22 Jan 2022: PIB Summary for UPSC


1. District Good Governance Index (DGGI)
2. Sela Tunnel Project
3. Sub-Mission on Agriculture mechanisation (SMAM)
4. India-USA discussion on Climate Change
FIP Magazine

1. District Good Governance Index (DGGI)

Syllabus: GS II, Important aspects of governance

Mains: Significance of DGGI in the betterment of district administration and governance, Doctrine of minimum government – maximum governance

Context: India’s first District Good Governance Index has been released virtually to estimate the diversity of governance model in the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir.

Key highlights of the Index: Areas covered and outcomes

  • Universal coverage has been achieved in the Kisan Credit Card scheme, Soil Health Card scheme and animal vaccination in most of the districts of Jammu & Kashmir. This was accompanied by growth of food grain production, horticulture produce, milk and meat production.

Read in details about Kisan Credit Card Scheme in the linked article

  • The commerce and industry sector has also shown improvement in terms of GST registration, facility to avail credits for handicraft industries and self-employment.
  • There has been an increase in the percentage of schools with drinking water facilities, toilets and electricity along with the access to computers. Registered students have been provided with 100% skill training in 10 districts.
  • Full immunisation reflects a significant success story in the healthcare system in the districts of Jammu & Kashmir. Many Primary Health Centres have been converted to Health and Wellness Centres with the improvement in the proportion of anganwadis.
    • The index identified the positive outcomes of Housing for all scheme such as :
    • 50% of sanctioned houses being grounded in12 districts
    • Ganderbal and Srinagar achieving 100% access to safe drinking water
    • 18 districts have achieved full access to sanitation facilities
  • Under the Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), financial inclusion has been ensured to assist employment generation and double digital growth.
  • 80% Aadhar seeding of ration cards determines a milestone achieved in the social welfare and development sector.
  • Establishment of e-office, betterment in the grievance redressal mechanism and an increased number of online delivery of government service have gathered momentum.

Significance of the Index :

  • This initiative to carry out an assessment of governance at the district level expands the purview of a citizen centric governance.
  • The District Good Governance Index sets an example of the government’s commitment to empower good governance that looks after the interests of people with proactive measures.
  • However, challenges still exist in different parts of the country especially in terms of socio-economic inequalities that need an urgent response.
  • In order to identify the loopholes in policy interventions and governance at the district level, the DGGI can be applied in other districts for a holistic analysis and establish the model of “Minimum Government – Maximum Governance”.

2. Sela Tunnel Project

Syllabus: GS III, Infrastructure

Prelim: BRO, features of the tunnel

Mains: Importance of connectivity projects in the border areas of India

Context: The final blast for the 980 metres long Sela Tunnel has been conducted by the Border Roads Organisations (BRO). The foundation stone of the tunnel was laid by the Prime Minister through an e-ceremony. This leads to the beginning of the excavation works.

About the Sela Tunnel Project:

  • The Sela tunnel is located in the west Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The project is divided into Tunnel 1 and Tunnel 2
  • Tunnel 1 is a 980 metre long single tube tunnel and Tunnel 2 which is a 1555m long twin tube tunnel.
  • Tunnel 2 is provided with one bi-lane tube for traffic and one escape tube for emergencies.
  • This project also includes the construction of a road that links the two tunnels.

Advantages of the tunnel:

  • The Sela tunnel will be one of the longest tunnels to be constructed above an altitude of 13,000 feet.
  • Once it is completed, it will facilitate an all weather connectivity to Tawang.
  • The Sela tunnel will allow faster deployment of weapons and soldiers ensuring winter connectivity and shorter travel time.
  • The tunnel will be much below the snow line which will allow travel without the challenges of snow clearance work.

Also read about Border Road Organisation in the linked article

Image Source: Times of India

3. Sub-Mission on Agriculture mechanisation (SMAM)

Syllabus: GS III, Technology missions

Prelims: Drones, SMAM

Mains: Implications of technology intervention in agriculture

Context: The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has released guidelines to promote drone technology in agriculture in order to boost precision farming in India. 

About the Programme:

  • The government is all set to provide financial support under the Sub- Mission on Agriculture Mechanisation (SMAM) scheme to promote drone technology. 
  • Grant up to Rs 10 lakhs will be offered to the agricultural institutes for the purchase of drones. 
  • Custom hiring centres will be set up by the Cooperative Society of Farmers, FPOs and rural entrepreneurs to obtain financial support for purchasing purposes. 
  • The entire programme intends to make technology accessible to common people and enhance domestic drone production. 
  • The drone operations are being permitted by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Director General of Civil Aviation. The use of drones will be regulated by the Draft Drone Rules.
  • The Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has introduced the Standard Operating Procedures for the use of drone applications. 

About SMAM: 

  • This sub-mission operates under the aegis of the National Mission on Agricultural Extension & Technology (NMAET) which aims to incorporate new institutional arrangements for technology dissemination in agriculture. This will make the agricultural set up more farm-driven enabling better agronomic practices. 
  • There are four sub-missions under the NMAET of which SMAM is also a part.
  • Sub-mission on Agricultural extension, Sub-mission on Seed and Planting Material, Sub-mission on Agricultural Mechanisation and Sub-mission on Plant Protection and Plant Quarantine are the sub-missions that operate under NMAET. 
  • Popularisation of modern and appropriate technologies is the major objective of the SMAM scheme. 
  • It focuses on farm mechanisation
  • This sub-mission also caters to the need of small and marginal farmers in the following ways:
    • Through institutional arrangements like custom hiring
    • Mechanisation of pre-selected villages
    • Subsidies for the procurement of machines and pieces of equipment



Amendments to the SMAM:

  • The changes made to the existing regulations of SMAM scheme aims to provide a 100% grant for the cost of agriculture drone or Rs 10 lakhs, whichever is less as grant for purchase by the Farm Machinery Training & Testing Institutes, ICAR institutes, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and State Agriculture Universities for taking up large scale projects on drone technology.
  • Farmers Producers Organisations would be eligible for 75% of the cost of agriculture drone for its demonstrations on the farmers’ fields. 

Drone technology: Applications

  • This technology helps the farmers in data collection related to planting and in treatments to achieve best possible crop yields. 
  • It can be beneficial for precision agriculture.
  • Drones are beneficial in monitoring the plant health
  • It is also beneficial for examining field conditions
  • It enables spray applications which are extensively used in countries like south-east Asia and South Korea. These drone sprays are used to target specific areas to maximise efficiency and save chemical cost. However, in countries like Canada these sprayers are not legalised as more tests are needed to understand the impact of spray drift. 
  • Drones can also ensure crop security by monitoring the far reaches of farms.
  • Water can be distributed efficiently in the field with the help of drone irrigation.

4. India-USA discussion on Climate Change

Syllabus: GS II, International Relations, Bilateral grouping involving India

Prelims: Carbon capture, COP 26

Mains: Challenges and opportunities to combat climate change

Context: The challenges and opportunities of using technology-led carbon capture methods to tackle climate change have been discussed by experts from India and the USA. This discussion took place in the Indo-US Scoping Workshop on Carbon Capture.

About the Discussion:

  • In order to cut down the carbon emissions, both the countries decided to adopt technologies like carbon capture, utilisation and storage and head towards a low carbon future.
  • Both India and the US decided to collaborate and exchange knowledge to expand the application of carbon capture technology.
  • The discussion laid enormous emphasis on achieving the goal of zero carbon and the targets set at the COP 26.
  • The India-US Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership has been launched to speed up the process of mitigating the issue of climate change.

Read more about Carbon Sequestration in the linked article

Read previous PIB here.

January 22nd, 2022, PIB:- Download PDF Here

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