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PIB 28th November 2020

Contents

  1. Consumer Price Index (CPI)
  2. Environmental Impact Assessment
  3. Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA)
  4. Science, Technology & Innovation Policy STIP 2020 
  5. Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series
  6. EPFO

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (CPI)

Focus:  GS 3 ;Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

Why in News?

The All-India Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) for October, 2020 increased by 1.4 points and stood at 119.5 (one hundred nineteen and point five).

About Consumer Price Index (CPI)

  •  A comprehensive measure used for estimation of price changes in a basket of goods and services representative of consumption expenditure in an economy is called consumer price index.

Please click on this link and Refer detailed Explanation about Consumer Price Index (CPI).


ENVIRONMENRAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (EIA)

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

Why in News?

InterModal Station at Ajni in resonance with Environmental Impact Assessment

About Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

  • The EIA is a process of evaluating the likely environmental impacts of a proposed project or development, taking into account inter-related socio-economic, cultural, and human-health impacts, both beneficial and adverse.
  • In 1994, for the first time under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, the EIA notification was formulated in India. It made environmental clearance mandatory for expansion, modernization and setting up of new projects. Since then, EIA has been amended several times.
  • The most important amendment happened in 2006.
  • The EIA is a tool used to assess the positive and negative environmental, economic, and social impacts of a project.
  • This is used to predict the environmental impacts of a project in the pre-planning stage itself so that decisions can be taken to reduce the adverse impacts.
  • The EIA is an assessment of the environmental consequences it can be positive or negative.
  • The EIA is carried out to ensure that the upcoming activity will not cause any threat to environment.
  • The below attached image shows about the EIA History till now.
Environmental Impact Assessment 
A process through which an environmental impact of a proposed or development is evaluated. 
• India adopted EIA 
formally 
• Rapid Growth in EIA 
training 
1990s 
World Bank Establishes EIA 
requi rements 
Spread of EIA Process in India 
1970s 
History & 
Evolution 
Mid 1980s 
The USA introduced 
EIA through its 
National Environment 
policy Act (NEPA) 
Late 1970s I 
Early 1980s 
• EIA Guidelines became 
more formalized 
Developing Nations 
started introducing EIA

Objectives of Environmental Impact Assessment

  1. Identifying, predicting, and evaluating economic, environmental, and social impacts of development activities.
  2. Providing information on the environmental consequences for decision making.
  3. Promoting environmentally sound and suitable development by identifying appropriate alternatives and mitigation measures.
  • The important aspects of EIA are as follows
    1. Risk assessment,
    2. Environmental management and
    3. Post product monitoring.
  • In India the EIA process is made in the stages step by step as shown in the below attached image.
Project proponents 
• application for license to the competent authority 
EIA required 
Step 1: Project screening 
• is a full-fledge EIA required for the project? 
• may follow a standardized or customized approach 
• may involve an initial environmental assessment 
Step 2: Scoping of the project 
• what is the scope and content of the EIA? 
• consideration of project alternatives 
• preparation Of the Terms Of Reference 
roject proponents and/or consultants 
• prepare EIA according to the Terms of Reference 
Step 3: Policy / administrative aspects 
• which policies and regulations apply and 
which permits must be obtained for the project? 
• consideration of EIA laws and requirements and 
any other relevant policies and regulations 
Step 4: Project description 
• provision of relevant background information about 
the project which is required to evaluate the 
potential impacts of the project on the environment 
Step 5: Baseline data 
• establishment of environmental, socio-economic and public 
health baseline data for the project area before construction 
• often involves monitoring activities and surveys 
Step 6: Evaluation of impacts 
• description of all potential environmental, socio-economic 
and public health impacts and evaluation of their significance 
Step 7: Impact mitigation 
• identification of measures in order to prevent, minimize or 
remedy significant adverse impacts to acceptable levels 
Step 8: Summary / conclusions 
• summary and conclusions of the main findings of steps 5 - 7 
• identification of preferred project configuration 
pre EIA stages 
no EIA required 
Public 
involvement 
main EIA stages

Advantages of EIA

  • The most governments and donor agencies acknowledge the contribution of EA to improved project design.
  1. Reduced cost and time of project implementation.
  2. Cost-saving modifications in project design.
  3. Increased project acceptance.
  4. Avoided impacts and violations of laws and regulations.
  5. Improved project performance.
  6. Avoided treatment/clean up costs.

Dis-Advantages of EIA

  1. Relies on Technical Inputs
  2. Costly Time Delays
  3. Requires Preparation and Follow-Up
  4. Do not address impact duration or probability
  5. Lack of comprehensive environmental information, base limitations of time, manpower, financial resources.
  6. There is no criteria what type of projects requires EIA, because many projects doesn’t require EIA in depth.

About EIA Draft 2020

  • The government has put up for public consideration and comment the Draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2020.
  • The draft is seen as an attempt to weaken environmental regulation and silence the affected communities.
  • The EIA process scrutinizes the potential environmental impact of a project.
  • It looks into the negative externalities of a proposed project i.e. before commencement.
  • It then determines whether it can be carried out in the form proposed, or whether it is to be abandoned or modified.

About the concerns with Recent EIA Draft 2020

  • Under the guise of streamlining the EIA process and bringing it in line with recent judgments, the Draft EIA Notification disables it. 
  • If put into force, the EIA Notification, 2020 will replace the EIA Notification, 2006 for all future projects.
  • The draft EIA notification halves the frequency of reporting requirements from every 6 months to once a year.
  • The most devastating blow to the EIA regime is the creation of an ex-post-facto clearance route.
  • It now carries the instrument of its demise in its text and will become a business decision as to whether the law needs to be followed or the violation can be “managed”.
  • It shortens the time for the public to furnish responses on the project. For project-affected people who do not have access to information and technology, this will make it harder to put forth representations.
  • It slacks the monitoring requirements as it halves the frequency of reporting requirements from every six months to once a year and extends the validity period for approvals in critical sectors such as mining.
  • The Scope of EIA reduced as the industries that previously required a full assessment have been downgraded e.g. construction industry where only the largest projects will be scrutinized fully.

Conclusion

  • The Environmental regulation must balance damage to the environment with sustainable development and possible benefits but the new notification lays more emphasis on the benefits and so must be reconsidered.
  • The EIA rules in India privileges the interests of the project proponents over that of safeguarding environment
  • On a positive note, the 2020 draft notification has a clause dedicated to definitions to several terms related to EIA.
  • It may be beneficial in the sense that it consolidates the EIA rules and has the potential of alleviating some ambiguity in the present law.

GLOBAL INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY ALLIANCE (GITA)

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

Why in News?

GITA is a catalyst for nurturing innovation & industrial R&D by fostering bilateral academic-industry & government collaborations: Dr. Harsh Vardhan

About Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA)

  • The Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA) is a “not–for–profit” Section-8 Public Private Partnership (PPP) company promoted jointly by the Technology Development Board (TDB), Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
  • The Prime Minister’s Council on Trade & Industry had, in 2010, recommended incorporation of a Government’s arm’s length entity under PPP mode to professionally manage the Government’s funds for providing flexibility to industry for undertaking R&D along with global partners.
  • The GITA platform encourages industrial investments in innovative technology solutions by
    • The mapping technology gaps,
    • The undertaking expert evaluation of technologies available across the globe,
    • The facilitating techno–strategic collaborative partnerships appropriate for Indian economy
    • The Connecting industrial and institutional partners for synergistic matchmaking and
    • The Providing soft funding for technology development / acquisition / deployment.
  • Recently on 9th GITA foundation day celebrated on 26th Nov 2020.
FOUNDATION DAY 
Atmanirbhar Bharat 
"Innovating towards a self-reliant India" 
26th November 2020 
Over Virtual Platform : Cll Hive 
1000 - 1700 Hrs (IST) 
Focus Sectors 
Country Session Partners

Please click on this link and Refer detailed Explanation about GITA.


SCIENCE , TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION POLICY (STIP) 2020

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

Why in News?

Power-packed Apex Committee meeting provides suggestions for finalization of draft STIP 2020

About STIP 2020

  • As India and the world reorient in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, a landmark policy initiative has been flagged by the Government of India.
  • The Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, 2020 (STIP2020) formulation process will be facilitated jointly by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India  and the Department of Science and Technology.
  • It is one of the most significant events amidst many important changes in the past decade that have necessitated the formulation of a new outlook and strategy for Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI).
  • The STIP 2020 by way of its decentralized, bottom-up, and inclusive design process aims to re-strategize priorities, sectoral focus, and methods of research and technology development for larger socio-economic welfare.

Please click on this link and Refer detailed Explanation about STIP 2020.


Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series

Focus:  GS 1; Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Why in News?

Ministry of Tourism organizes webinar on“12 Months of Adventure Travel” under Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series

About Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series

  • The Ministry of Tourism is organizing a series of Webinars under the over all theme of Dekho Apna Desh.
  • The objective of these webinars is to create awareness about and promote various tourism destinations of India. 
  • These include the lesser known destinations and lesser known facets of popular destinations.
  • In addition, thematic Webinars are also being organised on subjects such as Accessible Tourism. 

Please click on this link and Refer detailed Explanation about Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series.


EPFO

Focus: GS-II; Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Why in News?

EPFO extends time limit  for Pensioners upto 28th February 2021 for submission of  Jeevan Pramaan Patra; 35 Lakh pensioners with EPFO to benefit

About EPFO

  • The EPFO is one of the World’s largest Social Security Organisations in terms of clientele and the volume of financial transactions undertaken.
  • At present it maintains 19.34 crore accounts (Annual Report 2016-17) pertaining to its members.
  • The EPFO is under the administrative control of Ministry of Labour and EmploymentGovernment of India.
  • The EPF is the main scheme under the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
  • The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation has a vision to reposition itself as a world class Social Security Organisation providing futuristic services meeting the growing requirements of all categories of its stakeholders.
  • The EPFO Vision 2030 envisages as follows;-
  1. Universal Social Security Coverage on mandatory basis by way of Provident Fund, Pension and Life Insurance for all workers of the country
  2. Online Services for all EPFO benefits with State-of-the-Art Technology
  3. Implementation of policies for a benefit structure with adequate support level of social security.
Employees' Provident Fund 
Organisation 
Native name 
Type 
Founded 
Headquarters 
Key people 
Services 
AUM 
Website 
Central Government Owned 
4 March 1952 
Shavishya Nidhi Bhawan, 14, 
Shikaiji Cama Place, 
New Delhi, India 
• Sunil BarthwaI(CentraI 
Provident Fund 
Commissioner) 
• Jag mohan (Additional 
Central Provident Fund 
Commissioner(HO)) 
• Or VP Singh (Additional 
Central Provident Fund 
Commissioner(HO)) 
Provident Fund. Pension and 
Insurance schemes, 
Implementing agency for 
Bilateral Social Security 
Agreements 
tll lakh crore 
(USS150 billion) 
epfindimgovjn&l
  • The technology-driven and hassle-free services are envisaged to improve the level of trust on the functioning of EPFO include:
  1. Provide minimum interface but maximum output from the EPFO offices
  2. Improved and reliable facility for on line services
  3. Real time monthly updation of member accounts
  4. Online access to member account
  5. Ensure one Employee one EPF account
  6. Reduce the time for settlement of claims from the present 20 days to 3 days
  7. Facilitate the ease of compliance
  8. Encourage and promote voluntary compliance
  9. Keep up the vigil and ensure proper compliance by all establishments
  10. Further improvise easy interaction with EPFO to obtain information or seek redressal
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