- National and International Issues on
- Economic Development
- Social Development
- Industrial Development
- Energy and Environment
- Information and Communication Technology
Topic 1:Social development
Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has approved the launch of a new Centrally Sponsored Ayushman Bharat -National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) having central sector component under Ayushman Bharat Mission anchored in the MoHFW.
- AB-NHPM will have a defined benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year
- Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country
- Beneficiary covered under the scheme will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public/private empanelled hospitals across the countryAB-NHPM will be an entitlement based scheme with entitlement decided on the basis of deprivation criteria in the SECC databas
- To control costs, the payments for treatment will be done on package rate (to be defined by the Government in advance) basis
- One of the core principles of AB-NHPM is to cooperative federalism and flexibility to states
Read more at:PIB
Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA)
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister has given its approval for continuation of Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) National Higher Education Mission from 1.04.2017 to 31.03.2020.
- RUSA seeks to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio of the country to 30% by 2020
- It seeks to increase the spending on higher education by the State Governments
- Improving access, equity and accessibility of higher education in Slates through reforms such as academic reforms, governance reforms, affiliation reforms etc.
- To identity and fill up the existing gaps in higher education, by augmenting and supporting the State Governments’ efforts
- Promote a spirit of healthy competition amongst states and institutions to excel in quality higher education, research and innovation.
Read more at: PIB
Topic 1:Industrial development
Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister has given its approval for Central Sector Scheme “Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry” for the next three years from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
- Research & Development (R&D), Training, Transfer of Technology and IT Initiatives
- Seed Organizations and farmers extension centres
- Coordination and Market Development for seed, yarn and silk products and
- Quality Certification System (QCS) by creating amongst others a chain of Silk Testing facilities, Farm based & post-cocoon Technology Up-gradation, and Export Brand Promotion.
Read more at:PIB
Paramparagat Krishi Vikash Yojana to promote organic farming
To ensure a successful “Organic Farming Revolution” in India on the lines of “Green Revolution” so that the farming community benefits from it. Through government’s various schemes, approximately 23 lakh hectares of land has been made suitable for organic farming.
- To promote organic farming in the country.
- In order to promote organic farming, the government has started the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), under which 2 lakh hectares has been made suitable for organic farming thereby benefiting 5 lakh farmers.
- Government institutions like APEDA and Ministry of Commerce, while playing a leading role in improvement and control of certification system, are promoting the export of organic products.
- The government has initiated the Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern region.
- The aim of the Ministry is to promote organic farming in hilly and tribal areas as the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in these areas is very low.
Read More at: PIB
Topic 2 : Environment
143 species spotted in bird survey
A recent bird survey organised by the Forest Department and the Hume Centre for Ecology and Wildlife Biology in the South Wayanad Forest Division has recorded 143 species.
- As many as 40 birdwatchers from various parts of Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu took part in the second leg of the dry-season survey that lasted around 60 days.
- Six species of raptors, belonging to Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, were discovered on the mountain ranges of the region.
- Seven species of pigeons, eight species of woodpeckers, four species of drongos, six species of bulbuls, and nine species of babblers were recorded during the survey.
- Banasura Chilappan (Montecincla jerdoni), one of the most endangered forest birds of the country, was spotted in the Shola forests above an altitude of 1,800 m.
Forest fire threat:
Every year, forest fires, mostly man-made, devastate a large tract of grassland on the mountain ranges.
Read more at: The Hindu
Topic 2 : Energy
India-Guyana MoU on renewable energy
The Union Cabinet was on Wednesday apprised of an MoU between India and Guyana on bilateral cooperation in renewable energy.
- Both sides aim to establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable energy issues on the basis of mutual benefit, equality
- The MoU envisages establishing a Joint Working Committee to review, monitor and discuss matters relation to areas of cooperation.
- The MoU aims for exchange of expertise and networking of information.
- The Memorandum of Understanding will help in strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
Read more at:ET
Topic 3 : ICT
IBM launches AI-powered ‘Watson Assistant’
Tech giant IBM announced the formal launch of Watson Assistant, a smart enterprise assistant powered with artificial intelligence (AI), cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT) and it can be accessed via voice or text interaction.
- The smart enterprise assistant is aimed at helping businesses enhance their brand loyalty and transform customer experiences even while keeping the data private and secure
- Watson Assistant is pre-trained for hospitality, for automotive; you can embed (it ) in anything (like) customer care, banking and insurance.
- The enterprise AI assistant helps businesses enhance brand loyalty and transform their customer experiences by delivering proactive and personalised services while ensuring data privacy.
Read more at:ET
ISRO experimenting with potential structures for lunar habitation
The ISRO, along with academic institutions, is doing experimentation on potential structures for lunar habitation.
- An igloo is a shelter, a place for people to stay warm and dry made from blocks of snow placed on top of each other.
- Various options are being studied about the requirements and complexities of habitats. The study is more towards futuristic developments
- The Chandrayaan-2 a rover will be made to land on the moon’s yet-unexplored south pole.
- The rover will send high-quality pictures that will help in better understanding the moon.
Read More at:The Hindu