Government Schemes Current Affairs - 2020

Prime Minister launches Ease of Doing Business Grand Challenge

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Ease of Doing Business Grand Challenge on resolving seven identified Ease of Doing Business problems with use of cutting edge technologies. It was launched during programme organized by PM for interaction with select CEOs from Indian & foreign companies.

Ease of Doing Business Grand Challenge

The objective of this challenge is to tap potential of young Indians, startups and other private enterprises to provide solutions to complex problems using current technology. It is in pursuance of Government’s resolve to make India one of the easiest places to conduct business in the world. Government has made efforts to ensure that India consistently improves its business environment. This challenge is aimed at attracting innovative ideas on artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics, blockchain and other cutting edge technology to reform government processes. The platform for this grand challenge will be on Start Up India portal.


In World Bank’s Doing Business Report (DBR, 2019) released in October 2018, India has recorded jump of 23 positions against its rank of 100 in 2017 to be placed at 77th rank among 190 countries. As result of continued efforts by the Government, India has improved its rank by 53 positions in the last two years and 65 positions in the last four years (2014-18). In 2014, India was ranked 142nd among 190 nations. World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index ranks 190 countries based on 10 parameters, including starting a business, construction permits, getting electricity, getting credit, paying taxes, trade across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency.

Government launches LEAP and ARPIT programmes for higher education faculty

Union Ministry off Human Resource Development launched two new initiatives viz. Leadership for Academicians Programme (LEAP) and Annual Refresher Programme In Teaching (ARPIT) for higher education faculty. ARPIT is unique initiative of online professional development of 15 lakh higher education faculty. LEAP is three weeks flagship leadership development training programme for second level academic functionaries in higher education institutions,

Leadership for Academicians Programme (LEAP)

It is three weeks (2 weeks domestic and 1 week foreign training) flagship leadership development training programme for second level academic functionaries in public funded higher education institutions. Its main objective is to prepare second tier academic heads who are potentially likely to assume leadership roles in the future.

It will make Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) perform their roles of developing better students who will be future torch bearers. It will provide senior faculty required leadership and managerial skills including skills of problem-solving, team building work, handling stress, communication, conflict management, understanding complexity and challenges of governance in HEIs and general administration.

It will be implemented through 15 National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) top ranked Indian Institutions namely, IIT Bombay, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Roorkee, IISER Kolkata, NIT Trichy, JNU; IIT (BHU), Delhi University, TISS Mumbai, University of Hyderabad, NIEPA, Jamia Milia Islamia,  BHU and AMU.

The foreign universities identified for training collaboration are also within top 100 in world global rankings. It includes University of Michigan, Harvard University, Oxford University, University of Cambridge, Purdue University, University of Chicago, NTU Singapore, Monash University, University of Pennsylvania and University of Virginia.

Annual Refresher Programme in Teaching (ARPIT)

It is a major and unique initiative of online professional development of 15 lakh higher education faculty using Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) platform SWAYAM. Under it 75 discipline-specific institutions are identified and notified as National Resource Centres (NRCs) in phase I.

These institutions will be tasked to prepare online training material with focus on latest developments in discipline, methodologies for transacting revised curriculum and pedagogical improvements. The courses will cover diverse range of topics.

Each course will be 40 hour module with 20 hours of video content and 20 hours of non-video content. It will also have built-in assessment exercises and activities as part of the academic progression. There will be a terminal assessment either online or written examination at end of the course.

All faculties after successfully completing the online refresher course will be certified. All in-service teachers, irrespective of their subject and seniority will register and complete these refresher courses which will help them in career advancement.

ARPIT will be every year exercise and NRCs will continuously develop new refresher module in their earmarked discipline each year.  The training materials will be uploaded and made available through SWAYAM.  In inaugural year 2018 itself, NRCs are expected to cater to around 13 lakh faculty of total 15 lakh faculty in higher education.