UPSC 2017 IAS Exam: PIB Summary and Analysis – July 05

President of India addresses the Annual Convocation of the Indian Institute 
of Science, Bengaluru
  • The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee addressed the annual convocation of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru today (July 5, 2017).

About IISc

  • Its academic stature as India’s best university has been confirmed by the National Institutional Rankings Framework in both 2016 and 2017.
  • It is also recognized globally, having been ranked amongst the top 200 universities in the QS International Rankings.
Prelims Facts
  • The Indian Institute of Science, established in the year 1909, was the result of a visionary public-private partnership between Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, the Maharaja of Mysore and the Government of India.
  • Over the last 108 years of its fruitful existence, the Institute has laid balanced emphasis on the pursuit of basic knowledge in science and engineering, as well as on the application of its research findings for industrial and social benefit.
  • Prof. J.C. Ghosh, the Director of IISc in the forties, who is credited with the setting up of several engineering departments in IISc, became the founding Director of the first IIT at Kharagpur.

 

Press Statement by Prime Minister during his visit to Israel

Ares of co-operation

  • The relationship between India and Israel is one of traditions, culture, trust and friendship.
  • Both the countries can cooperate in the field of innovation, water and agricultural technology, efficiency of water and resource use; water conservation and its purification; productivity increases in agriculture.
  • To establish a bilateral Technology Innovation Fund worth US$ 40 million for research in industrial development.
  • To protect our strategic interests and also cooperate to combat growing radicalization and terrorism, including in cyber space.
Prelims Facts
  • Haifa in Israel that is very dear to India. This is the final resting place for forty-four of the Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives during World War 1 to liberate that city.
  • In the 13th century, the Indian Sufi Saint Baba Farid had come to Jerusalem, and meditated in a cave.

 

Union Agriculture Minister reviews the progress of two flagship schemes - National 
Agricultural Markets (E-Names) and Soil Health Card

About Soil Health Card (SHC)

  • Soil Health Card (SHC) Scheme is a flagship scheme of the Government to promote the use of fertilisers based on analysis of Soil Health and enable farmers to get maximum yields at lower cost with minimum damage to the ecosystem.
  • The central Government launched this scheme in February 2015 to provide SHC to more than 12 crore farmers once every 2 years.
  • Comprehensive testing of soil samples on 12 parameters including the status of micro-nutrients is being carried out for each and every soil sample under the scheme.
  • The first cycle (2015-17) of the scheme is expected to be completed by July 2017. Shri Singh said that States have reported 100% collection of soil sample i.e. 253 lakh soil samples and testing of 244 lakh soil samples.
  • So far 9 crore soil health cards have been distributed to farmers.

e-National Agricultural Markets (e-NAM)

  • This scheme provides an online portal to the farmers for electronic trading and provides a transparent market enabling price discovery and competition.
  • Under the scheme, each Mandi is provided assistance of Rs. 30 lakh for the purpose of preparing necessary infrastructure in the integrated regulated markets.
  • The main objective of this scheme is to give farmers access to prices of different Mandis and facility to sell their products in a transparent manner to those who offer the best price.
  • One important component of this scheme is that the farmer gets the value of his yield according to the quality as the quality is checked before the electronic bidding.

APMC Act 2017

  • APMC Act 2017 provides the facility of creating private market yards and farmer-consumer markets. Now, if the states actively enforce the act, it will be easier for the farmers to have a liberal market available as this Act is based on the model of “ease of doing business” to encourage direct marketing.

 

10th Session of the India- Jordan Trade and Economic Joint Committee (TEJC)
  • The 10TH India-Jordan Trade and Economic Joint Committee (TEJC) Meeting was held in New Delhi on 4th and 5th July, 2017.

Areas of cooperation

  • The two sides also reaffirmed their mutual interest and discussed the roadmap for cooperation in various fields such as Fertilizer Sector, Customs, Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement, Visa and Consular issues, Health and Pharmaceuticals, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Maritime Transport, Rail Transport, and Air Transport, Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, and Smart Grid development, Information Technology, Higher Education and Vocational Training, Agriculture sector etc.

 

Beijing Declaratoin on Education
  • BEIJING DECLARATION ON EDUCATION adopted in the 5th Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Education in Beijing, China, on July 5th, 2017.
  • Brasilia Declaration on March 2nd, 2015, Moscow Declaration on November 18th, 2015 and New Delhi Declaration on September 30th, 2016.
  • It is committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4)-Education 2030 which aims to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all” that was set within The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Some of the initiatives of the Govt. of India in education

  • The education minister specifically spoke about the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) which provides a relative ranking of Indian institutions, India’s indigenous MOOCs platform, SWAYAM, which has already hosted over 480 courses online and, this year, plan to host 2000 courses and GIAN (Global Initiative for Academics Network) under which 600 professors from 62 countries have already conducted their courses in India and, this year, we expect to receive another 800 faculty from across the world.
  • The Minister spoke about India’s research initiative, IMPRINT, which identifies priority areas for research for India, National Digital Library, which provides over 7.2 million online resources free of cost and is ever expanding National Academic Depository (NAD), Smart India Hackathon, which involved over 40000 students in solving over 300 problems received from various sources.

 

MERIT app and e-Bidding portal for utilization of domestic coal in IPP Power 
Stations for reducing the cost of power generation launched 
  • Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal launched here today the ‘MERIT app (Merit Order Despatch of Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency – http://meritindia.in/)’ and the e-bidding portal for providing e-Bidding solution to States to select Independent Power Producers (IPPs) for procurement of power by transferring their domestic coal under the scheme of flexibility in utilization of domestic coal.
  • Optimum utilization of Coal through these app/ web portal would save the consumer close to Rs. 20,000 crores five years down the line.

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