PIB Analysis Date : 6/12/2018



  1. Agricultural Export Policy
  2. Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951
  3. National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems
  4. Hand – in- Hand 2018
  5. High Security Registration Plates
  6. Freight Village
  7. Prelims Facts – Inland Water Container cargo
  8. ShahpurKandi Dam Project
  9. MoUs/ MOCs/Agreements recently signed between India and different organisations and countries 

1 . Agricultural Export Policy 

Cabinet approves Agriculture Export Policy, 2018

General Studies -3 Agriculture

About the Release

  • The Union Cabinet approved the Agriculture Export Policy, 2018.
  • The Cabinet has also approved the proposal for establishment of Monitoring Framework at Centre with Commerce as the nodal Department with representation from various line Ministries/Departments and Agencies and representatives of concerned State Governments, to oversee the implementation of Agriculture Export Policy.
  • The Government has come out with a policy to double farmers’ income by 2022. Exports of agricultural products would play a pivotal role in achieving this goal. In order to provide an impetus to agricultural exports, the Government has come out with a comprehensive “Agriculture Export Policy” aimed at doubling the agricultural exports and integrating Indian farmers and agricultural products with the global value chains.
  • The Agriculture Export Policy has the following vision: “Harness export potential of Indian agriculture, through suitable policy   instruments, to make India global power in agriculture and raise farmers’ income.”

Objective of the Agriculture Export Policy 

  • To double agricultural exports from present ~US$ 30+ Billion to ~US$ 60+ Billion by 2022 and reach US$ 100 Billion in the next few years thereafter, with a stable trade policy regime.
  • To diversify our export basket, destinations and boost high value and value added agricultural exports including focus on perishables.
  • To promote novel, indigenous, organic, ethnic, traditional and non-traditional Agri products exports.
  • To provide an institutional mechanism for pursuing market access, tackling barriers and deal with sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues.
  • To strive to double India’s share in world agri exports by integrating with global value chain at the earliest.
  • Enable farmers to get benefit of export opportunities in overseas market.

Elements of Agricultural Export Policy 

Strategic Policy Measure

  • Infrastructure and logistics support
  • Holistic approach to boost exports
  • Greater involvement of State Governments in agri exports

Operational Policy Measure

  • Focus on Clusters
  • Promoting value-added exports
  • Marketing and promotion of “Brand India
  • Attract private investments into production and processing
  • Establishment of strong quality regimen
  • Research & Development
  • Miscellaneous

2 . Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951

Cabinet approves Amendment of the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951

What is Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951

  • It is an act to provide for the erection and management of a National Memorial to perpetuate the memory of those killed or wounded on the 13th day of April, 1919, in Jallianwala Bagh.
  • The act created a trust to maintain the memorial

Gist of the Amendment

  • The decisions aims to suitably amend the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951 so as to secure representation as Trustees, “the Leader of Opposition recognized as such in the House of the People, or where there is no such Leader of Opposition, then the Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in the House”.


  • In the existing Act, there is a provision for representation of a single national political party. Deletion of the party specific member from the Trust will make it apolitical. The proposed amendment ensures representation of the Opposition Party in the Trust. The proposed Amendment will empower the Government to terminate and replace a Trustee to participate in functioning of the Trust or for any other reason.

3 . National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems

Cabinet approves National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems
15 Technology Innovation Hubs, six Application Innovation Hubs and four Technology translation Research Hubs to be set up

General Studies 3 Science and Technology


  • Cyber Physical System and its associated technologies, like Artificial Intelligence (Al), Internet of Things (loT), Machine Learning (ML),  Deep Learning (DP),  Big Data Analytics,  Robotics,Quantum Computing, Quantum Communication, Quantum encryption (Quantum Key Distribution), Data Science & Predictive analytics, Cyber Security for physical infrastructure and other infrastructure, have pervaded and is playing a transformative role in almost every field of human endeavour all most in all sectors.
  • It has become imperative for government and industries to be prepared to adopt these emerging and disruptive technologies in order to remain competitive, drive societal progress, generate employment, foster economic growth and to improve the overall quality of life and sustainability of the environment.

What is Cyber Physical System

  • CPSs are systems that link the physical world (e.g., through sensors or actuators) with the virtual world of information processing.
  • They are composed from diverse constituent parts that collaborate together to create some global behaviour. These constituents will include software systems, communications technology, and sensors/actuators that interact with the real world, often including embedded technologies.
  • In short these types of systems blend human and compute power, and integrating mechanical systems with human physical interaction giving both a form of “super powers

Details of the Mission

The Mission addresses the ever increasing technological requirements of the society, and takes into account the international trends and road maps of leading countries for the next generation technologies. The mission implementation would develop and bring:

  1. Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) and associated technologies within reach in the country,
  2. adoption of CPS technologies to address India specific National / Regional issues,
  3. produce Next Generation skilled manpower in CPS,
  4. catalyze Translational Research,
  5. accelerate entrepreneurship and start-up ecosystem development in CPS,
  6. give impetus to advanced research in CPS, Technology development and higher education in Science, Technology and Engineering disciplines, and
  7. place India at par with other advanced countries and derive several direct and indirect benefits.

Implementation strategy

  • The NM-ICPS is a comprehensive Mission which would address technology development, application development, human resource development & skill enhancement, entrepreneurship and start-up development in CPS and associated technologies.
  • The Mission aims at establishment of 15 numbers of Technology Innovation Hubs (TIH), six numbers of Application Innovation Hubs (AIH) and four numbers of Technology Translation Research Parks (TTRP).
  • These Hubs & TTRPs will connect to Academics, Industry, Central Ministries and State Government in developing solutions at reputed academic, R&D and other organizations across the country in a hub and spoke model
  • A strategic approach involving a suitable mix of Academic, Industry and Government is proposed to be adopted.
  • Strong Steering and Monitoring Mechanisms in the form of Mission Governing Board (MGB), Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee (IMCC), Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and other Sub-Committees will guide and monitor the Mission implementation. The Hubs & TTRPs have four focused areas along which the Mission implementation would proceed, namely (i) Technology Development; (ii) HRD & Skill Development; (iii) Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Start-ups Ecosystem Development; (iv) International Collaborations.


  • CPS technologies provide a cutting edge to a Nation’s scientific, engineering, and technological innovative capabilities; support other missions of the government, provide industrial and economic competitiveness and have truly became a Strategic Resource. Volume, scale and complexity of emerging applications demand continued evolution of new technologies for the foreseeable future.
  • The proposed Mission would act as an engine of growth that would benefit national initiatives in health, education, energy, environment, agriculture, strategic cum security, and industrial sectors, Industry 4.0, SMART Cities, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) etc.
  • CPS is an integrated system of upcoming technology, which in turn is being taken up on priority basis by countries in the race for development.CPS will indeed bring a paradigm shift in entire skill sets requirement.
  • The job opportunities will be enhanced through the Mission by imparting advanced skills and generating skilled manpower as per the requirement of the industry/ society. As Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Start-up Ecosystem is an integral part of the proposed NM-ICPS, the start-ups will also create a number of technology driven job opportunities in CPS and allied areas. Accordingly, it is estimated that, about 40,000 jobs will be created in the short term and about 2,00,000 in long term.


  • The Mission will feed the Central Ministries/ Departments and State Govts and also the Industry to effectively use the CPS technologies in their projects and schemes for the benefit of the society.

States/districts covered

  • NM-ICPS is a Pan India Mission and covers entire gamut of India that includes Central Ministries, State Governments, Industry and Academia.

4 . Exercise – Hand in Hand 

Sino-India Joint Exercise Hand-in-Hand 2018

General Studies 2 Bilateral / India and its neighbourhood relations

About Exercise Hand in Hand

  • Exercise Hand-in-Hand is conducted annually as part of military diplomacy and interaction between armies of India and China.
  • The joint exercise for the year 2018 will be conducted from 10 to 23 December 2018 at Chengdu, China.
  •   The aim of the exercise is to build and promote close relations between armies of both the countries and to enhance ability of joint exercise commander to take military contingents of both nations under command. 
  • The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an International Counter Insurgency/ Counter Terrorist environment under UN mandate. 
  • Exercise Hand-in-Hand 2018 will go a long way to further cement relationship between both the nations and will act as a catalyst in bringing bonhomie at grassroots levels between the armies of both countries. 

5 . High Security Registration Plates

New Vehicles to be Pre-Fitted with High Security Registration plates from April next Year

Security features of High Security Registration Plates 

  • Chromium based hot-stamped hologram with Chakra image protects against counterfeiting. 
  •  A retro-reflective film, bearing a verification inscription ‘India’ at 45 degree inclination. 
  • The permanent identification number of minimum 7 digits to be laser branded into the reflective sheeting on the bottom-hand side of the registration plate, which is unique in nature, preceded by alpha-numeric identification of both the vendor or manufacturer or supplier, as the case may be and the concerned testing agencies. 
  • Embossing of the registration numbers on the plates. 
  • Ingressed “IND” legend in retro reflective film. 
  • Tamper proof non-removable/non-reusable snap locks system to fit the rear registration plate for the sake of better security. 
  • Third License Plate in the form of self-destructive sticker, containing the details-(i) name of registering authority, (ii) registration number, (iii) laser branded permanent identification number, (iv) engine number and (v) chassis number, to be put on the windshield of four wheelers. 

6 . Freight Village

Ministry of Shipping approves aRs 156 crore Freight Village in Varanasi The Freight Village will give a boost to logistics industry in Varanasi.

General Studies 3 Infrastructure 

What is Freight Village 

  • A freight village is a designated area where facilities for various modes of transportation, distribution of goods and other logistics are available in a synchronized manner on a large scale.
  • The main function of freight villages is management and utilization of various modes of transport, synergizing them and decongesting the existing mode of transportation.
  • Freight villages are basically cargo aggregators which offer various logistic choices to a shipper/ cargo owner; i.e. choice of rail-road; rail-waterway; road-waterway. The choice is based on the optimal/ lowest logistic cost that can be derived by the shipper/ cargo owner. 
  • Delivery and coordination of various freight related activities under one roof ensures ease of doing business and makes it possible to realize high truck capacity due to which economic efficiency and activity of the enterprises on site can be improved.

Freight Village in Varanasi 

  • A World Bank pre-feasibility study has found Varanasi to be a suitable site for the freight village.
  • The city is located strategically and is a focal point in the logistics chain of Eastern Transport Corridor of Indiawhere the National Waterways-1, Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC), National Highway-7 and National Highway-2 pass through.
  • The volume of traffic on inland waterway to Varanasi is expected to increase with the commissioning of the multi modal terminal being built under the Jal Marg Vikas project
  • The Varanasi freight village will be developed by the Inland Waterways Authority of India

7 . Prelims Facts

  • Kolkata-Patna becomes India’s second container cargo sector on Inland Waterways IWAI vessel MV RN Tagore sails from Kolkata with PepsiCo, Emami cargo on board
  • First container movement on inland vessel post-independence – Kolkata to Varanasi 2018
  • Advantages – It reduces the handling cost, allows easier modal shift, reduces pilferages and damage, it also enables cargo owners to reduce their carbon footprints,reduce highway congestion and increase supply chain efficiency.

7 . ShahpurKandi Dam Project

Cabinet approves implementation of Shahpurkandi Dam (National Project) on river Ravi in Punjab

Prelims -Geography

General Studies 1 Geography


  • Indus Waters Treaty was signed between India and Pakistan in 1960 for sharing of Indus waters. According to the Treaty, India got the full rights for utilization of waters of the three Eastern Rivers namely Ravi, Beas and Satluj.
  • Some of the water of the River Ravi at present is going waste through the Madhopur Headworks downstream to Pakistan. Implementation of the project would minimise such wastage of water.
  • A Bilateral agreement was signed between Punjab and J&K in Jan, 1979. As per the agreement, construction of RanjitSagar Dam (Thein Dam) and Shahpurkandi Dam was to be taken up by Punjab Govt. RanjitSagar Dam was commissioned in Aug, 2000. The ShahpurKandi Dam project is proposed on River Ravi, of RanjitSagarDam and 8 km u/s of Madhopur Head Works.
  • The Project was initially approved by the Planning Commission during November, 2001 and was included under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Scheme (AIBP) of this Ministry for funding its irrigation component.
  • The works could not progress much due to non-availability of funds on the part of Govt. of Punjab for power component and later interstate issues with J&K.Series of meetings were held bilaterally as well as at Govt. of India level. Finally, an agreement was reached between Punjab and J&K states

About the Release 

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today has approved implementation of Shahpurkandi Dam Project, Punjab on river Ravi.  For this, Central Assistance of Rs. 485.38 cr (for irrigation component) would be provided over five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23.

Details of the Project

  • On completion of the project an Irrigation Potential of 5,000 ha in Punjab State and 32,173 ha in J&K State would be created.
  • Funding for Central Assistance to Shahpurkandi Dam project shall be made through NABARD under existing system for funding of 99 PMKSY-AIBP projects under LTIF.
  • In addition to existing monitoring mechanism for projects by Central Water Commission, a committee headed by Member, Central Water Commission and consisting of concerned Chief Engineers of Punjab and J&K and other concerned officers would be constituted to oversee/monitor the implementation of project.
  • The project would be implemented by Govt. of Punjab with Central Assistance 


  • Sme of the water of the River Ravi at present is going waste through the Madhopur Headworks downstream to Pakistan whereas there is requirement for the same for use in Punjab and J&K. Implementation of the project would minimise such wastage of water.
  • On completion of the project an additional Irrigation Potential of 5000 ha in Punjab State and 32173 ha in J&K State would be created.
  • In addition, water being released to provide irrigation in 1.18 Lac ha area under UBDC system in Punjab would be managed/regulated efficiently through this project and the irrigation in the area would be benefitted. On completion, Punjab would also be able to generate 206 MW of hydropower.

8 . MoUs signed by India and Different Countries and Organisations

Mainly useful for mains as fodder materials

Prelims – Map based questions can be asked based on the countries

General Studies 2 Bilateral Relationship

India – Japan in the field of Environmental Co -Operation, Postal field, Health care and Wellness

Environmental Co-Operation


  •  The Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) will enable establishment and promotion of closer and long-term cooperation between India and Japan in the field of environment protection and management of natural resources on the basis of equity, reciprocity and mutual benefits, taking into account the applicable laws and legal provisions in each country. Further, the MoC entails exchange of information and technology between the two countries.
  • Environmental degradation falls on the socially and economically disadvantaged, more heavily than better-off sections of the society.
  • Any effort at thwarting environmental degradation would lead to environmental equity in the sense of availability of sound environmental resources to all sections of the society.
  • The MoC is expected to bring in the latest technologies and best practices suited for bringing about better environment protection, better conservation, better management of climate change and bio-diversity conservation.

Postal Field


The MoC would help improve postal services and cooperation in the postal field between India and Japan by:

  • Sharing information and exchanging views based on both sides’ experiences regarding the postal policy;
  • Promoting discussions to build a cooperative relationship.
  • Setting up of Postal Services Dialogue for carrying forward cooperation in specific areas mutually decided by Both Sides.

Revised Model MoU between India and foreign Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) for exchange of information


The core functions of FIU-IND in relation to foreign FIUs include screening and processing requests from foreign Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), disseminating information to foreign FIUs, establishing and maintaining relationship with foreign FIUs, and facilitating, administering and negotiating MoUs with foreign FIUs. Most of the foreign FIUs require an MoU to be signed for sharing of information with them.

About the Release

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the revised Model Memorandum of Understanding between the Financial Intelligence Unit(FIU) – India (FIU-Ind) with its counterpart foreign Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) for exchange of information.
  • The revised Model MoU was drafted based on Egmont Group Secretariat revised Model MoU 2014.

India – France in the field of Energy Efficiency

Major Impact

  • The MoUis a Science and Technology agreement, which involves knowledge exchange and cooperation in the nature of technical assistance only. The MoU is expected to take forward information exchange on policies, programmes and technologies relating to enhanced energy efficiency and demand side management.


  • The MoU will lead to awareness creation on energy efficiency. Development of tools for collection, use and analysis of CO2 emissions and GHG data for tracking global emissions for INDC. It will promote Research and Development, and demonstration of energy efficient technologies. Development of sustainable mobility with specific focus on electric transport.

India and the USA concerning Scientific and Technical Cooperation in the Earth Sciences

  • The collaboration between India and the USA will enable sharing of the expertise available with organizations in both countries, and adoption of the latest state-of-the-art technology in the field of Earth Science. Specific areas of cooperation include ecosystems, climate variability and land-use changes, energy, minerals, environmental health, natural hazards, risk and resilience of assessments, water resources, and informatics and data integration. The cooperation under this MoU is envisaged through various modes viz. exchange of technical information, visits, training and cooperative research consistent with on-going programmes of both countries in the above fields.

India and Tajkistan on Cooperation on Peaceful uses of Space Technology for Development

India and Russia on Joint Activities under Human Spaceflight Programme

India and Zimbabwe for cooperation in the field of geology, mining and mineral resources

India and Uzbekistan, India and Morocco on Cooperation in the exploration and uses of Outer Space for peaceful purposes

India and Algeria on Cooperation in the field of Space Sciences, Technologies and Applications

 India and Armenia on joint issue of postage stamp – Theme – Dance, The Commemorative Postage Stamps depict “Manipuri Dance” of India and “HovArek Dance” of Armenia.

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