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PIB Summaries 13 May 2023


  1. SCO India Presidency
  2. Poshan Bhi, Padhai Bhi Program

SCO India Presidency

Focus: GS II: International Relations

Why in News?

Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare chaired the virtually-held sixth session of the Health Ministers meeting of the Shanghai Corporation Organization (SCO) member states recently.

  • India holds the rotating Presidency of the Shanghai Corporation Organization (SCO).
  • The theme of the Indian SCO Presidency is to create long-lasting positive impact for the betterment of mankind and work together towards a “SECURE SCO”. 

What is the SCO? 

  • Founded in June 2001, it was built on the ‘Shanghai Five’, the grouping which consisted of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
  • They came together in the post-Soviet era in 1996, in order to work on regional security, reduction of border troops and terrorism.
  • They endowed particular focus on ‘conflict resolution’, given its early success between China and Russia, and then within the Central Asian Republics.
  • Some of their prominent outcomes in this arena entail an ‘Agreement on Confidence-Building in the Military Field Along the Border Areas’ (in 1996) between China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which led to an agreement on the mutual reduction of military forces on their common borders in 1997.
  • It would also pitch in to help the Central Asian countries resolve some of their boundary disputes. 
  • In 2001, the ‘Shanghai Five’ inducted Uzbekistan into its fold and named it the SCO, outlining its principles in a charter that promoted what was called the “Shanghai spirit” of cooperation.
  • The precise assertion, combined with some of the member states’ profiles, of building a “new international political and economic order” has often led to it being placed as a counter to treaties and groupings of the West, particularly North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

Member states

  • India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
  • The SCO also has four observer states — Afghanistan, Iran, Belarus and Mongolia — of which Iran and Belarus are now moving towards full membership. 

Main goals

  • Strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness among the member states;
  • Promoting their effective cooperation in politics, trade, economy, research and technology, and culture.

Focus areas:

  • Education, energy, transport, tourism and environmental protection.
  • It also calls for joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region; and the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.

Organizational structure of SCO

The SCO secretariat has two permanent bodies —

  • SCO Secretariat based in Beijing 
  • Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) based in Tashkent.

Other than this, the grouping consists of

Heads of State Council (HSC):

  • It is the supreme decision-making body of the organisation.
  • It meets annually to adopt decisions and guidelines on all important matters relevant to the organisation.

Heads of Government Council (HGC):

  • The HGC (mainly including Prime Ministers) also meets annually to zero in on the organisation’s priority areas and multilateral cooperation strategy.
  • It also endeavours to resolve present economic and cooperation issues alongside approving the organisation’s annual budget. 

Foreign Ministers Council:

  • The Foreign Ministers Council considers issues pertaining to the day-to-day activities of the organisation, charting HSC meetings and consultations on international problems within the organisation and if required, makes statements on behalf of the SCO. 

Poshan Bhi, Padhai Bhi Program

Focus: GS II: Government Policies and Interventions

Why in News?

Union Minister for Women and Child Development (WCD), Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, during a national event organized on strengthening Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) at Vigyan Bhavan on 10th May 2023, launched “Poshan Bhi, Padhai Bhi program.

About Poshan Bhi, Padhai Bhi:

  • It is an Early Childhood Care and Education program under Mission Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0.
  • The programme “Poshan Bhi, Padhai Bhi”, that is “Education along with nutrition” is a step towards ensuring holistic development of all children under the age of 6 years.
  • Aims:
    • Building their skills in the key development domains identified under the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP).
    • Development of communication and early language, literacy and numeracy
    • Achieving 2 hour daily Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) teaching in Anganwadi centres to be delivered in the mother-tongue and aligning through state curricula to the National Curriculum Framework.
    • Additional support to more than 1.3 million Anganwadi workers through  three-day specialized ECCE training with a play-based pedagogy

Mission Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0:

  • It is an Integrated Nutrition Support Programme. 
  • Aim: It seeks to address the challenges of malnutrition in children, adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers through a strategic shift in nutrition content and delivery and by creation of a convergent eco-system to develop and promote practices that nurture health, wellness and immunity.
  • It also seeks to address various gaps and shortcomings in the on-going nutrition programme and to improve implementation as well as to accelerate improvement in nutrition and child development outcomes.
  • The objectives of Poshan 2.0 are as follows:
  • To contribute to human capital development of the country;
  • Address challenges of malnutrition;
  • Promote nutrition awareness and good eating habits for sustainable health and wellbeing; and
  • Address nutrition related deficiencies through key strategies.

February 2024