Current Affairs 1st March, 2019

PAPER – 2

Topics Covered

1. e- Governance

Common Services Centres as Enrolment Agency for PM-SYM

What to read?

Prelims – About Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan scheme and About CSCs

Mains - Significant role played by CSCs in making India inclusive in its policies

The Union Cabinet has approved inclusion of Common Service Centres (CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd.) under MeitY as an enrolment agency, and permitting bulk deposits by other Ministries / Departments / Welfare Boards / other agencies of Central and State Governments in lieu subscriber’s share.

Benefits

  • The approval will enable workers in the Unorganized Sector, to get social security in the form of monthly pension of Rs. 3,000/- on attaining the age of 60 years.

Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan - A pension scheme for unorganised workers

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  • The scheme is meant for old age protection and social security of Unorganised Workers (UW) who are mostly engaged as rickshaw pullers, street vendors, mid-day meal workers, head loaders and similar kind of occupation.

  • There are estimated 42 crore such unorganised workers in the country.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Should be an unorganised worker (UW)

  • Entry age between 18 and 40 years

  • Monthly Income Rs 15000 or below

Should not be

  • engaged in Organized Sector (membership of EPF/NPS/ESIC)

  • an income tax payer

He/ She should possess

  • Aadhar card

  • Savings Bank Account / Jan Dhan account number with IFSC

Features of the Scheme

It is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme, under which the subscriber would receive a minimum assured pension of Rs 3000/- per month after attaining the age of 60 years and if the subscriber dies, the spouse of the beneficiary shall be entitled to receive 50% of the pension as family pension. Family pension is applicable only to spouse.

Common Service Centres

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  • CSC is an initiative of Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY).

  • It is strategic cornerstone of the Digital India programme.

  • It is pan-India network catering to regional, geographic, linguistic and cultural diversity of country, thus enabling Government’s mandate of a socially, financially and digitally inclusive society.

  • There are as many as 2.91 lakh CSCs operate in the country today.

  • They are mostly ICT enabled front end service delivery points at village level for delivery of government and private services.

  • These CSCs serve as access points for delivery of essential public utility services, social welfare schemes, financial, healthcare, education and agriculture services, apart from host of B2C services to citizens in rural and remote areas of the country.


PAPER – 2 and PAPER - 3

Topics Covered

1. International Organisation

2. Energy

India joins IEA Bioenergy TCP

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What to read?

Prelims – What is IEA Bioenergy TCP?

Mains – How could it benefit India as a member nation in the grouping?

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister apprised about Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India joining IEA Bioenergy TCP as its 25th member on 25th January, 2019.

IEA bioenergy TCP

International Energy Agency's Technology Collaboration Programme on Bioenergy (IEA Bioenergy TCP) is an international platform for co-operation among countries with the aim of improving cooperation and information exchange between countries that have national programmes in bioenergy research, development and deployment.

Tasks under IEA TCP Bioenergy

The R&D work in IEA Bioenergy TCP is carried out carried out within well-defined 3-years programmes called "Tasks". Each year the progress of the Tasks is evaluated and scrutinized and each 3 years the content of the Tasks is reformulated and new Tasks can be initiated

India and IEA Bioenergy TCP

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  • IEA Bioenergy TCP works under the framework of International Energy Agency (IEA) to which India has "Association" status since 30th March, 2017.

  • The primary goal of joining IEA Bioenergy TCP by our Ministry is to facilitate the market introduction of advanced biofuels with an aim to bring down emissions and reduce crude imports.

  • Technical persons from Public sector Oil Marketing companies will also be contributor in the Tasks participated by MoP&NG.

  • IEA Bioenergy TCP also provides a platform for international collaboration and information exchange in bioenergy research, technology development, demonstration, and policy analysis with a focus on overcoming the environmental, institutional, technological, social, 'and market barriers to the near-and long-term deployment of bioenergy technologies.

  • The benefits of participation in IEA Bioenergy TCP are shared costs and pooled technical resources.

  • The duplication of efforts is avoided and national Research and Development capabilities are strengthened.

  • There is an information exchange about best practices, network of researchers and linking research with practical implementation. Engagement with International Agencies will also apprise the Ministry of the developments taking place Worldwide in Biofuel sector, provide opportunity of personal interaction with innovators/ Researchers and help in bringing suitable policy ecosystem.

  • In addition, after becoming member, India can participate in other related Tasks focussing on Biogas, Solid waste Management, Biorefining etc. which could be participated by relevant Ministries/ Departments/ Organizations of the Country.


PAPER – 2

Topics Covered

1. International Relations

An MoU between India and USA to access tip line reports on Missing and Exploited Children

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Prelims and Mains – About the MoU and its significance to combat Child trafficking

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has approved the Memorandum of Understanding between India and the USA to access tipline reports on Missing and Exploited Children. The MoU has been signed between the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), India and the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), USA.

Benefits

The MoU will provide access to more than one lakh tipline reports available with NCMEC, USA and enable law enforcement agencies in India.

It will pave the way for setting up of an innovative mechanism for sharing information about child pornography and child sexual abuse material and taking legal action against offenders. It will further enable the law enforcement agencies to remove child pornography and child sexual abuse material from cyber space, thereby enhance human dignity.

Related Authority

National Crime Record Bureau

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  • NCRB is nodal agency under Union Home Ministry for authentic source of data on crime on various parameters including accidents, suicides from across all the states of the country and prisons for policy matters and research.  

  • It was established in 1986 as the central police organisation.

  • It is headquartered in New Delhi.

  • It is implementing and monitoring agency of Crime & Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS), a Mission Mode Project under the National e-Governance Plan of Government.

  • It also imparts training in Information Technology (IT) and Finger Print Science for Indian Police Officers as well Foreign Police officers.

  • NCRB publishes 4 annual publications on Crime, Prison Statistics, Accidental Deaths & Suicides and Finger Prints. These publications serve as principal reference points on crime statistics.


PAPER – 3

Topics Covered

1. Manufacturing Sector

TECH-SOP 2019 for MSMEs

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What to read?

Prelims – About the Initiative

With a view to enhance awareness among MSMEs about latest technological innovations available, and sensitize them on the role of technology in creating competitiveness and opportunities, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME)organized a programme on Technology Support and Outreach (TECH-SOP 2019) in New Delhi.

Aim

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  • to bridge the gap between the technological innovations and MSMEs so that they can harness the technologies and grow in the global value chain

Note - ‘India Green Tech Open Challenge’ was also launched during this occasionwhich aims to encourage MSMEs to adopt sustainable and green technologies.


PAPER – 2 AND PAPER – 3

Topics Covered

1. Issues and Management in Health Sector

2. Science and Technology

‘Delhi Declaration’ on digital health, ‘4th Global Digital Health Partnership Summit’

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What to read?

Prelims and Mains – About the declaration and its vision

The global intergovernmental meeting on digital health is being hosted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP).

Vision of Digital Health Platform

To create an integrated digital health platform and have longitudinal electronic health record to reduce cost of repeated diagnostics, reduce out of pocket expenditure and ensure precision medication.

Takeaway from the declaration

As part of the high-level summit, the ministers and delegation also adopted the Delhi Declaration on digital health for sustainable development, which called for WHO’s leadership in digital health and for it to establish a specific mechanism to centrally coordinate digital health to assist its Member States.

Global Digital Health Partnership Summit

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  • The Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP) is a collaboration of governments and territories, government agencies and the World Health Organization aimed at supporting the effective implementation of digital health services.

  • The GDHP was established in February 2018 to provide an international platform for global collaboration and sharing of evidence to guide the delivery of better digital health services within participant countries.

  • The GDHP also provides an opportunity for transformational engagement between its participants, who are striving to learn and share best practice and policy that can support their digital health systems.

  • The secretariat services for the GDHP are provided by Australian Digital Health Agency for the initial 18 months


PAPER –2 and 3

Topics Covered

1. Governmental Intervention to protect weaker sections of the society

2. Infrastructure

Centre for Disability Sports at Gwalior

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What to read?

Prelims and Mains – About the centre and its significance in making Sports inclusive and accessible to all

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for setting up of a Centre for Disability Sports at Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, to be registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.

Impact

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Improved sports infrastructure created by this Centre will ensure effective participation of persons with disabilities in sports activities and also enable them to compete at national and international levels.

Setting up of the Centre will develop a sense of belonging in Divyangjan to facilitate their integration in society.

Administrative Structure

For overall superintendence and supervision of the Centre, there will be a Governing Body consisting of members, not exceeding 12, with some serving in ex-officio capacity and others coming in as experts from National Level Sports Federations apart from experts in para games.

Background

Section 30 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act, 2016, enjoins on the Government to take measures to ensure effective participation of Persons with Disabilities in sports activities which, inter-alia, includes provision of infrastructural facilities for sports activities for them.

The Finance Minister in his Budget Speech of 2014-15 announced the setting up of a Centre for disability sports. At present no specialized sports training facilities for Divyangjan are available in the Country. This void is proposed to be filled up by setting up sports infrastructure so that persons with disabilities (Divyangjan) can undergo rigorous and specialized training in this Centre.


PAPER – 3

Topics Covered

1. Indian Economy

National Mineral Policy 2019

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What to read?

Prelims and Mains – About the objectives and benefits of the policy with emphasis on provisions in the policy

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approvedNational Mineral Policy 2019.

The National Mineral Policy 2019 includes provisions which will give boost to mining sector such as

  • introduction of Right of First Refusal for RP/PL holders,

  • encouraging the private sector to take up exploration,

  • auctioning in virgin areas for composite RP cum PL cum ML on revenue share basis,

  • encouragement of merger and acquisition of mining entities and

  • transfer of mining leases and creation of dedicated mineral corridors to boost private sector mining areas.

  • The 2019 Policy proposes to grant status of industry to mining activity to boost financing of mining for private sector and for acquisitions of mineral assets in other countries by private sector

  • It also mentions that Long term import export policy for mineral will help private sector in better planning and stability in business

  • The Policy also mentions rationalize reserved areas given to PSUs which have not been used and to put these areas to auction, which will give more opportunity to private sector for participation

  • The Policy also mentions to make efforts to harmonize taxes, levies & royalty with world benchmarks to help private sector

New provisions found in the policy

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  • The focus on make in India initiative and Gender sensitivity in terms of the vision.

  • In so far as the regulation in Minerals is concerned, e-Governance, IT enabled systems, awareness and Information campaigns have been incorporated

  • Regarding the role of state in mineral development, online public portal with provision for generating triggers at higher level in the event of delay of clearances has been put in place.

  • The new policy focuses on use of coastal waterways and inland shipping for evacuation and transportation of minerals and encourages dedicated mineral corridors to facilitate the transportation of minerals.

  • It also introduces the concept of Inter-Generational Equity that deals with the well-being not only of the present generation but also of the generations to come and also proposes to constitute an inter-ministerial body to institutionalize the mechanism for ensuring sustainable development in mining.

  • Objective

    The aim of National Mineral Policy 2019 is to have a more effective, meaningful and implementable policy that brings in further transparency, better regulation and enforcement, balanced social and economic growth as well as sustainable mining practices.

    Benefits

    The New National Mineral Policy will ensure more effective regulation.  It will lead to sustainable mining sector development in future while addressing the issues of project affected persons especially those residing in tribal areas.