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05 August Current Affairs

Make in India Programme

Ministry/Department:  Ministry of Commerce & Industry

Objective: Aims at promoting India as an important investment destination and a global hub for manufacturing, design and innovation


It does not target manufacturing sector alone, but also aims at promoting entrepreneurship in the country

The initiative is further aimed at creating a conducive environment for investment, modern and efficient infrastructure, opening up new sectors for foreign investment and forging a partnership between government and industry through positive mind set

Following 25 sectors have been identified under it :

  1. Auto Components
  2. Automobiles
  3. Aviation
  4. Biotechnology
  5. Chemicals
  6. Construction
  7. Defence Manufacturing
  8. Electrical Machinery
  9. Electronic System Design and Manufacturing
  10. Food Processing
  11. IT and BPM
  12. Leather
  13. Media and Entertainment
  14. Mining
  15. Oil and Gas
  16. Pharmaceuticals
  17. Ports
  18. Railways
  19. Roads and Highways
  20. Renewable Energy
  21. Space
  22. Textiles
  23. Thermal Power
  24. Tourism and Hospitality
  25. Wellness


Operation Bedlam

In News:

Tourism has suffered a major jolt in Kashmir.


Against an average footfall of 3,000 tourists per day just the previous week, a trickle of 350 arrived in the Valley, despite the adverse advisory.

Around 700 tourists are still in the Valley after helping around 90% tourists to leave Kashmir in the past two days. We expect 350 more to leave by Monday given their flight schedules. Thereafter 350 will be left. All arrangements have been made for those who want to leave the Valley safely.

Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry general secretary Farooq Amin said the sudden advisory had proved “Operation Bedlam” for people and the State economy.


According to data, Kashmir witnessed a major drop in tourist arrivals after the Pulwama attack in February, which witnessed India and Pakistan entering into a border duel.

M.P. returns over 25% of target under PMAY

In News:

Madhya Pradesh has surrendered more than a quarter of its allotted Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Grameen) houses for this financial year, giving up 2.32 lakh out of a total 8.32 lakh houses.


This is the first time any State has done so, according to officials from the Union Rural Development Ministry, which administers the scheme.


The housing scheme aims to ensure that every rural Indian family has a pucca house with basic amenities by 2022, and expects to build a total of 2.95 crore houses by then. The nationwide target for this financial year 2019-20 is 60 lakh houses.

About PMAY-G:

The erstwhile rural housing scheme Indira Awaas yojana (IAY) has been restructured into Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana –Gramin (PMAY-G) from 01.04.2016.

PMAY-G aims at providing a pucca house, with basic amenities, to all houseless householder and those households living in kutcha and dilapidated house, by 2022.

Cost sharing: The cost of unit assistance in this scheme is shared between Central and State Governments in the ratio 60:40 in plain areas and 90: 10 for North Eastern and Himalayan States.

The scheme envisages training of Rural Masons with the objective of improving workmanship and quality of construction of houses while at the same time, increasing availability of skilled masons and enhancing employability of such masons.

Selection of beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) is based on housing deprivation parameters of Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC), 2011, subject to 13 point exclusion criteria, followed by Gram Sabha verification.

About PMAY- Urban:

The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) Programme launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA), in Mission mode envisions provision of Housing for All by 2022, when the Nation completes 75 years of its Independence.

The Mission seeks to address the housing requirement of urban poor including slum dwellers through following programme verticals:

  • Slum rehabilitation of Slum Dwellers with participation of private developers using land as a resource.
  • Promotion of Affordable Housing for weaker section through credit linked subsidy.
  • Affordable Housing in Partnership with Public & Private sectors.
  • Subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction /enhancement.

Key facts:

The beneficiaries are poor and people living under EWS and LIG categories in the country.

The scheme is divided into three phases. In the first phase, a total of 100 cities will be covered from April 2015 to March 2017. In phase two, 200 cities will be covered from April 2017 to March 2019. In the third phase, the leftover cities will be covered from April 2019 to March 2022.

The government is providing an interest subsidy of 6.5% on housing loans which can be availed by beneficiaries for 15 years from start of loan date.

The government will grant Rs 1 lakh to all the beneficiaries of the scheme. In addition, Rs 1.5 lakh will be given to all eligible urban poor who want to construct their houses in urban areas or plan to go for renovation in their existing houses. One can also avail loans under this scheme to build toilets in existing houses.

Indigenous missile successfully tested

In News:

The Defence Research Development Organisation on Sunday successfully test-fired the indigenously developed Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile from the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur.

Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missiles:

  • The missile is an all-weather, all-terrain missile with electronic countermeasures against jamming by aircraft radars.
  • QRSAM uses solid-fuel propellant and has a range of 25-30 km.
  • QRSAM has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in association with Bharat Electronics Limited and Bharat Dynamics Limited as a replacement to Osa-AK and Kvadrat missile systems.

20,000 genomes to be scanned for cancer study

In News:

The Department of Biotechology (DBT) plans to scan nearly 20,000 Indian genomes over five years, in a two-phase exercise, and develop diagnostic tests that can be used for cancer.


Two Phases:

The first phase involves sequencing the genomes of nearly 10,000 Indians to capture the biological diversity of the country.

In the next phase, about 10,000 “diseased individuals” would have their genomes sequenced.

These data would be compared using machine learning to identify genes that can predict cancer risk, as well as other diseases that could be significantly influenced by genetic anomalies.

Institutions involved:

While 22 institutions, including those from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the DBT would be involved in the exercise, the data generated would be accessible to researchers anywhere. This would be through a proposed National Biological Data Centre, envisaged in the ‘Biological Data Storage, Access and Sharing Policy’ that is still in the early stages of discussion.

The Pune-based National Centre for Cell Sciences — also involved in the project — will collect samples of microbiome from the human gut. The diversity of the bacterial samples is at the frontier of global research, and scientists have said there is an intimate connection between the genome, the gut microbiome and disease.

Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) Accord

In News:

Indigenous people of Bangladesh have demanded quick implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) Accord signed in 1997.


The government of Bangladesh signed Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) Accord in 1997 with Parbatya Chattogram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) representing Jumma indigenous people to end decades of armed conflict in the South Eastern region of the country.

Protection of the land rights of Jumma people, rehabilitation, self-government and withdrawal of military from the region were the key points of the accord.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was honoured with the UNESCO Peace Prize in 1998 for the accord.

Indigenous people’s organisations have accused the government of not implementing the accord but the government claims that most of the provisions of the accord have been implemented.

Chittagong Hill Tracts? 

The Chittagong Hill Tracts are an area within the Chattogram Division in southeastern Bangladesh, bordering Myanmar on the southeast, the Indian state of Tripura on the north, Mizoram on the east and Chittagong district on the west.

They formed a single district until 1984, when they were divided into three districts: Khagrachari District, Rangamati Hill District, and Bandarban District.

Topographically, the Hill Tracts are the only extensively hilly area in Bangladesh.


In News:

Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ inaugurated TechEx – a technology exhibition organized to demonstrate prototypes developed under IMPRINT and UAY, the two flagship schemes of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).

INnovation and Technology (IMPRINT): 

Launched in: 2015.

Objective: Providing solutions to the most relevant engineering challenges by translating knowledge into viable technology (products or processes) in 10 selected technology domains.

These 10 technology domains are: Health Care, Energy, Sustainable Habitat, Nano-Technology Hardware, Water Resources and River Systems, Advanced Materials, Information and Communication Technology, manufacturing, security and defence, and environmental science and climate change.

Funding: 142 projects at a total cost of Rs. 313 crore were approved under the IMPRINT-I. These projects are funded jointly by MHRD and the participating Ministry in the ratio of 50:50.

Uchhatar Avishkar Yojana (UAY):

Launched in: 2015.

Objective: Promoting innovation of a higher order that directly impacts the needs of the Industry and thereby improves the competitive edge of Indian manufacturing.

Funding: A total of 142 projects have been approved under UAY. UAY projects are funded jointly by MHRD, participating Ministries and the Industry in the ratio of 50:25:25.

GJ 357 d

In News:

NASA’s TESS mission has discovered GJ 357 d, a super-Earth planet located 31 light years away from our own solar system.


The super-Earth planet — named GJ 357 d — was discovered in early 2019 owing to NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a mission designed to comb the heavens for exoplanets.

Astronomers from the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands and the University of La Laguna, both in Spain, announced the discovery of the GJ 357 system in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

They showed that the distant solar system — with a diminutive M-type dwarf sun, about one-third the size of our own sun — harbours three planets, with one of those in that system’s habitable zone: GJ 357 d.

With a thick atmosphere, the planet GJ 357 d is 22% larger than the Earth and could maintain liquid water on its surface like Earth.

Super Earth?

What is it? It is an extrasolar planet with a mass higher than Earth’s, but substantially below the masses of the Solar System’s ice giants, Uranus and Neptune.

What is it not? This term refers only to the mass of the planet, and does not imply anything about the habitability or surface conditions.

Canine Distemper

In News:

A potential virus — Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) — that can be transmitted from CDV-infected dogs living in wildlife sanctuaries to tiger’s has raised concern among wildlife biologists.


Animals affected: Canine distemper is a contagious viral disease that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of a wide variety of animal species, including dogs, coyotes, foxes, pandas and wolves.

Name: It is also known as hardpad disease.

Symptoms: Common symptoms include high fever, eye inflammation and eye/nose discharge, vomiting and diarrhoea, loss of appetite and lethargy, and hardening of nose and footpads.

Cause: It is caused by a single-stranded RNA virus of the family Paramyxoviridae (the same family of the viruses that causes measles, mumps, and bronchiolitis in humans). This virus is similar to the measles virus in humans and the rinderpest virus which affects cattle.

Transmission: The disease is highly contagious via inhalation. The virus can also be transmitted by shared food and water bowls and equipment.

Diagnosis: There is no cure for canine distemper infection. Treatment typically consists of supportive care and efforts to prevent infections.

Recent study: 

A recent study published in Threatened Taxa notes that 86% of the tested dogs around Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan carried CDV antibodies in their bloodstream.

This finding points out that there is an increased risk of disease transfer from the dogs to tigers and leopards that live in the park.

Last year, over 20 lions from the Gir forest succumbed to the canine distemper virus infection, and now a guideline has been prepared by the National Tiger Conservation Authority to prevent the spillover of the disease to wild animals.


In News:

In a major boost to National Food Security, Government of India launched the One Nation-One Ration Card scheme on a pilot basis in four States namely Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.


Features: Families who have food security cards can buy subsidized rice and wheat from any Fair Price Shop in these states. Their ration cards should be linked with Aadhar Number to avail this service.

Way ahead: The Centre is intended to extend the programme to all states by August next year so that the portability of the food security card implemented. There will also be creation of a Central Repository of all Ration Cards to help national level de-duplication.


The national portability of Ration cards will ensure all beneficiaries especially the migrants in getting access to Public Distribution System (PDS) across the nation from any PDS shop of their own choice.

This will provide freedom to the beneficiaries as they will not be tied to any one PDS shop and reduce their dependence on shop owners and curtail instances of corruption.

Integrated Management of PDS (IMPDS) is a system that is already operational in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana and Tripura wherein a beneficiary can avail his share of food grain from any district in the State.

Global Opium Production

In News:

According to the World Drug Report 2019 released by The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Global opium production fell in 2018 by 25 % to 7,790 tons compared with the previous year.

Key highlights: 

Global opium production has followed a long-term upward trend over the past two decades, although it fell in 2018 by 25 % to 7,790 tons compared with the previous year.

The three central opium-producing countries (Afghanistan, Mexico and Myanmar) are estimated to have been responsible for roughly 96 % of the estimated global total opium production in 2018, with Afghanistan alone accounting for 82 % of that total.

The global decline in opium production in 2018 was mainly the result of a poor opium harvest in Afghanistan, following a 20 % decrease in the size of the area under cultivation due to drought.

Opium production in Myanmar also declined slightly, from 550 tons in 2017 to 520 tons in 2018.

Myanmar is still the world’s second-biggest producer, after Afghanistan, and it remains the primary supplier of opium and heroin in East and Southeast Asia, as well as Australia.