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November 13, 2018
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November 15, 2018
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14 November Current Affairs

Leadership for Academicians Program (LEAP)

In News:

The government has launched Leadership for Academicians Programme (LEAP) for higher education faculty.

About the Leadership for Academicians Programme (LEAP):

Leadership for Academicians Programme (LEAP) is a three weeks Flagship leadership development training programme (2 weeks domestic and one week foreign training) for second level academic functionaries in public funded higher education institutions.

The main objective is to prepare second tier academic heads who are potentially likely to assume leadership roles in the future.

The programme would provide senior faculty, with high academic credentials, the required leadership and managerial skills including skills of problem-solving, handling stress, team building work, conflict management, developing communication skills, understanding and coping with the complexity and challenges of governance in HEIs, financial & general administration.

The implementation of LEAP Programme will be through 15 NIRF top ranked Indian Institutions namely. The foreign Universities identified for the training are also within the top 100 in the world global rankings.

Source: PIB

Annual Refresher Programme in Teaching (ARPIT)

In News:

The Centre has launched Annual Refresher Programme in Teaching (ARPIT) for higher education faculty.

About Annual Refresher Programme in Teaching (ARPIT):

Annual Refresher Programme in Teaching (ARPIT) is a major and unique initiative of online professional development of 15 lakh higher education faculty using the MOOCs platform SWAYAM.

For implementing ARPIT, 75 discipline-specific institutions have been identified and notified as National Resource Centres (NRCs) in the first phase, which are tasked to prepare online training material with focus on latest developments in the discipline, new & emerging trends, pedagogical improvements and methodologies for transacting revised curriculum.

ARPIT will be an ongoing exercise so that every year NRCs will continuously develop new refresher module in their earmarked discipline each year. The training materials will be uploaded and made available through SWAYAM. NRC will publish the list of the faculty who have been certified. The NRCs will revolutionize professional development of faculty by catering to massive numbers by leveraging ICT and online technology platform of SWAYAM.

NRCs are located in a mixed range of institutions such as, Central Universities, IISc, IUCAA, IITs, IISERs, NITs, State Universities under the Ministry’s Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching (PMMMNMTT); UGC’s Human Resource Development Centres (HRDCs), National Institutes for Technical Teachers Training (NITTTRs), IIITs and IGNOU.

Source: PIB

Indian Health Fund

In News:

Tata Trust and The Global Fund backed Indian Health Fund (IHF) has chosen four innovators for early detection of tuberculosis (TB), malaria to effectively tackle these eradicate diseases.

Key Facts:

The aim for selecting these innovators aims at leveraging technology for improving early detection and prompt treatment along with promoting diagnostics feasible for primary health care facilities.

It also aims to supporting national efforts to effectively tackle eradicate these diseases which is crucial health challenges in India.

Government has set a target of eliminating TB by 2025 and malaria by 2030. India contributes to 27% of the global TB burden and 68% of all malaria cases in the Southeast Asia region

What is Indian Health Fund (IHF)?

IHF was launched in 2016 by Tata Trusts in collaboration with The Global Fund, to drive innovations towards key infectious disease challenges in India.

It supports individuals and organisations with already germinated innovative strategies, services, products, such that they become sustainable and scalable solutions in addressing TB and malaria.

The initiative is a long-term exercise aligned with country’s goal of eliminating TB by 2025 and malaria by 2030. It will promote innovative solutions such that they are widely accessible and are affordable.

Source: The Hindu

Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)

In News:

The 10th anniversary celebrations of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) is being held in Kochi.


The commemorative Special Cover of IONS 10th Anniversary celebrations depicts a map of the Indian Ocean and littoral countries of the IOR, signifying the geopolitical importance of the region.

About IONS:

IONS, the 21st century’s first significant international maritime security initiative launched in February 2008, provides a forum for discussion of regional maritime issues and promotes friendly relationships among member nations. It presently has 24 members and eight observer navies.

It is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues and, in the process, endeavors to generate a flow of information between naval professionals that would lead to common understanding and possibly agreements on the way ahead.

Under the charter of business adopted in 2014, the grouping has working groups on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), Information Security and Interoperability (IS&I) and anti-piracy now renamed as maritime security.

Source: PIB

New index to check ease of doing agri-business

In News:

The centre is planning to develop an online dashboard to track State performances and the Index will be rolled out in January 2019.

Ease of Doing Agri-Business Index:

The new Ease of Doing Agri-Business Index will rank the States on the basis of reforms in the sector as well as their investment in agriculture, increased productivity, reduction of input costs, and risk mitigation measures.

The Agri Ministry will consider rewarding the higher performing States both in absolute and incremental terms by linking the performance with allocation from flexi funds made available in various flagship.

The proposed index will focus on reforms, with marketing reforms (25%) and governance and land reforms (20%) carrying almost half of the weight of the parameters in its scoring system.


The parameters are process-oriented, and are meant to evolve as and when new reforms or initiatives are proposed.

Another major parameter which States will be rated on is their success in reducing the cost of farm inputs (20%) by distributing soil health cards and encouraging organic farming and micro-irrigation.

Risk mitigation measures such as crop and livestock insurance carry a 15% weightage, while increased productivity and investment in agriculture carry a 10% weight each.

Way ahead:

As agriculture is a State subject, the success of policies and reform initiatives proposed at the Centre is dependent on implementation by the States. To ensure that reform agenda of the government is implemented at a desired pace by all State governments, there is a need to develop a competitive spirit between the States.

Source: The Hindu

Indian Wind Turbine Certification Scheme (IWTCS)

In News:

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, in consultation with National Institute of Wind Energy Chennai, has prepared a draft of new Scheme called Indian Wind Turbine Certification Scheme (IWTCS) incorporating various guidelines.

About the Indian Wind Turbine Certification Scheme (IWTCS):

The IWTCS is a consolidation of relevant National and International Standards (IS/IEC/IEEE), Technical Regulations and requirements issued by Central Electricity Authority (CEA), guidelines issued by MNRE and other international guidelines. It also incorporates various best practices from other countries to ensure the quality of the wind energy projects.

The draft Scheme enlists the guidelines for the benefit of all the stakeholders from concept to lifetime of wind turbine, including Indian Type Approved Model (ITAM), Indian Type Certification Scheme (ITCS), Wind Farm Project Certification Scheme (WFPCS) and Wind Turbine Safety & Performance Certification Scheme (WTSPCS).

The IWTCS is envisaged to assist and facilitate the following stakeholders; (i.) Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) (ii.) End Users -Utilities, SNAs, Developers, IPPs, Owners, Authorities, Investors and Insurers (iii.) Certification Bodies (iv.) Testing Laboratories.

Need for a scheme in this context:

Wind sector in India is growing at a rapid pace with increased utilization of wind energy for the power development. The modern wind turbines have higher hub heights, larger rotor diameter, higher capacity and improved Capacity Utilization Factor (CUF) along with technological improvements.

Under these developments, there is a need for comprehensive document which provides the complete technical requirements which shall have to be complied by the wind turbines for the safe and reliable operation by all the stakeholders viz, OEMs, Independent Power Producers (IPPs), wind farm developers, Financial Institutions, Utilities and others. Also, there is a need for technical regulations which shall facilitate common ground for OEMs, Developers, Investors and Financial Institution for systematic development.

Source: PIB

Global Digital Content Market 2018

In News:

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, is hosting a conference on Global Digital Content Market (GDCM)2018.

Key facts:

The conference will feature sessions on music, film, broadcasting and publishing, as well as collective management, emerging models and the implications for the market and policy makers.

India has been chosen as a host nation for the conference by World Intellectual Property Organization(WIPO) due to the strong creative industry in the country in films, music and media.

The focus for this year’s conference is the Asia Pacific region.

About Global Digital Content Market (GDCM)2018:

GDCM is a platform to discuss vital issues and enhance development of the digital and IP generating industries such as publishing, films, music, and gaming all of which are major contributors to the Indian GDP.

The GDCM 2018 will see participation of professionals from various creative fields, the digital industry around the world and delegates of the diplomatic community from Missions to the United Nations.

The aim of GDCM 2018 is to give industry stakeholders a platform to come together and discuss new avenues in the films, music, gaming and creative industry along with points of challenge that is presented due to the changing creative landscape because of the disruption brought about by digital technologies.

Source: The Hindu

INDRA 2018

In News:

The latest edition is being conducted at Babina Field Firing Ranges, Babina Military Station.


It is a joint military exercise between Indian and Russia on combating insurgency under the aegis of United Nations (UN).

The aim of the exercise is to practice joint planning and conduct to enhance interoperability of the two Armies in the peace keeping/ enforcement environment under the aegis of the UN. It focuses upon training on enhancing team building, special tactical level operations such as Cordon and Search, house intervention, handling and neutralisation of Improvised Explosive Devices and integrated employment of force multipliers.

#PowerOf18 campaign

In News:

It is a campaign launched by Twitter India aimed at encouraging youth to contribute in public debates and participate in civic engagement for the 2019 general elections.


Significance: The campaign will serve as resource for young Indians to find more information about elections, support social causes they are passionate about and join public conversation.

Samudra Shakti

  • It is a bilateral naval exercise between India and Indonesia.
  • It is going to be organised at port of Surabaya, Java.
  • Indian Naval Ship Rana is going to participate in this year edition of the exercise.
  • The aim of the exercise is to strengthen bilateral relations, expand maritime co-operation, enhance interoperability and exchange best practices.
  • India and Indonesia shares “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership”.

Point Calimere Sanctuary

  • It is the only Ramsar site in the State of Tamil Nadu.
  • It is a mix of salt swamps, mangroves, backwaters, mudflats, grasslands and tropical dry evergreen forest.
  • It is a haven for migratory birds and resident species.
  • Chemical companies and small-scale shrimp farms around the wetland have started to pose a threat to the biodiversity and ecosystem of the sanctuary.
  • Atmospheric temperature, pH and salinity exceeded the permissible limits for ecologically sensitive zones.
  • The presence of salt pans around the sanctuary lead to increase in salinity of the waters.
  • Previous studies show that, high acidic or high alkaline water can affect the metabolic and developmental activities of wild animals and birds.
  • Coliform microbial infection in the birds have also been reported which can cause a change in their natural behaviour and even affect their long-distance migration.

Energy Efficiency Revolving Fund

  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) signed a USD 13 million grant to set up Energy Efficiency Revolving Fund.
  • The fund is to be administered by ADB.
  • It aims to expand and sustain investments in the energy efficiency market in India, build market diversification, and scale up existing technologies.
  • Global Environment Facility (GEF) will provide the additional financing for the ongoing projects under this fund.
  • Additional grants from GEF will be used by EESL for making investments in new and emerging technologies.
  • EESL is under the administration of Ministry of Power and is working towards mainstreaming energy efficiency.