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July 2017 National Affairs

  • Action against corrupt politicians is a must: PM Modi
    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged politicians to join hands together against those who try to save themselves by raking up the issue of political conspiracy. 

    Addressing an all-party meet ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament beginning from 17th July, he said action against corrupt politicians is a must. Mr Modi said, over the past few decades, the image of political leadership has been at crossroads due to the deeds of some of the leaders amongst us. 

    He said, the political leaders need to convince the people that every leader is not tainted and running after money. Prime Minister said, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement on 9th August Parliament should discuss over it. 

  • Hearing screening device 'SOHUM' launched
    Minister of State for Science and Technology Y S Chowdary on 17th July launched - Sohum - a newborn hearing screening device in New Delhi. 

    The Device was developed by School of International Biodesign under Department of Biotechnology. Sohum device uses brainstem auditory evoked response to check for hearing response in a newborn. More than eight lakh hearing impaired babies are born annually, of which nearly one lakh are born in India. According to Chowdary 75 per cent of the medical equipment is imported in the country. There are plans to conduct, mandatory auditory test in every Primary Health centres. 

  • Smriti Irani assumes additional charge of I&B ministry
    Textiles Minister Smriti Irani on 18th July assumed additional charge of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, replacing M Venkaiah Naidu who resigned following his nomination as NDA's vice presidential candidate. Following Mr. Naidu's resignation, Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has been given the additional charge of Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry. 

  • Bill introduced in LS for setting up petroleum institute in Andhra Pradesh
    Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan introduced The Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy Bill, 2017 in the Lok Sabha on 18th July. The Bill seeks to declare it as an institution of national importance. The Institute is situated at Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. 

  • Cabinet clears revised implementation strategy for BharatNet
    The Cabinet on 19th July approved a revised implementation strategy for BharatNet, to give broadband connectivity to all gram panchayats by March 2019. According to officials, the project will entail an estimated expenditure of Rs 42,068 crore, funded from the Universal Service Obligation Fund. 

    BharatNet (erstwhile National Optical Fibre Network) aims to provide minimum 100 Mbps broadband connectivity to gram panchayats by using an optimal mix of underground fibre, aerial fibre, radio and satellite media. The project was earlier scheduled to connect all gram panchayats by December 2018. 

    As part of the modified strategy, implementation will be done by states, state agencies, private sector companies and central public sector undertakings. There will be a mix of media, rather than only underground optic fibre, which was the initial strategy. 

    There will be last-mile connectivity in every gram panchayat for service delivery on Wi-Fi or any other such technology, and provision of horizontal connectivity to institutions at gram panchayats. 

    The infrastructure created under BharatNet will be shared by all categories of service providers non-discriminatorily. The implementation agency would also be responsible for management, operation and maintenance. 

    Of the Rs 42,068 crore, Rs 11,148 crore is the cost of providing connectivity to 100,000 gram panchayats in phase-1 and Rs 18,792 crore is for providing connectivity to the remaining 150,000 gram panchayats in phase-II. The balance amount is for essential activities not covered in the initial BharatNet framework, which include last-mile connectivity architecture, operation and maintenance and replacement of BSNL's poor quality fibre. 

  • Cabinet gives approval tax matters btwn India, BRICS 
    Union Cabinet has given its approval for the signing of Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) in respect of tax matters between India and BRICS countries , Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa. 

    The MoC aims at promoting cooperation amongst the BRICS Revenue administrations in international forum on common areas of interest in tax matters and in the area of capacity building and knowledge sharing. It also accords confidentiality and protection to information exchanged under the MoC. 

  • Phase 1 of Ken-Betwa river link project gets all clearances
    According to Minister for Water Resources Sanjiv Balyan, a draft Cabinet note on the Ken-Betwa river link project (KBLP) has already been circulated and all clearances for phase one is over. He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted the project work to be started early. 

    On the basis of recommendations of the Forest Advisory Committee, the Centre has granted the approval of Stage-I Forest Clearance for KBLP Phase-I vide MoEF&CC letter dated 25 May, 2017

    Later, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti informed the Lok Sabha House that the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh needed to work out a water-sharing agreement to take the project forward. 

    The status of the project was reviewed at a high-level meeting on July 4, with top officials of both State governments where the MP government proposed that the Kotha barrage, Bina complex and Lower Orr Dam be included in the project. 

    While the Lower Orr project is being examined by the Central Water Commission (CWC), the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of Bina Complex is under CWC appraisal and the DPR of Kotha barrage has been submitted to CWC. 

  • ‘Janahitha’ launches to receive complaints from public
    In Telangana, an innovative programme christened “Janahitha” was launched to receive complaints from public through a special portal. 

    The programme, kickstarted in Suryapet district on 19th July on pilot basis is aimed at facilitating the public to submit their complaints on line and get speedy redressal. Besides submitting their grievances, the public can also apply for various welfare schemes through this facility. 

    Inaugurating the programme, Telangana Energy minister G Jagdeesh Reddy said Janahitha will be implemented across the state in a phased manner. AIR correspondent reports that the Janahith, a special portal, developed by Telangana IT department, is a single window for all grievances and its redressal management. The public, instead of visiting offices, can lodge their grievance through different means like portal, e-mail, WhatsApp or dialling the call centre from their homes. 

    In addition, they can also track the status of their complaints. Officials at the district headquarters and Secretariat in Hyderabad will monitor the redressal of complaints and send SMS to the citizens on their status. Negative marks will be given to the officials if they fail to redress the grievances in stipulated time

  • AP CM lays stone for bridge across Kundu
    Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu laid stone for construction of a two-way bridge across the Kundu in Nandyal on 22nd July. 

    The bridge, to be built with Rs. 8.25 crore, would connect villages on the banks of the Kundu, besides easing traffic in Nandyal town, Mr. Naidu said. He also laid stone for work costing Rs. 7.33 crore for de-silting the Kundu. 

  • Ahmedabad declared India’s first heritage city by UNESCO
    The 606-year-old walled city of Ahmedabad, which was founded by emperor Ahmed Shah, has become India’s first World Heritage City. 

    Spread over 5.43 sq km, the walled city of Ahmedabad was preferred over Mumbai and Delhi during the nominations last year. With a population of 3.75 to 4 lakh, the city’s living heritage being the 600 odd ‘pols’ or neighbourhoods with clusters of centuries-old residences. Ahmedabad’s nomination was supported by several countries like Turkey, Lebanon, Cuba and Poland. 

    In June this year, members of the WHC had visited Ahmedabad and had informed the Central government that it has deferred Ahmedabad’s world heritage city nomination. 

  • Terror attack on Amarnath yatra
    Terrorists on 10th July killed seven Amarnath pilgrims, including six women, and injured 19 others as they struck at a bus in Kashmir's Anantnag district, in the worst attack on the annual pilgrimage since the year 2001. The bus was attacked around near Khanabal when it was on its way to from Srinagar Jammu. The terrorists first attacked a bullet-proof bunker of the police at Botengoo, a police official said, adding it was retaliated. There were no injuries in this attack. 

  • SC suspends Centre's nationwide ban on cattle trade for slaughter
    The Supreme Court on 11th June said, the interim direction of the Madras High Court staying the Centre's notification banning sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter will remain in force and will cover the entire country. 

    A bench, headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar, took note of the statement of the Central government that it is reconsidering the notification by taking into account various objections and suggestions of stakeholders and will come up with an amended notification. 

    The bench, then, disposed off the plea filed by the All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee challenging the constitutional validity of the Centre's notification. 

    The Centre had, in May, issued the notification banning sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter. The Environment Ministry had notified the stringent 'Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017' under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act

  • Group of Ministers approves draft national policy for women
    A Group of Ministers, headed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, on 11th June approved a draft national policy for women which proposes free education for girls from poor families and a health card for all women. 

    The draft National Policy for Women, 2017, also moots that a woman accused of a non-heinous crime, who has remained an under-trial for one-third of her jail time, should be given bail. 

    According to the women and child development ministry, the move is likely help poor women who are accused of petty crimes and can't afford a bail. The policy document will now be sent to the Cabinet for its nod. 

    The GoM comprises minister from 11 ministers, including external affairs, women and child development, finance, agriculture, social justice, HRD and law. The latest draft is a revised version of the document released in May last year. 

  • Govt empowers Army to procure weapons 
    Government has empowered the Army to directly procure critical weapons systems and military platforms to maintain combat readiness for short duration intense wars. The Vice hief of Army has been given the full financial powers to procure ammunitions and has been empowered on a routine basis to review the optimum holding state and maintaining it on a recurring manner. 

    The procedure will be part of revenue procurement of the Army for in-service equipment and weapons and it will not require to go through numerous procurement stages which often cause inordinate delays. 

    As part of the decision, the Army has been allowed to rocure 46 types of ammunition and spares for 10 different ypes of weapons systems. Another proposal to allow the Army to procure 20 types of armament and 6 types of mines is also under consideration. 

    The Army has been pressing the government for ensuring peedy procurement of key military platforms citing evolving ecurity challenges. 

  • AP CM approves Final Master Plan Of Amaravati
    The Andhra Pradesh government on 12th July approved the final master plan for state's capital city Amaravati. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu gave his nod for the master plan at a meeting of the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) 

    He, along with Municipal Administration Minister P. Narayana and Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, reviewed the final design. 

    Representatives from British architectural firm Foster & Partners presented detailed designs for the new assembly building, high court and the city infrastructure plan, after having worked on inputs provided by the CRDA officials. 

    After discussing different aspects of the city plan, like environment friendliness, energy infrastructure and the waste disposal system, Mr Naidu gave the final nod. The architecture firm will meet the ministers in two days, to officially commence the execution, after meeting the Chief Justice for more inputs. The architectural firm designed the high court building like a diamond, and the assembly building like a Buddhist stupa, both symbolic of the region. 

  • Maharashtra to launch free injectable contraceptive for women
    Maharashtra becomes the first state in the country to provide women with an injectable contraceptive for free. The state’s public health department launched a program called Antara to offer women an injection of Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), a birth-control hormone. According to state health officials the injection, a safe means of birth control is effective for three months. 

  • Centre, UP govt sign MoU to set up AIIMS in Gorakhpur
    Uttar Pradesh government has signed an MoU with the Centre for setting up of an AIIMS hospital in Gorakhpur. The hospital will have 750 free beds and the project will cost 1,750 crore rupees. The foundation of the AIIMS at Gorakhpur was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016. The OPD of the new AIIMS will start by September, 2018 and trauma centres will be established by 2020. 

  • Gujarat to get India's first high-speed rail training centre
    The country is set to get its first high-speed rail training centre at Gandhinagar. India’s first bullet train is proposed to hit the track in 2023, the training centre is supposed to start operating by 2020. The centre will provide for advanced training modules on cutting edge technologies. 

  • Rajasthan fixes minimum qualification for contesting cooperative body polls
    Rajasthan becomes the first state in the country to fix minimum educational qualification for contesting cooperative body polls. The new rules will benefit around 10,000 cooperative and agricultural credit societies. For contesting the election as members of governing boards of dairy societies, farming societies, consumer societies, weavers' societies, urban banks, housing construction societies, primary land development banks, credit societies and cooperative unions, the minimum educational qualifications will range from class 5 to class 8. 

  • Raipur Airport ranked first 
    Raipur Swami Vivekananda Airport has been ranked first in Customer Satisfaction Index Survey among 49 airports in the country. 

    The Raipur airport achieved 4.84 score on a five point scale index in the latest CSI survey conducted by an independent agency for the period of January-June 2017. The airport was followed by airports of Udaipur, Amritsar and Dehradun which have scored 4.75, 4.74 and 4.73 score respectively. 

    Customer Satisfaction is one of the key performance objectives of AAI. The survey covers a wide range of parameters like transportation, parking, passenger facilities and cleanliness. 

    The integrated terminal building of Raipur was inaugurated in 2012. High level maintenance of infrastructure and passenger facilities, the green ambience, state-of -the- art technology and courteous staff ensuring passenger satisfaction has resulted in Raipur getting this recognition for the third consecutive time in the past two years. 

    Airport Authority of India is making efforts to improve the services and passenger facilities at its airports, and this has placed it amongst the best service providers in the world. 

  • Govt moves closer to granting NCBC constitutional status
    The Rajya Sabha’s Select Committee on 14th July adopted a Bill to grant constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), although several Opposition members have decided to send dissent notes by 15th July, opposing the Bill and citing “direct encroachment” on the rights of states. The Bill was sent to the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha in the second week of April after passage in the Lok Sabha. 

    The constitutional amendment Bill has only five clauses which primarily deals with the setting up of an OBC commission for the socially and educationally backward classes. The details of the powers, functions and composition of the commission would be provided in a separate draft NCBC Bill that will be brought in once this existing Bill is passed

    With OBCs constituting roughly 52 per cent of the population, BJP members conceded that granting constitutional status to the commission in keeping with a long-time demand from community leaders is expected to yield a great political dividend for the party. 

    The draft Bill, and its corresponding rules, will replace the NCBC Act, 1993, that was enforced in the wake of the Mandal Commission report. 

    In addition to its existing powers of recommending inclusion or exclusion of communities on the OBC list, the empowered commission will have all powers of the civil court, such as issuing summons, demanding any official document and evidence on affidavits. 

    Opposition members on the panel had suggested amendments to Sub-Article 338(B) for specifying the qualification for the appointment of the chairperson and members of the commission and in Article 342(A)(2) to ensure that the President acts on the advice of the NCBC to include or exclude from the central list of socially and educationally backward classes, and also consults the state government on any state-specific issues. 

  • 73% Indians have confidence in PM NaMo
    With the trust of 73 per cent of India's population, Prime Minister Narendra Modi 's government has emerged at the very top of the governmental confidence league, according to a report by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 

    The OECD report said 73 per cent Indians have faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government. The number, which is the highest in the world, overtakes that of Canada where 62 per cent of population trusts the Justin Trudeau-led government. 

    In United States, where Donald Trump-led government is facing immense scrutiny about alleged Russian involvement in the Presidential campaign, only 30 percent of citizens have confidence in their government. 

    However, in United Kingdom which is on its way to its exit from the European Union, the government trust stands at 41 per cent. 

    Surprisingly, in Russia and Turkey, Putin and Erdogan's governments are both trusted by 58 per cent of their respective citizens. Greece, which has witnessed migration crisis, frequent elections, bank strikes, debt defaults and austerity measures in recent years fell at the bottom with just 13 per cent of its people having trust in the government. 

    In South Korea, where President Park Geun-hye was impeached in March this year, only 24 per cent of population had trust in the government. 

    The greatest loss of trust is in Chile, Finland, Greece and Slovenia. Over two-thirds of OECD citizens are satisfied with their healthcare and education systems, but only 55% trust the judicial system and courts, the report said. 

  • Indian Railways launches first solar-powered DEMU train
    Indian Railways launched its first 1600 HP solar-powered DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) train from Safdarjung railway station on 14th July. The train has six trailer coaches, with 16 solar panels fitted in each of them. The solar panels will power all the electrical appliances inside. 

    Railways’ first DEMU rake with solar power hotel load system, based at Shakurbasti shed, was launched by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. Shakurbasti DEMU shed has provisioned dual fuel arrangement in 16 of the total holding of 1400 HP Driving Power 

    The Railways have already undertaken steps to install solar panels on rooftops of at railway stations and at level crossings across the country. 

    Noida-based firm Jakson Engineers Limited (JEL) had been given the task of providing solar panels for DEMU coaches set to be used by the Railways for its pilot projects in Chennai and Amritsar. 

    Last year, the Indian Railways conducted trial runs of the Rewari-Sitapur passenger train fitted with solar panels at a cost of Rs 3.90 lakh. Two trains plying on the Pathankot-Jogindernagar route in Kangra Valley section and Kalka-Shimla section were also equipped with solar panels on trial basis. 

    Indian Railways’ first DEMU service was between Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur on October 23, 1994. The 1400 HP DEMU train services were introduced in 2002, while the 1600 HP DEMU services were introduced this year

    With 182 daily services covering six states including Kashmir, Northern Railway is running the highest number of DEMU trains on Indian Railways. 

  • Autism institute to be set up in Kerala
    A state-of-the-art institute for autistic children will open here in Kerala with a vision to transform the lives of such children through best practice principles and family-centered holistic care. 

    Founding CEO of Technopark and founder director of National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH), G. Vijayaraghavan will be heading the Center for Autism and other Disabilities Rehabilitation Research and Education (CADRRE) which will open in September. 

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neuro-developmental disorder which has a significant impact on the individual's development in childhood and in adult life. Autism is a rising medical and social challenge all over the world. In fact, it is considered to be the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the US. 

  • Chennai to host International Science Festival
    Ministry of Science and Technology would conduct an International Science Festival here that would bring in several scientists from various parts of the country, Union Minister Harsha Vardhan said on 15th July. The Ministry would soon come out with a detailed programme about the event to be hosted later this year, the Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth sciences, said. 

    The Minister was talking to reporters after unveiling a new building for the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management here at Anna University. The Minister who also holds the Environment Ministry portfolio sought people to take up “one environment friendly initiative every day” in the State. 

  • Atrocities against dalits increasing in Kerala: National Commission for Scheduled Castes
    The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has said that atrocities against Dalits are increasing in Kerala and the state government has failed to ensure their safety. L Murugan, the vice chairman of the commission, said that the panel has been receiving lots of complaint of atrocities especially against Dalit women and on diversion of funds meant for the Scheduled Castes for other purposes. 

  • Madhya Pradesh sets record with plantation 
    In Madhya Pradesh, a massive plantation campaign was undertaken on 2nd July to save the environment and conservation of the Narmada River. According to official sources over six crore saplings were planted in twenty four districts of Narmada basin in just 12 hours. 

    Arrangements were made to record the whole event for the Guinness World Record. Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan launched the plantation drive at Amarkantak of Anooppur district. 

  • 581 mn Indians live without proper healthcare
    Nine of India’s poorest states–home to 581 million or 48% of India’s population–account for 70% of the country’s infant deaths, 75% of under-five deaths and 62% of maternal deaths, but do not spend even the money they have set aside for healthcare, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of 2017 Reserve Bank of India data on state budgets. 
    According to data..
    • The maternal mortality ratio–deaths of mothers per 100,000 births–in these states is 32% higher (244) than the national average (167).
    • 38% and 40% children in these states are underweight (low weight-for-age) and stunted (low height-for-age), respectively, higher than the national average of 36% and 38%, respectively, according to 2015-16 national health data, the latest available.
    • Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan–with 372 million people, more than the combined populations of US, Australia, Sweden and Greece–together contribute to about 58% of all child deaths in India.
    • The nine poorest large states–in official jargon called “high-focus”, a term that implies they need special attention–spent an average of 4.7% of their social-sector expenditure on public healthcare and family welfare annually, marginally less than the national average of 4.8%. Social-sector expenditure includes water supply and sanitation, housing and urban development.
    • Of the nine poorest states, Rajasthan spent the highest (5.6%) and Bihar the lowest (3.8%) proportion of aggregate expenditure on public healthcare and family welfare, according to the RBI data on 2014-15 actual spending, lower than the budgeted 4.1% for Bihar and 6.6% for Rajasthan.
    • Since 2008, Rajasthan increased its spending by 0.8% and its MMR decreased 23% while Andhra Pradesh’s spending increased by 0.5% and MMR decreased 31%.
    • Tamil Nadu with 72.1 million people spends 4.7% of its total budgeted expenditure on public healthcare and family welfare and reports 99% institutional births, while Jharkhand, with 33 million, spends 4% and reports 61.9% institutional births.
    • Uttar Pradesh (78), Madhya Pradesh (65), Chhattisgarh (64), Bihar (58) and Assam (56) report India’s highest under-five mortality rates–deaths per 1,000 live births–IndiaSpend reported


  • Armed Forces Special Powers Act extended 
    Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) declared Entire Nagaland as disturbed area for six more months. It is a disturbed and dangerous condition where the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary. The Central Government declares the whole state to be a ‘disturbed area’ for a period of six months with effect from 30th June 2017 for the purpose of Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958. 

  • India ranks 137 in Global Peace Index 2017
    Reduction in violent crimes and increased law enforcement saw India improve its peace ranking by four positions from 2016, but it is less peaceful than it was a decade ago, according to the 2017 Global Peace Index (GPI), released by the Institute for Economics and Peace, a New York-based think tank that develops metrics to analyse peace. 

    India’s 2017 rank was 137 of 163 countries, moving up four positions from 141 in 2016. However, deaths due to external conflict have increased, the report said, specifically in relation to the conflict in Kashmir from mid-2016. 

    India is less peaceful than it was a decade ago, and it suffers from more violence than Brazil and South Africa, both countries wracked by violence. 

    A decade ago, India had a GPI score of 2.437. Lower the score, the more peaceful a country: Iceland, the most peaceful country, had a GPI of 1.111 in 2017. India’s GPI score in 2017 was 2.541 (out of 5), an improvement from 2.565 last year. 

    The peace index is based on 23 indicators related to level of safety and security in society, the extent of domestic or international conflict, and the degree of militarisation. The world has become slightly more peaceful in 2017, with an average 0.28% improvement in “peacefulness” since 2016. 

    Among BRICS countries, India is ranked below Brazil (116), China (123) and South Africa (123) but higher than Russia (151). Among its South Asian neighbours, India is ranked below Bhutan (13), Sri Lanka (80) Bangladesh (84) and Nepal (93) but ahead of Pakistan (152) and Afghanistan (162). 

    The economic cost of violence in India in 2016 was $742 billion (Rs 47.5 lakh crore) at 2016 purchase power parity (PPP) rate. This accounts for 8.6% of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) and $566 (Rs 36,500) per capita. 

    The per capita economic cost of violence in India is 8.7% higher than China ($517) which lost $712 billion or 3.5% of GDP due to violence in 2016. The global economic impact of violence was $14.3 trillion in 2016, equivalent to 12.6% of GDP, or $1,953 (Rs 125,000) per person. 

  • India becomes free from Avian Influenza H5N1 and H5N8
    India has become free from Avian Influenza (H5N1 and H5N8). It has been notified to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Agriculture Ministry said, surveillance was carried out throughout the country and around the areas of the outbreaks since completion of the operation including culling, disinfection and clean-up and surveillance in the states showed no evidence of presence of Avian Influenza Virus. 

    Earlier, India had reported outbreaks of Avian influenza at various epicenters in Delhi, Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, Rajpura in Punjab, Hisar in Haryana, Bellary in Karnataka, Allappuzha and Kottayam in Kerala, Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Daman in Union territory of Daman and Diu and Khordha and Angul in Odisha during October, 2016 to February, 2017. 

  • India ranks 23rd among 165 nations in cyber security index
    India is ranked a high 23rd out of 165 nations in a global index that measures the commitment of nations across the world to cybersecurity. 

    The second Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) released by the UN telecommunications agency International Telecommunication Union (ITU). 

    India is ranked 23rd on the index with a score of 0.683 and has been listed in the maturing category, which refers to 77 countries that have developed complex commitments to cyber security and engage in cyber security programmes and initiatives. The index has been topped by Singapore with a 0.925 score. 

    The top 10 most committed countries to cyber security are Singapore, United States, Malaysia, Oman, Estonia, Mauritius, Australia, Georgia, France and Canada. Russia is ranked 11th. 

  • Govt launches scheme to raise awareness about IPR
    Ministry of Commerce and Industry has launched a scheme for awareness on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) to inspire artists and budding inventors so that they can protect their creations and inventions. Taking forward the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy 2016, the Cell for IPR Promotion and Management launched the scheme for IPR Awareness - Creative India; Innovative India. 

    The scheme aims at raising IPR awareness amongst students and others to inspire them to create, innovate and protect their creations and inventions across the country in next three years. 

    The scheme also aims at conducting over four thousand IPR awareness workshops in academic institutions and sensitisation programmes for enforcement agencies and the judiciary. Workshops will cover all vital IP topics including international filing procedures, promotion of Geographical Indications and highlighting the ill-effects of piracy and counterfeiting. 

  • CSIR to implement JIGYASA for school students and scientists
    Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has joined hands with Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) to implement JIGYASA programme for school students and scientists. This JIGYASA programme aims to connect 1151 Kendriya Vidyalayas with 38 National Laboratories of CSIR targeting 100,000 students and nearly 1000 teachers annually with facilities like well planned research laboratory based Learning. 

    Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony of JIGYASA was held in the presence of Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Environment, Forests and Climate Change and Shri Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Human Resource Development.
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