PIB – January 23 , 2020


General Studies- II

Topic- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Khadi Mark Regulations

Context

Khadi fights back to prevent misuse of its Trademarks Internationally.

About

  • In the recent days, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has taken various initiatives for protection and promotion of Khadi as a brand in India and internationally.
  • KVIC are the registered proprietors of over a hundred trademarks registrations including the symbol of ‘Charkha’ in India and other countries like Russia, China, Germany, Australia, UK and Bhutan.

What is the Issue?

  • KVIC is one of those unique institutions in India that links the nation’s past, present and future on its functional plane, through – self-reliance and sustainability.
  • Ever since the pre-independent era, Khadi has been considered as the national symbol for Swadeshi.
  • The word marks “KHADI”, “KUTIR”, “SARVODAYA” and the logo of Khadi India and Charkha are the harbinger of this spirit of Swadeshi, hence, must be protected at all cost.
  • These trademark and symbols, however have been misused time and again by private players for material benefits.

Initiative taken by KVIC

  • KVIC is seeking International Trademark protection of symbol of ‘Charkha’ under the article 6ter of the Paris Convention.
  • In an initiative to prevent such misuse any further, for the first time KVIC has taken up the matter With:
  1. The Ministry of External Affairs, and
  2. Ministry of Commerce and Permanent Mission of India at UN, Geneva.
  • KVIC is fighting cases in several countries for violation of the Khadi Mark Regulations.
  • The regulations issued in 2013 by the Ministry of MSME, empowered KVIC to grant ‘Khadi Mark’ registration and take royalties from any producer using the Khadi Mark.

Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC)

  • The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament of 1956, as amended by act of 1987 and Act of 2006.
  • In April 1957, it took over the work of former All India Khadi and Village Industries Board.

Objectives

The broad objectives that the KVIC has set before it are:

  • The social objectiveof providing employment.
  • The economic objectiveof producing saleable articles.
  • The wider objectiveof creating self-reliance amongst the poor and building up of a strong rural community spirit.

Functions

  • It is an apex organization under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, with regard to khadi and village industries within India.
  • It seeks to – plan, promote, facilitate, organise and assistin the establishment and development of khadi and village industriesin the rural areas in coordination with other agencies engaged in rural development wherever necessary.

Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property

  • The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property signed in Paris, France, on 20 March 1883.
  • It applies to industrial property in the widest sense, including patents, trademarks, industrial designs, utility models, service marks, trade names, geographical indications and the repression of unfair competition.
  • This international agreement was the first major step taken to help creators ensure that their intellectual works were protected in other countries.
  • As of January 2019, the Convention has 177 contracting member countries, which makes it one of the most widely adopted treaties worldwide.

Article 6ter of the Paris Convention

  • Article 6ter of the Paris Convention is for the protection of Industrial property of 1883 (1967 Stockholm Act).
  • It protects armorial bearings, flags and other State emblems as well as official signs and hallmarks of the States party to the Paris Convention.
  • The signs published with World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) under this act are prevented from being registered or used as trademarks, across the world, without authorization.

What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.

  • IP is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create.
  • By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public interest, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

  • The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations (UN).
  • WIPO was created in 1967.
  • It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Its objective wasto encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world”.
  • WIPO currently has 192 member states, administers 26 international treaties.

General Studies- II

Topic- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR)

Context

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated and is implementing a National Policy to Tackle Drug Abuse.

About

The Government has formulated and is implementing a National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) for 2018-2025.

Aim

  • The Plan aims at reduction of adverse consequences of drug abuse through a multi-pronged strategy.
  • It will employ a multi-pronged strategy involving education, de-addiction and rehabilitation of affected individuals and their families to address the issue.

Key features of NAPDDR

  • It will focus on preventive education, awareness generation, counselling, treatment and rehabilitation of drug-dependent people.
  • Provide training and focus on capacity-building of service providers through the collaborative efforts of the Centre, state and NGOs.
  • Coordination with implementing agencies for controlling the sale of sedatives, painkillers and muscle relaxant drugs.
  • Holding awareness generation programmes and checking online sale of drugs by stringent monitoring by the cyber cell are proposed under the Action Plan.
  • The Action Plan calls for persuading principals, directors, vice chancellors of educational institutions to ensure that no drugs are sold within/nearby the campus.

How will it work?

The activities under the NAPDDR, inter-alia, include:

  • Awareness generation programmes in schools/colleges/Universities, workshops/seminars/ with parents.
  • Community based peer led interactions intervention programmes for vulnerable adolescent and youth in the community.
  • Provisioning of treatment facilities.
  • Capacity building of service providers.

Why it is needed?

  • Drug trafficking and abuse also pose serious threat to our societies.
  • India is located between two largest Opium producing regions of the world.
  • The most common drugs of abuse are ‘ganja’, ‘hashish’, ‘opium’ and ‘heroin’.
  • The abuse of pharmaceutical preparations like ‘buprenorphine’, codeine based cough syrups and painkillers like ‘proxivon’ has also assumed serious proportions.
  • In certain regions of the country, drug abuse has already become a severe social-economic problem affecting the vulnerable age groups.
  • Estimates suggest that there are 40 lakh drug addicts in the country.

For Prelims

Integrated Check Post between India and Nepal

Highlights

  • The Prime Minister of India along with Prime Minister of Nepal jointly inaugurated the second Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Jogbani (Bihar)-Biratnagar (Nepal).
  • Jogbani-Biratnagar is equipped with modern facilities and is an important trade point between the two countries.
  • It will improve cross connectivity projects of Road, Rail and Transmission lines in Nepal.

PIB – January 22 , 2020


General Studies- II

Topic- Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications.

PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation)

Context

PM to chair PRAGATI meeting

About

Prime Minister will chair the 32nd interaction through PRAGATI- the ICT-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation.

About PRAGATI

  • Prime Minister had launched the multi-purpose and multi-modal governance platform PRAGATI on 25th March 2015.
  • PRAGATI is an integrating and interactive platform, aimed at addressing the common man’s grievances.
  • PRAGATI also helps in simultaneously monitoring and reviewing important programmes and projects of the Government of India, as well as projects flagged by various State governments.

Key Features of PRAGATI

The PRAGATI platform uniquely bundles three latest technologies:

  1. Digital data management,
  2. Video-conferencing,
  3. Geo-spatial technology.
  • It also offers a unique combination in the direction of cooperative federalism.
  • It is a three-tier system(PMO, Union Government Secretaries, and Chief Secretaries of the States).
  • With this, the Prime Minister is able to discuss the issues with the concerned Central and State officials with full information and latest visuals of the ground level situation.

Aim

The platform is aimed at addressing common man’s grievances, and simultaneously monitoring and reviewing important programmes and projects of the Government of India as well as projects flagged by State Governments.

How it works?

  • Prime Minister interacts with the Government of India Secretaries, and Chief Secretaries through Video-conferencing enabled by data and geo-informatics visuals.
  • The system will ride on, strengthen and re-engineer the data bases of the CPGRAMS for grievances, Project Monitoring Group (PMG) and the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
  • These issues can be viewed by the Union Government Secretaries and Chief Secretaries after entering into the application.
  • With this, the Prime Minister is able to discuss the issues with the concerned Central and State officials with full information and latest visuals of the ground level situation.
  • It is also an innovative project in e-governance and good governance.
  • The programme will be held once in every month on Fourth Wednesday -to be known as PRAGATI Day.

General Studies- II

Topic- Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

National Startup Advisory Council (NSAC)

Context

Central Government notifies the structure of National Startup Advisory Council.

About

  • The Central Government has notified the structure of the National Startup Advisory Council.
  • It will advise the Government on measures needed to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups in the country.

 Functions of NSAC

  • The Council will suggest measures to foster a culture of innovation amongst citizens and students.
  • Promote innovation in all sectors of economy across the country, including semi-urban and rural areas,
  • Support creative and innovative ideas through incubation and research and development to transform them into valuable products,
  • Processes or solutions to improve productivity and efficiency and create an environment of absorption of innovation in industry.

For Start Ups

It will also suggest measures to facilitate public organizations to assimilate innovation with a view:

  • To improving public service delivery,
  • Promote creation,
  • Protection and commercialization of intellectual property rights,
  • Make it easier to start, operate, grow and exit businesses by reducing regulatory compliances and costs,
  • Promote ease of access to capital for startups,
  • Incentivize domestic capital for investments into startups,
  • Mobilize global capital for investments in Indian startups,
  • Keep control of startups with original promoters and provide access to global markets for Indian startups.

Structure of NSAC

  • The National Startup Advisory Council will be chaired by Minster for Commerce & Industry.
  • The Council will consist of the non-official members, to be nominated by Central Government.
  • The nominees of the concerned Ministries/Departments/Organisations, not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India, will be ex-officio members of the Council.
  • Joint Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade will be the Convener of the Council

Nominated members

Nominated members will be from various categories, like:

  • Founders of successful startups,
  • Veterans who have grown and scaled companies in India,
  • Persons capable of representing interests of investors into startups,
  • Persons capable of representing interests of incubators and accelerators, and
  • Representatives of associations of stakeholders of startups and representatives of industry associations.

Term

The term of the non-official members of the Startup Advisory Council will be for a period of two years.

Fundamentals

NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development)

  • National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is an Apex Development Financial Institution in India.
  • The Bank has been entrusted with “matters concerning Policy Planning and Operations in the field of credit for Agriculture and other Economic activities in Rural areas in India”.
  • NABARD is active in developing Financial Inclusion policy.
  • It is one of the premier agencies providing developmental credit in rural areas.
  • NABARD Head Office at Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Background

  • NABARD was established on the recommendations of B.Sivaraman Committee, to implement the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Act 1981.
  • It replaced the Agricultural Credit Department (ACD) and Rural Planning and Credit Cell (RPCC) of Reserve Bank of India, and Agricultural Refinance and Development Corporation (ARDC).
  • NABARD came into existence on 12 July 1982 by transferring the agricultural credit functions of RBI and refinance functions of the then Agricultural Refinance and Development Corporation (ARDC).
  • NABARD is India’s specialised bank for Agriculture and Rural Development in India.
  • International associates of NABARD include World Bank-affiliated organisations and global developmental agencies working in the field of agriculture and rural development.
  • It was set up with an initial capital of Rs.100 crore, its’ paid up capital stood at Rs.10,580 crore as on 31 March 2018.
  • Consequent to the revision in the composition of share capital between Government of India and RBI, NABARD today is fully owned by Government of India.

Vision

Development Bank of the Nation for Fostering Rural Prosperity.

Mission

  • Promote sustainable and equitable agriculture and rural development through participative financial and non-financial interventions, innovations, technology and institutional development for securing prosperity.

For Prelims

Statehood Day

Highlights

PM greets to the People of Tripura, Meghalaya and Manipur on their Statehood Days.

Tripura

  • After India’s independence, the princely state of Tripura was merged with the Union of India on 15th October 1949.
  • Tripura became a Union Territory on 1 July 1963, and
  • Attained the status of a full-fledged state on 21 January 1972.

Meghalaya

  • Meghalaya was created as an autonomous state within the state of Assam on 2 April, 1970.
  • The full-fledged State of Meghalaya came into existence on 21 January, 1972.

Manipur

  • The Manipur State Constitution Act of 1947 established a democratic form of government, with the Maharaja continuing as the head of state.
  • Faced with Burma’s ambitions to take over the state, in 1949, Maharaja Bodhchandra went to Shillong, where he signed an instrument of accession to merge the kingdom into the Union of India instead.
  • Thereafter, the legislative assembly was dissolved, and in October 1949 Manipur became part of India.
  • It was made a Union Territory in 1956, and
  • A fully-fledged State in 1972.

PIB – January 21 , 2020


General Studies- II

Topic- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)

Context

Atal Innovation Mission & UNDP hosts Youth Co:Lab National Innovation Challenge

About

  • Youth Co: Lab launched in collaboration by AIM and UNDP earlier.
  • It aims at fostering technology, promoting youth leadership and social entrepreneurship in India.
  • Four winning teams made it the list to represent India at the Youth Co:Lab Regional Innovation Challenge in Malaysia slated to be held in April this year.

About Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)

  • AIM is the Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.
  • AIM including Self-Employment and Talent Utilization (SETU) is Government of India’s endeavour to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Objective

Its objective is to serve as a platform for promotion of world-class Innovation Hubs, Grand Challenges, Start-up businesses and other self-employment activities, particularly in technology driven areas.

Key function of AIM

  • Entrepreneurship promotion through Self-Employment and Talent Utilization, wherein innovators would be supported and mentored to become successful entrepreneurs.
  • Innovation promotion: to provide a platform where innovative ideas are generated.

Highlights

  • As a part of AIM, Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) are being established in more than 5,000 schools in India.
  • Students of class 6th to class 12th acquire problem solving and innovation skills, developing innovative solutions leveraging Tinkering technologies like 3D printers, robotics, miniaturised electronics, IOT and programming, do it yourself kits with support from teachers.
  • The Atal Tinkering Lab is based on the philosophy to identify and nurture innovation in young students across the country.

What are Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATL)?

  • Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) are the laboratories establishing in the schools across the India under the Atal Innovation Mission.
  • It aims to ‘Cultivate one Million children in India as Neoteric Innovators’.

Objective of this scheme

To foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds; and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing etc.

 Key Features of ATL

  • ATL is a work space where young minds can give shape to their ideas through hands on do-it-yourself mode; and learn innovation skills.
  • Young children will get a chance to work with tools and equipment to understand the concepts of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
  • ATL would contain educational and learning ‘do it yourself’ kits and equipment on – science, electronics, robotics, open source microcontroller boards, sensors and 3D printers and computers.
  • AIM will provide grant-in-aid that includes a one-time establishment cost of Rs. 10 lakh and operational expenses of Rs. 10 lakh for a maximum period of 5 years to each ATL.

General Studies-III

Topic- Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Centre of Excellence in Blockchain Technology

Context

National Informatics Centre (NIC) set up the Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Blockchain Technology.

About

  • National Informatics Centre (NIC) has set up the Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Blockchain Technology in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • It aims to provide Blockchain as a service and allowing all stakeholders to benefit from shared learning, experiences and resources.
  • Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) is a third-party cloud-based infrastructure and management for companies building and operating blockchain apps.

Blockchain technology

  • Blockchain technology is upcoming & niche technology and adoption of the same in sectors such as health, finance, agriculture and various other sectors.
  • It would aid the government in implementing various programmes and provide trust and immutability to the assets.

Significance of Centre of Excellence (CoE)

  • The Centre of Excellence (CoE) will facilitate the Government Departments in building proof of concepts for use of Blockchain technology in different dimensions of governance.
  • Applications of Blockchain in the Government are expected to enhance transparency, traceability and trust in e-governance systems.
  • Centre of Excellence in Blockchain Technology is the third such centre, following the Centre of Excellence for Data Analytics (CEDA), New Delhi and Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence (CoE in AI).

National Informatics Centre (NIC)

  • National Informatics Centre (NIC) as a premier technology advisor and ICT solution provider to Government at all levels.
  • National Informatics Centre (NIC) was established in 1976.
  • It has emerged as a promoter of digital opportunities for sustainable development.
  • NIC spearheaded “Informatics-Led-Development” by implementing ICT applications in social and public administration and facilitates electronic delivery of services to the government (G2G), business (G2B), citizen (G2C) and government employee (G2E).
  • NIC, through its ICT Network, “NICNET”, has institutional linkages with all the Ministries /Departments of the Central Government, 37 State Governments/ Union Territories, and about 720+ District Administrations of India.

Major activities of NIC

  • Setting up of ICT Infrastructure
  • Implementation of National and State Level e-Governance Projects/Products
  • Consultancy to the Government departments
  • Research & Development
  • Capacity Building

FUNDAMENTALS OF  ‘BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY’

What is Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain, sometimes referred to as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), makes the history of any digital asset unalterable and transparent through the use of decentralization and cryptographic hashing. 

  • A simple analogy for understanding blockchain technology is a Google Doc.
  • When we create a document and share it with a group of people, the document is distributed instead of copied or transferred. This creates a decentralized distribution chain that gives everyone access to the document at the same time.
  • No one is locked out awaiting changes from another party, while all modifications to the doc are being recorded in real-time, making changes completely transparent.
  • Of course, blockchain is more complicated than a Google Doc, but the analogy is apt because it illustrates three critical ideas of the technology.

BLOCKCHAIN EXPLAINED: A QUICK OVERVIEW

  • Digital assets are distributed instead of copied or transferred.
  • The asset is decentralized, allowing full real-time access.
  • A transparent ledger of changes preserves integrity of the document, which creates trust in the asset.
  • Blockchain is an especially promising and revolutionary technology because it helps reduce risk, stamps out fraud and brings transparency in a scaleable way for myriad uses.

How Does Blockchain Work?

Blockchain consists of three important concepts: blocks, nodes and miners.

Blocks

Every chain consists of multiple blocks and each block has three basic elements:

  • The data in the block.
  • A 32-bit whole number called a nonce. The nonce is randomly generated when a block is created, which then generates a block header hash.
  • The hash is a 256-bit number wedded to the nonce. It must start with a huge number of zeroes (i.e., be extremely small).
  • When the first block of a chain is created, a nonce generates the cryptographic hash. The data in the block is considered signed and forever tied to the nonce and hash unless it is mined.

Miners

  • In a blockchain every block has its own unique nonce and hash, but also references the hash of the previous block in the chain, so mining a block isn’t easy, especially on large chains.
  • Miners create new blocks on the chain through a process called mining.
  • Miners use special software to solve the incredibly complex math problem of finding a nonce that generates an accepted hash.
  • Because the nonce is only 32 bits and the hash is 256, there are roughly four billion possible nonce-hash combinations that must be mined before the right one is found. When that happens miners are said to have found the “golden nonce” and their block is added to the chain.
  • Making a change to any block earlier in the chain requires re-mining not just the block with the change, but all of the blocks that come after. This is why it’s extremely difficult to manipulate blockchain technology.
  • Think of it is as “safety in math” since finding golden nonces requires an enormous amount of time and computing power.
  • When a block is successfully mined, the change is accepted by all of the nodes on the network and the miner is rewarded financially.

Nodes

  • One of the most important concepts in blockchain technology is decentralization.
  • No one computer or organization can own the chain. Instead, it is a distributed ledger via the nodes connected to the chain.
  • Nodes can be any kind of electronic device that maintains copies of the blockchain and keeps the network functioning.
  • Every node has its own copy of the blockchain and the network must algorithmically approve any newly mined block for the chain to be updated, trusted and verified.
  • Since blockchains are transparent, every action in the ledger can be easily checked and viewed. Each participant is given a unique alphanumeric identification number that shows their transactions.
  • Combining public information with a system of checks-and-balances helps the blockchain maintain integrity and creates trust among users.
  • Essentially, blockchains can be thought of as the scaleability of trust via technology.

For Prelims

NIC Tech Conclave 2020

Highlights

  • 2nd edition of ‘NIC Tech Conclave 2020 was lunched in New Delhi by Union Communications and Electronics & Information Technology Minister.
  • The theme of National Informatics Centre (NIC) Tech Conclave 2020 is ‘Technologies for NextGen Governance’.
  • The NIC has been instrumental in steering application of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) at various levels in the Government.
  • Besides setting up National ICT Infrastructure for the Government, NIC has also designed and developed solutions/platforms for various sectors of the Government at the Centre and State.