6 February 2020: PIB Summary & Analysis

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February 6th, 2020 PIB:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy
2. Aspirational Districts Program
3. Agriculture Export Policy (AEP)
4. India-Russia Military Industrial Conference
5. India-Africa Defence Ministers' Conclave
6. Novel Coronavirus Update
7. Samagra Shiksha Scheme
8. National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme (NMMSS)
9. Crime against children
10. TrackChild
11. Pollution of rivers

1. International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy

Context:

President of India presents International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy.

About the International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy:

  • This award was instituted by the Gandhi Memorial Leprosy Foundation in 1986.
  • The Gandhi Memorial Leprosy Foundation is a pioneering organisation established in 1951 in the field of leprosy in India.
  • The award is presented once in two years and consists of Rs. 2 lakhs as cash award, a medallion and a citation.
  • Two awards are presented either to individuals or institutions.
  • The award is given to a Leprosy Worker or Institution who/which has undertaken work in the field of leprosy for a period of not less than 10 years and made a significant contribution in any aspect of leprosy work, resulting in the amelioration of the suffering of leprosy patients and enabling them to lead a normal life.

About Leprosy:

  • Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, is a bacterial disease that affects the skin and nerves leading to physical deformity and disability if left untreated.
  • Despite a centuries-long stigma, it is not hereditary, it is completely curable, and is only mildly infectious – more than 85% of cases are non-infectious and over 95% of the population has a natural immunity to the disease.
  • Initially, infections are without symptoms and typically remain this way for 5 to 20 years.
  • Symptoms that develop include granulomas of the nerves, respiratory tract, skin and eyes.
  • This may result in a lack of ability to feel pain, which can lead to the loss of parts of extremities due to repeated injuries or infection due to unnoticed wounds. Weakness and poor eyesight may also be present.
  • Leprosy is one of the world’s oldest diseases with India accounting for 60% of annual new cases.
  • In 2005, it was officially declared eliminated as a public health concern in India. This was when the new cases fell to less than 1 per 10,000. Yet, India accounts for the largest number of leprosy-affected people in the world.

2. Aspirational Districts Program

Context:

Aspirational Districts Program is the best example of cooperative federalism, says the Prime Minister in his reply to the President’s Motion of Thanks in the Rajya Sabha.

About the Aspirational Districts Program:

  • The ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ Programme aims to expeditiously improve the socio-economic status of 117 districts from the states.
  • The three core principles of the programme are:
    • Convergence (of Central & State Schemes)
    • Collaboration (among citizens and functionaries of Central & State Governments including district teams)
    • Competition among districts
  • Driven primarily by the States, this initiative focuses on the strengths of each district, and prioritizes the attainable outcomes for immediate improvement.
  • For more on the Aspirational Districts Program, click on the linked article.

3. Agriculture Export Policy (AEP)

Context:

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) organised the 2nd National Workshop on the implementation of the Agri Export Policy (AEP).

About the Agriculture Export Policy:

  • The Agriculture Export Policy is framed with a focus on agriculture export-oriented production, export promotion, better farmer realization and synchronization within policies and programmes of the Government of India.
  • It is required to have a “Farmer Centric Approach” for improved income through value addition at source itself which will help to minimize losses across the value chain.
  • India needs to have a farmer oriented strategy to achieve the twin objective of food security and a prominent agriculture exporter of the world.
  • The policy will also give a big push to food processing/manufacturing to have much higher growth in food production which will increase India’s share of value-added processed products in its agriculture export basket at the global level.
  • AEP Objectives:
    • To double agricultural exports by 2022 and reach US$ 100 billion in the next few years thereafter, with a stable trade policy regime.
    • To diversify the 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 phytosanitary issues.
    • To strive to double India’s share in world agri exports by integrating with the global value chain at the earliest.
    • Enable farmers to get the benefit of export opportunities in the overseas market.
  • It has often been recognized that integration in the global value chain is one of the most certain methods of adopting the best agricultural practices along with attaining productivity gains and cost competitiveness.

4. India-Russia Military Industrial Conference

Context:

The 5th round of the India-Russia Military Industrial Conference (IRMIC) was conducted in February 2020 on the side-lines of Defexpo-2020 at Lucknow.

Details:

  • Over 100 Russian and over 200 Indian industry leaders participated in the conference.
  • Indian & Russian companies signed MoUs under the Make in India initiative and will boost the high level strategic and real technological partnership between the two countries.
  • The MoUs were signed for the production of different defence equipment like parts of T-72, T-90, ASW Rocket launchers, radar systems and 3D modelling.

5. India-Africa Defence Ministers’ Conclave

Context:

The first India-Africa Defence Ministers’ Conclave was held along the side-lines of the DefExpo 2020.

Details:

  • 12 Defence Ministers & 38 Countries represented the India-Africa Defence Ministers’ Conclave
  • The Conclave was conducted with the aim of exporting India-made equipment to the African continent in keeping with long-standing defence partnerships since the 1950s.
  • A Joint Declaration – “Lucknow Declaration”, was adopted as an outcome document of the Conclave.
    • The Declaration calls for deeper cooperation in the domain of defence industry including through investment, joint ventures in defence equipment software, digital defence, research & development, provisioning of defence equipment, spares and their maintenance on sustainable and mutually beneficial terms.
    • It recognises the common security challenges such as terrorism and extremism, piracy, organised crime including human trafficking, drug trafficking, weapon smuggling and others and agrees to collaborate to tackle them together.
    • It encourages enhanced cooperation between India and Africa on the evolving concept of Indo-Pacific and welcomes the African Union’s vision for peace and security in Africa that coincides with India’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for all in the Region).
  • Besides traditional partners in Eastern and Southern Africa, Western African states have also sought to deepen defence ties with India including training for its officers and joint defence exercises.
  • India has had defence partnerships with Zambia, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Botswana, Uganda, Namibia and Mozambique and is seeking to expand this to include more countries across the vast continent.

6. Novel Coronavirus Update

Context:

Update on the latest development in the Novel Coronavirus issue. Get more details on the Wuhan Coronavirus here.

Details:

  • All 645 evacuees from Wuhan, China have tested negative for the Novel Coronavirus.
  • In addition, 510 samples have been tested by ICMR network laboratories of which all have tested negative except for 3 already reported positive.
  • The 3 positive cases are clinically stable.
  • Community surveillance and contact tracing are ongoing by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) for 6558 persons across 32 States/UTs.

7. Samagra Shiksha Scheme

Context:

Under Samagra Shiksha – an Integrated Scheme for School Education (ISSE), bridging social and gender gaps in school education continues to be one of the major objectives.

About the Samagra Shiksha Scheme:

  • It is an integrated scheme for school education extending support to States from pre-school to senior secondary level.
  • There are many sub-schemes under this.
  • For more on the Samagra Shiksha Scheme, click on the linked article.

8. National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme (NMMSS)

Context:

The Union Minister for Human Resource Development informs in the Rajya Sabha that the NMMSS has helped to reduce the drop-out rate at the secondary and senior secondary classes.

About the NMMSS:

  • The Central Sector Scheme ‘National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme’ (NMMSS) is being implemented since 2008 with the objective to award scholarships to meritorious students of economically weaker sections to arrest their drop out at class VIII and encourage them to continue studies at the secondary stage.
  • Under the Scheme, one lakh fresh scholarships @ of Rs.12000/- per annum per student are awarded to selected students of class IX every year and their continuation/renewal in classes X to XII for study in a State Government, Government-aided and Local body schools.
  • There is a separate quota of scholarships for each State/UT.
  • Students whose parental income from all sources is not more than Rs. 1,50,000/- per annum are eligible to avail of the scholarships.
  • The selection of students for the award of scholarships under the scheme is made through an examination conducted by the States/UTs Governments. For appearing in the test, students should have obtained a minimum of 55% marks in the class VIII exam.
  • The scheme is boarded on the National Scholarship Portal (NSP) since 2015-16.
    • The NSP has been developed by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) for streamlining and fast-tracking the release of Scholarships across Ministries/Departments with efficiency, transparency and reliability.
    • The eligible students from different States/UTs register themselves on NSP.
  • The Scheme was evaluated by the National Institute of Planning and Administration (NIEPA).
    • As per the evaluation study report, the scheme helped poor families in sending their meritorious children for secondary and senior secondary education and has therefore recommended increasing the scholarship amount.

9. Crime against children

Details:

  • The Government of India has recently amended the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, and made effective from August 2019 with a view to providing stringent provisions for protection to children against sexual abuse.
  • The number of crimes against children registered increased by more than 12500 from 2017 to 2018.

Read more on the POCSO Act.

Context:

The above information was given by the Minister of Women and Child Development in the Rajya Sabha.


10. TrackChild

Context:

The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) is hosting a web portal “TrackChild” to track missing and found children.

About TrackChild:

  • TrackChild portal provides an integrated virtual space for all stakeholders & Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) bodies which includes Central Project Support Unit (CPSU), State Child Protection Society/Units and District Child Protection Units (DCPU), Child Care Institutions (CCIs), Police Stations, Child Welfare Committees (CWCs), Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs), etc. in the 35 State/UTs.
  • It also provides a networking system amongst all the stakeholders and citizens to facilitate tracking of a “Child in distress”.
  • The Software also provides facilities for mapping of vulnerable locations, i.e. those which have a large number of children reported missing so that corrective action can be taken in these areas.

11. Pollution of rivers

Details:

  • Under the Namami Gange Programme, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is operating a scheme “Pollution Inventorisation Assessment and Surveillance on river Ganga (PIAS)” for inventorisation, monitoring and surveillance of pollution load discharging into river Ganga and its tributaries and also for annual inspection of all Grossly Polluting Industries (GPIs).

Also read: National Mission for Clean Ganga

Context:

The above information was given by the Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti in the Lok Sabha.

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