17 August 2018: UPSC Exam PIB Summary & Analysis

Read the daily PIB update and stay up-to-date on current affairs for the UPSC exam

Ease of Living Index to Empower Citizens

  • Ease of Living Index launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on 13th August 2018 has attracted wide public enthusiasm and provided an opportunity to Urban Planners, Municipal Authorities and public at large a baseline data for wider public debate.
  • This is a unique exercise and is based on an open and participatory assessment of cities along with physical audit of urban metrics in a transparent manner.
  • The assessment, certainly, is more than just a ranking exercise. It marks the beginning of the creation of arobust base line along 78 urban metrics and seeks to drive evidence-based thinking on urban planning and development.

Process Overview

  • Two rounds of quality control and excel-based audit were performed on the data provided by the cities and errors were identified.
  • Every city was given an opportunity to fix the errors and update their data sheets.
  • Finally, a physical audit was conducted for selected parameters which could be physically verified through a network of trained field staff.

Features that influence the assessment outcomes and Rankings:

  1. Indicators and Weightages:
    1. The physical infrastructure pillar receives the highest weightage of 45%, with several of the indicators focusing on universalization of services (Sanitation, Power, Water, Sewer, Transport, Public Services etc. Thus, cities that are observed to be doing better in terms of service coverage stand to gain significantly.
  2. Quantum of Data Available with Cities:
    1. Multiple departments participated to provide data on over 500 questions, cutting across 78 indicators. Cities that had strong systems for data generation and reporting and/or a history of planning that was evidence based (City Sanitation Plan, Mobility Plans etc.) were observed to perform better as they are simply better equipped to provide data.
  3. Quality of Data Provided:
    1. To encourage cities to provide sound data, an incentive in the form of higher weightages has been deployed for indicators that are backed by supporting documents.
    2. Cities that could support the data provided with strong secondary documents (ex: SLIPs, DPRs, City Mobility Plans etc.) were given due weight-age in their score.
  4. Relative benchmarks:
    1. To ensure that the assessment offers a level playing field to all cities, relative benchmarks are assigned for 22 of the 78 indicators in which cities are evaluated against their comparable peers, defined by the population.

Food Processing Technology (iCRAFPT) gets underway at IIFPT

  • International Conference on Recent Advances in Food Processing Technology (iCRAFPT) got underway today at Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology, Thanjavur in Tamilnadu.
  • The bumper production and diversification of agriculture has brought in new challenges for everybody in view of the large scale food wastage on one hand and seasonal & regional demand & there supply issues of many commodities.


  • The Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT), a premier national Institute working under the administrative control of Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), Government of India functioning from its headquarters in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. Besides delivering research and education in food processing, the institute has been incubating farmers, entrepreneurs and aspiring youth for prospective food business ventures. Considering this importance and promotion of food processing among the farmers, budding entrepreneurs and researchers. The institute has been organizing an International Conference on Recent Advances in Food Processing Technology (iCRAFPT) during 17th to 19th August 2018 with the theme of Doubling farmers’ income through food processing.

NCMC meets for the second time

  • The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) met for the second time in two days here today to review the rescue & relief operations in the flood affected areas in Kerala.
  • It was decided to mobilise additional resources of all agencies including Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to provide the required assistance to Kerala.

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