16 April, 2020
36 Min Read
|GS-I||IMD Forecasts and EL Nino|
|GS-II||Lockdown 2.0 COVID-19 and New guidelines||Government policies and interventions|
|GS-III||Rural Industries – MSME ACT – MGNREGA||Economic Issues|
|Important GS Topics||WHO and Its Roles|
|Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme-MPLAD|
IMD Forecasts and EL Nino
Part of: GS-I- Geography (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Indian Meteorological Department (IMD):
IMD has continuously ventured into new areas of application and service, and steadily built upon its infra-structure in its history of 140 years. It has simultaneously nurtured the growth of meteorology and atmospheric science in India. Today, meteorology in India is poised at the threshold of an exciting future.
India Meteorological Department was established in 1875. It is the National Meteorological Service of the country and the principal government agency in all matters relating to meteorology, seismology and allied subjects.
Note: Long Period Average (LPA) -refers to the average monsoon rainfall from 1961-2010, which is 88 cm (880.6 mm to be precise). Until 2019, the LPA stood at 887.5 mm considering the average from 1951-2000. Monsoon rainfall between 96 and 104 per cent is considered as the normal monsoon. The current forecast of 100 per cent means a total of around 88 cm rainfall is likely during the monsoon months from June to September.
Jai Hind Jai Bharat
Lockdown 2.0 COVID-19 and New guidelines
Part of: GS-II- Governance (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Wearing face covers and masks is now compulsory in public places and workplaces, spitting in public is a punishable offence and selling liquor, gutka and tobacco is strictly prohibited.
All industries operating in rural areas and the government’s flagship rural jobs scheme will also be allowed to reopen from April 20 if they follow social distancing norms and other safeguards against the COVID-19 infection.
These are some of the directives in a fresh order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to manage the pandemic. The lockdown is scheduled to end on May 3.
Transport and others
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), which provides 100 days of minimum wage work to rural households, is also being allowed, so long as social distancing and the use of face masks are strictly enforced. Work provided under the scheme, which is crucial to contain rural distress, has plunged to about 2% of the usual so far in April.
The new guidelines say that priority should be given to irrigation and water conservation works. Other Central and State water schemes can also be implemented using MGNREGA workers.
Transport of goods has been a major hurdle over the last two weeks with the initial guidelines allowing transport of essential goods only. The new guidelines make it clear that all goods traffic will be allowed to ply, with two drivers and one helper allowed a truck. Empty trucks will be allowed to ply after the delivery of goods or to pick up goods. Truck repair shops and dhabas on highways will be allowed to function. E-commerce and courier services can also be restarted.
Health and governance
All health services, including the manufacture of ambulances and operation of utilities providing telecommunication and Internet services, will be allowed.
There will also be a phased return to office of the government's own workforce, with the new guidelines calling for 100% attendance from officers above the Deputy Secretary level, with junior staff attendance of 33%. Certain departments such as defence, police and health will work without any restrictions.
Sectors that have been allowed to function under the new guidelines must first put arrangements in place to follow the SOP before reopening. Executive magistrates in each district will be designated as ‘Incident Commanders’ to monitor compliance and to issue passes for enabling essential movements allowed under the revised guidelines.
While the State governments are not permitted to dilute the restrictions further, they are free to impose stricter measures as needed, say the guidelines.
First set of guidelines
The Centre issued the first set of such guidelines on March 24 under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, invoked for the first time in the country, to streamline the management of the pandemic empowering the district magistrates to take decisions.
Earlier, the MHA had allowed manufacture/production, transport and other related supply-chain activities in respect of essential goods like foodstuff, medicines and medical equipment.
In another letter to the States, Gov emphasised that the guidelines would be withdrawn immediately if any of the lockdown measures were violated, risking the spread of COVID-19, and asserted that restrictions would not be diluted under any circumstances.
Rural Industries – MSME ACT – MGNREGA
Part of: GS-III- Energy/Industries (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Rural industrial activities can be divided into the following three categories:
This classification can be carried out on the basis of the following criteria: Location; ownership; labour source and organization; complexity of technology used; scale of production; regularity of production ; form of organization; flexibility of energy source and use.
Cottage industry is a concentrated form of small scale industry that can be started with very low investments. Cottage industry is generally unorganized and the production of goods takes place in the houses of labourers using conventional methods. The cottage industry has its origin in rural areas where unemployment and underemployment are prevalent. It helps the Indian economy by involving the other unemployed workforce of rural areas.
To work towards the development of Cottage and small scale industries, the government of India has set up numerous agencies like Khadi and Village Industries Commission, All India Handicrafts Board, AH India-Handloom Board, and Central Silk Board, etc. To provide service and support to cottage industries at district level the government has set up District industries centres. In a nutshell, Cottage industry brings in the economic development of any local geographical area and gradually the nation as a whole and hence it is important to support and encourage its existence.
Small Scale Industries and Cottage Industries- Comparison
Types of Cottage Industries In India
Challenges Faced By Indian Cottage Industry
The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Amendment) Bill, 2018
The changes in the classification of MSMEs are given in Table 1.
Table 1: Classification of enterprises as micro, small and medium enterprises (in Rs)
Type of Enterprise
Investment in Plant and Machinery
Investment in Equipment
25 lakh to
10 lakh to
5 to 10 crore
2 to 5 crore
National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, (NREGA),2005
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), also known as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) is Indian legislation enacted on August 25, 2005. The MGNREGA provides a legal guarantee for one hundred days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-related unskilled manual work at the statutory minimum wage.
The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD), Govt of India is monitoring the entire implementation of this scheme in association with state governments
Objective of the Act
The objective of the Act is to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
Thus NREGA covers the entire country with the exception of districts that have a hundred percent urban population.
Salient Features of the Act
Manufactured sand (M-Sand)
Why use M-sand?
World Health Organization (WHO),
World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations’ specialized agency for Health was founded in 1948.
World Health Assembly
Membership and Associate Membership
WHO and India
The WHO Country Cooperation Strategy – India (2012-2017) has been jointly developed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW) and the WHO Country Office for India (WCO).
Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme-MPLAD
Part of: GS-II- Governance (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
It was announced in December 1993 under the control of the Ministry of Rural Development. Later, in October 1994, it was transferred to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
It was constituted under Article 266 (1) of the Constitution of India.
It is made up of:
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