UPSC 2017-18: PIB Summary and Analysis Nov 02

All 4 wheel Motor Vehicles sold after 1st December 2017 to be fitted with FASTags 


  • The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has issued a Gazette Notification today according to which all four wheel motor vehicles sold on or after 1st December 2017 will have FASTags fitted on them by the manufacturer of the vehicle or its authorized dealer, as the case may be. In case of vehicles that are sold as drive away chassis without wind screen, FASTag will have to be fitted by the vehicle owner before it is registered. 

Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system

  • Electronic toll collection-fuel savings worth Rs 86,000 crore
  • With a mission to reduce waiting time and cost of fuel of the vehicle at toll plazas, the Government of India has decided to implement e-tolling system on all the 360 toll plazas all over the country
  • The idea to have ETC or E-Toll is to reduce the queues at toll plazas wherein a motorist can just drive the vehicle without having to wait to carry out the physical toll transaction.
  • The government had launched India’s first ETC programme under the brand name “FASTag”.
  • The ministry had roped in ICICI bank and Axis bank for providing central clearing house (CCH) services and to distribute RFID (radio-frequency identification)-based “FASTag” through their franchises at points of sales near the toll plazas.
  • The first ETC system on Delhi-Mumbai highway was launched


  • FASTag is a device that employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for making toll payments directly from the prepaid account linked to it.
  • It is affixed on the windscreen of your vehicle and enables you to drive through toll plazas, without stopping for cash transactions. You will have to use the lanes demarcated for FASTag.
  • The tag has a validity of 5 years and after purchasing, you only need to recharge/ top up the tag as per your requirement.
  • It is operated by the National Highway Authority of India on electronic Toll Lanes. It allows quick checkout of vehicles from toll lanes.
    • In order to facilitate the availability of FASTags for Electronic Toll Collection, NHAI has taken two revolutionary steps in consultation with RBI and NPCI.
    • These include Online sale of FASTags and offline sale through Common Services Centre (CSC) near toll plazas.
    • CSCs are service points, not zones of manufacturing.
  • FASTag is presently operational at Mumbai-Delhi (NH-8). More toll plazas will be brought under the FASTag program in the future.



Shri Ram Nath Kovind on the occasion of inauguration of the 21st World Congress of mental health 

Indian Statistics

  • The World Health Organisation reports that India has among the highest prevalence of mental illnesses
  • Our National Mental Health Survey 2016 found that close to 14 per cent of India’s population required active mental health interventions.
  • About two per cent suffered from severe mental disorders. Nearly two hundred thousand Indians take their own lives each year. If one includes attempted suicides, the number goes up substantially.

Issue Area

  • The biggest obstacle that mental health patients have to encounter is stigma and denial.
  • A second major gap in combating the mental health challenge is that of human resources. India is a country with 1.25 billion people but just seven hundred thousand doctors – less than one million. In the field of mental health, the scarcity is even more acute.

What needs to be done?

  • As a society we have to fight this culture of stigma. We need to talk about mental health issues and treat ailments such as depression and stress as diseases that can be cured – not as guilty secrets that must be pushed under the carpet.
  • To spread awareness, it is important to build partnerships between the public and private sectors and between the government and civil society organisations

World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) 

  • It is a global body that envisions a world in which mental health is a priority for all people. 
  • The WFMH, founded in 1948 under the aegis of WHO and UNESCO, is the largest global alliance of mental health professionals, national health associations, NGOs, policy experts, and other institutions.
  • The recommendations of WFMH World Congress for Mental Health invariably have a global impact. Having being previously held at Athens (2009), Capetown (2011), Beunos Aires (2013) and Cairo (2015), 
  • It is a matter of pride for India that this most significant biennial global event in the field of mental health is being held here for the first time ever in the SAARC & South East Asian Regions.
  • The Caring Foundation, an NGO working in the field of Mental Health since 1995, in association with Delhi Academy of Practicing Psychiatrists, Cosmos Institute of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences (CIMBS) and the Institute of Human Behviour & Allied Sciences (IHBAS), shall be hosting the WFMH World Congress of Mental Health with support from various bodies from across the world including the World Psychiatric Association, Asian Federation of Psychiatric Associations, Indian Psychiatric Association, Indian Association of Private Psychiatry and Delhi Psychiatric Society.



Various schemes and programs initiated by the Government to achieve the target of Doubling of Farmers’ Income:

Seven-point strategy:

  • Special focus on irrigation with sufficient budget, with the aim of “Per Drop More Crop”.
  • Provision of quality seeds and nutrients based on soil health of each field.
  • Large investments in Warehousing and Cold Chains to prevent post-harvest crop losses.
  • Promotion of value addition through food processing.
  • Creation of a National Farm Market, removing distortions and e-platform across 585 Stations.
  • Introduction of a New Crop Insurance Scheme to mitigate risks at an affordable cost.
  • Promotion of ancillary activities like poultry, beekeeping, and fisheries.


“PRABAL DOSTYK 2017” Begins 

  • A fourteen day joint training exercise “PRABAL DOSTYK – 2017” between the Indian Army and the Kazakhstan Army commenced today with the Opening Ceremony at Bakloh, Himachal Pradesh

Prabal Dostyk

  • It is a joint exercise between Indian & Kazakhstan Army.
  • The primary aim of the exercise will be to enhance interoperability while undertaking Counter Terrorism & Counter Insurgency Operations in rural & semi-urban environment under the umbrella of United Nation.
  • The exercise will be conducted in two stages;
    • first stage will be to familiarize with each other’s tactics, drills, weapons & equipment
    • Second stage troops of both the armies will graduate to jointly execute a helicopter-borne operation in a simulated environment. Combat battle drills and physical fitness will be the focal point of the exercise.
  • ‘Prabal Dostyk’ meaning ‘Robust Friendship’ will be a significant step towards fostering military as well as diplomatic ties between both countries.



Integrated Quarter Master Package (IQMP) Software Application

  • IQMP is web based software developed by Army Software Development Centre in association with M/s TCS Ltd.
  • The application automates various logistics related functions of an Army Unit.
  • The application will replace numerous legacy applications such as ‘Vastra’ and ‘Quarter Master Package’.

What does the package have?

  • The package comprises thirteen modules to automate all the logistics functions at unit level.
  • The application can be dynamically configured to meet the specific requirements of various types of Army units and is capable of sharing information and data with other software applications in the domain of logistics management.


  • The software has been developed with the aim of bringing speed, accuracy and transparency in handing logistics aspects in the unit.
  • It will help in effective logistics management and decision making, thereby assisting Army units to be battle ready all the time.
  • It will also play an important role in achieving automation of Indian Army and prove to be a significant milestone towards ‘Digital Army’ in consonance with the ‘Digital India initiative’ of the government



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