Prelims 2020 Addon#14


Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Smt. Renuka Singh launched the “Go Tribal Campaign” by Tribes India at an event in New Delhi.


  • Bodies involved: The campaign was launched by Tribal Affairs Ministry and TRIFED in association with Amazon Global.
  • Objective: The collaboration aims to create awareness and promote tribal arts and crafts as well as aid in socio-economic welfare of over 700 Indian tribes.
  • The event also saw the global Launch of “Tribes India” through Amazon Global Selling, under which Tribes India and Amazon Global Marketing will launch TRIBES India products globally through

TRIFED is an organization under Ministry of Tribal Affairs and is engaged in marketing development of tribal products including tribal art and craft under the brand name “TRIBES INDIA”.


This season’s first death due to diphtheria in Delhi has caused an alarm, with doctors assessing their preparedness.


  • Cause: Diphtheria is an infectious disease caused by Corynebacterium diphtheria, a bacterium.
  • Health impact: One type of diphtheria affects the throat and sometimes the tonsils. Another type causes ulcers on the skin; these are more common in the tropics (places where all 12 months have mean temperatures of at least 18 °C).
  • Vulnerable groups: Diphtheria particularly affects children aged 1 to 5 years. In temperate climates diphtheria tends to occur during the colder months.
  • Vaccine: The diphtheria vaccine is among the oldest vaccines in India’s Universal Immunisation Programme.
  • Indian scenario: Cases in the country have been going up over the last few years after showing a remarkable reduction in 2015. In 2015, as per WHO data, India reported 2,365 cases. However, in 2016, 2017 and 2018, the numbers rose successively to 3,380, 5,293 and 8,788.


Minister of Commerce and Industry informed Rajya Sabha that Government has granted final approval to three NIMZ – one in Kalinganagar, Jajpur district of Odisha, another in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh and a third in Sangareddy district (erstwhile Medak district) of Telangana.


  • Parent act: National Investment & Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs) are one of the important instruments of National Manufacturing Policy, 2011.
  • Objective: NIMZs are envisaged as large areas of developed land with the requisite eco-system for promoting world class manufacturing activity.
  • Present status: So far, three NIMZs namely Prakasam (Andhra Pradesh), Sangareddy (Telangana) and Kalinganagar (Odisha) have been accorded final approval.

NIMZs vs SEZs:

  • The main objective of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) is promotion of exports, while NIMZs are based on the principle of industrial growth in partnership with States and focuses on manufacturing growth and employment generation.
  • NIMZs are different from SEZs in terms of size, level of infrastructure planning, governance structures related to regulatory procedures, and exit policies.


The government approved the proposal for the implementation of a payment security mechanism for the purchase of electricity by distribution companies from generating firms.


  • The power ministry has made it mandatory for discoms to open and maintain the adequate letter of credit (LC) as payment security mechanism under power purchase agreements for buying electricity from generating firms from the 1st of August this year.
  • As Per the order, National, Regional and State Load Dispatch Centres are directed to dispatch power only after they are told by the power generating company and the Discoms that an LoC for the desired quantum of power has been opened.
  • The independent power producers have been demanding to put in place a payment security mechanism to reduce stress in the sector.


  • The Power Purchase Agreements have the provision regarding maintenance of adequate Payment Security Mechanism mainly in the form of Letters of Credit by the Distribution Licensees/ Procurers of Power.
  • A robust Payment Security System requires adequacy and validity of Letter of Credit to cover the payments due on account of drawal of power.


Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship informed Rajya Sabha about the National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET).


  • Type: A non-statutory regulatory body.
  • Composition: it is headed by a Chairperson and has Executive and Non-Executive Members.
  • History: 
    • The Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) notified the establishment of NCVET, through a Government Notification dated 05.12.2018.
    • It was established by merging the functions of National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) and National Skill Development Agency (NSDA).

The primary functions of NCVET will include:

  • Recognition and regulation of awarding bodies, assessment bodies and skill related information providers;
  • Approval of qualifications developed by awarding bodies and Sector Skill Councils (SSCs);
  • Indirect regulation of vocational training institutes through awarding bodies and assessment agencies;
  • research and information dissemination;
  • grievance redressal.


The Department of Higher Education of HRD Ministry has finalized and released a five-year vision plan named Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP).
  • Background: This was done in accordance with the decision of the Prime Minister for finalizing a five-year vision plan for each Ministry.
  • Goals: It sets the following goals for higher education sector –
    • Double the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education
    • Position at least 50 Indian institutions among the top-1000 global universities
    • Accreditation of all institutions as an assurance of quality
    • Promote Research & Innovation ecosystems for positioning India in the Top-3 countries in the world in matters of knowledge creation
    • Double the employability of the students passing out of higher education
    • Promote India as a global study destination
    • Achieve a quantum increase in investment in higher education

Way ahead: The proposal would now be taken for inter-departmental consultations and appraisal through the EFC mechanism before being taken to Cabinet for approval.


The Government of India, the Government of Kerala and the World Bank signed a Loan Agreement of USD 250 million for the First Resilient Kerala Program.
  • Background: The 2018 floods and landslides in Kerala led to severe impact on property, infrastructure, and lives and livelihoods of people. One sixth of the State’s population – about 5.4 million people – were affected while 1.4 million were displaced from their homes.
  • Parent Program: The New Program is part of the Government of India’s support to Kerala’s ‘Rebuild Kerala Development Programme’ aimed at building a green and resilient Kerala.
  • Program Objective: To enhance the State’s resilience against the impacts of natural disasters and climate change.
  • Strategy: The Program aims to support the State with –
    • improved river basin planning and water infrastructure operations management, water supply and sanitation services
    • resilient and sustainable agriculture, enhanced agriculture risk insurance
    • improved resilience of the core road network
    • unified and more up-to-date land records in high risk areas
    • risk-based urban planning and strengthened expenditure planning by urban local bodies
    • strengthened fiscal and public financial management capacity of the state

Note- This Program represents the First ‘State Partnership’ of the World Bank in India.



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