Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

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Established
26th September, 1942
Chairperson
Prime Minister of India
HQ : New Delhi
About: 
  • It is an autonomous body and the largest research and development (R&D) organisation in India – running 37 laboratories and 39 field stations or extension centres.
  • Although it is mainly funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, it operates as an autonomous body registered under the Registration of Societies Act, 1860.
  • The research and development activities of CSIR includes aerospace engineering, Structural engineering, ocean sciences, Life sciences, metallurgy, chemicals, mining, food, petroleum, leather, and environment.

Inclusive Internet Index (III) 2019

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  • India is ranked 47/100 countries
  • In 2018 also India was at 47th rank.
  • It provides rigorous benchmark of national-level Internet inclusion across four categories: Availability, Affordability, Relevance and Readiness.
  • Report is prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) for Facebook.

ICJ judgement on Diego Garcia island

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Context:
  • International Court of Justice (ICJ) has advised the UK to return the Diego Garcia (Chagos Islands) to Mauritius as soon as possible.
  • The advisory has been issued by the ICJ on the request of the resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to look into the issue.
Observations made by ICJ
  • In a majority opinion the court noted that the decolonisation of Mauritius was not lawfully complete when it attained independence because Britain carved away the Chagos Archipelago from it and retained control over it.
  • Britain is under an obligation to bring to an end its administration of the Chagos Archipelago as rapidly as possible.
Why the Chagos Islands had become the bone of contention?
  • Mauritius was a colony of erstwhile British Empire.
  • When the calls of decolonisation grew stronger, the British granted independence to the Island nation Mauritius.
  • But Britain cut off the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965 before granting it independence in 1968.
  • Also, the residents of the Chagos Archipelago were forcibly removed and the Chagos Archipelago was handed over to the US.
  • The US established its strategic Indian Ocean military base at the Chagos Archipelago.
Response of US and UK:
  • Both the UK and the US had vehemently opposed the UN resolution which referred the matter to ICJ saying it was a bilateral matter with Mauritius.
  • UK is not represented in the ICJ Bench and the sole dissent judgement was by the American Judge. Hence it is unlikely that the UK would accept the advisory.
  • The possibility of any challenge to the US Diego Garcia base from Mauritius is also unlikely. Hence by and large status quo would be maintained.

    Context:
    • International Court of Justice (ICJ) has advised the UK to return the Diego Garcia (Chagos Islands) to Mauritius as soon as possible.
    • The advisory has been issued by the ICJ on the request of the resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to look into the issue.
    Observations made by ICJ
    • In a majority opinion the court noted that the decolonisation of Mauritius was not lawfully complete when it attained independence because Britain carved away the Chagos Archipelago from it and retained control over it.
    • Britain is under an obligation to bring to an end its administration of the Chagos Archipelago as rapidly as possible.
    Why the Chagos Islands had become the bone of contention?
    • Mauritius was a colony of erstwhile British Empire.
    • When the calls of decolonisation grew stronger, the British granted independence to the Island nation Mauritius.
    • But Britain cut off the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965 before granting it independence in 1968.
    • Also, the residents of the Chagos Archipelago were forcibly removed and the Chagos Archipelago was handed over to the US.
    • The US established its strategic Indian Ocean military base at the Chagos Archipelago.
    Response of US and UK:
    • Both the UK and the US had vehemently opposed the UN resolution which referred the matter to ICJ saying it was a bilateral matter with Mauritius.
    • UK is not represented in the ICJ Bench and the sole dissent judgement was by the American Judge. Hence it is unlikely that the UK would accept the advisory.
    • The possibility of any challenge to the US Diego Garcia base from Mauritius is also unlikely. Hence by and large status quo would be maintained.

Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills (SHREYAS)

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Ministry/Department : Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, and the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Program:
  • SHREYAS will primarily focus towards students from non-technical courses.
  • It will introduce employable skills into their learning.
  • It will provide a platform wherein educational institutions and industry would log in and provide their respective demand and supply of apprenticeship.
  • The programme promotes apprenticeship as an important part of education and integrates the government’s employment building efforts into the education system.
  • These apprenticeship courses will be available to them from academic year April-May, 2019.
  • SHREYAS is a major effort in the direction to make degree students more skilled, capable, employable and aligned to the needs of our economy so that they contribute to country’s progress and also obtain gainful employment.

MSP for MFP

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MSP for MFP
  • Minimum Support Price Scheme (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce (MFP) is a centrally-sponsored scheme aimed to ensure fair and remunerative price to MFP gatherers.
  • The scheme is officially known as ‘Mechanism for marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and development of value chain for MFP’ was planned as a social safety initiative for MFP gatherers.
  • The MSP for MFP scheme was first launched in 2013 but the severe gaps in its implementation led to the programme remaining dormant.
  • To revitalize the programme the revised guidelines have been issued. The revised guidelines:
    • Provide for a revised MSP in the range of 30-40% on average.
    • The procurement of these MFPs will commence in haat bazars, where tribals bring their produce with the facilitation provided by state government agencies and district collectors.
    • Lay down a decentralised implementation framework.
  • The implementing agency TRIFED has asked the states to submit within 45 days their roadmap for procurement and marketing of produce from the village level to the state level
Van Dhan Scheme:
  • For the value addition of MFPs, better marketing opportunities under the Van Dhan Scheme was launched last year.
  • The Tribal Affairs Ministry is now planning to scale up this scheme to all tribal districts.
  • The Ministry has asked the state government to prepare and share plan to set up the Van Dhan centres meant to value add to forest produce to boost the market for products made from MFPs.

Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN Yojana

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Ministry: Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas
Aims to provide financial support to Integrated Bioethanol Projects using lignocellulosic biomass and other renewable feedstock.
Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN
  • The scheme aims to incentivise 2G Ethanol sector and support this nascent industry by creating a suitable ecosystem for setting up commercial projects and increasing Research & Development in this area.
  • Under the scheme  12 Commercial Scale and 10 demonstration scale Second Generation (2G) ethanol Projects will be provided with a Viability Gap Funding (VGF) support in two phases:
  • Phase-I (2018-19 to 2022-23): Six commercial projects and five demonstration projects will be supported.
  • Phase-II (2020-21 to 2023-24): Six commercial projects and five demonstration projects will be supported.
  • The ethanol produced by the scheme beneficiaries will be mandatorily supplied to Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to further enhance the blending percentage under the ethanol blending programme.
Objectives of the Scheme
  • Accomplishing the Government of India vision to reduce import dependence by way of substituting fossil fuels with Biofuels.
  • Meeting of the GHG emissions reduction targets through progressive blending/ substitution of fossil fuels.
  • Addressing environmental concerns caused due to the burning of biomass/ crop residues & to improve the health of citizens.
  • Augmenting the farmer’s income by providing them remunerative income for their otherwise waste agriculture residues.
  • Creation of rural & urban employment opportunities in 2G Ethanol projects and Biomass supply chain.
  • Complementing the Swacch Bharat Mission by supporting the aggregation of non­food biofuel feedstocks such as waste biomass and urban waste.
  • Indigenizing of Second Generation Biomass to Ethanol technologies.
The government has set the target to achieve 10% blending percentage of Ethanol in petrol by 2022. The challenges like higher ethanol prices and simplification of the ethanol purchase system have become a hindrance. The highest ever ethanol procurement stood at around 150 crore litres during 2017-18 which is sufficient for around 4.22% blending on Pan India basis.
Hence to create 2G Ethanol capacity in the country and attract investments in this new sector Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN Yojana has been launched by the government.

Public Financial Management System (PFMS)

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What is PFMS?
  • PFMS is an electronic fund tracking mechanism
  • It compiles, collates and makes available in real-time, information regarding all government schemes.
  • Besides, it will significantly provide government real-time information on resource availability and utilisation across schemes.
  • In addition it allow government expenditure to adopt a Just-in- Time (JIT) approach, with payments made only when they are needed.
How will it benefit government?
  • It aims at promoting transparency and bringing about tangible improvements in overall Central Government Financial Management as well as implementation of various Central Government Schemes across the country.
  • The PFMS aims to help in complete tracking and monitoring flow of funds to implementing agencies and ensuring timely transfer of funds.
  • It will help government to ascertain actual status of utilization of funds by multiple implementing agencies of central and the state governments.
  • It will also cut need for paper work and in long way help in monitoring and tracking of any unnecessary parking of funds by implementing agencies, thus minimising cases of delay and pending payments to large extent.
  • It will help to plug leakages in system and help to manage and maintain data that government can use to develop more scientific approach.
  • The Public Financial Management System (PFMS) after implemented on full scale will help Union Government to save a significant amount on interest costs.
  • It will allow the government to monitor and access more than Rs.1 lakh crore of idle funds lying with it under various heads.
  • Once government access these funds through PFMS, it does not need to borrow that amount.
  • It will be integrated with IT network of the GST.
Why in news?
Government has made use of PFMS mandatory for Central Schemes.
NOTE: Mention PFMS while analysing various schemes.

National Common Mobility Card

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  • The National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) was envisaged as part of the National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) in 2006 by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • Referred to as ”One Nation One Card”, this inter-operable transport card would allow the holders to pay for their bus travel, toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping and even withdraw money.
  • It runs as on RuPay card and automates the fare collection system. This eliminates the need to carry change and cash while travelling in the metro, bus or train, or for toll and parking.
  • The gate and reader prototype for the NCMC has been developed by government-owned Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) in compliance with the Make in India initiative.
  • These cards would be issued by all public and private banks the same way credit, debit, and prepaid cards are issued.
  • NCMC provides a value proposition for customers as they need not carry multiple cards for different usage and the super-quick, a contactless transaction will improve the seamless experience.

National Archives of India

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  • The genesis of National Archives of India can be traced to the report of  Sandeman, the Civil Auditor who had stressed the need of relieving the offices of congestion by the destruction of the papers of routine nature and transfer of all valuable records to a ‘Grand Central Archive’.
  • In 1889 Professor G.W. Forrest of Elphinstone College, Bombay entrusted the job of examining the records of the Foreign Department of the Government of India made a strong plea for transferring all records of the administration of East India Company to a Central Repository
  • This led to the establishment of Imperial Records Department (IRD) on 11 March 1891 in the Imperial Secretariat Building at Calcutta (Kolkata).
  • In 1911 the IRD was shifted to Delhi. After the Independence, the government of India rechristened IRD as the National Archives of India with Director of Archives as its head and in the year 1990 the office of the Director of Archives was re-designated as Director General of Archives.
  • At present National Archives of India is an attached office under the Ministry of Culture and has a Regional Office at Bhopal and three Records Centres at Jaipur, Puducherry and Bhubaneswar.

United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime

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  • United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) established in 1997  is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime.
  • UNDOC came into being with the merger of United Nations Drug Control Programme and the Centre for International Crime Prevention.