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Monthly DNA

21 Aug, 2020

17 Min Read

Shekatkar Committee


Shekatkar Committee

  • The Ministry of Defence under the chairmanship of Lt. Gen (Retd) DB Shekatkar had constituted a committee to recommend measures to enhance combat capability and rebalance defence expenditure of the armed forces which submitted its report in December 2016.


  • Closure of Military Farms and Army Postal Establishments in peace locations.
  • Enhancement in standards for recruitment of clerical staff and drivers in the Army.
  • Improving the efficiency of the National Cadet Corps.
  • Recommended a roll-on defence budget to have enough capital expenditure available for modernisation as against the present practice of surrendering unspent capital budget at the end of each financial year.

Source: TH

Organic Farming in India

GS-III : Economic Issues Agriculture

Organic Farming in India


  • India ranks 1st in the number of organic farmers and 9th in terms of area under organic farming.

Indian Scenario Regarding Organic Farming

  • Sikkim became the first State in the world to become fully organic in 2016.
  • North East India has traditionally been organic and the consumption of chemicals is far less than the rest of the country.
  • Similarly, the tribal and island territories have been traditionally practising organic farming.
  • The major organic exports from India have been flax seeds, sesame, soybean, tea, medicinal plants, rice and pulses.
  • There was an increase of nearly 50% in organic exports in 2018-19, touching Rs. 5151 crore.
  • Commencement of exports from Assam, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland to the UK, USA and Italy has proved the potential by increasing volumes and expanding to new destinations as the demand for healthy foods increases.

Government Initiatives:

Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region (MOVCD-NER)

  • Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region (MOVCD-NER) is a Central Sector Scheme, a sub-mission under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA)
  • It was launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in 2015 for implementation in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.
  • The scheme aims to develop certified organic production in a value chain mode to link growers with consumers and to support the development of the entire value chain.

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)

  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, launched in 2015 is an elaborated component of Soil Health Management (SHM) of major project National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
  • Under PKVY, Organic farming is promoted through adoption of organic villages by cluster approach and Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) certification.

Certification Schemes

  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is the food regulator in the country and is also responsible for regulating organic food in the domestic market and imports.
  • Participatory Guarantee System (PGS): PGS is a process of certifying organic products, which ensures that their production takes place in accordance with laid-down quality standards. PGS Green is given to chemical free produce under transition to ‘organic’ which takes 3 years. It is mainly for domestic purpose.
  • National Program for Organic Production (NPOP): NPOP grants organic farming certification through a process of third party certification for export purposes.
  • Soil Health Card Scheme has led to a decline of 8-10% in the use of chemical fertilizers and also raised productivity by 5-6%.

Zero Budget Natural Farming

  • Zero budget natural farming is a method of chemical-free agriculture drawing from traditional Indian practices.

What is Organic Farming?

  • According to FSSAI, ’organic farming’ is a system of farm design and management to create an ecosystem of agriculture production without the use of synthetic external inputs such as chemical fertilisers, pesticides and synthetic hormones or genetically modified organisms.
  • Organic farm produce means the produce obtained from organic agriculture, while organic food means food products that have been produced in accordance with specified standards for organic production.

Source: TH

Swachh Survekshan 2020

GS-I :

Swachh Survekshan 2020


  • Recently, the Swachh Survekshan 2020 report has been launched by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
  • It is the 5th edition of the annual cleanliness urban survey conducted by the MoHUA.
  • It is one of the world’s largest sanitation surveys.


  • This year the Ministry has released rankings based on the categorisation of cities on population, instead of releasing overall rankings.
  • The categories based on population were introduced in 2019 for the first time but the exact groupings have been changed this year.

Major Categories :

  1. Cities with a population of more than 10 lakh:
  • Indore was ranked first, securing the rank for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Surat and Navi Mumbai.
  • All the National Capital Region (NCR) cities, Greater Mumbai, Bruhat Bengaluru, Amritsar, Kota, Chennai, etc. have performed poorly.
  • Patna with the rank 47, is at the bottom of the list.

  1. Cities with a population of 1-10 lakh:
  • Chhattisgarh’s Ambikapur has been surveyed as the cleanest city in the country, followed by Mysore and New Delhi.
  • Bihar’s Gaya with a rank of 382, is at the bottom.

  1. Cities with a population of less than 1 lakh:
  • Karad has been ranked as the cleanest followed by Sasvad and Lonavala (all three in Maharashtra).

Other Categories:

  • Varanasi has been ranked the cleanest among 46 Ganga towns.
  • Jalandhar got the top rank among cantonments.
  • New Delhi was the cleanest capital city.
  • Chhattisgarh was ranked the cleanest State out of those with over 100 urban local bodies (ULBs) or cities.
  • Jharkhand was the cleanest state with less than 100 ULBs or cities.
  • The dynamic and evolving nature of the Swachh Survekshan framework was also highlighted. From being just a monitoring framework for measuring outcomes, it has become an implementation accelerator for Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U), enabling sustainability of outcomes by institutionalizing cleanliness.
  • SBM-U was launched in 2014, with the objective of making urban India 100% Open Defecation Free (ODF) along with 100% scientific solid waste management.
  • It has a deep impact on health, livelihoods, quality of life and behaviour, which proved to be very helpful while dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic as well.
  • MoHUA is also actively working on coming up with a second phase of the SBM-U (SBM 2.0), which was initially supposed to be till March 2020 but has been extended till March 2021.
  • It envisions to:
    • Take current targets further, making cities open defecation-free, including 100% sludge management and zero dumping of waste in the open.
    • Safe containment, transportation and disposal of faecal sludge and septage from toilets and also the grey and black water from households and establishments.
    • Treat all wastewater before discharging into water bodies and their maximum possible re-use.
    • Provide adequate safety gear and mechanised equipment to all sanitation workers with maximum attention.
    • To ensure the sustainability of the on-ground performance of cities, the MoHUA also introduced Swachh Survekshan League in 2019.
    • It is a quarterly cleanliness assessment of cities and towns done in three quarters with 25% weightage integrated into the final Swachh Survekshan results.
    • In July 2020, MoHUA launched the sixth edition of the survey, Swachh Survekshan 2021 and also introduced a new performance category, the Prerak DAUUR Samman.
    • It has a total of five additional subcategories namely Divya (Platinum), Anupam (Gold), Ujjwal (Silver), Udit (Bronze) and Aarohi (Aspiring).

Source: TH

Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA)

GS-III : Economic Issues Education

Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA)

  • It is an initiative of the Ministry of Education, Government of India to systematically rank all the major higher education institutions and universities in India on indicators related to “Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development” amongst students and faculties.
  • More than quantity, ARIIA focuses on the quality of innovations and tries to measure the real impact created by these innovations nationally and internationally.

Rank Categorisation:

  • Two broad categories: publicly funded institutions and private or self-financed institutions.
  • The publicly funded institutions have been further categorized into:
    • Institute of National Importance, Central Universities & Central Funded Technical Institutes.
    • State University & Deemed Universities (Government & Government Aided)
    • Government and Government / Aided College/Institutes
  • The private or self-financed institutions have been categorized further into:
    • private or self-financed universities
    • private or self-financed college/institutes
  • The 6th sub-category for higher educational institutions for women has been introduced in 2020 to encourage women and bring gender parity in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship


  • Budget & Funding Support.
  • Infrastructure & Facilities.
  • Awareness, Promotions & support for Idea Generation & Innovation.
  • Promotion & Support for Entrepreneurship Development.
  • Innovative Learning Methods & Courses.
  • Intellectual Property Generation, Technology Transfer & Commercialization.
  • Innovation in Governance of the Institution.

Source: TH/WEB

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