PIB Notes

3rd Phase Of PMGSY

  • The government has launched Phase-3 of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
  • The Phase III involves consolidation of ‘Through Routes’ and ‘Major Rural Links’ connecting habitations to Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs), Higher Secondary Schools and Hospitals.
  • Under the PMGSY-III Scheme, it is proposed to consolidate 1,25,000 Km road length in the States. The duration of the scheme is 2019-20 to 2024-25.
  • The funds would be shared in the ratio of 60:40 between the Centre and State for all States except for 8 North Eastern and 3 Himalayan States (Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand) for which it is 90:10.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) was launched by the Govt. of India to provide connectivity to unconnected habitations as part of a poverty reduction strategy.

‘Silver Line’ Project

  • The Ministry of Railways has approved the ‘Silver Line’ project of Kerala government that aims to connect major districts and towns of the state with semi high-speed trains.
  • The corridor will be 532-km long and will be built away from the existing line between Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur.
  • The Kerala Rail Development Corporation (K-Rail), a joint venture between the Ministry of Railways and the Kerala government to execute projects on a cost-sharing basis, will be the nodal agency.

Future Skills PRIME

  • Future Skills PRIME is the next phase of the ‘Future Skills’ platform that was launched in 2018.
  • This expanded digital platform would be called Future Skills PRIME (Programme for Reskilling/ Upskilling of IT Manpower for Employability).
  • Now it is open to professionals from outside the IT industry as well, those who want to skill themselves in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, Internet of Things, Big Data, cybersecurity, social and mobile and so on.
  • It is a joint venture program between the Ministry of Electronics and IT with National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) to skill 412,000 professionals in the next three years.

‘Good Governance Index’

  • The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions released, the ‘Good Governance Index’ on the occasion of Good Governance Day (December 25). The Day is observed on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
  • The Good Governance Index is a uniform tool across States to assess the Status of Governance and impact of various interventions taken up by the State Government and UTs.
  • The objectives of GGI are to provide quantifiable data to compare the state of governance in all states and UTs, enable states and UTs to formulate and implement suitable strategies for improving governance and shift to result oriented approaches and administration.
  • The states and UTs are divided into three groups- Big States, North-East & Hill States and UTs.
  • The GGI takes into consideration ten sectors (Agriculture and Allied Sectors, Commerce & Industries Human Resource Development, Public Health, Public Infrastructure & Utilities, Economic Governance, Social Welfare & Development, Judicial & Public Security, Environment, Citizen-Centric Governance) on total 50 indicators.
  • Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Pondicherry topped in the Composite Index in the Big States, North-East & Hill States and UTs respectively.

Sectors and Best Performers

 

 

Big States

North-East & Hill States

UTs

Agriculture and Allied Sectors

 

Madhya Pradesh

 

Mizoram

 

Daman & Diu

 

Commerce & Industries

 

Jharkhand

 

Uttarakhand

 

Delhi

Human Resource Development

 

Goa

 

Himachal Pradesh

 

Pondicherry

 

Public Health

 

Kerala

 

Manipur

 

Pondicherry

A&N Islands

Chandigarh

Public Infrastructure & Utilities

 

Tamil Nadu

 

Himachal Pradesh

Uttarakhand

Chandigarh

Economic Governance

 

Karnataka

Uttarakhand

 

Delhi

Social Welfare & Development

 

Chhattisgarh

 

Meghalaya

 

Daman & Diu

Judicial & Public Security

 

Tamil Nadu

 

Himachal Pradesh

 

Pondicherry

 

Environment

 

West Bengal

 

Himachal Pradesh

 

Chandigarh

 

 

 

 


Global Refugee Forum

  • The first-ever Global Refugee Forum was held in Geneva with more than 770 pledges of  support, covering areas such as protection, employment, and education, for refugees and the communities which have taken them in. 
  • The Forum was a key element of the ‘Global Compact on Refugees’, which the international community signed in December 2018. It calls for Global Refugee Forums to be held every four years. 
  • The Forum revealed a “decisive shift” towards long-term action to assist the more than 25.9 million people worldwide who have fled their homelands due to conflict, persecution or violence. 
  • A stock-taking meeting will take place in two years, and the second Global Refugee Forum is scheduled for late 2023. 

Global Compact on Refugees

  • On 17 December 2018, the United Nations General Assembly affirmed the Global Compact on Refugees, after two years of extensive consultations led by UNHCR with Member States, international organizations, refugees, civil society, the private sector, and experts.
  • The Global Compact on Refugees is a framework for more predictable and equitable responsibility-sharing, recognizing that a sustainable solution to refugee situations cannot be achieved without international cooperation.
  • It provides a blueprint for governments, international organizations, and other stakeholders to ensure that host communities get the support they need and that refugees can lead productive lives.
  • It constitutes a unique opportunity to transform the way the world responds to refugee situations, benefiting both refugees and the communities that host them.

Its four key objectives are to:

  • Ease the pressures on host countries;
  • Enhance refugee self-reliance;
  • Expand access to third-country solutions;
  • Support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity.

Eight West African Nations Rename Common Currency To Eco

  • Eight West African countries have agreed to change the name of their common currency to ‘Eco’ and severed their earlier currency CFA Franc's links to former colonial ruler France.
  • Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo currently use the currency. All the countries are former French colonies with the exception of Guinea-Bissau.

China-Russia-Iran Trilateral Naval Exercise

  • China, Russia and Iran carried out a trilateral naval exercise in the Gulf of Oman, the first such move by the three countries in the volatile Middle East amid heightened tensions in the region after the Trump administration withdrew from a landmark nuclear pact with Tehran.
  • The Gulf of Oman borders Iran and Pakistan on the north, Oman on the south, the United Arab Emirates on the west and faces the Gujarat coast.
  • The Gulf of Oman is only a short distance away from the Strait of Hormuz, which has been a site of contention over the passage of oil tankers between Iran and some Western nations.

Saudi Arabia: First Arab Nation To Take Over The G20 Presidency

  • Saudi Arabia became the first Arab nation to take over the G20 Presidency on December 1, 2019.
  • It has taken over from Japan and it will host the G20 Summit in its capital, Riyadh on November 21 and 22, 2020.
  • The G20 is an informal group of 19 countries (including India) and the European Union, with representatives of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

EChO Network

  • EChO Network, a national program, has been launched to train a new generation of educators and students who can identify and solve problems in an interdisciplinary manner and who can listen to our natural world and tackle real-world problems in medicine, agriculture, ecology, and technology.
  • The initiative has drawn in partners from Government, industry and academia, with the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Govt. of India steering the program under the guidance of Prof. Shannon Olsson, Director, EChO Network. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Hindustan Unilever Limited, RoundGlass, India Climate Collaborative, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) are the founding partners of the EChO Network.

Tweezer Clock

  • This is a clock designed by researchers at California Institute of Technology and NASA-Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) that will give more accurate and precise time than currently used atomic clocks.
  • Atomic clocks are used around the world to precisely tell time. Standard atomic clocks in use today, based on the atom cesium, tell time by "counting" radio frequencies.
  • The new clock design builds upon two types of optical atomic clocks already in use. The first type is based on a single trapped charged atom, or ion, while the second uses thousands of neutral atoms trapped in what is called an optical lattice.
  • Instead of using a collection of many atoms, the new design uses 40 atoms -- and those atoms are precisely controlled with laser tweezers.

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