Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | 8 Apr, 2021

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Government launches “Anamaya Initiative” – For Tribal Health

What is the News? 

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Union Minister of Tribal Affairs launches the Anamaya Initiative— a Tribal Health Collaborative.

About Anamaya Initiative:

  • Anamaya is a multi-stakeholder initiative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. Piramal Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) are supporting it.
  • Objectives:
    • Anamaya Initiative aims to converge efforts of various Government organizations to improve the health and nutrition status of the tribal communities of India.
    • It also aims to build a sustainable health ecosystem that will address the key health challenges of the tribal population.

Key Features of the Initiative:

  • It will bring together governments, philanthropists, national and international foundations, NGOs/CBOs for the health of the tribal communities.
  • Initially, It will function in 50 Aspirational tribal districts (with more than 20% ST population) across 6 high tribal population states.
  • Further, over a 10-year period, the work of the Anamaya will be extended to 177 tribal Districts. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs will select the districts.

Click Here to Read about the other Initiatives launched for Tribals

Source: PIB

CJI launches “SUPACE Portal”— AI-driven Research Portal 

What is the News? 

Chief Justice of India launches the Supreme Court’s “SUPACE Portal”.

About SUPACE Portal:

  • Full-Form: SUPACE stands for Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Court’s Efficiency.
  • Purpose: It is an artificial intelligence-based portal. It will make the research work easier for judges, thereby easing their workload.
  • Key Features of the Portal:
    • The portal collects relevant facts and laws and makes them available to a judge.
    • The portal is not designed to make decisions. It only processes facts and makes them available to judges, looking for input for a decision.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

  • Artificial intelligence is the branch of computer science concerned with making computers behave like humans.
  • It refers to the ability of machines to perform cognitive tasks like thinking, perceiving, learning, problem-solving and decision-making.

Note: During the inauguration of Portal, CJI has said that: “Artificial Intelligence(AI) is to the intellect, what muscle memory is to the mind”.

Source: Indian Express

IEVP or International Virtual Election Visitors Programme (IVEP) 2021

What is the News?

Election Commission of India hosts International Virtual Election Visitors Programme(IEVP) 2021.

About International Virtual Election Visitors Programme (IEVP) 2021:

  • The Election Commission of India(ECI) organized IEVP 2021.
  • Attended by: Election Management Bodies(EMBs)/ Organisations from 26 countries and three International Organisations attended it.
  • Focus of the programme: The programme aims to provide the participants with an overview of:
    • The large canvas of the Indian electoral process.
    • New initiatives taken by ECI on voter facilitation, transparency and accessibility of the electoral system.
    • ECI’s response to the changing needs of training and capacity building and New formats necessitated by COVID-19
    • insights into the elections underway in different states.

About Association of World Election Bodies(A-WEB):

  • Association of World Election Bodies(A-WEB) was established in 2013 in South Korea. It is the largest association of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) worldwide.
  • Purpose: achieving sustainable democracy around the world.
  • Chaired by: A-WEB is currently chaired by India for the 2019-21 term.
  • Members: At present A-WEB has 115 EMBs as Members & 16 Regional Associations/Organisations as Associate Members.
    • ECI is very closely associated with the process of formation of A-WEB since 2011.
  • Secretariat: Seoul, South Korea.
  • Programmes: A-WEB undertakes Election Visitor and Observation Programmes in various countries. These programs aim to study various election management practices and share knowledge with other Member of EMBs.

Source: PIB

National Super Computing Mission(NSM)

What is the News?

 India is fast emerging as a leader in high-power computing with the launch of the National Supercomputing Mission(NSM).

About National Supercomputing Mission(NSM):

  • The government launched the National Supercomputing Mission in 2015.
  • Aim: To connect research and academic institutions to a Supercomputing grid all over the country. The grid consists of more than 70 high-performance computing facilities, It will increase the research capacities and capabilities in the country.
  • These supercomputers will also be networked on the National Supercomputing grid over the National Knowledge Network (NKN). The NKN is another program of the government. NKN connects academic institutions and R&D labs over a high-speed network.
  • Implementing Agency: Department of Science and Technology and Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) through the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.

Phases under the mission:

Phase 1: Under this phase, 30% of the value addition of Supercomputers is done in India.

  • Param Shivay was the first supercomputer assembled indigenously, installed in IIT(BHU).
  • Param Shakti and Param Brahma supercomputer installed at IIT-Kharagpur and IISER, Pune respectively.
  • Thereafter, supercomputing facilities were set up in two more institutions and one more is being set up with a computing speed to 6.6 Petaflops (PF).

Phase II: Under this phase, 40% of the value addition of Supercomputers is done in India.

  • 8 institutions are being equipped with supercomputing facilities by April 2021 with a total of 10 PF compute capacity.
  • MoUs have also been signed with a total of 14 premier institutions of India for establishing Supercomputing Infrastructure with Assembly and Manufacturing in India.
  • This phase will complete by September 2021. After completion, it will take the country’s computing power to 16 Petaflops(PF).

Phase III:

  • This phase will take the computing speed to around 45 Petaflops. This will include three systems of 3 PF each and one system of 20PF as a national facility.

Indigenous Development: India has developed an Indigenous server named Rudra which can meet the High-Performance Computing (HPC) requirements of all governments and PSUs.

About National Knowledge Network(NKN):

  • National Knowledge Network(NKN) was established in 2010. Its objective is to interconnect all institutions of higher learning and research with a high-speed data communication network. It will be helpful to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaborative research.
  • Implementation: National Informatics Centre (NIC), under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, is the implementing agency.

Source: PIB

Promulgation of “Tribunals Reforms Ordinance 2021”

What is the News? 

President of India promulgated Tribunal Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance 2021.

About the Tribunals Reforms Ordinance 2021:

Purpose of the Ordinance: 

  • It dissolves at least eight existing appellate tribunals. Now, High Courts and certain other bodies will be the appellate bodies under 9 acts.
  • Further, it also amends the Finance Act 2017.

Key Provisions of the Tribunals Reforms Ordinance :

Nine Laws: The above-mentioned nine laws where the existing appellate authorities have been replaced are:

  1. The Cinematograph Act, 1952.
  2. The Trade Marks Act, 1999.
  3. The Copyright Act, 1957.
  4. The Customs Act, 1962.
  5. The Patents Act, 1970.
  6. The Airports Authority of India Act, 1994.
  7. The Control of National Highways (Land and Traffic) Act, 2002.
  8. The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
  9. Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act,2001.

Amendment to Finance Act,2017:

  • The ordinance empowers the Central Government to make rules for qualifications, appointment, term of office, salaries and allowances, resignation, removal and other terms and conditions of service of Members of Tribunals.
  • Search-cum-Selection Committee: It also provides that the central government will appoint the Chairperson and Members of the Tribunals on the recommendation of a Search-cum-Selection Committee.
  • Composition: The Committee will consist of:
    • Chief Justice of India or a Supreme Court Judge nominated by him, as the Chairperson (with casting vote),
    • Secretaries nominated by the central government,
    • The sitting or outgoing Chairperson, or a retired Supreme Court Judge, or a retired Chief Justice of a High Court.
    • The Secretary of the Ministry under which the Tribunal is constituted (with no voting right).
  • Tenure: Now, The tenure of Chairperson of a Tribunal is for a term of four years or till the age of 70, whichever is earlier. Members of a tribunal will also have a tenure of four years or until they turn 67.

About Tribunals:

  • Tribunal is a quasi-judicial institution that was set up to deal with problems such as resolving administrative or tax-related disputes.
  • For this purpose, Tribunals were added to the Constitution by Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976 as Part XIV-A which has only two articles:
    • Article 323-A deals with Administrative Tribunals.
    • Article 323-B deals with tribunals for other matters.

Click Here to Read more about Tribunals

Source: The Hindu

India’s Initiatives in Seychelles

What is the News?

Indian Prime Minister will gift a Fast Patrol Vessel named PS Zoroaster to Seychelles during the virtual event.

India’s Assistance to Seychelles:

Fast Patrol Vessel PS Zoroaster:

  • Fast Patrol Vessel(FPV) PS Zoroaster will be built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineering.
  • Purpose: It is useful for multi-purpose operations such as patrolling, anti-smuggling, anti-poaching, and search and rescue(SAR).
  • Significance: This will be the fourth Fast Patrol Vessel, gifted by India to Seychelles. Other gifted vessels by India include PS Topaz (2005), PS Constant (2014), Patrol Boat Hermes (2016).

Solar Power Plant:

  • India will also hand over a 1 MW Solar Power Plant at Romainville Island of Seychelles.
  • The plant is a part of the ‘Solar photovoltaic Democratization Project’. India is implementing this project in Seychelles under grant assistance.
  • The solar plant project will generate around 14 lakh units of power annually. Further, It will meet the electricity consumption demand of around 400 Seychellois houses around the year.

Magistrate Court:

  • Also, India and Seychelles will jointly inaugurate the new Magistrates’ Court Building in Victoria, Seychelles.
  • This Court Building is India’s first major civil infrastructure project in Seychelles, built with grant assistance.

Note: Interesting to know, India is contributing over 50% of Seychelles’ maritime and air assets and around 70% of capacity development in terms of training, exercise, and human resource expertise.

Source: The Hindu

New RBI Developmental and Regulatory Policies

What is the News?

Recently RBI released a Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies. Under the new RBI policy, the RBI extended fresh support of ₹50,000 crores to the All India Financial Institutions for new lending in FY22. This will help to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and aid economic revival.

RBI policy on Assistance to Financial Institutions:

  • NABARD: It will get a special liquidity facility(SLF) of ₹25,000 crores for one year. This is to support agriculture and allied activities, the rural non-farm sector, and non-banking financial companies-microfinance institutions(NBFC-MFI).
  • National Housing Bank(NHB): It will get a ₹10,000 crores Special liquidity facility(SLF) for one year. This is to support the housing sector.
  • SIDBI: It will get a ₹15,000 crores Special liquidity facility(SLF) for one year. This is to support funding of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Note: All these three facilities will be available at the prevailing policy repo rate.

RBI policy on Banks Lending to NBFCs as PSL:

  • Bank lending to NBFCs (other than microfinance institutions) for the sectors that contribute significantly to the economy in terms of export and employment. This will continue as priority sector lending(PSL) till September 30, 2021.

Click Here to Read about Priority Sector Lending(PSL)

RBI policy on Asset Reconstruction Companies(ARCs):

  • RBI will constitute a committee to undertake a comprehensive review of the working of Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs).
  • As the ARCs grew in number and size the RBI decided to form a committee to study them. Especially their potential for resolving stressed assets was not yet realised fully.
  • Hence, the committee will recommend suitable measures to meet the growing requirements of the financial sector.

About Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC):

  • Asset Reconstruction Company(ARC) is a specialized financial institution. They will buy the Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) from banks and financial institutions. They will clean up the balance sheets of banks and financial institutions. This helps banks to concentrate on normal banking activities.
  • Legal Basis: Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002 provides the legal basis for the setting up of ARCs in India.
  • Regulated by: ARCs function under the supervision and control of the Reserve Bank of India.


Source: RBI


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