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PIB – 24 July 2021




Focus: GS I- Modern History

Why in News?

The Prime Minister has paid tribute to the great Lokmanya Tilak on his Jayanti.

About Bal Gangadhar Tilak:

  • Bal Gangadhar Tilak, commonly known as Lokamanya Tilak was a leader of the Indian independence movement and belonged to the extremist faction.
  • He was also called the ‘Father of Indian Unrest’.
  • Born as Keshav Gangadhar Tilak in 1856 in Ratnagiri, modern-day Maharashtra.
  • He was a devout Hindu and used Hindu scriptures to rouse people to fight oppression.
  • Stressed on the need for self-rule and believed that without self-rule or swarajya, no progress was possible.
  • Slogan: “Swaraj is my birth right and I shall have it!”
  • Emphasised the importance of a cultural and religious revival to go with the political movements.
  • Popularised the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in the Maharashtra region.
  • Propounded the celebration of Shiv Jayanti on the birth anniversary of the monarch Chhatrapati Shivaji.
Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s Political Life
  • Tilak joined the Congress in 1890.
  • He was opposed to moderate ways and views and had a more radical and aggressive stance against British rule.
  • He was part of the extremist faction of the INC and was a proponent of boycott and Swadeshi movements.
  • He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment on charges of “incitement to murder”.
  • He had written that killers of oppressors could not be blamed, quoting the Bhagavad Gita. After this, two British officials were killed by two Indians in retaliation to the ‘tyrannical’ measures taken by the government during the bubonic plague episode in Bombay.
  • Along with Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai, he was called the ‘Lal-Bal-Pal’ trio of extremist leaders.
  • He was tried for sedition several times. He spent 6 years in Mandalay prison from 1908 to 1914 for writing articles defending Prafulla Chaki and Khudiram Bose. They were revolutionaries who had killed two English women, throwing bomb into the carriage carrying the women. Chaki and Bose had mistakenly assumed that Magistrate Douglas Kingsford was in it.
  • Tilak re-joined the INC in 1916, after having split earlier.
  • He was one of the founders of the All India Home Rule League, along with Annie Besant and G S Khaparde.
  • He called for people to be proud of their heritage. He was against the blatant westernisation of society.
  • He transformed the simple Ganesh Puja performed at home into a social and public Ganesh festival.
  • He used the Ganesh Chaturthi and Shiv Jayanti (birth anniversary of Shivaji) festivals to create unity and a national spirit among the people. Unfortunately, this move alienated non-Hindus from him.

Newspapers: Weeklies Kesari (Marathi) and Mahratta (English)

Books: Gita Rhasya and Arctic Home of the Vedas.

Death: He died on 1st August 1920.


Focus: GS I- Modern History

Why in News?

On 23rd July, India paid tribute to the freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad on his birth anniversary.

About Chandra Shekhar Azad:

  • Birth:  23rd July 1906 
  • Place: Alirajpur district of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Early Life: Chandra Shekhar, then a 15-year-old student, joined a Non-Cooperation Movement in December 1921. As a result, he was arrested.
  • Death: He died at Azad Park in Allahabad on 27th February 1931.
  • On being presented before a magistrate, he gave his name as “Azad” (The Free), his father’s name as “Swatantrata” (Independence) and his residence as “Jail” .Therefore, he came to be known as Chandra Shekhar Azad.

Contribution to Freedom Movement:

Hindustan Republican Association (HRA)

  • After the suspension of the non-cooperation movement in 1922 by Gandhi, Azad joined Hindustan Republican Association (HRA).
  • HRA was a revolutionary organization of India established in 1924 in East Bengal by Sachindra Nath Sanyal, Narendra Mohan Sen and Pratul Ganguly as an offshoot of Anushilan Samiti.
  • Members: Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Sukhdev, Ram Prasad Bismil, Roshan Singh, Ashfaqulla Khan, Rajendra Lahiri.

Kakori Conspiracy

  • Most of the fund collection for revolutionary activities was done through robberies of government property. 
  • In line with the same, Kakori Train Robbery near Kakori, Lucknow was done in 1925 by HRA.
  • The plan was executed by Chandra Shekhar Azad, Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqulla Khan, Rajendra Lahiri, and Manmathnath Gupta.

Hindustan Socialist Republican Association

  • HRA was later reorganised as the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army (HSRA).
  • It was established in 1928 at Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi by Chandra Shekhar Azad, Ashfaqulla Khan, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Jogesh Chandra Chatterjee.
  • HSRA planned the shooting of J. P. Saunders, a British Policeman at Lahore in 1928 to avenge the killing of Lala Lajpat Rai.


Focus: GS II- Government policies and Interventions

Why in News?

Government of India has been implementing dedicated scheme of Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) since 2015-16 to promote chemical free organic farming in the country in cluster mode.  

About Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)

  • “Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana” is an elaborated component of Soil Health Management (SHM) of major project National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
  • Under PKVY (Not to be confused with Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana PMKVY) Organic farming is promoted through adoption of organic village by cluster approach and PGS certification.
The Scheme envisages:
  • Promotion of commercial organic production through certified organic farming.
  • Produce will be pesticide residue free and will contribute to improve the health of consumer.
  • It will raise farmer’s income and create potential market for traders.
  • It will motivate the farmers for natural resource mobilization for input production.
Parampragat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) for Organic Farming 
• Vikas a S pnsored S 
launched to organic Being implemented a basis on 
The is to promote W." Clusters Covering 2 lakh Of 3 
to 2017-18. During 2015-16, 
in 29 States and union Territory.
Implementation of the programme:
  • PKVY is being implemented by the Organic Farming cell of the Integrated Nutrient Management (Division) of the Department of Agriculture; Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW)
  • At the State level, the State Department of Agriculture and Cooperation has been implementing the scheme with the involvement of Regional Councils that are registered under the PGS- India Certification Programme
  • At the district level, the Regional Councils (RCs) within the district anchor the implementation of PKVY.


Focus: GS II- Welfare Schemes

Why in News?

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) is being implemented on actuarial/bidded premium rates however, farmers including small farmers have to pay maximum 2% for Kharif, 1.5% for Rabi food and oilseed crops and 5% for commercial/horticultural crops and the balance of actuarial/bidded premium is shared by the Central and State Government on 50 : 50 basis and in case of North Eastern States on 90 : 10 basis from Kharif 2020.

About Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)

  • The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) launched on 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an insurance service for farmers for their yields.
  • PMFBY is in line with One Nation – One Scheme theme.
  • The PMFBY will replace the existing two schemes National Agricultural Insurance Scheme as well as the Modified NAIS.
  • The Scheme shall be implemented through a multi-agency framework by selected insurance companies under the overall guidance & control of the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW), Government of India (GOI) and the concerned State in co-ordination with various other agencies.
  • Premium cost over and above the farmer share is equally subsidized by States and the Central Government of India. However, the Central Government shares 90% of the premium subsidy for North Eastern States to promote the uptake in the region.
  • To provide insurance coverage and financial support to the farmers in the event of failure of any of the notified crop as a result of natural calamities, pests & diseases.
  • To stabilise the income of farmers to ensure their continuance in farming.
  • To encourage farmers to adopt innovative and modern agricultural practices.
  • To ensure flow of credit to the agriculture sector.

Beneficiaries: All farmers growing notified crops in a notified area during the season who have insurable interest in the crop are eligible.

Coverage of Crops:
  • Oil seeds
  • Food crop
  • Annual Commercial / Annual Horticultural crops.
  • In addition, for perennial crops, pilots for coverage can be taken for those perennial horticultural crops for which standard methodology for yield estimation is available.
Risks covered under the scheme
  • Prevented Sowing/Planting/Germination Risk: Insured area is prevented from sowing/planting/germination due to deficit rainfall or adverse seasonal/weather conditions.
  • Standing Crop (Sowing to Harvesting): Comprehensive risk insurance is provided to cover yield losses due to non-preventable risks, viz. Drought, Dry spell, Flood, Inundation, widespread Pests and Disease attack, Landslides, Fire due to natural causes, Lightening, Storm, Hailstorm and Cyclone.
  • Post-Harvest Losses: Coverage is available only up to a maximum period of two weeks from harvesting, for those crops which are required to be dried in cut and spread / small bundled condition in the field after harvesting against specific perils of Hailstorm, Cyclone, Cyclonic rains and Unseasonal rains
  • Localized Calamities: Loss/damage to notified insured crops resulting from occurrence of identified localized risks of Hailstorm, Landslide, Inundation, Cloud burst and Natural fire due to lightening affecting isolated farms in the notified area.
  • Add-on coverage for crop loss due to attack by wild animals: The States may consider providing add-on coverage for crop loss due to attack by wild animals wherever the risk is perceived to be substantial and is identifiable.
  • General Exclusions: Losses arising out of war and nuclear risks, malicious damage and other preventable risks shall be excluded.
Progress made by PMFBY in the 5 years
  • Integration of land records with the PMFBY portal, Crop Insurance mobile-app for easy enrollment of farmers and usage of technology such as satellite imagery, remote-sensing technology, drones, artificial intelligence and machine learning to assess crop losses are some of the key features of the scheme.
  • The scheme makes it easier for the farmer to report crop loss within 72 hours of occurrence of any event through the Crop Insurance App, CSC Centre or the nearest agriculture officer.
  • States have also been provided flexibility to rationalize the sum insured so that adequate benefit can be availed by farmers.
  • The Scheme covers over 5.5 crore farmer applications year on year.


Focus: GS II- Government Policies and Interventions

Why in news

Ministry of Food Processing Industries, MoFPI has recently conducted third party evaluation of the Mega Food park scheme.

About Mega Food Parks scheme:

Nodal: Ministry of Food Processing Industries

  • It aims at providing a mechanism to link agricultural production to the market by bringing together farmers, processors and retailers.
  • These food parks give a major boost to the food processing sector by adding value and reducing food wastage at each stage of the supply chain with particular focus on perishables.
  • Implemented by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which is a Body Corporate registered under the Companies Act.
The Scheme has a cluster based approach based on a hub and spokes model.
  • It includes creation of infrastructure for primary processing and storage near the farm in the form of Primary Processing Centres (PPCs) and Collection Centres (CCs) and common facilities and enabling infrastructure at Central Processing Centre (CPC).


Focus: GS II- Health

Why in News?

National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2021 has been finalized and put in public domain.

What is a rare disease?

  • A rare disease, also referred to as an orphan disease, is any disease that affects a small percentage of the population.
  • Most rare diseases are genetic, and are present throughout a person’s entire life, even if symptoms do not immediately appear.
  • The commonly reported rare diseases, include:
  • Primary immunodeficiency disorders, Lysosomal storage disorders (Gaucher’s disease, Mucopolysaccharidoses, Pompe disease, fabry disease etc.) small molecule inborn errors of metabolism (Maple Syrup urine disease, organic acidemias, etc.), cystic fibrosis, osteogenesis imperfecta, certain forms of muscular dystrophies, and spinal muscular atrophy.

Provisions of the National Rare Disease Policy 2021

  • Patients of rare diseases will be eligible for a one-tome treatment under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY).
  • Financial support up to Rs20 lakh under the Umbrella Scheme of Rashtriya Arogaya Nidhi shall be provided by the central government for treatment of those rare diseases that require a one-time treatment (diseases listed under Group 1) for their treatment in Government tertiary hospitals only. – (NOT be limited to below poverty line (BPL) families, but extended to about 40% of the population as eligible under the norms of Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY))

The policy has categorised rare diseases in three groups:

  • Disorders amenable to one-time curative treatment;
  • Those requiring long term or lifelong treatment; and
  • Diseases for which definitive treatment is available but challenges are to make optimal patient selection for benefit.

The government has said that it will also assist in voluntary crowd-funding for treatment as it will be difficult to fully finance treatment of high-cost rare diseases.

Criticisms of the National Rare Disease Policy 2021
  • Though the document specifies increasing the government support for treating patients with a ‘rare disease’— from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh — caregivers say this doesn’t reflect actual costs of treatment.
  • The Policy leaves patients with Group 3 rare diseases to fend for themselves due to the absence of a sustainable funding support.
  • What the policy doesn’t capture is that these are diseases that last a lifetime adding up to a huge amount of expenditure and many of the patients who can’t afford such treatment will be unable to even make it to the prescribed tertiary hospitals for treatment.
Constitutional Provisions in the context of the new policy for rare diseases
  • Article 38 says that the state will secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of the people. Providing affordable healthcare is one of the ways to promote welfare.
  • Article 41 imposes duty on state to provide public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement etc.
  • Article 47 makes it the duty of the State to improve public health, securing of justice, human condition of works, extension of sickness, old age, disablement and maternity benefits and also contemplated.


Focus: GS II- Government policies and Interventions

Why in News?

The restructured Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan is being implemented with effect from 2018-19 across all States/UTs with the primary aim of strengthening of Panchayati Raj Institutions for achieving Sustainable Development Goals with main thrust on convergence with Mission Antyodaya and emphasis on strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions in 117 Aspirational districts.

About Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA)

Nodal : Ministry of Panchayati Raj

  • It is central government scheme that aims at making rural local bodies self-sustainable, financially stable and more efficient.
  • It seeks to address critical gaps that hinder success of Panchayats by enhancing their capacities and effectiveness, and promote devolution of powers and responsibilities.
  • Its intended objective is to train and build capacity of elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).
  • It seeks to shift the participative planning, prepared from the grassroots level upwards and strengthen panchayat level governance with more appropriate capacity building.
  • Restructured RGSA to focus on training, building infrastructure, stepping up initiatives for e-governance under e-Panchayat Mission Mode Project (MMP) to deliver Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • It will be implemented during period from April 2018 to March 2022 with outlay of Rs. 7255 crore.
  • The scheme will extend to all states/UTs of country and will also include institutions of rural local government in non-Part IX areas, where Panchayats do not exist.
  • Under the scheme funds have been released to the States/Union Territories for different activities meant for strengthening of Panchayati Raj Institutions viz Capacity Building &Training, training infrastructure and Human Resource support for training, Strengthening of Gram Sabhas in Panchayats Extension to Scheduled Areas, Distance Learning Facility via Internet Protocal based, Support for Innovations, Technical support to Panchayati Raj Institutions, Financial Data and Analysis Cell, Panchayat Buildings, e-enablement of Panchayats, Project based funding for economic development and income enhancement, Information Education Communication and Project Management Unit.  
  • Under the scheme of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan there is no provision for forming new Panchayats. Formation or reorganization of Panchayats is done by the respective States/ Union Territories as per their requirement.



Focus: Facts for prelims

Why in News?

India has scored 90.32% in United Nation’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific’s (UNESCAP) latest Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation.

  • The Survey hails this as a remarkable jump from 78.49% in 2019.

Key Facts:

After evaluation of 143 economies, the 2021 Survey has highlighted India’s significant improvement in the scores on all 5 key indicators, as follows:

  • Transparency:100% in 2021 (from 93.33% in 2019)
  • Formalities: 95.83% in 2021 (from 87.5% in 2019)
  • Institutional Arrangement and Cooperation: 88.89% in 2021 (from 66.67% in 2019)
  • Paperless Trade: 96.3% in 2021 (from 81.48% in 2019)
  • Cross-Border Paperless Trade: 66.67% in 2021 (from 55.56% in 2019)

The Survey notes that India is the best performing country when compared to South and South West Asia region (63.12%) and Asia Pacific region (65.85%). The overall score of India has also been found to be greater than many OECD countries including France, UK, Canada, Norway, Finland etc

About the Survey:
  • The Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation is conducted every two years by UNESCAP.
  • The 2021 Survey includes an assessment of 58 trade facilitation measures covered by the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement.
  • The Survey is keenly awaited globally as it evidences whether or not the trade facilitation measures being taken have the desired impact and helps draw comparison amongst countries.
  • A higher score for a country also helps businesses in their investment decisions.


Focus: Facts for prelims

Why in News?

A report on “Renewables Integration in India 2021” was jointly launched by NITI Aayog and International Energy Agency (IEA).


  • The report is based on the outcome of three states workshops held with the Governments of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat to understand the specific energy transition challenges faced by these renewable-rich states.
  • The report highlights that India’s power system can efficiently integrate renewables (175 GW by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030), but it would require identification of resources and proper planning, regulatory, policy and institutional support, energy storage and advance technology initiatives.
  • Indian states need to employ a wide range of flexibility options – such as demand response, more flexible operation of coal based power plants, storage, and grid improvements – to transition to cleaner electricity systems.
  • Larger shares of renewables can be better managed by shifting time of use in agriculture. Time of Use (ToU) tariffs will be an effective tool to incentivise demand side management and encourage flexible consumption.

June 2024