PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE
- STCW Convention
- Universal Postal Union (UPU)
- Atal Bhujal Yojana
- Restructuring of Railway Board
- National Board of Examinations
- SDG India Index
- Jal Jeevan Mission
- Boilers Act
- Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
- Nari Shakti Puraskar
1 . International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW)
Context : The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for the Agreement between India and Sweden on Recognition of Seafarer Certificates, pursuant to Regulation I/10 of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-Keeping for seafarers, 1978.
About the Convention
- International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978 sets minimum qualification standards for masters, officers and watch personnel on seagoing merchant ships and large yachts
- STCW was adopted in 1978 by conference at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London, and entered into force in 1984. The Convention was significantly amended in 1995.
- The Convention prescribes minimum standards relating to training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers which countries are obliged to meet or exceed
- Convention contains basic requirements which are then enlarged upon and explained in the STCW Code.
- One especially important feature of the Convention is that it applies to ships of non-party States when visiting ports of States which are Parties to the Convention. Article X requires Parties to apply the control measures to ships of all flags to the extent necessary to ensure that no more favourable treatment is given to ships entitled to fly the flag of a State which is not a Party than is given to ships entitled to fly the flag of a State that is a Party.
About International Maritime Organization
- The International Maritime Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations which is responsible for measures to improve the safety and security of international shipping and to prevent pollution from ships.
- It is also involved in legal matters, including liability and compensation issues and the facilitation of international maritime traffic.
- It was established by means of a Convention adopted under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva on 17 March 1948 and met for the first time in January 1959.
- It currently has 174 Member States.
- IMO’s governing body is the Assembly which is made up of all the Member States and meets normally once every two years.
- The Council, of 40 Member States elected by the Assembly, acts as governing body in between Assembly sessions.
- The main technical work is carried out by the Maritime Safety, Marine Environment Protection, Legal, Technical Co-operation and Facilitation Committees and a number of sub-committees.
- The IMO slogan sums up its objectives: Safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans.
2 . Universal Postal Union (UPU)
Context : The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave its approval to the ratification of the Tenth Additional Protocol to the Constitution of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) adopted by 2nd Extraordinary Congress of the Union held at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 3rd to 7th September, 2018.
- Established in 1874, the Universal Postal Union (UPU), with its headquarters in the Swiss capital Berne, is the second oldest international organization worldwide.
- With its 192 member countries, the UPU is the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players. It helps to ensure a truly universal network of up-to-date products and services.
- In this way, the organization fulfils an advisory, mediating and liaison role, and provides technical assistance where needed. It sets the rules for international mail exchanges and makes recommendations to stimulate growth in mail, parcel and financial services volumes and improve quality of service for customers.
- Organization : The UPU consists of 4 bodies :- The Congress, The Council of Administration (CA), The Postal Operations Council (POC), The International Bureau (IB), 2 cooperatives – Telematics Cooperative, EMS Cooperative
Covered under October Current Affairs
3 . Atal Bhujal Yojana
Context : The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the implementation of the Atal Bhujal Yojana (ATAL JAL), a Central Sector Scheme with a total outlay of Rs.6000 crore to be implemented over a period of 5 years (2020-21 to 2024-25).
About the Scheme
- The scheme aims to improve ground water management through community participation in identified priority areas in seven States, viz. Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Implementation of the scheme is expected to benefit nearly 8350 Gram Panchayats in 78 districts in these States.
- ATAL JAL will promote panchayat led ground water management and behavioural change with primary focus on demand side management
- Out of the total outlay of Rs. 6000 crore, 50% shall be in the form of World Bank loan, and be repaid by the Central Government. The remaining 50% shall be through Central Assistance from regular budgetary support. The entire World Bank’s loan component and Central Assistance shall be passed on to the States as Grants.
ATAL JAL has two major components:
- Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building Component for strengthening institutional arrangements for sustainable ground water management in the States including improving monitoring networks, capacity building, strengthening of Water User Associations, etc.
- Incentive Component for incentivising the States for achievements in improved groundwater management practices namely, data dissemination, preparation of water security plans, implementation of management interventions through convergence of ongoing schemes, adopting demand side management practices etc.
ATAL JAL will result in:
- Institutional strengthening for improving ground water monitoring networks and capacity building of stakeholders at different levels which will enhance ground water data storage, exchange, analysis and dissemination.
- Improved and realistic water budgeting based on an improved database and preparation of community-led Water Security Plans at Panchayat level
- Implementation of Water Security Plans through convergence of various ongoing/new schemes of the Government of India and State Governments to facilitate judicious and effective utilization of funds for sustainable ground water management.
- Efficient use of available ground water resources with emphasis on demand side measures such as micro-irrigation, crop diversification, electricity feeder separation etc.
- Source sustainability for Jal Jeevan Mission in the project area with active participation of local communities.
- Will contribute towards the goal of doubling the farmers’ income.
- Will promote participatory ground water management.
- Improved water use efficiency on a mass scale and improved cropping pattern;
- Promotion of efficient and equitable use of ground water resources and behavioural change at the community level;
- Ground water contributes to nearly 65% of total irrigated area of the country and nearly 85% of the rural drinking water supply.
- The limited ground water resources in the country are under threat due to the increasing demands of growing population, urbanization and industrialization. Intensive, and unregulated ground water pumping in many areas has caused rapid and widespread decline in ground water levels as well as reduction in the sustainability of ground water abstraction structures.
- The problem of reduction in ground water availability is further compounded by deteriorating ground water quality in some parts of the country.
- The increasing stress on ground water due to over- exploitation, contamination and associated environmental impacts threaten to endanger the food security of the nation, unless necessary preventive / remedial measures are taken on priority.
- The Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti has taken a pioneering initiative for ensuring long term sustainability of ground water resources in the country through the Atal Bhujal Yojana (ATAL JAL) by adopting a mix of ‘top down’ and ‘bottom up’ approaches in identified ground water stressed blocks in seven states, representing a range of geomorphic, climatic and hydrogeologic and cultural settings.
- ATAL JAL has been designed with the principal objective of strengthening the institutional framework for participatory ground water management and bringing about behavioral changes at the community level for sustainable ground water resource management.
- The scheme envisages undertaking this through various interventions, including awareness programmes, capacity building, convergence of ongoing/new schemes and improved agricultural practices etc.
4 . National Population Register
Context : The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for conducting Census of India 2021 at a cost of Rs. 8,754.23 crore and updation of National Population Register (NPR) at a cost of Rs. 3,941.35 crore.
Census of India will cover the entire population in the country while NPR will also cover all the population except in the state of Assam.
- The Indian Census is largest administrative and statistical exercise in the world. The next decennial Census is due in 2021 and would be conducted in two phases:
- House listing and Housing Census – April to September, 2020 and
- Population Enumeration – 9th February to 28th February, 2021.
- The National Population Register (NPR) will also be updated along with House listing and Housing Census except in Assam.
- 30 lakh field functionaries will complete this gigantic exercise of national importance, up from 28 lakh in 2011.
- Use of mobile app for data collection and the Central portal for monitoring purpose will ensure early release of Census data with improved quality.
- Data dissemination will be much better and in a user friendly way so that all the queries on required parameters for policy making will be made available on the click of a button.
- Census-as-a-service (CaaS) will deliver on-demand data to ministries in a clean, machine-readable and actionable format.
Major impact including employment generation potential:
- Census is not a mere statistical exercise. The results will be made available to general public in a user-friendly manner.
- All the data would be put for use of all stake holders and users including Ministries, Departments, State Governments, research organisations etc.
- Data sharing to all, up to the lowest Administrative Unit i.e. Village/Ward level.
- Block level data of Enumeration to Delimitation Commission for delimitation of the Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies.
- Census data is a powerful tool for public policy when combined with other administrative or survey data. Census-as-a-Service (CaaS) will deliver on-demand data to various Ministries/ State Governments and other stake holders in a user friendly, machine readable and actionable format with facilities like dashboard etc.
- One of the major outcome of these two mammoth exercises will be direct as well as indirect employment generation across India including the far flung areas. This will be in addition to the payment of honorarium to Census functionaries for additional work undertaken by them for Census and NPR. Approximately 48,000 manpower will be engaged for about 2,900 days at the local levels. In another words, around 2.4 crore man-days employment would be generated. Further, the provision of technical manpower at Charge/ District/ State level will also result in capacity building as the nature of job will be related to data collection including digital mode and coordination. This will also help in future employment prospects of these persons.
Implementation strategy and targets:
- The Census process involves visiting each and every household and canvassing separate questionnaire for House listing and Housing Census and Population Enumeration.
- The enumerators, generally government teachers and appointed by the State Governments, will be doing the work of NPR along with the Census in addition to their regular duties.
- Other Census functionaries at Sub-district, District and State levels will also be appointed by the State/District Administration.
- New initiatives taken for the Census 2021 are:
- Use of Mobile App for the first time for data collection.
- Census Monitoring & Management Portal as a single source for all officers/ officials involved in Census activities to provide multi language support.
- Facility of online self-enumeration for public during Population Enumeration phase. Code Directory to record the descriptive responses saving time in processing of data.
- Transfer of honorarium etc. to the Census functionaries for the Census & NPR related work directly to their bank accounts using Public Financial Management System (PFMS) and Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) covering more than 60% of the total expenditure.
- Qualitative training to 30 lakh field functionaries and utilising services of national/state level training institutes to prepare national and state level trainers.
- Decennial Population Census is being conducted in India synchronously since 1872 without break. Census 2021 will be 16th Census in the country and 8th after independence.
- Census is the biggest source of primary data at village, town and ward level providing micro level data on various parameters including Housing Condition; Amenities & Assets, Demography, Religion, SC & ST, Language, Literacy & Education, Economic Activity, Migration and Fertility. The Census Act, 1948 and the Census Rules, 1990 provide the legal framework for conduct of Census.
- The National Population Register (NPR) was prepared in 2010 under the provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and Citizenship Rules, 2003, which was subsequently updated in 2015 by seeding it with Aadhaar.
5 . Restructuring of Railway Board
Context : Union Cabinet has approved a transformational organisational restructuring of the Indian Railways. This historic reform will go a long way in achieving Government’s vision of making Indian Railways the growth engine of India’s vikas yatra.
The reforms include:
- Unification of the existing eight Group A services of the Railways into a Central Service called Indian Railway Management Service (/RMS)
- Re-organisation of Railway Board on functional lines headed by CRB with four Members and some Independent Members
- The existing service of Indian Railway Medical Service (IRMS) to be consequently renamed as Indian Railway Health Service (IRHS)
- Unification of services will end this ‘departmentalism’, promote smooth working of Railways, expedite decision making, create a coherent vision for organisation and promote rational decision making. Unification of services has been recommended by various committees for reforming Railways including – the Prakash Tandon Committee (1994), Rakesh Mohan Committee (2001), Sam Pitroda Committee (2012) and Bibek Debroy Committee (2015).
Details of the restructuring
- Railway board will no longer be organised on departmental lines, and replaced with a leaner structure organised on functional lines.
- It will have a Chairman, who will act as ‘Chief Executive Officer (CEO)’ along with 4 Members responsible for Infrastructure, Operations & Business Development, Rolling Stock and Finance respectively.
- The Chairman shall be the cadre controlling officer responsible for Human resources (HR) with assistance from a DG (HR).
- 3 Apex level posts shall be surrendered from Railway Board and all the remaining posts of the Railway Board shall be open to all officers regardless of the service to which they belonged.
- The Board will also have some independent Members (the number to be decided by competent authority from time to time), who will be highly distinguished professionals with deep knowledge and 30 years of experience including at the top levels in industry, finance, economics and management fields.
- The Independent Members will help Railway Board in setting a strategic direction. The restructured Board will start functioning after approval of the Board taking due care to ensure that officers are posted in the restructured Board or adjusted in the same pay and rank till their retirement.
6 . National Board of Examination
About National Board of Examination
- National Board of Examinations (NBE) is an autonomous organization of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, set up to conduct high level and uniform standard Post Graduate and Post-Doctoral examinations in the field of Modern Medicine and Allied Sciences.
- NBE awards Diplomate of National Board qualifications to Doctors who have completed and have qualified the three years DNB course and Fellowships to Doctors who have completed and have qualified the two years DNB course in respective medical specialties. NBE conducts 82 DNB broad specialties, super specialities and fellowship programs in sub-specilities across the country and conducts examination for it twice in a year.
7 . SDG India Index
Context : NITI Aayog will launch the second edition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index, which documents the progress made by India’s States and Union Territories towards implementing the 2030 SDG targets, on 30 December 2019 at NITI Aayog, New Delhi.
- NITI Aayog has the mandate of overseeing the adoption and monitoring of SDGs in the country, at the national and sub-national level. The SDG India Index, whose first edition was launched in December 2018, was the first tool developed by any large country to monitor the progress towards achieving SDGs at the sub-national level.
About SDG India Index
- The SDG India Index and Dashboard 2019–20 have been developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), the United Nations in India, and the Global Green Growth Institute.
- It will be launched by Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, in the presence of Members Dr Ramesh Chand, Dr VK Paul and Dr VK Saraswat, CEO Amitabh Kant, UN Resident Coordinator Renata Lok-Dessallien, MoSPI Secretary and Chief Statistician of India Pravin Srivastava, and NITI Aayog Adviser (SDGs) Sanyukta Samaddar.
- The SDG India Index and Dashboard 2019 tracks the progress of and ranks all States and UTs on 100 indicators drawn from MoSPI’s National Indicator Framework, comprising 306 indicators.
- It indicates where the country and its States and UTs currently are on SDG implementation, and charts the distance to be travelled to reach the SDG targets. The Index covers 16 out of 17 SDGs and a qualitative assessment on Goal 17. This marks an improvement over the 2018 Index, which covered only 13 goals.
8 . Jal Jeevan Mission
- The Central Government assistance to States for rural water supply began in 1972 with the launch of Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme. It was renamed as National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) in 2009, which is a centrally sponsored scheme with fund sharing between the Centre and the States.
- Under NRDWP, one of the objectives was to “enable all households to have access to and use safe & adequate drinking water within premises to the extent possible”.
- It was proposed to achieve the goal by 2030, coinciding with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. But now, it is has been planned to achieve the goal by 2024 through Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).
- As per the information available with DDWS, as on 31.3.2019, only 18.33% of rural households i.e., 3.27 Crore out of the total 17.87 Crore rural households in the country, have piped water connection.
About the Mission
- Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) Government of India has restructured and subsumed the ongoing National Rural Drinking Water Programme(NRDWP) into Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) to provide Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) to every rural household i.e., Har Ghar Nal Se Jal (HGNSJ) by 2024.
- The fund sharing pattern between Centre and State is 90:10 for Himalayan (Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh) and North-Eastern States, 100:0 for UTs and 50:50 for rest of the States.
The following kinds of works/ schemes are proposed to be taken up under JJM:
- In-village water supply (PWS) infrastructure for tap water connection to every household;
- Reliable drinking water source development/ augmentation of existing sources;
- Transfer of water (multi-village scheme; where quantity & quality issues are there in the local water sources);
- Technological intervention for treatment to make water potable (where water quality is an issue, but quantity is sufficient);
- Retrofitting of completed and ongoing piped water supply schemes to provide FHTC and raise the service level;
- Grey water management;
- Capacity building of various stakeholders and support activities to facilitate the implementation.
Service level delivery under JJM
- The goal of JJM is to provide functional household tap connection to every household with service level at the rate of 55 litres per capita per day (lpcd).
9 . Boilers Act
Context : Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has permitted self-certification and third party inspection and certification of boilers with State Governments. Specimen notification under section-34(3) of the Boilers Act 1923 have been forwarded to them to ensure safety of boilers and improve Ease of Doing Business (EoDB). This will benefit a broad spectrum of industries both in the large and small scale sector like power plants, chemical plans, refineries, paper plants, steel mills, sugar mills and other process industries.
About Boilers Act
- The Boilers Act was enacted in 1923 to provide for safety of life and property from the danger of explosion of boilers and for achieving uniformity in registration and inspection during operation and maintenance of boilers throughout the country. Up to the year 2007 there had been no major amendments to the Act.
- The Indian Boilers (Amendment) Act, 2007 introduced improvements in the provisions of the law to enhance safety norms to keep pace with developments and changes in the technology of fabrication, testing, inspection and operation of boilers and also ensure uniformity in standards of inspection, expediting inspection and reducing bureaucratic delays by decentralization of inspection of boilers during their manufacture, erection and use by allowing inspection and certification by the independent inspecting authorities.
10 . Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)
About Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)
- The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) was constituted on 4th December, 1957 to function as an apex intelligence agency of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs to counter the menace of smuggling.
- Through the years, DRI has established itself as the premier intelligence agency commanding the trust of international and national agencies with its intelligence inputs on myriad subjects inter alia ranging from FICN, narcotics, gold, arms & ammunitions, wildlife, cultural heritage and commercial fraud.
- Over the years, the organisation has sought to reorient itself to new and emerging challenges, such as those relating to black money, money-laundering and narco-terrorism.
- The DRI has also been designated as the lead agency for S-CORD, the national Anti-smuggling co-ordination centre.
- Being the apex anti-smuggling enforcement organisation and given its track record in collaborative endeavours, DRI is expected to carry along the Border agencies towards the common objective of thwarting smuggling activities that pose a grave threat to national security and economic well-being of the country.
11 . Nari Shakti Puraskar
About Nari Shakti Puraskar
- The Ministry of Women and Child Developmentis the nodal Ministry for the welfare of women and has been celebrating International Women’s Day every year by felicitating eminent organisations and institutions for the distinguished services rendered by them in the field of women empowerment with the Nari Shakti Puraskar.
- The National Award is given annually to individuals, groups, institutions in recognition of their exceptional work towards the cause of women empowerment, especially for vulnerable and marginalized women.
- Nearly 40 Nari Shakti Puraskar will be given awayon International Women’s Day observed on 8th March 2020.
- Open to individuals, groups and institutions for outstanding work towards empowerment of women
- Individual applicant must be at least 25 years of age
- Institutions must have at least 5 years of relevant experience