Daily Current Affairs
- The Minister of Commerce and Industry launched the Intellectual Property (IP) mascot – IP Nani.
- It was released at the conference on National Intellectual Property Rights Policy.
- Mascot IP Nani is a tech-savvy grandmother who helps the government and enforcement agencies in combating IP crimes with the help of her grandson “Chhotu” aka Aditya.
- The IP mascot will spread awareness about the importance of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) among people, especially children, in an interesting manner.
- The first and foremost objective of the National IPR Policy 2016 is “IPR Awareness: Outreach and Promotion”.
- Under this objective, one of the key focus areas is awareness on IPR for school children, as it is essential to nurture creativity and the ability to innovate starting out from a young age.
- In this context, the Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), a professional body under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) collaborated with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EU-IPO) to produce a series of animated videos.
- The videos were on IPRs for children with IP Nani as their central character.
National Policy on Biofuels – 2018
- The Union Cabinet has approved National Policy on Biofuels – 2018 recently.
- The Policy categorises biofuels as
- “Basic Biofuels” as First Generation (1G) bioethanol & biodiesel
- “Advanced Biofuels”- Second Generation (2G) ethanol, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to drop-in fuels
- Third Generation (3G) biofuels, bio-CNG etc.
- It is to enable extension of appropriate financial and fiscal incentives under each category.
- The Policy allows use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol for blending with petrol with the approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee.
- One of the expected benefits is that the Used Cooking Oil can be used as potential feedstock for biodiesel and its use for making biodiesel will prevent diversion of used cooking oil in the food industry.
- In order to promote biofuels in the country, a National Policy on Biofuels was made by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy during the year 2009.
National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation
- The Union Cabinet has approved the establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
- It will be established as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 under the aegis of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.
- The main objectives of the NIMHR are
- to provide rehabilitation services to the persons with mental illness,
- capacity development in the area of mental health rehabilitation,
- policy framing and advanced research in mental health rehabilitation.
- NIMHR will be the first of its kind in the country in the area of mental health rehabilitation..
Mangaluru narrow-mouthed frog
It is the newest frog discovered from Karnataka.
- It is christened Microhyla kodial after the city of Mangaluru (called kodial in the Konkani language).
- The Mangaluru narrow-mouthed frog is found only in a small industrial space in Mangaluru.
- Physical features: The greyish-brown frog is just 2 cm long. It has a thick olive-green band on its head, less-prominent dark green bands on the rest of its body.
- The Mangaluru narrow-mouthed frog is the 42nd species belonging to the genus Microhyla recorded from south Asia. More than 650 microhylids – or frogs belonging to the family Microhylidae – are found across the world’s tropics.
Swachhata Survekshan 2018
- The result of Swachh Survekshan 2018 was released recently by the Ministry of Urban Development.
- It assessed 4203 Urban Local Bodies and was organized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), under the aegis of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban).
- The on-field survey for Swachh Survekshan has been conducted by an independent agency and the data for ranking of the cities collected from 3 sources:
- Service Level Progress: To verify whether systems and processes are in place in Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) to implement Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) in the most efficient way.
- Direct Observation: To verify and assess general cleanliness in the cities by making random field visits in different parts of the city and public conveniences (Community/Public Toilets).
- Citizens Feedback: To collect feedback directly from citizens and monitor the performance of Swachhata App, a citizens grievance Mobile App.
- Under ‘Service Level Progress’, Swachh Surveksan-2018 has introduced one more component ‘Innovation and Best Practices’ in addition to existing five components.
- At the national level, the Top 3 cleanest cities are: (Madhya Pradesh)
- Mangaluru is “India’s best city in solid waste management” under the categories of cities having a population between three lakh and 10 lakh..
National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation at Bhopal
The Union Cabinet has approved the establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) at Bhopal.
- NIMHR will be the first of its kind in the country in the area of mental health rehabilitation. It will serve as an institution of excellence to develop capacity building in the area of mental health rehabilitation and also help the Government to develop models for effective rehabilitation of persons with mental illness.
- NIMHR has been established as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 under the aegis of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.
- The main objectives of the NIMHR are to provide rehabilitation services to the persons with mental illness, capacity development in the area of mental health rehabilitation, policy framing and advanced research in mental health rehabilitation.
- The Institute will conduct 12 courses to offer diploma, certificate, graduate, post graduate, M.Phil degrees in the area of mental health rehabilitation.
The government on Wednesday approved a dedicated Rs5,000 crore fund to bring more land area under micro-irrigation as part of its objective to boost agriculture production and farmer’s income.
About the Micro Irrigation Fund:
- ‘Micro Irrigation Fund’ (MIF) has been setup with NABARD under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY). An allocation of Rs2,000 crore has been made for this fiscal while Rs3,000 crore has been earmarked for the 2019-20 fiscal. NABARD will extend the loan to state governments during this period.
- NABARD will provide this amount to states on concessional rate of interest. Borrowings from NABARD shall be paid back in seven years including the grace period of two years.
- The lending rate under MIF has been proposed at 3% lower than the cost of raising the fund by NABARD. This cost would be met from the ongoing scheme of PMKSY-PDMC (per drop more crop component) by amending the existing guidelines.
- The dedicated fund would supplement the efforts of PMKSY programme and help bring about 10 lakh hectares under micro-irrigation.
- The fund will facilitate States to mobilise resources for their initiatives, including additional (top up subsidy) in implementation of PMKSY-PDMC to achieve the annual target of about 2 million hectares per year during the remaining period of 14th Finance Commission.
- The states might access this fund for innovative integrated projects, including projects in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode and also for incentivizing micro irrigation.
- Farmers Producers Organization (FPO)/Cooperatives/State Level Agencies can also access the funds with state government guarantee or equivalent collateral. Farmers Co-operatives may access this fund for innovative cluster based community irrigation projects.
PMKSY is an umbrella scheme incorporating ongoing schemes of the Ministry like Mega Food Parks, Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure, Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure, etc. and also new schemes like Infrastructure for Agro-processing Clusters, Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages, Creation / Expansion of Food Processing & Preservation Capacities.
Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC)
Cabinet has approved development of Trunk Infrastructure Components for Integrated Multi Modal Logistics Hub known as “Freight Village” at Nangal Chaudhary in Haryana under Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project. The Freight Village will be connected through Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) at Dabla.
What is a freight village?
A ‘Freight Village’ is a specialised industrial estate which attracts companies that require logistics services and can cluster to improve their competitiveness. This will allow relocation of retailers, warehouse operators and logistics service providers supplying the regional FMCG market. Due to its proximity to the main city, it will serve as a distribution centre and as a point of transfer between long distance transport by truck, rail and waterway and short distance distribution with delivery vans. ‘Freight Village’ includes an inter-modal terminal, which facilitates integration between different modes of transport.
What is it? Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor is a mega infra-structure project of USD 90 billion with the financial & technical aids from Japan, covering an overall length of 1483 KMs between the political capital and the business capital of India, i.e. Delhi and Mumbai. A MoU in this regard was signed in 2006.
Components: The project would include six mega investment regions of 200 square kilometres each and will run through six states Delhi, Western Uttar Pradesh, Southern Haryana, Eastern Rajasthan, Eastern Gujarat, and Western Maharashtra. However, the Project Influence Region of DMIC includes parts of Madhya Pradesh too.
Aim: The project aims to develop an environmentally sustainable, long lasting and technological advanced infrastructure utilizing cutting age Japanese technologies and to create world class manufacturing and investment destinations in this region.
- In October 2006, the Indian Government established a dedicated body, the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL), to carry out the project.
- The western DFC will separate freight and passenger traffic to increase the speed of freight movement. It will be used to transport fertilisers, food grains, salt, coal, iron & steel and cement.
- The project will eventually be linked to the Eastern DFC to form four hubs known as India’s Golden Quadrilateral including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.
- The Western Dedicated Freight Corridor covers a distance of 1504 km of double line electric track from JNPT to Dadri via Vadodara-Ahmedabad-Palanpur-Phulera-Rewari.
- The Western Corridor passes through 5 states- Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM)
The Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) recently organized a conference on successful completion of two years of the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy adopted by the Government of India in May 2016.
About the IPR Policy:
- The National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy, which was approved by the Union Cabinet in May 2016, is a significant move forward to encourage creativity and stimulate innovation in the country.
- Outreach and Promotion is the first and foremost objective of the National IPR Policy and is critical to shaping an IP environment that is conducive to fostering creativity & innovation in the country.
Highlights of the new IPR policy:
- The new policy seeks to encourage innovation and improve access to healthcare, food security and environmental protection.
- The Policy will allow compulsory licensing with restrictions in case of a public health emergency such as epidemics and it is compliant with the World Trade Organization’s guidelines.
- The policy seeks to put in place a legal framework that will encourage the IPR regime and reduce the time taken by the government to approve a trademark to a month by 2017. Currently, the process takes more than a year.
- The policy makes the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) the nodal agency for regulating IP rights in the country.
- The Policy states “India shall remain committed to the (World Trade Organisation’s) Doha Declaration on Trade Related IPR Agreement (TRIPS) and Public Health.”
- It also says “India will continue to utilise the legislative space and flexibilities available in international treaties and the TRIPS Agreement.” These flexibilities include the sovereign right of countries to use provisions such as Section 3(d) and CLs for ensuring the availability of essential and life-saving drugs at affordable prices.
- To ensure strong and effective IPR laws, the Policy states India will engage constructively in the negotiation of international treaties and agreements in consultation with stakeholders.
Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) has been created as a professional body under the aegis of DIPP to take forward the implementation of the National IPR Policy that was approved by the Government in May 2016, with the slogan – “Creative India; Innovative India”.
Functions: CIPAM is working towards creating public awareness about IPRs in the country, promoting the filing of IPRs through facilitation, providing inventors with a platform to commercialize their IP assets and coordinating the implementation of the National IPR Policy in collaboration with Government Ministries/Departments and other stakeholders.
Network For Spectrum (NFS) project
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for enhancement of budget by Rs.11,330 crore for the Network For Spectrum (NFS) project.
About the Network For Spectrum (NFS) Project:
- Network For Spectrum (NFS) project is for laying of alternate communication network for Defence Services.
- The project is being implemented by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).
- The project will also have forward linkages to other related industries such as telecom equipment manufacturing and other telecommunication related services.
- The NFS project will boost the communication capabilities of the Defence Forces in a major way leading to enhanced national operational preparedness.
- The project is crucial since the armed forces will migrate all their communication needs to this optic-fibre network and free more bandwidth for commercial telephony services.