1. IT Ministry working to comply with CIC orders on Aarogya Setu

The issue in news

 The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) issued a clarification regarding orders passed by the Central Information Commission on an RTI query with regard to the Aarogya Setu App.

  • It also said that the app had been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) in collaboration with volunteers from industry and academia.

Main points

  • The clarification came following a show-cause notice issued over the government’s response to an RTI (Right to Information) query related to the Aarogya Setu application which was termed absurd.
  • The Ministry and NIC were slammed by the CIC over their reply to an RTI stating that they do not have any information about the creation of the Aarogya Setu application.


Aarogya Setu:

  • Aarogya Setu is a COVID-19 tracking app. It uses GPS and Bluetooth features of smartphones to track the infection.
  • It helps in determining whether the person has been in close contact with any other infected person or not.


Objectives of Aarogya Setu

The Aarogy Setu is developed keeping in mind the following objectives:

  1. To spread awareness of the novel Coronavirus outbreak among Indian citizens.
  2. To augment the Government of India’s initiatives, particularly the Department of Health, in proactively reaching out to the users and informing them about the risks, best practices and relevant advisories relating to the containment of COVID-19.
  3. To establish a connection between the government and the people of India for health services, facilities and updates from the health ministry nationally and state-wise.


  1. Ekta Diwas

The issue in news

31st October is observed as Ekta Diwas or National Unity Day in memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, whose birth anniversary falls on this date.

Main points

  • To commemorate the 145th birth anniversary of Sardar Patel on 31 October 2020 as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas, the Prime Minister will visit Kevadia in Gujarat to pay homage to the great leader at the Statue of Unity.
  • The Prime Minister will participate in the Ekta Diwas Parade and administer the Rashtriya Ekta Pledge.


Sardar Patel

  • He was a political and freedom leader in India’s freedom struggle. 
  • He was born on October 31, 1875 in Gujarat. The village is known as ‘Nadiad’
  • he is known as Iron Man of India Because of his strong opinions for the unification of princely states into one nation, his positive outlook towards women empowerment and his active role to build India what it is today, he is called the Iron Man of India
  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel die on 15th December 1950, Sardar Patel died because of heart attack
  • Mahatma Gandhi gave the title of ‘Sardar’ to Vallabhbhai Patel
  • However, following Bardoli Satyagraha, he was called Sardar by the women of the village because of his active participation and his role
  • He is also called:
  • ‘Bismarck of India’ following his role in unifying the fragments of princely states into a one unit
  • Founder of Modern All India Services

Sardar Patel put all his efforts to unify the fragments of princely states into Indian union

His association with INC is as follows:

  • He was the secretary of the Gujarat Sabha (Gujarat Wing of INC)
  • He was the President of INC session held at Karachi
  • In the INC’s Karachi Session (1931), Patel was elected as the President He was the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Independent India


  • Mahatma Gandhi had an enormous impact on Sardar Patel
  • Statue of Unity is a one-of-its-kind, tallest statue of the world, of Sardar Patel, on a river island called the Sadhu Bet on the Narmada river in Gujarat’s Kevadiya town, unveiled in 2018.


  1. India – UAE

The issue in news

India – UAE agree to further defence cooperation through joint production and mutual trade.

Main points

  • In order to boost defence exports a webinar between India and the UAE was held on the theme of “Indian Defence Industry Global Outreach for Collaborative Partnership: Webinar and Expo India – UAE Defence Cooperation”.
  • It was organised under the aegis of the Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence, through the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM).
  • This webinar was part of the series of webinars which are being organized with friendly foreign countries in order to boost defence exports and to achieve the defence export target of $5 billion in the next five years.


  1. Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2020

The issue in news

The Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2020, which came into effect on 19 October 2020, have further streamlined.

Details of the amendments:

  • The amendments relate to the requirements related to the filing of Form 27 and the submission of verified English translation of priority documents, which is not in the English language.
  • Now, the patentee would get the flexibility to file a single Form-27 in respect of a single or multiple related patents. This will ease the compliance burden and boost innovation.
  • Authorized agents would be able to submit Form-27 on behalf of the patentee. This will lead to greater ‘Ease of Doing Business’ for innovators.
  • For filing Form-27, patentees would get 6 months, instead of the current 3 months.
  • If the priority document is available in WIPO’s digital library, the applicant would not be required to submit the same in the Indian Patent Office.
  • Where a patent is granted to two or more persons, such persons may file a joint Form-27.
  • The patentee would be required to provide ‘approximate revenue/value accrued’.
  • The patentee will not be required to file Form-27 in respect of a part or fraction of the financial year.


  1. UK-India Economic and Financial Dialogue

The issue in news

Finance Minister leads the Indian delegation in the 10th Round of Ministerial UK – India Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD).

Main points

  • The Dialogue, inter alia, covered sharing of experiences on coronavirus response, to enable both countries to be enriched through experiences of the other.
  • Other issues discussed include collaboration in the G20 on finance track matters, international tax agenda (including the development of inclusive consensus-based solution on the taxation of the digital economy), furthering of Financial Services Collaboration with special emphasis on Fin-Tech and GIFT City, the establishment of an annual India-UK Financial Market Dialogue, infrastructure development, sustainable finance with a focus on green finance.
  • It was also decided to establish bilateral India – UK Sustainable Finance Forum.
  • India – UK economic ties are important as together they are two of the world’s top seven economies with a combined GDP of over $5 trillion.
  • India – UK trade has more than doubled since the first EFD in 2007, with bilateral investment supporting over half a million jobs across both countries.


National Program and Project Management Policy Framework (NPMPF)

The issue in news

NITI Aayog and Quality Council of India (QCI) launched the ‘National Program and Project Management Policy Framework’ (NPMPF), envisaged to bring radical reforms in the way infrastructure projects are executed in India.

Main points

  • This framework aims to formulate radical reforms in the way large and mega infrastructure projects are managed in India, with an action plan to:
  • Adopt a program and project management approach to infra development.
  • Institutionalize and promote the profession of program and project management and build a workforce of such professionals.
  • Enhance institutional capacity and capability of professionals.
  • Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways also unveiled the Indian Infrastructure Body of Knowledge (InBoK).
  • InBok is a book on the practice of program and project management in India.
  • In the future, InBoK is envisioned to have extensions, which will be specific to each domain or industry for infrastructure, for example, a dedicated extension for roadways that captures issues and best practices specific to that sector.



  1. Electricity Access in India and Benchmarking Distribution Utilities Report

The issue in news

NITI Aayog, Ministry of Power, Rockefeller Foundation, and Smart Power India launched the ‘Electricity Access in India and Benchmarking Distribution Utilities’ report.

Main points

  • The report assesses 25 distribution utilities and is based on a primary survey conducted across 10 states.
  • The survey represents about 65% of the total rural population of India and with a sample size of more than 25,000, including households, commercial enterprises and institutions.
  • Aimed at capturing insights from both the demand (electricity customers) as well as supply-side (electricity distribution utilities), the report seeks to:
  • Evaluate the status of electricity access in India across these states and distribution utilities along all dimensions that constitute meaningful access
  • Benchmark utilities’ capacity to provide electricity access and identify the drivers of sustainable access
  • Develop recommendations for enhancing sustainable electricity access

Key findings:

  • 92% of customers reported the overall availability of electricity infrastructure within 50 metres of their premises; however, not all have connections, the primary reason being the distance of households from the nearest pole.
  • Overall, 87% of the surveyed customers have access to grid-based electricity. The remaining 13% either use non-grid sources or don’t use any electricity at all.
  • The hours of supply have improved significantly across the customer categories to nearly 17 hours per day.
  • Nearly 85% of customers reported to have a metered electricity connection.
  • Access to electricity is observed in 83% of household customers.
  • A satisfaction index was created to assess the overall satisfaction level of customers with utility services. The study suggested that a total of 66% of those surveyed were satisfied – 74% of customers in urban areas and 60% in rural areas.



  1. Dr Tulsi Das Chugh Award – 2020

The issue in news

CSIR-CDRI Scientist, Dr Satish Mishra bags “Dr Tulsi Das Chugh Award – 2020” given by the National Academy of Medical Sciences (India).

Main points

  • Dr Mishra was selected for his research work on the Malaria parasite’s life cycle which is a complex process involving two hosts and three invasive stages.


National Academy of Medical Sciences (India):

  • The Academy functions under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI.
  • Founded in 1961 as the Indian Academy of Medical Sciences. It was renamed in 1976.
  • The Academy encourages and sponsors nation-wide CME (continuing medical education) programmes, symposia, workshops, etc.
  • Over the years the Academy has recognized the outstanding achievements made by Indian scientists in the field of medicine and allied sciences and conferred Fellowship as well as Membership to selected persons through a peer-reviewed process and finally voting by all the Fellows.


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