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31 July 2023 – Current Affairs

Daily Current Capsules

31 July 2023

Akhil Bhartiya Shiksha Samagam (ABSS) 2023

  • The Prime Minister inaugurated All India Education Convention or Akhil Bhartiya Shiksha Samagam at Bharat Mandapam jointly organized by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship in Delhi.
  • It coincided with the 3rd anniversary of National Education Policy 2020.
  • PM also released the 1st  installment of funds under the PM SHRI Scheme.

ABSS Highlights

  • It will provide a platform for academics, sector experts, policymakers, industry representatives, teachers and students from schools, higher education and skilling institutions, among others, to share their insights, success stories and best practices in implementing the NEP 2020 and work out strategies for taking it further ahead.
  • The Ministry of Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship signed 106 Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with various esteemed organizations and institutions
  • The MoUs encompass partnerships with both public and private entities to foster innovation, research, and knowledge exchange in multiple domains, ushering in a new era of collaboration in education and industry-academia linkages.
  • The Education Minister also released mobile app, logo and the slogan of ULLAS.

ULLAS (Understanding Lifelong Learning for All in Society) initiative

  • This user-friendly and interactive app available both on android and ios and will serve as a digital gateway for learners to engage in diverse learning resources through the DIKSHA portal of NCERT.
  • The ULLAS app can be used for registration of learners and volunteers either through self-registration or by surveyors
  • ULLAS will focus on promoting functional literacy, vocational skills, and many important life skills like financial literacy, legal literacy, digital literacy, and empowerment of citizens to involve in nation-building of the country.
  • It also fosters a culture of continuous learning and knowledge-sharing in communities across India, he added. 
  • ULLAS initiative is poised to revolutionise education and literacy across the nation, by fostering a learning ecosystem that reaches every individual, bridging the gaps in basic literacy and critical lifeskills.
  • It imparts basic education, digital and financial literacy and critical life skills to citizens aged 15 and above who lost on the opportunity to go to school.
  • It is being implemented through volunteerism.
The PM SHRI schools scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 5, 2022.
Under this scheme, the government aims to develop more than 14,500 schools across India.
Through this scheme, already existing schools would be selected and strengthened and upgraded.

All India Renewable Energy Associations (AIREA).

  • The Union Minister of New and Renewable Energy addressed the first anniversary of the National Portal for Rooftop Solar and the Foundation Day of the All India Renewable Energy Associations (AIREA).

Know! about AIREA

  • Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) is the nodal agency at the central level for promotion of grid-connected and off-grid renewable energy in the country.
  • Ministry’s programmes are implemented in close coordination with State Nodal Agencies (SNAs) for renewable energy (RE).
  • MNRE took an initiative in this regard in consultation with SNAs, and Association of Renewable Energy Agencies of States (abbreviated as “AREAS) has been formed and registered as a society on 27 August 2014 under Society Registration Act 1860. 
  • Union Minister in-charge of New & Renewable Energy is the Ex-Officio Patron of the Association and Secretary, MNRE is the ex-officio President of the Association. All SNAs are the member of the Association.

National Portal for Rooftop Solar

With the launch of National Portal for Rooftop Solar, it has become simple and easy for a residential consumer to apply and get the rooftop solar installed under Rooftop Solar Programme providing central financial assistance.
The residential consumers from any part of the country can apply on the National Portal.
The consumers have the choice to select any vendor registered with the local distribution company
After installation and inspection of the system, subsidy is released directly in the bank account of the consumer.
The entire process of registration of the application to release of subsidy in the bank account of the consumer can be tracked online on the Portal.
India’s visionary target of achieving 175 GW of renewable energy (fossil fuel) by 2022, as declared at the COP 2015 conference, was accomplished even before the set deadline
At the COP 26 conference, the Prime Minister unveiled India’s ambitious new target of reaching 500 GW of renewable energy by 2030, with the ultimate aim of achieving net zero emissions by 2070

SemiconIndia Conference 2023

PM Modi attends the Semicon India Conference 2023 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat -  YouTube
  • Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, inaugurated SemiconIndia 2023 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
  • With the theme “Catalysing India’s Semiconductor Ecosystem” the conference aims to exhibit India’s semiconductor strategy and policy, with a vision to position the country as a global hub for semiconductor design, manufacturing, and technology development.
  • SemiconIndia Conference 2023 is showcasing India’s growing commitment to the semiconductor industry and spoke about how India is making rapid strides toward achieving its semiconductor ambitions

Initiatives taken by the government to promote semiconductors

  • ‘Make in India’ initiative, launched in 2014, aims to promote manufacturing in India
  • Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the electronics sector, which includes a $1.7 billion incentive package for companies that set up semiconductor manufacturing facilities in India is a pathbreaking initiative. 
  • The Design Linked Incentive (DLI) and various schemes to include Chips to Startup (C2S) and Scheme for Promotion of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS) are enabling initiatives in this space as well.
  • The government has launched several initiatives to develop the skills of engineers and entrepreneurs.
  • Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) program, which aims to provide training to around 10 million people in various sectors, including the ESDM/ semiconductor industry has been launched.
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) scheme to provide skill development training to youth across the country has also been launched under aegis of National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).
  • Skill India Mission, launched in 2015 is on its appreciated trajectory as well.

India Semiconductor Mission

  • The ISM was launched in 2021 with a total financial outlay of Rs76,000 crore under the aegis of the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY).
  • It is part of the comprehensive program for the development of sustainable semiconductor and display ecosystem in the country.
  • The programme aims to provide financial support to companies investing in semiconductors, display manufacturing and design ecosystem.
  • ISM will serve as the nodal agency for efficient, coherent and smooth implementation of the schemes.
  • ISM will provide fiscal support to eligible applicants for setting up of Semiconductor Fabs which is aimed at attracting large investments for setting up semiconductor wafer fabrication facilities in the country.
  • It provides fiscal support to eligible applicants for setting up of Display Fabs which is aimed at attracting large investments for setting up TFT LCD / AMOLED based display fabrication facilities in the country.

Design Linked Incentive (DLI) Scheme

  • It offers financial incentives, design infrastructure support across various stages of development and deployment of semiconductor design for Integrated Circuits (ICs), Chipsets, System on Chips (SoCs), Systems & IP Cores and semiconductor linked design.

Know! about Semiconductors

  • Semiconductors are materials that possess properties between those of conductors (such as metals) and insulators (such as glass or plastic). The most commonly used semiconductor material is silicon (Si).

Parliament Monsoon Session – Highlights

Information given by Ministers in a written reply in the Parliament

Vibrant Village Programme

  • Government has approved Vibrant Villages Programme (VVP) as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme on 15thFebruary,2023  for  comprehensive development of the select villages in 46 blocks in 19 districts of abutting northern border in the States of  Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and UT of Ladakh. 
  • The programme envisages focused areas of interventions in the select villages for creation of opportunities for livelihood generation through promotion of tourism & cultural heritage, skill development & entrepreneurship and development of cooperative societies including agriculture/horticulture, cultivation of medicinal plants/herbs etc.
  • The interventions also include providing road connectivity to unconnected villages, housing & village infrastructures, energy including renewable energy, television & telecom connectivity.
  • The objective of the programme is to create sufficient incentives for people to stay on in the selected villages.
  • In all the census villages/towns, semi urban and urban areas located with 0-10 kms. distance (aerial distance) from the first habitation at International Boundary (IB) in 16 States & 2 UTs abutting land borders, works/projects for identified gaps in essential infrastructure pertaining to road & bridges, health, Education, agriculture, sports, drinking water & sanitation, Anganwadi, community centre, small scale industries etc. have been approved under the Border Area Development Programme (BADP). 


  • The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), established under the Disaster Management Act of 2005 (DM Act of 2005), and chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister, has the responsibility for laying down the policies, plans and guidelines for disaster management for ensuring timely and effective response to disasters in the country. 
  • Besides approving the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP), the Authority  approves  the  plans of  different  Ministries and  Departments of Government of India, and lays down guidelines to be followed by State Disaster Management Authorities for preparing their disaster management plans.
  • NDMA coordinates the implementation of disaster management policy and plan. 
  • NDMA is not a project. It is an Authority set up under the provisions of the DM Act of 2005. 
  • The DM Act of 2005 also provides for the establishment of State Disaster Management Authority in each State and District Disaster Management Authority in each district.
  • NDMA has undertaken various tasks/initiatives including laying down policy and various guidelines on cross cutting issues on disaster management.

 Schemes for Minorities

  • Ministry of Minority Affairs specifically implements various Schemes across the country for socio-economic and educational empowerment of the six (6) centrally notified minority communities. 

The schemes/ programmes implemented by the Ministry are as under :

(A) Educational Empowerment Schemes

(1) Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme

(2) Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme

(3) Merit-cum-Means based Scholarship Scheme 

(B) Employment and Economic Empowerment Schemes

(4) Pradhan Mantri Virasat Ka Samvardhan (PMVIKAS)

(5) National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC) Scheme for providing concessional loans to minorities.

(C) Special Schemes

(6) Jiyo Parsi: A scheme for reversing the population decline of Parsis in India.

(7) Qaumi Waqf Board Taraqqiati Scheme (QWBTS) and Shahari Waqf Sampatti Vikas Yojana (SWSVY).

(D) Infrastructure Development Schemes

(8) Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK)

Biodiversity Heritage Sites(BHS) in Odisha

  • Government of Odisha has notified three Biodiversity Heritage Sites(BHS) i.e. Mandasaru Hills, Kandhamal district, Mahendragiri Hills, Gajpati district and Gandhamardan Hills in the Bolangir and Bargarh district.
  • The Odisha Biodiversity Board has been provided with funds for providing training and capacity building of Eco Development Committees, Vana Sanrakshyana Samities , Eco-tourism Group members for developing eco- guides for identification of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna, conservation of indigenous species

National Mission for a Green India (GIM)

  • National Mission for a Green India (GIM) is one of the eight Missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change.
  • The target under the Mission is 10 m ha on forest and non-forest lands for increasing the forest/tree cover and to improve the quality of existing forest.
  • Based on the perspective plans submitted by the States and as per the availability of funds, so far seventeen States namely Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Mizoram, Odisha, Punjab, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and one union territory Jammu & Kashmir have been taken up under GIM.
  • The States are considered for funding under GIM after evaluation of their perspective plan and Annual plan of operations prepared in accordance with the guidelines of GIM.
  • The Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office (DMEO), NITI Aayog, Government of India, has conducted the Evaluation of National Mission for a Green India in 2020-21 on aspects such as Relevance, Effectiveness, Efficiency, Sustainability, Impacts and Equity within the scheme and has further recommended the continuation of scheme.​

National Forest Policy

  • Forest Survey of India (FSI), Dehradun, an organization under the Ministry carries out the assessment of forest cover biennially, since 1987 and the findings are published in India State of Forest Report (ISFR).
  • The total forest and tree cover of the country as per ISFR 2021 assessment is 8,09,537 square kilometer which is 24.62% of the geographical area of the country.
  • The total forest and tree cover has increased by 2261 square kilometer as compared to the ISFR 2019 assessment.
  • The Ministry provides technical and financial assistance to States/UTs under various Centrally Sponsored Schemes namely Green India Mission (GIM), Forest Fire Prevention and Management Scheme, CAMPA, Nagar Van Yojana
  • The Ministry has also implemented Centrally Sponsored Scheme, National Afforestation programme for regeneration of degraded forest and adjoining areas in the country.
  • The Ministry is implementing Nagar Van Yojana (NVY) since the year 2020 which envisages creation of 600 Nagar Vans and 400 Nagar Vatika in the country during the period 2020-21 to 2024-25 under the funds available under Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAMPA).
  • The Nagar Van Yojana aims to enhance the green cover in the urban and peri-urban areas including biological diversity, provide ecological benefits and improve the quality of life of city dwellers.
  • The Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAMPA fund) is being utilized by States/UTs for taking up compensatory afforestation as per approved Annual Plan of Operations for compensating the loss of forest & tree cover due to diversion of forest land for developmental projects as per provisions of Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016 (CAF Act) and CAF Rules, 2018.

Draft National Deep Tech Startup Policy (NDTSP) Released for Public Consultation

  • National Deep Tech Startup Policy (NDTSP) Consortium announces the draft policy for public consultation; seeking public feedback till September 15, 2023. 
  • The Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC), recommended the creation of a National Consortium and a Working Group to propose a comprehensive policy framework to address the needs and strengthen the Indian deep tech startup ecosystem.
  • The Office of Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India is entrusted with the formulation of this policy collectively with key stakeholders.
  • The Office also plays a catalytic role in building synergy among the stakeholder groups in terms of policy priorities for the deep tech ecosystem.
  • Under the overall guidance of the National Consortium, steered by the Expert Working Group, a draft version of the National Deep Tech Startup Policy (NDTSP) has been developed
  • This policy complements and adds value to the existing Startup India policies, programmes and initiatives, by fostering a conducive ecosystem for deep tech startups to thrive and address their unique and complex challenges.

The draft NDTSP captures various new policy instruments and suggests necessary policy changes under the following themes:

  1. Nurturing Research, Development & Innovation
  2. Strengthening the Intellectual Property Regime
  3. Facilitating Access to Funding
  4. Enabling Shared Infrastructure and Resource Sharing
  5. Creating Conducive Regulations, Standards, and Certifications
  6. Attracting Human Resources & Initiating Capacity Building
  7. Promoting Procurement & Adoption
  8. Ensuring Policy & Program Interlinkages
  9. Sustaining Deep Tech Startups

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