UPSC 2017-18: PIB Summary and Analysis Oct 24

President of Afghanistan calls on the President

  • Mr Ashraf Ghani, the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, called on the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, at Rashtrapati Bhavan
  • Welcoming the Afghan President to India, the President expressed admiration for the astute leadership that he has provided to Afghanistan through difficult times.
  • The President said that in recent times, the two countries have deepened their strategic partnership


  • The President expressed happiness at the opening of the air freight corridor between Kandahar and Kabul and Delhi.
  • He also noted that the Afghan cities of Mazar-e-Sharif and Herat have been connected directly by air to Delhi.

Strategic Partnership

  • The term “strategic” further implies a future convergence of interests in areas that are vital: security, defence and investment
  • It is also a long-term interaction between two countries based on political, economic, social and historical factors.
  • Its usage in international diplomacy is fairly clear: it defines a bilateral relationship more important than others, but stops short of an actual alliance.
  • India has signed strategic partnerships with more than 30 countries since the first one with France in 1998.These include countries as diverse as Rwanda, US, China, and Japan. India doesn’t even have a full-time diplomatic mission in the small, land-locked, predominantly agriculturist Rwanda. In such a situation, giving the relationship a nomenclature of strategic partnership is more window dressing than substance.
  • Outside Asia, FTAs have been agreed with Chile and MERCOSUR.
    • India has signed bilateral FTAs with Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Thailand, Singapore, Bhutan, Nepal, Korea, Malaysia and Japan.
  • There have also been two regional trade agreements, the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) and ASEAN.


PM greets UN on United Nations Day

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has conveyed his greetings to the UN on United Nations Day.

United Nations Day

  • UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being.
  • 24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by Member States as a public holiday.


PM greets ITBP on it’s Raising Day

  • The prime minister said the ITBP stands out for its special affinity with the Himalayas and prowess at high altitude operations.
  • Raising day is the day it was raised or created to perform some special functions it was intended for.

‘Bharat Ke Veer’ portal

  • The portal is an IT based platform, with an objective to enable willing donors to contribute towards the family of a braveheart who sacrificed his/her life in line of duty.
  • The amount so donated will be credited to the account of ‘Next of Kin’ of those Central Armed Police Force/Central Para Military Force soldiers
  • The site “Bharat ke Veer” will be available on web portal as well as mobile application. This domain allows anyone to financially support the bravehearts of his choice or towards the “Bharat Ke Veer” corpus.
  • This website is technically supported by National Informatics Centre (NIC) and powered by State Bank of India.
  • ensure maximum coverage, a cap of 15 lakh rupees is imposed and the donors would be alerted if the amount exceeds, so that they can choose to divert part of the donation to another braveheart account or to the “Bharat Ke Veer” corpus.
  • “Bharat Ke Veer” corpus would be managed by a committee made up of eminent persons of repute and senior Government officials, who would decide to disburse the fund equitably to the braveheart’s family on need basis.

Indo Tibetan Border Police

  • ITBP is a multi-dimensional force. Presently battalions of ITBP are deployed on borders guarding duties from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh covering 3,488 km of India-China border.
  • ITBP is basically a mountain trained force and most of the officers and men are professionally trained mountaineers and skier.
  • It mans border outposts at an altitude ranging from 9,000 ft to 18,500 ft in the western, middle and eastern sector of India-China border.
  • The ITBP was raised on October 24, 1962


Olive Research and Development in India

  • Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat inaugurated two days olive workshop on “Olive Research and Development in India” organized by Oilseeds Division, Department of Agriculture and Corporation & Farmers Welfare and ICAR-Central Institute of Temperate Horticulture Srinagar from October 24-25, 2017, in Srinagar

India and Olive production

  • Olive is a small tree of the oleaceae family and is native to the coastal areas of eastern Mediterranean (Italy and Spain), northern Iraq and northern Iran south of the Caspian Sea. Its fruit adorns salads, but is used primarily to extract olive oil, one of the most expensive cooking oils.
  • India had little to do with olive cultivation. All the olive oil India needed to use on salads, or to fry, bake and grill, was imported.
  • In 2007, however, the Mediterranean plant finally travelled to Rajasthan.
  • Major Production states of olives in India include Rajasthan, UP, Himachal Pradesh and J&k


Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK)

  • India’s first PMKK for Skilling in smart cities was inaugurated in New Delhi, by Union Minister Rajnath Singh.
  • The inauguration was done in collaboration with the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).
  • The newly inaugurated Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra leverages NDMC infrastructure for skilling initiatives
  • Located at Mandir Marg, New Delhi, the NDMC-PMKK Centre for Skilling has a capacity of skilling 4,000 youth annually


  • The main aim behind the move is to bring momentum in skilling through collaborative efforts.
  • The Centre is emphasizing on the commitment of the Union Government to support skilling in smart cities.

National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), an executive arm of Skill Development Ministry, has collaborated with New Delhi Municipal Council Smart City Limited for the following:

  • To extend cooperation for setting up of PMKK Centres for Smart Cities
  • To provide skill training for unemployed youth through its short-term training (STT) module
  • Contribute to the capacity building of municipal employees through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) program.


Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)

It is the flagship outcome-based skill training scheme of the new Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE). The objective of this skill certification and reward scheme is to enable and mobilize a large number of Indian youth to take up outcome based skill training and become employable and earn their livelihood.

  • Direct Fund Transfer: It will have complete transparent funding of skill training without any intermediaries with monetary rewards directly transferred to the trainee’s bank account.
  • Demand-driven targets: Based on assessment of skill demand and the Skill Gap Studies, target for skill training would be allocated.
  • Target aligned to national flagship programmes and regions: Target for skill training would be aligned to the demand from the Central Governments flagship programmes, such as – Swachh Bharat, Make in India, Digital India, National Solar Mission and so on.
  • Supply side perspective in target fixation: Skill training under PMKVY would essentially target drop out students after class 10 and class 12 and hence these numbers will be taken into consideration while deciding state / district wise targets. There will be special focus on youth in regions affected by left-wing extremists and from North Eastern States and J&K.
  • Variable amount of monetary reward: Monetary reward for various job roles within a sector would also vary. This amount would be arrived at after taking various factors like cost of training, willingness of trainees for pay and other relevant factors into consideration. Higher incentives will be given to training in manufacturing, construction and plumbing sectors.
  • Mentorship support: A mentorship programme will be created in order to support trainees who have successfully completed the training programme and are in the process of looking for employment opportunities.

In line with the scheme objectives, the scheme is applicable to any candidate of Indian nationality who:

  • an unemployed youth, college / school dropout
  • Has a verifiable identity proof – Aadhaar / Voter id and a bank account.


YUVA initiative

  • The ‘YUVA’ initiative by Delhi Police aims to connect with youth by upgrading their skill as per their competencies. It will help them to get a gainful employment under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna under the Ministry of Skill Development.
  • Delhi Police has tied up with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for providing mass job linked skill training for the selected youth.
  • National Skill Development Corporation shall be providing skill training to the youth under ‘Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna’ (PMKVY) and CII will provide job linked training through its Sector Skill Councils who are connected to industry and thereby provide job guarantee.
  • A detailed exercise was conducted in all 13 districts of Delhi Police to select the youth in the age of 17-25 years for this training belonging to categories such as School dropouts, Juvenile offenders, Victims of crimes and families in dire state due to incarceration of the bread earner of the family, mostly from the underprivileged colonies.


  • The youth coming for skill training in a police station building will be a huge step in building up their confidence and faith in police organization and
  • It will go a long way in building a positive image of police in the long run.


INS Sukanya at Indonesia for Coordinated Patrol of IMBL

  • In pursuance with India’s ‘Act East Policy’, Indian Naval Ship Sukanya under the command of Commander SA Deodhar, NM arrived at Belawan Indonesia to participate in the 30th edition of CORPAT (Coordinated Patrol) and 3rd Bilateral exercise between the Indian Navy and the Indonesian Navy.
  • The exercise is aimed to foster closer maritime ties with countries located on the rim of the Indian Ocean.


  • It is a demonstration of India’s commitment to its ties with Indonesia and to the maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • The two navies have been carrying out Coordinated Patrols (CORPAT) on respective sides of the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) twice a year since 2002.
  • The aim of the CORPAT is to enhance mutual understanding and inter-operability between the navies, prosecute vessels involved in unlawful activities, conduct SAR and take measures against Sea Pollution.


  • These interactions would also provide opportunities for extensive operational and training engagements and contribute substantively to the maintenance of good order at sea.
  • The exercise seeks to strengthen the existing bonds of friendship between India and Indonesia, and underscore India’s partnership and solidarity with friendly countries of the region.
  • As part of the Indian Government’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region), the Indian Navy has also been involved in assisting countries in the Indian Ocean Region with EEZ surveillance, Search and Rescue and other capability enhancement activities.

ASEAN Defense Meeting Puts Terrorism in the Spotlight

  • Southeast Asian defense ministers met in the Philippines for another iteration of their regional defense meetings
  • This year, the Philippines, which holds the annually rotating chair of ASEAN, is hosting the meetings during the organization’s 50th anniversary.
  • The agenda was expected to be wide-ranging, including progress made on confidence-building efforts, discussion around regularly featured areas of cooperation like humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and maritime security, as well as issues of regional interest like the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea.

ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus)

  • The ASEAN Security Community (ASC) Plan of Action, adopted at the 10th ASEAN Summit, stipulates that ASEAN shall work towards the convening of an annual ADMM. Against this background, the Inaugural meeting of the ADMM was held in Kuala Lumpur on 9 May 2006.
  • The ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) is the highest defence consultative and cooperative mechanism in ASEAN. The ADMM aims to promote mutual trust and confidence through greater understanding of defence and security challenges as well as enhancement of transparency and openness.


  • Consistent with the ADMM guiding principles of open and outward looking, the 2ndADMM in Singapore in 2007 adopted the Concept Paper to establish the ADMM-Plus.
  • The ADMM-Plus is a platform for ASEAN and its eight Dialogue Partners to strengthen security and defence cooperation for peace, stability, and development in the region.
  • The Inaugural ADMM-Plus was convened in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, on 12 October 2010.

The objectives of the ADMM, as outlined in the Concept Paper for the Establishment of an ADMM endorsed at the Inaugural ADMM in Kuala Lumpur, are as follows:

  • To promote regional peace and stability through dialogue and cooperation in defence and security;
  • To give guidance to existing senior defence and military officials dialogue and cooperation in the field of defence and security within ASEAN and between ASEAN and dialogue partners;
  • To promote mutual trust and confidence through greater understanding of defence and security challenges as well as enhancement of transparency and openness; and
  • To contribute to the establishment of an ASEAN Security Community (ASC) as stipulated in the Bali Concord II and to promote the implementation of the Vientiane Action Programme (VAP) on ASC.


SAATHI (Sustainable and Accelerated Adoption of efficient Textile technologies to Help small Industries)

  • Ministries of Power and Textiles have joined hands under a new initiative SAATHI
  • Under this initiative, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a public sector entity under the administrative control of Ministry of Power, would procure energy efficient Powerlooms, motors and Rapier kits in bulk and provide them to the small and medium Powerloom units at no upfront cost.
  • The SAATHI initiative of the Government will be jointly implemented by EESL and the office of the Textile Commissioner on a pan-India basis.
  • To kick start the implementation, cluster wise demonstration projects and workshops will be organized in key clusters such as Erode, Surat, Ichalkaranji, etc.


  • The use of these efficient equipment would result in energy savings and cost savings to the unit owner and he would repay in installments to EESL over a 4 to 5 year period.
  • The aggregation of demand and bulk procurement will also lead to reduction in capital cost, benefits of which will be passed on to the Powerloom units so that their repayment amount and period would reduce.

Earlier Instances

  • This is the aggregation, bulk procurement and financing model that EESL has successfully deployed in several sectors like LED bulbs, Smart Meters and Electric Vehicles.

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