SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Public Health [Paper-II]: Public Health and Community Medicine, Food and Nutrition, Health Care
Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi approved the establishment of the National Institute for Sowa-Rigpa (NISR) in Leh as an autonomous organization under the Ministry of AYUSH.
What is Sowa-Rigpa?
- It is commonly known as Tibetan system of medicine.
- It is one of the oldest, living and well documented medical traditions of the world.
- It has been originated from Tibet and popularly practiced in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia and Russia. It is a traditional Medical system of the Himalayan belt in India.
- The majority of theory and practice of Sowa-Rigpa is similar to “Ayurveda”.
- Yuthog Yonten Gonpo from Tibet is believed to be the father of Sowa Rigpa.
- It is an apex Institute for Sowa-Rigpa with aim of bringing a valid and useful synergy between Traditional Wisdom of Sowa-Rigpa and modern science, tools and technology.
- It will be an autonomous National Institute with the mandate to undertake interdisciplinary education and research programmes in Sowa-Rigpa in collaboration with premier national and international Institutes and facilitate integration of different systems of medicine.
- It will help to promote interdisciplinary research & education of Sowa-Rigpa.
- It will provide standardized Sowa-Rigpa based tertiary health delivery.
- The setting up of the NISR would provide a momentum for the revival of Sowa-Rigpa in the Indian Sub-continent.
[Source: PIB, Vikaspedia]
Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Economy [Paper-II]: Industrial Policy
- Union Cabinet chaired by the PM Modi has given its approval for introduction of the Industrial Relations Code, 2019 in the Parliament.
- It proposes to amalgamate Trade Unions Act, 1926, Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, and Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
- The bill provides for setting up of a two-member tribunal (in place of one-member), thus introducing a concept that some of the important cases will be adjudicated jointly and the rest by a single-member resulting speedier disposal of cases.
- It allows the companies to hire workers on fixed-term contract of any duration. Fixed-term employment means a worker can be hired for any duration, three months or six months or a year depending on season and orders.
- The bill has proposed giving a legal framework for fixed-term employment through which contract workers serving a fixed-tenure will get equal statutory social security benefits as regular workers in the same unit.
- The re-skilling fund is to be utilised for crediting to workers in the manner to be prescribed.
- The code has retained the threshold on the worker count at 100 for prior government approval before retrenchment, but it has a provision for changing ‘such number of employees’ through notification.
- It means that there would be no need for Parliament approval. The threshold can be changed by executive order.
- It also provides for vesting of powers with the government officers for adjudication of disputes involving penalty as fines thereby lessening the burden on tribunal.
- Union Labour Ministry has decided to amalgamate 44 labour laws into four codes – on wages, industrial relations, social security, and safety, health and working conditions.
- While Parliament has already approved the Code on Wages, Labour Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions has been referred to the Standing Committee of Labour.
- The Code on Social Security is in the pre-legislative stage.
Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Economy [Paper-II]: Agriculture
According to Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, over 18 Lakh Farmers registered under PM Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana.
About the Scheme
- It is an old-age pension scheme to all Small and Marginal Farmers in the country.
- It was launched with a view to provide social security net for the Small and Marginal Farmers (SMF) as they have minimal or no savings to provide for old age and to support them in the event of consequent loss of livelihood.
- The scheme was announced during the Budget 2019-20.
Salient features of the Scheme
It is voluntary and contributory for farmers in the entry age group of 18 to 40 years and whose cultivable land is 2 hectares or less.
A monthly pension of Rs. 3000/- will be provided to them on attaining the age of 60 years.
- The farmers have to make a monthly contribution of 55 to Rs.200, depending on their age of entry, in the Pension Fund till they reach the retirement date (60 years).
- The Central government will also make an equal contribution of the same amount in the pension fund.
- Spouse is also eligible to get a separate pension of Rs 3,000 upon making separate contribution to the fund.
The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) shall be the Pension Fund Manager and responsible for Pension pay out.
The initial enrolment to the PM-KMY is being done through the Common Service Centres (CSCs).
For beneficiaries of the PM-KISAN scheme
They will have the option to allow their contribution debited from the benefit of that scheme directly.
In case of default
In case of default in making regular contributions, the beneficiaries are allowed to regularise the contribution by paying the outstanding dues, along with prescribed interest.
Transfer of Pension
- In case of death of the farmer before the retirement date, the spouse may continue with the scheme.
- If the spouse does not wish to contribute, the total contribution made by the farmer along with interest will be paid to the spouse.
- In the absence of any spouse, total contribution along with interest will be paid to the nominee.
- If the farmer dies after the retirement date, the spouse will receive 50 per cent of the pension as family pension.
- After the death of both the farmer and spouse, the accumulated corpus will be credited back to the pension fund.
Option for Exit
- The beneficiaries may opt voluntarily to exit the scheme after a minimum period of five years of regular contributions.
- On exit, their entire contribution will be returned by Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) with an interest equivalent to prevailing saving bank rates.
FACTS OF THE DAY
RBI SURPLUS TRANSFER
- According to Union Finance Minister, transfer of surplus reserves from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to the government in future would depend on net income and other financial parameters of the central bank besides the recommendations of the expert committee on excess capital.
- The surplus distribution policy of the RBI is determined in accordance with Section 47 of the RBI Act, 1934
- Reserve Bank of India, in consultation with the Government of India, had constituted an Expert Committee to Review the Extant Economic Capital Framework of the RBI under the chairmanship of Bimal Jalan. The Commiitee submitted its report on August 14, 2019.
KUDANKULAM NUCLEAR POWER PLANT (KKNPP)
- A malware infection was identified in NPCIL KKNPP Internet connected system.
- The affected system contains data related to administrative function.
- Plant control and instrumentation system is not connected to any external network such as Intranet, Internet and administrative system.
- The malware infection was not able to get access to the controls of the Nuclear Power Plant.
- KKNPP is the largest nuclear power station in India, situated in Koodankulam, Tamil Nadu.
- It has been built in collaboration with Atomstroyexport, the Russian state company and NPCIL.
INDIA – EUROPE 29 BUSINESS FORUM
- India – Europe 29 Business Forum has been organized by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi.
- Europe 29 (E29) region refers to the 29 countries in Central, Eastern and Northern Europe.
- E29 region comprises Albania, Liechtenstein, Austria, Lithuania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Malta, Croatia, Moldova, Cyprus, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Romania, Finland, Serbia, Greece, Slovak Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Icelland, Sweden, Latvia, Switzerland and Turkey.
- It will act as a bridge and help close the geographical and knowledge gap between the two regions.
- E29 region could act as a gateway for Indian products to the wider European market.