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PIB 18th March 2021


  6. APEDA


Focus: GS III- Diaster Management

Why in news?

Prime Minister’s address the third edition of the annual conference of the Coalition for Disaster resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)

About Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure:

  • The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) highlights the role of improved disaster resilience, especially of infrastructure, as a cornerstone for sustainable development.
  • In this context, Indian PM proposed CDRI which will act as a convening body that will pool best practices and resources from around the world for reshaping construction, transportation, energy, telecommunication and water, so that building in these core infrastructure sectors factors in natural catastrophes.
  • It was launched by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019.
  • According to Sendai framework, every $1 spent in disaster risk reduction leads to gain of $7. But developing countries face the dilemma of balancing economic investment for development vs disaster resilient infrastructure.
  • CDRI could fill this gap of funds and technology and help developing countries to build disaster-resilient Infrastructure.
  • The Government of India has been engaging with national governments, multilateral development banks, United Nations agencies, the private sector and academia to build the case for investing in resilient infrastructure.
    • It is a collaboration of Government of India, UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, World Bank, the UN Development Programme and the Global Commission on Adaptation.
  • The members of CDRI are Afghanistan, Australia, Bhutan, Fiji, Germany, Italy, Indonesia, India, Japan, Mauritius, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom and United States.
Purpose of CDRI
  • The Coalition would address a common challenge of building resilience into infrastructure systems, particularly in the context of increasing disaster risk in the face of climate change.
  • The Coalition would provide access to good practices to develop appropriate standards as well as regulatory mechanisms to manage infrastructure development in a manner that fosters resilience.
  • The Coalition would also serve as a platform where knowledge is generated and exchanged on different aspects of disaster resilience of infrastructure.
  • It will bring together a multitude of stakeholders i.e. governments, private sector, academic research institutions and international organisations.
Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction
  • The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (Sendai Framework) was the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda.
  • It provides Member States with concrete actions to protect development gains from the risk of disaster.
  • The Sendai Framework works hand in hand with the other 2030 Agenda agreements, including The Paris Agreement on Climate Change, The Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, the New Urban Agenda, and the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • It was endorsed by the UN General Assembly following the 2015 Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR).


Focus: GS II- Welfare Schemes


Nodal: Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
  • The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme is a Central Sector Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Scheme, under which, financial assistance of Rs.6000/- per annum is provided to all landholding farmer families across the country, subject to certain exclusion criteria relating to higher income strata, to enable them to take care of expenses related to agriculture and allied activities as well as domestic needs.
  • It has become operational from 1.12.2018.
  • Under the scheme an income support of 6,000/- per year in three equal installments will be provided to small and marginal farmer families having combined land holding/ownership of upto 2 hectares.
  • The Scheme initially provided income support to all Small and Marginal Farmers’ families across the country, holding cultivable land upto 2 hectares.
  • Its ambit was later expanded to cover all farmer families in the country irrespective of the size of their land holdings. 
  • Definition of family for the scheme is husband, wife and minor children.
  • State Government and UT administration will identify the farmer families which are eligible for support as per scheme guidelines.
  • The fund will be directly transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.
  • There are various Exclusion Categories for the scheme.
About Significance of the PM-KISAN
  • Around 12 crore small and marginal farmer families are expected to benefit from this. It would not only provide assured supplemental income to the most vulnerable farmer families, but would also meet their emergent needs especially before the harvest season.
  • It would pave the way for the farmers to earn and live a respectable living.
Some of the categories of beneficiaries who are NOT eligible for benefit under this scheme are:
  • Any institutional land-holders.
  • The farmer as well as any member of the family belonging to the following categories:
    • Former and present holders of constitutional posts
    • Former and present Ministers/ State Ministers
    • Former or present members of LokSabha/ RajyaSabha/ State Legislative Assemblies/ State Legislative Councils
    • Former and present Mayors of Municipal Corporations
    • Former and present Chairpersons of District Panchayats.
    • Any serving or retired officers as well as employees under the Central/ State Government Ministries /Offices/Departments.
    • All retired pensioners who get a monthly pension of Rs.10,000/-or more and belonging to the above category.
    • Any individual who paid their income tax in the last assessment year is not eligible under this scheme.
    • Professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Chartered Accountants, and Architects registered with Professional bodies and carrying out profession by undertaking practices.


Focus: GS III-Agriculture

Why in news?

Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare celebrates the first anniversary of the Central Sector Scheme on “Formation & Promotion of 10,000 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs)”

About the scheme:

Nodal: Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers welfare

  • It is a Central Sector Scheme titled “Formation and Promotion of Farmer Produce Organizations (FPOs)” to form and promote 10,000 new FPOs.
    • More than 86% of farmers in India are small and marginal. if these small, marginal and landless farmers are aggregated into FPOs, it would help them to enhance the economic strength & market linkages of farmers. This in turn will help in enhancing their income.

About Farmer producer organizations:

Nodal: Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers welfare

  • This is a Central Sector Scheme which receives funding from Government of India.
  • It will also improve the market access for members.
  • Further, “One District One Product” cluster will be created to promote specialization.
  • In the FPOs, agricultural and horticultural produces will be grown and cultivated to leverage the economies of scale.
  • Small and marginal farmers do not have the economic strength to apply production technology, services and marketing including value addition.
  • Through the formation of FPOs, farmers will have better collective strength for better access to quality input, technology, credit and better marketing access through economies of scale for better realization of income.
Implementing Agencies (IAs)

There are presently nine implementing agencies namely,

  1. Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC),
  2. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD),
  3. National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC),
  4. North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC),
  5. Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium Haryana (SFACH),
  6. National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED),
  7. Watershed Development Department (WDD)- Karnataka
  8. Tamil Nadu-Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium (TN-SFAC) and
  9. Foundation for Development of Rural Value Chains (FDRVC)- Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD).


Focus: GS-II Social Justice, GS-III Agriculture, Prelims

Nodal: Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers welfare

Salient features of the scheme:

  • The scheme is voluntary and contributory for farmers in the entry age group of 18 to 40 years.
  • A monthly pension of Rs. 3000/– will be provided to them on attaining the age of 60 years.
  • The farmers will have to make a monthly contribution of Rs.55 to Rs.200, depending on their age of entry, in the Pension Fund till they reach the retirement date i.e. the age of 60 years.
  • The Central Government will also make an equal contribution of the same amount in the pension fund.
  • The spouse is also eligible to get a separate pension of Rs.3000/- upon making separate contributions to the Fund.
  • The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) shall be the Pension Fund Manager and responsible for Pension pay out.
  • In case of death of the farmer before retirement date, the spouse may continue in the scheme by paying the remaining contributions till the remaining age of the deceased farmer.
  • If the spouse does not wish to continue, the total contribution made by the farmer along with interest will be paid to the spouse.
  • If there is no spouse, then total contribution along with interest will be paid to the nominee.
  • If the farmer dies after the retirement date, the spouse will receive 50% of the pension as Family Pension.
  • After the death of both the farmer and the spouse, the accumulated corpus shall be credited back to the Pension Fund.
  • The beneficiaries may opt voluntarily to exit the Scheme after a minimum period of 5 years of regular contributions.
  • On exit, their entire contribution shall be returned by LIC with an interest equivalent to prevailing saving bank rates.
  • The farmers, who are also beneficiaries of PM-Kisan Scheme, will have the option to allow their contribution debited from the benefit of that Scheme directly.
  • In case of default in making regular contributions, the beneficiaries are allowed to regularize the contributions by paying the outstanding dues along with prescribed interest.


Focus: Agriculture

Key points

  • Soil Health Card (SHC) is a Government of India’s scheme promoted by the Department of Agriculture & Co-operation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
  • It is being implemented through the Department of Agriculture of all the State and Union Territory Governments.
  • A SHC is meant to give each farmer soil nutrient status of his/her holding and advise him/her on the dosage of fertilizers and also the needed soil amendments, that s/he should apply to maintain soil health in the long run.
  • SHC is a printed report which contains nutrient status of soil with respect to 12 nutrients: pH, Electrical Conductivity (EC), Organic Carbon (OC), Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Sulphur (S), Zinc (Zn), Boron (B), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Copper (Cu) of farm holdings.
  • SHC will be provided to all farmers in the country at an interval of 3 years to enable the farmers to apply recommended doses of nutrients based on soil test values to realize improved and sustainable soil health and fertility, low costs and higher profits.
  • Soil health card is field-specific detailed report of soil fertility status and other important soil parameters that affect crop productivity.


  • To improve soil quality and profitability of farmers.
  • Employment generation for rural youth.
  • To update information on soil analysis.
  • To provide soil testing facilities to farmers at their doorstep.


  • SHC helps farmers to improve soil health and ultimately increase productivity.
  • After getting SHC farmers have reduced N, P and K use, especially nitrogen use has and increased micronutrients use which helped them to increase the fertility.
  • It has helped farmers to diversify towards less input-intensive crops from more input-intensive crops like paddy and cotton.
  • It has also helped farmers to find input substitutions.
  • It has helped in the formulation of specific schemes like subsidised micronutrients from governments.


Focus: GS III-Agriculture

Why in news?

First Virtual Trade Fair (VTF) organised by APEDA to boost exports potential of India’s agricultural and processed food products during COVID19 pandemic drew huge response from participants, exporters and buyers from countries including India, UAE, Brazil, New Zealand and France.

  •  Theme: India Rice and Agro Commodity

About Apeda:

Nodal:  Ministry of Commerce and Industry

  • The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) was established by the Government of India under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act, 1985. 
  • The Authority has its headquarters in New Delhi.
  • A Chairman is appointed by the Central Government.


  • APEDA is mandated with the responsibility of export promotion and development of the scheduled products viz. fruits, vegetables and their products; meat and meat products; poultry and poultry products; dairy products; confectionery, biscuits and bakery products; honey, jaggery and sugar products; cocoa and its products, chocolates of all kinds; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; cereal and cereal products; groundnuts, peanuts and walnuts, pickles, papads and chutneys; guar gum; floriculture and floriculture products; herbal and medicinal plants.
  • APEDA has been entrusted with the responsibility to monitor import of sugar.
  • Registration of persons as exporters of the scheduled products and fixing of standards and specifications for the scheduled products for the purpose of exports.
  • Carrying out inspection of meat and meat products in slaughterhouses, processing plants, storage premises and improving packaging of the scheduled products.


Focus: GS II- India and its neighbourhood

Key points:

India Act East Policy was unveiled by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, at the 12th ASEAN-India Summit in 2014 held in Myanmar. Act East Policy is the successor of Look East Policy.

Look East Policy

  • In order to recover from the loss of the strategic partner -USSR (end of the Cold war 1991), India sought to build up a relationship with the USA and allies of the USA in Southeast Asia.
  • In this pursuit, former Prime minister of India P V Narasimha Rao launched Look East policy in 1992, to give a strategic push to India’s engagement with South-East Asia region.

How Act East is different from Look East policy?

  • Look East policy focused on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries + Economic Integration.
    • The time when India launched Look East Policy in 1992, India’s trade with ASEAN was $2 billion. After signing the Free Trade Agreement in 2010 with ASEAN, the trade has grown to $72 billion (2017-18).
    • India is also an active participant in several regional forums like the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) etc.
  • Act East Policy focused on ASEAN countries + Economic Integration + East Asian countries + Security cooperation.
    • Prime minister of India highlighted 4C’s of Act East Policy.
      • Culture
      • Commerce
      • Connectivity
      • Capacity building
    • Security is an important dimension of India’s Act East Policy.
    • In the context of growing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, securing freedom of navigation and India’s own role in the Indian Ocean is a key feature of Act East Policy.
    • In pursuance of this, India has been engaged under the narrative of Indo-pacific and informal grouping called Quad.


Focus: GS-II Governance

Why in news? 

Presently 22678 NGOs have either been granted a certificate of registration or given prior permission under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010. 

Key points:

  • The Foreign Contribution (regulation) Act, 2010 is a consolidating act whose scope is to regulate the acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality by certain individuals or associations or companies and to prohibit acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality for any activities detrimental to the national interest and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  •  Foreign funding of voluntary organizations in India is regulated under FCRA act and is implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The FCRA regulates the receipt of funding from sources outside of India to NGOs working in India. It prohibits the receipt of foreign contribution “for any activities detrimental to the national interest”.
  • The Act held that the government can refuse permission if it believes that the donation to the NGO will adversely affect “public interest” or the “economic interest of the state”. However, there is no clear guidance on what constitutes “public interest”.
  • The Acts ensures that the recipients of foreign contributions adhere to the stated purpose for which such contribution has been obtained.
  • Under the Act, organisations require to register themselves every five years.

Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in India

  • Worldwide, the term ‘NGO’ is used to describe a body that is neither part of a government nor a conventional for-profit business organisation.
  • NGOs are groups of ordinary citizens that are involved in a wide range of activities that may have charitable, social, political, religious or other interests.
  • In India, NGOs can be registered under a plethora of Acts such as the Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860, Religious Endowments Act,1863, Indian Trusts Act, etc.
  • India has possibly the largest number of active NGOs in the world.
  • Ministries such as Health and Family Welfare, Human Resource Department, etc., provide funding to NGOs, but only a handful of NGOs get hefty government funds.
  • NGOs also receive funds from abroad, if they are registered with the Home Ministry under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).


Focus: GS III- Indian Economy

Why in news?
The ILO report titled ‘Global Wage Report 2020-21: Wages and minimum wages in the time of COVID-19’ was recently released.


  • The Report inter-alia, comments on various issues including on Indian workers having low average wages, longer hours as well as that the workers in Asia and the Pacific enjoyed the highest real wage growth among all regions over the period 2006–19.
  • Further, while comparing average wage, the report has taken into account the National Floor Level Minimum Wage which is Rs.176/- per day. However, actual wages are far higher.
  • If the median of the minimum wages in different states is drawn, it would be Rs.269/- per day in the country.


Focus: GS I- Art and Culture

Why in news?

Indian Railways does not operate train services on State wise basis as Railway network straddles across State boundaries. However, for the Kumbh Mela (January – April, 2021), at Haridwar, Indian Railways has made adequate arrangements, keeping in view the concerns and suggestions of State Governments, in view of the prevailing COVID-19 situation.

About Kumbh Mela:

  • Kumbh Mela is one of the oldest and largest congregation in the world which is attended by millions of people irrespective of all caste, creed, sex and region.
  • The significance of Kumbh Mela has been enhanced at the Global level as the UNESCO has inscribed Kumbh Mela on the list of Intangible Cultural heritage for humanity in 2017.
  • The Kumbha Mela is held four times over the course of 12 years, in rotation between four Hindu pilgrimage places on four sacred rivers:
  • It is the largest public gathering and collective act of faith, anywhere in the world.
  • Crowds gather at the sacred confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the mystical Sarasvati. Primarily, this congregation includes Ascetics, Saints, Sadhus, Sadhvis, Kalpvasis, and Pilgrims from all walks of life.
The geographical location of Kumbh Mela spans over four locations in India and the Mela site keeps rotating between one of the four pilgrimage places on four sacred rivers as listed below:
  • Haridwar on the Ganges in Uttarakhand.
  • Ujjain on the Shipra in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Nashik on the Godavari in Maharashtra.
  • Prayagraj at the confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna, and the mythical Sarasvati in Uttar Pradesh.


Focus: GS II- Health

Why in news?

Ministry of Women and Child Development is celebrating Poshan Pakhwada from 16th to 31st March, 2021.

Poshan Pakhwada: 

Nodal:  Ministry of Women & Child Development

  • Poshan Pakhwada will be celebrated as part of Jan Andolan under POSHAN Abhiyaan.
  • The Poshan Pakhwada will be celebrated on lines of ‘Poshan Maah’.

Activities to be covered: 

  • The key activities which include Poshan Melas, Rally on nutrition at all level, Prabhat Pheree, Session on nutrition at schools, Self help group meetings, anaemia camps, growth monitoring of children, home visits of newborn babies by ASHA/AWW. 
  • Awareness on nutrition in urban area will also be focused. 
  • It is also planned to organise workshop on Agri-Nutrition on 15th March 2019. 
  • The Jan Andolan Guidelines which are Multi Sectorial and cover 12 basic themes will be utilised to activate various platforms at ground level. 

About Poshan Abhiyaan

Nodal:  Ministry of Women & Child Development

  • Poshan Abhiyaan, also known as the National Nutrition Mission (NNM), was launched in 2018 by the Government of India with the aim of tackling the malnutrition problem prevalent in India.
  • The term ‘POSHAN’ in the name of the programme stands for ‘Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition’.
  • POSHAN Abhiyaan is Government of India’s flagship programme to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • Launched by the Prime Minister on the occasion of the International Women’s Day on 8 March, 2018 from Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan, the POSHAN (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition) Abhiyaan directs the attention of the country towards the problem of malnutrition and address it in a mission-mode.
  • The programme has specific targets for reducing stunting, anaemia, under-nutrition and low birth weight.
  • According to ‘Mission 25 by 2020’, the National Nutrition Mission aims to achieve a reduction in stunting from 38.4% to 25% by 2022.
  • Every year the Poshan Maah is celebrated under POSHAN Abhiyaan.

Implementation of  POSHAN Abhiyaan the four point strategy/pillars of the mission

  • Inter-sectoral convergence for better service delivery
  • Use of technology (ICT) for real time growth monitoring and tracking of women and children
  • Intensified health and nutrition services for the first 1000 days
  • Jan Andolan

About POSHAN Maah

  • The activities in POSHAN Maah focussed on Social Behavioral Change and Communication (SBCC).
  • The broad themes were: antenatal care, optimal breastfeeding (early and exclusive), complementary feeding, anaemia, growth monitoring, girls’ – education, diet, right age of marriage, hygiene and sanitation, eating healthy – food fortification.
  • POSHAN Maah has given a major impetus to the Abhiyaan.

February 2024