29 Feb 2024: PIB Summary for UPSC

29 Feb 2024 PIB
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1. MoSPI Signs MoU with ISRO
2. Eco-friendly wound dressing developed by Indian scientists
3. Creation of post of Director of National Institute of One Health, Nagpur
4. India Semiconductor Mission
5. Royalty rates for mining of 12 critical and strategic minerals
6. International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA)
7. Coal Logistics Plan and Policy
8. Very Short Range Air Defence System
9. Prelims Facts
FIP Magazine

1. MoSPI Signs MoU with ISRO

Syllabus: GS-3, Science & Technology

Prelims: National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Bhuvan, Urban Frame Survey, ISRO


MoSPI signed an MoU with ISRO on the ‘Urban Frame Survey’ using Bhuvan.


  • MoU signed between:
    • NSSO (FOD) under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) 
    • National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) under the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO
  • Objective: To facilitate the Urban Frame Survey (UFS) in a digital mode using the state-of-the-art Geo ICT tools and techniques using the Bhuvan Platform
  • What the MoU covers:
    • Development/improvement of mobile application for Geo-tagging of NSSO Urban Frame Survey data
    • Web portal for visualization
    • System-generated scrutiny, editing, etc. of data submitted through the mobile application
    • QGIS plug-in for accessing the polygons captured through the mobile application and fine-tuning of Block, IV-unit, Ward and Town boundaries of UFS using High-Resolution Satellite Imagery
    • Capacity building of NSSO officials by NRSC

What is the Urban Frame Survey (UFS)?

  • UFS is conducted in five-year phases to prepare and maintain a frame of compact urban geographical units, which serve as sampling frames in the urban sector, mainly for NSSO large-scale Socio-Economic Surveys. 
  • The UFS in digital mode using Bhuvan was first carried out in 2017-22 covering over 5300 towns. 
  • In the current phase (2022 – 2027), survey works of around 8134 towns are planned.

2. Eco-friendly wound dressing developed by Indian scientists

Syllabus: GS-3, Science & Technology

Prelims: About the newly developed wound dressing


Eco-friendly wound dressing developed by Indian scientists using banana fibres.


  • Scientists from the Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST), an autonomous institution under the Dept of Science and Technology, have transformed banana pseudo stems, often considered agricultural waste, into an eco-friendly wound dressing material.
  • They combined the banana fibres with biopolymers like chitosan and guar gum to create a multifunctional patch with excellent mechanical strength and antioxidant properties.
  • Additionally, they loaded the patch with an extract from the Vitex negundo L. plant. This utilises the capabilities of the plant extract-loaded banana fibre-biopolymer composite patch in in vitro drug release and as antibacterial agents. 
  • Significance: The wound dressing material presents a sustainable solution for wound care and suggests additional uses for the abundant banana plant, which may benefit farmers and minimize environmental impact.

3. Creation of post of Director of National Institute of One Health, Nagpur

Syllabus: GS-2, Health

Prelims/Mains: One Health Mission


Cabinet approves the creation of the post of Director of National Institute of One Health, Nagpur.


  • The post will be at the level of Scientist H (in the pay level 15) as Director of the National Institute of One Health, Nagpur.
  • The post will also serve as the Mission Director for the multi-ministerial and multi-sectoral National One Health Mission for integrated disease control and pandemic preparedness, by bringing human, animal, plant and environmental sectors together.
  • The National One Health Mission will help India achieve integrated disease control and pandemic preparedness by institutionalizing the One Health approach
  • It will also leverage the ongoing/planned programs of different Ministries/Departments by fostering collaborations to address the health of humans, animals, plants and the environment holistically and sustainably.
  • The ‘One Health’ approach recognises that the health of people is closely connected to the health of animals and our shared environment and hence, envisages a holistic approach to addressing the health concerns of people, animal and plant worlds and the environment.

4. India Semiconductor Mission

Syllabus: GS-3, Economy

Prelims: India Semiconductor Mission

Mains: Semiconductor industry in India


A giant leap for the India Semiconductor Mission – Cabinet approves three more semiconductor units.

Details of the three approved units:

  • Semiconductor Fab with 50,000 WSPM capacity at Dholera, Gujarat
    • Will be set up by Tata Electronics Private Limited in partnership with Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (PSMC), Taiwan.
    • Investment – Rs.91,000 crore.
    • Capacity: 50,000 wafer starts per month (WSPM)  
    • Segments covered:
      • High-performance compute chips with 28 nm technology
      • Power management chips for electric vehicles (EV), telecom, defence, automotive, consumer electronics, display, power electronics, etc. Power management chips are high voltage, high current applications.
  • Semiconductor ATMP unit in Morigaon, Assam
    • Name of the unit: Tata Semiconductor Assembly and Test Pvt Ltd
    • Investment – Rs.27,000 crore.
    • Capacity: 48 million per day
    • Segments covered: Automotive, electric vehicles, consumer electronics, telecom, mobile phones, etc.
  • Semiconductor ATMP unit for specialized chips at Sanand, Gujarat
    • Will be set up by CG Power, in partnership with Renesas Electronics Corporation, Japan and Stars Microelectronics, Thailand
    • Investment – Rs.7,600 crore.
    • Capacity: 15 million per day
    • Segments covered – chips for consumer, industrial, automotive and power applications.
  • These units will generate direct employment of 20 thousand advanced technology jobs and about 60 thousand indirect jobs.

Read more about the India Semiconductor Mission in the linked article.

5. Royalty rates for mining of 12 critical and strategic minerals

Syllabus: GS-3, Economy

Prelims/mains: MMDR Act


Cabinet approved royalty rates for the mining of 12 critical and strategic minerals.


  • The Union Cabinet has approved the amendment of the Second Schedule to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act) for specifying the rate of royalty in respect of 12 critical and strategic minerals.
  • The minerals are Beryllium, Cadmium, Cobalt, Gallium, Indium, Rhenium, Selenium, Tantalum, Tellurium, Titanium, Tungsten and Vanadium.      
  • This completes the exercise of the rationalisation of royalty rates for all 24 critical and strategic minerals.
  • The government had approved the royalty rates of Glauconite, Potash, Molybdenum and Platinum Group of Minerals in 2022 and of Lithium, Niobium and Rare Earth Elements in 2023.
  • According to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2023, the mining lease and composite licence of 24 critical and strategic minerals listed in Part D of the First Schedule of the MMDR Act shall be auctioned by the Central Government.
  • The royalty rate on minerals is an important financial consideration for the bidders in the auction of blocks. 


  • Critical minerals have become essential for the economic development and national security of the country. 
  • They gain significance in light of India’s commitment towards energy transition and achieving net-zero emissions by 2070. 
  • Encouraging indigenous mining would lead to a reduction in imports and the setting up of related industries and infrastructure projects. 
  • This would also increase employment in the mining sector.

6. International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA)

Syllabus: GS-3, Conservation

Prelims: International Big Cat Alliance


The Cabinet approved the establishment of the International Big Cat Alliance.


The International Big Cat Alliance was launched on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Project Tiger on April 9, 2023. To know more about the International Big Cat Alliance, check the linked article.

7. Coal Logistics Plan and Policy

Syllabus: GS-3, Economy

Prelims/Mains: Coal Logistics Plan and Policy


Union Minister launched the Coal Logistics Plan and Policy.

Coal Logistics Plan and Policy:

  • The policy is aimed at enabling the seamless transportation of coal across the country.
  • It will bring together all agencies involved in mining, transport, monitoring, and usage on a single digital “smart” platform.
  • In light of the rising energy demand estimated to surge to 1.5 billion tonnes by 2030 from 980 million tonnes currently, the plan proposes a strategic shift to a railway-based system in first-mile connectivity projects.
  • Objectives: 
    • The goal is a 14 per cent reduction in rail logistics costs and an annual cost saving of Rs 21,000 crore.
    • The plan will also help reduce air pollution, decrease traffic congestion, and cut carbon emissions by approximately 100,000 tonnes per annum. 
    • A 10 per cent saving in average turnaround time of wagons nationwide is also expected.
  • Smart Logistics Plan
    • The ministry is building an artificial intelligence-powered dedicated logistics platform for fossil fuels, which would integrate all the existing central and state-level coal transport tracking systems. 
    • The Smart Logistics Plan will entail tracking, managing and forecasting coal demand and supply from production to consumption.
  • Significance:
    • Transport is one of the crucial issues in building enough coal stocks for thermal power units.
    • In 2022, many power units reported critically low coal stocks and the railways had to stop and divert some passenger trains to run more coal-carrying rakes.
    • The situation eased a bit in 2023 with the Centre encouraging rail-sea-rail routes through inland waterways.

8. Very Short Range Air Defence System

Syllabus: GS-3, Security & Defence

Prelims: DRDO, Very Short Range Air Defence System


DRDO tested the Very Short Range Air Defence System.


  • DRDO successfully flight-tested Very Short Range Air Defence System (VSHORADS) missile from the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, Odisha.
  • VSHORADS is a Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPAD) designed and developed indigenously by Research Centre Imarat (RCI) in collaboration with other DRDO laboratories and Indian Industry Partners. 
  • VSHORADAS missile incorporates many novel technologies including the miniaturized Reaction Control System (RCS) and integrated avionics.
  • The missile is propelled by a dual-thrust solid motor and is meant for neutralizing low-altitude aerial threats at short ranges.

9. Prelims Facts

National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID)

  • NaBFID is a specialised development finance institution which supports the country’s infrastructure sector by bridging the financing gap in the infrastructure sector, facilitating credit flow through innovative instruments such as longer tenor loans, blended finance, partial credit enhancement, takeout financing, and facilitating crowding-in of infrastructure finance.
  • NaBFID was established by the Government of India as the country’s fifth All India Financial Institution in the country to support the development of long-term non-recourse infrastructure financing in India, including the development of the bonds and derivatives markets necessary for infrastructure financing.
  • It has both developmental and financial objectives.
  • It was set up in 2021.

Read previous PIB articles here.

Related Links
Nutrient Based Subsidy Scheme National Archives of India
WTO Agreements Narcotics Control Bureau
National Livestock Mission Project Tiger





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