The processing of Agmark certification application will be available 24x7
Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh today launched the online software for Agmark . On this occasion he said that fulfilling Prime Minister’s Digital India dream and following its footsteps, the application processes related to Agmark certification are being done online by the Directorate of Marketing & Inspection (DMI). The process of application will be simple, quick, transparent and 24x7.
He informed that the Agmark online system is being implemented across the country to conduct quality control functions . Through the Agmark online system, certificate of authorisation (domestic), permission of printing press, permission of laboratories (domestic) and services related to laboratory information management system will be provided online.
Shri Singh said that the existing procedures for Agmark certification were in physical form and time consuming . The use of modern technologies by the National Informatics Center has made these processes easy, reliable and cost effective by providing online electronic mode. In the new online application system, there are provisions for online receipt of fees from the applicants. Payment will be received in digital mode through bharatkosh.gov.in website.
He concluded by wishing success to Agmark’s online software and said that it has become necessary to explore all possibilities so that maximum benefits from this software program can reach the farmers and packers.
The Union Cabinet , chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approvedthe National Digital Communications Policy-2018 (NDCP-2018) andre-designation of the Telecom Commission as the “Digital Communications Commission”.
TheNDCP-2018 envisions supporting India’s transition to a digitally empowered economy and society by fulfilling the information and Communications needs of citizens and enterprises by establishment of a ubiquitous, resilient and affordable Digital Communications Infrastructure and Services.
The key objectives of the policy are provisioning of Broadband for all; creating 4 Million additional jobs in the Digital Communications sector; enhancing the contribution of the Digital Communications sector to 8% of India’s GDP from ~ 6% in 2017; propelling India to the Top 50 Nations in the ICT Development Index of ITU from 134 in 2017; enhancing India’s contribution to Global Value Chains; and ensuring Digital Sovereignty.These objectives are to be achieved by 2022.
The policy, inter-alia, aims to provide universal broadband connectivity at 50Mbps to every citizen; provide 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats of India by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022 ; ensure connectivity to all uncovered areas; attract investments of USD 100 Billion in the Digital Communications Sector; train1 Million manpower for building New Age Skill; expand IoT ecosystem to 5 Billion connected devices; establish a comprehensive data protection regime for digital communications that safeguards the privacy, autonomy and choice of individuals and facilitates India’s effective participation in the global digital economy; and Enforce accountability through appropriate institutional mechanisms to assure citizens of safe and secure digital communications infrastructure and services.
The policy further advocates for establishment of a National Digital Gridbycreating a National Fibre Authority ; establishingCommon Service Ducts and utility corridors in all newcity and highway road projects; creating a collaborative institutional mechanism between Centre, States and Local Bodies for Common Rights of Way,standardization of costs and timelines; removal of barriers to approvals; and facilitating development of Open Access Next Generation Networks.
Background:- The present world has entered the era of modern technological advancements in the Telecom Sector such as 5G, IoT, M2M etc ., a need was being felt to introduce a ‘customer focused’ and ‘application driven’ policy for the Indian Telecom Sector which can form the main pillar of Digital India by addressing emerging opportunities for expanding not only the availability of Telecom services but also Telecom based services.
Accordingly, the new National Digital Communications Policy -2018 has been formulated, in place of the existing National Telecom Policy-2012, to cater to the modern needs of the digital Communications Sector of India.
Andhra Pradesh has topped Ease of Living Index rankings under AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation). It is followed by Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.
About the Ease of Living index: The index has been developed to allow city managers to get a grip on the city’s baseline and compare its performance across key indicators. The first edition of index released in January 2018 had ranked 111 Indian cities and was topped by Pune.
The index covers 116 cities that are smart city contenders, capital cities, and cities with population of 1 million plus. The index captures the quality of life based on the data collected from the urban local bodies on four parameters, which were further broken down into 15 categories.
The four parameters include institutional (governance), social (identity, education, health, security), economic (economy, employment) and physical factors (waste water and solid waste management, pollution, housing/ inclusiveness, mixed land use, power and water supply, transport, public open spaces).
Institutional and social parameters carry 25 points each , physical factors have a weightage of 45 points and economic factors five points totalling to a 100 mark scale on which cities were evaluated.
About AMRUT: AMRUT is the new avatar of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). It adopts a project approach to ensure basic infrastructure services relating to water supply, sewerage, storm-water drains, transportation and development of green spaces and parks with special provision for meeting the needs of children. Under this mission, 10% of the budget allocation will be given to states and union territories as incentive based on the achievement of reforms during the previous year.
AMRUT will be implemented in 500 locations with a population of one lakh and above. It would cover some cities situated on stems of main rivers, a few state capitals and important cities located in hilly areas, islands and tourist areas.
Under this mission , states get the flexibility of designing schemes based on the needs of identified cities and in their execution and monitoring. States will only submit state annual action Plans to the centre for broad concurrence based on which funds will be released. But, in a significant departure from JNNURM, the central government will not appraise individual projects.
Central assistance will be to the extent of 50% of project cost for cities and towns with a population of up to 10 lakhs and one-third of the project cost for those with a population of above 10 lakhs. Under the mission, states will transfer funds to urban local bodies within 7 days of transfer by central government and no diversion of funds to be made failing which penal interest would be charged besides taking other adverse action by the centre.
The Council discussed various issues including road transport , Pradhanmantri Gramin Sadak Yojna, measures to tackle Naxal violence, modernization of Police, infrastructure development of airports, minimum support price, National health mission and issues related to primary schools.
What are zonal councils? Zonal councils have been established by the Parliament to promote interstate cooperation and coordination. They are statutory bodies established under the States Reorganisation Act 1956 and not constitutional bodies. They are only deliberative and advisory bodies.
There are 5 five Zonal councils namely: The Northern Zonal Council, comprising the States of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Union Territory of Chandigarh.
The Central Zonal Council , comprising the States of Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The Eastern Zonal Council, comprising the States of Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, and West Bengal.
The Western Zonal Council , comprising the States of Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra and the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli. The Southern Zonal Council is composed of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
Composition: Chairman – The Union Home Minister is the Chairman of each of these Councils. Vice Chairman – The Chief Ministers of the States included in each zone act as Vice-Chairman of the Zonal Council for that zone by rotation, each holding office for a period of one year at a time. Members- Chief Minister and two other Ministers as nominated by the Governor from each of the States and two members from Union Territories included in the zone.
Advisers- One person nominated by the Planning Commission (which has been replaced by NITI Ayog now) for each of the Zonal Councils, Chief Secretaries and another officer/Development Commissioner nominated by each of the States included in the Zone. Union Ministers are also invited to participate in the meetings of Zonal Councils depending upon necessity.
The main objectives of setting up of Zonal Councils are: Bringing out national integration. Arresting the growth of acute State consciousness, regionalism, linguism and particularistic tendencies. Enabling the Centre and the States to co-operate and exchange ideas and experiences. Establishing a climate of co-operation amongst the States for successful and speedy execution of development projects.
Facts for Prelims: The North Eastern States i.e. (i) Assam (ii) Arunachal Pradesh (iii) Manipur (iv) Tripura (v) Mizoram (vi) Meghalaya (vii) Sikkim and (viii) Nagaland are not included in the Zonal Councils and their special problems are looked after by the North Eastern Council, set up under the North Eastern Council Act, 1972.
About ICI: The main objective of setting up of the Indian Culinary Institute (ICI) is to institutionalize a mechanism to support efforts intended to preserve, document, promote and disseminate Indian Cuisine, meet the sectoral requirement of specialists specific to Indian Cuisine, as also of promoting Cuisine as a Niche Tourism product.
The ICIs will be Centres of Excellence which will offer structured regular programmes of study specific to culinary arts and culinary management leading to graduate and post graduate level degrees, promote research and innovation, organize demand driven certificate and diploma courses, document and create data base specific to Indian cuisine and commission studies and survey on cuisine.
Need: The need for ICI was felt as the formal education specific to Indian cuisine, a culinary art , with pan India sweep is conspicuous by its absence. There is no regular credible institutional source at apex level for supply of cuisine specialists to the Sector. Also, there was no institutional mechanism to document and disseminate knowledge related to cuisine and gastronomy.
Significance: In India, at present, there is a dearth of state-of-the-art training ground to groom top-of-the-line chefs of international standards. To fill this void, the Indian Culinary Institute would provide the appropriate training platform at par with the elite “Chef Schools” functioning in different parts of the developed world.
This effort will facilitate building a super-speciality food production work-force to assure positions of culinary experts in the hospitality industry. The ICIs will also help the local youth to get trained in these streams as well as create entrepreneurs and make them self-sufficient.
The hotel and tourism industry in the proximity of these institutes will also get benefitted by getting the trained and skilled manpower which in turn will enhance their business.
The first circuit includes beautification of Nellore tank and Pulicat Lake, facelift to Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary , construction of a restaurant and development of Ubbala Madugu, Kotha Koduru, Mypadu, Rama Theertham, and Isukapalli project.
The second coastal tourism circuit is aimed at developing Kakinada port, Hope Island, Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, construction of cottages and wooden huts at Passarlapudi, Aduru and S Yanam and development of Kotipalli project.
About Swadesh Darshan Scheme : The Tourism Ministry had launched ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme with an objective to develop theme-based tourist circuits in the country. These tourist circuits will be developed on the principles of high tourist value, competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner.
Features of Swadesh Darshan Scheme: The scheme is 100% centrally funded for the project components undertaken for public funding. To leverage the voluntary funding available for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Central Public Sector Undertakings and corporate sector.
Funding of individual project will vary from state to state and will be finalised on the basis of detailed project reports prepared by PMC (Programme Management Consultant). A National Steering Committee (NSC) will be constituted with Minister in charge of M/O Tourism as Chairman, to steer the mission objectives and vision of the scheme.
A Mission Directorate headed by the Member Secretary, NSC as a nodal officer will help in identification of projects in consultation with the States/ UTs governments and other stake holders. PMC will be a national level consultant to be appointed by the Mission Directorate.
The study was conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the request of the World Bank. It is the first of its kind to measure and compare the strength of countries’ “human capital”. The study underscores that when a country’s human capital score increases, its economy grows.
India’s relative performance: India ranks 158th in the world for its investments in education and health care. The nation is placed behind Sudan (ranked 157th) and ahead of Namibia (ranked 159th) in the list. South Asian countries ranking below India in this report include Pakistan (164), Bangladesh (161) and Afghanistan (188). Countries in the region that have fared better than India in terms of human capital include Sri Lanka (102), Nepal (156), Bhutan (133) and Maldives (116).
Concerns: India has improved its performance from its position of 162 in 1990. However, India is falling behind in terms of health and education of its workforce, which could potentially have long-term negative effects on the Indian economy.
Global performance: The study places Finland at the top. The U.S. is ranked 27th, while China is at 44th and Pakistan at 164th. Turkey showed the most dramatic increase in human capital between 1990 and 2016. Asian countries with notable improvement include China, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Within Latin America, Brazil stands out for improvement. All these countries have had faster economic growth over this period than peer countries with lower levels of human capital improvement. In addition, the greatest increase among sub-Saharan African countries was in Equatorial Guinea.
Significance of human capital: The findings show the association between investments in education and health and improved human capital and GDP which policy-makers ignore at their own peril. As the world economy grows increasingly dependent on digital technology, from agriculture to manufacturing to the service industry, human capital grows increasingly important for stimulating local and national economies.
SDG Media Compact is an initiative marking a new drive to advance awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were unanimously adopted by all world leaders at the United Nations in 2015.
The Compact seeks to inspire media and entertainment companies around the world to leverage their resources and creative talent to advance the Goals. The Compact is an initiative of the United Nations, in collaboration with the UN Foundation and with the support of FleishmanHillard.
Significance: The SDG Media Compact is inclusive and aims to embrace media companies from all regions and all platforms. Participating organizations will have the opportunity to create content partnerships with the United Nations, whereby the organization will increase its efforts to source and share high-value media content and newsworthy opportunities relating to the SDGs. Regular monitoring and review meetings will gauge engagement.
Collectively , the founding members of the SDG Media Compact already comprise an audience in the billions spanning over 80 countries on 4 continents and many more companies are expected to join.
About the SDGs: The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by world leaders at the historic Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015. Encompassing everything from health, to gender equality, and education, the Goals will mobilize efforts around the world to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.
Department of Financial Services (DFS) , Ministry of Finance will release an Annual Financial Inclusion Index (FII). The single composite index gives a snap shot of level of financial inclusion that would guide Macro Policy perspective.
The index will be a measure of access and usage of a basket of formal financial products and services that includes savings, remittances, credit, insurance and pension products.
The index will have three measurement dimensions: Access to financial services. Usage of financial services. Quality.
Utility of the Index: The various components of the index will help to measure financial services for use of internal policy making. Financial Inclusion Index can be used directly as a composite measure in development indicators.
It enables fulfillment of G20 Financial Inclusion Indicators requirements. It will also facilitate researchers to study the impact of financial inclusion and other macro-economic variables.
· Mangalyaan spacecraft has successfully completed 1000 Earth days in its orbit on June 19, 2017.
India sends 104 Satellites into Space · India scripted a new chapter in the history of space domain on 15 February 2017 with the successful launch of a record number of 104 Satellites by ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C37 in a single mission. The primary satellite carried were the Cartosat-2 series satellite along with two Indian nano satellites.
· Out of these 101 co-passenger satellites carried were international customer satellites from USA (96), Netherlands (1), Switzerland (1), Israel (1), Kazakhstan (1) and UAE (1).
Communication Satellites: · “South Asia Satellite” – A gift from India to the South Asian countries, was successfully launched and dedicated to neighboring countries by Honorable Prime Minister of India. “South Asia Satellite” was successfully launched by GSLV-F09 on May 05, 2017.
· GSLV-MkIII in its first developmental flight, successfully launchesd GSAT-19, India’s high throughput communication satellite on June 05, 2017 · GSAT-17 communication satellite was launched on June 29, 2017 from Kourou using procured launch services from M/s Arianespace. It carries C-band & Ext C-band payloads, payloads for mobile communication, search & rescue payload and Data Relay Transponder payload for providing continuity of services and in-orbit back up.
NavIC · The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) with an operational name of NavIC ("sailor" or "navigator" which also stands for Navigation with Indian Constellation) an autonomous regional Satellite Navigation System set up by India · To provide accurate real-time positioning and timing services over India and the region extending to 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) around India
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today chaired his twenty-ninth interaction through PRAGATI - the ICT-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation.
TRIFED promotes tribal products through network of Tribes India Showrooms, Aadi Mahotsavs /Exhibitions and various e-commerce platforms namely, Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal and GeM which provide a window to National & International markets. TRIFED has brought more and more tribal artisans in its ambit of operations for improving their livelihood and upgrade their economic status.