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“State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World” Report

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |


News

  • The “State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World” was recently released.

About the report

  • It is published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other UN agencies including the WHO.
  • The report estimated that 820 million people worldwide did not have enough to eat in 2018, up from 811 million in the previous year.
  • At the same time, the number of overweight individuals and obesity continue to increase in all regions.

Highlights of the report

  • The number of people going hungry has risen for the third year running to more than 820 million. After decades of decline, food insecurity began to increase in 2015.
  • Africa and Asia account for more than nine out of ten of the world’s stunted children, at 39.5% and 54.9% respectively.
  • However at the same time, obesity and excess weight are both on the rise in all regions, with school-age children and adults affected particularly.

India scenario

  • The number of obese adults in India has risen by a fourth in four years, from 24.1 million in 2012 to 32.8 million in 2016.
  • While India’s undernourished population has dropped by roughly the same fraction in 12 years, from 253.9 million in 2004-06 to 194.4 million in 2016-18.

Compared with China

  • The report has a section on economic growth in China and India, and its effect on poverty.
  • Between 1990 and 2017, the two countries had an average GDP per capita growth rate of 8.6 per cent and 4.5 per cent respectively, the report said, citing World Bank.
  • In both countries, the increase in GDP per capita has been accompanied by poverty reduction.
Mother and Child Health – Immunization Program, BPBB, PMJSY, PMMSY, etc.

[pib] Seva Bhoj Yojana

Mains Paper 2 : Government Scheme/Policies |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Seva Bhoj Yojana

Mains level : Particulars of the scheme



News

Seva Bhoj Yojna

  • It is a Central Sector Scheme for providing reimbursement of CGST and Central Government’s share of IGST paid by charitable/religious institutions on purchase of specific raw food items for serving free food to public / devotees.
  • The specific raw food items covered under the Scheme are (i) Ghee (ii) Edible Oil (iii) Sugar/Burra/Jaggery (iv) Rice (v) Atta/Maida/Rava/Flour and (vi) Pulses.
  • Under the scheme the financial assistance will be provided for free ‘prasad’ or free food or free ‘langar’ / ‘bhandara’ (community kitchen) offered by charitable/religious institutions like Gurudwara, Temples, Dharmik Ashram, Mosques, Dargah, Church, Math, Monasteries etc.

Criteria for financial assistance

  • The applicant must be involved in charitable/religious activities by way of free and philanthropic distribution of food/prasad/langar(Community Kitchen)/ bhandara free of cost and without discrimination.
  • The institutions/organizations should have been distributing free food, langar and prasad to atleast 5000 persons in a calendar month can apply under the scheme.
  • Financial Assistance under the scheme shall be given only to those institutions which are not in receipt of any Financial Assistance from the Central/State Government for the purpose of distributing free food.
  • The Institution/Organization blacklisted under the provisions of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) or under the provisions of any Act/Rules of the Central/State shall not be eligible for financial assistance under the scheme.
Goods and Services Tax (GST)

[pib] Museum Grant Scheme

Mains Paper 1 : Arts & Culture |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Museum Grant Scheme

Mains level : Not Much


News

Museum Grant Scheme

  • Ministry of Culture provides financial assistance under the Scheme to the State Governments and Societies, Autonomous bodies, Local Bodies and Trusts registered under the Societies Act, for setting up new Museums.
  • It aims to strengthen and modernize the existing museums at the Regional, State and District level.

Funding pattern

  • The maximum amount of financial assistance which may be given would be 80% of the total project cost.
  • In case of museums in North-Eastern region including Sikkim the financial assistance would be 90% of the total project cost.
  • The remaining amount i.e. 20% of the project cost (in case of North Eastern region, 10% of the project cost), will have to be borne by the organization.
  • The organization may arrange the balance amount either from its own resources or may receive assistance through Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • There is no condition in the scheme for receiving assistance through Corporate Social Responsibility.
Historical and Archaeological Findings in News

Model Tenancy Act

Mains Paper 2 : Schemes For Vulnerable Sections |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Features of act


CONTEXT

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has drafted a ‘Model Tenancy Act’, 2019 which envisages to balance the interest and rights of both the owner and tenant and to create an accountable and transparent ecosystem for renting the premises in disciplinedand efficient manner.

Benefits

  • It will enable creation of adequate rental housing stock for various income segmentsof society including migrants, formal and informal sector workers, professionals, students etc. and increase access to quality rented accommodation, enable gradual formalization of rental housing market.
  • It will help overhaul the legal framework vis-à-vis rental housing across the country.
  • It is also expected to give a fillip to private participation in rental housing for addressing the huge housing shortage across the country.
  •  The Draft MTA will also promote growth of rental housing and investment in the sector and promote entrepreneurial opportunities and innovative mechanism of sharing of space.

Features of Act

  •   MTA stipulates a robust grievance redressal mechanism comprising of Rent Authority, Rent Court and Rent Tribunal.
  •   It has been proposed to cap the security deposit equal to a maximum of two month’s rent in case of residential properties and, minimum of one month’s rent in case of non-residential property.
  •   After coming into force of this Act, no person shall let or take on rent any premises except by an agreement in writing.
  •    The Model Act provides for its applicability for the whole of the State i.e. urban as well as rural areas in the State.
  •    Within two months of executing rental agreement both landowner and tenant are required to intimate to the Rent Authority about the agreement and within seven days a unique identification number will be issued by the Rent Authority to the both the parties.
  •    A digital platform will be set up in the local vernacular language of the State for submitting tenancy agreement and other documents.
  •  Once finalized the Model Act will be shared with the States/Union Territory (UTs) for adoption.

 Need for such an act

  • As per Census 2011, nearly 1.1 crore houses were lying vacant in the country and making these houses available on rent will complement the vision of ‘Housing for All’ by 2022.
  • The existing rent control laws are restricting the growth of rental housing and discourage the owners from renting out their vacant houses due to fear of repossession.
  • One of the potential measures to unlock the vacant house is to bringing transparency and accountability in the existing system of renting of premises and to balance the interests of both the property owner and tenant in a judicious manner.
Housing for all – PMAY, etc.

Study in India’ programme

Mains :

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Study India


CONTEXT

To facilitate Internationalization of Higher Education in India, a Programme viz. ‘Study in India’ is under implementation.

 Objectives

  • To make India a preferred education destination/hub for foreign students;
  • Improve the soft power of India with focus on the neighbouring countries
  • Use it as a tool in diplomacy;
  • To rapidly increase the inflow of inbound International Students in India through systematic brand-building,
  • Marketing, social media and digital marketing campaigns;
  • To increase India’s market share of global education exports;
  • Improvement in overall quality of higher education;
  • To reduce the export-import imbalance in the number of international students;
  • Growth in India’s global market share of International students;
  • Increase in global ranking of India etc.

Special Focus

  • The programme focuses on attracting International students from select 30 plus countries across South-East Asia, Middle East and Africa.
  • The programme envisages participation of select reputed Indian institutes/universities by way of offering seats for the International students at affordable rates, along with fee waivers to meritorious foreign students ranging from 100% to 25%.
  • A centralised admission web-portal (https://studyinindia.gov.in) acts as a single window for the admission of foreign students.

Conclusion

  • With the increase in number of foreign students, the global ranking of the Indian Higher Educational institutions will improve.
  • The domestic students shall be exposed to a more diverse peer group and also get greater International exposure culminating in enhanced interest of Indian students to study in the country.
  • This information was given by the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.
Human Development Report by UNDP

Single Tribunal for hear water disputes

Mains Paper 2 : Statutory, Regulatory & Various Quasi-Judicial Bodies |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Tribunals

Mains level : Interstate water disputes


News

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019

  • The Bill seeks to amend the Inter State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 to streamline the adjudication of inter-state river water disputes.
  • A key feature of the bill is the constitution of a single tribunal with different Benches, and the setting of strict timelines for adjudication.
  • It will help adjudicate disputes relating to waters of inter-State rivers and river valleys.
  • A version of this bill was first introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2017 but subsequently lapsed.

Why need a single tribunal?

  • Any State Government may request under the 1956 Act is for any water dispute on the inter-State rivers.
  • When the Central government is of the opinion that the dispute cannot be settled by negotiations it constitutes a Water Disputes Tribunal for the adjudication.
  • There are about a dozen tribunals that now exist to resolve disputes among States on sharing water from rivers common to them.
  • The standalone tribunal so envisaged will have a permanent establishment and permanent office space and infrastructure so as to obviate with the need to set up a separate Tribunal for each water dispute, a time consuming process.

Dispute Resolution Committee

  • The Bill also proposes a Dispute Resolution Committee set up by the Central Government for amicably resolving inter-State water disputes within 18 months.
  • Any dispute that cannot be settled by negotiations would be referred to the tribunal for its adjudication.
  • The dispute so referred to the tribunal shall be assigned by the chairperson of the tribunal to a Bench of the tribunal for adjudication.
  • The Bill can also affect the composition of the members of various tribunals, and has a provision to have a technical expert as the head of the tribunal.
  • Currently all tribunals are staffed by members of the judiciary, nominated by the Chief Justice.
Water Management – Institutional Reforms, Conservation Efforts, etc.

[pib] Death Penalty provisions for Sexual offences against Children

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

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : POCSO Act, Definition of Child

Mains level : Preventing child abuse


News

Stringent punishments under POCSO Act

  • In a historic decision to protect the children from Sexual offences, the Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi has approved the Amendments in the Protection of Children from Sexual   Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
  • It will make punishment more stringent for committing sexual crimes against children including death penalty.
  • The amendments also provide for levy of fines and imprisonment to curb child pornography.

Other amendments

  • An amendment has also been approved to Section 4 of the POCSO Act so as to increase the minimum punishment to ten years, from the existing seven years.
  • For ‘penetrative sexual assault’ of 16 to 17 year olds and if the child is below the age of 16 years the punishment extends to a minimum of 20 years.
  • The maximum term of life imprisonment in such cases has been retained.
  • Moreover, the definition of ‘sexual assault’ has now been expanded to include administration of hormones to children to make them appear more sexually mature for the sake of commercial sexual exploitation.

Why such move?

  • As per the last available data from the National Crime Records Bureau 2016 of child rape cases came up before the courts under the POCSO Act read with Indian Penal Code Section 376.
  • Less than three per cent cases ended in convictions, pointing to the need for better access to justice for all, and not just more stringent conviction in a small percentage of cases.

Impact

  • The amendment is expected to discourage the trend of child sexual abuse by acting as a deterrent due to strong penal provisions incorporated in the Act.
  • It intends to protect the interest of vulnerable children in times of distress and ensures their safety and dignity.
  • The amendment is aimed to establish clarity regarding the aspects of child abuse and punishment thereof.

About POCSO Act

  • The POCSO Act, 2012 was enacted to Protect the Children from Offences of Sexual Assault, Sexual harassment and pornography with due regard for safeguarding the interest and well-being of children.
  • The Act defines a child as any person below eighteen years of age, and regards the best interests and welfare of the child as matter of paramount importance at every stage.
  • The act aims to ensure the healthy physical, emotional, intellectual and social development of the child.
  • The act is gender neutral.
Child Rights – POSCO, Child Labour Laws, NAPC, etc.

[pib] Witness Protection Scheme

Mains Paper 2 : Governance, Transparency & Accountability, Citizens Charters |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Mandate of the scheme


News

  • Minister of State for Home Affairs informed about the scheme in a written reply to question in the Rajya Sabha.

Witness Protection Scheme

  • Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 provides for protection of witnesses based on the threat assessment and protection measures.
  • It includes protection/change of identity of witnesses, their relocation, installation of security devices at the residence of witnesses, usage of specially designed Court rooms, etc.
  • As per Article 141/142 of the Constitution, the Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 endorsed in the said Judgment of the Supreme Court is binding on all Courts within the territory of India and enforceable in all States and Union Territories.

Other Provisions of the scheme

  1. Witness Protection Fund means the fund created for bearing the expenses incurred during the implementation of Witness Protection Order passed by the Competent Authority under this scheme;
  2. Witness Protection Order means an order passed by the Competent  Authority detailing the steps to be taken for ensuring the safety of witness from threats to his or his family member’s life, reputation or property.  *It also includes interim order, if any passed, during the pendency of Witness Protection Application;
  3. Witness Protection Cell means a dedicated Cell of State/UT Police or Central Police Agencies assigned the duty to implement the witness protection order. It shall be responsible for the security as per witness protection order.

Proposed Rights to be entitled to the Witness

  • Right to give evidence anonymously
  • Right to protection from intimidation and harm
  • Right to be treated with dignity and compassion and respect of privacy
  • Right to information of the status of the investigation and prosecution of the crime
  • Right to secure waiting place while at Court proceedings
  • Right to transportation and lodging arrangements

About Witness Protection Fund

  • The Scheme provides for a State Witness Protection Fund for meeting the expenses of the scheme.
  • This fund shall be operated by the Department/Ministry of Home under State/UT Government and shall comprise of the following:
  1. Budgetary  allocation  made  in  the  Annual  Budget  by  the State Government;
  2. Receipt of amount of costs imposed/ ordered to be deposited by the courts/tribunals in the Witness Protection Fund;
  3. Donations/ contributions from Philanthropist/ Charitable Institutions/ Organizations   and individuals permitted by the Government.
  4. Funds contributed under Corporate Social Responsibility.
Police Reforms – SC directives, NPC, other committees reports

[pib] Indian Nuclear Insurance Pool

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

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nuclear Insurance Pool

Mains level : Protective measures against nuclear hazards


News

  • The Government has created an Indian Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP) in June 2015, a union minister informed in Lok Sabha.

Indian Nuclear Insurance Pool

  • M/s. General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC-Re), along with several other Indian Insurance Companies, have launched the Indian Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP) with a capacity of ₹1500 crore.
  • This aims to provide insurance to cover the liability against accidents as prescribed under Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CLND) Act, 2010.
  • This has addressed issues related to Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CLND) Act and had facilitated commencement of work in setting up new nuclear power projects.

Back2Basics

Nuclear Power in India

  • The present nuclear power capacity is 6780 MW comprising of 22 reactors.
  • There are 9 reactors with a capacity of 6700 MW (including 500 MW PFBR being implemented by BHAVINI) under construction.
  • The Government in 2017 has also accorded administrative approval and financial sanction of 12 nuclear power plants totaling to a capacity of 9000 MW.
  • On their progressive completion, the installed nuclear capacity is expected to reach 8180 MW by 2020 and 22480 MW by 2031.
Nuclear Energy

[pib] Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP)

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

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : MKSP

Mains level : Feminization of Agriculture in India


News

  • As per Agriculture Census conducted at an interval of every five years by the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, the percentage of female operational holdings in the country have increased from 12.78 percent during 2010-11 to 13.78 percent during 2015-16.

Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP)

  • In line with the provisions of National Policy for Farmers (NPF) (2007), Ministry of Rural Development is already implementing a programme exclusively for women farmers namely MKSP.
  • It is a sub-component of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM).
  • The primary objective of MKSP is to empower women by enhancing their participation in agriculture and to create sustainable livelihood opportunities for them.
  • Funding support to the tune of up to 60% (90% for North Eastern States) for such projects is provided by the Government of India.

Feminization of Agriculture in India

  • Rural women form the most productive work force in the economy of majority of the developing nations including India.
  • More than 80% of rural women are engaged in agriculture activities for their livelihoods.
  • About 20 per cent of farm livelihoods are female headed due to widowhood, desertion, or male emigration.
  • Agriculture support system in India strengthens the exclusion of women from their entitlements as agriculture workers and cultivators.
  • Most of the women-headed households are not able to access extension services, farmers support institutions and production assets like seed, water, credit, subsidy etc.
  • As agricultural workers, women are paid lower wage than men.
  • MKSP recognizes the identity of “Mahila” as “Kisan” and strives to build the capacity of women in the domain of agro-ecologically sustainable practices.
Women empowerment issues: Jobs,Reservation and education

[pib] Coffee Table Book for partnership between India and the UN World Food Programme

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : World Food Programme, Coffee Table Book

Mains level : Not Much


News

  • Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has launched a Coffee Table Book today to commemorate five decades of partnership between the Ministry and the UN World Food Programme towards addressing food and nutritional security in India.

Coffee Table Book

  • The Book showcases key milestones achieved by the Government of India in its efforts to make the nation free from hunger and malnutrition and WFP’s role in this endeavour.
  • Some of the major turning points in India’s journey towards food and nutrition security captured in the book include the Green Revolution, the White revolution, improvements in livestock and dairy development and digitization of food safety nets.

About World Food Programme

  • The World Food Programme (WFP) is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations.
  • It is the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security.
  • According to the WFP, it provides food assistance to an average of 91.4 million people in 83 countries each year.
  • From its headquarters in Rome and from more than 80 country offices around the world, the WFP works to help people who cannot produce or obtain enough food for themselves and their families.
  • It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and part of its executive committee.
Hunger and Nutrition Issues – GHI, GNI, etc.

[pib] Parliament passes the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill, 2019

Mains Paper 2 : Government Scheme/Policies |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the bill, President's assent

Mains level : Particulars of the Bill


News

  • The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill, 2019 has been passed by both the houses of Parliament.
  • The Bill will now be sent for President’s assent.

About the Bill

  • The Bill replaces the “The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Ordinance, 2019”.
  • The new bill considers the University/College as one unit restoring earlier reservation system based on 200 point roster.
  • No longer will ‘Department/Subject’ be treated as one unit.
  • This decision will:
  1. Allow up of more than 7000 existing vacancies in Central Educational Institutions and pave the way for filling up 3 lakh vacancies in the Government (Central and State) Educational institutions by direct recruitment in Teacher’s Cadre.
  2. Ensure compliance of the Constitutional Provisions of Articles 14, 16 and 21.
  3. Ensure full representation of the Scheduled Castes/ the Scheduled Tribes, the socially and Educationally Backward Classes and Economically Weaker Sections in direct recruitment in teachers’ cadres.
  • This decision is also expected to improve the teaching standards in the higher educational institutions by attracting all eligible talented candidates belonging SCs/STs/SEBCs/EWS.
  • It will also ensure providing of 10% reservation to EWS.
Higher Education – RUSA, NIRF, HEFA, etc.

[pib] Kisan Credit Cards for Fishermen

Mains Paper 3 : Inclusive Growth & Issues |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Kisan Credit Card Scheme

Mains level : Easy credit facilities for Farmers


News

  • The GoI has extended the facility of Kisan Credit Card (KCC) to fisheries and animal husbandry farmers to help them meet their working capital needs.

KCC facility for Fishermen

  • The KCC facility will help fisheries and animal husbandry farmers to meet their short term credit requirements of rearing of animals, poultry birds, fish, shrimp, other aquatic organisms and capture of fish.
  • Under this, for the existing KCC holders the credit limit is Rs. 3 lakh including animal husbandry and fisheries activities whereas the KCC holders for animal husbandry and fisheries have the credit limit of Rs. 2 lakh.
  • It would help them to meet their working capital requirements for animal husbandry and fisheries activities.
  • Under KCC facility, Interest subvention is available for animal husbandry and fisheries farmers @ 2% per annum at the time of disbursal of loan and additional interest subvention @ 3 % per annum in case of prompt repayment as Prompt Repayment Incentive.

Back2Basics

Kisan Credit Card Scheme

  • The Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme is a credit scheme introduced in August 1998 by Indian banks.
  • This model scheme was prepared by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) on the recommendations of RV Gupta to provide term loans and agricultural needs.
  • Its objective is to meet the comprehensive credit requirements of the agriculture sector by giving financial support to farmers.
  • Participating institutions include all commercial banks, Regional Rural Banks, and state co-operative banks.
  • The scheme has short term credit limits for crops, and term loans.
  • Kisan Credit Card (KCC) offering credit to the farmers in two types viz, 1. Cash Credit 2. Term Credit ( for allied activities such as pump sets, land development, plantation, drip irrigation).

For additional reading, navigate to the page:

http://vikaspedia.in/agriculture/agri-credit/kisan-credit-card-scheme

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

[pib] Ramayana Circuit

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

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Ramayana Circuit, Swadesh Darshan Scheme

Mains level : Development of Tourism


News

Ramayana Circuit

  • Ramayana Circuit is one of the fifteen thematic circuits identified for development under the Swadesh Darshan scheme of Ministry of Tourism.
  • The destinations under the circuit will be developed by bridging infrastructural gaps like provision of drinking water, accommodation facilities, etc.
  • Then the 15 places will be connected to form a circuit.
  • The scheme will be a joint effort of the states and the central government. It has a larger aim of providing job opportunities to local artisans, as it promotes local art and craft.

Destinations under Ramayana Circuit

The Ministry has initially identified fifteen destinations for development under the Circuit theme namely:

  • Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringverpur & Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh)
  • Sitamarhi, Buxar & Darbhanga (Bihar)
  • Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh)
  • Mahendragiri (Odisha)
  • Jagdalpur (Chattisgarh)
  • Nashik & Nagpur (Maharashtra)
  • Bhadrachalam (Telangana)
  • Hampi (Karnataka)
  • Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu).

Other such Tourism Circuits

  • Krishna Circuit, Buddhist Circuit and Spiritual Circuit are three of the other 12 circuits under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, which seeks to boost religious tourism in India.
  • As of now, 10 destinations have been finalised under the Krishna Circuit, which will pertain to his journey in India.
  • The 9 remaining circuits, though not for religious tourism, aim to connect all major cultural heritage spots and other touristy spots of India, making travel-planning easier.
  • A similar scheme, the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD), with the same objectives as the Swadesh Darshan scheme, aims to develop 13 pilgrimage cities across India.
Tourism Sector

[pib] National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP)

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

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FAME India Scheme

Mains level : Early adoption of EVs in India


News

NEMMP 2020

  • The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 is a National Mission document providing the vision and the roadmap for the faster adoption of electric vehicles and their manufacturing in the country.
  • This plan has been designed to enhance national fuel security, to provide affordable and environmentally friendly transportation and to enable the Indian automotive industry to achieve global manufacturing leadership.

Other initiatives

  • As part of the NEMMP 2020, Department of Heavy Industry formulated FAME India Scheme in the year 2015.
  • It was aimed to promote manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicle technology and to ensure sustainable growth of the same.

FAME I

  • In this phase, market creation through demand incentives was aimed at incentivizing all vehicle segments i.e. 2-Wheelers, 3-Wheelers Auto, Passenger 4-Wheeler vehicles, Light Commercial Vehicles and Buses.
  • The demand incentive was available to buyers of EV in the form of an upfront reduced purchase price to enable wider adoption.
  • Based on outcome and experience gained during the Phase-II of FAME India Scheme was launched.

FAME II

  • This phase will mainly focus on supporting electrification of public & shared transportation, and aims to support through subsidies 7000 e-Buses, 5 lakh e-3 Wheelers, 55000 e-4 Wheeler Passenger Cars and 10 lakh e-2 Wheelers.
  • The scheme will be applicable mainly to vehicles used for public transport or those registered for commercial purposes in e-3W, e-4W and e-bus segments.
  • However, privately owned registerede-2W will also be covered under the scheme as a mass segment.
  • In addition, creation of charging infrastructure will be supported in selected cities and along major highways to address range anxiety among users of electric vehicles.

Assist this newscard with:

[pib] Technical Analysis of FAME II Scheme 

Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

[pib] Scheme for Trans-disciplinary Research for India’s Developing Economy (STRIDE)

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : STRIDE Scheme

Mains level : Trans-disciplinary Research in India


News

  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) has approved a new scheme – ‘Scheme for Trans-disciplinary Research for India’s Developing Economy’ (STRIDE).

STRIDE Scheme

  • STRIDE will provide support to research projects that are socially relevant, locally need-based, nationally important and globally significant.
  • It shall support research capacity building as well as basic, applied and transformational action research that can contribute to national prioritiers with focus on inclusive human development.
  • It shall support creation, development and integration of new ideas, concepts and practices for public good and strengthening civil society.
  • It will strengthen research culture and innovation in colleges and Universities and help students and faculty to contribute towards India’s developing economy with help of collaborative research.

 A move for Trans-disciplinary research

  • Trans-disciplinary research is a team effort of investigators from different disciplines to create new conceptual, theoretical, methodological innovations that integrates and transcends beyond discipline-specific approaches to address a common problem.
  • Trans-disciplinary research goes beyond mere production of knowledge and extends to the practical use of the knowledge outside academic endeavour.
  • In essence, it takes into consideration the societal impact of knowledge enunciating as what should be the main aim of research.
  • It creates unity of intellectual frameworks beyond the disciplinary perspectives and solve problems by going beyond the boundaries of disciplines to involve various stakeholders.
  • Trans-disciplinary research generates knowledge through use of multi and inter-disciplinary concepts and integrates new theories among science and society.

Objectives

  • To identify young talent, strengthen research culture, build capacity, and promote innovation and support trans-disciplinary research for India’s developing economy and national development.
  • To fund multi institutional network high-impact research projects in humanities and human sciences.

Components of the Scheme

Component-1

  • It will endeavour to identify the motivated young talents with research and innovation aptitude in universities and colleges.
  • It will provide research capacity building in diverse disciplines by mentoring, nurturing and supporting young talents to innovate pragmatic solutions for local, regional, national and global problems.
  • This component is open to all disciplines for grant upto 1 crore.

Component-2

  • It will be mainly to enhance problem solving skills with help of social innovation and action research to improve wellbeing of people and contribute for India’s developing economy.
  • Collaborations between universities, government, voluntary organizations and industries is encouraged under this scheme.
  • This component is open to all disciplines for grant upto 50 lakh – 1 crore.

Component-3

  • It will fund high impact research projects in the identified thrust areas inhumanities and human sciences through national network of eminent scientists from leading institutions.
  • Disciplines eligible for funding under this component include: Philosophy, History, Archaeology, Anthropology, Psychology, Liberal Arts, Linguistics, Indian Languages and Culture, Indian Knowledge Systems, Law, Education, Journalism, Mass Communication, Commerce, Management, Environment and Sustainable Development.
  • Grant available for this component is upto 1 crore for one HEI and upto 5 crores for multi institutional network.
  • To encourage high quality high impact research in humanities, there is a provision to identify experts and invite them to develop a proposal.
  • UGC is also proposing to provide a grant of Rs 2 lakh for developing proposals.
Higher Education – RUSA, NIRF, HEFA, etc.

[pib] Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan

Mains level : Not Much



News

  • Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan is running successfully to motivate children to learn Science, Maths and Technology through observation and experimentation confirmed HRD Minister.

Rashtriya Aavishkar Abhiyan (RAA)

  • Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan is a unique concept developed by the Ministry of HRD that aims to inculcate a spirit of inquiry, creativity and love for Science and Mathematics in school children.
  • It was launched on 9th July, 2015 by Late Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Former President of India.
  • It is a convergent framework across School Education and Higher Education to motivate children of the age group from 6-18 years in learning Science, Mathematics and Technology.
  • It focuses on learning through observation, experimentation, inference drawing, model building, etc. both through inside and outside classroom activities and processes.
  • It seeks to create curiosity, excitement and spirit of innovation and exploration amongst school children.
  • It encourages higher education institutions to become Mentoring Institutions and assist secondary and elementary schools in the study of Science and Mathematics.
Promoting Science and Technology – Missions,Policies & Schemes

NASA’s PUNCH mission

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 : PUNCH mission

Mains level : Read the attached story


News

  • NASA has selected an US based Indian researcher to lead its PUNCH mission which will image the Sun.

About PUNCH Mission

  • PUNCH stands for “Polarimeter to Unify the Corona and Heliosphere,” is focused on understanding the transition of particles from the Sun’s outer corona to the solar wind that fills interplanetary space.
  • It will consist of a constellation of four microsatellites that through continuous 3D deep-field imaging, will observe the corona and heliosphere as elements of a single, connected system.
  • This is a landmark mission will image regions beyond the Sun’s outer corona.
  • The Sun and the solar wind are one interconnected system, but these have until recently been studied using entirely different technologies and scientific approaches.

Why such mission?

  • Other missions such as NASA’s Parker Solar Probe and the ESA-NASA joint project, Solar Orbiter, which is due to be launched in 2020, can study the structures of the Sun’s atmosphere.
  • The PUNCH mission enhances these by tracking these structures in real time.
  • Since the Sun’s corona is much fainter than its surface layers, it cannot be viewed by the instruments directly.
  • So PUNCH will block out the light from the Sun to view its corona and the structures in it.

Constellation of satellites

  • PUNCH will consist of a ‘constellation’ of four suitcase-sized microsats that will orbit the Earth in formation and study how the corona, which is the atmosphere of the Sun, connects with the interplanetary medium.
  • The mission is expected to be launched in 2022.
  • The mission will image and track the solar wind and also the coronal mass ejections – which are huge masses of plasma that get thrown out of the Sun’s atmosphere.
  • The coronal mass ejections can affect and drive space weather events near the Earth.
International Space Agencies – Missions and Discoveries

[pib] Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP)

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : EQUIP Programme

Mains level : Promoting India as a global study destination


News

  • The HRD Ministry has finalized and released a five-year vision plan named Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP) .
  • This has been done in accordance with the decision of the PM for finalizing a five-year vision plan for each Ministry.

Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP)

  • The Expert Groups drawn from senior academicians, administrators and industrialists, have suggested more than 50 initiatives that would transform the higher education sector completely.
  • The Groups have set the following goals for higher education sector:
  1. Double the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education and resolve the geographically and socially skewed access to higher education institutions in India
  2. Upgrade the quality of education to global standards
  3. Position at least 50 Indian institutions among the top-1000 global universities
  4. Introduce governance reforms in higher education for well-administered campuses
  5. Accreditation of all institutions as an   assurance of quality
  6. Promote Research & Innovation ecosystems for positioning India in the Top-3 countries in the world in matters of knowledge creation
  7. Double the employability of the students passing out of higher education
  8. Harness education technology for expanding the reach and improving pedagogy
  9. Promote India as a global study destination
  10. Achieve a quantum increase in investment in higher education
Higher Education – RUSA, NIRF, HEFA, etc.

[pib] Space Activities Bill

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 : Space Activities Bill

Mains level : Promoting private space activities in India


News

  • India has begun prelegislative consultations on a “Space Activities Bill” that is designed to encourage domestic private rocket and satellite companies to offer services for Indian and global customers.

About the Space Activities Bill, 2017

  • The Bill will address the liability issues arising from their space activities, in a suitable/ rational manner, in line with international practices.
  • The government first introduced the Bill in 2017.

Key propositions of the Bill

  • The provisions of this Act shall apply to every citizen of India and to all sectors engaged in any space activity in India or outside India
  • A non-transferable licence shall be provided by the Central Government to any person carrying out commercial space activity
  • The Central Government will formulate the appropriate mechanism for licensing, eligibility criteria, and fees for licence.
  • The government will maintain a register of all space objects (any object launched or intended to be launched around the earth) and develop more space activity plans for the country
  • It will provide professional and technical support for commercial space activity and regulate the procedures for conduct and operation of space activity
  • It will ensure safety requirements and supervise the conduct of every space activity of India and investigate any incident or accident in connection with the operation of a space activity.
  • It will share details about the pricing of products created by space activity and technology with any person or any agency in a prescribed manner.
  • If any person undertakes any commercial space activity without authorisation they shall be punished with imprisonment up to 3 years or fined more than ₹1 crore or both.

Why reconsider the Bill?

  • The current space policy does not cover liabilities for damage to third party space assets although the country is a signatory to the UN Treaties on Outer Space activity.
  • The Bill will help formulate necessary rules under the Space Activities Act to deal with damages under the liability provisions and the mode of securing financial guarantee to compensate for damages.
  • This bill would address a long-pending concern on covering liabilities in the event of a mishap or damage to spacecraft.

For tapping global opportunities

  • India’s PSLV has emerged as the preferred rocket to hurl small satellites globally.
  • India is also working on a small satellite launch vehicle that is designed to tap the global opportunity to carry satellites of less than 50 kg into space.
  • The US, France and the EU have legislations that underwrite costs of damage if it exceeds insurance when a private satellite launch goes awry or a rocket hits another object in space.

With inputs from: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/the-hindu-explains-what-is-the-space-activities-bill-2017/article20680984.ece

ISRO Missions and Discoveries