UPSC 2017-18: PIB Summary and Analysis Oct 25

Diamond Jubilee of the VidhanSoudha- President visits karnataka

  • The President of India, Shri Ram NathKovind, graced the ‘Vajramahothsava’ – Diamond Jubilee Celebrations on completion of 60 years of VidhanaSoudha, and addressed the members of both Houses of the Karnataka Legislature at Bengaluru
  • It is not just the 60th birthday of this building, it is the diamond jubilee of the debates and discussions in the two Houses, of legislations that have been passed and policies that have been shaped for the betterment of the lives of the people of Karnataka.

His speech about democracy

  • Three D’s of the legislature, that it is a place to debate, dissent and finally decide.
  • And if we add the fourth D, decency, only then does the fifth D, namely democracy, become a reality.
  • The legislature is an embodiment of the will, aspirations and hopes of the people of Karnataka, irrespective of political belief, caste and religion, gender or language. It needs the collective wisdom of both Houses of the Legislature to fulfil the dreams of our people. 

Vidhana Soudha

  • The Vidhana Soudha located in Bengaluru, is the seat of the state legislature of Karnataka
  • It is an imposing building, constructed in a style sometimes described as Mysore Neo-Dravidian,and incorporates elements of Indo-Saracenic and Dravidian styles
  • The construction was completed in 1956.
  • Kengal Hanumanthaiah is credited with the conception and construction of the Vidhana Soudha



Chhath Puja

  • Chhath Puja is a festival dedicated to Surya, the Sun God, and his wife Usha. The festival is celebrated across India in Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh as well as Maharashtra as well as internationally by Indians in Nepal and Mauritius.
  • Also called as Surya Shasthi, the festival is performed to seek blessings of Surya to live a long and healthy life. The festival starts on the sixth day after Diwali
  • The four-day festival includes rigorous rituals such as holy bathing, fasting and abstaining from drinking water, offering prayers and food to the rising and setting sun.



BIMSTEC Forum provides an ideal platform for fostering of Traditional Medicine 

Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India hosted   First Meeting of BIMSTEC Task Force on Traditional Medicine on 24-25 October 2017 at Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra, New Delhi.

The Meeting discussed the following important agenda :-

  • Implementation of Strategies of BIMSTEC Task Force on Traditional Medicines (BITFM)
  • Priority Areas for technical and research collaboration among the Member States on Traditional Medicine
  • Regional strategy on the protection of Genetic Resource associated with Traditional Medicine Knowledge and Intellectual Property Rights and develop a work plan
  • Human Resource Development and Capacity Building among the BIMSTEC Member States
  • New Initiative, proposals and programmes for cooperation on Traditional Medicine among the BIMSTEC Task Force on Traditional Medicine.


  • Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)
  • It is a regional organization comprising seven member states lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of Bay of Bengal.
    • Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.
  • This sub-regional organization came into being through the Bangkok Declaration.
  • The objective of building such an alliance was to harness shared and accelerated growth through mutual cooperation in different areas of common interests by mitigating the onslaught of globalization and by utilizing regional resources and geographical advantages.
  • Unlike many other regional groupings, BIMSTEC is a sector-driven cooperative organization. Starting with six sectors for sectoral cooperation, it expanded to embrace nine more sectors.



CVC to develop Integrity Index of 25 Organizations

  • In line with the broader strategy and emphasis on preventive vigilance, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) believes that the next level of systemic change can be through the tool of Integrity Index
  • The CVC has therefore decided to go in for development of the Integrity Index-based on bench-marking of internal processes and controls within an organisation as well as management of relationships and expectations of outside stakeholders.
  • The Integrity Index will bring out annual scores/rankings of Public Sector Undertakings/Public Sector Banks and Financial Institutions/Departments/Ministries of Government of India by linking the essential drivers of vigilance with long term efficiency, profitability and sustainability of public organizations and create an internal and external ecosystem that promotes working with Integrity in public organizations.
  • CVC has adopted a research-based approach for creating an integrity index that various organizations can use to measure themselves and which will evolve with changing needs and with this view IIM-Ahmedabad has been engaged to develop the Integrity Index.

The main objectives for which the Integrity Index is to be established are:

  • Define what constitutes Integrity of Public Organizations
  • Identify the different factors of Integrity and their inter-linkages
  • Create an objective and reliable tool that can measure the performance of organizations along these above factors
  • Validate the findings over a period of time to improve upon the robustness of the tool that measures Integrity
  • Create an internal and external ecosystem that promotes working with Integrity where public organizations lead the way.



NITI Aayog discusses the new arrangement for earmarking of funds for SCs and STs

  • A Meeting was held on 25.10.2017 in NITI Aayog, under the Chairmanship of Shri Ratan P. Watal, Principal Adviser (Social Sector) to discuss the New Arrangement for earmarking of funds for SCs and STs.

what was the suggestion?

  • Principal Adviser emphasized in the meeting that the practice of notional earmarking of funds for SCs and STs has to discontinue.
  • Ministries/Departments which do not have any schemes under which funds can be earmarked for SCs and STs may consider designing schemes that directly benefit SCs and STs. Monitoring of expenditure, output and outcome should be against actual earmarking

Present status

  • So far funds are earmarked for SCs and STs under the Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP) and Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) as per the guidelines of the Task Force constituted by the erstwhile Planning Commission.
  • The Task Force had recommended for differential earmarking of funds i.e. different rates for identified Ministries / Departments for the Sub-Plans under Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) and Central Sector (CS) Schemes implemented by each.

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