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PIB 9th March 2021

CONTENTS

  1. DECLARATION OF WORLD HERITAGE SITES BY UNESCO
  2. NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR TEACHER EDUCATION
  3. STEPS TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT TO EXPAND RESEARCH ORIENTED HIGHER EDUCATION
  4. DETAILS OF CENTRAL TAXES COLLECTED BY THE UNION GOVERNMENT
  5. SAFETY OF WOMEN
  6. POLAVARAM IRRIGATION PROJECT
  7. PERIODIC LABOUR FORCE SURVEY 2018-19
  8. ETHANOL BLENDED PETROL(EBP) PROGRAMME
  9. PRADHAN MANTRI YUVA (PM YUVA) YOJANA
  10. MISSION POSHAN 2.0, MISSION VATSALYA, MISSION SHAKTI

DECLARATION OF WORLD HERITAGE SITES BY UNESCO

Focus: GS I-Indian History, Culture

Why in news?

At present, India has 38 World Heritage Properties.

  • All the sites under the Ministry are conserved as per ASI’s Conservation Policy and are in good shape.

 World Heritage Site

A World Heritage Site is a place on earth having a special cultural or physical significance and outstanding universal value to the humanity. This could be a building, a city, a complex, a desert, a forest, an island, a lake, a monument, or a mountain.

A listing on the world Heritage list means that these sites need to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. Italy is home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites

World heritages sites of India:

Sr NoNameRegion
1Ajanta CavesMaharashtra
2Ellora CavesMaharashtra
3Agra FortUttar Pradesh, India
4Taj MahalUttar Pradesh
5Sun Temple, KonârakPuri District, Odisha
6Group of Monuments at MahabalipuramMahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
7Kaziranga National ParkAssam
8Manas Wildlife SanctuaryAssam
9Keoladeo National ParkRajasthan
10Churches and Convents of GoaVelha Goa (Old Goa), Goa
11Khajuraho Group of MonumentsMadhya Pradesh
12Group of Monuments at HampiBallari district, Karnataka, India
13Fatehpur SikriUttar Pradesh
14Group of Monuments at PattadakalBagalkot District, Karnataka, India
15Elephanta CavesMaharashtra
16Great Living Chola TemplesBrihadeeswarar Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India
  Airavateshwarar Temple, Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India
  Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India
17Sundarbans National ParkWest Bengal
18Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National ParksUttarakhand
19Buddhist Monuments at SanchiMadhya Pradesh, India
20Humayun’s Tomb, DelhiDelhi
21Qutb Minar and its Monuments, DelhiDelhi
22Mountain Railways of IndiaDarjeeling Himalayan Railway (1999), Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
  Nilgiri Mountain Railway (2005) Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India
  Kalka-Shimla Railway, Himachal Pradesh (2008)
  India
23Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh GayaBihar
24Rock Shelters of BhimbetkaMadhya Pradesh, India
25Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)Maharashtra
26Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological ParkGujarat, India
27Red Fort ComplexDelhi
28The Jantar Mantar, JaipurJaipur, Rajasthan, India
29Western GhatsAgasthyamalai Sub-Cluster
  Periyar Sub-Cluster
  Anamalai Sub-Cluster
  Nilgiri Sub-Cluster
  Talakaveri Sub-Cluster (five properties)
  Kudremukh Sub-Cluster (five properties)
  Sahyadri Sub-Cluster
30Hill Forts of RajasthanChittorgarh
  Kumbhalgarh
  Ranthambhore
  Amber Sub-Cluster
  Jaisalmer
  Gagron
31Rani ki vav (The Queen’s Stepwell)Patan, Gujarat, India
32Great Himalayan National ParkHimachal Pradesh, India
33Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda, BiharBihar
34Khangchendzonga National ParkSikkim
35The Architectural Work Of Le CorbusierChandigarh, India
36Historic City of AhmedabadAhmedabad, Gujarat
37The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of MumbaiMaharashtra
38JaipurJaipur, Rajasthan

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

Nodal: Ministry of Culture

  • It administers more than 3650 ancient monuments, archaeological sites and remains of national importance.
  • Its activities include carrying out surveys of antiquarian remains, exploration and excavation of archaeological sites, conservation and maintenance of protected monuments etc.
  • It was founded in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham- the first Director-General of ASI. Alexander Cunningham is also known as the “Father of Indian Archaeology”.

NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR TEACHER EDUCATION

Focus: GS-II- Education, Prelims

About National Council for Teacher Education

Nodal: Ministry of Education

It is a statutory body came into existence in pursuance of the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993

Objective

  • The main objective of the NCTE is to achieve planned and coordinated development of the teacher education system throughout the country, the regulation and proper maintenance of Norms.
  • The mandate given to the NCTE is very broad and covers the whole gamut of teacher education programmes including research and training of persons for equipping them to teach at pre-primary, primary, secondary and senior secondary stages in schools, and non-formal education, part-time education, adult education and distance (correspondence) education courses


STEPS TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT TO EXPAND RESEARCH ORIENTED HIGHER EDUCATION

Focus: GS II- Education, Government policies and Interventions

Why in news?

The National Education Policy 2020 envisions an education system rooted in Indian ethos that contributes directly to transforming India sustainably into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society, by providing high-quality education to all, innovation and research and thereby making India a global knowledge superpower by equipping its students with the necessary skills and knowledge.

About National Education Policy 2020

  • National Education Policy 2020 envisions a comprehensive approach to transforming the quality and quantity of research in India.
  • This includes inter-alia promoting research in universities, the inclusion of research and internships in the undergraduate curriculum, faculty career management systems that give due weightage to research, and the governance and regulatory changes that encourage an environment of research and innovation.

Higher Education:

  • The National Research Foundation to be created as an apex body for fostering a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.
  • Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education to be raised to 50% by 2035. The current Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education is 26.3%.
  • Holistic Undergraduate education with a flexible curriculum can be of 3 or 4 years with multiple exit options and appropriate certification within this period.
  • M.Phil courses will be discontinued and Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs), at par with IITs, IIMs, to be set up as models of best multidisciplinary education of global standards in the country.
  • Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be set up as a single umbrella body for the entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education. 
  • Affiliation of colleges is to be phased out in 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges.

School Education:

  • Universalization of education from preschool to secondary level with 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in school education by 2030.
  • The current 10+2 system to be replaced by a new 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively. It will bring the uncovered age group of 3-6 years under school curriculum, which has been recognized globally as the crucial stage for development of mental faculties of a child.
  • Class 10 and 12 board examinations to be made easier, to test core competencies rather than memorised facts, with all students allowed to take the exam twice.
  • Vocational Education to start from Class 6 with Internships.

Education In India

Constitutional Provisions:

  • The 86th Amendment in 2002 made education an fundamental right under Article 21-A.
  • Part IV of Indian Constitution, Article 45 and Article 39 (f) of Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP), has a provision for state-funded as well as equitable and accessible education.

Related Laws:

  • Right To Education (RTE) Act, 2009 aims to provide primary education to all children aged 6 to 14 years.


DETAILS OF CENTRAL TAXES COLLECTED BY THE UNION GOVERNMENT

Focus: GS III-Indian Economy, Taxation

Why in news?

The Minister of finance  gave the tax-wise target for Central taxes to be collected from 1st April, 2020 to 31st March 2021. 

Key points:

  • Share of Indirect taxes in overall tax collection is more than direct tax collections.

Direct taxes:

  • Direct tax is a type of tax where the incidence and impact of taxation fall on the same entity. In the case of direct tax, the burden can’t be shifted by the taxpayer to someone else. These are largely taxes on income or wealth.
  • Eg: Corporation Tax, Income Tax, Other Taxes in Income & Expenditure, etc
  • Collection: Income Tax > Corporation tax > Security Transaction Tax

Indirect Taxes:

  • An indirect tax is a tax collected by an intermediary from the person who bears the ultimate economic burden of the tax. It can be shifted by the taxpayer to someone else.                                 
  • Eg: Custom duty, excise duty etc
  • Collection: Goods and Services Tax including CGST, IGST & Compensation Cess > Union Excise Duty > Custom Duty


SAFETY OF WOMEN

Focus: GS I- Indian Society,  Women

Why in news?

To enhance the safety and security of women in the country, Ministry of Home Affairs has taken several initiatives which are funded by the Nirbhaya Fund.

Details:

  • Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences (ITSSO) is an online analytical tool launched to monitor and track timely completion of police investigations in sexual assault cases (currently two months as per Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2018).
  • National Database of Sexual Offenders” (NDSO) has been launched to identify repeat offenders and receive alerts on sex offenders, as also in the investigation.
  • Crime Multi Agency Center (Cri-MAC) has been introduced  for police stations and higher offices in all States/UTs to share information on heinous crimes and other issues related to coordination in cases of inter-state crime.
  • New citizen Services have been launched by National Crime Records Bureau for cases of Crimes against Women. These services include functionalities like ‘Missing Person Search’ that helps citizens find their missing kin from the national database of recovered unidentified found person/unidentified dead bodies.
  • Projects funded by Nirbhaya Fund are also being fast-tracked by MHA to enhance the safety and security of women. ‘Emergency Response Support System (ERSS)’ is an example of such initiative. 
  • Delhi Police recruited Social Workers & Counsellors to encourage women to step up and report crimes without fear or shame
  • Safe City Projects in 8 cities: Among the projects funded by the Nirbhaya Fund, Safe City Projects in 8 cities (Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai) are under implementation. The projects involve the use of technology to improve the safety of women in India. This includes the use of drones, installation of CCTV cameras to alert Police about criminals and criminal activity.


POLAVARAM IRRIGATION PROJECT

Focus: GS III- Infrastructure

About : Polavaram Irrigation Project (PIP)

  • This project is located in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, which will also interlink several rivers in the state.
  • It has been accorded national project status by the Centre. Its implementation is monitored by the Central Water Commission.
  • The project involves relocation of about 50,000 families especially in Khammam, East Godavari and West Godavari districts in Andhra Pradesh, besides 2,000 families in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

Aim of the Project

  • Purpose of this multi-purpose project is to facilitate irrigation and it will also help in the supply of drinking water to Visakhapatnam and water for industrial purposes.
  • It also endeavours hydropower to regions of East Godavari, Vishakhapatnam, Krishna and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh.
  • It seeks to address the challenges of flooding and droughts witnessed in the respective basins.
  • The project also aims to help the Rayalaseema region (comprising Anantapur, Chittoor, Kadapah and Kurnool districts out of the total 13 districts) get more water.

Godavari river:

See the source image
  • The Godavari river is the largest river of Peninsular India. It is known as the Dakshin Ganga or Vridha Ganga (old Ganga) because of its age, size and length. It is navigable in the delta region.
  • Source of origin of the Godavari river: It rises from a place called Trimbak located in the Western Ghats in Nashik district in the state of Maharashtra.

PERIODIC LABOUR FORCE SURVEY 2018-19

Focus: GS III- Employment

Key Points: Interpretation of the Data (Important)

  • India’s unemployment rate improved from the 45-year high of 6.1% in 2017-18 to 5.8% in 2018-19.
  • The labour force participation rate also improved marginally, from 36.9% in 2017-18 to 37.5% in 2018-19.
  • Women’s unemployment fell from 5.7% to 5.2% – by 0.5%.
  • Male unemployment only fell from 6.2% to 6%. – by 0.2% only.
  • Urban unemployment is still high at 7.7% dropping just 0.1% from 7.8% in 2017-18.
  • Rural unemployment fell from 5.3% to 5%.
  • 22% of women in India above 15 were part of the labour force, as against 71.2% men between July 2017 and June 2018.
  • Unemployment rate among Schedule Castes (SC) and Schedule Tribes (ST) has gone up during Fiscal Year 2018-19. This is despite overall rate dropping to 5.8 per cent from 6.1 per cent.
  • Youth in the age bracket of 15-29 years and educated persons have unemployment rate in the double digits with 17.3 per cent and 11 per cent respectively.
  • The worst affected are urban youths with 20.7 per cent unemployment and among urban females it is 25.7 per cent.

Key Employment and Unemployment Indicators

  • Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR): LFPR is defined as the percentage of persons in labour force (i.e. working or seeking or available for work) in the population.
  • Worker Population Ratio (WPR): WPR is defined as the percentage of employed persons in the population.
  • Unemployment Rate (UR): UR is defined as the percentage of persons unemployed among the persons in the labour force.
  • Activity Status- Usual Status: The activity status of a person is determined on the basis of the activities pursued by the person during the specified reference period. When the activity status is determined on the basis of the reference period of last 365 days preceding the date of survey, it is known as the usual activity status of the person.
  • Activity Status- Current Weekly Status (CWS): The activity status determined on the basis of a reference period of last 7 days preceding the date of survey is known as the current weekly status (CWS) of the person.

Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS)

Nodal: Ministry of Statistics Programme implementation

  • National Statistical Office (NSO) launched Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) on April 2017.
  • The objective of PLFS is primarily twofold:
    • To estimate the key employment and unemployment indicators (viz. Worker Population Ratio, Labour Force Participation Rate, Unemployment Rate) in the short time interval of three months for the urban areas only in the Current Weekly Status (CWS)
    • To estimate employment and unemployment indicators in both usual status (ps+ss) and CWS in both rural and urban areas annually.


ETHANOL BLENDED PETROL(EBP) PROGRAMME

Focus: GS III-Environment

Why in news?

Government has been promoting use of ethanol as a blend stock with main automotive fuel like petrol in line with the National Policy on Biofuels -2018 under the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme.

  • This policy envisages an indicative target of blending 20% ethanol in petrol by 2030.

Ethanol Blending Programme (EBP)

  • It aims at blending ethanol with petrol, thereby bringing it under the category of biofuels and saving millions of dollars by cutting fuel imports.
  • Under EBP program, availability of ethanol will increase due to the higher price for C heavy molasses based ethanol and enabling procurement of ethanol from B heavy molasses and sugarcane juice for the first time.

National Policy on Bio-fuels

NATIONAL POLICY ON 
BIOFUELS - 2018 
Increased scope at raw materials tor 1st Generation Ethanol 
In ediate 
(B•Molasses) 
Containing 
Matuials: 
Corn 
CassaR 
Rotten Potatoes 
Sugarcane Juice 
Damaged 
Food Gra 
Wh eat 
Broken rice unfit 
for consumption 
Sugar 
Containing 
Materials 
Sugar Beet 
Sweet Sorghum 
During 
Surplus phase
  • The National Policy on Bio- fuels 2018 has empowered the National Bio-fuel Coordination Committee (NBCC) to allow conversion of surplus quantities of food-grains for production of ethanol during an agriculture crop year when there is projected oversupply of food-grains.
  • The objective of the Bio- fuel policy is to achieve 20% ethanol-blending and 5% biodiesel-blending by the year 2030. The policy also expands the scope of feedstock for ethanol production and has provided for incentives for production of advanced bio-fuels.

Ethanol

  • Ethanol, an anhydrous ethyl alcohol having chemical formula of C2H5OH, can be produced from sugarcane, maize, wheat, etc which are having high starch content.
  • In India, ethanol is mainly produced from sugarcane molasses by fermentation process.
  • Ethanol can be mixed with gasoline to form different blends.
  • As the ethanol molecule contains oxygen, it allows the engine to more completely combust the fuel, resulting in fewer emissions and thereby reducing the occurrence of environmental pollution.
  • Since ethanol is produced from plants that harness the power of the sun, ethanol is also considered as renewable fuel.

PRADHAN MANTRI YUVA (PM YUVA) YOJANA

Focus: GS II- Schemes, Government Policies and Interventions

Why in news?

The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) is implementing Pradhan Mantri YUVA (PM YUVA) Yojana.

About Pradhan Mantri YUVA (PM YUVA) Yojana:

Nodal: Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

  • Pradhan Mantri YUVA Yojana (Yuva Udyamita Vikas Abhiyan) is a centrally sponsored Scheme launched in 2016.
  • It is a pilot scheme, for creating an enabling ecosystem through entrepreneurship education, training, advocacy and easy access to entrepreneurship network.
  • The scheme covers 10 States and 2 Union Territories (viz. i.e. Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Kerala, Delhi and Puducherry)
  • The aim of the scheme is to create an enabling ecosystem by 2021 for entrepreneurship development through entrepreneurship education & training, advocacy, and easy access to entrepreneurship network.

Objectives of PM-YUVA:

  • Educate and equip potential and early stage entrepreneurs
  • Connect entrepreneurs in enabling networks of peers, mentors, incubators, funding and business services
  • Coordinate and support entrepreneurs through Entrepreneurship Hubs(E-Hubs)
  • Catalyze a culture shift to support aspiring entrepreneurs.

The target beneficiaries of the scheme are categorized as follows:

  • Traditional students enrolled in degree programme across undergraduate/ postgraduate courses/ PhD programme/ Diploma
  • School Students
  • Students in Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs)
  • All citizens including unorganized sector, women, and existing entrepreneurs in rural as well as urban areas, who would like to take up entrepreneurship education through coordination and support programmes.


MISSION POSHAN 2.0, MISSION VATSALYA, MISSION SHAKTI

Focus: GS-II Government Policies and Intervention, Schemes

Why in news?

For effective implementation of various schemes and programmes of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, all major schemes of the Ministry have been classified under 3 umbrella schemes viz. Mission Poshan 2.0, Mission Vatsalya and Mission Shakti.

Mission Poshan 2.0

Nodal:  Ministry of Women and Child Development

  • The supplementary nutrition programme and the Poshan Abhiyaan has been merged to launch Mission Poshan 2.0.
  • The programme will be aimed at improving and strengthening nutritional content, delivery, outreach and outcomes.

Poshan Abhiyaan:

Poshan Abhiyaan, also known as the National Nutrition Mission (NNM), was launched in 2018 (although the programme was being implemented from 2017) by the Government of India with the aim of tackling the malnutrition problem prevalent in India.

  • Poshan Abhiyaan is India’s flagship scheme to improve the nutritional outcomes of adolescents, children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • The chief objective of the mission is to reduce the level of under-nutrition and also enhance the nutritional status of children in the country.
  • The mission leverages technology and convergence between various modules and departments.

Mission Vatsalya:

Nodal:  Ministry of health and family welfare.

  •  It is a scheme to promote breastfeeding and thereby reduce infant mortality.
  • Under this mission, a national human milk bank and lactation counselling centre was established in Delhi.

Mission Shakti:

 Nodal:  Ministry of Women and Child Development

  • To create an inclusive society where women and girls have equal access to resources and opportunities, enabling them to participate in the social, economic and political development of India.
  • Women are key agents for achieving transformational economic, environmental and social changes required for sustainable development.
S.No.Umbrella SchemeSchemes included
1.Saksham Anganwadi and POSHAN 2.0Umbrella ICDS – Anganwadi Services, Poshan Abhiyan, Scheme for Adolescent Girls, National Creche Scheme
2.Mission VATSALYAChild Protection Services and Child Welfare Services
3.Mission Shakti (Mission for Protection and Empowerment for Women)SAMBAL (One Stop Centre, Mahila Police Volunteer, Women’s Helpline/Swadhar/Ujjawala/Widow Homes etc.)   SAMARTHYA (Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Creche, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana/ Gender Budgeting/Research/

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