PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE
- Exercise Hand in Hand
- Serious Fraud Investigation Officer
- National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC)
- Green Good Deeds’ initiative
- Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019
- Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya National Mission on Teachers and Training (PMMMNMTT)
- Per Capital Availability of Water
- Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme
- Indian Roads Congress (IRC)
- Zonal Cultural Centers 2+2 Dialogue
1 . Exercise Hand in Hand
About Exercise Hand in Hand
- India China joint training exercise is called as ‘Hand-in-Hand-2019’
- This year will be the eighth edition of the exercise between the countries
- The People’s Liberations Army (PLA) contingent from the Tibet Military Command& Indian Army contingent comprising of one Infantry company along with supporting staff are participating in the 14 days long joint training exercise.
- The exercise aims to enrich both the contingents from each other’s experience in counter – terrorism operations. Besides counter-terrorism operations, discussions on Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief (HADR) operations will also be conducted as part of the exercise.
- The exercise will send a strong signal to the world that both India and China well understand the emerging threat of terrorism and stand shoulder to shoulder in countering this menace plaguing the world.
2 . Serious Fraud Investigation Officer
- SFIO is a multi-disciplinary organization under Ministry of Corporate Affairs, consisting of experts in the field of accountancy, forensic auditing, law, information technology, investigation, company law, capital market and taxation for detecting and prosecuting or recommending for prosecution white-collar crimes/frauds.
- It is formed as per the recommendation of Naresh Chandra Committee and in the backdrop of stock market scams as also the failure of non-banking companies resulting in huge financial loss to the public
- Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) is formed in 2003
Responsibilities and functions of the SFIO
- The SFIO is expected to be a multi-disciplinary organisation consisting of experts in the field of accountancy, forensic auditing, law, information technology, investigation, company law, capital market and taxation for detecting and prosecuting or recommending for prosecution white collar crimes/frauds.
- The SFIO will normally take up for investigation only such cases, which are characterized by –
- complexity and having inter-departmental and multi- disciplinary ramifications;
- substantial involvement of public interest to be judged by size, either in terms of monetary
- the possibility of investigation leading to or contributing towards a clear improvement in systems, laws or procedures.
- The SFIO shall investigate serious cases of fraud received from Department of Company Affairs. The SFIO would make investigations under the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956 and would also forward the investigated reports on violations of the provisions of other acts to the concerned agencies for prosecution/appropriate action.
- Whether or not an investigation should be taken up by the SFIO would be decided by the Director, SFIO who will be expected to record the reasons in writing. These decisions will be further subject to review by a coordination committee.
3 . National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC)
- The government is implementing the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) with a view to enhancing the ecological sustainability of India’s development path and address climate change in all regions of the country.
- NAPCC comprises, inter alia, of eight National Missions including National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Eco-system (NMSHE). NMSHE is aimed at evolving management measures for sustaining and safeguarding the Himalayan glaciers and mountain ecosystem.
- The mission includes enhanced monitoring of the Himalayan ecosystem through establishment of the monitoring network, promoting community based management, human resource development and strengthening regional cooperation.
The core of the implementation of the Action plan are constituted by the following eight missions, that will be responsible for achieving the broad goals of adaptation and mitigation, as applicable.
- National Solar Mission: The NAPCC aims to promote the development and use of solar energy for power generation and other uses with the ultimate objective of making solar competitive with fossil-based energy options. The plan includes: Specific goals for increasing use of solar thermal technologies in urban areas, industry, and commercial establishments; a goal of increasing production of photo-voltaic to 1000 MW/year; and a goal of deploying at least 1000 MW of solar thermal power generation. Other objectives include the establishment of a solar research centre, increased international collaboration on technology development, strengthening of domestic manufacturing capacity, and increased government funding and international support.
- National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency: Current initiatives are expected to yield savings of 10,000 MW by 2012. Building on the Energy Conservation Act 2001, the plan recommends: Mandating specific energy consumption decreases in large energy-consuming industries, with a system for companies to trade energy-savings certificates; Energy incentives, including reduced taxes on energy-efficient appliances; and Financing for public-private partnerships to reduce energy consumption through demand-side management programs in the municipal, buildings and agricultural sectors.
- National Mission on Sustainable Habitat: To promote energy efficiency as a core component of urban planning, the plan calls for: Extending the existing Energy Conservation Building Code; A greater emphasis on urban waste management and recycling, including power production from waste; Strengthening the enforcement of automotive fuel economy standards and using pricing measures to encourage the purchase of efficient vehicles; and Incentives for the use of public transportation.
- National Water Mission: With water scarcity projected to worsen as a result of climate change, the plan sets a goal of a 20% improvement in water use efficiency through pricing and other measures.
- National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem: The plan aims to conserve biodiversity, forest cover, and other ecological values in the Himalayan region, where glaciers that are a major source of India’s water supply are projected to recede as a result of global warming.
- National Mission for a “Green India”: Goals include the afforestation of 6 million hectares of degraded forest lands and expanding forest cover from 23% to 33% of India’s territory.
- National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture: The plan aims to support climate adaptation in agriculture through the development of climate-resilient crops, expansion of weather insurance mechanisms, and agricultural practices.
- National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change: To gain a better understanding of climate science, impacts and challenges, the plan envisions a new Climate Science Research Fund, improved climate modeling, and increased international collaboration. It also encourages private sector initiatives to develop adaptation and mitigation technologies through venture capital funds.
4 . Green Good Deeds’ initiative
About Good Deeds Initiative
- The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change coordinates a Central Sector Scheme namely ‘Environment Education, Awareness and Training’ with an objective to promote environmental awareness among all sections of the society and to mobilize people’s participation for conservation of environment.
- Through the National Green Corps programme, which is one of the components of this scheme, about one lakh fifty thousand Ecoclubs have been established in schools/colleges across the country and nearly 35 lakh students are actively involved in the programmes related to environment protection and conservation.
- The ‘Green Good Deeds’ initiative is about simple, practical steps that students/teachers/citizens can perform in their day-to-day life towards protection of environment.
- Ecoclubs have been a centre stage for various environment protection and conservation activities like conducting cleanliness drives as part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, plantation drives, awareness on waste minimisation, waste segregation, recycling and reuse etc.
- Various environment awareness programmes are being undertaken by the students like minimizing the use of single-use plastic, celebrating Green Diwali, making of Eco-friendly idols of Ganesh and seed balls, adopting water bodies, beach cleaning, etc.
5 . Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019
Context : Lok Sabha passes the Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019
About Arms (Amendment) Bill 2019
- The Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Amit Shah, on November 29, 2019. The Bill seeks to amend the Arms Act, 1959. It seeks to decrease the number of licensed firearms allowed per person and increase penalties for certain offences under the Act. It also introduces new categories of offences.
Key Features of the Amendment
- License for acquiring firearms: The Bill reduces the number of permitted firearms from three to one. This includes licenses given on inheritance or heirloom basis. The Bill provides a time period of one year to deposit the excess firearms with the officer-in-charge of the nearest police station or with a licensed firearm dealer as specified. If the owner is a member of the armed forces, the firearm may be deposited with a unit armoury. The excess firearms will be delicensed within 90 days from the expiry of the one-year period. The Bill also increases the duration of the validity of a firearm license from three years to five years.
- Ban on firearms: The Main Act bans manufacture, sale, use, transfer, conversion, testing or proofing of firearms without license. It also prohibits shortening of firearm barrel or conversion of imitation firearms into firearms without a license. The Bill additionally prohibits obtaining or procuring un-licensed firearms, and the conversion of one category of firearms to another without a license. It also allows members of rifle clubs or associations to use any firearm for target practice instead of only point 22 bore rifles or air rifles.
- New offences: The Bill adds news offences. These include: (i) forcefully taking a firearm from police or armed forces, punishable with imprisonment between 10 years and life imprisonment, along with fine, (ii) using firearms in a celebratory gunfire which endangers human life or personal safety of others, punishable with imprisonment of up to two years, or fine of up to one lakh rupees, or both. Celebratory gunfire refers to use of firearms in public gatherings, religious places, marriages or other functions to fire ammunition.
- The Bill also defines offences committed by organised crime syndicates and illicit trafficking. “Organised crime” refers to continuing unlawful activity by a person, either as a member of a syndicate or on its behalf, by using unlawful means, such as violence or coercion, to gain economic or other benefits. An organised crime syndicate refers to two or more persons committing organised crime. Possession of firearms or ammunition by a member of a syndicate, in violation of the Act, will be punishable with imprisonment between 10 years and life, along with a fine. This punishment will also apply to to anyone dealing in un-licensed firearms (including its manufacture or sale), converting a firearm without license, or importing or exporting firearms without license, on behalf of a syndicate.
- The Bill defines illicit trafficking to include the trade, acquisition, sale of firearms or ammunitions into or out of India where the firearms are either not marked as per the Act or violate the provisions of the Act. Illicit trafficking is punishable with imprisonment between 10 years and life, along with a fine.
- Tracking of firearms: The central government may make rules to track firearms and ammunition from manufacturer to purchaser to detect, investigate, and analyse illicit manufacturing and trafficking.
- Increase in punishment: The Bill amends the punishment in relation to several offences. The Act specifies the punishment for: (i) dealing in un-licensed firearms, including their manufacture, procurement, sale, transfer, conversion, (ii) the shortening or conversion of a firearm without a licence, and (iii) import or export of banned firearms. The punishment for these offences is between three years and seven years, along with a fine. The Bill increases the punishment to between seven years and life imprisonment, along with a fine.
- The Act punishes acquisition, possession or carrying of prohibited ammunition without a license, with imprisonment between five and ten years, along with fine. The Bill increases the punishment to imprisonment between seven and 14 years, along with fine. A court may impose a punishment of lesser than seven years, with recorded reasons.
- The Act also punishes dealing in prohibited firearms (including their manufacture, sale and repair) without a license, with imprisonment between seven years and life imprisonment, along with fine. The Bill increases the minimum punishment from seven years to 10 years. The punishment for cases in which the usage of prohibited arms and ammunition results in the death of a person has been revised from the existing punishment of death to death or life imprisonment, with fine.
6 . Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya National Mission on Teachers and Training (PMMMNMTT)
About Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers & Teaching (PMMMNMTT)
- The Central Sector Scheme of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers & Teaching (PMMMNMTT) was launched in December, 2014. It will continue till March 2020.
- The aim of this mission is to provide quality teachers in schools and colleges, attract talented people in the education sector and improve quality in teaching.
- The mission aims to set the teaching standard so that an organized cadre of professional teachers can be created.
- The objective of this mission is to develop innovative teaching method and high level institutional facilities in all the constituent areas of education.
7 . Per Capita Availability of Water
- Water availability per person is dependent on population of the country and for India, per capita water availability in the country is reducing due to increase in population.
- The average annual per capita water availability in the years 2001 and 2011 was assessed as 1816 cubic meters and 1545 cubic meters respectively which may further reduce to 1486 cubic meters in the year 2021.
- Water being a State subject, steps for augmentation, conservation and efficient management of water resources are primarily undertaken by the respective State Governments.
- In order to supplement the efforts of the State Governments, Central Government provides technical and financial assistance to them through various schemes and programmes.
Central Govt Schemes
- Ministry of Jal Shakti has launched Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) – a campaign for water conservation and water security. During the campaign, officers, groundwater experts and scientists from the Government of India worked together with State and district officials in India’s most water-stressed districts for water conservation and water resource management.
- Central Government has formulated a National Perspective Plan (NPP) for Water Resources Development which envisages transfer of water from water surplus basins to water deficit basins to improve availability of water.
- Government of India has launched Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) on 25th June, 2015 in select 500 cities across the country for a period of five years i.e. from 2015-16 to 2019-20 with focus on development of basic civic amenities in the Mission cities. Under the water supply component of the Mission, projects related to rain water harvesting, rejuvenation of water bodies specifically for drinking water supply, recharging of ground water, etc., can be taken up by the States/UTs to enhance water supply in the Mission cities.
- The Government of India has launched Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), which aims at providing functional household tap connections to every rural household by 2024 at the service level of 55 litre per capita per day. This Mission will focus on integrated demand and supply side management of water at the local level, including creation of local infrastructure for source sustainability like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household wastewater for reuse in agriculture.
8 . Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme
- Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) is a credit-linked subsidy programme aimed at generating self-employment opportunities through establishment of micro-enterprises in the non-farm sector, including Cottage, Khadi and Village Industry units, by helping traditional artisans and rural/urban unemployed youth.
- Under the scheme, beneficiary can avail loan up to Rs. 25 lakh in the manufacturing sector and Rs. 10 lakh in the service sector, with the subsidy of 15% to 35% for different categories.
- Any individual, above 18 years of age. At least VIII standard pass for projects costing above Rs.10 lakh in the manufacturing sector and above Rs. 5 lakh in the business / service sector.
- Only new projects are considered for sanction under PMEGP.
- Self Help Groups (including those belonging to BPL provided that they have not availed benefits under any other Scheme), Institutions registered under Societies Registration Act,1860; Production Co-operative Societies, and Charitable Trusts are also eligible.
- Existing Units (under PMRY, REGP or any other scheme of Government of India or State Government) and the units that have already availed Government Subsidy under any other scheme of Government of India or State Government are NOT eligible.
9 . Indian Roads Congress
About Indian Roads Congress
- The origin of Indian Roads Congress (IRC) the apex body of road sector engineers and professionals in the country can be traced back to the Road Development Committeeset up under the Chairmanship of Shri M.R. Jayakkar in 1927 by the then Government of India, which recommended for periodical holding of road conferences to discuss the issues related to road construction, maintenance & development.
- The first such Road Conference was held in April, 1930. Subsequently with the formalization of Road Fund, creation of a wider and permanent organization in place of Periodical Road Conferences was felt and thus, the IRC came into being
- Starting with a modest membership of 73 in 1934, the IRC has more than five million associates (direct/indirect) and over 16,700 registered members comprising of engineers & professionals of all Stakeholders of road sector from Central and State Governments, Public Sector, Research Institutions, Local bodies, Private sector, Concessionaires, Contractors, Consultants, Equipment manufacturers Machinery manufacturers, Material producers & suppliers, Industrial Associations, Multilateral & Institutional organization like World Bank, ADB, JICA, JRA, IRF etc.
- There are three Apex committees, which are responsible for formulation and updationof Codes of Practices, Standards and Guidelines. They are :
- Highways Specifications & Standards Committee (HSS);
- Bridges Specifications & Standards Committee (BSS) &
- General Specifications & Standards Committee (GSS).
10 . Facts for Prelims
Zonal Cultural Centres
- The mandate of the Ministry of Culture is to protect, preserve & promote various forms of folk art and culture throughout the country and to meet this objective, the Government of India has set up seven Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs) with headquarters at Patiala, Nagpur, Udaipur, Prayagraj, Kolkata, Dimapur and Thanjavur.
- These ZCCs engage cultural troupes from different States to participate in the major festivals under National Cultural Exchange Programme (NCEP) and organize various cultural festivals and programmes on regular basis in all the States/UTs of India including Rajasthan.
- Skills Build is a digital platform developed by IBM enabling holistic learning and aligning it with Skills India initiative by Government of India. India is the 4th country where this Skills Build platform has been launched on 4th Nov’19, in alliance with the Directorate General of Training (DGT), Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), after being launched in UK, Germany and France.