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[Newsbits] 20.01.2024: Punganur Cows, eSakshi, Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival (PPHF) & more

newsbits mindmap notes

/ Environment & Ecology
India's Guidelines for Advertisements Making Environmental/Green Claims mind map
Recent News:
Announced: 2024
Effective Date: 15 February 2024
Indian Context: Yes
When:
Public Consultation: Since 16 November 2023
Approval: Recent Board Meeting
Why:
Consumer Demand: For green products
Prevent Greenwashing: Misleading environmental claims
What
Absolute Claims:
Need: Substantiation with robust data
No Dilution: Using disclaimers or clarificatory mechanisms
Comparative Claims:
Evidence: Required for environmental benefits
Clear Basis: Of comparison
Full Life Cycle:
Basis: For general environmental claims
Limits: Must be clear
Product Specificity:
Specify: Whether claim refers to product, packaging, service, or part
Misleading Absence:
Avoid: Misleading by highlighting absence of common ingredients
Free-of Claims:
Disclaimer: If necessary, to indicate purpose
Certifications:
Clarity: On what attributes evaluated
Accreditation: By recognized authority
Visual Elements:
Avoid: False impressions of environmental benefits
Aspirational Claims:
Requirement: Clear, actionable plans
Carbon Offset Claims:
Disclosure: If offset not within two years
Compostable/Biodegradable Claims:
Substantiation: With scientific evidence
Who:
ASCI: Advertising Standards Council of India
Role: Issued guidelines
Manisha Kapoor:
Position: CEO and Secretary-General of ASCI
Statement: Importance of correct information for consumers
How:
Enforcement: By ASCI
Consumer Awareness: Ensuring informed choices
Significance
Transparency: In green claims
Accountability: For advertisers
Consumer Protection: From misleading claims
Challenges
Implementation: Ensuring adherence
Verification: Robustness of claims
Way Forward:
Continued Oversight: By ASCI
Public Awareness: About guidelines

India’s Guidelines for Advertisements Making Environmental/Green Claims, introduced by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), aim to ensure transparency and prevent misleading environmental claims in advertising, commonly known as greenwashing. These guidelines, effective from February 15, 2024, require advertisers to make reliable, verifiable, and transparent claims about the environmental impact of their products or services. The guidelines cover various aspects such as absolute and comparative claims, full life cycle of products, specificity of claims, certifications, and visual elements in advertisements. They represent a significant step towards promoting honesty and accountability in environmental claims in the Indian advertising sector.

RBI's State of the Economy Report mind map
Recent News
January 2024
When
Released in January 2024
Why
Assess economic status
What
Financial risks
Climate-related risks
Vulnerability of banks
Increase in credit loss potential
Agricultural market development
Reducing traders' mark-ups
Supply management improvement
Food price stabilization
Methodology
Pilot climate vulnerability assessment
Stress test
Who
Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
Central bank of India
Conducts economic assessments
Amit Sinha and Shivang Bhanvadia
Authors of climate-related financial risks article
How
Empirical analysis
Agricultural markets
Scenario analysis
Climate stress testing
Significance
Identifies financial risks
Promotes informed policymaking
Challenges
Complexities in modelling climate hazards
Lack of requisite data
Way Forward
Refining stress testing
Periodic updates
For better risk management
Enhancing policy decisions

The RBI’s State of the Economy Report for January 2024 offers a comprehensive analysis of India’s economic status. It primarily focuses on understanding the financial risks, particularly those related to climate change, and the need for developing agricultural markets. The report highlights the vulnerability of banks to climate-related financial risks and emphasizes the significance of improving agricultural market infrastructure to manage supply and stabilize food prices. It underscores the challenges in modeling climate hazards and the lack of data, while suggesting the way forward through refining stress testing and updating policies periodically for better risk management.

/ MSMEs
Trade Connect ePlatform mind map
Recent News: 
Announcement:
Date: January 2024
By: Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal
Operational In:
Timeline: Next 3 to 4 months
When:
Expected Launch: Within 3-4 months
Why:
Information Gap: For MSME traders
Export Opportunities: Providing details
What
Digital Initiative: To boost MSMEs, startups in export sector
Intermediary Platform: Connecting exporters, entrepreneurs
Stakeholders: With international trade
Review of Export Performance: For USD 2 trillion target by 2030
Foreign Trade Policy 2023: Discussing priorities
Where:
India: Focused on Indian exporters
Who:
Piyush Goyal: Union Commerce Minister
Board of Trade: Advises government on trade policy
MSMEs: Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises
Startups: Involved in exports
How:
Bridging Gaps: In export information for MSMEs
Collaboration: Between states, central government, industry
Practical Measures: Suggested by EEPC Chairman
Significance:
Export Promotion: Facilitating export activities
Economic Boost: Through internationalizing goods, services
Positive Trade Trends: Rise in exports, narrowing goods deficit
Challenges:
Implementation: Ensuring effective rollout
Stakeholder Engagement: Effective participation of all parties
Way Forward:
Sustained Export Growth: Strategies for long-term success
Quality Enhancement: Of products, services for export

The “Trade Connect ePlatform” is an upcoming digital initiative announced in January 2024 by Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal. It aims to boost the involvement of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as well as startups in the export sector. The platform, expected to be operational in the next three to four months, will act as an intermediary connecting Indian exporters and entrepreneurs with various stakeholders in international trade. The primary goal is to bridge the information gap for MSME traders, providing them with crucial details and opportunities for export activities. This initiative is part of a broader effort to review export performance, with the ambitious target of achieving USD 2 trillion in exports by 2030. The platform is set to play a significant role in promoting exports, enhancing product quality, and boosting the economy through increased involvement of small and medium traders in the global market.

/ International Issues
2024 Global Firepower Rankings mind map
Recent News
January 2024
India ranked above Britain
When
2024
Why
Evaluate military strength
Rank countries
What
Based on PowerIndex
Consider 60 factors
Troop numbers, equipment
Financial stability
Geographic location
Available resources
Where
Global ranking
Who
United States
Most powerful
Russia
Second place
China
Third place
India
Fourth place
How
Evaluate factors
Determine PwrIndx score
Significance
Comprehensive analysis
Global military comparison

The 2024 Global Firepower Rankings evaluate the military strength of various countries, ranking them based on factors like troop numbers, military equipment, financial stability, geographic location, and available resources. In this year’s ranking, the United States tops the list, followed by Russia, China, and India, showcasing their global military dominance. The rankings are based on a comprehensive analysis of over 60 factors, condensed into a PowerIndex score, providing a global comparison of military capabilities and strength.

/ Taxation
Draft Indian Stamp Bill 2023 mind map
Recent News
January 2024
Department of Revenue
Invites public suggestions
30 days period
When
Proposed in 2023
Why
Align with modern regime
Replace Indian Stamp Act 1899
What
Repeal Indian Stamp Act 1899
New legislation
Reflect current realities
Tax on stamps
Instruments recording transactions
Where
India
Who
Central Government
Imposes stamp duties
States
Collect and appropriate duties
How
Public suggestions
Website upload
Prescribed proforma
Significance
Modernize stamp duty system

The Draft Indian Stamp Bill, 2023, proposed by India’s Ministry of Finance, aims to modernize the stamp duty regime by replacing the outdated Indian Stamp Act of 1899. This move seeks to align the tax system with current realities, specifically regarding taxes levied on stamps for instruments recording transactions. The Central Government, responsible for imposing stamp duties, has invited public suggestions to refine the bill, reflecting a collaborative approach to legislative reform. The bill signifies an essential step in updating India’s fiscal statutes to better suit contemporary needs.

/ Species
Double Cicada Explosion mind map
Recent News
January 2024
First time in 221 years
When
Mid-May to late June 2024
Why
Natural cycle
Periodical emergence
What
Brood XIII
Brood XIX
Where
Oklahoma
Southeastern United States
Including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia
Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana
Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina
South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia
Who
Cicadas
Periodical insects
Known for distinctive sounds
How
Emerge from underground
13-year or 17-year cycle
Significance
Ecological importance
Unique natural phenomenon

The “Double Cicada Explosion” refers to a rare natural event occurring in 2024, where two cicada broods, XIII and XIX, are set to simultaneously emerge for the first time in 221 years. This phenomenon is happening in Oklahoma and other parts of the Southeastern United States. These periodical cicadas, known for their distinctive sounds, follow a 13-year or 17-year cycle, emerging from underground. The event is significant ecologically, representing a unique aspect of the natural world.

/ Education
2023 ASER Survey mind map
Recent News
India Today report
Focus on rural India
Published January 2024
When
Conducted in 2023
Why
Understand
Enrollment status
Learning levels
Digital skills
Target group
14-18 years old
What
Focus Areas
Reading
Mathematics
Digital skills
Everyday applications
National Youth Policy 2021
Ten-year vision
Youth development
Where
Rural India
Who
Conducted by
Pratham Education Foundation
Target Audience
Youth aged 14-18
How
Household survey
Nationwide
Alternate years
Significance
Government policy formulation
Improving education
Challenges
Low foundational skills
Numeracy gap
Reading ability
Way Forward
NEP 2020 initiatives
'Catch up' programs
Enhance literacy
Enhance numeracy

The 2023 ASER (Annual Status of Education Report) survey, conducted by the Pratham Education Foundation, is a comprehensive study focusing on the educational status and learning levels of children in rural India, particularly targeting the youth aged 14-18. The survey’s primary objectives include assessing students’ enrollment status, their proficiency in reading and mathematics, and their digital skills. Key findings include a notable gap in foundational literacy and numeracy skills among rural youth, with a significant percentage struggling with basic English and math. The report serves as a crucial tool for government policy formulation and highlights the need for targeted educational initiatives to bridge the skill gap.

ESakshi mind map
Recent News
Launched in January 2024
When
January 2024
Why
Improve transparency
Streamline MPLADS implementation
What
MPLADS e-Sakshi App
Developed by MoSPI
Monitors MPLADS fund flow
MPLAD Scheme
Launched in 1993
Annual entitlement
5 crore rupees per MP
Fund utilisation
Developmental projects
Disaster-affected areas
Where
India
Who
MoSPI
Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation
MPs
Members of Parliament
How
Digital platform
Real-time tracking
Geo-tagging and photos
Transparency and accountability
Communication and feedback
Significance
Improved efficiency
Enhanced transparency
Reduced corruption
Better decision-making
Empowered beneficiaries
Challenges
Digital gap in rural areas
Data accuracy
Capacity building
Offline functionality
Way Forward
Bridging digital divide
Ensuring data accuracy
Training for MPs and officials
Enabling offline access

eSakshi is a newly launched mobile application in January 2024, developed by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) in India. It’s designed to revolutionize the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) by increasing transparency and efficiency in the management of development projects. The app allows MPs to propose, track, and oversee projects in their constituencies, facilitating better decision-making and reducing the risk of fund misuse. While it marks a significant step towards modernizing the MPLADS implementation, it faces challenges like bridging the digital divide in rural areas and ensuring data accuracy.

Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) mind map
Recent News
MPLADS e-SAKSHI Mobile App
Launched by Rao Inderjit Singh
For revised fund flow
At Khurshid Lal Bhawan
New Delhi
Attendees
Chief Statistician of India
Senior Ministry Officials
SBI and TCS officials
Objective
Enable MPs for developmental works
Focus on durable community assets
Revised guidelines
Benefits of e-SAKSHI
Convenience for MPs
Real-time access
Transparency
Budget management
When
Launched in 1993
Restoration in 2021
Continued till 2025-26
Why
Decentralized development
Creation of durable community assets
Addressing local needs
What
Annual fund entitlement
Rs. 5 crore per MP
Released in two instalments
Utilization
Developmental works
15% for SC areas
7.5% for ST areas
New Guidelines
Revised in 2023
Emphasis on monitoring and transparency
Where
Across India
Lok Sabha MPs in constituencies
Rajya Sabha MPs in elected states
Nominated members in any district
Who
Members of Parliament
Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation
District Collectors for implementation
How
MPs recommend projects
District authorities execute
Works include
Infrastructure
Public health
Education
Sanitation
Significance
Addresses local needs
Creates durable assets
Boosts decentralized development
Challenges
Participation issues
Political mileage
Insufficient monitoring
Flouting of rules
Corruption concerns
Way Forward
CAG recommendations
Validation of works
Reliable data management
Strong monitoring mechanism
Regular audits
Social audits

The Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) is an initiative in India, launched in 1993, aimed at decentralized development through the creation of durable community assets based on locally felt needs. Recently, a new MPLADS e-SAKSHI Mobile Application was launched to enhance the scheme’s fund flow procedure, ensuring transparency, accessibility, and efficient management of projects by MPs. The scheme, overseen by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, allows MPs to recommend developmental works in their constituencies or states. It has faced challenges like insufficient participation, political influence, and monitoring issues, prompting calls for adherence to Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) recommendations for improved implementation.

/ Animal Husbandry
Punganur Cows mind map
Recent News:
PM Modi:
Fed Cows:
On Makar Sankranti
At residence
In New Delhi
When:
Makar Sankranti
January 2024
Why:
Cultural Tradition
Highlighting breed
What
Indigenous Breed:
From Punganur
Chittoor District
Andhra Pradesh
Features:
World's shortest humped cattle
Height 70-90 cm
Weight under 200 kg
Coat Color:
White, Grey, Brown
Red, or Patches
Harsh Climate Adaptability
High-Fat Milk:
A2 type
1-3 liters per day
8% milk fat
Population Distribution:
Andhra Pradesh
Telangana
Karnataka
Kerala
Maharashtra
Tamil Nadu
Conservation Efforts:
Mission Punganur
IVF Technology
Centre's Funding
Where:
India:
Andhra Pradesh
Other states
Who:
PM Narendra Modi
Punganur Cows:
Indigenous breed
Cultural significance
How:
Conservation Efforts:
Using IVF
Government Support
Significance:
Economic Importance
Indigenous Value
Temple Ceremonies
High-Fat Milk
Resilience and Adaptability
Challenges:
Threat of Extinction
Shift to Hybrid Cattle
Way Forward:
Enhance Reproduction
Government Initiatives
PMO Involvement

Punganur cows, native to the Punganur area in Andhra Pradesh, India, are known for being the world’s shortest humped cattle breed. Recently, they were highlighted when the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, fed them on Makar Sankranti at his residence in New Delhi. This act not only followed cultural traditions but also brought attention to the unique qualities of this indigenous breed. These cows are adapted to harsh climates, and their milk, which is high in fat, is particularly valued. While facing threats of extinction due to the preference for hybrid cattle, conservation efforts like “Mission Punganur” using IVF technology have been initiated. The breed’s economic importance, cultural significance, and contribution to local temple ceremonies are notable. Government support and initiatives aim to enhance their population and safeguard their future.

/ Festivals & Fairs
Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival (PPHF) mind map
Recent News:
9th edition
Seijosa, Pakke Kessang district
January 18-20, 2024
Theme: Domutoh Domutoh, Paga hum Domutoh
Emphasis: Wildlife conservation
When:
Inaugural Year: 2015
2024 Date: January 18-20
Why:
Wildlife conservation
Hornbill preservation
What
Recognize Nyishi tribe's role
Alternative income sources
National awareness for PTR
Promote cultural heritage
Where:
Seijosa, Pakke Kessang district
Arunachal Pradesh, India
Who:
Nyishi tribe
Largest tribal group in Arunachal Pradesh
Former hunters, now conservationists
Organizers:
Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival Committee
Pakke Kessang Deputy Commissioner
PPHF Secretary
How:
Bird-watching
Cultural programs
Literary competitions
MTB cycling
Short film screenings
Significance:
Conservation of hornbills
Tribal and cultural recognition
Sustainable income alternatives
Challenges
Decline in hornbill numbers
Need for broader societal involvement in conservation
Way Forward:
Combine indigenous, scientific methods in conservation
Youth, local leaders' involvement
Extend festival model to other regions

The Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival (PPHF) is an annual event held in Seijosa, Pakke Kessang district, Arunachal Pradesh, India. It focuses on wildlife conservation, especially the preservation of hornbills. The 9th edition of PPHF in 2024 emphasized the theme “Domutoh Domutoh, Paga hum Domutoh” (Let Our Hornbills Remain), reflecting the festival’s dedication to conserving these majestic birds. The event showcases the critical role of the Nyishi tribe, who have transformed from hornbill hunters to conservationists. The festival involves various activities like bird-watching, cultural programs, and workshops, aiming to foster environmental awareness and support sustainable livelihoods while celebrating tribal and cultural heritage. The festival’s significance lies in its contribution to wildlife conservation and the promotion of the Nyishi tribe’s cultural heritage. However, it also faces challenges such as the declining hornbill population and the need for broader societal engagement in conservation efforts. The festival is seen as a way forward in combining indigenous and scientific methods in conservation practices and involving youth and local leaders in biodiversity conservation.

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