Current Affairs Analysis

23rd September 2017 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

Deendayal Hastkala Sankul; Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana; SATH (Sustainable Action for Transforming Human capital) Program; FTSE SBI Bond Index: India’s first bond index series; ‘Korea Plus’; Five-point peace proposal; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
September 23, 2017


Polity & Governance

  • Deendayal Hastkala Sankul

Government Schemes & Policies

  • Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana

Issues related to Health & Education

  • NITI Aayog’s SATH Program launched in Assam


  • FTSE SBI Bond Index: India’s first bond index series

Bilateral & International Relations

  • Govt to strengthen ‘Korea Plus’ cell to strengthen FDI from S.Korea

Defence & Security Issues

  • Hasina floats five-point peace plan

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Polity & Governance

Deendayal Hastkala Sankul

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Deendayal Hastkala Sankul, a trade facilitation centre and Crafts Museum for handicrafts at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.


About Deendayal Hastkala Sankul:

  • The centre will facilitate weavers/artisans/exporters in promotion of handlooms and handicrafts in both domestic and international markets.
  • Moreover, Crafts Museum at the centre will preserve traditional handloom/handicrafts products of Varanasi and showcase handloom & handicraft products.


  • The centre and Crafts Museum was proposed by Union Finance Minister in his 2014-15 Budget speech to develop and promote handlooms, handicrafts and silk products.


The centre will help to

  • Promotes rich traditional craft of ancient Varanasi.
  • Provides enabling platform and environment to showcase Indian handloom and handicrafts.
  • Provides supply chain linkages to domestic and foreign buyers.
  • Give thrust to domestic and international tourism.
  • Give boost to trade and economic development of Varanasi as well as eastern parts of the country.
[Ref: PIB]


Government Schemes & Policies

Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana

The Ministry of Science & Technology has launched Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana to formulate and implement appropriate S&T interventions for sustainable development through cluster approach in Uttarakhand.

SATH (Sustainable Action for Transforming Human capital) Program

  • Once this concept is validated in the few selected clusters, it can be replicated across large number of village clusters in the country.

Key Facts:

  • Under the scheme, Department of Science and Technology (DST) will adopt few clusters of villages in Uttarakhand and transform them to become self-sustainable in time bound manner through tools of S&T.
  • Local resources and locally available skill sets will be utilised using S&T under the scheme for substantial value addition for local produce and services which can sustain rural population.
  • The areas selected under these clusters will process and add value to milk, honey, horticulture and local crops, herbal tea, mushroom, forest produce, medicinal & aromatic plants and traditional craft and handloom.
  • This project will also ensure, stringent product and process control interventions for energy and water conservation.
  • The project will also give emphasis to practice of agriculture, agro-based cottage industries and animal husbandry in an eco-friendly manner.
  • It will mainly undertake post-harvest processing of Kiwi, Cherry, Strawberry, Tulsi, Adrak, Badi Elaichi through solar drying technology, extraction of apricot oil using cold press technology.

Benefits of the scheme:

  • It will directly or indirectly about a lakh of people in four identified clusters of 60 villages in Uttarakhand.
  • It will help in creating models that are appropriate for different altitudes and could be replicated in other hill states.
  • It will promote sustainable employment and livelihood options within the clusters such as eco-tourism, naturopathy and yoga, are also planned to be promoted.
  • It will ensure that local communities are not compelled to migrate from their native places in search of jobs and livelihoods.
[Ref: PIB]


Issues related to Health & Education

NITI Aayog’s SATH Program launched in Assam

National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog’s SATH (Sustainable Action for Transforming Human capital) Program was launched in in Guwahati, Assam.

SATH (Sustainable Action for Transforming Human capital) Program

  • The SATH program aims to provide structured support to Assam in identifying key health priorities and implement the solutions towards transforming the health and improving the well-being of people of state.


  • NITI Aayog selected the three states through a three stage challenge-process – expression of interest, presentations by the states and assessment of commitment to health sector reforms.
  • Finally, three states: Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka were chosen based on objective assessment criteria affecting the potential for impact and likelihood of success.
  • A consortium of reputed technical consultants are closely working with NITI Aayog and the states to conceptualize the initiatives and provide support in the implementation process.

About SATH initiative:

Furthering the agenda for cooperative federalism, NITI Aayog has launched SATH, a program providing ‘Sustainable Action for Transforming Human capital’ with the State Governments.

  • The vision of the program is to initiate transformation in the education and health sectors.
  • SATH aims to identify and build three future ‘role model’ states for health systems.
  • The program will be implemented by NITI Aayog along with McKinsey & Company and IPE Global consortium, who were selected through a competitive bidding process.
  • Under it, NITI will work in close collaboration with state machinery to design a robust roadmap of intervention, develop governance structure, set up monitoring and tracking mechanisms and provide support on a range of institutional measures to achieve the end objectives.
  • The SATH program embodies the philosophy of co-operative federalism.
[Ref: PIB]



FTSE SBI Bond Index: India’s first bond index series

State Bank of India (SBI) launched India’s first bond index series, the FTSE SBI Bond Index Series, for overseas investors at the London Stock Exchange (LSE).


  • The launch of this index aims to give people a benchmark based on which they can make investment calls

Key facts:

  • The FTSE SBI Bond Index Series is launched by India’s largest commercial bank- SBI, along with global index and data provider FTSE Russell.
  • The Index is positioned as a first-of-its-kind transparent benchmark for investors in international markets to analyse India’s government bond market.


  • Indian government bond market is worth around $1.7 trillion.
  • Prior to launch of FTSE SBI Bond Index, the bond market was not having any reliable international indices on which international investors can invest in the country. Investors are eager to invest in India, but lacked enough depth in terms of the various types of bond products.
[Ref: Live Mint]


Bilateral & International Relations

Govt to strengthen ‘Korea Plus’ cell to strengthen FDI from S.Korea

The government is planning to facilitate greater investments from South Korea and would strengthen the ‘Korea Plus” cell in this regard.

iastoppers Korea Plus

About ‘Korea Plus’:

Korea Plus is a special initiative to promote and facilitate Korean Investments in India.

  • Korea Plus comprises a representative each from the South Korean Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy and Korea Trade Investment and Promotion Agency (KOTRA). Besides, it includes three officials from Invest India.
  • The mandate of Korea Plus covers the entire investment spectrum including supporting Korean enterprises entering the Indian market for the first time, looking into issues faced by Korean companies doing business in India and policy advocacy to the Indian government on their behalf.
[Ref: The Hindu]


Defence & Security Issues

Hasina floats five-point peace plan

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has floated a five-point peace proposal at United Nations to find a permanent solution to Rohingya crisis.


  • She called for immediate steps to end ethnic cleansing of Rohingya minority as it has deepened crisis along Bangladesh’s border with Myanmar where over 430,000 refugees fleeing violence in Rakhine State since August 2017.

Five-point proposal

  1. Myanmar must stop violence and practice of ethnic cleansing in Rakhine State unconditionally, immediately and forever.
  2. UN Secretary General should immediately send fact-finding mission to Myanmar.
  3. All civilians, irrespective of religion and ethnicity, must be protected in Myanmar. For this, safe zones can be created inside Myanmar under UN supervision.
  4. Sustainable return of all forcibly displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh to their homes in Myanmar
  5. Recommendations of Kofi Annan Commission Report must be implemented immediately, unconditionally and entirely.

What’s the issue?

  • According to UN estimates, over 450000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state into Bangladesh since August 2017 when a fresh wave of violence had erupted Myanmar’s Rakhine province.
  • The violence had started after Rohingya militants belonging to Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (also known as Harakat al-Yaqeen or Faith Movement) had attacked police posts in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state.
  • Following this attack, Myanmar’s military had launched violent crackdown on insurgents from Muslim Rohingya population which led to mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims into neighboring Bangladesh.
[Ref: The Hindu]


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