PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE
- High Flash High Speed Diesel
- Island Development Agency
- Rationale and process of Urea Import on Government account
- Indian Digital Heritage Initiative
- Central Adoption Resource Authority
- Facts for Prelims
1 . High Flash High Speed Diesel
Context : On 13 January 2020, the launch of the new fuel (High Flash High Speed Diesel) HFHSD – IN 512, with revised technical specifications was undertaken.
Benefits of HFHSD
- The country will be able to ensure interoperability amongst foreign navies during fleet exercises and provide fuel of quality better than that mandated to all foreign navies under bilateral/ multi-national logistics support pacts including LEMOA (Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement).
- It would also benefit other M/s IOCL consumers in the country like Indian Coast Guard and other merchant marine in the coming years.
- The achievement would also mark a new high with quality fuel available to all foreign Navy ships at Indian ports during exercises with the Indian Navy.
- This revolutionary initiative would go a long way in enhancing equipment reliability, performance, reduced carbon footprint, emissions and more importantly would be key enabler in the Navy’s ‘Mission Based Deployment’ on a global scale.
2 . Island Development Agency
Context : The Union Home Minister, Shri Amit Shah, chaired the sixth meeting of the Island Development Agency (IDA) held here today. The Island Development Agency reviewed the progress made towards the programme “Holistic development of islands”.
About Island Development Agency
- The Union Government constituted the Island Development Agency on 1st June, 2017 for the development of islands.
- The meetings of the Agency is chaired by the Union Home Minister.
- For the first time in the country, under the guidance of IDA, an initiative of sustainable development in the identified Islands within scientifically-assessed carrying capacity has been taken-up.
- Development Plans with focus on creation of jobs for the islanders through tourism promotion as well as export of seafood and coconut-based products made in the Islands have been prepared and are being implemented in four islands of Andaman & Nicobar and five islands of Lakshadweep. In the second phase, suitable sites in 12 more islands of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and 5 islands in Lakshadweep have been covered.
3 . Rationale and process of Urea Import on Government account
Context : The following is a rebuttal regarding the issue of import of Urea raised by ShriUttam Gupta in his article in Financial Express dated 13.01.2020.
- There are two main agricultural seasons in India – ‘Kharif’ from 1st April to 30th September and ‘Rabi’ from 1st October to 31st March.
- The fertilizer requirement (including of Urea) for a season is determined by DAC&FW in consultation with representatives of States/UTs agriculture department before the beginning of a season and communicated to DoF.
- Before the beginning of each agricultural season, the Steering Committee of Secretaries (SCOS) comprising of Secretary (Fertilizers) as Chairman, Chairman Railway Board, Secretary (Commerce), Secretary (Expenditure), Secretary (Agriculture) and Secretary (Shipping) as its members (AS&FA, DoF is also a special invitee to the Committee), considers the requirement of Urea for the season determined by DAC&FW, projected indigenous production and expected UOTA imports.
- Based on its analysis it decides the overall quantity of urea required to be imported on Government Account in a season and authorizes Department of Fertilizers to determine the timing, quantity and STE to import urea on government account, as and when necessary, for ensuring adequate availability of urea in the country.
- DoF is responsible for ensuring adequate and timely supply of fertilizers throughout the country. In order to bridge the gap between the assessed requirement of urea for an agricultural season as determined by DAC&FW and the indigenous production of Urea plus imports under Urea offtake Agreement (UOTA) of GoI with OMIFCO, the Department of Fertilizers imports urea on government account.
- At present, as per DGFT Foreign Trade policy, import of urea for agriculture purposes is a canalized item and can be imported only through the State Trading Enterprises (STEs) as notified by DGFT from time to time. Currently, MMTC, STC and RCF are the notified STEs.
Process of Urea Import
- Since the mandate of DoF is to ensure adequate and timely availability of Fertilizers, In this regard, to bridge the gap between the requirement and indigenous production of Urea plus imports under Urea offtake Agreement (UOTA) of GoI with OMIFCO, the Department of Fertilizers imports urea on government account. The concerned STE’s are authorized on rotation basis to procure imported Urea for DoF through competitive bidding process.
- In the present context, since the STEs are Public Sector Undertakings, they are required to adhere to all other directions/guidelines of the GoI on tendering and procurement to ensure international competitive bidding and secure competitive prices.
- The DoF does not import Urea on its discretion. There is well designed scrutiny of the proposals to go for any lot of imports. Ascribing discretion and vested interest to DoF functionaries show lack of appreciation of efforts by them in ensuring timely supply of fertilizers to the farming community.
4 . Indian Digital Heritage Initiative
About Indian Digital Heritage Initiative
- The Indian Digital Heritage (IDH) Project was a unique initiative of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, supporting collaborativ projects between researchers in the areas of technology and humanities for the digital documentation and interpretation of our tangible and intangible heritage.
- The goal of the India Digital Heritage (IDH) Research Project was to extend the power of digital technologies to well beyond monuments to art, architecture and all forms of cultural and historical knowledge.
- The aim of the project was to go beyond simply storing and sharing the heritage data and knowledge, and use emerging technologies in computer vision, graphics, audio-video technologies and user interface design to create vivid experiences of the heritage for common users. It also aimed to provide analytic tools for the art-historian, the architect or any scientist who may be interested in conducting scholarly studies of Indian heritage.
- The basic goal of the IDH project was to bring about a fine synergy of Geospatial technologies with matured ICT technologies and develop technology tools to help preserve, use, and experience India’s vast heritage in digital form.
- This was perhaps the first such effort in India attempted as a major multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, multi-crore project supported by the Department of Science and Technology through its arm NRDMS.
- ViRaasat’, consist of a scaled down 3D printed replica shall provide a mixed reality experience to visitors for selected monuments, using laser-scanning, 3D modelling and rendering, 3D printing, computer vision and spatial AR.
5 . Central Adoption Resource Authority
- Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is a statutorybody of Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India.
- It functions as the nodal body for adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions.
- CARA is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by Government of India in 2003.
- CARA primarily deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated /recognised adoption agencies.
6 . Facts for Prelims
Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI).
- DICCI is apex body of SC/ST Entrepreneurs in the country with 29 state and 7 international chapters.
- DICCI organizes NVDP and industrial exhibitions and trade fair to showcase products manufactured by SC/ST businessmen, to leverage market access support & networking.
- Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DICCI) was established on 14th April 2005 to instill the spirit of entrepreneurship among Dalit youth to develop business leadership, thus empowering them to walk in step with the world.
Armed Forces Veteran’s Day
- Since 2017, Armed Forces Veterans Day is observed each year on 14 Jan as a mark of respect and recognition of the services rendered by Field Marshal KM Cariappa OBE – fondly known as Kipper – The first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces who retired on 14 Jan 1953. Commemoration of Armed Forces Veterans Day acknowledges and honours the selfless devotion and sacrifice of our veterans in the service of the nation.
- ‘Saksham’, an annual one-month long, people-centric fuel conservation mega campaign of Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas
National Highways Excellence Awards
- National Highways Excellence Awards’ were instituted in the year 2018. The first cycle of awards in 2018 received wide participation from around the country.
- Following the success of the first cycle, the Ministry decided to make the National Highways Excellence Awards an annual feature.
- The aim is to recognise companies which are performing exceptionally well in the construction, operations, maintenance and tolling stages of highway development as well as in the arena of road safety.
- The motive behind starting an annual awards program is to create a spirit of healthy competitiveness amongst all stakeholders involved in the development of highway infrastructure in the country and to contribute to the larger goal of expanding the road network in the country.
- By announcing awards each year, the Ministry would acknowledge exceptional work being done in various aspects of highway management and recognize those agencies which are going beyond the scope of their work to deliver the finest quality of services.
- The seven award categories are:
- Excellence in Project Management,
- Excellence in Operation and Maintenance,
- Excellence in Toll Management,
- Excellence in Highway Safety,
- Outstanding Work in Challenging Conditions, and
- Green Highway.