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UPSC 2017 IAS Exam: PIB Summary and Analysis - July 12

PM’s interaction through PRAGATI
  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today chaired his twentieth interaction through PRAGATI.
  • PRAGATI is the ICT-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation.

Some highlights

  • PM reviewed the situation arising out of flood and other natural calamities in the North-Eastern States.
  • The Prime Minister reviewed the progress of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).
  • The Prime Minister urged all Chief Secretaries to work expeditiously towards ensuring that all traders register under the GST regime, and this task is completed before August 15th.


International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), South Asia Regional Center (ISARC)
  • The establishment of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), South Asia Regional Center (ISARC) at campus of National Seed Research and Training Center (NSRTC) in Varanasi has been approved.
  • Under the proposal, a Centre of Excellence in Rice Value Addition (CERVA) will be set up in Varanasi.
  • This will include a modern and sophisticated laboratory with capacity to determine quality and status of heavy metals in grain and straw.
  • The Centre will also undertake capacity building exercises for stakeholders across the rice value chain.
  • This Center will be the first international Center in the eastern India and it will play a major role in harnessing and sustaining rice production in the region.
  • It is expected to be a boon for food production and skill development in the eastern India and similar ecologies in other South Asian and African countries.

Benefits from ISARC

  • The Centre will help in utilizing the rich biodiversity of India to develop special rice varieties.
  • This will help India to achieve higher per hectare yields and improved nutritional contents.
  • India’s food and nutritional security issues will also be addressed.
  • The Centre will support in adopting value chain based production system in the country.
  • This will reduce wastage, add value and generate higher income for the farmers.
  • The farmers in Eastern India will benefit in particular, besides those in South Asian and African countries.


Cabinet approves MoU between India and Palestine on cooperation in the field 
of Health and Medicine

The MoU covers the following areas of cooperation: –

  • Capacity building of health staff;
  • Prevention and control of communicable diseases;
  • Physiotherapy and rehabilitation;
  • Drugs, pharmaceuticals and Medical Equipments; and
  • Any other area of mutual interest.


Cabinet approves Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) between India and Germany 
on cooperation in the field of Health

The JDI covers the following areas of cooperation:

  • postgraduate education;
  • training of medical personnel;
  • pharmaceuticals and pharmacoeconomics; and
  • health economics


Cabinet approves Joint Interpretative Notes on the Agreement between India and 
Bangladesh for Promotion and Protection of Investments

The JIN would impart clarity to the interpretation of the existing Agreement between India and Bangladesh for the Promotion and Protection of Investments (BIPA).

Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA)

  • BIPA is bilateral treaty which is defined as an agreement between two countries (or States) for the reciprocal encouragement, promotion and protection of investments in each other’s territories by the companies based in either country (or State).
  • The purpose of these agreements is to create such conditions which are favourable for fostering greater investments by the investors of one country in the territory of the other country.
  • Such agreements are beneficial for both the countries because they stimulate their business initiatives and thus enhance their prosperity.


Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and Bangladesh for cyber security 
  • Cabinet has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bangladesh on cyber security cooperation between Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) India and its counterpart in the Bangladesh Government.


  • CERT-In is a national nodal agency under Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, with the objective of securing Indian cyber space.
  • Hence, CERT-In is collaborating with overseas Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) for incident response and resolution.
  • The agreement comes in the backdrop of Governments, business and consumers are increasingly faced with a variety of cyber threats.
  • Besides, there is a need to further improve cyber security readiness and raise awareness around the importance of keeping systems secure and security practices and procedures current and recognizing the importance of cooperation by the two organizations in the area of cyber security.


Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and Palestine on cooperation in the 
field of Information Technology and Electronics
  • The MoU intends to promote closer co-operation in the areas of e-Governance, m-Governance, e-Public Services Delivery, cyber security, software technology parks, start-ups ecosystem etc.


  • India has strong political support to the Palestinian cause at international and bilateral levels.
  • India has been contributing material and technical assistance to the Palestinian people.


Cabinet approves SASEC Road Connectivity Investment Program - Tranche 2
  • Manipur being a landlocked state with almost 90% of the area under difficult terrain presently has only road transport as a means of mass transport system within the state.
  • Hence development of the road infrastructure is of paramount importance to improve connectivity and progress of the State and to ensure that the administrative set up reaches the isolated and remote habitats.
  • The project will improve connectivity between Imphal with the eastern part of the state.
  • The project is being developed with ADB’s loan assistance under the South Asian Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Investment Program which aims at upgradation of road infrastructure in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India (BBIN) in order to improve the regional connectivity among BBIN nations. The project corridor is also a part of the Asian Highway No. 01 (AH01) and acts as India’s Gateway to the East.
  • Thus trade, commerce and tourism in the region will get a boost.


  • For fulfilling India’s “Look East” Policy and to promote and enhance trade link with South East Asia, the Government of India has notified an Integrated Custom Post (ICP) at Moreh.
  • The development of this project is essential in order to support the increased traffic volume due to coming up of ICP.
  • The workers of Manipur who specialize in creating bamboo and wood based handicraft items and uniquely designed hand woven textile items will get a new market among the Myanmar’s customers.
  • Small scale industries such as those making farm implements and tools, stationery, plastic extrusion items, carpentry units, could also develop markets beyond the border.
  • Besides socio-economic development the project will also lead to reduction in average travel time along the project road by nearly 40%.
  • In addition, the new features of road safety namely vehicular underpasses, crash barriers, road signs & markings, service roads for segregation of slow and high moving traffic, truck lay-by, bus-bays etc. will help in greatly reducing accidents.
  • Improved highway and lesser travel time will lead to savings in terms of fuel cost.


India to host 8th Edition of Theatre Olympics ‘The Biggest Theatre Celebration of the World’ 
  • The Theatre Olympics, being held in India for the first time, is being organised by National School of Drama, under the aegis of Ministry of Culture.


Shri J P Nadda launches the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination
  • The Strategic Plan gives year wise elimination targets in various parts of the country depending upon the endemicity of malaria in the next 5 years.

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