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PIB Summaries 01 September 2023

CONTENTS

  1. ULLAS: Nav Bharat Saaksharta Karyakram
  2. Three Quality Control Orders for seven non-ferrous refined metal items announced

ULLAS: Nav Bharat Saaksharta Karyakram


Context:

The Government of India has scheduled a literacy week from September 1st to September 8th, 2023, in commemoration of International Literacy Day. This initiative aims to raise awareness among various stakeholders, beneficiaries, and citizens about the ULLAS-Nav Bharat Saaksharta Karyakram.

Relevance:

GS II: Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the article:

  1. About ULLAS
  2. Literacy week

About ULLAS:

  • ULLAS, known as Understanding Lifelong Learning for All in Society, is a transformative program launched by the Indian government aligned with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
  • This Centrally Sponsored Scheme operates from 2022 to 2027 and consists of five components, which include
    • Foundational Literacy and Numeracy,
    • Critical Life Skills,
    • Basic Education,
    • Vocational Skills, and
    • Continuing Education.
  • ULLAS seeks to promote lifelong learning, address gaps in basic literacy, digital and financial literacy and critical life skills among individuals aged 15 and above, and empower them for personal and national development.

Literacy week:

  • The literacy week, spanning from September 1st to September 8th, will involve various activities leading up to the celebration of International Literacy Day on September 8th, 2023.
  • These activities include
  • sensitization meetings led by District Education Officers and District Literacy Mission Authority,
  • engagement with Panchayat Raj Institutions, student and teacher-led rallies,
  • workshops, conferences, awareness campaigns through media like radio jingles and short films,
  • and public displays such as posters and wall paintings.
  • environmental awareness activities like tree planting and cleanliness drives will be organized.

One of the primary goals of the literacy week is to boost registrations for learners and volunteers on the ULLAS mobile app.

Various groups, including students, teachers, volunteers, Anganwadi Workers, Gram Panchayats, farmers, women, retired employees, and many more, will actively participate in this campaign.


3 Quality Control Orders for 7 non-ferrous Refined Metal Items Announced


 Context:

On August 31, 2023, the Ministry of Mines issued three Quality Control Orders (QCOs) for seven specific items. These QCOs represent the Ministry of Mines’ first set of technical regulations under the BIS Act.

Relevance:

  • GS Paper – II: Government Policies & Interventions
  • GS Paper – III: Growth & Development Industrial Growth Industrial Policy

Dimensions of the article:

  1. About Quality Control Orders
  2. QCOs for aluminum, copper and nickel
  3. Process of QCO notification
  4. Significance of QCO notification

About Quality Control Orders

  • Quality Control Orders, or QCOs, are regulatory measures put in place by the government to define quality standards for particular products or categories of products.
  • The primary objective of QCOs is to regulate the entry of sub-standard and lower-quality items into the domestic market, guaranteeing that consumers have access to high-quality products that meet prescribed standards.
  • It’s worth noting that QCOs cannot be challenged at the World Trade Organization (WTO) when they are imposed on the grounds of health, safety, environmental concerns, deceptive trade practices, or national security.
  • The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) plays a pivotal role in ensuring compliance with the quality standards outlined in QCOs.
  • BIS is responsible for certifying products that meet the stipulated standards, both for domestic manufacturers and international producers.
  • With the introduction of these QCOs, the manufacturing, storage, and sale of products that lack BIS certification are prohibited in accordance with the BIS Act of 2016.

QCOs for aluminum, copper and nickel:

  • The QCO for Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys necessitates mandatory certification under the relevant Indian Standards (IS) for domestic production and the import of various aluminum products, including ingots and casting, high purity primary aluminum ingots, aluminum alloy ingots for bearings, primary aluminum ingots for remolding, and aluminum ingots, billets, and wire bars (EC grade).
  • The other two QCOs establish appropriate IS standards for copper and nickel powder.

Process of QCO notification:

  • The process of QCO notification involves a thorough procedure, including consultations with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), industry associations, and stakeholders.
  • It also encompasses the publication of draft QCOs on the websites of both the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Ministry for a 60-day period to invite comments from member countries and stakeholders.
  • Following this, the QCOs are finalized after approval by the Union Minister of Mines and review by the Legislative Department.

Significance of QCO:

  • The significance of these QCOs lies in the Ministry of Mines’ commitment to enhancing the quality control framework within the non-ferrous metals sector in India.
  •  The Ministry is actively collaborating with BIS to develop additional QCOs for upstream products, such as refined metals, within the non-ferrous metal value chain.
  • These mandatory QCOs serve several vital purposes, including preventing the import of sub-standard goods, discouraging unfair trade practices, ensuring the availability of high-quality products for domestic consumers and industrial users, aligning Indian product quality with international standards, and enhancing the global reputation of ‘Make in India.’
  • These QCO notifications represent one of the many initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Mines to support the realization of the Prime Minister’s vision of an Atma Nirbhar Bharat, or a self-reliant India.

 

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