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PIB 24th September


  1. RAISE 2020 – Summit on Artificial Intelligence
  2. National Biopharma Mission
  3. Foundation Day of DDU-GKY
  4. National Service Scheme (NSS) Awards


Focus: GS-III Science and Technology

Why in news?

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and NITI Aayog will organize a Mega Virtual Summit on Artificial Intelligence (AI), RAISE 2020- ‘Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020,’ in October 2020.

RAISE 2020

  • RAISE 2020 will be a global meeting of minds to exchange ideas and chart a course for using AI for social transformation, inclusion and empowerment in areas like Healthcare, Agriculture, Education and Smart Mobility, among other sectors.
  • At the RAISE 2020 Summit, delegates and experts in research, policy and innovation on Artificial Intelligence will join from across the globe.
  • Keynote speeches and panel discussions will frame the summit, on cross-sector subjects like ‘Leveraging AI for Pandemic Preparedness’, ‘The Impetus that Innovation Places on Digitisation’, ‘Inclusive AI’, ‘Partnerships for Successful Innovation’ etc.
  • The Summit will explore in-depth, the role of AI in accelerating social empowerment. RAISE 2020 has tracks like AI for Health, Agriculture, Education, Skilling, Mobility, Fintech, Research, Inclusive AI, Future of Work, and Responsible AI, and the Summit will serve as a platform for the meeting of some of the best minds in the world on AI.

Conclusion / Introduction

  • Home to the world’s third largest startup ecosystem, elite science and technology institutions like the IITs, robust and ubiquitous digital infrastructure, and millions of newly-minted STEM graduates every year, India is well-positioned to become a global leader in the development of artificial intelligence.
  • AI has emerged as a catalyst across industries and can play a transformative role in accelerating development.
  • Industry analysts predict that AI could add up to more than 950 billion $ to India’s economy by 2035.

Relating India and AI

  • In the spirit of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas India plans to leverage AI for inclusive development, representing the country’s ‘AI for All’ strategy.
  • RAISE 2020 is a first of its kind, global meeting of minds on Artificial Intelligence to drive India’s vision and roadmap for social transformation, inclusion and empowerment through responsible AI.

Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI)

  • India became one of the founding members and joined the league of leading economies including USA, UK, EU, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore to launch the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI or Gee-Pay).
  • GPAI is an international and multi-stakeholder initiative to guide the responsible development and use of AI, grounded in human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation, and economic growth.
  • This is also a first initiative of its type for evolving better understanding of the challenges and opportunities around AI using the experience and diversity of participating countries.
  • In order to achieve this goal, the initiative will look to bridge the gap between theory and practice on AI by supporting cutting-edge research and applied activities on AI-related priorities.
  • In collaboration with partners and international organizations, GPAI will bring together leading experts from industry, civil society, governments, and academia to collaborate to promote responsible evolution of AI and will also evolve methodologies to show how AI can be leveraged to better respond to the present global crisis around COVID-19.

National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence (AI)

NITI Aayog had published the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence in 2019, wherein it identified five core areas for application of artificial intelligence.

  1. Healthcare: for increased access and affordability of quality healthcare.
  2. Agriculture: for enhanced farmers’ income, increased farm productivity and reduction of wastage.
  3. Education: For improved access and quality of education.
  4. Smart Cities and Infrastructure: For efficient and connectivity for the burgeoning urban population.
  5. Smart Mobility and Transportation: For smarter and safer modes of transportation and better traffic and congestion problems.

ASEEM digital platform

  • Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) launched ‘Aatamanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping (ASEEM)’ portal to help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities.
  • ‘Atma Nirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping (ASEEM)’ portal is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) based platform to help in recruiting a skilled workforce that spurs business competitiveness and economic growth.
  • ASEEM is developed and managed by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in collaboration with the Bangalore based company
  • ASEEM will refer to all the trends, data, and analytics describing the workforce market and map demand of skilled workforce to supply.
  • Through ASEEM, agencies, employers, and job aggregators who are looking for a skilled workforce in the specific sectors will have access to the required details of the availability of skilled workforce and formulate their hiring plans.
  • It will be used as a matchmaking engine to map skilled workers with the jobs available.


Focus: GS-III Science and Technology


The National Biopharma Mission was approved by the Cabinet in 2017 with an aim to transform the health standards of the country through affordable product development and bring 5-7 biopharmaceutical products closer to market.

National Biopharma Mission

  • The National Biopharma Mission (NBM) is an industry-academia collaborative mission for accelerating biopharmaceutical development in the country.
  • The Mission is supporting small and medium enterprises for biopharmaceutical product development, enhancing industry academia interlinkages and providing opportunities to translate knowledge into products/technologies for vaccines, biotherapeutics, devices and diagnostics.
  • It was launched in 2017 at a total cost of Rs 1500 crore and is 50% co-funded by World Bank loan.
  • It is being implemented by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC). BIRAC is a Public Sector Enterprise, set up by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
  • The oversight to the mission activities is provided by the inter-ministerial Steering Committee chaired by the Secretary-DBT (Ministry of Science & Technology).
  • The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) chaired by an eminent scientist provides scientific leadership to the mission drawing upon global expertise.
  • Under this Mission, the Government has launched Innovate in India (i3) programme to create an enabling ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in the biopharma sector.
  • Financial and mentorship support has been provided to industry and academia for indigenous product development.
  • To boost innovation, Mission is also supporting development of novel biologics, novel vaccines and medical devices like MRI, ventilators, diagnostic probes and Medical grade camera.

Objectives and goals of the National Biopharma Mission

  1. Specific Product development under vaccines, biosimilars and medical devices
  2. Building shared infrastructure for product testing, characterization and manufacturing
  3. Promoting scientific research through establishment of translational research consortia and development of novel biopharmaceuticals and devices
  4. Skill development though trainings
  5. Creating and enhancing technology transfer and intellectual property management.


Focus: GS-II Social Justice

‘Antyodaya Diwas’

  • 25th September, 2014 was declared the ‘Antyodaya Diwas’ in honour of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya’s 98th Birth Anniversary.
  • It was the same day when the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) revamped its existing skill development program called Aajeevika Skills as Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) which emphasized on greater access, coverage and quality.
  • In doing so, MoRD has used its knowledge gained over 15 years in implementing skill training programs. DDU-GKY is now a demand driven placement-linked skilling initiative which seeks to enable rural poor youth to benefit from national and international employment opportunities.
  • The spirit of Antyodaya Mission lies in ‘reaching out to the last person’.
  • Therefore, working towards this motto and to commemorate Antyodaya Diwas 2020, MoRD is celebrating this day for Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) with their skilled and enthusiastic beneficiaries and other stakeholders spread across the country.

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya – Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY)

  • DDU-GKY is a placement linked skill development program which allows skilling in a PPP mode and assured placements in regular jobs in an organization not owned by the skilled person.
  • The Vision of DDU-GKY is to “Transform rural poor youth into an economically independent and globally relevant workforce”.
  • It aims to target youth, in the age group of 15–35 years. DDU-GKY is a part of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), tasked with the dual objectives of adding diversity to the incomes of rural poor families and cater to the career aspirations of rural youth.
  • DDU-GKY is being undertaken as PPP Project all over the country through Project Implementing Agencies (PIAs) registered with the Ministry of Rural Development.
  • Further, Guidelines of the scheme mandate State Governments to take up skill training projects with Corporate Social Responsibility funding.
  • DDU-GKY Guidelines provide for setting apart 15% of the funds of the funds at for national level beneficiaries from among minority groups.
  • Under this programme, disbursements would be made through a digital voucher directly into the student’s bank account as part of the government’s skill development initiative.


Focus: GS-II Governance

Why in news?

The President of India virtually conferred the National Service Scheme (NSS) Awards for the year 2018-19 recently.

National Service Scheme (NSS)

  • The National Service Scheme (NSS) is an Indian government-sponsored public service program conducted by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of the Government of India.
  • Popularly known as NSS, the scheme was launched in Gandhiji’s Centenary year in 1969.
  • Aimed at developing student’s personality through community service, NSS is a voluntary association of young people in Colleges, Universities and at +2 level working for a campus-community (esp. Villages) linkage.
  • The programme aims to instilling the idea of social welfare in students, and to provide service to society without bias. NSS volunteers work to ensure that everyone who is needy gets help to enhance their standard of living and lead a life of dignity.
  • In doing so, volunteers learn from people in villages how to lead a good life despite a scarcity of resources.
  • It also provides help in natural and man-made disasters by providing food, clothing and first aid to the disaster’s victims.


  • At national level, of India is the nodal authority, which works with state-level NSS cells.
  • State-level NSS cells are responsibility of the respective state governments.
  • Within states, each university has University level NSS cell under which institutions (schools and colleges) based NSS units operate.

Types of Activities

  • There are two types of activities: Regular Activities (120 hours) and Annual Special Camp (120 hours).
  • All the NSS Volunteers who have served NSS for at least 2 years and have performed 240 hours of work under NSS are entitled to a certificate from the university under the signature of the Vice-Chancellor and the Programme Coordinator.
  • Camps are held annually, funded by the government of India, and are usually located in a rural village or a city suburb.

Volunteers may be involved in such activities as:

  1. Cleaning
  2. Afforestation
  3. Stage shows or a procession creating awareness of such issues as social problems, education and cleanliness
  4. Awareness Rallies
  5. Inviting doctors for health camps

NSS Awards

  • Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Department of Youth Affairs confers every year the National Service Scheme Award to recognize and reward outstanding contributions towards voluntary community service made by the Universities/Colleges, (+2) Councils, Senior Secondary, NSS Units/ Programme Officers and NSS Volunteers, with a view to further promote NSS in the country.
  • To recognize the voluntary service rendered by NSS volunteers, Programme Officers (PO’s), NSS Units and the University NSS Cells, it has been proposed to provide suitable incentives/ awards under the scheme.

Awards include:

  1. NSS National Award
  2. State level awards
  3. University level awards
  4. District level awards
  5. College level awards
February 2024