PIB Summary-1st Nov 2017

                               PIB SUMMARY – 1st November 2017 

  1. RKVY changed to RAFTAAR, Extended further 3 years
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 1st November has approved the continuation of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) as RKVY-RAFTAAR (Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana- Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied sector Rejuvenation) and extended it for three years. It aims at overall Agriculture and Allied Sectors growth.
  • In next three years (2017-18 to 2019-20) RKVY-RAFTAAR strengthens the farmer’s effort, risk mitigation and promoting agri­business entrepreneurship and support business models that maximize returns to farmers.
  • Total funds allocated to the scheme will be Rs.15, 722 crore. Funds would be provided to the States as 60:40 grants between Centre and States (90:10 for North Eastern States and Himalayan States).

(a) Regular RKVY-RAFTAAR outlay is divided in the following streams

  1. 50% funds of total outlay allocated to infrastructure and assets.
  2. 30% to value addition linked production projects.
  3. 20% is Flexi-funds.

Note:

  1. States can use this for supporting any projects as per the local needs.
  2.  20% of annual outlay of RKVY-RAFTAAR for special sub-schemes of national priorities
  3. 10% of annual outlay (including 2% of administrative costs) for innovation and agro-entrepreneurship development.

Background:

  • Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) is a continuing scheme under implementation from XI Five Year Plan.
  • The scheme provides considerable flexibility and autonomy to states in planning and executing programmes for incentivizing investment in agriculture and allied sectors.
  • National priorities like Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI), Crop Diversification Program (CDP), Reclamation of Problem Soil (RPS), Foot & Mouth Disease – Control Program (FMD-CP), Saffron Mission, Accelerated Fodder Development Programme, etc. are being implemented through the window of RKVY. 
  1. King of Bhutan (India’s best buddy) calls on the President
  • His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the King of Bhutan, along with Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Prince of Bhutan called on the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, at Rashtrapati Bhavan on November 1st 2017.
  • The President complimented the King of Bhutan on the successful completion of the first decade of his reign and his vision for a stable, happy and prosperous Bhutan.
  • He stated that India is delighted to see the rapid progress made in Bhutan while simultaneously preserving its very special culture as well as protecting the environment.
  • India has been happy to share its knowledge, experience and resources with Bhutan. Our development cooperation has been guided by the priorities set by the Government and people of Bhutan.
  • The President said that India and Bhutan share exemplary bilateral relations. Our relations are unique and special. Our bilateral ties are based on utmost trust and understanding. We should do everything to make it a model of bilateral cooperation, which will be noted by others in the neighborhood.
  • The President said that security concerns of India and Bhutan are indivisible and mutual. He conveyed deep appreciation for the King of Bhutan’s personal involvement and guidance and the support provided by Bhutan in addressing the recent situation in the Doklam area. He added that the manner in which both India and Bhutan stood together to address the situation in the Doklam area is a clear testimony to our friendship

India-Bhutan Relations at a glance:

  • The bilateral relations between the HimalayanKingdom of Bhutan and the Republic of India have been traditionally close and both countries share a ‘special relationship’, making Bhutan a protected state, but not a protectorate, of India.
  • India remains influential over Bhutan’s foreign policy, defense and commerce. In 2012–13 fiscal, India’s budgetary support to the Kingdom country stood at US$600 million (around INR 30 billion).
  • It steadily rose over the years to reach US$985 million (INR 61.60 billion) in 2015–16 making Bhutan the largest beneficiary of India’s foreign aid.
  • India operates 3 hydro power projects, of 1,416 MW in Bhutan and 3 more of 2,129 MW are under construction.

Treaties under Bhutan-India relations:

  • On August 8, 1949 Bhutan and India signed the Treaty of Friendship, calling for peace between the two nations and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
  • However, Bhutan agreed to let India “guide” its foreign policy and both nations would consult each other closely on foreign and defense affairs.
  • The treaty also established free trade and extradition Scholars regard the effect of the treaty is to make Bhutan into a protected state, but not a protectorate, because Bhutan continues to have the power to conduct its own foreign policy.
  • Bhutan began to slowly assert an independent attitude in foreign affairs by joining the United Nationsin 1971, recognizing Bangladesh and signing a new trade agreement in 1972 that provided an exemption from export duties for goods from Bhutan to third countries
  • India re-negotiated the 1949 treaty with Bhutan and signed a new treaty of friendship in 2007. The new treaty replaced the provision requiring Bhutan to take India’s guidance on foreign policy with broader sovereignty and not require Bhutan to obtain India’s permission over arms imports
  1. President of India inaugurates Global Clubfoot Conference
  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the Global Clubfoot Conference being organized by the CURE India in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, in New Delhi today (November 1, 2017).

What is Clubfoot?

  • Clubfoot is one of the most common orthopedic birth defects. It can cause permanent disability if not treated early. This affects the child’s mobility and confidence. Inevitably, education and schooling suffer – and the child cannot fulfil his or her potential.
  • In India the burden of disability affects more than 10 million people.
  • The differently-abled or Divyang as we call them deserve equal opportunities in all avenues of life.
  • Mainstreaming their social and professional experience is a commitment for all of us. Having said that, many of these disabilities are preventable or curable – which is often forgotten. Prevention, treatment and mainstreaming have to go in parallel.
  • Public hospitals are partnering with CURE International India to reach out to as many children as possible.
  • The programme is now active in 29 states of India.

Challenges:

  • Despite these successes, we cannot ignore that at the current rate only 8,000 fresh cases are brought into the ambit of treatment every year. This is a small number if one considers the 50,000 children who are born annually in India with clubfoot.

Way forward:

  • In 2022, India completes 75 years of its Independence. It should be a national resolve that by then every child born with clubfoot gets access to treatment services as soon as the condition is diagnosed.

President also mentioned about:

  • The President said India is proud to have eradicated new cases of
  • Polio was once a serious cause of loco-motor disability, but over the past six years we have not had a single case of paralytic poliomyelitis.
  • This has been a major milestone in the history of public health not only in India but globally.
  • It must motivate us to work towards eliminating other disabilities and other diseases and take on the challenge of clubfoot.
  1. Nivesh Bandhu, a Food Regulatory Portal Announced
  • Ahead of World Food India 2017 expo, the launch of a Food Regulatory Portal Nivesh Bandhu announced by Union Minister of Food Processing Industries, Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
  • It is a joint project of Ministry of Food Processing Industry and FSSAI, the apex Regulatory body for Food Safety in India.
  • It is expected that World Food India will generate Rs.65000 Crore worth of investment and 10 lakh jobs.
  • World Food India 2017 will provide global businesses a platform to explore Indian market across the value chain in food processing and food retail industry. It connects domestic and international businesses for possible partnerships and facilitate collaboration.
  1. Cabinet approves amendment in the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for introduction of a Bill in Parliament to amend the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993, namely the National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Act, 2017 to grant retrospective recognition to the Central/State/Universities who are found to be conducting teacher education courses without NCTE permission.

Purpose of the amendment:

With a view to achieve benefits, Dept. of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development has brought about this amendment.

  • To grant retrospective recognition to the Central/State/Union Territory funded Institutions/Universities conducting Teacher Education Courses without NCTE recognition till the academic year 2017-2018.
  • The retrospective recognition is being given as a onetime measure so as to ensure that the future of the students passed out/enrolled in these institutions are not jeopardized.
  • The amendment will make students studying in these Institutions/Universities, or already passed out from here, eligible for employment as a teacher.
  • All institutions running Teacher Education Courses such as B.Ed. and D.El.Ed. have to obtain recognition from the National Council for Teacher Education under section 14 of the NCTE Act.
  • Further, the courses of such recognized Institutions/Universities have to be permitted under section 15, of the NCTE Act.

NCTE wrote to all Central Universities and /State governments/ State Universities / District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) informing them about the legal provisions making it mandatory to seek prior permission for starting Teacher Education Courses and giving them time till 31-03-2017 to inform NCTE if any such Institution/University is running a course without permission of NCTE, for a one-time resolution of past issues.

National Council forTeacher Education Act, 1993.

  • The NCTE Act, 1993 came into force on 1st July, 1995 and is applicable throughout the country, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The main objective of the Act Is to provide for the establishment of a NCTE to achieve planned and coordinated development of the teacher education system, regulation and ensure proper maintenance of norms and standards in the said system.
  • In order to achieve the objectives of the Act, separate provisions have been, made in the Act, for recognizing Teacher Education courses and to lay down guidelines for compliance by recognized Institutions/Universities.
  1. Cabinet approves Special Banking Arrangement (SBA) for payment of outstanding subsidy to fertilizer companies during 2016-17
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has accorded the ex-post facto approval for implementation of Special Banking Arrangement (SBA) for Rs. 10,000 crore for payment of outstanding claims on account of fertilizer subsidy in the year 2016-17.
  • CCEA has also approved that, in future, Department of Fertilizers would avail the SBA with the concurrence of Department of Expenditure.
  • Under the SBA, a total loan of Rs. 9,969 crore for settlement of outstanding subsidy bills with SBI was raised by the Government. The loan amount along with interest liability on the part of Government amounting to Rs. 80.90 crore were paid to SBI.
  • SBA for an amount of Rs. 10,000 crore for the year 2016-17 has already been implemented/ operationalized to overcome the liquidity problems of the fertilizer companies.

Background:

  • Government is making available fertilizers, namely Urea and 21 grades of P&K fertilizers to farmers at subsidized prices through fertilizer manufacturers/importers.
  • For making funds available to the fertilizer companies against their subsidy claims, Ministry of Finance had approved SBA for an amount of Rs. 10,000 crore with Government interest liability limited to G-Sec rate.
  1. Festival of India in Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga, Vanuatu, Nauru, Tuvalu and Cook Islands from October, 2017 – March 2018

A Festival of India is being organized in Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga, Vanuatu, Nauru, Tuvalu and Cook Islands from October, 2017 – March, 2018.  The Festival will showcase diverse Indian culture, i.e. classical and folk dances, music, cuisine and International Conferences.  The events will be held in six cities of Fiji, namely, Suva, Nadi, Lautoka, Labasa, Ba and capital cities of Kiribati, Tonga, Vanuatu, Nauru, Tuvalu and Cook Islands. Following events will be showcased:

‘International Conference on Integral Humanism’ to commemorate birth centenary of Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyay in Fiji (1st Week of October, 2017)

 Fiji islands:

  • Fiji,officially the Republic of Fiji is an island country in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,100 nautical miles northeast of New Zealand’s North Island. Its closest neighbors are Vanuatu to the west, New Caledonia to the southwest, New Zealand’s Kermadec Islands to the southeast, Tonga to the east, the Samoas and France’s Wallis and Futuna to the northeast, and Tuvalu to the north.
  • It is a developed economy in Pacific Ocean and is an archipelagoof more than 330 islands, of which 110 are permanently inhabited, and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of about 18,300 square kilometers (7,100 sq mi).
  1. Joint Indo-Russia Tri-Services Exercise Indra-2017 successfully conducted
  • The Joint Indo-Russia Tri-Services Exercise INDRA-2017 was successfully conducted from 19 to 29 Oct 2017 at Vladivostok in Russia.
  • The name of the exercise INDRA has been derived from INDia and RussiA. So far INDRA exercises have been undertaken between respective Armies, Navies and Air Forces engaged with each other without concurrent participation from other Services.
  • 17 such service specific exercises with the Russian defense forces have been conducted since 2003.
  • Exercise INDRA-2017 is the first Joint Tri-Services Exercise between Russia and India. This is also the first time that Russia has hosted a Tri-Services Exercise on its soil.
  • The theme of Exercise INDRA-2017 was ‘Preparation and Conduct of Operations by a Joint Force for Suppression of International Terror Activity at the request of a host country under UN mandate’.
  • It was indeed a historic occasion for two of the world’s greatest Armed Forces to join hands and successfully conduct an exercise of this magnitude with professionalism, providing an opportunity for both defense forces to imbibe the best practices from each other and jointly evolve and practice drills to defeat the scourge of terror.

The first ever Indo-Russia Joint Tri Services Exercise has been a combination of training and cross training in field conditions on land, sea and air, to achieve seamless integration.  .

Way forward:

  • Exercise INDRA-2017 will surely be a benchmark for future exercises of this nature all across the world.
  • The spirit de corps and goodwill generated during the exercise will facilitate further strengthening of bonds between the defense forces of India and Russia enabling them to understand each other’s organizations and the methodology of executing joint counter terrorist operations.
  • It is even more satisfying that this milestone in Indo-Russia defense cooperation has   been realized as we commemorate 70 years of Indo-Russian friendship.
  1. Harnessing science and technology for a better future of people is the new spirit which drives the present Indo-UK cooperation – Dr. Harshvardhan Science and Technology Ministers of India and UK reviewed the progress made in the India-UK partnership in science, technology and innovation which has been significantly intensified under the Newton-Bhabha programme. Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan, had a meeting with UK Minister of State for Science, Research and Innovation Mr. Jo Johnson in New Delhi today.
  • Based on the shared principles of co-funding, co-development and co-creation multiple agencies both in India and UK are seamlessly contributing to the multifaceted cooperation which covers the three strands of people, project and translational research partnerships.
  • Both the Ministers reiterated the spirit and essence of the Newton-Bhabha program which underlines that the scientific knowledge creation and its application is directed for the welfare of both the nations.
  • In this context, Dr. Harsh Vardhan remarked that “harnessing science and technology for a better future of our people is the new spirit which drives the present Indo-UK cooperation.”
  • In November 2016, UK was the partner country in the Technology Summit which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Theresa May.

Initiatives:

Towards achieving the goal of using S and T for benefits of people several major initiatives have been recently launched as a part of the multifaceted collaboration in STI between India and the UK.

  • Projects on Energy Efficient Building Materials as a part of green initiative with co-investment of £ 8.4 million.
  • Indo-UK Clean Energy Virtual Centre has been established with leading academic centers in India and UK to work on advanced R&D in Solar Energy, Storage and Grid Networks.
  • Indo-UK report on Antimicrobial Resistance which has been prepared to launch a virtual research Centre to address the increasingly serious threat to public and animal health in both countries.
  • To study the impact of atmospheric pollution on Human Health a programme has been launched and first campaign for taking observation in Delhi is scheduled to begin soon.
  • Under Industrial R&D programme India and UK have made visible progress with support to 10 joint projects led by industries from both sides towards co-development of Clean Technologies and Affordable Healthcare devises.

 

  1. Shipbuilding Financial Assistance Policy: Shipping Ministry launches revamped software and updated guidelines to facilitate implementation

 To promote Government of India’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ programme and to encourage domestic shipbuilding by providing a level playing field vis-a-vis foreign shipyards, the Government had approved the Shipbuilding Financial Assistance Policy for Indian Shipyards in December 2015.

  • This policy provides Rs. 4000 Crores financial assistance to shipyards for 10 years for contracts secured between 01.04.2016 and 31.03.2026 (including these dates).

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