Press Information Bureau (PIB)-01st March to 07th March , 2017

Press Information Bureau (PIB)- 01st March to 07th March, 2017 (PIB Weekly Compilation)


Swachh Bharat Milestone- 100 districts in India declared ODF

{Social issue}

Source: PIB

Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation today  Swachh Shakti Saptah, a week-long programme of activities across the country to highlight the role of women in Swachh Bharat Mission and to recognize their leadership.

The leadership role being played by women across the rural India in the implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission and for making Swachhta a Jan Andolan.
The number of ODF (Open Defecation Free) districts in the country has now crossed 100. Over 1.7 lakh villages have become ODF.

Successful Test Firing of AAD Endo-Atmospheric Interceptor Missile

{Science and Technology}

Source: PIB
DRDO conducted the successful launch of the interceptor missile Advanced Area Defence (AAD) from Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha.
It can tackle missiles at a range of 15 km to 30 km.
Key facts:

  • The weapon system radars tracked the target and provided the initial guidance to the interceptor which could precisely home on to the target and destroyed it in endo-atmospheric layer.
  • The complete event including the engagement and destruction was tracked by a number of electro-optical tracking systems using infrared imagery.
  • Radars and telemetry stations tracked the target and the interceptor till the destruction of the target. The launch has proved the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) prowess of the country.
  • The endo-atmospheric missile, capable of intercepting incoming targets at an altitude of 15 to 25 kms successfully destroyed the incoming missile. All the mission objectives were successfully met.


  • The BMD consists of two interceptor missiles, the Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) for exo-atmospheric ranges and the Advanced Area Defence (AAD) missile for endo-atmosphere or lower altitudes.
  • The BMD is critical to protect the country from the long-range ballistic missiles proliferating in the neighbourhood. DRDO expects to have shield ready for deployment by 2022.

Government Panel recommends legal framework to protect interests of migrants


Source: PIB

Government appointed ‘Working Group on Migration’ has recommended necessary legal and policy framework to protect the interests of the migrants in the country.

  • The panel in its report stated that the migrant population makes substantial contribution to economic growth and so it is necessary to secure their Constitutional rights.
  • The 18-member Working Group was constituted by Union Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) in 2015.

The ‘Working Group on Migration’ set by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviationin 2015 who submitted their Report to the Government
What are the Recommendations?

  • The Working Group has recommended that the Protocols of the Registrar General of India needs to be amended to enable caste based enumeration of migrants so that they can avail the attendant benefits in the States to which migration takes place.
  • It also recommended that migrants should be enabled to avail benefits of Public Distribution System (PDS) in the destination State by providing for inter-State operability of PDS.
  • Referring to Constitutional Right of Freedom of Movement and residence in any part of the territory of the country, the Group suggested that States should be encouraged to proactively eliminate the requirement of domicile status to prevent any discrimination in work and employment.
  • States are also to be asked to include migrant children in the Annual Work Plans under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) to uphold their Right to Education.
  • Noting that money remittances of migrants was of the order of Rs.50,000 cr during 2007-08, the Working Group suggested that the vast network of post offices need to be made effective use of by reducing the cost of transfer of money to avoid informal remittences.
  • It also suggested that migrants should be enabled to open bank accounts by asking banks to adhere to RBI guidelines regarding Know Your Customer (KYC) norms and not insist on documents that were not required.
  • The Group suggested that the hugely underutilized Construction Workers Welfare Cess Fund should be used to promote rental housing, working Women Hostels etc., for the benefit of migrants.

According to census 2011 and National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), migrants constitute about 30% of the country’s population and also of the total working force. 2016-17 Economic Survey also noted that annual migration in the country increased to 9.00 million in 2016 from 3.30 million in 2011

WeAreEqual campaign- a social media campaign

{Rights Issues}

Source: PIB

  • Initiated by The Ministry of Women and Child Developmenthas initiated
  • It is targeted at raising awareness about gender discrimination
  • The campaign will culminate into the celebration of International Women’s Day marked by the prestigious Nari Shakti Award ceremony, in which the Hon’ble President will honour individuals and institutions for their exemplary contribution to women’s empowerment

NMCG Signs MoU with Rotary India for the Success of Namami Gange


Source: PIB

National Mission for Clean Ganga under Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation signed an MoU with Rotary India in New Delhi

  • Rotary India will support clean Ganga mission through their ‘WASH in Schools’program in various schools
  • The program includes the implementation of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene servicesin the targeted government schools and sensitizing all the stakeholders including school children, teachers, school management communities and communities etc. on practicing positive health behaviours for improving awareness on sanitation
  • This will be achieved through an integrated learning environment and enabling children to serve as agents of change for their siblings and communities at large
  • Rotary India has planned to undertake WASH in Schools programme in 20,000 Government Schools


  • The MoU will pave the way for integrating the theme of Ganga Rejuvenation with Rotary’s program of WASH which is to be undertaken in government schools and communities located along the river Ganga in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand and Nadia District of West Bengal and other states where Rotary has a strong presence
  • It will undertake activities and campaigns to create awareness in schools and communities about Ganga rejuvenation and thereby reducing the pollution flowing into the river
  • The MoU shall remain in force for two years

First SAARC Epidemiology Networking Forum Meeting

{International Relations}

Source: PIB

The First SAARC Epidemiology Networking Forum Meeting was jointly organized by the Government of India — Division of Livestock Health, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DAHDF), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, the SAARC Secretariat and FAO through CCS National Institute of Animal Health (CCS NIAH)

  • The objectiveof this first forum meeting was primarily to operationalize a sustainable and functioning veterinary epidemiology network among the eight SAARC Member States
  • It also aims to build trust and foster collaboration between the Member States to achieve a more effective and efficient TADs, including zoonoses, control

“DESTINATION NORTH EAST – 2017” in Chandigarh

{Development and Employment}

Source: PIB

The objective of Destination North East, 2017 is to showcase North East as a potential destination for investment and highlight the rich traditions and customs of the region.

  • It will also highlight the use of appropriate technologies in all sectors of developmentfor North Eastern Region, with the major participation of Office of Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India and Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR).
  • Destination North East, 2017 will include round table discussions and exhibition stalls and aims to attract investments in Tourism, Skill Development, Food Processing, Handlooms and Handicrafts, Rural Livelihoods, Entrepreneurship and Microfinance, Horticulture and Floriculture, Medicinal & Aromatic Plants, Organic  Farming and Bamboo Development.

Government launches first ever across-the-river survey to figure out aquatic life


Source: PIB

The Union Government has launched the first ever across-the-river survey in River Ganga to determine the population of aquatic life, including that of the endangered Gangetic doplhin.

The survey will create a baseline scientific data for the government to take suitable measures to improve quality of the Ganga’s water.

  • The first of its kind survey is being conducted by National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) through Wildlife Institute of India (WII) under Namami Gange programme.
  • The first leg of the census was launched on March 1, 2017 from Narora in Uttar Pradesh to Bijnor (covering nearly 165 km distance) to establish the number of the Gangetic dolphin, national aquatic animal.
  • In next phase it will be launched in the Allahabad to Varanasi stretch (close to 250 km in length) in Uttar Pradesh.
  • It will find out stretches where dolphin is habitating, what are the conditions there and the level of threat the long-snouted species is facing in a particular belt, The study to figure out fish species composition in the in the 2525 km-long stretch of River Gangaalso been started from Harshil in Uttarakhand.
  • Besides populace count, it will help know distribution pattern of aquatic life in river, extent of threat level faced by them and their habitat conditions.
  • It will also ascertain number of ghariyals and turtles.

This will be for the first time a comprehensive and scientific study will be conducted to determine the population of aquatic life in River Ganga. Earlier all the surveys carried out were conducted in bits and pieces or were rapid.

Ganga tributaries:

Major left-bank tributaries include Gomti (Gumti), Ghaghara (Gogra), Gandaki (Gandak), and Kosi (Kusi); major right-bank tributaries include Yamuna (Jumna), Son, Punpun and Damodar.

The hydrology of the Ganges River is very complicated, especially in the Ganges Delta region.


The authority is conducting the survey through Wildlife Institute of India (WII),, under the Namami Gange programme.

A specialist in the area noted with concern the disappearing of Gangetic dolphins, one of the four freshwater dolphins in the world, from the river stretch in Narora to Kanpur due to pollution.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and the United Nations Entity of Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN-Women)

{International Relations}

Source: PIB
The signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the United Nations Entity of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women).

  • The proposal seeks to provide technical support to the Ministry of Panchayati Raj in strengthening capacities of governance institutions including Panchayati Raj Institutions(PRIs) to better leverage opportunities created for gender equality through legislation, policies and programmes.
    Key facts:
  1. Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) and UN-Women have worked in collaboration with each other to promote participation of women in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), to focus on building capacities of Elected Women Representatives to empower them and enhance their effectiveness.
  2. The parties agree that engendering the initiatives of MoPR, including capacity development efforts, will be of mutual benefit, and will further their shared mission of good governance, gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  3. In the long run, it will enable an improvement in the status of rural women in India, as well as contribute to meeting India’s commitment to the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Platform for Action and the Sustainable Development Goals.
  4. The proposed MoU will facilitate the achievement of time-bound results in the implementation of specific activities identified jointly by MoPR and UN Women within the broader framework for cooperation under the United Nations Development Assistance Framework ((UNDAF).

The India UNDAF 2013-17 provides the framework for the collective work of the UN in India.

The UN agencies that have the privilege of serving in India support the Government of India’s national development priorities and internationally agreed development goals and standards including the Millennium Development Goals.

In support of the Government of India’s 12th Five Year Plan

  • Inclusive Growth,
  • Food and Nutrition Security,
  • Gender Equality,
  • Equitable Access to Quality Basic Services,
  • Governance, and
  • Sustainable Development.

Activities under this MoU will be implemented at the district and sub-district level in six States i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Odisha, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Cabinet approves India’s accession to the Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention)

{Economic Development}

Source: PIB
The Convention will help Indian traders to have access to fast, easy, reliable and hassle free international system for movement of goods by road or multi- modal means across the territories of other contracting parties.

Significance of this convention

  • By joining the convention, the need for inspection of goods at intermediate borders as well as physical escorts en route shall be obviated(removed) due to reciprocal recognition of Customs controls.
  • Customs clearance can take place at internal Customs locations thereby avoiding clearances at Border Crossing Points and ports that may often be congested.
  • Movement under the TIR can be allowed by checking only the seals and the external conditions of the load compartment or the container thereby reducing border delays, transport and transaction costs thereby leading to increased competitiveness and growth for the trade and transport sectors.
    Key facts:
  • Compliance with the Convention shall ensure enhanced security in the supply chain as only approved transporters and vehicles are allowed to operate in terms of the Convention.
  • As the TIR Carnet represents a guarantee for Customs duties and taxes and traffic in transit, there is no need for payment of such taxes and duties en route.
  • The TIR carnet also serves as a Customs declaration, and hence it precludes the need to file multiple declarations satisfying national laws of the different transiting countries.
  • The TIR Convention can be an instrument for movement of goods along the International “North-South” Transport (INSTC) Corridor and would be helpful in boosting trade with the Central Asian Republics and other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), particularly using ports in Iran like the Chabahar port.

The proposal does not result in any direct financial implication for the Government of India as it pertains to India’s accession to an international convention.

Background: TIR Convention

The Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets, 1975 (TIR Convention), is an international transit system under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to facilitate the seamless movement of goods within and amongst the Parties to the Convention. At present there are 70 parties to the Convention, including the European Union.

It covers the whole of Europe and reaches out to North Africa and the Near and Middle East

11th Indo – Nepal Joint Exercise

{International Relations}

Source: PIB

Indo – Nepal Joint Military Exercise Surya Kiran – XI commenced today at Pithoragarh.

  • In this 14 days exercise, Nepal Army is being represented by the officers and troops of the elite DURGA BAKSH Battalion while the EKTA SHAKTI Battalion of The Punjab Regiment is participating on behalf of the Indian Army.
  • This is eleventh such battalion level exercise between the two countries aimed at training of troops in counter insurgency operations in mountainous terrain. It formally incorporates issues related to humanitarian assistance and disaster management (HADR) and will help enhance defence co-operation and military relations between the two countries.

The prestigious Nari Shakti Puraskars, 2016 to be given away by the President

{Role of women}

Source: PIB

To acknowledge Women’s achievements, the Government of India confers Nari Shakti Puraskars on eminent women and institutions in recognition of their service towards the cause of women empowerment.

The awards recognize the efforts made by women & institutions in rendering distinguished services for the cause of women, especially vulnerable and marginalized women.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development announces these national level awards for eminent women, organisations and institutions.

National Conference on Jal Kranti Abhiyan


Source: PIB

Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation as part of Jal Kranti Abhiyan.

  • Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation launched Jal Kranti Abhiyan on June 05, 2015 to consolidate water conservation and management in the country through a holistic and integrated approach involving all stakeholders making it a mass movement.
  • One of the main objectives of the Jal Kranti Abhiyan is “strengthening grass root involvement of all stakeholders including Panchayati Raj institutions and local bodies for Participatory Irrigation Management.

What are the objectives of Jal Kranti Abhiyan?

  • Strengthening grass root involvement of all stakeholders including Panchayati Raj Institutions and local bodies in the water security and development schemes (e.g. Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM);
  • Encouraging the adoption/utilization of traditional knowledge in water resources conservation and its management;
  • To utilize sector level expertise from different levels in government, NGO’s, citizens etc; and
  • Enhancing livelihood security through water security in rural areas.

What is Jal Gram Yojana?

  • Jal Gram Yojana is one of the most important activity of the Jal Kranti Abhiyan under which two villages in every district (preferably being a part of dark block or facing acute water scarcity) are being selected as Jal Grams.
  • An integrated water security plan for water conservation, water management and allied activities are being prepared to ensure optimum and sustainable utilization of water.

What is monitoring mechanism of Jal Kranti Abhiyan?

  • At the National level, there is a national level committee under the chairmanship of Special Secretary (WR, RD & GR) who is looking after the overall implementation of Jal Kranti Abhiyan at the national level. Similarly, at the State level, there is a State Level Monitoring Committees under the chairmanship of Principal Committee of the respective States who are responsible for the implementation of the Abhiyan at the State level.

Petroleum Minister leads high level delegation to USA to promote India’s new Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) at CERA Week 2017

{Environment} {Ecology}

Source: PIB

India’s new Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP)

HELP to open up India’ entire sedimentary basin for investment from domestic and foreign players under a simplified, transparent and investor – friendly fiscal and administrative regime.

  • The aim was to encourage active global participation in upcoming investment opportunities in India which has one of the world’s fast growing oil and gas industry.
  • The transformative and proactive policy reforms undertaken by the Government like Make in India, Digital India, Ease of Doing Business, Skill India, and Startup India.

Objectives of HELP

  • To enhance the production of domestic oil and gas.
  • To bring in substantial investment in to exploration and production (E&P) sector.
  • Generate huge employment opportunities.
  • Enhance transparency and
  • Reduce administrative discretion


The Minister emphasized that the Government has introduced several progressive reforms in the Indian Upstream sector, driven by the Prime Minister’s goal of reducing import dependency on oil and gas by 10% by 2022.

At present, India is the third largest oil consumer in the world thus, placing an enormous focus on its energy security.

  • The most important reform is the Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy (HELP) that opens up India’ entire sedimentary basin for investment from domestic and foreign players under a simplified, transparent and investor -friendly fiscal and administrative regime.
  • The new policy aims to provide Investors a ready access to huge amount of seismic data available in National Data Repository (NDR), flexibility to carve out exploration acreages through an open acreage licensing process and increased operational autonomy through a new revenue sharing model.
  • The National Data Repository (NDR) manifested through an open acreage licensing (OAL) process will be a key facilitator by providing seamless access to India’s entire E&P data process through a digital medium to all investors with the objective of harnessing the potential of India’s large basinal area.

The key features of HELP are:

  • Single, uniform license for extraction and exploration for all types of hydrocarbon prospects
  • Open acreage licensing (OAL)which will permit investors to carve out interested blocks and submit Expression of Interest (EoI), which will be subsequently given through bi-annual bid rounds
  • Simple and easy to administer Revenue Sharing Model
  • Full marketing freedom and free pricing for crude oil and natural gas
  • Exploration allowed during entire contract period
  • Zero royalty rates for deep water & ultra-deep water blocks for first 7 years
  • Equal weightage to work program and fiscal share
  • No oil cess
  • Custom duty exemption

So far, India’s oil and gas sector has generated an investment of 40 billion USD from companies like BP, Hardy Exploration, Niko Resources, Reliance, Cairn, ENI, Joshi Technologies etc. with around 236 oil and gas discoveries, some of which have come on production and account for 30% of the country’s crude oil production and 25% of the country’s gas production.

Annual training conference of NIDM

{Disaster management}

Source: PIB

 The National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) is the nodal national institute for training research, documentation and development of national level information relating to disasters.

  • NIDM also conducts international courses for officials of African countries, SAARC Countries, Asian nationsat the behest of Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs.
  • The current paradigm of Disaster Management focuses towards a sustainable and safe development process through mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction into different sectors and at different levels.


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