UPSC 2017 IAS Exam: Important PIB Articles – May 04

Swachh Sarvekshan 2017
  • The ranking for 500 cities was published
  • The city of Indore (Madhya Pradesh) is the cleanest city
  • This is the second time that the cities have been ranked based on the efforts of the municipalities
  • Gujarat has the highest number of cities in the list followed by Madhya Pradesh in the top 50 cities
  • Swachh Survekshan-2017 aimed at capturing the outcomes on ground of the ongoing efforts to make urban areas Open Defecation Free and to improve door-to-door collection, processing and disposal of Municipal Solid Waste
  • Of the total score of 2,000, 900 marks were assigned for performance in respect of ODF and solid waste management, 600 marks for Citizen Feedback and 500 marks for Independent Observation
  • Quality Council of India that conducted the survey during January-February this year used geo-tagged devices for collecting evidence in real time


The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) constitutes 
Technical Committee
  • Has been constituted in accordance with Regulation 14 of the IBBI (Information Utilities) Regulations, 2017
  • The committee shall be chaired by Dr B R Barman and 3other members
  • It shall give its recommendation for laying down Technical Standards for the performance of core services and other services under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Information Utilities) Regulations, 2017 and specifically on matters such as The Application Programming Interface; standard terms of service; registration of users; unique identifier for each record and each user; submission of information etc.


Cabinet approves initiation of the process of disinvestment of 
ITDC properties 
  • CCEA has approved the initiation of the process of disinvestment of hotels/properties of the India Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. (ITDC)
  • This decision has been taken because of
    • Government is of the view that running and managing hotels on professional lines is not the work of the Government or its entities
    • There has been considerable development in the hospitality sector in the country in past years, with world class hotels and all leading international chains of hotels present in the country and providing services and facilities of highest standards
  • As part of the disinvestment policy, it has been decided to lease/sub-lease the hotels / properties jointly with the concerned States or return the properties to the States, after fair valuation. The States would then have the option to upgrade and operate the Hotels by involving the private sector or to utilize the properties as per their requirements
  • In the first stage of the disinvestment process, three hotels have been taken up for disinvestment
    • Hotel Lake View Ashok, Bhopal (ITDC is divesting its share of 51% in the Joint Venture Company formed for operation of the hotels)
    • Hotel Brahmaputra Ashok, Guwahati (ITDC is divesting its share of 51% in the Joint Venture Company formed for operation of the hotels)
    • Hotel Bharatpur Ashok, Bharatpur (the unit which was only managed by ITDC is being returned to the State Government)


Cabinet approves New Central Sector Scheme – SAMPADA
  • SAMPADA – Scheme For Agro-Marine Processing And Development Of Agro-Processing Clusters
  • SAMPADA is an umbrella scheme incorporating ongoing schemes of the Ministry like Mega Food Parks, Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure, Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure, etc. and also new schemes like Infrastructure for Agro-processing Clusters, Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages, Creation / Expansion of Food Processing & Preservation Capacities
  • The objective of SAMPADA is to supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease agri-waste
  • It will be for the period of 2016 to 2020 with an allocation of ₹ 6,000 Cr is expected to leverage investment of ₹ 31,400 Cr, handling of 334 lakh MT agro-produce valuing over a lakh crore, benefit 20 lakh farmers and generate 5,30,500 direct/ indirect employment in the country
  • It includes new schemes of Infrastructure for Agro-processing Clusters, Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages and Creation / Expansion of Food Processing & Preservation Capacities aim at development of modern infrastructure to encourage entrepreneurs to set up food processing units based on cluster approach, provide effective and seamless backward and forward integration for processed food industry by plugging gaps in supply chain and creation of processing and preservation capacities and modernization/ expansion of existing food processing units
  • The implementation of SAMPADA will result in
    • Creation of modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlet
    • Creation of huge employment opportunities especially in the rural areas
    • Help in reducing wastage of agricultural produce, increasing the processing level, availability of safe and convenient processed foods at affordable price to consumers and enhancing the export of the processed foods
  • The government has already taken various measures in the food processing sectorto give a boost to the food processing sector. With these measures food processing sector has grown at 7 per cent. In order to arrest post-harvest losses of horticulture & non-horticulture produce, the Ministry has accorded approval to 42 Mega Food Parks and 236 Integrated Cold Chains for creation of modern infrastructure for the food processing along the value chain from the farm to the market. Out of 42 Mega Food Parks, 8 are operational. Of this, 6 Mega Food Parks have been made operational during the last 3 years. Another 4 Mega Food Parks are targeted for operationalization in next three months. Similarly, out of 236 Cold Chains, 101 Cold Chains have been sanctioned recently in March, 2017. 100 Cold Chains have become operational. Of which, 63 Cold Chains have been made operational during last 3 years
    • To provide impetus to investment in food processing and retail sector, govt. has allowed 100% FDI in trading including through e-commerce, in respect of food products manufactured and / or produced in India. This will benefit farmers immensely and will create back – end infrastructure and significant employment opportunities
    • The govt. has also set up a Special Fund of ₹ 2000 Cr in NABARD to make available affordable credit at concessional rate of interest to designated food parks and agro processing units in the designated food parks
    • Food and agro–based processing units and cold chain infrastructure have been brought under the ambit of Priority Sector Lending (PSL) to provide additional credit for food processing activities and infrastructure thereby, boosting food processing, reducing wastage, create employment and increasing farmers’ income

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