06 December 2018: UPSC Exam PIB Summary & Analysis

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

Cabinet approves MoU

Context: The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved number of memorandum of understanding and agreements.

  1. Cabinet approves MoC between India and Japan in the field of Environmental Cooperation. 

    The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between India and Japan.

    The MoC will enable establishment and promotion of closer and long-term cooperation between India and Japan in the field of environment protection and management of natural resources on the basis of equity, reciprocity and mutual benefits, taking into account the applicable laws and legal provisions in each country.

  2. Cabinet approves MoU between India and the USA concerning Scientific and Technical Cooperation in the Earth Sciences. 

    The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the United States of America (USA) concerning Scientific and Technical Cooperation in the Earth Sciences.

    The collaboration between India and the USA will enable sharing of the expertise available with organizations in both countries, and adoption of the latest state-of-the-art technology in the field of Earth Science.

  3. Cabinet approves revised Model MoU between India and foreign Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) for exchange of information. 

    The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the revised Model Memorandum of Understanding between the Financial Intelligence Unit(FIU) – India (FIU-Ind) with its counterpart foreign Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) for exchange of information.

    The core functions of FIU-IND in relation to foreign FIUs include screening and processing requests from foreign Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), disseminating information to foreign FIUs, establishing and maintaining relationship with foreign FIUs, and facilitating, administering and negotiating MoUs with foreign FIUs.

  4. Cabinet approves MoU between India and France in the field of energy efficiency/energy conservation 

    The MoU is a Science and Technology agreement, which involves knowledge exchange and cooperation in the nature of technical assistance only. The MoU is expected to take forward information exchange on policies, programmes and technologies relating to enhanced energy efficiency and demand-side management.

    The MoU will lead to awareness creation on energy efficiency. Development of tools for collection, use and analysis of CO2 emissions and GHG data for tracking global emissions for INDC.

  5. Cabinet approves Agriculture Export Policy, 2018 

    Objectives of the Agriculture Export Policy are as under:

    • To double agricultural exports from present ~US$ 30+ Billion to ~US$ 60+ Billion by 2022 and reach US$ 100 Billion in the next few years thereafter, with a stable trade policy regime.
    • To diversify our export basket, destinations and boost high value and value added agricultural exports including focus on perishables.
    • To promote novel, indigenous, organic, ethnic, traditional and non-traditional Agri products exports.
    • To provide an institutional mechanism for pursuing market access, tackling barriers and deal with sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues.
    • To strive to double India’s share in world agri exports by integrating with global value chain at the earliest.
    • Enable farmers to get benefit of export opportunities in overseas market.
  6. Cabinet approves MoU between India and Zimbabwe for cooperation in the field of geology, mining and mineral resources 

The objectives of the MoU are, exchange of information on resources, laws and policy, organization of seminars to exchange views on development strategies, encouragement of transfer of technologies between the Parties, promotion of value addition and opportunities for investment in the mining sector.

7. Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Uzbekistan on Cooperation in the exploration and uses of Outer Space for peaceful purposes 

The signing of the Agreement will strengthen the cooperation between India and Uzbekistan and would provide impetus to explore newer research activities and application possibilities in the field of remote sensing of the earth; satellite communication; satellite navigation; space science and exploration of outer space.

Agreement would lead to develop a joint activity in the field of application of space technologies for the benefit of humanity. It will lead to setting up of a Joint Working Group, which will further work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementing the provisions of this Agreement

8. Cabinet approves implementation of Shahpurkandi Dam (National Project) on river Ravi in Punjab

Details:

  • On completion of the project an Irrigation Potential of 5,000 ha in Punjab State and 32,173 ha in J&K State would be created.
  • Funding for Central Assistance to Shahpurkandi Dam project shall be made through NABARD under existing system for funding of 99 PMKSY-AIBP projects under LTIF.
  • In addition to existing monitoring mechanism for projects by Central Water Commission, a committee headed by Member, Central Water Commission and consisting of concerned Chief Engineers of Punjab and J&K and other concerned officers would be constituted to oversee/monitor the implementation of project.

Impact:

  • Some of the water of the River Ravi at present is going waste through the MadhopurHeadworks downstream to Pakistan whereas there is requirement for the same for use in Punjab and J&K. Implementation of the project would minimise such wastage of water.
  • On completion of the project an additional Irrigation Potential of 5000 ha in Punjab State and 32173 ha in J&K State would be created.

9. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today has approved the launching of National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) to be implemented by Department of Science &Technology

The Mission addresses the ever increasing technological requirements of the society, and takes into account the international trends and road maps of leading countries for the next generation technologies. The mission implementation would develop and bring:

  1. Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) and associated technologies within reach in the country,
  2. adoption of CPS technologies to address India specific National / Regional issues,
  3. produce Next Generation skilled manpower in CPS,
  4. catalyze Translational Research,
  5. accelerate entrepreneurship and start-up ecosystem development in CPS,
  6. give impetus to advanced research in CPS, Technology development and higher education in Science, Technology and Engineering disciplines, and
  7. place India at par with other advanced countries and derive several direct and indirect benefits.

Annual Startup India Venture Capital Summit 2018 to be held in Goa

Context: The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Government of Goa, is hosting the annual Startup India Venture Capital Summit in Goa on December 07, 2018.

About:

  • The theme of the Summit is ‘Mobilizing Global Capital for Innovation in India.’ The event will showcase the Indian startup opportunity for funds from around the world.
  • The summit aims to attract more global capital into the country. The event will enable a dialogue between Government and experienced Venture Capital fund managers on ways to further promote the start-up ecosystem in India.
  • The focus of the Summitis on the huge return-generating potential of India’s vast and diverse market monetized through cutting-edge technologies and supported by investor-friendly regulations.
  • India has the world’s third largest startup base with more than 14,000 recognized Startups. More than 8,200 startups were recognized by DIPP in 2018 alone, leading to the creation of more than 89,000 new jobs this year, taking the total job creation contribution of recognized Startups to 1,41,775.

Sino-India Joint Exercise Hand-in-Hand 2018

Context: Exercise Hand-in-Hand is conducted annually as part of military diplomacy and interaction between armies of India and China. The joint exercise for the year 2018 will be conducted from 10 to 23 December 2018 at Chengdu, China. 

About:

  • The aim of the exercise is to build and promote close relations between armies of both the countries and to enhance ability of joint exercise commander to take military contingents of both nations under command.
  • The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an International Counter Insurgency/ Counter Terrorist environment under UN mandate.
  • Exercise Hand-in-Hand 2018 will go a long way to further cement relationship between both the nations and will act as a catalyst in bringing bonhomie at grassroots levels between the armies of both countries. 

Ideate for India- Creative Solutions using Technology

Context: The Hon’ble Minister for Electronics & IT, Law & Justice, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, launched a National Challenge for Youths, “Ideate for India – Creative Solutions using Technology”

About:

  • The aim of this National Challenge is to give school students across the country a platform and opportunity to become solution creators for the problems they see around them and their communities.
  • Ideate for India” will empower and enable these students to transition from being ‘users’ of technology to become ‘creators’ of new indigenous technologies to solve local problems in their community by re-imagining solutions to work out critical local issues.
  • Ideate for India” National Challenge will help inculcate innovation skills in youth and equip all students to utilise technology for the betterment of their communities and the society at large. Simultaneously, this will prepare them to contribute towards the realization of Digital India goals.

Freight Village in Varanasi

Context: The Ministry of Shipping has approved the development of a freight village in Varanasi adjoining the Inland Waterways Terminal on River Ganga.

About:

  • It will serve as a cargo hub, and a centre for aggregation and value addition.  It will also provide support to stimulate development of a professional logistics industry in Varanasi.
  • A freight village is a designated area where facilities for various modes of transportation, distribution of goods and other logistics are available in a synchronized manner on a large scale.
  • The main function of freight villages is the management and utilization of various modes of transport, synergizing them and decongesting the existing mode of transportation.
  • A World Bank pre-feasibility study has found Varanasi to be a suitable site for the freight village. The city is locatedstrategically and is a focal point in the logistics chain of Eastern Transport Corridor of India where the National Waterways-1, Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC), National Highway-7 and National Highway-2 pass through.

To ace UPSC current affairs section, read more PIB articles here.

Also see: