24 September 2018: UPSC Exam PIB Summary & Analysis

Read the daily PIB update and stay up-to-date on current affairs for the UPSC exam

Jowai-Ratacherra Section of NH-6 is upgraded in Meghalaya

Context:

  • The 102 km stretch of national highways has been two-laned with 10m wide carriageway of paved shoulder at a cost of Rs 683 crore.
  • It has three major bridges across Rivers Alpha, Lubha and Umproshung, along with 34 minor ones, 441 culverts and a 123 metre long tunnel at Sonapur village.
  • The national highway will provide better connectivity to Mizoram, Tripura and south western parts of Assam.  
  • Travel time from Jowai to Ratacherra will be reduced from 4 hrs to 2.5 hrs.
  • The road passes through coal/cement producing belt of the region, which is a lifeline to the landlocked states of NE.

Benefits:

  • The new highway will also ensure fast movement of goods across the Barak valley, upliftment of bamboo industry, better employment opportunities, widespread economic development, and improved connectivity, all working to enhance the economy of Barak valley.

PM inaugurates Pakyong Airport

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the Pakyong Airport in Sikkim.
  • The first airport in the Himalayan State, and the 100th airport in the country.
  • Pakyong Airport would greatly ease connectivity to Sikkim and in order to ensure that it is useful to the common man, this airport is part of the UDAN scheme.
  • The Prime Minister said that out of 100 airports in the country today, 35 have been operationalized in the last four years.
  • The Union Government has initiated the “Mission Organic Value Development for North Eastern Region” for Sikkim’s progress in organic farming.

Three Best Performing States in “Ease of Living Index” Under Amrut

  • Andhra Pradesh has topped the charts among States in terms of “Ease of Living Index” rankings followed by Odisha and Madhya Pradesh. 
  • The three States were awarded the three best performing States under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) at the National Dissemination Workshop on Ease of Living Index, 2018.

About: Ease of Living Index

  • The Ease of Living Index is a transformative initiative of the Ministry to help the cities assess their liveability vis-à-vis national and global benchmarks.
  • The ‘Ease of Living’ Index seeks to assist cities in undertaking a 360-degree assessment of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
  • Ease of Living framework comprised four pillars namely Institutional, Social, Economic and Physical which are further broken down into 78 indicators across 15 categories (governance, identity and culture, education, health, safety and security, economy, affordable housing, land use planning, public open spaces, transportation and mobility, assured water supply, waste-water management, solid waste management, power, and quality of environment). 
  • The Ease of Living assessment standards is its close linkage with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Of the 17 SDG goals, 8 goals are directly linked to India’s ease of living assessment framework with SDG 11.

Two-day National Orientation workshop on National e-Vidhan Application

  • Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal presided over the Inaugural Session of the two-day National Orientation workshop on National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA), organized by Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.

Aim:

  • The focus of the workshop would be to encourage all State Legislatures to move towards e-Vidhan platform and bring in transparency, accountability and responsiveness in their conduct of business, through the use of technology.
  • NeVA is a member-centric, decentralised digital application that makes information available on digital platform about day to day functioning of Legislative Houses covering, among other areas, List of Business (LOB), Notices, Bulletin-1, Bulletin-2, Starred/ Unstarred Questions including reply by the Departments (Q&A), Bills: Introduced/ Consideration & Passing, Synopsis of Proceedings, House Proceedings-Verbatim, Committees Reports, Rules & Procedures, Digital Library, Provisional Calendar, Reference material, Rotation of Ministries, Contacts, BudgetPress Releases etc.
  • The application would host a secure page for each Member of the House for submitting Questions & other Notices.
  • NeVA has made live for Rajya Sabha in respect of Monsoon Session 2018 and information in respect of Lok Sabha is being updated.  Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry, Manipur Assemblies have already started using the application.

NeVA-mobile app:

  • The mNeVA (NeVA-mobile app) is a device neutral and user friendly app that has made information on conduct of business in Legislatures accessible anytime, anywhere to everyone. 
  • It is a work-flow based app deployed in Cloud (Meghraj) which helps the Chair of the House to conduct the proceedings of the House smoothly and the members to carry out their duties in the House efficiently. NeVA-mobile App is available for download from Play store and App store for Android and iOS mobiles respectively. 

Background:

  • e-Vidhan is a Mission Mode Project to digitize and make the functioning of State Legislatures paperless. 
  • This is part of Digital India programme and Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.
  • Desires to roll out e-Vidhan as NeVA covering all 40 Houses including two Houses of Parliament and thereby putting all them on a single platform and proving the theory of ‘One Nation One Application’.
  • NeVA is a Rs.739 Crore (approx.) project for bringing Legislatures on digital platform, covering all Houses.  It is to be used by the Legislatures as well as all the Government Departments. This journey began with a pilot project executed in Himachal Pradesh with the central assistance of Rs.8.12 crores which made the Shimla Legislative Assembly the first Assembly in India to go paperless in 2014. This project resulted into overall savings of about Rs.5.08 crores annually on account of expenditure on papers, printing, manpower costs and conservation of forests/ trees as ancillary benefits.

India International Science Festival

  • The fourth edition of India International Science Festival will be inaugurated by President of India in Lucknow on October 6, 2018.
  • IISF-2018 with its focal theme “Science for Transformation” will have 23 special events.
  • The Global Indian Science & Technology Stakeholders Meet (GIST), Industry Academia Meet and Science & Technology for Harnessing Innovations (SATHI) – A National startup entrepreneurship summit and Student Science Village are some of the important events, being organized.
  • The Science Village program is linked with the Pradhan Mantri Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana to reach out to the rural masses and propagate science and for seeking scientific solutions to the diverse challenges facing our society, particularly rural India.
  • As World record attempts have been a key part of IISF since 2015, in IISF 2018, a World Record attempt will be made to “isolate DNA” by 500 students from class 8th to 10th 
  • Nav Bharat Nirman and the Science and Literary Festival are the other highlights of IISF 2018.

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