UPSC 2017-18: PIB Summary and Analysis Aug 25

Commerce and Industry Minister Sets up Task Force on Artificial Intelligence 
for Economic Transformation
  • Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman  has constituted a Task Force on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for India’s Economic Transformation.
  • With rapid development in the fields of information technology and hardware, the world is about to witness a fourth industrial revolution. 
  • Driven by the power of big data, high computing capacity, artificial intelligence and analytics, Industry 4.0 aims to digitize the manufacturing sector.
  • The panel will comprise of experts, academics, researchers and industry leaders and will explore possibilities to leverage AI for development across various fields.

 

Dr Jitendra Singh releases DARPG Grievance Study Analysis of 20 Ministries
  • All ministries/departments to switch over to e-office by this year.
  • Under the leadership and encouragement of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, various good governance initiatives have been undertaken.
  • Under PM’s awards, young officers are now vying for excellence in implementation of priority programmes.
  • The number of grievances lodged has increased 5 fold in the last three years, from 2 lakh grievances in 2014 to 11 lakh grievances now.
  • Increase is due to the quick response given by the Government to the grievances. Now the average time taken to dispose the grievance has been reduced to one week.
  • The Government is sensitive towards the demands of pensioners also.
  • Mobile App for pensioners is an example how the technology is being optimally utilized for good governance initiatives.
  • All ministries/departments will switch over to e-office by the end of this year. The state governments are being persuaded to follow these initiatives.
  • Currently 28 ministries/departments are on e-office and steps are being undertaken to bring all ministries/departments on e-office by this year end. He also said that department is also developing Development Goal Manual and Good Governance Index.

He also said that for the PM awards to be presented on Civil Services Day 2018, the following four priority programmes have been identified:

  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana
  • Digital payment (digital payment under digitization)
  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban and Rural)
  • Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana

Efforts are being made to enlist all districts this year. The focus will be on the quality of implementation of programme.

Reforms in the Department of Pensions

  • General Provident Fund rules have been liberalized.
  • A committee has been constituted to make recommendation on the National Pension System which is applicable to the young officers who joined after the year 2004.
  • Officers will be rewarded under the ‘Anubhav’ initiative.
  • Setting up of Pensioners Adalat to quickly resolve the issues of pensioners.

Some key reforms undertaken by the Ministries/Departments are

  • e.g. in Ministry of Petroleum, delay in obtaining LPG connections has been reduced due to introduction of online LPG registration on mylpg.in.
  • In Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, sub-optimal CGHS services due to unavailability of doctors and staff has been addressed by introducing Aadhaar linked biometric in all CGHS units.
  • In Ministry of Urban Development, delay in construction plan approval due to manual process has been reduced by introducing online process to obtain clearance mechanism and
  • In Ministry of Railways, delay in ticket refunds has been reduced by introducing automatic refunds for confirmed/waitlisted e-tickets on cancellation of trains, among others.

 

Reforms have been suggested for the next 20 Ministries/Departments
  • e.g. in Department of Rural Development, for poor quality of roads constructed, payment to contractors is based on checklist of quality parameters under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.
  • In Ministry of Women and Child Development, as rape complaints are sometimes overlooked by police, it has been suggested to sensitise male cops on gender equality through training sessions.
  • In Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, to address poor quality of drinking water in rural areas, it has been suggested that all Gram Panchayats are given field testing kits for water quality testing.
  • In Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, for Digital Locker login issue in case of mobile loss, it is suggested that there may be a Provision of ‘recovery password’ through alternate email (E.g.: GMAIL).

 

EESL to procure 50 lakh Smart Meters for realization of Smart Grids in India
  • Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. (EESL), under the Ministry of Power, Government of India had put out a mega tender for procurement of 50 lakh smart meters in July, which would help in reducing AT&C losses, power theft and also help in monitoring of round the clock power supply eventually leading to greater efficiency and 24X7 power for all. 
  • The interest shown by the smart meter fraternity is also evident from the participation of about 100 companies in the pre-bid meeting and is a measure of the potential which smart projects have in India.

 

Energy Efficiency Services Limited – the organisation
  • EESL was incorporated as. Joint Venture of 4 CPSUs of Ministry of Power NTPC, PGCIL, REC and PFC and is under the administrative control of Ministry of Power, Government of India.
  • The company follows all the norms and procedures that are applicable to CPSUs and is audited by CAG.
  • EESL is the implementing agency for National LED lighting programmes that were inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister on 5th January 2015. The programme is designed to reduce energy consumption in the lighting sector and to promote LED based efficient lighting products.

Objectives of National Programme on LEDs

  • To promote efficient use of energy and to mitigate climate change by increasing the use of energy efficient LED lighting at the residential level.
  • Enhance the awareness of consumers about the efficacy of using efficient appliances.
  • Aggregating demand, reducing the high initial costs, and thus facilitating higher uptake of LED lights by residential users.

Benefit to the consumers

  • The Government has ensured transparency and encouraged competition by using e-procurement of goods and services.
  • This has resulted in significant reduction in transaction cost and time and enhanced process efficiency. Which in turn has led to a much larger participation of bidders thereby increasing competition and reducing the cost of LED bulbs.
  • The LED bulb under the UJALA scheme is technologically superior from the other bulbs in the market.
  • The LED bulbs distributed under this scheme have a three-year free replacement warranty.
  • The LED bulbs given under this scheme are 50%-80% more efficient than CFLs and other incandescent bulbs.
  • Through the UJALA scheme, the country aims to save 20,000 MW, which will ensure 24×7 access of power to the poor in rural areas.
  • India can expect a 5-fold increase in its electricity demand over the next few years. And savings from such a scheme will support the country in achieving its growing demand.

 

Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel provides unique opportunity to slum 
children to catch a glimpse of FIFA U-17 World Cup trophy, also gifts them
Footballs
  • Mission 11 Million to trophy tours, various programmes being conducted to popularize Football across the nation.
  • Mission 11 Million programme
  • Aims to take football to 11 million kids across the country through 15, 000 schools.
  • So far, 8 million kids have been reached via 12, 000 schools across the country with competitions and mini-football fests.
  • The FIFA U17 World Cup will be played between October 6 and October 28, 2017.The final will be held at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on October 28, 2017.

 

UPSC Mains Practice Question

GS Paper 2

  1. Good governance plays an important role in ensuring social justice. Discuss the reforms undertaken in the field of governance in terms of delivery of government goods and services to the weaker sections of the society.

GS Paper 3

  1. Give an account of the current status and the targets to be achieved pertaining to renewable energy sources in the country. Discuss in brief the importance of National Programme on Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).