Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

[pib] “Blue Flag” Certification


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Blue Flag Certification

Mains level : Not Much

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has announced the first time eight beaches of India are recommended for the coveted International eco-label, the Blue flag certification.

Try this PYQ:

Q. At one of the places in India, if you stand on the seashore and watch the sea, you will find that the seawater recedes from the shoreline a few kilometers and comes back to the shore, twice a day, and you can actually walk on the seafloor when the water recedes. This unique phenomenon is seen at:

(a) Bhavnagar

(b) Bheemunipatnam

(c) Chandipur

(d) Nagapattinam

Which are the eight beaches?

The eight beaches are Shivrajpur in Gujarat, Ghoghla in Daman & Diu, Kasargod and Padubidri beach in Karnataka, Kappad in Kerala, Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh, Golden beach of Odisha and Radhanagar beach in Andaman and Nicobar.

About Blue Flag Certification

  • This Certification is accorded by an international agency “Foundation for Environment Education, Denmark” based on 33 stringent criteria in four major heads i.e.
  1. Environmental Education and Information,
  2. Bathing Water Quality,
  3. Environment Management and Conservation and
  4. Safety and Services on the beaches.
  • It started in France in 1985 and has been implemented in Europe since 1987, and in areas outside Europe since 2001 when South Africa joined.
  • Japan and South Korea are the only countries in South and southeastern Asia to have Blue Flag beaches.
  • Spain tops the list with 566 such beaches; Greece and France follow with 515 and 395, respectively.

Railway Reforms

[pib] Kosi Rail Mahasetu


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Kosi River

Mains level : Not Much

PM has dedicated to the nation the historic Kosi Rail Mahasetu (mega-bridge).

Kosi Rail Mahasetu

  • The Kosi Mega Bridge line project was sanctioned during 2003-04.
  • The bridge is 1.9 km long. It is of strategic importance along the India-Nepal border.
  • In 1887, a meter gauge link was built in between Nirmali and Bhaptiahi (Saraigarh).
  • During the heavy flood and severe Indo Nepal earthquake in 1934, the rail link was washed away and thereafter due to meandering nature of river Kosi no attempt was made to restore this Rail link for long period.
  • The dedication of the mega-bridge is a watershed moment in the history of Bihar and the entire region connecting to the North East.

About Kosi River

  • The Kosi is a trans-boundary river which flows through Tibet, Nepal and India.
  • The river crosses into northern Bihar, India where it branches into distributaries before joining the Ganges near Kursela in Katihar district.
  • Its unstable nature has been attributed course changes and the heavy silt it carries during the monsoon season, and flooding in India has extreme effects.
  • It is also known as the “Sorrow of Bihar” as the annual floods affect about 21,000 km2 of fertile agricultural lands thereby disturbing the rural economy.

Housing for all – PMAY, etc.

[pib] Swamih Investment Fund


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SWAMIH Investment Fund

Mains level : Not Much

In order to give relief to homebuyers of stalled projects, a Special Window for Completion of Affordable and Mid-Income Housing (SWAMIH investment fund) has been created for funding stalled projects.

Try this MCQ:

Q.The SWAMIH Fund recently seen in news is related to:

(a) Higher Education (b) MSMEs (c) Housing (d) Highways

SWAMIH Investment Fund

  • SWAMIH investment fund is an alternative investment fund which aims to provide last-mile funding to the stressed affordable and middle-income housing projects in the country.
  • It is expected to fund the projects which are net-worth positive, including those projects that have been declared as NPAs or are pending proceedings before the National Company Law Tribunal under the IBC.

Why need such funds?

  • Several real estate projects have suffered due to a combined effect of two changes in the real estate sector.
  • On one hand, incremental launches and slow sales have increased unsold inventory in each project.
  • While the effect has then got compounded by the fact that consumer preference is now towards completed projects rather than under-construction projects.
  • This preference has developed as consumers are largely avoiding taking project completion risk and instead are more inclined to completed projects.

Interstate River Water Dispute

[pib] Status of Mahanadi Tribunal


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Inter-state water dispute

Mains level : Inter-state water dispute

At present, the Mahanadi dispute is under adjudication in the Tribunal under Section 5 (2) of Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956

Note the interrelation between the Article 262 and 253.They contain provisions related to international and interstate water sharing.

Mahanadi Tribunal

  • The Central Government has constituted Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal in 2018 under Section 4 of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956.
  • It is set to adjudicate on water disputes between the riparian States of Odisha and Chhattisgarh
  • The tribunal is expected to give its verdict within a period of three years.
  • Provided that if the decision cannot be given for an unavoidable reason, within a period of three years, the Central Government may extend the period for a further period not exceeding two years.

What is the dispute about?

  • Chhattisgarh has been constructing dams and weirs (small dams) upstream the Mahanadi. This is being allegedly carried on without consulting Odisha.
  • It would affect the flow of the river downstream and affect drinking water supply. Also, it would impact the irrigation facilities in Odisha and adversely affect the interests of the farmers.
  • Moreover, the weirs and other projects would impact the flow of water in the Hirakud reservoir, a multipurpose river valley project, which is a lifeline for many in the state.

Back2Basics: Water Disputes Resolution in India

  • The Interstate River Water Disputes Act, 1956 (IRWD Act) is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted under Article 262 of Constitution of India on the eve of the reorganization of states on the linguistic basis to resolve the water disputes that would arise in the use, control and distribution of an interstate river[1] or river valley.
  • Article 262 of the Indian Constitution provides a role for the Central government in adjudicating conflicts surrounding inter-state rivers that arise among the state/regional governments.
  • This Act further has undergone amendments subsequently and its most recent amendment took place in the year 2002.
  • A/c to art 262, the Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution or control of the waters of, or in, any inter-State river or river valley.
  • Parliament may by law provide that neither the Supreme Court nor any other court shall exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such dispute or complaint.

Note: Any river water sharing treaty made with other countries, has to be ratified by the Parliament as per Article 253 after deciding the share of the Indian riparian states per Article 262 to make the treaty constitutionally valid or enforceable by the judiciary. The government has signed Indus Waters Treaty with Pakistan, Ganga water-sharing treaty with Bangladesh, etc. without the ratification by the Parliament and the consent of concerned riparian states per Article 252.

Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

[pib] Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework (CSCAF 2.0)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : CSCAF 2.0

Mains level : Not Much

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched the Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework (CSCAF) 2.0.

About CSCAF 2.0

  • A framework is a climate-sensitive approach to urban planning and development in India.
  • ​It was developed after a review of existing frameworks and assessment approaches adopted throughout the world.
  • It followed a series of an extensive consultative process with more than 26 organizations and 60 experts from different thematic areas.
  • The Climate Centre for Cities under National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is supporting MoHUA in implementation of CSCAF.

Various indicators of the framework

The framework has 28 indicators across five categories namely:

  1. Energy and Green Buildings
  2. Urban Planning, Green Cover & Biodiversity
  3. Mobility and Air Quality
  4. Water Management
  5. Waste Management

Start-up Ecosystem In India

[pib] Ranking of States on Support to Startup Ecosystems, 2019


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Ranking of States on Support to Startup Ecosystems

Mains level : Not Much

The Results of the second edition of Ranking of States on Support to Startup Ecosystems were recently released by Minister of Commerce & Industry.

About the Ranking

  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has conducted the second edition of the States Startup Ranking Exercise.
  • The key objective is to foster competitiveness and propel States and Union Territories to work proactively towards uplifting the startup ecosystem.
  • It has been implemented as a capacity development exercise to encourage mutual learning among all states and to provide support in policy formulation and implementation.

7 focus areas

  1. Institutional Leaders
  2. Regulatory Change Champions
  3. Procurement Leaders
  4. Incubation Hubs
  5. Seeding Innovation Leaders
  6. Scaling Innovations Leaders
  7. Awareness and Outreach Champions

Port Infrastructure and Shipping Industry – Sagarmala Project, SDC, CEZ, etc.

What are SAROD-Ports?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SAROD-Ports

Mains level : Not Much

Union Ministry of Shipping has e-launched ‘SAROD-Ports’ (Society for Affordable Redressal of Disputes – Ports).

Try this MCQ:

Q.The term SAROD is sometimes seen in the news with context to governance is related to:

(a) Disputes Redressal

(b) Employment

(c) Sustainable Development

(d) None of the above


SAROD-Ports are established under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 with the following objectives:

  1. Affordable and timely resolution of disputes in a fair manner
  2. Enrichment of Dispute Resolution Mechanism with the panel of technical experts as arbitrators.
  • They consist of members from the Indian Ports Association (IPA) and Indian Private Ports and Terminals Association (IPTTA).
  • They will advise and assist in settlement of disputes through arbitrations in the maritime sector, including ports and shipping sector in Major Port Trusts, Non-major Ports, including private ports, jetties, terminals and harbours.
  • It will also cover disputes between granting authority and Licensee/Concessionaire /Contractor.

Rural Distress, Farmer Suicides, Drought Measures

[pib] Five Star Village Scheme


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Schemes covered under the initiaitive

Mains level : Not Much

The Department of Posts has launched a scheme called Five Star Villages, to ensure universal coverage of flagship postal schemes in rural areas of the country.

The Five Star Villages Scheme sounds typically among the most commons types say, Swachh Bharat, Financial Inclusion and Literacy or Infrastructure amenities. Here is the caution for preventing a blunder.

Five Star Villages Scheme

  • The scheme seeks to bridge the gaps in public awareness and reach of postal products and services, especially in interior villages.
  • The initiatives covered under the scheme include:
  1. Savings Bank accounts, Recurrent Deposit Accounts, NSC / KVP certificates,
  2. Sukanya Samridhi Accounts/ PPF Accounts,
  3. Funded Post Office Savings Account linked India Post Payments Bank Accounts,
  4. Postal Life Insurance Policy/Rural Postal Life Insurance Policy and
  5. Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana Account / Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana Account.
  • If a village attains universal coverage for four schemes from the above list, then that village gets four-star status; if a village completes three schemes, then that village gets three-star status and so on.

Its implementation

  • The scheme will be implemented by a team of five Gramin Dak Sevaks who will be assigned a village for the marketing of all products, savings and insurance schemes of the Department of Posts.
  • This team will be headed by the Branch Post Master of the concerned Branch Office. Mail overseer will keep personal watch on the progress of the team on daily basis.
  • The teams will be led and monitored by concerned Divisional Head, Assistant Superintendents Posts and Inspector Posts.

Industrial Sector Updates – Industrial Policy, Ease of Doing Business, etc.

[pib] ARISE-ANIC Initiative


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : ARISE-ANIC initiaitive

Mains level : Reviving MSME Sector of India thr

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, has launched Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE-Atal New India Challenges, to spur applied research and innovation in Indian MSMEs and startups.

The name ARISE typically sounds some social sector or HRD related initiative. This is where one has to be cautious.

ARISE ANIC Initiative

  • The program is a national initiative to promote research & innovation and increase the competitiveness of Indian startups and MSMEs.
  • Its objective is to proactively collaborate with esteemed Ministries and the associated industries to catalyse research, innovation and facilitate innovative solutions to sectoral problems.
  • It also aims to provide a steady stream of innovative products & solutions where the Central Government Ministries / Departments will become the potential first buyers.
  • It is in line with the PM’s mandate of “Make in India”, “Startup India”, and “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” to fast track the growth of the Indian MSME sector.

Its implementation

  • The programme will be driven by ISRO, four ministries—Ministry of Defence; Ministry of Food Processing Industries; Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • It will support deserving applied research-based innovations by providing funding support of up to Rs 50 lakh for speedy development of the proposed technology solution and/or product.

Banking Sector Reforms

EASE Banking Reforms Index


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : EASE Banking Reforms Index

Mains level : Banking sector reforms

Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs has felicitated best performing banks on EASE Banking Reforms Index.

Note the various themes under which the index works.

EASE Banking Reforms Index

  • EASE stands for ‘Enhanced Access and Service Excellence’. The index is prepared by the Indian Banking Association (IBA) and Boston Consulting Group.
  • It is commissioned by the Finance Ministry.
  • It is a framework that was adopted last year to strengthen public sector banks and rank them on metrics such as responsible banking, financial inclusion, credit offtake and digitization.

Various themes and performance by the states


Animal Husbandry, Dairy & Fisheries Sector – Pashudhan Sanjivani, E- Pashudhan Haat, etc

Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : PMMSY, E Gopala

Mains level : Fisheries sector of India

PM will digitally launch the PM Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) today.

PM Matsya Sampada Yojana

  • The PMMSY aims to bring about the Blue Revolution through sustainable and responsible development of the fisheries sector in India.
  • It has an estimated investment of Rs. 20,050 crores for its implementation during a period of 5 years from FY 2020-21 to FY 2024-25 in all States/UTs, as a part of AatmaNirbhar Bharat Package.
  • PMMSY aims at enhancing fish production by an additional 70 lakh tonne by 2024-25, increasing fisheries export earnings to Rs.1,00,000 crore by 2024-25.
  • Thus it aims doubling of incomes of fishers and fish farmers, reducing post-harvest losses from 20-25% to about 10% and generation of gainful employment opportunities in the sector.

Aims and objectives of PMMSY

  • Harnessing of fisheries potential in a sustainable, responsible, inclusive and equitable manner
  • Enhancing of fish production and productivity through expansion, intensification, diversification and productive utilization of land and water
  • Modernizing and strengthening of the value chain – post-harvest management and quality improvement
  • Doubling fishers and fish farmers incomes and generation of employment
  • Enhancing contribution to Agriculture GVA and exports
  • Social, physical and economic security for fishers and fish farmers
  • Robust fisheries management and regulatory framework

Implementation strategy

The PMMSY will be implemented as an umbrella scheme with two separate components namely:

(a) Central Sector Scheme and

(b) Centrally Sponsored Scheme

  • Majority of the activities under the Scheme would be implemented with the active participation of States/UTs.
  • A well-structured implementation framework would be established for the effective planning and implementation of PMMSY.
  • For optimal outcomes, ‘Cluster or area-based approach’ would be followed with requisite forward and backward linkages and end to end solutions.

Other inaugurations: e-Gopala App

  • e-Gopala App is a comprehensive breed improvement marketplace and information portal for direct use of farmers.
  • At present no digital platform is available in the country for farmers managing livestock including buying and selling of disease-free germplasm in all forms (semen, embryos, etc); availability of quality breeding services and guiding farmers for animal nutrition etc.
  • There is no mechanism to send alerts (on the due date for vaccination, pregnancy diagnosis, calving etc) and inform farmers about various government schemes and campaigns in the area.
  • The e-Gopala App will provide solutions to farmers on all these aspects.

History- Important places, persons in news

[pib] Heritage of Punjab


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Heritage of Punjab

Mains level : Not Much

The Ministry of Tourism’s DekhoApnaDesh Webinar series titled “Punjab- A historic perspective” has recently gone live.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Rivers that passes through Himachal Pradesh are: (CSP 2012)

(a) Beas and Chenab only

(b) Beas and Ravi only

(c) Chenab, Ravi, and Satluj only

(d) Beas, Chenab, Ravi, Satluj, and Yamuna

Heritage of Punjab

  • Punjab means ‘the land of Five Waters’ referring to the rivers Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej, and Beas.
  • Much of the Frontier was occupied by Maharaja Ranjit Singh also known as Sher-e-Punjab in the early 19th century and then taken over by the East India Company when it annexed Punjab in 1849.
  • The state is divided into three parts- Majha, Doaba and Malwa.
  • It’s many festivals–Teej, Lohri, Basant Panchami, Baisakhi and Hola Mahalla to name some are celebrations that mirror the farming ethos.
  • Historically, Punjab has played host to a number of ethnicities, including the Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Afghans and Mongols, thus bestowed with a rich tangible heritage.
  • The southeastern city of Punjab, Patiala was once a princely state established under Baba Ala Singh, a Jat Sikh chieftain. He laid the foundation of the fort and now, is located in the region around Qila Mubarak or the Fortunate Castle.
  • Important tourist attractions are Kali Temple, Baradari Garden, Sheesh Mahal, Gurudwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib, Qila Mubarak complex etc.

Holy shrines

  • The most sacred of Sikh shrines, the Golden Temple, is a major pilgrimage destination for devotees from around the world, as well as, an ever-increasing popular tourist attraction.
  • Construction of the Amrit Sarovar (pool of nectar) was initiated by Guru Amar Das, the third Guru, in 1570 and was completed by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Guru.
  • His successor, Guru Arjan Dev began work on the building after inviting Mian Mir, the Sufi saint, to lay its foundation stone in 1588.
  • Three years later, the Harimandar Sahib, or Darbar Sahib got completed.
  • In step with Sikhism’s basic tenet of universal brotherhood and all-inclusive ethos, the Golden Temple can be accessed from all directions.

Legend of Banda Bahadur

  • The city of Fatehgarh Sahib is of special significance to Sikhs. The word “Fatehgarh”, means “Town of Victory”.
  • It is so-called because, in 1710, Sikhs under the leadership of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur conquered the area and destroyed the Mughal fort.
  • Banda Bahadur announced the establishment of the Sikh rule in the city and an end to the tyranny of the Mughal rule which had spread terror and injustice.

Start-up Ecosystem In India

[pib] Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP)

Mains level : Not Much

The SVEP is propelling enterprises in rural areas and building rural entrepreneurs during this pandemic.

Try this PYQ 2015:

How does the National Rural Livelihood Mission seek to improve livelihood options of rural poor?

  1. By setting up a large number of new manufacturing industries and agribusiness centres in rural areas.
  2. By strengthening ‘self-help groups’ and providing skills development
  3. By supplying seeds, fertilizers, diesel pump-set sand micro-irrigation equipment free of cost of farmers.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

About SVEP

  • The SVEP is implemented by Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana –National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development, as a sub-scheme since 2016.
  • Its aims are to support the rural poor come out of poverty, supporting them set up enterprises and provide support till the enterprises stabilize.
  • SVEP focuses on providing self-employment opportunities with financial assistance and training in business management and soft skills while creating local community cadres for promotion of enterprises.
  • It addresses three major pillars of rural start-ups namely – finances, incubation and skill ecosystems.

Key elements of SVEP

  • Create a Block Resource Centre – Enterprise Promotion (BRC-EP); The BRC should act as a nodal centre to implement SVEP. Block Level Federation (BLF) to come up under NRLM could be one of the institutional platforms for BRC.
  • Cluster Level Federation (CLF) /VOs shall hold the entity till BLF comes into existence. BRC should follow a self-sustaining revenue model.
  • BRC to be assisted by CRP-EP and the Bank Coordination System (Bank Mitra). BRC to provide resource and reference material including videos, manuals etc.
  • Help enterprises get bank finance using tablet-based software for making the business feasibility plan, doing credit appraisal and tracking business performance.
  • Use the Community Investment Fund (CIF) to provide seed capital for starting the business until it reaches a size where bank finance is needed.

Start-up Ecosystem In India

[pib] NIDHI-EIR Programme


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NIDHI EIR

Mains level : Not Much

A brochure featuring Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) under the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) programme was launched by Dept. of Science and Technology (DST).

Try this MCQ:

Q.The NIDHI-EIR Programme sometimes seen in news functions under the:

a)Ministry of Science & Technology

b)Ministry of Commerce and Industry

c)Ministry of Finance

d)Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises


  • DST has announced a National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) is an umbrella programme for nurturing ideas and innovations into successful startups.
  • EIR programme is one of the programs introduced under NIDHI to inspire the best talents to be entrepreneurs, to minimise the risk involved in pursuing start-ups, and to partially set off their opportunity costs of high paying jobs.
  • It provides tremendous opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs to expand their networks and get critical feedback on their ventures in order to promote their entrepreneurial career goals and aspirations.

The opportunities under NIDHI-EIR program include:

  • Guidance from experienced, innovative and highly successful entrepreneurs on the business concept, strategy or venture and insight into specific industries or markets.
  • Best practices for starting a business and broaden the professional network.
  • Co-working spaces for developing the idea into a marketable product.

Animal Husbandry, Dairy & Fisheries Sector – Pashudhan Sanjivani, E- Pashudhan Haat, etc

[pib] Indian breed of Pet Dogs


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Various breeds mentioned

Mains level : NA

In the latest address of Mann ki Baat, PM has talked contributions of dogs in the security forces and emphasized on raising and rearing of various breeds of Indian native dogs.

Try this PYQ:

Q.What is/are unique about ‘Kharai camel’, a breed found in India?

  1. It is capable of swimming up to three kilometres in seawater.
  2. It survives by grazing on mangroves.
  3. It lives in the wild and cannot be domesticated.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (a)

Indian breeds that PM talked about:

(1)Mudhol hounds

  • The Mudhol hounds come from the region bordering Karnataka and Maharashtra.
  • According to a popular legend Ch. Shivaji Maharaj bred and used these dogs in his army.
  • The breed was named after the erstwhile princely state of Mudhol, which was part of the Bombay Presidency in British India.
  • The last king of the state, King Malojirao Ghorpade, presented a pair of these puppies to King George V when he visited the UK and it was the English emperor who christened the dogs as Mudhol hounds.
  • Mudhol hounds have narrow heads that are disproportionately smaller to their bodies but are tall in height.

(2)Himachali hounds

  • The Himachali hounds are locally known as the ‘Gaddi’ dog and come from the Himalayan region. They are massive, mastiff-like dogs with thick fur to protect them from the cold.
  • They look similar to the Tibetan mastiff but are less bulky.
  • ‘Gaddi’ means shepherd in Urdu, and these dogs are primarily guarding livestock.


  • The breed Rajapalayam is believed to have originated from Tamil Nadu, and named after the state’s Rajapalayam city in the Virudhunagar district.
  • A rare breed, these dogs are only found in certain pockets of the state.
  • These dogs are white, lean, muscular, and have historically made good hunters.
  • They are believed to have fought alongside the Polygar soldiers against the British East India Company during the Polygar wars from 1799 to 1805.
  • This is why the Rajapalayam dogs are also known as ‘Polygar hounds’.

(4) Kanni and Chippiparai

  • The Kanni dog is another breed from Tamil Nadu, and its name translates to “pure” in Tamil after its fierce loyalty.
  • Like the Rajapalayam, Kanni dogs specialise in hunting hares, wild boars, and blackbucks.
  • However, since the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 was passed, these dogs have been acting as guard dogs.
  • The Kennel Club of India, which maintains a registry of purebred dogs in India, has registered this dog under two names — Kanni and Chippiparai.


  • The Combai dogs also originate from Tamil Nadu. They are tan-coloured with a black snout and appear shorter and stouter than the Rajapalayam. They are classified as terriers.
  • Like the Kanni and Rajapalayam, these dogs are rare and a dying breed and were historically used for boar hunting and guarding purposes.
  • The CRPF recently recruited Combai dogs into their Dog Breeding and Training School.

Primary and Secondary Education – RTE, Education Policy, SEQI, RMSA, Committee Reports, etc.

[pib] Eklavya Model Residential Schools


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Eklavya Model Residential Schools

Mains level : Tribal education

An Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS) teacher was selected for National Award to Teachers 2020.

Note the specific features of EMRS. Each year in the CSP, there is a question related to tribes/tribal development.

Eklavya Model Residential Schools

  • EMRS started in the year 1997-98 to impart quality education to ST children in remote areas in order to enable them to avail of opportunities in high and professional education courses and get employment in various sectors.
  • Across the country, as per census 2011 figures, there are 564 such sub-districts out of which there is an EMRS in 102 sub-districts.
  • As per revised 2018 scheme, every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons, will have an EMRS by the year 2022.
  • These schools will be on par with Navodaya Vidyalayas and will have special facilities for preserving local art and culture besides providing training in sports and skill development.

Features of EMRS

  • Admission to these schools will be through selection/competition with suitable provision for preference to children belonging to Primitive Tribal Groups, first-generation students, etc.
  • Sufficient land would be given by the State Government for the school, playgrounds, hostels, residential quarters, etc., free of cost.
  • The number of seats for boys and girls will be equal.
  • In these schools, education will be entirely free.

Air Pollution

[pib] Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Transport Initiative for Asia (TIA)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NDC, TIA

Mains level : India's NDC

NITI Aayog will virtually launch the India Component of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)–Transport Initiative for Asia (TIA).

Try this PYQ:

Q.The term Intended Nationally Determined Contribution is sometimes seen in the news in the context of:

(a) Pledge made by the European countries to rehabilitate refuges from the war-affected Middle East.

(b) Plan of nation outlined by the countries of the world to combat climate changes.

(c) Capital contributed by the member countries in the establishment of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

(d) Plain of action outlined by the countries of the regarding SDGs.

What is NDC-TIA?

  • It is a joint programme, supported by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).
  • On behalf of the GoI, NITI Aayog will be the implementing partner.
  • It aims to promote a comprehensive approach to decarbonize transport in India, Vietnam, and China.
  • It is implemented by a consortium of seven other organisations.


  • The programme has a duration of 4 years.
  • The India Component will focus on establishing a multi-stakeholder dialogue platform for decarbonizing transport in India, strengthening GHG and transport modelling capacities.
  • It would help in financing climate actions in transport, offering policy recommendations on electric vehicle (EV) demand and supply policies.

Why need TIA?

  • India has a massive and diverse transport sector that caters to the needs of billion people.
  • It has the world’s second-largest road network, which contributes to maximum GHG emissions through all means of transportation.
  • With increasing urbanisation, the fleet size i.e. the number of sales of vehicles is increasing rapidly.
  • It is projected that the total number of vehicles will be doubled by 2030.

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

[pib] Export Preparedness Index (EPI) 2020


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Export Preparedness Index (EPI)

Mains level : Export promotion measures

NITI Aayog in partnership with the Institute of Competitiveness has released the Export Preparedness Index (EPI) 2020.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Which one of the following is not a sub-index of the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Index? (CSP 2019)

(a) Maintenance of law and order

(b) Paying taxes

(c) Registering property

(d) Dealing with construction permits

EPI 2020

  • EPI intends to identify challenges and opportunities; enhance the effectiveness of government policies; and encourage a facilitative regulatory framework.
  • The structure of the EPI includes 4 pillars –Policy; Business Ecosystem; Export Ecosystem; Export Performance.
  • It has 11 sub-pillars –Export Promotion Policy; Institutional Framework; Business Environment; Infrastructure; Transport Connectivity; Access to Finance; Export Infrastructure; Trade Support; R&D Infrastructure; Export Diversification; and Growth Orientation.

Highlights of the EPI

  • This edition of the EPI has shown that most Indian states performed well on average across the sub-pillars of Exports Diversification, Transport Connectivity, and Infrastructure.
  • Overall, most of the Coastal States are the best performers. Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu occupy the top three ranks.
  • Six of eight coastal states feature in the top ten rankings, indicating the presence of strong enabling and facilitating factors to promote exports.
  • In the landlocked states, Rajasthan has performed the best, followed by Telangana and Haryana.
  • Among the Himalayan states, Uttarakhand is the highest, followed by Tripura and Himachal Pradesh.
  • Across the UTs, Delhi has performed the best, followed by Goa and Chandigarh.

History- Important places, persons in news

[pib] Cultural heritage of Hyderabad


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Various cultural sites in Hyderabad

Mains level : Cultural site in Hyderabad

Ministry of Tourism’s DekhoApnaDesh Webinar Series in its 50th session held a webinar on “Cultural heritage of Hyderabad”.

Note various cultural sites mentioned in the newscard. The entire DekhoApnaDesh series is a potential hotspot for the coming Prelims.

The story of Hyderabad City

  • Hyderabad is popularly known as the “City of Pearls” and the “City of Nizams”, and has been the centre of a vibrant historical legacy, ever since its inception by the Qutub Shahi dynasty.
  • The city was later conquered by Mughal Empire and finally falling in the hands of Asaf Jahi dynasty.
  • Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah established Hyderabad in 1591 to extend the capital beyond the fortified Golconda. In 1687, the city was annexed by the Mughals.
  • In 1724, Mughal governor Nizam Asaf Jah I declared his sovereignty and founded the Asaf Jahi dynasty, also known as the Nizams.
  • Hyderabad served as the imperial capital of the Asaf Jahis from 1769 to 1948.
  • As capital of the princely state of Hyderabad, the city housed the British Residency and cantonment until Indian independence in 1947.

Cultural sites of Hyderabad:

1) Golconda Fort, Hyderabad: A massive fortress whose ruins stand proudly even today displaying the glory of its rich past and some untold sagas of the city’s history. The place oozing charm is a must visit historical place in Hyderabad. Mohammed Quli understood the need of a new City and made Bhagnagar (after the name of his beloved Bhagmati) with Charminar in its centre.

2) Chowmahalla Palace: Once the seat of the Asaf Jahi Dynasty, the Chowmahalla Palace was built in Hyderabad and is located near the famous monument, Charminar and Laad Bazar. The palace is designed very intricately and holds that Nawabi Charm in itself. Palace, the seat of power of Nizams, has bagged the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Merit Award for Culture Heritage Conservation.

3) Charminar: The monument was erected when Quli Qutab Shah shifted his capital from Golconda to Hyderabad. The monument got its name from its structure as it consists of four minarets.

4) Mecca Masjid: One of the oldest and the largest mosques of India is the grandest historical places in Hyderabad was completed by Aurangzeb in 1693.The bricks used here are believed to be from Mecca, and hence the name.

5) Paigah tombs: Located in the suburbs of Pisal Banda in Hyderabad, Paigah Tombs are a group of tombs of the Paigah royal family. Although now in a derelict and dilapidated state, the tombs still boast of striking architecture and marvellously carved marble panels.

6) Salar Jung Museum: Is an art museum established in the year 1951 and located at Dar-ul-Shifa, on the southern bank of the Musi River in the city of Hyderabad. The Salar Jung family is responsible for its collection of rare art objects from all over the world. The family is one of the most illustrious families in Deccan history, five of them having been prime-ministers in the erstwhile Nizam rule of Hyderabad-Deccan.

7) Warangal Fort: This fort appears to have existed since at least the 12th century when it was the capital of the Kakatiya dynasty. The fort has four ornamental gates, known as Kakatiya Kala Thoranam, that originally formed the entrances to a now ruined great Shiva temple.

Food Procurement and Distribution – PDS & NFSA, Shanta Kumar Committee, FCI restructuring, Buffer stock, etc.

[pib] National Food Security Act, 2013


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NFS Act

Mains level : Assurance of Food Security

The Department of Food &Public Distribution has issued directions to States/UTs to include all eligible disabled persons under the National Food Security (NFS) Act 2013.

Try this question:

Q.In the ongoing crisis, maintaining the level of food security has become one of the most essential needs. In light of the above statement, critically examine the priority areas for maintaining food security in the country. Suggest measures to make accessibility and availability of food easier for all.

National Food Security (NFS) Act

  • The NFS Act, 2013 aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two-thirds of India’s 1.2 billion people.
  • It was signed into law on 12 September 2013, retroactive to 5 July 2013.
  • It converts into legal entitlements for existing food security programmes of the GoI.
  • It includes the Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme and the Public Distribution System (PDS).
  • Further, the NFSA 2013 recognizes maternity entitlements.
  • The Midday Meal Scheme and the ICDS are universal in nature whereas the PDS will reach about two-thirds of the population (75% in rural areas and 50% in urban areas).
  • Under the provisions of the bill, beneficiaries of the PDS are entitled to 5 kilograms per person per month of cereals at the following prices:
  1. Rice at ₹3 per kg
  2. Wheat at ₹2 per kg
  3. Coarse grains (millet) at ₹1 per kg.
  • Pregnant women, lactating mothers, and certain categories of children are eligible for daily free cereals.


  • Section 38 of the Act mandates that the Central Government may from time to time give directions to the State Governments for effective implementation of the provisions of the Act.