27 February, 2020

12 Min Read

GS-I : Modern History Ancient History
Harappan site of Rakhigarhi in Haryana

Syllabus subtopic:

  • Indian Culture - Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
  • Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation.

Prelims and Mains focus: about the move and its implications; about Harappan sites mentioned

News: The Centre is moving ahead with its plan to develop Rakhigarhi in Haryana as a tourist hub and set up a museum, and this has got residents in two villages in Haryana’s Hisar district — Rakhi Khas and Rakhi Shahpur — known as Rakhigarhi worried.

About the issue

  • After Finance Minister announced the government’s plan to fund five on-site museums, including the under-construction museum initiated by the Haryana government at Rakhigarhi, in her Budget speech on February 1, there is excitement and concern here.

  • All five archaeological sites mentioned in the BudgetRakhigarhi, Hastinapur in Uttar Pradesh, Shivsagar in Assam, Dholavira in Gujarat and Adichanallur in Tamil Nadu – would be developed into “iconic sites” simultaneously.

  • The Archaeological Survey of India has started planning the project.

  • The ASI has been able to get under its control just 83.5 acres of the 350-hectare site that spans 11 mounds, after first taking over the site in 1996, due to encroachments and pending court cases. The site is under ASI protection.

  • About 5% of the site had been excavated so far by the ASI and Deccan College, Pune. Among the findings, which indicate both early and mature Harappan phases, were a 4,600-year-old female skeleton, fortification and bricks.

Concerns raised by locals

As part of encroachment removal, 152 households are being shifted to flats. People are anxious about the rehabilitation of homes around mound number four and five.

Source: The Hindu

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GS-I : Indian Society Role of Women and Women's organisation
Campaign on International Women’s Day

Syllabus subtopic: Social Empowerment

Prelims and Mains focus: about the details of the campaign and its significance

News: In a first, the Union government is preparing a 10-day campaign for the International Women’s Day, with plans to organise seminars, workshops and Ted Talks across the country.

About International Women Day

March 8 is observed as International Women’s Day. The international theme for Women’s Day this year is “Each for Equal” striving for a gender-equal world.

About the campaign

  • This is the first time the government is preparing to observe International Women’s Day at such a scale. This is Women and Child Development Minister’s vision and every ministry will organise functions on the relevant themes so that all aspects are covered. MPs, too, will be roped in to give Women’s Day messages, and every ministry will tweet on the issue between March 1 and 10, organise programmes, and publish articles in newspapers on women’s issues.

  • An amount of Rs 50 lakh, at the rate of Rs 10 lakh per DG zone of north, east, northeast, south and west, has been earmarked for the purpose.

  • As per plan, 15 round table discussions, workshops, seminars and Ted Talks will be organised on these themes at various central universities and institutions across the country. A report on the campaign will have to be submitted to the I&B Ministry by March 11.

  • Among the venues for the seminars, workshops, etc, are Anna University, Chennai; University College for Women, Hyderabad; Central University, Puducherry; Mysuru University; ISB, Hyderabad; AIIMS, Mangalagiri.


  • For the first seven days of March, the campaign will be on seven identified themes: education, health and nutrition, empowerment of women, skills and entrepreneurship and participation in sports, special circumstances (divyang, northeast, islands, tribal), rural women and agriculture, and urban women.

  • The empowerment theme will celebrate women in the armed and police forces, mining, the ISRO, women in leadership positions, and security.

  • On March 6, when the theme is rural women, the focus will be on inventions by women, organic food processing, cash benefits through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme to pregnant women, and cervical cancer and vasectomy through Ayushman Bharat.

  • On March 7, the theme of urban women will focus on best practices such as the Gujarat command and control centre for safety of women.

Source: Indian Express

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National Technical Textiles Mission

Syllabus subtopic: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation.

Prelims and Mains focus: about the mission and its significance; about technical textiles and their applications

News: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the establishment of a National Technical Textiles Mission to help India position itself as a “global leader” in technical textiles. This includes increasing exports of these “futuristic” segments of textiles by over 40 per cent in the next two years.

What are technical textiles?

Technical textiles are products used for functional purposes. They have various applications, ranging from agriculture, roads, railway tracks, sportswear and health on the one end, to bullet-proof and fire-proof jackets, high-altitude combat gear and space applications on the other end of spectrum.

Present scenario

  • India’s technical textiles segment is estimated at $16 billion — approximately 6 per cent of the global market for this segment.

  • The penetration-level of technical textiles is low in India, varying between 5-10 per cent as opposed to a level of 30-70 per cent in developed countries.

About National Technical Textiles Mission

  • The Cabinet has approved a total outlay of Rs 1,480 crore for the project, which will be implemented over four years and aims to promote research, export and skill development in this sector.

  • The Mission has four components to achieve these goals.

Component-l: Promoting both (i) fundamental research at fibre level and (ii) application based research in geo-textiles, agro-textiles, medical textiles, mobile textiles and sports textiles and development of bio­degradable technical textiles.

Component-II: Promotion and Market Development.

Component-III: Export promotion of technical textiles and ensuring 10% average growth in exports per year upto 2023-24. An Export Promotion Council for Technical Textiles will be set up for this purpose.

Component-IV: Promoting technical education at higher engineering and technology levels related to technical textiles.

Aim: The Mission will aim at an average growth rate of 15-20 per cent per annum, taking the level of the domestic market size to $40-50 billion by the year 2024. The mission aims to do this through market development, market promotion, international technical collaborations, investment promotions and ‘Make in India’ initiatives.

Other details

  • Around Rs 1,000 crore of the outlay is earmarked for “fundamental” research aimed at “path breaking” technological products in the fibres space, as well as application-based research in segments like agro-textiles, medical textiles and mobile textiles. It will also be used towards the development of biodegradable technical textiles.

  • The government aims to enhance exports of technical textiles to Rs 20,000 crore by 2021-22 from approximately Rs 14,000 crore currently.

  • The Mission’s export promotion component also aims for a 10 per cent average growth in exports per year up to 2023-24.

  • The Mission will also aim at improving education, skill development and adequacy of human resources in the country, which the government feels is currently “not adequate to meet the technologically challenging and fast growing technical textiles segment”. Arrangements have been made for the skill development of 50,000 people in the technical textiles field. The target of the mission is to nullify the burden of this segment on the country’s trade deficit over the course of one year.

  • The Centre will focus on including the usage of technical textiles in “various” flagship missions and programmes of the country, like the Jal Jivan Mission, Swachh Bharat and Ayushman Bharat.

  • A directorate in the Ministry of Textiles will be made operational for the implementation of this mission, but will move into a sunset phase after four years.

Source: Indian Express

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Cabinet approves Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020

Syllabus subtopic: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation.

Prelims and Mains focus: about the Bill: aim and significance; about surrogacy in India

News: The Union Cabinet has approved the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020. Only Indian couples can opt for surrogacy in India.

Details of the Bill

  • Aim: The Bill is aimed at banning commercial surrogacy and allowing altruistic surrogacy.

  • The Bill proposes to regulate surrogacy by establishing a National Surrogacy Board and State Surrogacy Boards and appropriate authorities in the States and Union Territories respectively.

  • The proposed insurance cover for a surrogate mother has now been increased to 36 months from 16 months earlier.

  • The Bill allows a “willing” woman to be a surrogate mother and it will benefit widows and divorced women besides infertile Indian couples.

  • The Cabinet approved the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill after incorporating the recommendations of a Rajya Sabha Select Committee.

  • The 15 major changes suggested by the 23-member committee to the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019, also included deleting the definition of “infertility” as the inability to conceive after five years of unprotected intercourse on the ground that it was too long a period for a couple to wait for a child.

Source: The Hindu

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GS-III : Economic Issues Industry
FDI policy regarding Special Economic Zones (SEZs)

Syllabus subtopic: Effects of Liberalization on the Economy, Changes in Industrial Policy and their Effects on Industrial Growth.

Prelims and Mains focus: above the move and its significance; about SEZs

News: Goods procured from units in special economic zones (SEZ) by single brand retailers, owned by foreign companies, would qualify for meeting the mandatory 30% local sourcing norms, the government said in a clarification.


The statement came in the wake of the government having received representations from various business entities seeking clarification whether sourcing of goods from units located in SEZs would qualify as sourcing from India as per the FDI policy.


  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) said goods which are proposed to be sourced by a single brand retailer from SEZ units will have to be manufactured in India.

  • The department stated that compliance with all the conditions enumerated in the FDI policy and as notified under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) would continue to be the responsibility of the manufacturing entity.

What are the FDI rules regarding SEZs?

As per the foreign direct investment (FDI) rules, 100% overseas investment is allowed in the sector but sourcing of 30% of the value of goods procured is mandatory from India for such companies having FDI beyond 51%.

What are Special Economic Zones?

  • SEZs, developed as export hubs, are treated as foreign territory in terms of customs laws. Procurement of goods and services from units in these zones are treated as imports.

  • In January 2018, the government allowed 100% FDI in the sector, permitting foreign players in single brand retail trade to set up own shops in India without government approval.

100% FDI in Insurance Intermediaries

  • DPIIT notified the government's decision to allow 100% FDI in insurance intermediaries under the automatic approval route.

  • Intermediary services include insurance brokers, reinsurance brokers, insurance consultants, corporate agents, third-party administrators, surveyors and loss assessors.

  • The FDI policy earlier allowed 49% foreign investment in the insurance sector, which includes insurance intermediaries.

  • As per the press note, the insurance intermediary that has majority share holding of foreign investors shall undertake measures including incorporation as a limited company under the provisions of the Companies Act 2013 and that at least one from among the chairman of the board of directors or the CEO or principal officer or MD of the company shall be a resident Indian citizen.

  • It also said the intermediary shall take permission of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) for repatriating dividend and not make payments to the foreign group or promoter or associate entities beyond what is necessary or permitted.

Source: Indian Express

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