Startup Academia Alliance programme: Startup India launched Startup Academia Alliance programme to fulfill Government’s mission to promote spirit of entrepreneurship in the country. The programme aims to reduce gap between scientific research and its industrial applications in order to increase efficacy of these technologies and widen their impact. It strives to create lasting connections between stakeholders of startup ecosystem by creating bridge between academia and industry and implement third pillar on which Startup India Action Plan is based – Industry Academia Partnerships and Incubation.
IMPRINT Scheme: Union Ministry of Hume Resource Development (MHRD) has approved 122 new research project proposals worth Rs 112 crore for funding under its IMPRINT-II (Impacting Research Innovation and Technology) scheme. IMPRINT is first of its kind MHRD supported scheme to address major science and engineering challenges and boost original scientific and technological research in 10 technology identified domains in the country. It was launched in November 2015 with an aim to develop new engineering education policy and create road map to pursue engineering challenges. These 10 domains are Health Care, Computer Science and ICT, Advance Materials, Water Resources and River systems, Sustainable Urban Design, Defence, Nano-technology Hardware, Environmental Science and Climate Change and Energy Security. Initially under IMPRINT-I, IITs and IISC, were asked to identify major areas where India is facing engineering and technology challenges. Now its scope also has been expanded private institutions along with IITs and IISc under IMPRINT-II and jointly funded and steered by MHRD and Department of Science and Technology (DST).
Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD): AIDB is regional inter-governmental organisation serving countries of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) in field of electronic media development. It was established in 1977 under auspices of UNESCO. It is hosted by Government of Malaysia and its secretariat is located in Kuala Lumpur. AIBD is mandated to achieve vibrant and cohesive electronic media environment in Asia-Pacific region through policy and resource development. Currently it has broadcasters from 26 full member countries, represented by 34 organisations and 67 Affiliate Members (organisations) and over 50 partners in Asia, Pacific, Europe, Africa, Arab States and North America. It was in news as India has been elected as President of Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY): Union Government has announced that it has reached target of providing 5 crore free LPG connections under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) almost eight months ahead of schedule (i.e. in 27 months instead of 35 months). Union Government launched PMUY in May, 2016 with tagline of Swachh Indhan, Behtar Jeevan. It aims at providing clean-cooking fuel to poor households, who are otherwise vulnerable to various health hazards associated with indoor air pollution and bringing in qualitative charges inliving standards. PMUY is implemented by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas through its Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), Beneficiaries are identified through Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) List-2011 and in such cases where names are not covered under SECC list, beneficiaries are identified from seven categories which includes SC/ST households, beneficiaries of Antyodaya Anna Yojana, PMAY (Gramin), Forest Dwellers, Most Backward Classes, Resident of Islands/River Islands and Tea Garden & Ex-tea Garden Tribes.
Designer of Indian National Flag: 141st birth anniversary of freedom fighter and designer (architect) of Indian National Flag Pingali Venkayya was observed on August 2, 2018. India’s National Flag (tricolor or ??????) is based on Swaraj flag of Indian National Congress designed by Pingali Venkayya. It was adopted during by Constituent Assembly on the 22 July 1947, a few days before India’s independence from the British. The national flag is horizontal rectangular tricolour of India saffron, white and India green, with Ashoka Chakra (24-spoke wheel) in navy blue at its centre. Usage of national flag is governed by Flag Code of India and other laws relating to the national emblems. The flag code also governs protocol of flying flag and its use in conjunction with other national and non-national flags.
Logo and Tagline for Geographical Indication: Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under Ministry of Commerce and Industry has unveiled tricolour logo for geographical indication (GI) certified products. The logo has tagline “Invaluable Treasures of Incredible India” printed below it. GI tag is name or sign used on certain products which correspond to specific geographical location or origin. It is used for agricultural, natural and manufactured goods having special quality and established reputation. The goods and products having tag are recognised for their origin, quality and reputation and gives it required edge in global market. It also ensures that none can use their name, giving them exclusivity. The registration of GI is valid for 10 years after which it needs to be renewed. Violation of GI tags is punishable offence under law. The purpose of GI tag enables stakeholders to authenticate their production while earning a premium and derive an improved livelihood. GI is covered as element of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property. At international level, GI is governed by WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). In India, GI tag Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection Act), 1999 governs it. This Act is administered by Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, who is also Registrar of Geographical Indications and is based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. So far, total of 320 products have been conferred GI status in India. Darjeeling Tea, Tirupathi Laddu, Kangra Paintings, Nagpur Orange and Kashmir Pashmina are among registered GIs in India. Karnataka tops with 38 GI products, followed by Maharashtra which has 32 GI products. Tamil Nadu comes third with 25 GI products.
Seva Bhoj Yojana: Union Ministry of Culture launched Seva Bhoj Yojna, a new scheme to provide financial assistance on purchase of specific food items by Charitable Religious Institutions (CRIs) for free distribution among people. Under this scheme, Centre’s share of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Interstate GST charged on raw food materials purchased by the religious institutions will be refunded. The scheme aims to reimburse Central Government share of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) to lessen financial burden of religious and charitable institutions providing food, prasad, langar (Community Kitchen), Bhandara free of cost without any discrimination to public and devotees.