Type: PIB Releases

[pib] Know about Industry-Academia Collaborative Mission


This PIB has some good information on biopharmaceuticals. Few takeaways:

  1. Prelims Exam: Read about the Mission and its funding
  2. Mains Exam: The objectives and focus areas of the scheme will be of help for your Mains answer.

About the Mission:

  1. Aims to accelerate discovery research to early development for biopharmaceuticals
  2. The Mission will be implemented by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) – a Public Sector Undertaking of Department of Biotechnology (DBT)
  3. The Mission Program would be a Pan-India program

Focus areas:

  1. The key focus areas of the program would aid in preparing India’s technological and product development capabilities in the biopharmaceutical sector
  2. Aims to transform the health standards of India’s population through affordable product development


  1. Total project cost to be funded by Government of India is Rs. 1500 crore for five years
  2. 50% cost for the Mission Programme will be arranged through the World Bank loan

Agencies involved:

  1. For the implementation, a Programme Management Unit will be set up at BIRAC
  2. This will work as an operational and functional arm that oversees and monitors program implementation and progress

Focus of the Mission:

  1. The Mission will focus on Development of specific products – vaccines, bio therapeutics, medical devices and diagnostics
  2. There will be establishment of shared infrastructure and facilities; building and strengthening domain specific knowledge and management skills
  3. Focus is on creating and enhancing technology transfer capabilities in public and private sector

[pib] Know about Maternity Benefit Program


The program is an important step to empower women. Takeaways:

  1. For Prelims, remember the objectives of the program.
  2. Also read about the Target Group, to understand about the program and its relevance.This scheme could be used as a example while writing answers on women empowerment related Question


  1. The Maternity Benefit Program will provide compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentives
  2. The women can take adequate rest before and after delivery and not be deprived of proper nutrition

Objective of the Scheme:

  1. To provide partial compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentives so that the woman can take adequate rest before and after delivery of the first living child
  2. The cash incentives provided would lead to improved health seeking behaviour amongst the Pregnant Women and Lactating Mother (PW&LM) to reduce the effects of under-nutrition namely stunting, wasting and other related problems

Target Group:

  1. All eligible Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM)
  2. It excludes the Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers who are in regular employment with the Central Government or State Government or PSUs or those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law for the time being.

Cash entitlement under the scheme

  1. It has been decided to give the benefit of Rs.5000/- to PW&LM in three installment for the birth of the first live child by MWCD
  2. Remaining cash incentive as per approved norms towards Maternity Benefit under existing programmes after institutional delivery so that on an average, a woman will get ₹ 6000/-

[pib] EMF Portal

  1. The Minister of Communications launched Tarang Sanchar
  2. Tarang Sanchar: A web portal for information sharing on Mobile Towers and EMF Emission Compliances
  3. Aim: It will go a long way in clearing the myths and misconceptions of public on mobile towers and emissions from them
  4. He expressed the hope that the portal will empower common man to know at the convenience of a mouse click, about towers working in a particular locality and whether they are compliant to the EMF emission norms defined by the Government


A prelim tit-bit

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

[pib] Know about Spice Farmers Producer Companies (SFPCs)

  1. Spice Farmers Producer Companies (SFPCs) organized by Spices Board in Itanagar
  2. Aim: To highlight the promotion of spices and herbs being grown in the hill State of Arunachal Pradesh and integrate the farmers of the State with markets in India and abroad
  3. Initiative as a part of Government of India Look East to Act East policy
  4. North East region is given priority and actions are being initiated in the region for development
  5. There is scope for export of spices like large cardamom, ginger, turmeric etc., which area produced naturally organic in Arunachal Pradesh


A Prelim tit-bit.

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.

Ease of Doing Business Finance and Banking

[pib] Business Reform Action Plan

  1. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry has circulated to all States/Union Territories in October 2015, a 340 point Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP)
  2. The objective is to increase transparency and efficiency of various Government regulatory functions and services for business in India
  3. The BRAP includes recommendations for reforms on 58 regulatory processes, policies, practices and procedures spread across 10 reform areas, that is, access to information and transparency enablers; single window; environmental registration enablers; obtaining electricity connection; availability of land; construction permit enablers; inspection reform enablers; labour regulation enablers;  online tax and  return filing and commercial dispute resolution enablers spanning the lifecycle of a typical business


A Prelims tit bit.

Historical and Archaeological Findings in News Indian Culture

[pib] Know about ‘Swachhagraha “Bapu Ko Karyanjali”

  1. The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated ‘‘Swachhagraha- Bapu Ko Karyanjali”-A Mission, An Exhibition’ to mark 100th Anniversary of Champaran Satyagrah at the National Archives of India (NAI)
  2. He also launched an Online Interactive Quiz “Karyanjali”, which will continue for 30 months till October, 2019


Champaran satyagraha completed 100 years- important for prelims as well as mains. Read it from your modern history book.

Geospatial Information Regulation Bill Governance

[pib] What is “nakshe”?

  1. A new web portal “nakshe” was launched by the Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, on the occasion of 250th anniversary of Survey of India (SoI)
  2. Topographic maps or Open Series Maps (OSM) containing natural and man-made geographical features including terrain or topography are prepared by the SoI since its inception in 1767 and is in conformity with the National Map Policy-2005
  3. These OSM maps have been made available for free download from “nakshe” web portal in pdf format on 1:50,000 scale through Aaadhar enabled user authentication process, in line with Digital India programme of the Government of India

Survey of India:

  1. Origin of the Survey of India is traced back to Year 1767
  2. It is the oldest scientific department in India and one of the oldest survey establishments in the world
  3. Foundation for the scientific survey and mapping of the country was laid with The Great Trignometric Survey (GTS) in 19th century on this day i.e. 10th April, 1802, by noted surveyors Col. Lambton and Sir George Everest
  4. SoI has surveyed and mapped each and every part of the country and these maps have played an invaluable role in the saga of India’s nation building and were pivotal in the foundation of almost all major developmental activities of modern India


Note the details for Prelims.

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

[pib] NIMCARE World Health Day Summit 2017

  1. The President inaugurated the first NIMCARE World Health Day Summit
  2. The slogan of the first NIMCARE World Health Day Summit is, ‘Unite for a Healthy Mind’

Mental well-being:

  1. He stated that lack of mental well-being contributes significantly to the total disability and morbidity burden across the world
  2. Productivity of human beings, whether in workforce or in family situations, gets reduced significantly if one has any mental disorder
  3. Mental health disorders span a very wide range from simple disorders to very complex situations
  4. It is often seen that simpler disorders, if not managed in time, tend to become more complex putting the patient at higher risk of morbidity

Depression in India:

  1. Depression affects people of all ages from all walks of life and in all countries
  2. As per the National Mental Health Survey 2015-16 conducted by NIMHANS, 5.2% of the Indian adult population suffers from depression in some form or the other
  3. The problem of depression often gets ignored due to lack of understanding on the part of family members

Solutions to such problems:

  1. The social stigma attached to a mental disorder, even if it is easily treatable, is also a major problem in India
  2. However, people have now started talking about this issue leading to greater awareness in this respect
  3. He pointed out that traditional Indian values along with our family system, can be good mechanisms to support those who suffer from mental health disorders
  4. He urged medical practitioners to focus on the social support systems, spiritual beliefs and practices as well as the system of Yoga in their quest for providing well-being to all
  5. The President said that there is a severe shortage of mental health professionals in India and this service gap can be bridged effectively by telemedicine


Remember the title of the Health Summit for Prelims.

Soil Health Management – NMSA, Soil Health Card, etc. Agriculture

[pib] Geo tagging of assets created under Rashtiya Krishi Vikas Yojana

Geo tagging:

  1. It is the process of adding geographical identification like latitude and longitude to various media such as a photo or video
  2. Geo tagging can help users find a wide variety of location-specific information from a device
  3. It provides users the location of the content of a given picture

Geo mapping:

A visual representation of the geographical location of geotagged assets layered on top of map or satellite imagery

Why is Geo tagging important?

  1. Several assets are created in the states under various schemes of the Ministry of Agriculture
  2. Under RKVY also, states have been utilising substantial amount of funds for creation of infrastructure/assets in agriculture and allied sectors such as soil testing labs, pesticide testing labs, bio fertiliser setting units, custom hiring centres,  vaccine production units , veterinary diagnosis labs , dispensaries , milk collection centres, fish production units, godowns, cold storage, shade nets, pandals for vegetable cultivation etc.
  3. Monitoring of such wide spread activities is of paramount importance to states and Government of India to understand flow of funds, inventorising the assets, bringing in transparency, planning of assets for future, and finally informing the farmers about the facilities available
  4. PM on several occasions emphasised on use of technology for reporting of assets created through geo-tagging
  5. Finance Minister also highlighted monitoring of MGNREGA assets through Geotagging in his budget speech
  6. Geo tagging for monitoring of assets is already started in Ministry of Rural Development for MGNREGA and Department of Land Resources for monitoring of watershed activities in the states
  7. Postal department has also geo tagged the post offices using NRSC Bhuvan Platform

Who does it?

  1. National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) , ISRO at Hyderabad
  2. This centre of ISRO has a software platform, Bhuvan that allows users to explore a 2D/3D representation of the surface of the Earth
  3. It also acts as a platform for hosting government data
  4. NRSC is involved in mapping of resources (Postal, GAIL, Forest etc) as well as monitoring of assets created under various schemes of Ministry of water Resources, Ministry of rural development etc.
  5. The assets created under RKVY could be monitored by Geo tagging them using BHUVAN, a geo platform of National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of ISRO, Hyderabad
  6. In future, the location of the infrastructure created and distances from each other could also be utilised for arriving at distribution of assets and optimum number of that particular asset required in a district or state

Proposal for geo tagging of infrastructure /assets created under RKVY:

  1. It is proposed to prepare inventory of the assets created in the last one decade (2007-2017) under RKVY through Geo tagging technique
  2. National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), wing of Indian Space Research Organisation is providing technical support to RKVY division and has come up with a detailed procedure for the same
  3. The institute is involved in preparation of the required app, imparting training to the states etc.
  4. The trained officers at the field level will take the photographs (with details of latitude, longitude, year of creation etc.) of the assets and upload on to the Bhuvan-RKVY platform of NRSC
  5. So far NRSC has developed RKVY app, training manual, imparted training to 17 states regarding use of the app
  6. The organisation will provide technical backstopping till the Geo tagging exercise is completed
  7. Pilot work has been initiated in 4 states of Orissa, Maharashtra, Bihar and Karnataka


An important PIB for Prelims and Mains both. REad a comprehensive coverage on RKVY here.

Foreign Policy Watch: India-Southeast Asia India & Neighbours

[pib] Know about South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program of Asian Development Bank (ADB)

  1. Context: South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program of Asian Development Bank (ADB) is expanding towards the East with Myanmar formally becoming the 7th member of SASEC in 2017
  2. SASEC member countries recognize that most of SASEC’s multimodal connectivity initiatives include Myanmar
  3. Myanmar was accorded an observer status of SASEC in 2013 when ADB’s annual meeting was held in Noida, India

Benefits of including Myanmar:

  1. Road corridors in Myanmar provide the key links between South Asia and Southeast Asia
  2. Ports in Myanmar will provide additional gateways to the landlocked North Eastern region of India
  3. Development of multi-modal connectivity between North Eastern region of India, Bangladesh and Myanmar has the potential of unleashing tremendous economic energy in the sub-region
  4. SASEC’s energy connectivity and energy trade prospects will be enhanced with the inclusion of Myanmar, involving its substantial resources of hydropower and natural gas
  5. Developmental impacts of economic corridor in the SASEC sub-region will be maximized by exploring potential synergies with corridors in Myanmar that are linked to those in other Southeast Asian countries

What is SASEC?

  1. The SASEC program was formed in 2001 in response to the request of the four countries of South Asia – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal – from ADB to assist in facilitating economic cooperation among them
  2. These four countries comprise the South Asia Growth Quadrangle (SAGQ), formed in 1996, as a vehicle for accelerating sustainable economic development through regional cooperation
  3. As a project-based partnership, the SASEC program has been helping realize regional prosperity by enhancing cross-border connectivity, facilitating faster and more efficient trade and promoting cross-border power trade
  4. Maldives and Sri Lanka joined SASEC in 2014, further expanding opportunities for enhancing economic linkages in the sub-region


Make notes on SASEC, its formation and the benefit of including Myanmar in SASEC. Important for both prelims and mains.

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
Foreign Policy Watch: India-SAARC Nations India & Neighbours

[pib] What is South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC)?

  1. South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) is facilitating trade guided by the SASEC Trade Facilitation Strategic Framework (2014–2018) in the sub-region through various projects
  2. The key projects underway in the region include, among others:
    1. formulation and implementation of new Customs laws and regulations;
    2. strengthening of automated Customs systems;
    3. implementing provisions of the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) such as on pre-arrival processing, risk management and post-clearance audit;
    4. developing trade portals for better transparency; and
    5. establishing trusted trader programs, which assure facilitation to those with proven record of compliance
  3. The RKC is the legal instrument of the World Customs Organization (WCO) that aims to simplify and harmonize international customs procedures globally, in order to achieve faster, more predictable and efficient customs clearances
  4. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been partnering with Indian Customs for sharing best practices and technical expertise with other countries under the SASEC umbrella
  5. This form of South-South collaboration will support harmonizing the systems and processes within the sub-region thereby creating a conducive environment for intra-regional trade in SASEC to flourish
  6. The through-transport arrangements being finalized among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) is an initiative that would help in seamless cross-border movement of vehicles/cargo among identified corridors bringing down transaction costs and delays and easing the border congestion
  7. ADB is also supporting India to develop integrated solutions for enhancing their logistics efficiency, covering the infrastructure and connectivity needed, as well as a logistics facilitation model that would enable faster and more efficient vehicle/cargo movement
  8. This project would also cover international cargo, providing options for cargo clearance (e.g., at inland/ dry ports, bonded warehouses, etc.) enabling traders to manage their supply chain efficiently and decongesting ports


An important read for Prelims and Mains.


  • Established in 2001, the SASEC program is a project-based partnership to promote regional prosperity by improving cross-border connectivity, boosting trade among member countries and strengthening regional economic cooperation
  • The Asian Development Bank is the secretariat and lead financier of the program, which to date has supported a total of 46 projects worth about $9.2 billion
  • It has financed in transport, trade facilitation, energy, information and communications technology (ICT) and economic corridor development
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