National Milk Day 2020
The National Milk Day is celebrated across India on Nov 26 to mark the importance of milk in humans’ daily lives. This day also marks the 99th birth anniversary of Padma awardee Dr. Verghese Kurien, known as the Milkman of India and Father of India’s White Revolution.
- The National Milk Day was initiated in 2014 by the Indian Dairy Association. The first National Milk Day was celebrated on 26 Nov 2014 where milk producers from 22 states participated in such a kind of event.
- Verghese Kurien, who is considered the father of the White Revolution, played a major role in enabling India to have its own milk production centers and architect of Operation Flood, which made India the largest global producer of milk.
- He was the Chairman and Founder of Amul, who was named as the Chairman of the National Dairy Development Board by former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. He also received the Padma Shri (1965) and Padma Bhushan (1966) and also the Ramon Magsaysay Award (1963) for his outstanding contribution.
- Operation Flood
- It was launched in 1970 by Indian’s National Dairy Development Board.
- One of the world’s biggest dairy development programs operated in 3 phases and boosted milk production to great levels.
- Creation of a national milk grid connecting several producers and consumers in more than 700 towns and cities.
- The volatility of regional and seasonal price variation was reduced.
- A major share of the consumers’ price directly went to the producers, thereby eliminating intermediaries.
- India produces around 22 % (around 188 Million Tonnes) of the World’s milk production, as of 2018.
- As part of National Milk Day, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB)awarded certificates and awards to 86 milk producers,19 dairy cooperatives, and 8 milk producer companies across 22 states to digitize payments.
- Currently, the chairman of NDDB Is Dilip Rath, who also launched Dairy Surveyor, a GIS application.
The Films Division is organizing Lok Virasat, a festival to celebrate Indian folk art and painting, from November 27, 2020.
- A special, exclusive bouquet of documentary films on folk art and painting-Lok Virasat will be showcased between November 27-29, 2020, on the Film division’s website and Youtube channel.
- The films that are to be streamed include ‘The Kingdom of God,’ ‘Bhavani,’ ‘Naman,’ ‘Sahi Jata,’ and ‘Therukoothu.’
Menstrual Hygiene: Free Provision
In landmark legislation, the Scottish Parliament has made period products such as sanitary pads and tampons free of cost to people who need them the most.
- The bill “Period Products (Free Provision)(Scotland) Bill” was passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament on November 24, making Scotland the first country in the world to take this step.
- It was passed to tackle a critical crisis, “period poverty,” when people struggle to afford the basic menstrual products.
- The main objective is to “end the silence and stigma,” which surrounds menstruation and eradicates “gendered barriers.” It ensures that those menstruating have reasonable access to basic period products free of cost.
SDGs Investor Map For India
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Invest India has launched the Sustainable Goals (SDGs) Investor Map for India.
- It has laid out 18 Investment Opportunity Areas (IOAs) in six critical SDG enabling sectors that would help the country push forward on Sustainable Development.
- The six focus sectors in the map include education, healthcare, agriculture, allied activities, financial services, renewable energy, and a sustainable environment.
- Out of the 18 IOAs,10 are already quite mature investable areas that have seen Private Equity and Venture Capital activity in the past. The remaining eight IOAs are areas of emerging opportunities which has not seen much investment from early-stage investors.
- The map has also identified ‘eight white spaces’ that have seen investor interest and can grow into IOAs in five to six years through policy support and private sector participation.
International Cricket Council
- New Zealand’s Greg Barclay has been elected as the new independent chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
- The International Cricket Council is the world governing body of cricket.
- Founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by representatives from Australia, England, and South Africa. It was renamed as the International Cricket Council in 1989.
- It organizes world championship events such as the Cricket World cup, Women’s Cricket World Cup, ICC T20 World Cup, ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
- It doesn’t control bilateral fixtures between member countries or governs matters related to domestic cricket.
Archery Association Of India
- The Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry has restored the government recognition to Archery Association of India as a National Sports Federation to promote and regulate Archery Sport in the Country.
- The Government’s earlier recognition to Archery Association Of India(AAI) was withdrawn due to its failure to conduct elections following the national Sports Development code in India.
- This recognition will be valid for one year. The recognition comes in the backdrop of AAI’s independent election and revocation of suspension by the World Archery and Indian Olympic Association.
- India has announced the launch of Phase-IV of the High Impact Community Development Projects in Afghanistan; India also envisages more than 100 projects worth 80 million dollars that India would undertake in Afghanistan.
- External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar put this vision forward in the 2020 Afghanistan Conference organized in Geneva. The conference was co-hosted by the United Nations, the Government of Afghanistan, and the Government of Finland.
- He also announced the recent agreement concluded with Afghanistan for the construction of Shahdoot Dam providing safe drinking water to 2 million Kabul city residents.
- India in the past has built the 202 km Phul-e-Khumri transmission line that provided electricity to Kabul city.
DRAFT MERCHANT SHIPPING BILL,2020
Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways have issued a draft of the Merchant Shipping Bill,2020, for public consultation. It also aims to replace the Merchant Shipping Act 1958 and the Coasting Vessels Act 1838.
- For improving the welfare of Indian seafarers on abandoned vessels and safety of such vessels, the Bill has provisions for repatriation of abandoned seafarers has also been enhanced according to Maritime Labour Convention regulations.
- It promotes ease of doing business; the bill does away with the requirement of a general trading license for Indian vessels.
- Enables electronic means of registration and grants statutory recognition to electronic agreements, records, and log-books, in addition to an electronic license, certificates, and payments.
- To increase India’s tonnage and make the vessel a tradeable asset.
- To promote India as a bankable shipping jurisdiction and enforcement of pollution prevention standards.
Unique Document Identification Number (UDIN)
The Finance Ministry has notified that the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) will validate Unique Document Identification Number (UDIN) generated from the ICAI portal at the time of upload of Tax Audit Reports.
- Unique Document Identification Number (UDIN) is a unique number given to documents attested by a Chartered Accountant in practice. It is an 18 digit systems generated unique number generated separately for each document.
- As per ICAI notification, it is mandatory for every kind of certificate/tax audit report, and other attests made by members required by various regulators.
- Introduced to curb fake certifications by non -CA s misrepresenting themselves as Chartered Accountants.
India Finland’s MoU to conserve Biodiversity
India and Finland signed an MOU for establishing cooperation amongst 2 countries in the field of protecting the environment including biodiversity conservation.
Shri Prakash Javadekar, who is the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change for India, and Krista Mikkonen, who is the Minister of Environment and Climate Change for the Government of Finland on the Finnish side, accepted the MoU.
Main highlights of this:
The MOU is a forum to further advance Indian and Finnish collaborations and assistance, share best practises in fields such as air and water pollution prevention; along with waste management; circular economy promotion, as well as low-carbon technologies, combined with sustainable management of natural resources, especially forests; climate change; aquatic and coastal conservation; etc.
As a way of its Nationally Determined Commitments submitted under the Paris Agreement, India has adopted 3 quantitative climate change priorities. Reducing the pollution rate of the Gross Domestic Product by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels, achieving about 40 per cent of the total electrical capacity installed from non-fossil fuel-based energy supplies by 2030 and generating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by additional woodland and tree cover by 2030.
The MOU will improve technical, science and management capacities and establish bilateral activities in the areas of environmental security and conservation of biodiversity on the grounds of dignity, mutuality as well as cooperation, with due regard to the promotion of sustainable development.
Talking at the case, Shri Javadekar has said the MoU also allows for the prospect of joint ventures in areas of cooperation.
Bringing in Equality: National Portal for Transgenders
The Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Thawarchand Gehlot, recently unveiled the ‘National Portal for Transgender People’ and opened the ‘Garima Griha: A Shelter Home for Transgender People’ in Vadodara, Gujarat.
About the National Portal to Transgender People:
- This national platform for transgender persons was established within two months of the notification of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Regulations 2020 of 29th September 2020.
- This extremely helpful platform can allow a transgender person from anywhere in the world to register for a credential and identification card on a digital basis.
- Its most important benefit is that it allows the transgender person to get an i-card without even a physical layer and without heading to the workplace.
- They will track the progress of their submission across the portal and ensure clarity in the process. Issuing officers often come under tight deadlines for reviewing applications including issuing certificates and identification cards without any required interruption.
- Once certificates, as well as I-cards, have been issued, applicants can download these from the portal itself. In the event of a pause or denial, the claimant will have the option of submitting representations through the portal which are referred to the person concerned and will be addressed as soon as possible.
- This portal will enable more community members to come out and receive transgender credentials and identification cards based on their own assumed identity, which is a significant feature of the Transgender Rights Act, 2019.
Garima Griha: A Shelter House for Transgender People’
- Garima Griha, a sheltered place for transgender people, will be run in collaboration with the Lakshmana Trust, a community-based organisation entirely controlled by transgender people.
- The aim of the shelter should be to provide accommodation to transgender people who have minimal services, such as shelter, nutrition, medical care and recreation.
- Besides, it will provide resources for the capacity-building/degree growth of individuals in the society, which will allow them to live a life of honour and dignity.
- ‘Shelter Homes for Transgender People’s scheme provides shelter services, food, clothes, leisure facilities, skills learning opportunities, yoga, meditation/prayer, physical activity facilities, library facilities, legal aid, expert guidance on gender transition and surgery, capacity building, job and skills development support for trans-gender organisations, etc.
- The Nodal Ministry also made the first step towards improving the living conditions of transgender people and has established 10 cities to set up 13 shelters and develop services for transgender people in partnership with designated 13 CBOs in the nation on a pilot basis.
- Towns include Vadodara, New Delhi, Patna, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Kolkata, Manipur, Chennai, Raipur, Mumbai, etc. The system would institutionalise a minimum of 25 transgender people in each household identified by the Ministry.
- It is a new initiative and after its success, similar programs will be applied to other areas of the world.
India’s deep-sea mission in coming 3-4 months
India will shortly begin an ambitious ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ to discover the rocks, resources and aquatic diversity of the underwater environment, much of which remains undiscovered.
The mission of the Deep Ocean:
Details: The project, which is estimated to cost more than 4,000 crores, will raise efforts to discover India’s vast Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf.
The project will also include designing technology for numerous deep ocean projects.
Multiple disciplines work: the mission would be piloted by the MoES and other government agencies such as the
- Organization for Research and Development in Defense,
- Ministry of Biotechnology,
- Indian Space Research Agency (ISRO),
- Science and Technical Research Council (CSIR)
Various factors were involved:
The layout, growth, as well as implementation of human submersibles, would be the major characteristics of the mission.
Another element is to check the potential of deep-sea mining as well as the development of the required technologies.
Meaning of the mission:
Geopolitical aspects: The project is strategically important as it will strengthen India’s located in the Indian Ocean, in which other players such as China, Korea even Germany are involved.
Lately, China’s live-streamed video of its fresh manned submersible parked at the lower part of the Mariana Trench. This would be a part of its mission to the largest underwater valley on the earth.
Exploring the importance: India has been allocated for the discovery of approximately 1.5 lakh square kilometres in the main Indian Ocean.
The goal is to be ready until the rules in this field are formalised.
The limit of deep oceans has yet to be discovered. We worked on it on a piecemeal basis, however, the goal is to carry out mission-mode work, the representative added.
LoU signed between Rajasthan and the UN World Food Programme
A Letter of Understanding (LOU) has been concluded between the Rajasthan Govt as well as the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) on planned participation in achieving food and nutrition security objectives.
The State Govt’s Civil Supplies Department reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations on 29th October this year to meet sustainable development goals.
On the grounds of the concluded MOU, the leaders of the WFP approved an MOU with different government departments to establish a relationship with them, an official response said.
The LoU was being concluded with the Women and Child Development, School Education, Rural Development including Tribal Regional Development departments to achieve the goal of food and nutrition welfare by providing the required assistance from these departments, according to the declaration.
Digitization in Indian Railways: Launches Online HR Management
The Indian Railway has released a fully digitised online human capital management system (HRMS). Railway Board Chairman and CEO Vinod Kumar Yadav launched a video conferencing scheme for railway employees and pensioners on 26 November 2020:
The HRMS framework is a high-profile initiative for the Indian Railways to harness increased efficiency and employee satisfaction.
The change is aimed at improving the quality and competitiveness of the Indian Railway system as well as a leap towards the realisation of PM Narendra Modi’s dream of transforming the country into a technologically driven society and knowledge-based economy.
The Human Resources Management System (HRMS) is projected to have a significant effect on the working of all workers and to make them more tech-savvy.
Main highlights of this:
The CEO of the Railway Board launched the following HRMS and Consumer Depot modules:
- Employee Self Service (ESS) Module: This module can enable railway workers to communicate with different HRMS modules, like data shift contact.
- Provident Fund (PF) Advance Module: This module would allow railway workers to review their PF balance and register for PF advances online. Employees will now be able to view the progress of their PF application online.
- Settlement Module: This module digitises the whole phase of workers retirement settlement. It would allow workers to fill out their payment and pension booklets online.
- The details of the service will be obtained electronically and the pension will also be processed online. This would minimise the use of paper and allow control of the prompt processing of settlement payments for retirees.
- The Human Resources Management System (HRMS) would have an effect on the 27 lakh families serving railway workers as well as those who have retired.
- It would promote the enhancement of the quality and competitiveness of the railway system.
- The scheme would also add clarity and increase openness to the operation of the Railways.
Other Human Resources Management System systems have also been introduced by Indian Railways, such as the Employee Master Module, the Electronic Service Record Module, along with the APAR Module, the Electronic Pass Module as well as the Office Order Module.
Employee Master Module: The module holds basic information for railway workers.
Electronic Service Record Module: This module can store personnel maintenance records in an electronic medium, removing physical Service Records.
Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR) Module: This would digitise the full process of writing annual performance Evaluation of all 12 non-gassed railway employees.
Electronic Pass Module: Removes the actual pass.
Office Order Module: Which is intended for both the topic of Office Orders and the updating of details on the appointment of new staff or in the case of promotion, transition and retirement of workers in the HRMS system.
Cabinet approved Initiatives
The Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has authorised the following:
- At the request of RBI according to section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, the Cabinet has approved the Amalgamation Scheme of LVB with DBIL to safeguard the pursuit of depositors as well as in the benefit of financial and banking equilibrium.
- The Government heard of the MoU concluded between the BRICS nations on cooperation in the area of Human Culture including Sport. This would continue to broaden awareness and experience in the areas of sports science, sports medicine, coaching, etc. This will lead to an increase in the success of sportsmen in international competitions and a deepening of bilateral ties with BRICS member nations.
- The Cabinet accepted a plan for an equity injection by the Government of Rs.6000 Crores in the NIIF Debt Platform funded by the NIIF, consisting of AIFL as well as NIIF-IFL (NIIF-IFL).
Under the following:
- Just Rs.2,000 crore will be distributed over the period 2020-21. However, considering the extraordinary financial situation and the restricted fiscal space available owing to the prevailing COVID-19, the proposed amount can be disbursed only when there are a desire and demand to lift the debt.
- NIIF will take the appropriate steps to expedite the use of equity contributions from domestic and foreign pension funds and sovereign wealth funds.
The Cabinet accepted the MoU concluded between the ICAI as well as the VRC of the Netherlands. The goal of the MOU is to improve and grow the Banking, Monetary and Audit Knowledge and understanding between both the Netherlands and India. It will help to build more employment options for Indian Chartered Accountants, as well as greater money transfers back to India.