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Samagra Shiksha

Why in news?

Realizing the need for holistic development of children, under the Samagra Shiksha, Sports and Physical Education component has been introduced for the first time for encouragement of Sports, Physical activities, Yoga, Co-curricular activities etc.

About Samagra Shiksha

  • It is an Integrated Scheme for School Education.
  • It is an overarching programme for the school education sector extending from pre-school to class XII.
  • It aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels of school education.
  • This programme subsumes the three erstwhile Centrally Sponsored Schemes of
  1. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)
  2. Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA)
  3. Teacher Education (TE)
 
  • It envisages the ‘school’ as a continuum from pre-school, primary, upper primary, secondary to senior secondary levels.
  • It has been launched throughout the country as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with effect from the year 2018-19.
  • The States/UTs are assisted by the central government to implement the Samagra Shiksha as a programme for
  • Providing universal access and retention
  • Bridging of gender and social category gaps in education
  • Enhancement of learning level of children at all levels of school education
National Biofuel Policy

Why in news?

Petroleum Minister said that the National Policy on Biofuels, 2018 approved by the Government targets to get 20 per cent blending of ethanol in petrol and 5 pc blending of bio-diesel in diesel by 2030.

About National Biofuel Policy

  • The Policy expands the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing use of sugarcane juice, sugar containing materials like sugar beet, sweet sorghum, starch containing materials like corn, cassava, damaged food grains like wheat and broken rice, and rotten potatoes.
  • Presently, only ethanol produced from sugarcane was allowed to be mixed in petrol.
  • It can reduce the imports by ₹4,000 crore this year alone.
  • It also allows use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol for blending with petrol with the approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee.
  • The National Policy on Biofuels, 2018 approved by the Government envisages an indicative target of 20% blending of ethanol in petrol and 5% blending of bio-diesel in diesel by 2030.
  • The new policy categorises biofuels as
  1. First Generation (1G), which produce bio-ethanol from molasses and bio-diesel from non-edible oilseeds.
  2. Second Generation (2G) ethanol can be produced from municipal solid waste.
  3. Third Generation (3G) fuels like bio-CNG.
  • A viability gap funding scheme for 2G ethanol bio refineries of ₹5,000 crore in 6 years in addition to additional tax incentives, higher purchase price as compared to 1G biofuels.
  • The policy also encourages setting up of supply chain mechanisms for biodiesel production from non-edible oilseeds, used cooking oil and short gestation crops.
  • The conversion of surplus grains and agricultural biomass can help in price stabilization for farmers.
Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN (Jaiv Indhan- Vatavaran Anukool fasal awashesh Nivaran) Yojana

About PM JI-VAN Yojana

  • Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN (Jaiv Indhan- Vatavaran Anukool fasal awashesh Nivaran) Yojana is for providing financial support to Integrated Bioethanol Projects using lignocellulosic biomass and other renewable feedstock.
  • The JI-VAN Yojana will be supported with total financial outlay of Rs 1969.50 crore for the period from 2018-19 to 2023-24.
 
  • The scheme focuses to incentivise 2G Ethanol sector and support this nascent industry by creating a suitable ecosystem for setting up commercial projects and increasing Research & Development in this area.
  • Under this Yojana, 12 Commercial Scale and 10 demonstration scale Second Generation (2G) ethanol Projects will be provided a Viability Gap Funding (VGF).
  • The ethanol produced by the scheme beneficiaries will be mandatorily supplied to Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to further enhance the blending percentage under EBP Programme.
  • Centre for High Technology (CHT), a technical body under the aegis of MoP&NG, will be the implementation Agency for the scheme.
  • The government has set the target to achieve 10% blending percentage of Ethanol in petrol by 2022.

About Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme

  • Government of India launched Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme in 2003 for undertaking blending of ethanol in Petrol to address environmental concerns due to fossil fuel burning, provide remuneration to farmers, subsidize crude imports and achieve forex savings.
  • Under EBP programme, OMCs are to blend upto 10% of ethanol in Petrol.
  • The present policy allows procurement of ethanol produced from molasses and non-food feed stock like celluloses and lignocelluloses material including petrochemical route
  • Ethanol is mainly derived by sugarcane molasses (1st Generation ethanol), which is a by-product in the conversion of sugar cane juice to sugar.
  • Also, the Government has allowed procurement of ethanol produced from other non-food feed stocks, like cellulosic and ligno cellulosic materials (2nd Generation) including petrochemical route.
  • The Government has fixed the price of ethanol.

What is ethanol blending?

  • Ethanol blending is the practice of blending (mixing) petrol with ethanol.
  • The renewable ethanol content, which is a byproduct of the sugar industry, is expected to result in a net reduction in the emission of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbons (HC).
  • Ethanol itself burns cleaner and burns more completely than petrol it is blended into.
  • It will also reduce the import burden on account of crude petroleum from which petrol is produced.

What is Lignocellulose?

  • Lignocellulose refers to plant dry matter (biomass), so called lignocellulosic biomass.
  • It is the most abundantly available raw material on the Earth for the production of biofuels, mainly bio-ethanol.
“Healthy States, Progressive India” Report

Why in News?

NITI Aayog to release the second edition of “Healthy States, Progressive India”.

Key Facts

  • The report ranks states and Union territories innovatively on their year on year incremental change in health outcomes, as well as, their overall performance with respect to each other.
 
  • It is the second attempt to establish an annual systematic tool to measure and understand the heterogeneity and complexity of the nation’s performance in Health.
  • The report has been developed by NITI Aayog, with technical assistance from the World Bank, and in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
  • Health Index has been developed as a tool to leverage co-operative and competitive federalism to accelerate the pace of achieving health outcomes.
  • States and UTs have been ranked in three categories namely, Larger States, Smaller States, and Union Territories (UTs), to ensure comparison among similar entities.
  • The Health Index is a weighted composite Index, which for the larger States, is based on indicators in three domains with each domain assigned a weight based on its importance.
  • The domains are:
  • Health Outcomes (70%)
  • Governance and Information (12%)
  • Key Inputs and Processes (18%)

World Affairs

Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

Why in news?

Saudi Arabia becomes 1st Arab country to get FATF membership.

About the news

  • The kingdom's accession came as the global money laundering watchdog celebrated the 30th anniversary of its first meeting held in Paris in 1989.
  • Saudi Arabia had been a founding member of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) arm of the FATF group since November 2004.

About FATF

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body whose purpose is to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
  • Its main function is to develop necessary policy to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.
  • In that sense it is mainly a “policy-making body”.
  • It was established by the G-7 Summit that was held in Paris in 1989 to examine and develop measures to combat money laundering.
  • In October 2001, the FATF expanded its mandate to incorporate efforts to combat terrorist financing, in addition to money laundering.
  • The FATF Secretariat is housed at the OECD headquarters in Paris.

Objectives

  • Set standards and take measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
  • Monitor the progress of its members in implementing necessary measures.
  • Reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and counter-measures.
  • In collaboration with other international stakeholders, the FATF works to identify national level vulnerabilities with the aim of protecting the international financial system from misuse.

Members

 
  • As of 2018 FATF consists of thirty-six member jurisdictions, including India and two regional organisations, the European Commission and the Gulf Co-operation Council.

Forty plus Nine recommendations, the Grey List and the Black List

Forty plus Nine recommendations

  • The FATF’s primary policies issued are the Forty Recommendations on money laundering from 1990 and the Nine Special Recommendations (SR) on Terrorism Financing (TF).
  • These together are called 40+9 recommendations.

The Grey List

  • Grey list is a classification used by Financial Action Task Force for its effectiveness to deal with terrorist and its facilitators.
  • These countries will be subjected to direct monitoring and intense scrutiny by the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) on terror financing.
  • It will squeeze listed country’s economy and make it harder to meet its mounting foreign financing needs, including potential future borrowings from International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • It will lead to downgrading of country’s debt ratings by international banking and credit rating agencies, making it more difficult to tap funds from international bond markets.
  • It will also suspend international funds and aid to listed countries.

The Black list

  • FATF, in 2000, issued a list of “Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories” (NCCTs), commonly called the FATF Blacklist.
  • It lists countries which it judges to be non-cooperative in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

Current Affair Capsules

SARATHI
  • SARATHI is a flagship application launched by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways for Driving License, have a common countrywide database of all driving license holders and was developed by NIC (National Informatics Centre).
  • It has the feature to identify duplicate records in real time online basis and access information about the challans if any, which facilitates the licencing authority that delinquent drivers do not get a duplicate driving licence.
VAHAN
  • It is a digital national vehicle registration portal by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and intends to collate all the information available with road transport authorities for easy access by both citizens and regulators.
  • Vahan allows access to all details related to vehicles such as registration number, chassis/engine number, body/fuel type, colour, manufacturer and model and provides various online services to citizens.

Map Aided Programme     

National Parks of Andaman and Nicobar
  • Saddle Peak National Park    
  • North Button Island National Park
  • Middle Button Island National Park
  • South Button Island National Park
  • Rani Jhansi Marine National Park       
  • Mount Harriett National Park
  • Mahatama Gandhi Marine (Wandoor) National Park
  • Campbell Bay National Park
  • Galathea Bay National Park

Previous Year Questions Revision Series (Pqrs)

  1. With reference to ‘Initiative for Nutritional Security through Intensive Millets Promotion’, which of the following statements is/are correct?
  2. This initiative aims to demonstrate the improved production and post-harvest technologies, and to demonstrate value addition techniques, in an integrated manner, with cluster approach.
  3. Poor, small, marginal and tribal farmers have larger stake in this scheme.
  4. An important objective of the scheme is to encourage farmers of commercial crops to shift to millet cultivation by offering them free kits of critical inputs of nutrients and micro irrigation equipment.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • 1 only (b) 2and 3only             (c)1 and 2 only            (d)1,2 and 3