20 December 2019: PIB Summary & Analysis

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

December 20th, 2019 PIB:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. ASSOCHAM
2. Commerce and Industry Minister meets export promotion Councils and Boards
3. Afghanistan first country to recognize Indian Pharmacopoeia
4. EChO Network
5. Three combinations get automatic approval under CCI Green Channel
6. Successful flight test of two Pinaka missiles in salvo mode
7. Curtain Raiser: Army Technology Seminar
8. Hand-in-Hand 2019
9. 25th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) 
10. Year Ender 2019 Ministry of Heavy Industry
11. Year Ender 2019 Ministry of Minority Affairs
12. Year End Review -2019 Department of Youth Affairs
13. FIT India Movement

ASSOCHAM

What’s in News?

Prime Minister Addresses the Inaugural session of 100 Years of ASSOCHAM.

ASSOCHAM:

  • The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India is one of the apex trade associations of India.
  • The organisation represents the interests of trade and commerce in India, and acts as an interface between issues and initiatives.
  • The goal of the organization is to promote domestic and international trade.
  • It was established in 1920.

 

Commerce and Industry Minister meets export promotion Councils and Boards

Steps that may be taken to boost India’s exports:

  • Commerce and Industry Minister suggested that rationalization of EPCs must be taken up in order to avoid duplication of work and suggested that the big exporters may continue to be part of FIEO and smaller Councils may merge with bigger EPCs that deal with products of similar nature.
  • EPCs were urged to study the non-tariff barriers (NTB) being faced by them while exporting to other countries so that a study may be done to look at these NTBs and take up this issue by laterally with the countries especially with whom India has FTAs/ PTAs.
  • Exporters were urged to make use of the NIRVIK (Niryat Rin Vikas Yojana) Scheme that will soon be approved by Cabinet so that exporters are able to access easy lending and enhanced loan availability that will cover 90% of the principle interest and will also include both pre and post shipment credit.

Note:

  • The top 5 products in global exports, accounting for over 50%, are electrical & electronic products, petroleum goods, machinery, automobile and plastic goods. However, their share in India’s exports is less than 33%.
  • India’s global share in these 5 products, put together, is about 1%. Therefore, the New Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) should facilitate the export of these products.

 

Afghanistan first country to recognize Indian Pharmacopoeia

What’s in News?

The Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP) has been recognised formally by the National Department of Regulation of Medicines and Health Products of the Ministry of Public Health of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

  • IP will also be used based on the requirement as reputable pharmacopoeia in the laboratory of medicines and health products quality.
  • With this, a new beginning has been made and Afghanistan has become the first country to recognize IP pursuant to the efforts of Department of Commerce and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

What is Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP)?

  • IP is an officially recognized book of standards as per the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules 1945 thereunder.
  • The IP specifies the standards of drugs manufactured and marketed in India in terms of their identity, purity and strength.
  • In order to ensure the quality of medicinal products, the legal and scientific standards are provided by Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) in the form of Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP).
  • As per, the Second Schedule of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, IP is designated as the official book of standards for drugs imported and/or manufactured for sale, stock or exhibition for sale or distribution in India.

Details:

  • The IP Commission’s mission is to promote public and animal health in India by bringing out authoritative and officially accepted standards for quality of drugs including active pharmaceutical ingredients, excipients and dosage forms, used by health professionals, patients and consumers.
  • This is achieved by developing the standards for medicines and supporting their implementation.
  • In addition, IPC also develops IP Reference Substances (IPRS) that act as fingerprint for identification of an article under test and its purity as prescribed in the IP monographs.
  • Standards prescribed in the IP are authoritative in nature and are enforced by the regulatory authorities for quality control of medicines in India.

 

EChO Network

What’s in News?

EChO Network has been launched to catalyze cross-disciplinary leadership in India.

What is EChO Network?

  • EChO Network is a national program to provide a template for cross-disciplinary leadership in India with the specific focus of increasing research, knowledge, and awareness of Indian ecology and the environment.
  • It will train educators and students in interdisciplinary manner.

Details:

  • India faces unprecedented threats to its human environmental and ecosystems, solving which requires a confluence of India’s strong technological expertise and knowledge of the natural world itself. EChO Network would develop a national network to catalyse a new generation of Indians who can synthesize interdisciplinary concepts and tackle real-world problems in medicine, agriculture, ecology, and technology.
  • With no precedent for such a network anywhere in the world, EChO Network establishes a new platform to change how science is embedded in our modern society.
  • Through interactive sessions with citizens, industry, academia, and the government, the Network will identify gaps in knowledge regarding selected topics in human and environmental ecosystems. The program will then train postdoctoral leaders in research and outreach on these topics, while also incorporating current public and private efforts into a national network. It would then go on to establishing nation-wide awareness in these issues through public discourse and education for citizens, industry, and government with information exchange at all educational levels.
  • Over time EChO Network intends to create an international distributed institute comprising individuals housed within industry, government, private, and academic sectors, combining their expertise and resources collectively to tackle large scale problems.

 

Three combinations get automatic approval under CCI Green Channel

What is a Green Channel Route?

  • One of the key suggestions of the Competition Law Review Committee was the introduction of a ‘Green Channel’.
  • The green channel concept recommended by the high level panel that reviewed competition law would allow for an automatic system for speedy approval of combinations subject to certain conditions.
  • Under this process, the combination is deemed to have been approved upon filing the notice in the prescribed format.
  • This system would significantly reduce time and cost of transactions.
  • The green channel is aimed to sustain and promote a speedy, transparent and accountable review of combination cases, strike a balance between facilitation and enforcement functions, create a culture of compliance and support economic growth.

 

Successful flight test of two Pinaka missiles in salvo mode

What’s in News?

  • As part of the series of flight trials of Pinaka missile system, two test firings have been conducted by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • The mission objective of the trial was to test low range, functioning of live warhead along with its proximity initiation and salvo launch.
  • The missile was integrated with live warhead with proximity fuse and was tracked by multiple range systems telemetry, radars, Electro-Optical Tracking System (EOTS), which confirmed the text book flight performance.

Pinaka missile system:

  • Pinaka is an artillery missile system capable of striking into an enemy territory up to a range of 75 km with high precision.
  • The Pinaka Mk-II rocket is modified as a missile by integrating with the navigation, control and guidance system to improve the end accuracy and enhance the range.
  • The navigation system of the missile is also aided by the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) also called as NAVIC.
  • The missile system has been jointly developed by various Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratories viz Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Proof & Experimental Establishment (PXE) and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL).

Curtain Raiser: Army Technology Seminar

  • ARTECH Seminar was launched in 2016 as part of overall vision of ‘Make in India’ and is conducted every year as part of events leading to Army Day celebrations.
  • The seminar is the flagship event of Indian Army which sets the agenda for focus areas of harvesting indigenous capabilities in the Defence sector.
  • ARTECH platform provides an opportunity to practitioners of military operations, policy makers in Ministry of Defence, industry and academia to put forth their contemporary Defence related capabilities.
  • It is also a forum for innovators in uniform to showcase their products and offer these to industry to refine & productionize.

 

Hand-in-Hand 2019

What’s in News?

The eighth edition of India-China joint training exercise Hand-in-Hand 2019 culminated in Meghalaya.

Hand-in-Hand:

  • Hand-in-Hand is an India-China joint training exercise.
  • It is conducted annually as part of military diplomacy and interaction between armies of India and China.
    • Due to tensions between the two sides over Doklam due to standoff between the armies for more than 70 days, the armies skipped the ‘Hand-in-Hand’ exercise in 2017.
  • The exercise involves tactical level operations in an International Counter Insurgency/Counter Terrorist environment under UN mandate.

Details:

  • Hand-in-Hand 2019 was aimed at practicing the joint drills of counter terrorism operations in a semi urban terrain under United Nation mandate.
  • The exercise aims to build close relations between the armies of the two countries.
  • It comes in the backdrop of situation along the Line of Actual Control, which has so far remained peaceful.
  • The number of transgressions this year also considerably reduced as compared to last year, according to the defence ministry in its annual report 2018-19.

25th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25)

What’s in the News?

The 25th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was held under the Presidency of Chile in Madrid, Spain.

Some of the Key issues discussed at COP25 are enlisted below:

Pre-2020 implementation and ambition gaps:

  • On the matter of Pre-2020 gaps in commitments and actions of developed countries under Kyoto Protocol, India, along with other developing countries, was successful in ensuring further work on it.
  • The COP 25 decision provides for assessing the pre-2020 gaps through round tables at COP 26 in Glasgow, with written submissions from Parties.
  • UNFCCC secretariat will prepare a summary report of the pre 2020 gaps in mitigation action and means of implementation support by developed country parties that had commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.

Article 6 under the Paris Agreement:

  • The guidance for Article 6 for market and non-market mechanisms could not be agreed due to divergences among Parties.
  • However, India was successful in protecting its key positions in the last draft decision text presented including on transition of Clean Development Mechanism under Kyoto Protocol to the post-2020 period and provision of share of proceeds from market mechanisms as well as cooperative approaches, for adaptation fund to address the climate change adaptation needs of developing countries.
  • India insisted that fundamental principles of market reliability and parity between Article 6.2 and Article 6.4 must be preserved.
  • India argued for incentivizing private sector through Article 6.4 with adequate returns without requirement of adjusting Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) that are country driven.

Note: Article 6:

  • Article 6 of the Paris Agreement aims at promoting integrated, holistic and balanced approaches that will assist governments in implementing their NDCs through voluntary international cooperation.
  • In other words, by paying a price on carbon, states exceeding their NDCs would bear the costs of global warming

Enhanced Transparency Framework (Monitoring, Reporting and Verification):

  • In the discussions on technical elements under transparency, India argued for a robust transparency framework for both action and support provided by developed to developing countries.
  • Further that the common formats should operationalize flexibility for developing countries to reflect the principle of differentiation.

Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) for Loss and Damage:

  • Under the review of WIM for loss and damage associated with Climate Change Impacts, the decision recognized urgency of scaling-up of action and support, as appropriate, including finance, technology and capacity-building, for developing countries for averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage, including from Green Climate Fund (GCF).
  • The decision also established the Santiago network for catalyzing technical assistance for implementation of relevant approaches at in developing countries.

Adaptation:

  • On adaptation related matters, India has been stressing on parity between mitigation and adaptation.
  • The COP 25 decision recalls that the provision of scaled-up financial resources should aim to achieve a balance between adaptation and mitigation, taking into account country-driven strategies, and the priorities and needs of developing country Parties, considering the need for public and grant-based resources for adaptation.

Technology development and transfer:

  • On technology related matters, the adopted decision requests the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) to continue to implement their mandates with strengthened efforts on all themes of the technology framework.
  • GCF has also been requested to collaborate with CTCN and TEC for strengthening cooperative action on technology development and transfer at different stages of the technology cycle.

Few initiatives taken by India:

  • India also made a presentation on its second Biennial Update Report (BUR) submitted to UNFCCC in 2018 under the Facilitative Sharing of Views (FSV) process. The key highlight of India’s second BUR is the achievement of 21% reduction in emission intensity of its Gross Domestic Product over the period of 2005-2014.
  • India hosted an ‘India Pavilion’ at COP-25 which was a major attraction amongst the visitors that included delegates from different parts of the world, UN agencies etc.
  • The theme of the pavilion was ‘150 years of celebrating the Mahatma’ and it was designed to depict Mahatma Gandhi’s life and messages around sustainable living.

Year Ender 2019 Ministry of Heavy Industry

Automobile Industry in India:

  • The automobile industry is one of the key drivers of the Indian economy.
  • Since the liberalization of the sector in 1991 by way of allowing 100% FDI through automatic route, Indian automobile sector has come a long way.
  • Today, there is a presence of almost every global auto manufacturer in the country.
  • This industry is one of the largest employers and provides about 37 million direct and indirect jobs.

Challenges faced by the sector:

  • Import of crude oil to the tune of billions of liter per year and associated emission of millions tons of CO2 and other pollutants are some of the main challenge being faced by the country which is directly related to Automobile sector.
  • Presently, India is facing an acute air pollution crisis and 14 of the top 20 most polluted cities in the world are in India.

Addressing the challenges:

Embracing electric mobility on large scale is imperative to tackle the various crisis arising due to pollution and giving the citizens of India a better quality of life.

  • To address these challenges, different stakeholder departments of the Government are devising strategies like tightening of (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) CAFÉ Norms, introduction of BS VI compliant vehicles by leapfrogging from BS IV to BS VI directly, Fuel efficiency norms for heavy duty commercial vehicles, Start rating for the vehicles and so on.
  • Promotion of Electric Mobility, which has Zero Tail pipe emission is an efforts of the government in this direction to reduce oil dependency and also to reduce vehicular pollution from the cities.

Electric & Hybrid Mobility:

  • Government of India approved the National Mission on Electric Mobility (NMEM) in 2011 and subsequently National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 (NEMMP 2020) was unveiled in 2013.
  • The NEMMP 2020 is a National Mission document providing the vision and the roadmap for the faster adoption of electric vehicles and their manufacturing in the country.
    • This plan has been designed to enhance national fuel security, to provide affordable and environmentally friendly transportation and to enable the Indian automotive industry to achieve global manufacturing leadership.
    • It is one of the most important and ambitious initiatives that has the potential to bring about a transformational paradigm shift in the automotive and transportation industry in the country.
    • This plan was a culmination of a comprehensive collaborative planning for promotion of hybrid and electric mobility in India through a combination of policies aimed at gradually ensuring a vehicle population of about 6-7 million electric/hybrid vehicles in India by the year 2020 along with a certain level of indigenisation of technology ensuring India’s global leadership in some vehicle segments.
  • As part of the NEMMP 2020, the Government approved the scheme titled ‘Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric (&Hybrid) Vehicles in India’ (FAME India) in 2015 for an initial period of 2 years with an aim to reduce dependency on fossil fuel and to address issues of vehicular emissions. The Scheme has been extended from time to time till 31st March, 2019.
  • The 1st Phase of FAME India Scheme was implemented through four focus areas namely (i) Demand Creation, (ii) Technology Platform, (iii) Pilot Project and (iv) Charging Infrastructure.

Other initiatives to promote Electric Mobility:

  • In addition to FAME India scheme Phase II, different wings of Government are working to promote electric mobility in the country. Some of the major action in this regards are as given below.
  • GST on EVs is reduced to 5% from the current rate of 12%.
  • Government has extended an additional income tax deduction of Rs 1.5 Lakh on interest paid on loans to the buyers of Electric Vehicle to buy EVs is provided.
  • Ministry of Power has allowed sale of electricity as ‘service’ for charging of electric vehicles. This would serve as an incentive to attract investments into charging infrastructure.
  • Ministry of Road Transport Highways (MoRTH) issued notification regarding exemption of permit in case of battery operated commercial vehicles.
  • MoRTH has issued a notification for Green Number plate for the use of Electric Vehicles.
  • Ministry of Finance has revised the custom duty on the EV components to promote local manufacturing of these components.

Challenges faced in wider adoption of EVs:

(i) Lack of awareness among people

(ii) Range anxiety

(iii) High capital cost of EVs as compared to ICE vehicle

(iv) Sub-Par performance of EVs as compared to ICE vehicle

(v) Recycling of battery

Way Forward:

  • Government is working on following initiatives to promote electric mobility.
  • Sanction of about 1000 charging stations in various cities in response to Expression of Interest (EOI) issued by Department of Heavy Industry.
  • Issue of fresh Expression of Interest for inviting proposals from eligible public entities for installation of charging infrastructure on major identified highways.
  • Monitoring timely deployment of 5595 electric buses sanctioned under the schemes to 64 cities and eight State Transport corporations.
  • Publicity activities to promote public to adopt electric mobility.
  • Issue of fresh EOI for sanction of additional buses to the states/cities for intra city and intercity operations.

Year Ender 2019 Ministry of Minority Affairs

In the year 2019, Ministry of Minority Affairs, focussed on educational empowerment of Minorities, especially Muslim girls, and job-oriented skill development of youths belonging to Minority communities. “Development with Dignity” has been the goal of Minority Affairs Ministry.

Educational Empowerment:

  • More than 80 lakh students from six notified Minority communities- Jain, Parsi, Buddhist, Christian, Sikh and Muslim- have been sanctioned pre-matric, post matric, merit-cum-means and other scholarships in first six months of the Modi Govt-2. These students include 60 per cent girls.
  • Besides, in the year 2019, celebrating 150thbirth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Ministry of Minority Affairs provided “Begum Hazrat Mahal Girls Scholarships” to 3 lakh economically backward girls belonging to the six notified Minority communities.

Skill Development/Employment Opportunities:

  • Minority communities have been provided job-oriented skill development training through various schemes such as “Gharib Nawaz Employment Scheme”, “Seekho aur Kamao”, “Nai Manzil”, “Usttad”, “Nai Raushni” in 2019.
  • The Ministry of Minority Affairs has decided to organise 100 “Hunar Haat” in the next five years across the country to provide market and employment.

Pradhanmantri Jan Vikas Karykram (PMJVK):

  • Under “Pradhanmantri Jan Vikas Karykram” (PMJVK) of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, 104 Common Service Centres have been approved across the country.
  • These centres will work as a single-window assistance centre for the needy people to provide information regarding Central Government and State Governments schemes as well as to assist them in getting benefits of these welfare schemes.

Haj:

  • India has become the first country in the entire world which has made the entire Haj 2020 process 100 per cent digital.

Waqf:

  • In a major achievement, 100 per cent digitisation of Waqf properties across the country has been completed.
  • A programme on war footing has been launched for 100 per cent Geo tagging and digitalisation of Waqf properties across the country to ensure these properties can be utilised for welfare of the society.

Year End Review -2019 Department of Sports

Department of Sports under Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports has undertaken many initiatives during the year 2019 in order to infuse sporting culture and achieve sporting excellence in the country. Keeping in view the growing demands for advanced infrastructure, equipment and scientific support, the Government has taken several measures and is providing the necessary assistance to sportspersons by way of training and exposure in international competitions backed up with scientific and equipment support.

Fit India Movement: 

  • Fit India Movement was launched by the Department of Sports on the occasion of National Sports Day with the objective to make fitness an integral part of daily life of Indians, by encouraging them to enrol and participate in Fitness Events/Activities organized during the Campaign Period till August 29, 2023.

Khelo India:

  • The Khelo India Youth Games 2019 were held with Maharashtra as the Host State.

National Conference on ‘Prevention of Doping in Sports: 

  • A two-day National Conference on Anti-Doping was organized by Physical Education Foundation of India in association with National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).

Web Ratna under Digital India Awards-2018 to the website of the Ministry:

  • The website of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports won the Web Ratna (Silver) under Digital India Awards-2018.
  • The awards are given in acknowledgement of exemplary initiatives taken by the Ministry in e-governance using the medium of World Wide Web.

Rationalization of diet and food supplement charges:

  • A decision has been taken to provide financial assistance towards diet, food supplements to all athletes whether Senior, Junior or Sub-Junior athletes.

India’s Olympic Preparation, Tokyo:

  • The Nation’s sporting preparations continues to be backed by two major Schemes of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS), Govt. of India (GoI), implemented by Sports Authority of India (SAI), namely,
    • Annual Calendar for Training and Competitions (ACTC) which caters to all the preparations including training and competition for Indian teams up to Sep 2020 for both Olympics and Para-Olympics 2020 and
    • Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) which provides assistance to India’s top athletes in their pursuit of an Olympic medal. Under Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) 58 Core Probable have been identified and are being supported for 2020 Olympic Games and a further 18 for 2020 Paralympic Games.

Year End Review -2019 Department of Youth Affairs

Restructuring of the Schemes of the Department of Youth Affairs:

  • The Schemes of the Department have been consolidated and restructured into 3 compact schemes:
  1. Eight Schemes are merged into a new ‘umbrella’ Scheme called “Rashtriya Yuva Sashaktikaran Karyakram (RYSK)”
  2. National Service Scheme (NSS): A Central Sector Scheme
  3. Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD): s an Institute of National Importance set up by the Act of Parliament under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India.

FIT India Movement

What’s in the News?

Andhra Pradesh tops in organizing Fit India School Week; more than 21,000 schools receive FIT India flag.

FIT India Movement:

  • Fit India Movementis a nation-wide movement in India to encourage people to remain healthy and fit by including physical activities and sports in their daily lives.  FIT India movement was launched in 2019.
  • In his popular radio show Mann Ki Baat, Prime Minister urged all the schools to celebrate Fit India Week in December and get themselves enrolled in the Fit India Star Rankings.

Details:

  • Andhra Pradesh tops the chart with 13,839 Fit India Schools celebrating FIT India Week.
  • Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh are distant second & third with 1,967 and 1,504 schools respectively.
  • During this week, various activities like Yoga, free-hand exercises, sports competitions, painting competitions, and essay and debate competitions on fitness were organized by the schools to emphasise on the importance of fitness in a student’s life.
  • The Fit India School Ranking system is the first-ever fitness rating for schools introduced in India.
    • Under this, the schools are given a Fit India Flag and 3-star and 5-star rating, depending on the fitness levels of the students and teachers, infrastructure available and their participation in fitness activities.
    • Obtaining FIT India Flag is precondition for getting FIT India school ranking.

December 20th, 2019 PIB:- Download PDF Here



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