DIGITAL E-LEARNING PLATFORMS 

#GS2 #Governance #Education  

Union HRD Minister asked students to continue their learning by making full use of the available digital e-Learning platforms during the period the educational institutions are closed as a precautionary measure against COVID-19. 

Some of the digital initiatives/platforms of Ministry of HRD available for school education are as follows: 

Diksha : 

  • Diksha has more than 80000 e-Books for class 12th created by CBSE, NCERT and States/UTs which are available in multiple languages. 
  • The content can also be viewed through QR code on textbooks.

e-PATHSHALA : 

  • In this web portal NCERT has deployed 1886 audios, 2000 videos, 696 e- e-books (e-Pubs) and 504 Flip Books for classes 1st to 12th in different languages.

National Repository of Open Educational Resources (NROER): 

  • NROER portal has a total of 14527 files including 401 collections, 2779 documents, 1345 interactive, 1664 audios, 2586 images and 6153 videos on different languages.

The platforms of Ministry of HRD for school education are as follows Higher Education are as under: 

SWAYAM :  

  • SWAYAM is the national online education platform hosting 1900 courses covering both school (class IX to XII) And Higher Education (under graduate, post graduate programs) in all subjects including engineering, humanities and social sciences, law and management courses. 
  • A unique feature of SWAYAM is that, it is integrated with the conventional education

SWAYAM PRABHA : 

  • Has 32 D2H TV channels transmitting educational contents on 24/7 basis. 
  • These channels are available for viewing all across all across the country using DD free Dish set top box and antenna. 
  • The channel schedule and other details are available in the portal. 
  • The channels cover both school education (class IX to XII) And Higher Education (under graduate, post graduate, engineering, out of school children, vocational courses and teacher training) in arts, Science, commerce, performing arts, Social Sciences and Humanities subjects, engineering, technology,  law, medicine, agriculture.

Promotion of domestic manufacturing of critical Key Starting Materials/Drug Intermediates and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients in the country 

#GS3 #Science #Technology #Industry 

News :  

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has approved the following schemes: 

  • The scheme on Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks for financing Common Infrastructure Facilities in 3 Bulk Drug Parks with financial implication of Rs. 3,000 crore for next five years.
  • Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for promotion of domestic manufacturing of critical KSMs/Drug Intermediates and APIs in the country with financial implications of Rs6,940 crore for next eight years.

Details: 

  • Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks
  • Decision is to develop 3 mega Bulk Drug parks in India in partnership with States.
  • Government of India will give Grants-in-Aid to States with a maximum limit of Rs. 1000 Crore per Bulk Drug Park.
  • Parks will have common facilities such as solvent recovery plant, distillation plant, power & steam units, common effluent treatment plant etc.
  • A sum of Rs. 3,000 crore has been approved for this scheme for next 5 years.

Production Linked Incentive Scheme 

  • Financial incentive will be given to eligible manufacturers of identified 53 critical bulk drugs on their incremental sales over the base year (2019-20) for a period of 6 years.
  • Out of 53 identified bulk drugs, 26 are fermentation based bulk drugs and 27 are chemical synthesis based bulk drugs.
  • Rate of incentive will be 20 % (of incremental sales value) for fermentation based bulk drugs and 10% for chemical synthesis based bulk drugs.
  • A sum of Rs. 6,940 crore has been approved for next 8 years.

Impact: 

Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks: 

  • The scheme is expected to reduce manufacturing cost of bulk drugs in the country and dependency on other countries for bulk drugs.

Production Linked Incentive Scheme: 

  • The scheme intends to boost domestic manufacturing of critical KSMs/Drug Intermediates and APIs by attracting large investments in the sector to ensure their sustainable domestic supply and thereby reduce India's import dependence on other countries for critical KSMs/Drug Intermediates and APIs.
  • It will lead to expected incremental sales ofRs. 46,400 crore and significant additional employment generation over 8 years.

 

Implementation: 

Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks 

  • The scheme will be implemented by State Implementing Agencies (SIA) to be set up by the respective State Governments and the target is to set up 3 mega Bulk Drug Parks.

Production Linked IncentiveScheme 

  • The scheme will be implemented through a Project Management Agency (PMA) to be nominated by the Department of Pharmaceuticals. 
  • The Scheme will be applicable only for manufacturing of 53 identified critical bulk drugs (KSMs/Drug Intermediates and APIs).

Benefits: 

  • Common infrastructure facilities would be created with the financial assistance under the sub-scheme in 03 Bulk Drug Parks.
  • It is expected to reduce manufacturing cost and dependency on other countries of Bulk Drug in the country.

Background: 

  • The Indian pharmaceutical industry is the 3rd largest in the world by volume. 
  • However, despite this achievement, India is significantly dependent on import of basic raw materials, viz., Bulk Drugs that are used to produce medicines. 
  • In some specific bulk drugs the import dependence is 80 to 100%.

Continuous supply of drugs is necessary to ensure delivery of affordable healthcare to the citizens. Any disruption in supplies can have significant adverse impact on Drug Security, which is also linked to the overall economy of the country. Self-sufficiency in manufacturing of bulk drugs is highly required. 

PROJECT SWASTIK 

#GS3 #DEFENCE #SECURITY 

News :  

In a relief to the residents of Lachen in North Sikkim, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) opened for traffic 360 feet long bailey suspension bridge over Teesta River in Munshithang near Chungthang town. 

About: 

  • This Bridge was constructed by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) over Teesta River in North Sikkim under Project Swastik.
  • Construction of the bridge commenced in October 2019 and completed it in January 2020.
  • The bridge will give impetus to tourism and facilitate the movement of logistics for the Armed Forces deployed in forward areas. 
  • In June 2019, a steel bridge of 180 feet span at the same location was completely damaged due to a massive cloud burst resulting in severing the lines of communication in North District of Sikkim. The connectivity was kept open by routing the traffic through restricted Army land.

Implementation of 'One Nation, One Ration Card' Scheme 

#GS2 #Governance  

News : Under PDS reforms, a scheme on "Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS)" is being implemented w.e.f. April 2018 in all States/UTs.  

  • The main objective of the scheme is to introduce nation-wide portability of ration card holders under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA), through ‘One Nation One Ration Card' system. 
  • This system enables the migratory ration card holders to lift their entitled food grains from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) of their choice in the country by using their existing/same ration card issued in their home States/ UTs after biometric authentication on electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices installed at the FPSs. 
  • So far, the facility of inter-State/national portability under One Nation One Ration Card plan has been made functional in 12 States.

Background :  

  • The Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) is governed under the provisions of the National Food security Act, 2013 (NFSA); which is implemented in all States/ UTs. 
  • The NFSA provides coverage for about 81 crore persons to receive subsidised foodgrains through TPDS, which is about 2/3'd of the country's population as per census 2011. 
  • Presently, under NFSA, all States/ UTs collectively, have issued about a total of23 crore ration cards to nearly 80 crore beneficiaries.
  • Further, TPDS is operated in joint responsibilities of central States/UT Govenments where in inter-alia the operational responsibilities of identification of eligible households/ beneficiaries under NFSA as per the criteria evolved by them, issuance of ration cards, etc' rests with the concerned State/UTs Governments. 
  • Therefore as and when any matter/issues, including request for new ration card is received in this Department, the same is forwarded to concerned States/UTs Government for appropriate action at their end.

In a first, India, France conduct joint patrols from Reunion Island 

#GS3 #InternationalRelation #India-France 

Defence sources confirmed that the exercise was conducted by a P-8I aircraft with French Navy personnel onboard. 

  • India and France, For the first time, have conducted joint patrols from the Reunion Island, signalling New Delhi's intent to engage with friendly foreign partners in expanding its footprint in the Indian Ocean, focusing on the stretch between the East African coastline and the Malacca straits.
  • India has so far carried out Coordinated Patrols (CORPAT) only with maritime neighbours and had rejected a similar offer by the US. 
  • France is also the first country to deploy a Liaison Officer at the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre (IFC-IOR) as part of efforts to improve Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA).

Major strategic partner  

  • France has steadily emerged as a major strategic partner for India with big ticket defence deals and increased military to military engagement. 
  • The Indian navy is currently inducting French Scorpene conventional submarines, being built in India under technology transfer, and the Indian Air Force will soon get the first batch of its 36 Rafale fighter jets.
  • Currently, under the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and broader maritime cooperation, the Indian Navy undertakes joint EEZ surveillance with Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius and CORPATs with Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia.

The joint patrols, along with other activities, are part of the Navy’s increasing engagement in the Indian Ocean Region through capacity-building and joint activities for improving MDA and interoperability. 

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