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India Launches "SWATI" Portal to Promote Women in STEMM

A pioneering online platform, "Science for Women- A Technology & Innovation (SWATI)" Portal, was unveiled on 11th February, 2024, aiming to facilitate policy-making to tackle gender disparity in STEM fields.

Key Points

  • Comprehensive Database: The "SWATI" Portal, developed, hosted, and maintained by the National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR), offers a comprehensive interactive database. It is the first-of-its-kind initiative in India dedicated to women in STEMM.
  • Dynamic Growth: The objective is to compile data on all women scientists in the country, providing easy access to valuable information for policy-makers and researchers.
  • Inauguration: Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government, inaugurated the portal at the Indian National Science Academy (INSA). The launch underscores the commitment to address gender parity and promote inclusivity in scientific endeavors.
  • Advocating for Equality: President of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), emphasized the importance of education as a tool for achieving gender parity. The event highlighted the need to empower women in all sectors, including STEM fields.
  • Objectives of SWATI Portal: The SWATI portal aims to amplify efforts to include every Indian woman in science, spanning academia and industry. It seeks to facilitate long-term research on equality, diversity, and inclusivity, promoting emerging opportunities for women in S&T endeavors.

QCI and ONDC Launch DigiReady Certification Portal

On 8th February, 2024, the Quality Council of India (QCI) and Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) have jointly announced the launch of the DigiReady Certification (DRC) portal, aiming to enhance digital inclusion in the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector.

Key Points

  • Purpose of the Initiative: The DRC portal is introduced to assess and certify the digital readiness of MSME entities, enabling them to seamlessly integrate into the ONDC platform as sellers.
  • This initiative aims to enhance the digital capabilities of MSMEs and expand their business potential.
  • Streamlined Seller Journey: The portal is designed to facilitate a smooth seller journey, ensuring MSMEs can integrate into existing digitized workflows effortlessly.
  • It evaluates various aspects of digital readiness, including documentation, technology proficiency, workflow integration, and order management.
  • Support from QCI and ONDC: Chairperson of QCI highlighted the initiative's alignment with the Prime Minister's vision of promoting digital transactions and sensitizing villages.
  • Empowering MSMEs: DRC aims to accelerate the integration of MSMEs into the digital network, fostering their growth and empowerment in the digital economy.
  • It reflects the commitment of QCI and ONDC to promote digital inclusion and create a more robust future for all stakeholders.

Unified Payments Interface (UPI) Launched at Eiffel Tower in Paris

The formal launch of India's mobile-based payment system, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), took place at the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris during the Republic Day reception, the Indian Emabssy announced on 2nd February, 2024. The initiative aligns with Prime Minister’s vision of expanding UPI globally.

Key Points

  • Key Features of UPI: UPI facilitates round-the-clock payments through a virtual payment address created by users. It integrates multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application, offering seamless fund routing and merchant payments.
  • India-France Collaboration: In 2023, India and France pledged to nurture a thriving digital ecosystem and collaborate to empower citizens in the digital century. An agreement between NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) and France's Lyra Collect paved the way for implementing UPI in France and Europe.
  • Announcement: During Prime Minister Modi's visit to France in July the previous year, he announced the agreement to use UPI for payments, starting from the Eiffel Tower. Indian tourists in France are now able to make payments in rupees through the UPI mechanism.
  • France-India Joint Efforts: French President Emmanuel Macron's recent visit to India, where he used UPI to make a payment at a tea stall during interactions with PM, highlighted the successful collaboration between the two nations in promoting digital payments.

C-CARES Portal for CMPFO Digitization Launched

On 31st January, 2024, Union Minister of Coal, Mines, and Parliamentary Affairs inaugurated the C-CARES web portal of Coal Mines Provident Fund Organization (CMPFO).

  • Developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, this initiative marks a significant step in CMPFO's digital journey, addressing the longstanding need for digitizing records and work processes.

Key Points

  • CMPFO Overview: CMPFO, an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Coal since 1948, administers Provident Fund and Pension schemes for social security in the coal sector.
  • Manual Processing: Currently, CMPFO processes settlement claims manually for Provident Fund subscribers and pensioners.
  • The new C-CARES portal will digitize and streamline these processes, allowing for online settlement of PF and pension claims.
  • Benefits of the Portal: The portal introduces faster processing, transparency, improved record management, and monitoring. It aims to boost confidence among subscribers and pensioners while enhancing overall efficiency.
  • The portal ensures paperless operations, timely and accurate settlement of claims, reduced processing time, and effective grievance redressal.
  • Digital Transformation: Aligned with the vision of a Digital India, the launch signifies CMPFO and the Ministry of Coal's commitment to embracing digital transformation for the welfare of all stakeholders.

Akashvani Unveils New Digital Channel "Aaradhana"

On 22nd January, 2024, Akashvani introduced a new digital channel, Aaradhana, now accessible on YouTube as Akashvani Aradhana and through the News on AIR App.

Key Points:

  • Cultural Reflection: Principal Director General of Akashvani highlighted that Aaradhana mirrors India's civilizational ethos, cultural resilience, and embraces the spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.
  • Significance of Launch Date: The Principal Director General expressed joy as the channel took off on the historic day of Pran Pratishtha of RamLalla in Ayodhya, adding a special cultural and symbolic significance to the launch.

Swachhata Special Campaign 3.0 Portal

On 14th September, 2023, the Swachhata Special Campaign 3.0 Portal, a dedicated platform for monitoring the Swachhata (cleanliness) campaign in India, was launched.

Key Points

  • Campaign Details: The Special Campaign 3.0 will consist of a preparatory phase from September 15 to September 30, 2023.
  • During this period, Ministries/Departments will identify pending tasks in selected categories and finalize campaign sites.
  • The main phase of Special Campaign 3.0 will run from October 2 to October 31, 2023.
  • It will focus on cleanliness (Swachhata) and reducing pending tasks in government offices with a saturation approach.
  • The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) is the nodal department for implementing Special Campaign 3.0.
  • Achievements of the Swachhata Campaign: The Swachhata campaign, initiated by Prime on August 15, 2014, has accomplished four primary objectives:
    • Change in work culture, exemplified by the successful hosting of the G20 Summit.
    • Transition to over 90% online file work through the eOffice portal.
    • Productive utilization of open spaces, transforming junkyards into courtyards in some departments.
    • Promotion of an archive culture, with an increased focus on file archiving.

India Launches G20 India Mobile App

In preparation for the G20 Summit in Delhi, the Indian government recently unveiled the G20 India mobile app, extending its availability to all visitors, including ministers.

Key Points:

  • Multilingual Information Hub: Developed by the Ministry of External Affairs, the G20 India app offers comprehensive information about the Summit in 10 languages, including Hindi, German, Portuguese, and Japanese.
  • Virtual Venue Tour: The app features a virtual tour of the Bharat Mandapam Convention Center at Pragati Maidan, aiding delegates, officials, and media personnel in navigating the venue effectively.
  • Navigation and Resources: Users can benefit from a navigation feature for multiple venues, dedicated sections for press releases, documents, speeches, delegate experiences, photos, videos, and more.
  • Yoga Break and Digital India Experience Zone: Notably, the app includes a "Yoga Break" feature to encourage users to practice yoga when needed.
  • It also highlights a Digital India Experience Zone, where visitors can explore available attractions and engage with the "Ask GITA" kiosk, providing answers based on the Shrimad Bhagawad Gita.
  • Additional Features: The app offers a range of other categories, such as Language Translation, Citizen's Corner, Crafts Bazaar, Explore India, and Calendar, enhancing the overall visitor experience.

SAKSHAM Learning Management Information System

Recently, the Union Health Ministry launched the SAKSHAM (Stimulating Advanced Knowledge for Sustainable Health Management), a Learning Management Information System (LMIS).

  • This digital learning platform has been developed by the National Institute of Health & Family Welfare (NIHFW), New Delhi.
  • SAKSHAM is a dedicated and unified platform for providing online training and medical education to all health professionals in the country.
  • Currently SAKSHAM is hosting more than 200 public health and 100 clinical courses through online mode.
  • Health professionals can register themselves for these courses on the portal through url: and get the certification after undergoing requisite training and qualifying the required assessment criteria.
  • This digital learning platform will ensure inclusive capacity building of health professionals from primary health centres located in rural and remote areas all the way up to tertiary care and corporate hospitals in metropolitan cities.

Sagar Manthan

Recently, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) launched the Real-time Performance Monitoring Dashboard 'Sagar Manthan', a digital platform that integrates all data related to the ministry and its subsidiaries.

  • The launch of it is a step towards digitalization and transparency in the maritime transport sector.
  • It offers features such as data visualization, real-time monitoring, improved communication, data-driven decision making, and increased accountability.
  • Effective project monitoring can ensure timely completion of projects, informed decision-making, increased efficiency & effectiveness of projects, real-time project tracking, risk management, resource allocation, and progress reporting.
  • In the future, the dashboard would be further integrated with input from CCTV camera, live streaming from drones, AI-based algorithms to map actual progress, a digital twin feature on board, and a mobile app for easy access and usability by all stakeholders to increase efficiency.

e-Sanjeevani App

Recently, e-Sanjeevani app, developed by the Centre for Development of Advance Computing (C-DAC) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, was praised by the Prime Minister for its contribution to telemedicine in India.

  • E-Sanjeevani is a browser-based platform-independent application that allows for both ‘doctor-to-doctor’ and ‘patient-to-doctor’ teleconsultations
  • The app is about the ‘National Telemedicine Service of India’ which according to the health ministry is the world's largest telemedicine implementation in primary healthcare.
  • It is being implemented under the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centre (AB-HWCs) programme.

Functions ofe-Sanjeevani

  • Virtual Link Establishment: The e-Sanjeevani service establishes a virtual link between the beneficiary and the doctor or specialist at the hub, which will be a tertiary healthcare facility.
  • Real-time Virtual Consultations: The app allows for real-time virtual consultations between doctors and specialists at the hub and the beneficiary (via paramedics) at the spoke.
  • e-Prescription Generation: The e-prescription generated at the conclusion of the session is used to obtain medications.
  • Improved Healthcare Access: The app facilitates easy access to quality health services remotely via eSanjeevani by visiting the nearest Ayushman Bharat Health & Wellness Centre.

Telemedicine: It is the delivery of health services from a distance via the internet, and it not only expands the reach of health services but also improves the quality while saving time and money.

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