20 March 2020: PIB Summary & Analysis

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PIB 20 March 2020:- Download PDF Here


1. Navroz
2. Development of Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure
3. Subsidies provided in Agricultural Sector
4. Special Economic Zones in the Country
5. Strengthening Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Regime in India
6. Resolution of Consumer Disputes
7. Implementation of 'One Nation, One Ration Card' Scheme
8. Tech For Tribals Program
9. Earthquakes near Dams
10. Financial Assistance for Medical Treatment
11. Anti-Cancer Drive
12. Factors affecting life expectancy and death
13. Annual Refresher Programme In Teaching (ARPIT)
14. Huntington Disease
15. National Policy on Skill Development
16. Development of Entrepreneurship in the Country
17. Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana
18. Tackling Adverse Impact of Global Warming on Food Crop

1. Navroz

  • Navroz is the Parsi New Year festival celebrated to mark the beginning of the new Iranian calendar.
  • Iranian community celebrates Navroz (Iranian New Year) on March 21. March 21 is the first day of the Iranian calendar.
  • Navroz is also the day of the Spring equinox and the rituals are performed based on the movements of the sun during the course of the day.
  • Several ethno-linguistic communities around the world irrespective of their religious background observe it as the start of the New Year. In India, the Parsi community, who follow Zoroastrianism, celebrate Navroz.
  • Navroz is also known as Jamshed-i-Navroz after the Persian King, Jamshed, who is credited to have created the Persian Calendar known as the Shahenshahi Calendar.

2. Development of Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure

Government of India has announced to develop and upgrade existing 22,000 rural haats into Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs).

  • In these GrAMs, physical infrastructure will be strengthened using MGNREGS and other Government Schemes.
  • Further, the Government has announced to set up of an Agri-Market Infrastructure Fund (AMIF) with a corpus of Rs. 2000 crore for developing and upgrading agricultural marketing infrastructure.

3. Subsidies provided in Agricultural Sector

Some of the component/schemes through which the Government provides subsidies to farmers are as follows:

  1. Seeds:
  • The Department is implementing Sub-Mission on Seeds & Planting Materials (SMSP) to promote production and multiplication of quality seeds of agricultural crops.
  • To upgrade the quality of farmers’ saved seeds, financial assistance for distribution of foundation/certified seeds at 50% cost of the seeds for cereal crops and 60% for pulses, oilseeds, fodder and green manure crops for the production of quality seeds is available /provided for one acre per farmer under the component Seed Village Programme of SMSP.
  • The objective of this scheme is to make available improved /high yielding varieties of seeds to farmers in time and to achieve self-sufficiency in respect of seeds at the village level itself.
  1. Mechanization & Technology:
  • Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) provides a suitable platform for converging all activities for inclusive growth of agricultural mechanization by providing a  ‘single window’ approach for implementation with a special focus on small & marginal farmers.
  • A new Central Sector Scheme on ‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue’ in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi has been launched.
  1. Irrigation:
  • There are three components of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY): PMKSY(Har Khet Ko Pani), PMKSY (Watershed), PMKSY (Per Drop More Crop), being implemented for precision irrigation and better on-farm water management practices to optimize the use of available water resources
  1. Godowns:
  • To promote the creation of scientific storage capacity for storing farm produce, processed farm produce and agricultural inputs etc.,    to reduce post-harvest    &  handling losses, promote pledge financing and market access including marketing infrastructure (other than storage), a capital subsidy sub-scheme “Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure (AMI)” of Integrated Scheme for Agricultural Marketing (ISAM) is being implemented across the country.
  1. Fertilizers:
  • Urea is being provided to farmers at a statutory notified Maximum Retail Price (MRP).
  • Also with respect to Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) Fertilizers, subsidy is being provided.
  1. Other subsidies:
  • Subsidies to the farmers are also given as part of various other schemes such as National Food Security Mission (NFSM), Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) etc for the benefits of the farmers.

4. Special Economic Zones in the Country

There were 7 Central Government Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and 12 State/Private Sector SEZs prior to the enactment of the SEZ Act, 2005. Presently, 354 SEZs are notified, out of which 240 SEZs are operational.

Special Economic Zones:

  • A special economic zone (SEZ) is an area in which the business and trade laws are different from the rest of the country.
  • SEZs are located within a country’s national borders, and their aims include increased trade balance, employment, increased investment, job creation and effective administration.

5. Strengthening Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Regime in India

What’s in News?

  • Intellectual Property (IP) intensive industry is not defined.
  • However, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has taken various initiatives to strengthen Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Regime in India like legislative improvements, use of IT and technology in e-filing of applications, acceptance of email in all Indian Patent Office (IPO) transactions, online delivery of certificates of grant/registration of patent, trademark and designs in digital format, use of video-conferencing for hearing of IP applications, expedited examination of IP applications, spreading awareness in IPR.
  • India’s accession to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) administered treaties and signing of pilot Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) project with Japan in December 2019 are noteworthy initiatives.
  • The Government of India has been working steadily to improve India’s ranking in Global Innovation Index (GII) and this is evident from the fact that India has been consistently moving up on global ranking in past few years.
    • India’s ranking has improved from 81 in 2015 to 52 in 2019 in GII.

Impacts of the initiatives taken during last 5 years are as under:

  • Period of examination of new Trademarks applications has been reduced from 13 months to less than 30 days.
  • Trademark is registered in less than 7 months, if there are no objections or opposition filed, as compared to 3-5 years required earlier.
  • The time required for patent examination reduced from average of 72 months in 2014-2015 to average around 36 months in 2019.
  • Grant of patents has increased.

6. Resolution of Consumer Disputes

Consumer Protection Act:

  • The Consumer Protection Act,1986 was enacted to provide for better protection of the rights of consumers.
  • Under the provisions of the Act, a three tier quasi-judicial machinery, called Consumer Fora, has been established at the District, State and National level to provide simple, inexpensive and speedy redressal to consumer disputes.
  • To further improve the consumer protection legislation, the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 has recently been enacted, which on coming into operation will replace the existing Consumer Protection Act of 1986.
  • The new Act provides for several measures for simplification of the adjudication process in the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions such as:
    • Deemed admissibility of complaints if not admitted within twenty-one days
    • E-filing
    • Video conferencing for hearing and the provision of Mediation,etc.
  • Under the provisions of Consumer Protection Act, 2019, Central Govt. is empowered to frame rules to prevent unfair trade practices in e-commerce.

7. Implementation of ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ Scheme

What’s in News?

Under Public Distribution System (PDS) reforms, a scheme on “Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS)” is being implemented in all States/UTs.


  • The main objective of the scheme is to introduce nation-wide portability of ration card holders under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA), through ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ system.
  • This system enables the migratory ration card holders to lift their entitled food grains from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) of their choice in the country by using their existing/same ration card issued in their home States/ UTs after biometric authentication on electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices installed at the FPSs.
  • So far, the facility of inter-State/national portability under One Nation One Ration Card plan has been made functional in 12 States.

‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ Scheme’ has been covered in 3rd October 2019 Comprehensive News Analysis. Click here to read.

8. Tech For Tribals Program

What’s in News?

The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) has Launched transformational “Tech For Tribals” program in partnership with Institutes of National Importance (INIs) to develop Tribal entrepreneurship.

  • It is a game changing and unique project aimed to transform 5 crore Tribal Entrepreneurs.
  • An initiative supported by Ministry of MSME, aims at capacity building and imparting entrepreneurship skills totribal forest produce gatherers enrolled under the Pradhan Mantri VanDhan Yojana(PMVDY).
  • VanDhan products will be marketed through all available distribution channels.


  • To push Government institutional purchases, Tribes India has a presence in Government eMarket Place (GeM).

National Level Tribal Festivals namely Aadi Mahotsavs, along with other exhibitions, are being organised in various cities all over the country are other efforts being takento expand the marketing opportunities for Tribes India products and country’s tribal heritage.

9. Earthquakes near Dams

What’s in News?

A total 18 earthquakes with magnitude 3.0 and above have been recorded by National Centre of Seismology (NCS) network in the close vicinity of major dams during the last three years.

Occurrence of Earthquakes around dams:

  • The occurrence of earthquakes in and around dams is not always associated with the huge water storage.
  • It depends upon the pre-existing geological tectonic setting of the region.
  • The reservoir triggered events have been reported in different parts of the world in active tectonics regime.
  • In India, such events have been reported mainly from Koyna-Warna region, which hosts a major dam.


  • The major dams in India have been designed and constructed taking into consideration the seismic vulnerability of the region.
  • However, the Central Dam Safety Organization, under Central Water Commission carries out regular inspection for Dam safety.
  • The National Centre of Seismology (NCS) monitors the earthquake activity in the country on 24X7 basis.
  • Also, the Hydro-Power Project Authorities have placed seismic systems in and around dam sites to monitor the seismicity close to dams.
  • The Central Water Commission, Ministry of Jal Shakti, is nodal agency for carrying out periodic inspection of dams to ensure their safety.

10. Financial Assistance for Medical Treatment

What’s in News?

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare provides financial assistance for treatment of poor patients suffering from identified life threatening diseases and taking treatment in Government hospitals, under the Umbrella Scheme of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) and Health Minister’s Discretionary Grant.


  • Financial assistance upto Rs.15 lakh is provided for eligible patients in the form of ‘one-time grant’ to the Medical Superintendent of the Government hospital where the treatment is being received.
  • The scheme has three components, namely
    • Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) – to provide financial assistance to patients suffering from life threatening diseases other than Cancer.
    • Health Minister’s Cancer Patients Fund (HMCPF) – to provide financial assistance to patients suffering from Cancer.
    • Scheme for financial assistance for patients suffering from specified rare diseases.
  • Under the Health Minister’s Discretionary Grant (HMDG), a maximum amount of Rs.1,25,000/- is provided to patients whose annual income does not exceed Rs.1,25,000/-, to meet a part of the expenditure on hospitalization/treatment in Government Hospitals.

11. Anti-Cancer Drive

What’s in News?

  • To tackle the challenge of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), including cancers, 616 NCD Clinics at District level and 3,827 NCD Clinics at Community Health Centre level have been set up under National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS).
  • Under the National Health Mission (NHM), support is provided to States/UTs to provide free essential medicines and diagnostic services for primary and secondary health care needs.

This issue has been covered in 13th March PIB Summary and Analysis. Click here to read.

12. Factors affecting life expectancy and death

What’s in News?

  • The report -“World Health Statistics 2019 – Monitoring Health for the SDGs” published by the World Health Organization is intended to monitor progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • As per the report, globally the disparities in health, survival and longevity depends upon access to food, safe drinking water, sanitation, medical care and other basic human needs, as well as behavioural choices and societal contexts that affect the survival of individuals.
  • According to the report, global life expectancy at birth (for both sexes combined) has increased by 5.5 years, from 66.5 in 2000 to 72.0 years in 2016.

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has taken various measures to provide better health services to ensure a healthy life and to further improve the average life expectancy of the people in the country:

  • In order to mitigate the effect of the increasing burden of diseases associated with increased life expectancy National Health Mission has initiated various programs like National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS), National Programme for Control of Blindness and Visual Impairment (NPCBVI), National Mental Health Programme (NMHP), National Programme for Healthcare of Elderly(NPHCE), National Programme for the Prevention and Control of Deafness(NPPCD) etc.
  • The Ayushman Bharat effort, with its two components of Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) and Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), addresses the disparity in access and reduces out of pocket expenditure for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization for 40% of India’s population.
  • National Health Mission (NHM) is creating a network of 1,50,000 HWCs by upgrading existing Sub Centres (SCs) and Primary Health Centres (PHCs) to provide Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC), which is universal and free to all those who access public health facilities.
    • The CPHC basket of services cover 12 key service areas, which go beyond the Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) services to include screening and care for NCDs etc.
  • National Health Policy, 2017 also emphasises on the provision of availability of free, comprehensive primary health care services, for all aspects of reproductive, maternal, child and adolescent health and for the most prevalent communicable, non-communicable and occupational diseases in the population.

 In order to improve the health norms in the country, the Government of India has taken the following steps:

  • Continuum of care is being provided to all elderly citizen of age above 60 years from preventive and promotive up to rehabilitation in Geriatric units of District Hospital, Community Health Centres and Primary Health Centres under National Programme for Healthcare of Elderly (NPHCE).
  • Financial support is being provided in the form of untied funds, annual maintenance grants and Rogi Kalyan Samiti (RKS) funds for the development of health facilities and ensuring services.In addition, certain new initiatives have been undertaken like the Screening for Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), Mothers Absolute Affection, Pradhan Mantri Shurakshit Matratva Abhiyan, Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Program, Mission Indradhanush, Rashtriya Swasthya Bal Karyakram (RBSK), Kayakalp, Labour room quality improvement initiative – LAQSHYA, Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan (SUMAN) (to end all preventable maternal and neonatal deaths), National Health Mission Free Drugs and Free Diagnostics, National Programme for Palliative Care (NPPC) etc.

13. Annual Refresher Programme In Teaching (ARPIT)

What’s in News?

Government is successfully running online Annual Refresher Programme In Teaching (ARPIT) for the professional development of higher education faculty using the MOOCs platform SWAYAM.

  • Through ARPIT, new & emerging trends, pedagogical improvements and methodologies for transacting revised curriculum have been imparted.
  • ARPIT has been launched to enhance the quality of teaching and is a step towards the commitment of the government to “Har Ek Kaam Desh Ke Naam”.
  • ARPIT is doing a great job in empowering the teaching faculty.

14. Huntington Disease

  • Huntington disease (HD) is a progressive genetic disorder affecting the brain.
  • It causes uncontrolled movements, impaired coordination of balance and movement, a decline in cognitive abilities, difficulty in concentrating and memory lapses, mood swings and personality changes.

Read more about Huntington’s Disease

15. National Policy on Skill Development

Recognizing the need for skill development, the National Skill Development Policy was formulated in 2009. Given the paradigm shift in skilling and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country and the experience gained through the implementation of various skill development programmes, the policy was revised and the second National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015 was notified.

  • The primary objective of this Policy is to meet the challenge of skilling at scale with speed, standard (quality) and sustainability.
  • It aims to provide an umbrella framework for all skilling activities being carried out within the country, to align them to common standards and link skilling with demand centres.
  • The Policy also seeks to coordinate and strengthen factors essential for the growth of entrepreneurship across the country.

Initiatives taken by the Government to meet the objectives of the Policy:

  • Launching of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), for imparting short-term skill training to the youth.
  • Notification of common norms for bringing about uniformity and standardization in the implementation of various skill development schemes by different Central Ministries/Departments.
  • Setting up of Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) as industry-led bodies to develop National Occupation Standards (NOSs).
  • Implementation of Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP), an outcome-oriented World Bank supported project for strengthening institutional mechanisms at both national and state levels.
  • Implementation of Skills Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) scheme, a World Bank assisted project launched with the objective of improving the relevance and efficiency of skills training provided through Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and apprenticeships.
  • Launching of Skill India Portal to provide information of trainees, training providers and trainers.
  • Mobilisation/ outreach activities through Kaushal/Rozgar Melas, Skills Career Counselling Scheme in making skilling aspirational.

16. Development of Entrepreneurship in the Country

  • The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) is implementing a pilot scheme, Pradhan Mantri Yuva Udyaimta Vikas Abhiyaan (PM YUVA).
    • It aims towards creating an enabling ecosystem through entrepreneurship education, training, advocacy and easy access to entrepreneurship network.
    • The scheme focuses on students/trainees and alumni coming out from skilling ecosystem i.e. Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), Polytechnics, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKKs) and Jan Shikshan Sansthans (JSS).
  • A National Entrepreneurship Awards Scheme (NEAS) has been instituted in 2016.
    • Under the scheme, awards are conferred to aspiring first generation entrepreneurs including women and those individuals/ organizations who are working as eco-system builder in the field of entrepreneurship development.
  • MSDE in collaboration with a German development agency has launched a pilot project called ‘Economic Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs and Start-ups by Women’ to support aspiring and existing women entrepreneurs in India.
  • The Government is providing financial assistance in the form of loan to entrepreneurs under various schemes:
    • Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency or MUDRA
    • Stand Up India Scheme implemented by the Department of Financial Services (Ministry of Finance)
    • Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Programme implemented through the Ministry of Rural Development
    • Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (exclusively for women) implemented through the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

17. Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana

What’s in News?

The Ministry of Textiles is implementing converged Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana (MGBBY).

  • The scheme provides social security benefits like life, accidental & disability insurance coverage to handloom weavers/workers across the country, who have already enrolled under the scheme.
  • All weavers between the age group of 18 to 59 years are eligible for this scheme.

18. Action-Plan to tackle Adverse Impact of Global Warming on Food Crops

What’s in News?

  • Global Warming associated with the increase in the concentration of Green House Gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere is one of the reasons for the increase in extreme weather events.
  • Due to global warming agriculture sector is likely to be affected and climate change is expected to impact yields of agriculture crops in a business as usual scenario.
  • Simulation studies using integrated modelling framework showed that rain-fed rice yields in India are projected to reduce marginally (<2.5%) in 2050 and 2080 scenarios while irrigated rice yields are projected to reduce by 7% in 2050 and 10% in 2080 scenarios.

Tackling Adverse Impact of Global Warming on Food Crop

  • During XII Plan (2012-2018), more than 400 climate-resilient germ-plasm lines and genotypes characterised with high water and nutrient use efficiency have been identified by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
  • National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) one of the missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) aims to evolve and implement strategies to make Indian agriculture more resilient to the changing climate.
  • National Food Security Mission (NFSM) programme is implemented in the identified districts across the country with the objective of increasing food grain production through area expansion and productivity enhancement, restoring soil fertility and productivity at individual farm level and enhancing farm level economy.
  • ICAR has launched a flagship network project National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA).

The NICRA aims at strategic research on adaptation and mitigation, demonstration of technologies on farmers’ fields and creating awareness among farmers and other stakeholders to minimize the impacts of global warming on agriculture.

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