PIB Analysis : 25th, 26th and 27th July 2020

PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Financial Management Index for Rural Development Programmes
  2. Elastic properties of rocks and seismicity in this easternmost part of India
  3. Schemes for setting up of Bulk Drugs Parks & Medical Devices Parks
  4. Mobile App Mausam
  5. MoES-Knowledge Resource Centre Network (KRCNet) 
  6. Facts for Prelims

1 . Financial Management Index for Rural Development Programmes


Context : Shri Narendra Singh Tomar released “Financial Management Index for Rural Development Programmes

About the Programme

Financial Management Index for Rural Development Programmes will rank the performance of the States on the basis of following parameters:

  • Preparation of annual plan, projecting the requirement of funds for the financial year, expeditious release of State’s share, timely utilization of the funds and submission of the Utilization Certificates etc.;
  • Optimum implementation of Public Financial Management System (PFMS) & Direct Benefit Transfer;
  • Internal Audit; and
  • Social Audit.

Importance

  • Performance of the States on the parameters of the Index promote the spirit of competitive, cooperative federalism amongst States.
  • It will help States to ensure optimum utilization of the funds so as to ensure efficient implementation of all the programmes which are being implemented by the State Governments which include Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojaya-National Rural Livelihood Mission, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Grameen and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana etc.
  • The Internal Audit process will ensure that the irregularities, if any, in implementation and financial management of the funds under these Rural Development Programmes are brought out and consequent remedial actions are initiated immediately.

2 . Elastic properties of rocks and seismicity in this easternmost part of India


Context : A study by the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG) an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, exploring the elastic properties of rocks and seismicity in this easternmost part of India revealed that the area is generating moderate earthquakes at two different depths

About Underthrusting

  • The exhumation and growth of the Himalaya is a continuous process that results predominantly from reverse faults in which the rocks on the lower surface of a fault plane move under relatively static rocks on the upper surface, a process called underthrusting of the Indian plate beneath its Eurasian counterpart.
  • This process keeps modifying the drainage patterns and landforms and is the pivotal reason for causing an immense seismic hazard in the Himalayan mountain belt and adjoining regions, necessitating assessment and characterization of earthquakes in terms of cause, depth and intensity before construction activities are initiated.

About TTSZ

  • The Tuting-Tidding Suture Zone (TTSZ) is a major part of the Eastern Himalaya, where the Himalaya takes a sharp southward bend and connects with the Indo-Burma Range.
  • This part of the Arunachal Himalaya has gained significant importance in recent times due to the growing need of constructing roads and hydropower projects, making the need for understanding the pattern of seismicity in this region critical.

Details of the Study

  • Low magnitude earthquakes are concentrated at 1-15 km depth, and slightly higher greater than 4.0 magnitude earthquakes are mostly generated from 25-35 km depth. The intermediate-depth is devoid of seismicity and coincides with the zone of fluid/partial melts.
  • The crustal thickness in this area varies from 46.7 km beneath the Brahmaputra Valley to about 55 km in the higher elevations of Arunachal, with a marginal uplift of the contact that defines the boundary between crust and the mantle technically called the Moho discontinuity.This, in turn, reveals the underthrusting mechanism of Indian plate in the Tuting-Tidding Suture Zone.
  • Extremely high Poisson’s ratio was also obtained in the higher parts of the Lohit Valley, indicating the presence of fluid or partial melt at crustal depths. This detailed assessment of seismicity in this region will be helpful for planning any largescale construction in this region in the future.

How study was conducted

  • The team of scientists led by Dr. Devajit Hazarika installed 11 broadband seismic stations along the Lohit River Valley of Arunachal Himalaya to understand the elastic properties of rocks and seismicity in this easternmost part of India, a study that has been published in the ‘Journal of Asian Earth Sciences’.
  • In the present study, the WIHG team used both teleseismic (earthquakes that occur more than 1000 km from the measurement site)and local earthquake data with the help of seismometers having a flat velocity response for the frequency range of 0.004-35 Hz. Data were continuously recorded at 20 samples per second, and the Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers were used for time synchronization.
  • The study which used teleseismic and local earthquake data procured during January 2007-June 2008 has helped map underthrusting in this easternmost part of the country and can not only help plan construction but also improve earthquake preparedness in the area

3 . Schemes for setting up of Bulk Drugs Parks & Medical Devices Parks



Scheme for promotion of Bulk Drug Parks

  • The scheme envisages creation of 3 bulk drug parks in the country.
  • The grant-in-aid will be 90% of the project cost in case of North-East and hilly States and 70% in case of other States. Maximum grant-in-aid for one bulk drug park is limited to Rs.1000 crore. 
  • States will be selected through a challenge method. The States interested in setting up the parks will have to ensure assured 24*7 supply of electricity and water to the bulk drug units located in the park and offer competitive land lease rates to bulk drug units in the park.
  • The location of proposed park from environmental angle and logistics angle would be taken into account while selecting the States. 

Selection of the States

  • The ease of doing business ranking of the state, incentive policies of the State applicable to bulk drug industry, availability of technical manpower in the state, availability of pharmaceutical/chemical clusters in the state will also be factored in while selecting the States.
  • The interested States will be scored and ranked on an evaluation criteria, given in the guidelines, which captures above parameters. The States getting top 3 ranks will be selected.
  • The States have to submit their proposal within 60 days of the date of issuance of the guidelines. Selection will be done and in-principle approval will be given to three selected States within 30 days of last date of submission of proposals.

Need

  • India is often referred to as ‘the pharmacy of the world’ and this has been proved true especially in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic when India continued to export critical life saving medicines to needy countries even during the countrywide lockdown.
  • However, despite these achievements, it is a matter of concern that our country is critically dependent on imports for basic raw materials, viz. Bulk Drugs (Key Starting Materials (KSMs)/ Drug Intermediates (DIs) and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs)) that are used to produce some of the essential medicines. Similarly in medical devices sector, our country is dependent on imports for 86% of its requirements of medical devices. 

4 . Mobile App “Mausam”


Context : India Meteorological Department, Ministry of Earth Sciences has taken various initiatives in recent years for improvement in dissemination of weather forecast and warning services based on latest tools and technologies.

About Mobile App Mausam

  • App is launched by Ministry of Earth Sciences. Mobile App is named as “Mausam”
  • This mobile app is available both on Playstore and Appstore.
  • This Mobile App is dedicated to the general public and designed to communicate the weather information and forecasts in a lucid manner without technical jargons.
  • Users can access observed weather, forecasts, radar images and be proactively warned of impending weather events.
  • The Mausam mobile app will be an important tool for dissemination of weather information and warnings in an attractive and user friendly manner which will meet the requirements of public.
  • The mobile app has been designed and developed jointly by ICRISAT’s Digital Agriculture & Youth (DAY) team, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and India Meteorological Department.

       The MAUSAM mobile App has the following 5 services:

  • Current Weather Current temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction for 200 cities updated 8 times a day. Information on Sunrise/ sunset and moonrise/ moonset are also given.
  • Nowcast– Three hourly warnings of localized weather phenomena and their intensity issued for about 800 stations, and districts of India by State Meteorological Centres of IMD. In case of severe weather, its impact also is included in the warning.
  • City Forecast – Past 24 hours and 7 day forecast of weather conditions around 450 cities in India.
  • Warnings- Alerts issued twice a day for all districts for the next five days in colour code (Red, Orange and Yellow) to warn citizens of approaching dangerous weather. The colour code Red is the most severe category urging authorities to take action, Orange code prompts authorities and public to be alert and Yellow code prompts authorities and public to keep themselves updated.
  • Radar products:Latest Station wise radar products updated every 10 minutes

5 . MoES-Knowledge Resource Centre Network (KRCNet) 


Context : Under the Digital India initiative of Government of India, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)aims to develop a World-Class Knowledge Resource Centre Network (KRCNet).

About Knowledge Resource Centres

  • Keeping in mind the spectacular developments in information technology, the traditional libraries of the MoES system will be upgraded into a top-notch Knowledge Resource Centres (KRC).
  • KRCs will be connected with each other and integrated into the KRCNet portal. It will be a single point entry to the intellectual world of Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).
  • The resources and services of MoES system will be accessible 24X7 through a one point dynamic, updated and integrated KRCNet portal. A pilot project has been developed at MoESheadquarters which will be integrated with other MoES institutes.

Salient objectives of the KRCNet:

  • Establish a Total Quality Management (TQM) system by securing ISO certification for documenting MoESknowledge resources, its maintenance, easy retrieval and dissemination.
  • Collect, collate, analyze, index, store and disseminate the intellectual resources, products and project outputs available in MoES headquarter and its institutes.
  • Develop and maintain an up-to-date meta-data of the print & digital resources available in MoES headquarter and MoES institutes, including MoES services.
  • Provide 24X7 access to the subscribed knowledge contents through the KRCNet portal.
  • Application of information analytical tools & techniques like bibliometrics, scientometrics, big-data analytics, social media analytics etc., for policy formulation, report preparation and information dissemination.
  • Periodically organize training workshops to popularize usage of electronic journals, databases, digital products, data analytics etc.

6 . Facts for Prelims


BIRAC

  • Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is a not-for-profit Section 8, Schedule B, Public Sector Enterprise, set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India as an Interface Agency to strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs.

National Biopharma Mission

  • The Industry-Academia Collaborative Mission of Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt of India for accelerating discovery research to early development for Biopharmaceuticals approved by the Cabinet for a total cost US$ 250 million and 50% co-funded by the World Bank is being implemented at Biotechnology Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
  • This program is dedicated to deliver affordable products to the nation with an aim to improve the health standards of India’s population.
  • Vaccines, medical devices and diagnostics and biotherapeutics are few of its most important domains, besides, strengthening the clinical trial capacity and building technology transfer capabilities in the country.

e-BIS

  • Union Minister launched the Bureau of Indian Standard’s Mobile App ‘BIS-Care’ and three portals – the Standardization, Conformity Assessment and Training Portals of e-BIS on  www.manakonline.in for consumers.
  • Consumers can check the authenticity of the ISI-marked and hallmarked products and lodge complaints using this App.
  • With the App, users can access the complete Complaint Management System and perform the same tasks as the BIS website.
  • The App is available in both Hindi and English.

Dare to Dream 2.0’ contest

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has launched its innovation contest ‘Dare to Dream 2.0’ on the 5th death anniversary of former President and noted scientist Dr APJ Abdul Kalam here today.
  • The scheme is being launched for emerging technologies to promote the individuals & startups for innovation in defence and aerospace technologies in the country
  • The ‘Dare to Dream 2.0’ is an open challenge to promote the innovators and startups of the country. The winners will be decided after due evaluation by an expert committee. Award money, up to Rs 10 lakh for startup and Rs five lakh to individual category, will be given to the winners.

High Throughput COVID-19 testing facilities 

  • Three high-throughput testing facilities have been set up strategically at ICMR-National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research, Noida; ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, Mumbai; and ICMR-National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata, and will be able to test over 10,000 samples in a day.
  • These labs will also reduce turn-around-time and exposure of lab personnel to infectious clinical materials.
  • The labs are enabled to test diseases other than COVID as well, and post the pandemic, will be able to test for Hepatitis B and C, HIV, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Cytomegalovirus, Chlamydia, Neisseria, Dengue, etc.