1. Corps of Engineers

The issue in news

Indian Army celebrates 240th Corps of Engineers Day.

About the Corps of Engineers:

  • The Corps of Engineers provides combat engineering support, develops infrastructure for armed forces and other defence organisations and maintains connectivity along our vast borders besides providing succour to the populace during natural disasters.
  • These tasks are executed through four pillars of the Corps – Combat Engineers, Military Engineer Service, Border Roads Organisation and Military Survey.
  • The Corps of Engineers has three groups, i.e. Madras Sappers, Bengal Sappers and Bombay Sappers which were amalgamated into the Corps on 18 Nov 1932.
  • The Corps of Engineers is one of the oldest arms of the Indian Army.
  • The Corps officially recognises its birth as 1780 when the senior-most group of the Corps, the Madras Sappers were raised.
  • The Corps’ motto is ‘Sarvatra’ meaning everywhere.


  1. PM-FME Scheme

The issue in news

The Union Minister for Food Processing Industries inaugurates capacity building component of the PM-FME Scheme.


About the PM FME Scheme:

  • The scheme was launched as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. 
  • The Minister said that the Scheme would generate a total investment of Rs 35,000 crore and generate 9 lakh skilled and semi-skilled employment and benefit 8 lakh units through access to information, training, better exposure and formalization.
  • It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme wherein the expenditure would be shared in 60:40 ratio between Central and State Governments, in 90:10 ratio with North Eastern and the Himalayan States, 60:40 ratio for UTs with legislature and 100% by Centre for other UTs.
  • It is to be implemented over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25 with an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore.
  • The main goal of the scheme is to provide financial, technical and business support for the upgradation of existing micro food processing enterprises.
  • The Scheme adopts One District One Product (ODODP) approach to reap benefits of scale in terms of procurement of inputs, availing common services and marketing of products.


The Minister also launched the GIS One District One Product (ODOP).

About GIS One District One Product (ODOP):

  • The GIS ODOP digital map of India provides details of ODOP products of all the states and facilitates the stakeholders.
  • The digital map also has indicators for tribal, SC, ST, and aspirational districts.
  • It will enable stakeholders to make concerted efforts for its value chain development.


  1. World Toilet Day

The issue in news

World Toilet Day is observed on 19th November annually.

About World Toilet Day:

  • World Toilet Day is a United Nations Observance that celebrates toilets and raises awareness of the 4.2 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation.
  • It is about taking action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.
  • The theme of World Toilet Day 2020: Sustainable sanitation and climate change.
  • The first official World Toilet Day was observed in 2013.

Importance of this Day:

  • 1 in 3 people on this planet still don’t have access to a clean and safe toilet; 1,000 children die each day due to poor sanitation; and better sanitation supports better nutrition and improved health, especially for women and children.
  • In India, the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jal Shakti leads the observance of the Day under ‘Swachh Bharat Mission – Grameen (SBMG)’ for promoting awareness on access to safe sanitation and felicitating districts/states for making a significant contribution towards Swachhata.


  1. Param Siddhi Supercomputer

The issue in news

India’s AI supercomputer Param Siddhi 63rd among top 500 most powerful non-distributed computer systems in the world.

About Param Siddhi:

  • Param Siddhi is a high-performance computing-artificial intelligence (HPC-AI) supercomputer established under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) at C-DAC.
  • The supercomputer with Rpeak of 5.267 Petaflops and 4.6 Petaflops Rmax (Sustained) was conceived by C-DAC and developed jointly with the support of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) under NSM.
  • Param Siddhi Supercomputer is built on the NVIDIA DGX Super POD reference architecture networking along with C-DAC’s indigenously developed HPC-AI engine, software frameworks and cloud platform and will help deep learning, visual computing, virtual reality, accelerated computing, as well as graphics virtualization.


  1. Global Prevention Coalition (GPC) for HIV Prevention

The issue in news

Union Health Minister addresses the Global Prevention Coalition (GPC) for HIV Prevention.

About the GPC:

  • In October 2017, the Global HIV Prevention Coalition (GPC) was established to strengthen and sustain political commitment for primary prevention by setting a common agenda among United Nations Member States, donors, civil society organizations and implementers.
  • With countries and communities at the centre, the GPC seeks to ensure accountability for delivering prevention services at scale in order to achieve the targets of the 2016 Political Declaration on Ending AIDS, including a 75% reduction in HIV infections towards fewer than 500 000 infections by 2020, and to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
  • The GPC is under the aegis of UNAIDS.


Significance of the Conference:

  • The conference this year holds significance in achieving the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)commitment to end Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) by 2030.
    • Member States of the GPChad agreed to reduce new adult HIV infections by 75% at the end of 2020 from 2010 levels

India at the Conference:

  • Acknowledged thatGlobal AIDS response has shown remarkable success in reducing new infections, improving access to prevention services for key population and treatment services for People Living with HIV (PLHIV), reducing AIDS related mortality, enabling reduction in mother to child transmission of HIV and creating an enabling environment.
    • GPChas shown to the world a model where multiple stakeholders can come together and work cohesively towards a common goal.
  • Observed that theglobal AIDS response in general has been a fountainhead of innovative service delivery models with rich civil society involvement and cross learning.



The issue in news

Karnataka Forest Minister announced in the Assembly that the state government would soon declassify 6.64 lakh hectares of the 9.94 lakh hectares of deemed forests in the state (nearly 67%) and hand it over to Revenue authorities.


Main points

  • While the concept of deemed forests has not been clearly defined in any law including the Forest Conservation Act of 1980, the Supreme Court in the case of T N Godavarman Thirumalpad (1996) accepted a wide definition of forests under the Act.
  • “The word ‘forest’ must be understood according to its dictionary meaning. This description covers all statutorily recognised forests, whether designated as reserved, protected or otherwise for the purpose of Section 2 (1) of the Forest Conservation Act,” the Supreme Court said in its December 12, 1996 order.
  • “The term ‘forest land’ occurring in Section 2 will not only include ‘forest’ as understood in the dictionary sense, but also any areas recorded as forest in the government record irrespective of the ownership.
  • The provisions enacted in the Forest Conservation Act 1980 for the conservation of forest and the matters connected therewith must apply clearly to all forest so understood irrespective of the ownership or classification thereof,” the court said.

Important Info :

  • The issue of deemed forests is a contentious one in Karnataka, with legislators across party lines often alleging that large amounts of agriculture and non-forest land are “unscientifically” classified as such


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *