Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - March 22, 2018

Science & Technology

Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) celebrates its 18th Foundation Day

  • The Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) celebrated its 18th Foundation Day on 21st March 2018

Enlighten about IUSSTF

  • The genesis of IUSSTF can be traced back to the year 2000, when after nearly five decades of the India-U.S. relationship in S&T
  • IUSSTF’s mandate is to promote, catalyze and seed bilateral collaboration in science, technology, engineering and innovation through substantive interactions amongst government, academia and industry.
  • The Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India and the U.S. Department of the State are the two nodal agencies of the respective Governments handling matters related to IUSSTF.
  • In 18 years of its existence, IUSSTF has developed an evolving programm portfolio largely conceived and driven by the scientific community from both countries.
  • IUSSTF-supported activities have led to the direct interaction of over 20,000 Indian and American Scientists and Engineers.
  • IUSSTF currently implements a portfolio of “four” broad program verticals - Scientific Networks, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Research and Development and Visitation Programs

State Specific

Parivara and Talawara Cabinet approves inclusion of communities ST list in Karnataka

  • ‘Parivara and Talawara’ as synonym of Nayaka have been included in the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) of Karnataka.
  • This approval fulfils long term demand of these communities for granting ST status in Karnataka.

Enlighten about the procedure –

  • Scheduled Tribes are notified under Article 342 of Constitution.
  • Karnataka Government had recommended for inclusion of Parivara and Talawara communities as synonyms of ‘Nayaka’ in list STs of state.
  • The first specification of STs in relation to particular State/Union territory is by notified Order of President, after consultation with concerned state government/UT.
  • Any subsequent inclusion in or exclusion from and other modifications in list of STs can be made only through amending Act of Parliament.

Lingayat and Veerashaiva Religious Minority recommended by the Karnataka Govt.

  • The Karnataka government has decided to recommend religious minority status to the Lingayat and Verashaiva community

Enlighten about the community

  • This community was founded by social reformer and philosopher Basavanna in the 12th Century in Karnataka with a vision based on human freedom,equality ,rationality and brotherhood


  • They are Shiva sect within Hinduism and are located across Karnataka
  • Veerashaivism Claims that Basavanna was not the founder of the Lingayat tradition, they are only the reformer ofan already existing religious tradition which they call Veerashaivism

Pre Facts

NHAI Receives Best Design Pavilion Award at 105th Indian Science Congress at Imphal

  • The NHAI pavilion at 105th Indian Science Congress- Pride of India Expo held at Imphal from 16-20 March 2018 has been adjudged as BEST DESIGN PAVILION.

Indian Science Congress

  • 106th Indian Science Congress to be held in Bhopal
  • “Future India: Science and Technology” will be the theme for next Science Congress
  • 105th Indian Science Congress concludes at Imphal

Cabinet decisions

Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 Amendments approved by the Cabinet

  • The Union Cabinet has approved proposal for moving official amendments in Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016.
  • Once the Bill is enacted by Parliament, National Surrogacy Board (NSB) will be constituted at central level.
  • The States/UTs will constitute State Surrogacy Boards (SSBs) and State Appropriate Authorities within 3 months of notification by Central Government.
  • The 228th report of Law Commission of India has recommended for prohibiting commercial surrogacy and allowing ethical altruistic surrogacy by enacting suitable legislation.

Cabinet approves opening of 18 new missions in Africa by 2021

  • The 18 new Indian Missions in Africa will be opened in

Enlighten about the new missions -

  • Cape Verde, Chad, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Swaziland and Togo

Benefits -

  • The decision will enhance India’s diplomatic outreach and increase its footprints in resource-rich African continent.
  • This will allow India to engage with Indian diaspora in African countries.
  • It is also considered as step towards implementing vision of enhanced co-operation and engagement with Africa.
  • It will further enhance cooperation to implement commitments of India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS-III).

North – East Development

North-East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS) 2017

  • The North East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS), 2017 with financial outlay of Rs 3T,000 crores upto March, 2020 has been approved by the Cabinet
  • NEIDS will promote industrialization in the States of the North Eastern Region and will boost employment and income generation.

Enlighten about the different incentives – Central Capital Investment Incentive for Access to Credit (CCIIAC)

  • 30% of the investment in Plant & Machinery with an upper limit of Rs.5 Crore on the incentive amount per unit.

Central Interest Incentive (Cll)

  • 3% on working capital credit advanced by eligible Banks/ Financial institutions for first 5 years from the date of commencement of commercial production by the unit.

Central Comprehensive Insurance Incentive (CCII)

  • Reimbursement of 100% insurance premium on insurance of building and Plant & Machinery for 5 years from the date of commencement of commercial production by the unit.

Goods and Service Tax (GST) Reimbursement

  • Reimbursement up to the extent of Central Govt. share of CGST and IGST for 5 Years from the date of commencement of commercial production by the unit..

Income-Tax (IT) Reimbursement

  • Reimbursement of Centre’s share of income tax for first 5 years including the year of commencement of commercial production by the unit.