- Accomplishments and Action Plan: India – U.S. SEP
- Manodarpan: For Students’ Mental Health
- Jal Jeevan Mission: States compete to outperform
- India Ideas Summit
Focus: GS-II International Relations
- India and the US have a long-standing energy collaboration, which was reinforced through the announcement of a new US–India Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP).
- The India–US Strategic Energy Partnership has four pillars: Oil and Gas, Power and Energy Efficiency, Renewable and Sustainable Growth.
- The Sustainable Growth pillar is being co-chaired by NITI Aayog and USAID.
Key achievements and future action plan of the Sustainable Growth pillar
Energy data management
- An India Energy Dashboard, which was launched in 2015, has been revamped with the provisioning of data input online and through API integration.
- To enrich the exercise, NITI Aayog created eight sub-groups on energy demand and supply sectors. India and US agencies will cooperate to build a robust energy dashboard.
- Two exercises carried out on energy-water nexus and decarburization of transportation sector have highlighted key issues and provided policy advice. NITI Aayog and USAID jointly launched India Energy Modeling Forum.
- The forum will engage US and Indian researchers, knowledge partners, think tanks, both national and international, and government agencies and departments for modeling and long-term energy planning exercise.
Low carbon technologies
- Both sides agreed to engage through concerned Government, related agencies, and private players for the promotion of low carbon technologies in India.
Focus: GS-II Social Justice
Why in news?
- Union HRD Minister launched the Manodarpan initiative of HRD Ministry to provide psychosocial support to students for their Mental Health and Well-being.
- As part of Manodarpan initiative a National Toll-free Helpline a special web page of Manodarpan on the portal of HRD Ministry, and a Handbook on Manodarpan was also Launched.
Why was this needed?
- The COVID-19 Pandemic is not only a serious medical concern, but also brings mixed emotions and psycho-social stress for all.
- With specific focus on children and adolescents, there are emerging mental health concerns that are often reported in such situations.
- Children and adolescents may be more vulnerable and may experience heightened level of stress, anxiety and fearfulness, along with a range of other emotional and behavioural issues.
- The initiative covers a wide range of activities to provide Psychosocial Support to students for their Mental Health & Well-being during the COVID outbreak and beyond.
- A Working Group, having experts from the fields of education, mental health and psychosocial issues as its members, has been set up to monitor and promote the mental health issues and concerns of students and to facilitate providing of support to address the mental health and psychosocial aspects during and after COVID-19 lockdown, through conselling services, online resources and helpline.
- The Web-page contains advisory, practical tips, posters, podcasts, videos, dos and don’ts for psychosocial support, FAQs and online query system.
- A National Toll-free helpline is managed by a pool of experienced counselors/ Psychologists and other mental health professionals and will continue beyond the COVID-19 situation.
Components of Manodarpan Initiative
- Advisory Guidelines for students, teachers and faculty of School systems and Universities along with families.
- Web page on the MHRD website, which will carry advisory, practical tips, etc.
- National level database and directory of counsellors at School and University level.
- National Toll-free Helpline for a country wide outreach to students from school, universities and colleges.
- Handbook on Psychosocial Support: Enriching Life skills & Wellbeing of Students published online.
- Interactive Online Chat Platform for contact, counselling and guidance by psychologists and other mental health professionals.
- Webinars, audio-visual resources including videos, posters, flyers, comics, and short films to be uploaded as additional resource materials on webpage.
Focus: GS-II Governance
Why in news?
Launched in 2019, in 7 months of implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission in 2019-20, around 85 lakh rural households were provided with tap connections.
Details of the progress so far:
- Amidst CoVID-19 pandemic, about 55 lakh tap connections have been provided so far in the year 2020-21.
- Already, as of July 2020 7 States viz. Bihar, Telangana, Maharashtra, Haryana, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Mizoram have achieved more than 10% of the target household tap connections they had fixed for themselves.
- States like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Odisha and Manipur have shown good progress during the corresponding period.
- This shows the commitment of the States to provide the basic services to the people residing in rural areas under Jal Jeevan Mission, as well as the speed and scale with which the States are making efforts to provide tap connections.
- Out of close to 20 Crore rural households in the country almost 25% households are already provided tap connections.
- The Objective is to cover about the remaining 15 crore households in a time-bound manner while ensuring the functionality of all tap connections.
- The Ministry of Jal Shakti has been implementing Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) in partnership with States with an aim to provide potable water in adequate quantity of prescribed quality on regular and long-term basis through tap connections to every rural household in the country by 2024.
- Various States/ UTs have committed to achieve the goal of the Mission well before 2024.
Focus: GS-II International Relations
Why in news?
Indian Prime Minister will deliver the keynote address at the India Ideas Summit.
India Ideas Summit
- The India Ideas Summit is being hosted by the US-India Business Council (USIBC).
- The theme for this year’s India Ideas Summit is ‘Building a Better Future’.
- The Summit will witness discussions on areas including India-US cooperation and future of the relation between the two counties in a post pandemic world.
- The virtual Summit will feature high-level presence from Indian and US government policymakers, state-level officials, and thought leaders from business and society.
U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC)
- The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) was formed in 1975 as a business advocacy organization.
- UISBC was established to enlighten and encourage the private sectors of both India and United States to enhance investment flows.
- The organization serves as a direct link between business and Government leaders, resulting in increased trade and investment to strengthen ties between the two nations.
- USIBC partners with the major trade associations in India, including The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), The American Chamber of Commerce in India (AmCham India), National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), etc.
- The Council’s mission is to promote trade relations between India and the United States.
- Council supports pro-growth policies and increased bilateral engagement, focusing in two-way trade.
- In 2017, U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) announced a collaborative initiative titled Women for Women Innovators, Social Leaders, & Entrepreneurs (WISE).