PIB NEWS-04/07/2020

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Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) announced a new category of awards titled ‘Prerak Dauur Samman’ as part of Swachh Survekshan 2021.


The Prerak Dauur Samman has a total of five additional sub- categories –

  • Divya (Platinum),
  • Anupam (Gold),
  • Ujjwal (Silver),
  • Udit (Bronze),
  • Aarohi (Aspiring) – with top three cities being recognized in each.


In a departure from the present criteria of evaluating cities on ‘population category’, this new category will categorize cities on the basis of six select indicator wise performance criteria which are as follows:

  • Segregation of waste into Wet, Dry and Hazard categories
  • Processing capacity against wet waste generated
  • Processing and recycling of wet and dry waste
  • Construction & Demolition (C&D) waste processing
  • Percentage of waste going to landfills
  • Sanitation status of cities

Integrated SBM-Urban MIS portal

The launch of the integrated MIS portal is an effort by the Ministry to bring the numerous digital initiatives on a single platform thus ensuring a unified and hassle-free experience for States and cities and leading the way towards the creation of not just a Swachh but a truly digital India.

Swachh Survekshan

  • Swachh Survekshan, conducted by MoHUA since 2016, is the world’s largest urban sanitation and cleanliness survey. It has been instrumental in fostering a spirit of healthy competition among towns and cities to improve their service delivery to citizens and towards creating cleaner cities and bring behaviour change in the citizen towards cleaning.
  • The primary goal of Swachh Survekshans is to encourage large scale citizen participation and create awareness amongst all sections of society about the importance of working together towards making towns and cities better places to reside in.
  • Conducted under the ambit of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), the annual survey has managed to mobilise people, resources and authorities in an effort to prove that their city, of all cities in India, is the cleanest and that sustainable practices, both by citizens and ULBs, are being encouraged and promulgated.

2) All Centrally protected monuments of ASI to open from 6th July 2020

  • Ministry of Culture & Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has decided to open all the centrally protected monuments by completely abiding safety protocols from 6th July 2020.  
  • Only those monuments/ Museums which are in the non-containment zone will be open for visitors.
  • All Centrally protected monuments and Sites shall be bound by the protocols like sanitization, social distancing and other health protocols issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • Any specific orders of the State and/or District administration shall also be strictly implemented

About Archeological Survey of India (ASI)

  • Under the Ministry of Culture, it is the premier organization for the archaeological researches and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation.
  • It regulates all archaeological activities in the country as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act, 1958.
  • It also regulates Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.
  • It was founded in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham who also became its first Director-General.

IIT Hyderabad uses artificial intelligence to study supply chain network of biofuels

Researchers of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad have started using computational methods to understand the factors and impediments in incorporating biofuels into the fuel sector in India.

A unique feature of this work is that the framework considers revenue generation not only as an outcome of sales of the biofuel but also in terms of carbon credits via greenhouse gas emission savings throughout the project lifecycle.

Indian Scenario

In India, biofuels generated from non-food sources is the most promising source of carbon-neutral renewable energy. These second-generation sources include agricultural waste products such as straw, hay and wood, among others, that do not intrude upon food sources.”


  • The team has considered multiple technologies available for bioenergy generation across several zones in the country and performed a thorough feasibility study using data of suppliers, transport, storage and production, among others, published by the Indian Government.
  • Machine learning techniques is used to understand the supply chain network.
  • Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence in which the computer learns patterns from available data and updates automatically to produce an understanding of the system and predictions for the future.”

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