PIB Analysis : 11th and 12th September

PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Digital Initiatives of Ministry of Civil Aviation
  2. Government e Marketplace
  3. Fire & forget Man Portable Antitank Guided Missile
  4. Drought Toolbox
  5. Jeevan Kaushal
  6. 6th Schedule
  7. Exercise Maitree
  8. Leads Index 2019 
  9. Bio Terrorism
  10. Global Anti Microbial Resistance Research and Development Hub

1 . Digital Initiatives of Ministry of Civil Aviation


Context : India’s tallest Air Traffic Control tower was inaugurated earlier this month at the Indira Gandhi International Airport which will ensure up-scaled services and systems for efficient, smooth and uninterrupted air traffic management.

Other Digital Initiatives taken up by Ministry

  • eDGCA project conceptualized to completely automate the processes and functions of DGCA and its constituent directorates as well as to provide a strong base for IT infrastructure and service delivery framework. The work on development of various modules including licensing of pilots is under progress.
  • DigiSky– an online portal to regulate the entire gamut of activities relating to governance and operation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS)/Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAVs)/drones has been made operational. While ensuring safety and security in drone operations, it will also help in promotion of drone technologies.
  •  Esahaj-100% of security clearances pertaining to the Ministry have been made online on Esahaj online portal launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The portal is operational for granting clearances in respect of 24 categories.
  • DigiYatra Trial for rollout of DigiYatra initiative has been started at Bangalore and Hyderabad airports. The initiative envisages seamless and hassle free passenger travel using biometric technologies to improve passenger experience, reduce queue waiting time as passengers can walk through e-gates by using advanced security solutions. It will remove redundancies at check points and enhance resource utilization.

2 . Government e Marketplace


About Government e Marketplace

  • Government e Marketplace, an online market place for procurement of common use goods and services by government ministries, departments and CPSEs was setup in 2016 and has 801,956 products and 5,197 services, with 199,654 registered sellers, service providers and 33,536 government buyers.  Since inception, GeM has processed 1,386,030 orders worth Rs. 19,214 crore in gross merchandise value.
  • Government e Marketplace is a 100 percent government owned company setup under the aegis of Ministry of Commerce and Industry for procurement of common use goods and services by Government ministries, departments and CPSEs.
  • GeM was setup in 2016 and has 731,431 product categories, with 180,862 registered sellers and 32,114 government buyers. Since inception, GeM has processed 1,171,761 orders worth Rs. 16,976 crores in gross merchandise value.

3 . Fire & forget Man Portable Antitank Guided Missile


Context : In a major boost for Indian Army, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) today successfully flight tested indigenously developed low weight, fire and forget Man Portable Antitank Guided Missile (MPATGM) in the ranges of Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh. 

About the Missile

  • It is developed indigenously by scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
  • The missile incorporates many advanced features, including, image infrared radar (IIR) seeker with integrated avionics.
  • The critical IIR seeker has been designed and developed at the Hyderabad-based Research Centre Imarat.
  • The missile was launched from a man portable Tripod launcher and the target was mimicking a functional tank. The missile hit the target in top attack mode and destroyed it with precision. All the mission objectives were met.
  • This is the third series of successful testing of MPATGM.
  • The test paves the way for the Army to have developed 3rd generation man portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile indigenously.

4 . Drought Toolbox


Context : Drought Toolbox launched during COP14 to UNCCD

About Drought Toolbox

  • Requested in The COP 13 as part of the Drought Initiative, the toolbox is being designed to provide drought stakeholders with easy access to tools, case studies and other resources to support the design of National Drought Policy Plan with the aim to boost the resilience of people and ecosystems to drought.
  • The toolbox is a sort of knowledge bank which contains tools that strengthen the ability of countries to anticipate and prepare for drought effectively and mitigate their impacts as well as tools that enable communities to anticipate and find the land management tools that help them to build resilience to drought.
  • The drought toolbox collates a large number of tools organized in 3 modules :
    • Drought Monitoring and Early Warning.
    • Drought Vulnerability and Risk Assessment.
    • Drought Risk Mitigation Measures.
  • The Drought Toolbox is currently being developed as part of the Drought Initiative through the close partnership among UNCCD, WMO, FAO, GWP, National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) of the University of Nebraska, and UNEP-DHI.

5 . Jeevan Kaushal


Context : Union Minister of State for Human Resource DevelopmentShri Sanjay Dhotre, launched the Curriculum for Life Skills (JeevanKaushal) designed by University Grants Commission (UGC), in New Delhi today.

About Jeevan Kaushal

  • UGC constituted Expert Committee prepared a Curriculum for Life Skills (JeevanKaushal) for Under Graduate Programme.
  • The curriculum is designed to impart and strengthen the knowledge,skills and dispositions believed to be the best requisites of the current Industry and thereby empower the talent inherent in each learner.
  • Life Skills like communication skill, interpersonal skill, time management, problem solving ability, decision making capacity, leadership ability and integrity play a crucial role in boosting the employability of the students.
  • Life skills (JeevanKaushal) curriculum cover the set of human talents acquired by an individual via classroom learning or life experience that can help them to deal with problems encountered in day to day life. This includes the core skills each individual must possess internally as well as externally for the betterment of self and the society as a whole. Adoption of life skills is the key to success and quality in life.

6 . National Commission of Scheduled Tribes


Context : The 119th meeting of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes was held on 11th September, 2019 under the Chairmanship of Dr. Nand Kumar Sai to deliberate the issue of inclusion of UT of Ladakh under Fifth/Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India.

About NCST

  • The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) was established by amending Article 338 and inserting a new Article 338A in the Constitution through the Constitution (89th Amendment) Act, 2003.
  • By this amendment, the erstwhile National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was replaced by two separate Commissions namely-
    • the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)
    • the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)
  • Composition
    • The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes has a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and three other Members.
    • At least one other Member shall be appointed from amongst women.
    • The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and other Members of the Commission are appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.
    • The Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson and the other Members shall hold office for a term of three years from the date on which he/ she assumes such office.
  • Conditions of Service
    • The Chairperson shall be appointed from amongst eminent social-political workers belonging to the Scheduled Tribes, who inspire confidence amongst the Scheduled Tribes by their very personality and record of selfless service;
    • The Vice-Chairperson and all other Members out of whom at least two shall be appointed from amongst persons belonging to the Scheduled Tribes;
    • At least one other Member shall be appointed from amongst women.
    • The Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson and the other Members shall hold office for a term of three years from the date on which he/ she assumes such office.
    • The Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson and the other Members shall not be eligible for appointment for more than two terms.
    • The Chairperson shall have the rank of a Cabinet Minister and the Vice-Chairperson that of Minister of State and other Members shall have the rank of a Secretary to the Government of India unless otherwise specified.
    • The Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson and other Members shall be entitled to such salaries and allowances as admissible to a Secretary to the Government of India.

Functions

  • Article 338A, inter-alia, enjoins upon the NCST to monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Tribes under the Constitution or under any other law or under any order of the Government, and to participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes, and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any State, and to present  to the President, annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards.
  • The Duties assigned to the Commission under 338A(5) are as given below:
    • To investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Tribes under the Constitution or under any other law for the time being in force or under any order of the Government and to evaluate the working of such safeguards;       
    • To inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation  of rights and safeguards of the Scheduled Tribes;       
    • To participate and advise in the planning process of socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any State;       
    • To present to the President, annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards.       
    • To make in such reports, recommendations as to the measures that should be taken by the Union or any State for effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes, and       
    • To discharge such other functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the Scheduled Tribes as the President may, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, by rule specify.    
  • The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes has been assigned certain additional functions in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-clause (f) of Clause (5) of Article 338A. These duties relate to measures to be taken:
    • to confer  ownership  rights   in  respect of   minor  forest  produce  to STs  living  in  forest  areas.       
    • to safeguarding the   rights  of   the  tribal  communities  over   mineral  resources,  water   resources etc.  as laid down by  law.       
    • to plug  loopholes  and  to   work   more  viable  livelihood  strategies.       
    • to improve   the  efficacy of   relief   and  rehabilitation  measures for    tribal  groups   displaced   by  development projects.       
    • to prevent  alienation of   tribal   people  from land and  to   effectively  rehabilitate  such  people   in whose  case  alienation has  already  taken  place.       
    • to elicit maximum cooperation and involvement of tribal  communities for protecting forests and undertaking social  afforestation.       
    • to ensure full implementation   of the provision of Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled   Areas) Act, 1996       
    • to reduce and ultimately eliminate the practice of shifting  cultivation  by tribal that lead to their continuous disempowerment and  degradation of  land  and  the  environment.    

About Sixth Schedule

  • The 6th schedule to the constitution of india provides for the administration of tribal areas through District Councils and regional councils in the states of Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and Meghalaya
  • President at any time by order may direct the formation or termination of any area under tribal area.
  • Each autonomous district has a district council consisting of 30 members, of whom four are nominated by the governor and the remaining 26 are elected on the basis of adult franchise. The elected members hold office for a term of five years (unless the council is dissolved earlier) and nominated members hold office during the pleasure of the governor. Each autonomous region also has a separate regional council.
  • The district and regional councils administer the areas under their jurisdiction. They can make laws on certain specified matters like land, forests, canal water, shifting cultivation, village administration, inheritance of property, marriage and divorce, social customs and so on. But all such laws require the assent of the governnor.
  • The district and regional councils within their territorial jurisdictions can constitute village councils or courts for trial of suits and cases between the tribes. They hear appeals from them. The jurisdiction of high court over these suits and cases is specified by the governor.
  • Each autonomous district has a district council of 30 members and also contains separate regional councils.
  • The district council can establish, construct or manage primary schools, dispensaries, markets, ferries, fisheries, roads and so on in the district. It can also make regulations for the control of money lending and trading by non-tribals. But, such regulations require the assent of the governor.
  • The district and regional councils are empowered to assess and collect land revenue and to impose certain specified taxes.
  • The acts of Parliament or the state legislature do not apply to autonomous districts and autonomous regions or apply with specified modifications and exceptions.

Need to include Ladakh in Sixth Schedule

  • The Commission took note of the fact that the newly created Union Territory of Ladakh is predominantly a tribal region in the country.
  • The Scheduled Tribe population represent 66.8 percent in Leh, 73.35 percent in Nubra, 97.05 percent in Khalsti, 83.49 per cent in Kargil, 89.96 per cent in Sanku and 99.16 per cent in Zanskar areas of the Ladakh region.
  • The official figures, however, does not include a number of communities including SunniMuslims in the region, who are claiming for Scheduled Tribe status.
  • Taking into account this, the total tribal population in Ladakh region is more than 97 percent.
  • The region is inhabited by following Scheduled Tribes, namely:
    • Balti, Beda, Bot, Boto, Brokpa, Drokpa, Dard, Shin, Changpa, Garra, Mon, Purigpa.
  • The Commission noted that prior to creation of Union Territory of Ladakh, people in Ladakh region had certain agrarian rights including right on land which restricted people from other parts of the country to purchase or acquire land in Ladakh.
  • Similarly, the Ladakh region has several distinct cultural heritages by communities such as Drokpa, Balti and Changpa, among others, which needs to be preserved and promoted. 
  • The Commission is of the view that the autonomous district councils of erstwhile Union Territory of Mizoram had helped in mitigating the genuine aspirations of people.  Similarly, Clause 3(58)(b) of the General Clauses Act 1897 defines State shall mean a State specified in the First Schedule to the Constitution and shall include a Union Territory.
  • The Commission after careful consideration, recommends that the Union Territory of Ladakh be brought under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.  The Commission feels that this will help in:
    • Democratic devolution of powers;
    • Preserve and promote distinct culture of the region.
    • Protect agrarian rights including rights on land
    • Enhance transfer of funds for speedy development of Ladakh region.

7 . Exercise Maitree


About Exercise Maitree

  • Joint Military Exercise MAITREE-2019 between India and Thailand will be conducted at Foreign Training Node, Umroi (Meghalaya)
  • Indian and Royal Thailand Army (RTA) comprising 50 soldiers each will participate in the exercise with an aim to share experience gained during various counter terrorism operations in their respective countries.
  • Exercise MAITREE is an annual training event which is being conducted alternatively in Thailand and India since 2006. 
  • Notably, in the series of military training exercises undertaken by India with various countries, Exercise MAITREE with Thailand is a significant in terms of the security challenges faced by both the nations in the backdrop of changing facets of global terrorism. 
  • The scope of this exercise covers company level joint training on counter terrorism operations in jungle and urban scenario.

8 . Leads Index 2019 


About Leads Index

  • The LEADS Index is an effort by the Commerce and Industry Ministry to establish the base line of performance in the logistics sector based on the perception of users and stakeholders at the State level.
  • It provides the basis for stakeholder engagement, discussions and evolving action plan by various agencies.
  • It is not an index of the performance of the State Government but may be used to assess the status of logistics efficiency in each State.
  • The State Logistics Performance Index is arrived at using a ranking methodology based on a series of meetings with stakeholders and online surveys in the key areas of the logistics like infrastructure, services, timelines, traceability, competitiveness, security, operating environment and efficiency of regulation.
  • According to the index top ranking state in the logistics sector is Gujarat followed by Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. Among the hilly Eastern States Tripura is the top performer and among Union Territories (UTs) Chandigarh was selected as the best performing UT.

9 . Bio Terrorism


About Bioterrorism

  • A bioterrorism attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs to cause illness or death. These germs are often found in nature. But they can sometimes be made more harmful by increasing their ability to cause disease, spread, or resist medical treatment.
  • Biological agents spread through the air, water, or in food. Some can also spread from person to person. They can be very hard to detect. They don’t cause illness for several hours or days. Scientists worry that anthrax, botulism, Ebola and other hemorrhagic fever viruses, plague, or smallpox could be used as biological agents.
  • Biodefense uses medical measures to protect people against bioterrorism. This includes medicines and vaccinations. It also includes medical research and preparations to defend against bioterrorist attacks.

10 . Global Anti Microbial Resistance Research and Development Hub


Context : India joins the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Development Hub

About Global Anti Microbial Resistance Research and Development Hub

  • The Global AMR R&D Hub was launched in May 2018 in the margins of the 71st session of the World Health Assembly, following a call from G20 Leaders in 2017.
  • The Global AMR R&D Hub supports global priority setting and evidence-based decision-making on the allocation of resources for AMR R&D through the identification of gaps, overlaps and potential for cross-sectoral collaboration and leveraging in AMR R&D.
  • The operation of the Global AMR R&D Hub is supported through a Secretariat, established in Berlin and currently financed through grants from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG).
  • AMR is the ability of a microbe to resist the effects of medication that once could successfully treat the microbe.

Benefits to India

  • By partnering with the Global AMR R&D Hub, India looks forward to working with all partners to leverage their existing capabilities, resources and collectively focus on new R&D intervention to address drug resistant infections.
  • In a major boost to combat one of the gravest risks to global health a dedicated special vehicle in terms of Global AMR R&D Hub may allow partners to devote expertise in order to accelerate global action against antimicrobial resistance.
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