24 February 2020: PIB Summary & Analysis

This article briefly covers topics related to approval for acquisition, received by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) from Competition Commission of India (CCI), SPICe + initiative of Ministry of Corporate Affairs, to contribute towards Ease of Doing Business, review of Defence Public Sector Undertakings like Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), important facets regarding National War Memorial, amendment of arms act by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government plans to empower Institutes of Higher Education, and corporate collaboration in National Mission for Clean Ganga.

Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.


February 24th, 2020 PIB:- Download PDF Here

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1. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)
2. Competition Commission of India (CCI)
3. SPICe+
4. Ordnance Factory Board (OFB)
5. National War Memorial
6. Amendments in Arms Act, 1959
7. Institutions of Eminence (IoE) Scheme
8. Corporates joins Ganga rejuvenation effort in a big way

1. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)


1st anniversary of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) observed.

For more on PM KISAN, click on the linked article.

2. Competition Commission of India (CCI)


NTPC gets CCI approval to acquire 74.50% of issued and paid-up share capital of THDC India Ltd.

About CCI:

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is a statutory body of the Government of India responsible for enforcing the Competition Act, 2002 throughout India. To read more on the Competition Commission of India, click on the linked article.

About NTPC:

  1. NTPC is a Maharatna PSU having a presence in the power generation business.
  2. The principal business activity of the company is electric power generation through coal-based thermal power plants.
  3. NTPC is also engaged in the business of generation of electricity from hydro and renewable energy sources.
  4. NTPC Limited was formerly known as National Thermal Power Corporation Limited.

3. SPICe+


The Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) inaugurated the SPICe+ web form.

About SPICe+:

  1. As part of the Government of India’s Ease of Doing Business (EODB) initiatives, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has notified a new Web Form christened ‘SPICe+’ (pronounced ‘SPICe Plus’) replacing the existing SPICe form.
  2. SPICe+ would offer 10 services by 3 Central Government Ministries & Departments (Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Labour & Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance) and One State Government (Maharashtra), thereby saving as many procedures, time and cost for Starting a Business in India and would be applicable for all new company incorporations.
  3. SPICe+ would be an integrated Web Form.
  4. SPICe+ would have two parts viz.: Part A-for Name reservation for new companies and Part B offering a bouquet of services such as incorporation, DIN allotment, mandatory issue of PAN, TAN, EPFO registration, etc.
  5. The new web form would facilitate onscreen filing and real-time data validation for the seamless incorporation of companies.

Key Features of SPICe+

4. Ordnance Factory Board (OFB)


The Defence Minister reviews performance of OFB and four DPSUs (defence PSUs).


  1. The Minister reviewed the performance of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and Defence Public Sector Undertakings – Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).

About the OFB:

  1. Headquartered in Kolkata, OFB produces state-of-the-art battlefield equipment, ammunition and other military hardware for the Armed Forces and strives to modernise the production facilities besides training the personnel.
  2. With a focus on indigenisation, the OFB has filed 246 Intellectual Property Rights applications.
  3. Forty-two R&D Centres with specific technological domains have been set up with project-based collaborations with IIT’s/IISc/NIT’s.
  4. The development of futuristic technologies with Indian private industries through iDex platform is one of the focus areas of OFB.
  5. For more on the OFB, check CNA dated 22nd Aug 2019.

5. National War Memorial


CDS will pay homage to martyrs on the first anniversary of National War Memorial on 25th February.

About the National War Memorial:

  1. The monument was dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on February 25, 2019.
  2. The memorial is a fitting tribute by the grateful nation to its fallen heroes in the line of duty during various wars and internal security challenges since Independence.
  3. For more on the memorial, check PIB dated February 24, 2019.

6. Amendments in Arms Act, 1959


Amendments in Arms Act, 1959 and Arms Rules, 2016 notified.


  1. As per the new rules, now International medallists/renowned shooters are allowed to keep additional weapons up to a total of twelve under the exempted category, which earlier was seven.
  2. Indian shooters have excelled in international competitions. Keeping this in mind, the Ministry of Home Affairs, vide its notification issued under the Arms Act 1959, has made provisions to provide adequate firearms and ammunition to the shooters for their practice.
  3. The Ministry of Home Affairs vide its notifications dated 12th February 2020 has amended the provisions of the Arms Act, 1959 and the Arms Rules, 2016 to increase the number of firearms that can be kept by shooters and enhanced the quantity of ammunition fixed for their practice for the year. These provisions are expected to greatly facilitate their shooting practice.
  4. If a shooter is renowned in one event, he/she can keep maximum eight (previously it was four), if a shooter is renowned in two events he/she can keep maximum ten (previously it was seven) and if a shooter is renowned in more than two events, he/she can keep maximum twelve (previously it was seven) firearms under the exempted category. Junior target shooters/aspiring shooters are now allowed to possess two weapons (previously one) of any category in which the person is engaged.
  5. Apart from the above exemptions, shooters are entitled to possess two firearms as normal citizens under provisions of the Arms Act, 1959.
  6. Similarly, by amending the provision under Rule 40 of the Arms Rules, 2016 the quantity of ammunition that can be purchased by the shooters during the year for the practice has also been increased considerably.
  7. Apart from this, the Ministry of Home Affairs has also made other necessary amendments in the Arms Rules, 2016 by amending the Arms Act, 1959 vide the Arms (Amendment) Act, 2019.
    • Through these amendments, it has also been clarified that no licence is required for Indian citizens for acquisitions, possession of small arms falling under the category of curio.
    • However, appropriate licence as prescribed would be required for use or to carry or transport such small arms.
    • Without the endorsement of such firearms in the prescribed licence of the owner, no ammunition shall be sold for their use.

For more on Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019 check PIB dated Dec 9th, 2019.

7. Institutions of Eminence (IoE) Scheme


Union HRD Minister chairs a high-level meeting to review progress of Institutions of Eminence (IoE) Scheme.

About the Institutions of Eminence (IoE) Scheme:

  • The IoE Scheme was launched in order to implement the commitment of the Government to empower the Higher Educational Institutions and to help them become world-class teaching and research institutions.
  • For more on the scheme, check PIB dated Sep 5th, 2019.

8. Corporates Joins Ganga Rejuvenation Effort in a Big Way


A tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), State Program Management Group-Uttarakhand (SPMG-UK) and Indorama Charitable Trust (ICT) to work together for renovation/development of the Ghat at Badrinath and Ghats and Crematoria at Gangotri in Uttarakhand.


  1. Rivers in India have always been considered sacred and the Ganga River, in particular, is the identity and lifeline of India.
  2. Pilgrim sites and urban centres have developed along the river. These centres have drawn sustenance from the river and have been thriving over time.
  3. Ghats and crematoria are part of the lifestyle of people and pilgrimages to visit the holy river Ganga play a vital role in strengthening the People-River Connect.
  4. Gangotri and Badrinath being part of the Char Dham Yatra are especially important.
  5. This MoU is a significant step for improving amenities and sanitation at these holy locations with the underlying spirit of partnership and of private corporates taking responsibility by contributing to the National Mission: Rejuvenation of the sacred river Ganga.

Activities of the Project Include:

  1. Construction of Bathing Ghats and Crematoria
  2. Repair and modernization of existing Ghats and Crematoria
  3. Providing public amenities on Ghats
  4. Bank erosion protection works
  5. Operation & Maintenance (O&M) for 5 years

Benefits of the Project:

  1. Rejuvenated Ghats along the river would improve the people-river connect and would also become places that reflect local culture and history.
  2. The Project will significantly improve the visual aesthetics of the area. For Ganga Rejuvenation, improvement in aesthetics is also an important aspect.
  3. River water quality improvement through reduction in disposal of untreated sewage, solid waste disposal, etc.
  4. Increase in Tourism which will create opportunities for local employment.
  5. Prevent the disposal of un-burnt/partially burnt bodies in the river and reduce the pollution due to cremation process (Improved Wood Based Crematoria (IWC) save 200 kg of wood per cremation and 1 tree per 3 cremations).

Also read: National Ganga Council

February 24th, 2020 PIB:- Download PDF Here

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2020.

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