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PIB – 23 DECEMBER 2021




Focus: GS Paper – 3: Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology, Defence Technology, Indigenization of Technology

Why in news?

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully conducted maiden flight test of indigenously developed surface-to-surface missile ‘Pralay’, from Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha on December 22, 2021

About Pralay Missile:

  • It is a tactical short-range ballistic missile for battlefield use indigenously developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation of India.
  • The Missile is powered with solid propellant rocket motor
  • It has a range of 150-500 kilometers and can be launched from a mobile launcher.
  • The missile guidance system includes a state-of-the-art navigation system and integrated avionics.
  • The missile followed the desired quasi ballistic trajectory and reached the designated target with high degree accuracy, validating the control, guidance and mission algorithms. 

About Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO):

  • It was established in 1958
  • It works under the administrative control of Ministry of Defence, Government of India.
  • It aims to establish world class science and technology base for India and provides our Defence Services decisive edge by equipping them with internationally competitive systems and solutions.
  • Presently, the Organisation is backed by over 5000 scientists and about 25,000 other scientific, technical and supporting personnel.
  • Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP): It intended to attain self-sufficiency in the field of missile technology.
  • The missiles developed under IGMDP are: Prithvi, Agni, Akash, Nag and Trishul


Focus: GS Paper – 3: Economics of Animal-Rearing, Food Security, Government Policies & Interventions

Why in news?

Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, organized a webinar on “Coldwater Fisheries: Untapped Resource” here today  as a part of “Azadi Ka Amrit Mohatsav”.

Key points:   

  • It aims to make coldwater fisheries and aquaculture as an attractive and viable livelihood security option specially for the youths and women of the Himalayan and North eastern States and UTs of Indian subcontinent. 
  • Develop robust infrastructure, potential market and cost effective transport system to ensure good returns to the farmers and fishermen of remote coldwater regions.
  • Develop innovative ways for increasing profits, decreasing input cost, species diversification and increasing the production and productivity of coldwater species.

About Coldwater Fisheries:

  • The cold water fisheries deal with fisheries activity in water where temperature of water ranges from 5 to 25 degrees centigrade.
  • The water temperature under cold water fisheries should not be more than 25°C even in summer.
  • Such conditions in India occur in Himalayan and peninsular regions.
  • India has significant resources in terms of upland rivers/streams, high and low altitudes of natural lakes in addition to man-made reservoirs existing both in Himalayan regions and Western Ghats.
  • Few Species of Cold Water Fisheries include Mahaseer, snow trout, Barilius and so on
  • Government of India established National Research Centre on Cold Water Fisheries (NRCCWF). It has played a significant role in the improvement and conservation of indigenous as well as in the establishment of exotic species in this region.


Focus: GS Paper – 3: Infrastructure, Mobilization of Resources, GS Paper – 2 :Government Policies & Interventions

Why in news?

Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the National Oxygen Stewardship Program of the Union Health Ministry, at AIIMS New Delhi.

Key points:

  • The initiative aims to empower all healthcare workers engaged in Oxygen management and administration with the essential knowledge and skills to ensure rational utilization and avoid any wastage of medical Oxygen, especially in resource constraint settings.
  • It envisages to identify and train at least one “Oxygen Steward” in each district across the country.


  • The Covid-19 pandemic not only accelerated the demand for medical oxygen but also the need for its timely delivery.
  • Oxygen is life saving and critically important in the treatment of several illnesses, not just Covid-19.
  • The country witnessed an increased oxygen demand during the pandemic. Hence, the rational use of oxygen has become mandatory and need of the hour.

Recent Government initiatives:

  • ‘Oxycare’ dashboard: Launched to fast-track the availability of Medical Oxygen in Health facilities.
  • Oxygen Express: Trains to transport LMO and oxygen cylinders across the country have been started to fight the ongoing crisis.
  • Disaster Management Act 2005: The Ministry of Home Affairs invoked Disaster Management Act, 2005 (DM Act) and ordered free inter-state movement of oxygen  carrying vehicles.
  • Oxygen Enrichment Unit (OEU): It is developed by scientists of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR-NCL), and will help reduce the requirement of ventilators and oxygen cylinders in homecare, villages and remote places.
  • Government of India has sanctioned more than 1500 Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen generation plants of which 1463 have been commissioned which include, 1225 PSA plants which have been installed and commissioned under PMCARES Fund in every district of the country


Focus: GS Paper – 1: Government Policies & Interventions

Why in news?

Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog launches Vernacular Innovation Program (VIP) to Empower Innovators, Entrepreneurs in 22 Mother Tongues

Key points:

  • Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog has come up with a first of its kind Vernacular Innovation Program (VIP), which will enable innovators and entrepreneurs in India to have access to the innovation ecosystem in 22 scheduled languages by the Government of India.
  • It aims to build the necessary capacity for the VIP, AIM has identified and will be training a Vernacular Task Force (VTF) in each of the 22 scheduled languages.
  • Each task force comprises of vernacular language teachers, subject experts, technical writers, and the leadership of regional Atal Incubation Centers (AICs).
  • A train-the-trainer program will be launched where it will collaborate with the Design Department of IIT Delhi to coach the VTF in design thinking and entrepreneurship and the adaptation of these subjects in the 22 languages and cultures.


  • India derives its identity from the diverse social and cultural fabric with regional languages being one of the most prominent cultural assets.
  • Vernacular Innovation Program strengthens the design and innovation capabilities of our communities, thereby assisting local entrepreneurs, artisans and innovators to seamlessly assimilate the knowledge cum technical materials that AIM will develop.
  • This would assist India in building a strong local network of design experts and innovation practitioners
  • It will also help in overcoming the barriers of language and empower innovators in the farthest areas of the country.
  • As per 2011 census, only 10.4% of Indians speak English, most as their second, third, or fourth language.  Only 0.02% of Indians spoke English as their first language.
  • Hence it is important to create equal opportunity for the vernacular innovators who represent the staggering 90% of our population.
December 2023