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PIB 11th January 2021

  1. Atal Tinkering Labs
  2. Environment Minister releases Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE)
  3. North-East Venture Fund (NEVF)
  4. Khadi Prakritik Paint
  5. State-wise Actions on Annual Targets and Headways on Energy Efficiency (SAATHEE)
  6. SEA VIGIL 21


Focus: GS 3;Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

Why in News?

ISRO to adopt 100 Atal Tinkering Labs across the country for mentorship and promoting STEM and Space Education

About Atal Tinkering lab

  • Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL) is a program run by Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) under NITI Aayog to foster curiosity and innovative mindset in young students across India to encourage research and innovation in schools across the country.
  • The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is the Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.
  • AIM is mandated to create an umbrella structure to oversee innovation ecosystem of the country and revolutionizing the innovation eco-system touching upon the entire innovation life cycle through various programs.
  • AIM provides 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.
  • The Atal Tinkering Lab with a vision to ‘Cultivate one Million children in India as Neoteric Innovators’, Atal Innovation Mission is establishing Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) in schools across India.
  • The objective of this scheme is to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds; and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing etc.
  • The Eligibility is of Schools (minimum Grade VI – X) managed by Government, local body or private trusts/society can set up ATL.

Significance of Atal Tinkering Lab

  • Atal Tinkering Labs have evolved as epicenters for imparting these ‘skills of the future’ through practical applications based on self-learning.
  • Bridging a crucial social divide, Atal Tinkering Labs provide equal opportunity to all children across the spectrum by working at the grassroot level, introducing children to the world of innovation and tinkering.


Focus: GS 3;Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Why in News?

Best managed protected areas in the country to be ranked and awarded every year: Shri Prakash Javadekar. Environment Minister releases Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of 146 National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries. Framework for Management Effectiveness Evaluation of Indian Zoos (MEE-ZOO) and of Marine Protected Areas also launched.

About Environment Minister Releases Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE)

  • Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar today released Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of 146 National Park and Wildlife Sanctuaries in the Country.
  • At present, India has a network of 903 Protected Areas in the country covering about 5% of the total geographic area of the country.
  • In order to assess the efficacy of Protected Areas, evaluation of management effectiveness is required.
  • 70% of the global tiger population, 70% of Asiatic lions and more than 60% of leopards population in India is a certificate of India’s thriving biodiversity ,as these big cats sit at the top of food chain and their growing numbers shows the well being of the whole ecosystem.
  • The ministry announced from this year onwards 10 best National Parks, 5 coastal and Marine parks and top five Zoos in the country will be ranked and awarded every year.
About Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE)
  • Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of Protected Areas (PAs) has emerged as a key tool for PA managers and is increasingly being used by governments and international bodies to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the protected area management systems.
  • The results of present assessment are encouraging with overall mean MEE score of 62.01% which is higher than the global mean of 56%.
  • With this round of evaluation, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change(MoEFCC) successfully completed one full cycle of evaluating all terrestrial National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries of the country from 2006 to 2019.
  • MEE is a very important document that provides valuable guidance on various aspects of wildlife and protected area expand MEE of Marine Protected Areas.
  • A new framework for MEE of Marine Protected Areas has been also jointly prepared by WII and MoEF&CC and it will be very useful document to implement.
  • The Environment Minister also launched the Management Effectiveness Evaluation of Indian Zoos (MEE-ZOO) framework which proposes guidelines, criteria and indicators for evaluation of zoos of the country through Management Effectiveness Evaluation Process (MEE-ZOO) in a manner which is discrete, holistic and independent.
  • The assessment criteria and indicators look beyond the traditional concepts, include issues of animal welfare, husbandry and sustainability of resources and finance.
  • The MEE-ZOO exercise is moving towards developing highest standards in Zoos across India and adhering to core values of accountability, transparency, innovation, use of technology, collaboration and integrity to achieve the mandate of conservation of endangered species.

Please Click on this for detailed explanation on recent Leopard Survey


Focus: GS 2;Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Why in News?

The North East Venture Fund (NEVF)is gaining popularity among Start-Ups and young entrepreneurs: Dr Jitendra Singh

About North East Venture Fund (NEVF)

  • The North East Venture Fund (NEVF), which is the first and the only dedicated Venture Fund for the North Eastern Region and was introduced by the Modi government, is gaining popularity among Start-Ups and young entrepreneurs.
  • The Venture Fund Scheme launched by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) intended to promote growth of business ventures and skill development in the region.
  • The Ministry of DoNER had joined with North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (NEDFi) to set up the North East Venture Fund, the first and the only Venture Fund for Northeast with an initial corpus of Rs. 100 crores.
  • The fund targets to invest in Start-Ups and unique business opportunities to provide resources for new entrepreneurships.
  • The main focus of North East Venture Fund (NEVF), is for mostly the enterprises involved in Food Processing, Healthcare, Tourism, segregation of services, IT, etc.
  • The Venture Fund Scheme which was launched with the initial motivation to provide livelihood to youth of the North Eastern region, has now also started attracting different groups of youths from diverse backgrounds who wish to try their fortunes through the unexplored potentials of the North Eastern region.
  • The investment size with the Venture Fund Scheme ranges between Rs.25 lakhs and Rs. 10 crores with a long term horizon of five to ten years.
  • The Ministry of North Eastern Region has started the series “Destination North East ”, wherein the different facets of Northeast including the entrepreneurship avenues are replicated at different locations across the country.
  • During these events also, an exclusive arrangement is made for offering counselling and assistance to potential entrepreneurs and business Start-Ups.


Focus: GS 3; Conservation, environmental pollution, and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Why in News?

Gadkari to launch innovative, eco-friendly, non-toxic wall paint tomorrow

About Khadi Prakritik Paint

  • Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways  & MSME launched an innovative new paint developed by Khadi and Village Industries Commission.
  • The eco-friendly, non-toxic paint, called “Khadi Prakritik Paint” is a first-of-its-kind product, with anti-fungal, anti-bacterial properties.
  • Based on cow dung as its main ingredient, the paint is cost-effective and odorless, and has been certified by Bureau of Indian Standards.
  • Production of Khadi Prakritik Paint is aligned with Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of increasing farmers’ income.
  • The project was conceptualized by Chairman KVIC in March 2020, and later developed by Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute, Jaipur (a KVIC unit).
  • The paint is free from heavy metals like lead, mercury, chromium, arsenic, cadmium and others.
  • It will be a boost to local manufacturing and will create sustainable local employment through technology transfer. 
  • This technology will  increase consumption of cow dung as a raw material for eco-friendly products and will generate additional revenue to farmers and gaushalas. 
  • This is estimated to generate additional income of Rs 30,000 (approx) per annum per animal to farmers/ gaushalas.
  • Utilization of cow dung will also clean the environment and prevent clogging of drains.
Gadkari to launch 'India's 1st cow dung paint' - The Week


Focus: GS 3;Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Why in News?

Standard and Labelling Programme on a voluntary basis for Air Compressors and Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV; and State-wise Actions on Annual Targets and Headways on Energy Efficiency (SAATHEE) – SDA portal, also launched during the event


  • A portal for State Designated Agency for state level activities was also launched.
  • BEE has developed a Management Information System (MIS) portal namely SAATHEE.
  • It which will facilitate real-time monitoring of the progress of implementation of various Energy Conservation endeavours at State level.
  • The SAATHEE which will facilitate real-time monitoring of their energy conservation programmes, on the occasion of 30th National Energy Conservation Award (NECA) function.
  • Ministry of Power, in association with Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), organised the 30th National Energy Conservation Awards (NECA) function.

Please click on this link for detailed explanation about BEE


Focus: GS 3; Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

Why in News?


About SEA VIGIL-21

  • The second edition of the biennial pan-India coastal defence exercise ‘Sea Vigil-21’ will be conducted on 12-13 January 2021.
  • The exercise, inaugural  edition of which was conducted in January 2019 will be undertaken along the entire 7516 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India and will involve all the 13 coastal States and Union Territories along with other maritime stakeholders, including the fishing and coastal communities.
  • The exercise is being coordinated by the Indian Navy.
  • The entire coastal security set up was reorganized after the 26/11 Terror attack at Mumbai which was launched via the sea route. 
  • The scale and conceptual expanse of the exercise is unprecedented in terms of the geographical extent, the number of stakeholders involved, the number of units participating and in terms of the objectives to be met.
  • The exercise is a build up towards the major Theatre level exercise TROPEX [Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercise] which Indian Navy conducts every two years.
  • SEA VIGIL and TROPEX together will cover the entire spectrum of maritime security challenges, including transition from peace to conflict.
  • Assets of the Indian Navy, Coast Guard, Customs and other maritime agencies will participate in SEA VIGIL, the conduct of which is also being facilitated by the Ministries of Defence, Home Affairs, Shipping, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Fisheries, Customs, State Governments and other agencies of Centre/ State. 
  • While smaller scale exercises are conducted in coastal states regularly, including combined exercises amongst adjoining states, the conduct of a security exercise at national-level is aimed to serve a larger purpose.
  • It provides opportunity, at the apex level, to assess our preparedness in the domain of maritime security and coastal defence. 
  • Exercise ‘SEA VIGIL 21’ will provide a realistic assessment of our strengths and weaknesses and thus will help in further strengthening maritime and national security.

December 2023