UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 12-02-2021

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February 12, 2021

Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020

  • The Bill aims at decentralizing decision making and to infuse professionalism in governance of major ports.
  • It will empower the Major Ports to modernize and expand port infrastructure, and facilitate trade and commerce.
  • The Bill is more compact in comparison to the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 as the number of sections has been reduced.
  • Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) can now fix tariff, which will act as a reference tariff for purposes of bidding for PPP projects.
  • An Adjudicatory Board has been proposed to carry out the residual function of the erstwhile TAMP for Major Ports, to look into disputes between ports and PPP concessionaires, etc.
  • A simplified composition of Board of Port Authority (BPA) with professional independent Members has been proposed.
  • BPA has been delegated the power to fix the scale of rates for other port services and assets including land.
  • BPAs have full powers to enter into contracts, planning and development, fixing of tariff except in national interest, security and emergency arising out of inaction and default.
  • Provisions of CSR & development of infrastructure by Port Authority have been introduced.


  • SAKSHAM (Shramik Shakti Manch) is an initiative of Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC).
  • It is a dynamic job portal for mapping the skills of Shramiks (Labourers).
  • It will help in identifying skill proficiency level and development of Skill Cards for Shramiks.
  • It will directly connect Shramiks with MSMEs eliminating middlemen/ labour contractor.
  • It will facilitate placement of 10 lakh blue-collar jobs (pan-India).
  • This portal will reduce the hardship of Shramiks in finding jobs in nearby MSMEs.          

Seaweed Mission

  • It is an initiative for commercial farming of seaweeds and its processing for value addition towards boosting national economy.
  • It is initiated by Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC).
  • If  sea weed cultivation is done in 5% of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) area of India, it can
    1. Set up new seaweed industry;
    2. Provide employment to people and Contribute to national GDP;
    3. Improve ocean productivity and create a healthier ocean;
    4. Abate algal blooms, sequester millions of tons CO2;
    5. Produce bio-ethanol approx. 6.6 billion litres.

Specialty Steel

  • Specialty Steel (Alloy Steel) contain additional alloyed materials that deliver special properties under specific conditions.
  • Government has approved inclusion of ‘Specialty Steel’ under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme.
  • This will promote the manufacturing of 'Specialty Steel' within the country to meet the domestic demand by attracting capital investment, generate employment etc.
  • To know more about Production Linked Incentive Scheme, click here.

Meri Saheli Initiative

  • It was launched as a pilot project by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) across South Eastern Railway for security of women passengers in trains originating in that zone.
  • This initiative has been rolled over to all zonal railways across Indian Railways’ network from October, 2020.
  • It was launched to provide safety and security to lady passengers travelling by trains for their entire journey.
  • Dedicated teams of lady RPF personnel have been formed across all zonal railways for its implementation.
  • Section 58 of the Railways Act, 1989 provides for earmarking of accommodation for female passengers in trains.

National Atlas & Thematic Mapping Organisation

  • National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organization (NATMO) is a subordinate department under the Department of Science & Technology.
  • With it’s headquarter at Kolkata, it is a sole national agency with the responsibility to depict national framework data in the form of thematic maps and atlases to cater the various needs of different sectors.
  • It has the largest repository of spatial and non-spatial data processed with greater accuracy for delivering good quality products.
  • To ensure precision and value addition, NATMO keeps pace with the most modern technologies. Main functions of this organization are :
  1. Compilation of the National Atlas of India in Hindi, English and other regional languages.
  2. Preparation of thematic maps based on socio-economic, physical, cultural, environmental, demographic and other issues.
  3. Preparation of maps/atlases for visually impaired.
  4. Digital mapping and training using remote sensing, GPS and GIS technology.
  5. Cartographic and geographical researches at national level.


Source: PIB

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