11 July 2018: UPSC Exam PIB Summary & Analysis

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India, UK to take forward the exchange of legal practitioners

  • Hon’ble Minister for Law & Justice and Electronics & IT Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad visited United Kingdom and met Mr. David Gauke, Secretary of State for Justice, UK. 
  • The two Ministers discussed taking forward the exchange of legal practitioners on the basis of reciprocity in accordance with the prevailing legal provisions in their respective countries. 
  • The two Ministers signed an MoUfor enhancing bilateral cooperation in legal affairs which, inter alia, provides a framework for promoting greater co-operation between the judicial and legal professionals in both countries through exchange of expertise and training; exchanging information regarding current issues of international significance.
  • The Minister appreciated the tremendous interest shown by UK companies in India’s digital story and listed out some of the key areas such as skill enhancement, Fintech, emerging technologies such as AI and Cyber Securityas the possible areas of growth, where UK IT firms could leverage the growth potential and size of India’s growing digital economy.

Technology Challenge Launched for Promoting Suitable Techniques for Cleaning of Sewers and Septic Tanks 

  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched a technology challenge for promoting suitable techniques for cleaning of sewers and septic tanks with the objective of eliminating the human entry into septic tanks/manholes etc.
  • This is in line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who, in a meeting chaired by him on May 4, 2018 had desired a technology challenge to promote latest technologies to avoid human intervention in cleaning of sewers and septic tanks.
  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, which was entrusted with the task, has now launched the “Technology Challenge: Identifying solutions for cleaning of Sewerage Systems and Septic Tanks”. The said challenge will be a part of the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention which is to be held on October 2, 2018 and will remain open up to 17:30 Hrs on 14 August, 2018.

Technology Challenge – Details

  • Elimination of human entry into sewer drains and cleaning of the septic tank is the ultimate goal of this Challenge. Proposals have been invited by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Govt of India, from interested innovators, individuals, consortium partners, companies, academic institutions, research and development centers, NGOs, Parastatal and municipal bodies, to provide innovative technical solutions which eliminate the need for human entry into septic tanks and sewers.


  • Identify technological as well as business process innovations.
  • Endorse viable business models that are suitable for a different size, geographies, and class of cities.
  • Pilot test and handhold to scale the shortlisted technologies/solutions in select project cities.
  • Bridge the gap between innovators/manufacturers and beneficiaries- i.e. ULBs, citizens

Evaluation Process and Criteria

  • For evaluation and scrutiny of the technological solutions submitted by the participants, a jury shall be constituted from among experts from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, faculty from IITs/IIMs and representatives of leading civil society groups. The jurors for evaluation of the proposals shall adopt the following broad criteria.
  1. The operational effectiveness of the Technology
  2.  Life of machinery/ Durability
  3.  Ease of use (automation)
  4.  Ease of availability/Economies of scale
  5.  Adaptability/Versatility
  6.  Made in India
  7.  Environmentally Sustainable


The Challenge shall be conducted for two separate categories. 

  • Category A-Technological solutions for cleaning and maintenance of sewerage systems that eliminate need for human entry.
  • Category B-Technological solutions for cleaning and maintenance of septic tanks that eliminate need for human entry.


List of MoUs/Documents signed between India and the Republic of Korea during the State Visit of President of Korea to India 

S. No.

Name of Document

Indian Signatory

RoK Signatory



Joint Statement on Early Harvest Package of the Upgraded Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)

Shri Suresh Prabhu, Commerce and Industry Minister, India

H.E. Kim Hyun-chong, Minister for Trade, Industry & Energy, RoK

To facilitate ongoing negotiations on upgrading the India-RoK CEPA by identifying key areas for trade liberalization (including Shrimp, Molluscs and Processed Fish).


MoU on Trade Remedies

Shri Suresh Prabhu Commerce & Industry Minister, India

H.E. Kim Hyun-chong, Minister for Trade, Industry & Energy

For cooperation in the area of trade remedies viz. anti-dumping, subsidy, countervailing and safeguard measures through consultations and exchange of information through establishment of a Cooperation Committee comprising government officials and domain experts.


MoU on Future Strategy Group

Shri Suresh Prabhu Commerce & Industry Minister, India and Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Science and Technology Minister, India

H.E Kim Hyun-chong, Minister for Trade, Industry & Energy, RoK and Mr. You Young Min Minister for Science and ICT, RoK

For cooperation in development of cutting edge technologies for commercialization to reap benefits of the 4th Industrial revolution. Thrust areas include Internet of Things (IOT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Smart Factory, 3D Printing, Electric Vehicle, Advance Materials and affordable healthcare for the elderly and disabled.


Cultural Exchange Programme for the period 2018 – 2022.

Shri Raghvendra Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, India

H.E. Shin Bong Kil, Ambassador, RoK to India

To deepen cultural and people-to-people relations by providing for institutionalized cooperation in fields of Music and Dance, Theatre, Art Exhibitions, Archives, Anthropology, Mass Media Programmes and Museum Exhibits.


MoU on cooperation in the field of scientific and technological research between Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and National Research Council of Science and Technology (NST)

Dr. Girish Sahni, DG, CSIR

Dr. Wohn Kwang Yun, Chairman, National Research Council of Science and Technology (NST)

For cooperation in scientific & technological research, including in areas of affordable water purification technologies, intelligent transport systems, new/ alternative materials, traditional and oriental medicines and technology packaging and commercialization.


MoU on cooperation between Research Design and Standards Organization (RDSO) and Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI)


Shri M. Hussain, DG RDSO

Mr. Na Hee-seung, President KRRI

For cooperation in railway research, exchange of railway related experience and development of railway industries. Both sides will explore planning and execution of joint research projects, including setting-up an advanced Railways R&D facility in India.


MoU on cooperation in the field of biotechnology and bio-economics.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Science and Technology, India

Mr. You Young Min, Minister of Science and ICT, RoK

For cooperation in adoption of biotechnology and Bio Big-Data in health, medicine, Agro fishery products, digital healthcare, precision medicine, brain research, and next generation-medical equipment.


MoU on cooperation in the field of ICT and Telecommunications

Shri Manoj Sinha,
Minister of State, Ministry of telecommunications, India

Mr. You Young Min, Minister of Science & ICT, RoK

For cooperation in development, modernization and expansion of state-of-the-art Telecommunication/ICT services and next generation Wireless Communication Networks such as 5G, Cloud Computing, Big Data, IOT, AI and their applications in services, disaster management, emergency response, and cyber security.


MoU on cooperation in the field of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises between India and RoK
(Nodal Agencies: NSIC – National Small Industries Corporation of India) and (SBC – Small and Medium Business Corporation of RoK)

Shri Ravindra Nath Chairman and Managing Director,
National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC)

Mr. Lee sang Jik, President, Small and Medium Business Corporation

For cooperation in the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in both countries and in improving their competitiveness in global markets. The two sides will also explore the possibility of establishing an India-RoK technology exchange centre.


MoU between Government of Gujarat and Korea Trade Promotion Agency (KOTRA)

Shri M. K. Das, Principal Secretary, Industries & Mines, Govt. of Gujarat

Mr. Kwon Pyung-oh, President & CEO, Korean Trade- Investment Promotion Agency

To enhance industrial and investment relations between South Korean companies and the State of Gujarat through cooperation in areas of urban infrastructure, food processing, agriculture related industries, startup ecosystem, skill training and development and new & renewable energy. KOTRA shall open an office in Ahmedabad and will become one of the partner organizations for the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019.


MoU regarding Queen Suriratna Memorial Project

Shri Awanish Kumar Awasthi, Additional Chief Secretary and DG, Tourism, Govt. of U.P.

H.E. Shin Bong Kil, Ambassador RoK

To facilitate upgradation and expansion of the existing monument commemorating Princess Suriratna (Queen Hur Hwang-ok), a legendary Princess of Ayodhya, who went to Korea in AD 48 and married King Kim-Suro. A large number of Koreans trace their ancestry to this legendary princess. The new monument will be a tribute to the shared cultural heritage and long-lasting friendship between India and RoK.


Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Haryana Top Rankers in Ease of Doing Business 

  • Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, released the final rankings of States in Ease of Doing Business in New Delhi. The top rankers are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Haryana. Jharkhand and Gujarat stood fourth and fifth respectively.
  • DIPP, Ministry of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the World Bank conducted an annual reform exercise for all States and UTs under the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP).

Aim: To improve delivery of various Central Government regulatory functions and services in an efficient, effective and transparent manner.

  • The current assessment under the BRAP 2017 is based on a combined score consisting of Reform evidence score that is based on evidences uploaded by the States and UTs and Feedback score that is based on the feedback garnered from the actual users of the services provided to the businesses.
  • It is for the first time that DIPP has introduced taking feedback to ensure that the reforms have actually reached ground level.
  • The feedback was collected through face-to-face interviews of actual users selected from more than 50,000 users of the services provided by the State and UT governments. 78 reforms out of 372 were identified for the survey.
  • More than 5,000 private sector users in 23 States and UTs, including 4,300 businesses and 800 architects, lawyers and electrical contractors from across the country shared their experience.
  • The State reform exercise under Ease of Doing Business in India is creating a lot of interest in other countries like Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia which proves that such reforms are imperative for improving the business and regulatory environment.

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