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UPSC 2017-18: PIB Summary and Analysis Aug 03

Delegation from Young FICCI Ladies Organisation calls on PM

A 25 member delegation from the Young FICCI Ladies Organisation called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.

The delegation interacted with the Prime Minister on subjects such as women entrepreneurship, and women empowerment.

The PM responded to various questions and some highlights are as follow:

  • Swachh Bharat Mission offers great opportunities for “waste to wealth” entrepreneurship, with significant benefits to community health.
  • All of us should individually focus on judicious use of water; and micro and drip irrigation.
  • Family values, acceptance of diversity and environmental consciousness are three of India’s greatest traditions which we must nurture.
  • Subjects such as education, skill development, art and culture and women’s safety also came up for discussion.


Development of Radiation Technology 

Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) – Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has been engaged in R&D work on the technology of preservation and hygienization of food and agri-products by radiation.

Irradiation is very effective in treating the horticultural produces. Extension of shelf life of horticultural produces is very much depended on the produce, variety and storage conditions.

For many fresh agri produce subjected to irradiation and proper storage, substantial shelf life extension has been achieved.

Unique advantages of radiation processing are:

  • Significant increase in shelf life for many products including fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses, spices, sea foods and meat products.
  • Effective elimination of harmful bacteria, viruses and insects/pests.
  • Cold & clean process (No temperature raise or residue); and treatment done after final packaging (no repacking necessary).

Two centres set up by BARC-DAE

BARC-DAE has set up two technology demonstration units, one commissioned in the year 2000 for high dose irradiation at Vashi, Navi Mumbai, and another in 2002, for low dose irradiation, KRUSHAK (Krushi Utpadan Sanrakshan Kendra) facility at Lasalgaon, near Nashik.

Harmonization of food irradiation rules with the international regulation

  • Recently the harmonization of food irradiation rules with the international regulation through adaptation of class wise clearance of irradiated food items by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has taken place [Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Sixth Amendment Regulations, 2016] for large scale deployment of this technology.


Joint Project between NASA and ISRO 

ISRO and NASA are working towards realisation of NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission by 2021.

Role of NASA and ISRO

In NISAR mission, NASA is responsible for development of L-band SAR and ISRO is responsible for development of S-band SAR.

The L & S band SAR will be integrated with ISRO’s spacecraft and launched on-board India’s GSLV.

NISAR employs a futuristic SweepSAR technique, which enables very wide swath of more than 200 km and very high resolution of the order of 5-10m.


The L & S band microwave data obtained from this satellite will be useful for variety of application, which include estimating agricultural biomass over full duration of crop cycle; assessing soil moisture; monitoring of floods & oil slicks; coastal erosion, coastline changes; assessment of mangroves; surface deformation studies, ice sheet dynamics etc.


ISRO and NASA have a framework agreement for cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes signed in 2008. Under this framework agreement, ISRO and NASA have executed an implementing arrangement for cooperation in NISAR mission, which is valid until 2034 and provides scope for joint activities on science & applications of NISAR data after the launch.


Desi Global Positioning System 

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has deployed an indigenous regional positioning system named as “Navigation with Indian Constellation” (NavIC).

It consists of seven satellites in a constellation to provide Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) services in Indian mainland and surrounding region up to 1500 Km. It provides two types of services viz. Standard Positioning Service (SPS) and Restricted Service (RS).


  • ISRO has established the required space segment of the NavIC system for providing signal in space enabling position, navigation and timing information and it can support commercial civil applications.
  • Indian entrepreneurs are being enabled for providing services through NavIC receiver system and requisite information has been made available in public domain.
  • The demonstrations for vessel tracking, vehicle tracking, messaging services for fishermen, timing applications have been conducted.
  • Mobile-Apps for navigational alerts across maritime jurisdictions is developed and tested for the Fishermen community using first generation NavIC receivers.
  • Various types of user receivers are being developed indigenously involving Indian industry and discussions amongst government departments, user-receiver manufacturers, system integrators and service providers are taking place for the usage of NavIC system.
  • While the space and ground segment of the NavIC system has been established and demonstrations of various applications/ services have been conducted, the time required for it to become fully operational depends on the service providers making the services available in the market. It may take couple of years to become fully operational in the market.


MDWS is crowd sourcing innovative ideas on Rural Sanitation 

The Ministry of Drinking water and Sanitation, MDWS is organizing Swachhathon 1.0- the Swachh Bharat Hackathon, to crowd source solutions for the pressing issues pertaining to Sanitation.

The Primary target of the Ministry is youth from rural areas, who can come up with innovative solutions to problems in the following categories:

  • Innovative, Sustainable, Environmental-friendly and affordable toilet technology for hilly, dry, flood prone and remote areas.
  • Technological solutions to monitor the usage of toilets.
  • Technological salutations for bringing behavioral change for toilet usage and hygiene.
  • Innovative models and methods to improve  the operation and maintenance  of school toilets .
  • Innovative solutions for Menstrual Health Management(MHM).
  • Innovative solutions  for early  decomposition  of faecal matter.


Breastfeeding Week to promote breastfeeding

Prelims Fact
  • Breastfeeding Week is observed in the first week of August to focus attention on the important aspect of promotion and support of breastfeeding.
  • The theme of this year’s breastfeeding week is ‘Sustaining Breastfeeding’.

MAA-Mother’s Absolute Affection

  • To intensify the efforts further for promotion of breastfeeding, the Health Ministry has initiated a nationwide programme called “MAA-Mother’s Absolute Affection’’ to bring undiluted focus on promotion of breastfeeding and provision of services towards supporting breastfeeding, along with ongoing efforts of routine health systems.
  • The key components of the MAA programme are awareness generation, promotion of breastfeeding & inter personal counselling at community level, skilled support for breastfeeding at delivery points and monitoring and Award/ recognition of health facility.
  • Under this programme, ASHA has been incentivized for reaching out to pregnant and lactating mothers and provide information on benefits and techniques of successful breastfeeding during interpersonal communication.

Importance of breastfeeding

  • Breastfeeding is an important efficient and cost-effective intervention promoting child survival and health.
  • Breastfeeding within an hour of birth could prevent 20% of the newborn deaths.
  • Infants who are not breastfed are 15 times more likely to die from pnuemonia and 11 times more likely to die from diarrhoea than children who are exclusively breastfed, which are two leading causes of death in children under-five years of age.
  • In addition, children who were not breastfed are at increased risk for diabetes, obesity, allergies, asthma, childhood leukemia, sudden infant death syndrome etc.
  • Apart from mortality and morbidity benefits, breastfeeding also has tremendous impact on improved IQ.


Lateral entry in civil services 
  • The Government is always committed to appoint best available talent subject to provisions of rules.
  • Recruitment to various posts in Government of India is made through various recruitment agencies established for the purpose such as Union Public Service Commission, Staff Selection Commission etc.
  • Recruitment agencies conduct examinations based on requirements projected by various Ministries/Departments/offices of Government of India.

NITI Aayog recommendation

  • NITI Aayog in the Three Year Action Agenda for 2017-2020 has recommended for inducting specialists into the system through lateral entry in policy making areas on fixed term contract.
  • This recommendation along with suggestions received from other quarters is under consideration.


Budgetary provision of Rs. 2700 Cr. made for implementation of PMMVY during 
FY 2017-18

The National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) provides that subject to such schemes as may be framed by the Central Government, every Pregnant Woman and Lactating Mother, except those who are in regular employment with the Central Government or State Government or Public Sector Undertaking or those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law for the time being in force, shall be entitled to maternity benefit of not less than rupees six thousand, in such instalments as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

Prelims Fact

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)

The Government of India has approved Pan-India implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) to cover all the districts of the country.

PMMVY envisages payment of maternity benefits of Rs. 5,000/- in beneficiary’s bank/post office account in three instalments at the stage of early registration of pregnancy, after six months of pregnancy with at least one antenatal check-up and registration of child birth & first cycle of immunisation of the child.

The eligible beneficiary is to receive the remaining cash incentive as per approved norms towards Maternity Benefit under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) after institutional delivery so that on an average, a woman gets ₹ 6000/-. The maternity benefits under PMMVY are available to the eligible beneficiaries for first living child of family.


UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Critically discuss the uses and application of indigenous regional positioning system named as “Navigation with Indian Constellation” (NavIC).
  2. Breastfeeding is an important efficient and cost-effective intervention promoting child survival and health. Discuss the importance of breastfeeding in achieving SDG targets related to health in IMR.
  3. Discuss the role of development of Radiation Technology in food processing industry.

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