PIB Analysis : 17th and 18th June

PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Coal Block Auction
  2. 75th Victory Day Parade of World War II 
  3. Neera and Palmgur
  4. ITES
  6. Umeofivir
  7. MSP on minor Forest Produce

1 . Coal Block Auction

Context : Ending seven decades of restrictions, India fully opened commercial coal mining for the private sector through auctions designed to boost production, reduce imports and raise state revenues.

Laws related to Coal Block Auctions

  • Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act :The Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act (1957) was enacted to regulate the mining sector in India. It was amended in 2015 and 2016. This act forms the basic framework of mining regulation in India. This act is applicable to all mineral except minor minerals and atomic minerals. It details the process and conditions for acquiring a mining or prospecting licence in India. Mining minor minerals comes under the purview of state governments
  • Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 (CMSP Act) : The CMSP Act provides for the auction and allocation of mines whose allocation was cancelled by the Supreme Court in 2014.
    •  Schedule I of the Act provides a list of all such mines; Schedule II and III are sub-classes of the mines listed in the Schedule I.  
    • Schedule II mines are those where production had already started then, and Schedule III mines are ones that had been earmarked for a specified end-use.

Auction process

  • In this auction process, 41 coal mines are on offer which includes fully explored and partially explored mines. These include 4 coking coal mines which are fully explored mines. These coal mines are located in states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha.
  • The auction process will be a two-stage tender process with technical and financial bidding.Commercial coal mining auctions are completely different from the earlier regime of restricted sectors, use and price. Now, there are no such restrictions at all.
  • The auctions have terms and conditions which are very liberal, allowing new companies to participate in the bidding process, reduced upfront amount, adjustment of upfront amount against royalty, liberal efficiency parameters to encourage flexibility to operationalize the coal mines, transparent bidding process, 100% FDI through automatic route allowed and reasonable financial terms and revenue sharing model based on the National Coal Index,

Benefits to the country

  • Upon attainment of Peak Rated Capacity of production of 225 MT, these mines shall contribute about 15% of the country’s projected total coal production in 2025-26.
  • Employment generation for more than 2.8 lakhs people: Direct employment to approximately 70,000 people and indirect employment to approximately 210,000 people.
  • Expected to generate approximately Rs 33,000 crore of capital investment in the country over next 5-7 years.
  • These mines will contribute Rs 20,000 crores revenues annually to the state governments
  • 100 per cent FDI is likely to bring in international practices, latest technologies and mechanisation in mining operations.
  • Self-reliance with substitution of imports by independent thermal power plants and captive power plants resulting in saving of foreign currency.
  • Boost to the regulated and non-regulated sector by ensuring sustained coal stocks for industries with greater reliability.
  • Moving towards a free market structure with implementation of the National Coal Index.
  • Promoting the practice of efficient use of clean energy and reduce the scourge of environmental pollution with incentive to Coal Gasification & Liquefaction.

2 . 75th Victory Day Parade of World War II 

Context : India to send Tri-Service contingent to participate in 75th Victory Day Parade of World War II

About Victory Day Parade

  • Victory day Parade refers to the annual military parade of the Russian Armed Forces on Moscow’s Red Square every 9 May during the Victory Day celebrations.
  • As Victory Day is the principal military holiday of Russia and of almost all member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (except the Baltics and Ukraine), the celebrations in Moscow and other capital cities thus serve as national events to mark such an important holiday for millions of people, marking the anniversary of the capitulation of Nazi Germany in 1945.
  • The annual or semiannual parades mark the Allied victory in World War II on the Eastern Front, on the same day as the signing of the German act of capitulation to the victorious Allies in Berlin, at midnight of May 9, 1945 (Soviet time), officially concluding the Second World War in Europe and northern parts of Africa.

3 . Neera & Palmgur

Context : The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has rolled out a unique project to produce Neera and Palmgur which has huge potential to create employment in the country.

About the Project

  • The project aims at promoting Neera as a substitute to soft drinks while also creating self-employment to Adivasis and  traditional trappers was launched at Dahanu in Palghar district of Maharashtra, a state with more than 50 lakh palm trees.
  • KVIC distributed tool kits for extraction of Neera and making palmgur to 200 local artisans who were  given 7 days training by KVIC.
  • A tool kit worth Rs 15,000 comprises food grade stainless steel Kadhai, perforated moulds, canteen burners and other equipment like knives, rope and axes for extraction of Neera. The initiative will provide direct employment to 400 local traditional trappers.

About Neera

  • Neera, extracted from the palm trees before sunrise, is a nutrient-rich health drink consumed in many Indian states.
  • However, due to lack of institutionalized market technique, the commercial production and large scale marketing of Neera has not commenced yet.
  • There are approximately 10 crore palm trees across the country. Further, a wide range of products like candies, milk chocolates, palm cola, ice-cream and traditional sweets can be produced from Neera if properly marketed.
  • At present palmgur Neera worth Rs 500 crore is traded in the country. The turnover is likely to increase manifold with commercial production of Neera.
  • Neera has high export potential as it is also consumed in countries like Sri Lanka, Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Myanmar. India has an abundance of palm fields in states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Daman & Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar that can make India a leading producer of Neera globally.

4 . Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation

About ITEC Programme

  • The Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme was instituted by a decision of the Indian Cabinet on 15 September 1964 as a bilateral programme of assistance of the Government of India.
  • The decision regarding setting up the ITEC programme was predicated on the underlying belief that “it was necessary to establish relations of mutual concern and inter-dependence based not only on commonly held ideals and aspirations, but also on solid economic foundations.
  • Technical and economic cooperation was considered to be one of the essential functions of an integrated and imaginative foreign policy.”
  • The ITEC Programme is essentially bilateral in nature. However, in recent years, ITEC resources have also been used for cooperation programmes conceived in regional and inter-regional context
  • The ITEC Programme is fully funded by the Government of India
  • Under ITEC and its sister programme SCAAP (Special Commonwealth African Assistance Programme), 161 countries in Asia, Africa, East Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean as well as Pacific and Small Island countries are invited to share in the Indian developmental experience acquired over six decades of India’s existence as a free nation.
  • As a result of different activities under this programme, there is now a visible and growing awareness among other countries about the competence of India as a provider of technical know-how and expertise as well as training opportunities, consultancy services and feasibility studies.
  • These programmes have generated immense goodwill and substantive cooperation among the developing countries.

The ITEC/SCAAP Programme has the following components

  • Training (civilian and defence) in India of nominees from ITEC partner countries;
  • Projects and project related activities such as feasibility studies and consultancy services;
  • Deputation of Indian experts abroad;
  • Study Tours;
  • Gifts/Donations of equipment at the request of ITEC partner countries; and
  • Aid for Disaster Relief .


Context : The Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated and flagged off India’s first I-Lab (Infectious disease diagnostic lab) for Covid testing in rural and inaccessible areas of India


  • The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology along with Andhra Pradesh Med-tech Zone (AMTZ) has initiated the DBT-AMTZ COMManD [COVID Medtech Manufacturing Development] Consortia to address the shortage of critical healthcare technologies in India and move progressively towards a stage of self-sufficiency.
  • AMTZ is Asia’s first medical equipment manufacturing ecosystem, uniquely dedicated for Medtech and supported by various Ministries.
  • Under this Consortia, India’s first I- lab (infectious disease diagnostic lab) has been built at AMTZ in record time of 8 days from the date of receipt of Automotive Chassis, from Bharat Benz.
  • This is a mobile diagnostic unit with biosafety facility.
  • The I- lab is a BSL-2 facility with on-site ELISA, RT-PCR, Bio chemistry analysers. It can run 50 RT-PCR reactions and about 200 ELISA in a day.
  • Double set of Machines can help increase the capacity to about 500 per day in 8 hours shift
  • It can be deployed in remote areas and can be lifted from Automotive Chassis and can be put on goods train for sending to any location in the country.
  • The BSL -2 Lab is as per NABL specifications and is being attached to DBT’s certified Testing centres.


  • To promote last mile access of testing to rural India, DBT under the Covid-Command strategy has supported building of mobile testing labs through AMTZ.
  • The unique feature of these mobile testing labs is their utility in diagnosing other infectious diseases beyond the Covid period


  • Automotive Chassis, Diagnostic Equipment, Clean Room, BSL-2 lab, bio-safety cabinets
  • 25 Tests (RT-PCR) per I-Lab per Day
  • 300 ELISA tests/day
  • Additional test for other diseases for TB, HIV etc. tol be costed as per CGHS rates.


  • The first I- lab was launched in New Delhi on 18th Jun, 2020 by Dr Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare.
  • The labs will be provided to the regional/City hubs and they will deploy it further in the interior, inaccessible parts of the region.

6 . Umifenovir 

Context : CSIR constituent lab CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute(CDRI) Lucknow, has received permission for carrying out Phase III randomised, Double blind, Placebo controlled trial of efficacy, safety and tolerability of antiviral drug Umifenovir. The Phase III Clinical Trials will be carried out at King George’s Medical University (KGMU), Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RMLIMS) and ERA’s Lucknow Medical College & Hospital, Lucknow.

About the Release

  • Drug has a good safety profile and acts by preventing entry of virus into human cells and also by priming the immune system.
  • Umifenovir is mainly used for treatment of influenza and is available in China and Russia, and has recently come into prominence due to its potential use for Covid19 patients.
  • To evaluate its efficacy in Indian patients, CSIR-CDRI has taken up the clinical trial. Further it has developed the process technology for Umifenovir in record time and licensed the economical process technology for manufacturing and marketing the drug to M/s. Medizest Pharmaceuticals Private Ltd. Goa, who have already received test license from DCGI.

7 . MSP on Minor Forest Produce

Context : Minimum Support Price for Minor Forest Produce injects Rs 2000 crore plus into the tribal economy. The Ministry also recommended the addition of 23 new items under the MSP for MFP list. These items include agricultural and horticultural produce collected by tribal gatherers.


  • Government of India has taken a number of initiatives for socio economic development of tribals like introduction of Forest Rights Act, PESA Act and has been implementing schemes for development of MFP by providing financial support to State TDCCs and TRIFED for market development of MFPs.
  • Recognizing the critical importance which MFP hold for tribals and its potential to create large scale employment opportunity thereby, helping in reducing poverty and increasing empowerment of tribals particularly women and poor people of the poorest and backward districts of the country, Govt. of India has now decided to introduce an ambitious scheme of providing fair price for the MFP collected by tribals through Minimum Support price (MSP).

About the Scheme

  • The scheme has been started with the objective of providing fair price to MFP gatherers, enhance their income level and ensure sustainable harvesting of MFPs.
  • The MSP scheme seeks to establish a framework to ensure fair prices for the produce collected by them, assurance of buying at a particular price, primary processing, storage, transportation etc while ensuring sustainability of the resource base. It is a holistic scheme for development of MFP trade

Nodal Agency

  • Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India is the Nodal Ministry for implementation of the scheme which will announce Minimum Support Price (MSP) for the selected MFPs with the technical support from TRIFED. 
  • TRIFED will act as the Central Nodal Agency for implementation and monitoring of the scheme through State level implementing agencies. State designated agencies will undertake procurement of notified MFPs directly from MFP gatherers (individual or collectives) at haats notified procurement centers at grass root level at prefixed Minimum Support Price and ensure full & timely on the spot payment to MFP gatherers.


  • MFPs are especially important for the poorest households living in forested areas, especially women.
  • A research study shows that in Chhattisgarh, the involvement of women in the MFP economy is very high, tribal households depend on the MFP economy more than non-tribal households and poorer households more than comparatively better-off ones.
  • The MFP economy is a critical one for the most vulnerable sections of society

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