PIB summary 22 Nov

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First state visit of an Indian President to Australia

Context:

• The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, visited Australia. This is the first state visit to Australia by a President of India.

Outcomes:

• As part of President Kovind’s visit, five agreements have been concluded between India and Australia. These are:

• An agreement between the Government of India and the Government of Australia for cooperation in the area of disability and to deliver services to the differently-abled

• An agreement between Invest India and Australia to facilitate bilateral investment

• An agreement between the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute, based in Ranchi, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation, based in Canberra, to foster scientific collaboration and innovation

• An agreement between the Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University, Guntur, and the University of Western Australia, Perth, for cooperation in agricultural research and education

• A Joint Ph.D. agreement between the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi, and the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane

———————————————

Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2018

Context

• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2018 for regulation and standardization of education and services by allied and healthcare professionals.
Objective

• The Bill provides for setting up of an Allied and Healthcare Council of India and corresponding State Allied and Healthcare Councils which will play the role of a standard-setter and facilitator for professions of Allied and Healthcare.

• The councils will be framing policies and standards, Regulation of professional conduct, Creation and maintenance of live Registers, provisions for common entry and exit examinations, etc.

Details:

• Establishment of a Central and corresponding State Allied and Healthcare Councils; 15 major professional categories including 53 professions in Allied and Healthcare streams.

• Professional Advisory Bodies under Central and State Councils will examine issues independently and provide recommendations relating to specific recognised categories.

• The Bill will also have an overriding effect on any other existing law for any of the covered professions.

• The State Council will undertake recognition of allied and healthcare institutions.

• Offences and Penalties clause have been included in the Bill to check mal­practices.

• The Bill also empowers the Central and State Governments to make rules.

• Central Govt. also has the power to issue directions to the Council, to make regulations and to add or amend the schedule.

Composition

• The Central Council will comprise 47 members, of which 14 members shall be ex-officio representing diverse and related roles and functions and remaining 33 shall be non-ex-officio members who mainly represent the 15professional categories.

• The State Councils are also envisioned to mirror the Central Council, comprising 7 ex-officio and 21 non-ex officio members and Chairperson to be elected from amongst the non-ex officio members.

Targets:

• An Interim Council will be constituted within 6 months of passing of the Act holding charge for a period of two years until the establishment of the Central Council.

• The Council at the Centre and the States are to be established as body corporate with a provision to receive funds from various sources.

• Councils will also be supported by Central and State Governments respectively through Grant-in-aid as needed. However, if the State Government expresses inability, the Central Government may release some grant for initial years to the State Council.

• Major Impact, including employment generation potential:

• Bring all existing allied and healthcare professionals on board during the first few of years from the date of establishment of the Council.

• Opportunity to create qualified, highly skilled and competent jobs in healthcare by enabling professionalism of the allied and healthcare workforce.

• High quality, multi-disciplinary care in line with the vision of Ayushman Bharat, moving away from a ‘doctor led’ model to a ‘care accessible and team-based’ model.

• Opportunity to cater to the global demand (shortage) of healthcare workforce which is projected to be about 15 million by the year 2030, as per the WHO Global Workforce, 2030 report.

Number of beneficiaries:

• It is estimated that the Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2018 will directly benefit around 8-9 Lakh existing Allied and Healthcare related professionals in the country and several other graduating professionals joining workforce annually and contributing to the health system

• However, since this Bill is directed to strengthen the healthcare delivery system at large, it may be said that the entire population of the country and the health sector as a whole will be benefited by this Bill.

———————————————

Agreement between India and Uzbekistan

Context:

• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of an Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation between India and Uzbekistan.

Benefits:

• The signing of the Agreement will open a new chapter in bilateral relations, as both sides will now leverage complementary strengths spurred by a significant convergence of mutual interests in science and technology.

• The objective of the Agreement is to promote cooperation in the fields of science, technology and Innovation between the two countries. The stake-holders will include researchers from scientific organizations, academia, R&D laboratories and industries from India and Uzbekistan.

• Agriculture and Food Science and Technology; Engineering Sciences; Information and Communication Technology, Applied Mathematics and Data Science and Technology; Health and Medical Technology; Materials Sciences; Life Sciences & Biotechnology; Physics and Astrophysics and Energy, water, climate and natural resources were identified as potential areas for immediate collaboration.

———————————————

MoU between India and Tajikistan

Context:

• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Tajikistan on Cooperation on Youth Matters.

Objective:

• The objective of the MoU is to strengthen and encourage cooperation on youth matters with Tajikistan through participation in events and activities organized by either side, information and knowledge sharing, and youth exchanges.

Benefits:

• The Agreement will facilitate exchange programmes in the field of Youth Affairs, which will help in promoting exchange of ideas, values and culture amongst Youth and in consolidating friendly relations between India and Tajikistan.

• The benefits arising from such bilateral exchange programmes between both countries would be equally available to all youth irrespective of their caste, religion and gender.

• These will further help in developing international perspective among the Youth and expanding their knowledge and expertise in the areas of Youth Affairs

———————————————

MoU between Atal Innovation Mission, India and Fund “Talent and Success”, Russia

Context:

• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Atal Innovation Mission, India and Fund “Talent and Success”, Russia for promotion of science & technology, strong foundation to the collaborative work through exchange of students, teachers, researchers and scientists between both countries.

Benefits:

• The MoU will facilitate promotion of science & technology, strong foundation to the collaborative work through exchange of students, teachers, researchers and scientists between India and Russia.

Major Impact:

• The MOU will provide a mechanism in taking part in establishing relationships with-schools, universities, cultural institutions, science & technology and specialized education institutions, high-tech companies, startups and innovation centers in both countries.

• The activities are expected to promote creation of new scientific knowledge, generation of intellectual property, innovations and products development in both countries.

———————————————

MoU with Mauritius

Context:

• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved MoU between India and Mauritius on Consumer Protection and Legal Metrology

Benefits:

• The MoU is beneficial for bilateral relations of both the countries. It will help in expanding cooperation in the field of consumer protection, and will provide an institutional mechanism for exchange of information and derive mutual benefits from development taking place in both the countries.

• It will further promote inclusive sustainable and resilient development in the areas of Consumer Protection & Legal Metrology to deal with new challenges such as misleading advertisement, telemarketing, multi-level marketing, e-commerce etc.

• It will ensure traceability of national and international standards, thereby developing new areas of expertise that may facilitate in tackling new challenges.
Further, periodical exchange of information and training programme will ensure gainful expertise, for good governance and in fighting consumer vulnerability.

———————————————

Mandatory Packaging in Jute Materials

Context:

• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to expand the scope of mandatory packaging norms under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987 as follows:

• The CCEA approved that 100% of the food grains and 20% of the sugar shall be mandatorily packed in diversified jute bags. The decision to pack sugar in diversified jute bags will give an impetus to the diversification of the jute industry.

• Initially, 10% of the indents of jute bags for packing foodgrains would be placed through reverse auction on the Gem portal. This will gradually usher in a regime of price discovery.

Impact:

• The decision will give a fillip to the development of jute sector; increasing the quality and productivity of raw jute, diversification of jute sector and also boosting and sustaining demand for jute product.

• This is important considering the fact that nearly 3.7 lakh workers and several lakh farm families are dependent for their livelihood on the jute sectors, the government has been making concerted efforts.

• The jute industry is predominantly dependent on Government sector which purchases jute bags of value of more than Rs. 6,500 crore every year for packing foodgrains. This is done in order to sustain the core demand for the jute sector and to support the livelihood of the workers and farmers dependent on the sector.

• The decision will benefit farmers and workers located in the Eastern and North Eastern regions of the country particularly in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura.

Measures by the Government to support the Jute Sector:

• In order to improve the productivity and quality of raw jute through a carefully designed intervention, called the Jute ICARE, the Government has been supporting close to one lakh jute farmers by disseminating improved agronomic practices such as line sowing using seed drills, weed management by using wheel-hoeing and nail-weeders, distribution of quality certified seeds and also providing microbial assisted retting. These interventions have resulted in enhancing the quality and productivity of raw jute and increasing income of jute farmers by Rs. 10,000 per hectare.

• In this connection, to support jute farmers, Jute Corporation of India (JCI) has been given a grant of Rs. 100 crore for 2 years starting from 2018-19 to enable JCI to conduct MSP operations and ensure price stabilization in the jute sector.

• With a view to support diversification of jute sector, the National Jute Board has collaborated with National Institute of Design and a Jute Design Cell has been opened at Gandhinagar.

• Further, promotion of Jute Geo Textiles and Agro-Textiles has been taken up with the State Governments particularly those in the North Eastern region and also with departments such as Ministry of Road Transport and Ministry of Water Resources.

• With a view to boost demand in the jute sector, Government of India has imposed Definitive Anti-Dumping Duty on import of jute goods from Bangladesh and Nepal with effect from 5th January, 2017.

• As a result of these measures, 13 Twine mills in Andhra Pradesh had resumed operation, benefitting 20,000 workers. Further, the imposition of Definitive Anti-Dumping Duty has provided scope for an additional demand of 2 lakh MT of jute goods in the domestic market for the Indian jute industry.

• With a view to promoting transparency in jute sector, Jute SMART

• It is an e-govt initiative that was launched in December, 2016, providing an integrated platform for procurement of B-Twill sacking by Government agencies.

• Further, the JCI is transferring 100% funds to jute farmers online for jute procurement under MSP and commercial operations.

———————————————

Atmosphere & Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems & Services (ACROSS)

Context:

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved continuation of the nine sub-schemes of the umbrella scheme ACROSS during 2017-2020 at an estimated cost of Rs. 1450 crore.

Details:

• It will be implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences through its institutes namely India Meteorological Department (IMD), Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Service(INCOIS)

• ACROSS scheme pertains to the atmospheric science programs of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and addresses different aspects of weather and climate services, which includes warnings for cyclone, storm surges, heat waves, thunderstorms

• Each of these aspects is incorporated as nine sub-schemes under the umbrella scheme “ACROSS” and is implemented in an integrated manner through the aforesaid four institutes.

• The ACROSS scheme consists of nine sub-programmes which are multi-disciplinary and multi institutional in nature and will be implemented in an integrated manner through IMD, HIM, NCMRWF and INCOIS.

• As the objective of the ACROSS scheme is to provide a reliable weather and climate forecast for betterment of society, the scheme will aim at improving skill of weather and climate forecast through sustained observations, intensive R & D, and by adopting effective dissemination and communication strategies to ensure its timely reach to the end-user of all services like Argo-meteorological Services, Aviation service, Environmental monitoring services, Hydro-meteorological services, climate services, tourism, pilgrimage, mountaineering etc.,

• The CCEA also approved establishment of National Facility for Airborne Research (NFAR) with a financial commitment of Rs 130 crore during 2020-21 and beyond

Impact:

• The scheme will provide improved weather, climate and ocean forecast and services, thereby ensuring transfer of commensurate benefits to the various services like Public weather service, disaster management, Argo-meteorological Services, Aviation services, Environmental monitoring services, Hydro-meteorological services, climate services, tourism, pilgrimage, power generation, water management, Sports & adventure etc.

Generating employment opportunities:

• A sizable number of scientific and technical staff along with requisite administrative support, thereby generating employment.

• To ensure last-mile connectivity of the weather based services to the end -user, a large number of agencies like the Krishi Vigyana Kendras of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Universities and local municipalities are roped in thus generating employment opportunities to many people.

———————————————

Asia Environment Enforcement Awards, 2018

Context

• United Nation Environment has awarded the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India with Asia Environment Enforcement Awards, 2018 for excellent work done by the Bureau in combating transboundary environmental crime.

Wildlife Crime Control Bureau

• It is a statutory multi-disciplinary body established by the Government of India under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, to combat organized wildlife crime in the country.

• The Bureau has its headquarter in New Delhi

• Under Section 38 (Z) of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, it is mandated to collect and collate intelligence related to organized wildlife crime activities and to disseminate the same to State and other enforcement agencies for immediate action so as to apprehend the criminals; to establish a centralized wildlife crime data bank; co-ordinate actions by various agencies in connection with the enforcement of the provisions of the Act; assist foreign authorities and international organization concerned to facilitate co-ordination and universal action for wildlife crime control

About:

• The Asia Environment Enforcement Awards publicly recognize and celebrate excellence in enforcement by government officials and institutions/teams combating Trans boundary environmental crime in Asia.

• The awards are given to outstanding individuals and/or government organizations/teams that demonstrate excellence and leadership in enforcement of national laws to combat transboundary environmental crime in one of the following eligibility criteria areas: collaboration; impact; innovation; integrity and gender leadership.

• WCCB has been conferred this award in Innovation category.

• WCCB has adopted innovative enforcement techniques that have dramatically increased enforcement of transboundary environmental crimes in India.

• Notably, it has developed an online Wildlife Crime Database Management System to get real time data in order to help analyze trends in crime and devise effective measures to prevent and detect wildlife crimes across India.

• This system has been successfully used to analyse trends, helping put in preventive measures as well as for successfully carrying out operations such as Operation SAVE KURMA, THUNDERBIRD, WILDNET, LESKNOW, BIRBIL, THUNDERSTORM, LESKNOW-II along with other enforcement agencies resulting in the arrest of 350 wildlife criminals and huge seizures of Tiger/Leopard Skin/bones and other trophies, Rhino Horn, Elephant Ivory, turtles/tortoises, Mongoose raw hairs as well as Mangoose hair bruses, protected birds, Marine products, live Pangolin as well as its scales, deer antlers etc. across all the states.

• In order to involve the public in the fight against wildlife crime, WCCB has also developed a scheme to enroll willing persons as WCCB Volunteers.

• The award was decided upon by a selection panel set up by the UN Environment and this is the second time in a row the awards are being given by UN Environment to India.
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22 November 2018: PIB Summary & Analysis
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First state visit of an Indian President to Australia

Context:

• The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, visited Australia. This is the first state visit to Australia by a President of India.

Outcomes:

• As part of President Kovind’s visit, five agreements have been concluded between India and Australia. These are:

• An agreement between the Government of India and the Government of Australia for cooperation in the area of disability and to deliver services to the differently-abled

• An agreement between Invest India and Australia to facilitate bilateral investment

• An agreement between the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute, based in Ranchi, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation, based in Canberra, to foster scientific collaboration and innovation

• An agreement between the Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University, Guntur, and the University of Western Australia, Perth, for cooperation in agricultural research and education

• A Joint Ph.D. agreement between the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi, and the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane

———————————————

Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2018

Context

• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2018 for regulation and standardization of education and services by allied and healthcare professionals.
Objective

• The Bill provides for setting up of an Allied and Healthcare Council of India and corresponding State Allied and Healthcare Councils which will play the role of a standard-setter and facilitator for professions of Allied and Healthcare.

• The councils will be framing policies and standards, Regulation of professional conduct, Creation and maintenance of live Registers, provisions for common entry and exit examinations, etc.

Details:

• Establishment of a Central and corresponding State Allied and Healthcare Councils; 15 major professional categories including 53 professions in Allied and Healthcare streams.

• Professional Advisory Bodies under Central and State Councils will examine issues independently and provide recommendations relating to specific recognised categories.

• The Bill will also have an overriding effect on any other existing law for any of the covered professions.

• The State Council will undertake recognition of allied and healthcare institutions.

• Offences and Penalties clause have been included in the Bill to check mal­practices.

• The Bill also empowers the Central and State Governments to make rules.

• Central Govt. also has the power to issue directions to the Council, to make regulations and to add or amend the schedule.

Composition

• The Central Council will comprise 47 members, of which 14 members shall be ex-officio representing diverse and related roles and functions and remaining 33 shall be non-ex-officio members who mainly represent the 15professional categories.

• The State Councils are also envisioned to mirror the Central Council, comprising 7 ex-officio and 21 non-ex officio members and Chairperson to be elected from amongst the non-ex officio members.

Targets:

• An Interim Council will be constituted within 6 months of passing of the Act holding charge for a period of two years until the establishment of the Central Council.

• The Council at the Centre and the States are to be established as body corporate with a provision to receive funds from various sources.

• Councils will also be supported by Central and State Governments respectively through Grant-in-aid as needed. However, if the State Government expresses inability, the Central Government may release some grant for initial years to the State Council.

• Major Impact, including employment generation potential:

• Bring all existing allied and healthcare professionals on board during the first few of years from the date of establishment of the Council.

• Opportunity to create qualified, highly skilled and competent jobs in healthcare by enabling professionalism of the allied and healthcare workforce.

• High quality, multi-disciplinary care in line with the vision of Ayushman Bharat, moving away from a ‘doctor led’ model to a ‘care accessible and team-based’ model.

• Opportunity to cater to the global demand (shortage) of healthcare workforce which is projected to be about 15 million by the year 2030, as per the WHO Global Workforce, 2030 report.

Number of beneficiaries:

• It is estimated that the Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2018 will directly benefit around 8-9 Lakh existing Allied and Healthcare related professionals in the country and several other graduating professionals joining workforce annually and contributing to the health system

• However, since this Bill is directed to strengthen the healthcare delivery system at large, it may be said that the entire population of the country and the health sector as a whole will be benefited by this Bill.

———————————————

Agreement between India and Uzbekistan

Context:

• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of an Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation between India and Uzbekistan.

Benefits:

• The signing of the Agreement will open a new chapter in bilateral relations, as both sides will now leverage complementary strengths spurred by a significant convergence of mutual interests in science and technology.

• The objective of the Agreement is to promote cooperation in the fields of science, technology and Innovation between the two countries. The stake-holders will include researchers from scientific organizations, academia, R&D laboratories and industries from India and Uzbekistan.

• Agriculture and Food Science and Technology; Engineering Sciences; Information and Communication Technology, Applied Mathematics and Data Science and Technology; Health and Medical Technology; Materials Sciences; Life Sciences & Biotechnology; Physics and Astrophysics and Energy, water, climate and natural resources were identified as potential areas for immediate collaboration.

———————————————

MoU between India and Tajikistan

Context:

• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Tajikistan on Cooperation on Youth Matters.

Objective:

• The objective of the MoU is to strengthen and encourage cooperation on youth matters with Tajikistan through participation in events and activities organized by either side, information and knowledge sharing, and youth exchanges.

Benefits:

• The Agreement will facilitate exchange programmes in the field of Youth Affairs, which will help in promoting exchange of ideas, values and culture amongst Youth and in consolidating friendly relations between India and Tajikistan.

• The benefits arising from such bilateral exchange programmes between both countries would be equally available to all youth irrespective of their caste, religion and gender.

• These will further help in developing international perspective among the Youth and expanding their knowledge and expertise in the areas of Youth Affairs

———————————————

MoU between Atal Innovation Mission, India and Fund “Talent and Success”, Russia

Context:

• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Atal Innovation Mission, India and Fund “Talent and Success”, Russia for promotion of science & technology, strong foundation to the collaborative work through exchange of students, teachers, researchers and scientists between both countries.

Benefits:

• The MoU will facilitate promotion of science & technology, strong foundation to the collaborative work through exchange of students, teachers, researchers and scientists between India and Russia.

Major Impact:

• The MOU will provide a mechanism in taking part in establishing relationships with-schools, universities, cultural institutions, science & technology and specialized education institutions, high-tech companies, startups and innovation centers in both countries.

• The activities are expected to promote creation of new scientific knowledge, generation of intellectual property, innovations and products development in both countries.

———————————————

MoU with Mauritius

Context:

• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved MoU between India and Mauritius on Consumer Protection and Legal Metrology

Benefits:

• The MoU is beneficial for bilateral relations of both the countries. It will help in expanding cooperation in the field of consumer protection, and will provide an institutional mechanism for exchange of information and derive mutual benefits from development taking place in both the countries.

• It will further promote inclusive sustainable and resilient development in the areas of Consumer Protection & Legal Metrology to deal with new challenges such as misleading advertisement, telemarketing, multi-level marketing, e-commerce etc.

• It will ensure traceability of national and international standards, thereby developing new areas of expertise that may facilitate in tackling new challenges.
Further, periodical exchange of information and training programme will ensure gainful expertise, for good governance and in fighting consumer vulnerability.

———————————————

Mandatory Packaging in Jute Materials

Context:

• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to expand the scope of mandatory packaging norms under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987 as follows:

• The CCEA approved that 100% of the food grains and 20% of the sugar shall be mandatorily packed in diversified jute bags. The decision to pack sugar in diversified jute bags will give an impetus to the diversification of the jute industry.

• Initially, 10% of the indents of jute bags for packing foodgrains would be placed through reverse auction on the Gem portal. This will gradually usher in a regime of price discovery.

Impact:

• The decision will give a fillip to the development of jute sector; increasing the quality and productivity of raw jute, diversification of jute sector and also boosting and sustaining demand for jute product.

• This is important considering the fact that nearly 3.7 lakh workers and several lakh farm families are dependent for their livelihood on the jute sectors, the government has been making concerted efforts.

• The jute industry is predominantly dependent on Government sector which purchases jute bags of value of more than Rs. 6,500 crore every year for packing foodgrains. This is done in order to sustain the core demand for the jute sector and to support the livelihood of the workers and farmers dependent on the sector.

• The decision will benefit farmers and workers located in the Eastern and North Eastern regions of the country particularly in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura.

Measures by the Government to support the Jute Sector:

• In order to improve the productivity and quality of raw jute through a carefully designed intervention, called the Jute ICARE, the Government has been supporting close to one lakh jute farmers by disseminating improved agronomic practices such as line sowing using seed drills, weed management by using wheel-hoeing and nail-weeders, distribution of quality certified seeds and also providing microbial assisted retting. These interventions have resulted in enhancing the quality and productivity of raw jute and increasing income of jute farmers by Rs. 10,000 per hectare.

• In this connection, to support jute farmers, Jute Corporation of India (JCI) has been given a grant of Rs. 100 crore for 2 years starting from 2018-19 to enable JCI to conduct MSP operations and ensure price stabilization in the jute sector.

• With a view to support diversification of jute sector, the National Jute Board has collaborated with National Institute of Design and a Jute Design Cell has been opened at Gandhinagar.

• Further, promotion of Jute Geo Textiles and Agro-Textiles has been taken up with the State Governments particularly those in the North Eastern region and also with departments such as Ministry of Road Transport and Ministry of Water Resources.

• With a view to boost demand in the jute sector, Government of India has imposed Definitive Anti-Dumping Duty on import of jute goods from Bangladesh and Nepal with effect from 5th January, 2017.

• As a result of these measures, 13 Twine mills in Andhra Pradesh had resumed operation, benefitting 20,000 workers. Further, the imposition of Definitive Anti-Dumping Duty has provided scope for an additional demand of 2 lakh MT of jute goods in the domestic market for the Indian jute industry.

• With a view to promoting transparency in jute sector, Jute SMART

• It is an e-govt initiative that was launched in December, 2016, providing an integrated platform for procurement of B-Twill sacking by Government agencies.

• Further, the JCI is transferring 100% funds to jute farmers online for jute procurement under MSP and commercial operations.

———————————————

Atmosphere & Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems & Services (ACROSS)

Context:

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved continuation of the nine sub-schemes of the umbrella scheme ACROSS during 2017-2020 at an estimated cost of Rs. 1450 crore.

Details:

• It will be implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences through its institutes namely India Meteorological Department (IMD), Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Service(INCOIS)

• ACROSS scheme pertains to the atmospheric science programs of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and addresses different aspects of weather and climate services, which includes warnings for cyclone, storm surges, heat waves, thunderstorms

• Each of these aspects is incorporated as nine sub-schemes under the umbrella scheme “ACROSS” and is implemented in an integrated manner through the aforesaid four institutes.

• The ACROSS scheme consists of nine sub-programmes which are multi-disciplinary and multi institutional in nature and will be implemented in an integrated manner through IMD, HIM, NCMRWF and INCOIS.

• As the objective of the ACROSS scheme is to provide a reliable weather and climate forecast for betterment of society, the scheme will aim at improving skill of weather and climate forecast through sustained observations, intensive R & D, and by adopting effective dissemination and communication strategies to ensure its timely reach to the end-user of all services like Argo-meteorological Services, Aviation service, Environmental monitoring services, Hydro-meteorological services, climate services, tourism, pilgrimage, mountaineering etc.,

• The CCEA also approved establishment of National Facility for Airborne Research (NFAR) with a financial commitment of Rs 130 crore during 2020-21 and beyond

Impact:

• The scheme will provide improved weather, climate and ocean forecast and services, thereby ensuring transfer of commensurate benefits to the various services like Public weather service, disaster management, Argo-meteorological Services, Aviation services, Environmental monitoring services, Hydro-meteorological services, climate services, tourism, pilgrimage, power generation, water management, Sports & adventure etc.

Generating employment opportunities:

• A sizable number of scientific and technical staff along with requisite administrative support, thereby generating employment.

• To ensure last-mile connectivity of the weather based services to the end -user, a large number of agencies like the Krishi Vigyana Kendras of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Universities and local municipalities are roped in thus generating employment opportunities to many people.

———————————————

Asia Environment Enforcement Awards, 2018

Context

• United Nation Environment has awarded the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India with Asia Environment Enforcement Awards, 2018 for excellent work done by the Bureau in combating transboundary environmental crime.

Wildlife Crime Control Bureau

• It is a statutory multi-disciplinary body established by the Government of India under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, to combat organized wildlife crime in the country.

• The Bureau has its headquarter in New Delhi

• Under Section 38 (Z) of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, it is mandated to collect and collate intelligence related to organized wildlife crime activities and to disseminate the same to State and other enforcement agencies for immediate action so as to apprehend the criminals; to establish a centralized wildlife crime data bank; co-ordinate actions by various agencies in connection with the enforcement of the provisions of the Act; assist foreign authorities and international organization concerned to facilitate co-ordination and universal action for wildlife crime control

About:

• The Asia Environment Enforcement Awards publicly recognize and celebrate excellence in enforcement by government officials and institutions/teams combating Trans boundary environmental crime in Asia.

• The awards are given to outstanding individuals and/or government organizations/teams that demonstrate excellence and leadership in enforcement of national laws to combat transboundary environmental crime in one of the following eligibility criteria areas: collaboration; impact; innovation; integrity and gender leadership.

• WCCB has been conferred this award in Innovation category.

• WCCB has adopted innovative enforcement techniques that have dramatically increased enforcement of transboundary environmental crimes in India.

• Notably, it has developed an online Wildlife Crime Database Management System to get real time data in order to help analyze trends in crime and devise effective measures to prevent and detect wildlife crimes across India.

• This system has been successfully used to analyse trends, helping put in preventive measures as well as for successfully carrying out operations such as Operation SAVE KURMA, THUNDERBIRD, WILDNET, LESKNOW, BIRBIL, THUNDERSTORM, LESKNOW-II along with other enforcement agencies resulting in the arrest of 350 wildlife criminals and huge seizures of Tiger/Leopard Skin/bones and other trophies, Rhino Horn, Elephant Ivory, turtles/tortoises, Mongoose raw hairs as well as Mangoose hair bruses, protected birds, Marine products, live Pangolin as well as its scales, deer antlers etc. across all the states.

• In order to involve the public in the fight against wildlife crime, WCCB has also developed a scheme to enroll willing persons as WCCB Volunteers.

• The award was decided upon by a selection panel set up by the UN Environment and this is the second time in a row the awards are being given by UN Environment to India.

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