04, November 2017

1.Bureau of Indian Standard celebrates 48th World Standards Day

Source: PIB

Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Department of Consumer Affairs working on bringing Hallmarking regulations under the new BIS Act 2016

“Standards Make Cities Smarter” organized by BIS

  • It Emphasis on the consumer protection that would get enhanced through new Consumer Protection and the BIS Act.
  • The theme for this year’s World Standards Day “Standards Make Cities Smarter” was chosen collectively by International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Electro Technical Commission (IEC) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
  • Building a smart city is a highly complex task having its own challenges and standards are the only common denominator that can simplify this task.
  • National Standards make the smart cities work safely and smoothly. Besides, it provides important guidance for all aspects of city life, including energy-efficient buildings, intelligent transportation, and improved waste management, thereby builds sustainable communities.
  • Department of Consumer Affairs, in his keynote address stressed on the changing scenario and the role Bureau of Indian Standards is playing in the national and international arena.

2.DRDO Successfully Test Fires Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) System

Source: PIB

India successfully tested the Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon System or the SAAW system.


  • The Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon is an indigenously designed and developed smart weapon.
  • It is developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • The guided bomb which were released from the aircraft and guided through precision navigation system, reached the targets at greater than 70 km range, with high accuracies, according to DRDO scientists.
  • A total of three tests with different release conditions and ranges were conducted and all were successful.
  • There are two variants of the guided bombs-Garuthmaa (winged version with range upto 100 kms) and the Garudaa (non winged with range of 30 kms to scalable upto 100 kms). The latter also has on board navigation and guidance systems.

3.SDG4-Education 2030: Strengthening Accountability in the Implementation of SDG4’ in the 39th General Conference of UNESCO in Paris

Source: PIB

Ministry of Human Resource Development- ‘Accountability in Financing of Education’

India recognises that accountability in financing of education is critical to achieve SDG4 and associated targets.


  • It involves accountability in financing of education on the part of both the development partners and individual countries.
  • Accountability on the part of development partners relates to the commitment to enhance funding that is needed to implement SDG4-Education 2030 agenda.
  • The latest Global Education Monitoring Report released recently points out that “at the global level, international commitments to finance the education sector,”.
  • The Report indicates that “only 6 of 28 OECD-DAC countries met their commitment to allocate 0.7% of national income to aid.” Therefore, OECD developed countries must fulfil their commitment. Ultimately, investing in education is investing in peace and sustainable future.
  • Accountability on the part of individual countries relate to the commitment to set nationally appropriate spending targets for education, mobilising financial resources and achieving in a progressive manner the international benchmarks of allocating at least 4% to 6% of gross domestic product (GDP) to education; and/or allocating at least 15% to 20% of public expenditure to education.
  • Accountability on the part of individual countries also relates to efforts aimed at ensuring that the available funds are used efficiently and effectively.


  • The Government of India recognises that achieving the education development goals and targets set in the context of SDG4-Education 2030 agenda requires increased and well-targeted financing and effective and efficient utilisation of allocated funds.
  • Government of India is investing nearly 4.5 % of GDP on education, despite competing demands on resources.
  • The Central and State/ UT governments have been making efforts to provide adequate and equitable financing to educational priorities. There has been a broad consensus that investment on education be gradually increased to reach a level of six per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • Efforts are being made to step up the outlay on education by facilitating substantial increase in both public and private sector investment in education.
  • Furthermore, improved coordination, monitoring and evaluation processes have been attempted to ensure that the available funds are used efficiently and effectively, and with measurable education outcomes and impacts for children and youth, especially in terms of attainment of expected learning outcomes.

4.Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana

Source: PIB

Minister of Communications launched a Pan India scholarship program for school children called Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana to increase the reach of Philately.

SPARSH Scheme:

  • Under the scheme of SPARSH (Scholarship for Promotion of Aptitude & Research in Stamps as a Hobby), it is proposed to award annual scholarships to children of Standard VI to IX having good academic record and also pursuing Philately as a hobby through a competitive selection process in all postal circles.
  • Philately is the hobby of collection and study of Postage stamps. It also entails the collection, appreciation and research activities on stamps and other related philatelic products.
  • The hobby of collecting Stamps includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloguing, displaying, storing, and maintaining the stamps or related products on thematic areas.
  • Philately is called the king of hobbies because Stamp collection as a hobby has lot of educational benefits – it teaches a lot about the socio economic political reality of the period in which the stamp is issued or the theme on which it is issued.


  • The Minister said that to avail this scholarship, a child must be a student of a recognized school within India and the concerned school should have a Philately Club and the candidate should be a member of the Club.
  • In case the school Philately Club hasn’t been established a student having his own Philately Deposit Account will also be considered.
  • Every prospective school, which participates in the competition, would be assigned a Philately mentor to be chosen from amongst the renowned Philatelists.
  • The Philately mentor would help in formation of the School level Philately Club, providing guidance to young and aspiring Philatelists on how to pursue the hobby and also helping the aspiring Philatelists on their Philately Projects etc.

5.Coastal Berth Scheme

Source: PIB

The Ministry of Shipping has taken up projects worth Rs 2,302 crore for financial assistance under the Coastal Berth Scheme of the flagship Sagarmala Programme.

  • The Ministry, after due appraisal in consultation with NITI Aayog and Department of Expenditure, has extended the period of the scheme for three years, upto 31st March, 2020 and expanded its scope to cover capital dredging at Major Ports and preparation of DPR for coastal berth project.


  • The Coastal Berth Scheme aims to provide financial support to ports or state governments for creation of infrastructure for movement of cargo and passenger by sea or national waterways.
  • Once completed, the projects will help to promote coastal shipping and increase its share in domestic cargo movement in India.
  • Better infrastructure for coastal shipping will decongest rail and road network besides ensuring cost competitive and effective multi-modal transportation solution.
  • The country has high potential to use coastal shipping for its internal cargo movement given its 7500 kms long coastline.

Sagarmala Programme:

Maritime sector in India has been the backbone of the country’s trade and has grown manifold over the years

  • To harness India’s 7,500 km long coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways and strategic location on key international maritime trade routes, the Government of India has embarked on the ambitious Sagarmala Programme which aims to promote port-led development in the country.
  • The concept of Sagarmala was approved by the Union Cabinet on 25th March 2015. As part of the programme, a National Perspective Plan (NPP) for the comprehensive development of India’s coastline and maritime sector has been prepared which was released by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, on 14th April, 2016 at the Maritime India Summit 2016.
  • As per the approved implementation plan of Sagarmala Programme, these projects are to be taken up by the relevant Central Ministries/Agencies and State Governments preferably through private/PPP mode.

Concept & Objectives

Vision of the Sagarmala Programme (Figure) is to reduce logistics cost for EXIM and domestic trade with minimal infrastructure investment. This includes:

  • Reducing cost of transporting domestic cargo through optimizing modal mix
  • Lowering logistics cost of bulk commodities by locating future industrial capacities near the coast
  • Improving export competitiveness by developing port proximate discrete manufacturing clusters
  • Optimizing time/cost of EXIM container movement.

Components of Sagarmala Programme are:

  • Port Modernization & New Port Development: De-bottlenecking and capacity expansion of existing ports and development of new greenfield ports
  • Port Connectivity Enhancement: Enhancing the connectivity of the ports to the hinterland, optimizing cost and time of cargo movement through multi-modal logistics solutions including domestic waterways (inland water transport and coastal shipping)
  • Port-linked Industrialization: Developing port-proximate industrial clusters and Coastal Economic Zones to reduce logistics cost and time of EXIM and domestic cargo
  • Coastal Community Development: Promoting sustainable development of coastal communities through skill development & livelihood generation activities, fisheries development, coastal tourism etc.

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