Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 18th November to 24th November – 2019

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  • November 25, 2019
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Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 18th to 24th November, 2019



Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh

(Topic: Population and associated issues)

Jansankhya SthirthaKosh (JSK), an autonomous body under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, implemented the following schemes:

  1. Prerna Scheme (for delaying marriage, childbirth and spacing),
  2. Santushti Scheme (Public Private Partnership for sterilization services),and
  3. National Helpline (for information on family planning)

Steps being taken by the government to control population growth

  1. Mission ParivarVikas- The Government has launched Mission Parivar Vikas for substantially increasing access to contraceptives and family planning services in146 high fertility districts with Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 3 and above in seven high focus states. These districts are from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Assam that itself constitutes 44% of the country’s population.
  2. New Contraceptive Choices- New contraceptives viz. Injectable contraceptive and Centchroman have been added to the existing basket of choices.
  3. A new method of IUCD insertion immediately after delivery i.e. post-partum IUCD (PPIUCD) has been introduced.
  4. Redesigned Contraceptive Packaging – The packaging for Condoms, OCPs and ECPs has now been improved and redesigned so as to increase the demand for these commodities.
  5. Compensation scheme for sterilization acceptors – Under the scheme MoHFW provides compensation for loss of wages to the beneficiary and also to the service provider (& team) for conducting sterilizations.
  6. Clinical Outreach Teams (COT) Scheme – The scheme has been launched in 146 Mission ParivarVikas districts for providing Family planning services through mobile teams from accredited organizationsin far-flung, underserved and geographically difficult areas.
  7. Scheme for Home delivery of contraceptives by ASHAs at doorstep of beneficiaries.
  8. Scheme for ASHAs to Ensure spacing in births.
  9. Scheme for provision of Pregnancy Testing Kits in the drug kits of ASHAs for use in communities.
  10. Family Planning Logistic Management and Information System (FP-LMIS): A dedicated software to ensure smooth forecasting, procurement and distribution of family planning commodities across all the levels of health facilities.
  11. National Family Planning Indemnity Scheme (NFPIS) under which clients are insured in the eventualities of death, complication and failure following sterilization.
  12. Ensuring quality of care in Family Planning services by establishing Quality Assurance Committees in all states and districts.
  13. Appointment of dedicated RMNCH+A counsellors at high case load facilities.
  14. Improved Demand generation activities through a 360 degree media campaign.


Role of Rajya Sabha in Indian Polity and the Way Forward

(Topic: Parliament – Rajya Sabha/Upper House)

Chairman: Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu

The Upper House has played significant role in the socio-economic transformation of the country during its journey of last 67 years but ‘all is not well’. The role of Rajya Sabha in transforming the state of affairs in the country at the stroke of freedom marked by poverty, illiteracy, poor healthcare, low level of industrialization and economic growth, social orthodoxy, poor infrastructure, unemployment etc. to being now a leading engine of economic growth and a voice being heard in the complex global order besides substantially improved quality of life of the people.  

The Chairman stressed the need for collective reflection over the journey of the House so far and a sincere introspection over the missed opportunities on the landmark occasion of 250th Session of the House, failing which he said ‘there is an inherent risk of making ourselves irrelevant’.

10 suggestions for consideration by the Members of the House for making a difference to the functioning of the House, henceforth –

  1. Adequacy of the number of the sittings in the context of the House meeting for about 60-70 days in a year now, keeping in view the nature and volume of legislations and time available for discussing issues of public importance;
  2. Adequacy of the present Rules of Business of the House and changes required, if any;
  3. Adequacy and effectiveness of various instruments presently available for the members to present their views on legislative proposals and raising issues of public concern;
  4. Adequacy and effectiveness of the present procedures currently being followed in the House;
  5. Norms to be followed for enabling equitable and wider participation of members in the debates;
  6. Ensuring that members with right background and abilities to enrich debates are sent to the House;
  7. Ensuring self-discipline on the part of the members to ensure compliance with the Rules of the Business for orderly functioning of the House;
  8. Requirement of infrastructure support to the members to enable informed contribution to the debates in the House ;
  9. Ensuring adequate presence of members in the House all through the proceedings and in the meetings of the Department Related Standing Committees and other Committees of the House; and
  10. Technology adoption for improving the functioning of the members and for more lively conduct of the proceedings of the House.

On the role of the Upper House, Shri Naidu quoted former President of India and veteran Member of Rajya Sabha and said; “It will be desirable on the part of the Members of Rajya Sabha to remember that they have to maintain a fine balance between becoming obstructionist and redundant. The Rajya Sabha cannot mischievously veto everything and anything that the Lok Sabha passes and become obstructionist, and at the same time, it should not rubber stamp anything and everything passed by the Lok Sabha, lest it becomes redundant.”

Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019 passed by the Parliament

(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)

  • It seeks to make apolitical the trust that runs Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial by removing the clause pertaining to the President of INC as a permanent member of the trust. 
  • The Bill also amends to include the Leader of Opposition recognised as such in the House of the People (Lok Sabha) or where there is no such Leader of Opposition, then the Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in that House as a member of the trust.

‘Make In India’ Initiative for Ministry of Defence

(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)

An innovation ecosystem for Defence titled Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) has been launched: iDEX is aimed at creation of an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, Start-ups, Individual Innovators, R&D institutes and Academia and provide them grants/funding and other support to carry out R&D which has potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs. 24 contracts have been signed so far by the implementing agency -Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO).

Separate procedure for ‘Make-II’ category has been notified under Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) to encourage indigenous development and manufacture of defence equipment. Number of industry friendly provisions such as relaxation of eligibility criterion, minimal documentation, provision for considering proposals suggested by industry/individual etc. have been introduced in this procedure.  44 proposals have been accorded acceptance in principle.

Government has notified the ‘Strategic Partnership (SP)’ Model which envisages establishment of long-term strategic partnerships with Indian entities through a transparent and competitive process, wherein they would tie up with global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to seek technology transfers to set up domestic manufacturing infrastructure and supply chains.

Policy for indigenisation of components and spares used in Defence Platforms with the objective to create an industry ecosystem which is able to indigenize the imported components (including alloys & special materials) and sub-assemblies for defence equipment and platform manufactured in India.

Establish two defence industrial corridors to serve as an engine of economic development and growth of defence industrial base in the country.   They span across Chennai, Hosur, Coimbatore, Salem and Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu and spanning across Aligarh, Agra, Jhansi, Kanpur, Chitrakoot and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh (UP).

Department has formulated a Policy on ‘Utilisation of Third Party Inspection Services’ for effective administration of inspection Services with involvement of third parties.

Creation of “Offset portal”: To bring more transparency and efficiency into the Offset discharge process

‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’ aims to provide boost to the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) culture in indigenous defence industry.

Defence Investor Cell to provide all necessary information including addressing queries related to investment opportunities, procedures and regulatory requirements for investment in the sector.

Defence Products list requiring Industrial Licences has been rationalised and manufacture of most of parts or components does not require Industrial License.

Department of Defence Production has notified 112 items under Public Procurement Order 2017 notified by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). The Defence PSUs and OFB are thereby required to give preference to domestic manufacturers while procuring these items in accordance with the said policy. This is expected to provide greater opportunities to domestic industry catering to these organizations and reduce dependence on imports.

National Policy on Biofuels

(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)

  1. Categorization of biofuels as “Basic Biofuels” and “Advanced Biofuels”,
  2. Incentives, off-take assurance and viability gap funding for advanced biofuels,
  3. Allowing B-molasses, sugarcane juice, damaged food grains and surplus food grains for ethanol production,
  4. Setting up of supply chain mechanisms for biodiesel production from non-edible oilseeds, Used Cooking Oil, short gestation crops, and
  5. Synergy of efforts by defining roles and responsibilities of all the concerned Ministries/Departments with respect to biofuels.

In line with National Policy on Biofuels, Government has approved “Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN (Jaiv Indhan- Vatavaran Anukool FasalAwashesh Nivaran) Yojana” for providing financial support to Integrated Bio-Ethanol Projects using lignocellulosic biomass & other renewable feedstock, with a total financial outlay of Rs 1969.50 crore for the period 2018-19 to 2023-24.

For reopening of closed public and cooperative sugar mills, responsibility lies with concerned State Governments/Union Territories. In case of private sugar mills, the entrepreneur has to take steps to reopen closed sugar mills.

The Government through Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) is implementing the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme under which, OMCs sell ethanol blended petrol with percentage of ethanol upto 10% subject to its availability. OMCs procure ethanol for blending in petrol.

National Gas Pipeline 

  • To increase the availability of natural gas across the country, the Government has envisaged to develop the National Gas Grid. At present about 16,500 km natural gas pipeline is operational. 
  • Apart from that, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has authorized pipeline which are at various stages of execution. PNGRB is taking steps for development of natural gas pipeline in order to cover additional area of the country through National Gas Grid.

Cabinet approves

Patent Prosecution Highway programme

  • Reduction in time to dispose patent applications.
  • Reduction in pendency of patent applications.
  • Improvement in quality of search and examination of patent applications.
  • An opportunity for Indian inventors including MSMEs and Startups of India to get accelerated examination of their patent applications in Japan.

Establishment of the National Institute of Sowa Rigpa (NISR) at Leh

  • Sowa-Rigpa is a Traditional Medical system of the Himalayan belt in India. It has been popularly practiced in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling (West Bengal), Himachal Pradesh, Union Territory of Ladakh and now all over India.
  • The setting up of the National Institute of Sowa-Rigpa would provide an impetus for the revival of Sowa-Rigpa in the Indian Sub-continent. The Institute will also provide opportunities for students of Sowa-Rigpa not only in India but also from other countries.

MoU between India and Finland for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism

  • Establish the basis for a cooperative relationship to encourage and promote successful bilateral cooperation in the field of tourism
  • Sharing data; knowledge, expertise etc. related to tourism
  • Sharing experiences in making polices, regulation and standards in planning, implementation and development of tourism policy
  • Facilitating the identification and expansion of joint projects, pilots and partnerships between companies and organizations through visits, meetings, workshops, co-creation sessions and site evaluations
  • Exchanging best practices through workshops and study visits for experts of Finland and India on the field of cooperation
  • Encouraging development of partnerships in the context of multilateral development programs and projects of international Financial Institutions, in which both Participants have common interests

Proposal for Mitigating financial stress being faced by the Telecom Services Sector

  • Department of Telecommunication will give an option to the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to defer payment of the spectrum auction instalments due for 2020-21 & 2021-22, either for one or both years.  These deferred amounts bill be spread equally in the remaining instalments to be paid by TSPs. Interest as stipulated while auctioning of the concerned spectrum will however be charged so that NPV is protected. 
  • Deferment of spectrum auction instalments will ease the cash outflow of the stressed TSPs and facilitate payment of statutory liabilities and interest on bank loans.  Continued operation by TSPs will give a fillip to employment and economic growth. Improved financial health of TSPs will facilitate maintenance of quality of services to consumer.

Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2019

  • Setting up of two-member tribunal (in place of one member) introducing a concept that some of the important cases will be adjudicated jointly and the rest by a single member resulting speedier disposal of cases.
  • To impart flexibility to the exit provisions (relating to retrenchment etc.), for which, the threshold for prior approval of appropriate Government has been kept unchanged at 100 employees, but added a provision for changing ‘such number of employees’ through notification.
  • The re-skilling fund, is to be utilised for crediting to workers in the manner to be prescribed.
  • Definition of Fixed Term Employment and that it would not lead to any notice period and payment of compensation on retrenchment excluded.
  • Vesting of powers with the government officers for adjudication of disputes involving penalty as fines thereby lessening the burden on tribunal.

Prelims oriented News

14th November: World Diabetes Day 

10th October: World Mental Health Day; Theme: Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention

“Relief of the disabled and unemployable”: State subject

Census 2021

  • It will have a mix mode approach is being adopted for data collection.  
  • Census will be conducted in two phases, viz., House-listing & Housing Census during April to September, 2020 and Population Enumeration during February 09-28, 2021.
  • Enumerators can collect and submit data directly through Mobile App using his /her smart phone or they can use paper schedule to collect data and submit the same through Mobile App. 
  • Alternatively, the enumerators can also use paper schedule only to collect and submit the data. The State Government appointed enumerators will only be able to use the App for collection of data.

Report on ‘Health Systems for a New India: Building Blocks—Potential Pathways to Reforms’: NITI Aayog

It focuses on breaking silos in the health space and removing fragmentation between various initiatives, ensuring greater convergence between ministries as well as the Centre and states, as already initiated under Ayushman Bharat.

At a systems level, overcoming the challenges of fragmentation, across healthcare financing and service delivery, will help us optimize both quality and access. India now needs to build on its many opportunities to achieve further progress on the health of its citizens and respond to the growing aspirations and needs of a new India

National Bamboo Mission 

  • Focuses on the development of complete value chain of bamboo sector to link growers with consumers starting from planting material, plantation, creation of facilities for collection, aggregation, processing, marketing, micro, small & medium enterprises, skill development and brand building initiative in a cluster approach mode. 
  • NBM interventions includes support to industries for establishment of bamboo treatment and seasoning plants, establishment of carbonisation plants and establishment of livelihood business incubators and establishment of processing units for value addition.
  • Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises is implementing a scheme called ‘Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) in seven districts of Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Assam for need-based assistance, replacement of production equipment, setting up of  Common Facility Centres (CFC), product development, quality improvement, improved marketing, training and capacity building.

Steps taken by govt to promote vocational educational in backward regions

  • Developing internship/apprenticeship based degree courses in sectors like Retail, Logistics, Media and Entertainment, etc.
  • Increasing number of institutions offering B.VoC courses in the country
  • Aligning the content of existing skill courses with National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF)

Samagra Shiksha

  • Provisions have been made for library grant to government schools so as to inculcate reading habit among students of all ages and to strengthen school libraries, including purchase of books.
  • To promote the habit of reading in students, States and UTs have been advised to set up Reader’s club with the help of National Centre for Children’s Literature (NCCL) which is a wing of National Book Trust (NBT).

National Mission to improve learning outcomes at the Elementary level through an Integrated Teacher Training Programme

  • To improve learning outcomes at Elementary level through a massive Teacher Training Programme
  • The aim of this training is to motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students, handle diverse situations and act as first level counsellors.  
  • They will be oriented on and develop their skills on various aspects related to Learning Outcomes, Competency Based Learning and Testing, Learner-centered Pedagogy, School Safety and Security, Personal-social qualities, Inclusive Education, ICT in teaching-learning including Artificial Intelligence, Health and well-being including yoga, Initiatives in School Education including library, eco club, youth club, kitchen garden, School Leadership qualities, Environmental Concerns, Pre-school, Pre-vocational Education and School Based Assessment in a joyful learning manner.

The ‘Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat’ (PBBB) 

  • It is a sub-programme of erstwhile Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) which is continued under the new integrated scheme Samagra Shiksha to ensure quality at the foundational years of schooling. 
  • The objectives of the programme are to promote early reading and writing with comprehension skills in children, and also basic numeracy skills. 
  • States/ UTs are implementing PBBB in their respective States/UTs using multiple strategies and approaches. These include adoption of NCERT model of early reading, provision of supplementary reading material, development of State specific models for early Maths and early reading, collaboration with organizations like UNICEF etc.

Atal Innovation Mission

  • To cultivate 1 million children in India as Neoteric Innovators
  • Government has setup the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) at NITI Aayog. The objective of establishing AIM is to create scientific temper and cultivate the spirit of curiosity and innovation among young minds
  • In schools, AIM facilitates to set up network of Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATL) in India. The vision of Atal Tinkering Lab initiative is to ‘Cultivate 1 Million children in India as Neoteric Innovators’. 
  • The objective of this scheme is to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds and inculcate skills such as design mind-set, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing, rapid calculations, measurements etc.

New Mission of National Mission on Cultural Mapping (NMCM)

  • Set up by the Ministry of Culture in 2017
  • Mission will compile data of artists, art forms & geo location with inputs from Central Ministries, State Governments & art/culture bodies. 
  • Specially designed data capture form with technical collaboration of National E-Governance Division (NEGD)/Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) has been formulated for data collection. 
  • Data from art & culture Academies of the Ministry of Culture has been collected and will be entered into database after due correction.

Mental Health Awareness Initiatives

To address the burden of mental disorders, the Government of India is implementing the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) since 1982.

With the objective to address the shortage of qualified mental health professionals in the country, the Government, under NMHP is implementing Manpower Development Schemes for establishment of Centres of Excellence and strengthening/ establishment of Post Graduate (PG) Departments in mental health specialties.

Enactment of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, which aims at protection and promotion of the rights of persons with mental illness during the delivery of health care in institutions and in the community. It also ensures health care, treatment and rehabilitation of persons with mental illness within a rights based framework to achieve the greatest public health good. 

As per the guidelines for implementation of DMHP, funds upto Rs. 12 lakhs per annum are provided to each district supported under the programme for targeted interventions with the following objectives:

  1. To provide class teachers with facilitative skill to promote life skill among their students.
  2. To provide the class teachers with knowledge and skills to identify emotional conduct, scholastic and substance use problems in their students
  3. To provide class teachers with a system of referral for students with psychological problems to the District Mental Health Team for inputs and treatment.
  4. To involve other stakeholders like parents, community leaders to enhance development of adolescents etc.

Schemes to support handloom weavers 

  • National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP)
  1. Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS): Under the scheme, components like conducting Diagnostic Study, engaging Designer, Product Development, Corpus for raw material, Construction of Worksheds (for BPL/SC/ST/Women weavers), Skill up-gradation etc. are fully funded by Government of India, while the components like Technology up-gradation, lighting units funded 90% andother common infrastructural projects like Design Studio,  Marketing Complex, Value Addition Centres, Publicity etc., are funded by the GOI to the extent of 80%.
  2. Handloom Weavers’ Comprehensive Welfare Scheme (HWCWS): Weavers Comprehensive Welfare Scheme (HWCWS) is providing life, accidental and disability insurance coverage under the components Pradhan Mantri Jivan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) and Converged Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana (MGBBY).
  3. Yarn Supply Scheme (YSS): Yarn Supply Scheme is being implemented throughout the country to make available all types of yarn at Mill Gate Price. The scheme is being implemented through National Handloom Development Corporation.  Under the Scheme freight is reimbursed and depot operating charges at 2% is given to depot operating agencies. A component of 10% price subsidy also exists on hank yarn, which is applicable on cotton, domestic silk, wool and linen yarn with quantity caps.

To protect handloom weavers from private players in India, Handloom (Reservation of Articles for Production), Act, 1985 was enacted which has reserved 11 articles for exclusive production by handlooms.  For enforcement of the Act, enforcement machineries exist at Centre and at States/UTs level, which carry out regular inspections and take action under the provisions of the Act.

Under these schemes, financial assistance is provided for raw materials, purchase of looms and accessories, design innovation, product diversification, infrastructure development, skill upgradation, lighting units, marketing of handloom products and loan at concessional rates.

To protect imitation of products by others, following handloom products of Kerala have been registered under Geographical Indications Act:

  1. Kothampally dhoties and set
  2. Balaramapuram saree and fine cotton fabrics
  3. Kasargod saree
  4. Kothampally saree
  5. Chendamangalam dhoti
  6. Cannanore Home furnishing

Update: Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan-Dhan Yojana (PM-KMY): To provide social security net for the Small and Marginal Farmers (SMF) as they have minimal or no savings to provide for old age and to support them in the event of consequent loss of livelihood

  • Under this Scheme, a minimum fixed pension of Rs.3,000/- is provided to the eligible small and marginal farmers, subject to certain exclusion clauses, on attaining the age of 60 years.
  • It is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme, with entry age of 18 to 40 years. The beneficiary can opt to become member of the Scheme by subscribing to a Pension Fund managed by the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). 
  • The beneficiary is required to make a monthly contribution of between Rs.55/- to Rs.200/- to the Pension Fund, depending on the age of entry into the Scheme, with provision of equal contribution by the Central Government. Exit from the scheme may be voluntarily or on failure of contribution or on demise.

A total area of 27.77 lakh hectares is covered under organic farming in the country

  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY- Centrally Sponsored scheme, in all states & UTs) and Mission Organic Value Chain Development of North East Region (MOVCDNER -Central Sector scheme for North Eastern Region) 
  • Both the schemes aim at promotion of cluster/ Farmers Producer Organization (FPO) based chemical free, low input cost, sustainable organic farming and support farmers from input procurement to market linkages. 
  • Organic Farming has also been supported under other schemes viz. Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), Network Project on Organic Farming under Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

National Food Security Mission (NFSM) – Oilseeds and Oil Palm to increase production of oilseeds and domestic availability of edible oils.

Steps taken by government for promotion of organic / biofertilisers 

  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY): Assistance of Rs 50,000 per hectare/ 3 years is given, out of which Rs. 31,000 (62%) is provided to the farmers directly through DBT, for inputs (bio-fertilizers, biopesticides, vermicompost, botanical extracts etc) production/ procurement, post-harvest management etc
  • Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER): Farmers are given assistance of Rs25000/ ha/ 3 years for both onfarm & off-farm organic inputs, and seeds/ planting material. 
  • National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP): Financial assistance@ 50% subsidy to the tune of Rs. 300/- per ha is being provided for different components including bio-fertilizers, supply of Rhizobium culture/Phosphate Solubilising Bacteria (PSB)/ Zinc Solubilising Bacteria(ZSB)/ Azatobacter/ Mycorrhiza and vermi compost
  • National Food Security Mission (NFSM): Under NFSM, financial assistance is provided for promotion of Bio-Fertilizer (Rhizobium/ PSB) @50% of the cost limited to Rs.300 per ha
  • INM &IPM: Government of India has also been promoting soil test based Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) under Soil Health Card Programme and Integrated Pest management (IPM) practices such as including cultural, mechanical, biological control of pests along with judicious use of pesticides to control excess use of fertilisers and pesticides respectively.

Government has been implementing several schemes aiming at meeting the target of doubling of farmer’s income by 2022. The major schemes include:

  1. National Food Security Mission – for improved production and productivity of food grains and oilseeds. 
  2. Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture(MIDH)- to enhance production and productivity of horticultural crops  
  3. Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana and Mission organic Value Chain Development for North East Region –to reduce cost of cultivation and ensure chemical free quality products that can fetch premium prices to farmers 
  4. Soil health Cards- Aims at promotion of judicious use of fertilisers through soil test based recommendations there by reducing excess use of fertilisers 
  5. PMKSY-PDMC (Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana-Per Drop More Crop)- to promote water conservation and reduction in use of inputs through drip and sprinkler irrigation 
  6. Bamboo Mission and Agro forestry
  7. e-NAM – for transparent competitive markets for improved remuneration to the farmers.
  8. Crop loans-Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS) , Kisan Credit Card(K CC)
  9. Assured Prices-Minimum Support Price (MSP)
  10. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PMKISAN)

National Food Security Mission

Government enacted that National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) in July 2013 with an intended coverage of upto 75% of rural population and upto 50% of urban population for receiving highly subsidized foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System. One of the guiding principles of the Act is its life cycle approach wherein special provisions for supplementary nutrition have been made for pregnant women and lactating mothers and children in the age group of 6 months to 14 years.

  1. Every pregnant woman and lactating mother is entitled to meal, free of charge, during pregnancy and six months after the child birth, through the local anganwadi, so as to meet the specified nutritional standards and also maternity benefit of not less than rupees six thousand to partly compensate for the wage loss during the period of pregnancy and also to supplement nutrition.
  2. Every child in the age group of six months to six years, is entitled to age appropriate meal, free of charge, through the local anganwadi so as to meet the specified nutritional standards
  3. In the case of children, up to class VIII or within the age group of six to fourteen years, whichever is applicable, one mid-day meal, free of charge is provided every day except on school holidays, in all schools run by local bodies, Government and Government aided schools, so as to meet the specified nutritional standards.
  4. State Government through the local anganwadi, also identify and provide meals, free of charge, to children who suffer from malnutrition, so as to meet the specified nutritional standards.

National Food Security Mission (NFSM) was launched in 2007-08 to increase the production of rice, wheat and pulses through 

(i) area expansion and productivity enhancement, 

(ii) restoring soil fertility and productivity, 

(iii) Creating employment opportunities and 

(iv) enhancing farm level economy. Coarse cereals were also included in the Mission from 2014-15 under NFSM. 

UPDATE: Ministry of Women and Child Development

The Anganwadi Services {under Umbrella Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme} 

  • Envisages the Anganwadi Workers & Helpers as honorary workers from local community who come forward to render their services, on part time basis, in the area of child care and development. Being honorarium workers, they are paid monthly honoraria as decided by Government from time to time.
  • POSHAN Abhiyaan empowers the frontline functionaries i.e. Anganwadi Workers and Lady Supervisors by providing them with smart phones. ICDS-Common Application Software /(ICDS-CAS) have been developed under POSHAN Abhiyaan which enables data capture, ensures assigned service delivery and prompts for interventions wherever required. It enables collection of information on ICDS service delivery interventions and its impact on nutrition outcomes in beneficiaries.

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)

Crime against Women

As per the data provided by National Crime Records Bureau, in Delhi, the crime committed against women and children are on decrease since the last two years; however, the same is on increase in Mumbai.  

One Stop Centre Scheme provides integrated support and assistance to women affected by violence under one roof through a range of services including medical, legal, police, psycho-social counselling and temporary shelter. In addition, this Ministry also provides 24-hours toll-free telecom service through short code 181 to women seeking support and information through its Universalisation of Women Helpline scheme.

Enacted the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (JJ Act), which applies to all matters concerning children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law. The Ministry is also implementing a centrally sponsored Child Protection Services (CPS) scheme (erstwhile Integrated Child Protection Scheme) for supporting children in difficult circumstances, as envisaged under the JJ Act, 2015.

Poshan Abhiyaan is to achieve improvement in nutritional status of Children (0-6 years) and Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM) in a time bound manner in next three years period beginning 2017-18

  • Prevent and reduce Stunting in children (0- 6 years)
  • Prevent and reduce under-nutrition (underweight prevalence) in children (0-6 years)
  • Reduce the prevalence of anemia among young Children(6-59 months)
  • Reduce the prevalence of anemia among Women and Adolescent Girls in the age group of 15-49 years.
  • Reduce Low Birth Weight (LBW)

Poshan Abhiyaan is to ensure convergence of all nutrition related schemes of the Ministry of Women and Child Development on the target population.  This includes convergence of Anganwadi Services, Pradhan Mantri MatruVandanaYojana, Scheme for Adolescent Girls of Ministry of Women & Child Development; Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), National Health Mission (NHM) of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,Swachh Bharat Mission of Ministry of Jal Shakti; Public Distribution System (PDS) of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food& Public Distribution (CAF&PD), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) of Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and other programmatic interventions of Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation,  Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Mahila Shakti Kendra (MSK) Scheme: To empower rural women through community participation

To address malnutrition 

  • Promotion of appropriate Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices
  • Anaemia Mukt Bharat
  • Iron and Folic Acid (IFA) supplementation
  • De-worming
  • Promotion of iodized salt
  • Vitamin-A supplementation
  • Mission Indradhanush to ensure high coverage of vaccination in children
  • Conducting intensified diarrhoea control fortnights to control childhood diarrhea
  • Management of sick severely malnourished children at Nutrition Rehabilitation Centers,
  • Monthly Village Health and Nutrition Days
  • Home Based Newborn Care (HBNC)
  • Home Based Young Child care (HBYC) programmes
  • Rashtriya Bal SwasthyaKaryakram

States are maintaining Kishori Health Cards for Adolescent Girls in Angawadi Centres (AWCs) to record the information about the weight, height, Body Mass Index (BMI) along with other services provided under the scheme.

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 which came into effect in October, 2006 aims to provide protection and support to victims of domestic violence. The Act provides for appointment of Protection Officers and registration of Service Providers by State Governments for carrying out various duties and functions relating to protection and relief to women suffering from domestic violence.

‘Martyrdom Day’ of Guru Teg Bahadur

The ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur dedicated his life to the betterment of humankind and to promote a sense of unity, service and fraternity in the society. He worked to alleviate the sufferings of the people and fought against oppression. For this reason, Guru Teg Bahadur is aptly called ‘Hind Di Chadar’.


Dr. M. S. Swaminathan

To make India nutrition secure a five-point action programme has to be implemented:

  1. Ensure calorie rich diet for women, expectant mothers and children
  2. Ensure intake of proteins in the form of pulses to eradicate protein hunger in women and children
  3. Eradicate hidden hunger due to deficiency of micro nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B, Iron and Zinc
  4. Ensure clean drinking water supply
  5. Spreading nutrition literacy in every village particularly in mothers with children less than 100 days’ old

The Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana Scheme (PMMVY) has reached out to 10 million beneficiaries by compensating for wage losses and since 2013 maternal mortality rate has come down by 26.9%.

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh

On Terrorism

Called upon the international community to eliminate terrorist safe havens, disrupt their networks & financing and thwart their cross-border movement to ensure sustainable regional security.

  • Described terrorism as the most obvious & heinous of cross-border crimes, adding that some States use terror to pursue political goals making regional security vulnerable – It is so much worse when terrorists are aided, abetted, armed, financed and sheltered by States. The interplay between states and non-state actors, used as proxies to foment violence, has worsened this menace. The persistence of State-sponsored terrorism is not just a painful cancer, it is also the leading reason for unsustainable security.
  • Security is only effective when it is sustainable and it is sustainable only when the interests of all in the region are taken on board. He stressed upon the need for a more cooperative, equitable and consultative paradigm to deal with broad & complex security challenges to find sustainable solutions.
  • India’s Indo-Pacific vision is based on the idea of sustainable security as it focuses on a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific; one in which there is respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of everyone involved. He added that sustainability implies prioritisation of peaceful resolution of disputes, avoidance of use or threat of use of force and adherence to international laws.

On Govt’s commitment to achieve USD 26 billion defence industry by 2025

The defence sector has been given prominence under the ‘Make in India’ initiative to reduce dependence on imports and make India a major defence manufacturing hub & net exporter of defence equipment and platforms. Government has set a target of taking India’s defence exports to USD five billion by 2025 under the ‘Draft Defence Production Policy 2018’.

Various initiatives taken by Ministry of Defence (MoD) that led to rapid increase in exports.

  • Simplification of procedures for exports
  • Simplification of industry licensing process
  • Increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) cap
  • Streamlining of defence offset policy
  • Making government trial and testing facilities available to the private sector
  • ‘Defence Procurement Procedure’ was revised in 2016 to encourage the domestic defence industry
  • A new category ‘Buy Indian – IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured) was introduced to promote indigenous design and development of defence equipment.
  • Work is on to introduce a common testing and certification scheme under a Public Private Partnership model to create an enabling environment.
  • A new Transfer of Technology (ToT) policy is being created to simplify the way of transferring technology developed by DRDO to the industry. So far, more than 900 ToT licensing agreements have been signed with industries which is a major step towards making the defence manufacturing sector self-sufficient
  • + other points from the above-covered article on defence

Mr. Bill Gates, Co-Chair Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The biggest challenge today is climate change at a time when we need to increase production & food availability. The work that statisticians do is very critical to face this challenge. 

Understanding how climate change is affecting crops, the productivity and how we can adopt & adapt to these changes is going to require the best statistics, including use of new digital tools. Everyone here is part of humanity’s strive to adapt to the changing climate and to make sure that particularly the poorest farmers of the world get all the available information.

Climate change is complicated and requires learning different interventions including the development of new seeds suiting the changed climatic conditions and make them more available to poorest farmers. Small land holding farmers are over 2 billion people out of the whole 7 billion of the planet, this is a huge group requiring support. The small holding farmers‘ agricultural output is diminishing, low production because of the climate change effects. They drain out of their savings especially due to unexpected climatic disasters like droughts and floods. 

The good news is that there are lots of innovations to face these challenges. Today in order to tackle the issues of climate change we need to double the investment in developing innovative seeds and particularly the seeds publicly available. Data revolution promises to change how statistics is gathered, not only for the farmers but for the whole world. .In many cases new techniques predict productivity well in advance. Rich information is not available to the farmers.

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