UPSC 2017-18: PIB Summary and Analysis Sept 15

GENERAL STUDIES PAPER 2

Topic: Governance, Government programs

SWACHHTA’ Ranking – 2017 of Higher Educational Institutions

Objective:

  • Save water & electricity, promote cleanliness and manage waste for Smart Campus –

Keypoints:

  • An award ceremony based on ‘SWACHHTA’ Ranking 2017 of Higher Educational Institutions was held in New Delhi today.
  • An exercise to rank Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) on the basis of cleanliness and hygiene has been undertaken and concluded.
  • Parameters for a clean campus were formulated, like student/toilet ratio, kitchen hygiene, availability of running water, modernity of toilet & kitchen equipment, campus green cover, garbage disposal in hostels and academic buildings, disposal techniques, water supply systems and also a certain weightage to whether the institutions has adopted any neighbouring locality or village to spread awareness & activities in Swachhta.
  • Clusters of villages have been adopted by certain HEIs under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan programme in consultation with District Collectors.
  • All Collectors and HEIs under the programme were invited to participate in the Best Collector & HEI Award by converting, before 31st August 2017, One Village into Open Defecation Free, with solid and liquid waste facility.

Topic: International Relations

Indo-Japan Collaboration expands to scale up research to translations

Keypoints:

  • Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology, announced the expansion of its first joint International laboratory with National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology (AIST) Japan named as DBT-AIST International Laboratory for Advanced Biomedicine (DAILAB) to DAICENTER.
  • DIACENTRE expands the scope of the collaboration to focused research activities with several institutions in India and other Asian countries like Sri-Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand at a Mission mode.
  • It will also provide a platform for translation of research of leads emerging from the bi-lateral co-operations in collaboration with the Industry and opportunity for training of young scientists.
  • It will involve continued research, training and innovative networking programs enrolling DAILAB@AIST and its Six SISTERs (Satellite International Institutes for Special Training Education and Research).
  • DAICENTER will focus to connect academia to industry and network innovation to entrepreneurship promoting S&T relationship of the two countries.
  • Japan stands out with the expertise of its scientists in areas like stem cell research, India can offer its young science brains that can be trained to use this expertise to bring about solutions for diseases.

Tracing the build-up of the DBT-AIST Collaboration

1. DBT~ INDIA –AIST~ JAPAN COOPERATION

  • The Department of Biotechnology(DBT) , Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India has concluded a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology (AIST), Japan.
  • The MoU enrolled five years of successful bilateral research collaborating in the field of Bioinformatics and Biomedicine and joint workshops all both ends.
  • Eight themes of projects focusing mainly on drugs /therapeutics for diseases like cancer have been supported.

2. DBT-AIST INTERNATIONAL LABORATORY FOR ADVANCED BIOMEDICINE (DAILAB)

  • MoU was renewed for second term (2012-2017) along with an establishment of a joint laboratory DAILAB (DBT-AIST International Laboratory for Advance Biomedicine) at Biomedical Research Institute (BMRI), Tsukuba campus of AIST, Japan.
  • Goals of DAILAB are to
  1. conduct joint basic to applied research on disease prevention and therapeutics for increasing the quality of life (with focus on old age),
  2. offer research training to young International studies,
  3. networking among researchers for fundamental and cutting edge research, and
  4. endeavour global frontage of both the institutions.

3. DAILAB TO DAICENTER

  • In last three years, DAILAB has become a role model of India-Japan S&T co-operation and has helped thousands of students in several ways.
  • DBT in cooperation with AIST is scheduled to expand DAILAB to DAICENTER from September/October 2017.
  • DAICENTER involves
  1. new research projects on Translational and Environmental Research including Big Data in Biomedicine,
  2. new programs for educating and inspiring youth for science careers and
  3. new connectivity/bridge between universities-research institutes-industries at both ends to inspire innovation, application and industrialization of research for the benefit of society.

4. DBT~INDIA – KYOTO UNIVERSITY~JAPAN COOPERATION ON STEM CELL TECHNOLOGY IN HUMAN DISEASE

  • The Department of Biotechnology has implemented an Indo-Japan cooperative program on “Accelerating the application of stem cell technology in human disease” with four participating institutions from India, and the Centre for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University, Japan as international partner.
  • The aim of the program is to develop infrastructure and the expertise for India to be a competitive force in the field of regenerative medicine and induced pluripotent stem cell biology.
  • The focus of the collaboration is on developing treatments for sickle cell anemia, β- thalassemia and brain disorders and creating haplobank relevant to Indian population.

5. SIGNING OF MoU AND JOINT RESEARCH CONTRACT (JRC) BETWEEN DBT AND AIST, JAPAN:

  • A comprehensive MoU and JRC between DBT (India) and AIST (Japan), for the next five year period, was signed as part of India-Japan Summit 2017.

Topic: International Relations

Operation Insaaniyat

 Objective:

  • Humanitarian Assistance to Bangladesh on Account of Influx of Refugees

Keypoints:

  • A humanitarian crisis arose in Bangladesh due to heavy influx of refugees from neighbouring Myanmar.
  • The government of India has decided to assist Bangladesh in this crisis by sending relief material.
  • One C-17 Globemaster strategic heavy lift cargo aircraft was positioned at short notice at Delhi to airlift 55 Tons of relief material to Chittagong, Bangladesh.
  • This aircraft was loaded overnight with relief material consisting of critical daily necessities viz., rice, pulses, sugar, salt, cooking oil, ready to eat meals, mosquito nets etc.
  • The Indian Air Force rose to the challenge and played a pivotal role to further strengthen the close ties of friendship between India and Bangladesh.

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