UPSC IAS Prelims 2022 Material| Current Affairs| Projects, Operations and Missions

Dear Friends,

This post is a part of our current affairs series for the UPSC IAS Prelims 2022. In this post, we have covered all of the current affairs linked to Government Schemes and Programs.

To Read Other Current Affairs Compilations for UPSC Prelims 2022– Click here


Projects and Operations


‘Project Himank

News

Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has received the Guinness World Records certificate for constructing and black topping the world’s highest motorable road at 19,024 feet at Umlingla Pass in Ladakh.

About the World’s Highest Motorable Road

The road was built under the ‘Project Himank’ of BRO.

It is a 52-km long motorable road that connects remote villages in eastern Ladakh and it passes through the 19,024 feet high Umlingla Pass.

This beats the previous record of a road in Bolivia which connects volcano Uturuncu at 18,953 feet.

Significance: The road will be important for Eastern Ladakh as it will help the local population of the region and will also enhance the socio-economic conditions and promote tourism in Ladakh.

About Umling La Pass

Umling La is located in the Eastern Ladakh region. The world’s highest motorable road is now situated at the height of 19,300 feet at Umling La Pass.

The road at the Umlingla Pass connects the important towns in the Chumar sector of Eastern Ladakh.

The road is close to the Line of Actual Control(LAC) and will allow quick movement of troops and equipment.


Operation Molten Metal

Conducted by: Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)

Aim: To nab several Indian and foreign nationals suspected to be indulging in smuggling gold into India from Hong Kong using the air cargo route.

Need for operation Molten Metal

It has been found that sophisticated metallurgical techniques has been used to convert the smuggled gold in the form of ‘EI’ laminates into bar/cylindrical form for further distribution.

The ‘EI’ laminates of the transformers were found to have been made of gold-coated with nickel, essentially to hide the identity of the gold.

The gold smuggled in the form of machinery parts was being melted and moulded into bar/cylinder shapes before being disposed of in the local market.

So a dedicated operation is required to identify the gold smuggling.


SWADESH Project

News

DBT-National Brain Research Centre (DBT-NBRC) has developed a project named SWADESH.

About SWADESH

SWADESH is a unique brain initiative focussing on certified neuroimaging, neurochemical, neuropsychological data and analytics that are made accessible to researchers for managing brain disorders.

It is also the first large-scale multimodal neuroimaging database designed specifically for the Indian population with big-data architecture and analytics for various disease categories under one platform.

Modules: The initiative proposes a big-data architecture that manages and analyzes six modules namely neurodegenerative [Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and Parkinson’s disease (PD)], neuropsychiatric (schizophrenia and bipolar disorder), neurodevelopmental (autism and epilepsy), COVID-19-related disorders and other disorders.

Clincal tools developed under SWADESH

DBT-NBRC has developed several clinical research tools through SWADESH.

– GAURI system uses adaptive pattern recognition and learning schemes for predictive single or differential diagnosis, designed with MRI modalities and neuropsychological batteries.

– NINS-STAT is a high-performance state-of-the-art automated statistical test selection and execution software package with high applicability in clinical research.

– KALPANA is an integrative package for visualization, preprocessing, and quantitation of MRS data.

– PRATEEK analyzes multimodal neuroimaging data that minimizes the need for expertise in handling different neuroimaging tools for processing and analyzing multimodal data.

– BHARAT, a big-data analytic model for early diagnostic biomarkers of AD.


REWARD Project

News

The Government of India,  State Governments of Karnataka and Odisha and the World Bank have signed a $115 million REWARD Project.

About REWARD Project

REWARD stands for Rejuvenating Watersheds for Agricultural Resilience through Innovative Development Programme.

Aim: To help national and state institutions adopt improved watershed management practices to help increase farmers’ resilience to climate change, promote higher productivity and better incomes.

The project is being implemented in states such as Odisha and Karnataka.

Need for the REWARD Project

The Government of India has committed to restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030 and doubling farmers income by 2023.  For this, effective watershed management can help enhance livelihoods in rainfed areas while building a more resilient food system.

Significance of REWARD project

In this context, the new program will help the participating state governments in their efforts to transform watershed planning and execution and adopt science-based planning that could be replicated across the country. It will also help the participating states to adopt new approaches to watershed development.


Facility for Low Carbon Technology Deployment(FLCTD) Project

News

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency(BEE) commemorated its 20th Foundation Day by organising the National Innovation Conclave on Low Carbon Technologies.

The event showcased many low carbon technology innovations developed and validated with the support of the Facility for Low Carbon Technology Deployment(FLCTD) Project.

About Facility for Low Carbon Technology Deployment(FLCTD) Project

Launched in: 2016

Objective: To identify innovative energy efficiency and low carbon technology solutions that address the existing technology gaps in the Indian industrial and commercial sectors.

Implemented by: United Nations Industrial Development Organisation(UNIDO) in collaboration with the Bureau of Energy Efficiency(BEE).

Funded by: Global Environment Facility(GEF)

Under the Project, annual innovation challenges are conducted in the following six areas: Waste Heat Recovery, Space Conditioning, Pumps, Pumping Systems and Motors, Industrial IoT, Industrial Resource Efficiency and Electrical Energy Storage.

The winners of the challenge receive financial assistance of up to US$50,000 to validate their innovation and demonstrate its efficacy (performance) in actual field conditions – a necessary step before commercialization.


Stree Manoraksha Project

News

During International Women’s Day week, Union Minister for Women and Child Development launched “Stree Manoraksha project”.

About Stree Manoraksha Project

Launched by: National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, with support and funding from the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

Aim: To provide training and supervision in psychosocial and mental health care for staff and counsellors of all One Stop Centres (OSCs) across the country to support women facing various forms of gender-based violence.

Need for Stree Manoraksha Project

According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) 2019-2021, one in three married women has experienced Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). However, around 9 in 10 women have never sought help when they faced violence.

This has made women vulnerable to experiencing debilitating consequences on their mental and physical health. Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the rate of gender-based violence manifold.

Therefore, mental health support is highly imperative and needs to be tailored to the individual woman and her unique needs.


Operation AAHT

Launched by: Railway Protection Force(RPF)

Aim: To curb human trafficking.

Mode of operation:

As part of the operation, special teams will be deployed on all long-distance trains/routes with focus on rescuing victims, particularly women and children, from the clutches of traffickers.

The infrastructure and intelligence network of the RPF will be utilized to collect, collate and analyze clues on victims, source, route, destination, popular trains used by suspects, kingpins and shared with other law-enforcing agencies.

Hence, the RPF could act as a bridge cutting across States to assist the local police in the mission to curb the menace of human trafficking.


Nano Mission Project

News

Indian scientists have developed a self-disinfecting antiviral mask to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. The mask has been developed by Indian Scientists under the Nano Mission Project of the Department of Science and technology.

About Nano Mission Project

Launched in: 2007

Implemented by: Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Objectives:

– Basic research promotion

– Infrastructure development

– Nano applications and technology development

– Human Resource development

– International collaborations

The Nano Mission has established national dialogues to promote R&D in the development of standards for nanotechnology and for laying down a National Regulatory Framework Road-Map for Nanotechnology (NRFR-Nanotech).


SAMPANN project

News

Over one lakh people have received pensions directly in their bank accounts through the SAMPANN (System for Accounting and Management of Pension) project.

About SAMPANN project

The SAMPANN Initiative was launched in 2018.

Launched by: The Controller General of Communication Accounts (CGCA), Department of Telecommunications.

Purpose: It is a seamless online pension processing and payment system for Department of Telecommunications pensioners. It provides direct credit of pension into the bank accounts of pensioners.

Key Features of SAMPANN

Direct disbursement of pension on a timely basis without intermediaries,

Single window system for complete pension process,

Every pensioner gets access to key information like payment history along with a login option,

Tracking of pension status from home encourages transparency and accountability,

Online submission of grievances and timely SMS alerts.

Significance of SAMPANN Initiative

The system has helped the Department in the faster settlement of pension cases, improved reconciliation/auditing and ease of accounting.

It has also ensured recurring monthly savings to the Government of India on account of the Commission being paid to Banks/Post Offices for payment of Pension.


Artificial Groundwater Recharge Project

News

The government is planning to implement the Pilot Artificial Groundwater Recharge Project in Tamil Nadu.

About Artificial Groundwater Recharge Project in Tamil Nadu

Launched by: Ministry of Jal Shakti in collaboration with the Netherlands.

Location: The project is being implemented in the doab of Araniyar and Korattailaiyar River in Tamil Nadu.

Note: Doab refers to the alluvial land between two converging rivers.

Process: Under the project, the groundwater is being recharged using the treated water.

Significance: In India or in any other country, direct recharge using treated water has not been taken up considering that groundwater is used for all purposes including drinking.

Hence, if this pilot project proves to be successful, the method is likely to be replicated in other parts of the country as well.

About the water situation in India

According to a 2018 estimate by Niti Aayog, 600 million people in India face high to extreme water stress and about 200,000 people die every year owing to inadequate access to safe water.

This water crisis is going to get worse as Niti Aayog has projected that by 2030, India’s water demand will be twice the available supply.


Operations launched by the Railway Protection Force(RPF)

Operation Upalabdh: It is a pan India drive against activities of touts who use virtual tools to buy railway tickets before genuine passengers do. These tickets are then used by touts for business, such as selling tickets at a premium.

The operation has been able to curb the activities of touts substantially and make railway tickets available to the common man.

Operation Nanhe Farishte: Under this, RPF undertakes the noble cause of identifying and rescuing children in need of care and protection who are lost/separated from their families for various reasons.

Operation Jeevan Raksha: Under this, RPF personnel saves passengers a) who are in a hurry try to board/de-board a moving train, slip and fall with the risk of coming under the wheels of the train or b) people under distress try to commit suicide by deliberately coming in front of a running train.

Operation Matrishakti: Under this, RPF personnel especially mahila RPF personnel go out of the way to help pregnant women, who go into labour during their train journey.

Operation Amanat: Many passengers forget to take all their belongings in a rush to board the train or leave the train/station. Under this operation, RPF personnel help in securing such belongings and restore them to their rightful owners.

Operation NARCOS: Under this, RPF takes action to curb narcotics smuggling through rail.

Operation WILEP: Under this, RPF takes action against the smuggling of wildlife, animal parts and forest products through rail.

Operation Rail Prahari: Under this, RPF acts as sentinels on rail and helps state police/Law Enforcement Agencies(LEAs) in the detention of serious cases reported from their respective areas of operation.

Operation Dignity: Under this, RPF rescues destitute, helpless, mentally unsound, trafficked adults in need of care and protection and helps them reunite with their families or get them relocated to shelter homes in collaboration with NGOs.


Modernisation of Prisons Project

News

The Ministry of Home Affairs has released guidelines for the implementation of the Modernisation of Prisons Project.

Note: ‘Prisons’ is a State subject under the State List of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India. Hence, the management and administration of Prisons falls exclusively in the domain of the State Governments.

About the Modernisation of Prisons Project

Launched by: Ministry of Home Affairs

Objectives of the Project:

– Filling the existing gaps in the security infrastructure of jails.

– Providing new security equipments to jails in line with modern-day technologies,

– Strengthening the jail security system through security equipment like Door frames/ Metal Detectors/ Security Poles, Baggage Scanners/Search/Jamming Solutions.

– Focus on correctional administration: This includes bringing attitudinal change in the mindset of prison officials handling inmates through extensive training and by introducing appropriate programs for inmates for their skill development and rehabilitation.

Duration of the Project: 5 Years (2021-22 to 2025-26).

Implementation of the Project

Under the project, the Ministry of Home Affairs will offer grants in aid to the states for a period of five years

These grants can be used for upgrading Video Conference Infrastructure, buying body-worn cameras, Door frames/ Metal Detectors/ Security Poles and developing correctional programmes including counselling/ therapies/ vocational training etc.

The grants may also be utilized for setting up small industrial units in jails, which will provide an opportunity for labour to the inmates and generate revenue for jails.

However, the release of grants under the project in subsequent years will be based on utilization certificates furnished by the states in respect of funds released during the previous years.


Seema Darshan Project

News

The Union Home Minister has inaugurated the Seema Darshan Project at Nadabet in the border district of Banaskantha in Gujarat.

About Seema Darshan Project

Launched by: It is a joint initiative of the Tourism Department of the state government and the BSF Gujarat Frontier.

Aim: To develop border tourism in the Nadabet region of Gujarat, which has a sparse population and even sparser vegetation.

Under the project, access will be provided to citizens to view the fenced Indo-Pakistan border from the Nadabet region in Gujarat. This area is guarded round the clock by the Border Security Force(BSF).

The BSF will also conduct a parade here similar to the one held at Attari-Wagah border in Punjab every evening during sunset. But here there won’t be anyone present across the border on the Pakistani side.

Significance: The project would not only boost tourism but also restrict migration from the villages across the border to the Indian side.

Significance of Nadabet District

Nadabet is located in the Rann of Kutch region in Gujarat. It is also known as the ‘Wagah of Gujrat’. Pakistan is around just 150 meters from the border pillar at Nadabet.

Role of Nadabet during the 1971 War: Nadabet played a key role in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War. It was in this region that the BSF not only stalled the enemy trying to invade from the west but also captured enemy posts.

During the war, the BSF had captured 1,038 square km of Pakistan territory in the Nagarparkar and Diplo areas. The area was returned to Pakistan after the Shimla Agreement was signed.


Project Fulwari

News

The Northern Coalfields Ltd(NCL), a Singrauli based Coal India arm under the Ministry of Coal, has launched “Project Fulwari” in the Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh.

About Project Fulwari

Aim: To address the problem of malnutrition and associated physical and mental development issues of infants.

As part of the project, Fulwari Centres are being established where identified malnourished children are getting special attention to ensure that their weight, physical and mental progress meets the normal standards.

Apart from this, timely vaccination and age-appropriate safe toys are also being arranged for the kids at these centres.

Significance of the Project

This initiative will give a major impetus to the Centre’s fight against malnutrition and its commitment towards Sustainable Social Development.


Missions


National Supercomputing Mission(NSM)

News

A Supercomputer named ‘PARAM Ganga’ has been established at IIT Roorkee under National Supercomputing Mission(NSM).

About National Supercomputing Mission(NSM)

Launched in: 2015

Aim: To empower national academic and R&D institutions spread over the country by installing a vast supercomputing grid comprising more than 70 high-performance computing facilities.

Nodal Ministries: The mission is being steered jointly by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeiTY) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

Implemented by: 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.

Pillars of the mission:  The four major pillars of the mission are: Infrastructure, Applications, R&D, HRD. These pillars have been functioning efficiently to realise the goal of developing indigenous supercomputing ecosystem of the nation.

Under the mission, C-DAC has designed and developed a computer server “Rudra” and high-speed interconnect “Trinetra” which are the major sub-assemblies required for supercomputers.

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.

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.

Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission

News

The Union Cabinet has approved the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM).

About Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission(ABDM)

Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Type: Central Sector Scheme

Aim: To create a seamless online platform through the provision of a wide range of data, information and infrastructure services. It will also ensure the security, confidentiality and privacy of health-related personal information.

Implementing Agency: National Health Authority (NHA)

Key Feature of the Mission: Under the mission, citizens will be able to create their ABHA (Ayushman Bharat Health Account) numbers, to which their digital health records can be linked. This will enable the creation of longitudinal health records for individuals across various healthcare providers, and improve clinical decision making by healthcare providers.

Benefits of the Mission

Firstly, it will improve equitable access to quality healthcare by encouraging the use of technologies such as telemedicine and enabling national portability of health services.

Secondly, it will facilitate evidence-based decision making for effective public health interventions.

Lastly, it will also help catalyze innovation and generate employment across the healthcare ecosystem.


National Technical Textiles Mission

News

The Ministry of Textiles has cleared 20 strategic research projects in the areas of Specialty fibres and Geotextiles. These strategic research projects fall under the Flagship Programme ‘National Technical Textiles Mission’.

About Technical Textiles

Technical textiles are textiles materials and products manufactured primarily for technical performance and functional properties rather than aesthetic characteristics.

Technical Textiles products are divided into 12 broad categories (Agrotech, Buildtech, Clothtech, Geotech, Hometech, Indutech, Mobiltech, Meditech, Protech, Sportstech, Oekotech, Packtech) depending upon their application areas.

India shares nearly 6% of the world market size of 250 Billion USD. However, the annual average growth of the segment is 12%, as compared to 4% world average growth. The penetration level of technical textiles is low in India at 5-10%, against 30-70% in advanced countries.

About National Technical Textiles Mission

Aim: To position the country as a global leader in Technical Textiles and improve the penetration level of technical textiles in the country.

Implementation Period:  FY 2020-21 to 2023-24.

Components of the mission: The mission has four components:

– Research, Innovation and Development: Focus on research, innovation and indigenous development of speciality fibres from Carbon, Nylon-66, Glass, Aramid and other high technology polymers; increase the application of geotextiles, agro-textiles, medical textiles, protective textiles and other segments of technical textiles in various application areas.

– Promotion and Market Development: Promote awareness amongst users, bring in large scale investments and encourage high-end technical textiles products.

– Export Promotion: Enhance India’s exports of technical textiles by 2024 through focused attention on the highest traded products.

– Education, Training, Skill Development: Create robust human resources in the country both through specialised higher education and skill development of technical manpower of the country.

Implementation Mechanism: The mission will get implemented through a 3-tier institutional mechanism constituting as follows;

Mission Steering Group: It is chaired by the Union Minister of Textiles. It is fully empowered to approve all financial norms in respect of all Schemes, Components and programmes of the NTTM. In addition, all scientific/technological research projects under the NTTM shall require the approval of this Group.

Empowered Programme Committee: It is chaired by the Secretary, Ministry of Textiles. It will approve all projects within the financial limit of each programme as approved by the Mission Steering Group, except Research Projects. The EPC will also monitor the implementations of various components of the Mission and guide the Mission Directorate on implementation matters.

Committee on Technical Textiles on Research, Development & Innovation: It is chaired by Member(S&T), Niti Aayog. It will identify and recommend all research projects related to strategic sectors such as defence, paramilitary, security, space, and atomic energy to the Mission Steering Group for approval.


India Semiconductor Mission

News

The Information Technology Minister has launched the India Semiconductor Mission.

About India Semiconductor Mission

India Semiconductor Mission(ISM) is a specialised and independent business division within the Digital India Corporation (a not for profit company set up by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology).

Aim: To build a vibrant semiconductor and display ecosystem to enable India’s emergence as a global hub for electronics manufacturing and design.

The mission is authorised to negotiate with the applicants under the semiconductor fab scheme and the display fab scheme.

This mission has been given the autonomy to decide the appropriate technology mix, applications, node generation, capacity and propose the structure and quantum of fiscal support for the selected applicants.

Other schemes launched with this mission

Scheme for setting up Semiconductor Fabs in India: The scheme aims to attract large investments for setting up semiconductor wafer fabrication facilities. Under the scheme, fiscal support of up to 50% of the project cost has been approved for setting up certain variants of silicon-based semiconductor fab in India. The financial support is for six years from the date of approval.

Scheme for setting up Display Fabs in India: The scheme aims to attract large investments in manufacturing TFT LCD or AMOLED-based display panels. Under the scheme, fiscal support of up to 50% of the project cost will be provided.

Scheme for Setting up of Compound Semiconductors / Silicon Photonics and Semiconductor ATMP / OSAT facilities

Design Linked Incentive(DLI) Scheme: The scheme aims to offer financial incentives as well as design infrastructure support across various stages of development and deployment of semiconductor design for Integrated Circuits (ICs), Chipsets among others. Under the scheme, the Government offers an incentive of up to 50% of eligible expenditure and a product deployment linked incentive of 4-6% on net sales for five years.


Smart Cities Mission

News

The Centre has extended the timeline for the implementation of the Smart Cities Mission to June 2023.

About the Smart Cities Mission

The Smart Cities Mission was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in 2015.

Type: Centrally Sponsored Scheme.

Under the mission, the government aims to focus on innovative digital technologies interlinked with its ‘Digital India’, providing technology solutions such as surveillance systems to reduce crime and improve the safety of residents. Projects related to e-governance, mobility, integrated traffic management and solid waste management have also been envisaged.

Implementation: The implementation of the Mission at the City level will be done by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). SPV is promoted by the state/Union Territory and the urban local body, with a 50% equity shareholding each. The SPV formed as a limited company is governed by the Companies Act, 2013.

About Smart City

There is no standard definition or template of a smart city.  In the context of our country, the six fundamental principles on which the concept of Smart Cities is based are:


Mission Sagar

News

India has sent food and defence equipment to Mozambique (a central African nation).

India sent food aid through INS Kesari (landing ship tank) to Mozambique under the eight edition of Mission Sagar. It was delivered at Port Maputo of Mozambique.

About Mission Sagar

Mission Sagar: It was launched by the Indian government to provide assistance to friendly foreign countries to overcome natural calamities and the coronavirus pandemic.

Mission Sagar-I: It was undertaken in May-June 2020, wherein India reached out to Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar, and Comoros, and provided food aid and medicines.

Mission Sagar-II: As part of Mission Sagar-II, Indian Naval Ship Airavat will deliver food aid to Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, and Eritrea.

Recent activities India carried out under Mission Sagar

Since the pandemic ships have been deployed to 15 friendly countries under Mission Sagar.

-INS Sudarshini has been deployed to the gulf region and recently visited Bandar Abbas in Iran.

INS Kesari, had undertaken humanitarian and medical assistance missions from May June 2020 to the Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros.

-Recently, a declaration of ‘Common Maritime Priorities’ was adopted, at Goa Conclave, to prioritise key maritime interests in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) with an emphasis on capacity building against emerging common maritime threats.


Integrated Biorefineries Mission

News

The Union Minister of Science and Technology has announced the launch of the Integrated Biorefineries Mission.

About the Integrated Biorefineries Mission

Launched under Mission Innovation

Co-Led by: India and Netherlands

Aim: Develop and demonstrate innovative solutions to accelerate the commercialization of integrated biorefineries, with a target of replacing 10% of fossil-based fuels, chemicals and materials with bio-based alternatives by 2030.

The mission is a PPP (Public Private Participation) mode initiative that unites countries, international organizations, the corporate sector, academic institutions and civil society to accelerate innovation for renewable fuels, chemicals, and materials for a low-carbon future.

Other Countries Involved in the Mission: The other countries involved are Brazil and Canada as core members and the European Commission and the United Kingdom as supporting members.

Other initiatives

Hydrogen Valley Platform: It is a global initiative to optimize the hydrogen demand and supply by onsite generation and utilization. The platform utilizes renewable resources effectively, and water in excess areas with geographical identity.

Note: DST has committed to facilitate the delivery of three clean hydrogen valleys in India by 2030.

National Funding Opportunity on Sustainable Aviation Fuels: It aims to support and conduct RD&D (Research, Development & Demonstration) to foster technological innovations in advanced biofuels for aviation applications.

Three Material Acceleration Platforms(MAP): It has been set up by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). These platforms would leverage emerging capabilities in next-generation computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning and robotics to accelerate the pace of materials discovery up to 10 times faster.


Mission Vatsalya

News

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has sent its draft guidelines for Mission Vatsalya Scheme to States and Union Territories to seek their suggestions.

About the Mission Vatsalya

Mission Vatsalya focuses on Child Protection Services and child welfare services.

It is essentially a renamed version of the pre-existing scheme called Child Protection Services.

Objectives of the Mission: 1) To secure a healthy and happy childhood for every child in India, 2) To foster a sensitive, supportive and synchronized ecosystem for the development of children, 3) To assist States/UTs in delivering the mandate of the Juvenile Justice Act 2015 and 4) To achieve the SDG goals.

Components under the mission: ​​ It will include statutory bodies; service delivery structures; institutional care/services; non-institutional community-based care; emergency outreach services (through Childline or the national helpline 1098 for children); training and capacity building.

Key Features of the Mission

Under the mission, the Government plans to partner with the private sector as well as volunteer groups for its scheme for the protection of vulnerable children such as those abandoned or missing.

For this, a Vatsalya portal will be developed that will allow volunteers to register so that State and District Authorities can engage them in executing various schemes.

About the concern related to the mission

The mission plans to integrate the massively successful Childline with the Ministry of Home Affairs’ helpline 112 which provides emergency services for medical emergencies, women’s safety and fire.

This move has been opposed by Child rights activists, as they have said the police should not be the first responder to complaints from children. This will take away the space children have to share and open up.


Atal Innovation Mission(AIM)

News

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has approved the continuation of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) till March 2023.

About the Atal Innovation Mission(AIM)

Launched by: NITI Aayog in accordance with the Finance Minister’s declaration in the 2015 Budget Speech.

Aim: To create and promote an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship across the country via interventions at school, university, research institutions, MSME and industry levels.

Various initiatives under AIM

Atal Tinkering Labs(ATL): It aims to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing among others.

Atal Incubation Centres(AICs): These centres have been established at universities, institutions and corporates to foster and support world-class innovation, dynamic entrepreneurs who want to build scalable and sustainable enterprises.

Atal New India Challenge: It is an initiative aimed at supporting innovators to create products/solutions based on advanced technologies in areas of national importance and social relevance through a grant-based mechanism.

​​Atal Community Innovation Centers: They have been launched to encourage a spirit of entrepreneurship in the underserved/unserved regions of India by providing enabling infrastructure and facilitating an environment for innovation.

Atma Nirbhar Bharat ARISE-ANIC program: It is a national initiative to promote research & innovation and increase the competitiveness of Indian startups and MSMEs.

Key achievements of the AIM

– AIM has created bilateral relations with various international agencies for building synergistic collaboration on innovation and entrepreneurship, such as the AIM – SIRIUS Student Innovation exchange program with Russia.

– The AIMs played a pivotal role in the success of InSpreneur, an Innovation Startup Summit hosted between India and Singapore.

– The AIM has also partnered with the Ministry of Defence to set up the Defence Innovation Organization, which is fostering innovation as well as procurement in the defence sector.


National Mission on Cultural Mapping(NMCM)

News

The Ministry of Culture has handed over the National Mission on Cultural Mapping to the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts(IGNCA).

Note: IGNCA aims to complete mapping in 5,000 villages by the end of the financial year 2021-2022. It will start with a trial run in 75 villages in October 2021.

About the National Mission on Cultural Mapping(NMCM)

The NMCM was approved by the Ministry of Culture in 2017 to build a comprehensive database of artists, art forms and other resources from organisations under the Ministry.

Aim: To address the necessities of preserving the threads of rich Indian Art and Cultural Heritage, converting the vast and widespread cultural canvas of India into an objective Cultural Mapping. It also aims to create a strong “Cultural Vibrancy” throughout the nation.

It encompasses data mapping, demography building, formalising the processes and bringing all cultural activities under one umbrella for better results.

The work on creating a database for folk arts and mapping of the heritage of villages would be carried out over five years.

Teams of volunteers from the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sanghathan, the National Service Scheme and students of sociology and social work would be deputed to visit villages and collect data on the art forms and heritage of the areas.

About Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts(IGNCA)

IGNCA is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Culture. It is a centre for research, academic pursuit and dissemination in the field of the arts.


 

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