Current News - National - Miscellaneous
On 27th Sept, the Ministry of Tourism introduced the innovative 'Travel for LiFE for Cleanliness Campaign' on World Tourism Day 2023 as part of the ongoing Swachhata Hi Seva Swachhata Pakhwada, marking a significant step towards India's commitment to cleanliness and environmental sustainability.
- Virtual Launch: The global launch of Travel for LiFE took place virtually at Bharat Mandapam, attended by international organizations, G20 delegates, industry leaders, and representatives from State Governments.
- Nationwide Drive: The Travel for LiFE Campaign is a nationwide cleanliness drive planned at 108 tourist destinations across India, with a focus on eliminating single-use plastics and promoting eco-friendly alternatives.
- Campaign Goals: The campaign aims to enhance garbage disposal, sanitation facilities, and eco-friendly practices, actively involving schools, colleges, and Yuva Tourism Clubs (YTC).
- CPMS Cleanup: For Swachhata Hi Sewa (SHS), ASI identified 100 Centrally Protected Monuments and Sites (CPMS) and 55 site museums for comprehensive cleanliness activities, including the removal of SUP and non-biodegradable products.
- Environmental Mission: Travel for LiFE is part of Mission LiFE, promoting actions for environmental conservation, biodiversity protection, economic development, and socio-cultural heritage preservation within tourism.
On 27th Sept (World Tourism Day), Reiek village in Mizoram secured the 'Best Tourism Village 2023' award in the gold category at Bharat Mandapam. It is one of the top five villages in India to earn this prestigious gold award.
- Gold Category: Reiek village in Mizoram received the 'Best Tourism Village 2023' award in the Gold category.
- Prestigious Award: This recognition places Reiek among the top five villages in India.
- Population and Location: Reiek is situated in Mamit District and is home to approximately 1600 residents and 360 households.
- Tourism Potential: The village is celebrated for its tourism potential, boasting a scenic landscape, abundant temperate trees and vegetation, and clean and fresh air.
- Organizer: The Best Tourism Village Competition was conducted by the Central Nodal Agency for Tourism, Ministry of Tourism.
- Sustainable Development Goals: The assessment for the award was based on nine evaluation parameters directly connected to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Recently, the Government of India announced that it is set to establish the Rashtriya Vigyan Puruskar to recognize the contributions of scientists, with awards distributed across four categories.
Categories of Recognition:
- The awards will encompass four categories:
- Vigyan Ratna: Recognizing lifetime achievements of scientists.
- Vigyan Shri: Acknowledging distinguished contributions to a specific field.
- Vigyan Yuva–Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar: Encouraging young scientists who have made exceptional contributions.
- Vigyan Team: Recognizing collaborative efforts of teams comprising three or more individuals.
- Recognition Domains: The Rashtriya Vigyan Puraskar will be conferred across 13 domains, encompassing areas such as Physics, Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science, Earth Science, Medicine, Engineering Sciences, Agricultural Science, Environmental Science, Technology and Innovation, Atomic Energy, Space Science and Technology.
- The government emphasizes the importance of ensuring adequate representation of women in these domains.
- Annual Awards Distribution: Annually, there will be three Vigyan Ratnas, 25 Vigyan Shris, 25 Vigyan Yuvas, and 3 Vigyan Teams. Only the Vigyan Yuva category will have an age limit of 45 years.
- Award Ceremony Date: The award ceremony will take place on National Space Day, August 23, which commemorates the day India's Chandrayaan-3 mission landed on the Moon.
- Rationalizing Science Awards: The introduction of the Rashtriya Vigyan Puruskar aligns with the government's effort to rationalize awards in the field of science and technology. It seeks to enhance the prestige and value of these awards by reducing their numbers and eliminating endowments.
India has recently made a significant discovery of the rare element Vanadium in sediment samples collected by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) from the Gulf of Khambhat near Alang town in Gujarat's Bhavnagar district.
- A Game-Changing Year: This discovery comes in the wake of another major find earlier in the year when an extensive lithium reserve, totaling approximately 5.9 million tonnes, was uncovered in the Salal-Haimana area of the Reasi district.
- Additionally, a lithium reserve in Rajasthan's Degana has the potential to fulfill a significant portion of India's lithium requirements if it proves feasible for mining.
- Diverse Applications: Vanadium is found in 55 different minerals and is not typically found in pure form, making its extraction expensive.
- It holds significant industrial value and finds applications across various sectors, including defence.
- Vanadium is used to strengthen materials like steel and titanium and is employed in Vanadium redox batteries for energy storage.
- When combined with titanium and aluminum, it is utilized in the production of jet engine components and electrical parts due to its resistance to corrosion and high-temperature tolerance.
On 15th September, 2023, the Union Minister for Jal Shakti virtually inaugurated the nationwide Swachhata Pakhwada - Swachhata Hi Seva (SHS) 2023 campaign from Jaipur, Rajasthan.
- Fortnight of Activities: The campaign spans a fortnight, focusing on mobilizing citizens through 'shramdaan' (voluntary work) and strengthening the commitment to create a 'Garbage Free India.'
- Simultaneous Solutions: The campaign highlights the potential for tackling waste management issues simultaneously in urban and rural areas.
- Community Mobilization: The campaign aims to mobilize communities, promote 'jan andolan' for Open Defecation Free (ODF) Plus villages, and reinforce the idea of "Sanitation as everyone’s business."
- SafaiMitra Suraksha Shivir: Various cities across India are organising SafaiMitra Suraksha Shivir starting from September 17, 2023, to enhance the well-being of sanitation workers and their dependents.
On 14th September, 2023, the Consumer Affairs Ministry announced that India has achieved the status of an Internationally Accepted OIML (International Organization of Legal Metrology) Certificates Issuing Authority.
- India Joins Elite Group: India has become the 13th country globally to issue OIML approval certificates, following its recognition as an Internationally Accepted OIML Certificates Issuing Authority.
- Opportunities for Manufacturers: This development will also enable international manufacturers to have their equipment tested in India, contributing to revenue generation and employment opportunities.
- OIML's Global Acceptance: Established in 1955, OIML is an intergovernmental organization, and its certificate is internationally accepted for the sale of weights and measures anywhere in the world.
- A lab in Ahmedabad will initially conduct the testing for certification, with plans to establish similar labs in other cities.
- The Ministry will establish a dedicated cell for certificate issuance.
- Export Advantages for Domestic Manufacturers: Domestic manufacturers can now export their weighing and measuring instruments worldwide without incurring additional testing fees, leading to significant cost savings and enhancing their competitiveness in international markets.
Recently, Integrated Government Online training (iGOT )Karmayogi Bharat, the capacity development platform for government officials, in collaboration with NITI Aayog, introduced a specialized collection focused on the Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP).
- Aspirational Blocks Programme: NITI Aayog has initiated the Aspirational Blocks Programme, an extension of the successful Aspirational Districts Programme.
- Capacity Building for Block-level Officials: This collection aims to enhance the competencies of 5,000 Block-level officials in 500 identified Blocks.
- Transformation at the Grassroots: Through this module, the iGOT Platform seeks to empower Block officials to contribute to the development of underprivileged Blocks, thereby enhancing grassroots governance across India.
- Ten Courses Included: The curated module comprises ten courses, covering a range of topics such as Time Management, Communication for Citizen Centricity, Leadership, Sustainable Development Goals, Problem Solving, Self-Leadership, Stress Management, Yoga at Workplace, and Team Building.
- iGOT Karmayogi Platform: The iGOT Karmayogi platform serves as a comprehensive online resource for government officials.
- It offers access to 685+ courses and incorporates six functional hubs for online learning, competency management, career development, discussions, events, and networking.
- It provides essential knowledge and skills necessary for these officials to effectively fulfill their duties and responsibilities.
The Union government has scheduled a literacy week from September 1 to September 8, 2023, in honour of International Literacy Day, aiming to raise awareness of the ULLAS- Nav Bharat Saaksharta Karyakram among all stakeholders and citizens.
- Raising Awareness and Encouraging Participation: The literacy week seeks to foster a sense of responsibility and civic engagement in every citizen, working towards popularizing the ULLAS system and achieving India's literacy goals.
- One of the primary goals is to boost registrations for learners and volunteers on the ULLAS mobile app.
- A Week of Awareness Activities:
- September 1, 2023: District Education Officers and District Literacy Mission Authority meetings for ULLAS sensitization.
- September 2, 2023: Meetings at Gram Panchayats involving Panchayat Raj Institutions on ULLAS awareness.
- September 3, 2023: Cycle rallies, nukkad nataks, and more by students and teachers.
- September 4, 2023: Conferences, workshops, and seminars on ULLAS awareness.
- September 5, 2023: Radio jingles and short films.
- September 6, 2023: Awareness campaigns through posters, pamphlets, and public displays.
- September 7, 2023: Tree plantation, environmental discussions, and cleanliness drives.
- Details on ULLAS - Nav Bharat Saaksharta Karyakram: The Government of India approved the Centrally Sponsored Scheme, ULLAS - Nav Bharat Saaksharta Karyakram, which aligns with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and is implemented from FYs 2022-27.
- It comprises five components: Foundational Literacy and Numeracy, Critical Life Skills, Basic Education, Vocational Skills, and Continuing Education.
On 25th August, 2023, India Smart Cities Award Contest (ISAC) awards for 2022 were announced where Indore shone as the best Smart City, and Madhya Pradesh emerged as the leading State, marking significant achievements in the Smart Cities Mission.
- City Rankings: Securing second and third positions are Surat and Agra respectively, demonstrating their dedication to the objectives of the Smart Cities Mission.
- State Achievements: Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh secure the second, third, and fourth positions respectively in the State category, through the India Smart Cities Award Contest (ISAC) 2022.
- Union Territory Triumph: Chandigarh stands out as the best Union Territory, reflecting remarkable progress aligned with the Smart Cities Mission principles.
- Honoring Excellence: The ISAC awards for 2022, organized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs under the Smart Cities Mission, were announced on Friday. President Droupadi Murmu will present the awards on September 27 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
- Celebrating the Fourth Edition: This year's ISAC awards celebrate the fourth edition of the event. The ISAC awards were previously held in 2018, 2019, and 2020. The 2022 edition was launched in April last year during the 'Smart Cities-Smart Urbanization' event in Surat.
- Recognizing Urban Excellence: The ISAC awards celebrate cities, projects, and concepts that advance sustainable development across 100 smart cities, fostering inclusive, safe, healthy, and collaborative urban spaces.
- Selection Process: The ISAC 2022 award encompassed two stages – the 'Qualifying Stage,' evaluating overall city performance, and the 'Proposal Stage,' where smart cities submitted nominations across six award categories.
- Prominent Achievements: A total of 845 nominations from 80 qualifying smart cities led to the identification of 66 winners across various categories in the ISAC 2022 awards.
- Empowering Urban Progress: Initiated in 2015, the Smart Cities Mission aims to enhance citizens' quality of life through smart solutions across infrastructure, environment, and governance sectors.
- Diverse Urban Initiatives: The 100 Smart Cities have undertaken projects spanning mobility, energy, water, sanitation, waste management, public spaces, social infrastructure, and smart governance, promoting holistic urban progress.
On 22nd August, 2023, the Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj inaugurated the Annual Capacity Building Plan (ACBP) for the Department of Rural Development, Department of Land Resources, and Ministry of Panchayati Raj in New Delhi.
- Empowering Departments for Effective Governance: The Annual Capacity Building Plan (ACBP) is set to play a pivotal role in the delivery of services, efficient program implementation, and effective governance functions within the concerned departments.
- By providing customized training to officials, the plan aims to enhance their capabilities, enabling better performance aligned with citizen-centric objectives.
- Aligned with Vision New India @ 2047: The Capacity Building Commission has designed the approach for developing the ACBP based on three focal points: National Priorities, Citizen Centricity, and Emerging Technology.
- The plan is structured on three pillars—Individual, Organizational, and Institutional—with the aim of contributing positively to the realization of Prime Minister's Vision for a New India by 2047.
- Competency Enhancement through ACBP: The Annual Capacity Building Plan (ACBP) is a strategic document crafted to meet the competency enhancement requirements of officials within the Ministry/Department/Organization (MDO).
- This process involves Competency Need Analysis (CNA) to identify key competencies and prioritize them based on their significance and alignment with the ministry's goals.
- Implementation Mechanism: Each of the three departments will establish a Capacity Building Unit (CBU) responsible for executing and sustaining the ACBP.
- The plan will be funded with a budgetary allocation of 2.5% of the department's salary head.
- The CBU will prioritize training needs for different quarters, offering both online and offline modes of training.
- Measuring Impact and Efficacy: The Ministry plans to evaluate the impact of the training imparted through the ACBP to assess its effectiveness.
- Institutes and knowledge partners have been identified to provide training in various subjects to officials.