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PIB 21st August


  1. NHAI launches ‘Harit Path’
  2. Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana
  3. Tamarind & Cotton waste to Supercapacitor Electrodes
  4. Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Scheme
  5. National Sports Awards 2020


Focus: Prelims, GS-III Industry and Infrastructure

Why in news?

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), has developed a mobile App called ‘Harit Path’ which was inaugurated by the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways.

‘Harit Path’

  • The mobile ‘Harit Path’ was developed to monitor location, growth, species details, maintenance activities, targets and achievements of each of its field units for each and every plant under all plantation projects.
  • According to an NHAI release, to commemorate 25 years of its service to the nation, it has also recently undertaken ‘Harit Bharat Sankalp’, a nation-wide plantation drive which is in line with its commitment to promote environment protection and sustainability.
  • Under this initiative, NHAI planted over 25 lakh plants along the stretches of the National Highways and nation-wide plantation drive has been actively taken up by NHAI’s regional offices to achieve the collective target of making greener national highways.
  • Highway contractors shall be accountable for proper upkeep and maintenance of the plantation and liable to replace the missing/dead plants.
  • The launch of ‘Harit Path’, mobile app will further facilitate creation of Green Highways across the country.
  • The vision is to plant 72 Lakh plants along NH stretches collectively with concessionaire, State Government agencies and private plantation agencies.


Focus: GS-II Social Justice

Why in news?

Employee’s State Insurance Company (ESIC) is implementing the Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyna Yojna under which unemployment benefit is paid to the workers covered under ESI Scheme.

Decisions taken by Employee’s State Insurance Corporation

  • The ESI Corporation has decided to extend the scheme for one more year.
  • It has been decided to relax the existing conditions and the amount of relief for workers who have lost employment during the Covid-19 pandemic period.
  • The enhanced relief under the relaxed conditions will be payable during the period of lockdown in 2020. Thereafter the scheme will be available with original eligibility condition.

Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana

  • Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana is a welfare measure being implemented by the Employee’s State Insurance (ESI) Corporation.
  • It offers cash compensation to insured persons when they are rendered unemployed.
  • The scheme provides relief to the extent of 25% of the average per day earning during the previous four contribution periods (total earning during the four-contribution period/730) to be paid up to maximum 90 days of unemployment once in lifetime of the Insured Person.


  • Employees covered under Section 2(9) of the ESI Act 1948.
  • The Insured Person (IP) should have been rendered unemployed during the period the relief is claimed.
  • The Insured Person should have been in insurable employment for a minimum period of two years.
  • The Insured Person should have contributed not less than 78 days during each of the preceding four contribution periods.

Employee’s State Insurance (ESI) Corporation

  • ESIC is a Statutory Body and Administrative Ministry is Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India.
  • Employees’ State Insurance (abbreviated as ESI) is a self-financing social security and health insurance scheme for Indian workers.
  • As it is a legal entity, the corporation can raise loans and take measures for discharging such loans with the prior sanction of the central government and it can acquire both movable and immovable property and all incomes from the property shall vest with the corporation.
  • The corporation can set up hospitals either independently or in collaboration with state government or other private entities, but most of the dispensaries and hospitals are run by concerned state governments.

Benefits under ESI Act

  1. Medical benefit
  2. Sickness benefit
  3. Maternity benefit
  4. Disablement benefit
  5. Dependants benefit
  6. Funeral expenses
  7. Rehabilitation allowance


Focus: GS-III Science and Technology

Why in news?

Scientists have developed a couple of cost-effective electrode material for making affordable supercapacitor devices, from waste biomass like tamarind seeds and industrial cotton waste.


  • Scientists have converted the waste materials into highly porous carbon fibres by activation process and then utilised the porous carbon fibres to make high-performance supercapacitor electrodes.
  • Tamarind seeds and cotton waste may soon be used to make low-cost supercapacitors for energy storage – thanks to the efforts of a group of Indian scientists who have used such waste biomass to develop materials for making cost-effective supercapacitor devices.
  • This can pave the way towards affordable electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles which bank on supercapacitors significantly for their application in braking systems and start-stop cycles.


Focus: GS-III Agriculture

Why in news?

  • Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers has said that the Department of Fertilizers, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has initiated thorough scrutiny of the cost of production / imports in the country for all fertilizers under the Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Scheme.
  • Due to this initiative of effective monitoring system by the Department, the fertilizer companies have now adopted a voluntary self-regulatory mechanism and as such the benefit of price drop in the international market of Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas – RLNG has been passed on to the farmers by the manufacturing companies.
  • RLNG is used as feedstock for production of P&K fertilizers by the manufacturing companies of Diammonium phosphate (DAP), Ammonium Sulphate and other P&K fertilizers.

Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS)

  • Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Programme for Fertilizers was initiated in the year 2010 and is administered by the Department of Fertilizers under the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers.
  • Under the scheme, a fixed amount of subsidy decided on an annual basis is provided on each grade of subsidized Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers, except for Urea, based on the nutrient content present in them.
  • In India, urea is the only controlled fertilizer and is sold at a statutory notified uniform sale price.
  • Nutrient Based Subsidy Scheme (NBS) allows the manufacturers, marketers, and importers to fix the MRP of the Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers at reasonable levels.
  • The domestic and international cost of P&K fertilisers is considered along with the country’s inventory levels and the currency exchange rate in order to decide the MRP.


  • The scheme aims at ensuring that a sufficient quantity of P&K is at the farmer’s disposal at statutory controlled prices so that agricultural growth can be sustained and balanced nutrient application to the soil can be ensured.
  • It aims at ensuring the balanced use of fertilizers, improving agricultural productivity, promoting the growth of the indigenous fertilizer industry, and also reducing the burden of subsidy.


Focus: GS-II Social Justice

Various National Sports Awards

  1. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is given for the spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years.
  2. Arjuna Award is given for consistent outstanding performance for four years.
  3. Dronacharya Award goes to the coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious international sports events.
  4. Dhyan Chand Award is for life time contribution to sports development.
  5. Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar is given to the corporate entities (both in private and public sector) and individuals who have played a visible role in the area of sports promotion and development.
  6. Overall top performing university in inter-university tournaments is given Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy.
  7. In addition to these Sports Awards, the Ministry also recognises the spirit of adventure among the people of the country by bestowing the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award.
March 2024