UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 24-06-2020

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June 24, 2020

GeM Country of Origin

  • Government e-Marketplace (GeM) is a Special Purpose Vehicle launched in 2016, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • It is a one-stop National Public Procurement Portal.
  • It facilitates online procurement of common use goods & services required by various Central and State Government Departments/Organizations/Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).
  • The procurement of goods and services by Ministries and the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) is mandatory for goods and services available on GeM.
  • It also provides the tools of e-bidding and reverse e-auction to facilitate the government users achieve the best value for their money.
  • Recent Developments – It has made mandatory for sellers to enter the Country of Origin while registering all new products on GeM.
  • It has enabled a provision for indication of the percentage of local content in products.
  • Now, the Country of Origin as well as the local content percentage are visible in the marketplace for all items.
  • Make in India Filter has been enabled on GeM portal so that the buyers can choose to buy only those products that meet the minimum 50% local content criteria.


  • The initiative was launched by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • It is to help systematically assimilate technologies having commercial potential and information related to incubated startups in higher education institutions.
  • It is an extension of ‘YUKTI - Young India combating COVID with Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Portal’.
  • YUKTI which was launched to identify ideas relevant in COVID pandemic.
  • The Ministry has invited students, faculty members, startups and other stakeholders of higher education institutions to register on the YUKTI portal and share their technologies and innovations.
  • Database shared will be showcased to the investor community such as businessmen, farmers and industrialists i.e. students will be able to sell their ideas.
  • However, preliminary innovations won’t be showcased on YUKTI 2.0 but only those which have commercialization potential.

EAG Meeting

  • Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG) is a regional body comprising nine countries.
  • Members - India, Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Belarus.
  • It is an associate member of the FATF.
  • Recently India has participated plenary virtual meeting of EAG, under the aegis of the Financial Action Task Force.
  • In the meeting India plans to share more evidence with the key FATF members on the narco-terror cases linked to Pakistan-based syndicates, through which funds are allegedly being supplied to the terrorists operating in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • FATF is an inter-governmental body to promote effective measures combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
  • A country is put on the grey list when it fails to curb terrorism financing and money laundering.
  • Grey list countries - Pakistan, Myanmar, ,Cambodia, Syria, Mongolia and Yemen in Asia along with few other countries
  • Putting a country on the blacklist means shutting all doors to international finance for that country. Countries - North Korea and Iran.

Virtual Healthcare and Hygiene EXPO 2020

  • Union Ministry for Chemicals and Fertilizers inaugurated one of India's   largest and first Virtual Healthcare and Hygiene EXPO 2020.
  • It is organized by FICCI.
  • It aims to give a boost to health and hygiene endeavors.
  • Due to COVID-19 in India an ecosystem is being built for a self-reliant India, which will help in ramping up domestic production in Pharmaceutical, Health and Hygiene Sector.

Decarbonizing Transport in India

  • NITI Aayog and International Transport Forum (ITF) will collaborate to launch a new online project called ‘Decarbonizing Transport in India’.
  • It is to chart out a path for a low-carbon transport system in the country.
  • It will offer an opportunity to provide inputs for transport challenges and their relation to CO2 reduction in the country.
  • The project will include designing a transport emissions assessment framework for India, providing the government with a detailed understanding of transport activities and CO2 emissions as a basis for decision-making.
  • It is a part of the ITF’s DTEE (Decarbonizing Transport in Emerging Economies) series of projects.
  • DTEEs aimed at lowering carbon emissions across different regions in the world.
  • The current participants in the initiative are India, Argentina, Azerbaijan, and Morocco.

International Transport Forum

  • It is an inter-governmental organization within the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) system.
  • It is the only global body with a mandate for all modes of transport.
  • It acts as a think tank for transport policy issues and organizes the annual global summit of transport ministers.
  • India has been a member of ITF since 2008.
  • DTEE is a collaboration between the ITF and the Wuppertal Institute, which is supported by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

Compressed Bio-Gas

  • Biogas and CNG are the same but for a few differences.
  • Origin –
    • CNG is found in nature as Natural Gas.
    • Biogas, is produced in a sealed tank/ chamber, from an organic feed-stock.
  • Composition - Biogas is mainly Methane & Carbon Di Oxide, while Natural Gas is mainly Methane.
  • Compressed Biogas proposes to build large biogas plants that will continuously produce biogas from urban, domestic and industrial wastes.
  • The biogas produced will be stored under pressure in gas cylinders for easy distribution to urban and semi-urban customers as alternative to charcoal and firewood.
  • Union Government is in the process of including Compressed Bio-Gas under Priority Sector Lending.

SATAT Scheme

  • Sustainable Alternative towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) scheme on Compressed Bio Gas was launched in 2018.
  • It envisages targeting production of 15 MMT of CBG from 5000 plants by 2023.
  • The Government of India has taken various enabling steps to ensure the success of the SATAT scheme.
  • Oil Marketing Companies have offered long term pricing on CBG to make projects bankable and have agreed to execute long term agreements on CBG.
  • Under SATAT scheme, IOT Biogas Limited (Namakkal, Tamil Nadu) decided to divert part/full biogas production to Compressed Biogas (CBG) generation.
  • The Compressed Biogas procured from IOT Biogas plant shall be sold through Retail Outlets (ROs) and Institutional Business (IB).
  • This is the first time an alternative to natural gas is being sold by Oil Marketing Companies.


Source: PIB, the Hindu, Economic Times

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