Polity & Governance
- Union HRD Minister Launches Largest Online Repository of Dictionaries ‘Bharatavani Portal’
- Cabinet gives ex-post facto approval to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs)
- Union cabinet approves six new IITs
- Transport Ministry launches safety feature-rich NIRBHAYA buses
- National Capital Goods policy gets nod
Environment & Ecology
- India fifth largest producer of e-waste: study
- MoU between India and Maldives for tourism
- MOU between India and Japan for promoting sustainable, stable and low-carbon thermal power development in India
Science & Technology
- Government approves MoU between ISRO and the UAE Space Agency
- Use of unlicensed software at 58% in India, says BSA survey
Polity & Governance
Union HRD Minister Launches Largest Online Repository of Dictionaries ‘Bharatavani Portal’
The Union HRD Ministry launched the multilingual knowledge portal www.bharatvani.in
- Along with the Bharatavani portal, MHRD has also launched the Bharatavani Multi-lingual App called Bharatavani.
- As a part of Digital India Mission, Bharatavani will perform the task of showcasing the Indian culture and heritage to the world through the medium of technology.
- Bharatavani is the first knowledge portal of its kind in India whichfocuses on becoming a single point source for multiple language learning, content and technology.
- This project is in line with the HRD Ministry’s efforts to not only ensure universalization of education but also towards creation of a knowledge society in the digital age.
- The Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysuru is implementing this ambitious project of MHRD.
- Bharatavani aims to foster national integration byemphasizing on multilingual and cross-lingual learning tools and technologies.
- Bharatavani makes available knowledge already published by Government andpublicly funded institutions all over the country and puts its across for free and fair public usage, by deploying a robust, interactive, user friendly web tools.
- Its content is protected by fair usage clauses under the Indian Copyright Act.
- The Bharatavani Portal would publish the content in the following main sections:
- Paa Thyapustaka Kosha: Textbooks by various authorities
- Jnana Kosha : Encyclopedic Knowledge base in all languages
- Shabda Kosha: Dictionaries, Glossaries, Terminologies,
- Bhasha Kosha: Language learning books
- Suchanaa Praudyogikii Kosha: It tools (right now linked to TDIL)
- Bahumaadhyama Kosha: Multimedia content
- Significantly, more than 130 Dictionaries, Glossaries and Terminology books have been posted on the web portal. These dictionaries are available in text and PDF formats.
- All content in print and other formats will be completely digitized and put onto the portal in the form of searchable text.
- The portal has been launched in 22 scheduled languages, which eventually will be extended to 100 more languages
Many institutions both at National and State level have declared their support to this initiative and have already signed MOUs with Bharatavani.
About Bharatavani App:
Many cross-lingual grammar books, learning courses, will not only enable learning of languages but their transliteration will enable us to learn another language instantly. This can be experienced by way of the Bharatavani App, which has been so designed to enable users to read any language in any script through any language interface.
- This App, on the day of its launch becomes India’s first and largest multilingual dictionary.
- This App will enable users to search for one language text in another language as well as get meanings in different languages.
Currently, the App has 35 multilingual Dictionaries and MHRD aims to extend it to 250 dictionaries in a year’s time.[Ref: PIB]
Cabinet gives ex-post facto approval to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs)
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for introduction of two Bills in the Parliament for certain amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950.
- The bills are meant to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes in respect of five States, namely, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and identification of new communities in the Union Territory of Puducherry.
Revision in the list of Scheduled Tribes:
The following communities as per approved modalities were found to be eligible for their inclusion in, exclusion from and other modifications in the list of Scheduled Tribes:
|Sl.No.||State / Union Territory||Inclusion / Exclusion / Rectification / Identification||Community|
i) Boro, Boro Kachari,
Bodo, Bodo Kachari
ii) Karbi (Mikir)
Rectification of Hindi Version of the Notification
iii) Bhuinya, Bhuiyan, Bhuyan
iv) Dhanuhar / Dhanuwar
vi) Saunra, Saonra
viii) Bhogta, Deshwari, Ganjhu, Dautalbandi (Dwalbandi), Patbandi, Raut, Maajhia, Khairi (Kheri)
x) Malayali Gounder
|6.||Puducherry||Identification (First Order)||xiii) Irular (including Villi and Vettaikaran)|
Rights newly added communities will get:
After the Bill becomes as Act, members of the communities included in the list of Scheduled Tribes will be able to derive benefits meant for Scheduled Tribes under the existing schemes.
- Some of the major schemes of this kind include Post Matric Scholarship, National Overseas Scholarship, National Fellowship, Top Class Education, Concessional Loans from National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation, Hostels for ST boys and girls etc.
- In addition to above, they will also be entitled to benefits of reservation in services and admission to educational institutions.
- The Constitution of India provides certain privileges / concessions to the members of Scheduled Tribes which are notified under the provisions of Article 342 of the Constitution of India.
- First list of Scheduled Tribes in relation to a State or Union Territory is to be issued by a notified Order of the President after having consultation with the State Government concerned.
- Any subsequent inclusion in or exclusion from the list of Scheduled Tribes can be effected through an Act of Parliament as envisaged under clause (2) of Article 342.
Union cabinet approves six new IITs
The Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given ex-post facto approval to a law on setting up six new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in the country.
The approval to the amendment to The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961, will also facilitate conversion of the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, to an IIT.
The new IITs will come up at
- Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh,
- Palakkad in Kerala,
- Dharwar in Karnataka,
- Bhilai in Chhattisgarh,
- Goa and
- Jammu district in Jammu and Kashmir.
The approval will bring the six new IITs and the ISM within the ambit of the Act of 1961 and declare them as institutions of national importance.[Ref: BS]
Transport Ministry launches safety feature-rich NIRBHAYA buses
In an attempt to provide safe and secure transport to women, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping has dedicated 20 buses of the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation, with IT enabled safety measures to the public.
- As an initiative of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways under the NIRBHAYA Scheme, 10 luxury buses, 10 general buses have been provided with Vehicle Tracking System (VTS), CCTV cameras and Panic Buttons on every seat to provide immediate help to women passengers in distress.
- The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways will issue a notification in near future, making it mandatory for public vehicles with seating capacity of 23 or more to have CCTV camera, Vehicle Location Tracking Device and Panic Buttons.
- Those with seating capacity of less than 23 will be required to have Vehicle Tracking Device and emergency buttons.
A draft notification has already been issued in this regard.[Ref: PIB]
National Capital Goods policy gets nod
The Union cabinet has approved the first-ever policy for the capital goods sector in the country, the National Capital Goods policy, which is likely to create 30 million jobs and raise production to Rs 7.5 lakh crore from the current Rs 2.3 lakh crore.
- The idea of a National Capital Goods Policy was first presented by the department of heavy industry to the PM in the ‘Make in India’ workshop held in December, 2014.
Key features of the policy:
- The policy envisages increasing exports to 40% of production from the current 27%. It will increase the share of domestic production in India’s demand from 60% to 80%, making India a net exporter of capital goods.
- It also aims to facilitate improvement in technology depth across sub-sectors, increase skill availability, ensure mandatory standards and promote growth and capacity building of MSMEs.
- The policy will help in realising the vision of ‘Building India as the World class hub for Capital Goods’.
- The objectives of the policy will be met by the Department of Heavy Industry in a time bound manner through obtaining approval for schemes as per the roadmap of policy interventions.
- Some of the key issues addressed include availability of finance, raw material, innovation and technology, productivity, quality and environment-friendly manufacturing practices, promoting exports and creating domestic demand.
Environment & Ecology
India fifth largest producer of e-waste: study
According to a joint study by Assocham-KPMG, India, which has emerged as the world’s second largest mobile market, is also the fifth largest producer of e-waste, discarding roughly 18.5 lakh tonnes of electronic waste each year.
Key findings of the survey:
- The rising levels of e-waste generation in India have been a matter of concern in recent years. With more than 100 crore mobile phones in circulation, nearly 25 % end up in e-waste annually.
- India has surely emerged as the second largest mobile market with 1.03 billion subscribers, but also the fifth largest producer of e-waste in the world, discarding roughly 18.5 lakh metric tonnes of electronic waste each year, with telecom equipment alone accounting for 12 % of the e-waste.
- However, the study said the unorganised sector in India is estimated to handle around 95 % of the e-waste produced in the country.
- The study has noted that given the huge user base and vast reach of telecom in India, it is practically difficult and expensive for the handset manufacturers to achieve the targets prescribed in the e-waste management rules, 2016 from first year.
E-waste Management Rules, 2016:
- The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified e-waste management rules, 2016, in which producers are for the first time covered under extended producers’ responsibility (EPR).
- The rules prescribe a waste collection target of 30 per cent waste generated under EPR for the first two years, progressively going up to 70 per cent in the seventh year of the rule.
- The rules prescribe stringent financial penalties for non-compliance.
MoU between India and Maldives for tourism
The union cabinet gave ex post facto approval to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the Maldives for strengthening cooperation in tourism.
- The MoU with the Maldives will be instrumental in increasing the tourist arrivals from this important source market.
- In recent years, Maldives has emerged as an important tourism generating market for India.
- Both sides will participate in travel fairs and exhibitions in each other’s country and “promote safe honourable and sustainable tourism”.
MOU between India and Japan for promoting sustainable, stable and low-carbon thermal power development in India
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today granted ex-post facto approval to the MOU between India and Japan for promoting sustainable, stable and low-carbon thermal power development in India.
- The signing of the MOU will help India to address issues and barriers in promoting sustainable, stable and low-carbon thermal power development that have been identified through the preceding Pre-Primary Study and the on-going cooperation towards Energy Efficient Renovation & Modernization as well as new power development.
Science & Technology
Government approves MoU between ISRO and the UAE Space Agency
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave nod for signing an MoU between ISRO and the UAE Space Agency (UAESA), a move that will lead to setting up a Joint Working Group between the two agencies.
- The move will help in cooperation in the exploration of outer space for peaceful purposes, especially in the field to study Mars.
- Promoting space cooperation between India and the UAE was highlighted during Modi’s visit to the UAE in August 2015 and also at the 11th meeting of India-UAE Joint Commission for Economic and Technical Cooperation held at New Delhi in September 2015.
- With ISRO achieving success on its Mars Orbiter Mission (MoM) in its maiden attempt, the UAE also sought India’s cooperation for its first inter-planetary expedition, which is slated to launched in 2020.
About UAE’s Mars Mission:
- The Emirates Mars Mission orbiter is set to arrive at Mars in 2021 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE.
- The move is also remarkable as the UAE will be the only Gulf nation to have embarked on such ambitious project.
Use of unlicensed software at 58% in India, says BSA survey
According to a new global software survey from 2015 and early 2016, about 58% of the software installed in computers in India are unlicensed.
- The survey found that the Asia-Pacific region leads the use of unlicensed software with 61%.
- Computer users in India are using unlicensed software at an alarming rate despite the proved link between unlicensed software and cyber-attacks.
- While the rate of installation of unlicensed software in India has shown a gradual decrease from 65% in 2009 to 60% in 2013, it remains significantly higher than the global average of 39%.
- India comes second after China ($8,657 million) in the Asia-Pacific Region in commercial value of unlicensed software sold in 2015.