13 Apr, 2020
56 Min Read
|GS-II||COVID-19 and SHG – Self Help Group||Governance|
|PMUY beneficiary under Pradhan Mantri Kalyan Yojana- Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojana||Governance|
|COVID-19 and TRIFED-Tribal rights||Governance|
|COVID-19 and Essential Commodities Act||Governance|
|GS-III||COVID-19 and EPFO - LABOUR REFORMS||Economic Issues|
|COVID-19 and World reports||Economic Issues|
|PT Pointer||HRD ministry launches portal “yukti”||Governance|
|CSIR and COVID-19|
|Supreme Court direction for welfare of migrant labour’s|
|Paintings- scroll painting- Pattachitra||Art and Culture|
|Meru Jatra Festival/ Danda Nata -Odisha||Art and Culture|
COVID-19 and SHG – Self Help Group
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Governance-SHG (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Around 78,000 self help group members of 27 state rural livelihood mission produces about 2 crore masks.
About two crore masks have been produced by around 78 thousand Self Help Group members of 27 State Rural Livelihood Missions. Rural Development Ministry has said that around five thousand Personal Protective Equipment, PPE kits have been manufactured by these groups in various states including Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Karnataka.
The masks have been supplied to the state health departments, Local Self Government, local administration, front line workers, police officials, and are also sold in open markets. They have also been distributed free to the rural households in many states.
Self Help Group members have now started making Personal Protective Equipment like aprons, gowns and face shields. More than 900 groups in nine States have produced One lakh 15 thousand litres of sanitisers. Some members of the group have also been selling liquid soaps to guarantee hand hygiene.
What are SHGs?
Need for SHGs
Genesis of SHG
Benefits of SHGs
Weaknesses of SHGs
Measures to Make SHGs Effective
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Governance (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
To date, oil marketing companies have initiated the transfer of Rs 5,606 crore to 7.15 Crore Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojana beneficiary accounts for availing free delivery of LPG cylinder under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan package.
Booking of 1.26 Crore cylinders has been done in this month by the beneficiaries, out of which about 85 lakh cylinders have been delivered to PMUY beneficiaries.
There are 27.87 Crore active LPG consumers in the country, with the PMUY beneficiaries accounting for over 8 crores. Since the lockdown, 50 to 60 lakh cylinders are being delivered daily in the country. When there is a nationwide lockdown and the people are staying home to stay safe, LPG delivery boys and all those in the supply chain of LPG are working tirelessly to ensure that clean fuel reaches people directly at their homes.
The Centre has announced pro-poor initiatives under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, as part of economic response to COVID-19. As per this scheme, free LPG Refills are to be provided to Ujjwala beneficiaries over the period of 3 months, from April to June.
From Mountainous terrain to backwaters, hamlets in deserts to habitations in forests, these Corona warriors are steadfast in their duties and ensure timely delivery. Even in these trying times, the waiting period for cylinders at most of places is less than 2 days.
All Customers, holding an installed LPG connection under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana as of 31st March, are eligible to get the benefits of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana. The scheme has started from 1st April and will continue upto 30th June.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
In India, the poor have limited access to cooking gas (LPG). The spread of LPG cylinders has been predominantly in the urban and semi-urban areas with the coverage mostly in middle-class and affluent households. But there are serious health hazards associated with cooking based on fossil fuels. According to WHO estimates, about 5 lakh deaths in India alone are due to unclean cooking fuels. Most of these premature deaths were due to non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. Indoor air pollution is also responsible for a significant number of acute respiratory illnesses in young children. According to experts, having an open fire in the kitchen is like burning 400 cigarettes an hour.
Providing LPG connections to BPL households will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in the country. This measure will empower women and protect their health. It will reduce drudgery and the time spent on cooking. It will also provide employment for rural youth in the supply chain of cooking gas.
Under the scheme, an adult woman belonging to a poor family not having LPG connection in her household, is an eligible beneficiary under the expanded scheme.
The release of LPG connection under this Scheme shall be in the name of the women belonging to the BPL family.
Initially, the Government covered the following categories under the Scheme:-
Benefits to the citizens
Under the scheme, five crore LPG connections are to be provided to BPL households. The Scheme provides financial support of Rs 1600 for each LPG connection to the BPL households, and interest-free loans to purchase stoves and refill by Oil Marketing Companies. The administrative cost of Rs. 1600 per connection, which includes a cylinder, pressure regulator, booklet, safety hose, etc. would be borne by the Government.
Implementation modalities of the scheme
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Governance (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
TRIFED asks state implementing agencies to initiate procurement of MINIMUM FOREST PRODUCE at MSP.
The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) which functions under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, has asked the State Nodal Departments and Implementing Agencies to initiate procurement of Minor Forest Produces (MFPs) at Minimum Support Price (MSP) from the available funds under MSP for MFP Scheme.
TRIFED in collaboration with UNICEF is hosting Webinar sessions for the Van Dhan Self Help Group members of the Van Dhan Vikas Kendras.
He said it’s objective is to create awareness among the tribal gatherers for following social distancing measures and maintaining the necessary hygiene required for carrying out their operations.
APEDA & TRIFED
The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) was established by the Government of India under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act, 1985. It functions under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The Authority has its headquarters in New Delhi.
Composition of APEDA Authority
Five members appointed by the Central Government by rotation in alphabetical order to represent the States and the Union Territories
It mainly undertakes two functions viz. Minor Forest Produce (MFP) development and Retail Marketing and Development.
Minor Forest Produce (MFP) development
Retail Marketing and Development
Van Dhan Scheme
The Van Dhan Scheme is an initiative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED. It was launched on 14th April, 2018 and seeks to improve tribal incomes through value addition of tribal products.
The scheme will be implemented through Ministry of Tribal Affairs as Nodal Department at the Central Level and TRIFED as Nodal Agency at the National Level. At State level, the State Nodal Agency for MFPs and the District collectors are envisaged to play a pivot role in scheme implementation at grassroot level. Locally the Kendras are proposed to be managed by a Managing Committee (an SHG) consisting of representatives of Van Dhan SHGs in the cluster.
Minor Forest Produce and tribal livelihoods (Mains Analysis)
Minor Forest Produce (MFP) is a major source of livelihood for tribals living in forest areas. The importance of MFPs for this section of the society can be gauged from the fact that around 100 million forest dwellers depend on MFPs for food, shelter, medicines and cash income. It provides them critical subsistence during the lean seasons, particularly for primitive tribal groups such as hunter gatherers, and the landless. Tribals derive 20-40% of their annual income from MFP on which they spend major portion of their time. This activity has strong linkage to women’s financial empowerment as most of the MFPs are collected and used/sold by women. MFP sector has the potential to create about 10 million workdays annually in the country.
Key Highlights of Van Dhan Initiative
Implementation of the scheme
Under Van Dhan, 10 Self Help Groups of 30 Tribal gatherers are constituted. The establishment of "Van Dhan Vikas Kendra" is for providing skill upgradation and capacity building training and setting up of primary processing and value addition facility. They are then trained and provided with working capital to add value to the products, which they collect from the jungle. Working under the leadership of Collector these groups can then market their products not only within the States but also outside the States. Training and technical support is provided by TRIFED. It is proposed to develop 3,000 such centres in the country.
Value addition assumes critical importance in ensuring remunerative prices to the tribals in this approach. Three stage value addition would be the corner stone for enhancing incomes of the tribals under the scheme. The grass root level procurement is proposed to be undertaken through Self Help Groups associated with implementing agencies. Convergence and Networking with other Govt. departments/scheme shall be undertaken to utilise the services of existing SHGs like Ajeevika, etc. These SHGs shall be appropriately trained on sustainable harvesting/collection, primary processing & value addition and be formed into clusters so as to aggregate their stock in tradable quantity and linking them with facility of primary processing in a Van Dhan Vikas Kendra.
The stock after primary processing shall be supplied by these SHGs to the State Implementing Agencies or direct tie up for supply to corporate secondary processor. For creation of secondary level value addition facility at district level and tertiary level value addition facility at State level, Big Corporates shall be involved under PPP model. This PPP model will be based on utilising Private entrepreneur skills in undertaking processing as well as marketing of the produce and Central/ State Govt. support in terms of creating infrastructure and providing enabling environment for undertaking value addition of systematic scientific lines. These will be sophisticated large value addition hubs managed by Private entrepreneur.
The Van Dhan Vikas Kendras will be important milestone in economic development of tribals involved in collection of MFPs by helping them in optimum utilization of natural resources and provide sustainable MFP-based livelihood in MFP-rich districts.
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Governance (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
The Essential Commodities Act, of 1955 was enacted to ensure the easy availability of essential commodities to consumers and to protect them from exploitation by unscrupulous traders. The Act provides for the regulation and control of production, distribution and pricing of commodities which are declared as essential. The Act aims at maintaining/increasing supplies/securing equitable distribution and availability of these commodities at fair prices.
The Act empowers the Central and state governments concurrently to control the production, supply and distribution of certain commodities in view of rising prices.
The State Governments are fully empowered under the Act to regulate the production, distribution, supply and prices of the food items which are declared as essential commodities in the respective States. Thus the States are the implementing agencies to implement the EC Act, 1955 and the Prevention of Black Marketing & Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980, to ensure adequate availability of essential commodities at reasonable prices, by exercising powers delegated to them. This is reviewed periodically at the National level.
The list of essential commodities is reviewed from time to time with reference to their production and supply and in the light of economic liberalization in consultation with the concerned Ministries/Departments administering these commodities. Currently, the restrictions like licensing requirements, stock limits and movement restrictions have been removed from almost all agricultural commodities. Wheat, pulses and edible oils, edible oilseeds and rice are the exceptions, where States have been permitted to impose some temporary restrictions in order to contain price increases of these commodities.
Who executes the Act
Food and civil supply authorities execute the provisions of the Act. They generally raid the premises of the businessmen to find out violations along with the local police, who have the power to arrest them. In case a state doesn’t want to accept the Centre’s suggestion on implementing any provision of the Act it can do so. There are reports of Maharashtra not imposing stock limits for onions and potatoes. UP is not enforcing the Act itself.
Which commodities does it cover?
Seven major commodities are covered under the act.
(ii) seeds of cattle fodder; and
(iii) jute seeds;
(iv) cotton seed
Economic Survey 2019-2020 recommends to scrap ECA,1955
Negatives of ECA,1955:
Benefits of the ECA,1955
Present Scenario of ECA,1955 during COVID19:
In recent years, there has been an argument that the EC Act was draconian and not suited for times when farmers face problems of plenty rather than scarcity. The Economic Survey 2019-20 argued that it hampered remunerative prices for farmers and discouraged investment in storage infrastructure.
But in the context of a crisis like the current one, the EC Act seems to serve a purpose. Bringing masks and sanitisers under the EC Act will enhance the availability of these products to the public, at fair prices.
Producers have been urged to manufacture these up to full capacity over three shifts. The government can take action against hoarders, speculators and those involved in jacking up prices or black-marketing. Besides this, quota restrictions on raw material holdings can be relaxed.
The MCA has asked all State governments to issue licences and permit hand-sanitiser makers to store ethanol and extra neutral alcohol (ENA) without any quota restrictions. The Indian Sugar Mills Association and All India Distilleries Association have been asked to ensure that ethanol and ENA are made easily available to producers. Reports indicate prices of ethanol and ENA can not be increased till June 30 and will need to be sold at the price levels as on March 5 this year.
Necessity of ECA,1955 during COVID19
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- ECONOMY-EPFO (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
EPFO processes around 1.3 lakh claims, disburse to help fight corona to the subscriber
Employees Provident Fund Organization, EPFO, has processed about 1.37 lakh claims disbursing 279.65 crore rupees under a new provision to help subscribers fight COVID-19. This provision was especially formulated by amending the EPF Scheme. The remittances of the money have already started taking place. The system as it stands today is processing all applications which are fully KYC compliant within less than 72 hours.
The provision for a special withdrawal from the EPF Scheme to fight the COVID-19 pandemic is part of the Prime Minister's Garib Kalyan Yojana announced by the government. EPFO is also accepting the date of birth recorded in the Aadhaar card of a subscriber as valid proof for rectification of the date of birth in PF records.
What is EPFO?
Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) was established by an act of the Parliament of India, to provide social security to workers working in India. It came into force by Employee Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1952. EPFO comes under the control of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India.
There are 3 major schemes of EPFO
1. EPFO Scheme 1952
Salient features of EPFO schemes
2. Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS)
Salient features of the Pension Scheme
3. Insurance Scheme 1976 (EDLI)
Salient features of the scheme
EPFO is the largest social security organisation in the world in terms of the number of covered beneficiaries and the largest in terms of the volume of financial transactions undertaken. On 1st October 2014, Prime Minister launched Universal Account Number for Employees covered by EPFO to enable PF number portability.
Recently Steps were taken by the EPFO to facilitate efficient services
Online facilities provided by the EPFO for the following processes
UAN (Universal Account Number)
It is a 12-digit number allotted to an employee working in an organisation. If a person has multiple member IDs issued by multiple organisations, all the IDs will come under one single UAN number which will be the same for a lifetime. This number will not change even when an employee changes his organisation.
The various benefits attained due to UAN.
Number of new enrolments
Social Security Code Bill 2019
The Bill will be tabled in Parliament in the 2nd week of December 2019. This Bill is being proposed by the Ministry of Labour, to reduce the Employee's contribution to PF. Provident Fund has 2 components. One is the Employees part and the second is the employers part. Currently, the Employee contribution and Employer's Contribution to PF stands at 12% of the Basic Salary. As per the proposed Bill, which will be tabled in Parliament; Employees will be given the option of reducing their contribution to PF. This is being done to increase the take-home salary of Millions of employees in the Organised sector in order to boost consumption and therefore arrest the decline in the economy.
Salient Features of the Social Security Code Bill 2019
Social Security Code Bill 2019 subsumes 8 Central Labour Laws
Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO)
Employees Pension Scheme (EPS):
Jai Hind Jai Bharat
Source: AIR / Web
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Economy (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
1. Asia Development Bank assures India 2.2 billion support to fight COVID: Asian Development Bank today assured India of 2.2 billion US dollar support to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The financial support of about 16,500 crore rupees. In a call, Asakawa commended the Indian Government's decisive response to the pandemic, including a National Health Emergency programme. He commended tax and other relief measures provided to businesses. ADB President also appreciated 1.7 lakh crore rupees economic relief package to provide immediate income and consumption support to the poor, women, and workers affected by the nationwide lockdown.
ADB in a statement said that weakening global economic growth is causing disruptions in India's trade and manufacturing supply chains, along with the slowdown in tourism and other economic activities. ADB said, it is also engaged with the private sector to meet its financing needs during this period.
On 18th of March, ADB announced an initial package of approximately 6.5 billion US Dollars to address the immediate needs of its developing member countries, including India, as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Global economy is expected to go in recession - RBI REPORT
In its latest Monetary Policy report, the Reserve Bank of India - RBI has stated that the global economy is expected to go into recession after taking into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also says that aggregate demand is expected to be impacted adversely by likely recession in the global economy, caused by disruptions in global supply chains, travel and tourism, and lockdowns in many economies.
The report suggests that while efforts are being mounted on a war footing to arrest its spread, COVID-19 would impact economic activity in India directly through domestic lockdown. Second round effects would operate through a severe slowdown in global trade and growth. It also says that the lockdown is expected to significantly lower aggregate demand in both rural and urban areas.
3. Global Trade growth expected to plummet as per WTO
The World Trade Organisation today said that global trade growth is expected to plummet by up to a third in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It has warned that the numbers would be ugly and world trade is expected to fall by between 13 percent and 32 percent in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts normal economic activity and life around the world. WTO said in a statement that there were a wide range of possibilities for how trade would be hit by the unprecedented health crisis. However, WTO chief Roberto Azevedo warned the downturn may well be the deepest economic recession or downturn of our lifetimes.
4. World banks report predicts India’s growth at 1.5 to 2.8% in FY 21 ,slowest since economic reform 30 years ago.
India is likely to record its worst growth performance since the 1991 liberalisation this fiscal year as the coronavirus outbreak severely disrupts the economy.
India’s economy is expected to grow 1.5% to 2.8% in the 2020-21 fiscal which started on April 1, the World Bank said in its South Asia Economic Focus report.
It estimated India will grow 4.8% to 5% in the 2019-20 fiscal that ended on March 31.
The COVID-19 outbreak came at a time when India’s economy was already slowing due to persistent financial sector weaknesses, the report said.
To contain it, the government imposed a lockdown, shutting factories and businesses, suspending flights, stopping trains and restricting mobility of goods and people.
“The resulting domestic supply and demand disruptions (on the back of weak external demand) are expected to result in a sharp growth deceleration in FY21 (April 2020 to March 2021),” it said, adding that the services sector will be particularly impacted.
Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Minister for Human Resource Development has launched a web-portal YUKTI (Young India Combating COVID with Knowledge, Technology and Innovation) in New Delhi today. The portal and dashboard will monitor and record the efforts and initiatives of the Ministry of HRD. It intends to cover different dimensions of COVID-19 challenges in a holistic and comprehensive way.
In the wake of COVID-19 threat, the primary aim is to keep the academic community healthy, both physically and mentally and to enable a continuous high-quality learning environment.
It will cover the various initiatives and efforts of the institutions in academics, research especially related to COVID, social initiatives and measures taken for the betterment of the total wellbeing of the students. The portal will cover both qualitative and quantitative parameters for the effective delivery of services to the academic community at large.
Portal will also allow various institutions to share their strategies for various challenges. The HRD Minister hoped that this portal will give input for better planning and will enable the Ministry to monitor its activities effectively for the coming six months.
The portal will also establish a two-way communication channel between the Ministry of HRD and the institutions to provide the necessary support system to the institutions. He said that the Government is confident that the portal will help in critical issues related to student promotion policies, placements-related challenges and physical and mental well-being of students in these challenging times.
The web platform Yukti will epitomize its name and prove to be a great enabler in taking the research to the citizens of the country, the ultimate stakeholders.
CSIR - centre for cellular and microbiology in Hyderabad engaged in fight against COVID 19
CCMB is an authorized testing centre for COVID-19 and receives patient samples from government hospitals across 33 districts of Telangana to check for SARS-CoV-2 virus. Currently, test capacity is around 350 samples a day.
CSIR labs are leading the way in genome sequencing of the Corona Virus and CCMB is performing Next Generation Sequencing and analysis to map out the whole genome sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The patient samples with CCMB that show high viral load are chosen for genome analyses.
CCMB has also been actively engaged in conveying various precautions and advisories on Corona Outbreak by innovative means in regional languages on social media platforms to the public at large.
The Court directed that adequate medical facilities besides proper arrangements for food, clean drinking water and sanitation be ensured for migrant workers at relief camps/shelters across the country. Further, trained counsellors and/ or community group leaders belonging to all faiths should visit the relief camps/ shelter homes and deal with any consternation that the migrants might be going through.
The Court also observed that the anxiety and fear of the migrants should be understood by the police and other authorities, and that they should deal with the migrants in a humane manner. Further, the State Governments/ UTs should endeavour to engage volunteers along with the police to supervise the welfare activities of the migrants.
Pattachitra evolved from Sanskrit. When broken down into its two parts, Patta means cloth, and Chitra means picture (Scroll Paintings). Hence, Pattachitra is a picture painted on a piece of cloth. This form of art is closely related to the cult of Shri Jagannath and the temple traditions in Puri. Believed to have originated as early as the 12th century, it is one of the most popular living art forms, and people in Odisha practice it to this day.
For Pattachitra painting, the Chitrakars follow a traditional process of preparing the canvas. A gauze-like fine cotton cloth is coated with white stone powder and gum made out of tamarind seeds. This makes the canvass ready to accept the paint, made of natural colors. These colors are an unique feature of Pattachitra.
The gum of the kaitha tree is the chief ingredient, used as a base for making different pigments by adding available raw materials. For instance, to get the shade of white, powdered conch shells are used.
Pattachitra is predominantly icon painting. Some of the popular themes of this religious art are The Badhia (a depiction of the temple of Jagannath); Krishna Lila (an enactment of Jagannath as Lord Krishna displaying his powers as a child); Dasabatara Patti (the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu); and Panchamukhi (a depiction of Lord Ganesh as a five-headed deity). Every year during Debasnana Purnima in Puri Jagannath Temple, the deities are believed to take a bath with 108 pots of cold water to fight the heat of summer. Afterward, the deities supposedly fall sick for a period of 15 days known as ‘Anasara.’ Because of the deities’ absence from public view, some of the finest Chitrakars are gathered to make three Pattachita paintings of the three deities — namely Lord Jagannath, Goddess Subhadra, and Lord Balabhadra — for the public to pay obeisance. These painting are called Anasar Patti.
It is a disciplined form of art with a set of rules and restrictions. A floral border is a must around the paintings, and so is the use of natural colors. The paintings are executed primarily in profile with elongated eyes, as well. With the use of such prominent solid shades, the paintings end up depicting stark emotional expressions with great detail. Following completion of a painting, the canvas is held over a charcoal fire and lacquer is applied to the surface.
Over the years the art form has evolved and has experienced discernible changes. The Chitrakars have painted on palm leaves and Tussar silk and have also created wall hangings and showpieces. Because of the stringent methodology of the art, it survives, preserving the effervescence of the aesthetic Pattachitra. The intriguing folk paintings are internationally known, and the setting up of centres to teach the art form in Odisha speaks volumes about its consistency and popularity.
Odisha’s Ganjam district administration has banned the Meru Jatra festival and congregations related to it at temples on the occasion of Mahavishub Sankranti on Monday.
Meru Jatra marks the end of the 21-day-long festival of penance named ‘Danda Nata’. Mahavishnu Sankranti is also the start of the Odia New Year. On this day, thousands of devotees used to gather at the Tara Tarini hill shrine and other temples.
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