03 March 2021. PIB+The Hindu+Indian Express
Budget 2021-2022 provisions for education sector
Paper 1- Education & Essay
- Second biggest focus after health in this year's budget is on education, skill, research and innovation.
- The Budget will be of immense help in implementing all the provisions of the National Education Policy from pre-nursery to PhD quickly.
- This budget has further expanded the efforts made to link Education with Employability and Entrepreneurial Capabilities over the years which resulted in India coming in the top three countries in terms of scientific publications, number of PhD scholars and start-up ecosystem. Also, India has joined the top 50 ranks in Global Innovation Index and is continuously improving.
- Through the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovation (NIDHI), more than 3500 start ups are being nurtured.
- Under the National Super Computing Mission (NSM), three supercomputers: Param Shivay, Param Shakti and Param Bramha have been established in IIT BHU, IIT-Kharagpur and IISER, Pune and more than a dozen institutes in the country are proposed to get such supercomputers.
- Three Sophisticated Analytical and Technical Help Institutes (SATHI) are serving from IIT Kharagpur, IIT Delhi and BHU.
- Geo-spatial data has been opened up recently and this would lead to immense opportunity for the space sector and the youth of the country.
NIDHI (National Initiative for Development and Harnessing Innovations)
It is an umbrella program is pioneered by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, for nurturing ideas and innovations (knowledge-based and technology-driven) into successful startups.
National Super Computing Mission (NSM )
- The Mission envisages empowering our national academic and R&D institutions spread over the country by installing a vast supercomputing grid comprising of more than 70 high-performance computing facilities.
- These supercomputers will also be networked on the National Supercomputing grid over the National Knowledge Network (NKN).
- The NKN is another programme of the government which connects academic institutions and R&D labs over a high speed network.
- Academic and R&D institutions as well as key user departments/ministries would participate by using these facilities and develop applications of national relevance.
- The Mission also includes development of highly professional High Performance Computing (HPC) aware human resource for meeting challenges of development of these applications.
- The Mission would be implemented and steered jointly by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) at an estimated cost of Rs.4500 crore over a period of seven years.
SATHI- Sophisticated Analytical & Technical Help Institute (The Department of Science and Technology)
- It is initiating of setting up a shared, professionally managed, Science and Technology infrastructure facility, which can be readily be accessible to academia, start-ups, manufacturing units, industries and R&D Labs.
- Such S&T infrastructure will be known as Sophisticated Analytical & Technical Help Institute (SATHI).
- These Centres will be equipped with major analytical instrument and advanced manufacturing facility, which is usually not available at Institutes / Organisations.
- The aim is to provide professionally managed services with efficiency, accessibility and transparency of highest order under one roof to service the demands of industry, start-ups and academia.
- In the first phase SATHI facilities are being located at IIT-Delhi IIT- Kharagpur BHU- Varanasi.
- This effort is expected to reach out much needed less endowed organisations like MSMEs, Start-ups, State Universities and Colleges fostering a strong culture of research collaboration between institutions and across disciplines to take advantage of developments, innovations and expertise in diverse areas.
- The National Research Foundation (NRF) is being built for the first time in the country with the budget allocated of 50 thousand crore rupees.
- This will strengthen the governance structure of the research related institutions and will improve linkages between R&D, academia and industry.
- More than 100 per cent increase in Biotechnology research is the Government’s priorities and it calls for increasing the scope of Biotechnology research in the service of food security, nutrition and agriculture.
- Budget is envisaged with the Ease of Doing Apprenticeship Program which will be of great benefit for the youth of the country.
- For self-reliance of India on Energy, Future Fuel and Green Energy are essential and for this purpose Hydrogen Mission is announced in the Budget.
- India has tested Hydrogen vehicle and there is a need for concerted efforts for making hydrogen as a fuel for transport and to make India industry ready for this.
- National Language Translation Mission proposed in the Budget will be helpful in achieving the goal of the new National Education Policy of using more and more local languages.
- He called for a better synergy between Colleges and Universities of the country. He said the emphasis placed in this budget on skill development, up-gradation and apprenticeship is unprecedented
PIB, Rajyasabha TV
One nation, One market;
GS Paper 1- Transport & Infrastructure
- There is an emphasizes by government on integration of road, rail and waterways to achieve Government's 3 mantras for the infrastructure sector those are Upgrade, Create and Dedicate.
Why in News?
- Minister of Commerce and Industry, Railways and Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution, addresses Maritime India Summit 2021.
Key Points of the Summit
- Emphasis laid on integration of road, rail and waterways to bring down the cost of transportation logistics to ensure success in achieving One nation, One market.
- Work is going on multi-modal logistics solutions to bring down the cost of transportation & increase supply chain efficiency.
- Appeal to all stakeholders to utilize this opportunity to transform from being 'service provider' to 'knowledge provider'.
- If technology driven solutions like robotics, automation, artificial intelligence, big data analytics implemented, the sector will be SAFE: Sustainable, Agile, Futuristic, and Efficient. investments by government in various port projects will help in creating employment opportunities in this sector.
- The investment in the Sagarmala projects will boost Maritime infrastructure and help expand freight corridors.
- Development of smart cities & industrial parks and integrated ports took place with the coastal economic zones. International and domestic freight costs will be reduced.
- Urge to build industries at sea coasts to turn coastal region into a role model for ease of living & ease of doing business.
- By December 2023, the entire rail network will be fully electrified and by 2030, the entire rail network will run on renewable energy.
- Working closely with the Govt of Andhra Pradesh to further develop road, rail and port infrastructure and promote dedicated freight corridor, for encouraging economic activities and bring manufacturing activity & promote industrial parks in the State which are helping industries in moving goods faster & bringing down carbon emissions.
- Integration of road, rail and waterways will reduce the time and cost of goods transport in India.
- It will create new employment opportunity and demand in Indian Transport sector.
- This will create sustainable infrastructure and will reduce environmental degradation.
Renewable Energy Cooperation With France
Paper 3- Environment & Ecology
Why in news?
India and France signed MOU on renewable energy cooperation in January 2021.
Objective of the MoU
- To establish the basis for promotion of bilateral cooperation in the field of new and renewable energy on the basis of mutual benefit, equality and reciprocity.
- To cover technologies relating to solar, wind, hydrogen and biomass energy.
The MoU entails:
· exchange and training of scientific and technical personnel;
· exchange of scientific and technological information and data;
· organization of workshops and seminars; transfer of equipment, know-how and technology;
· development of joint research and technological projects.
- This MoU will help in the development of technological know-how in the field of Renewable Energy and thereby aid the process of attaining the ambitious target of 450 GW of installed Renewable Energy capacity by 2030.
- In International Solar Alliance both countries already working on war footing and taking the concept of Electricity through solar energy across the world.
Sources- PIB, The Hindu
India’s Biotech Sector
Paper 3 Science & Tech - Biotech
Biotech Sector of India-
- Biotech sector of India is built on four core beliefs of entrepreneurship, innovation, development of local talent, and demonstrating high value-based care.
- India ranks amongst the top 12 preferred destinations for biotech in the world.
- The biotech sector is growing exponentially in India. With approximately 3% share in the global biotechnology space, India is the leader in the global supply of DPT, BCG and measles vaccines.
- Biotech sector’s ambitious target is of becoming a USD 150 billion industry by 2025 and contribute to knowledge and innovation-driven economy.
- The ‘Make in India’ initiative or Atmanirbhar Bharat will help in achieving the paradigm shift from “biotech” to “bioeconomy” resulting in the growth of a sustainable bio-economy.
- With about 50 per cent of India’s population below the age of 25 years, biotech sector offers vast potential to upskill youth in this area.
- India’s supply of COVID Vaccine to over 60 nations is in true spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’.
Measures taken by Indian government for the development of Biotech sector in the country-
- Government has eased regulatory approvals for the entrepreneurs
- Government continues to support the development of bio-tech parks taking into consideration the priority of developing a “well linked innovation ecosystem”.
- It is creating incubation infrastructure and support mechanisms to enable a smooth transition from “research to commercialization”.
- The Biotechnology-based programme launched by the department for societal development to benefit the vulnerable sections of the society, particularly the farmers, women and SC/ST population.
Sources- PIB + Rajyasabha TV
World Wildlife Day 2021: India seeing Steady rise in the population of various animals
Paper 3- Environment & Ecology
- World Wildlife Day celebrated in 2021 under the theme "Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet", as a way to highlight the central role of forests, forest species and ecosystems services in sustaining the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people globally, and particularly of Indigenous and local communities with historic ties to forested and forest-adjacent areas.
- This aligns with UN Sustainable Development Goals 1, 12, 13 and 15, and their wide-ranging commitments to alleviating poverty, ensuring sustainable use of resources, and on conserving life land.
Why in News?
The Prime Minister has saluted all those working towards wildlife protection on World Wildlife Day. Be it lions, tigers and leopards, India is seeing a steady rise in the population of various animals- PM Tweeted.
On 20 December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at its 68th session, proclaimed 3 March as it’s signature day of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973 and announced it as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.
India has thriving wildlife & biodiversity- 70% of Global Tiger population, 70 % of Asiatic Lions, 60% of Leopard population.
The govt. is working on reintroduction of Cheetah, which went extinct in 1952.
As per the United Nations, roughly 28% of the world’s land surface is currently managed by indigenous peoples, including some of the most ecologically intact forests on the planet.
These spaces are not only central to their economic and personal well-being, but also to their cultural identities.
- The significance of this year's theme is to highlight the role of forests, forest species and ecosystems services in sustaining the livelihood of millions of people at a global level and especially of the indigenous and local communities that have been associated with the forest for the longest of times.
JanAushadhi Diwas week
GS Paper 3- Health
Why in News?
Special awareness programme on the theme ‘Teach Them Young’ organised On 3rd day of Jan Aushadhi Diwas week
- On 3rd day of Jan Aushadhi Diwas week, team comprising of Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI), Jan Aushadhi Mitra and Jan Aushadhi Kendra owners organised special awareness programme on the theme ‘Teach Them Young’, across the country.
- BPPI officials visited schools, colleges, institutions, interacted with the participants and made them aware of Jan Aushadhi and Entrepreneurial opportunities offered by Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana.
- Health and Hygiene education programmes were conducted to make the students aware about the various high-quality products available at the Jan Aushadhi kendras at much lower prices.
- Under the important step taken by government to ensure the Health & Sanitation of Women in India, the female students were informed about the re-launching of the Suvidha Sanitary Napkins (on 27.08.2019) by the Government of India with new prices i.e. Rs. 1/- per pad.
Background & Significance
- The entire nation on March 7, every year observes Jan Aushadhi Divas or Generic Medicine Day with an aim to create awareness about the use of generic medicines among the people.
- The day was first celebrated in the year 2019 making it the third-celebration this year.
- PM Modi will be dedicating the nation 7,500th Jan Aushadhi Kendra at North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences in Shillong.
- This time the entire week from March 1 to March 7 is being celebrated as ‘Jan Aushadhi Week’ with different themes for each day.
- March 7 will be celebrated with the theme of ‘Seva bhi, Rozgar bhi’.
- Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) is a campaign launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Government of India, to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses through special kendras known as Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana Kendra.
- Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana Kendra (PMBJPK) have been set up to provide generic drugs, which are available at lesser prices but are equivalent in quality and efficacy as expensive branded drugs.
- BPPI (Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India) has been established under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Govt. of India, with the support of all the CPSUs for co-ordinating procurement, supply and marketing of generic drugs through Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana Kendra.
Sources- PIB, https://www.news18.com/, wikipedia
India Telecom 2021
GS Paper 3- Telecommunication
- Government has been striving to fulfil vision of Digital India, which will bridge the digital divide in the country by uniting urban India with rural Bharat, foster financial inclusion by making critical services available to everyone remotely, and provide connectivity to the last mile.
Why in News?
- TEPC (Telecom Equipment Export Promotion Council) has organized India Telecom 2021’ - an Exclusive International Business Expo being held virtually on March 3 & 4, 2021 under Market Access Initiative Scheme (MAI) of Department of Commerce with support of Department of Telecommunications & Ministry of External Affairs. The event is being attended by potential buyers from countries across the globe.
- India Telecom 2021 is a platform for convergence of technologies and business exchange. This mega event encapsulates strategies and learning that transcend the two most important present day industries having potential of unlocking huge demand of ICT services across multiple domains.
- India is a fast-growing telecom market fuelled by data growth. This is a local demand which is a driver of domestic telecom companies to create innovative, high-quality products and solutions that can serve the needs of both India and emerging markets across the globe which will help in enhancing economy of the country by offering state of the art telecom products and services, by doing business and providing skill development and training to overseas buyers.
TEPC has been set up by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Ministry of Communications, Government of India for promotion and development of Export of Telecom Equipment and Services. The council undertakes several activities aimed at exports promotion such as Commissioning of Studies to find potential markets, holding of National/International Seminars and facilitating participation of exporters in various overseas exhibitions. The council also disseminates trade related data to its members. The council makes various recommendations to the Government for making necessary changes in various policies and procedures for promotion of Exports and Services.