106th session of Indian Science Congress
- A four-day 106th Session of Indian Science Congress, 2019 is being held from 3rd to 7th January 2019 at Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar, and Punjab.
- Theme of the event this year – Future India: Science and Technology.
- PM recalled the great Indian scientists of the past, including Acharyas J.C. Bose, C.V. Raman, Meghnad Saha, and S.N. Bose, and said that they served the people through “minimum resources” and “maximum struggle.”
- Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri gave us the slogan: “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan,” while Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee added “Jai Vigyan” to it. PM Modi said that now the time has come to take a step further, by adding “Jai Anusandhan.”
- Pursuit of science is fulfilled through the achievement of two objectives: generation of profound or disruptive knowledge; and use of that knowledge for socio-economic good.
- We must also focus on innovation and start-ups, the PM said. Government has launched the Atal Innovation Mission to promote innovation among our scientists.
- Our Scientists must commit themselves to addressing problems of affordable healthcare, housing, clean air, water and energy, agricultural productivity and food processing.
- While Science is universal, technology must be local for providing solutions relevant to local needs and conditions
- Big data analysis, artificial intelligence, block-chain etc should be utilised in the agricultural sector, especially to help the farmers with relatively small farm-holdings.
- Scientists should work towards ease of living for the people. In this context, he mentioned issues such as drought management in low rainfall areas; early disaster warning systems; tackling malnutrition; tackling diseases among children such as encephalitis; clean energy; clean drinking water; and cyber security.
- The PM mentioned major achievements of Indian science in 2018, including:
- Production of aviation grade biofuel;
- Divya Nayan – a machine for visually impaired;
- Inexpensive devices for diagnosis of cervical cancer, TB and dengue
- A real-time landslide warning system in the Sikkim-Darjeeling region.
- Our strengths in research and development are built on the backbone of our national laboratories, central universities, IITs, IISC, TIFR and IISERs, the PM said that a strong research ecosystem must be developed in the State Universities and Colleges, as well.
- National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber Physical Systems with an investment of over Rs. 3600 crores. The Mission will cover in a seamless way, R&D, Technology Development, Human resources and Skills, Innovation, Start-up Ecosystem and strong Industry and International Collaborations
INDO-France Pact for Sustainable Development
- Satisfactory progress had been made in pursuance of the Industrial Way Forward Agreement in 2018 between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Electricite de France (EDF).
- The joint hosting by India and France of the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) on 11thMarch 2018 in New Delhi and the first General Assembly in New Delhi from 2ndto 5th October 2018 has bolstered our joint resolve to fight climate change.
- The ISA has now transformed into a treaty based international and intergovernmental organization headquartered in India. Out of 71 countries that have signed Framework Agreement of the ISA, 48 countries have deposited the instrument of ratification.
- India and France share a common interest to cooperate and collaborate for the stability and prosperity of Africa. The second India-France Dialogue on Africa took place on 11thDecember 2018.
India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway
- The 1360 kms long India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway is an initiative pertaining to India, Myanmar and Thailand.
- India is undertaking construction of two sections of the Trilateral Highway in Myanmar namely,
- Construction of 120.74 km Kalewa-Yagyi road section, and
- Construction of 69 bridges along with the approach road on the 149.70 km Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa (TKK) road section.
- The work on both these sections were awarded on Engineering, Procurement and Construction mode in May 2018 for Kalewa-Yagyi section and November 2017 for the TKK section.
- A Motor Vehicles Agreement along with protocols for regulating and facilitating movement of cargo and passenger vehicular traffic is under inter-governmental negotiations between India, Myanmar and Thailand.
Acquisition of Tribal Land
- Ministry of Rural Development, Department of Land Resources (DoLR), is the nodal Ministry at the Centre, which plays a monitoring role in the field of land reforms.
- Land and its management fall under the exclusive legislative and administrative jurisdiction of states as provided under the Constitution of India (Seventh Schedule – List II (State List) – Entry No. (18).
- To address the issue of Land Acquisition and displacement of tribals, Constitutional and legal provisions for safeguarding the rights of tribals to land are already in place as under: –
- The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, in section 4 (5) states that save as otherwise provided, no member of a forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes or Other Traditional Forest Dweller shall be evicted or removed from the Forest Land under his occupation till the recognition and verification procedure is complete.
- Government has enacted the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (RFCTLARR Act, 2013 in short). The purpose of the said Act is to ensure, in consultation with institutions of local self-government and Gram Sabhas established under the Constitution, a humane, participative, informed and transparent process for land acquisition with the least disturbance to the owners of the land and the other affected families and provide just and fair compensation
- Under Section 48 of the RFCTLARR Act, 2013, a National Level Monitoring Committee for Rehabilitation and Resettlement has been constituted in the DoLR for the purpose of reviewing and monitoring the implementation of rehabilitation and resettlement schemes and plans related to land acquisition under the RFCTLARR, 2013 and National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2007.
- By way of safeguards against displacement special provisions have been made for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes under Sections 41 and 42 of the RFCTLARR Act, 2013 which protect their interests.
- The Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, also provides that the Gram Sabha or the Panchayats at the appropriate level shall be consulted before making the acquisition of land in the Scheduled Areas
- Constitutional provisions under Schedule – V also provide for safeguards against displacement of tribal population because of land acquisitions etc. the Governor of the State which has scheduled Areas is empowered to prohibit or restrict transfer of land from tribals and regulate the allotment of land to members of the Scheduled Tribes in such cases.
Bhoomi Rashi Portal
- The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has recently launched the Bhoomi Rashi portal.
- In the past years, acquisition of land for the purpose of National Highway projects, payment of compensation to the land owners etc were done manually by physical movement of documents in the form of files.
- in that procedure some constraints viz. delay in issuing notification, errors in the land/area details etc were being faced.
- In order to overcome these issues, to cut short delays and avoid parking of public funds with the Competent Authority for Land Acquisition (CALA), Ministry has developed a web-based Utility –Bhoomi Rashi to fully digitize and automate the entire process of land acquisition.
Cyclonic storm “PABUK” over South China Sea
- It is very likely to move west-northwestwards and emerge into Andaman Sea around the forenoon of 05thJanuary 2019.