Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 6th MAY 2020

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  • May 6, 2020
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 6th May 2020



IDEAthon on “The Future of River Management’ 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Environment 

In News: 

  • Recently, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) had organized an IDEAthon on “The Future of River Management’. 
  • Aim of the event was to explore how the Covid-19 crisis can shape river management strategies for the future. 
  • Namami Gange (implemented by the NMCG) and NIUA plan to bring out a policy paper based on the event.  

Important value additions: 

National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)  

  • It is the implementation wing of the National Ganga Council. 
  • It was established in the year 2011 as a registered society.  
  • It is under the Ministry of Jal Shakti. 
  • It has a two-tier management structure. 
  • It comprises of Governing Council and Executive Committee. 


  • To ensure effective control of pollution and rejuvenation of the river Ganga by adopting a river basin approach.  
  • To maintain minimum ecological flows in the river Ganga with the aim of ensuring water quality and environmentally sustainable development. 

National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) 

  • It is an institute for researchtraining and information dissemination in urban development and management. 
  • It is located in New Delhi, India. 
  • It was established in 1976 as an autonomous body under the Societies Registration Act.  

Saras Collection launched on the Government e Marketplace (GeM) portal 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Governance 

In News: 

  • Recently, the Indian government launched the Saras Collection on the Government e Marketplace (GeM) portal. 
  • It is a unique initiative by the GeMDeendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) and Ministry of Rural Development. 

Key takeaways: 

  • It shall showcase daily utility products made by rural Self-Help Groups (SHGs).  
  • It aims to provide SHGs with market access to Central and State Government buyers. 
  • The initiative is first launched in the states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. 
  • It shall cover other states in the upcoming phases. 
  • It will do away with intermediaries in the supply chain and ensure better prices for SHGs.  

Important value additions:  

Government e-Marketplace 

  • It is a National Procurement Portal to facilitate online procurement of common use goods and services required by various central and state government departments/organizations/public sector undertakings (PSUs). 
  • It was launched in 2016 to bring transparency and efficiency in the procurement.  
  • It functions under Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D), Ministry of Commerce and Industry. 

Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana or DAY  

  • It is a Government of India scheme for helping the poor by providing skill training in both rural and urban areas as per requisite international standards. 
  • The Government of India has provisioned ₹500 crore (US$70 million) for the scheme. 

Employment schemes launched by Jharkhand  

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Welfare Schemes 

 In News: 

Recently, Jharkhand launched three employment schemes — Birsa Harit Gram Yojana (BHGY), Neelambar Pitambar JAL Sammridhi Yojana (NPJSY) and Veer Sahid Poto Ho Khel Vikas Scheme (VSPHKVS) — to create wage employment for workers in rural areas. 

The schemes are formulated in convergence with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). 

Important value additions: 

Birsa Harit Gram Yojana (BHGY): 

  • It shall bring over two lakh acres of unused government fallow land under the afforestation programme. 
  • About 5 lakh families will be provided 100 fruit-bearing plants 
  • The afforestation will be taken up through MGNREGA. 
  • The ownership of land will remain with the government. 

Neelambar Pitambar Jal Sammridhi Yojna (NPJSY): 

  • Under this, the government is aiming at creating agro-water storage units by arresting rainwater and runaway groundwater. 

Veer Sahid Poto Ho Khel Vikas Scheme (VSPHKVS): 

  • Under VSPHKVS, the government is linking sports with rural job schemes for creation of assets in the rural areas in order to give a boost to sports. 

Multiple entry life-long visa facility for OCI holders suspended 

 Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Citizenship 

 In News: 

  • The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has suspended the right of multiple entry life-long visa facility of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders for visiting India .  
  • The order will be valid till the prohibition on international air travel of passengers from/to India is lifted by the Government of India. 

Important value additions: 

Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) 

  • It is an immigration status permitting a foreign citizen of Indian origin to live and work in the Republic of India indefinitely.  
  • It was introduced by The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2005.  
  • It was launched during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention held in Hyderabad in 2005.  


Year of Awareness on Science & Health (YASH) 

  • The National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC), Department of Science & Technology (DST) has launched a programme on health and risk communication, ‘Year of Awareness on Science & Health (YASH)’ with focus on Covid-19.  

UV blaster 

  • Recently, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed an Ultra Violet (UV) Disinfection Tower for rapid and chemical free disinfection of high infection prone areas. 
  • The equipment is named UV blaster. 

Samudra Setu 

  • Indian Navy has launched Operation Samudra Setu (Sea Bridge) to repatriate Indian citizens from overseas. 
  • Evacuation operations of Phase-1 will begin from Malè, Republic of Maldives. 

Pic: Source

Atal Tunnel 

  • It is being constructed in the Pir Panjal ranges of Himachal Pradesh by Border Roads Organisation (BRO).  
  • It is an important tunnel since Manali-Sarchu-Leh road remains closed for six months every year due to Rohtang Pass being completely snow bound between November and May.  
  • The tunnel will connect Manali to Lahaul Valley throughout the year.  
  • It will also aid the forward connectivity offering the security forces a major strategic advantage. 



Topic: General Studies 2:

  • Issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure
  • Government policies and interventions for development in Health sectors

Abolition of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS)


Recently, Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) was suspended by the Central government for two years.  

  • All Opposition parties have criticised the Government’s move.  
  • However, the government has reasoned that these funds are needed to strengthen the government’s efforts in managing the challenges and adverse impact of COVID-19 in the country. 

What is MPLADS?  

  • Under the scheme, each Member of Parliament may suggest works to the District Collector amounting ₹5 crores per year which can be taken up in his/her constituency. 

However, the experts feel that the MPLADs scheme should be completely abolished due to following reasons: 

Separation of powers 

  • The scheme gives an executive function to legislators.  
  • hardly any authorities in the district who have the courage to defy the wishes of an MP. 

CAG’s observations 

  • According to Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)’s report, utilisation of funds is between 49 to 90% of the allotted amount.  
  • Though the scheme envisages that works under the scheme should be limited to asset creation78% of the works that were recommended were for improvement of existing assets.  
  • Lesser quantities of material were used than specified by contractors resulting in excess payments and sub-standard works.  
  • There was no accountability for the expenditure in terms of the quality and quantities executed.  
  • Delays in issuing work orders ranged from 5 to 387 days in 57% of the works. The work order must be issued within 45 days of the receipt of recommendation by the MP.  
  • Without following the correct procedure, extensions of time were granted to the contractors.  
  • Register of assets created were not maintained. Thus, location and existence of assets could not be verified. 

Gaps in utilization 

  • There are wide variations in the utilisation of the MPLAD amount in various constituencies.  
  • According to a report published in IndiaSpend:  
  • 298 of 542 Lok Sabha members had not spent a rupee from the ₹5 crore that is set aside annually for them to develop their constituencies even after a year of their election. 
  • Though ₹1,757 crore had been released for MPLADs, only ₹281 crore had been utilised by all the 543 MPs till May 15, 2015.  
  • This means only 16% of the money had been spent in one year by all the MPs put together.  
  • Since the MPLADS began in 1993, ₹5,000 crore was lying unspent with various district authorities by May 15, 2015. 

Funds being utilised for appeasement  

  • MPLADS funds are also used to appease opinion-makers and favourite contractors.  
  • Often, the contractor is a relative, close friend, or a confidant of the MP.  

Constitutional validity 

  • Constitutional validity of MPLADS was challenged in the Supreme Court of India in 1999, followed by petitions in 2000, 2003, 2004, and 2005.  
  • The combined judgment for all these petitions was delivered in 2010 and the scheme was held constitutional. 
  • It is often pointed out that the judgement was pronounced without an assessment of the situation prevalent in the field.  
  • Audit reports wherein gross irregularities and infirmities in implementation have been pointed out were not considered as evidence .  


  • Reports of underutilisation and misutilisation of MPLADS funds continue to surface at regular intervals but no serious attempt has been made to do anything about it till now.   
  • It would be in public interest to convert the two-year suspension into the complete abolition of this scheme. 
  • The same fund could be utilised for health and education purposes and in generating employment.  

Connecting the dots  

  • While taking over MPLADS funds to fight the virus, Centre must allocate judiciously.


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 Consider the following statements: 

  1. National Mission for Clean Ganga comes under the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  2. National Institute of Urban affairs is an autonomous body. 

Which of the above is/are correct? 

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

Q.2 Consider the following statements regarding recently launched Saras collection:  

  1. It is launched all over India.
  2. It will help in providing self-help groups market access which will involve middlemen as well. 

Which of the above is/are correct? 

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

Q.3 Consider the following statements regarding Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana:  

  1. Under the scheme, skill training is provided in only rural areas. 
  2. It is managed by Ministry of Finance. 

Which of the above is/are correct? 

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

Q.4 With regard to Overseas Citizenship to India, consider the following statements: 

  1. It was launched during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas held in Mumbai in 2005.  
  2. A foreign citizen of Indian Origin can live and work in India for 10 years. 

Which of the above is/are correct? 

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


1 B
2 A
3 B
4 C

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