The Government is making special efforts to reach the marginalized sections of the society by providing benefits to the targeted groups through focused schemes and programmes both at central and state level.
Dial.Gov Service is a common man’s interface with the Government for information on welfare schemes which aims to bridge the existing gap between the benefit information and the beneficiary. It provides information to citizens about various welfare schemes and services provided by the Central and State Government, thus empowering the interested citizen to reach the welfare benefits based on his/ her eligibility through intelligent search. The information about benefits will be available to the citizen through different mediums like Dial. Gov web portal , mobile application, an interactive voice response service and call centre helpdesk.
The project is being developed and implemented by National Informatics Center (NIC). NIC was established in 1976, and has since emerged as a "prime builder" of e-Government / e-Governance applications up to the grassroots level as well as a promoter of digital opportunities for sustainable development. NIC, through its ICT Network, "NICNET", has institutional linkages with all the Ministries /Departments of the Central Government, 35 State Governments/ Union Territories, and about 640 District administrations of India. NIC has been instrumental in steering e-Government/e-Governance applications in government ministries/departments at the Centre, States, Districts and Blocks, facilitating improvement in government services, wider transparency, promoting decentralized planning and management, resulting in better efficiency and accountability to the people of India.
It is being promoted by Department of Electronic and Information Technology (DeitY), Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MoCIT). DeitY facilitate and promote e-governance, promotion of Electronics & Information Technology- Information Technology Enabled Services (IT-ITeS) Industry, providing support for creation of Innovation / Research & Development (R&D), building Knowledge network and securing India's cyber space.
The year 2018 has turned out to be the landmark for India in terms of achievements in Sports arena. Government’s two pronged approach to sports – nurture topsports talent and find untapped sports stars at the grassroots, has yielded positive outcome. India recorded its best ever performance this year in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games with 66 Medals, Jakarta Asian Games with 69 Medals and Para Asian Games with 72 Medals. The achievements of Department of Sports during the year2018 are as under:-
Khelo India School Games (KISG), 2018: 1st Khelo India School Games, 2018 were held between 31st January to 8th February, 2018 3507 Players from 29 States and 7 Union Territories participated. Medal Tally- 199 Gold + 199 Silver +275 Bronze medals
Biggest State contingents: Maharashtra- 331 players Haryana – 388 players Delhi – 359 players Support staff at KISG : 875 Coaches, 578 Managers
Technical conduct by 578 nationally and internationally certified Technical Officials. Accommodation provided in various Hotels through M/s. Thomas Cook International: 868 number of Volunteers participated Approximately 550 Talents is to be identified during the Talent Identification process.
Overall championship Results: Haryana – 38 Gold, 26 Silver 38 Bronze: Total: 102 Medals Maharashtra - 38 Gold, 26 Silver 38 Bronze: Total: 111 Medals c. Delhi - 38 Gold, 26 Silver 38 Bronze: Total: 94 Medals
1178 sports talents have been identified & they will be imparted training for next 8 years with annual expenditure on each athlete of Rs. 5 lakh.
In Swimming, Srihari Natraj from Karnataka won 6 Gold Medals and 1 Silver Medal. He broke Senior National 100 Mtr Backstroke record in KISG 2018. His previous time was 57.20 seconds and he gave 56.90 in KISG. He qualified for Asian age group and Youth Olympic Games.
In Shooting, Manu Bhaker from Haryana with the score of 387 achieved the new National record Air Pistol Women Qualification round. In the finals also, Manu Bhaker with the score of 241.1 broke her own National record, achieved in Kerala, 2017. She is also quota winner of Youth Olympic Games, 2018.
In Athletics, Abhishek Singh of U.P won the Gold in Shotput with a throw of 18.73 m and was declared the best Boy athlete. In 100 m hurdles,Aparna Roy of Kerala secured the Gold medal with a timing of 14.02 sec and was declared the best Girl athlete.
3. Republic Day Parade Tableau of the Ministry adjudged best among all Ministries:
· Tableau of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports for Republic Day 2018 was adjudged the best Tableau among all the Tableaux of the Ministries/Departments of the Government of India. In a ceremony in New Delhi on 28th January, Secretary (Sports) received the Trophy and Certificate for best Tableau from Hon’ble RakshaMantri. Theme of the Tableau of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports was Khelo India.
India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL) made contribution of Rs.10.00 Crore to the NSDF. This was the third installment of contribution made by the IIFCL making the total contribution Rs 30.00 Crore. The IIFCL contribution is being utilized for promotion of sports in the disciplines Badminton, Archery and Para Sports by way of support to sportspersons in these disciplines for their customized training and other services and setting up of Academies/Support to Academies in these disciplines.
National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) was established with the objective of promotion of excellence in sports through support to top level sportspersons who are medal prospects in Olympics and other major international competitions and creation of sports infrastructure in priority disciplines etc. The Fund accepts contributions from private/public corporate sectors, other legal bodies like Trusts/Societies, individuals etc.
Performance in Commonwealth Games, 2018: India competed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia from 4 to 15 April 2018. It was India's 18th appearance at the Commonwealth Games. With 26 Gold medals and a total of 66 medals (26 Gold, 20 Silver and 20 Bronze), India finished 3rd for the tournament. It was India's best position since the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
University Grants Commission has recently graded the Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education, Gwalior in the highest category i.e. Category-I Deemed to be University as per the provisions of the UGC [Categorization of Universities (Only) for Grant of Graded Autonomy] Regulations, 2018 vide its letter dated 19.06.2018. Prior to it, this Institute has been accredited as A++ by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and awarded with the "Excellent Institute of Physical Education in India" during 11th National Education Summit 2017 and 2nd National Higher Education Summit for Skill Development held at VigyanBhawan, New Delhi.
Revised Guidelines for MaulanaAbulKalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy: With a view to rationalize and simplify the selection of top performing university in sports for award of MaulanaAbulKalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy, the Union Sports Minister approved the revised guidelines for MAKA Trophy on 8.6.2018. Under the revised guidelines, the applications from the universities, which were hitherto used to be invited and scrutinized by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), will be invited by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports/Sports Authority of India. Scrutiny of applications will also be done by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports/Sports Authority of India. Criteria for calculation of marks for selection of universities for MAKA Trophy has been revised. Tournaments which are held more than once a year will not be considered for computation of marks. The amount of award money for the overall all winner university has been enhanced from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 15 lakh and for 1st Runner-up and 2nd Runner-up universities, the amount of award money has been enhanced from Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 7.5 lakh and Rs. 3 lakh to Rs. 4.5 lakh respectively.
In a major step for the welfare of Sportspersons, the Union Sports Minister approved the upward revision of pension to meritorious Sportspersons on 7.6.2018. Under the revision, the rate of pension has been doubled of the existing rate of pension on winning medals in international sports events.
The new rates of pension range from minimum of Rs. 12,000/- to maximum of Rs. 20,000/- per month. The rate of pension of medal winners in the Para-Olympics Games and Para Asian Games will be at par with the medal winners in the Olympic Games and Asian Games respectively. The revision in rate of pension will be effective from 1st April 2018.
Following the successful conduct of the Khelo India School Games, the Department of Sports took another significant step towards the development of sports on 22.7.2018 and cleared 1178 players for a scholarship programme under Khelo India Talent Identification Development scheme.
The scholarship programme is designed to take care of their expenses including training, development, boarding and lodging and tournament exposure apart from offering them out of pocket expense allowance.
Under this programme, an annual stipend of Rs. 1.2 lakhs will be given to the players on a quarterly to meet their out of pocket expenses, treating injuries and even smaller but very important elements like local travel for themselves and their parents/ family members.
the beginning of the year, NADA put it efforts during the 1st Khelo dia School Games, Delhi so that the integrity of sports be maintained and the participating sportspersons may become aware of International Standards for sports integrity and a total 377 dope tests were conducted by NADA to make the school games dope free.
In the run up to the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games held in mid 2018, NADA tested as many as 498 Indian Athletes prior to Asian Games, which was the largest testing conducted by NADA before any international games. Out of these, 54 Indian athletes who were training abroad in preparation for the Asian Games, were got tested by NADA in various countries including Czech Republic, Netherlands, Finland, Germany, Thailand and Bhutan.
To monitor the Code Compliance activities, World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) audit team audited anti doping program of NADA, India last year. Followed by Corrective Action Report recommended by audit team of WADA, NADA, India has implemented the corrective action in various areas and maintains its Code Compliance.
As per the annual statistics report published by World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), the number of anti doping rule violation in India has come down. Such decrease in the number of doping incidence brought India from 3rd to 6th place globally.
The National Sports University Bill, 2018, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 10.08.2017, for establishing a National Sports University in Manipur as part of a vision to enhance country’s standing in sports, was passed by both Houses of Parliament during the Monsoon Session, 2018. After receiving the assent of the President, the National Sports University Act, 2018 was published in the Gazette of India on the 17th August, 2018.
National Sports University in Manipur will be first of its kind to promote sports education in the areas of sports sciences, sports technology, sports management and sports coaching besides functioning as the national training centre for select sports disciplines by adopting best international practices.
The University will impart Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral programmes in Sports Coaching, Sports Sciences and physical Education in various disciplines. Specialised degree programmes in various sports education and coaching disciplines are envisaged in the future.
Hon’ble Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of the National Sports University in Imphal on 16.3.2018.
National Sports University has started functioning from a temporary campus in KhumanLampak Sports Complex, Imphal. First academic session started with Bachelor of Physical Education and Sports (BPES) and B.Sc. (Sports Coaching) Courses with effect from 15.01.2018.
Admission to academic session 2018-19 have also been completed. Apart from BPES and B.Sc. (Sports Coaching), one new post graduate courses viz., MA (Sports Psychology) has been introduced.
President of India Shri Ram NathKovind on 25th September, 2018 conferred National Sports & Adventure Awards 2018 in a ceremony held at RashtrapatiBhawan.
In National Sports Awards category, the most prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna was conferred to S. MirabaiChanu (Weightlifting) and ViratKohli (Cricket) while Dronacharya Award, Arjuna Award and Dhyan Chand Award were conferred to 32 sportspersons/coaches in various disciplines.
Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award was conferred to 10 persons in categories of Land Adventure, Water Adventure and one (1) award to Life Time Achievement category. MaulanaAbulKalam Azad Trophy was conferred to Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.
Rashtriya Khel ProtsahanPuruskar was conferred to three (3) entities namely RashtriyaIspat Nigam Limited in Identification and Nurturing of Budding & Young Talent category, JSW Steel in Encouragement to Sports through Corporate Social Responsibility and Isha Foundation in category of Sports for Development.
Union Sports Minister approved the participation of Kho Kho team from India at the First International Kho Kho Championship in England from 1st to 4th September, 2018, with financial support from the Government of India.
The approval was given for the first time in relaxation of extant guidelines of the Ministry which, inter-alia, lay down that sports disciplines like Kho Kho, which are categorised as “Others”, will not be eligible for financial support for participation in International sporting events.
Indian sportspersons and teams put a very commendable performance in Asian Games 2018 held at Jakarta and Palembang (Indonesia) from 18th August to 2nd September, 2018. India won 69 medals (15 Gold, 24 Sliver and 30 Bronze) and was placed at 8th position in medals tally.
Hon’ble Prime Minister felicitated the medal winners of Asian Games 2018 on 5th September, 2018.
In a separate function organized by the Ministry to felicitate medal winners of Asian Games 2018 on 4th September, 2018, the medal winning sportspersons were also given cash awards. The gold medal winners were given Rs. 30 lakh Silver medalistsRs. 20 lakh and bronze medalistsRs. 10 lakh.
India finished overall 9th in the medals tally with 72 medals (15 Gold, 24 Silver and 33 Bronze medals) the highest ever by India at an Asian Para Game (APG), outdoing the previous best by a huge margin.
India finished overall 14th in the medals tally with 13 medals (3 Gold, 9 Silver and 1 Bronze medals) the highest ever by India at Youth Olympic Game (YOG), in Buenos Aires, Argentina, outdoing the previous best.
The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports is operating PanditDeendayalUpadhyay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons (PDUNWFS) with a view to assisting outstanding sportspersons of the past, living in indigent circumstances, who had brought glory to the country in sports.
During the 2018-19, the lump sum financial assistance from PDUNWFS was given to the following : - Rs. 6 lakh to Shri N. Brij Kishore, Gymnast Coach for Medical Treatment Rs. 5 lakh to family of Shri SumitRabha, former football player for medical treatment. Rs. 5 lakh to Ms. KhaidemKalambiaChanu (Fencing) for medicaltreatment. Rs. 2 lakh to Shri Lakshmi Kanta Das, for medical treatment Rs. 5 lakh to Shri Limba Ram (Archery) for medical treatment Rs. 5 lakh to MsGohelaBoro, Archer for Medical Treatment. Rs. 5 lakh to Shri Ashok Soren, Archer for Medical Treatment. Rs. 5 lakh to Ms. Garima Joshi, Athlete, for Medical Treatment. Rs. 5 lakh to Shri Prem Lal, former Wrestler for Medical Treatment. Rs. 10 lakh to Shri Hakam Singh, former athlete for Medical Treatment. Rs. 2 lakh to MsVandanaSuryavanshi, former Judo player for ameliorating financial condition. Rs. 10 lakh to Shri G. Lakshaman, Athlete, for ameliorating financial condition
The 2018 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships was held at KD Jadav Indoor Stadium at New Delhi, India during November 15-24, 2018.
In the finals of the light flyweight category Mary Kom of India beat Ukrainian boxer Hana Okhota to win the gold, creating history by becoming the first woman boxer to win six gold medals in the AIBA World Boxing Championships.
India stood 3rd in the medal tally with one gold, one silver and two bronze.
In order to strengthen the overall sports ecosystem in the country and to develop expertise in various sectors, this Ministry has funded and guided Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Rohtak to commence a 2-year course.
This Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Management in Sports from academic year 2018-19 at par with other Business Management courses of the Institute has already started.
A scheme of National Centre of Sports Sciences and Research (NCSSR) which aims to support high level research, education and innovation with respect to high performance of elite athletes has been started. The scheme has two components:
One is setting up of NCSSR at NIS, Patiala, and other is focused on creation of support to Sports Sciences Department in select Universities and Sports Medicine Departments in select Medical Colleges/ Institutes/ Hospitals. MYAS would fund Rs.25 crore to selected Universities and Rs.12.5 crore to selected Medical Colleges/ Institutes/ Hospitals over a period of 5 years and later they would become self-reliant.
The Sports Medicine Departments of the Medical Colleges will offer post MBBS degree i.e. MD in Sports Medicine and Diploma in Sports Medicine. The Sports Science Department of the universities will offer degrees such as M. Sc. in Sports Physiology, Sports Biochemistry, Sports Nutrition, Sports Biomechanics, Sports Training Methods; MPT in Sports; M.A in Sports Psychology; and Certificate Course in Sports Anthropometry.
In connection with second component of the scheme, following 6 Universities and 6 Medical Colleges/ Institutes/ Hospitals have been selected in different parts of the country for setting up Departments of Sports Science and Sports Medicine therein respectively.
List of Universities/Institutions selected for funding to support Sports Sciences department: (i) Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar (ii) Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education, Gwalior (iii) National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad (iv) Annamalai University, Tamilnadu (v) Central University of Rajasthan, Ajmer, Rajasthan and (vi) University of Calcutta, Kolkata, West Bengal. List of Universities/Hospitals/Medical Colleges selected for funding to support Sports Medicine department: (i) King George Medical university, Lucknow (ii) VardhmanMahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi (iii) Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma University of Health Sciences, Rohtak, Haryana (iv) Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bengaluru, Karnataka (v) KEM Hospital and Seth G S Medical College, Mumbai and (vi) Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal.
Scheme of Special (Cash) Awards to Medal Winners in International Sports Events and their Coaches: Rs. 11.02 cr. has been given to winning sportspersons under this scheme during 2018-19 so far.
The announcement was made on the occasion of 4th WHO Global Forum on Medical Devices at Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone in Vishakhapatnam.
National Medical Devices Promotion Council: The Council will be headed by Secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
Apart from the concerned departments of Government, it will also have representatives from health care industry and quality control institutions. The Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone of Visakhapatnam, will provide technical support to the Council.
The Prime objectives of the National Medical Devices Promotion Council are: Act as a facilitating, promotional & developmental body for the Indian Medical Devices Industry (MDI). Render technical assistance to the agencies and departments concerned to simplify the approval processes for MDI promotion and development.
Enable entry of emerging interventions and support certifications for manufacturers to reach levels of global trade norms and lead India to an export driven market in the sector. Support dissemination and documentation of international norms and standards for medical devices by capturing the best practices in the global market. Facilitate domestic manufacturers to rise to international level of understanding of regulatory and non regulatory needs of the industry.
Drive a robust and dynamic Preferential Market Access (PMA) policy by identifying the strengths of the Indian manufacturers and discouraging unfair trade practices in imports Ensure pro-active monitoring of public procurement notices across India to ensure compliance with PMA guidelines of DIPP and DoP.
Undertake validation of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) and other such entities within MDI sector, which add value to the industry strength in manufacturing to gain foothold for new entrants. Make recommendations to government based on industry feedback and global practices on policy and process interventions to strengthen the medical technology sector.
Significance: The Medical Devices Industry (MDI) plays a critical role in the healthcare ecosystem and is crucial to achieve the goal of health for all citizens of the country. The manufacturing and trade in MDI is growing steadily in double digits. However, it is largely import-driven with imports accounting for over 65 percent of the domestic market.
The setting-up of the Council will spur domestic manufacturing in this sector as Indian companies and startups have stated moving towards creating innovative products.
Significance: With this, Jammu and Kashmir has become the first state in the country to have a law banning sexual exploitation of women by those in positions of authority, having a fiduciary relationship or a public servant.
Key features of the Bill: The Bill seeks to amend the Ranbir Penal Code, whereby specific offence under section 354 E is being inserted to provide for the offence of ‘Sextortion’. Amendments are being made in section 154, 161 and Schedule of Criminal Procedure Code and section 53 A of the Evidence Act so as to bring sextortion at par with similar offences prescribed under Ranbir Penal Code.
Amendment is also being made in the Prevention of Corruption Act to amend the definition of misconduct and provide that demand for sexual favours would also constitute misconduct within the meaning of section 5.
What necessitated this? The amendment came after an order was passed by Jammu and Kashmir High Court. The court had directed the state to examine the concept of ‘Sextortion; in the context of applicable laws. “So that illegal acts, unwarranted demands for sexual favours and inappropriate contacts by the person in authority are made punishable.”
About Ranbir Penal Code: Indian Penal code is not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir and in place of IPC, a similar criminal law Ranbir Penal Code applies in the state. The code was introduced by Ranbir Singh during the Dogra Dynasty and it came in effect from 1932. The provision of code was prepared by Thomas Babington Macaulay.
Observations made by the Court: The government’s decision was arbitrary and unreasonable. There was no scientific basis behind the Centre’s decision restricting private companies from making or supplying the drug, which helps new mothers lactate, to prevent its alleged misuse in the dairy sector for increasing milk production.
Background: As per the Centre’s April 27 notification, the state-run Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (KAPL) was solely allowed by the Centre to make the drug to meet the country’s needs.
Why was it banned? The drug is misused in the dairy industry where livestock is injected with Oxytocin to make them release milk at a time convenient to farmers. Oxytocin is also used to increase the size of vegetables such as pumpkins, watermelons, eggplants, gourds, and cucumbers.
About Oxytocin: Oxytocin has also been dubbed the hug hormone, cuddle chemical, moral molecule, and the bliss hormone due to its effects on behaviour, including its role in love and in female reproductive biological functions in reproduction. Oxytocin is a hormone that is made in the brain, in the hypothalamus.
It is transported to, and secreted by, the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain. It acts both as a hormone and as a brain neurotransmitter. The release of oxytocin by the pituitary gland acts to regulate two female reproductive functions: Childbirth and Breast-feeding.
Way ahead: Carbetocin: The World Health Organization (WHO) has come up with a safe and effective alternative to the controversial drug oxytocin.
While Oxytocin, must be stored and transported at 2–8 degrees Celsius, and becomes less effective when exposed to heat, Carbetocin does not require refrigeration and retains its efficacy for at least three years even if it is stored at 30 degrees Celsius, and in 75% relative humidity.
Why? According to Rajan, loan waivers not only inhibit investment in the farm sector but put pressure on the fiscal of states which undertake farm loan waiver. In every state election during the last five years, loan waiver promise made by one political party or other. The recently concluded assembly election in five states, agriculture loan waiver and increasing minimum support price (MSP) of cereals was again part of manifesto of some of the political parties.
Also, loan waivers, as the RBI has repeatedly argued, vitiate the credit culture, and stress the budgets of the waiving state or central government.
Background: According to a 2017 report by the RBI, farm loan waiver amounting to Rs 88,000 crore likely to be released in 2017-18 by seven states, including Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, may push inflation on permanent basis by 0.2%.
The ever- rising demand: Agriculture currently contributes just about 15% to the national output and about 50% of the population directly or indirectly depends on it for employment.
Farmer distress is a real and pressing problem, as evidenced by the protests currently taking place in various parts of the country. In the recent past, widespread demands have been heard for farm loan waivers amid continuing agrarian distress.
Drawbacks of loan waivers: Firstly, it covers only a tiny fraction of farmers. The loan waiver as a concept excludes most of the farm households in dire need of relief and includes some who do not deserve such relief on economic grounds.
Second, it provides only a partial relief to the indebted farmers as about half of the institutional borrowing of a cultivator is for non-farm purposes. Third, in many cases, one household has multiple loans either from different sources or in the name of different family members, which entitles it to multiple loan waiving.
Fourth, loan waiving excludes agricultural labourers who are even weaker than cultivators in bearing the consequences of economic distress. Fifth, it severely erodes the credit culture, with dire long-run consequences to the banking business.
Sixth, the scheme is prone to serious exclusion and inclusion errors, as evidenced by the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) findings in the Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme, 2008. Lastly, schemes have serious implications for other developmental expenditure, having a much larger multiplier effect on the economy.
What needs to be done? Proper identification: For providing immediate relief to the needy farmers, a more inclusive alternative approach is to identify the vulnerable farmers based on certain criteria and give an equal amount as financial relief to the vulnerable and distressed families.
Enhance non- farm income: The sustainable solution to indebtedness and agrarian distress is to raise income from agricultural activities and enhance access to non-farm sources of income. The low scale of farms necessitates that some cultivators move from agriculture to non-farm jobs.
Improved technology, expansion of irrigation coverage, and crop diversification towards high-value crops are appropriate measures for raising productivity and farmers’ income. All these require more public funding and support.
Way ahead: The magic wand of a waiver can offer temporary relief, but long-term solutions are needed to solve farmer woes. There are many dimensions of the present agrarian crisis in India. The search for a solution therefore needs to be comprehensive by taking into consideration all the factors that contribute to the crisis. Furthermore, both short- and long-term measures are required to address the numerous problems associated with the agrarian crisis.
GSLV-F11: The GSLV-F11 is ISRO’s fourth generation launch vehicle with three stages. The launch vehicle, which is in its 13th flight, will inject GSAT-7A into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
About GSAT-7A: GSAT-7A would be placed in the geostationary orbit and this communication satellite is expected to help the IAF to interlink different ground radar stations, airbases and AWACS (Airborne Warning And Control System) aircraft. The idea is to improve the IAF’s network-centric warfare capabilities.
The GSAT-7A is expected to have the Ku-band transponders and two deployable solar arrays onboard.
The GSAT-7A is also expected to be a big push for drone operations as it will help the Navy reduce the reliance on on-ground control stations and take satellite-control of military unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) which should help boost the range and endurance of the UAVs.
In addition to GSAT-7A, the IAF would also be getting the GSAT-7C in a few years, to boost the network-centric operations.
Background- GSAT 7 series: The GSAT 7 series was launched in 2013 as a dedicated communications satellite for the Indian Navy, which made the Navy completely independent of relying on foreign satellites for its blue water capabilities, thanks to GSAT 7 having a 2,000 nautical mile footprint. This helps in providing real-time inputs to Indian warships, submarines and maritime aircraft.
Ministry of Power has launched the ECO Niwas Samhita 2018, an Energy Conservation Building Code for Residential Buildings (ECBC-R). The code was launched on National Energy Conservation Day 2018.
Aim of ECO Niwas Samhita 2018: To benefit the occupants and the environment by promoting energy efficiency in design and construction of homes, apartments and townships.
About the Energy Conservation Building Code: It is prepared after extensive consultations with all stakeholders, consisting of architects & experts including building material suppliers and developers. The parameters listed have been developed based on large number of parameters using climate and energy related data.
The code is expected to assist large number of architects and builders who are involved in design and construction of new residential complexes. It has potential for energy savings to the tune of 125 Billion Units of electricity per year by 2030, equivalent to about 100 million ton of Co2 emission.
Ministry of Power in association with Bureau of Energy Efficiency celebrates the National Energy Conservation Day on every 14th December.
On this day, 26 industrial units from various sectors were given awards for their excellent performance in energy efficiency.
About Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE): A statutory body under Ministry of Power created in March 2002 under the provisions of the nation’s 2001 Energy Conservation Act. To implement policy and programmes in energy efficiency and conservation.
Objective of BEE – To reduce energy intensity in our country by optimizing energy demand and To reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), responsible for global warming and climate change.
India has committed to reduction of 33-35% GHG emission by 2030 as part of the document submitted to UNFCCC.
The Ministry of State for Communications (Independent Charge), launched the e-Commerce Portal of the Department of Posts (DoP).
It will provide an e-Market place to sellers especially to rural artisans/self-help groups/ women entrepreneurs/State and Central PSUs/Autonomous Bodies etc. to sell their products to buyers across the Country.
Major Highlights: The small and local sellers (who were left) will now, by leveraging the vast physical and IT network of DoP, be able to maximize their reach and retailing power. The buyers can access the products of their choice displayed by sellers on the portal and place online orders by making digital payments.
Post Office Savings Bank (POSB): Under Core Banking Solution (CBS), an internet banking facility for Post Office Savings Bank (POSB) customers has been launched. Now, nearly 17 Crore POSB accounts will be intra-operable and customers can also transfer funds online to RD and PPF accounts of Post Offices. It helps to do transactions without physically visiting post offices.
Deen Dayal SPARSH: The Department of Posts had launched a scholarship program for school children called Deen Dayal SPARSH (i.e., Scholarship for Promotion of Aptitude & Research in Stamps as a Hobby).
Objective of Deen Dayal SPARSH – To bring philately to the mainstream of the education system and incentivizing it, in 2017.
Meghdoot Award: Shri Sinha (Minister of State for Communications) presented the Meghdoot Awards to the Gramin Dak Sewak (GDS) and employees of the Department in eight categories in recognition of their outstanding contribution.
The socially oriented insurance schemes are currently being operated or partially sponsored by the Central Government targeted at vulnerable sections of the society.
Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY): Launched on 9th May, 2015. These schemes are offered/administered through both public and private sector insurance companies, in tie up with scheduled commercial banks, regional rural banks and cooperative banks.
PMJJBY: It offers a renewable one-year term life cover of Rupees Two Lakh to all account holders in the age group of 18 to 50 years, covering death due to any reason, for a premium of Rs. 330/- per annum per subscriber, to be auto debited from subscriber’s bank account.
PMSBY: It offers a renewable one-year accidental death cum disability cover to all subscribing bank account holders in the age group of 18 to 70 years for a premium of Rs. 12/- per annum per subscriber to be auto debited from subscriber’s bank account. It provides a cover of Rs. Two Lakh for accidental death or total permanent disability and Rs One Lakh in case of permanent partial disability. The above schemes are on self-subscription basis and involves no Government contribution.
Ministry of Agriculture implements PMFBY and Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS). It provides comprehensive crop insurance cover against non-preventable natural risks at an affordable rate to farmers.
It is compulsoryfor loanee farmers availing crop loans for notified crops in notified areas and voluntary for non-loanee farmers.
Uniform maximum premium of only 2%, 1.5% and 5% of the sum insured to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops, Rabi crops and commercial/horticultural crops.
The difference between premium and the rate of insurance charges payable by farmers is provided as subsidy and shared equally by the Centre and State.
A centrally sponsored scheme. An entitlement-based scheme. It covers poor and vulnerable families based on deprivation and occupational criteria as per SECC data.
It provides health coverage up to Rs. 5 lakh per family, per year for secondary and tertiary hospitalization to over 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families.
It provides cashless and paperless services for the beneficiary at the point of service in any (public and private) empaneled hospitals across India.
The ratio of premium under PMJAY is 60:40 between Centre and State except North Eastern States and 3 Himalayan States where the ratio is 90:10 with an upper limit for Centre.
In the case of Union Territories, the Central contribution of premium is 100% for UTs without legislature, while it is 60:40 for those with legislature.
Context: Renowned English fiction writer Amitav Ghosh has been selected for Jnanpith award, 2018.
About: The Jnanpith Award is one of the prestigious literary honours in the country. The award was instituted in 1961. Eligibility: Any Indian citizen who writes in any of the official languages of India is eligible for the honour.
Context: Fourth edition of Kochi-Muziris biennale is being held in Fort Kochi, Kerala. The Biennale was curated by Anita Dube and become the first Biennale in world in which participation of women accounts for half of the participating artists.
Theme of the Biennale is – “Possibilities for a Non- Alienated Life”. The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is an international exhibition of contemporary art held in Kochi, Kerala. It is the largest art exhibition in India and the biggest contemporary art festival in Asia. The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is an initiative of the Kochi Biennale Foundation with support from the Government of Kerala.