fbpx
To Study Daily Current Affairs, Click here. To Download Budget Highlights. Click here.

Shagun

Paper: General Studies 2

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Why in the news?

Union Human Resource Development Minister launched one of the world’s largest Integrated Online Junction for – School Education ‘Shagun’ in New Delhi.

What is Shagun?

  • School Education Shagun (URL: htpp://shagun.govt.in/) is an over-arching initiative to improve  school education system by creating a junction for all online portals and websites relating to various activities of the Department of School Education and Literacy in the Government of India and all States and Union Territories.
  • Websites of 1200 Kendriya Vidyalayas, 600 Navodaya Vidyalayas, 18000 other CBSE affiliated schools, 30 SCERTs, 19000 organisations affiliated with NCTE among others are integrated with Shagun. Report cards of 15 lakh schools all over the country will be available on the newly created junction. The portal seeks to connect approximately 92 lakh teachers and 26 crore students. 
  • The website provides a very robust feedback mechanism. Common people can directly give their feedback about schools which will further increase the public participation and will ensure accountability and transparency.

 

Integrated National School Education Treasury (INSET)

Paper: General Studies 2

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Why in the news?

Integrated National School Education Treasury (INSET) which envisages a fully integrated, instantly accessible and seamless information network for all parameters relating to the students, teachers, and schools in the country was announced by the Minister for HRD.

What is the focus of INSET?

The main focus will be on the following areas:

  • Reinforcing and cleaning the data of the Integrated Online Junction through feedback from Stakeholders
  • Ensuring full inter-operability among the websites, portals and applications which are already hosted in the junction
  • Creating high quality e-contents, including quizzes and puzzles to enhance learning and also for teachers in aiding  classroom transactions
  • Using artificial intelligence and deep machine learning in a variety of ways to enhance the quality of school education including for designing evidence based inventions.

 

Health Infrastructure

Paper: General Studies 2

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Why in the news?

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for establishment of 75 additional Government   Medical Colleges by 2021-22 attached with existing district/referral hospitals under Phase-III of the ongoing Centrally Sponsored scheme.
  • For the schemes approved today to increase the availability of healthcare infrastructure and manpower,the Cabinet also sanctioned an expenditure of Rs. 24,375 crore during the 15lh Finance Commission period i.e. up to 2021-22.
  • The establishment   of new Medical Colleges   attached with existing District/Referral Hospitals, would lead to an increase in the availability of qualified health professionals, improve tertiary care in Government sector, utilize existing infrastructure of districts hospitals and promote affordable medical education in the country.
  • New medical colleges would be set up in under-served areas having no medical college; with at least 200 bedded District Hospital. Preference will be given to Aspirational Districts and District Hospital having 300 beds.
  • The scheme on establishment of new medical colleges (58+24+75) would lead to addition of at least 15,700 MBBS seats in the country.
  • Continuing   the focus on  creation of health care  infrastructure, the Government  earlier approved to establish 58  new Medical Colleges attached with existing district/referral hospitals under Phase-I and 24 under Phase-II.  Of this, 39 medical colleges under Phase-I, have already started functioning, while the remaining 19 would be made functional by 2020-21. Under Phase-II, 18 new medical colleges have been approved.

 

Foreign Direct Investment

Paper: General Studies 3

Topic: Effects of liberalization on the economy

Why in the news?

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for Review of Foreign Direct Investment on various sectors.
  • The changes in FDI policy will result in making India a more attractive FDI destination, leading to benefits of increased investments, employment and growth.
  • In the coal sector, for sale of coal, 100% FDI under automatic route for coal mining,activities including associated processing infrastructure will attract international players to create an efficient and competitive coal market.
  • Further, manufacturing through contract contributes equally to the objective of Make in India. FDI now being permitted under automatic route in contract manufacturing will be a big boost to Manufacturing sector in India.
  • Easing local sourcing norms for FDI in Single Brand Retail Trading (SBRT) was announced in Union Budget Speech of Finance Minister. This will lead to greater flexibility and ease of operations for SBRT entities, besides creating a level playing field for companies with higher exports in a base year. In addition, permitting online sales prior to opening of brick and mortar stores brings policy in sync with current market practices. Online sales will also lead to creation of jobs in logistics, digital payments, customer care, training and product skilling.
  • The extant FDI policy provides for 49% FDI under approval route in Up-linking of ‘News & Current Affairs’ TV Channels. It has been decided to permit 26% FDI under government route for uploading/ streaming of News & Current Affairs through Digital Media, on the lines of print media.
  • The above amendments to the FDI Policy are meant to liberalize and simplify the FDI policy to provide ease of doing business in the country, leading to larger FDI inflows and thereby contributing to growth of investment, income and employment.

 

What is Foreign Direct Investment?

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment made by a firm or individual in one country into business interests located in another country. Generally, FDI takes place when an investor establishes foreign business operations or acquires foreign business assets, including establishing ownership or controlling interest in a foreign company. Foreign direct investments are distinguished from portfolio investments in which an investor merely purchases equities of foreign-based companies.

 

Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID)

Paper: General Studies 3

Topic: Effects of liberalization on the economy

Why in the news?

  • India has become the first country in the world to issue Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID), capturing the facial biometric data of seafarers.
  • In India the BSID project has been taken up in collaboration with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Mumbai. The Government notified the Merchant Shipping (Seafarers Biometric Identification Document) Rules in  2016. The issuance of SID involves the collection of biometric and demographic details of the seafarers, their verification and issuance of the card to them.

What is its importance?

  • The new document will give a foolproof identification to our seafarers which will facilitate their movement, provide ease of getting jobs and help in identifying them from any location in the world.
  • The new  card is in confirmation of the Convention No. 185 of the International Labour Organisation  on BSID. India ratified the Convention in October 2015.
  • The BSID introduces modern security features.  It will have a biometric chip embedded in it. The security of the BSID card  is ensured at various levels and through different methods. At the time of data capturing the live face is cross matched through passport photo using a face matching software. The card has two optical security features- Micro prints/micro texts and Unique Guilloche pattern. A software has been developed for capturing the facial biometrics and its authentication through the public key infrastructure.
  • A record of each SID issued will be maintained in a national database and its related information will be internationally accessible.

 

International Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

Paper: General Studies 3

Topic: Disaster and disaster management

Why in the news?

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given ex-post facto approval for the Establishment of an International Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) along with its supporting Secretariat Office in New Delhi. The proposal was approved by the Prime Minister on 13th August, 2019.
  • The CDRI is proposed to be launched at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, USA on 23rd September 2019. Organized by the UN Secretary General, this event will bring together the largest number of Heads of States to generate commitments for combating the effects of climate change and resulting disasters, and will provide the high-level visibility required for the CDRI.

What is the CDRI?

  • The CDRI will serve as a platform where knowledge is generated and exchanged on different aspects of disaster and climate resilience of infrastructure. It will bring together technical expertise from a multitude of stakeholders. 
  • In doing so, it will create a mechanism to assist countries to upgrade their capacities and practices, with regard to infrastructure development in accordance with their risk context and economic needs.
  • This initiative will benefit all sections of society. Economically weaker sections of society, women and children, are the most vulnerable to the impacts of disasters and hence, will be benefited from the improvement of knowledge and practice in creating disaster resilient infrastructure. It will also benefit all areas with high disaster risk. In India, the north-eastern and Himalayan regions are prone to earthquakes, coastal areas to cyclones and tsunamis and central peninsular region to droughts.
  • A global coalition for disaster resilient infrastructure would address concerns that are common to developing and developed countries, small and large economies, countries at early and advanced stages of infrastructure development, and countries that have moderate or high disaster risk. 
  • Few concrete initiatives work at the intersection of Sendai Framework, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Climate Change Adaptation with a focus on infrastructure. Focus on disaster resilient infrastructure would simultaneously address the loss reduction targets under the Sendai Framework, address a number of SDGs and also contribute to climate change adaptation. Hence, there is a clear niche for a Global Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.