Arth Volume 26

(1st AUGUST-31st AUGUST)

1. NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission unveils National Winners of the ATL Tinkering Marathon 2019

·  Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog declared the results of its flagship national annual innovation Marathon challenge ATL Tinkering Marathon 2019 held over 5000+ Atal Tinkering Labs across the country and announced 150 winners of the Marathon. 

· This year, the challenge was executed by AIM in partnership with MyGOV on MyGov’s Innovate Platform.

·  With the central theme as “Research, Ideate, Innovate, Implement – Mindful Innovation for the greater good”.

· This year’s marathon was uniquely designed by the students themselves. Phase-I of the challenge included crowdsourcing of the problems faced by students in the communities surrounding them. 

· The Marathon, this year had a strong focus on Research preceding the Innovations.  

·  The winning teams will be awarded a mix of opportunities to hone their prototypes in collaboration with AIM’s partners. These include a Student Innovator Program with Atal Incubation Centers, Student Internship Programs with IBM, Digital Internship Program with Adobe.

2. Unlocking Online Dispute Resolution to Enhance the Ease of Doing Business

·  Exploring the massive potential of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) to enhance the Ease of Doing Business in India, NITI Aayog in association with Agami and Omidyar Network India held a conversation—co-hosted by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)—with heads of legal firms and industry representatives.

· ODR is the resolution of disputes, particularly small- and medium-value cases, using digital technology and techniques of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR), such as negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.

3. Atal Innovation Mission and Dell Technologies Launch Student Entrepreneurship Programme 2.0

· Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, in collaboration with Dell Technologies launched Student Entrepreneurship Programme 2.0 (SEP 2.0) for young innovators of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs).

· SEP 2.0 will allow student innovators to work closely with Dell volunteers. They will receive mentor support; prototyping and testing support; end-user feedback; intellectual property registration and patenting of ideas, processes, and products; manufacturing support; as well as the launch support of the product in the market.

·  SEP 1.0 began in January 2019.

4. NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission, NASSCOM launch Artificial Intelligence Step-up modules to school students nationwide

  • Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog in collaboration with NASSCOM launched the ‘ATL AI Step Up Module’ for students in order to drive AI education and innovation to the next level in schools across the country
  • The AI Step-up Module provides a comprehensive set of learn it yourself Advanced modules to those who wish to expand their knowledge base after becoming familiar with the basics of the AI discipline through the AI base module. 
  • The Base module was specifically devised considering students as young as 12 years of age, with absolutely no prior background of AI to ignite curiosity on AI in their young minds and to contribute to the ecosystem of innovation

5. Atal Innovation Mission partners with India-Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre to expand Start-up ecosystem

·  Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog and Business Sweden on behalf of India Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre are collaborating to promote the disruptive potential of Indian entrepreneurs, and, boost the vibrant start-up ecosystem across the country.

·  Under AIM, various programmes or initiatives are being run such as Atal New India Challenge (ANIC), Atal Incubation Centre (AIC), Atal Community Innovation Centers (ACIC), Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL) and Atal Research & Innovation for Small Enterprises (ARISE).

·  India-Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre is a collaboration between AIIMS Delhi, AIIMS Jodhpur and Business Sweden.

·   It also has a strong network of ecosystem partners – Invest India, AGNII, Startup India, and knowledge partners – AstraZeneca, NASSCOM and VINNOVA.

6. NITI Aayog releases report on Export Preparedness Index (EPI) 2020

  • NITI Aayog in partnership with the Institute of Competitiveness released the Export Preparedness Index (EPI) 2020.
  • The first report to examine export preparedness and performance of Indian states.
  • EPI intends to identify challenges and opportunities, enhance the effectiveness of government policiesand encourage a facilitative regulatory framework.
  • The structure of the EPI includes 4 pillars
  1. Policy- A comprehensive trade policy provides a strategic direction for exports and imports.
  2. Business Ecosystem- An efficient business ecosystem can help states attract investments and create an enabling infrastructure for individuals to initiate start-ups. 
  3. Export Ecosystem- This pillar aims to assess the business environment, which is specific to exports.
  4. Export Performance – This is the only output-based pillar and examines the reach of export footprints of States and Union Territories.

11 sub-pillars

  • Export Promotion Policy
  • Institutional Framework
  • Business Environment
  • Infrastructure
  • Transport Connectivity
  • Access to Finance
  • Export Infrastructure
  • Trade Support
  • R&D Infrastructure
  • Export Diversification
  • Growth Orientation.
  • EPI has shown is that most Indian states performed well on average across the sub-pillars of Exports Diversification, Transport Connectivity, and Infrastructure.
  • The average score of Indian states in these three sub-pillars was above 50%.
  • Overall, most of the Coastal States are the best performers. Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu occupy the top three ranks, respectively.
  • Six of eight coastal states feature in the top ten rankings, indicating the presence of strong enabling and facilitating factors to promote exports.
  • In the landlocked states, Rajasthan has performed the best, followed by Telangana and Haryana.
  • Among the Himalayan states, Uttarakhand is the highest, followed by Tripura and Himachal Pradesh.
  • Across the Union Territories, Delhi has performed the best, followed by Goa and Chandigarh.
  • The report also highlights that export orientation and preparedness are not just restricted to prosperous states. Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand are two landlocked states that had initiated several measures to promote exports.
  • Many northeastern states under the Growth Orientation sub-pillar were able to export more by focusing on their indigenous product baskets. This shows that a focused development of such baskets (like spices) can drive exports on one hand and also improve farmer incomes on the other in these states.
  • Based on the findings of the report, export promotion in India faces three fundamental challenges: intra- and inter-regional disparities in export infrastructure, poor trade support and growth orientation among statesand poor R&D infrastructure to promote complex and unique exports.
  • There is a need to emphasize on key strategies to address these challenges: a joint development of export infrastructure, strengthening industry-academia linkagesand creating state-level engagements for economic diplomacy.
  • The final framework of the EPI was based on essential feedback from states, UTs and organizations like EXIM Bank, IIFT and DGCIS.For some of the indicators, RBI, DGCIS and Central ministries were consulted.

7. NITI Aayog to Launch Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)–Transport Initiative for Asia(TIA) India Component

  • NITI Aayog will virtually launch the India Component of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)–Transport Initiative for Asia (TIA).
  • The event will inform the transport, energy, and climate stakeholders in India about planned project activities for the upcoming year.
  • It will also offer the opportunity to provide input about India’s transport challenges and how they relate to CO2 reduction ambitions.
  • With the aim to promote a comprehensive approach to decarbonize transport in India, Vietnam, and China, NDC–TIA is a joint programme, supported by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and implemented by a consortium of seven organisations.
  • The India Component is implemented by six consortium organisations, all except SLoCaT.
  • On behalf of the Government of India, NITI Aayog, the country’s premier policy think tank, will be the implementing partner.
  • The NDC-TIA programme has a duration of 4 years and will allow India and other partner countries to achieve accountable long-term targets by making a sectoral contribution through various interventions, coordinated with a large number of stakeholders in the domain.
  • This will contribute towards achieving their NDCs and increasing their ambition in the transport sector of 2025 NDCs.

8. Online Performance Dashboard “Empowering Tribals, Transforming India” developed by M/o Tribal Affairs launched

· NITI Aayog inaugurated the“Online Performance Dashboard “Empowering Tribals, Transforming India”developed by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA).

·  The launch was made during the meeting taken by NITI Aayog to review the progress of CSS / CS Schemes of MoTA in the light of national development agenda, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), strategy for New India and other policy initiatives.

· It may be mentioned that the SDGswere adopted in September, 2015 as a part of the resolution, ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’.

· At the Central Government level, NITI Aayog has been assigned the role of overseeing the implementation of 17 SDGs in the country.

· Performance Dashboard is an interactive and dynamic online platform that showcases updated & real-time details of 11 schemes / initiatives of the Ministry for achieving these SDGs.

· The Dashboard captures performance of 5 Scholarship Schemes of Ministry wherein every year about 30 lakh underprivileged ST beneficiaries reap benefit to the tune of INR 2500 crores.

· NITI Aayog was briefed that Ministry has recently got 66th SKOCH Gold Award for “Empowerment of Tribals through IT enabled Scholarship Schemes” under the guidance of DBT Mission.


  • Union Tribal Affairs Minister Shri Arjun Munda will e-launch “Swasthya”, a first of its kindTribal Health & Nutrition Portal: One-stop solution forthe health & nutrition status of the tribal population.
  • The Ministry of Tribal Affairs in collaboration with PiramalSwasthya, the Centre of Excellence has developed this Tribal Health and Nutrition Portal ‘Swasthya’, a one-stop solution presenting all information pertaining to tribal health and nutrition related to Scheduled Tribe people.
  • ‘Swasthya’ is the first of its kind comprehensive platform for health and nutrition related information of the tribal population of India.
  • It has a dashboard, knowledge repository, partner segment, Sickle Cell Diseases (SCD) support corner.
  • The dashboard presents data curated from multiple sources for the 177 identified high priority tribal districts.
  • The Portal will be managed by the Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Knowledge Management inHealth and Nutrition, established by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in collaboration with Piramal Swasthya Management and Research Institute.
  • e-newsletter on health and nutrition ALEKH has been launched, opening of National Overseas Portal and National Tribal Fellowship Portal.
  • MoTA gave presentation of Performance Dashboard of Ministry where various outcome indicators of 11 schemes and Initiatives of the Ministry are reflected.    
  • The portal is hosted on NIC cloud.   

10.Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Ministry of Rural Development Sign a Joint Communication to Promote Sustainable Livelihood Opportunities Among Tribal Women SHGs in Rural India

  • Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Ministry of Rural Developmentsigned a Joint Communication for leveraging each other’s strengths to propel the rural economy and jointly promote sustainable livelihood opportunities among tribal women Self Help Groups (SHGs) under National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM).
  • The features of joint communication are as under:

The DeendayalAntyodayaYojana- National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development has built an extensive network of women-led Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in India.

11. Central Government constitutes National Council for Transgender Persons

· In exercise of the powers conferred by section 16 of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 (40 of 2019), the Central Government has constituted a National Council for Transgender Persons vide notification dated 21st August, 2020.

· The Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment will be Chairperson (ex-officio).

12. MoU for skill development in Port and Maritime sector signed between the Ministry of Shipping and the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship;

  • To reap the benefit for vast employment opportunities in maritime sector and with a view to certify their skill sets, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed digitally between Ministry of Shipping and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
  • As per the MoU, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship(MSDE) will cooperate in development of course curriculum, National Occupational Standards,content, etc. for Cruise Tourism,Logistics, Fisheries,Ship building,Ship repair and ship breaking, Dredging, Offshore supply chain etc.
  • MSDE will also help inmobilizing private sector/CSR funding for skill development in the port and maritime sector and facilitate port and maritime sector in TVET agreements signed for skill development with international partners.

13. Implementation of PMEGP Projects Records 44% Jump in 2020

·  Prime Minister Employment Generation Program (PMEGP)implemented by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) progressed at a much rapid pacefrom April 1, 2020 to August 18, 2020, increased by a whopping 44%.


It is the flagship employment generation program of the Central government

Launch year-2008

Nodal agency- KVIC

Ministry– MSME (Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises)

Salient Features-

  1. It is a major credit-linked subsidy programme, aimed at generating self-employment opportunities through establishment of micro-enterprises in the non-farm sector by helping traditional artisans and unemployed youth.
  2. General category beneficiaries can avail of margin money subsidy of 25 % of the project cost in rural areas and 15% in urban areas.
  3. For beneficiaries belonging to special categories such as Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe/OBC /Minorities/Women, Ex-serviceman, Physically Handicapped, NER, Hill and Border areas etc. the margin money subsidy is 35% in rural areas and 25% in urban areas.
  4. Any individual above 18 years of age is eligible.
  5. For setting up of projects costing above Rs.10 lakh in the manufacturing sector and above Rs. 5 lakhs in the business /service sector.
  6. The beneficiaries should possess at least VIII standard pass educational qualification.
  7. The maximum cost of projects is Rs. 25 lakh in the manufacturing sector and Rs. 10 lakh in the service sector. Benefit can be availed under PMEGP for setting up of new units only. 
  8. At the State/District level, State offices of KVIC, KVIBs and District Industry Centers (DIC) are the implementing agencies in the States in the ratio of 30:30:40.  


14. Vice President of India Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu virtually announces ARIIA-2020 (Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements)

  • The Vice-President of India Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu virtually announced Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) 2020.
  • A special category for higher educational institutions for women has been introduced to encourage women and bringing gender parity in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship, top place for which was secured by Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Womenunder this category.
  • Apart from the above new category , the other 5 categories are-

The other five categories are

1) Centrally Funded Institutions

2) State-funded universities

3) State-funded autonomous institutions

4) Private/Deemed Universities

5) Private Institutions.

  • This year, ARIIA announcement included classification of the institutes into two broad categories and six sub categories.
  • Among these, IIT Madras bagged the top position under the category of Institutes of National Importance, Central Universities, and Centrally Funded Technical Institutes.
  • Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai got the top position under Government and Government Aided Universities;


Launch- 2018

Ministry– Ministry Of HRD

Implementing Agency– AICTE & Ministry’s innovation cell


  • It systematically ranks all major higher educational institutions and universities in India on indicators related to “Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development” amongst students and faculties.
  • The major Indicators for consideration for ARIIA-
  • Budget & Funding Support.
  • Infrastructure & Facilities.
  • Awareness, Promotions & support for Idea Generation & Innovation.
  • Promotion & Support for Entrepreneurship Development.
  • Innovative Learning Methods & Courses.
  • Intellectual Property Generation, Technology Transfer & Commercialization.
  • Innovation in Governance of the Institution.

15. Online Dashboard of PM SVANidhi launched

· Ministry OfHousing and Urban Affairs launched the PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) online dashboard.

·  The online dashboard is dynamic, interactive and would provide a one stop solution to all stakeholders looking for information and tracking monitoring of progress of PM SVANidhi up to city level. 


It will provide affordable working capital loan to street vendors to resume their livelihoods that have been adversely affected due to Covid-19 lockdown

Launched– June 01, 2020

Ministry- Ministry Of Housing And Urban Affairs


  • This scheme targets to benefit over 50 lakh Street Vendors who had been vending on or before 24 March, 2020, in urban areas including those from surrounding peri-urban/rural areas.
  •  Under the Scheme, the vendors can avail a working capital loan of up to Rs. 10,000, which is repayable in monthly instalments in the tenure of one year.
  • On timely/ early repayment of the loan, an interest subsidy @ 7% per annum will be credited to the bank accounts of beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer on quarterly basis.
  • There will be no penalty on early repayment of loan.
  • The scheme promotes digital transactions through cash-back incentives up to an amount of Rs. 100 per month.

16. Finance Minister launches an Online Dashboard for the National Infrastructure Pipeline

· Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) Online Dashboard.

·  The online dashboard is envisaged as a one stop solution for all stakeholders looking for information on infrastructure projects in New India.

·  The dashboard is being hosted on the India Investment Grid (IIG) (

·  IIG is an interactive and dynamic online platform that showcases updated & real-time investment opportunities in the country.

National Infrastructure Pipeline

NIP is a first-of-its-kind initiative to provide world-class infrastructure across the country and improve the quality of life for all citizens. NIP will improve project preparation, attract investments (both domestic & foreign) into infrastructure, and will be crucial for attaining the target of becoming a $5 trillion economy by FY 2025.

Launch- 2019-2020

High Level Task Force headed by- economic affairs secretary Atanu Chakraborty


  • It is submitted a final report on the National Infrastructure Pipeline with projected infrastructure investment of Rs 111 Lakh Crore during FY 2020-25.
  • Out of the total expected capital expenditure of Rs 111 lakh Crore, projects worth Rs 44 lakh Crore (40%) are under implementation,projects worth Rs 33 lakh Crore (30%) are at a conceptual stage, projects worth Rs 22 lakh Crore (20%) are under development (project identified and DPR prepared, but yet to draw-down funds) and the balance projects worth Rs 11 lakh Crore (10%) are unclassified.
  • The entire gamut of projects will now be hosted on IIG to provide visibility to NIP and attract investments from global & domestic investors.
  • The Fund sharing,

centre’s contribution= 39%

The state’s contribution= 40%

The private sector’s contribution=21%

17. Government of India and AIIB sign agreement for $500 million to improve the network capacity, service quality and safety of the suburban railway system in Mumbai

  • The Government of India, the Government of Maharashtra, Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) signed a loan agreement for a $500 million Mumbai Urban Transport Project-III to improve the network capacity, service quality and safety of the suburban railway system in Mumbai.
  • The Project is expected to increase network capacity in the region with the reduction in journey time and fatal accidents of commuters.

18. Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) – National Mission for Financial Inclusion, completes six years of successful implementation

·  Ministry of Finance is committed to provide financial inclusiveness and support to the marginalized and hitherto socio-economically neglected classes.

·  A key initiative towards this commitment is the Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojna (PMJDY), which is one of the biggest financial inclusion initiatives in the world.


Launched-28th August, 2014

Salient features-

  • The scheme was launched based upon the following 6 pillars
  •   Universal access to banking services- Branch and BC
  •   Basic savings bank accounts with overdraft facility of Rs. 10,000/- to every household
  •   Financial Literacy Program– Promoting savings, use of ATMs, getting ready for credit, availing insurance and pensions, using basic mobile phones for banking.
  •   Creation of Credit Guarantee Fund – To provide banks some guarantee against defaults.
  •  Insurance – Accident cover up to Rs. 2,00,000 and life cover of   Rs. 30,000 on account opened between 15 Aug 2014 to 31 January 2015
  •   Pension scheme for Unorganized sector
  • Jan DhanDarshak App- A mobile application, was launched to provide a citizen centric platform for locating banking touch points such as bank branches, ATMs, Bank Mitras, Post Offices, etc. in the country.

19. APEDA signs MoUs with AFC India Limited and National Cooperative Union of India to synergize the activities in the interest of agriculture and allied sectors

·  Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has signed MoUs with AFC India Limited, and National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI), Delhi.

· The objective is to utilise their expertise by mutually working together to synergize the activities in the interest of agriculture and allied sectors for bringing better value to the stakeholders.

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