Daily Current Affairs: 15th October 2019: The Hindu+PIB
The following compilation has been made keeping in mind the need of the UPSC IAS exam. Each and every topic which has been included in this compilation is taken from very authentic and relevant source including The Hindu, The Indian Express, Business Standard, Press Information Bureau, etc.
As per the evolving pattern of the UPSC IAS prelims and mains exam each and every topic has been handpicked keeping in mind the syllabus of the exam.
Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)
Context: A new website and mobile application [Learn to Protect, Secure and Maximize Your Innovation] on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) has been recently launched by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
The mobile application and the website has been developed by Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM)-DPIIT in collaboration with Qualcomm and National Law University (NLU), Delhi.
The website has been named as L2Pro India IP e-learning Platform where as Mobile application is known by the name L2Pro India Mobile App.
Significance of the Portal and Mobile app
The modules of these e-learning platforms [L2Pro India IP e-learning Platform as well as the L2Pro India Mobile App] would aid and enable innovators, youth, entrepreneurs and small and medium industries (SMEs) in understanding IPRs for their ownership and protection along with integrating IP into business models and obtain value for their research and development efforts.
The L2Pro has been successfully implemented in Germany, United Kingdom, Italy and France.
Key features of L2Pro India IP e-learning Platform
The L2Pro India IP e-learning platform will comprise 11 modules for 3 different levels:
Each of the above module comprises of e-text for understanding concepts, short animated videos of the concepts, links to additional resources on the subject and quizzes for assessment and grading the learner’s knowledge and understanding of the subject.
To add to the accessibility, learners will be able to access the L2Pro IP e-learning platform through their desktop, laptop, mobile browser and mobile application (available on Android & iOS), and will be provided e-certificates by CIPAM-DPIIT and NLU Delhi and Qualcomm after the successful completion of the respective e-learning modules.
About Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) and Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT)
Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) are the legal rights that ensures protection of the creations and/or inventions that results from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary or artistic fields. The most common IPRs include patents, copyrights, marks and trade secrets.
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is a central government department under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry which is responsible for formulation and implementation of promotional and developmental measures for growth of the industrial sector. It is responsible for the overall industrial policy and the facilitation and to boost the Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to the country.
On 27 January 2019, erstwhile Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion was renamed to Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) after internal trade was added to its mandate.
It is the nodal Department in Government of India which is responsible for coordination and implementation of programmes with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in India.
he Department also coordinates with apex Industry Associations such as Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), ASSOCHAM to help them in their activities related to the promotion of industrial cooperation and to stimulate FDI into India.
World Standard Day
Context: The 60th edition of ‘World Standard Day’ was recently inaugurated by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
Theme 2019: “Video Standards create a global stage”
The theme for the day is relevant in the Indian context as India is now the fastest growing entertainment and media market globally and is expected to keep up the momentum by growing at a compounded annual growth rate of more than 11%.
According to the estimates, media and entertainment industry in India will become a Rs. 4,51,373 crore industry by 2023.
About World Standards Day
Also termed as the International Standards Day, it is a day which is celebrated internationally each year on 14 October. The main aim of World Standards Day is to raise awareness among regulators, industry and consumers as to the importance of standardization to the global economy.
It was on 14th October in 1946, when delegates from 25 countries first gathered in London and decided to create an international organization which was focused on facilitating standardization.
About Bureau of Indian Standards
Formerly known as the Indian Standards Institution (ISI), Bureau of Indian Standards or BIS is the national Standards Body of India that works under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India.
It is established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986 which came into effect on 23 December 1986.
A new Bureau of Indian standards (BIS) Act 2016 was notified on 22nd March, 2016, effective from 12th October, 2017 established the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) as the National Standards Body of India.
The ex-officio President of the BIS is the Minister in charge of the Ministry or Department having administrative control of the BIS.
The organization has its headquarters in New Delhi, with regional offices as follows in addition to the 20 branch offices:
- Eastern Region at Kolkata
- Southern Region at Chennai
- Western Region at Mumbai
- Northern Region at Chandigarh
- Central Region at Delhi
BIS also works as World Trade Organization-Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO-TBT) enquiry point for India.
Context: India and Netherlands jointly launched the second phase of the Local Treatment of Urban Sewage streams for Healthy Reuse (LOTUS-HR) program in New Delhi.
The LOTUS-HR project is jointly supported by Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India and Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research /STW, Government of Netherlands.
The project was initiated in July 2017 and aims to demonstrate a novel holistic (waste) water management approach that will produce clean water which can be used again for various purposes.
Once commissioned, the innovative pilot scale modular plant is going to treat 10,000 L sewage water in a single day and will showcase a self-sustaining model for the end user.
The logic behind the project is that the mixing and matching of technologies from this tool-box will depend on the quantity (flow rate) and quality (pollutant load) of drain water, land availability, site accessibility as well as topography.
It is a design challenge which is jointly supported by DBT-Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and Netherlands Enterprise Agency.
It is seen as a novel way of competition that provides a unique learning and networking platform for both Indian and Dutch young professionals and students to think differently for innovative ideas to solve India’s urban water challenges and contribute to cleaning up India’s rivers.
One Nation One Tag – FASTag
Context: A conference on ‘One Nation One Tag – FASTag’ was recently inaugurated by the Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in New Delhi.
The conference was organized to roll out the process for having a unified electronic system across the country.
What is FASTag?
It is an electronic toll collection system in India which is operated by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). It uses the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to make toll payments directly from the prepaid or savings account that is linked to it or directly to toll owner.
It is affixed on the windscreen of the vehicle and enables to drive through toll plazas without stopping for transactions.
As per NHAI, FASTag are rechargeable and has unlimited validity.
As of September 2019, FASTag lanes are available on over 500 national and state highways and over 5.46 million cars are enabled with FASTag.
What are the new efforts planned now?
Presently, the collection at state highways toll plazas is done either manually or through other tags which causes inconvenience for the road users. Therefore, the Ministry is encouraging states to come onboard FASTag, in order to enable seamless movement of transport across the nation.
Scheme Guidelines for Inclusion of State/ City Toll Plaza under National Electronic Toll Collection programme (FASTag) was circulated to all states by Indian Highways Management Corp Ltd (IHMCL) for the implementation of the effort.
The Scheme offers participating state authorities/agencies shorter turnaround time by allowing them to be a part of the robust FASTag solution architecture which already supports approx. 6 million tags with approximately daily 10 lakh transactions.
Further, IHMCL is providing a financial assistance for 50% of the cost of installation of ETC infrastructure at two lanes on each toll plaza subject to a maximum of Rs 20 lakh and also bear part of the ETC programme management fee.
An MoU was also signed between IHMCL and GST Network (GSTN) to integrate E-Way Bill system with FASTag to overcoming the existing challenge in track and trace mechanism for GST E-Way Bill (EWB) System and enhance the efficiency in its monitoring.
With the help of this integration, the revenue authorities will be able to track the goods vehicles to see whether they are actually travelling to the specified destination or not.
However, this integration is planned to be made mandatory on an all India basis from April 2020.
My FASTag mobile App has been developed by IHMCL and NHAI that will helps linking of bank neutral FASTag to bank account of customer’s choice. Other features of the App include:
- UPI recharge of bank specific FASTag – Greater than 80% of FASTag issued can be recharged with this facility.
- Single portal for customer login page for issuer banks.
- Search for nearby Point-of-Sale location by various banks and IHMCL.
- List of Operational Toll Plazas under NETC programme.
- Customer Support Toll-Free numbers.
What is the present scenario?
Presently, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is functioning as the Central Clearing House along with 23 Public and Private sector banks issuing the FASTag.
Further, a cashback of 2.5% is being offered for the FY 2019-20 that will incentivize road users for usage of FASTag.
On an estimate, FASTag is acceptable across over 490 National Highways toll plazas and selected 39+ State highways toll plazas. More than 6 Million FASTag were issued till last month, with overall cumulative ETC collection of over Rs 12,850 Crore since inception. The total cumulative number of successful ETC transactions carried out is more than 5540.67 lakhs as in September 2019.
India Energy Forum 2019
Context: The third edition of India Energy Forum which took off on 13th October 2019 has came to a conclusion.
The theme of third edition of India Energy Forum by CERAWeek Conference is ‘New India’s Energy @75: Balancing Energy Security and Sustainability’.
About India Energy Forum (IEF)
The India Energy Forum (IEF) is perhaps the only Indian Organisation which represents energy sector as a whole. It was established in October 2001 and has acquired a unique status as a spokesman of total energy sector.
Major public and private sector organizations in Power, Oil and Gas, Coal and Renewable Energy have become its members. Few among the 60 major energy groups include:
- National Thermal Power Corporation
- National Hydroelectric Power Corporation
- Power Grid Corporation
- Power Finance Corporation
- Tata Power
- Reliance Energy
- Power Trading Corporation Ltd.
- Alstom Power India Ltd
- Oil and Natural Gas Corporation
- Indian Oil
- Coal India
- Neyveli Lignite Corpn.
- Vestas RRB
- Bhilwara Group
The Forum acts as a catalyst for the development of a sustainable and competitive energy sector in India. It serves as an independent advocate of the industry which promotes practical solutions to problems affecting project development and finance in India.
The Mission of India Energy Forum is:
- To help evolve a National Energy Policy.
- Development of a sustainable and competitive energy sector in India.
- Promotion of a favourable regulatory framework for the development of the energy sector.
- Establishment of standards, for reliability and safety within the sector.
- Surety of equitable deal for consumers, producers and the utilities.
- Encouragement of an efficient and eco-friendly development and use of energy.
National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC)
Context: The Silver Jubilee Function and the annual conference of State Channelising Agencies of National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC) was recently held in New Delhi.
It was put to light that easy loans worth Rs 3000 crore have been provided in the last 5 years by NMDFC to more than 8 lakhs 30 thousand beneficiaries for various stand up, start-up and other various economic activities.
During the programme it was also mentioned that under the programme to connect Madrasas with mainstream education system, about 150 teachers from Madrasas from various states have been trained by the Ministry of Minority Affairs.
Approximately, more than 10 lakh students from 6 notified Minority communities- Jain, Parsi, Buddhist, Christian, Sikh and Muslims– have been given pre-matric, post-matric, merit-cum-means and other scholarships.
According to the official records, during the last 5 years, scholarships had been provided to more than 3 crore 18 lakh students belonging to Minority communities which included about 60% girl students.
A total of 100 “Hunar Haat” in the next five years is also planned to be organized across the country that will provide market and employment and employment opportunities to master artisans and culinary experts.
The first “Hunar Haat” of the second term of Modi Government was organised in Jaipur while the next is planned to be organised from 01st November in Prayagraj.
Further, it was also noticed that 100% digitisation of Waqf properties across the country has been completed. There are about 6 lakh registered Waqf properties across the country. The GIS/GPS mapping of the these waqf properties has been initiated with the help of IIT Roorki and Aligarh Muslim University.
Under the “Pradhanmantri Jan Vikas Karykram” (PMJVK), which is a programme of Ministry of Minority Affairs, 100 Common Service Centres have been approved across the country which will work as a single-window system for the needy people to provide information regarding Central and State Government schemes.
A special edition of magazine of NMDFC “Yadeen” was also released during the programme which highlighted the journey & growth of NMDFC over the years.
About National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC)
It is a National Level Apex Body for the benefit of Minorities as defined under the National Commission for Minorities Act 1992. It was incorporated on 30th September 1994, as a company not for profit, under Section 25 of the Companies Act 1956.
The prime mandate of NMDFC is to provide Minorities with the concessional finance to ensure their self employment/ income generation activities.
According to the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992, the notified Minorities are Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists & Parsis. Subsequently in January 2014, Jain community was also added into the list of notified Minority Communities.
It is to be noted that Artisans & Women are given a preference under the NMDFC programe.
2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize In Economic Sciences
The 2019 edition of Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel has been awarded jointly to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”.
The “new, powerful tool” which is employed by the Laureates is the use of Randomised Control Trials (RCTs).
The married couple Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo are at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; while Michael Kremer is at Harvard University.
Duflo is only the second woman, after Elinor Ostrom in 2009, to win the economics Nobel.
What is Randomised Control Trials (RCTs)?
Before using the tool in economics, the RCTs has been common in medical fields where they are conducted as a study in which people are allocated at random (by chance alone) to receive one of several clinical interventions.
How did it work?
First of all, the economists choose a sample – of people – from the target population and randomly split it into two or more groups.
Then, one or more of these is a “treatment” groups and the others are “placebo” groups. Studies are performed on the two groups both during and after the intervention, and the results are used to determine the efficiency of the policy measure used and the best method of its implementation.
Kayakalp awards were given away by the Union Health Minister to Public and Private Health Facilities for high standards of sanitation and hygiene.
These awards were launched by Union Health Ministry in 2015 as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in order to felicitate Public Health Facilities (PHCs) for maintaining high standards of sanitation and hygiene.
The major objective of these awards is to inculcate culture of cleanliness to gain the trust and confidence of community in these facilities.
The Union Health Ministry grants the awards through the National Health Mission.
In a first in the world, “vertiport” for electric aircraft is being built in Singapore’s Marina Bay which is being considered as an early step towards a global network for flying taxis.
Essex-based Skyports Ltd. plans to show off the vertical take-off and landing station at Marina Bay during the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress from Oct. 21-25, 2019.
Germany’s Volocopter GmbH will bring along its electric aircraft for a demonstration flight.
Volocopter GmbH is a German aircraft manufacturer which specializes in the design of electric multirotor helicopters in the form of ready-to-fly aircraft, designed for air taxi use.
Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar of Mysore
The birth centenary celebrations of Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar (1919 – 1974), of Mysore was addressed by The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, in Mysuru.
He was the 25th maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore from 1940 to 1971, who ruled from 1940 until the monarchy was abolished in 1950 and continuing to hold the title of Maharaja until princely titles were abolished in 1971.
He was a noted philosopher, musicologist, political thinker, and philanthropist.
He actively encouraged the establishment of an industrial facility in Bengaluru by a company called Hindustan Aircraft in 1940 which become Hindustan Aeronautics.
His donations helped the government to set up the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) in Mysore, the National Tuberculosis Institute in Bangalore and the All India Institute of Speech and Hearing at Mysore.
He was the fellow and president of Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi, 1966 and the First Chairman of the Indian Wild Life Board. He was also the Founder-president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.