- National and International Issues on
- Economic Development
- Social Development
- Industrial Development
- Energy and Environment
- Information and Communication Technology
Topic 1:Economic development
Prime Minister will chair a meeting of heads of top state-run enterprises next month to chalk out a strategy for the functioning and role of CPSEs to realise the vision of a ‘new India’.
- The PSU chiefs will make presentations before the prime minister on HR, innovation, finance, corporate governance, among others, and how these can be leveraged to improve the efficiency of state-owned enterprises to increase their contribution to nation building.
- The deliberations in the Conclave will lead to formulation of an actionable roadmap to achieve the target of a New India 2022
- Presentations will also be made on corporate governance by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) and People First:Reinventing Human Resource Management by National Backward Classes Finance & Development Corporation
Read more at: ET
Topic 1:Social development
Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister has given its approval for enhancing the scope of Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY).
- The Government of India will now contribute the Employer’s full admissible contribution for the first three years from the date of registration of the new employee for all the sectors including existing beneficiaries for their remaining period of three years
- The informal sector workers would get social safety net and there would be more job creation.
Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY):
- PMRPY has been in operation since August, 2016. In this scheme,
- Government is paying the 8.33% contribution of Employers to the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) in respect of new employees (who have joined on or after 1st April 2016) having a new Universal Account Number (UAN), with salary up to Rs. 15,000/- per month.
- The scheme has a dual benefit i.e. on the one hand the employers are incentivized for increasing the employment base of workers in the establishments, and on the other hand a large number of workers will find jobs in such establishments.
- A direct benefit is that these workers will have access to social security benefits of the organized sector.
Read more at: PIB
New Integrated Scheme for School Education
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister has approved the proposal of Department of School Education and Literacy to formulate a Integrated Scheme on School Education by subsuming Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE) from 1st April, 2018 to 31st March, 2020
- The vision of the Scheme is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education from nursery to senior secondary stage in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goal for Education.
- The main emphasis of the Integrated Scheme is on improving quality of school education by focussing on the two T’s – Teacher and Technology.
- The Scheme gives flexibility to the States and UTs to plan and prioritize their interventions within the scheme norms and the overall resource envelope available to them.
- It will help improve the transition rates across the various levels of school education and aid in promoting universal access to children to complete school education.
- The Scheme, by providing quality education, aims to equip the children with varied skills and knowledge essential for their holistic development and prepare them for the world of work or higher education in the future.
- It would lead to an optimal utilization of budgetary allocations and effective use of human resources and institutional structures created for the erstwhile Schemes.
Read more at: PIB
Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY)
Government has launched the ‘Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY)
- To provide social security during old age and to protect elderly persons aged 60 years and above against a future fall in their interest income due to uncertain market conditions.
- The scheme enables old age income security for senior citizens through provision of assured pension/return linked to the subscription amount based on government guarantee to Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).
- The scheme provides an assured return of 8% per annum for 10 years.
Read more at:PIB
Topic 1:Industrial development
SEBI tightens rules on corporate governance
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has tightened the corporate governance norms for listed companies by accepting most of the recommendations of the Kotak Committee while also strengthening the regulations for derivatives and algorithmic trading.
- To reduce the maximum number of directorships to seven from 10 in a phased manner while expanding the eligibility criteria for directors.
- It enhanced the roles of the audit committee along with those of the nomination and remuneration committee and the risk management committee at companies.
- The new norms relating to the number of independent directors, appointment of at least one independent woman director and time limit for holding annual general meetings would be rolled out in a phased manner with the bigger firms being mandated in the initial phase.
- To strengthen the guidelines for algorithmic trading, including stock exchanges providing tick-by-tick data feed free-of-cost to trading members, tweaking the penalty framework to minimise orders that are way off the mark and enhancing certain disclosure requirements for stock exchanges.
- To freeze the shareholding of the promoter and promoter group for non-compliance
Read more at: The Hindu
Topic 3 : ICT
Artificial intelligence ‘available to all’
Microsoft to make artificial intelligence ‘available to all
- Detecting deadly diseases, reducing accident risks, predicting consumer behaviour and helping farmers increase crop yields
- Microsoft and its partners have deployed AI solutions in areas such as healthcare, education, agriculture, retail, e-commerce, manufacturing and financial services.
Artificial intelligence (AI, also machine intelligence, MI) is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence (NI) displayed by humans and other animals.
Read more at: ET
Atal Innovation Mission
NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) has announced the signing of a Statement of Intent (SOI) with SAP Global to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.
- As part of the SOI, SAP in 2018 will adopt 100 Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATL) for five years to nurture the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning among secondary school children across India.
- Aims to enable students to learn advanced technology topics relevant to digital transformation and the Internet of Things, e.g. Design Thinking methodology, introduction to programming languages and experiential science learning.
- ATLs are innovation play workspaces for students between Class 6 to 12, stimulating innovations combining science and technology.
- These open-ended innovation workspaces are equipped with state-of-the art technologies like 3D printers, robotics, sensor technology kits, Internet of Things, miniaturised electronics etc, to enable students to learn and solve local community problems using emerging technologies.
- The aim of Atal Labs is to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in schools, universities and industry with a vision to “cultivate one million children in India as the innovators of tomorrow”.
Read more at: ET