13 February 2019: UPSC Exam PIB Summary & Analysis

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Memorandum of Understanding between India and Finland on Cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of outer space


Union cabinet approves Memorandum of Understanding between India and Finland on Cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of outer space.


  • The signed MoU 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.
  • Cooperation with the Government of Finland would lead to develop a joint activity in the field of application of space technologies for the benefit of humanity.


The Memorandum of Understanding shall enable the following potential interest areas of cooperation such as,

  • Remote sensing of the earth
  • Satellite communication and satellite-based navigation
  • Space science and planetary exploration
  • Development, testing and operation of space objects and ground system
  • Launching of Finnish Space objects by Indian launch vehicles
  • Processing and use of space data
  • Developing innovative applications and solutions based on space technologies and use of artificial intelligence
  • Cooperation around emerging new Space opportunities and data ecosystems and sustainable used of outer space.

National Commission for Safai Karmacharis


The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for Extension of tenure of the National Commission for SafaiKarmacharis(NCSK) beyond 31.3.2019 for three years.


The NCSK was established in the year 1993 as per the provisions of the NCSK Act 1993 initially for the period upto 1997. Later the validity of the Act was initially extended upto 2002 and thereafter upto 2004. The NCSK Act ceased to have effect from 2004. After that the tenure of the NCSK has been extended as a non-statutory body from time to time. The tenure of the present Commission is upto 31.3.2019.

Major impact:

  • The major beneficiaries of the proposal would be the Safai Karamcharis and persons engaged in manual scavenging in the country since the NCSK will work for their welfare and upliftment.
  • The number of Manual Scavengers identified under the MS Act Survey as on 31.01.2019 is 14226 and under the National Survey undertaken by Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment at the behest of NITI Aayog is 31128 on 31.01.2019.

Role of NCSK:

  • The NCSK has been giving its recommendations to the Government regarding specific programmes for welfare of Safai Karamcharis, study and evaluate the existing welfare programmes for SafaiKaramcharis, investigate cases of specific grievances etc.
  • Also as per the provisions of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, the NCSK has been assigned the work to monitor the implementation of the Act, tender advice for its effective implementation to the Centre and State Governments and enquire into complaints regarding contravention/non-implementation of the provisions of the Act.
  • Though the Government has taken many steps for the upliftment of the SafaiKaramcharis, the deprivation suffered by them in socio-economic and educational terms is still far from being eliminated.
  • Further the practice of manual scavenging is still prevalent in the country and its eradication continues to be an area of the highest priority for the Government.

e-AUSHADHI portal


Ministry of State (IC) for AYUSH, launched the e-AUSHADHI portal, for online licensing of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy drugs and related matters at New Delhi. 


  • e-AUSHADHI portal is intended for increased transparency, improved information management facility, improved data usability and increased accountability.
  • Timelines will be fixed for processing of application through this portal with SMS and e-mail status updates at each step of the process.
  • It will provide real-time information of the licensed manufactures and their products, cancelled and spurious drugs, contact details of the concerned authority for specific grievances.

National Policy for Domestic Workers


The Central Government has not enacted any separate law to protect the interest of domestic workers. However, the Ministry of Labour & Employment is considering to formulate a National Policy on Domestic Workers which is in the draft stage.

The salient features of the proposed draft National Policy on Domestic Workers are as under:

  1. Inclusion of Domestic Workers in the existing legislations.
  2. Domestic workers will have the right to register as unorganized workers. Such registration will facilitate their access to rights & benefits.
  3. Right to form their own associations/unions
  4. Right to minimum wages, access to social security
  5. Right to enhance their skills
  6. Protection of Domestic Workers from abuse and exploitation
  7. Domestic Workers to have access to courts, tribunals for grievance redressal.
  8. Establishment of a mechanism for regulation of private placement agencies.
  9. Establishment of a grievance redressal system for domestic workers.


  • The Unorganized Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008 has been enacted for providing social security to all unorganized workers including domestic workers.
  • The Act provides the formulation of social security schemes viz life and disability cover, health and maternity benefits & old age protection.
  • The State Governments are mandated under the Unorganized Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008 to formulate suitable welfare schemes for the unorganized sector workers including domestic workers relating to provident fund, employment injury benefits housing, education schemes for children, skill up gradation of workers, financial assistance & old age homes.

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