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PIB – 22 DECEMBER 2021




Focus: GS Paper – 3, Technology Missions, Government Policies & Interventions

Why in news?

As a result of the initiatives taken by the Government, there has been a growth of 88% in volume of digital transactions during the last 3 years since 2018-19.

Key points:

  • Digital payment is one of the priorities of the Government to facilitate hassle free and seamless banking transactions in the country
  • As per the data sourced from National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), UPI has emerged as the country’s favourite digital payment choice, with over 22 billion transactions registered during FY 2020-21, showing 4 times growth over the last 3 years.
  • Also, AePS inter-bank transactions during FY 2020-21 registered a 9-fold growth, over the past 4 years.

Government Initiatives:

  • Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY): To promote digital transaction in the country, the Minister stated that RuPay debit cards are issued to Jan-Dhan account holders under PMJDY.
  • BHIM app: It is an app to enable digital payments. BHIM app was used to facilitate 913 million transactions in 2017-18.
  • Digital India campaign: It aims to make government services available to citizens electronically by online infrastructure improvement and also by enhancing internet connectivity. It also aims to empower the country digitally in the domain of technology. 
  • Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan: It aims  to make citizen digitally literate.
  • Digilockers: It is a “digital locker” service operated by the Government of India that enables Indian citizens to store certain official documents on the cloud. 
  • DIKSHA (Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing): It is the ‘one nation; one digital platform’ for school education in India.
  • Other Initiatives like e-Pathshala, Swayam Prabha, PM eVidya etc


Focus: GS Paper – 3: Food Security

Why in news?

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) rolled out their first AgriTech Challenge cohort for its ambitious innovative Agri-tech program under South-South Innovation platform

Key points:

  • The Agritech Challenge is an inaugural initiative of the South-South Platform created to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and solutions between the two regions. 
  • It aims to help smallholder farmers across Asia and Africa to address their challenges in the aftermath of the pandemic. The event was held on 21st December, 2021.
  • It focuses on improving the financial health of smallholder farmers and will work towards helping the participants build and test their solution in the new market
  • This platform will bring together the emerging agricultural markets of India, Indonesia, Malawi, Malaysia, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia.


  • India has more than 50% of the population is dependent on agriculture and it contributes to about 15-18% of the GDP.
  • As agriculture is a sector that emotionally appeals the masses, Indian agencies are prompted to undertake policy measures to stimulate industry landscape.
  • The Cohort represents a diverse range of solutions across the value chain of the smallholder farmer, including soil analysis, farm management & intelligence, dairy ecosystem, carbon credits, solar-based cold storage, digital marketplace, fintech, livestock insurance, among others.
  • For its first platform AgriTech Challenge Cohort and Agri-Fintech innovators, applications were invited to facilitate their expansion to the international markets through two tracks- Main track and AIM track.
  • The selected participants of the challenge will get the opportunity to expand their innovative solutions internationally through direct industry linkages, target market and sector understanding, investor connections and financial grants. 
  • This will ensure the financial health of the farmers with aid provided by the UNCDF  and will ensure an Asia-Africa engagement to achieve the SDGs


Focus: GS II, Social Justice

Why in news?

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated a scheme “SMILE – Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise”, which includes sub scheme -‘Comprehensive Rehabilitation for Welfare of Transgender Persons’.

Key points:

  • The focus of the sub-scheme is on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities and intervention, counseling, education, skill development, economic linkages to the transgender persons.
  • Ministry has initiated 12 pilot shelter homes-Garima Greh: Shelter Home for Transgender Persons and provided financial assistance to community based organizations (CBOs) for setting up of these shelter homes.
    • These pilot shelter homes are in States of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Odisha. 
  • PM-DAKSH: Provides Skill Development training to the Transgender beneficiaries

Constitutional safeguards:

  • Article 14. The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.
  • Article 15. The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, and place of birth or any of them
  • Article 19: Right to freedom of speech and expression
  • Article 21. No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.
  • Article 23:Traffic in human beings and beggar and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law

Other Government Initiatives:

  • National Portal for Transgender Persons: It would help Transgenders in digitally applying for a certificate and identity card from anywhere in the country, thus preventing any physical interaction with officials.
  • Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020: The rules seek to recognise the identity of Transgenders and prohibit discrimination in the fields of education, employment, healthcare, holding or disposing of property, holding public or private office and access to and use of public services and benefits.
  • National Council for Transgender Persons: It advices the central government on the formulation of policies, programmes, legislation and projects with respect to transgender persons along with monitoring and evaluating the impact of policies and programmes.
May 2024