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PIB 13th March 2021


  2. BRICS


Focus: GS I-Modern History

Why in news?

Prime Minister flagged off ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’—a 75-week festival to commemorate 75 years of India’s Independence

Key points:

  • On 12 March 1930 Gandhiji launched the historic civil disobedience movement in India, with the iconic Dandi Salt March.
  • Today, ninety-one years later, as a free, democratic India takes confident steps towards all-round development of its people and steps into the 75th year of independence, our Prime Minister  flagged off ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’—a 75-week festival to commemorate 75 years of India’s Independence.
  • The Mahotsav commenced with a padayatra from Sabarmati to Dandi over 25 days, culminating on 5th April, retracing the footsteps of Bapu during the historic ‘SaltMarch.

Dandi March

  • Mahatma Gandhi led a march to break one of the most widely disliked laws in British India, which gave the state a monopoly in the manufacture and sale of salt.
  • The 24-day march from March 12 to April 5, 1930 was a tax resistance campaign against the British salt monopoly.
  • The march marked the inauguration of the civil disobedience movement.
  • Gandhi reached Dandi on April 5. The following day, early morning he proceeded along with the other marchers to the sea, where he picked up lumps of natural salt lying in a small pit.
  • The following month Gandhi proceeded to Dharasana salt works from where he was arrested and taken to the Yerawada Central Jail.

Dandi March was notable for at least three reasons:

  • It was the first nationalist activity in which women participated in large numbers. The socialist activist Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay had persuaded Gandhiji not to restrict the protests to men alone. Kamaladevi was herself one of numerous women who courted arrest by breaking the salt or liquor laws.
  • It was the Salt March which forced upon the British the realization that their Raj would not last forever, and that they would have to devolve some power to the Indians. To that end, the British government convened a series of “Round Table Conferences” in London.
  • Salt Satyagraga brought Mahatma Gandhi to world attention. The march was widely covered by the European and American press.


Focus: GS II-International Relations

Why in news?

Recently, The BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI) leads held their first meeting under India’s Chairship.

  • The theme of BRICS this year is -“BRICS@15: Intra BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation, and Consensus”.

Key points:

  • India, under its Chairship in 2021, presented the calendar of events for BRICS CGETI 2021, which included the priority areas for deliverables, schedule and scope of the MSME roundtable conference workshop on Services Statistics, and the BRICS Trade Fair.
  • The deliverables proposed are on

 (i) Action plan based on the document “Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership 2025” adopted during Russian Presidency in 2020

(ii) BRICS Cooperation on Multilateral Trading system including cooperation for the TRIPS Waiver proposal at WTO;

(iii) Framework for Consumer Protection in E-Commerce;

(iv) Non-Tariff Measures (NTM) Resolution Mechanism;

(v) Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) Working Mechanism;

(vi) Co-operation framework for protection of Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge;

(vii) BRICS Framework on Co-operation in Professional Services.


  • BRICS is an informal group of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (joined in 2010).
  • The BRICS leaders’ summit is convened annually.
  • BRICS does not exist in form of organization, but it is an annual summit between the supreme leaders of five nations.
  • The Chairmanship of the forum is rotated annually among the members, in accordance with the acronym B-R-I-C-S.
  • Together, BRICS accounts for about 42% of the world’s population and about 23% of the global GDP (Gross Domestic Product), and 17% of the world trade, making it a critical economic engine.
  • The five nations account for 50 per cent of the world economic growth, 27% of the world area and 13.24% of World Bank voting power. 
  • Pitted as a counterweight to G7, the combine of developed economies, BRICS represents the world’s top emerging economies and claims to serve as a bridge between the developed and developing world.


Focus: GS II- Government policies and Interventions

Why in news?

  • 3.77 Crore Rural Households get Tap Water Connections under Jal Jeevan Mission
  • Over7 Crore families in rural areas now have an assured tap water connection
  • Despite CoVid-19 pandemic & lockdown, the drinking water supply work continued to provide nearly 1 lakh connections every day

About Jal Jeevan Mission:

Nodal: Ministry of Jal Shakti

  • Jal Jeevan Mission, a central government initiative under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, aims to ensure access of piped water for every household in India.
  • National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) was restructured and subsumed into Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) – to provide Functional Household Tap Water (FHTC) to every rural household with service level at the rate of 55 lpcd i.e., Har Ghar Nal Se Jal (HGNSJ) by 2024.


  • Supply of water to all households is a basic necessity
  • Reduction in water borne diseases which was due to due to consumption of substandard water


  • Critical situation of Decrease in ground water table.
  • Water demand and supply is a miss match
  • Contamination of local ground level sources of water like, ponds lakes and wells.
  • Sustaining the provision of water to all households is a challenge, not just starting it.


Focus: GS II-Science and Technology

Why in news?

CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute(NEERI) has developed a technology knowhow to mitigate air pollution from Open Pyre Green Crematoria.

Nodal: Ministry of Science & Technology.

  • Council of Scientific & Industrial Research- National Environmental and Engineering Research Institute created and funded by the Government of India.
  • It was established in Nagpur in 1958 with focus on water supply, sewage disposal, communicable diseases and to some extent on industrial pollution and occupational diseases found common in post-independent India.
  • CSIR has 38 national laboratories working in various areas of science and technology.
    • CSIR-NEERI is one of those laboratories.


Nodal: Ministry of Science & Technology

  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is the largest research and development (R&D) organisation in India and it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
  • CSIR has a pan-India presence and has a dynamic network of 38 national laboratories, 39 outreach centres, 3 Innovation Complexes and 5 units.
  • Located: New Delhi

Organisation Structure

  • President: Prime Minister of India (Ex-officio)
  • Vice President: Union Minister of Science and Technology (Ex-officio)
  • Member terms are are of three years.


  • Promotion, guidance and coordination of scientific and industrial research in India including the institution and the financing of specific researchers.
  • Establishment and assistance to special institutions or departments of existing institutions for the scientific study of problems affecting particular industries and trade.
  • Establishment and award of research studentships and fellowships.
  • Utilization of the results of the research conducted under the auspices of the Council towards the development of industries in the country.
  • Payment of a share of royalties arising out of the development of the results of research to those who are considered as having contributed towards the pursuit of such research.
  • Establishment, maintenance and management of laboratories, workshops, institutes and organisations to further scientific and industrial research.
  • Collection and dissemination of information in regard not only to research but to industrial matters generally.
  • Publication of scientific papers and a journal of industrial research and development.

December 2023