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PIB – 10 August 2021


  4. FASTag



Focus: GS II- Welfare schemes

About Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana

  • It was launched on 9th May 2015.
  • The scheme aims to bring the uninsured population under insurance cover.
  • This scheme is available at a highly affordable premium of Rs.12/- per year.
  • The scheme can be chosen by individuals who fall under the 18-70 years age group and hold a savings bank account.
  • The scheme can be renewed annually.
  • Risk coverage of Rs.2 lakh for accidental death and full disability and Rs.1 lakh for partial disability.
  • Money is given to the nominee in case of an insurer’s death.
  • The auto-debit option of premium from the bank account is available.
Eligibility for Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana
  • Any individual aged between 18 years to 70 years are eligible to apply for the scheme.
  • He/she must have a bank account along with their phone number linked to the account.
  • The individual should submit their Aadhaar details while applying for the scheme. This Aadhaar details will be linked with their bank account.
  • If any individual has multiple bank accounts of one or different banks, then he/she will be eligible to join the scheme through one bank account only. In the case of a joint account, the scheme benefits can be availed by all the bank account holders.
  • In the case of an NRI beneficiary, the claim benefits will only be provided to the nominee in Indian currency.

As per Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, any accidental death, murder or disability due to natural calamities is covered under this scheme. Whereas any suicidal death is not covered under Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana. Also, the family members will not be provided with any benefits in case of suicidal deaths.


Focus: GS II- Health

Why in news?

Vice President of India along with Speaker of Lok Sabha chaired an event to sensitise Parliamentarians on the country’s efforts to eliminate TB.

About Tuberculosis

  • Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs.
  • Tuberculosis is curable and preventable.
  • About one-third of the world’s population has latent TB, which means people have been infected by TB bacteria but are not yet ill with disease and cannot transmit the disease.
  • People infected with TB bacteria have a lifetime risk of falling ill with TB of 10%.
  • However persons with compromised immune systems, such as people living with HIV, malnutrition or diabetes, or people who use tobacco, have a much higher risk of falling ill.
  • TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer.
  • Over 4000 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill every day with this preventable and curable disease

Transmission: TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air.

Symptoms: Cough with sputum and blood at times, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats.

Treatment: TB is a treatable and curable disease. It is treated with a standard 6 month course of 4 antimicrobial drugs that are provided with information, supervision and support to the patient by a health worker or trained volunteer.

  • Anti-TB medicines have been used for decades and strains that are resistant to 1 or more of the medicines have been documented in every country surveyed.
  • Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a form of TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to isoniazid and rifampicin, the 2 most powerful, first-line anti-TB drugs. MDR-TB is treatable and curable by using second-line drugs.
  • Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) is a more serious form of MDR-TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to the most effective second-line anti-TB drugs, often leaving patients without any further treatment options.

Above image attached on Global Targets by The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include ending the TB epidemic by 2030 under Goal 3.


Focus: GS-II Social Justice

Details of Various Schemes Under Ministry of Minority Affairs in news

Employment-oriented Skill Development Initiatives

  • Seekho Aur Kamao– It is a placement linked skill development programme.
  • Nai Manzil – A scheme for formal school education & skilling of school dropouts
  • Gharib Nawaz Employment Training for providing short-term job oriented skill development courses to youths belonging to minority communities 

Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK)

  • It is an area development scheme.
  • The Ministry has identified 1300 backward Minority Concentration Areas (MCAs) for the implementation of this scheme. 
  • It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for creating socioeconomic infrastructure as well as basic amenities for uplifting the quality of life of minorities in the MCAs.
  • The amenities are meant for all segments of the society including minorities.

Naya Savera Scheme

  • The objective of the Naya Savera Scheme is to assist students/candidates belonging to the notified the minority communities by way of special coaching for qualifying in competitive examination for recruitment to Group A, B & C services and other equivalent post under the Central and State Governments including public sector undertaking, banks, railways etc. or for admission in technical/professional courses.

Nai Udaan Scheme

  • Objective of the Nai Udaan Scheme is to provide financial support to the minority candidates who clear the preliminary examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission, Staff Selection Commission and State Public Service Commission.


Focus: Government policies and interventions

Why in News?

In order to make tolling efficient and to ensure seamless movement of traffic Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system using passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, has been implemented on Pan India basis.

About FASTag

  • FASTag is an electronic toll collection system in India, operated by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
  • It employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for making toll payments directly from the prepaid or savings account linked to it or directly toll owner.
  • As per NHAI, FASTag has unlimited validity. 7.5% cashback offers were also provided to promote the use of FASTag.
  • Dedicated Lanes at some Toll plazas have been built for FASTag.
Advantages of Using FASTag
  • Digital transaction makes it easier to collect toll fees.
  • Congestion in Toll plazas will reduce.
  • Non-stop movement at the highways will reduce Fuel consumption and even pollution.
  • The Effort in Managing toll gates is reduced as the system is more automated.
  • There will also be reduced paper wastage (in the form of tokens/receipts)
  • This will be a unifying system as FASTags are not specific to the state or region and work all over India.
Problems with FASTag
  • Technical issues and glitches are possible which makes the system susceptible to false charges or other such issues.
  • All the toll booths are yet to be made FASTag compatible and this has not necessarily reduced the congestion issue yet.
  • The RFID technology is not failproof and can be misused by duplication or other “hacks”.
  • The FASTags sold by banks have to be recharged from the same bank, as they are not Bank Neutral (unless you buy it directly from NHAI).
About RFID Technology
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) uses radio waves to communicate between two objects: a reader and a tag. RFID communication is the same as two-way radio communication in the sense that information is transmitted or received via a radio wave at a specific frequency.
  • Passive tags collect energy from a nearby RFID reader’s interrogating radio waves. Active tags have a local power source such as a battery and may operate at hundreds of meters from the RFID reader.

RFID applications apart from usage in Toll collection:

  • Self-checkins at Libraries / rental services as well as retail premises.
  • Livestock Management and pet identification.
  • Building Security – secure access controls, documentation and passports.
  • Airports – for baggage tracking and tracing/locating.
  • SMART home controls – systems to manage home/business energy consumption/production.
  • Seismic Sensing – such as locating gas lines and temperature sensing (geophysical).
  • Environmental – Energy, Ozone & Pollution measuring equipment.


Focus: GS II- Health

Why in News?

Sickle Cell Disease Support Corner developed to create a database of individuals with sickle cell disease

About Sickle cell disease (SCD)

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder that causes “sickle” shaped red blood cells that can stick together, blocking blood flow and oxygen from reaching all parts of the body.

It results in an abnormality in the oxygen-carrying protein haemoglobin found in red blood cells.

Sickle cell disease occurs when a person inherits two abnormal copies of the β-globin gene that makes haemoglobin, one from each parent. (A person with a single abnormal copy does not usually have symptoms and is said to have sickle cell trait.)

People with SCD can experience pain, anaemia, infection, and other serious health problems (also known as complications) that may require care by a healthcare provider.

February 2024