Prelims 2020 Important Topics: 1-29 February

Topics UPSC Prelims 2020: MYUPSC.COM is dedicated to preparation of Indian Administrative Services (UPSC) and Rajasthan Administrative Services (RPSC). The site intends to provide Daily Current Affairs for UPSC PSC Exams 2020, free study notes, knowledge or information related to IAS/RAS exams that can help to crack these Examinations. The Study Portal has also published its Ebooks/ PDF on various aspects & dimensions of General Studies of World, India and Rajasthan. The vision of the Study Portal is to consolidate all the relevant information related to India and Rajasthan, regarding its History, Geography, Polity, Art-Culture, Heritage, Economy, Environment & Biodiversity and Current Affairs etc. Topics UPSC Prelims 2020

UPSC Prelims 2020 Batch 4: Complete Revision

Topics UPSC Prelims 2020: General Studies of India

UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam 2020 Expected MCQ Part-12

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UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam 2020 Expected MCQ Part-11

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UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam 2020 Expected MCQ Part-9

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UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam 2020 Expected MCQ Part-8

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UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam 2020 Expected MCQ Part-7

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UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam 2020 Expected MCQ Part-6

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UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam 2020 Expected MCQ Part-5

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UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam 2020 Expected MCQ Part-4

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UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam 2020 Expected MCQ Part-3

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UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam 2020 Expected MCQ Part-2

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UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam 2020 Expected MCQ Part-1

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Modern Indian History MCQ Part-5

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Modern Indian History MCQ Part-4

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Modern Indian History MCQ Part-3

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Modern Indian History MCQ Part-2

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Modern Indian History MCQ Part-1

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List of national parks in India

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List of Tiger reserves in India

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List Of Countries And Their Capitals And Currencies

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Medieval Indian History MCQ Part-5

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Medieval Indian History MCQ Part-4

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Medieval Indian History MCQ Part-3

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Medieval Indian History MCQ Part-2

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Medieval Indian History MCQ Part-1

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Ancient Indian History MCQ Part-5

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Ancient Indian History MCQ Part-4

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Ancient Indian History MCQ Part-3

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Ancient Indian History MCQ Part-2

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Ancient Indian History MCQ Part-1

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UPSC Prelims 2020 Batch 4: Complete Revision

UPSC IAS Prelims 2020 – 60 Days Programme

UPSC Prelims Test Series 2020

Important Topics for UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam 2020

Prelims 2020: Current Affairs 28 February 2020

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UPSC IAS Prelims 2020 Batch 4: Complete Revision

1000 Spring Initiatives

  • Union Tribal Affairs Ministry launched an online portal 1000 Spring Initiatives.
  • It is a GIS-based Spring Atlas with hydrological and chemical properties of the springs.
  • Presently, data of more than 170 springs have been uploaded on the Spring Atlas.
  • It aims at improving access to safe and adequate water for the tribal communities living in difficult and inaccessible part of rural areas in the country.
  • It is an integrated solution around natural springs, It includes the following
  1. Provision of infrastructure for piped water supply for drinking.
  2. Provision of water for irrigation.
  3. Community-led total sanitation initiatives.
  4. Provision for water for backyard nutrition gardens, generating sustainable livelihood opportunities for the tribal people.
  • Springs are natural sources of groundwater discharge and have been used extensively in the mountainous regions across the world, including India.
  • However, in the central and eastern Indian belt with more than 75% tribal population, it remains largely unrecognized and under-utilized.
  • The initiative will help in harnessing the potential of perennial springs’ water to address natural scarcity of water in tribal areas.
  • Under this initiative, more than 70 young tribal youths from the rural belt of three districts of Odisha namely, Kalahandi, Khandamal and Gajapati have been trained as barefoot hydro geologists by combining traditional and scientific knowledge for identification and mapping of springs, and undertaking rejuvenation and protection measures in their habitations. Current Affairs Prelims 2020

Van Dhan Vikas Kendra

  • The Van Dhan Scheme is an initiative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED. 
  • It was launched in 2018 and seeks to improve tribal incomes through value addition of tribal products.
  • The scheme will be implemented through Ministry of Tribal Affairs as Nodal Department at the Central Level and TRIFED as Nodal Agency at the National Level.
  • At State level, the State Nodal Agency for MFPs and the District collectors are envisaged to play a pivot role in scheme implementation at grassroot level.
  • Locally the Kendras are proposed to be managed by a Managing Committee (an SHG) consisting of representatives of Van Dhan SHGs in the cluster.

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Minor Forest Produce and tribal livelihoods

  • Minor Forest Produce (MFP) is a major source of livelihood for tribals living in forest areas.
  • The importance of MFPs for this section of the society can be gauged from the fact that around 100 million forest dwellers depend on MFPs for food, shelter, medicines and cash income.
  • It provides them critical subsistence during the lean seasons, particularly for primitive tribal groups such as hunter gatherers, and the landless.
  • Tribals derive 20-40% of their annual income from MFP on which they spend major portion of their time.
  •  This activity has strong linkage to women’s financial empowerment as most of the MFPs are collected and used/sold by women.
  • MFP sector has the potential to create about 10 million workdays annually in the country. Current Affairs Prelims 2020

Capacity Building of Scheduled Tribe Representatives in Local Self Governments

  • Capacity Building initiative is aimed at empowering tribal Panchayat Raj Institution (PRI) representatives by enhancing their decision making capabilities at local government level.
  • Among other issues concerning tribal development, it also focusses on constitutional and legal provisions that protect and promote the rights and welfare of the tribal population.
  • The programme will ensure greater participation of ST PRIs representatives in planning, execution and monitoring of government policies and programmes.
  • Their better participation in the development process would ensure better prioritization of the tribal development agenda.
  • The module for capacity building programme has been developed in conjunction with United Nations Development Programme for the purpose.
  • This module will be translated to the local languages for imparting training.
  • Facilitators from within the tribal communities will be involved in the Capacity Building process so that information sought to be conveyed can be better done in the local idiom.
  • The programme will be implemented by State governments through respective State Institute for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (SIRD&PR) and TRIs.

Bharatiya Adim Jati Sevak Sangh

  • Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs inaugurated All India Tribal Workers Meet organised by Bharatiya Adim Jati Sevak Sangh (BAJSS).
  • Bharatiya Adim Jati Sevak Sangh works for the communities, primarily tribals and nomadic, semi-nomadic, and Vimukta Jati communities of India and weaker sections of the society.
  • It promotes their social, cultural, educational, and economic development, and also to safeguard their Constitutional rights with a view to enable them to their legitimate share in the national life of the country as equal citizens.
  • BAJSS is also maintaining a comprehensive national level Tribal Museum exhibiting tribal articles and tribal culture.

Pujya Thakkar Bapa

  • Pujya Thakkar Bapa, is a social worker of the Servants of India Society.
  • Being a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi inspired him to work for removal of deep rooted poverty of tribals while giving service to untouchables.
  • The national level voluntary organization Bhratiya Adim Jati Seval Sangh was constituted by Pujya Thakkar Bapa.
  • In formulation of the Sangh, he got active participation of other eminent national level social workers and leaders.
  • The first President of the Sangh was Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India, who continued as President till he was alive.

Mission Purvodaya

  • Mission Purvodaya in steel sector envisions to create an integrated steel hub in Eastern India.
  • With abundance of raw materials, strategic geographical location and strong and developing connectivity, Odisha is well poised to be the heart of this eastern steel hub.
  • The Mission is rolled out by Union Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Ministry.
  • More than 75% of India’s envisioned incremental steel capacity will come from eastern India, with Odisha alone crossing 100 MTPA.
  • In Odisha, Kalinganagar will be developed as the epicenter of Mission Purvodaya.
  • There is immense scope for growth in high grade steel, downstream sector, ancillaries, capital goods and cluster development.
  • Government of India is keen to have Japan to be partner country in Mission Purvodaya.
  • Japanese technological expertise, investments will further strengthen the steel sector in Odisha and drive socio-economic growth. Current Affairs Prelims 2020

Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services

  • Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • INCOIS provides a number of free services for users in the marine realm.
  • The institute INCOIS prioritizes requests for specific services from its diverse user community that ranges right from fishermen to offshore oil exploration industries.
  • Recently INCOIS has developed three products
  1. Small Vessel Advisory and Forecast Services System (SVAS)
  2. Swell Surge Forecast System
  3. Algal Bloom Information Service (ABIS)
  • All three products focus on significantly reducing damage and losses for service/product users and the coastal population.

Small Vessel Advisory and Forecast Services System (SVAS)

  • The Small Vessel Advisory and Forecast Services System (SVA) is an innovative impact-based advisory and forecast service system for small vessels operating in Indian coastal waters.
  • The SVA system warns users about potential zones where vessel overturning can take place, ten days in advance.
  • The advisories are valid for small vessels of beam width up to 7 m.
  • This limit covers the entire range of beam widths of the fishing vessels used in all the 9 coastal states and union territories of India.  
  • The warning system is based on the  ‘Boat Safety Index’ (BSI) derived from wave model forecast outputs such as significant wave height, wave steepness, directional spread and the rapid development of wind at sea which is boat-specific.   

Swell Surge Forecast System

  • Swell surge forecast system is an innovative system designed for the prediction of Kallakkadal/Swell Surge that occurs along the Indian coast, particularly the west coast.
  • Kallakadal/Swell surge are flash-flood events that take place without any noticeable advance change in local winds or any other apparent signature in the coastal environment.
  • Hence the local population remains totally unaware of these flooding events until they actually occur.
  • Such events are intermittent throughout the year. Kallakkadal is a colloquial term used by Kerala fishermen to refer to the freaky flooding episodes and in 2012 UNESCO formally accepted this term for scientific use.
  • During Kallakkadal events, the sea surges into the land and inundates vast areas.
  • These events have attracted attention especially after the 2004 Tsunami in the Indian Ocean, since most people mistake Kallakkadal to be Tsunamis.
  • Tsunami and Kallakkadal/Swell surge are two different types of waves with entirely separate causes or mechanisms.
  • Kallakkadal are caused by meteorological conditions in the Southern Ocean, south of 30°S.
  • A study by INCOIS scientists has revealed that specific meteorological conditions in the Southern Indian Ocean support the generation of long period swells.
  • These swells once generated, travel northward and reach the Indian coasts in 3-5 days time, creating havoc in the coastal areas. 
  • The system will now predict Kallakkadal and warnings will be given to concerned authorities at least 2-3 days in advance, which will help the local authorities for contingency plans and to reduce damage.

Algal Bloom Information Service (ABIS)

  • The increasing frequency of algal blooms is a major concern due to its ill effects on fishery, marine life and water quality. INCOIS has developed a service for “Detection and Monitoring of Bloom in the Indian Seas”.
  • The target users are fishermen, marine fishery resource managers, researchers, ecologists and environmentalists.
  • The service also complements INCOIS’ marine fishing advisories i.e. Potential Fishing Zone advisories.
  • INCOIS-ABIS will provide near-real time information on spatio-temporal occurrence and spread of phytoplankton blooms over the North Indian Ocean.
  • Accordingly, relevant data retrieved from satellites i.e. Sea Surface Temperature , chlorophyll-a, Algal Bloom Index – chlorophyll, rolling chlorophyll anomaly, rolling sea surface temperature anomaly, phytoplankton class/species, phytoplankton size class and a composite image delineating bloom and non-bloom regions will be disseminated daily through ABIS.
  • In addition, four regions have been identified as bloom hotspots viz.
    1. North Eastern Arabian Sea
    2. coastal waters off Kerala
    3. Gulf of Mannar and
    4. Coastal waters of Gopalpur.

Unified Vehicle Registration Card  

  • Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) had issued the guidelines to bring uniformity in driving licenses and vehicle registration cards across the country in 2019.
  • These cards are being issued in compliance with these guidelines.
  • The new cards will have more exhaustive information printed on both the sides of the cards.
  • It will also bear a unique number recognized across the country.
  • The unified smart cards for driving license and vehicle registration will each have a QR code that will help in verifying authenticity of the data printed on the cards.
  • The unified driving license card will also have information about the ability of the driver to drive in hilly and dangerous areas and an emergency contact number.
  • Recently Madhya Pradesh became first state to launch unified vehicle registration card and second state to launch the unified driving license after Uttar Pradesh.

Offshore Patrol Vessel-6 “VAJRA

  • Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV-6) ’VAJRA’ is launched at Chennai .
  • It is the sixth Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) getting launched in the sea.
  • OPV-6 is truly state of the art platform which will enhance the capabilities of Indian Coast Guard in terms of Operation, Surveillance, and Search & Rescue.
  • Indian Coast Guard has increased its fleet strength and now it is one of the largest coast guards in the world.
  • The ship would be utilized for day and night patrol/surveillance along with anti-terrorist/ anti-smuggling operations in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as well as Coastal Security.
  • The OPV will have two Navigation Radars with ultra-modern technology, sophisticated navigational and latest communication systems. Current Affairs Prelims 2020
UPSC Prelims General Studies of India

Current Affairs Yearbook 2020 Volume-3

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UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam 2020 Expected MCQ Part-12

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UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam 2020 Expected MCQ Part-11

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Current Affairs 1-25 March 2020

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UPSC Prelims: Monthly Current Affairs March 2020

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Daily News Prescription – 21 March 2020

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Daily News Prescription – 20 March 2020

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Daily News Prescription – 19 March 2020

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Daily Current Affairs 18 March 2020

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Daily News Prescription – 28 February 2020

MYUPSC.COM is dedicated to preparation of UPSC Civil Services and State PSC Prelims and Mains Examination 2020. we are providing here the best quality study material and Test Series for UPSC IAS Prelims and Mains Exam 2020. you can get India yearbook 2020 and State wise Current Affairs and General Knowledge Yearbook 2020. The site intends to provide free study notes, knowledge or information related to IAS/PCS exams that can help to crack these Examinations. The Study Portal has also published its Ebooks/ PDF on various aspects & dimensions of General Studies of World, India and all the Indian states. The vision of the Study Portal is to consolidate all the relevant information related to India, Indian States regarding its History, Geography, Polity, Art-Culture, Heritage, Economy, Environment & Biodiversity and Current Affairs etc.  Daily News February 2020

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GS2: Polity & Governance

BJP cornered 78% of donations to parties(TH) BJP got ₹742 crores out of ₹951 crores, says ADR analysis of contributions of over ₹20,000 in 2018-19

GS2: Social issues

Explained: Coronavirus in 47 countries, but is it a pandemic yet? (IE) The novel coronavirus disease that emerged in Wuhan, China, in the final days of last year, is now in at least 47 countries around the world, spanning every continent except Antarctica. More than 82,000 people have been infected, and over 2,800 are dead.

GS2: International Relations

Explained: Reading the Trump visit (IE) America’s support was critical in fending off the Pakistani effort to get the UNSC to discuss Kashmir after India changed the constitutional status of the state last August. It was also crucial in sustaining the pressure on Pakistan at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

India-Myanmar According to the joint statement, the two sides will start a coordinated bus service between Imphal and Mandalay on April 7. Bus operators on both sides have already signed the agreement.

GS3: Security

What should India’s joint command structure look like? The Chief of Defence Staff must spell out India’s strategic interests as part of a vision document

GS3: Science and Technology

A browning east (TH) Climate change impact warnings for the Eastern Ghats underscore the need for forest protection

What is a mini-moon? (IE) he mass — roughly 1.9-3.5 meters in diameter — was observed by researchers Kacper Wierzchos and Teddy Pruyne at the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona on the night of February 15. “BIG NEWS. Earth has a new temporarily captured object/Possible mini-moon called 2020 CD3,” likely to be a C-type asteroid, Wierzchos tweeted on Wednesday.
 

Prelims Corner

1. Appointment and Transfer of HC judges – War of words over HC judge’s transfer (TH) The late Wednesday notification of the Law Ministry, notifying the transfer of Justice S. Muralidhar from the Delhi High Court to the Punjab and Haryana Court.

2. National Science Day 2020  NSD is celebrated every year on 28 February to commemorate the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’. The government of India designated 28 February as National Science Day (NSD) in 1986.  On this day, Sir C.V. Raman announced the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’ for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1930. On this occasion, theme-based science communication activities are carried out all over the country.

3. Leap Year – Why it’s a leap year, and why our great-grandparents skipped one of them(IE) To be more precise than earlier, Earth completes one orbit in 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds. However, with three years of 365 days and one leap year of 366 days, the average length of a year in the Julian calendar was 365 days and 6 hours. This was longer, if ever slightly so than 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds. Daily News February 2020

4. HENNEGUYA SALMINICOLA –  Other organisms such as fungi and amoebas that are found in anaerobic environments lost the ability to breathe over time. The new study shows that the same can happen in the case of animals, too

Daily News February 2020: PT 365 Latest Govt Schemes

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Market Intelligence and Early Warning System

  • Union Ministry of Food Processing has launched Market Intelligence and Early Warning System (MIEWS) Portal for Monitoring prices of TOP Crops (Tomato, Onion and Potato).
  • MIEWS portal would help in planning and timely intervention for price stabilization and generating alerts
  • The MIEWS Dashboard and Portal is a ‘first-of-its-kind’ platform for ‘real time monitoring’ of prices of tomato, onion and potato (TOP) and for simultaneously generating alerts for intervention under the terms of the Operation Greens (OG) scheme.
  • The portal would disseminate all relevant information related to TOP crops such as Prices and Arrivals, Area, Yield and Production, Imports and Exports, Crop Calendars, Crop Agronomy, etc in an easy to use visual format.
  • A dashboard that would indicate low price and high price alerts as well as price forecasts for 3 month forward.
  • Prices and arrivals of TOP crops across the country including interactive charts and comparisons with previous seasons
  • This portal is a novel initiative of MoFPI leveraging IT tools and furthering the goals of Digital India.

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Operation Greens Scheme

  • In the budget speech of Union Budget 2018-19, a new Scheme “Operation Greens (OG)” was announced on the line of “Operation Flood”.
  • The scheme provides an outlay of Rs.500 crores to promote Farmer Producers Organizations (FPOs), Agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management.
  • Accordingly, the Ministry has formulated a scheme for integrated development of Tomato, Onion and Potato (TOP) value chain.
  • As per the terms of the OG Scheme, during a glut situation, evacuation of surplus production from producing areas to consumption centers will be undertaken as determined by the following:
  1. When the prices fall below preceding 3 years’ average market price at the time of harvest;
  2. When the prices fall more than 50% compared to last year’s market price at the time of harvest;
  3. When the prices fall less than the benchmark, if any, fixed by the State / Central Government for a specified period.

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National Technical Textiles Mission

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, has given its approval to set up a National Technical Textiles Mission with a total outlay of Rs 1480 Crore, with a view to position the country as a global leader in Technical Textiles.
  • The Mission would have a four year implementation period from FY 2020-21 to 2023-24.
  • Technical Textiles are futuristic and nice segment of textiles, which are used for various applications ranging from agriculture, roads, railway tracks, sportswear, health on one end to bullet proof jacket, fire proof jackets, high altitude combat gear and space applications on other end of spectrum.
  • The Mission will have four components:
  • Research, Innovation and Development – which promotes fundamental research at fiber level aiming at path breaking technological products in Carbon Fiber, Aramid Fiber, Nylon Fiber, and Composites
  • The fundamental research will be conducted in various Centre for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratories, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and other scientific/industrial/academic laboratories of repute.
  • Promotion and Market Development – Through market development, market promotion, international technical collaborations, investment promotions and ‘Make in India’ initiatives.
  • Export Promotion – An Export Promotion Council for Technical Textiles will be set up for effective coordination and promotion activities in the segment.
  • Education, Training, Skill Development – The Mission will promote technical education at higher engineering and technology levels related to technical textiles and its application areas.
  • The Mission will focus on usage of technical textiles in various flagship missions, programmes of the country including strategic sectors.

Technical Textiles

  • Technical textiles are textiles materials and products manufactured primarily for technical performance and functional properties rather than aesthetic characteristics.
  • Technical Textiles products are divided into 12 broad categories (Agrotech, Buildtech, Clothtech, Geotech, Hometech, Indutech, Mobiltech, Meditech, Protech, Sportstech, Oekotech, Packtech) depending upon their application areas.
  • India shares nearly 6% of world market size of 250 Billion USD.
  • However, the annual average growth of the segment is 12%, as compared to 4% world average growth.

Measuring Poverty in India

  • Poverty can be defined as a condition in which an individual or household lacks the financial resources to afford a basic minimum standard of living.
  • Economists and policymakers estimate “absolute” poverty as the shortfall in consumption expenditure from a threshold called the “poverty line”.
  • Poverty is measured using the Tendulkar poverty line.
  • As per this, 21.9% of people in India live below the poverty line.
  • The official poverty line is the expenditure incurred to obtain the goods in a “poverty line basket” (PLB).
  • Poverty can be measured in terms of the number of people living below this line (with the incidence of poverty expressed as the head count ratio).
  • The “depth” of poverty indicates how far the poor are below the poverty line.
  • The PLB comprises goods and services considered essential to a basic minimum standard of living — food, clothing, rent, conveyance, and entertainment.
  • The price of the food component can be estimated using calorie norms or nutrition targets.
  • Until the 1990s, the calorie norms method was used, It was based on the minimum number of calories recommended by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for a household of five members.
  • However, this method does not consider the different food groups that are essential for health — this is why the Tendulkar Committee targeted nutritional outcomes.
  • Following schemes use the definition of poverty given by the NITI Aayog or the erstwhile Planning Commission.
  1. Antyodaya Anna Yojana (which provides subsidided foodgrains to households living below the poverty line)
  2. Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (health insurance for BPL households)
  • The Centre allocates funds for these schemes to states based on the numbers of their poor.

Committees on Poverty

  • Six official committees have so far estimated the number of people living in poverty in India
  1. The working group of 1962 ( did not consider age and gender-specific calorie requirements)
  2. V N Dandekar and N Rath in 1971.
  3. Y K Alagh in 1979.
  4. D T Lakdawala in 1993 ( excluded health and education expenditure  from the consumption basket)
  5. Suresh Tendulkar in 2009 ( Included Health, education expenditures along with targeted nutritional outcomes)
  6. C Rangarajan in 2014 ( selected food component arbitrarily , excluding sanitation, healthcare, access to clean water, and prevalence of pollutants)
  • The government did not take a call on the report of the Rangarajan Committee.

Multidimensional Poverty Index

  • In 2011, Oxford University researchers devised the multidimensional poverty index (MPI) to capture poverty using 10 indicators: nutrition, child mortality, years of schooling, school attendance, ownership of assets, and access to proper house, electricity, drinking water, sanitation, and clean cooking fuel.
  • Poverty is measured in terms of deprivation in at least a third of these indicators.
  • The MPI is a more comprehensive measure of poverty because it includes components that capture the standard of living more effectively.

UKIERI-UGC Program

  • Union HRD Ministry has launched UKIERI-UGC Higher Education Leadership Development Programme for Administrators.
  • It is a joint initiative of UGC and British Council under the auspices of UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI), which aims to deliver a leadership development programme for middle and senior level administrative functionaries in Indian Universities.
  • The programme will lead to developing a more global outlook and promote learning for inclusive and internationally connected higher education systems that support the economic and social growth in UK and India.
  • The Minister also said that the programme will serve as a stimulant for the functionaries to improve their performance and capabilities which consequently shall enhance institutional profile and reputation of Universities in India.
  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) will conduct this programme in collaboration with Advance HE as the training partner with globally recognized institutional expertise and leadership excellence from the UK, which is being enabled by the British Council in India.

Indradhanush – V 2020

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) and Royal Air Force (RAF) jointly commenced the fifth edition of Ex Indradhanush at Air Force Station Hindan.
  • The focus of this edition of the exercise is ‘Base Defence and Force Protection’.
  • This theme is of significance considering the recent threats to military establishments from terror elements.
  • Ex Indradhanush provides a platform for the IAF and RAF to share and jointly validate strategies and tactics to counter terror threats to their installations.

ICoSDiTAUS-2020

  • International Conference on Standardization of Diagnosis and Terminologies in Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha Systems of Medicine (ICoSDiTAUS-2020), held in New Delhi.
  • Sixteen countries which came together for the cause of Traditional Medicine at this conference, which includes Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Serbia, Curacao, Cuba, Myanmar, Equatorial Guinea, Qatar, Ghana, Bhutan, Uzbekistan, India, Switzerland, Iran, Jamaica and Japan.
  • ICoSDiTAUS-2020 is the biggest ever international event dedicated to standardization of Diagnosis and Terminologies of Traditional Medicine in terms of the broad level of participation covering virtually all the continents.
  • New Delhi Declaration on Collection and Classification of Traditional Medicine (TM) Diagnostic Data was made in the conference.
  • The New Delhi declaration emphasized the commitment of the countries to Traditional Medicine as a significant area of health care.
  • It sought the opportunity for including traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha in the International Classification of Diseases of WHO which is the standard diagnostic tool for health management across the world.

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GS2: Polity and Governance

When a court pronounces a verdict, without giving reasons (TH) In a highly unusual move, a nine-judge Bench of the Supreme Court resorted to a non-speaking order as it ruled affirmatively on the preliminary issue on Sabarimala controversy.

Explained: Govt to establish Central Consumer Protection Authority; what is it? (IE) Govt has set the ball rolling for a Central Consumer Protection Authority under the new Consumer Protection Act. A look at its expected structure and its scope, including a crackdown on false ads.

Centre set to revamp IT Act (TH) New law to focus on a stronger framework to deal with cybercrimes: Prasad

GS3: Economy

Cabinet gives clearance for Technical Textile Mission (TH)  The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the setting up of a National Technical Textiles Mission at a total outlay of ₹1,480 Crore.

Prelims Corner

1. IVC – Importance of Rakhigarhi – In Rakhigarhi, anxiety trumps history (TH) But the Centre is moving ahead with its plan to develop the site as a tourist hub and set up a museum, and this has got residents in two villages in Haryana’s Hisar district — Rakhi Khas and Rakhi Shahpur — known as Rakhigarhi worried. … “If Dholavira changed history, Rakhigarhi is changing history for the second time.

2. Inner Line Permit – BERF – Assam at the centre of fresh border row (TH) Assam is at the centre of a fresh inter-State border row in the northeastern region.

3. Resolution 40/1 – Sri Lanka notifies UN about right resolution withdrawal(TH) – also cover what is unga reso and how they are named. Rajapaksa was president when Sri Lankan troops defeated Tamil Tiger guerrillas in 2009, but rights groups accused the army of killing at least 40,000 Tamil civilians in the final months of the conflict.

4. Insight Mission – Explained: What InSight has told us about Mars so far(IE)” This week, NASA published a set of six papers – five in the journal Nature, one in Nature Geoscience – to reveal “a planet alive with quakes, dust devils and strange magnetic pulses”

GS2: International Relations

“Trump renews offer to mediate on Kashmir, but skirts CAA(TH)  India, U.S. now ‘Comprehensive Global Strategic Partners’, ink deals on energy

India, the U.S. to upgrade ties, call on Pak. to curb terror(TH) Joining hands, from Af-Pak to NSG(IE)” India, U.S. has finalized defense deals worth $3 billion: Trump after talks with Modi

GS2: Polity & Governance

Rights, duties and the Constitution (TH) It is only after a guarantee of the sum of all promised by the Constitution that citizens can be asked to do their duty

Simply put: What the Delhi government can/cannot do(IE) In the ongoing Delhi violence, what action can the state government take in a UT where police are under the Centre? Under what circumstances can Delhi call for central forces? And if called, what is the state’s role?

Explained: Ways to measure poverty in India — and why the numbers matter(IE) Poverty can be measured in terms of the number of people living below this line (with the incidence of poverty expressed as the headcount ratio). The “depth” of poverty indicates how far the poor are below the poverty line.

GS3: Environment

Two-thirds of most polluted cities are in India: global report (IE) Among countries, when the population is taken into account, average PM2.5 pollution is highest in Bangladesh, followed by Pakistan, while India is at number 5.

Counting birds together (TH) The State of India’s Birds Report has two distinctive features that define a new approach

Declare Eastern Ghats UNESCO cultural heritage sites (TH) – ‘Five States encompassed by the Ghats should come up with action plan’

Prelims Corner

1. Swine Flu – Five Supreme Court judges infected with swine flu(TH) Dushyant Dave confirmed that some judges were taken ill in the past few days

2. Rajya Sabha Polls – Rajya Sabha polls on March 26, equations not to change(TH) These seats from 17 states are falling vacant on different dates in April due to retirement of members.

3. Clause 6 of Assam Accord” “The ball is now in the Centre’s court,” says panel chairman

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TRUMP VISIT

  • Several deals and MoUs were signed during the India visit of US President Donald Trump
  • India will buy six AH-64E Apache helicopters from US company Boeing for USD 800 million
  • India will buy 24 MH-60 Romeo helicopters from US company Lockheed Martin for USD 2.6 billion
  • MoU on the safety of medical products signed between Central Drugs Standard Control Organization and the US Food and Drug Administration
  • Letter of Cooperation signed between Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and Exxon Mobil India LNG Ltd and Chart Industries Inc, US. UPSC Preliminary Exam 2020

INDIA

  • First ‘National Conference on Coastal Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience (CDRR&R) – 2020’ organised by NIDM (National Institute of Disaster Management) in New Delhi
  • Chhattisgarh: Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat inaugurates newly constructed building of the Rajiv Gandhi National Ground Water Training and Research Institute in Nava Raipur
  • Minister of State for Home Affairs, G Kishan Reddy inaugurates National Cyber Research, Innovation & Capacity Centre at CDTI campus in Hyderabad
  • Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat pays tribute at the National War Memorial in New Delhi on its first anniversary
  • Bihar assembly passes unanimous resolution saying there was no need for NRC (National Register for Citizens) in the state and updating of NPR (National Population Register) should be done according to the 2010 format
  • MP becomes 1st first state in the country to launch unified vehicle registration card and 2nd to launch a unified driving license after UP
  • MP govt. more than doubles the honorarium paid to Muslim clerics (from Rs 2,200 to Rs 5,000 per month) and muezzins (from Rs 1,900 to Rs 4,500) in the state. UPSC Preliminary Exam 2020

ECONOMY & CORPORATE

  • 10 lakh smart meters installed across India under Centre’s Smart Meter National Programme (SMNP) implemented by EESL (Energy Efficiency Services Limited: Minister of State (IC) for Power, New & Renewable Energy R.K. Singh
  • Labour Ministry to launch mobile app ‘Santushti’ to address issues of beneficiaries of ESI (Employees State Insurance) scheme
  • RBI allows Bandhan Bank to expand its branch network after baring it in September 2018 for not complying with the licensing conditions that required reduction in promoter stake in the bank from 82% to 40%
  • Trans Union CIBIL, a credit information company operating in India, appoints Rajesh Kumar as new MD & CEO

WORLD

  • Malaysia: 94-year old Mahathir Mohamad resumes work with a new title of interim prime minister, a day after resigning
  • 13-day-long Indo-UK joint military exercise — Ajeya Warrior – conclude in Salisbury (UK)
  • Tibetans celebrating Losar, the New Year of the community, from February 24 to 26
  • Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s President from 1981 to 2011, dies aged 91 in Cairo
  • Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt end postal blockage against Qatar; the 3 nations along with UAE had severed all diplomatic, trade and transport ties with Qatar in June 2017
  • World’s oldest man Chitetsu Watanabe dies at the age of 112 in Japan
  • Indian-American Ajay Banga to step down as President and CEO of MasterCard and become Executive Chairman from January 1, 2021. Michael Miebach will be the new CEO

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SPORTS

  • First-ever Khelo India Winter Games inaugurated in the Union Territory of Ladakh at Leh

26 February 2020 Current Affairs: The January 2020 census reported that the number of dolphins at Odisha’s Gahirmatha marine sanctuary has nearly reduced to half over a year. This has pushed down the state’s overall count. The census was released on 24 February 2020.

Census Highlights:
♦ The January 2020 census spotted only 62 of the marine mammals at Gahirmatha, which is located within Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha’s Kendrapara district.
♦ Odisha’s state’s total dolphin count reduced to 233, down from 259 in 2019.
♦ Dolphin, the sea mammal, was included in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. It is included in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and in Appendix II of the Convention on Migratory Species.
♦ it has been listed as endangered on the International Union in the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List.

Note:
The census was first conducted in Gahirmatha in 2015. The census in 2016 and 2017 was cancelled due to bad weather. The census in 2020 was the fourth such dolphin census undertaken in the marine sanctuary. The 2015 census reported 270 dolphins.

26 February 2020 Current Affairs: A high-level committee, constituted by GoI, submitted its report on Assam Accord’s Clause 6 to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in Guwahati. The Assam state government is now expected to send the report to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for the follow-up action


Report Highlights:
♦ The committee gave recommendations and measures to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.
♦ The committee prepared the report within the stipulated time and submitted the report.

Background:
On 16 July 2019, the Centre constituted the high-level committee for the recommending measures to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord. The first meeting of the committee was held on 24 July 2019 in New Delhi. Clause 6 protects the cultural, linguistic identity, social, and heritage of the Assamese people. The committee was directed to assess the level of reservation of seats in the Assam Legislative Assembly and local bodies for the Assamese people. UPSC Preliminary Exam 2020
Members of the committee:
The Chairman of the committee is the retired Justice Biplab Sharma. The members of the committee included MHA Satyendra Garg as member secretary; Ramesh Borpatragohain, Advocate General, Assam; Niloy Dutta, Advocate General, Arunachal Pradesh; Dr. Jaikanta Sharma, professor & columnist; Subhash Das, former IAS; Pallav Bhattacharya, former IPS; Dr. Srishtidhar Dutta, retired professor; Sumanta Chaliha, author and columnist; Wasbir Hussain, senior journalist; Samujjal Bhattacharya, Chief Adviser, All Assam Student Union (AASU); Dipanka Kumar Nath, President, AASU; Lurinjyoti Gogoi, General Secretary, AASU and Joint Secretary.

26 February 2020 Current Affairs: Indian-origin Suella Braverman has been appointed as the UK’s new Attorney General. The appointment comes in British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s reshuffled Cabinet in February 2020. Suella Braver man sworn in for the post at a ceremony at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on 24 February;
Braverman will involve reviewing the work of the law officers’ departments. She will oversee the independent prosecuting authorities, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Serious Fraud Office. 

Suella Braverman:
Suella Braverman, a 39-year-old minister, is a barrister and Cambridge University law graduate. She had specialized in public law and judicial review. Since 2015, she served as an MP for Fareham in south-east England. She served as a minister in the Department for Exiting the European Union. She served as a member of the Attorney General’s panel of treasury counsel.
She studied law at the University of Cambridge. She completed Masters in law from the University of Paris. Braver man was the first female Attorney General to be appointed by a Conservative Party government.

26 February 2020 Current Affairs: The Union Minister of Agriculture, Secretary, Department of Agriculture, and Cooperation & Farmers Welfare Sanjay Agarwal chaired a high-level meeting on Desert Locust Control on 25 February.

Desert Locust Control:
♦ The meeting discussed by the challenges and achievements the locust control operations done from May 2019 to February 2020. 
♦ The losses caused by the locust attack in Rajasthan and Gujarat and the status of support under SDRF/NDRF were discussed. 
♦ The Inter-Ministerial teams had visited both Rajasthan and Gujarat to assess the crop loss so that additional funds if required may be issued from NDRF as per norms.
♦ Control Operations were reviewed and Secretary DAC&FW appreciated the excellent cooperation and coordination between State Governments and Central Government Departments. 
♦ The Central Government conducts Awareness campaigns and training for State Government Officials, BSF personnel, Revenue Department officials, farmers at the village level. 
♦ The officials were directed to organize training and awareness programmes in all 4 states namely Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana during March-April 2020.

Participants:
Senior Officers from the State Governments of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana, officers from Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home, National Disaster Management Authority and CMD of HIL (India) Limited, Special Secretary, DAC&FW, Agriculture Commissioner and other officers of DAC&FW participated in the meeting. UPSC Preliminary Exam 2020

26 February 2020 Current Affairs: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to launch new-age geo- imaging satellite GISAT-1 from Sriharikota on 5 March 2020. This is the first satellite to be launched in 2020. 

GISAT-1:
♦ The satellite has the capability to perform real-time and constant watch of the Indian subcontinent. 
♦ The satellite weighs 2,275 kg.
♦ GISAT is an earth observation satellite that will be placed in a geosynchronous transfer orbit at 36,000km altitude. 
♦ GISAT-1 will facilitate near real-time observation of the Indian subcontinent, under cloud-free conditions, at frequent intervals. 
♦ The satellite will do the full rotation of the Earth and come to the same point after every 2 hours. 
♦ It will fast image the Earth and can perform constant and rapid surveillance. The satellite can observe a point for a longer duration if needed.

26 February 2020 Current Affairs: The 5th edition of joint military Exercise Ajeya Warrior 2020 concluded at West down Camp, Salisbury Plains Training Area, and UK. The exercise was held between India and the United Kingdom. Brigadier Tom Bewick, Commander of UK 7 Infantry Brigade and Brigadier Gavin, Defence Attache of the UK in India attended the closing ceremony of the event. UPSC Preliminary Exam 2020

Aim:
The exercise was aimed to conduct company-level joint training with an emphasis on counter-terrorist operations in urban and semi-urban areas.

Highlights:
♦ The exercise included joint training in urban and semi-urban areas. 
♦ Important lectures, demonstrations, and drills related to counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations were rehearsed and executed jointly. 
♦ The exercise highlighted the Bonhomie and Camaraderie displayed by the troops. It ensured the integration and achievement of interoperability at all levels. 
♦ The exercise promoted understanding and interoperability between the two armies, it further helped in cementing ties between both the nations.
♦ Both countries shared their experiences gained during various counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations in the past.
♦ The exercise is conducted alternatively in India and the UK. 
♦ Over 120 soldiers each from the two armies participated in the exercise.
♦ The exercise displayed a bilateral willingness to work jointly and shared operating procedures to deal with a situation in a specified operational setting.

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UPSC Preliminary Exam 2020: Geography IAS Prelims Notes

Rajasthan Current Affairs February 2020

Rajasthan State Current GK / Current Affairs are relevant for almost all of Rajasthan State Public Services Examinations including RPSC RAS/RTS. we make an attempt to enlist/summarise news and other important current affairs with regards to Rajasthan. However, readers should note that current affairs have been specifically prepared with regard to RPSC RAS/RTS Prelims and Mains Examination. Rajasthan GK February 2020

Unit-I, Part A

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State Budget 2020-21: Seven focus areas as pledges

February 2020, the state Budget for the first time announced seven focus areas as pledges. These are:

  • First Pledge: Nirogi Rajasthan – Healthcare;
  • Second Pledge: Prosperity of farmers,
  • Third Pledge: Welfare of women, child and senior citizens;
  • Fourth Pledge: Competent workers, students and youth;
  • Fifth Pledge: Delivery of education
  • Sixth Pledge: Water, power and road
  • Seventh Pledge: Skill development and technical education

No Bag Days

In the state budget speech 2020, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has proposed that Saturdays will be ‘No Bag Day’ in all government schools to reduce pressure on schoolchildren. The day will be reserved for parent-teacher meets, games, and happiness therapy and personality development. Rajasthan GK February 2020

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Scheme Name Change

  • The state government has changed the name of Guru Golwalkar Jan Bhagidari Vikas Yojana, under rural development and panchayati raj department, to Mahatma Gandhi Jan Bhagidari Vikas Yojana as a mark of respect to the country’s Father of the Nation on his 150th birth anniversary.
  • M S Golwalkar was the second sarsanghchalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
  • Under the scheme, 30 per cent of the funds are generated through public contribution and 70 per cent is funded by the government. The fund is used for all kinds of community building works in villages. These include building schools, roads, community halls, toilets etc.

Jaipur officially accorded World Heritage City status by UNESCO

In February 2020, UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay presented the certificate of World Heritage City of Jaipur to Rajasthan’s Urban Development Minister Shanti Dhariwal, at a ceremony held in Albert Hall. The city of Parkota Jaipur has been listed in the World Heritage list by UNESCO. Being included in the list of the World Heritage City would be more helpful in preserving its cultural heritage.

On this occasion, the browser for the Intangible Heritage Promotion Project was also released. It has been launched on the basis of the recent MoU between UNESCO and Rajasthan Tourism Department.

UPSC IAS Prelims 2020 Batch 4: Complete Revision

Rajasthan CM requests National Project Status for ERCP

In February 2020, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot has requested the Centre declare the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) a national project through a letter. The letter argues, that national project status was necessary to give national project status to the initiative to ensure its early implementation.

‘Udyam Samagam’ to be held in every district

The department of Industries, GoR would conduct a month-long campaign in the districts to establish a direct communication with the youth, entrepreneurs and the public. Consequently, a two-day enterprise meet named as ‘Udyam Samagam’ will be organised in all the 33 districts of Rajasthan.

Rajasthan HC notice to Centre, State Government for gender parity in marriageable age

In February 2020, the Rajasthan High Court has issued notices to the state and Central governments and Central Law Commission seeking reply in six weeks, while hearing a petition challenging the legal age of bride and groom for marriage as mentioned in the law. As per the law, the groom is legally allowed to marry at the age of 21 years while a bride’s legal age of marriage is 18 years.

Petitioner Abdul Mannan, in his petition, stated that the difference of three years in the marriageable age between bride and the groom was discriminatory and hence a violation of fundamental rights. Further, the age differences an indicator of patriarchal mentality in the society and stated that there was no scientific basis of this perception. He also stated that the age of bride and groom is the same in 125 countries.

Mukti Caravan’ to raise awareness on child rights

Rajasthan Director General of Police Bhupendra Singh on Friday flagged off ‘Mukti Caravan’, organised jointly by the state police and Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation, to raise awareness about social evils such as child abuse, child labour and child trafficking. The ‘Mukti Caravan’ will travel across the state in the next three months to raise public awareness about child rights.

Rajasthan govt to tag cattle to develop e-market

In February 2020, to develop a market for the cattle and increase the income of the cattle herders, Rajasthan animal husbandry department has launched a new scheme to develop an e-market.

Under this scheme, the workers of the department will go door to door, to tag the animals on ear and collect all the information required. The information will contain – breed, past diseases, milk quantity, vaccination and price. After the process is complete, the farmers will be able to sell their animals from the website. The buyers can log on to the website, choose the animal of their choice and can then bid on them. At first, the scheme has been launched in Jaipur district. Later, other regions of the state will be joined.

Person in NEWS:

  • Yash Mishra, a student of Class IX in Kota, has been felicitated with Bal Shakti Puraskar 2020 by president Ram Nath Kovind in New Delhi on January 22.

Rajasthan Sustainable Development Index Methodology

Department of Economics & Statistics, Government of Rajasthan selected the methodology and chose the set of indicators from the 62 indicators of NITI Aayog’s Sustainable Development Goals Index for developing a sustainable development goals index for the state of Rajasthan.

The Rajasthan’s SDG Index has been developed using 31 indicators across 12 goals. To develop this index, data were used from publicly available sources. These data were aggregated to develop individual SDG score for each district in Rajasthan, which was then used to develop the Sustainable development goals index for Rajasthan. Rajasthan GK February 2020

For each goal, the SDG score ranges between 0 and 100, where 0 being the worst among the group and 100 signifying that all the targets for that goal/all goals have been achieved.

Rajasthan: District wise SDG Score Snapshot

  • Jhunjhunu has secured 1st position.
  • Jaisalmer occupies last position.

Rajasthan State Economically Backward Class Board (RSEBCB)

  • The RSEBCB will be formed for the welfare of people belonging to economically backward class.
·         State Mining Exploration Trust
·         Board of Investment
  • The Board of Investment under the chairmanship of the chief minister has been proposed to expedite approval process for large investment proposals which currently takes 3-6 months.
  • As per the existing practices, investment proposals above Rs 100 crore are cleared by a state-level empowered committee, after which they go the cabinet for final approval. But once the new board gets instituted, the proposals would not require cabinet approval in normal cases.

New Funds:

Rajiv@75 Fund

  • The Budget proposed a Rs 75 core fund for startup on the name “Rajiv Gandhi @75 Fund”.
Pravasi Rajasthani Shramik Kalyan Kosh
Nirogi Rajasthan Management Fund
  • Under Nirogi Rajasthan, a campaign to create awareness among people to prevent all kinds of lifestyle diseases.
  • Each village in the state will have two ‘Swasthya Mitras‘– a male and a female – to spread the door-to-door campaign in the villages.
  • Each district will be allocated Rs 1 crore each.
Nehru Bal Protection Fund
  • A separate fund of Rs 100 crore has been proposed for the first time for rehabilitation of children, who are rescued from child labour and other children who needs support and care of the state government.
Tourism Development Fund
  • The Rs 100-crore tourism development fund will be used for promoting tourism and developing ‘ease of traveling policy‘in Rajasthan.
  • The tourism department will prepare a plan for detailing the areas where the corpus would be spent.

Rajasthan Water Resources Department awarded by CBIP

On 19th February 2020, the Department of Water ResourcesGovernment of Rajasthan, was awarded by the Central Board of Irrigation & Power (CBIP) in New Delhi. The state government received award in two categories, namely, Excellence in Integrated Water Resources Management in Indira Gandhi Canal Project and Effective Participatory Irrigation Management for effective involvement of farmers in irrigation management.

Naveen Mahajan, Secretary, Water Resources, Government of Rajasthan received the awards from Rattan Lal Kataria, Minister of State, Ministry of Jal Shakti and RK Jain, Chairman, Central Water Commission.

The CBIP Award 2020 recognised the work done under the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) by Indira Gandhi Project and work done by Rajasthan in the field of Participatory Irrigation Management. CBIP has appreciated the effective integrated, multidisciplinary command area development under Indira Gandhi Nahar Project (IGNP) in western districts of Rajasthan for effective, integrated, multidisciplinary Command Area Development in desert areas of Rajasthan by efficient Operation, Maintenance and Regulation of Canal Network, web enabled Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) based monitoring and control system of Main Canal to achieve timely and equitable water distribution among farmers and continual efforts of increasing water use efficiency through micro-irrigation.

The second project has resulted in efficient farm level water management, enhanced water use efficiency and increase in actual irrigated area.

It is also relevant to note that in September 2019, Rajasthan became the first state to be awarded for water conservation and efficient use practices by the National Water Mission of the Government of India under Category Two–Promotion of citizen and state action for water conservation, augmentation and preservation–of awards.

The award given out by the Jal Shakti ministry is in line with the larger government campaign for water conservation and its supply to every household in the country. Use of micro-irrigation in Narmada Canal Project in Sanchore and in Tejpur Minor of Indira Gandhi Nahar Project stage-II were then declared winners by a jury comprising IIT professors, former bureaucrats and water experts who verified the project credentials and visited the project. Rajasthan GK February 2020

According to Naveen Mahajan, the Narmada Canal project is the first major project in the country based on micro irrigation based water application. Narmada water provides irrigation to 246,000 hectares in Barmer and Jalore districts, and drinking water to three towns and 1,541 villages in both the districts.

The Tejpur Minor project won the second prize for increasing water use efficiency by 20 per cent after the micro irrigation system was introduced during 2011-12. It led to “rise in crop production” leading to “improvement” in the socio-economic status of farmers in the area,”

Rajasthan Govt. to bring Navjaat Suraksha Yojana

The health department of Rajasthan Government is formulating a policy named ‘Navjaat Suraksha Yojana’ for care of neonates. The scheme aims to bring down infant mortality rate (IMR) in the state.

In the state, the infant mortality rate is 35 deaths per 1,000 live births. According to the National Family Health Survey 2015-16, the IMR in the state was 41 deaths per 1,000 live births. The health department is aiming to bring down IMR further by formulating a ‘Navjaat Suraksha Yojana’, Nirogi Rajasthan and initiatives like kangaroo mother care.

Promoting Kangaroo Mother Care

Aiming to improve healthcare facilities for neonates, the health department has decided to also include kangaroo mother care in ‘Nirogi Rajasthan’ initiative of the state government. The health department is promoting the technique claiming that it provides continuous skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby and exclusive breast milk feeding to keep the baby healthy. Rajasthan GK February 2020

The State health department is promoting it as it does not require separate funds. “It is a low-cost technique which is highly practical and has potential to save millions of new-borns without any burden on healthcare cost. This technique is still under-utilised and if utilised properly, can save many lives. The department has 77 master trainers in kangaroo mother care and they will go to district and block level to train the healthcare staff.

Locust Attack in Rajasthan

Locust attack in Rajasthan and Gujarat during 2019-20 is believed to be one of the worst in last 60 years. It has been estimated that locusts have damaged crops across an area of at least 3.6 lakh hectares in 10 districts of Western Rajasthan.

Since May 2019, farmers in western Rajasthan have been badly hit by locust attack. Locust Warning Organisation (LWO), Jodhpur, along with the district authorities are working on combating the menace by sprinkling pesticides. After damage to Kharif crop, Rabi crops are under threat of locus attacks. According to LWO, the last major locust attack in Rajasthan was witnessed in 1993. Rajasthan GK February 2020

What are Locusts?

Locusts are a collection of certain species of short-horned grasshoppers that have a swarming phase. These insects are usually solitary, but under certain circumstances they become more abundant and change their behaviour and habits, becoming gregarious.

Locusts have formed plagues since prehistory. The ancient Egyptians carved them on their tombs and the insects are mentioned in the Iliad, the Bible and the Quran. Additionally, locusts are considered a delicacy in many African, Middle-Eastern & Asian countries and eaten in abundance. They are excellent source of protein, and have a variety of fatty acids & minerals.

Lifecycle: The life cycle of locust consists of eggs, nymphs and adult. The eggs take about two weeks during favourable conditions to hatch into nymphs. Both nymphs and adults are feeders. However, the nymphs (also known as hoppers) do not have wings and become adults 30-40 days after hatching. The young adults take about three weeks before they are ready to mate and lay eggs. Adults live for three to five months.

Locust Swarm: Locust swarm can fly at speed of more than 15km/hr and cover a distance of more than 100 Km/day. These swarms can be as large as 80 million individuals. Rajasthan GK February 2020

What are Pink Locusts?

Desert locusts have two phases, the solitary phase and the gregarious phase. Their colouring tends to be greenish or brownish to match the colour of the herbage. In the gregarious phase the hoppers bunch together and in the later instars develop a bold colouring with black markings on a yellow background. The immature are pink and the mature adults are bright yellow and fly during the day in dense swarms.

Where do the Locusts come from?

Rajasthan GK February 2020

Image source: Outlook India

As per the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, in January 2019, the first locust swarms left to Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and south-west Iran, where heavy rains were reported. Between February and June, widespread spring breeding in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Iran caused the formation of large numbers of locust swarms. These swarms invaded the India-Pakistan border between June and December. Rajasthan GK February 2020

In India, the extended monsoon provided a favourable environment for the locusts to multiply.

Damage due to Locust attack

According to FAO, a swarm of locusts, which contains about 40 million insects and can eat the same amount of food in one day as 35,000 people, Locusts devour leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, bark, & growing points and can also destroy plant be their sheer weight as they descend on them in large numbers. Rajasthan GK February 2020

Crops of mustard, cumin and wheat have been devastated in the two states, affecting lakhs of farmers. It has been estimated that locusts have damaged crops across an area of at least 3.6 lakh hectares in 10 districts of Western Rajasthan.  In 2019, after damage to Kharif crop, Rabi crops are under threat of locus attacks.

Area under attack of locust in Rajasthan

The worst-affected are Barmer and Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. As per the information put before the chief minister, the districts of Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jalore, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Churu, Sriganganagar, Hanumangarh and Nagaur are under locust threat.

Measures to Control the Locust Plague

Farmers in Rajasthan are using loud speakers and DJs during late evening and early morning to keep locusts away.

International Cooperation:

In January 2020, a team of officers of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Rome visited the locust affected areas of Jaisalmer district and witnessed the locust control activities on the field.

The members of the Locust Control board from India and Pakistan are have conducted meetings to exchange information on the current locust situation. Rajasthan GK February 2020

Government Action

Locust Warning Organisation (LWO), Jodhpur has launched efforts on a war footing to control locusts. Teams carrying equipment have been rushed to the villages to spray high-intensity Malathion insecticide to prevent the spread of locusts to other areas. So far, control measures have been done on 3.70 lakh hectare affected land by spraying 2.60 lakh litre melathion.

54 teams of the Agriculture Department are surveying and monitoring the situation. The LWO has set up a helpline for farmers in the State.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had written a letter to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, seeking the Centre’s assistance on the matter.

Compensation:

On December 30, Rajasthan CM had announced to conduct girdawari (survey) for the assessment of loss caused to crops due to locust attack in Western Rajasthan.

Recently, the Rajasthan state government announced compensation worth Rs 31 crore for four affected districts – Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jalore and Jodhpur – after conducting a special assessment of losses.

However, farmers are unhappy with compensation norms. As per norms, compensation is given to farmers who have lost at least 33% or more crops due to locust attacks. The damaged crop of entire village, hamlet or panchayat, and not for an individual farmer, is taken into account for calculating 33%. Additionally, there is news that the government will pay compensation for only about two hectares of land. The government should, instead, check damaged areas of individual farmer’s cultivated area for compensation purposes.

Rajasthan becomes third state to pass resolution against CAA

On 25th January 2020, Rajasthan State Assembly passed a resolution urging the Centre to repeal the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. After, Punjab & Kerala it became the third state to pass a resolution against CAA.

Silicosis-affected families to get benefit of Palanhar scheme

The Rajasthan government has decided to extend the benefit of the Palanhar scheme to the children of those suffering from silicosis. This will benefit 15, 828 children of silicosis-affected families in the state.

What is Palanhar Scheme?

Under the Palanhar scheme of the Social Justice and Empowerment Department, the state government provides a grant of Rs 500 per month per child between 0-6 years and Rs 1,000 per month per child aged between 6-18 years.

Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha extends SC, ST reservation quota in assembly

On 25th January 2020, Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha approved the extension of SC and ST reservation quota in the state assembly by another 10 years in the state on Saturday. The bill came into effect from January 25, 2020.

The parliament passed the bill under the Constitution (126th) Amendment for the extension of quota in Lok Sabha and state assemblies on December 12, 2019. Thereafter, the Act was sent to the states for rectification.

Plant 10 trees for each one cut for highways

A division bench of Rajasthan High Court asked the state government to plant 10 times the trees to be removed while constructing the state highway (SH) and its maintenance from Majari to Haryana/Rajasthan border and from Majari to Neemrana (Alwar) SH-111 and SH-111A, a highway project on PPP model.

Ration card to club with Jan Aadhaar card

The Rajasthan IT department is working on amalgamation of ration card with the Jan Aadhaar card. The ration card is all set to be revised and the state government has decided to introduce smart ration cards in the state.

Both Jan Aadhaar card and ration cards are issued treating each family as the unit, so, there is no point in duplication. Additionally, a single card that will cater to all the benefits of government schemes would not only reduce the administrative cost but also the investment required.

SMS becomes State’s first government hospital to conduct heart transplant

In January 2020, Sawai Man Singh Hospital, Jaipur became the first government hospital to conduct heart transplant in Rajasthan. Also, this was fifth such operation in the city. SMS Hospital has developed new facility with a cost of Rs 20 crore for heart transplant, which was inaugurated on October 5, 2019 by chief minister Ashok Gehlot

On August 2, 2015, the first heart transplant of the state was conducted at a private hospital – Mahatma Gandhi Medical College & Hospital (MGMCH) in Jaipur. In the state, there are four private hospitals, which have already been approved for heart transplants.

Eco-Sensitive Zone around Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve

In January 2020, the MOEFCC has issued a draft notification to declare a 1 km eco-sensitive zone around Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve (MHTR) spread over 759.99 sq-km covering the four districts of Kota, Bundi, Chittorgarh and Jhalawar.

The eco-sensitive zone will be treated as a ‘breathing space’ for wildlife. It is demarcated based on their ecological importance which reigns in development activities inimical to wildlife and their habitats. While the zone will be completely compatible to livelihoods of local communities living around the tiger reserve, it will bring the order on tourism, mining activities, industries and other footloose development activities disrupting wildlife corridors outside reserve boundary. Rajasthan GK February 2020

A draft notification also mentions that the government shall also constitute a state-level eco-sensitive zone monitoring committee (SESZMC) to monitor the compliance of the ESZ notification.

‘Ghoonghat Mukt Jaipur’ Campaign

Following chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s call to eradicate the practice of ‘Ghoonghat’ in the state, the district administration of Jaipur kicked off its ‘Ghoonghat Mukt Jaipur’ campaign in the city.

Under the campaign, awareness will be created among both men and women about the regressive practice which stands as an obstacle to women empowerment and gender equality in society. Women in the district will also be motivated not to wear Ghoonghat when they come to vote during panchayat elections. Besides, awareness will be created through WhatsApp and other social media platforms, Gargi and Meena manch in schools and Mahila gram sabhas in the villages.

An orientation programme will be organised for all the elected women Sarpanch in Jaipur so that they can create awareness among other women during gram sabhas, festivals and bal sabhas. During awareness programmes, women will be sensitised about the negative impact of the practice towards gender equality, their success, professional growth, women rights, education and health.

State Health Minister launches Campaign against Teenage Pregnancy

In January 2020, Health minister Raghu Sharma launched a programme to discourage teenage pregnancy to bring down the number of maternal and infant mortalities in the state.

Rajasthan is one of the states reporting the highest number of child marriages resulting in early motherhood. As per the National Family Health Survey-4 data, 35 per cent of girls in the state were married before the age of 18 and more than six per cent of these girls either had children or were pregnant at the time of the survey. Rajasthan GK February 2020

Govt’s new initiatives to boost higher education

Minister of state for higher education Bhanwar Singh Bhati in January 2020 announced various programmes at ‘Yuva Samvad’ organised by college education at Shiksha Sankul.

  • Under ‘New Initiatives in College,’ initiatives will be taken in colleges and enhance the quality of higher education.
  • Commissioner Ki Class’ will be started, under which education commissioner will take classes in government colleges to prepare students for competitive exams.
  • Under ‘Rajasthan Healthier Youth and Moral education,’ which is meant for students of all the private and government colleges in Rajasthan, health issues and moral values will be discussed.
  • A programme titled ‘Girls Empowerment and Mentoring’ for the young girls, will start which will focus on the overall development of girls especially revolving around health and safety issues. Women teachers will be trained who will further mentor the girls.
  • Administrative Efficiency and Progressive Learning Effort” programme to provide quality education to students and this will incorporate the principals and senior faculty members of the colleges.
  • Various inter-state games and sports tournaments will be organised under the “Arjun Drishti Programme” to provide better opportunities to students interested in sports.
  • Following the footsteps of ‘Pratiyogita Dakshata Programme’ in government colleges, similar classes will be organised even in private colleges, which will be available to students for free.

NCRB releases Rajasthan’s Crime Data for 2018

In January 2020, National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) released data in relation to registered crimes in state of Rajasthan.

  • Rajasthan witnessed a marginal increase of 1.9% in crimes registered in 2018 in comparison to 2017.
  • There was a dip in the cyber-crimes recorded in the state with the number decreasing from 1,304 cases in 2017 to 1,104 in 2018.
  • Rajasthan (now 2nd) has been replaced by Uttar Pradesh as the state with most economic offences. The state accounts for 13.6% of total economic offences in the country.
  • The biggest increase was observed in the crimes committed by foreigners which went up from 9 to 33 from 2017 to 2018.
  • A total of 86 cases of human trafficking were also recorded which made of up 3.5% share of the country with a crime rate of 0.1 cases per lakh population.
  • According to data, Rajasthan ranks fifth in the country when it comes to crime against women. With 27,866 cases registered the number of cases spiked by 1,873 as compared to previous year.
  • In crime against children, the figures decreased from 5,180 cases in 2017 to 5,150 in 2018.
  • Crime against senior citizens also came down with 102 lesser cases recorded in 2018.
  • Rajasthan has an average of 327.1 cases registered per lakh population.

MoU for State’s first biotech park, incubation centre

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between the Centre’s biotechnology department and department of science and technology (DST), government of Rajasthan for development of biotechnology park and biotechnology incubation centre.

Some Other Relevant NEWS of January 2020

  • Three-day Udaipur bird festival was held at several wetlands across Udaipur, with more than 2,000 people participating in the event.
  • Arjun Hub was inaugurated in January 2020 at Jaisalmer Military Station for providing speedy and focused repair to vital assemblies of the indigenous Arjun main battle tank (MBT).
  • FSI, released Rajasthan State Forest Report – ISFR 2019: Rajasthan
  • On the occasion of the 10th National Voters’ Day, Alwar district collector Inderjit Singh was honoured by President Ram Nath Kovind for conceptualizing and implementing mSVEEP mobile application during Lok Sabha elections in the district.

Swasthya Mitras to be deployed in Rajasthan

Apart from the existing fleet of auxiliary nurse midwives, ASHA and anganwadi workers in every village, the health department of Rajasthan is planning to deploy ‘Swasthya Mitras’ in each village to bridge the gap between the health department and patients. The move also aims to bring down maternal mortality ratio and infant mortality rate along with improving other health indicators such as immunisation, institutional deliveries, ante-natal check-ups and also aimed at encouraging people to adopt family planning measures.

There are more than 40,000 villages in the state. The department is planning to have two Swasthya Mitras— one man and a woman in each village. A total of 80,000 Swasthya Mitras, on voluntary basis, will be selected from the villages.

Swasthya Mitras must have knowledge of national and state’s health programmes and health and medical policies launched by the state government. They will help the patients by providing information about diseases and treatment. Additionally, they will also help create awareness about diseases under Nirogi Rajasthan scheme. Rajasthan GK February 2020

Swasthya mitra will also play instrumental role in preventing spread of vector-borne diseases such as dengue, malaria and chikungunya by encouraging people not to allow mosquito breeding and to keep their houses and nearby areas neat and clean to create healthy environment.

Important Note:

As per recent NEWS in Rajasthan Patrika – there is a scam that has been initiated based on above news. There have been reports of FAKE RECRUITMENT CAMPAIGNS being started for above jobs, but as per NEWS, the officials have denied any such recruitment taking place. Readers are requested not to trust any site but except sites with website address ending in (ABC.GOV.IN). Also do not pay any fees, without doing research or consulting officials.

IM Shakti – Indira Mahila Shakti fund

On 18th December 2019, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot launched the Indira Mahila Shakti (IM Shakti) fund, for which Rs 1,000 Crore has been allocated. This fund would help in giving loans up to Rs 1 crore to women self-help groups (SHGs) or self-dependent women to start their own businesses or set up enterprises and make them “self-reliant”.

The objective of IM Shakti fund is to strengthen women self-help groups and make women self-reliant and financially empowered. Rajasthan GK February 2020

Salient features;

  • The government has made a provision of granting Rs. 200 crore per year for this and during five years, a total of Rs. 1000 crore will be provided.

Different Schemes under IM Shakti Fund:

Five different schemes started through the IM Shakti Fund include:

  1. Indira Mahila Shakti Udhyam Prohatsahan Yojana:
    1. Individual women or women SHGs could get loans up to Rs. 1 crore.
  2. Indira Mahila Shakti Prashikshan evum Kaushal Sanvardhan Yojana:
    1. 75,000 women or girls would be given free computer training
  3. Indira Mahila Shakti Lekha Prashikshan Yojana
    1. 5,000 women will be trained in accounting
  4. Indira Mahila Shakti Shiksha Setu Yojana
    1. Dropout girls and women deprived of education could be reimbursed the fees for studying through Rajasthan State Open School.
    1. This would benefit 50,000 girls and women.
  5. Indira Mahila Shakti Kaushal Samarth Yojana
    1. 10,000 women would be imparted skill training.

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UPSC IAS Prelims 2020 Batch 4: Complete Revision

Law Commission of India

  • The Law Commission of India is a non-statutory body constituted by the Government of India from time to time.
  • The Law Commission shall, on a reference made to it by the Central Government or suo-motu, undertake research in law and review of existing laws in India for making reforms therein and enacting new legislations.
  • It shall also undertake studies and research for bringing reforms in the justice delivery systems for elimination of delay in procedures, speedy disposal of cases, reduction in the cost of litigation etc.
  • The Commission was originally constituted in 1955 and is re-constituted every three years.
  • The tenure of twenty-first Law Commission of India was up to 31st August 2018.
  • The various Law Commission have been able to make an important contribution towards the progressive development and codification of Law of the country.
  • The Law Commission has so far submitted 277 reports.
  • Union government recently gave its approval for the constitution of the 22nd Law Commission for a period of three years from the date of publication of its Order in the Official Gazette.
  • It will consist of:
  1. A full-time Chairperson;
  2. Four full-time Members (including Member-Secretary)
  3. Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs as ex-officio Member;
  4. Secretary, Legislative Department as ex officio Member; and
  5. Not more than five part-time Members.
  • The chairperson usually is a retired Supreme Court judge or a retired chief justice of a high court.
  • The term of the previous commission had ended on August 31, 2018.

Blue Dot Network

  • The Blue Dot network is “a multi-stakeholder initiative to bring together governments, the private sector and civil society to promote high-quality, trusted standards for global infrastructure development”.
  • India and the US will discuss the Blue Dot network, a new proposal to cover infrastructure and development projects across the region and other countries.
  • The US, which is leading the proposal, has already got Japan and Australia as partners in this idea.
  • The proposal, which is part of the US’s Indo-Pacific strategy, is aimed at countering Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitious One Belt One Road initiative.
  • The initiative will evaluate projects on various parameters, including level of public consultation, transparency in funding, debt traps and basic environment norms.
  • Projects that meet the norms will get a “blue dot”, which will enable them to attract private funding and not have to depend on state-funding alone.
  • Under BRI, China’s government and state-owned enterprises finance international projects by providing logistical support from concrete and steel to workers and cash. This approach, however, has been labelled by some experts as “debt-trap diplomacy”.
  • Blue Dot will be about “supporting alternatives to predatory lending” by facilitating foreign investment in projects that come under this network.

Sustainable Development Goals Conclave 2020

  • Sustainable Development Goals Conclave 202o: Partnerships, Cooperation and Development of North Eastern states, is being organized by NITI Aayog, in Guwahati, Assam.
  • It is a three-day event, will see representations from the North Eastern states, Central Ministries, academia, civil society and international development organizations.
  • NITI Aayog has the mandate of overseeing the adoption and monitoring of SDGs at the national and sub-national level. Progress in the northeast region is crucial in this decade of action for the country to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
  • This conclave is part of the NITI Aayog’s continuous efforts towards fostering partnerships at the sub-national level. UPSC Daily Current Affairs

UN-SDG 2030

  • The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015.
  • It provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.
  • At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership.
  • They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.
  • The SDGs build on decades of work by countries and the UN, including the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
  • In 1992, at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, more than 178 countries adopted Agenda 21, a comprehensive plan of action to build a global partnership for sustainable development to improve human lives and protect the environment.
  • Member States unanimously adopted the Millennium Declaration at the Millennium Summit in September 2000 at UN Headquarters in New York.
  • The Summit led to the elaboration of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce extreme poverty by 2015.
  • At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012, Member States launched a process to develop a set of SDGs to build upon the MDGs and to establish the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
  • In January 2015, the General Assembly began the negotiation process on the post-2015 development agenda.
  • The process culminated in the subsequent adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with 17 SDGs at its core, at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015. UPSC Daily Current Affairs

NITI Aayog

  • The Government, in January 2015, replaced Planning Commission with NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India).
  • NITI Aayog is neither statutory, nor constitutional, it is established by an executive resolution.
  • It is a government think tank/ Advisory body that advocates a holistic approach towards development of India.
  • It aims to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and to enhance cooperative federalism by fostering the involvement of State Governments of India in the economic policy-making process using a bottom-up approach.
  • The institution has to provide governments at the central and state levels with relevant strategic and technical advice across the spectrum of key elements of policy.
  • This includes matters of national and international import on the economic front, dissemination of best practices from within the country as well as from other nations, the infusion of new policy ideas and specific issue-based support.
  • Important initiatives of NITI Aayog includes “15 year road map”, “7-year vision, strategy and action plan”, AMRUT, Digital India and Atal Innovation Mission.
  • Composition of NITI Aayog includes
  1. Chairperson – Prime Minister of India as the Chairperson.
  2. Governing Council comprising the Chief Ministers of all the States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories.
  3. Regional Councils will be formed to address specific issues and contingencies impacting more than one state or a region. These will be formed for a specified tenure.
  4. The Regional Councils will be convened by the Prime Minister and will comprise of the Chief Ministers of States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories in the region.  These will be chaired by the Chairperson of the NITI Aayog or his nominee.
  5. Experts, specialists and practitioners with relevant domain knowledge as special invitees nominated by the Prime Minister. UPSC Daily Current Affairs

Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS)

  • The Global MICS Programme was developed by UNICEF in the 1990s.
  • It collects internationally comparable data on a wide range of indicators on the situation of children and women for use in policies, programmes, and national development plans.
  • MICS is designed to collect statistically sound, internationally comparable estimates of about 130 indicators to assess the situation of children, women and men in the areas of health, education, and child protection.
  • MICS is a rich source of data on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), collecting about 33 SDG indicators.
  • MICS covers topics and indicators related to children’s well-being, women, and households, ranging from health and education to child protection and water and sanitation.
  • In the most recent rounds of MICS, additional data are also collected on men.
  • Data can be disaggregated for young people age 15-24 and by gender. 
  • Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2019 is jointly conducted by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) and UNICEF.
  • According to the report Bangladesh records sharp decline in Child malnutrition over the last six years.
  • The survey also records improvement in access to and use of toilets, birth registration, ante-natal care coverage, institutional deliveries and similar other parameters indicating an overall improvement in child and mother health in the country. UPSC Daily Current Affairs

Bay of Bengal Offshore Sailing Expedition (BBSE)

  • Indian Naval Sailing Vessels Mhadei and Tarini set sail for the Bay of Bengal Offshore Sailing Expedition from the Indian Naval Ocean Sailing Node at Goa.
  • It will cover a total distance of 6,100 Nautical miles each and will be at sea for 55 days.
  • This would be the maiden major mixed crew sailing expedition of the Indian Navy with crew composition of five naval officers including two women officers in each boa.
  •  The voyage would showcase harnessing of renewal energy namely wind energy to propel the boats.
  • The expedition is also in pursuance of the GOI mission of ‘Nari Shakti’ providing opportunity to women officers at par with men.
  • The Bay of Bengal Offshore Sailing Expedition will generate goodwill amongst the visiting nations and inspire participation in the forthcoming BIMSTEC Sailing Expedition being planned with mixed crew of member nations onboard Indian Naval Sailing Vessels. UPSC Daily Current Affairs

INS Mhadei & INS Tarini

  • Mhadei and Tarini inducted in the Indian Navy in 2009 and in 2017 respectively have been the vessels of choice for the naval expeditioners in various sailing expeditions, including three circumnavigations and thus have thousands of miles tucked under their belt.
  • Mhadei has successfully completed two circumnavigations, three Cape to Rio trans-Atlantic races and several other expeditions around various continents.
  • The vessel has covered in excess of 1,36,000 nautical miles.
  • Tarini created history in 2017-18 when six Indian Naval women officers sailed the vessel on maiden circumnavigation voyage titled Navika Sagar Parikrama.
  • She thereafter also participated in mixed crew Kochi to Seychelles sail training expedition during 10th anniversary celebration of the IONS.

PM Ujjwala Yojana

  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) was launched in 2016 to distribute 50 million LPG connections to women of BPL families.
  • The scheme led to an increase in LPG consumption by 56% in 2019 as compared to 2014.
  • However, while access to LPG gas stoves and cylinders has increased in the scheme, the use of LPG cylinders remains low. UPSC Daily Current Affairs

Himachal Grihini Suvidha Yojana

  • Union home minister declared that Himachal Pradesh had become the first state in the country to have “100% LPG gas coverage”.
  • But according to state residents and officials, these claims may not be entirely true, but they are not too far off the mark either.
  • Following the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, the state government launched its own Himachal Grihini Suvidha Yojana in May 2018 to cover the remaining households.
  • Except families having a pensioner, income taxpayer or any member employed with the government, board, corporation etc, all households of the state without an LPG connection were eligible.
  • Unless there was no female member in the family, the connections were issued only to women.
  • In many cases, officials issued kits to a cluster of villages from a focal point.
  • Till December 27, 2019, the department issued around 2.64 lakh such kits around the state which has a total population of 68.64 lakh (Census 2011).
  • Some families were still left out, as is evident by a few thousand applications received after the deadline was extended. UPSC Daily Current Affairs

Source: AIR, PIB, Indian Express

Unit-I, Part A

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GS1: Art & Culture

Explained: Mud packs and other remedies to save the Taj from pollution Mud packs have been one of the ASI’s favoured ways to remove the yellow stains that have appeared over the years on the Taj Mahal’s white marble facade. It is hoped that the treatment — traditionally employed to clean marble surfaces — will help restore the natural shine and colour of the monument.

GS2: Governance

The unassailable keywords for the judiciary (TH) India’s judges must remind themselves constantly of the need to uphold an independent, strong and respected judiciary

The issues around data localisation (TH) The contentious clauses on local data storage in the revised Personal Data Protection Bill need re-examination

Income scheme to cover fewer farmers (TH) Kisan Samman Nidhi will cover only 12 crore people; Centre urges West Bengal to join scheme and Bihar to expedite process.

GS3: Science and Technology

Explained: What is biojet fuel (IE) On December 17, 2018, ASTE pilots and engineers flew India’s first military flight using blended biojet fuel on the An-32 transport aircraft. UPSC Prelims Exam 2020

Prelims Corner

UNESCO WHS of Hampi – ASI planning barricade around famed stone chariot at Hampi(TH) The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is contemplating installing a wooden barricade around the stone chariot inside Vittala Temple complex

Central Wakf Council The size of a mosque and the area it would occupy in the site is yet to be decided

 G20 The Group of 20 (G20) finance ministers and central bank heads faced a sober presentation by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which predicted the epidemic would shave 0.1 percentage points off global growth.
Blue Dot Network The Blue Dot network is “a multi-stakeholder initiative to bring together governments, the private sector and civil society to promote high-quality, trusted standards for global infrastructure development”, sources said. UPSC Prelims Exam 2020

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UPSC Prelims Exam 2020: PT 365 Latest Govt Schemes

Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources

  • NLCPR, created in 1997–98, is the accrual of the unspent balance of the mandatory 10% budgetary allocation of the Ministries/Departments.
  • Its objective is to ensure speedy development of infrastructure in North eastern states and Sikkim by way of filling the existing infrastructural gaps in the region by making funds available from the pool.
  • The accruals in NLCPR are utilized by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region under the two Schemes of NLCPR (State) and NLCPR-Central.
  • Under the NLCPR (State) Scheme, priority projects of North Eastern States are being funded and under NLCPR-Central, funds are provided to Central Ministries for implementing projects of national and regional importance.
  • The scheme is approved till March, 2020 with funding pattern of 90:10.

North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme

  • It is a central sector scheme to fill up the gaps in creation of infrastructure in specified sectors till March 2020.
  • It covers,
  • Physical infrastructure relating to water supply, power, connectivity and specially the projects promoting tourism
  • Infrastructure of social sectors of education and health.
  • Thus, it will not only strengthen health care and education facilities in the region but will also encourage tourism and employment opportunities for local youth.

North East Rural Livelihood Project

  • It is a central Sector scheme externally aided by World Bank and implemented in four North Eastern States namely Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.
  • The objective is to improve livelihoods of the poor, especially that of women and the disadvantaged people in the project area.
  • The identification of Districts for the project was done by the State Governments based on social and economic backwardness.
  • It is supported by World Bank.
  • Desired Outcomes –
  • Making the SHGs promoted and supported by the project sustainable,
  • Increasing the income level of the members of the SHGs (at least 60% of them) and disadvantaged households by 30% in real term
  • Providing jobs or self-employment to the unemployed youths through various skill trainings, entrepreneurship development trainings, vocational trainings and management development trainings.
  • The more vulnerable tribal groups like Reang in Tripura and Lepsha and Bhutias in Sikkim will also benefit from it.

One Rank One Pension Scheme

  • The scheme promises equal pension to military personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, regardless of the date of retirement.
  • OROP would be fixed based on the calendar year 2013 as the average of minimum and maximum pension in 2013 and those drawing pensions above the average will be protected.
  • Only those who retired before the plan kicked in would be entitled to OROP.
  • Personnel who voluntarily retire will not be covered under the OROP scheme.
  • In future, the pension would be re-fixed every 5 years.
  • The estimated cost to exchequer is expected to be Rs 8,000 to 10,000 Crore and will increase in future.
  • The government has proposed a review every five years.

Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti

  • Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti (Power of Defence Knowledge) was launched to provide a boost to the IPR culture in indigenous defence industry.
  • It aims at educating scientists and technologists in defence public sector undertakings and ordnance factories OFs to create more patents.
  • A target has been set to train approximately 10,000 persons of OFs and DPSUs on IPR in the financial year 2018-19 under the mission.
  • The Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) has been entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating and implementing the programme.

Make II Scheme

  • Make II Scheme corresponds to Make in India initiative in Defence production.
  • The provision of ‘Make’ category in Defence procurement Procedure is a pillar for realising the vision behind Make in India.
  • Make Scheme fosters indigenous capabilities through design & development of required defence equipment/product/upgrades by both public and private sector industry in a faster time frame.
  • Make I scheme is Government-funded and the projects under Make-I‘sub-category will involve Government funding of 90%.
  • Make II scheme is Industry-funded and the projects involve development of products/equipment for which no government funding will be provided for development purposes.

Project Mausam

  • Project Mausam‘is to showcase a Transnational Mixed Route (including Natural and Cultural Heritage) on the World Heritage List.
  • It aims to understand how the knowledge and manipulation of the monsoon winds has shaped interactions across the Indian Ocean and led to the spread of shared knowledge systems, traditions, technologies and ideas along maritime routes.
  • Archaeological Society of India (ASI) is the nodal agency and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) is its Research Unit and National Museum & IGNCA are its Associate bodies.
  • The project collates archaeological and historical research and document the diversity of cultural, commercial and religious interactions among the 39 Indian Ocean countries.
  • Goals – Reviving lost linkages with nations, Creating links to existing World Heritage sites, Redefining Cultural Landscapes‘, Achieving transnational nomination under World Heritage.

Junior Heritage Mistri Scheme

  • The scheme comes under the Centre’s Heritage Mason programme.
  • Rajasthan was chosen as a pilot State for the scheme in view of its rich architectural heritage.
  • Rajasthan government is raising a new class of masons to help conserve the State’s rich architectural heritage.
  • Under the programme, the government has started training youths on indigenous building practices, arts and crafts, traditional structures and knowledge systems, with an emphasis on preservation of heritage architecture.

Intangible Heritage Scheme

  • Scheme for Safeguarding the Intangible Heritage and Diverse Cultural Traditions of India is a new scheme for revitalizing various institutions, groups, individuals, NGOs, researchers and scholars to engage in activities for preserving and promoting the rich Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India.
  • The scheme is being implemented through Sangeet Natak Akademi, an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Culture.
  • It covers all recognized domains of ICH such as
  • oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage,
  • Performing arts, Social practices, rituals and festive events,Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe,Traditional craftsmanship etc.
  • Assistance under the scheme will be provided in the form of non-recurring grants, honoraria, infrastructure grants for the survival and propagation of all forms of ICH.
  • Assistance will also be provided for short research and referencing work of relevance to ICH.
  • It also supports initiative of Ministry of HRD in setting up Sector Skill Councils relating to art under National Vocational Educational Qualifications Framework (NVEQF).

Seva Bhoj Yojana

  • It is a Central Sector Scheme under which the CGST and Central Government‘s share of IGST paid by Charitable Religious Institutions on purchase of specific raw food items shall be reimbursed to them.
  • The charitable religious institutions include Temples, Gurudwara, Dharmik Ashram, Mosques, Dargah, Church, Matth, Monastries etc.
  • The objective of the scheme is to lessen the financial burden of such Charitable Religious Institutions who provide food at free of cost without any discrimination.
  • Such institutions applying for financial assistance are required to produce a certificate from District Magistrate indicating that they are involved in charitable religious activities.
  • These institutions must be distributing free food to public for last 3 years on daily/monthly basis.
  • In case of misuse of funds, it provides for penalties such as black listing the organisations, recovering the financial assistance with penal interest apart from taking criminal action as per law.

Antyodaya Anna Yojana

  • The scheme aims to make Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) more focused and targeted towards the poorest section of population.
  • Beneficiary families under the scheme are distributed 35 kg of rice and wheat at the rates of Rs. 3 per kg and Rs. 2 per kg respectively. Coarse grains, on the other hand, are distributed at the rate of Rs. 1 per kg.
  • Other families that are not part of AAY but are covered under NFSA receive grains at the rate of Rs. 5 per kg.
  • Under the scheme, subsidies are fully borne by the central government and States/UT bears the distribution cost.
  • The scheme has been expanded to cover 2.50 Cr households and scale of issue has been increased to 35 kg/family/month.

Jago Grahak Jago

  • It is a country wide multimedia awareness campaign on various issues related to consumer rights and responsibilities across diverse subjects.
    • The programme is launched jointly in partnership with the related government departments.

Consumer protection Act

  • It provides consumers with speedy and inexpensive redressal grievances mechanism and specific relief or award of compensation.
    • It recognizes six of the eight rights of the consumer as provided in the UN charter.
    • It envisages rights of consumers such as Right to Protection, Right of Information, Right of Choice, Right of Hearing, Right of Redressal and Right of Education.

Price Stabilisation Fund Scheme

  • The Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) was set up in 2014-15 under the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Famers Welfare (DAC&FW).
  • The PSF scheme was later transferred from DAC&FW to the Department of Consumer Affairs (DOCA) in 2016.
  • The fund is to help regulate the price volatility of important agri-horticultural commodities like onion, and potatoes. Pulses were also added subsequently.
  • The scheme provides for maintaining a strategic buffer of aforementioned commodities for subsequent calibrated release to moderate price volatility and discourages hoarding and unscrupulous speculation.
  • For building such stock, the scheme promotes direct purchase from farmers/farmers‘association at farm gate/Mandi.
  • The PSF is utilized for granting interest free advance of working capital to Central Agencies, State/UT Governments/Agencies to undertake market intervention operations.
  • Apart from domestic procurement from farmers/wholesale mandis, import may also be undertaken with support from the Fund.
  • The agricultural ministry has recently proposed to include Milk in the PSF which is not yet confirmed.

National Food Security Act, 2013

  • It aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately 2/3rdof India’s population i.e 75% in rural areas and 50% in urban areas will be covered under TPDS, with uniform entitlement of 5 kg/person/month.
  • It converts the various existing food security schemes into legal entitlements (i.e.) from welfare based approach to rights based approach.
  • It includes the Midday Meal Scheme, ICDS scheme, the PDS and also recognizes maternity entitlements.
  • Under NFSA, each beneficiary is entitled to 5 kilograms of food grains per month at Rs. 3, Rs. 2, and Rs. 1 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains respectively. It has been decided by the Government to continue the above mentioned subsidized prices upto June, 2019.
  • Thereafter prices will be as fixed by the Central Government from time to time, not exceeding MSP.
  • However, the beneficiaries under Antyodaya Anna Yojana will keep receiving the 35 kg/household/month at same rates.
  • NFSA also guarantees age appropriate meal, free of charge through local anganwadi for children up to 6 months and one free meal for children in age group 6-14 years in schools.
  • Every pregnant and lactating mother is entitled to a free meal at the local anganwadi as well as maternity benefits of Rs.6,000 in installments.
  • These maternal benefits are not extended to Government employees, since other similar benefits are provided.
  • The identification of eligible households is left to state governments.
  • It also has provisions for food security allowance to entitled beneficiaries in case of non-supply of entitled foodgrains/meals.

Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya Sanchar Kaushal Vikas Pratisthan

  • It is a skill development scheme that will train rural youth to maintain mobile towers, repair optical fibres and fix other communication technologies across India.
  • Department of Telecommunication will train people through skill training centres to supplement the telecom skill manpower creation for the growth of telecom sector.
  • The scheme will be initially implemented in UP, Bihar, Odisha, Punjab and Haryana.
  • The skill training will be based on National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF).

DARPAN

  • Digital Advancement of Rural Post Office for A New India (DARPAN) is aimed at realizing financial inclusion of un-banked rural population.
  • The Project shall increase the rural reach of the Department of Posts and enable Branch Post Offices to increase traffic of all financial remittances, savings accounts, Rural Postal Life Insurance, and Cash Certificates etc.
  • It intends to provide a low power technology solution to each branch postmaster to improve service delivery.
  • The application will also be used for the reimbursement of social security benefits such as MNREGS, old age pension and DBT.

Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana

  • Scholarship for Promotion of Aptitude & Research in Stamps as a Hobby (SPARSH) is a pan India Scholarship programme to children of Standard VI to IX having good academic record and pursuing Philately as a hobby.
  • The selection would be based on the evaluation of Project work on Philately & performance in Philately Quiz conducted by the Circles.

Sampoorna Bima Gram Yojana

  • The aim is to give rural people affordable life insurances services.
  • Under the scheme, at least one village (having a minimum of 100 households) will be identified in each districts and provide with a minimum of one Rural Postal Life Insurance policy for each households.
  • Coverage of all households in the identified village is the primary objective of this scheme.
  • All villages under the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana will be brought under its ambit.

Bharat Net

  • It is an ambitious programme of department of telecommunication to provide network infrastructure with affordable broadband connectivity on a non-discriminatory basis to all households in the country.
  • It aimed to realize the vision of Digital India, in partnership with States and the Private Sector.
  • The programme, previously called as the National Optical Fibre Network, was approved in October 2011.
  • It is implemented in three phases
  • First phase  – providing broadband connectivity to one lakh gram panchayats by 2017
  • Second Phase – providing broadband connectivity to 2 lakh gram panchayats by 2019
  • Third Phase – providing state-of-art network using fibers between districts and block with reduced redundancy by 2023.
  • Implementation will be done by the states, state agencies, private sector companies and central PSUs.
  • All the Service Providers like Telecom Service Providers (TSPs), ISPs, Cable TV operators etc. will be given non-discriminatory access to the National Optic Fibre Network and can launch various services in rural areas.
  • It is funded from Universal Service Obligation Fund, which will be its nodal agency.
  • Bharat Broadband Network, a SPV created under companies Act, mandated to create NOFN in India.

 

Universal Service Obligation Fund

  • The fund was established in 2002 to be utilized for providing telegraph services across the country especially the rural and remote areas.
  • It receives funds from the Universal Service Levy (USL) of 5% charged from all the telecom operators on their gross revenue.
  • Funds are dispatched through a bidding process to an enterprise which works on providing tele service to areas where ICT services are not available due to commercial non-viability combinations of reasons such as:
  • Remoteness of areas
  • Absence of supporting infrastructure (power, road etc.)
  • Low income of inhabitants
  • Insurgency
  • Difficult terrain
  • It is here that USOF Administration steps in to provide subsidy support thereby incentivizing telecom service providers to venture forth and provide services to such target beneficiaries.

National Broadband Mission

  • The mission aimed at providing broadband access in all villages in the country by 2022.
  • Under the mission, the government plans to lay incremental 30 lakh route km of Optical Fiber Cable.
  • The Centre will work with States and UTs for having consistent policies pertaining to expansion of digital infrastructure including for Right of Way (RoW) approvals required for laying of optical fibre cable.
  • It aims to increase tower density from 0.42 to 1 tower per thousand of population by 2024.
  • It entails investments of around Rs.7 lakh crore from various stakeholders.
  • Additionally, a Broadband Readiness Index will be developed to measure the availability of digital communications infrastructure within a State/UT.
  • Other Objectives – Creation of a digital fiber map of the Digital Communications network and infrastructure, including Optical Fiber Cables and Towers, across the country.
  • Investment from stakeholders of USD 100 billion (Rs 7 Lakh Crore) including Rs 70,000 crore from Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

Vishesh Krishi and Gram Udyog Yojana (VKGUY)

  • Under this scheme, Duty Credit Scrip benefits are granted with an aim to compensate high transport costs and to offset other disadvantages to promote exports of agricultural produce, minor forest produce etc.
    • The duty credit scrip is a pass that allows the holder to import commodities by not paying a specified amount in import duties and the scrip can also be traded in the market.
    • Exporters are given this duty exemption scrips pegged at a certain percentage of the total value of their exports.

Focus Market Scheme

  • It aims to increase the competitiveness of exports to global markets by reducing freight cost and other duties.
    • The exporters will get duty credit scrip as an economic incentive.
    • It is available only for the export of goods and not for services and only for specified markets.

Focus Product Scheme

  • Focus Product Scheme incentivizes export of such products which have high export intensity / employment potential, in order to offset infrastructure inefficiencies and other associated costs involved in marketing of these products.

Served from India Scheme

  • Served from India Scheme helps to accelerate growth in export of services.
    • All Indian Service Providers who have free foreign exchange earning of at least Rs. 10 Lakhs and individual Indian Service providers with minimum foreign exchange earnings of Rs. 5 lakh in preceding financial year / current financial year shall qualify for Duty Credit Scrip.
    • The Duty Credit Scrip will be equivalent to 10% of foreign exchange earned during current financial year.

Revenue Insurance Scheme for Plantation Crops

  • Itis an insurance scheme available only to plantation crops, for which insurance can no longer be availed from PM Fasal Bima Yojana.
  • It covers small growers of Rubber, Tea, Coffee, Tobacco and Cardamom having 10 ha or less landholding.
  • It will cover income loss arising out of yield loss due to non-preventable risks viz. drought, dry spells, flood, pest and diseases, hailstorm etc and price fluctuation due to fall in international/domestic prices below the average price of last 5 years excluding the current year.
  • RISPC is an improved form of the Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) Scheme.
  • The scheme is compulsory for growers registered with the respective Commodity Boards (CBs) and it is implemented on pilot basis in 7 states.
  • The scheme will operate on the principle of ‘Area Approach’ and Commodity Board in consultation with the concerned State Government shall designate an area as Insurance Unit (IU), which can be a village panchayat or any other equivalent unit.
  • Losses arising out of war and nuclear risk, malicious damage and other preventable risks are excluded.

Scheme for IPR awareness

  • A ‘Scheme for IPR awareness – Creative India; Innovative India’ has been launched by Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM).
  • It aims at raising IPR awareness amongst students, youth, authors, artists, budding inventors and professionals to inspire them to create, innovate and protect their creations and inventions across the country.
  • Area of Coverage of the scheme – Pan India, including Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 cities as well as rural areas.
  • Total project Duration – 3 years (2017 – 2020).
  • CIPAM – It is a professional body under the aegis of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
  • It works to take forward the implementation of the National IPR policy and creates public awareness about IPR in the country.

E-Biz

  • It is a part of the 27 Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) under National e-Governance Programme.
  • The platform is to improve the business environment in the country by enabling fast and efficient access to Government- to-Business (G2B) services through a customer-centric single window onlineportal.
  • A business user can avail all services 24×7 online end-to-end services i.e., online submission of forms, attachments, payments, tracking of status.
  • It will allow business users to obtain a customized list of licenses, permits, and regulations that they require or need to comply with across all levels of government i.e., Central, State and Local governments.

Integrate to Innovate Programme

  • It is a 3-month corporate acceleration programme for energy startups housed at the corporate premises.
  • The selected startups will receive a cash prize grant of upto ₹ 5 Lakh per startup along with an opportunity to pilot their product with corporates.
  • The corporates would offer startups access to technology, technical and commercial mentorship and access to potential customers through the corporate network of partners.
  • It is developed by Invest India and energy sector companies.

Start Up India Scheme

  • It aims at fostering entrepreneurship and promoting innovation by creating an ecosystem that is conducive for growth of Start-ups.
  • According to the scheme, an entity headquartered in India shall be considered as a Startup up to 10 years from the date of its incorporation/ registration.
  • The annual turnover should also not exceed INR 100 crore in any preceding financial year and Entity should not have been formed by splitting up or reconstructing a business already in existence.
  • It provides –
  • Simple Compliance Regime for startups based on Self-certification.
  • Single window clearance based on mobile App.
  • Startup India Hub to handhold startups during various phases of their development
  • Legal support and fast-track patent examination by reducing 80% of the patent cost.
  • Faster exit for startups through modified new bankruptcy code ensuring 90 days exit window.
  • Credit Guarantee Fund for startups through Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).
  • Providing funding support through a Fund of Funds with a corpus of Rupees 10,000 crore
  • Tax exemption on capital gains invested in Fund of Funds.
  • Tax exemption to startups for 3 years.
  • Exemption from labour inspection for 3 years.
  • Launch of innovation hub through Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) with Self –Employment and Talent Utilization (SETU) Program of NITI Aayog
  • Harnessing private sector expertise for setting up incubators.
  • No letter of recommendation from an incubator/industry association shall be required for either recognition or tax benefits.
  • The initiative is also aimed at promoting entrepreneurship among SCs/STs, women communities.
  • Rural India’s version of Startup India was named the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Swaniyojan Yojana, which is developed by rural development ministry backed by MUDRA loans.
  • The Swaniyojan Yojana will be funded by the existing National Rural Livelihood Mission of the rural development ministry.

Startup Academia Alliance Programme

  • Startup India has recently launched the Startup Academia Alliance programme.
  • It is a unique mentorship opportunity between academic scholars and startups working in similar domains.
  • It aims to reduce the gap between scientific research and its industrial applications in order to increase the efficacy and impact of these technologies.
  • The first phase of the programme was launched in partnership with Regional Centre for Biotechnology and TERI.

Transport and Marketing Assistance Scheme

  • The scheme is for Specified Agriculture Products to provide assistance for the international component of freight and marketing of agricultural produce.
  • It is likely to mitigate disadvantage of higher cost of transportation of export of specified agriculture products due to trans-shipment.
  • It would be suitably included in the Foreign Trade Policy (2015-20).

NABH Nirman Scheme

  • NextGen Airports for Bharat (NABH) Nirman is an initiative to expand airport capacity by more than five times to handle a billion trips a year.
  • The three aspects of NABH Nirman are building of airport capacity through,
  • fair and equitable land acquisition,
  • long-term master plan for airport and regional development,
  • balanced economics for all stakeholders

Digi Yatra

  • The initiative aims to bring together entire aviation industry to develop a digital ecosystem that will deliver Indian air travellers a seamless, consistent and paperless service experience.
  • All aviation stakeholders – airlines, airport operators, security and immigration agencies, cab operators, retail establishment and others are working to devise digital standards which can enable seamless exchange of data.
  • e.g It uses facial recognition technology to enable faster check-ins without requiring any paper-based interventions

Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik

  • UDAN/Regional Connectivity Scheme‘s objective is to facilitate affordable regional air connectivity;
  • Airports Authority of India (AAI) is the implementing agency.
  • It offers concessions to the airlines to encourage them to fly on regional routes.
  • Concession include operating subsidies like levies or charges imposed by the airport operators, excise duty at 2% and VAT at 1% on aviation turbine fuel, parking charges at airports and exempting these operations from the GST net.
  • The maximum airfare has been capped at Rs 2500 for a one-hour journey of approximately 500 kilometres on an aircraft or for a 30-minute journey on a helicopter.
  • The selected airlines will have to commit 50% of the seats on RCS flights (3-7 operational flights/week) and all seats up to 13 passenger seats on helicoptersas RCS seats.
  • A Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF) will be created to subsidise operations under the RCS.
  • The central government will fund 80% of the losses incurred and the rest will be covered by the states.
  • This is provided through the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) to the selected airline operators from RCF, and state governments will be required to reimburse the applicable share.
  • VGF will be provided for three years from the date of commencement of operations of such RCS flights.
  • In general, central and state contributions for VGF are 80:20 and for the north-eastern states & union territories it is 90:10.
  • Benefits under the Scheme will be available for a period of 10 years from the date of its notification.
  • RCS will be made operational only in states and at airports which are willing to provide concessions required under the Scheme.
    • Earlier, there was a requirement of 150 km minimum distance between two airports to be qualified for operations under the scheme. But later it was abolished.
  • Maharashtra is the first state to sign agreement with centre for RCS.
  • Under UDAN 4.0, Ministry of Civil Aviation identified Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh as a priority airport and focus on routes connecting these airports.
  • These prescribed routes would be offered for bidding
  • International UDAN is an extension of the domestic UDAN Scheme which plans to connect India‘s smaller cities directly to some key foreign destinations in the neighborhood.
  • It seeks to make use of the open skies policy that India has with other Asian countries that allows direct and unlimited flights to and from these nations to 18 Indian destinations.
  • Unlike in domestic UDAN, it is only the State government that will provide the financial support for flights under international UDAN.
  • Like the domestic UDAN, the financial support and flying exclusivity on the route will be for 3 years.
  • Only Indian carriers can participate in the international UDAN scheme, and only aircraft with capacity of 70 seats or more can fly the foreign routes.

Pharma Jan Samadhaan Scheme

  • The scheme provides a web-based system for redressal of consumers‘ grievances relating to pricing and availability of medicines
  • It would serve as a robust e-governance tool for protection of consumers‘ interests through effective implementation of the Drugs (Price Control) Order 2013
  • National pharmaceutical pricing authority (NPPA) will initiate action on any complaint within 48 hrs of its receipt.

Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana

  • It is a direct market intervention scheme of the Department of Pharmaceuticals.
  • Its objective is to make available quality generic medicines at affordable prices to all, especially the poor, throughout the country, through outlets known as Jan Aushadhi Stores (JASs).
  • It also encourages doctors to prescribe generic medicines and reduces unit cost of treatment per person.
  • The State Governments are required to provide space in Government Hospital premises or any other suitable locations for the running of the JAS‘.
  • Any Civil Society with experience of minimum 3 years of successful operation in welfare activities can also open the JAS outside the hospital premises.
  • PM Bhartiya JanaushadhiPariyojana Kendrasmay also be opened by any Government agencies in any Government building owned by Government bodies.
  • Individual Entrepreneurs/Pharmacist/Doctor can also open the Jan Aushadhi Kendra at outside of the hospital premises or any other suitable place.
  • Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is the implementing agency which will provide one-time assistance in furnishing and establishment costs of the outlet.
  • It is a self-sustaining business model not dependent on continuous government subsidies or assistance.
  • Earlier, only medicines manufactured by Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSU) were being supplied to Kendra. Later medicines which the CPSU‘s not able to supply are being made from private manufacturers.

Sahakar-22

  • It is a mission launched by National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) to double the farmers‘income through providing new employment opportunities generated through cooperatives.

It focusses on strengthening the farmers’ economic condition by augmenting their income and fast track the pace of development in the State.

Yuva Sahakar Scheme

  • National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) has introduced YuvaSahakar-Cooperative Enterprise Support and Innovation Scheme.
  • This is a youth friendly scheme which will attract youths to cooperative business ventures.
  • The scheme will be linked to Rs.1000 crore ‗Cooperative Start-up and Innovation Fund (CSIF)‘.
  • The scheme envisages 2% less than the applicable rate of interest on term loan for the project cost up to Rs 3 crore including 2 years moratorium on payment of principal.
  • The scheme has special incentive for cooperatives of North Eastern region, Aspirational Districts and cooperatives with women/SC/ST/PwD members.
  • All types of cooperatives in operation for at least 1 year are eligible.

Zero Hunger Programme

  • Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, Koraput in Odisha and Thane in Maharashtra initiated India’s ‘Zero Hunger’ programme in 2018.
    • It will be initiated by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation and the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
    • These three districts would act as a model of an integrated approach adopting suitable agricultural/horticultural practices.
    • The programme consists of organisations of farming system for nutrition, setting up genetic gardens and initiation of Zero Hunger‘training.
    • A genetic garden for biofortified plants/crops contains the germplasm of naturally biofortified crops or such crops through plant breeding.
    • It has plants and crops that help supplement micro- nutrient deficiencies, including iron, iodine, vitamin A and zinc among others.

“Quality Mark” Award Scheme

  • The National Dairy Development Board with the support of Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries has initiated ―Quality Mark‖ award scheme for dairy cooperatives.
  • It is to promote and encourage enhancement of safety, quality and hygiene of milk and milk products manufactured by dairy cooperatives.
  • It is aimed at bringing about process improvement in the entire value chain from producer to the consumer to ensure availability of safe and quality of milk and products both for the domestic and foreign market.

E-Pashudhan Haat Portal

  • It is launched under the National Mission on Bovine Productivity for connecting breeders and farmers of indigenous breeds.
  • This portal helps farmers to be aware about breed wise information on indigenous breeds. Farmers/breeders can sale animals of indigenous breeds through this portal.

Pashudhan Sanjivani

  • An animal wellness programme encompassing provision of Animal Health Cards – “NakulSwasthyaPatra”.
    • It also issues UID identification of animals in milk and establishes a National Database for controlling the spread of animal disease and keep tracking of trade in livestock and its products.

Rashtriya Gokul Mission

  • The mission is launched for conservation and development of indigenous breeds in a focused and scientific manner.
    • It is a project under National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development.
    • The objectives of this mission include Conservation of indigenous breeds and their development to improve their genetic makeup, enhancing the milk productivity and distribution of disease free high genetic merit bulls for natural service.
    • Rashtriya Gokul Mission is being implemented through State Implementing Agencies (SIA) viz Livestock Development Boards.

National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture

  • NMSA seeks to transform Indian agriculture into a climate resilient production system through suitable adaptation and mitigation measures in domains of both crops and animal husbandry.

·         Features –

  1. Promotes location specific integrated/Composite Farming Systems;
  2. Conserve natural resources through appropriate soil and moisture conservation measures;
  3. Adopt comprehensive soil health management practices;
  4. Optimize utilization of water resources through efficient water management to expand coverage for achieving ‗more crop per drop;
  5. Develop capacity of farmers & stakeholders.
    1. There are three major components of the mission such as
  6. Rainfed Area Development (RAD)
  7. Soil Health Management (SHM)
  8. Climate Change and Sustainable Agriculture: Monitoring, Modeling and Networking (CCSAMMN).
    1. Various dimensions of the mission have been embedded in to schemes of Ministry of Agriculture through a process of restructuring of various schemes/missions implemented and convergence with other related programmes of Central/State Governments.

Har Medh Par Ped

Under ―Har Medh Par Pedagro forestry is being promoted for supplementing farm income, increase risk management and climate resilient agriculture as an important component of Integrated Farming Systems.