PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE
- V O Chidambaram Pillai
- PM SHRI
- WEST & ISTEM
- Facts for Prelims
1 . V.O Chidambaram Pillai
Context : The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi paid tributes to freedom fighter V. O. Chidambaram Pillai on his birth Anniversary.
About V.O Chidambaram Pillai
- VOC Pillai was an Indian freedom fighter and former leader of the Indian National Congress. He founded the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company in 1906 to compete against the monopoly of the British India Steam Navigation Company (BISNC).
- In the beginning, the Company owned no ships, instead leasing them from Shawline Steamers Company. The B.I.S.N.C. pressured Shawline Steamers to cancel the lease; in response, Chidambaram Pillai leased a single large freighter from Sri Lanka. Realizing the need for the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company to own its own vessels, Chidambaram Pillai travelled around India selling shares in the company to raise capital. He vowed, “I will come back with ships. Otherwise I will perish in the sea”. He managed to secure sufficient funds to purchase the company’s first ship, the S.S. Gallia; shortly afterwards, they were able to acquire the S.S. Lavo from France.
- He launched the first indigenous Indian shipping service between Tuticorin (India) and Colombo (Sri Lanka) with the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company (SSNC), competing against British ships.
- Tuticorin Port Trust, one of India’s thirteen major ports, is named after him.
- At one time a member of the Indian National Congress, he was later charged with sedition by the British government and sentenced to life imprisonment, and his barrister license was revoked.
- In 1920, Chidambaram quit the Indian National Congress, citing ideological differences with Mahatma Gandhi. He focused his efforts on establishing labor unions in Madras and on writing.
- After moving to Coimbatore, Chidambaram worked as a bank manager. Dissatisfied with the income, he petitioned the court, seeking permission to practice law again. Judge E.H. Wallace gave permission to restore Chidambaram’s pleadership license; to show his gratitude Chidambaram named his last son Valacewaran.
- He rejoined the Congress Party in 1927 and presided over the third political conference held at Salem. He said that he wanted to join Congress again because he noticed a remarkable change in the policies of Congress and was happy to note that the policies of which he did not approve were withdrawn one by one. However, after the Salem conference Chidambaram again severed his contact with Congress.
2 . PM SHRI Schools
Context : On the occasion of National Teachers’ Day, the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi announced a new initiative – PM SHRI Schools (PM ScHools for Rising India).
About PM SHRI Schools (PM ScHools for Rising India)
- This will be a new centrally sponsored scheme for upgradation and development of more than 14500 Schools across the country by strengthening the selected existing schools from amongst schools managed by Central Government/ State/ UT Government/ local bodies.
- PM SHRI Schools will showcase all components of the National Education Policy 2020 and act as exemplar schools and also offer mentorship to other schools in their vicinity.
- The aim of these schools will not only be qualitative teaching, learning and cognitive development, but also creating holistic and well-rounded individuals equipped with key 21st century skills.
- Pedagogy adopted in these schools will be more experiential, holistic, integrated, play/toy-based (particularly, in the foundational years) inquiry-driven, discovery-oriented, learner-centred, discussion-based, flexible and enjoyable. Focus will be on achieving proficiency in learning outcomes of every child in every grade. Assessment at all levels will be based on conceptual understanding and application of knowledge to real life situations and will be competency-based.
- These schools will be equipped with modern infrastructure including labs, smart classrooms, libraries, sports equipment, art room etc. which is inclusive and accessible. These schools shall also be developed as green schools with water conservation, waste recycling, energy-efficient infrastructure and integration of organic lifestyle in curriculum.
- They will provide leadership in their respective regions in providing high-quality education in an equitable, inclusive and joyful school environment that takes care of the diverse background, multilingual needs, and different academic abilities of children and makes them active participants in their own learning process as per the vision of NEP 2020.
3 . WEST & ISTEM
Context : Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology (WEST), a new I-STEM (Indian Science Technology and Engineering facilities Map) initiative called “Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology (WEST)” was launched by Dr. Parvinder Maini, Scientific Secretary, Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India on 5th September 2022.
- The WEST programme will cater to women with a STEM background and empower them to contribute to the science, technology, and innovation ecosystem.
- I-STEM is a national web portal for sharing research equipment/facilities and is the umbrella under which many programmes for promoting collaborations in R&D and technological innovation among and between academia and industry, especially startups, are underway.
- Through the WEST initiative, I-STEM shall provide a separate platform to scientifically inclined women researchers, scientists, and technologists for pursuing research in basic or applied sciences in frontier areas of science and engineering.
- Women may join the WEST program and explore opportunities to become stakeholders in various domains and pursue careers in R&D at various levels: technicians, technologists, scientists, and entrepreneurs. Opportunities range from operating scientific equipment and maintaining them, to designing and manufacturing them.
- The Skill Development programmes under the WEST initiative will provide training for women with S&T backgrounds to brush up on their abilities and become engaged “in the field” as lab technicians and maintenance engineers, filling crucial gaps in the R&D infrastructure of the country. This initiative will also help bring women back into S&T domains after a career break.
- With this experience, women can become entrepreneurs to serve as consultants for the operation and maintenance of sophisticated equipment/instruments through the I-STEM platform. This would go a long way towards filling a “skills gap”, and putting publicly-funded equipment to good use.
- Under the WEST initiative, the current support being provided to S&T startups by women entrepreneurs by I-STEM will be enhanced. The access to R&D facilities and R&D software platforms (COMSOL, MATLAB, LABVIEW, AUTOCAD) available through the I-STEM portal will form a strong support network for women entrepreneurs in S&T.
- I-STEM shall provide a platform/forum for women researchers to deliberate on achievements, issues, and exchange ideas on taking the country forward through advances in science, technology, and innovation. In addition, a digital consortium “Connect Quickly” for online discussion and immediate support has also been established through the I-STEM WhatsApp and Telegram platforms.
- A dedicated team of women will ensure the successful implementation of the WEST initiative.
4 . Facts for Prelims
Rashtriya Puraskar Portal
- Rashtriya Puruskar Portal has been developed by the Government so as to bring together all the Awards of the various Ministries/Departments/Agencies of the Government of India under one platform to ensure transparency and public partnership (Jan Bhagidari).
- This Portal facilitates every citizen or organisation to nominate individuals/organizations for various Awards instituted by the Government of India.
India-Mongolia Friendship School
- Shri Rajnath Singh, along with Minister of Education and Science of Mongolia, laid the foundation stone of the India-Mongolia Friendship School, which is being established with the assistance from Government of India.
- It may be recalled that India established diplomatic relations with Mongolia in 1955. Mongolia has declared India as a strategic partner and “spiritual neighbour”. In 2015, “strategic partnership” between the two Asian democracies was declared during visit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Defence is an important element of bilateral engagements with Mongolia.