GS Paper I- Indian Heritage and Culture.

Goa To Host Third Edition Of Science Film Festival From Jan 16, 2018.

Background

  • Goa will be hosting the third edition of the Science Film Festival of India between January 16-19, 2018.
  • The festival, titled SCI-FFI Goa, is being organised by the state-based Vidnyan Parishad, Goa’s Department of Science and Technology, the Entertainment Society of Goa and the Goa College of Art.
  • Organisers said on 4th January, 2018 that a highlight of the festival would be the Science Film Making Competition with two categories where films of durations of five minutes and those above five minutes will be included.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • There would be cash prizes for the best film apart from awards for categories including Direction/Research Presentation, Cinematography, Editing and Design.
  • Total prize money is Rs one lakh and will be given away during the opening ceremony on January 16 2018.
  • Since this competition aims to boost the culture of science films, all the films submitted should be related to science and technology.
  • The subject matter should be related to any aspect of science pursued in Goa, like research, analysis or innovations or even notable personalities from the field of science and technology.
  • School students have been invited to submit films shot on a mobile phone on any topic of science to win prizes, the organisers added.
  • The organisers said films in languages other than English should carry English subtitles.

Sources- Business-Standard.

 

GS Paper II- Governance.

Gujarat Tops New Logistics Index That Flags Inefficiency Of States.

Background

  • The logistics performance of Indian states and Union territories is “sub-par” owing to a host of inefficiencies, according to a study which also suggests measures for improvement.
  • The Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) index, a composite indicator to assess international trade logistics across states and Union territories, is based on a stakeholders’ survey conducted by Deloitte for the ministry of commerce and industry. While Gujarat topped the first-of-its-kind index, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh took the second and third positions, respectively.
  • Logistics, or the management of the flow of resources such as cargo, documents, information and funds through a range of activities and services between points of origin and destination, is a key parameter in deciding the trade competitiveness of a state or country.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • In a major push to developing an integrated logistics framework in the country, including industrial parks, cold chains and warehousing facilities, the government in November, 2017 granted infrastructure status to the logistics sector, enabling the industry to access cheaper finances. The government also created the position of a special secretary in the commerce ministry to exclusively handle logistics and appointed former director general of the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals, Binoy Kumar, to the post.
  • LEADS is loosely based on the World Bank’s biannual Logistics Performance Index (LPI), on which India was ranked 35 among 160 countries in 2016, up from 54 in 2014. LEADS is based on eight parameters such as infrastructure, services, timeliness, track and trace, competitiveness of pricing, safety of cargo, operating environment and regulatory process. The study is based on a perception-based survey of 2,885 respondents across the country over a six-week period.
  • The study found that supply chain efficiencies and economies of scale are yet to be unlocked, mostly due to suboptimal investment in building scale in infrastructure, automation, human capital and technology. It highlighted problems such as inadequate terminal capacity, poor last-mile terminal connectivity and issues in regulatory services provided by government agencies, among others.
  • It also underlined issues specific to certain states. For example, respondents reported that labour unions created impediments for trade efficiency in states like West Bengal, Kerala, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh.

Sources- Livemint.

 

GS Paper III- Technology, Economic Development.

Andhra Pradesh Grameena Vikas Bank (APGVB) Unveils Desktop ATM In Rural India.

Background

  • Move over independent ATMs, security and queues, here come desktop ATMs, that too in rural India. In a trendy initiative, the Andhra Pradesh Grameena Vikas Bank (APGVB) has operationalised it’s first desktop ATM at Kasibugga in Mandi Bazar of Warangal in Telangana on 2nd January, 2018.
  • The mini-ATM within the branch premises will facilitate customers to withdraw small amounts. At the same time regular bank account holders can withdraw money and do other banking activities.
  • The model will be scaled up to 100 in the near future, said Narasi Reddy, Chairman. With these ATMs, there will be no need for separate ATM rooms, so there is no security issue.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • This is another IT initiative that the bank, which is the biggest under the SBI and among the best regional rural banks (RRBs). There are 56 RRBs.
  • At present it’s a pilot exercise. Plans are to install 100 more desktop ATMs in different busy branches. 60 of them will be in Telangana State and 40 in AP branches. It can be installed in the lobby or any business establishment, according to the bank.
  • The ATM is designed to work in harsh climatic conditions and minimum power requirements. They can dispense small denominations and cater to small cash needs of rural customers, who can use their Rupay ATM debit cards.
  • Immediately, the branches in Nalgonda, Patancheru, Kancherpalem and Srikakulam branches will be equipped with these ATMs to assess their utility and performance.
  • The APGVB has a total business of Rs. 27,092 crore. Deposits are Rs. 13, 805 crore and Advances Rs. 13, 287 cr. It is in profit and has adequate reserves and capital adequacy ratio.

Sources- The Hindu Business Line.