DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 4th December 2021

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  • December 4, 2021
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Private Member’s Bill

Part of: Prelims and GS-II- Governance

In News: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor moved a private member’s Bill in the Lok Sabha seeking to establish permanent Benches of High Courts in State capitals. 

Key Takeaways

  • The private member’s Bill was moved in the Lok Sabha after a gap of nearly two years.
  • “Establishment of permanent benches of high courts at state capitals Bill” had been pending since 2019.
  • As many as 153 private members’ Bills were introduced in the Lok Sabha on Friday, including one that sought compulsory teaching of the Bhagavad Gita in educational institutions.

Private Member’s Bill

  • Any Member of Parliament (MP) who is not a minister is referred to as a private member.
  • The purpose of private member’s bill is to draw the government’s attention to what individual MPs see as issues and gaps in the existing legal framework, which require legislative intervention.
  • Its drafting is the responsibility of the member concerned. 
  • Its introduction in the House requires one month’s notice. 
  • The government bills can be introduced and discussed on any day, private member’s bills can be introduced and discussed only on Fridays. 
  • Its rejection by the House has no implication on the parliamentary confidence in the government or its resignation. 
  • Upon conclusion of the discussion, the member piloting the bill can either withdraw it on the request of the minister concerned, or he may choose to press ahead with its passage. 
  • The last time a private member’s bill was passed by both Houses was in 1970. It was the Supreme Court (Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction) Bill, 1968.

Centre’s Air Quality Commission 

Part of: Prelims and GS-III- Environment

In News: The Supreme Court approved the measures taken by the Centre’s Air Quality Commission to create an ‘Enforcement Task Force’ and flying squads to prevent and penalise polluters in Delhi NCR. 

  • The task force was formed on December 2. The task force has two independent members. It will meet at 6 p.m. everyday. The task force will take action on behalf of the commission against violators.
  • Also, 17 flying squads (which will increase to 40) to conduct surprise check was formed that would directly report to the task force.

About Centre’s Air Quality Commission

  • The Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Adjoining Areas act, 2021 established the said commission.
  • The objective of the commission is for better coordination, research, identification, and resolution of problems related to air quality in the NCR and adjoining areas.   
  • Adjoining areas have been defined as areas of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh adjoining the NCR where any source of pollution may cause adverse impact on air quality in the NCR.   
  • It also dissolves the Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority established in the NCR in 1998.  

Functions of the Commission:   

  • Co-ordinating actions by concerned state governments (Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh)
  • Planning and executing plans to prevent and control air pollution in the NCR
  • Providing a framework for identification of air pollutants 
  • Conducting research and development through networking with technical institutions
  • Training and creating a special workforce to deal with issues related to air pollution
  • Preparing various action plans such as increasing plantation and addressing stubble burning. 

Powers of the Commission:   

  • Restricting activities influencing air quality
  • Investigating and conducting research related to environmental pollution impacting air quality
  • Preparing codes and guidelines to prevent and control air pollution
  • Issuing directions on matters including inspections, or regulation which will be binding on the concerned person or authority.  
  • It may impose and collect environment compensation from farmers causing pollution by stubble burning.  This compensation will be prescribed by the central government. 

Poshan Tracker data

Part of: Prelims and GS-II- Health

In News: The Ministry of Women and Child Development has spent over ₹1,000 crore on its Poshan or Nutrition Tracker, which records real-time data on malnourished and ‘severe acute malnourished’ children in each anganwadi. 

Key Takeaways

  • The Poshan Tracker gives the Ministry daily data from 12.3 lakh anganwadi centres, with 9.8 lakh beneficiaries.
  • But four years since its launch, the Government is yet to make the data public.

About Poshan Abhiyan

  • Poshan Abhiyaan is India’s flagship programme to improve nutritional outcomes for children, adolescents, pregnant women and lactating mothers by leveraging technology, a targeted approach and convergence.
  • The purpose of POSHAN Tracker application is to provide a 360-degree view of the activities of the Anganwadi Centre (AWC), service deliveries of Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) and complete beneficiary management for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children. 
  • The proposed system should enable real-time monitoring and tracking of all AWCs, AWWs and beneficiaries on the defined indicators.

MGNREGA seeks ₹25,000 crore more

Part of: Prelims and GS-II- Governance

In News: The Centre has sought ₹25,000 crore as additional funding for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme as part of the supplementary demand for grants submitted to Parliament.

  • The additional budget for MGNREGA was needed because pending payments for wages and materials have threatened to cripple implementation of the scheme.

Rural distress & increased demand for MGNREGA

  • Continuing economic distress in rural India has led to increased demand for jobs under the scheme, which promises 100 days of unskilled work for every household at a pay of about ₹210 per day.
  • With four months remaining in the financial year, MGNREGA has finished spending the ₹73,000 crore initially allocated in the budget, and its financial statement now shows a negative net balance of ₹10,244 crore, including payments due.
  • Last year, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing lockdowns and widespread unemployment, MGNREGA, with a revised budget of ₹1.1 lakh crore, acted as a lifeline for the rural economy. 
  • This year, the Centre seeks to transfer ₹25,000 crore to the National Employment Guarantee Fund, and the supplementary demand for grants entails an additional cash out-go of almost ₹22,039 crore for the scheme. 

(News from PIB)

Global Hunger lndex 2021

Part of: Prelims 

In News: India’s score is 27.5 and it has ranked 101 among 116 countries. 

What is the Global Hunger Index?

  • The GHI is an annual peer-reviewed publication by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe. 
  • It aims to track hunger at global, regional and national levels. 
  • It uses four parameters to calculate its scores – 
    • Undernourishment
    • child wasting
    • child stunting and 
    • Child mortality
  • Information from the World Health Organization, the World Bank and the United Nations are taken to calculate these parameters.
  • All these international organisations draw from national data, which, in India’s case, includes the National Family Health Surveys (NFHS).

Global Hunger Index (GHI) does not reflect India’s true picture as it is a flawed measure of ‘Hunger’. 

It should not be taken at face value as it is neither appropriate nor representative of hunger prevalent in a country. Out of its four indicators, only one indicator, i.e., undernourishment, is directly related to hunger. 

  • The two indicators, namely, Stunting and Wasting are outcomes of complex interactions of various other factors like sanitation, genetics, environment and utilisation of food intake apart from hunger which is taken as the causative/outcome factor for stunting and wasting in the GHI. 
  • Also, there is hardly any evidence that the fourth indicator, namely, child mortality is an outcome of hunger.

News Source: PIB

S-400 Triumf Missile System

Part of: Prelims and Mains GS-III – Defence and security

In News: A contract has been signed for delivery of S-400 system from Russia.

  • The S-400 Missile is a potent system in terms of its operational capability to provide continuous and effective air defence system to a very large area. 
  • With the induction of this system, air defence capability of the nation will be significantly enhanced.
  • The system is also known as the ‘Triumf’ interceptor-based missile system.
  • This risks the possibility of sanctions from the U.S. under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) which would come up for discussion at the India-U.S. 2+2 ministerial dialogue, also scheduled for early December.

What is CAATSA?

  • Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)‘s core objective is to counter Iran, Russia and North Korea through punitive measures.
  • Enacted in 2017.
  • Includes sanctions against countries that engage in significant transactions with Russia’s defence and intelligence sectors.

What are S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile systems?

  • The S-400 Triumf is a mobile, surface-to-air missile system (SAM) designed by Russia.
  • It can simultaneously track numerous incoming objects — all kinds of aircraft, missiles and UAVs — in a radius of 400km and launch appropriate missiles to neutralise them.
  • It is the most dangerous operationally deployed modern long-range SAM (MLR SAM) in the world, considered much ahead of the US-developed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD).

News Source: PIB

Digitalisation of Agricultural Sector

Part of: Prelims and Mains GS – III – Agriculture

Context: Government has taken various initiatives/steps to enable digitalisation of agricultural sector in the country and to promote agri-tech business:

  1. Government has finalized an India Digital Ecosystem of Agriculture (IDEA) framework which would lay down the architecture for the federated farmers’ database is being built by taking the publicly available data as existing in various schemes and linking them with the digitized land records. The IDEA would serve as a foundation to build innovative agri-focused solutions leveraging emerging technologies to contribute effectively in creating a better Ecosystem for Agriculture in India. This Ecosystem shall help the Government in effective planning towards increasing the income of farmers in particular and improving the efficiency of the Agriculture sector as a whole. 
  2. Under National e-Governance Plan in Agriculture (NeGP-A), funds are released to the State(s)/UT(s) for project involving use of modern technologies viz. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Robotics, Drones, Data Analytics, Block Chain etc.
  3. National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Scheme: Creating online transparent competitive bidding system to facilitate farmers with remunerative prices for their produce. 
  4. To make provisions of subsidy for farm machinery more transparent Government has developed Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) portal, Centralized Farm Machinery Performance Testing Portal and FARMS Mobile App.
  5. A Central Sector Scheme of financing facility under ‘Agriculture Infrastructure Fund’ for investment in digital Connectivity and optic fibre infrastructure is an eligible activity for the projects covered under the scheme. The scheme provides support for creation of post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets.
  6. Krishi Yantra App to augment research, operations and technology dissemination process in the field of agricultural engineering. In order to ensure that appropriate mechanization technology is selected by the entrepreneurs, a web-portal has been made available by ICAR-CIAE on their website. This helps prospective and existing entrepreneurs in selection of machines and available choices for procurement.
  7. ICAR-CIAE has also developed the following Mobile Apps:
  1. ‘Farm mech’ App: The App is related to decision support for selection of suitable farm machineries for five major crops of Tamil Nadu. It also has dynamic Networking of 2250 Custom hiring service operators in Android platform.
  2. ‘Farm Safety’: Provides information about Safety Guidelines and Safety Gadgets to avoid accidents while using different type of agricultural machinery.
  3. Water Balance Simulation Model for Roof Water Harvesting (Mobile App): It is helpful to decision makers to make recommendations for design requirements where roof water harvesting system adoption may lead to water saving and water security.

 News Source: PIB

Dr Rajendra Prasad

Part of: Prelims 

Context: Jayanti of the first President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad

  • The first president of India, in office from 1952 to 1962
  • A supporter of Mahatma Gandhi, Prasad was imprisoned by British authorities during the Salt Satyagraha of 1931 and the Quit India movement of 1942
  • In his speech before the Constitution was adopted, Dr Rajendra Prasad rightly noted that the successful working of democratic institutions requires willingness to respect the views of others, and capacity for compromise and accommodation. He said, [quote] “Many things which cannot be written in a Constitution are done by conventions. Let me hope that we shall show those capacities and develop those conventions.” [Unquote] Seventy years later, we have reasons to believe that the nation has lived up to his hopes to a fair degree.

News Source: PIB

(Mains Focus)


  • GS-2: Federal Challenges
  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Dam Safety Bill and Tamil Nadu’s objection

Context: The Dam Safety Bill was passed by Parliament on Friday amid strong objections from the Opposition. While it was passed by the Lok Sabha in August 2019, it was cleared by Rajya Sabha on Friday. 

  • The Opposition sought that it be sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee for further scrutiny. However, a motion to this effect was defeated in the House.

What is the Dam Safety Bill?

  • The Bill proposes to help all states and Union Territories adopt uniform dam safety procedures. 
  • It aims to “provide for surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of the specified dam for prevention of dam failure-related disasters, and to provide for institutional mechanism to ensure their safe functioning and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”
  • A National Committee on Dam Safety with a three-year tenure, comprising 
    • Chairman of the Central Water Commission
    • Maximum of 10 representatives of the central government in the ranks of joint secretary
    • Maximum of seven representatives of the state governments
    • Three experts
  • A state dam safety organisation will be formed as well, which will be responsible for the dam safety. 
    • This organisation is empowered to investigate and gather data for proper review and study of the various features of the design, construction, repair and enlargement of dams, reservoirs and appurtenant structures.
    • The state dam safety organisation must also report events such as dam failures to the National Dam Safety Authority and also maintain records of major dam incidents of each specified dam.
  • The National Dam Safety Authority, to be headquartered in Delhi, will be formed under the Act. 
    • It will be headed by an officer not below the rank of Additional Secretary to the Government of India to deal with problems relating to dam engineering and dam safety management.

What is the Context of Dam Safety Bill?

  • Most of the dams in India are constructed and maintained by the states, while some of the bigger dams are managed by autonomous bodies such as Damodar Valley Corporation or Bhakra Beas Management Board of Bhakra-Nangal Project.
  • The Centre has presented the Dam Safety Bill, 2018 against the backdrop of over 5,200 large dams in India and about 450 dams under construction right now. 
  • Due to lack of legal and institutional architecture for dam safety in India, dam safety is an issue of concern. Unsafe dams are a hazard and dam break may cause disasters, leading to huge loss of life and property.
  • However, during deliberations by the Centre in 2016 to collect feedback from states on the Bill, then Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa had raised questions on the bill.

What are the objections by Tamil Nadu?

  • Tamil Nadu has argued that the Bill was detrimental to federal principles and powers of the state governments
  • Tamil Nadu alleges that it contains clauses which violate the rights of the state, especially with respect to the dams constructed by it in neighbouring states, and will cause problems in maintenance and operation. 
  • The main concern of the state is about retaining its power in controlling the dams, autonomy, and ownership of the assets.
  • Tamil Nadu CM has said the move was nothing but authoritarianism and usurped the rights of the state governments without regard to the democratic-parliamentary ethos or the Constitution of India.


In a country where most of the dams are built, operated, maintained and owned by state governments, the impact of the Act remains to be seen when long-pending disputes arise.

Connecting the dots:


  • GS-2: Economy & Challenges
  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

India revokes PepsiCo’s potato patent

In News: Two years ago PepsiCo India had sued nine Gujarati farmers for allegedly infringing patent rights by growing its registered potato variety.

  • However, now the company’s registration of the variety has been revoked by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights’ Authority (PPV&FRA). 
  • The PPV&FRA questioned the documentation produced by PepsiCo claiming it was the owner of the variety, and thus could be considered the Registered Breeder under the law. 

Brief Background of the issue

  • The FL-2027 variety of potatoes, used in Lays potato chips, was grown by about 12,000 farmers with whom the company had an exclusive contract to sell seeds and buy back their produce.
  • In 2016, the company registered the variety under the PPV&FR Act, 2001
  • Alleging that farmers who were not part of its “collaborative farming programme” were also growing and selling this variety in Gujarat, PepsiCo had filed rights infringement cases against nine farmers.
  • The Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ document had claimed that “only small and marginal farmers involved in subsistence farming” are eligible to claim rights under the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights (PPV&FR) Act, 2001. The FAQ also said these rights are not for “commercial farmers” and are only meant for “small scale” use.
  • Pepsico cited the FAQ document to justify dragging more than nine farmers to court in 2018 for growing and selling its registered variety without its consent.
  • The company faced product boycotts and major protests across the political spectrum for slapping a ₹4.2 crore lawsuit against four farmers, and ultimately withdrew all cases after government intervention just before Lok Sabha elections in May 2019.

The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Act, 2001:

  • Enacted by India in 2001 adopting sui generis system.
  • It is in conformity with International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), 1978.
  • The legislation recognizes the contributions of both commercial plant breeders and farmers in plant breeding activity and also provides to implement TRIPs in a way that supports the specific socio-economic interests of all the stakeholders including private, public sectors and research institutions, as well as resource-constrained farmers.

Objectives of the PPV & FR Act, 2001:

  • To establish an effective system for the protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders and to encourage the development of new varieties of plants.
  • To recognize and protect the rights of farmers in respect of their contributions made at any time in conserving, improving and making available plant genetic resources for the development of new plant varieties.
  • To accelerate agricultural development in the country, protect plant breeders’ rights; stimulate investment for research and development both in public & private sector for the development new of plant varieties.
  • Facilitate the growth of seed industry in the country which will ensure the availability of high-quality seeds and planting material to the farmers.

Rights under the Act:

  • Breeders’ Rights: Breeders will have exclusive rights to produce, sell, market, distribute, import or export the protected variety. Breeder can appoint agent/ licensee and may exercise for civil remedy in case of infringement of rights.
  • Researchers’ Rights: Researcher can use any of the registered variety under the Act for conducting experiment or research. This includes the use of a variety as an initial source of variety for the purpose of developing another variety but repeated use needs prior permission of the registered breeder.
  • Farmers’ Rights:
    • A farmer who has evolved or developed a new variety is entitled for registration and protection in like manner as a breeder of a variety;
    • Farmers variety can also be registered as an extant variety;
    • A farmer can save, use, sow, re-sow, exchange, share or sell his farm produce including seed of a variety protected under the PPV&FR Act, 2001 provided farmer shall not be entitled to sell branded seed of a variety protected under the PPV&FR Act, 2001;
    • Farmers are eligible for recognition and rewards for the conservation of Plant Genetic Resources of land races and wild relatives of economic plants;
    • There is also a provision for compensation to the farmers for non-performance of variety under Section 39 (2) of the Act, 2001 and
    • Farmer shall not be liable to pay any fee in any proceeding before the Authority or Registrar or the Tribunal or the High Court under the Act.

Connecting the dots:

(Sansad TV: Perspective)

Dec 3: Enable The Disabled – https://youtu.be/_6QBsqNEWXo 


  • GS-2: Government schemes and policies
  • GS-3: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

Enable The Disabled

Context: The world population is over 7 billion – and more than one billion people (or around 15% of the world’s population) live with some or the other form of disability – 80% of them in developing countries. 

  • To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, the world has to build an inclusive and just society for everyone, leaving no one behind. 
  • The world marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, on the 3rd of December – the day that aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness about the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. 


  1. The United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disability tells us that persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full participation in society on an equal basis with others.
  2. The Rights of persons with Disability Act of India, 2016, also clarifies that disability includes people with mental illness, epilepsy, intellectual impairment and other disabilities which are not evident to a casual observer.

Disability can be seen through various perspectives-

  • It can be social, which means people are disabled by the barriers in society rather than by their own impairment or differences. For example, not having accessible toilets in buildings, assumptions that disabled people cannot do certain things.
  • It can be medical, where medically a person lacks in something as compared to a healthy individual. It categorizes disability into physical and mental.
  • It can also be seen as enhancement of one particular sense in a person and lack of another. It is often seen in people disabled from birth, where lack of one sense is compensated by very powerful another sense, like a blind person has a very powerful sense of hearing.
  • It also varies due to attitude of the person. Certain people because of their will power and positive attitudes have converted their disability into an opportunity. For example, Stephen Hawking despite being suffering from ALS turned out to be a great scientist and Deepa Malik worked on her strengths to win a medal in Paralympics.
  • It also changes over time. What used to be a disability in the past, might be cured or rectified through a simple procedure now.

Measures taken by government to create a conducive ecosystem for the disabled community-

  • Legal measures:
    • Rights of persons with disabilities act- Increased number of disabilities from 7 to 21, reservation in higher education and government jobs, free education for children between 6 to 18 years.
    • Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana– For providing Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for Senior citizens belonging to BPL category
    • Scheme for Implementation of Persons with Disabilities act (SIPDA)- To provide financial assistance to the states for implementation of act
  • Institutional measures:
    • Dedicate department- A separate Department for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities was carved out of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
    • Accessible India Campaign- To help make buildings and other infrastructure disabled friendly.
    • Sugamya Pustakalya- Online library for persons with disabilities.
    • Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP) Scheme- provides for distribution of aids and assistive devices
    • Establishment of National fund for Person with disabilities.
    • Unique Disability ID (UDID): Ensures complete digitization of certification of disability from 01.06.2021, besides providing a viable mechanism for cross-checking genuineness of the certificate to achieve pan-India validity, and simplifying the process for the benefit of Divyangjan.
  • Educational measures:
    • Scholarships- Various scholarship schemes have been introduced for disabled students at different educational levels.
    • Reservation- 5% reservation is provided to disabled in higher education.
  • Social measures:
    • Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme- Promote Voluntary Action by releasing grant-in aid to NGOs.
    • Corporate Social responsibility- For enabling and empowering disabled persons.
  • Research:
    • Research- Setting up of Indian Sign language research and training center to benefit persons with hearing disabilities.

Launching schemes is not enough, we need to ensure that the schemes are implemented in their true spirit, and the society must be made aware so as to remove the social barriers present and convert disability into an opportunity.

Must Read: 

Women with disabilities

UN’s guidelines on access to social justice for people with disabilities 

Can you answer the following questions?

  1. Discuss the efforts and opportunities the world is providing to shape an inclusive future for persons with disabilities.
  2. What are the challenges and barriers that persons with disabilities face? Enumerate the accelerated steps taken by India to reduce inequalities.


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


  • From 4th Dec 2021 onwards, we will be providing answer keys for MCQs on the same day itself.

Q.1) Consider the following statements on Private Members bill

  1. Its drafting is the responsibility of the member concerned. 
  2. Its introduction in the House requires one month’s notice. 
  3. The government bills can be introduced and discussed on any day, private member’s bills can be introduced and discussed only on Fridays

Which is the above statement(s) is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Q.2) Consider the following statements about Poshan Tracker

  1. It gives the Union government daily data from 12.3 lakh anganwadi centres, with 9.8 lakh beneficiaries.
  2. Launched in 2016, the data from the tracker is released on monthly basis. 

Which is the above statement(s) 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 about MGNREGA Scheme

  1. It promises 100 days of unskilled work for every household at a pay of about ₹210 per day.
  2. The demand for the scheme has an inverse relation with the economic performance of our country.

Which is the above statement(s) is/are correct?

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


1 A
2 C
3 C


1 D
2 A
3 C

Must Read

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