May 2018
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[pib] Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS)

News : 

  • The Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) Vertical has shown progressive performance with over 1,65,000 beneficiaries benefitting from this Scheme during 2015-18. 
  • This is a huge jump in the number of beneficiaries from the earlier comparable interest subsidy scheme between 2008-2013 which was only 18,166. 
  • Adequate funding has been ensured for the CLSS Vertical of the Mission as Rs. 31,505 crore has been provided for the Mission (Rs.6505 crore from budgetary sources and Rs. 25,000 crore from Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR)).
  • There is a provision for additional funding beyond the Rs. 25,000 crore under EBR during this financial year.

About PMAY (U)

  • The “Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Housing for All (Urban)”, launched by the central government aims to provide housing to all urban people by 2022.
  • A remarkable feature of the PMAY is that it is a credit linked subsidy scheme. Here, interest subsidy is given to the beneficiaries when they take the housing loan.



[pib] India signs Loan Agreement with the World Bank

News : 

  • An Agreement for IBRD Credit of USD 21.7 Million from World Bank for the Strengthening of Public Financial Management in Rajasthan Project was signed here inNew Delhi.
  • The Project size is approximately USD 31 million, of which USD 21.7 million will be financed by the World Bank, and the remaining amount will be funded-out of the State Budget.
  • The Project duration is 5 years.
  • The Project objective is to contribute to improved Budget execution, enhanced accountability and greater efficiency in Revenue Administration in Rajasthan.
  • The Project involves Strengthening of the Public Financial Management Framework; Strengthening of Expenditure and Revenue Systems; and Project Management and Capacity Building among others.


‘Gaj Yatra’ honours Meghalaya’s elephant corridor effort


Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Gaj Yatra Initiative, Wildlife Trust of India(WTI)

Mains level: 


How it began?

  1. Expansion of human settlements have resulted in fragmented elephant habitats in the Garo Hills, leading to conflicts.
  2. In 2014, villagers in Meghalaya’s Garo Hills set aside a part of their community-owned land to create village reserve forests, giving the Right of Passage to elephants.
  3. In acknowledgement of that gesture, the MoEFCC and the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) on Monday rolled out the ‘Gaj Yatra’ from Tura, the principal town of Garo Hills.

People’s initiative

  1. ’Gaj Yatra’, a “journey celebrating India’s national heritage animal”, aims at securing 100 elephant corridors across India.
  2. Four of these are in Meghalaya,including the Siju-Rewak corridor that some 1,000 elephants use to travel between the Balpakram and Nokrek National Parks in the State.
  3. The campaign has aptly been launched in the Garo Hills, where the people have created community forests for human-elephant harmony and conservation of animals such as hoolock gibbon.
  4. The event involves taking an elephant mascot across districts frequented by jumbo herds for generating awareness among the people.
  5. The role of Nokma Tribals, traditional custodians of the land, in supporting the move towards co-existence between man and animal is helping conservationists for the success of the initiative.


Gaj Yatra

  1. Gaj Yatra’, a nationwide campaign to protect elephants, was launched on the occasion of World Elephant Day (August 12,2017).
  2. The campaign is planned to cover 12 elephant range states which aims to secure 100 routes across the country for safe passage
  3. The elephant is part of India’s animal heritage and the Government celebrates this day to spread awareness about the conservation of the species.
  4. The 15 months campaign is led by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI).
  5. The campaign aims to create awareness about elephant corridors to encourage free movement in their habitat.


Arunachal Pradesh, where moves are afoot to keep out migrants


Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Role of external state & non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Provisions of draft NRC, Inner Line Permit

Mains level: Issue of illegal migration


Arunachal on track with Assam

As Assam gets ready to publish the final draft of the National Register of Citizens, neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh is tightening its borders.

What happened?


  • Labourers without the Inner Line Permit (ILP) were arrested in Arunachal Pradesh.


  1. Similar drives against “ILP violators” saw people being thrown out from other districts of the State.
  2. But the drive had more to do with keeping out illegal migrants “who may create a law and order problem and disturb peace.”
  3. This is linked to the theory that Assam might end up with lakhs of stateless people after the final draft of NRC  is made public.

What is ILP?

  1. A British-era system, the ILP is a travel document Indian citizens need to possess to enter the frontier States of north-eastern India: Aruanchal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
  2. It is issued under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, to regulate the movement of people who do not belong to these States.
  3. The ILP is valid for a week, but can be extended.
  4. People who frequent these States for work can opt for a special ILP renewable annually.
  5. Since the ILP is mandatory for Indians and the Protected Area Permit for foreigners, the fact that the labourers ejected from Arunachal Pradesh did not possess the permit put their nationality under a cloud.

What is the concern for other NE states?

  1. The first draft of the NRC made it clear that those who were identified as foreigners after failing to make it to the list would be barred from all constitutional rights.
  2. Political commentators have said the NRC may leave 5 to 10 lakh people, mostly those with the ‘Bangladeshi’ tag, stateless.
  3. Assam’s neighbours fear some of those declared non-citizens may relocate to their territories to cash in on the demand for cheap labour.
  4. Aruanchal Pradesh CM ordered the police to strengthen vigil along the border with Assam.
  5. Around the same time, the former Nagaland Home Minister wanted to bring the State’s commercial hub Dimapur under the purview of the ILP because “illegal migrants sneak into Nagaland through the city.”
  6. The ILP is not applicable in Dimapur.

NE Fears: Migrants outnumbering the Indigenous People

  1. The sister States often blame Assam for their problems with “illegal migrants” who are ironically indispensable as skilled and unskilled workers.
  2. Nagaland even has a term for them — IBI, which expands to Illegal Bangladeshi Immigrant.
  3. Organisations such as the Naga Students’ Federation conduct a ‘census’ to keep a record on the number of non-Nagas as well as IBIs.
  4. This has triggered vigilantism against “demography-changing” migrants.
  5. Social scientists in Assam say the movement of flood- and erosion-displaced people to urban spaces usually trigger doomsday theories about illegal migrants outnumbering the indigenous people in the near future.
  6. The bulk of such people live on impermanent chars or sandbars on the Brahmaputra river system.
  7. It is believed the ‘ILP violators’ or ‘IBIs’ or the stateless-to-be will disappear — allegedly to the chars that often fall off the radar of the administration — until their need to survive meets the demand for labour.


PM highlights Ujjwala success; reaches out to women, poor, Muslims


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the Ujjwala Yojana

Mains level: High success rate of the scheme


Statements by the PM on Ujjwala Yojana

  1. The PM has highlighted the success of one of his pet schemes, the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, which aims to provide free cooking gas connections to poor families
  2. The scheme has not only made women self-reliant, but has also triggered their social transformation and upliftment
  3. He also urged the people to avail the benefits of other flagship schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana,
  4. and went on to explain how these schemes would benefit people from across India, without discriminating on the basis of caste, class, religion or region

High success rate in last four years

  1. Though LPG gas cylinders came to India soon after Independence (in 1955), only 130 million families had cooking gas connections in 2014
  2. In the last four years, government has given 100 million LPG connections

Maritime dialogue resumes


Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Importance of the dialogue


A sign of the efforts to improve India-Pakistan relations in recent months

  1. The heads of maritime security agencies of both sides met after a gap of two years and agreed to work on improving exchange of information regarding fishermen apprehended by each other
  2. The dialogue is held annually as per the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two agencies in 2005
  3. The meeting was chaired by Director General Indian Coast Guard Rajendra Singh and head of Pakistan Maritime Security Agency, Rear Admiral Zaka Ur

Why is this important?

  1. The dialogue is significant as last year India had refused to participate in the talks following the controversy over the arrest of former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistani agencies
  2. Further, both sides also agreed on the need for expeditious exchange of the information about the apprehension of fishing boats and fishermen

India’s demand

  1. During the meeting, the Indian side reiterated the need for instituting Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for immediate release and repatriation of fishermen who cross the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) inadvertently

Agreement on working for maritime environment

  1. The two agencies also agreed to collaborate in preservation and protection ofmarine environment
Foreign Policy Watch: India-Pakistan

[op-ed snap] The wait for deep agricultural reforms


Mains Paper 3: Agriculture | Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Read the attached story

Mains level: The newscard discusses some successful steps taken by the present government in last four years(in the agricultural sector)


Four years of Government: Performance in Agricultural sector

  1. Out of the government’s four years , FY15 and FY16 were affected by drought and it did well to manage the crisis
  2. A number of welcome initiatives have been launched in the last four years, including
    (1) schemes for crop insurance, irrigation, soil testing, electronic national agricultural market (e-NAM), and (2) use of Aadhaar for the public distribution system (PDS) and purchase of fertilizer
  3. While there are several creditable achievements, it is the deeper structural reforms where expectations from a “strong” government have not been met

Controlling food inflation

  1. Helped by a downturn in the global prices of petroleum and commodities, the government took pro-active measures to rein in food inflation
    (which was 6.64% during United Progressive Alliance (UPA) I and 12.2% in UPA II)
  2. These included
    (1) release of wheat and rice from government stocks,
    (2) restrictions on exports,
    (3) small increases in MSP ,
    (4) raids on traders under the Essential Commodities Act, and
    (5) even income-tax investigations
  3. The states giving bonus on wheat and paddy were told to discontinue it
  4. In order to reduce excessive procurement of rice, the 50% levy on rice mills was also abolished

Some issues related to non-implementation of Schemes through the DBT

  1. There was no effort to deregulate urea prices and transfer subsidy to farmers directly
  2. Aadhaar-based sale of foodgrains and fertilizer is only a small step towards reform of the subsidy regime
  3. Similarly, free electricity continues to cause excessive drawal of underground water in several states
  4. No serious effort was made to persuade states to transfer electricity subsidy through DBT

Price stabilization fund

  1. To check food inflation, a price stabilization fund was set up with a corpus of Rs500 crore and onion
  2. And potato were bought by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation and Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium for release in the market when prices rose(which was a crucial issue in past)

Dependence on imported pulses has almost ended

  1. Another successful policy intervention was to offer a handsome increase in the MSP of pulses and create a buffer stock of two million tonnes
  2. Our dependence on imported pulses has almost ended and domestic production has increased from 17.20 million tonnes in FY15 to 24.51 million tonnes in FY18

e-NAM has a great potential

  1. e-NAM is another initiative by government, has the potential of freeing up the agricultural markets. It was expected to bring transparency to auctions in mandis
  2. However, we did not see the real intent of e-NAM being achieved and some states even showed procurement under MSP as e-NAM turnover
Agricultural Marketing Reforms – eNAM, Model APMC Act, Eco Survey Reco, etc.