PIB – 21st Jan 2021

NITI Aayog Releases Second Edition of India Innovation Index

  • The India Innovation Index aims to create an extensive framework for the continual evaluation of India’s innovation environment. The index aims to rank states and UTs based on their scores, recognize opportunities and challenges, and assist in tailoring government policies to foster innovation.
  • NITI Aayog, with its mandate of promoting ‘competitive federalism’ among all states and union territories, is committed to utilize the India Innovation Index in catalysing the innovation outcome of the nation.
  • NITI Aayog, along with the Institute for Competitiveness, released the second edition of the India Innovation Index in a virtual event. The report examines the innovation capabilities and performance of the states and union territories.The first edition of the index was launched in October 2019.
  • In the second edition too, the index found that the level of competitiveness among the states and union territories was high, which is essential for them to continually improve on their enabling factors as well as innovation performance, year by year.
  • In the ‘Major States’ category, Karnataka continued to occupy the top position, while Maharashtra moved past Tamil Nadu to reach the second place. Telangana, Kerala, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab completed the top ten in that order. 
  • Karnataka’s rank is attributable to its substantive number of venture capital deals, registered geographical indicators and information and communications technology exports. Karnataka’s high Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow has also enhanced the innovation capabilities of the state. 
  • Four southern states—Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Kerala—occupied the top five spots under the ‘Major States’ category this year.
  • Overall, Delhi retained its first rank, while Chandigarh made a big leap since 2019 and landed in the second place this year. 
  • Under the ‘North-Eastern/Hill States’ category, Himachal Pradesh moved up from the second position to emerge as the top ranker this year, while 2019’s top performer (in this category), Sikkim, slipped down to the fourth position.
  • The innovation inputs were measured through five enabler parameters, and the output through two performance parameters. While ‘Human Capital’, ‘Investment’, ‘Knowledge Workers’, ‘Business Environment’, ‘Safety and Legal Environment were identified as enabler parameters, ‘Knowledge Output’ and ‘Knowledge Diffusion’ were chosen as the performance parameters.

Cabinet approves signing of Memorandum of Understanding between India and Uzbekistan for cooperation in the field of Solar Energy

  • The Union Cabinet was apprised of signing of Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) between India and Uzbekistan for cooperation in the field of Solar Energy.
  • The main area of work under is to identify research/demonstration/pilot projects between the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, India and the International Solar Energy Institute (ISEI), Uzbekistan in the following mutually identified areas:
  1. Solar Photovoltaic
  2. Storage Technologies
  3. Transfer of Technology
  • Based on mutual agreement, both parties would work for implementation and deployment of pilot projects in International Solar Alliance (ISA) member countries.

Launch of Regulatory Compliance Portal to minimize Regulatory Compliance Burden for Businesses and Citizens

  • A major initiative to eliminate/reduce compliances which have an adverse impact on time and cost of business is launched as Regulatory Compliance Portal by DPIIT. 
  • The objective of this portal is to act as a bridge between citizens, industries and the Government in order to minimize burdensome compliances. It will also act as a first-of-its-kind central online repository of all Central and State-level compliances.
  • All Central Ministries/Departments and States/UTs would examine laws/regulations/rules under their purview and implement an Action Plan to rationalize and simplify all the processes and remove burdensome compliances, decriminalize laws and repeal redundant Acts. 
  • These details would be captured and tracked on the Regulatory Compliance Portal. 
  • Industry stakeholders from Trade bodies such as CII, FICCI and ASSOCHAM would also be able to submit compliances and proposed recommendations.
  • This will be assessed by concerned Government authorities and suitable action would be undertaken to minimize the regulatory compliance burden.

Ministry of Railways approves the naming of Train No. 12311/12312 Howrah-Kalka Mail as “Netaji Express”

  • The Ministry of Railways has rechristened the name of Train No. 12311/12312 Howrah-Kalka Mail as “Netaji Express”.
  • It is noteworthy that Howrah -Kalka Mail is a very popular and one of the oldest trains of Indian Railways. The Howrah-Kalka Mail is running between Howrah (Eastern Railway) and Kalka (Northern Railway) via Delhi.