CollabCAD tool to create 3D Computer Aided Designs
- Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog and National Informatics Centre (NIC) jointly launched CollabCAD.
- It is a computer-enabled software system which provides a total engineering solution from 2D drafting & detailing to 3D product design.
- It helps the user to build models in virtual 3d space and create and engineering drawings for the shop floor which makes it a complete package for smart manufacturing.
- The aim of this initiative is to provide a great platform to students of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) across the country to create and modify 3d designs with free flow of creativity and imagination.
- This software would also enable students to create data across the network and concurrently access the same design data for storage and visualization.
Atal Innovation Mission:
- The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is a flagship initiative set up by the NITI Aayog to promote innovation and entrepreneurship across the length and breadth of the country.
- AlM’s objectives are to create and promote an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship across the country at school, university, research institutions, MSME and industry levels.
- At the school level, AIM establishes Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) in all districts across India. ATLs provide tinkering spaces to children to hone their innovative ideas and creativity.
- At the university, NGO, SME and Corporate industry levels, AIM is setting up world-class Atal Incubators (AICs) that would trigger and enable successful growth of sustainable startups in every sector.
Young India Combating COVID with Knowledge, Technology and Innovation (YUKTI) web-portal
- Union Ministry for HRD has launched a web-portal YUKTI (Young India Combating COVID with Knowledge, Technology and Innovation).
- YUKTI is a unique portal and dashboard to monitor and record the efforts and initiatives of MHRD.
- The portal intends to cover the different dimensions of COVID-19 challenges in a very holistic and comprehensive way.
- The primary aim of the portal is to keep academic community healthy, both physically & mentally and to enable a continuous high-quality learning environment for learners.
Utility of the portal:
- The portal allows various institutions to share their strategies for various challenges which are there because of the unprecedented situation of COVID-19 and other future initiatives.
- It will give inputs for better planning and will enable MHRD to monitor effectively its activities for coming six months.
- It will establish a two-way communication channel between the Ministry of HRD and the institutions so that the Ministry can provide the necessary support system to the institutions.
‘Bharat Padhe Online’ campaign
- Union HRD Ministry has launched a week-long ‘Bharat Padhe Online’ campaign for Crowdsourcing of Ideas for Improving Online Education ecosystem of India.
- Students and teachers are the main target audience of this campaign.
- Students who are currently studying in schools or higher educational institutions are the ones engaging with the existing digital platforms offering various courses etc. on a daily basis.
- They can share what is lacking in the existing online platforms and how it can be made more engaging.
- The educators across the country can also come forward to contribute with their expertise and experience in the field of education.
Integrated Government Online Training
- The Union govt. has launched a training module for management of COVID-19 named ‘Integrated Government Online training’ (iGOT) on DIKSHA platform of MHRD.
- It is training module for management of COVID-19 on DIKSHA platform for the capacity building of frontline workers to handle the COVID-19 pandemic efficiently.
- Courses on iGOT have been launched specially for Doctors, Nurses, Paramedics, Hygiene Workers, Technicians, Auxiliary Nursing Midwives (ANMs), State Government Officers, Civil Defence Officers, Various Police Organisations.
- They are also available to NCC corps, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), NSS volunteers, Indian Red Cross Society, Bharat Scouts and Guides and other volunteers at the stage.
- HRD ministry has launched Diksha Portal (diksha.gov.in) for providing a digital platform to a teacher to make their lifestyle more digital.
- It aims to serve as National Digital Infrastructure for Teachers.
- The portal will cover the whole teacher’s life cycle – from the time they were enrolled as student teachers in Teacher Education Institutes (TEIs) to after they retire as teachers.
- It will enable, accelerate and amplify solutions in the realm of teacher education. It will aid teachers to learn and train themselves for which assessment resources will be available.
About Kendriya Bhandar:
- The Central Govt. Employees Consumer Cooperative Society Ltd. is popularly known as Kendriya Bhandar.
- It was set up in 1963 as a welfare project for the benefit of Central Govt. employees and public at large.
- It is functioning under aegis of Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions and was registered with Delhi Registrar of Cooperative Societies.
- Subsequently, it was registered with Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Govt. of India as a Multi-State Consumer Cooperative Society in September 2000.
- Kendriya Bhandar which functions under the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has taken the unique initiative of providing “Essentials Kits” to needy families during the COVID-19 lockdown.
- A mega online challenge – SAMADHAN – has been launched to test the ability of students to innovate.
- The Innovation Cell of the Ministry of HRD and All India Council for Technical Education in collaboration with Forge and InnovatioCuris has launched this online challenge.
- Under the challenge, the students and faculty will be motivated for doing new experiments and new discoveries and provide them with a strong base leading to spirit of experimentation and discovery.
- The students participating in this challenge will search and develop such measures that can be made available to the government agencies, health services, hospitals and other services for quick solutions to the Coronavirus epidemic and other such calamities.
- Apart from this, through this challenge, work will be done to make citizens aware, to motivate them, to face any challenge, to prevent any crisis and to help people get livelihood.
Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis
What is CAWACH?
- Department of Science & Technology has approved setting up of a Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH).
- CAWACH will help to address various challenges faced by country due to severe impact of COVID-19.
- CAWACH will identify up to 50 innovations and start-ups that are in the area of novel, low cost, safe and effective ventilators, respiratory aids, protective gears, novel solutions for sanitizers, disinfectants, diagnostics, therapeutics, informatics and any effective interventions to control COVID-19.
- The CAWACH’s mandate will be to extend timely support to potential start-ups by way of the requisite financial assistance and fund deployment targeting innovations that are deployable in the market within next 6 months.
- The Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), a technology business incubator at IIT Bombay supported by DST has been identified as the Implementing Agency of the CAWACH.
- It will provide access to pan India networks for testing, trial and market deployment of these products and solutions in the identified areas of priority COVID-19 solutions.
- The Government of India has launched a mobile app ArogyaSetu developed in a public-private partnership to bring the people of India together in a resolute fight against COVID-19.
- The App enables people to assess themselves the risk of their catching the Corona Virus infection.
- It will calculate this based on their interaction with others, using cutting edge Bluetooth technology, algorithms and artificial intelligence.
- Once installed in a smartphone through an easy and user-friendly process, the app detects other devices with ArogyaSetu installed that come in the proximity of that phone.
- The app can then calculate the risk of infection based on sophisticated parameters if any of these contacts has tested positive.
- The personal data collected by the App is encrypted using state-of-the-art technology and stays secure on the phone till it is needed for facilitating medical intervention.
National Teleconsultation Centre (CoNTeC)
National Teleconsultation Centre:
- The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has launched the National Teleconsultation Centre (CoNTeC).
- The CoNTeC is a Telemedicine Hub established by AIIMS, New Delhi, wherein expert doctors from various clinical domains will be available 24×7 to answer the multifaceted questions from specialists from all over the country.
- It is a multi-modal telecommunications hub through which 2-way audio-video and text communications can be undertaken from any part of the country as well as the world at large.
- The modes of communication will include simple mobile telephony as well as two-way video communications, using WhatsApp, Skype and Google Duo.
- The CoNTeC is also fully integrated with the National Medical College Network (NMCN) to conduct a full-fledged Video Conference (VC) between the 50 Medical Colleges.
How to Contact the CoNTeC?
- A single mobile number (+91 9115444155) can be dialled from anywhere in the country/world by COVID-19 treating doctors to reach the CoNTeC which has six lines that can be used simultaneously at present.
- This number of lines can be increased in future if needed.
- The incoming calls will be picked up by the CoNTeC Managers, who will then handover the call to the appropriate expert doctors from the clinical domains as desired by the calling specialists managing the COVID-19 cases anywhere in the country.
- The Managers will guide the callers in establishing a two-way video call using the WhatsApp, Skype or Google Duo as preferred by the caller.
- The callers from the NMCN network can connect anytime using the Telemedicine infrastructure at their end.
Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0
Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0:
- Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0 is the upgraded version of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 1.0.
- The scheme is extended to all educational institutes; however, under UBA 2.0 Participating institutes are selected based on the fulfilment of certain criteria.
- It is a flagship programme of the Ministry of HRD, which aims to link the Higher Education Institutions with a set of at least 5 villages so that these institutions can contribute to the economic and social betterment of these village communities using their knowledge base.
- It is a significant initiative where all Higher Learning Institutes have been involved for participation in development activities, particularly in rural areas.
- It also aims to create a virtuous cycle between the society and an inclusive university system, with the latter providing knowledge base; practices for emerging livelihoods and to upgrade the capabilities of both the public and private sectors.
- Currently under the scheme UBA, 13072 villages have been adopted by 2474 Institutes.
Employees’ Pension Scheme (Amendment) Scheme, 2020
Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS):
- EPS is a social security scheme that was launched in 1995 and is facilitated by EPFO.
- The scheme makes provisions for pensions for the employees in the organized sector after retirement at the age of 58 years.
- Employees who are members of EPFO automatically become eligible for EPS.
- Both employer and employee contribute 12% of employee’s monthly salary (basic wages plus dearness allowance) to the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) scheme.
- EPF scheme is mandatory for employees who draw a basic wage of Rs. 15,000 per month.
- Of the employer’s share of 12 %, 8.33 % is diverted towards the EPS.
Features of the Amendments:
- EPS pensioners will get normal pension even after getting a reduced pension due to commutation.
- On retirement, if the employee opts for commutation of pension, a portion is paid as a lump sum based on the commutation factor while on the balance the pension begins.
- In simple terms, commutation means a lump sum payment in lieu of periodic payments of pension.
- In such a case, the amount of pension will be lower than the amount of pension without any commutation.
- The amendment seeks to restore the original amount of pension as per the commutation table, after 15 years equal to the same amount as it would have been without commutation.
National Creche Scheme
National Creche Scheme:
- Earlier named as Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme, the NCS is being implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme through States/UTs with effect from 1.1.2017.
- It aims to provide day-care facilities to children (age group of 6 months to 6 years) of working mothers.
Salient features of the Scheme:
- Day-care Facilities including Sleeping Facilities.
- Early Stimulation for children below 3 years and pre-school education for 3 to 6 years old children.
- Supplementary Nutrition (to be locally sourced)
- Growth Monitoring
- Health Check-up and Immunization
the Guidelines are:
- Crèches shall be open for 26 days in a month and for seven and a half (7-1/2) hours per day.
- The number of children in the crèche should not be more than 25 per crèche with 01 Worker and 01 helpers respectively.
- User charges to bring in an element of community ownership and collected as under:
- BPL families – Rs 20/- per child per month.
- Families with Income (Both Parents) of up to Rs. 12,000/- per month – Rs. 100/- per child per month
- Families with Income (Both Parents) of above Rs. 12,000/- per month – Rs. 200/- per child per month.
Amendment to the Export Policy of APIs and formulations made from these APIs
- Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs):
- The Government has made amendments in the export policy and restricted export of specified APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) and formulations made from these APIs.
- All drugs are made up of two core components: the API, which is the central ingredient, and the excipients, the substances other than the drug that helps deliver the medication to your system.
- The API is the part of any drug that produces its effects.
- Excipients are chemically inactive substances, such as lactose or mineral oil.
- The quality of APIs has a significant effect on the efficacy and safety of medications.
The notification covers the following APIs and formulations made from these APIs:
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Erythromycin Salts
- Clindamycin Salts
Regulating Content of Trans-Fat in Oils and Fats
The limit of trans-fats to be not more than 5% is prescribed under Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 for Vanaspati, bakery shortenings, bakery and industrial margarine and Interesterified vegetable fats/oils.
What are Trans Fats?
- Artificial Trans fats are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.
- Since they are easy to use, inexpensive to produce and last a long time, and give foods a desirable taste and texture, they are still widely used despite their harmful effects being well-known.
Why this move?
- Studies have recently shown that 60,000 deaths occur every year due to cardiovascular diseases, which in turn are caused due to high consumption of trans fats.
- Since the impact of trans fats on human health is increasing exponentially, it is very important to create awareness about them.
Standards for Trans-fats:
- A draft notification to limit trans-fat to be not more than 2% by weight of the total oils/fats present in the processed food products in which edible oils and fats are used as an ingredient on and from 1st January, 2022 was issued on 28.08.2019.
- Standards prescribed under various regulations of FSSAI are enforced to check that they comply with the standards laid down under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, and the rules and regulations made thereunder.
- In cases where the food samples are found to be non-conforming, recourse is taken to penal provisions under Chapter IX of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
Union Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has inaugurated the Exhibition-cum-Fair “EKAM Fest” organised by National Handicapped Finance Development Corporation (NHFDC).
- It is an effort for promoting entrepreneurship and knowledge among Divyangjan community, generating awareness among society about potentialities of PwDs; providing a major marketing opportunity to PwDs entrepreneurs.
- NHFDC Foundation is making efforts for the development of a brand and platform for marketing of products of these determined entrepreneurs.
- Accordingly, name of the brand has arrived at Ekam (Entrepreneurship, Knowledge, Awareness, Marketing).
National Handicapped Finance Development Corporation:
- NHFDC is an Apex corporation under the aegis of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and is working since 1997.
- It is registered as a company not for profit and provides financial assistance to the Divyangjan/Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan/PwDs) for their economic rehabilitation and provides number of skill development programmes to empower them to grow & sustain their enterprises.