September 2019
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

[pib] India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP)

Mains Paper 1 : Climatic Change |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : ICAP

Mains level : India's committment to curb global warmings


News

  • India’s Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) has been appreciated internationally by the UN on World Ozone Day.

About ICAP

The India Cooling Action seeks to

  1. Reduce cooling demand across sectors by 20% to 25% by 2037-38,
  2. Reduce refrigerant demand by 25% to 30% by 2037-38,
  3. Reduce cooling energy requirements by 25% to 40% by 2037-38,
  4. Recognize “cooling and related areas” as a thrust area of research under national S&T Programme,
  5. Training and certification of 100,000 servicing sector technicians by 2022-23, synergizing with Skill India Mission.

Why focus on cooling?

  • Cooling requirement is cross sectoral and an essential part for economic growth and is required across different sectors of the economy such as residential and commercial buildings, cold-chain, refrigeration, transport and industries
  • Cooling is also linked to human health and productivity.
  • Linkages of cooling with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are well acknowledged.
  • Its cross-sectoral nature of cooling and its use in development of the economy makes provision for cooling an important developmental necessity.

Benefits of the Plan

  • Thermal comfort for all – provision for cooling for EWS and LIG housing,
  • Sustainable cooling – low GHG emissions related to cooling,
  • Doubling Farmers Income – better cold chain infrastructure – better value of produce to farmers, less wastage of produce,
  • Skilled workforce for better livelihoods and environmental protection,
  • Make in India – domestic manufacturing of air-conditioning and related cooling equipment’s,
  • Robust R&D on alternative cooling technologies – to provide push to innovation in cooling sector.
Climate Change Negotiations – UNFCCC, COP, Other Conventions and Protocols

[pib] Exercise Samudra Laksamana

Mains Paper 3 : Various Security Forces, Agencies & Their Mandates |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Exercise Samudra Laksamana

Mains level : Indian ocean security


News

  • The Indian Navy and Malaysian Navy had recently participated in the bilateral exercise ‘Samudra Laksamana’.

Exercise Samudra Laksamana

  • The exercise includes two phases: A harbour phase wherein professional interactions social engagements, visits by the local populace and various sports events would be conducted.
  • The Sea Phase of the exercise would enable the two navies to further sharpen their skills in order to enhance interoperability between the navies to ensure peaceful and secure seas for all.
  • From the Indian side, Indian Navy Ships Sahyadri and Kiltan will participate in the exercise.
  • The visit of the IN ships would further bolster the strong bonds of friendship between the two countries and contribute to the security and stability in the region.
Indian Navy Updates

[pib] Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR)

Mains Paper 3 : Awareness In The Fields Of It, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-Technology, Bio-Technology |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR)

Mains level : Not Much


News

Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR)

  • International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) is supposed to be a unique identity of a mobile phone device.
  • IMEI number being programmable, some miscreants do reprogram the IMEI number, which results in cloning of IMEI causing multiple phone devices with same IMEI number.
  • As on date, there are many cases of cloned/duplicated IMEI handsets in the network.
  • If such IMEI is blocked, a large number of mobile phones will get blocked being handsets with same IMEI causing inconvenience to many genuine customers.
  • Thus, there is a need to eliminate duplicate/fake IMEI mobile phones from the network.
  • Accordingly, a project called Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) system has been undertaken by the DoT for addressing security, theft and other concerns including reprogramming of mobile handsets.

Objectives of the project

  • Blocking of lost/stolen mobile phones across mobile networks thus discouraging theft of mobile phones
  • Facilitate in tracing of such reported lost/stolen mobile phones
  • Prevention of mobile devices with duplicate and fake IMEIs in the network
  • Curtail the use of counterfeit mobile devices
  • Reduced health risks to the users with the control of use of counterfeit mobile phones
  • Improved QoS and reduced call drops with reduction in use of counterfeit mobile devices
Promoting Science and Technology – Missions,Policies & Schemes

[pib] Global Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Development Hub

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : AMR

Mains level : Not Much


News

  • India has joined the Global Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Research and Development (R&D) Hub as a new member.

Global AMR R&D Hub

  • The Hub was launched in May 2018 in the margins of the 71st session of the World Health Assembly, following a call from G20 Leaders in 2017.
  • It is supported through a Secretariat, established in Berlin and currently financed through grants from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG).
  • It supports global priority setting and evidence-based decision-making on the allocation of resources for AMR R&D through the identification of gaps, overlaps and potential for cross-sectoral collaboration and leveraging in AMR R&D.
  • From this year onward, India will be the member of Board of members of Global AMR R&D Hub.
  • India looks forward to working with all partners to leverage their existing capabilities, resources and collectively focus on new R&D intervention to address drug resistant infections.

Back2Basics

Antimicrobial resistance

  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR or AR) is the ability of a microbe to resist the effects of medication that once could successfully treat the microbe
  • The term antibiotic resistance is a subset of AMR, as it applies only to bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics.
  • Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in response to the use of these medicines.
  • Bacteria, not humans or animals, become antibiotic-resistant.
  • These bacteria may infect humans and animals, and the infections they cause are harder to treat than those caused by non-resistant bacteria.
  • Antibiotic resistance occurs naturally, but misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals is accelerating the process.
  • A growing number of infections – such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhoea, and salmonellosis – are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective.
  • It leads to higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays, and increased mortality.
Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

[pib] National Pension Scheme for Traders and Self Employed Persons

Mains Paper 2 : Laws, Institutions & Bodies Constituted For The Vulnerable Sections |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the scheme

Mains level : Benefits and coverage of Pension Schemes in India



News

  • PM has launched the National Pension Scheme for Traders and Self Employed Persons, a pension scheme for the Vyaparis (shopkeepers/retail traders and self-employed persons),

About the Scheme

  • It is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme for entry age of 18 to 40 years with a provision for minimum assured pension of Rs 3,000/- monthly on attaining the age of 60 years.
  • The eligible Vyaparis can visit their nearest CSCs and get enrolled under the scheme. In addition people can also self-enroll by visiting its portal.
  • At the time of enrollment, the beneficiary is required to have an Aadhaar card and a saving bank/ Jan-dhan Account passbook only.
  • He/ She should be within 18 to 40 years of age group. GSTIN is required only for those with turnover above Rs. 40 lakhs.
  • The enrolment under the scheme is free of cost for the beneficiaries. The enrolment is based upon self-certification.
  • An estimated 3 crore Vyaparis in the country are expected to be benefitted under the pension scheme.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Vyaparis with annual turnover not exceeding Rs 1.5 crore are eligible for the pension.
  • The beneficiary should not be income tax payer and also not a member of EPFO/ESIC/NPS (Govt.)/PM-SYM.
  • The Central Government shall give 50 % share of the monthly contribution and remaining 50% contribution shall be made by the beneficiary.
  • The monthly contribution is kept low to make it affordable. For example, a beneficiary is required to contribute as little as Rs.100/- per month at a median entry age of 29 years.

[pib] Accessibility Standard for TV Programmes for the Hearing Impaired

Mains Paper 2 : Laws, Institutions & Bodies Constituted For The Vulnerable Sections |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Various initiatives for the specially abled


News

  • In order to enhance the accessibility of television programmes for the hearing impaired, Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting announced the implementation of Accessibility Standard for TV Programmes for persons with hearing impairment.

About the Standards

  • The Accessibility will be enhanced through the provision of captioning and Indian Sign Language.
  • All news channels are advised to carry a news bulletin with sign language interpretation at least once per day and all TV channels and service providers will run at least one programme per week with subtitles / captioning.
  • Live news, live and deferred live content/events such as sports, live music shows, award shows, live reality shows, live debates, scripted/ unscripted reality shows, etc. and advertisements/ teleshopping content have however been exempted.
  • The channels could either make their own programme with sign language interpretation, or, if they wished, carry a bulletin prepared by DD News free of cost.
  • This will be implemented from 16th September, 2019. The overall implementation of the Standards will be done in a phase wise manner in the next five years. The policy will be reviewed after two years.

[pib] National Animal Disease Control Programme

Mains Paper 3 : Economics Of Animal-Rearing |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FMD

Mains level : About the initiative


News

  • Prime Minister will be launching National Animal Disease Control Programme for Foot and Mouth Disease and Brucellosis today.

National Animal Disease Control Programme

  • The programme for Foot and Mouth Disease and Brucellosis is a 100% centrally funded programme, with a total outlay of Rs.12,652 crore from 2019 to 2024.
  • It aims to control Foot and Mouth Disease and Brucellosis by 2025 with vaccination and eventual eradication by 2030.

 About FMDs

  • Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a severe, highly contagious viral disease of livestock that has a significant economic impact.
  • The disease affects cattle, swine, sheep, goats and other cloven-hoofed ruminants.
  • Intensively reared animals are more susceptible to the disease than traditional breeds.
  • The disease is rarely fatal in adult animals, but there is often high mortality in young animals due to myocarditis or, when the dam is infected by the disease, lack of milk.
  • FMD is characterised by fever and blister-like sores on the tongue and lips, in the mouth, on the teats and between the hooves.
  • The disease causes severe production losses, and while the majority of affected animals recover, the disease often leaves them weakened and debilitated.
  • FMD is found in all excretions and secretions from infected animals. Notably, these animals breathe out a large amount of aerosolised virus, which can infect other animals via the respiratory or oral routes.
  • The virus may be present in milk and semen for up to 4 days before the animal shows clinical signs of disease.
Animal Husbandry, Dairy & Fisheries Sector – Pashudhan Sanjivani, E- Pashudhan Haat, etc

[pib] 28th Indo–Thai CORPAT

Mains Paper 3 : Various Security Forces, Agencies & Their Mandates |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the Exercise

Mains level : UNCLOS


News

  • 28th edition of India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (Indo-Thai CORPAT) between the Indian Navy (IN) and the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) is being conducted from 05 – 15 September 2019.

About the exercise

  • Indian Navy has been participating in the biannual Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) with the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) since 2003.
  • The Objectives of the Indo-Thai CORPAT are to ensure effective implementation of United Nations Conventions on Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS).
  • UNCLOS specify regulations regarding protection and conservation of natural resources, conservation of marine environment, prevention and suppression of illegal, unregulated fishing activity/ drug trafficking/ piracy, exchange of information in prevention of smuggling, illegal immigration and conduct of Search and Rescue operations at sea.

Back2Basics

UNCLOS

  • The convention is also sometimes referred to as the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty.
  • It defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources.
  • It came into operation and became effective from 16th November 1982.
  • Before the nautical law of UNCLOS came into force, there existed a school of thought known as freedom-of-the-seas.
  • This doctrine had first come into operation during the 17th As per this law, there were no limits or boundaries set to the aspect of marine business and commercial activities.
  • Over-exploitation of the sea’s resources was immensely felt towards the middle of the 20th century and many nations started feeling the need to ensure protection of their marine resources.
  • Features defined by the UNCLOS are as follows:

Indian Ocean Power Competition

[pib] Exercise TSENTR 2019

Mains Paper 3 : Various Security Forces, Agencies & Their Mandates |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Exercise TSENTR 2019

Mains level : Significance of the exercise


News

Exercise TSENTR 2019

  • It is part of the annual series of large scale exercises that form part of the Russian Armed Forces’ annual training cycle.
  • The series rotates through the four main Russian operational strategic commands.
  • These annual exercises have slowly began taking an international character, with Belarus participating in ZAPAD-2017 and China and Mongolia participating in VOSTOK-2018.
  • This year, invitations for participation have been extended to nine other countries.
  • Apart from host Russia, military contingents from China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan will also take part in this mega event.

 Aim of the exercise

  • The exercise aims at evolving drills of the participating armies and practicing them in the fight against the scourge of international terrorism thereby ensuring military security in the strategic central Asian region.
  • It will focus on evaluating the level of troop preparedness, the acquisition of the required skills and raising the level of inter- operability and demonstrate the readiness of the participating armies.
Indian Army Updates

[pib] Declaration of certain individuals as terrorists under new UAPA

Mains Paper 3 : Organized Crime & Terrorism |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : UAPA

Mains level : Impact of the proposed amendments


News

  • Invoking the recent amendments in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, the Central Government has decided to declare the following individuals as terrorists and add their names to Schedule 4 of the Act:
  1. Maulana Masood Azhar : chief, founder and key leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad
  2. Hafiz Muhammad: chief, founder and key leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba/Jamat-ud-Dawa
  3. Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi: chief operation commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba and one of its founder members
  4. Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar: runs an international underworld crime syndicate and is involved in perpetrating acts of terror

Additional Information

  • All of the above are involved in terrorist attacks in India, and have been designated as global terrorists under United Nations.
  • Earlier when terrorist organizations were banned, the individuals associated with it simply changed names and continued to carry out terrorist activities.

Back2Basics

Explained: Amendments to the UAPA

Foreign Policy Watch: Cross-Border Terrorism

[pib] Government to develop a master plan for Tigers at High altitude

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : GTF

Mains level : Conserving Tigers at High altitude


News

  • Union Environment Ministry released a report on Status of Tiger Habitats in high altitude ecosystems.

About the study

  • The study is led by the Global Tiger Forum (GTF), with range country governments of Bhutan, India and Nepal, along with WWF.
  • It has been supported by the Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHPC) of the IUCN.
  • This provides the action strategy for a high altitude tiger master plan, with gainful portfolio for local communities.
  • It ensures centrality of tiger conservation in development, through an effective coordination mechanism, involving stakeholders and line departments operating within the landscape.

Why such report?

  • Various studies reveal that even ecology at high altitude is compatible for the tiger growth.
  • The habitat of tiger of varied, encompassing several biomes and ecological conditions.
  • However, most of the high-altitude habitats, within the range have not been surveyed for an appraisal of tiger presence, prey and habitat status.
  • Tiger habitats in high altitude require protection through sustainable land use, as they are a high value ecosystem with several hydrological and ecological processes providing ecosystem services.
  • Several high-altitude habitats in South Asia have the spatial presence of tiger, active in-situ efforts are called for ensuring their conservation.

Back2Basics

Global Tiger Forum

  • The GTF was formed in 1993 on recommendations from an international symposium on Tiger Conservation at New Delhi, India.
  • The GTF is the only intergovernmental international body established with members from willing countries to embark on a global campaign to protect the Tiger.
  • Utilizing co-operative policies, common approaches, technical expertise, scientific modules and other appropriate programmes and controls the GTF is focused on saving the remaining 5 sub-species of Tigers distributed over 13 Tiger Range countries of the world.
Tiger Conservation Efforts – Project Tiger, etc.

[pib] Project REPLAN

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Project REPLAN

Mains level : Measures to curb use of plastic


News

  • Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) launched a first ever ‘Terracotta Grinder’ in Varanasi.

About the grinder

  • The grinder was designed by KVIC Chairman, and fabricated by a Rajkot-based engineering unit
  • This machine will grind the wasted and broken pottery items for re-using in pottery-making.
  • Earlier the wasted pottery items were grinded in normal khal-musal (mortar and pestle) and its fine powder was mixed with the normal clay.
  • Mixing this powder in stipulated ratio to normal clay makes the resulting pottery items stronger.
  • This Terracotta grinder will make grinding of wasted pottery items faster than the traditional mortar and pestle.
  • It will lessen the cost of production, and will also help in solving the problem of shortage of clays.
  • By mixing 20 percent of this wasted terracotta powder, the potter will make a saving of at least Rs 520.  This will also create more job opportunities in the villages.

Project REPLAN (REducing PLAstic in Nature)

  • KVIC, as part of its commitment to Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, had started manufacturing of plastic-mixed handmade paper under its project REPLAN (REducing PLAstic in Nature).
  • In this project, the waste plastic is collected, cleaned, chopped, beaten and treated for softness.
  • After that, it is mixed with the paper raw material i.e. cotton rags pulp in a ratio of 80 % (pulp) and 20% (plastic waste).
  • The institute has sold over six lakh handmade plastic mixed carry bags since September 2018.
Waste Management – SWM Rules, EWM Rules, etc

[pib] International Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

Mains Paper 3 : Disaster Management |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : CDRI

Mains level : Need for Disaster resilient infrastructure


News

  • The Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval for the Establishment of an International Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) along with its supporting Secretariat Office in New Delhi.

International Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)

  • The CDRI is proposed to be launched at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, USA on 23rdSeptember 2019.
  • Organized by the UN Secretary General, this event will bring together the largest number of Heads of States to generate commitments for combating the effects of climate change and resulting disasters.

Components of CDRI

  • Establishment of the International ‘C.D.R.I.’ along with its supporting Secretariat office in New Delhi;
  • Establishment of the Secretariat of the CDRI as a Society under The Societies Registration Act,1860 in New Delhi as ‘CDRI Society’ or similar name as per availability.
  • The memorandum of association and by-laws of the ‘CDRI Society’ will be prepared and finalized by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Major Impact

  • The CDRI will serve as a platform where knowledge is generated and exchanged on different aspects of disaster and climate resilience of infrastructure.
  • It will bring together technical expertise from a multitude of stakeholders.
  • In doing so, it will create a mechanism to assist countries to upgrade their capacities and practices, with regard to infrastructure development in accordance with their risk context and economic needs.
  • Economically weaker sections, the most vulnerable to the impacts of disasters will be benefitted from the improvement of knowledge and practice in creating disaster resilient infrastructure.
  • In India, the north-eastern and Himalayan regions are prone to earthquakes, coastal areas to cyclones and tsunamis and central peninsular region to droughts.
  • It will also benefit all areas with high disaster risk.
Disasters and Disaster Management – Sendai Framework, Floods, Cyclones, etc.

[pib] Angikaar Campaign

Mains Paper 3 : Disaster Management |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Vulnerability Atlas of India, About the campaign

Mains level : Disaster management



News

  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) launched “Angikaar” a campaign for change management and e-Course on Vulnerability Atlas of India.

Angikaar Campaign

  • The e-course is offered by the MoHUA in collaboration of School of Planning & Architecture (SPA), New Delhi and Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC).
  • It is a unique course that offers awareness and understanding about natural hazards, helps identify regions with high vulnerability with respect to various hazards (earthquakes, cyclones, landslides, floods, etc.) and specifies district-wise level of damage risks to the existing housing stock.
  • The e-course will be a tool for effective & efficient disaster mitigation & management in the field of Architecture, Civil Engineering, Urban & Regional Planning, Housing & Infrastructure Planning etc.
  • Angikaar aims for social behaviour change, focusing on issues such as water & energy conservation, waste management, health, tree plantation, sanitation and hygiene for beneficiaries of completed houses under PMAY (U).
  • For this purpose, the campaign will converge with schemes and Missions of other Ministries dealing with these subjects.
  • The convergence would especially focus on Ujjwala for gas connection and Ayushman Bharat for health insurance to the beneficiaries of PMAY (U).

Vulnerability Atlas of India

  • PM has released the Third Edition of Vulnerability Atlas of India March, 2019.
  • The third edition of Atlas brought out by BMTPC is collation of the existing hazard scenario for the entire country and presents the digitized State/UT-wise Hazard Maps with respect to Earthquakes, Winds & Floods for district-wise identification of vulnerable areas.
  • This edition contains additional digitized maps for Thunderstorms, Cyclones and Landslides.
  • The Atlas also presents the district-wise Housing Vulnerability Risk Tables based on wall types and roof types as per 2011 Census Housing data.
  • The Atlas is a useful tool not only for public but also for urban managers, State & National Authorities dealing with disaster mitigation and management.
Disasters and Disaster Management – Sendai Framework, Floods, Cyclones, etc.

[pib] Portal for Affordable Credit and Interest Subvention Access (PAiSA)

Mains Paper 1 : Urbanization, Their Problems & Remedies |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SKOCH Award, PAiSA Portal, DAY NULM

Mains level : Impact of DAY-NULM



News

  • Deendayan Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM), a flagship mission under the MoHUA has been conferred the prestigious SKOCH Governance Gold Award for its PAiSA portal.

About PAiSA Portal

  • PAiSA stands for Portal for Affordable Credit and Interest Subvention Access.
  • Launched in November 2018, PAiSA is a centralized IT platform which simplifies and streamlines release of interest subvention under the DAY-NULM.
  • It has been designed and developed through the Allahabad Bank.

What it offers?

  • It offers end to end online solution for processing, payment, monitoring and tracking of interest subvention claims from banks on a monthly basis.
  • Claims for subvention are uploaded by banks through their CBS (Core Banking Solution) in respect of the beneficiaries of the Self Employment Programme, which are verified and approved by the ULB and State concerned.
  • The approved claim amount gets credited directly to the beneficiary’s loan account through DBT mode.
  • SMS is also sent to the beneficiary’s mobile number intimating the credit of subvention amount.

About SKOCH Award

  • SKOCH Award, instituted in 2003, is the highest civilian honour in the country conferred by an independent organisation.
  • It recognizes people, projects and institutions that go the extra mile to make India a better nation.
  • SKOCH Award covers the best of efforts in the area of digital, financial and social inclusion.

Back2Basics

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Antyodaya Yojana

Urban Transformation – Smart Cities, AMRUT, etc.

REDD+ Himalayan programme extended till 2020

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : REDD+

Mains level : State of afforestation in India



News

  • The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programme being carried out in the Himalayan states jointly by Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has been extended till July 2020.

About the Programme

  • The Himalaya programme was launched in January 2016 in Mizoram to address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in India’s Himalayan states.
  • The initiative was meant to last only till 2018 is extended till July 2020 keeping in view of the contributions made by the agencies.
  • The project is supported by the environment, nature conservation and nuclear safety ministry of Germany, was implemented in four countries of the Hindu Kush Himalayan region— Bhutan, India, Myanmar and Nepal.

REDD+

  • REDD+ is a mechanism developed by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • It creates a financial value for the carbon stored in forests by offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development.
  • Developing countries would receive results-based payments for results-based actions.
  • REDD+ goes beyond simply deforestation and forest degradation and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
  • It aims to create incentives for communities so that they stop forest degrading practices.
  • More than 300 REDD+ initiatives have taken place since 2006.
  • The mechanism is enshrined in the 2015 Paris Agreement and its implementation transitions from smaller, isolated projects to larger, jurisdictional programmes with support from bilateral and multilateral agencies.
Forest Conservation Efforts – NFP, Western Ghats, etc.

[pib] Integrated online junction for School Education: ‘Shagun’

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Shagun Portal

Mains level : Various digital initiatives in HRD sector



News

  • Union HRD Ministry has launched one of world’s largest Integrated Online Junction for – School Education ‘Shagun’.
  • It also announced the setting up of the Integrated National School Education Treasury (INSET).

Shagun

  • School Education Shagun is an over-arching initiative to improve school education system by creating a junction for all online portals and websites relating to various activities of the Department of School Education and Literacy.
  • The word Shagun is coined from two different words- ‘Shala’ meaning Schools and ‘Gunvatta’ meaning Quality.
  • This online junction of different websites and portals into a single platform is aimed enhance the accessibility of information relating to schools and to ensure a holistic approach to transform education sector.

Integrated National School Education Treasury (INSET)

  • INSET envisages a fully integrated, instantly accessible and seamless information network for all parameters relating to the students, teachers, and schools in the country.
  • The main focus will be on the following areas:
  1. Reinforcing and cleaning the data of the Integrated Online Junction through feedback from Stakeholders
  2. Ensuring full inter-operability among the websites, portals and applications which are already hosted in the junction
  3. Creating high quality e-contents, including quizzes and puzzles to enhance learning and also for teachers in aiding  classroom transactions
  4. Using AI and deep machine learning in a variety of ways to enhance the quality of school education including for designing evidence based inventions.
Primary and Secondary Education – RTE, Education Policy, SEQI, RMSA, Committee Reports, etc.

[pib] Cabinet approves proposal for Review of FDI policy on various sectors

Mains Paper 3 : Effects Of Liberalization On The Economy, Changes In Industrial Policy and their effects on Industrial Growth |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FDI

Mains level : Benefits of easing FDI norms


News

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for Review of Foreign Direct Investment on various sectors.

What is FDI?

  • Foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment made by a firm or individual in one country into business interests located in another country.
  • Generally, FDI takes place when an investor establishes foreign business operations or acquires foreign business assets, including establishing ownership or controlling interest in a foreign company.
  • FDI are distinguished from portfolio investments in which an investor merely purchases equities of foreign-based companies.

Major decisions on FDI by the Cabinet

I. 100% FDI under automatic route in coal mining and associated infrastructure

  • It will attract international players to create an efficient and competitive coal market.

II. 100% FDI in contract manufacturing under automatic route

  • Manufacturing through contract contributes equally to the objective of Make in India.
  • FDI now being permitted under automatic route in contract manufacturing will be a big boost to Manufacturing sector in India.

III. Relaxing FDI rules for single brand retail; expands definition of 30% domestic sourcing

  • It will lead to greater flexibility and ease of operations for SBRT entities, besides creating a level playing field for companies with higher exports in a base year.

IV. Online retailing under single-brand retail; relaxing rule of mandatory brick-and-mortar store

  • Permitting online sales prior to opening of brick and mortar stores brings policy in sync with current market practices.
  • Online sales will also lead to creation of jobs in logistics, digital payments, customer care, training and product skilling.

Benefits from FDI Policy Reform

  • The above amendments to the FDI Policy are meant to liberalize and simplify the FDI policy to provide ease of doing business in the country, leading to larger FDI inflows and thereby contributing to growth of investment, income and employment.
  • It will result in making India a more attractive FDI destination, leading to benefits of increased investments, employment and growth.
FDI in Indian economy

[pib] Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID)

Mains Paper 2 : E-Governance |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : BSID

Mains level : Utility of BSID


News

  • India has become the first country in the world to issue Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID), capturing the facial bio-metric data of seafarers.

About BSID

  • In India the BSID project has been taken up in collaboration with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Mumbai.
  • The Government notified the Merchant Shipping (Seafarers Bio-metric Identification Document) Rules in 2016.
  • Every Indian seafarer who possesses a valid Continuous Discharge Certificate issued by the Govt. of India will be eligible for issue of a BSID.
  • Nine data collection centers have been setup  at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Noida, Goa, New Mangalore, Kochi, Vizag & Kandla for issue of BSID.

Working of BSID

  • It introduces modern security features.  It will have a biometric chip embedded in it.
  • The security of the BSID card is ensured at various levels and through different methods.
  • At the time of data capturing the live face is cross matched through passport photo using a face matching software.
  • The card has two optical security features- Micro prints/micro texts and Unique Guilloche pattern.
  • A software has been developed for capturing the facial biometrics and its authentication through the public key infrastructure.
  • A record of each SID issued will be maintained in a national database and its related information will be internationally accessible.

Benefits

  • The BSID is a marked improvement over the two finger or iris based bio-metric data, with modern security features.
  • It will make the identification of the SID holder more reliable and efficient, while protecting their dignity and privacy.
  • It will give a foolproof identification to our seafarers which will facilitate their movement, provide ease of getting jobs and help in identifying them from any location in the world.
  • The new card is in confirmation of the Convention No. 185 of the International Labour Organisation on BSID. (India ratified the Convention in October 2015.)
Digital India Initiatives

[pib] Project SURE

Mains Paper 3 : Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways Etc. |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Project SURE

Mains level : Not Much



News

  • The Union Minister for Textiles launched Project SURE, a move towards sustainable fashion.

Project SURE

  • The SURE project is a commitment by India’s apparel industry to set a sustainable pathway for the Indian fashion industry.
  • SURE stands for ‘Sustainable Resolution’ – a firm commitment from the industry to move towards fashion that contributes to a clean environment.
  • The project has been launched by the Minister, along with Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI); United Nations in India; and IMG Reliance, the organizers of Lakme Fashion Week.
  • It will be the first holistic effort by the apparel industry towards gradually introducing a broader framework for establishing critical sustainability goals for the industry.
  • This framework would help the industry reduce its carbon emissions, increase resource efficiency, tackle waste and water management, and create positive social impact to achieve long-term sustainability targets.

Five-point Sustainable Resolution

  • Develop a complete understanding of the environmental impact of the garments being currently produced by our brand.
  • Develop a sustainable sourcing policy for consistently prioritizing and utilizing certified raw materials that have a positive impact on the environment.
  • Make the right decisions about how, where, and what we source across the value chain by selecting sustainable and renewable materials and processes and ensuring their traceability.
  • Communicate our sustainability initiatives effectively to consumers and media through our online and physical stores, product tags/labeling, social media, advertising campaigns and events.
  • Through these actions, shift a significant percentage of our supply chain to a sustainable chain by the year 2025, addressing critical global issues such as climate change, contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and building a world that is safe for the future generations, as an acceptance of a responsibility we all share.
Textile Sector – Cotton, Jute, Wool, Silk, Handloom, etc.