[Starts 1st April] 45 Days Super Intensive Prelims (SIP)

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Type: Govt. Schemes

Internal Security Architecture Shortcomings – Key Forces, NIA, IB, CCTNS, etc. Security Issues

[op-ed snap] Keep The Army Out Of It


Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

The following things are important from UPSC perspective:

Prelims Level: Not much

Mains level: The article talks about an important issue. It shows how military contribution in civilian duties can negatively effect any country.



  1. Diversion of the armed forces for routine civilian tasks has long-term costs.

Historical Background

  1. In 1953, following riots against Ahmadiyyas, martial law was imposed in Lahore
  2. After bringing the law and order situation under control, the Pakistan army proceeded to launch the “Cleaner Lahore Campaign”
  3. This initiative created a positive image of army efficiency
  4. In 1958, Ayub Khan became the military dictator of Pakistan
  5. Around the same time, in India, 4 Infantry Division was undertaking the construction of 1,450 barracks and family accommodation in Ambala using troop labour
  6. The construction was completed in a record seven months
  7. By end-1959, 4 Infantry Division was moved to NEFA (now Arunachal Pradesh)
  8. And when India and China went to war in October-November 1962, it faced the brunt of Chinese assault and suffered a humiliating loss

Link between two incidents given above

  1. These two incidents are not directly linked but both hold lessons to be kept in mind while employing soldiers for routine civilian tasks
  2. Recent announcement of using army engineers to construct three railway footbridges in Mumbai has brought the issue into the spotlight
  3. This is, however, not the first time the army has been used for such tasks

How Mumbai situation is different?

  1. One, it is not an area where civilian agencies are unavailable
  2. The Railways in Mumbai have the engineering resources, technical expertise, funds and experience of constructing such a bridge
  3. Even private infrastructure creation agencies are available
  4. Two, this is a permanent infrastructure while the army is employed to make bridges which are needed temporarily(say for Kumbh)
  5. Three, the army comes in a public emergency where relief is needed in days, if not hours
  6. A month has already passed since the incident at Elphinstone Bridge

It is tempting to employ army in civilian duties

  1. Before the 1962 war, soldiers were growing crops in vast swathes of military lands
  2. And recently, the army was asked to clean the trash left behind by civilian tourists as part of the Swachh Bharat campaign
  3. But this violates a fundamental premise of a modern military that during peace-time, it must be left free to prepare for war

The way forward

  1. The government must also realise the institutional dangers inherent in employing soldiers in non-emergency civilian duties
  2. Such employment is an acknowledgement of civilian institutional failure
  3. An unthinking diversion of the armed forces for routine civilian tasks seems highly affordable but has long-term costs for the country
  4. The government should remember the lessons from the 1950s

Centre mulling new ₹200 note

  • The Centre is examining a proposal from the RBI to introduce Rs. 200 denomination currency notes
  • A smaller denomination note will improve liquidity
  • Background: In November last year, the Centre announced the demonetisation of Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 500 notes
  • While a new Rs. 500 note was introduced with added security features, a new Rs. 1,000 note was not reintroduced
  • Instead, a new Rs. 2,000 denomination currency note was introduced

Note4students: Not very important. Just to keep abreast of the happenings. Do revisit the functions of RBI for prelims- economy section.

[pib] 17 Administrative Reforms implemented by Government

  1. e-Samiksha– A real time online system for monitoring and follow up action on the decisions taken by the Government at the apex level in respect of implementation of important Government’s programmes / projects
  2. e-Office- e-Office Mission Mode Project (MMP) has been strengthened for enabling Ministries/Department to switchover to paperless office
  3. Direct Benefit Transfer(DBT) payment, e-Payments – All payments to the beneficiary is to be made directly to their bank account through electronic mode under DBT
  4. Aadhaar enabled Biometric Attendance System (AEBAS) –AEBAS was introduced in the Central Government Offices located in Delhi to monitor punctuality of government officials. This has improved the punctuality of the Government servant in offices
  5. Smart Performance Appraisal Report Recording Online Window (SPARROW) –Annual Performance Appraisal Report of All India Service Officers and some other services are being submitted online in the SPARROW portal. The system ensures timely submission and easy access of APAR
  6. Legal Information Management Based System (LIMBS) – This is an online court case monitoring system to ensure speedy disposal of disputes
  7. JeevanPramaan – The system provides authenticity to Digital Life Certificate without the necessity of the pensioner being present in person before his/ her Pension Dispensing Authority (PDA)
  8. UMAN– Unified Mobile App for New – age Governance is an initiative to build a common, unified platform and mobile app to facilitate single point of access for government services through mobile
  9. e-Sign– This framework has been developed as an integrated service, which facilitates issuing a Digital Signature Certificate and performing signing of requested document by authenticating the Aadhaar card holder
  10. Digital Locker-This provides an ecosystem with collection of repositories and gateways for issuers to upload the documents in the digital repositories. It will eliminate the usage of physical documents and enable sharing of e-documents across agencies.The System serves as a platform to enable citizens to securely store and share their documents with service providers who can directly access them electronically
  11. e-Hospital– Online Registration Framework (ORF) is an initiative to facilitate the patients to take online OPD appointments with government hospitals. This framework also covers patient care, laboratory services and medical record management
  12. Mobile Seva– Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has implemented a countrywide initiative on mobile governance, called Mobile Seva, to provide government services to the people through mobile phones and tablets
  13. National Centre of Geo-informatics (NCoG)- Under this project, Geographic Information System (GIS) platform for sharing, collaboration, location based analytics and decision support system for Departments has been developed. Currently, 8 applications across various domains are operational
  14. M-Kisan Portal – All Central and State Government organizations in agriculture and allied sectors to give information/services/advisories to farmers by SMS in their language, preference of agricultural practices and location
  15. Kisan Call Centres – Government setup call centres to respond to the queries of farmers on all seven days a week from 6.00 AM to 10.00 PM through toll free telephone No. 1XXX-XX-1551
  16. Kisan Suvidha Mobile App – on five critical parameters – weather, input dealers, market price, plant protection and expert advisories
  17. e-National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) – Connecting 21 wholesale markets (Mandis) in eight states


Might come in Prelims but we don’t expect you to remember all of them in one go. Just read and move on. These themes/ policies will keep recurring and we will keep putting them for your revision. PIB prints answers to LS/ RS questions and this gives us an oppty to revisit our basics.


[pib] Know about ‘Vittiya Saksharata Abhiyan’

  1. Vittiya Saksharata Abhiyan: To encourage, create awareness and motivate all people around them to use a digitally enabled cashless economic system for transfer of fund
  2. Vittiya = Financial
  3. Emphasized that technology can be leveraged to bring financial digital literacy and a step forward toward digital economy
  4. Appealed to higher education institutes to receive nothing in cash, pay nothing in cash and develop a cashless campus (covering shops/canteens/services)
  5. Appealed to adapt to technology easily and quickly, to educate at home and in their surroundings to create digital financial literacy
  6. Highlighted that these digital platforms are easy to use, convenient, secure and anytime accessible by anyone anywhere


Since Vittiya Saksharata Abhiyan is in tune with the government’s Digital India project, it holds significance for UPSC Prelims. Sometimes such Hindi/ Sanskrit terms are used as direct question. Remember that Vittiya = Financial.



[pib] Portal ‘E-Box’ launched by WCD Ministry to register online complaints of child sexual abuse

  1. What? An outreach service under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) for children in distress including children requiring assistance for protection from abuse
  2. This service is available through a dedicated toll free number, 1098 and can be accessed by children in crisis or by adults on their behalf.
  3. National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has launched a portal ‘E-BOX’ in August 2016 to register online, complaints of child sexual abuse.


Relevance only for Prelims. That too if UPSC asks you a direct question on what is E-box. Don’t confuse it with any IPR regime term or worse an e-commerce terminology!

[pib] Rivers Under National River Conservation Programme. What’s that?

  1. The Water Resources Information System (WRIS) database developed by Central Water Commission along with Indian Space Research Organisation includes 15,615 numbers of identified rivers/streams in the country.
  2. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in association with the State Pollution Control Boards is monitoring the water quality of rivers
  3. Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) level in rivers is a key indicator of organic pollution.
  4. Programs for river conservation are being implemented under National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) and NGRBA (National Ganga River Basin Authority)
  5. The PIB article mentions that there is no proposal of this Ministry to bring all rivers under the ambit of NRCP. That means only selected few rivers of India would be entertained


What is BOD?

  1. Biochemical oxygen demand is a measure of the quantity of oxygen used by microorganisms (e.g., aerobic bacteria) in the oxidation of organic matter.
  2. Initial DO – Final DO = BOD | DO = Dissolved Oxygen
  3. Natural sources of organic matter include plant decay and leaf fall.
  4. The bacteria then begins the process of breaking down this waste.
  5. When this happens, much of the available dissolved oxygen is consumed by aerobic bacteria, robbing other aquatic organisms of the oxygen they need to live.

Brief history of river conservation in India

  1. 1985: The river conservation programme in the country was initiated with the launching of the Ganga Action Plan (GAP)
  2. 1995: The Ganga Action Plan was expanded to cover other rivers under National River Conservation Plan (NRCP)
  3. NRCP, excluding the GAP-I, GAP-II and National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) programme presently covers polluted stretches of 40 rivers in 121 towns spread over 19 States
  4. 2014: The work relating to Ganga and its tributaries had been allotted to Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR, RD&GR).
  5. NRCP is under Ministry of Enviro

Various Sources of Pollution in Rivers, Lakes and Wetlands

  1. 75% from Domestic sources and 25% from Industrial effluents.
  2. Point sources: These are organized sources of pollution where the pollution load can be measured, e.g. surface drains carrying municipal sewage or industrial effluents
  3. Non-point sources: These are non-measurable sources of pollution such as run-off from agricultural fields carrying chemicals and fertilizers, run-off from solid waste dumps


Prelims worthy. Make notes of the stakeholders involved in these progs. Note the diff between 2 kinds of sources. Now that you know about BOD, what’s COD?

[pib] Extension of Mining Surveillance System

  1. Mining Surveillance System (MSS) = Ministry of Mines + Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) + Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG)
  2. MSS is a satellite-based monitoring system which aims to establish a regime of responsive mineral administration, through public participation, by facilitating State Governments in curbing instances of illegal mining.
  3. The MSS also includes user-friendly mobile-app for use of mining officials which will receive alerts, do field verification and submit inspection reports.
  4. This mobile app also aims to establish a participative monitoring system where the citizens also can use this app and report unusual mining activity which will be generated as a trigger.


The participatory feature is quite laudable. Remember this as nifty innovations in sarkar setup which you can use in your essay and answers.

[pib] Introduction of District Mineral Foundation Levy

  1. The Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act, 1957) was amended through the MMDR Amendment Act, 2015.
  2. Imp Amendment: Establishment of District Mineral Foundation (DMF) in any district affected by mining related operations.
  3. The objective of the DMF is to work for the interest and benefit of persons, and areas affected by mining related operations.
  4. The Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) has been launched by the Government which will be implemented through funds collected under DMF.
  5. Objective of PMKKY: To implement various developmental and welfare projects/programs in mining affected areas.
  6. To minimize/mitigate the adverse impacts, during and after mining, on the environment, health and socio-economics of people in mining districts.
  7. To ensure long-term sustainable livelihoods for the affected people in mining areas.


There was a question on DMF in 2016 around its utility. They might just ask about the objectives of PMKKY in next year or so. Keep an eye on new amendments & bodies created out of them.

Trade Sector Updates – Falling Exports, TIES, MEIS, Foreign Trade Policy, etc. Industries

[pib] What are the schemes and measures to increase India’s share in global trade?

  1. The Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) was introduced in the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-20
  2. The Government is implementing the Niryat Bandhu Scheme with an objective to reach out to the new and potential exporters
  3. Interest Equalization Scheme on pre & post shipment credit launched to provide cheaper credit to exporters.
  4. By way of trade facilitation and enhancing the ease of doing business, Government reduced the number of mandatory documents required for exports and imports
Trade Sector Updates – Falling Exports, TIES, MEIS, Foreign Trade Policy, etc. Industries

[pib] What is Min of Commerce doing for Plantation crops?

  1. Department of Commerce has recently approved the Revenue Insurance Scheme for Plantation Crops  (RISPC)
  2. Aim: Protecting growers of tea, coffee, rubber, cardamom and tobacco from the twin risks of weather and price arising from yield loss due to adverse weather parameters, pest attacks etc.
  3. Scheme is to be implemented on pilot basis in eight districts in the States of West Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Sikkim and Tamil Nadu
  4. It will be implemented by the Commodity Boards through selected insurance companies.
Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc. Health

[pib] Brush your facts regarding National Health Mission (NHM)

  1. National Health Mission (NHM): has 2 Sub-Missions, viz. the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM)
  2. While NRHM was launched in April 2005, launch of NUHM was approved by the Cabinet on 1st May 2013
  3. 3 main programmatic components: Health System Strengthening in rural and urban areas, (RMNCH+A) interventions and control of Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases.
  4. RMNCH+A: Reproductive-Maternal-Neonatal-Child and Adolescent Health
Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc. Health

[pib] What is Family Planning 2020?

  1. Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) is a global partnership that supports the rights of women and girls to decide, freely, and for themselves, whether, when, and how many children they want to have.
  2. FP2020 is an outcome of the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning
  3. India is a signatory to FP2020
  4. FP2020 is based on the principle that all women, no matter where they live should have access to lifesaving contraceptives
  5. What are the steps taken by India?
  6. Introducing New Contraceptive Choices: The current basket of choice has been expanded to include new contraceptives viz. Injectable contraceptive, Centchroman and Progrsterone Only Pills (POP)
  7. Refurbishing Contraceptive Packaging: The packaging for Condoms, OCPs and ECPs has now been improved and redesigned so as to increase the demand for these commodities.

Note: These schemes and international commitments can be used as healthy points to differentiate your answers in Mains. FP2020’s focus is on family planning and these are unique initiatives by GOI around contraceptives and its promotion

Railway Reforms Infrastructure

[pib] Adarsh Station Scheme of Indian Railways – Updates

  1. Development/modernization of stations is presently taken up under ‘Adarsh Station Scheme’.
  2. The expenditure on development of stations under ‘Adarsh’ Station Scheme is generally funded under Plan Head –‘Passenger Amenities’.
  3. ‘Adarsh’ stations will have facilities such as toilets, drinking water, catering services and waiting rooms
  4. Note: There are many Adarsh yojnas which aim to achieve an idealistic state of affairs wrt. some existing infrastructure – Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY), Adarsh Smarak Yojnas etc.
Railway Reforms Infrastructure

[pib] Yatri Mitra Sewa at Railway Stations. What’s that?

  1. Yatri Mitra Sewa is being provided at major railway stations for enabling passengers viz. differently-abled, ailing and old aged persons to book wheel chair services cum porter services.
  2. Responsibility of providing Yatri Mitra Sewa has been entrusted to Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC)
  3. Note: Don’t need to mug up all these schemes but make a mnemonic to link them up in your head. Yatri Mitra Sewa might be confused with some friendly passenger scheme but its not!

[pib] Maneka Gandhi gives a quick catch up on Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Campaign

  1. Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Campaign (BBBP) was launched by Prime Minister on 22nd January, 2015 at Panipat, Haryana.
  2. BBBP addresses the declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR) and related issues of women empowerment over a life-cycle continuum.
  3. It is a tri-ministerial effort of Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health & Family Welfare and Human Resource Development.
  4. The key elements of the scheme include nation-wide awareness and advocacy campaign and multi-sectoral action in selected 161 districts at present
  5. In the first phase 100 districts were taken up and in the Second phase, 61 more districts are covered under the scheme.
  6. The Scheme is at a nascent stage of implementation and it is too early to assess its impact at this stage.
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