamped National Food Processing Mission to be launched soon

  1. News: Govt will soon launch a revamped National Mission on Food Processing
  2. Aim: To achieve the vision of the proposed National Food Processing Policy which is to position India as a World Food Factory
  3. SAMPADA: The revamped mission will be called SAMPADA — or the Scheme for Agro-Marine Produce Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters
  4. It will complete the on-going Mega Food Parks and take up more cold chain projects
  5. The mission will also involve launch of three new schemes – Creation/Expansion of Food Processing and Preservation Capacities, New Agro-Processing Clusters and Backward and Forward Linkages
  6. The ‘SAMPADA’ mission will have an outlay of Rs 6,000 crore, and it will integrate current and new schemes
  7. It will be implemented by 2019-20 fiscal
  8. Inclusive policy: The proposed National Policy is based on the principle of inclusive growth in partnership with the States with the overarching goal of providing remunerative return to farmers
  9. The model Policy focuses on development of clusters based on production strength of different regions to enable a targeted and coordinated approach for developing the food processing industry and bringing down wastages
  10. Action taken: As a step in this direction, the Ministry has proposed to undertake mapping of areas of fruits &vegetables and other perishable production in different States with the target to set up agro processing clusters
  11. Challenge: Post-harvest losses which currently are Rs.92,000 crores annually
  12. Action taken: The facilities set up by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries like 42 Mega Food Parks and 234 Cold Chain Projects have created preserving and processing capacity of 139 lakh Metric Tonnes of Agro Produce with a value of Rs.35,000 crores
  13. Benefit: Apart from reducing wastage, the projects will generate employment for 3.5 lakh persons and benefit 15 lakh farmers


Food processing is a syllabus topic in GS-3. This news is very important for prelims and mains. Also note the steps taken by govt.

Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc. Health

Two-child norm tied to jobs in Assam

  1. The Assam government announced a draft population policy
  2. Two child policy: Denial of government jobs to people with more than two children
  3. Any person getting a job after meeting this condition would have to maintain it till end of his service
  4. For employment generation schemes like grant of tractors, houses and for other government benefits, this two-children norm will be applicable
  5. Besides, all elections such as panchayats, municipal bodies and autonomous councils held under the State Election Commission will also have this norm for candidates
  6. Girl education: Making education up to university level free for all girls
  7. This step is likely to arrest the school dropout rate
  8. Marriage age: Policy seeks to debate on increasing the legal age of marriage from 18 for girls and 21 for boys
  9. If anybody had child marriage then he would be ineligible for government job
  10. Women protection: Stringent laws to prevent violence and sexual abuse of women
  11. A proposal for providing incentives is included for poor persons, who take care of their elderly parents
  12. The policy will also care for the adolescents
  13. The policy proposes to set up a State Population Council and a State Population Research Centre


Though a state specific one, the policy is important.

Cyber Security: Challenges and Developments Security Issues

Centre kicks off programme on cyber physical systems

  1. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has initiated a Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) programme
  2. Still at a nascent stage, it has been conceived as a ₹3,000-crore exercise that would, at first, take root in some of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)
  3. An initial budget of ₹100 crore has been earmarked for the project in the current financial year
  4. The thrust of the initiative would be to “break silos” in academia and encourage greater synergy between the university scientists and industry
  5. Centres of excellence would be developed at the IITs and universities & there would be dedicated courses on the subject


Important for prelims. See b2b for CPS.


  1. CPS is an interdisciplinary field that deals with the deployment of computer-based systems that do things in the physical world, such as, for instance, the self-driven cars produced by Google and Tesla
  2. Even smart grids, autonomous unmanned vehicles and aircraft navigation systems qualify as cyber physical systems
Start-up Ecosystem In India Industries

[pib] National Women Entrepreneurship Council

  • Agency: The Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government intends to set up National Women Entrepreneurship Council (NWEC)
  • Why? NWEC will promote entrepreneurship as it would be the umbrella organization for socio-economic gender parity, financial inclusion and economic empowerment of women in India
  • Mahila E-haat: The existing online e-marketing portal, Mahila E-haat aims at tapping the potential of the women population as also for providing better avenue to markets for selling their products/services, thereby accelerating growth, providing opportunities and expanding India’s reach domestically and also internationally
  • Schemes to ensure economic development of women in the country:
    1. Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women (STEP) to ensure sustainable employment and income generation for marginalized and assets-less rural and urban poor women across the country;
    2. Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) to extend micro-finance services to bring about socio-economic upliftment of poor women;
    3. National Mission for Empowerment of Women (NMEW) to strengthen the overall processes that promote all round development of Women;
    4. Scheme for Adolescent Girls-Sabla for all-round development of adolescent girl of 11-18 years by making them self-reliant by facilitating access to learning, health and nutrition;
    5. Working Women Hostels for ensuring safe accommodation for women working away from their place of residence;
    6. Maternity Benefit Programme has been contributing towards better enabling environment by providing cash incentives for improved health and nutrition to pregnant and nursing mothers;
    7. Gender Budgeting has been adopted as a tool for mainstreaming gender perspective at various stages of planning, budgeting, implementation impact assessment and revisiting of policy / programme objectives and allocations;


Make notes for writing answers in Mains.

Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc. Health

[pib] Major highlights of the National Health Policy, 2017

  • Health Card linked to health facilities- Policy recommends linking the health card to primary care facility for a defined package of services anywhere in the country
  • Patient Centric Approach- Policy recommends the setting up of a separate, empowered medical tribunal for speedy resolution to address disputes /complaints regarding standards of care, prices of services, negligence and unfair practices. Standard Regulatory framework for laboratories and imaging centers, specialized emerging services, etc.
  • Micronutrient Deficiency- Focus on reducing micronutrient malnourishment and systematic approach to address heterogeneity in micronutrient adequacy across regions
  • Quality of Care- Public hospitals and facilities would undergo periodic measurements and certification of level of quality
  • Focus on Standard Regulatory Framework to eliminate risks of inappropriate care by maintaining adequate standards of diagnosis and treatment
  • Make in India Initiative- Policy advocates the need to incentivize local manufacturing to provide customized indigenous products for Indian population in the long run
  • Application of Digital Health- Policy advocates extensive deployment of digital tools for improving the efficiency and outcome of the healthcare system and aims at an integrated health information system which serves the needs of all stake-holders and improves efficiency, transparency, and citizen experience
  • Private Sector engagement for strategic purchase for critical gap filling and for achievement of health goals
  • At present, there is no proposal under consideration of the Government to make health as a fundamental right. However, National Health Policy, 2017 advocates progressively incremental Assurance based Approach with focus on preventive and promotive healthcare
  • The National Health Policy 2017 recognises that improved access, education and empowerment would be the basis of successful population stabilization
  • The policy imperative is to move away from camp based services with all its attendant problems of quality, safety and dignity of women, to a situation where these services are available on any day of the week or at least on a fixed day
Forest Conservation Efforts – NFP, Western Ghats, etc. Conservation & Mitigation

[pib] Fodder Cultivation on Forest Land

  1. NAP: The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change is implementing centrally sponsored scheme National Afforestation Programme (NAP) for eco-restoration of degraded forests in the country through people’s participation
  2. This is in consonance with The National Forest Policy 1988 which envisages taking afforestation programme with particular emphasis on fodder Development
  3. The scheme is implemented through the State Forest Development Agency (SFDA) at the state level, Forest Development Agency (FDA) at the forest division level and the Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) at the village level
  4. The scheme provides various models for eco-restoration, one of them being Pasture Development/Silvipasture, which aims for improvement of grasslands and enhancing the fodder availability
  5. Further, the National Mission for a Green India (GIM) is a recent initiative by the Ministry under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC)
  6. Aim: Protecting and enhancing India’s forest cover to counter the perils of climate change
  7. The Mission supports the restoration of grasslands and pastures, Agro-forestry and Social Forestry
  8. However there is no specific suggestion for earmarking of area for growing grass and fodder under the above schemes


Important for prelims.

Water Security Governance

[pib] Dream of ‘Har Ghar Jal’ will be realized by 2030

  1. Context: Government launched National Water Quality Sub Mission on Arsenic and Fluoride
  2. Aim: To provide safe drinking water to about 28,000 affected habitations in the country by March 2021 with an outlay of Rs 25,000 crore
  3. Issues: West Bengal is badly affected by the problem of arsenic, Rajasthan suffers from presence of fluoride in drinking water with serious health hazards
  4. There will be no discrimination of funds against any state to address the twin challenges of drinking water and sanitation
  5. The Government is committed to providing tap water on a sustained basis in every household by 2030 as per the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for which Rs 23,000 crore of central fund will be required annually till the target is achieved


A Prelim tit-bit.

Start-up Ecosystem In India Industries

[pib] Cabinet approves of proposal to establish a Fund of Fund for Start-ups (FFS)

  1. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved proposals with regard to the Fund of Funds of Start-ups (FFS) which was established in June, 2016 with a corpus of Rs. 1,000 crores
  2. FFS:
  • The Union Cabinet had earlier approved the proposal to establish a Fund of Funds for Start-ups (FFS) with a total corpus of Rs.10000 crore
  • The contribution spread over the 14th & 15th Finance Commission cycles based on progress of implementation and availability of funds
  • The FFS shall contribute to the corpus of Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) for investing in equity and equity linked instruments of various start-ups at early stage, seed stage and growth stages
  • The FFS is being managed and operated by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)


Important for Prelims.

Trade Related Issues – TIES, MEIS, Foreign Trade Policy, etc. Industries

₹600 crore scheme launched to create export-related infrastructure

  1. The Centre launched a new scheme- Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES)
  2. The scheme would have a budgetary allocation of ₹600 crore, with an annual outlay of ₹200 crore per year, and it would be implemented from FY’18 till FY’20
  3. Aim: To enhance export competitiveness by bridging gaps in export infrastructure, creating focused export infrastructure, first mile and last mile connectivity for export-oriented projects and addressing quality and certification measures
  4. Simply, to create export-related infrastructure and boost the competitiveness of India’s shipments
  5. It replaces a centrally sponsored scheme — Assistance to States for creating Infrastructure for the Development and growth of Exports (ASIDE)
  6. The focus is not just to create infrastructure, but to make sure it is professionally run and sustained
  7. There will be an Empowered Committee to periodically review the progress of the approved projects in the scheme and will take necessary steps to ensure achievement of the objectives of the scheme
  8. Benefits: The scheme would provide assistance for setting up and upgradation of infrastructure projects with overwhelming export linkages — like the border haats, land customs stations, quality testing and certification labs, cold chains, trade promotion centres, dry ports, export warehousing and packaging, Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and ports/airports cargo terminuses
  9. Eligibility: The Central and State Agencies, including Export Promotion Councils, Commodities Boards, SEZ authorities and Apex Trade Bodies recognised under the Centre’s Export-Import policy are eligible for financial support under this scheme
  10. Funding: The Centre’s funding will be in the form of grant-in-aid, normally not more than the equity being put in by the implementing agency or 50% of the total equity in the project
  11. In case of projects located in North Eastern States and Himalayan States including Jammu and Kashmir, this grant can be up to 80% of the total equity
  12. Ceiling: The grant in aid shall, normally, be subject to a ceiling of ₹20 crore for each infrastructure project
  13. Projects that can be covered under sector-specific schemes and not related to exports will not be supported under TIES


Important for pre and mains both. Note key features for prelims.

Minority issues – Dalits, OBC, Reservations, etc. Human Resource Development

[pib] Know about Nai Manzil scheme

  1. The Ministry of Minority Affairs has targeted to cover 70 thousand minority school drop outs under the Nai Manzil scheme during 2016-17
  2. For this the budget of Rs. 120 crore has been allocated
  3. The Nai Manzil scheme is an educational and livelihood initiative supported by the World Bank, which can be availed of by the school drop-outs belonging to six notified minority communities namely, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains including Muslim students studying in madarsas
  4. The scheme has been rolled from the current financial year i.e. during 2016-17 only


A Prelims tit bit.


Trade Related Issues – TIES, MEIS, Foreign Trade Policy, etc. Industries

[pib] Launch of Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES)

  1. What? Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman launched the Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES)
  2. Focus of the scheme: on addressing the needs of the exporters
  3. The focus is not just to create infrastructure but to make sure it is professionally run and sustained
  4. The scheme would provide assistance for setting up and up-gradation of infrastructure projects with overwhelming export linkages like the Border Haats, Land customs stations, quality testing and certification labs, cold chains, trade promotion centres, dry ports, export warehousing and packaging, SEZs and ports/airports cargo terminuses
  5. Objective: of the proposed scheme is to enhance export competitiveness by bridging gaps in export infrastructure, creating focused export infrastructure, first mile and last mile connectivity for export-oriented projects and addressing quality and certification measures
  6. Funding: The Central Government funding will be in the form of grant-in-aid, normally not more than the equity being put in by the implementing agency or 50% of the total equity in the project
  7. The grant in aid shall, normally, be subject to a ceiling of Rs 20 Cr for each infrastructure project


Very important for pre and mains. Such information often becomes useful while penning down Mains answer.

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