Type: PIB Releases

Indian Navy Updates Developmental Issues

[pib] Know about INS Betwa

  1. INS Betwa: a P-16A Class frigate
  2. It has been made upright by the unstinted efforts put in by the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai and the salvage firm M/s Resolve Marine, specially contracted for the operation
  3. The salvage operations were progressed on a war footing and the initial stabilisation of the ship was achieved by 29 Dec 2016
  4. The complete salvage operation involved complex hydrodynamic calculations and rigging up of intricate measuring and monitoring systems


A tit-bit for Prelims.


[pib] Air Services Agreement between India and Greece


  1. Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Greece
  2. The Agreement has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchange between the two countries bringing it in tune with the developments in the civil aviation sector
  3. It will provide enabling environment for enhanced and seamless connectivity while providing commercial opportunities to the carriers of both the sides ensuring greater safety and security

The essential features of the ASA are as follows:

  1. Both countries shall be entitled to designate one or more airline
  2. The designated airlines of either country shall have the right to establish offices in the territory of the other country for the promotion end sale of air services
  3. The designated airlines of the two countries shall have fair and equal opportunity to operate the agreed services on specified routes
  4. The designated Airline of each party can enter into cooperative marketing arrangements with the designated carriers of same party, other party and third country


A tit-bit for Prelims.


[pib] Arun-3 Hydro Electric Project in Nepal

  1. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved investment for generation component of Arun-3 HEP (900 MW) for an estimated cost of Rs. 5723.72 crore at May 2015 Price Level
  2. The project is located on Arun River in Sankhuwasabha District of Eastern Nepal
  3. The Run-of-River scheme envisages about 70 mtr. high concrete gravity dam and Head Race Tunnel (HRT) of 11.74 Km. with underground Power House containing four generating units of 225 MW each on Left Bank
  4. An MoU was signed between Government of Nepal and SJVN Limited for the project in March, 2008 for execution on Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis for a period of 30 years including five years of construction period
  5. The Project Development Agreement (PDA) signed on 25.11.2014, which provides 21.9% free power to Nepal for the entire concession period of 25 years
  6. Employment generation of around 3000 persons is envisaged in construction of the project from both India and Nepal
  7. The project will provide surplus power to India strengthening power availability in the country and will also strengthen economic linkages with Nepal
  8. The power from the project shall be exported from Dhalkebar in Nepal to Muzaffarpur in India


The information is important from Prelims PoV.


[pib] Know about the World Integrated Medicine Forum on Regulation of Homeopathic Medicine



  1. MoU to be signed between Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States and CCRH in the field of Homoeopathic Medicine
  2. Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH, will inaugurate the World Integrated Medicine Forum on Regulation of Homeopathic Medicinal Products: National and Global strategies
  3. The event is organised by Ministry of AYUSH and Central Council for Research in Homeopathy (CCRH) and supported by Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIMH) & Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO)

About World Integrated Medicine Forum on Regulation of Homeopathic Medicinal Products:

  1. This is the first-of-its-kind forum considering the increased perception of the international world towards India as a key player in the progress of the homoeopathy drug industry
  2. Forum to strategize the actionable aspects in the homoeopathic drug industry, which, in turn, will promote global harmonisation in the sector
  3. One of the highlights of the forum will be exchange of Memorandum of Understanding among Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States (HPCUS) and Indian bodies – Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H) and Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) on cooperation in the field of Homoeopathic Medicine
  4. It is hoped that this agreement will be a benchmark for many more agreements to follow with the aim to develop and harmonise homoeopathic pharmacopoeias and to strengthen regulatory provisions for homoeopathy in the whole world


  1. In India, homoeopathic medicines are regulated by Drugs & Cosmetics Act & Rules
  2. All pharmaceutical industries are legally bound to comply with these rules, which, in turn, assures safety and quality of homoeopathic medicines
  3. Further, these industries adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) that further assure accredited production, packaging and distribution
  4. India has a relatively well-established regulatory framework for Homoeopathy


  1. Homoeopathy is one of the most followed medical systems in India
  2. Its strength lies in the fact that its medicines are gentle, safe as well as cost-effective
  3. In the era of growing adverse drug reactions and auto-immune and lifestyle-related illnesses, Homeopathy has a crucial role to play in the well-being of mankind
  4. The use of homoeopathy is steadily growing in India and as per an analysis by Ministry of AYUSH

[pib] Enhancement of capacity from 20,000 MW to 40,000 MW


  1. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today approved the enhancement of capacity from 20,000 MW to 40,000 MW of the Scheme for Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects

Solar Parks:

  1. The enhanced capacity would ensure setting up of at least 50 solar parks each with a capacity of 500 MW and above in various parts of the country
  2. Smaller parks in Himalayan and other hilly States where contiguous land may be difficult to acquire in view of the difficult terrain, will also be considered under the scheme
  3. The capacity of the Solar Park scheme has been enhanced after considering the demand for additional solar parks from the States
  4. The Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects will be set up by 2019-20 with Central Government financial support of Rs.8100 crore
  5. The total capacity when operational will generate 64 billion units of electricity per year which will lead to abatement of around 55 million tonnes of CO2 per year over its life cycle


  1. It would also contribute to long term energy security of the country
  2. It will promote ecologically sustainable growth by reduction in carbon emissions and carbon footprint
  3. It would generate large direct & indirect employment opportunities in solar and allied industries like glass, metals, heavy industrial equipment etc.
  4. The solar parks will also provide productive use of abundant uncultivable lands which in turn facilitate development of the surrounding areas


The information is important for Prelims and can also be a part of answer in Mains.


  1. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is already implementing a scheme for development of at least 25 solar parks with an aggregate capacity of 20,000 MW, which was launched in December 2014
  2. As on date, 34 solar parks of aggregate capacity 20,000 MW have been approved which are at various stages of development
Cashless Society Economic Planning

[pib] Know more about Digital Payments

  1. NITI Aayog’s two incentive schemes – Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana to promote digital payments
  2. The initiatives aim to make Digital Payments a mass movement in India through the two schemes
  3. NITI Aayog has been organizing DigiDhan Melas at 110 cities across India to take the digital payments movement to the masses across the country


Remember these tit-bits for Prelims.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare: Schemes, Policies & Missions Health, Education & Human Resources

[pib] Know about SAATHIYA

  1. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched the SAATHIYA Resource Kit including ‘Saathiya Salah’ Mobile App for adolescents, as part of the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) program
  2. One of the key interventions under the programme is introduction of the Peer Educators (Saathiyas) who act as a catalyst for generating demand for the adolescent health services and imparting age appropriate knowledge on key adolescent health issues to their peer groups
  3. RKSK identifies six strategic priorities for adolescents i.e. nutrition, sexual and reproductive health (SRH), non-communicable diseases (NCDs), substance misuse, injuries and violence (including gender-based violence) and mental health
  4. Fact check: India is home to 253 million adolescents which is largest in the world in terms of absolute numbers


Important for prelims. Note the key points highlighted above.

Mission Indradhanush – Immunization Program Schemes, Policies & Missions

[pib] Expansion of Rotavirus vaccine under Universal Immunization Programme

  1. Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare announced the expansion of the Rotavirus vaccine under its Universal Immunization Programme in five additional states
  2. The Health Minister further added that the Government is committed to reducing morbidity and mortality in children
  3. Strengthening routine immunization is an essential investment in India’s children and will ensure a healthy future of the country
  4. The government is committed to increasing the full immunization coverage and ensuring that the benefit of the life-saving vaccines is provided to every child

Treatment for Diarrhoea:

  1. Diarrhoea is one of the biggest killers in children and Rotavirus is one of the most common causes of severe diarrhoea in children less than 2 years of age
  2. Rotavirus diarrhoea can lead to dehydration, malnutrition and delayed physical and mental development in children
  3. Rotavirus vaccine along with proper sanitation, hand washing practices, ORS and zinc supplementation will go a long way in reducing the mortality and morbidity due to diarrhoea in children
  4. The life-saving vaccine will not only improve the health of children but will also reduce hospitalization and other conditions associated with diarrhoea due to Rotavirus such as malnutrition, delayed physical and mental development among children
  5. Reduced hospitalization reduces the economic burden on the family and the health cost burden on the country
  6. Rotavirus diarrhoea in children accounts for approximately 40% of hospitalizations from diarrhoea in India
  7. The Rotavirus vaccine has been developed indigenously, under a public-private partnership by the Ministry of Science and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
  8. This therefore is a landmark achievement under ‘Make in India’ initiative
  9. In March 2016, the Rotavirus vaccine was first introduced in four states namely Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha

India’s UIP:

  1. India’s UIP provide free vaccines against 11 life threatening diseases
  2. The Universal Immunization Programme provides life-saving vaccines to all children across the country free of cost to protect them against Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis B, Pneumonia and Meningitis due to Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib), Measles, Rubella, Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Rotavirus diarrhoea

Fourth phase of Indradhanush:

The fourth phase of Mission Indradhanush has begun in North-eastern states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura


Very important information for Prelims and Mains both. Revise about Indradhanush here.

Foreign Policy Watch: India-ASEAN Regional Groupings

[pib] Know about ASEAN- India relations


  1. To commemorate the 25th year of the ASEAN-India relations, TEPC (Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council) is organizing an inter-ministerial meeting between telecom ministers of ASEAN countries and India


  1. Indian Government has expressed keen interest to partner with ASEAN countries in enabling Digital Connectivity between India and ASEAN region and also for enabling broadband within ASEAN countries
  2. These digital connectivity projects are of strategic importance and can have a transformative impact on the economy and cooperation between ASEAN and India
  3. India has committed to provide financial as well as technological support for projects that could include-high-speed fiber optic networks, digital villages, rural broadband, national knowledge network, secured communication networks and telecom training and skill development
  4. Indian companies who have created world-class products and solutions, which are not only of the highest quality and are also very cost-competitive, are keen to export to customers in ASEAN region, who have similar requirements like India


The information is important from Prelims PoV, read b2b for details on TEPC.


Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC):

  1. TEPC has been set up by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Ministry of Communications & IT, Government of India
  2. It aims to promote and develop export of Telecom Equipment’s and Services
  3. With the formation of the council, it can undertake several activities aimed at export promotion such as Commissioning of Studies to find potential markets, holding of National/International Seminars and facilitating participation of exporters in various overseas exhibitions
  4. The council would also be able to disseminate trade related data to its members
  5. The activities of the Council are manifold and in addition to direct marketing, structured promotional events are organized on a regular basis so as to create awareness on the capability of Indian telecom exporters
Indian Navy Updates Developmental Issues

[pib] Know about Tarini

  1. What? The Indian Navy’s second ocean going sailboat Tarini will be inducted at a ceremony scheduled to be held at the INS Mandovi Boat Pool
  2. By whom? INSV Tarini is a sloop built by M/s Aquarius Shipyard Pvt Ltd at Divar, Goa
  3. It is the platform for First Indian All Women Circumnavigation of the Globe expedition of the Indian Navy
  4. The boat has been built to a stock design by Van de Stadt, Netherlands called Tonga 56
  5. Predecessor: INSV Tarini is almost identical to her illustrious predecessor, the iconic Mhadei


  1. The boat draws her origin from the famous Tara-Tarini temple of Orissa’s Ganjam district
  2. The word Tarini means ‘a Boat’ and is also a Sanskrit word for ‘Saviour’
  3. Tara-Tarini is a patron deity for sailors and merchants and is worshipped for safety and success at sea
  4. Tara-Tarini of Orissa is known to have historical linkages with the river Goddess Mhadei- the exclusive boat deity of the Mhadei river of Goa
  5. Both the deities Tarini and Mhadei have sculptural similarities


  1. The hull is made of wooden core fiberglass sandwich construction for a better performance than aluminum and steel
  2. INSV Tarini carries a suite of six sails including a Main sail, Head sails (Genoa and stay sails), Downwind sails and Storm sail
  3. Her mast is 25 meters tall and has been custom built by M/s Southern Spars, Cape Town, for sailing in extreme conditions


  1. She boasts a Raymarine navigation suite
  2. And an array of latest satellite communication systems through which she can be contacted anywhere in the world


  1. In order to promote ocean sailing activities and to encourage women empowerment, the Indian Navy conceptualized the idea of the First Indian All Women Circumnavigation of the Globe
  2. A team of six women Officers led by Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi was selected for this project


The information is important for Prelims.

Agricultural Sector Indian Society

[pib] Know about Food Legumes Research Platform (FLRP)

  1. Food Legumes Research Platform (FLRP) established at Amlaha, Sehore, Madhya Pradesh


  1. The establishment of FLRP in India will enable India to harness the best of international science in meeting the emerging food security challenges
  2. India would be able to rapidly and effectively absorb the research output achieved in the country by FLRP
  3. A major international R&D institution will make India an even bigger center for agricultural research in the world


  1. This is a research set up by an international organization
  2. ICARDA has a good track record of innovation, as in climate resilient technologies including suitable food legume varieties for dry-land production systems
  3. ICARDA will carry out research through a multi-disciplinary team of scientists for enhancing productivity of crops range-land and livestock
  4. This platform will contribute significantly towards reducing poverty, improving food security, improving nutrition and health, and sustaining the natural resource base
  5. The research output would benefit farmers of all regions, whether big, small or marginal; and as technologies developed would be eligible for use by all farmers, the project is equitable and inclusive


The information is important for Prelims.

Policy Wise : India’s Coal and Mining sector Industrial Economics

[pib] What is TAMRA

  1. TAMRA Portal and Mobile Application to ensure transparent award of Statutory Clearances for Mining Operations
  2. Transparency, Auction Monitoring and Resource Augmentation (TAMRA) is a Portal and Mobile Application, developed by the Ministry of Mines
  3. It was simultaneously launched across 12 mineral rich States

Salient features:

  1. It has an objective to enhance transparency and accountability, as a part of the Ease of Doing Business in the Mining sector
  2. TAMRA is a step to speed up mining activity in India and facilitate all the stakeholders to track the status of the statutory clearances associated with mining blocks for getting mines to reach till operationalisation for the same
  3. It will be an interactive platform for all the stakeholders to compress the timelines for statutory and other clearances as it would help minimize the gestation period for commencing production
  4. In case of delay in obtaining any clearances, TAMRA will send triggers to the concerned authority so that the remedial steps can be taken immediately by those responsible
  5. The Ministry of Mines will also receive triggers generated by TAMRA, which will facilitate in expediting clearances in case the timelines set against each of the statutory clearances are not met
  6. Further, the status of each of the clearances will be reflected on the portal


The information is very important for Prelims.

Foreign Policy Watch: India-Japan India Beyond its Neighbours

[pib] Know about Indo-Japan relations


  1. Minister of State for Home Affairs at Observer Research Foundation addressed a seminar
  2. The relation between India and Japan are rooted in long history
  3. Both the countries share common values such as commitment to democracy, supremacy of law, human rights and global peace
  4. Sixty four years have passed since both India and Japan established their diplomatic relations and during this period, they have been able to build a very robust partnership based on mutually convergent strategic and economic interests

Strategic ties:

  1. India and Japan have signed a Declaration on security cooperation and taken several steps to strengthen the cooperation in defence production and civil nuclear energy
  2. Japan participated in the Malabar joint exercises for maritime security

Economic ties:

  1. Japan is supporting several mega-infrastructure projects like the Delhi-Mumbai Freight Corridor, Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor and Mumbai-Ahmadabad high speed railway
  2. He said that both countries have also entered into a comprehensive economic partnership agreement to boost trade and investment
  3. Japanese private investment has made a great impact particularly on the automobile sector in India
  4. India has been the biggest recipient of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans since 2003
  5. Japanese aid has flowed into several critical sectors such as power, transport, communication, irrigation, connectivity projects in Northeast India, modernization of railways and ports


Make notes on Indo-Japan ties for Mains answer and read the b2b carefully.


  1. Observer Research Foundation began its journey in 1990
  2. It brought together leading Indian economists and policymakers to present the agenda for India’s economic reforms
  3. From primarily looking inward and engaging with domestic reforms, to gradually forging global partnerships, ORF today plays a seminal role in building political and policy consensus that enables India to interact with the world
  4. It provides non-partisan, independent, well-researched analyses and inputs to diverse decision-makers in Governments, business communities, and academia and to civil society around the world
  5. ORF seeks to lead and aid policy thinking towards building a strong and prosperous India in a fair and equitable world
Agricultural Sector Indian Society

[pib] Know about Indian Seed Congress


The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Radha Mohan Singh spoke about National Farmer Policy of the Union Government

National Farmer Policy:

Objectives: to accelerate agricultural output, develop infrastructural facilities in the villages, promote value addition, expedite the growth of agro-business, create employment in the rural areas, ensuring better livelihood status of the farmers and agriculture workers and their families, discourage migration to urban areas and face the challenges emerging out of economic liberalization and globalization

Theme of Seed Congress:

The theme of Seed Congress is “Seed of Joy”, in line with vision of this government to bring happiness and prosperity in the lives of farmers by doubling their farm income by 2022

Measures so far:

On account of the strategic measures of this government, there has been enhancement in the availability of certified/quality seeds

Way forward:

  1. State governments should prepare variety wise seed rolling plants to meet year wise, season wise requirements of quality seeds
  2. This seed rolling plant will fulfill the double purpose of improving the Seed replacement rate along with Variety replacement rate so that sustainable agricultural production and productivity could be ensured

Some schemes initiated by the government:

The following schemes aim at to bring improvement in crop productivity as well as income of the farmers:

  1. Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana
  2. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana
  3. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana
  4. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Vikas Yojana
  5. Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana
  6. Soil Health Scheme
  7. Neem Coated Urea
  8. E-National Agriculture Mandi Scheme

Opportunities created:

  1. Opportunities of employment have been created for the skilled men and women and the girls in the field of agriware housing, cold chain, supply chain, dairy, poultry, meat, fisheries, horticulture, agriculture mechanization as well as micro irrigation
  2. Skill India Mission is being implemented for imparting opportunities as well as skills to the rural youth in rural areas

7 Point Programme:

Agriculture Minister placed emphasis on 7 points programmes laid down by Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi to make the income of the farmers double

  • Big focus on irrigation with large budgets, with the aim of “per drop-more crop”
  • Provision of quality seeds and nutrients based on soil health of each field
  • Large investments in warehousing and cold chains to prevent post-harvest crop losses
  • Promotion of value addition through food processing
  • Creation of a national farm market, removing distortions and e-platform across 585 stations
  • Introduction of a new crop insurance scheme to mitigate risks at affordable cost
  • Promotion of ancillary activities like poultry, beekeeping and fisheries

India has great potentiality to produce hybrid seeds specially costly vegetable seeds on cheap rates as compared to the seeds of the other countries. Apart from vegetables, the hybrid seeds of maize, paddy, pearl millet and cotton may be exported to SEI and African countries in magnitude.


The information is important for both Prelims and Mains.

Agricultural Sector Indian Society

[pib] Know about Cooperatives

Context: The Cooperative Institution, IFFCO in Motihari completed its 50 years of establishment


  1. IFFCO (Indian Farmers Fertilizers Cooperative) is one of the largest cooperative societies of India
  2. Its business is spread over from general insurance to rural telecommunication apart from manufacturing and sale of manure
  3. IFFCO is rendering its services to about 5.5 crores of farmers
  4. IFFCO has extended its international involvement through important memorandum of understanding and agreements for supply of raw materials to many international fertilizer industries
  5. IFFCO is working for the prosperity of the farmers after providing environment friendly and real time reliable, high quality agricultural products and services
  6. IFFCO is implementing several schemes and programmes for their welfare

Government initiatives:

  1. The government has formed NCDC (National Climatic Data Centre) keeping in view of the importance of cooperatives in rural economy
  2. It caters to the several dimensions and necessity of the cooperatives
  3. Cooperatives have provided direct and indirect employment to about 23.86 millions of people
  4. Cooperative societies have provided inputs like credit, fertilizer, seed and have established themselves in many fields of Indian economy such as dairy, banking, sugar, fertilizer, marketing, handloom, fisheries and housing
  5. The Ministry believes that cooperative societies should be made strong democratically
  6. By providing occupational services to the farm labourers, we will have to make the rural people strong



Since IFFCO has completed its 50 years, it becomes an important topic for Prelims.

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