Polity & Governance
- Divyang Sarathi mobile app for disabled launched
- ‘PENCIL’ Portal On Child Labour Elimination
- Tribes India products to be sold on Amazon
- PM Modi constitutes Economic Advisory Council headed by Bibek Debroy
Government Schemes & Policies
- PM launches Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana “Saubhagya”
Science & Technology
- India’s Mars Orbiter Mission completes 3 years in orbit
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Polity & Governance
Divyang Sarathi mobile app for disabled launched
The Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment has launched Divyang Sarathi—The accessible and comprehensive mobile application for easy dissemination of information to ‘Divyangjans’.
The mobile app aims to
- Empower Divyangjans by providing them easier and convenient access to information pertaining to schemes, scholarships, statutes, institutional support systems, jobs and other crucial information.
Key Features of the ‘Divyang Sarathi’:
- The Divyang Sarathi app is integral part of ICT component of Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) launched in December 2015.
- It also compliant with principles of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for Universal Access and provisions of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 which mandates that all information to be made available in accessible form.
- The app has inbuilt unique feature of audio notes (text-to-voice conversion software) which converts written information into audio file as well as the adjustable font size which can be altered as per user’s requirement.
- It has been developed bilingually i.e. information is available in Hindi as well as English.
‘PENCIL’ Portal On Child Labour Elimination
The Union Ministry of Labour and Employment launched Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour (PENCIL) Portal at National Conference on Child Labour.
What is it?
- The PENCIL portal is an electronic platform that aims at involving Centre, State, District, Governments, civil society and general public in achieving the target of child labour free society.
- PENCIL portal has five components — Child Tracking System, Complaint Corner, State Government, National Child Labour Project and Convergence.
- Each district will nominate District Nodal Officers (DNOs) who will receive the complaints.
- Within 48 hours of receiving complaints, DNOs will check genuineness of complaint and take rescue measures in coordination with police, if complaint is genuine.
- So far, 7 states have appointed DNOs.
About National Child Labour Project (NCLP):
- NCLP is central sector scheme launched in in 1988 for rehabilitation of child labour.
- Under it, special schools/rehabilitation centres for rehabilitation of child labourers are opened so that they can be mainstreamed into formal schooling system.
- These centres also provide non-formal education, vocational training, supplementary nutrition and stipend to children withdrawn from employment.
- NCLP has been revised expanded and aligned to the new legislative provisions.
- The legislative changes have been accompanied by creation of additional institutional mechanisms at the district, state and national level for identification and rescue, along with revamping the rehabilitation scheme and a centralized database for case to case monitoring and accountability.
Tribes India products to be sold on Amazon
Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) has inked MoU with e-commerce giant Amazon for selling tribal products.
- The aim of initiative is to promote tribal handicrafts like handloom products, cane and bamboo products, tribal jewellery, Dhokra craft, tribal weaves and embroidery, tribal paintings etc.
- TRIFED already has tied-up with Snapdeal.
- As a part of MoU, exquisite authentic tribal art and craft items crafted and sculpted by tribal artisans from all over the country will be showcased on Amazon’s online portal for sale.
- Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) is an apex organisation at National Level and functioning under the administrative control of Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
What TRIFED is doing?
- TRIFED is serving the interests of Tribals, who are engaged in collection of NTFP and making of Tribal Art & Handicraft Products for their livelihood so as to ensure better remunerative price for their products as well as for the socio-economic betterment through Self Help Groups, Empanelled NGOs, State level Tribal Development Corporations, Forest Development Corporations for undertaking marketing development of the tribal products.
- TRIFED is playing and lead role in protecting, promoting and multiplication of Honey Bees by Scientific, Non-destructive collection practices, thereby increasing the livelihood of tribal people living in various forest areas of the country, contributing to the growth of Honey Bees population and reducing the mortality rate of Honey Bees drastically.
PM Modi constitutes Economic Advisory Council headed by Bibek Debroy
Prime Minister Narendra Modi constituted an Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM).
- The five-member council consists of economists of high repute and eminence. Dr. Bibek Debroy, a member of the NITI Aayog has been appointed as the Chairman of the council.
- Ratan Watal, the Principal Advisor to Niti Aayog will be the secretary of the Council.
- Formation of EAC by PM Narendra Modi comes over three years after he assumed power.
- The last chairperson of the Council, when Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister, was former Reserve Bank of India Governor C. Rangarajan.
About the Economic Advisory Council:
- The EAC-PM is an independent body which provides advice on economic issues to the government, specifically to the Prime Minister.
- The five-member council consists of economists of high repute and eminence.
Terms of reference of EAC
- EAC will analyse any issue, economic or otherwise, referred to it by prime minister and advising him thereon.
- It will also address issues of macroeconomic importance and present its views to the prime minister.
- Its advise can be either suo-motu or on reference from prime minister or anyone else.
- It can also attend any other task as may be desired by prime minister from time to time.
Government Schemes & Policies
PM launches Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana “Saubhagya”
Ministry of Power has launched a new scheme called Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana – “Saubhagya” – to ensure electrification of all willing households in the country in rural as well as urban areas.
About the scheme:
Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana aims to provide last mile electricity connectivity to all rural and urban households.
- Under the scheme, government will provide free electricity to all households identified under Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) data 2011.
- Electricity connections will be given to APL families for Rs 500, which will be payable in 10 equal monthly instalments. The BPL cardholders will get free electricity connections.
- The total outlay of scheme is Rs. 16, 320 crore while Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) is Rs. 12,320 crore. The Central Government will provide largely funds for the Scheme to all States/UTs.
- The States and Union Territories are required to complete works of household electrification by 31st of December 2018.
- The Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC) will be nodal agency for operationalisation of scheme throughout country.
- Gram Panchayat/Public institutions in rural areas will be authorised to collect application forms along with complete documentation, distribute bills and collect revenue in consultation with Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).
Expected outcome of Scheme:
- Better health services
- Improvement education services
- Increased economic activities and jobs
- Improved quality of life especially for women
- Enhanced connectivity through radio, television, mobiles, etc.
- Environmental upgradation by substitution of Kerosene for lighting purposes
Science & Technology
India’s Mars Orbiter Mission completes 3 years in orbit
ISRO’s globally acclaimed Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) also known as Mangalyaan completed three years in Martian orbit.
- In September 2014, India (ISRO) created space history by becoming first nation in world to successfully launch interplanetary mission spacecraft into Mars orbit in maiden attempt.
- ISRO also become first Asian and fourth space agency in world to reach Mars orbit after the Roscosmos of Russia, NASA and European Space Agency.
- For its enormous success in Mangalyaan mission, ISRO was conferred 2014 Indira Gandhi Peace Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development.
- The programme team of mission was conferred with prestigious 2015 Space Pioneer Award in Science and Engineering category by National Space Society (NSS).
About Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM):
Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), the maiden interplanetary mission of ISRO, launched on November 5, 2013 by PSLV-C25 got inserted into Martian orbit on September 24, 2014 in its first attempt.
- MOM completes 1000 Earth days in its orbit, today (June 19, 2017) well beyond its designed mission life of six months.
- The spacecraft was indigenously designed, built and launched by ISRO in record period of less than two years in Rs.450 crore ($73 million US) budget, making it cheapest inter-planetary mission till date to reach Mars.
- The spacecraft has five instruments mounted on it for collecting scientific data of Mar’s morphology, atmospheric processes, surface temperature, surface geology and atmospheric escape process.
- These five instruments are Lyman-Alpha Photometer (LAP), Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM), Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA), Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS) and Mars Colour Camera (MCC).