28th Aug, 2020


V.Ramagopal Rao Committee constituted

A five-member expert committee has been constituted by the Chairman of DRDO.

Objective: To review and redefine the charter of duties for all laboratories of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). 

Focus: Indigenous development of futuristic technologies. 

Head of the committee: Professor V. Ramagopal Rao, Director, IIT, Delhi.


DoPPW to integrate e- Pension Payment order with Digi Locker

The Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare (DoPPW), Ministry of Personnel Public Grievances and Pension, has decided to integrate the electronic Pension Payment Order (e-PPO) with Digi Locker. 

Objective: To enhance Ease of Living of Central Government Civil Pensioners.

It will enable any Pensioner to obtain an instant print-out of the latest copy of their PPO from their Digi Locker account. 

A permanent record of their respective PPO in their Digi Locker shall be created. 

Delays in reaching the PPO to new pensioners and the necessity of handing over a physical copy will be eliminated. 

‘Bhavishya’ software was used to create the facility. 

It is a single window platform for Pensioners right from the start to the end of their Pension processing. 


It is a secured online locker repository.

It provides a platform to accumulate all important documents at one place. 

It is a Government website. 

Aadhar card, PAN card, Passport, Driving License and school and college certificates can be stored. 


Draft Health Data Management policy released in the public domain

The National Health Authority (NHA) has released the Draft Health Data Management Policy in the public domain.

The policy is part of the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM). 

The Draft Policy is the maiden step in realizing NDHM’s guiding principle of “Security and Privacy by Design” for the protection of individuals’ data privacy.

Data collected across the National Digital Health Ecosystem (NDHE) will be stored in at the central level, the state or Union Territory level and at the health facility level, by adopting the principle of minimality at each point. 

It encompasses various aspects pertaining to health data like data privacy, consent management, data sharing and protection.

National Digital Health Mission (NDHM). 

It was announced by Prime Minister on the occasion of 74th Independence Day. 

The National Health Authority (NHA) has been mandated to design and roll out NDHM in the country.

NHA is also responsible for the implementation of Ayushman Bharat 


Export Preparedness Index (EPI) 2020 released

Released by: NITI Aayog and the Institute of Competitiveness. 

It is the first report to examine export preparedness and performance of Indian states. 

Objective: To identify challenges and opportunities; enhance the effectiveness of government policies; and encourage a facilitative regulatory framework.

The structure of the EPI includes 4 pillars: Policy; Business Ecosystem; Export Ecosystem; Export Performance.

Indian states scored average 50% in sub-pillars of Exports Diversification, Transport Connectivity, and Infrastructure. 

Overall, most of the Coastal States are the best performers. 

Top Coastal States: Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu 

Top landlocked states: Rajasthan, Telangana and Haryana.

Top Himalayan states: Uttarakhand, Tripura and Himachal Pradesh.

Top Union Territories: Delhi, Goa and Chandigarh.



It is a recreational folk art and a colourful part of Onam celebrations in Thrissur, Kerala. 

It will be an online-only affair this year due to COVID-19.

Onam is an annual harvest festival. 

In Pulikkali, performers painted like tigers and hunters in bright yellow, red, and black dance to the beats of instruments like Udukku and Thakil.

The performance revolves around the theme of tiger hunting.

Pulikkali was introduced in Thrissur by Shakthan Tampuran two centuries ago


Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) – Transport Initiative for Asia (TIA)

India Component of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)–Transport Initiative for Asia (TIA) has been recently launched. 

Launched by: NITI Aayog 

Aim: To promote a comprehensive approach to decarbonize transport in India, Vietnam, and China.

NDC–TIA is a joint programme.

Supported by: International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). 

Implemented by: Consortium of seven different organisations. 

The NDC-TIA programme has a duration of 4 years.

The NDC–TIA India Component will focus on:

Strengthening GHG and transport modelling capacities

Providing technical support on GHG emission reduction measures

Financing climate actions in transport

Offering policy recommendations on electric vehicle (EV) demand and supply policies etc.


Sri Lanka to Draft a New Constitution

Sri Lanka will draft a new Constitution and abolish the 19th Amendment. 

The Amendment curtailed the powers of the President and strengthened the role of Parliament. 

Sri Lanka People’s Party (SLPP) has won a landslide victory in the recently held parliamentary elections (August 2020). 

19th Amendment

It was passed in 2015.

It sought to clip the President’s executive powers. 

It also strengthened independence of key pillars such as the judiciary, public service and election. 

It brought back the two-term limit on Presidency.

It was hailed by many, including members of civil society, as a progressive legislation. 

Sri Lanka’s constitution has been changed 19 times from 1978, creating a lot of uncertainties and confusion


Boundary Working Group: India-Nepal

Recently, it has been reported that Nepal has proposed a meeting of the Boundary Working Group (BWG) in August end or early September 2020.

Boundary Working Group (BWG)

It is a joint agency constituted by the governments of India and Nepal in 2014. 

Objective: To carry out works in the fields of construction, restoration and repair of boundary pillars including clearance of ‘no-man’s land’ and other technical tasks.

Led by: The Surveyor General of India. 

The BWG is different from the foreign secretaries meeting that is being sought to discuss the Kalapani border dispute. 

It is an important mechanism to review the boundary work. 

The BWG’s inputs are critical as they are given to the governments on the basis of field-level survey.


WHO declares Africa free of polio

A WHO commission has certified that no cases had occurred on the continent for the past four years, the threshold for eradication of poliovirus.

Poliovirus now joins smallpox in the list of viruses that have been wiped out in Africa.

New circles of Archaeological survey of India announced 

7 new circles of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have been announced.

Ministry: Ministry of Culture. 

New circles: Trichy (Tamil Nadu), Raiganj (West Bengal), Rajkot (Gujarat), Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh), Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh) & Meerut (Uttar Pradesh). 

Hampi Mini Circle has been converted into a full-fledged circle.

Earlier there were 29 ASI circles across the country.