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04 Apr, 2021

67 Min Read

Phase III eCourts Project of Supreme Court

GS-II : Governance Judiciary

Phase III eCourts Project of Supreme Court

  • In another major initiative the eCommittee Supreme Court has prepared the draft vision document for Phase III of the eCourts Project under the auspices of the Supreme court of India.
  • E-Courts Project is a mission mode project undertaken by the Department of Justice, Government of India.
  • The eCommittee Supreme Court of India yesterday released the Draft Vision document for Phase III of the aforementioned e-Courts Project.
  • The eCommittee of the Supreme Court has been overseeing the implementation of the eCourts Project, conceptualized under the "National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Indian Judiciary-2005".
  • The eCommittee has evolved in terms of its roles and responsibilities over the last fifteen years. A solid foundation for the objectives of the eCommittee has been substantially achieved in the first two phases of the Project.
  • The objectives of the eCommittee include:
    1. Interlinking of all courts across the country;
    2. ICT enablement of the Indian judicial system;
    3. Enabling courts to enhance judicial productivity, both qualitatively and quantitatively;
    4. Making the justice delivery system accessible, cost-effective, transparent and accountable; and
    5. Providing citizen-centric services.
  • Phase III of the eCourts Project in India is rooted in two central facets—access and inclusion.
  • Phase III of the eCourts Project envisions a judicial system that is more easily accessible irrespective of geographical distances, efficient and equitable for every individual who seeks justice, makes more efficient use of human and other resources, and absorbs the latest technology for a positive environmental impact.

This vision for Phase III is sought to be built on the following four building blocks:

  1. Core Values: Phase III must strive for a modern judicial system, governed by core values of trust, empathy, sustainability and transparency which, while simplifying procedures, will maximise the positives of technology and minimise its risks and challenges.
  2. Whole-of-system approach: Phase III must aim to make processes more efficient across all three components of dispute management i.e. dispute avoidance, containment and resolution. Each of these components will require technological integration with different institutions.
  3. Adoption frameworks: Phase III must focus on building strong adoption frameworks. Such frameworks must include behavioural nudges, adequate training and skill set development, feedback loops, along with the requisite mandate of law.
  4. Governance framework: From a governance perspective, while numerous judicial decisions have validated the use of technology in judicial processes, Phase III must address the accompanying administrative structures. The key goals and strategy of Phase III prioritise the creation of a core digital infrastructure that can enable the development of services for dispute resolution by the judiciary and services of solutions for dispute containment and resolution by the ecosystem.

Source: PIB

Stand Up India Scheme

GS-II : Government policies and interventions Government Schemes & Programmes

Stand Up India Scheme

  • Stand up India Scheme was launched on 5th April 2016 to promote entrepreneurship at grassroot level focusing on economic empowerment and job creation. This scheme has been extended up to the year 2025.
  • The objective of Stand-Up India is to promote entrepreneurship amongst women, Scheduled Castes (SC) & Scheduled Tribes (ST) categories, to help them in starting a greenfield enterprise in trading, manufacturing and services sector, by both ready and trainee borrowers.

The purpose of Stand-Up India is to:

  • promote entrepreneurship amongst women, SC & ST category.
  • Provide loans for setting up greenfield enterprises in manufacturing, services or the trading sector & activities allied to agriculture by both ready and trainee borrowers
  • facilitate bank loans between Rs.10 lakh to Rs.1 crore to at least one Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe borrower and at least one woman borrower per bank branch of Scheduled Commercial Banks

Why Stand-Up India?

  • The Stand-Up India scheme is based on recognition of the challenges faced by SC, ST and women entrepreneurs in setting up enterprises, obtaining loans and other support needed from time to time for succeeding in business.
  • The scheme therefore endeavors to create an eco-system which facilitates and continues to provide a supportive environment for doing business.
  • The scheme seeks to give access to loans from bank branches to borrowers to help them set up their own enterprise.
  • The scheme, which covers all branches of Scheduled Commercial Banks, will be accessed in three potential ways:
  1. Directly at the branch or,
  2. Through Stand-Up India Portal (www.standupmitra.in) or,
  3. Through the Lead District Manager (LDM).

Who all are eligible for a loan?

  • SC/ST and/or women entrepreneurs, above 18 years of age.
  • Loans under the scheme are available for only green field projects. Green field signifies, in this context, the first time venture of the beneficiary in the manufacturing, services or the trading sector & activities allied to agriculture
  • In case of non-individual enterprises, 51% of the shareholding and controlling stake should be held by either SC/ST and/or Women Entrepreneur.
  • Borrowers should not be in default to any bank/financial institution.

Source: PIB

Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP)

GS-III : S&T Health

Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP)

  • The Integrated Health Information Platform is the next generation highly refined version of the presently used Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP).
  • We have started a new chapter in India’s public health trajectory. India is the first country in the world to adopt such an advanced disease surveillance system.
  • The new version of IHIP will house the data entry and management for India’s disease surveillance program.
  • In addition to tracking 33 diseases now as compared to the earlier 18 diseases, it shall ensure near-real-time data in digital mode, having done away with the paper-mode of working.
  • Terming this as the world's biggest online disease surveillance platform, he stated that it is in sync with the National Digital Health Mission and fully compatible with the other digital information systems presently being used in India.
  • The refined IHIP with automated -data will help in a big way in real time data collection, aggregation & further analysis of data that will aid and enable evidence-based policy making, he explained.
  • IHIP will provide health information system developed for real time, case-based information, integrated analytics, advanced visualization capability.
  • It will provide analyzed reports on mobile or other electronic devices.
  • In addition, outbreak investigation activities can be initiated and monitored electronically.
  • It can easily be integrated with other ongoing surveillance program, while having the feature of addition of special surveillance modules.

Integrated Disease Surveillance Project

  • The Integrated Disease Surveillance Project was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in assistance with the World Bank, in 2004.
  • It continued as the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) during 12th Plan (2012–17) under the National Health Mission with a domestic budget.
  • Under it, a Central Surveillance Unit (CSU) at Delhi, State Surveillance Units (SSU) at all State/Union Territories (UTs) head quarters and District Surveillance Units (DSU) at all Districts have been established.


  • To strengthen/maintain decentralized laboratory based and IT enabled disease surveillance systems for epidemic prone diseases to monitor disease trends.
  • To detect and respond to outbreaks in the early rising phase through trained Rapid Response Teams (RRTs).

Programme Components:

  • Integration and decentralization of surveillance activities through establishment of surveillance units at Centre, State and District level.
  • Human Resource Development – Training of State Surveillance Officers (SSOs), District Surveillance Officers (DSOs), RRT and other medical and paramedical staff on principles of disease surveillance.
  • Use of Information Communication Technology for collection, collation, compilation, analysis and dissemination of data.
  • Strengthening of public health laboratories.
  • Inter sectoral Coordination for zoonotic diseases.

Helps in Controlling the Disease Outbreak:

  • Data is collected on epidemic prone diseases on a weekly basis.
  • The weekly data gives information on the disease trends and seasonality of diseases.
  • The information is collected on three specified reporting formats, namely “S” (suspected cases), “P” (presumptive cases) and “L” (laboratory confirmed cases) filled by Health Workers, Clinicians and Laboratory staff respectively.
  • Whenever there is a rising trend of illnesses in any area, it is investigated by the RRT to diagnose and control the outbreak.

IDSP Portal:

  • The IDSP portal is a one stop portal which has facilities for data entry, view reports, outbreak reporting, data analysis, training modules and resources related to disease surveillance.

Source: PIB

PLI Scheme for White Goods

GS-II : Government policies and interventions Government Schemes & Programmes

PLI Scheme for White Goods

  • Taking another important step towards the vision of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat', the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, approved the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for White Goods (Air Conditioners and LED Lights) with a budgetary outlay of Rs. 6,238 crore.
  • The prime objective of the PLI scheme is to make manufacturing in India globally competitive by removing sectoral disabilities, creating economies of scale and ensuring efficiencies.
  • It is designed to create complete component ecosystem in India and make India an integral part of the global supply chains.
  • The scheme is expected to attract global investments, generate large scale employment opportunities and enhance exports substantially.
  • The PLI Scheme for White Goods shall extend an incentive of 4% to 6% on incremental sales of goods manufactured in India for a period of five years to companies engaged in manufacturing of Air Conditioners and LED Lights.
  • Different segments have been earmarked for different types of components separately to specifically target global investments into desired areas.
  • Selection of companies for the Scheme shall be done so as to incentivize manufacturing of components or sub-assemblies which are not manufactured in India presently with sufficient capacity.
  • Companies meeting the pre-qualification criteria for different target segments will be eligible to participate in the Scheme. Incentives shall be open to companies making brown field or green field Investments.
  • Thresholds of cumulative incremental investment and incremental sales of manufactured goods over the base year would have to be met for claiming incentives.
  • An entity availing benefits under any other PLI Scheme of Govt. India will not be eligible under this scheme for the same products but the entity may take benefits under other applicable schemes of Govt. of India or schemes of State governments.
  • The Scheme will be implemented as a pan India scheme and is not specific to any location, area or segment of population. A number of global and domestic companies, including a number of MSMEs are likely to benefit from the Scheme.
  • The Scheme is expected to be instrumental in achieving growth rates that are much higher than existing ones for AC and LED industries, develop complete component eco-systems in India and create global champions manufacturing in India.
  • They will have to meet the compulsory BIS and BEE Quality standards for sales into domestic market and applicable standards for global markets. It will also lead to investments in innovation and research and development and upgradation of technology.

Source: PIB

PLI scheme: 'National Programme on High Efficiency Solar PV Modules'

GS-II : Government policies and interventions Government Schemes & Programmes

PLI scheme: 'National Programme on High Efficiency Solar PV Modules'

  • The Cabinet has approved the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy's proposal for implementation of the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme 'National Programme on High Efficiency Solar PV (Photo Voltic) Modules' for achieving manufacturing capacity of Giga Watt (GW) scale in high efficiency solar PV modules with an outlay of Rs.4,500 crore.

Analysis of PLI Scheme on Solar PV Modules

  • Solar capacity addition presently depends largely upon imported solar PV cells and modules as the domestic manufacturing industry has limited operational capacities of solar PV cells and modules.
  • The National Programme on High Efficiency Solar PV Modules will reduce import dependence in a strategic sector like electricity.
  • It will also support the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative.
  • Solar PV manufacturers will be selected through a transparent competitive bidding process.
  • PLI will be disbursed for 5 years post commissioning of solar PV manufacturing plants, on sales of high efficiency solar PV modules.
  • Manufacturers will be rewarded for higher efficiencies of solar PV modules and also for sourcing their material from the domestic market.
  • Thus, the PLI amount will increase with increased module efficiency and increased local value addition.

The outcomes/ benefits expected from the scheme are as follows:

  • Additional 10,000 MW capacity of integrated solar PV manufacturing plants,
  • Direct investment of around Rs.17,200 crore in solar PV manufacturingprojects
  • Demand of Rs.17,500 crore over 5 years for 'Balance of Materials',
  • Direct employment of about 30,000 and Indirect employment of about1,20,000 persons,
  • Import substitution of around Rs.17,500 crore every year, and
  • Impetus to Research & Development to achieve higher efficiency in solar PV modules.

Source: PIB

How Asian desert dust enhances Indian summer monsoon

GS-I : Physical Geography Climatology

How Asian desert dust enhances Indian summer monsoon

  • Dust swarms can influence moisture transport, increase precipitation, rainfall
  • Carl Sagan once described Earth as a ‘small speck of dust’, a seemingly insignificant tiny particle.
  • But dust has incredible power: it is known to influence monsoons, hurricanes and even fertilize rainforests.
  • A new study now details how dust coming from the deserts in the West, Central and East Asia plays an important role in the Indian Summer Monsoon.

Reverse effect

  • The researchers also explain how the Indian Summer Monsoon has a reverse effect and can increase the winds in West Asia to produce yet more dust.
  • Dust swarms from the desert when lifted by strong winds can absorb solar radiation and become hot.
  • This can cause heating of the atmosphere, change the air pressure, wind circulation patterns, influence moisture transport and increase precipitation and rainfall.
  • A strong monsoon can also transport air to West Asia and again pick up a lot of dust. The researchers say this is a positive feedback loop.
  • Lead author Qinjian Jin, lecturer and academic program associate at the University of Kansas explains a new hypothesis formulated by the team to The Hindu.
  • “Not just the dust from the Middle East [West Asia], we think the Iranian Plateau also influences the Indian Summer Monsoon. The hot air over the Iranian Plateau can heat the atmosphere over the plateau, strengthen the circulation over the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula and increase dust emission from the Middle East [West Asia].”

Aerosols transported

  • He explains how deserts across the globe play important roles in monsoons. “The dust aerosols from deserts in West China such as the Taklamakan desert and the Gobi Desert can be transported eastward to eastern China and can influence the East Asia summer monsoon. And in the southwest United States, we have some small deserts that influence the North African monsoon..”
  • When asked if anthropogenic dust from vehicles, mining, construction can influence monsoons, he explained: “Some studies have found that the anthropogenic aerosols emitted from the Indian subcontinent can decrease summer monsoon precipitation, while others found that absorbing aerosols such as dust can strengthen the monsoon circulation.
  • However, in our study, we use the carbon model to simulate the impact of anthropogenic aerosols on India and our results showed that they can strengthen Indian summer monsoon rainfall.”
  • The findings were recently published in Earth-Science Reviews.

But why is it important to study dust?

  • Many studies have shown that the dust emission scheme is extremely sensitive to climate change and the team writes that understanding these mechanisms and effects of dust will help understand our monsoon systems in the face of global climate change.

Minor components

  • The team has now planned to study the minor components of desert dust aerosols. “We used to think that dust from deserts across the globe will have the same components, but we now know that different deserts have different chemical compositions and this can influence the dust’s properties.
  • For example, we think that dust from the Middle East [West Asia] has more absorbing ability of solar radiation than dust from North Africa and this difference in absorbing ability might influence monsoon systems,” adds Dr. Jin.
  • “We have also planned to use high spatial resolution remote sensing to identify source regions and create a better dust emission map. I would also like to study new drying lakes and how dust from them can also play a role in the monsoons.”

Source: TH

Indian Army to participate in Exercise “Shantir Ogroshena-2021”

GS-III : Internal security Security Forces & Agencies

Indian Army will participate in a Multinational Military Exercise named “Shantir Ogroshena-2021” in Bangladesh.

About Exercise ‘Shantir Ogroshena-2021’:

  • Exercise Shantir Ogroshena (Front Runner of the Peace) is a multinational military exercise.
  • The 2021 edition of the Exercise will be held in Bangladesh.
  • It is held there to commemorate the birth centenary of Bangladesh’s ‘Father of the Nation’ Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
  • The theme of the exercise is “Robust Peacekeeping Operations”.
  • Participating Countries: The participants of the Exercise are
    • The DOGRA Regiment of the Indian Army
    • A contingent of Royal Bhutan Army
    • Sri Lankan Army
    • Bangladesh Army.
  • Observers: The military observers from the USA, UK, Turkey, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Singapore will also present throughout the exercise.

Source: PIB

India contributes $300,000 to UN Women

GS-II : International organisation Major International Organizations

India recently announced contribution of USD 300,000 to the UN Women to support gender equality and women empowerment.

About UN Women:

  • UN Women is the United Nations entity, dedicated to promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women.
  • Headquartered at New York.
  • Established in 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly to accelerate the progress on meeting women’s needs worldwide.
  • It was formed by merging the four previously distinct parts of the UN system which are:
    • Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW)
    • International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW)
    • Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI)
    • United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)
  • Objectives of UN Women:
    • To support inter-governmental bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women in their formulation of policies, global standards, and norms.
    • To help the Member States to implement these standards, standing ready to provide suitable technical and financial support to those countries that request it, and to forge effective partnerships with civil society.
    • To hold the UN system accountable for its own commitments on gender equality.
      • It includes regular monitoring of system-wide progress.

Source: TH

National Policy for Rare Diseases 2021 Released

GS-II : Government policies and interventions Government policies and interventions

The Union Health Ministry recently released the policy.

Rare Diseases: WHO defines a rare disease as a lifelong disease or disorder that often highly weakens an individual. It has a prevalence of 1 or less per 1000 population.

  • Example: Haemophilia, Thalassemia, Sickle cell anaemia, auto-immune diseases among others.
  • However, every country has its own definition for rare diseases.
  • The US defines rare diseases as a disease or condition that affects fewer than 200,000 patients in the country.
  • Likewise, the EU defines rare diseases as life-threatening or chronically debilitating (weakening) condition. It should affect no more than 5 in 10,000 people.

About National Policy For Rare Diseases,2021:

  • Aim: The policy aims to lower the incidence and prevalence of rare diseases based on an integrated and comprehensive preventive strategy.
  • The strategy includes awareness generation, counselling programmes, providing affordable Health Care among others.

Key Features of the National Policy For Rare Diseases, 2021:

  • Categorisation: The policy categorizes rare diseases into three groups:
    • Group 1: Disorders amenable to one-time curative treatment;
    • Group 2: Diseases requiring long term or lifelong treatment; and
    • Group 3: Diseases for which definitive treatment is available, but challenges are to make an optimal patient selection for benefit.
  • Government Support:
    • The government will provide Financial support of up to Rs. 20 lakh under the Umbrella Scheme of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi for treatment of those rare diseases listed under Group 1.
    • Moreover, Beneficiaries for such financial assistance would not be limited to BPL families.
      • About 40% of the population, eligible under Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, will also be eligible for assistance.
    • For group 2, the State Governments can consider supporting specific patients.
      • It includes a rare disease that can be managed with special diets or hormonal supplements or other relatively low-cost interventions (Diseases listed under Group 2).
  • Voluntary Crowdfunding: The government has said that it will assist in voluntary crowd-funding for the treatment of Group 3. It is because it will be difficult to fully finance the treatment of high-cost rare diseases of Group 3.

Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi scheme:

  • It provides financial assistance to patients living below the poverty line and who are suffering from major life-threatening diseases, to receive medical treatment.

Source: TH

NITI Aayog's “AIM-PRIME” scheme to support science based startups

GS-III : S&T Artificial Intelligence

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched AIM-PRIME (Program for Researchers on Innovations, Market-Readiness & Entrepreneurship).


  • AIM-PRIME Program aims at promoting science-based, deep technology. For that, it will provide training and guidance over a period of 12 months.
  • Implementation to be done by Venture Center – a non-profit technology business incubator.
  • The program is open to:
    • Technology developers (early-stage deep tech start-ups, and scientists/ engineers/ clinicians) with strong science-based deep tech business ideas.
    • CEOs and Senior incubation managers of AIM Funded Atal Incubation Centers that are supporting deep tech entrepreneurs.
  • Benefits of the programme:
    • The candidates selected for the program will get access to in-depth learning resources via a comprehensive lecture series, live team projects, exercises, and project-specific mentoring.
    • They will also have access to a deep tech startup playbook, curated video library, and plenty of peer-to-peer learning opportunities.

About Deep Technology:

  • Deep techs are very high cutting-edge and disruptive technologies. These technologies are based on scientific discoveries, engineering, mathematics, physics, and medicine. For Example: A new medical device or technique fighting cancer, data analytics to help farmers grow more food, or a clean energy solution trying to lessen the human impact on climate change.

Source: TH

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