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Daily PIB Analysis For UPSC/IAS | Download PDF

Date: 15 April 2019

Ministry of Science & Technology

  • Cabinet apprised about MoU between India and Brazilin the area of Biotechnology
  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, was apprised about an MoU signed in May, 2018 between India and Brazil.
  • The MoU has been signed to strengthen the ties between India and Brazil to work out the future agenda for the collaboration for innovation in Science & Technology diplomacy to evolve a concrete strategic plan in the area of biotechnology education, training and research.
  • The broad areas of collaboration are:
  • Biomedicine and health, especially biotech based products
  • Agriculture breeding practices
  • Biofuel and bio-energy
  • Nanotechnology and Bioinstrumentation
  • Biodiversity and Taxonomy

Ministry of Finance

  • Cabinet approves creation of one post of Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General in the office of Comptroller and Auditor General of India
  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval to create one post of Deputy Comptroller & Auditor General (Coordination, Communication and Information System) in Pay Level-17 (by abolishing one STS level post) in the Office of the Comptroller & Auditor General of India.
  • The Deputy Comptroller & Auditor General shall oversee the coordination among State Audits, audit of telecommunication and to coordinate the various Information Systems (IS) initiatives within the Indian Audit & Accounts Department (IA&AD).
  • Expenditure on account of creation of this post will be Rs.21 Lakh (approx.).

Ministry of Commerce & Industry

  • Government E Marketplace (GeM) Closes FY 2018-19 on a High Note Record Four-Fold Increase in Total Value of Transactions in 2018-19
  • Government e Marketplace (GeM), the national public procurement portal offering end to end solution for all procurement needs of Central and State govt. departments and PSUs has closed the FY 2018-19 on a high note.
  • The year witnessed a four-fold increase in total value of transactions on the portal and doubling of number of sellers in the marketplace.
  • There has also been an overall growth in other dimensions like number of categories, products and buyers.
  • Despite such phenomenal growth in transactions, average rejection rate of supplies remained below one percent, which is proof of high quality of products/services offered on the portal.

Significant Milestones achieved in FY 2018-19:

  • Grossed over Rs. 23,000 crores in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) through more than 17 lakh transactions on the platform.
  • Made over 8.8 lakh products available on its platform through a network of over 2 lakh sellers and service providers.
  • These products and services are being bought by over 34,000 government organisations
  • (Central, State Governments and PSUs) registered on the platform.
  • 42% of transactions by volume are done with MSMEs registered on the platform.
  • Buyers from across 36 States and Union Territories (UTs) are buying on the platform. 24 States and UTs have signed a formal MoU with GeM to adopt it as the core procurement portal in their respective territories.
  • Average savings of more than 25% achieved across transactions on the platform.
  • Integration with Aadhaar, UdyogAadhaar, Ministry of Corporate Affairs21 (MCA21), Public Financial Management System (PFMS), PAN, GSTN, Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA), Railways, and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) empanelled rating agencies for robust registration process.
  • Training of over 1.3 lakh buyers and sellers has been conducted across 28 States and UTs to enable them to seamlessly operate the platform.
  • MoUs have been signed with 12 banks for payment integration (State GeM Pool Account-SGPA, Electronic Performance Bank Guarantee-ePBG, Electronic Earnest Money Deposit-eEMD) to facilitate a cashless, contactless and paperless payment system on the platform.
  • MoU signed with MSME Ministry, Common Service Centers (CSC) and industrial associations (CII, FICCI, AIMA, MAIT, FICCI, PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry, IIA and ASSOCHAM. for facilitating training, capacity building and on boarding of manufactures and vendors across the country.
  • Integration with Quality Council of India (QCI) for ensuring quality compliances of the products and services offered through GeM.
  • Traffic on GeM website has increased by 50% in FY 2018-19 Vs. 2017-18
  • During the year, GeM was awarded Digital India Platinum Award for ‘Exemplary Online Service’ by the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY). It was also nominated for the prestigious UN-ITU WSIS. GeM had taken up some special initiatives to spread awareness, train prospective users and promote inclusiveness in the marketplace. One such mega initiative was National Mission on GeM, organized during the months of September-October 2018. Launched on 5th September 2018, the Mission witnessed 315 capacity building exercises across 187 districts of 31 states/UTs.
  • Apart from the States, UT, Central Ministries and CPSU events, 18 dedicated theme-based events, which included technology architecture, services, credit facilities, legal framework, localization etc. were held to steer the future roadmap for GeM and strategize exponential growth. As a part of inclusive agenda, another special initiative was launched to enable Women Entrepreneurs and Women led Self Help Groups to showcase and sell their products on GeM. The initiative is aptly named as ‘Womaniya’.
  • Another programme like SWAYATT- an initiative to promote Start-ups, Women and Youth Advantage Through e-Transactions, was launched in February 2019.In association with Start -up India, GeM Start-up Runway has been initiated to facilitate Start-ups in selling innovative products and services to government buyers.
  • Since its inception on 9th August 2016,GeM has transformed public procurement in the country by leveraging technology and making procurement contactless, paperless, and cashless. GeM facilitates procurement at the right price, right quality and right quantity in a transparent and efficient manner. The platform reduces manual process inefficiencies and human interventions in procurement and enables increased coverage, access, and efficiency of faceless standardised public procurement.
  • MCA21 is an e-Governance initiative of Ministry of Company Affairs (MCA), Government of India that enables an easy and secure access of the MCA services to the corporate entities, professionals and citizens of India
  • Government e Marketplace [GeM] has launched “Womaniya on GeM”, an initiative to enable women entrepreneurs and women self-help groups [WSHGs] to sell handicrafts and handloom, accessories, jute and coir products, home décor and office furnishings, directly to various Government ministries, departments and institutions. The initiative seeks to develop women entrepreneurship on the margins of society to achieve gender-inclusive economic growth.

Department of Space

  • Cabinet approves Continuation of Phase 4 of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV)
  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved ongoing GSLV continuation programme Phase-4 consisting of five GSLV flights during the period 2021-2024.
  • The GSLV Programme - Phase 4 will enable the launch of 2 tonne class of satellites for Geo-imaging, Navigation, Data Relay Communication and Space Sciences.

Financial implications:

  • The total fund requirement is Rs. 2729.13 Crores and includes the cost of five GSLV vehicles, essential facility augmentation, Programme Management, and Launch Campaign along with the additional funds required for meeting the scope of the ongoing GSLV Continuation Programme.
  • GSLV Continuation Programme was initially sanctioned in 2003, and two phases have been completed and the third phase is in progress and expected to be completed by Q4 of 2020-21.
  • Background:
  • GSLV has enabled independent access to space for 2 tonne class of satellites to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
  • One of the very significant outcomes of the GSLV Continuation Programme is the mastering of the highly complex cryogenic propulsion technology, which is an essential technological capability to launch communication satellites to GTO. This has also paved the way for the development of a high thrust Cryogenic engine & stage for the next generation launch vehicle i.e. GSLV Mk-lll.
  • With the recent successful launch of GSLV-F11 on 19th December 2018, GSLV has successfully orbited 10 national satellites.
  • GSLV with the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage has established itself as a reliable launch vehicle for communication, navigation and meteorological satellites and also to undertake future interplanetary missions.
  • Benefits:
  • The GSLV Continuation Programme - Phase 4 will meet the launch requirement of satellites for providing critical Satellite Navigation Services, Data Relay Communication for supporting the Indian Human spaceflight programme and the next interplanetary mission to Mars. This will also ensure the continuity of production in Indian industry.
  • Implementation Strategy and targets:
  • The GSLV Continuation Programme - Phase 4 will meet the demand for the launch of satellites at a frequency up to two launches per year, with maximal participation by the Indian industry. All the operational flights would be completed during the period 2021-24.

  • Beresheet (Hebrew for the first phrase from the Book of Genesis, “in the beginning”) was an Israeli mission launched by a partnership between nonprofit SpaceIL and government-owned aerospace company Israel Aerospace Industries. Beresheet lander had carried a science instrument provided by NASA, a retroreflector instrument scientists would have used to make precise measurements of the distance between Earth and the moon.
  • Project Kannamma provides access to sanitary napkins made by Irula tribeswomen, to over 300 students from across Government Schools in and around Chennai
  • The Irula tribes are classified as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups.
  • The sanitary napkin, under the brand Aavaram, is prepared with natural raw materials such as cotton and wood pulp, and a pack of six costs just ₹22.