Type: PIB Releases

G20 : Economic Cooperation ahead Global Groupings

[pib] Know about 3rd Meeting of G-20 FWG held in Varanasi

  1. What: G-20 Framework Working Group (FWG) held its 3rd Meeting at Varanasi
  2. Why: It discussed the Current State of the Global Economy as well as G-20 agenda on Inclusive Growth and Reports on Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth & G-20 Enhanced Structural Reform Agenda
  3. Who: The Ministry of Finance, Government of India along with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) hosted the two day meeting
  4. G-20 FWG: is one of the core Working Group of G-20 and deliberates on matters related to global economy and on the policy co-ordination that is required between the major economies of the world to face global economic challenges
  5. India co-chairs this group with Canada
  6. The 4th Meeting of G-20 FWG Meeting under the German Presidency will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina


Important Prelims information.  Note the 6th point- UPSC often puts up questions like these.

ISRO Missions and Discoveries Explorations in S&T

[pib] What is NISAR?

  1. ISRO and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)/ NASA are jointly working on the development of Dual Frequency (L & S band) Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging Satellite named as NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR)
  2. The L-band SAR is being developed by JPL/NASA, while ISRO is developing S-band SAR
  3. The L & S band microwave data obtained from this satellite will be useful for variety of application
  4. Applications:
  • Natural resources mapping & monitoring
  • Estimating agricultural biomass over full duration of crop cycle
  • Assessing soil moisture
  • Monitoring of floods and oil slicks
  • Coastal erosion, coastline changes & variation of winds in coastal waters
  • Assessment of mangroves
  • Surface deformation studies, ice sheet collapses & dynamics etc.
  • Identifying crevasses in the glaciers hidden by fresh snow, where human movement takes place
  • Identifying the snowpack parameters as an input in Avalanche forecasts
  • Studying Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) hazards
  • Identifying inundated area due to floods/ cyclones
  • The data obtained from NISAR mission is not meant for building climate resilience



Remember the points for Prelims.

Innovation in Sciences and Technology Explorations in S&T

[pib] Know about Lithium Battery Technique

  1. ISRO has developed lithium ion battery for satellite and launch vehicle applications
  2. Four types of batteries have been developed – 1.5Ah, 5Ah, 50Ah and 100Ah
  3. Out of these, 1.5Ah & 50Ah have been used for space applications
  4. And 5Ah & 100Ah batteries are qualified and are ready for induction in space applications
  5. ISRO has supplied 50 Ah lithium-ion cells to Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI)


Prelim tit-bit.

Innovation in Sciences and Technology Explorations in S&T

[pib] Balloon Flights for Scientific Expedition


  1. Scientific Ballooning was started in India during the 1950’s by Dr. Homi J. Bhabha
  2. Under the aegis of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), an autonomous body under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)

A unique facility:

  1. This is one of the unique facilities in the world where stratospheric zero pressure balloons are designed, fabricated with indigenous material, launched and the instruments recovered
  2. The balloons designed and fabricated in this facility have also been exported to foreign scientific institutions and many foreign scientific missions have also been flown


  1. Balloons supplied by this facility are used to measure vertical wind profiles at SDSC-SHAR before launch of satellites by ISRO and also for qualifying many instruments in near space environments before being incorporated in satellites
  2. This facility is also involved in experimental strategic programs of the armed forces
  3. Experiments carried out on the earth’s atmosphere have also helped in rain prediction as well as pollution monitoring and control


Important information for Prelims.

Agricultural Marketing Reforms – eNAM, Model APMC Act, Eco Survey Reco, etc. Agriculture

[pib] Price Stabilization Fund

  1. The Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) was set up in 2014-15 under the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Famers Welfare (DAC&FW)
  2. Aim: to help regulate the price volatility of important agri-horticultural commodities like onion, potatoes and pulses were also added subsequently
  3. The PSF scheme was transferred from DAC&FW to the Department of Consumer Affairs (DOCA) from 2016
  4. The scheme provides for maintaining a strategic buffer of aforementioned commodities for subsequent calibrated release to moderate price volatility and discourage hoarding and unscrupulous speculation
  5. For building such stock, the scheme promotes direct purchase from farmers/farmers’ association at farm gate/Mandi
  6. The PSF is utilized for granting interest free advance of working capital to Central Agencies, State/UT Governments/Agencies to undertake market intervention operations
  7. Apart from domestic procurement from farmers/wholesale mandis, import may also be undertaken with support from the Fund


Prelims tit-bit.

Forest Policy of India 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.

Parched Earth : The Water Crisis in India Conservation & Mitigation

[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.

Forest Policy of India Conservation & Mitigation

[pib] Know about International Day of Forests


  1. ‘Forests and Energy’
  2. This theme of this year’s celebration is Forests & Energy has been chosen by the United Nations
  3. To highlight the importance of wood energy in improving people’s lives, powering sustainable development and mitigating climate change
  4. Wood is a major renewable energy source. Wood provides the world with more energy than solar, hydroelectric or wind power
  5. Almost 300 million people in India depend on the forests for their livelihood

An international event:

  1. International Day of Forests is celebrated on March 21 every year, the world over
  2. This celebration brings into focus the role of forests in safeguarding the ecological security and livelihood of millions of people all around the world
  3. Sustainably managed forests can provide renewable and carbon neutral energy for a greener future

Snippets of the gathering:

  1. This year’s campaign theme highlights the vital energy inherent in India’s forests, including the various cultural, ecological & livelihood benefits
  2. Addressing a gathering, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Ajay Narayan Jha said that there is a mutual relationship between forests and energy
  3. He pointed out that the water level of the Earth increases because of forests
  4. Therefore, we must look at ways to prevent the cutting of forests
  5. The challenge before us is to make available energy at affordable cost to the people
  6. Children from schools of adjacent localities presented a ‘Prakriti Vandana’ on the occasion
  7. A Nature Trail was also inaugurated on the occasion and saplings were planted to mark the occasion

Importance of forests:

  1. It has been proved that trees in urban areas can cool the air by between 2 to 8 degrees Celsius
  2. The Wood energy also mitigates climate change and fosters sustainable development
  3. Globally, forests hold energy content approximately 10 times that of the world’s annual primary energy consumption

The road ahead:

  1. Greater investment in technological innovation and in sustainably managed forests is the key to increasing forests’ role as a major source of renewable energy
  2. In this way, we invest in our sustainable future, in meeting several Sustainable Development Goals and in growing a green economy


Important for Prelims and Mains


Communicable and Non-communicable diseases – HIV, Malaria, Cancer, Mental Health, etc. Health, Education & Human Resources

[pib] National Framework for Malaria Elimination

The National Framework for Malaria Elimination in India 2016-2030:


  1. To eliminate malaria (zero indigenous cases) throughout the entire country by 2030
  2. Maintain malaria-free status in areas where malaria transmission has been interrupted and prevent re-introduction of malaria


  1. Eliminate malaria from all 26 States including 15 low (Category 1) and 11 moderate (Category 2) transmission States/Union Territories (UTs) by 2022
  2. Reduce the incidence of malaria to less than 1 case per 1000 population per year in all States and UTs and their districts by 2024
  3. Interrupt indigenous transmission of malaria throughout the entire country, including all 10 high transmission States and Union Territories (Category 3) by 2027
  4. Prevent the re-establishment of local transmission of malaria in areas where it has been eliminated and maintain national malaria-free status by 2030 and beyond


An important PIB newscard for Prelims.

Communicable and Non-communicable diseases – HIV, Malaria, Cancer, Mental Health, etc. Health, Education & Human Resources

[pib] Filaria Control Programmes

  1. National Filaria Control Programme (NFCP)
  2. Was launched in 1955 & has operational, training and research components
  3. The strategies include:
    • Vector Control
    • Detection and treatment of filarial cases
    • Delimitation of endemic areas
  4. The programme has been integrated as ‘Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (ELF) Programme’ under the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme (NVBDCP)
  5. Under National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme (NVBDCP), funds are integrated for all the vector borne diseases including ELF and released to States/Union Territories for prevention, control and elimination of these diseases
  6. National Health Policy (2002) has laid down the goal for elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis by 2015, which has now been revised to 2017, though global goal is 2020
  7. The strategy includes:
  • Annual Mass Drug Administration (MDA) of single dose of DEC (Diethylcarbamazine citrate) and Albendazole for 5 years or more to the eligible population (except pregnant women, children below 2 years of age and seriously ill persons) to interrupt transmission of the disease
  • Home based management of lymphoedema cases and up-scaling of hydrocele operations in identified Community Health Centres (CHCs)/ District hospitals /medical colleges


Important for Prelims and Mains both.

Developments and innovation in Biotechnology Explorations in S&T

[pib] What is BIRAC?

  1. The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is a Public Sector Undertaking of Department of Biotechnology (DBT)
  2. The Theme of the Foundation Day is “BIRAC@5: Impacting the Biotech Ecosystem”
  3. BIRAC’s efforts have been focused on enhancing the innovation research capacities within the biotech industries, and encouraging young entrepreneurs to take their innovation ideas towards scale-up and commercialization, so as to meet the country’s challenge for Affordable Product Development for masses without undermining the quality
  4. With over 500 Biotech Industries, Startups and Entrepreneurs supported, today there are more than 50 products and technologies commercialized or in an advanced stage for commercialization
  5. Background: BIRAC was incorporated on 20th March, 2012 as a non-profit Public Sector Enterprise under the aegis of Department of Biotechnology (DBT)
  6. BIRAC completed 5 years of establishment in March, 2017


Important for prelims.

Food procurement and distribution – PDS & NFSA, Shanta Kumar Committee, FCI restructuring, Buffer stock, etc. Agriculture

[pib] Know about mechanism to procure bumper crops


  1. The production of a crop depends upon several factors including availability of cultivable land, vagaries of nature, temperature, weather and rainfall scenario, etc.
  2. As a result of very good rainfall during monsoon 2016 and various policy initiatives taken by the Government, the country has witnessed record foodgrains production in the current year

Steps taken:

  1. The Central Government extends price support for procurement of wheat and paddy through Food Corporation of India (FCI) and State Agencies at Minimum Support Price (MSP)
  2. Procurement at MSP is open ended, whatever foodgrains are offered by the farmers, within the stipulated procurement period and which conforms to the quality specifications prescribed by Government of India (GOI), are purchased at MSP (and bonus/incentive ,if any) by the Government agencies including FCI, for Central Pool
  3. However, if any producer/farmer gets better price in comparison to MSP, he is free to sell his produce in Open Market to private traders/anyone
  4. Coarse grains are purchased by State Government with permission of Central Government, upto the extent it is required in their Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS)
  5. Under Price Support Scheme (PSS), the procurement of oil seeds, pulses and cotton through Central Nodal Agencies at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) is also undertaken
  6. The basic objectives of PSS are to provide remunerative prices to the growers for their produce with a view to encourage higher investment and production and to safeguard the interest of consumers by making available supplies at reasonable prices with low cost of intermediation
  7. Further, Government of India also implements Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for procurement of agricultural and horticultural commodities which are perishable in nature and are not covered under the Price Support Scheme (PSS)
  8. The objective of intervention is to protect the growers of these commodities from making distress sale in the event of a bumper crop during the peak arrival period when the prices tend to fall below economic levels and cost of production


Defence Sector – DPP, Security forces, etc. Security Issues

[pib] Indigenisation of Defence Equipment


  1. The Defence Production Policy promulgated by the Government, aims at achieving substantive self-reliance in the design, development and production of equipment, weapon systems, platforms required for defence in as early a time frame as possible, creating conditions conducive for private industry to play an active role in this endeavour; enhancing potential of SMEs in indigenisation and broadening the defence R&D base of the country
  2. In order to promote indigenous design and development of defence equipment, a new category of procurement ‘Buy (Indian-IDDM (Indigenously designed, developed and manufactured) )’ has been introduced in Defence Procurement Procedure-2016 and the same has been accorded top most priority for procurement of capital equipment
  3. The ‘Make’ Procedure has been simplified with provisions for funding of 90% of development cost by the Government to Indian industry for design, develop and manufacture of defence equipment
  4. FDI Policy has been revised and under the revised policy, FDI upto 49% is allowed through automatic route and beyond 49% under Government approval route wherever it is likely to result in access to modern technology or for other reasons to be recorded
  5. Industrial licensing regime for Indian manufacturers has been liberalised and most of the components/ parts/ sub-systems have been taken out from the list of defence products requiring Industrial Licence
  6. This has reduced entry barriers for new entrants in this sector, particularly SMEs
  7. The process for export clearance has been streamlined and made transparent & online
Human Development Report by UNDP Global Groupings

[pib] Human Development Index


  1. According to the report ‘Human Development in Andhra Pradesh’ prepared for Government of Andhra Pradesh by Center for Economic and Social Studies in 2016, the rank of Andhra Pradesh in Human Development Index(HDI) among 21 major States of India was 12 in 2004-05 and 9 in 2011-12

The initiatives taken by the Government to further increase the HDI in the country include:

  1. Health: Promoting institutional deliveries, strengthening of health infrastructure, training of service providers in management of emergency obstetric care and skilled birth attendance
  2. Providing ante-natal and post-natal care
  3. Organising village health and nutrition days
  4. Engagement of an accredited social health activist (ASHA) in the community
  5. Training of ASHAs in Home based new born care, training of health care providers in essential new-born care and resuscitation, providing new-born care at all levels, promoting exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding
  6. Establishment of nutritional rehabilitation centres, strengthening routine immunization programme, focussing on reduction in morbidity and mortality due to acute respiratory infections (ARI) and diarrhoeal diseases
  7. Introduction of name based web enabled tracking of pregnant women & children (Mother and Child Tracking System) to ensure antenatal, intra-natal and postnatal care to pregnant women and care to new-borns, infants and children
  8. Education: Enactment and operationalisation of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Mid-Day-Meal Scheme, National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary level, setting up of Kasturba Gandhi BalikaVidyalaya, MahilaSamakhya programme, scheme for providing quality education in Madarasas
  9. Employment: Improving the purchasing power of the people through various income generating schemes including Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
  10. Food: The National Food Security Act, 2013 aims to provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity


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