Current Affairs India November 2011 | Indian Current Affairs Short Notes

Mother & Child Tracking System
The Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS) is designed to collate information of all pregnant women and infants so as to ensure delivery of maternal and child health services from conception till 42 days after delivery in the case of pregnant women and up to five years of age in the case of children so as to ensure that all pregnant women and all new born receive full maternal and immunization services. MCTS was started by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare last year as an e-governance initiative. The total number of pregnant women registered has crossed the one crore mark on 28 October, 2011. The number of children registered in the system is also expected to cross 50 lakh by the end of this month. The project is being implemented in the Mission Mode and a dedicated unit has been established in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for coordinating and collaborating with States/Union Territories for the implementation of the project. The information generated through the system is also being used for planning maternal and child health services at the grass roots level by the female health worker in association with village level volunteers like ASHA and Aanganwadi Worker. 

National Agriculture Insurance Scheme
The main objective of the scheme is to protect farmers against crop losses suffered on account of natural calamities, such as drought, flood, hailstorm, cyclone pests and diseases etc. The scheme is available to all farmers (loanee and non-loanee) irrespective of their size of land holding. It is operating on the basis of area approach. Due to some limitations, the existing scheme has been revisited as Modified National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (MNAIS) and approved for implementation in 50 districts from Rabi season 2010-11 on a pilot basis. One of the major improvements in the MNAIS is actuarial premium. Government pays subsidy in premium ranging 40% to 75% to farmers. As per the latest data available, 1761 lakh  farmers have been covered under National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (NAIS) from Rabi 1999-2000 to Rabi 2010-11.

Government E-Payment System
The Controller General of Accounts (CGA), Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance has developed a fully secured Government e-payment system for direct credit of dues from the Government of India into the account of beneficiaries using digitally signed electronic advice (e-advice) through the ‘Government e-Payment Gateway’ (GePG). Government e-Payment Gateway (GePG) is a portal which enables the successful delivery of payment services from Pay & Accounts Offices (PAOs) for online payment into beneficiaries’ accounts in a seamless manner under a secured environment. The e-payment system will save time and efforts in effecting payments and will facilitate elimination of physical cheques and their manual processing. Further the constraints of manual deposit of cheque by the payees into their bank account would also be eliminated. The system will also have online reconciliation of transactions and efficient compilation of payment accounts.

Government Approves 21 New Textiles Parks
Government has sanctioned 21 new Textiles Parks under the Scheme for Integrated Textiles Parks with a project cost of Rs. 2100 crores to be implemented over a period of 36 months. The Scheme for Integrated Textiles Parks seeks green field investments in textiles sector on a public private partnership basis with the objective of setting up world class infrastructure for Textiles industry.

Crime In India-2010
“Crime In India-2010” a publication of national importance brought out by National Crime Records Bureau. NCRB publishes Crime in India from the year 1953 and the current edition “Crime in India-2010”is its 58th edition. Crime in India is a compilation and analysis of crime statistics on various types of crimes which had taken place in that year in India. This report is widely referred by policy makers, police personnel, researchers, NGOs, media persons and other stake holders. NCRB is also implementing CCTNS(Crime and criminal tracking network and systems) a mission mode project of the Home Ministry under national e-Governance plan to connect all the 15000 police stations and 6000 odd higher police offices across the country. This project is likely to be rolled out by March 2012.

WB Signs Loan Agreement with India The Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor Project- I
The World Bank signed a US$ 975 million loan agreement with Government of India, and the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd. (DFCCIL) to set-up the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor-I (a freight-only rail line) that will help faster and more efficient movement of raw materials and finished goods between the Northern and Eastern parts of India. The corridor will also allow Indian Railways to free up capacity and better-serve the large passenger market in this densely populated region. This is part of India’s first Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) initiative – being built on two main routes – the Western and the Eastern Corridors. The Indian Railways urgently needs to add freight routes to meet the growing freight traffic in India, which is projected to increase more than 7 percent annually. Dedicated freight corridors will not only meet this growing freight demand, but also decongest the already saturated rail network and promote the shifting of freight transport from road to more efficient rail transport. Augmenting its transport systems is a crucial element of India’s trillion-dollar infrastructure agenda for the next Five-Year Plan (XIIth Plan) which starts in 2012. Since the 1990s, road transport has advanced more rapidly than the railways, and now accounts for about 65 percent of the freight market and 90 percent of the passenger market in India, and those shares are growing. The project also has significant contribution in reducing GHGs and the Government of India is committed to increasing the share of rail transport in this mix. The loan, from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a maturity period of 22 years including a 7-year grace period. A Carbon Footprint Analysis conducted by DFCCIL for the Eastern DFC Project shows the corridor is expected to cause 2.25 times less carbon emissions when compared to a scenario where the freight is transported through a non-DFC network of the Indian Railways.

National Manufacturing Policy
The Cabinet approved the revised proposal of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry to put in place a National Manufacturing Policy. The contribution of the manufacturing sector at just over 16% of India`s GDP is much below its potential and a cause of concern especially in the context of other Asian countries in similar stages of development. This also has its socio-economic manifestations and prevents India from fully leveraging the opportunities of globalization. India is a young country with over 60% of its population in the working age group. With over 220 million people estimated to join the work force in the next decade, the manufacturing sector will have to create gainful employment for at least half this number. The major objectives of the National Manufacturing Policy are to increase the sectoral share of manufacturing in GOP to at least 25% by 2022; to increase the rate of job creation so as to create 100 million additional jobs by 2022; and to enhance global competitiveness, domestic value addition, technological depth and environmental sustainability of growth. 

National Optical Fiber Network
The Union Cabinet approved a scheme for creation of a National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) for providing Broadband connectivity to Panchayats. The objective of the scheme is to extend the existing optical fiber network which is available up to district / block HQ’s level to the Gram Panchayat level initially by utilizing the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). As per a study conducted by the World Bank, with every 10% increase in broadband penetration, there is an increase in GDP growth by 1.4%. NOFN will also facilitate implementation of various e-governance initiatives such as e-health, e-banking, e-education etc. thereby facilitating inclusive growth. It will also provide high bandwidth connectivity for electronic delivery of services to citizens.

National Institute of Mountaineering & Allied Sports
The Cabinet approved setting up of a National Institute of Mountaineering & Allied Sports (NIMAS) at Dirang in Arunachal Pradesh as an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Defence. This Institute would be first National Institute of its kind where theoretical and practical training for activities relating to mountaineering, aero adventure and aqua adventure would be conducted. Trainees for the courses at the Institute shall be from all parts of India and abroad. These would include personnel from Defence Forces, Para Military Forces, NCC cadets, civilians and students sponsored by State Governments. 

Mega Food Parks
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved setting up 15 new Mega Food Park Projects under the Infrastructure Development Scheme in addition to 15 ongoing projects. The setting up of 15 new Mega Food Parks will result in creation of state of the art infrastructure in major parts of the country with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlets. The projects are expected to bring about substantial reduction of wastage, value addition, employment generation and increased income for the farmers. The Scheme will be implemented in a market driven manner commensurate with both global and national demands. Innovative supply chain management will be the key to implementation of this scheme. The Scheme operates in hub and spoke model under which there will be farm proximate Collection Centres (CC) and Primary Processing Centres (PPC) which will facilitate for cleaning, grading, sorting and packing facilities, dry warehouses, specialised cold stores including pre-cooling chambers, ripening chambers, reefer vans, mobile pre-coolers and mobile collection vans.