UPSC 2017-18: PIB Summary and Analysis Sept 23

GENERAL STUDIES PAPER 2

Topic: Governance

NITI Aayog and Govt. of Assam organizes workshop on health sector reforms in Guwahati; launches SATH- Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital

Context:

  • SATH- Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital: This workshop was key to developing partnerships and bringing convergence among different stakeholders working towards the same goal of transforming health outcomes.

Objective:

  • This workshop was to identify and build consensus on the priorities, which included strengthening of human resources, improving governance and performance management of the healthcare system, reducing maternal and child mortality especially in remote areas such as tea plantations, improving nutritional status to tackle preventable causes of morbidity and mortality and using health care technology for end-to-end strengthening of the health system.

Keypoints:

  • SATH- Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital, a joint initiative of Government of Assam and NITI Aayog, which aims to provide structured support to Assam in identifying key health priorities and implement the solutions towards transforming the health and improving the well-being of people of Assam.
  • The SATH program represents the philosophy of co-operative federalism.
  • NITI Aayog selected the three states (Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka) through a three stage challenge-process – expression of interest, presentations by the states and assessment of commitment to health sector reforms.
  • The reforms suggested through this workshop and the SATH program overall will focus on improving infrastructure and strengthening human resources to achieve our health objectives.
  • The prosperity of Assam is key to a prosperous India in 2022, a critical milestone for achieving progress towards the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Topic: Welfare Schemes

Interest Subsidy Scheme on home loans for MIG extended by another 15 months

Context:

  • The central government announced that the benefit of interest subsidy of about Rs.2.60 lakh on home loans under PradhanMantriAwasYojana (Urban) will be available for beneficiaries belonging to Middle Income Groups (MIG) for fifteen more months beyond December this year.

Keypoints:

  • Under Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS), MIG beneficiaries with annual income of above Rs.6.00 lakhs and up to Rs.12.00 lakhs would get an interest subsidy of 4.00% on a 20 year loan component of Rs.9.00 lakhs.
  • Those with annual exceeding Rs.12.00 lakhs and up to Rs.18.00 lakhs would get interest subsidy of 3.00%.
  • Reiterating the Government’s commitment to meet the Housing for All targets in urban areas by 2022, Minister urged private investors to invest in affordable housing, being promoted by the Government in a big way with several incentives and concessions.
  • The delegation expressed concern over GST and other taxes accounting for over one third of the cost of residential properties.

 

GENERAL STUDIES PAPER 3

Topic: Disaster management

“PralaySahayam”- Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief exercise in Secunderabad

 

  • The exercise is for all agencies involved in search, rescue and relief operations during natural disasters, to interact and evolve a seamless and optimized Disaster Management Strategy.
  • Disaster resilience is the collective responsibility of all stakeholders, including Government, business communities, non-government sectors and individuals.
  • This exercise is to suggest measures to enhance operational preparedness for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Operations.
  • Disaster Management Plans of Telangana in general and urban flooding in Hyderabad was in focus.
  • A Table Top Exercise, based on the theme of ‘Urban Flooding in Hyderabad’ was conducted which simulated the contingencies and criticalities emerging during a flooding situation and brought to fore the response of all agencies at the National and State level and included the role of Media, NGOs and other contributing agencies.

 

Topic: Science and Technology

Bio-Innovations: Propelling the Bio-economy of the Nation

Keypoints:

  • The Government is focused on making India a global hub for innovation and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is playing a crucial role in shaping the biotech innovation ecosystem of India.
  • The theme for the conclave is BIRAC Bio-Innovations: Propelling the Bio-economy.
  • Dept of Biotechnology is playing a catalytic role in building a 100 billion-dollar Indian bio-economy and is now effectively leveraging the research and entrepreneurial capabilities of this sector to address the needs of our people by creating affordable products that have the potential to change lives and catapult India in to a brighter future.
  • Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is a not-for-profit Public Sector Enterprise, set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology Government of India, to empower the emerging biotech industry to undertake strategic research and innovation.
  • BIRAC is a new industry-academia interface and implements its mandate through a wide range of impact initiatives, be it providing access to risk capital through targeted funding, technology transfer, IP management and handholding schemes that help bring innovation excellence to Indian biotech firms and make them globally competitive.
  • BIRAC has initiated several schemes, networks and platforms that help to bridge the existing gap between industry-academia researches and facilitate novel, high quality and cost-effective affordable technologies.
  • BIRAC has initiated partnerships with several national and global partners to collaborate and deliver the salient features of its mandate.
  • BIRAC was created to bridge the space between policy, industry and academia in the biotech sector and bring all stakeholders together on one platform. Our impact on the biotech innovation landscape is clearly visible.
  • The conclave featured a number of key panel discussions including “The Startup Conversation: Gaps, Opportunities and the way forward” featuring venture capitalists and angel investors and a discussion on “Pathways to create impact through Biotech Innovations to the power of Infinity” featuring decision-makers and experts.

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