Current Affairs National

 On February 13, 2020, the Ministry of MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) launched “Apiary on Wheels”. It is a unique concept framed by KVIC (Khadi and Village Industries Commission). The main aim of “Apiary on Wheels” is to make migration easy.
  • Highlights
Apiary on wheels is an approach to make beekeeping simpler. It is a platform to carry 20 Bee Boxes. The vehicle has 2 large wheels on either sides and 4 separate compartments to place the boxes. It also has a solar panel that automatically powers a fan when the temperature inside the boxes reaches 35 degree Celsius. Also, it is designed in such a way that it can easily be connected with tractors or trolleys. As a beginning, they are to be placed in mustard farms.
  • Significance
It addresses the challenges faced by the beekeepers. Bee keeping involves laborious and mental challenges such a placing the bee boxes in strategic positions, migrating the bee boxes and fulfil the nourishment needs of the bees. The Apiary on Wheels addresses all the above issues. The concept was launched as a part of National Honey Mission launched in 2017
  • National Honey Mission
The mission since its launch has been training beekeepers, educating unemployed youths, distributing bee boxes. Under the mission, KVIC provides training and awareness to Bee farmers.

  The Government of India has decided to consider all medical devices including implants and contraceptives as “Drugs”. The notification regarding the re-categorization was issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. With the implementation, all the medical devices will come under the purview of the Central Drugs and Standard Control Organization (CDSCO). The re-categorization will be implemented from 1st April 2020 in the phase manner. The re-categorization will enable the drugs regulator “CDSCO” to tighten the regulation to improve the safety and quality. The medical devices that will be re-categorized as per the notification issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, includes the devices that are used for life support, diagnosis, treatment or alleviation of any disease or disability. It also includes the devices that are used to disinfect other medical devices. This notification will effectively cover all medical devices that are sold in the market. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will also release another notification stating a transition period for various categories of medical devices.
Present rules for the classification of medical devices in India:
In India, the medical devices are classified under four categories:
  • Class A
  • Class B
  • Class C
  • Class D
Examples of medical devices as per their category:
  • Class A and B medical devices are low-risk ones like surgical dressing, alcohol swabs, thermometers, blood pressure monitoring devices.
  • Class C and D are high-risk devices like implants, hemodialysis catheters, angiographic guide wire and heart valve.
According to the present medical rules, CDSCO issues licenses to the private notified bodies for the inspection of low risk-devices. But, in case of high risk devices, CDSCO is responsible for the issuing of licenses as well as for the inspection of the high risk devices.

  In Delhi Assembly Election, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party scored a landslide victory. This is the second time in a row as Aam Aadmi Party swept aside both BJP, which was again restricted to a single digit and Congress which could not win a single seat. In the 2015 Assembly Election, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had won 67 seats out of 70. BJP has won eight seats, five more than the 2015 assembly election. However, the party managed to increase its vote share by over 6% from the last elections. 0.5% (approx) voters pressed the NOTA (None of the Above) button. Aam Aadmi Party’s Sanjeev Jha records the biggest victory margin of over 88,000 votes from Burari Assembly/Vidhan Sabha seat. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal won the elections from New Delhi while Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia from Patparganj Assembly/Vidhan Sabha seat. Mr. Kejriwal thank the people of Delhi for reposing their faith in Aam Aadmi Party for the third time. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that “This is the victory of the people who consider me as their son and voted for us”. He said, “This is the beginning of a new kind of politics”.
Party wise Vote Share in Delhi Assembly Results in 2020 (in %)
  • Aam Aadmi Party- 53.57%
  • Bharatiya Janata Party- 38.51%
  • Indian National Congress- 4.26%
  • Janata Dal (United)- 0.91%
  • Bahujan Samaj Party- 0.71%
  • None of the above (NOTA)- 0.46%
  • Lok Janshakti Party- 0.35%
  • Communist Party of India- 0.02%
  • Nationalist Congress Party- 0.02%
  • Communist Party of India (Marxist)- 0.01%

  •  Ministry of Coal (MoC) has launched a web portal for star rating of coal mines to promote the green, safe and sustainable mining practices with the help of technology. The web portal for star rating of coal mines enables all operational coal mines across India for self-rating, their subsequent validation by Coal Controller’s Organization (CCO), further evaluation and finally award of star rating. The mines scoring the highest score in the country will be awarded in a public ceremony on the basis of the star ratings obtained on this web portal. Coal Controller’s Organization will also issue an official certificate to all the mines mentioning their star rating. The Star Rating Policy for Coal Mines in India are:

      Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog has begin a series of innovation demo days. The series aims to unite the stakeholders of the food processing and agriculture sector in India. The innovation demo days will act as a platform where start-ups, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), entrepreneurs, corporate partners and sector academics are brought together to be spectator of government-funded innovations.
    • Inaugural event of series of innovation demo days:
    The first innovation demo day was held in New Delhi bringing together Ministry of Food Processing Industries and Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare at Atal Incubation Centre (AIC)- Entrepreneurship & Management Process International (EMPI) Business school. The event featured the exhibition of more than 30 govt-funded/supported technologies which are related to food processing and agriculture. Out of the 30 govt-funded/supported technologies, 12 technologies were spectated in detail by the budding innovators and researchers to the stakeholders from the agriculture and food processing ecosystem. The exhibition was followed by a networking session.
    • Objective of the series of innovation demo days:
    The innovation demo day series started by Atal Innovation Mission aims to promote the commercialisation of technologies which are funded by the Ministries of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Food Processing and Industries. It also aims at bridging the innovation with sectors like Indian MSME industry and government funded research industries. This new programme is expected to take the new innovations from the laboratories to the market, hence establishing the collaborative ecosystem. The vision behind this new initiative is to provide government’s support to the start-ups. These initiatives are expected to help government to ensure the development of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.

      The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved to bestow the status of Institution of National Importance to the five Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs). The status will be provided with the inception of the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The bill will provide the status of Institutions of National Importance to the remaining five IIITs along with the existing 15 IIITs in PPP mode. The 5 IIITs in PPP mode includes IIITs in Bhopal, Raichur, Bhagalpur, Agartala and Surat.
    • Impact of the provision of Institution of National Importance to IITs:
    The status will empower the IIITs to award degrees and will also allow them to use the nomenclature of Bachelor of Technology (BTech) or Master of Technology or PhD degree. The change of status will the institutes to attract more students to develop a strong research base in the country in the field of information technology.

      The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its in-principle approval for setting up a new Major Port at Vadhavan near Dahanu in Maharashtra. The new Major Port will be established on the basis of land lord model. The projected cost of the Vadhavan Port is over Rs 65,000 crore. After the development of this new Major Port at Vadhavan in Maharashtra, India is expected to enter the list of countries with top 10 container ports in the world. For the implementation of the project, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be formed along the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) which will act as the lead partner with equity participation of 50% or more. This SPV will be responsible for the development of the port infrastructure, including construction of breakwater, reclamation with the establishment of connectivity to the hinterland. All the business activities will take place under the public private partnership (PPP) by private developers.

      India’s biggest rural technical festival titled ‘Antahpragnya 2020’ held in Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies (RGUKT), Basar, Nirmal District, Telangana. The theme for the year 2020 was “Spot and encourage rural tech innovators”. The festival displays 300 prototypes, working models, exhibits technologies such as automatic switch for water, homemade electricity, smoke absorber, automatic street lighting system, smart dustbins, zero budget farming, automatic irrigation etc. The team of Antahpragnya in collaboration with SSERD (Society for Space Education, Research and Development) organized an Astrospace camp which aimed to create awareness about the exciting career in space.

     World’s largest meditation centre was inaugurated at Kanha Shanti Vanam in Hyderabad, Telangana. This centre is built to mark the 75th anniversary of the formation of Shri Ram Chandra Mission (SRCM) and Heartfulness Institute. The meditation centre with a central hall and eight peripheral halls to accommodate 1,00,000 people will offer meditation training free.

     On January 23, 2020, Ghana announced that the country will replicate the Ujjwala model of LPG connection under the guidance of India (represented by Indian Oil Corporation).
    • Highlights
    LPG coverage in Ghana is 23%. Citizens of Ghana spend hours together at petrol stations to refill their cylinders. Ghana is to fix the issues around LPG with India’s support. Ghana inspired by India’s bottling plants of LPG is to implement its replica aiming to cover 50% of population in the initial stage.
    • MoU
    India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ghana to provide assistance in Ghana’s National LPG Promotion Policy. The MoU will strengthen cooperation between the countries and will increase the support offered to National Petroleum Authority of Ghana by India. Indian Oil Corporation will aid in developing infrastructure, technical support and value chain on the sidelines of the agreement. This symbolizes India as a global leader in providing clean energy.
    • Achievement of PMUY
    Under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, 8 crore cooking gas connection were provided to poor women in less than 3 years. The Programme was launched to safeguard health of children and women by replacing firewood with LPG.
    • Controversies
    India’s CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) in its report on PMUY expressed its concerns over delays in supply of cylinder, low consumption, diversions of LPG, etc.

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