The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.-Aristotle


ORANGE COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.


BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.


‘5G Hackathon’


Department of Telecommunications Announces ‘5G Hackathon’

      WHY IN NEWS:

Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has launched ‘5G Hackathon’.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Telecommunication:Cyber Security


For PRELIMS its important ! Do you remember Smart Hackathon ?  Well you have  to know the significance of such events and the outcome . Participants are least important.

For MAINS such initiatives will serve a wonderful example in answers related to cyber security.


In its endeavour toidentify and promote applications relevant to India in the 5G realm, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has launched ‘5G Hackathon’in association with a number of government, academia& industry stakeholders. 
Ministry? Ministry of Communications


Aimed at shortlisting India focussed cutting edge ideas that can be converted into workable 5G products and solutions.

The Hackathon will be spread across three phases beginning from February 21, 2020 and culminate in a grand felicitation ceremony at India Mobile Congress on October 16, 2020.


5G technology provides quantum leap over 4G in terms of speed, peak data rate, latency, spectrum efficiency and connection density.

Most distinct feature is applications in different economic verticals.

5G Hackathon will convert innovating ideas in to products and solutions in different verticals and develop India specific Use cases around 5G.

Winners of the various phases will share a total prize pool of INR 2.5 Crores,

They will also get unique opportunity to scale and implement their 5G applications to make them market ready with the support of DoT, MeitY and a number of leading industry, academia, Telcos/OEMs.


The 5G Hackathon is open to developers, students, start-ups, SMEs, academic institutions & registered companies in India & NRIs.

Stakeholders can participate as individuals or as a team to present use cases for the 5G network in the Indian context.


  • Healthcare, Education & Governance,
  • AgriTech & Livestock, Environment,
  • Public Safety & Disaster Management Enterprise,
  • Smart Cities & Infrastructure,
  • Cyber Security, Banking,
  • Finance & Insurance,
  • Logistics & Transportation,
  • Multimedia & Broadcast, among others.


A jury comprising of academicians, industry leaders and subject experts from around the country will be established to facilitate assessment and shortlisting of submissions.

  • In association with Niti Aayog, MEITY, Digital India, Startup India, MSME, C-DoT, DST, TCOE India, TEPC, TSDSI, COAI, India Mobile Congress, KPMG, Academic Institutions IITs/IIIT/REC, Industry etc.
    • Total prize money INR 2.5 crore spread across three phases

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Various phases of the Hackathon broadly include preliminary submission of ideas, selection of 100 best ideas, mentorship and support from the Hackathon partners, development of solutions/products, selection and testing of 30 best solutions/ products on 5G trial network followed by felicitation of the 3 best ideas during India Mobile Congress (IMC), 2020.

SUGGESTED READING : www.5ghackathon.in

Organic Food Festival


Financial Inclusion of Women producers through Business Linkages During Organic Food Festival

      WHY IN NEWS:

Over 180 Women Entrepreneurs and Self Help Groups (SHGS) from across the Country Participating in Fest

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1:3:Food : Food Festivals


For PRELIMS it is very important to know the organisers and the aim of the festival.

For MAINS key objectives behind this festival have to be understood.


Inaugurating the 3-day long festival in New Delhi today, the Union Minister highlighted the need for providing such platforms on regular basis for financial inclusion and empowerment of women.
Ministry? Ministry of Food Processing Industries

The Organic Food festival would provide an opportunity to women entrepreneurs for capacity building and economic empowerment, said Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal.


The Organic Food Festival for Women Entrepreneurs is as an outcome of the MoU (which aims at building capacities of women entrepreneurs) signed between the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) and Ministry of Women and Child Development (M/o WCD).


The festival is being organized by National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) as the Industry Partner, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi from 21st – 23rd February 2020.


Spread over an area of 6000 sqms of space, this is the first such event where 180+ women entrepreneurs and self-help groups are participating from over 25 States and Union Territories with very interesting products on display from across the country.

These are indigenous to the geography and are otherwise difficult to access.

Kiwi from Arunachal Pradesh, Black wheat, pesto Sauce from Ladakh, chia seeds cookies and apricot oil from Uttarakhand are all available with the exhibitors and the people can relish these healthy products.

This festival will strive to provide linkages to women producers to market and supply chains, thereby facilitating their financial inclusion.

The festival is open to public who can relish numerous varieties of the organic and healthy products of various states.

People will also gain knowledge about the organic products grown and produced in different regions of India.

Training and capacity building of women entrepreneurs and SHGs is another key focus area and trainings on Post harvest management, product innovation, packaging and certification processes are being organized over the 3 days.

The efforts are targeted towards helping producers understand importance of each step of the organic value chain and develop competence to cater to a broader consumer base.

With focus on innovation, a specially curated ‘Innovation Pavilion’ is set up to display innovative organic foods, packaging solutions and machinery.

Leading research institutes from the country IIFPT, NIFTEM CFTRI, CIFT, Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, C-DAC are exhibiting in the pavilion to generate interface with the solutions available and identify solutions that suit the requirement of the entrepreneurs and SHGs to help them diversify their product portfolio.

For facilitating business linkages and empowering women entrepreneurs through financial inclusion, over 200 B2B meetings are being facilitated by CII.

Other interesting elements of the show include interactive session with renowned Chefs on how organic ingredients can be incorporated in our daily diets.

The overall effort is targeted towards strengthening ‘Organic’ Branding for India by enhancing direct linkage of local producers with Buyers, enhancing processing potential of organic output and contribute to India’s vision of enhancing export competitiveness and Create a direct impact to women farmer incomes and in turn empowerment.

The demand for Indian organic food products is on constant increase worldwide with India exporting organic products worth $ 515 million in 2017-18(based on APEDA report).

Organic products mainly oil seeds, cereals & millets, sugar, fruit juice concentrates, tea, spices, pulses, dry fruits, medicinal plant products etc. are being exported to USA, European Union, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Israel, South Korea, Vietnam, New Zealand and Japan.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

There is also an opportunity to hear from successful women entrepreneur led companies that are not only helping farmers grow organic produce but also helping with certification and enabling the buy-back of their produce.

These successes and best practices will offer learnings to other entrepreneurs on possible expansion avenues.

Smt. Pushpa Subrahmanyam, Secretary, FPI said that Ministry of FPI will showcase achievements of women entrepreneurs through this festival. She said that Food and Beverage industry in India is fifth largest sector in manufacturing and that, India has the highest number of organic producers in the world.


“Aravallis Calling”


Saving Aravallis

      WHY IN NEWS:

To save Aravalli, concerned residents of Gurugram are hosting an event “Aravallis Calling” on March 1 to show their commitment to preserve the mountain range.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Biodiversity Conservation


For PRELIMS this is one such important movement which we will see for protection of forests and wildlife,

For MAINS this can be integrated with several answers related to conservation of biodiversity and largely a people’s movement.


To save Aravalli, concerned residents of Gurugram are hosting an event “Aravallis Calling” on March 1 to show their commitment to preserve the mountain range. They are demanding that illegal felling of trees and constructions in the Aravallis should stop immediately.

Starting from its south extant, the Aravallis begin their 692 km expanse from Champaner and Palanpur in Gujarat as small denuded hills. The peaks reach their maximum height in the south-western segment, with some rising more than 1,000 m (like the 1,722 m-high Guru Shikhar near Mount Abu and hills around Udaipur).


Main events are tree hugging inside the forest to symbolise Chipoko movement, Jashn-e-Aravalli, Hindi, English and Udu poetry.

The residents say that Aravallis is under grave threat.

A year back, Haryana government passed the Punjab Land Preservation Act Amendment Bill which will open 60,000 acres of Aravallis in South Haryana for real estate developers.

This will worsen air and dust pollution, lead to water scarcity and destroy wildlife and different species of birds will become extinct.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The landscape of the Aravallis, its geology, geography, forests, soils and water have defined history of the region and remains an integral part of the future of much of northwestern India.

By destroying the world’s oldest mountain range by mining its rocks, excavating its soils, cutting the trees that precariously hold a thin soil cover, or senselessly extracting the ancient water channels, we risk much more than we can even begin to fathom.


LNG Outlook 2020 report


Natural gas price may halve to 10-year low

      WHY IN NEWS:

GAIL, Indraprastha and Mahanagar Gas will benefit from global price decline



For PRELIMS though this report is not so important but we had to cover it as it describes the trends of LNG usage.


Thanks to the fall in global gas prices, India’s domestic natural gas prices are set to nearly halve to a 10-year low of $2 per million metric British thermal unit (mmBtu), a move that is expected to benefit city gas distributors (CGDs), fertilizer units and power firms.


Imports by India, Pakistan and Bangladesh rose 19% in 2019, pointing to emerging growth countries in Asia.
LNG OUTLOOK 2020 REPORT is released by – SHELL

India, Pakistan and Bangladesh imported 36 million tonnes in 2019, an increase of 19% over last year, pointing to emerging growth countries in Asia.


It finds that global demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) grew by 12.5% to 359 million tonnes in 2019, a significant increase that bolsters LNG’s growing role in the transition to a lower-carbon energy system.

Europe absorbed the majority of 2019 supply growth as competitively-priced LNG furthered coal-to-gas switching in the power sector and replaced declining domestic gas production and pipeline gas imports.

There was a modest rise in imports to Asia in 2019, compared to the previous two years, a result of mild weather and rising electricity generation from nuclear power in Japan and South Korea, two of the three largest global importers.

In the short-term, supply growth is expected to slow down as the last of the new LNG projects under construction will be completed by 2021, restoring equilibrium.

Longer-term demand is expected to double to 700 million tonnes by 2040 according to forecasts, spurring confidence in the role of gas in shaping a lower-carbon energy system.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Bad for E&P firms

Analysts believe that lower gas prices would be bad for exploration and production (E&P) firms, while users like Indraprastha Gas Limited, Mahanagar Gas Limited and GAIL would benefit.


 National Level Awareness Programme (NLAP)


Ministry of MSME conducting a National Level Awareness Programme (NLAP) 2020 across the Country (17-28 February, 2020)

      WHY IN NEWS:




For PRELIMS objective of this programme is enough with the relevant ministry should be kept in mind

For MAINS such initiatives can be inked down in answers related to entrepreneurship as a career.


The National Level Awareness Programme (NLAP) 2020 is from February 17, 2020 to February 28, 2020.
Ministry? Ministry of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises


The main objective of NLAP is to spread awareness about the schemes and activities undertaken by the Ministry and its attached organisations – Office of Development Commissioner (MSME), Khadi & Village Industries Commission, Coir Board, National Small Industries Corporation Limited, National Institute of MSME, MSME Technology Centres, and Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Rural Industrialization.


A total of 126 field offices of the Ministry and its organisations are conducting the awareness programmes across the country to disseminate information amongst students of colleges and educational institutes.

During the fortnight awareness drive will be conducted in more than 600 colleges covering almost 60,000 students from all parts of the country.

Through the awareness programme, an attempt is being made by the Ministry of MSME to encourage students/ youth to take up entrepreneurship as their career.

Interactive sessionsare being held with the students, taking up their queries, doubts about the schemes, and programmes as well as providing solutions to their enquiries.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Along with the interactive sessions, the students are also shown audio-video films and presentation on the activities of the Ministry and its organisations, as well as provided details of schemes implemented by the Ministry.


70th Berlin International Film Festival


India Networking Gala organized at 70th Berlin International Film Festival

      WHY IN NEWS:

On opening day of the Berlin International Film Festival, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) hosted India Networking Reception at Berlinale 2020.



For PRELIMS ministry as well as we have noted down the contributions of CII . Take a note

For MAINS its very important that such initiatives should be mentioned in key answers for answers related to media and communication,


The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is participating at the ‘70th Berlin International Film Festival’. The festival will be held from 20th February to 1st March 2020 in Berlin, Germany.
The film festival will also see an India Pavilion which will provide a platform to popularize Indian cinema in the overseas market and facilitate new business opportunities.
MINISTRY? Ministry of Information & Broadcasting

This year in Berlin, three Indian feature films as well as one short documentary film have been selected, namely Pushpendra Singh’s Laila Aur Satt Geet, Prateek Vats’ Eeb Allay Ooo!, Akhsay Indikar’s “Sthalpuran” and Ekta Mittal’s short documentary “Gumnaam Din”.


The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the development of India, partnering industry, Government, and civil society, through advisory and consultative processes.


CII is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organization, playing a proactive role in India’s development process.


Founded in 1895 and celebrating 125 years in 2020, India’s premier business association has more than 9100 members, from the private as well as public sectors, including SMEs and MNCs, and an indirect membership of over 300,000 enterprises from 291 national and regional sectoral industry bodies.


CII charts change by working closely with Government on policy issues, interfacing with thought leaders, and enhancing efficiency, competitiveness and business opportunities for industry through a range of specialized services and strategic global linkages. It also provides a platform for consensus-building and networking on key issues.

Extending its agenda beyond business, CII assists industry to identify and execute corporate citizenship programmes. Partnerships with civil society organizations carry forward corporate initiatives for integrated and inclusive development across diverse domains including affirmative action, healthcare, education, livelihood, diversity management, skill development, empowerment of women, and water, to name a few.

India is now set to become a US$ 5 trillion economy in the next five years and Indian industry will remain the principal growth engine for achieving this target.

With the theme for 2019-20 as ‘Competitiveness of India Inc – India@75: Forging Ahead‘, CII will focus on five priority areas which would enable the country to stay on a solid growth track. These are – employment generation, rural-urban connect, energy security, environmental sustainability and governance.

India seeks to promote its films across linguistic, cultural and regional diversity and establish multiple international collaborations in the space of distribution, production, filming in India, and script development technology through its participation at Berlinale 2020.

The Indian delegation, through various interactions, seeks to promote the ease of shooting films in India through Film Facilitation Office (FFO) that facilitates Single Window Clearance for filmmakers and provides the platform for ‘Cinematic Tourism’ in India.

The delegation will exhibit India as a post-production hub and promote collaborations for films with international production houses.

The Audio-Visual Services sector has been recognized as one of the Champion Services Sectors by the Government of India with an aim to promote India as a leading destination source for Media and Entertainment.

Government delegation to Berlinale will facilitate international participation for the 51st edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2020, Goa.

IFFI aims at providing a common platform to the cinemas across the world to project the excellence of the art of film making.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

India enjoys comparative advantage in several aspects of the filmmaking process.

It has a strong domestic film industry across the country and is home to world class technicians and equipment and diverse location choices to shoot any type of film.

With over 1,800 feature films produced in the country, more than 900 television channels, 500 million internet users, 500 million smart phone users, India’s vibrant media and entertainment (M&E) industry provides attractive growth opportunities for global corporations.


Online Chatbot ‘ASKDISHA’


Online Chatbot ‘ASKDISHA’ upgraded to converse with Railway customers in Hindi language

      WHY IN NEWS:

Artificial Intelligence based ASKDISHA chatbot is developed to resolve queries of railway passengers over the internet pertaining to various services offered by IRCTC



For PRELIMS you have to understand how a chatbot works and especially ASKDISHA !

For MAINS this is not an important issue.


In order to resolve queries of railway passengers over the internet pertaining to various services offered, Indian Railways had introduced the services of Artificial Intelligence based ASKDISHA chatbot in October 2018 for the benefit of the users of the ticketing website www.irctc.co.in and tourism website www.irctctourism.com of its PSU, Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC).
Ministry? Ministry of Railways


The ASKDISHA Chatbot was initially launched in English language but in order to further enhance the customer services rendered and to further strengthen the services of the chatbot,

IRCTC has now powered voice enabled ASKDISHA to converse with customers in Hindi language also in the e-ticketing site www.irctc.co.in.


The chatbot is a special computer programme designed to simulate conversation with users, especially over the internet.

A chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) software that can simulate a conversation (or a chat) with a user in natural language through messaging applications, websites, mobile apps or through the telephone.

The customers can now ask queries to ASKDISHA in Hindi language by voice as well as text.

On an average, around three thousand enquiries are being handled by ASKDISHA in Hindi language on daily basis and the figure is increasing day by day which also shows the acceptability of the new feature by the customer.

The first-of-its-kind initiative by IRCTC is aimed at facilitating accessibility by answering users’ queries pertaining to various services offered to railway passengers. 

Since its initial launch, more than 150 million passengers have been benefited by ASKDISHA with 10 billion interactions for seeking help on reservation of tickets, cancellation, enquiry of refund status, fare, PNR search, train running status, enquiry about retiring rooms and tourism products.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

IRCTC plans to launch ASKDISHA in more languages along with many other additional features in the near future.



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