Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - September 22, 2017

Textile

Union Textiles Minister and Rajasthan Chief Minister to inaugurate VASTRA 2017

  • The 6th Edition of the 4-day international textile and apparel fair, VASTRA has been organized in Jaipur during September 21 – 24, 2017 at Jaipur Exhibition and Convention Centre (JECC), Sitapura.
  • Inaugurated by the Union Minister for Textiles and Information & Broadcasting, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani and Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Smt. Vasundhara Raje, on September 21, 2017.
  • VASTRA 2017 is an all-encompassing trade fair and conference on Textiles and Apparel presenting a fusion of the finest and the latest in textiles products. The event is jointly organized by Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investments Corporation Limited (RIICO) and Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is supported by the Government of Rajasthan.
  • More than 50 countries and 13 Indian States are participating in VASTRA 2017
  • The mega textile fair is jointly organized by RIICO and FICCI. ‘VASTRA’ has created a niche for itself in textile and apparel industry since its inception in 2012. The event is also supported by the Government of Rajasthan.
  • Around 300 overseas buyers from more than 50 countries and 200 representatives from around 100 Indian buying houses/agents are slated to attend the event.
  • Karnataka is participating as partner state and Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Uttrakhand and West Bengal are participating as supporting states in the event.

Defence

High speed interceptor boats C-433 and C-434

  • The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) commissioned two high speed interceptor boats C-433 and C-434 boats at the Dighi Port in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • The commissioning of boats will strengthen the security umbrella over720-km-long Maharashtra coastline.
  • It will also help in patrolling and prevent illicit activities such as smuggling, infiltration and illegal fishing.

Enlighten about the interceptor –

  • The C-433 and C-434 boats were built by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Shipbuilding in Chennai.
  • They are 27.42 metres long and have displacement of 136 tons each.
  • They are water jet propelled vessels with endurance of 500 nautical miles at 20 knots.
  • They are capable of doing speeds up to 45 knots.
  • The vessels are fitted with latest state of art navigational and communication equipment with 12.7 mm machine gun.

They are designed for high-speed interception, low intensity maritime operations, close coast patrol, search and rescue and maritime surveillance

Sports

Khelo India Programme

Cabinet decision

  • The Union Cabinet approved revamped Khelo India programme

Aim -

  • Aims at mainstreaming sport as tool for individual development, community development, economic development and national development.
  • The revamped programme for period 2017-18 to 2019-20 aims to impact entire sports ecosystem, including infrastructure, talent identification, community sports, coaching, competition structure and sports economy.

Salient features of programme

  • Pan Indian Sports Scholarship scheme
  • It will cover 1,000 most talented young athletes each year across select sports disciplines.
  • Each athlete selected under scheme will receive annual scholarship worth Rs.5.00 lakh for 8 consecutive years.
  • Sports Universities: 20 universities across country will be promoted as hubs of sporting excellence, which will enable talented sports persons to pursue dual pathway of education and competitive sports.
  • It also aims at creating an active population with healthy life-style.
  • National physical fitness drive: Under it, programme will cover about 200 million children in age group of 10-18.
  • It will not only measure physical fitness of all children in age group, but also support their fitness related activities.

Significance

  • The Khelo India programme strives to promote “Sports for All” as well as “Sports for Excellence”.
  • This is for first time a long-term athlete development pathway will be made available to gifted and talented youngsters to excel in competitive sports.
  • It will create a pool of highly competitive athletes who can compete to win at world stage.
  • It aims to engage youth living in disturbed and deprived areas, in sporting activities, to mainstream them in nation-building process by weaning them away from unproductive and disruptive activities

Welfare Schemes

Udaan

“Special Industry Initiative for J&K” (Sll J&K)- Udaan Scheme till December, 2018

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) extended time period “Special Industry Initiative for J&K” (Sll J&K)- Udaan Scheme till December, 2018 without any modification and cost escalation.
  • Proposal in this regard was forwarded by Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • Initially the time period of UDAAN Scheme was upto 2016-17.

UDAAN Scheme

  • Udaan is national integration scheme with goal to mainstream J&K youth with rest of country.
  • It not only provides skill enhancement and job opportunity but also connects bright youths from J&K with vibrant corporate sector of country.
  • Udaan Scheme provides exposure to youth of J&K to best of corporate India and corporate India to rich talent pool available in State.
  • So far, 109 leading corporate entities have partnered with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) under Google Free Courses

Governance

Inauguration first ‘Pension Adalat’ + Anubhav Awards 2017 launches Mobile App to avail the services of Pensioners’ Portal

  • The first ‘Pension Adalat inaugurated here today at the Pre-Retirement Counseling Workshop organised by the Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India.
  • Presentation of ‘Anubhav’ awards 2017 to 16 pensioners for their contribution towards creating institutional memory for the departments.
  • On the occasion, Dr Jitendra Singh launched a Mobile App that has been created to avail the services of Pensioners’ Portal.
  • Under Anubhav, the retiring employees give an account of their experiences during service.
  • These experiences will become an important account for research and resource for administrative reference and thus will help in improving our working.
  • Pension Adalats will help in on the spot redressal of pensioners’ grievances.
  • Shri C. Viswanath, Secretary (Pensions) said that the aim of the department is to provide a life to dignity to the pensioners post-retirement.
  • Mobile App for Pensioners’ Portal is an initiative of moving from e-governance to m-governance.
  • The Mobile App will extend all the services meant for the pensioner, which are currently available on the Pensioners’ Portal of the department, to the mobile handset.
  • The Pensions Portal’s features include Personalised Pension Process Road Map, Bhavishya, Pension calculator, CPENGRAMS and What is New.
  • A pensioner can avail various services on it such as checking the date of credit of his first pension, action taken, calculating the commuted pension and giving feedback. Under ‘What is New’, the new orders issued by the department will be available.
  • The Pension Adalats are being convened with the objective of bringing on a common table the aggrieved pensioner, the concerned department, the bank or CGHS representative, wherever relevant, so that such cases can be settled across the table within the framework of extant rules.
  • The Anubhav scheme had been instituted on the call of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to encourage retiring/retired employees to submit their experiences while working in the government with the objective to create an institutional wealth for the government for future governance as well as to enthuse and inspire the future generations of government officials in their respective assignments.

Biotechnology

DBT announces three High-investment, High Outcome Thrusts for the North East Region Bio-technology in the NER – DBT’s Efforts are bringing a paradigm shift

  • The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under the Ministry of Science & Technology, has taken many steps to brings about a paradigm shift in biotechnology in the country’s North-East Region (NER).
  • DBT has announced a series of new programs and missions to turn this into a reality.
  • DBT has established a dedicated ‘North Eastern Region Biotechnology Programme Management Cell (NER-BPMC)’, with an annual investment of Rs. 180 crores, to evolve, implement and foster biotechnology research in the north east states.
  • On the occasion of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Birth Centenary, the Minister of S&T, Earth Sciences and Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Dr. Harshvardhan announced three major new initiatives for the North East.
  • These new initiatives are in congruence to the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya’s philosophy of Integral Humanism which is a synthesis of the material and the spiritual, the individual and the collective, which the world is now calling as One Health embodying the health of human, animal and environment as one.
  • The Minister said that DBT has committed to dedicate each year, at least 10% of the budget for the North-East.
  • This year at least Rs.200 crores is expected to be spent for North-East Programmes.
  • The Minister informed that as a result of the programmes, North East has become a major hub of biotechnology at the foundational level.
  • The biotech programmes are of the highest quality, the institutions have state-of-the-art facilities and there has now been an impact on innovation and entrepreneurship because of excellent human resources programmes.

I. Phyto-Pharma Plant Mission:

  • This is a Rs 50 crore Mission aimed at conservation and cultivation of endangered and threatened endemic medicinal plants, and discovery of new botanical drugs for unmet medical needs using the rich traditional ethno-botanical knowledge and biodiversity of these states and at the same time also improve availability of authentic and quality botanical raw material on sustainable basis for a boom in the phyto-pharmaceutical industry.
  • Through this Mission, it is expected to enable farmers from NE states and phyto-pharmaceutical industry to become global leaders in production and export of some quality botanical drugs for unmet medical needs.
  • For this Mission, DBT will be the nodal coordinating and implementing department and work closely with Ministry of DONER and other identified institutions.

II. Brahmaputra Biodiversity and Biology Boat (B4)

  • On the Brahmaputra River, a major ecology hotspot, in NER, in collaboration with DONER
  • B4 will establish a large barge on the river with a well-equipped laboratory for analysis of all components of the entire ecosystem of the river and surroundings.
  • The B4 will link to all the local research institutions along the river, as well as national and international laboratories.
  • B4 will have capability to analyse soil, water, environment, plant and animal life, human health and agriculture and an equal component that involves local citizens in the experimental process of science in data generation and management.
  • B4 will also have a teaching laboratory for school/college children. It is also proposed to have mobile satellite boat labs which will run along the tributaries of Brahmaputra to feed in data to the mainB4.

III. Frugal microscopy through the Foldscope:

  • A frugal microscope assembled from simple components, including a sheet of paper and a lens, is acting as a tool connecting students and science from the region, with the rest of the country.