Press Information Bureau (PIB)- 15th June to 23rd June, 2017

Press Information Bureau (PIB)- 15th June to 23rd June (PIB Weekly Compilation)


National Mission on Cultural Mapping of India

{Art & Culture, Geography GS-1}

Source: PIB

The implementation of the ‘‘National Mission on Cultural Mapping of India’ was recently launched at Goverdhan Block, Mathura District, Uttar Pradesh. This Mission is part of the ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ umbrella.

Ministry of Culture launched it in the year of commemoration of the birth centenary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay, who hailed from Mathura.

National Mission on Cultural Mapping of India

  • The mission aims at converting the vast and widespread cultural canvas of India into an objective cultural map, designing a mechanism to fulfil the aspirations of the whole artist community of the nation and preserving the rich cultural heritage of this country in the form of a cultural repository of artists and art forms.
  • This Mission encompasses data mapping, demography building formalising the processes and bringing all the cultural activities under one web based umbrella for better results.
  • The Mission also seeks to open a direct channel of communication of artists with the Government and peer to peer communication among artists for talent honing and handholding of each other.

Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat:

  • “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” was announced by Hon’ble Prime Minister on 31st October, 2015 on the occasion of the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Subsequently, the Finance Minister announced the initiative in his Budget Speech for 2016-17.
  • Through this innovative measure, the knowledge of the culture, traditions and practices of different States & UTs will lead to an enhanced understanding and bonding between the States, thereby strengthening the unity and integrity of India.
  • All States and UTs will be covered under the programme. There will be pairing of States/UTs at national level and these pairings will be in effect for one year, or till the next round of pairings. The State/UT level pairings would be utilized for state level activities. District level pairings would be independent of the State level pairings.
  • The activity will be very useful to link various States and Districts in annual programmes that will connect people through exchanges in areas of culture, tourism, language, education trade etc. and citizens will be able to experience the cultural diversity of a much larger number of States/UTs while realising that India is one.

Objectives of the initiative

  • To CELEBRATE the Unity in Diversity of our Nation and to maintain and strengthen the fabric of traditionally existing emotional bonds between the people of our Country;
  • To PROMOTE the spirit of national integration through a deep and structured engagement between all Indian States and Union Territories through a year-long planned engagement between States;
  • To SHOWCASE the rich heritage and culture, customs and traditions of either State for enabling people to understand and appreciate the diversity that is India, thus fostering a sense of common identity;
  • TO ESTABLISH long-term engagements and
  • TO CREATE an environment which promotes learning between States by sharing best practices and experiences.

BIO International Convention

{I.R GS-2, Sci & Tech GS-3}

Source: PIB

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) 2017 is being held in the San Diego Convention Centre, San Diego. India is also taking part in the convention.

BIO International Convention

  • The BIO International Convention is the largest global event for the biotechnology industry and attracts the biggest names in biotech, offers key networking and partnering opportunities, and provides insights and inspiration on the major trends affecting the industry. The first BIO International Convention was held in 1993 and attracted approximately 1,400 attendees.
  • The event features keynotes and sessions from key policymakers, scientists, CEOs, and celebrities. The Convention also features the BIO Business Forum (One-on-One Partnering), hundreds of sessions covering biotech trends, policy issues and technological innovations, and the world’s largest biotechnology exhibition – the BIO Exhibition.
  • The BIO International Convention is hosted by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.

Significance of the convention:

  • BIO performs many services for members, but none of them are more visible than the BIO International Convention. The BIO International Convention helps BIO fulfill its mission to help grow the global biotech industry. Profits from the BIO International Convention are returned to the biotechnology industry by supporting BIO programs and initiatives. BIO works throughout the year to create a policy environment that enables the industry to continue to fulfill its vision of bettering the world through biotechnology innovation.
  • The key benefits of attending the BIO International Convention are access to global biotech and pharma leaders via BIO One-on-One Partnering, exposure to industry though-leaders with over 1,500 education sessions at your fingertips, and unparalleled networking opportunities with 16,000+ attendees from 76 countries. India is taking part in the BIO 2017.

PoC between India and Portugal to promote Cooperation in the Field of Archives

{Foreign Relation GS-2}

Source: PIB

In news:

A Protocol of Cooperation was signed between the National Archives of India and the Minister of Culture of the Portuguese Republic in the field of archives on 17th May, 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Torre do Tombo (National Archives of Portugal) handed over to the National Archives of India digital copies of 62 volumes of the collection known as ‘Moncoes do Reino’ (Monsoon correspondence). 

Moncoes do Reino  These volumes were originally part of over 456 volumes that cover the period from 1568 to 1914 and form the largest of all record collections in the Goa State Archives.

India ratifies United Nations TIR Convention

{I.R. GS-2, Economy & Defence GS-3}

Source: PIB

India has become the 71st country to ratify the United Nations TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers) Convention, a move that will help boost trade through smoother movement of goods across territories.

  • The ratification is a part of India’s multi-modal transport strategy that aims to integrate the economy with global and regional production networks through better connectivity.
  • The Union Cabinet had approved India’s accession to the Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention) in March this year.

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.
  • The 1975 convention replaced the TIR Convention of 1959, which itself replaced the 1949 TIR Agreement between a number of European countries.
  • The TIR system not only covers customs transit by road but a combination is possible with other modes of transport (e.g., rail, inland waterway, and even maritime transport), as long as at least one part of the total transport is made by road.


  • India’s decision to implement the TIR system will have far reaching benefits for trade and will save significant time and money by streamlining procedures at borders, reducing administration and cutting border waiting times.
  • The TIR Convention will also facilitate India’s current national and multilateral connectivity-related initiatives to improve cross border road transport, facilitating overland trade integration with both eastern and western neighbours.
  • It will also help India in implementing the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, which entered into force this year.
  • 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.
  • By joining the convention, the need for inspection of goods at intermediate borders as well as physical escorts en route shall be obviated due to reciprocal recognition of Customs controls.

Government launches new Yoga app in India

Source: PIB

In news:

The Department of Science and Technology, Government of India has launched an app for your smartphone called ‘Celebrating Yoga’.

The app was on the occasion of International Yoga Day 2017, the app is aimed towards popularising yoga and healthy living.

About the app:

  • The aim of the app is to popularize yoga and encourage people to practice yoga for a scientifically healthy living
  • In 2015, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) had also launched a research programme Science and Technology of Yoga and Meditation (SATYAM)
  • Both the app and initiatives have been launched under the Cognitive Science Research Initiative (CSRI)
  • Celebrating Yogaapp provides a platform to share information and create awareness into the participation of yoga events on the occasion of the International Yoga Day 2017
  • The mobile app will help in capturing mass yoga events being organised in public places, schools and office complexes across the country
  • The app will be connected with Google Map where shared information can be viewed by the app users
  • The information gathered by the mobile app will be shared with the Ministry of AYUSH to complement their efforts

International Day of Yoga:  commonly referred to as Yoga Day, is celebrated annually on 21 June since its inception in 2015. An international day for yoga was declared unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 11 December 2014. Yoga is a physical, mental, and/or spiritual practice attributed mostly to India.

A fundamental distortion in farm policy

{Governance, Economy Agriculture GS-3}

Source: PIB


Looking at the way the agrarian crisis has built up in different pockets, it does appear that the overall approach to agriculture is marked by reactive, rather than clear-sighted, proactive thinking. Almost all policies are geared towards ‘price’. It is assumed that getting this right is the panacea for all the problems.

Major issues with MSP:

  • While MSP is effective for rice and wheat, where there is physical procurement by the FCI, it is only indicative for other crops. Thus the concept of MSP has distorted the market. When the MSP of soyabean is increased, market prices would increase even if the crop is good, as the MSP sets a benchmark. The MSP hence becomes an income-setter rather than a fair market price. Its contribution to inflation has also been distinct.
  • The recent intent to criminalize sales taking place below the MSP makes no sense as the MSP does not distinguish between grades; it refers to an average fair quality.
  • Procurement has been fixed for rice and wheat which is linked directly to the PDS. The back-to-back arrangement works well but is restricted to specific crops. Further, being an open ended scheme, the FCI has often been flooded with surplus grain which leads to problems of storage and wastage. There is a need to have minimum stocks of all such vulnerable commodities. Therefore, procurement and price stabilisation has to be undertaken for other commodities if it is to be meaningful.
  • The Essential Commodities Act can be invoked at any time to restrict the amount that can be stored by the wholesaler and retailer. While the concept sounds right as it can tackle hoarding, the point missed is that most crops are harvested once a year and then stored for the rest of the year.
  • Trade policy is warped for farm products. At times, there are bans on exports. In times of shortage the time taken to recognize a shortage and import through a bidding process is long and time consuming. Often by the time imports arrive prices are already on the descent.


  • The MSP should be linked with procurement which in turn should not be open-ended or else there will be distortion in the market.
  • Rather than protecting the income of farmer, the incentives should be to increase productivity, which can mean access to seed and irrigation.
  • Making the NAM (national agriculture market) real is a long-term solution but linking the same with contract farming or direct sale in towns and cities could be better still.
  • Prices should always be determined by the market to reflect the demand-supply dynamics, and there should be no intervention.
  • Instead of focusing on prices to deliver income, the government should ensure that all crops are insured at least in the vulnerable areas.
  • All farm loans should be linked with insurance so that the bank gets covered for loan loss while the government pays its share on insurance premium (which the present crop insurance scheme is supposed to entail).

Second edition of Slum Daud

{Geography GS-1, Government Programme GS-2}

Source: PIB

The second edition of the Slum Daud was recently inaugurated.

Slum Daud                                                            

  • The Slum Yuva Daud is part of the Adopt Slum Campaign initiated by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan. The Slum Yuva Daud & Adopt Slum campaigns aim at highlighting the government’s pro-people schemes among masses.
  • Participation: the campaign will involve groups like NSS, public schools, RWAs, NGOs, rotary clubs etc.


  • Nehru Yuva Kendras were established in the year 1972 with the objective of providing rural youth avenues to take part in the process of nation building as well providing opportunities for the development of their personality and skills.
  • In the year 1987-88, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan(NYKS) was set up as an autonomous organization under the Government of India, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, to oversee working of these Kendras.
  • NYKS is the largest grassroots level youth organization; one of its kind in the world. It channelizes the power of youth on the principles of voluntarism, self-help and community participation.
  • The basic objective for creation of youth clubs is to render community support through developmental initiatives involving activities with particular focus on youth empowerment.


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