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PIB 11th March 2021




Focus: GS III-Infrastructure

Why in news?

Railway stations are upgraded under ‘Adarsh’ Station Scheme based on identified need of providing better enhanced passenger amenities at stations. Under ‘Adarsh’ Station Scheme, 1253 stations have been identified for development, out of which 1201 stations so far have been developed.

  • The remaining 52 stations are planned to be developed under Adarsh Station Scheme by 2021- 22.

About Adarsh station scheme:

Nodal: Ministry of Railways

  • Its aims is to upgrade the suburban stations of India to Adarsh stations.
  • Selection of railway stations under Adarsh Station scheme is based on the identified need for up-gradation of amenities.

Adarsh stations will be upgraded with modern facilities like:

  • Improvement of facade of the station building.
  • Duly streamlining traffic flow
  • Improvement of platform surface
  • Improvement of existing waiting halls and retiring rooms
  • Toilet facilities
  • Provision of foot overbridges
  • Provision of lifts and escalators etc.
  • The upgradation process will be monitored by the Indian Government and Indian Railways.


Focus: GS II-Health

Why in news?

During “National Gestational Diabetes Awareness Day” Summit, being virtually hosted from Bengaluru, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, who is also a noted Diabetologist, said that prevention of diabetes in pregnancy is crucial to protect the next generation from Diabetes.

About diabetes:

  • Diabetes is a chronic disease caused when either pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the cells in the body do not respond properly to insulin.
  • It is a non-communicable disease-non-infectious or non-transmissible.
  • Diabetes is characterized by prolonged elevated blood sugar levels which further expose a person to risk of developing a range of health issues including cardiovascular diseases.

There are three types of diabetes –

  • Type 1 when pancreas does not produce enough insulin
  • Type 2 -cells in the body do not respond to insulin properly, and
  • Gestational Diabetes – formed during pregnancy.

Causes of Increasing Prevalence of Diabetes:

  • Genetics
  • Rapid urbanization and associated change in lifestyle
  • Obesity, a diet rich in fats and refined cereals, lack of exercise and increased levels of stress are important causes of diabetes.
  • Rising levels of Pollution:
    • According to a recent study by Washington University School of Medicine and VA St. Louis Health Care System, US, the risk of incident diabetes increased with rising concentrations of PM2.5
  • Tobacco and Alcohol:
    • According to studies, smokers are 30–40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-smokers. Smoking can make body more resistant to insulin which can lead to high blood sugar levels.


Focus: GS II-Government Policies and Interventions, Schemes

About Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana:

Nodal: Ministry of Labour & Employment

  • Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) since 2016 with the objective to incentivise employers for creation of new employment and also aimed to bring informal workers to the formal workforce.
  • Under the scheme, Government of India is paying Employer’s full contribution i.e. 12% towards Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) both for a period of three years to the new employees through Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).
  • The PMRPY scheme is targeted for workers earning wages upto Rs. 15,000/- per month

About Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO)

Nodal:  Ministry of Labour & Employment

  • It is a government organization that manages provident fund and pension accounts of member employees and implements the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
  • The Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 provides for the institution of provident funds for employees in factories and other establishments.
  • It is one of the World’s largest Social Security Organisations in terms of clientele and the volume of financial transactions undertaken.

Employees Pension Scheme (EPS):

It is a social security scheme that was launched in 1995. It offers pension on disablement, widow pension, and pension for nominees.

The scheme, provided by EPFO, makes provisions for pensions for the employees in the organized sector after the retirement at the age of 58 years.

Main features:

  • Employees who are members of EPF automatically become members of EPS.
  • Both employer and employee contribute 12% of employee’s monthly salary (basic wages plus dearness allowance) to the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) scheme.
  • EPF scheme is mandatory for employees who draw a basic wage of Rs. 15,000 per month.
  • Of the employer’s share of 12 %, 8.33 % is diverted towards the EPS.
  • Central Govt. also contributes 1.16% of employees’ monthly salary.
  • Maximum service for the calculation of service is 35 years.
  • No pensioner can receive more than one EPF Pension.


Focus: GS II-Health

Why in news?

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, approved the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi (PMSSN) as a single non-lapsable reserve fund for share of Health from the proceeds of Health and Education Cess 

About Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi (PMSSN)

Nodal: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Salient features of the PMSSN

  • A non-lapsable reserve fund for Health in the Public Account;
  • Proceeds of share of health in the Health and Education Cess will be credited into PMSSN.
  • Accruals into the PMSSN will be utilized for the flagship schemes of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare namely,
    • Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY)
    • Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs)
    • National Health Mission
    • Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY)
    • Emergency & disaster preparedness and responses during health emergencies
    • Any future programme/scheme that targets to achieve progress towards SDGs and the targets set out in the National Health Policy (NHP) 2017.
  • In any financial year, the expenditure on such schemes of the MoHFW would be initially incurred from the PMSSN and thereafter, from Gross Budgetary Support (GBS).


The major benefit will be: enhanced access to universal & affordable health care through availability of earmarked resources, while ensuring that the amount does not lapse at the end of financial year.


Focus: GS III-Defence

Why in news?

INS Karanj, India’s third Scorpene-class submarine, was commissioned into the Indian Navy on March 10, 2021. 

About INS Karanj

  • INS Karanj is the part of Six Scorpene submarines which are being built under Project-75.
  • It is the third submarine of first batch of the six Kalvari-class submarines. This submarine is a diesel-electric attack submarine which is based on Scorpene class.
  • It has been designed by the French naval defence and energy group and manufactured by Mazagon Dock Limited which is an Indian shipyard.
  • This ship was launched in January 2018 and was delivered to Indian Navy in February 2021.

Project 75

  • The Project 75I-class submarine is a follow-on of the Project 75 Kalvari-class submarine for the Indian Navy.
  • During 1990’s three-decade plan took shape for indigenous construction of submarines
  • It was known to have two separate series of submarine building lines – codenamed Project 75 and Project 75I — in collaboration with foreign entities.
  • Under this project, the Indian Navy intends to acquire six diesel-electric submarines, which will also feature advanced air-independent propulsion systems.
    • AIP significantly improves stealth because it enables a submarine to generate electricity for services and battery charging and propulsion while completely submerged.
    • AIP systems also generate electricity, powering a submarine to operate and also generate oxygen, lighting and amenities for crew.
    • The Non-nuclear submarines running on battery power or AIP can be virtually silent.
  • This is for enabling them to stay submerged for longer duration and substantially increase their operational range.
  • It included Kalvari, Khanderi, Karanj and Vela class — which included Vela, Vagir, Vagsheer.



Focus: GS III-Defence

Why in news?

Recently, the second edition of Exercise Dustlik is being held in Ranikhet, Uttarakhand.

Key points:

  • It is a bilateral military exercise between armies of India and Uzbekistan.
  • The exercise Dustlik began in 2019 and was hosted by Uzbekistan.
  • The armies will showcase its Counter Insurgency (CI) and Counter Terrorism (CT) skills.
  • The focus of the second edition will be on people-centric intelligence based surgical operations, incorporating technological advancements to minimize collateral damage.
  • The Army will also showcase use of force multipliers including helicopters, Special Forces, specialist equipment and establishment of automated surveillance grid for situational awareness.

February 2024