GK Today: Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Preparation: 8 August 2018

Parliament passes bill to give constitutional status to NCBC

Parliament has passed the Constitution (One Hundred Twenty-third Amendment) Bill, 2018 seeking constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes. The Rajya Sabha adopted the amendment passed by the Lok Sabha. The bill was passed in the Upper House with an absolute majority and not less than 2/3rd of the majority of the member present in the House. All 156 members presented in the house voted in favour of the bill.

Revised MoA signed for Funding of Central Share of 99 Prioritized Irrigation Projects

A revised Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) has been signed amongst Govt. of India (through MoWR, RD & GR), NABARD and National Water Development Agency (NWDA) for funding of central share of 99 prioritized irrigation projects under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) through Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF). It will enable this Ministry to release Central Assistance to prioritized projects under PMKSY as per the requirements from time to time. Under PMKSY, 99 ongoing irrigation projects were identified for completion in mission mode by December, 2019.

Govt approves research projects worth over Rs 100 crore under ‘IMPRINT-2’ scheme

Government has approved 122 new research projects of 112 crore rupees under its Impacting Research Innovation and Technology ‘IMPRINT-2’ scheme. The initiative aims to advance research in energy, security, and healthcare domains in the high education institutions. IMPRINT is the first of its kind government supported initiative to address the major science and engineering challenges that India must address and champion to enable, empower and embolden the nation for inclusive growth and self-reliance. The proposals were approved at the IMPRINT 2 Apex Committee meeting held in New Delhi.

Startup India launched the Startup Academia Alliance programme

To fulfill the Government of India’s mission to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship in the country, Startup India launched the Startup Academia Alliance programme, a unique mentorship opportunity between academic scholars and startups working in similar domains. The Startup Academia Alliance aims to reduce the gap between scientific research and its industrial applications in order to increase the efficacy of these technologies and to widen their impact. By creating a bridge between academia and industry, the Alliance strives to create lasting connections between the stakeholders of the startup ecosystem and implement the third pillar on which the Startup India Action Plan is based – Industry Academia Partnerships and Incubation. The first phase of Startup Academia Alliance was kick started through partnering with Regional Centre for Biotechnology, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Council on Energy, Environment and Water, and TERI School of Advanced Studies. Renowned scholars from these institutes, in fields such as renewable energy, biotechnology, healthcare and life sciences were taken on board to provide mentorship and guidance to startups working in relevant arenas. The mentorship sessions have commenced and it is expected that startups will greatly benefit from the expertise and insights brought forth by experienced research scholars working in pertinent fields.

Shri Nitin Gadkari Launches Bidder Information Management System and Bhoomi Rashi – PFMS Linkage Portals

The Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari launched Bidder Information Management System (BIMS) and Bhoomi Rashi and PFMS linkage – two IT initiatives of the Road Transport & Highways Ministry that are aimed at expediting pre construction processes relating to bidding and land acquisition respectively. The Minister also announced institution of Annual Awards for Excellence in National Highways Projects from this year onwards. PFMS is a web-based online software application developed and implemented by the Office of Controller General of Accounts (CGA). to facilitate sound public financial management system for Government of India (GoI) It provides various stakeholders with a real time, reliable and meaningful management information system and an effective decision support system, as part of the Digital India initiative of GoI. With integration of Bhoomi Rashi with PFMS, payment of Compensation by the Ministry to the beneficiaries will be just-in-time, and without any parking of funds.