NIC Current Affairs - 2019

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Govt. launches ICEDASH for faster customs clearance

Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman launched a new IT initiatives called ICEDASH for improved monitoring and pace of Customs clearance of imported goods. ICEDASH would be key drivers for further improvement in Customs especially as it would reduce interface and increase transparency of Customs functioning.

What id ICEDASH?

It is an Ease of Doing Business monitoring dashboard of Indian Customs. It will help the public see daily Customs clearance times of import cargo at various ports and airports. With ICEDASH, Indian Customs will provide an effective tool that helps businesses compare clearance times across ports and plan their logistics accordingly, thus taking a lead globally.

This dashboard has been developed by CBIC (Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs) in collaboration with NIC (National Informatics Centre). ICEDASH can be accessed through the CBIC website.

About National Informatics Centre (NIC)

It is the premier science and technology organisation under Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY) that works in informatics services and information and communication technology (ICT) applications.

NOTE: CBIC is India’s nodal national agency responsible for administering GST, Customs, Central Excise, Service Tax & Narcotics in country.

Government to launch Universal Smart Card Driving License

Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has decided to modify the format of driving licenses to smart card type driving licences so as to follow a standardised format nationwide.

Key Highlights

Nitin Gadkari, Road Transport and Highways Minister in a written reply in Rajya Sabha, notified that MoRTH has prescribed a common standard format and design of Driving Licence for Pan India.

Need: Around 30% of Indians drive with fake or bogus licenses. Police reports in just of Delhi NCR region suggests that, cases of underage driving have jumped to 589% and in 1st 15 days of January 2019, 61 unpermitted juvenile cases were registered and issued with challans. A report from Nissan India and road safety NGO SaveLIFE Foundation highlighted worrying part of underage driving. Thus, ministry’s move to this new format is expected to help curb this situation to some extent.

Proposed Changes: MoRTH seeks to modify current format of driving licenses to laminated card without chip or smart card type driving licences and which will include nationwide standardised format of placement of information, standardization of fonts etc.

For this purpose, RTOs (Regional Transport Offices) should issue a uniform format of driving licenses across nation using a universal smart card driving license format.

Implementation: The desired changes to Pan India Licence format will be implemented through MoRTH’s flagship application called SARATHI (for Driving License).


The application is developed by NIC (National Informatics Centre).

It has a common countrywide database of all driving license holders, with almost 15 crore driving license records being available in its central repository, which is a part of National Registry.

No Duplication: SARATHI has a unique feature to identify duplicate records in real time online basis and can also access information about challans if any, this then facilitates licencing authority that offender drivers do not get a duplicate driving licence.