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National Mission on Cultural Mapping will compile data of artists, art forms & geo location with inputs from Central Ministries, State Governments & art/culture bodies – Culture Minister

 

The mission aims at

  • converting the vast and widespread cultural canvas of India into an objective cultural map,
  • designing a mechanismto fulfil the aspirations of the whole artist community of the nation and
  • preserving the rich cultural heritage of this country in the form of a cultural repository of artists and art form

 

Mission:

 

  • This Mission is part of the ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ initiative.
  • This Mission will bringing all the cultural activities under one web based umbrella for better results.
  • The Mission also seeks to open a direct channel of communication of artists with the Government and peer to peer communication among artists for talent honing and handholding of each other

 

Appointment of Chief of Defence Staff

 

 

The Government has approved in principle the creation of a post of CDS.  An Implementation Committee was also approved and constituted to further determine and finalize the exact responsibilities, an enabling framework for this new post and all other issues involved to ensure smooth operationalization.

A number of Committees viz. the Kargil Review Committee, Group of Ministers (GoM) Report, Task Force on National Security and Shekatkar Committee have studied and recommended creation of the post of CDS/Permanent Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee.

Military reforms is a continuous process and requisite steps are taken by the Government from time to time, as deemed necessary.

 

ADB, India Sign $91 Million Loan for Comprehensive Water Management in Karnataka

 

 

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India today signed a $91 million loan to modernize the Vijayanagara Channel irrigation systems and prepare river basin management plans in the Krishna river basin that will help improve irrigation water use efficiency and contribute to improving sustainable water security in Karnataka.

About ADB:

  • It is a regional development bank
  • established on 19 December 1966.
  • headquartered — Manila, Philippines.
  • official United Nations Observer.

The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP, formerly the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East or ECAFE) and non-regional developed countries.

 

Voting rights:

It is modeled closely on the World Bank, and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members’ capital subscriptions.

 

Roles and functions:

  1. ADB defines itself as a social development organization that is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.
  2. This is carried out through investments – in the form of loans, grants and information sharing – in infrastructure, health care services, financial and public administration systems, helping nations prepare for the impact of climate change or better manage their natural resources, as well as other areas.

 

Ministry of HRD has launched NISHTHA Programme to improve learning outcomes at Elementary level through a massive Teacher Training Programme: Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’

 

 

  • The Department of School Education and Literacy has launched a National Mission to improve learning outcomes at the Elementary level through an Integrated Teacher Training Programme called NISHTHA – National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancementunder the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Samagra Shiksha in 2019-20.
  • The aim of this training is to motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students, handle diverse situations and act as first level counsellors.
  • They will be oriented on and develop their skills on various aspects related to Learning Outcomes, Competency Based Learning and Testing, Learner-centred Pedagogy, School Safety and Security, Personal-social qualities, Inclusive Education, ICT in teaching-learning including Artificial Intelligence, Health and well-being including yoga, Initiatives in School Education including library, eco club, youth club, kitchen garden, School Leadership qualities, Environmental Concerns, Pre-school, Pre-vocational Education and School Based Assessment in a joyful learning manner.
  • Thisintegrated programme will cover around 42 lakh participants covering all teachers and Heads of Schools at the elementary level in all Government schools, faculty members of State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs), District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) as well as officials and Resource Persons from Block Resource Centres (BRCs) and Cluster Resource Centres (CRCs) in all States and UTs.

 

National Policy on Biofuels

 

salient features:

Categorization: The Policy categorises biofuels as “Basic Biofuels” viz. First Generation (1G) bioethanol & biodiesel and “Advanced Biofuels” – Second Generation (2G) ethanol, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to drop-in fuels, Third Generation (3G) biofuels, bio-CNG etc. to enable extension of appropriate financial and fiscal incentives under each category.
Scope of raw materials: The Policy expands the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing use of Sugarcane Juice, Sugar containing materials like Sugar Beet, Sweet Sorghum, Starch containing materials like Corn, Cassava, Damaged food grains like wheat, broken rice, Rotten Potatoes, unfit for human consumption for ethanol production.
Protection to farmersFarmers are at a risk of not getting appropriate price for their produce during the surplus production phase. Taking this into account, the Policy allows use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol for blending with petrol with the approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee.
Viability gap funding: With a thrust on Advanced Biofuels, the Policy indicates a viability gap funding scheme for 2G ethanol Bio refineries of Rs.5000 crore in 6 years in addition to additional tax incentives, higher purchase price as compared to 1G biofuels.
Boost to biodiesel production: The Policy encourages setting up of supply chain mechanisms for biodiesel production from non-edible oilseeds, Used Cooking Oil, short gestation crops.

 

Expected benefits:

Import dependency: The policy aims at reducing import dependency.
Cleaner environment: By reducing crop burning & conversion of agricultural residues/wastes to biofuels there will be further reduction in Green House Gas emissions.
Health benefits: Prolonged reuse of Cooking Oil for preparing food, particularly in deep-frying is a potential health hazard and can lead to many diseases. Used Cooking Oil is a potential feedstock for biodiesel and its use for making biodiesel will prevent diversion of used cooking oil in the food industry.
Employment Generation: One 100klpd 2G bio refinery can contribute 1200 jobs in Plant Operations, Village Level Entrepreneurs and Supply Chain Management.
Additional Income to Farmers: By adopting 2G technologies, agricultural residues/waste which otherwise are burnt by the farmers can be converted to ethanol and can fetch a price for these waste if a market is developed for the same.