PIB Analysis : 16th and 17th January


Topics Covered

  2. Gandhi Peace Prize
  3. Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2019
  4. Numaligarh Refinery
  5. MoUs signed
  7. Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC)
  8. Swach Iconic Places


Sangeet Natak Akademi launches second phase of the Web Campaign ‘SĀNJHI –MUJH MEIN KALĀKĀR’

About the Campaign

  • Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama launched the second phase of the Web Campaign ‘SĀNJHI –MUJH MEIN KALĀKĀR’ an initiative to document and promote the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) and diverse cultural traditions of the country by direct public-participation.
  • This is a unique talent search where the participant will showcase their talent in the fields of music, dance, drama, puppetry, folk and tribal arts, culinary skills, painting, sculpture etc. The literal meaning of the term SĀNJHI is “to share” and “to partner”, and the cultural traditions of our country has developed and prospered on the notions of harmony.
  • The Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) is the nodal agency of the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India to coordinate the matters related to Intangible Cultural Heritage and various UNESCO Conventions addressing Cultural Diversity and promotion and dissemination of multifarious cultural traditions and expressions of the country.
  • The first phase of this campaign was earlier initiated in the month of November 2018 during the festival season of Diwali
  • The second phase of this campaign, SĀNJHI –MUJH MEIN KALĀKĀR, has its main focus area- the folk, traditional, customary, socially events and ritualistic art forms- woven as a cultural fabric around the harvest festival season of January. It is celebrated all across the country, known as various nomenclatures like Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Lohri, Bhogali Bihu, Torgya, Uttarayan, Attukkal Pongal etc.
  • It intends to bring forth such forms that are aligned with the domains of intangible cultural heritage as per the Convention of Safeguarding the ICH under UNESCO:
  1. Oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage;
  2. Performing arts;
  3. Social practices, rituals and festive events;
  4. Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe;
  5. Traditional craftsmanship

2 . Gandhi Peace Prize

Gandhi Peace Prize for 2015,2016,2017 and 2018 announced.

About Gandhi Peace Prize

  • The annual award was instituted by the Government of India in 1995 during the commemoration of 125th Birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The award carries an amount of Rs 1Crore, a Citation in a scroll, a plaque as well as an exquisite traditional handicraft/handloom item.
  • The jury under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister ShriNarendraModi and comprising the Chief Justice of India, Justice RanjanGogoi, Speaker of LokSabha Smt. Sumitra Mahajan, Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in LokSabha Shri. MallikarjunaKharge and Member of Parliament, Shri L.K. Advani after detailed discussions on 16th January, 2019 unanimously decided to select the following organisation/persons in recognition to their outstanding contributions in the fields mentioned above.

The Gandhi Peace Prize for the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 has been conferred on the following

  1. Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari for the year 2015 for their contribution in Rural Development, Education , Development of natural resources.
  2. For 2016 jointly to Akshaya Patra Foundation for its contribution in providing mid-day meals to millions of children across India and Sulabh International for its contribution in improving the condition of sanitation in India and emancipation of manual scavengers.
  3. Ekal Abhiyan Trust for the year 2017 for their contribution in providing Education for Rural and Tribal Children in remote areas pan India, Rural Empowerment, Gender and Social Equality
  4. Shri Yohei Sasakawa for the year 2018 for his contribution in Leprosy Eradication in India and across the world.

3 . Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar

National Selection Committee finalises names for  Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2019

About Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar

  • The Government of India has been conferring the National Award on Children for their exceptional achievement in the fields of innovation, scholastic, sports, arts, culture, social service, music or any other field deserving recognition.
  • Under this scheme, awards will be given in two categories ie Bal Shakti Puruskar to individuals and Bal Kalyan Puraskar for institutions/individuals working for children .
  • The WCD ministry has shortlisted   26 awardees including one joint award for  National Child Award (now renamed as Bal Shakti Puraskar) under the category of innovation, scholastic, sports, arts & culture, social service and bravery. 

4 . Numaligarh Refinery

Numligarh Refinery Assam capacity to be expanded from 3 MMTPA to 9 MMTPA
Cabinet approves setting up of crude oil pipeline from Paradip to Numaligarh and Product pipeline from Numaligarh to Siliguri


  • The expansion of the refinery will meet the deficit of petroleum products in the North East.   It will also sustain the operations of all North East refineries by augmenting their crude availability. It will generate direct and indirect employment in Assam and is a part of the Government’s Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for the North East.

5 . MoUs Signed

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Australia on the safety in Mines, Testing and Research Station

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS), Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India and Department of Natural Resource Mines and Energy, Queensland Government, Australia through the Safety in Mines, Testing and Research Station (SIMTARS).


The MoU will help in establishing a partnership between DGMS and SIMTARS for:

  • implementation of risk based safety management system, providing training,
  • organising, conference, seminar and other technical meetings, setting up occupations safety and health academy and national mine disaster centre, and
  • modernising R&D laboratory of DGMS.


  • Mining accident rates in Australia is the lowest in the world.   Australia has pioneered in conceptualising and implementing risk based Safety Management Plans for the mining sector using the technique of hazard identification and risk assessment. SIMTARS is known to have exclusive expertise in Mines Safety Management Systems.  

Cabinet approves ex-post facto approval for Agreement on the facilitation of visa arrangements signed between India and Maldives

  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its ex-post facto approval to the Agreement on the facilitation of visa arrangements signed between India and Maldives signed in December, 2018.
  • The Visa Facilitation Agreement signed during the visit of Maldivian President to India aims to further deepen people to people exchanges between the two countries making it easier for Maldivian and India nationals to travel to each others’ countries for tourism, medical treatment, education as well as business and employment. The Agreement provides for 90-day visa free travel for tourism, medical and limited business purpose and also provides for easy conversion of such visa free entry to medical visa as well as visas for dependents of students and those pursuing employment in each other’s territories.


  • India and Maldives share time tested and traditional bonds of friendship.
  • Close people to people contacts constitute the foundation of special bilateral relation between India and Maldives, which received a positive momentum with the visit of  Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to Male in November, 2018 for the Inauguration ceremony of the newly elected President of Maldives, Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, and the subsequent visit of the Maldivian President to India in December, 2018.


Dr. Jitendra Singh inaugurates UNNATI– Unispace Nanosatellite Assembly & Training programme of ISRO in Bengaluru


  • UNNATI, a capacity building programme on Nanosatellite development, is an initiative by ISRO to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations conference on the exploration and peaceful uses of outer space (UNISPACE-50).
  • The programme provides opportunities to the participating developing countries to strengthen in assembling, integrating and testing of Nanosatellite.
  • UNNATI programme is planned to be conducted for 3 years by U.R. Rao Satellite Centre of ISRO in 3 batches and will target to benefit officials of 45 countries. The first batch started today in which 30 delegates from 17 countries are participating.

About United Nations office for outer Space Operation

  • The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is the United Nations office responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.
  • UNOOSA serves as the secretariat for the General Assembly’s only committee dealing exclusively with international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space: the  United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). 

7 . Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC)

The role of the Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC) is commendable in realizing the vision of doubling farmers’ income by 2022:- Radha Mohan Singh

About SFAC

  • The Government established Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC) as a Society in 1994 to facilitate agri-business ventures by catalyzing private investment through Venture Capital Assistance (VCA) Scheme in close association with financial institutions. 
  • The setting up of State level SFAC as counterpart agency of Central SFAC for agribusiness projects was part of the Scheme. The Scheme envisaged a corpus contribution from Central SFAC of Rs. 50.00 lakh to each State which establishes a State Level SFAC.  

Functions of SFAC

  • Promotion of development of small agribusiness through VCA scheme;
  • Helping formation and growth of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) / Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs);
  • Improving availability of working capital and development of business activities of FPOs/FPCs through Equity Grant and Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme;
  • Implementation of National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Electronic Trading platform.

Schemes implemented by SFAC

Agri-Business Development (ABD) through Venture Capital Assistance (VCA) and Project Development Facility (PDF). 

  • The Scheme aims to facilitate the promotion of agri-business projects establishing backward linkages with farmers, providing assured market to their produce, thereby generating employment and enhancing farmers’ income.

Equity Grant and Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Farmer Producer Companies:

The scheme has two components :-

  • A grant of upto Rs. 10.00 lakh to each registered Farmer Producer Company is given to match the member equity raised by the institution. This enhances the equity base of the FPC and enable it to approach financial institutions for raising working capital.  
  • Credit Guarantee Fund (CGF) has been set up in SFAC with a corpus of Rs. 100.00 Crores. The CGF will offer a cover of 85% to loans extended by banks to Farmer Producer Companies without collateral, upto a maximum of Rs. 1.00 Crore.  

8 . Swachh Iconic Places

5th National Swachh Iconic Places review in Mumbai Significant Progress in Sanitation at 20 Locations

About Swachh Iconic Places

  • The Swachh Iconic Places is an initiative under the Swachh Bharat Mission. It is a special clean-up initiative focused on select iconic heritage, spiritual and cultural places in the country.
  • The initiative is being coordinated by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in association with the Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and the concerned State governments

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