Current Affairs 16th Dec 2017

1 . North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS)
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the introduction of new Central Sector Scheme of “North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme” (NESIDS) from 2017-18 with 100% funding from the Central Government


To fill up the gaps in creation of infrastructure in specified sectors till March, 2020.


The new scheme will broadly cover creation of infrastructure under following sectors:- (a) Physical infrastructure relating to water supply, power, connectivity and specially the projects promoting tourism; (b) Infrastructure of social sectors of education and health.


The assets to be created under the new scheme of NESIDS will not only strengthen health care and education facilities in the region but will also encourage tourism thereby the employment opportunities for local youth. The scheme will act as a catalyst in overall development of the region in the years to come.


2 . Cabinet approves continuation of NLCPR scheme for North East till March 2020 

The Union Cabinet  has approved the continuation of the existing Non Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) scheme with funding pattern of 90:10 till March, 2020 with an outlay of Rs.5300.00 crore. It would enable completion of ongoing projects.


The Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) created in 1997–98 (operationalized in 1998–99) is the accrual of the unspent balance of the mandatory 10% budgetary allocation of the Ministries/Departments.


The North East has essentially depended on Central funding for development works. All the States in the NER are Special Category States whose Development Plans are centrally financed on the basis of 90% Grant and 10% Loan. Further, the Special Category States are allowed to use up to 20% of the Central Assistance for Non-plan expenditure.

Despite the fact that the per-capita plan outlays of the NE States have, over a period of time, been considerably higher than the national average, the States still rank significantly below the national average in so far as the development of infrastructure is concerned. In terms of per-capita State Domestic Product or other development indices, such as Power, Length of Roads or Hospital Beds, the North-East ranks well below the national average. Though the literacy levels are higher than the national average, vocational training and entrepreneurial skills remain weak areas.

As the benefits of economic development have yet to steadily accrue to the Region, efforts have been initiated in this direction in the recent past through various supportive measures. In October 1996, the then Prime Minister announced “New Initiatives for North Eastern Region” and stipulated that at least 10% of the Budget(s) of the Central Ministries/Department will be earmarked for the development of North Eastern States.

A preliminary exercise undertaken by the Planning Commission in consultation with the various Ministries/Department revealed that the expenditure on the North East by some Union Ministries during 1997-98 fell short of the stipulated 10% of the GBS for that year. Planning Commission thereafter explored the possibility of creating a Central Pool of Resources for the North East out of the unspent amount of stipulated 10% of GBS to support infrastructure development projects in the North East.A proposal was mooted by the Planning Commission to the Cabinet for constitution of such a Central Pool of Resources and was approved in 1997-98.


The broad objective of the Non-lapsable Central Pool of Resources scheme is to ensure speedy development of infrastructure in the North Eastern Region by increasing the flow of budgetary financing for new infrastructure projects/schemes in the Region. Both physical and social infrastructure sectors such as Irrigation and Flood Control, Power, Roads and Bridges, Education, Health, Water Supply and Sanitation – are considered for providing support under the Central Pool, with projects in physical infrastructure sector receiving priority.


3 . World Conference on Vedas , Delhi
  • The  three-day ‘Vishwa Ved Sammelan’ has began in Delhi.
  • It will have in-depth discussions on de-mystifying various myths and fallacies surrounding the Vedas and Manu Smriti.
  • A special session on the World Parliament and endorsement of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, and Veda, the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and declaration on human rights will be other salient features of the conference.


4 . NITI Aayog celebrated ATL Community Day
  • Atal Innovation Mission under the aegis of NITI Aayog, celebrated the Community Drive Initiative as part of ATL Community Day on 15th Dec .
  • As a part of the unique initiative, 25 young mentors interacted with over 200 children not enrolled in the formal education system through brief sessions conducted at four locations in New Delhi.
  • The idea is to extend innovation to children in the community so they can become problem solvers.
  • Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, in collaboration with multiple partners has completed 1 year of Atal Tinkering Labs in India.
  • During the year, 900+ ATLs have been announced, covering 388 districts across India, 79 smart cities, with more than 40% of these labs in government-funded public schools.
  • AIM targets to have at least one Atal Tinkering Lab in every district and proposed Smart City of India.


Atal Innovation Mission(AIM) including Self-Employment and Talent Utilization is Government of India,s endeavour to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Its objective is to serve as a platform for promotion of world-class Innovation Hubs, Grand Challenges, Start-up businesses and other self-employment activities, particularly in technology driven areas.

The Atal Innovation Mission has the following functions:

1 . Entrepreneurship promotion through Self-Employment and Talent Utilization, wherein innovators would be supported and mentored to become successful entrepreneurs
2 . Innovation promotion: to provide a platform where innovative ideas are generated
3 . Atal Tinkering Labs
4 . Atal Incubation Centers
5 . Scale-up support to Established Incubators


5 .  National Workshop on Role of Sakhi 
  • The two Day National Workshop on Role of Sakhi One Stop Centres in Strengthening Multi Sectoral Response to Violence has began in New Delhi.
  • The workshop has been organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • Around 400 Sakhi- One Stop Centre Functionaries and nodal officials from State Department of Women and Child Development from 33 States/UTs across the country are participating in the two day workshop.


The Sakhi OSC scheme is being implemented by WCD Ministry since April 1, 2015. It aims to facilitate access to integrated range of services including medical aid, police assistance, legal aid and case management, psychosocial counselling and temporary support services to women affected by violence.


6 . PMGSY – 82% eligible habitations connected 
  •  Till now 1,30,974 habitations have been connected under PMGSY and another nearly 14,620 habitations have been connected through State Government Programmes, bringing the total habitations connected to 82%.
  • This has been possible by speeding up the pace of road construction and habitation connectivity , reaching 130 kms per day construction  in 2016-17.
  • Work is in progress in all but 1700 remaining habitations. The remaining 1700 habitations will also be approved by end December, 2017.
  • It is likely that  100% connectivity of eligible habitations will be done by March, 2019.


The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)  is a nationwide plan to provide good all-weather road connectivity to unconnected villages in our country.This Centrally Sponsored Scheme was introduced in 2000 . The aim was to provide roads to all villages-

1 . with a population of 1000 persons and above by 2003
2 . with a population of 500 persons and above by 2007
3 . in hill states, tribal and desert area villages with a population of 500 persons and above by 2003
4 . in hill states, tribal and desert area villages with a population of 250 persons and above by 2007


7 . International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography to be established in  Hyderabad
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the establishment of International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography, as a Category-2 Centre (C2C) of UNESCO, in Hyderabad.
  • The purpose of this Agreement is to establish a training centre towards development of capacity for the countries on the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR), African countries bordering the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, small island countries under the framework of UNESCO.
  • The operational oceanography is an activity of conducting systematic oceanographic studies towards providing information services to various sectors viz. fisherman, disaster management, shipping, ports, coastal states, navy, coast guard, environment, offshore industries for conducting their day-to- day operations.


8 . Cabinet approves continuation of National Ayush Mission (NAM) till 2020 
  • The Union Cabinet  has approved the continuation of Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Ayush Mission (NAM) from 01.04.2017 to 31.03.2020 with an outlay of Rs. 2400 crore over the 3 year period.


  • The Mission was launched in September, 2014.

    Features  of the mission

    The NAM is being implemented by Ministry of AYUSH with the objectives of providing cost effective AYUSH Services, with a universal access which involve, among other things –

    • upgradation of AYUSH Hospitals and Dispensaries,

    • co-location of AYUSH facilities at Primary Health Centers (PHCs),Community Health Centers (CHCs) and District Hospitals (DHs),

    • strengthening institutional capacity at the State level through upgrading AYUSH educational institutions, State Govt, ASU&H Pharmacies,

    • Drug Testing Laboratories and ASU & H enforcement mechanism,

    • supporting cultivation of medicinal plants by adopting Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) to provide sustained supply of quality raw-materials and development of infrastructure for medicinal plants storage and marketing.

    The NAM is addressing the gaps in health services through supporting the efforts of State/UT Governments for providing AYUSH health services/education in the country, particularly in vulnerable and far-flung areas. Under NAM special focus is given for specific needs of such areas and for allocation of higher resources in their Annual Plans.