PIB Weekly Analysis

Compilation of PIB News Articles

Year End Review of Ministers (Important schemes and initiatives to be noted (For prelims and mains))

Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)

  • Flagship scheme for skill training of youth to be implemented by the new Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship through the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). 

  • The scheme will cover 10 million youth during the period 2016 -2020.

  • Under this Scheme, Training and Assessment fees are completely paid by the Government.

  • Skill training would be done based on the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) and industry led standards.

  • The scheme would be implemented through National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).

Approval for PMKVY 3.0 (2020-21) Scheme: The new (PMKVY 3.0) (2020-2021) is targeting to train 8 Lakh candidates.

  • On-boarding of PMKVY Scheme on UMANG Platform - PMKVY Scheme has been successfully on-boarded on the UMANG Platform. Various services of the PMKVY scheme are live on the UMANG Platform as follows:

  • Candidate Registration

  • Find a Training centre

  • Track Status

Digital Platform: A digital skill platform has been developed for reskilling/upskilling of ITI instructors and trainees which integrates trainees, teachers, institutes, government and the corporates for complete life cycle of the training process. 

STRIVE: Initiatives and milestones achieved under Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) programme are as under:

  • Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) have signed tripartite agreement to participate in the programme. 

  • MoU has been signed between UT of Jammu & Kashmir and Govt of India to implement the STRIVE project. 

  • Officials have been trained under NSQF (National Skills Qualification Framework) compliance training. 

  • The draft Recruitment, Training and Career Progression Policy document for Craft instructors,Trainers of ITIs has been made.

SANKALP (Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion)

  • SANKALP is an outcome-oriented centrally sponsored programme of Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) with a special focus on decentralised planning and quality improvement. 

  • It focuses on the overall skilling ecosystem covering both Central & State agencies. 

  • SANKALP aims to implement the mandate of the National Skill Development Mission (NSDM).

  • Under SANKALP four key result areas have been identified viz: (i) Institutional Strengthening (at National, State & District level); (ii) Quality Assurance Quality Assurance of skill development programs; (iii) Inclusion of marginalised population in skill development; and (iv) Expanding Skills through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).

Launch of SANKALP Portal: SANKALP (Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion) Web-portal was launched. The Go-Live includes: 

  • State Best Practices module

  • Program Management Tool

  • State Proposal Management System

  • State Incentive Grants

  • Monitoring & Evaluation Tool

MGNF: Mahatama Gandhi National Fellowship Scheme was launched in partnership with IIM Bangalore 2020, wherein 74 Fellows were selected and attached to districts for doing the IIM Fellowship Programme on Skilling.

International Engagements

  • Health Sector Cooperation with Switzerland: A concept note has been prepared for the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), under the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), to discuss the possibilities for collaboration in the field of Health Sector. 

  • Skill Partnership with Australia: The Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship held a virtual meeting on Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training between the two countries. 

  • Skill Mapping: A number of steps were taken regarding Health sector job role mapping of 15 countries for mobility and migration of labour. A virtual conference was held on discussing about the qualification requirements UK and India regarding the health sector job roles. 

  • Migration of Health Workers to foreign countries: A number of steps have been taken for enabling migration of health workers to foreign countries, Health sector job role mapping of Indian job roles with those in fifteen countries has been done. 

MOUs/Partnership/Collaborations:

  • ASEEM: ASEEM portal was launched which is a directory of all certified skilled personnel in the country, available to recruiters at the click of the mouse. 

  • Partnership with IBM: The IBM DGT partnership on Skills Reignite and Skills Build Innovation Camp was inaugurated.

  • Partnership with Microsoft: NSDC signed a non-financial MoU with Microsoft for jointly engaging with various development opportunities in skill development and to digitally skill 1 lakh youth. Under it, Microsoft will also integrate its Microsoft Learn platform with the NSDC eLearning platform eSkillIndia.

Other major initiatives:

  • Kaushalacharya Awards 2020 - On 10th September 2020, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship organised the second edition of “Kaushalacharya Awards 2020”, an event to recognise some extraordinary teachers and skill trainers and honour their invaluable contribution to the skill ecosystem. 

  • World Youth Skills Day Program (WYSD) – MSDE celebrated the WYSD on 15th July through a digital conclave.

  • Swachhata Pakhwada 2020 Program – Swachhata Pakhwada was held in the second fortnight of July. One of the highlights was organization of a Webinar on “The Role of Hygiene in fighting Covid-19 epidemic and Review of preparation for re-opening of the Training Centres”.

  • FDI Cell: A cell has been created in the Ministry to process the proposals received from the countries sharing borders with India and pertaining to MSDE, as per Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) prescribed by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways

SAGARMALA PROGRAMME

  • To harness the coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways and strategic location on key international maritime trade routes, the Government of India has embarked on the ambitious Sagarmala Programme to promote port-led development in the country. 

  • The vision of the Programme is to reduce logistics cost of EXIM and domestic trade with minimal infrastructure investment. 

  • This includes reducing the cost of transporting domestic cargo; lowering logistical cost of bulk commodities by locating future industrial capacities near the coast; improving export competitiveness by developing port proximate discrete manufacturing clusters, etc. 

  • The Sagarmala programme has identified 504 projects under four pillars – 211 port modernization projects, 199 port connectivity projects, 32 port-led industrialization projects and 62 coastal community development projects which can unlock the opportunities for port-led development and are expected to mobilize more than Rs. 3.57 Lac Cr of infrastructure investment.

New name of the Ministry of Shipping

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi announced the new name of Ministry of Shipping as Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.

First Seaplane of India started its operation from Statue of Unity,Kevadiya to Sabarmati River in Gujarat

  • India’s first Seaplane Service operation was inaugurated by Prime Minister between Kevadia and Sabarmati River front in Ahmedabad. 

  • The innovative floating jetties made of concrete is installed by the Inland Water Authority of India to support the seaplane operations. 

PORTS

  • Development of Ports is crucial for the economy. 

  • Ports handle around 90% of EXIM Cargo by volume and 70% by value. 

  • In order to meet the ever-increasing trade requirements, expansion of Port Capacity has been accorded the highest priority by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways through implementation of well-conceived infrastructure development projects. 

Challenges faced by the shipping and ports sector and recent policy initiatives

The Key Challenges faced by port sectors are as follows:

  • Improvement in port governance

  • Low capacity utilization

  • Improvement in port efficiency

  • Improvement in port connectivity

In order to overcome these challenges, many initiatives have been taken over the period of last few years. Some of the recent initiatives taken by government are as follows:

  • A new legislation Major Ports Authority (MPA) Bill, 2020 have been formulated after extensive deliberations and discussions with the stakeholders. It will usher in a new era for administration of Major Ports in India in which the Major Ports will have much greater autonomy and contribute significantly to the economic growth and provide world-class port infrastructure by adopting Landlord Model of development

  • A new Captive Policy for Port Dependent Industries has been prepared to address the challenges of renewal of concession period, scope of expansion, and dynamic business environment

  • Revised Guidelines on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for Major Ports has been issued.

  • The Union Cabinet has accorded its 'in-principle' approval for setting up a Major Port at Vadhavan near Dahanu in Maharashtra. Vadhavan port will be developed on the "Landlord model". 

  • A new dispute redressal institutional mechanism in the form of SAROD-Ports has been constituted jointly by Indian Private Ports & Terminals Association (IPPTA) and Indian Ports Association (IPA)

  • India improved its ranking under the Trading Across Border (TAB) parameter of Ease of Doing business (EoDB) from 80 to 68 in 2020. This impressive record has been facilitated due to various measures like Direct Port Delivery (DPD), Direct Port Entry (DPE), Introduction of RFID, Installation of scanners/container scanners, Simplification of procedures etc., taken by the major ports.

  • Logistics Data Bank Service under Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation Ltd. (DMICDC), for enabling track & trace movement of EXIM container has been implemented in all the Container handling Major Ports

  • A centralized web-based Port Community System (PCS) has been operationalized across all Major Ports which enables seamless data flow between the various stakeholders through common interface. To move towards complete paperless regime.

Coastal Shipping

  • Besides being fuel-efficient and environment friendly, Coastal shipping is capable of transporting large volumes of cargoes vis-a-vis other modes of transport and is potentially the cheapest mode of transport. 

  • However, due to certain intrinsic impediments, the share of coastal shipping in India is around 6%, which is much lower than that of developed countries.   

  • ln order to encourage a modal shift from road and rail and to promote coastal shipping, cabotage has been relaxed for coastal transportation of:

  • Exim/empty containers

  • Agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and animal husbandry commodities 

  • Fertilizers

  • Coastal vessels are also provided a discount of 40% in port charges over foreign going vessels. 

  • Additional concessions have been extended to Ro-Ro vessels and Container vessels engaged in coastal movement of automobiles. 

Shipbreaking

  • Recycling of Ships Act, 2019 has been enacted by Parliament and notified. 

  • India has acceded to the Hong Kong International Convention for Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.

  • India is one of the leaders in the global ship recycling industry, with a share of about 25% to 30% of the market. 

International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF) at Cochin Port Trust

  • Cochin Shipyard Limited continued to operate the dry-dock & existing facilities.

  • CSL completed the repairs of eleven ships during the financial year 2019-20. 

  • As a part of the effort to develop Kochi as a maritime hub of India, CSL had set up a Maritime Park near to the International Ship Repair Facility at Willingdon Island.

  • CSL expects to position Kochi as a major ship repair hub with major operations in the present ship repair dock, coupled with increased capacities that would be available when the ISRF is commissioned. 

Ramayan Cruise

  • Ramayan Cruise Tour’ on the Saryu river in Ayodhya will be launched.

  • It will be the first-ever luxury Cruise service on the Saryu river (Ghagra/National Waterways-40) in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. 

  • It aims to give mesmerizing experience to devotees with one-of-its-kind spiritual journeys while cruising through the famous ghats of the holy river Saryu.

National Authority for Ships Recycling:

  • Directorate General of Shipping notified as National Authority for Ships Recycling.  

  • DG, Shipping designated as an apex authority under the Recycling of Ships Act, 2019 for the ship recycling industry of India. 

  • Office of National Authority will be set up in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

National Maritime Heritage Complex

A world class National Maritime Heritage Complex will be developed at Lothal, Gujarat Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Ministry of Shipping of Government of Indian and Ministry of National Defence, Republic of Portugal.

Points to be remembered for prelims 

National Jal Jeevan Mission Launches Innovation Challenge for Developing Portable Devices to Test Drinking Water Quality

  • The National Jal Jeevan Mission has launched an innovation challenge in partnership with Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade to develop portable devices for water testing. 

  • The main objective of the exercise is to bring an innovative, modular, and cost-effective solution to develop portable devices that can be used at the household level to test the drinking water quality instantly, easily and accurately.  

  • Water quality testing is one of the priority areas under Jal Jeevan Mission, the flagship programme of Union Government. 

  • The aim of the innovation challenge is to ensure that water sources are tested at various locations, at different levels; thereby, helping the policy framers to design programs which address the water contamination issues.

  • People receiving piped water supply in their homes do not have any means to test the potability of water coming from their taps. This leads to a situation wherein, quite often, people are reluctant to consume tap water directly. 

  • People in urban areas also end up installing household water treatment units incurring additional expenditure. The challenge aims to address these issues in an innovative, modular and cost-effective manner.

  • The Uniform Drinking Water Quality Protocol, 2019 has specified some important parameters to be monitored for assuring portability of drinking water as per BIS IS 10500:2012. 

  • Jal Jeevan Mission is under implementation in partnership with the States to enable every rural home to have tap water connection by 2024. 

  • The aim of the mission is to provide every rural household potable tap water in adequate quantity and of prescribed quality on a regular and long-term basis. 

  • The National Jal Jeevan Mission invites applicants to join the Innovation Challenge to develop portable devices for water testing and become a part of this life changing Jan Aandolan. 

International Blue Flag 

  • Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change virtually hoisted the international blue flags in 8 beaches across the country.

  • India secured the International Blue Flag Certification for these beaches on 6th October 2020, when an International Jury comprising of member organizations UNEP, UNWTO, UNESCO, IUCN, ILS, FEE etc. announced the award at Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Blue Flag certification is a globally recognised eco-label accorded by "Foundation for Environment Education in Denmark" based on 33 stringent criteria.

  • Neat and clean beaches are an indicator that the coastal environment is in good health and the Blue Flag certification is a global recognition of India's conservation and sustainable development efforts.

  • The beaches where the International Blue Flags were hoisted are: Kappad (Kerala), Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden (Odisha) and Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands).

  • The Flags were also simultaneously hoisted on these beaches physically by state ministers and senior officials of the respective state and Union territories.

  • India started its journey of sustainable development of coastal regions on World Environment Day in June’ 2018 by launching its beach cleaning campaign – I-AM- SAVING-MY-BEACH simultaneously at 13 coastal states and there after implementing ministry’s coveted program BEAMS (Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services).

Giant Rock Bee Honey

  • More than 35 new, attractive, immunity-boosting tribal products have found a new home in Tribes India outlets and website in the 8th edition of “From Our Home to your Home”’ campaign. 

  • Key among the products are the natural, fresh, organic produce from the Malayali tribes of Tamil Nadu, such as Giant Rock Bee Honey, honey, variants of millet rice, tamarind and black pepper. 

  • Malayali is a tribal group from the Eastern Ghats in North Tamil Nadu. 

  • With a population of around 3,58,000 people they are the largest Scheduled tribes in that region. 

  • The tribals are usually hill farmers and they cultivate different types of millet.

  • Among the other products sourced include vibrant and eye-catching micro-beaded jewelry (mainly neckpieces) from the Patelia tribe from Madhya Pradesh

  • While agriculture is their mainstay, their handiwork is exceptional too as can be gauged from the beautiful, colourful pieces made by the artisans of Jhabua. 

  • Otherproducts include organic varieties of dals and spices locally sourced from the Vasava tribes of Gujarat and an assortment of produce – such as honey, jams and two unique variants of rice from the Kharwar and Oraon tribes of Jharkhand.

  • Wooden products (chakla and belan) and attractive metal jalis from the AdimJanjati tribes and Lohra tribes of Jharkhand.

‘Digital Ocean’ 

  • The Minister of Earth Sciences, Science & Technology inaugurated the web-based application “Digital Ocean developed by INCOIS.

  • Digital Ocean is a first of its kind digital platform for Ocean Data Management. 

  • Digital Ocean is a big step towards Prime Minister’s vision of Digital India i.e to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy”, 

  • Ocean is a storehouse of infinite knowledge and ‘Digital Ocean’ helps to share this knowledge about the ocean with a wide range of users including research institutions, operational agencies, strategic users, academic community, maritime industry and policy makers. 

  • It will play a central role in sustainable management of our oceans and expanding our ‘Blue Economy’ initiatives. 

  • It will be promoted as a platform for capacity building on Ocean Data Management for all Indian Ocean Rim countries.

  • Deep Ocean Mission will help to explore the power of the ocean which will be reflected through data. “The sharing of this data will become critical factors in achieving better outcomes for strengthening our economy.

  • INCOIS has adopted and developed various state-of-the-art technologies and tools through sustained and focussed oceanographic research for the timely dissemination of ocean information and advisory Services that includes Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) advisories, Ocean State Forecast (OSF), High Wave Alerts, Tsunami early warnings, Storm Surge and Oil-Spill advisories, etc.

  • It includes a set of applications developed to organize and present heterogeneous oceanographic data by adopting rapid advancements in geospatial technology. 

  • It facilitates an online interactive web-based environment for data integration, 3D and 4D (3D inspace with time animation) data visualization, data analysis to assess the evolution of oceanographic features, data fusion and multi-format download of disparate data from multiple sources viz., in-situ, remote sensing and model data, all of which is rendered on a georeferenced 3D Ocean. 

Akash Missile System

  • Akash is country’s important missile with over 96 percent indigenisation. 

  • Akash is a Surface to Air Missile with a range of 25 Kms. 

  • The missile was inducted in 2014 in IAF and in 2015 in Indian Army. 

  • After its induction in the Services, interest is shown in Akash missile by many friendly countries during International Exhibitions/Def Expo/Aero India. 

  • The export version of Akash will be different from System currently deployed with Indian Armed Forces. 

  • Akash is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defense system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

  • Produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) for Missile Systems, Bharat Electronics (BEL), Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division and Larsen & Toubro for other radars, control centers, launcher systems in India.

  • The missile system can target aircraft up to 30 km away, at altitudes up to 18,000 m.

  • It has the capability to neutralize aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles as well as ballistic missiles.

  • It is in operational service with the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force.