18 November 2019: PIB Summary & Analysis

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November 18th, 2019 PIB:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Kimberley Process Certification Scheme
2. National Mission on Cultural Mapping (NMCM)
3. Exercise Za’ir-Al-Bahr (Roar of the Sea)
4. Appointment of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)
5. Defence Export Policy
6. 'Make In India' Initiative
7. CBIC to organise 29th Regional Contact Points (RCP) meeting of Asia Pacific region of the World Customs Organization (WCO) in Puducherry
8. Sardar Patel National Unity Award-2020
9. Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat
10. National Career Service (NCS) Project
11. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)
12. SARAS IITF 2019
13. Indian Institute of Skills (IISs)

Kimberley Process Certification Scheme

Context:

The Plenary meeting of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is being hosted by India.

Details:

  • India is the present Kimberley Process (KP) Chair.
  • The plenary is being hosted in New Delhi in November 2019.
  • India took over the chair of the KP in the previous plenary which was held in Belgium in 2018.
  • Chair for 2019 – 20 is India and Vice Chair is Russia.
  • India had earlier chaired KPCS in the year 2008.

About the Kimberly Process:

  • The Kimberley Process (KP) is a commitment to remove conflict diamonds from the global supply chain. KP claims its participants actively prevent 99.8% of the worldwide trade.
  • The KP is a multilateral trade regime established in 2003 with the goal of preventing the flow of conflict diamonds. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
  • The KP unites governments, civil society and the wider industry.
  • The core of this regime is the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) under which States implement safeguards on shipments of rough diamonds and certify them as “conflict free”.
  • India is a founding member of the KPCS.
  • Under the terms of the KPCS participants must:
    • Satisfy ‘minimum requirements’ and establish national legislation, institutions and import/export controls.
    • Commit to transparent practices and to the exchange of critical statistical data.
    • Trade only with fellow members who also satisfy the fundamentals of the agreement.
    • Certify shipments as conflict-free and provide the supporting certification.
  • The idea behind these terms is to ensure that there is no market for conflict diamonds.
  • There are 54 member countries in the KP which includes the European Union (EU) counted as one member.
  • The KP is also described in UNSC resolutions.
  • In accordance with the KP Core document, the work of the Kimberley Process is carried out through its seven Working Groups and Committees, which discuss issues on regular basis through teleconferences and exchange of mails, and meet twice in a year for in-person meeting at Intersessional and Plenary meetings organized by the Chair.
  • The KPCS works on the principle of consensus and all the decisions are taken in the plenary session or through written procedure unanimously by all members.

Conflict Diamonds:

  • The KP defines conflict diamonds as: ‘rough diamonds used to finance wars against governments’ – around the world.
  • They are diamonds sold by rebel movements or illegal authorities to finance their conflicts and wars against legitimate governments.
  • In 1998, certain rebel movements in Africa (Sierra Leone, Angola, D.R. of Congo, Liberia) were selling, among other things, illegally obtained diamonds (conflict diamonds) to fund their wars against legitimate governments.
  • Many of these rebel movements use child soldiers in their wars/conflicts.

Diamond industry in India:

  • Currently, India exports around USD 24 billion cut and polished diamonds.
  • It is expected that India will reach an export target of USD 1 trillion in the coming years and the gem and jewellery sector, particularly cut and polished diamonds will contribute significantly to achieve this target.
  • The importance of KPCS is immense to India as more than one million people are directly employed by the diamond industry.
  • The Department of Commerce is the nodal Department and the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) is designated as the KPCS Importing and Exporting Authority in India.
  • GJEPC is responsible for issuing KP Certificates and is also the custodian of KP Certificates received in the country.

National Mission on Cultural Mapping (NMCM)

Context:

The Culture Minister informed that the NMCM will compile data of artists, art forms & geo location with inputs from Central Ministries, State Governments & art/culture bodies.

About the National Mission on Cultural Mapping (NMCM):

  • The NMCM was set up by the Ministry of Culture in 2017.
  • The NMCM is under the umbrella scheme of Kala Sanskriti Vikas Yojana.
  • The mission aims at converting the vast and widespread cultural canvas of India into an objective cultural map, designing a mechanism to fulfill the aspirations of the whole artist community of the nation and preserving the rich cultural heritage of this country in the form of a cultural repository of artists and art forms.
  • NMCM encompasses data mapping, demography building, formalising the processes and bringing all the cultural activities under one web-based umbrella for better results.
  • The mission aims to provide support in effective utilisation of financial & intellectual resources, minimising wastage of time in talent scouting and providing an opportunity for developing cultural inventory including artistes and art forms.
  • The mission also intends to identify platforms where Kala Grams, Craft Melas, etc. may be developed for the sharing of ideas, techniques, and resource pooling for planned development and promotion of cultural tourism.
  • It will compile data of artists, art forms & geo location with inputs from Central Ministries, State Governments & art/culture bodies.
  • Data from art & culture academies of the Ministry of Culture has been collected and will be entered into the database after due correction.
  • The mission will also conduct talent hunt competitions from the Block to the National levels.

Exercise Za’ir-Al-Bahr (Roar of the Sea)

Context:

Joint Exercise between the Qatari Emiri Navy and the Indian Navy, Za’ir-Al-Bahr (the Roar of the Sea).

About Exercise Za’ir-Al-Bahr:

  • The inaugural edition of the bilateral exercise between the Indian Navy and the navy of Qatar (Qatari Emiri Navy) is being conducted in November 2019 at Doha.
  • Exercise Za’ir-Al-Bahr 2019 would strengthen cooperation and enhance interoperability between the two navies.
  • The Exercise will include a three-day Harbour Phase and a two-day Sea Phase. The activities during the harbour phase will include a seminar, professional interaction, official visits, and sports fixtures along with social and cultural events.
  • The Sea Phase will include a Tactical Maritime Exercise involving the domains of Surface Action, Air Defence, Maritime Surveillance and Interdiction Operation and anti-terrorism.
  • Indian Navy Guided Missile Stealth Frigate INS Trikand and Patrol Aircraft P8-I are participating in the event.
  • INS Trikand is one of the frontline frigates of the Indian Navy equipped with a versatile range of weapons and sensors.
  • The P8-I Maritime Patrol Aircraft incorporates the latest technology for Maritime Surveillance.

Appointment of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)

Context:

The Government has approved in principle the creation of a post of CDS.

Details:

  • The government has approved and constituted an Implementation Committee to further determine and finalize the exact responsibilities; also created an enabling framework for this new post and all other issues involved to ensure smooth operationalization.

About the Chief of Defence Staff:

  • The CDS is a high military office that oversees and coordinates the working of the three Services, and offers seamless tri-service views and single-point advice to the Executive (Prime Minister) on long-term defence planning and management, including manpower, equipment and strategy, and above all, “jointsmanship” in operations.
  • The CDS, being above the three Service Chiefs, is expected to play this role by optimizing procurement, avoiding duplication among the services and streamlining the process.
  • It would streamline long-term defence planning & procurement process.
  • The CDS is expected to reduce response time.

Defence Export Policy

Context:

The government has taken various measures to enhance defence exports.

Measures Taken By the Government to Promote Defence Exports:

  • A completely end-to-end online portal for receiving and processing authorisation permission has been developed. The applications submitted on this portal are digitally signed and the authorisation issued is also digitally signed.
  • In repeat orders of same product to the same entity, consultation process has been done away with and permission is issued immediately. For the repeat order of the same product to different entity, the consultation earlier done with all stakeholders is now limited only with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
  • In Intra-Company business (which is especially relevant for outsourcing of work by defence related parent company abroad to its subsidiary in India), the earlier requirement of getting End User Certificate (EUC) from the Government of importing country has been done away with and ‘Buying’ Company is authorized to issue the EUC.
  • The legitimate export of the parts and components of small arms and body armour for civil use is now being permitted after prior consultation with the MEA.
  • For export of items for exhibition purposes, the requirement of consultation with stakeholders has been done way with (except for select countries).
  • Powers have been delegated to Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Director General of Ordnance Factories (DGOF), and CMDs of Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) for exploring export opportunities and participation in global tenders.
  • The Department of Defence Production has become the single point of contact for exporters for export of parts and components of Small Arms & Ammunitions.
  • The Government has notified the Open General Export License (OGEL) – a one-time export license, which permits the industry to export specified items to specified destinations, enumerated in the OGEL, without seeking export authorisation during the validity of the OGEL.
  • A Scheme for Promotion of Defence Exports has been notified to provide an opportunity to the prospective exporters an option to get their product certified by the Govt. and provides access to the testing infrastructure of Ministry of Defence for initial validation of the product and its subsequent field trials. The certificate can be produced by the prospective exporter for marketing their products suitably in the global market.
  • A separate cell has been formed in the Department of Defence Production to coordinate and follow up on export related action including enquiries received from various countries and facilitate private sector and public sector companies for export promotion.
  • A Scheme to provide financial support to Defence Attaches for taking up actions for promoting exports of Indian made defence products both of public and private sector in the countries to which they are attached has been notified.

Measures Taken To Simplify Procedures to Promote Domestic Defence Manufacturing:

  • In 2001, the Defence Industry sector, which was hitherto reserved for the public sector, was opened up to 100% for Indian private sector participation, with Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) up to 26% both subject to licensing.
  • The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion has allowed FDI under automatic route up to 49% and above 49% through government route wherever it is likely to result in access to modern technology or for other reasons to be recorded.

‘Make In India’ Initiative

Context:

In pursuance of the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government, many policy measures have been taken by Ministry of Defence.

Details of the measures taken in the defence sector:

  • An innovation ecosystem for Defence titled Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) has been launched in 2018. Read more about iDEX at PIB dated November 10, 2019.
  • A separate procedure for ‘Make-II’ category has been notified under Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) to encourage indigenous development and manufacture of defence equipment.
  • The Government has notified the ‘Strategic Partnership (SP)’ Model which envisages establishment of long-term strategic partnerships with Indian entities through a transparent and competitive process, wherein they would tie up with global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to seek technology transfers to set up domestic manufacturing infrastructure and supply chains.
  • The Government has notified a Policy for indigenisation of components and spares used in Defence Platforms in 2019 with the objective to create an industry ecosystem which is able to indigenize the imported components (including alloys & special materials) and sub-assemblies for defence equipment and platform manufactured in India.
  • The Government has decided to establish two defence industrial corridors to serve as an engine of economic development and growth of defence industrial base in the country, in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The Ministry has instituted a new framework titled ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’ in 2018 which aims to provide a boost to the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) culture in indigenous defence industry.
  • The Defence Investor Cell was created wherein the Ministry will provide all necessary information including addressing queries related to investment opportunities, procedures and regulatory requirements for investment in the sector.
  • Defence Products list requiring Industrial Licences has been rationalised and manufacture of most of parts or components does not require Industrial License.

Read more on the Make in India scheme here.

CBIC to organise 29th Regional Contact Points (RCP) meeting of Asia Pacific region of the World Customs Organization (WCO) in Puducherry

Context:

The 29th Regional Contact Points (RCP) meeting of the Asia Pacific (A/P) region of the World Customs Organization (WCO) is being organised by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) at Puducherry in November 2018.

About the World Customs Organization (WCO):

  • WCO is the only inter-governmental international organisation engaged in the setting up and implementation of principles and standards for cross border procedures and customs.
  • It is headquartered in Brussels and has more than 180 countries as its members.
  • Globally, WCO consists of six regions, each headed by a member country as Vice Chair of that region of WCO.
  • India is a member of the Asia Pacific region of WCO and is also currently the Vice Chair since July 2018.
  • The WCO was founded in 1952. It was formerly known as the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC).
  • The WCO is a forum for dialogue and exchange of experiences between national Customs delegates.
  • Besides the vital role played by the WCO in stimulating the growth of legitimate international trade, its efforts to combat fraudulent activities are also recognized internationally.

About the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC):

  • The Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIC) is a part of the Department of Revenue under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
  • The CBIC is the apex body for administering the levy and collection of indirect taxes of the Union of India.
  • It deals with the tasks of formulation of policy concerning levy and collection of Customs, Central Excise duties, Central Goods & Services Tax and IGST, prevention of smuggling and administration of matters relating to Customs, Central Excise, Central Goods & Services Tax, IGST and Narcotics to the extent under CBIC’s purview.

For more on the CBIC, check PIB dated November 7, 2019 under the headline: DIN System of CBIC.

Sardar Patel National Unity Award-2020

Context:

Nominations for Sardar Patel National Unity Award-2020 are open.

About the Sardar Patel National Unity Award:

For more on the Award, check PIB dated 25 Sep, 2019.

Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat

Context:

Library grant to government schools to inculcate reading habit among the students.

Details:

  • Under the Samagra Shiksha scheme, provisions have been made for library grant to government schools so as to inculcate reading habit among students of all ages and to strengthen school libraries, including purchase of books.
  • The States/UTs have been advised to make guidelines for use of libraries in schools including number of periods, to be earmarked as library period in schools.
  • To promote the habit of reading in students, States and UTs have been advised to set up Reader’s clubs with the help of the National Centre for Children’s Literature (NCCL) which is a wing of the National Book Trust (NBT).

About the Samagra Shiksha Scheme:

  • The Samagra Shiksha Scheme is an overarching programme for the school education sector extending from pre-school to class 12.
  • It has been prepared with the broader goal of improving school effectiveness measured in terms of equal opportunities for schooling and equitable learning outcomes.
  • It subsumes the three Schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE).
  • The Scheme will be implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme through a single State Implementation Society (SIS) at the State/UT level.

Read more on the Samagra Shiksha Scheme here.

About the Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat scheme:

  • The ‘Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat’ (PBBB) is a sub-programme of the erstwhile Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) which is continued under the new integrated scheme Samagra Shiksha to ensure quality at the foundational years of schooling.
  • The objectives of the programme are to promote early reading and writing with comprehension skills in children, and also basic numeracy skills.
  • States/UTs are implementing PBBB in their respective States/UTs using multiple strategies and approaches.
  • These include adoption of NCERT model of early reading, provision of supplementary reading material, development of State specific models for early Maths and early reading, collaboration with organizations like UNICEF, etc.
  • The Central Government has taken various steps towards the implementation of the programme of PBBB, which inter-alia, include:
    • Preparation of special bridge materials for States having a high tribal population
    • Provisioning of free textbooks
    • Development and procurement of supplementary reading material
    • In-service teacher training
    • Having dedicated teachers for foundational classes
    • Maintaining the required Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) as prescribed under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009.

Also read: Education Agenda for New India: RSTV – The Big Picture.

National Career Service (NCS) Project

Context:

Modernisation of Employment Exchanges.

Details:

  • The Ministry of Labour and Employment is implementing the National Career Service (NCS) Project for transformation of the National Employment Service to provide a variety of employment related services like job matching, career counseling, vocational guidance, information on skill development courses, etc.
  • The NCS Project also envisages setting up of Model Career Centres (MCCs) in collaboration with States and other institutions of repute to deliver employment services.
  • The Central Government provides financial assistance to the States for establishment of MCCs based on the proposals and scheme guidelines.
  • In addition, the NCS project has a component of interlinking of employment exchanges with NCS and provides assistance to States for up gradation of infrastructures in employment exchanges.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)

Context:

The government has stated that targets fixed under PMUY Scheme have already been achieved.

To read more about the PMUY, click here.

SARAS IITF 2019

Context:

The Union Minister for Rural Development inaugurates the SARAS IITF 2019.

About the SARAS IITF 2019:

  • SARAS Mela is an initiative by the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India with an objective to bring the rural women SHG members formed under DAY-NRLM, in one platform to showcase their skills, sell and build linkages with potential market players.
  • SARAS Mela not only provides a platform to these SHG women, but it also provides a national level exposure to understand the demand and taste of the urban customers in metros.
  • The SARAS IITF Mela is organized by the Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART) along with DAY-NRLM, MoRD.
  • Items for display and sale include natural food items, handicraft, handloom, etc.
  • Artisans from various states participate in the event.

Indian Institute of Skills (IISs)

Context:

The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of setting up of IISs at three locations in the country at Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), Mumbai (Maharashtra) and Ahmedabad (Gujarat).

Details:

  • The Indian Institute of Skills (IISs) was conceptualized to address issues faced by the lack of skills in India and to develop state of art skill institutions.
  • The vision behind setting up IISs is to build world-class skill training centres by learning from and imbibing best practices from internationally renowned existing skill institutions.
  • IISs are envisaged to have the unique features that would make them different from the existing setup of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), Polytechnics, Advanced Training Institutes (ATIs) (which are now known as National Skill Training Institutes).

For more on initiatives under the Skill India Mission, click here.

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November 18th, 2019 PIB:- Download PDF Here

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