DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 28th MAY 2020

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  • May 28, 2020
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 28th May 2020



Farmers’ protest against restriction on paddy cultivation

Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-III – Agriculture

In News:

  • Several farmers staged a tractor march in Haryana against the state government’s decision to restrict paddy (rice) cultivation to a few areas in the State. 

Key takeaways

  • The Haryana government had recently launched ‘Mera Pani Meri Virasat’ scheme. 
  • It aimed at crop diversification to move away from water-guzzling paddy. 
  • Under the scheme, farmers sowing alternative crops other than paddy during the kharif season will get an incentive of ₹7,000 per acre.
  • Government is aiming to replace 50% of the paddy area with alternative crops, including maize, cotton, millet, and pulses.
  • Farmers have started a ‘Kisan Bacho-Kheti Bachao’ campaign against the decision.  
  • They informed that soil and climate is not conducive in most parts for their cultivation. 
  • According to them, the compensation offered is Inadequate as well. 

Important value additions 

Crop diversification 

  • It refers to the addition of new crops or cropping systems to agricultural production on a particular farm. 
  • It takes into account the different returns from value-added crops and other marketing opportunities. 
  • Advantages:
    • It can help in increasing the farmers’ income to a certain extent. 
    • Dependency of farmers on a single crop decreases. 
    • Increase in natural biodiversity
    • strengthening the ability of the agro-ecosystem to respond to the stresses. 
    • Building crop resilience to diseases, pest organisms and environmental stresses. 
    • It reduces the risk of total crop failure.  
    • Enable farmers to gain access to national and international markets with new products, food and medicinal plants.

Katkari tribe generate income through Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana 

Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-I – Culture & GS-II – Welfare schemes

In News:

  • Katkari tribal youth from Shahpur in Maharashtra were in news recently for selling Giloy and other products online during lockdown
  • They received help under the Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY). 
  • Giloy is an Ayurvedic herb that has been used and advocated in Indian medicine for ages.

Important value additions 

Katkari tribe 

  • The Katkari are an Indian Tribe mostly belonging to the state of Maharashtra
  • Katkari is one of the 75 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
  • The Madia Gond and the Kolam are other tribal groups included in this group.
  • Their vulnerability derives from their history as a nomadic, forest-dwelling people.
  • They were listed by the British Raj under the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871
  • They are subjected to the stigma even to this day. 
  • Presently, the Katkari are a fragmented and very scattered community. 
  • They are highly dependent on others for their livelihoods.
  • Most Katkari are landless workers.

The Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY)

  • It was launched in 2018.
  • The scheme is run by the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED).
  • It is an initiative targeting livelihood generation for tribals by harnessing the wealth of forest i.e. Van Dhan. 
  • The programme aims to tap into traditional knowledge & skill sets of tribals by adding technology & IT to upgrade it at each stage. 
  • The initiative shall provide enhanced livelihood to about 45 lakhs tribal gatherers in one year. 
  • Tribal community owned Minor Forest Produce (MFP)-centric multi-purpose Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (the Kendra) are set up.
  • Essential Features of the PMVDY:
    • The State Nodal Department will have the flexibility to appoint any State Implementing Agency / District Implementing Unit for implementation of the PMVDY in the State and District levels. 
    • The Kendras would act as common facility centres for procurement cum value addition to locally available MFPs. 
    • A typical Van Dhan Vikas Kendra shall constitute of 15 tribal Van Dhan Self Help Groups (SHG)

Puntius Sanctus: a new freshwater fish found in Velankanni

Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-III – Agriculture

In News:

  • Recently, Puntius Sanctus, a new freshwater fish, has been found in Velankanni, Tamil Nadu. 
  • It was found in a small waterbody.

Image source: The Hindu 

Key takeaways 

  • Sanctus means holy (pilgrim town) in Latin.
  • Species of Puntius are known from India mainly from the Western and Eastern Ghats and the Eastern Himalayas.
  • Puntius Genus:
    • The genus shows great species richness in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
    • The species are known locally as Paral in kerala and Kende in Tamil Nadu.
    • It belongs to the family ‘Cyprinidae’.
  • Puntius Sanctus:
    • It is a silver-hued fish.
    • It grows only upto to a length of 7 cm.
    • It is different from other species in terms of protractible (extended) mouth and a pair of maxillary barbels (a sensory organ near the snout).
  • Family Cyprinidae:
    • It is the family of freshwater fish. 
    • It includes the minnows, goldfish, bitterlings, barbs, and carps.
    • It ranges from small aquarium sized species to huge fish.
  • Puntius Sanctus has been deposited in the Zoological Survey of India at Pune.
  • It has also been registered with Zoo Bank of the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature, the official authority for naming animals.


Shahi Lichi

  • The Shahi Lichi is a variety of lichi that is grown in Muzaffarpur. 
  • Ideal conditions for growth:
    • Humid condition 
    • Alluvial soil 
    • Good amount of calcium content in the soil 
  • India is the second largest producer of lichi in the world after China. 
  • Bihar is the leading state for lichi production in the country. 
  • It has been accorded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag recognition (2018).

Zardalu Mango

  • Zardalu is a unique mango variety from Bhagalpur, Bihar.
  • It is known for its light yellow skin and distinct special aroma.
  • It received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag in 2018.



Topic: General Studies 2:

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors
  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources

How India can push its dairy cart ahead

Context: India through centre’s COVID relief package has ushered in agricultural reforms. This has also provided an opportunity to reorient the thinking on dairy sector.

Merits of Dairy Sector

  • Leads to equitable income: Milch animal holding is far more equitable than land holding. About 85% of the total farmers are small and marginal. While they together own about 47% of farmland, they own about 75% of milch animals.
  • Driven by Small and Marginal Farmers: Land prices in India are very high, which makes running large dairy farms unviable. So, dairy farming in India will continue to be dominated by small and marginal farmers.
  • Leads to enhanced farmers’ health: Estimates suggest that 48% of the milk produced is consumed by dairy farmers themselves, and 52% is marketable
  • Helps Achieve Policy Goals: The livestock sector—within it, dairy—plays larger role in the India’s goal to double farmer’s income by FY23.
  • Potential for growth in Value Addition: By 2020, the share of Value Added Products like cheese and paneer, in the organised milk market is likely to increase to 30% from the current 23%.

Challenges of the dairy Sector

  • Inadequate Formalisation of Dairy Processing: Of the total surplus, 20% is processed in the cooperative sector, 30% by branded private dairy companies, and the rest by the unorganised sector (milk for sweet shops, loose milk, etc).
  • Regionally Imbalanced: UP, AP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, MP, Haryana, and Punjab together account for 65% of the country’s milk production.
  • Highly Skewed Infrastructure: The processing capacity, measured in terms of milk chilling infrastructure (cooperatives), is highly skewed, with Gujarat alone accounting for 46% of this.
  • Out-dated Technologies: Most of the milk processing plants with cooperatives are old and need to be expanded or modernised
  • Gaps in artificial insemination (AI) and breeding services: Against requirement of 200 mn doses of AI, only 115 mn doses are being produced.
  • Increasing Feed Constraint as land is increasingly being put to non-agricultural uses. Percentage of gap to demand in case of concentrates, dry fodder, and green fodder is 39%, 36%, and 57%, respectively.
  • Credit Issues: There are basically two challenges: flow of credit vis-a-vis the potential; and mismatch between regional flow of credit to the sector
  • Inadequate Refrigeration Capacity: Refrigeration penetration in India is not more than 10-20% at the household and retail level—lower, in rural India (1-2%).

Way Ahead

  • Enhanced Funding: It is estimated that additional capacity of 75 lakh litres per day, modernising capacity of 75 lakh litres, and milk processing capacity of 12.5 crore tonnes per day can be augmented with an investment of Rs 5,000 crore
  • Leveraging Technology: IoT and data analytics has to be harnessed for digitising milk production, procurement, processing, and marketing
  • Increase Efficiency: Digitisation should also focus on solutions for herd management, smart milk procurement, cold chain management to increase logistical efficiency
  • Secure and seamless: There has be enhanced penetration of livestock insurance to reduce risk and promotion of fintech for dairy farmers for seamless transactions.
  • Regionally Balanced development: There is need to promote the dairy sector in newer areas especially in Eastern India
  • Bridging the gaps in fodder requirements
  • Creating and modernising dairy infrastructure


The future of dairy in India hinges on modernising infrastructure, and giving the sector a technological face-lift

Connecting the dots:


Topic: General Studies 2,3:

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors
  • Issues relating to development and management of Education, Human Resources

A moment to trust the teacher

Context: The government of Tamil Nadu has decided to conduct the Grade X board examination from June 15. To enable for social distancing norms, the number of exam centres has been radically increased from over 3,000 to 12,690

Criticism of Board Examination system

  • Not Evolved: All examinations follow a strict ritual that has remained unchanged for over a century
  • Little to do with education or learning – The set pattern board examination follows ensures that the questions will have no intellectual substance
  • Encourages negative values: Examinations promote the values of fear of failing, sacrifice of joy and selfish competitiveness and submission to an opaque system
  • Suppresses Passion: Exam scores are used to sort children into subject streams, often at the cost of child’s interest, skills and passion.
  • Induces Mental Agony: The pressure of scoring high marks due to peer pressure and parental pressure, at times pushed students to suicide
  • Ignores Social Skills: Board examination system primarily tests person’s memory retention ability and this leads to neglect of soft skills like communication, EQ etc
  • Spurs private coaching institutes: The desire to “crack” exams has led to mushrooming of private coaching centres – which are often business oriented ignoring the purpose of education (creating a responsible human being)
  • Sorts Students on artificial basis: Exams are used to select a few who can proceed further and eliminate the rest, which is attained by dividing students into “‘pass”–“fail” categories and into divisions based on marks.

An Alternate Suggestion – School-based system of evaluation.

  • Teachers & parent are complaining that the notice period given for the June exam is much too short to “refresh” the children. 
  • A school based evaluation system would make the Board exams not mandatory
  • There is also recommendation in National Curriculum Framework (2005) for making the Grade X exam voluntary.
  • Whenever schools reopen, children who want to take the board exam can do so. Others can carry on in the next grade
  • Such an approach ensures that trust & responsibility is now reposed on Teachers (whose position & status in society has declined when compared to ancient times)
  • As a result, each individual will be evaluated by a Teacher based on her own capabilities and the progress achieved, rather than one-size-fits-all testing system
  • There will be continuous evaluation of a student throughout the academic year rather than pressurizing the student during exam time
  • The focus of such a system will be on values, knowledge and creativity rather than rote learning of facts


The novel coronavirus crisis is the right time to create the energy for examination reform

Connecting the dots:

  • Right to Education
  • Happiness classes by Delhi’s Educational Board


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)


  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers. 
  • Comments Up-voted by IASbaba are also the “correct answers”.

Q.1 Shahi Lichi and Zardalu Mango, which are popular all over India, are grown in which of the following state of India?

  1. Jharkhand 
  2. Bihar 
  3. Uttar Pradesh 
  4. Madhya pradesh 

Q.2 Puntius Sanctus, a small fish recently found in Tamil Nadu, belongs to which of the following family of fish? 

  1. Achiridae 
  2. Bedotiidae 
  3. Fundulidae 
  4. Cyprinidae

Q.3 Katkari tribe belong to which of the following state?

  1. Maharashtra 
  2. Chhattisgarh 
  3. Madhya Pradesh 
  4. Rajasthan 

Q.4 The Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY) is an income generation program for which of the following section of people? 

  1. Tribal forest gatherers 
  2. Small and marginal farmers 
  3. Women belonging to scheduled castes 
  4. Youth belonging to backward regions

Q.5 Consider the advantages of Crop diversification:

  1. It helps in increasing in natural biodiversity
  2. It builds crop resilience to diseases, pest organisms and environmental stresses. 

Which of the above is/are correct? 

  1. 1 only 
  2. 2 only 
  3. Both 1 and 2 
  4. Neither 1 nor 2 


1 A
2 B
3 D
4 D
5 A

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