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PIB 24th March 2021


  11. NAFED e- KiSAN


Focus: GS II- Government Policies and Interventions

Why in news?

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment aims to launch a Poshan Abhiyan for the Elderly, to provide nutrition support to the indigent elders, who are not staying in the Old Age Homes and are victims of severe malnutrition, by focusing on procuring locally available healthy food material and serving hot-cooked mid-day meals.

  •  The Gram Panchayats and Urban Municipalities are the implementing agencies of the Scheme. The funding for the Scheme is from the Senior Citizens Welfare Fund.

About Poshan Abhiyaan:

Nodal:  Ministry of Women and Child Development

  • Poshan Abhiyaan, also known as the National Nutrition Mission (NNM), was launched in 2018 (although the programme was being implemented from 2017) by the Government of India with the aim of tackling the malnutrition problem prevalent in India.
  • It is India’s flagship scheme to improve the nutritional outcomes of adolescents, children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • It aims to ensure service delivery and interventions by use of technology, behavioural change through convergence and lays-down specific targets to be achieved across different monitoring parameters.
  • The chief objective of the mission is to reduce the level of under-nutrition and also enhance the nutritional status of children in the country.
  • The mission leverages technology and convergence between various modules and departments.
  • The Abhiyaan targets to reduce stunting, undernutrition, anemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and reduce low birth weight by 2%, 2%, 3% and 2% per annum respectively.
  • The target of the mission is to bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 38.4% to 25% by 2022.
  • Under the Abhiyaan, Swasth Bharat Preraks will be deployed one in each district for coordinating with district officials and enabling fast and efficient execution of the Abhiyaan across the country. Swasth Bharat Preraks would function as catalyst for fast tracking the implementation of the Abhiyaan.

Mission Poshan 2.0

  • The supplementary nutrition programme and the Poshan Abhiyaan has been merged to launch Mission Poshan 2.0.
  • The programme will be aimed at improving and strengthening nutritional content, delivery, outreach and outcomes.


Focus: GS III- Science and Technology

About Biotech Park:

  • Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has partnered with various State Governments to establish Biotech Parks since 2003.
  • The Department of Biotechnology has established Biotechnology Parks/Incubators across the country to translate research into products and services by providing the necessary infrastructure support. 
  • These Parks offer facilities to Scientists and Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) for technology incubation, technology demonstration and pilot plant studies for accelerated commercial development of Biotechnology.
  • It also assists new enterprises to forge appropriate linkages with other stakeholders of biotechnology sector including academia and Government.
  • It has helped to translate research into products and services by providing necessary infrastructure support.
  • These parks are successfully accelerating the commercialization of new technologies, assisting new enterprises to forge appropriate linkages with other stakeholder of biotechnology sector including academia, industry and Government.
National Biotechnology Parks Scheme:
  • The Department of Biotechnology has also launched the ‘National Biotechnology Parks Scheme’.
  • The scheme aims to create an ecosystem to absorb the start-ups which have graduated from incubators and give them a platform for further scaling up their R&D activities in collaboration with the state government and industry.


Focus: GS I-Modern History

Why in news?

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) joined the India@75: Bharat ki Azadi ki Amirt Varsh celebrations with two events on 22 March 2021

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 ‘Salt March.
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.

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


Focus: GS II- Constitutional Bodies

Why in news?

Cabinet approves signing of an MoU between Union Public Service Commission, India and Independent Administrative Reforms and Civil Services Commission, Afghanistan

  • The MoU will strengthen the relationship between IARCSC and UPSC. It will facilitate sharing of experience and expertise of both the parties in the area of recruitment.

Salient Features of the MoU:

  • Exchange of experience on modern approach to public service recruitment and selection, particularly the functions of the UPSC and the IARCSC.
  • Exchange of information and expertise including books, manuals and other documents which are not of a confidential nature.
  • Sharing of expertise in the use of Information Technology (IT) in the preparation of written examinations and holding of Computer Based Recruitment Tests and Online Examinations.
  • Sharing of experience in Single Window System for expeditious scrutiny and speedy disposal of applications.
  • Sharing of experience and expertise on various processes involved in examination system.
  • Organize training sessions for officials, including short attachments to the Parties’ secretariat/headquarters on all matters concerned by the respective mandate of the parties.
  •  Sharing of experience on the modalities adopted on adult of processes and procedures followed by various Government Agencies in recruitment of posts under the delegated power.


Focus: GS II- Health

  • National Health Mission (NHM) was launched by the government of India in 2013 subsuming the National Rural Health Mission and the National Urban Health Mission. 
  • The main programmatic components include Health System Strengthening in rural and urban areas for – Reproductive-Maternal- Neonatal-Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A), and Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases. 
  • The NHM envisages achievement of universal access to equitable, affordable & quality health care services that are accountable and responsive to people’s needs.
The National Health Mission seeks to ensure the achievement of the following indicators:
  • Reduce Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) to 1/1000 live births
  • Reduce Infant Mortality rate (IMR) to 25/1000 live births
  • Reduce Total Fertility Rate (TFR) to 2.1
  • Prevention and reduction of anaemia in women aged 15–49 years
  • Prevent and reduce mortality & morbidity from communicable, non- communicable; injuries and emerging diseases
  • Reduce household out-of-pocket expenditure on total health care expenditure
  • Reduce annual incidence and mortality from Tuberculosis by half
  • Reduce the prevalence of Leprosy to <1/10000 population and incidence to zero in all districts
  • Annual Malaria Incidence to be <1/1000
  • Less than 1 per cent microfilaria prevalence in all districts
  • Kala-azar Elimination by 2015, <1 case per 10000 population in all blocks
NHM has envisaged new Initiatives in 2019-20 as:
  • Social Awareness and Actions to Neutralize Pneumonia Successfully (SAANS) initiative was launched to accelerate action to reduce deaths due to childhood pneumonia.
  • Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan (SUMAN) initiative was launched to provide assured, dignified, respectful and quality healthcare at no cost and zero tolerance for denial of services and all existing Schemes for maternal and neonatal health have been brought under one umbrella.
  • Midwifery Services Initiative aims to create a cadre of Nurse Practitioners in Midwifery who are skilled in accordance to competencies prescribed by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) and are knowledgeable and capable of providing compassionate women-centered, reproductive, maternal and newborn health care services.
  • School Health and Wellness Ambassadors Initiative has been launched under the AB-HWCs Programme in partnership with Ministry of Education to promote health and well-being through an active lifestyle amongst school children.


Focus: GS III- Agriculture

Why in news?

Ministry has approved ODOP for 707 districts of 35 States/UTs with 137 unique products

About PM-FME Scheme:

Nodal: Ministry of Food Processing Industries(MOFPI). 
  •  It is a centrally sponsored scheme.
  • Aim is to modernize and enhance the competitiveness of the existing individual micro enterprises and ensure their transition to formal sector 
  • To provide support to Farmer Producer Organizations, Self Help Groups, and Producers Cooperatives along their entire value chain. 
  • Duration: The PM-FME scheme will be implemented over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25 with an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore.  
  • Funding: The expenditure under the PM-FME scheme would be shared in 60:40 ratio between Central and State Governments, in 90:10 ratio with North Eastern and Himalayan States, 60:40 ratio with UTs with legislature and 100% by Centre for other UTs. 
  • Increase in access to finance by micro food processing units.
  • Increase in revenues of target enterprises.
  • Enhanced compliance with food quality and safety standards.
  • Strengthening capacities of support systems.
  • Transition from the unorganized sector to the formal sector.
  • Special focus on women entrepreneurs and Aspirational districts.
  • Focus on minor forest produce in Tribal Districts.
  • Scheme is for All India basis.
  • Support to Individual micro units:
    • Micro enterprises will get credit linked subsidy @ 35% of the eligible project cost with ceiling of Rs.10 lakh.
    • Beneficiary contribution will be minimum 10% and balance from loan.
    • On-site skill training & Handholding for DPR and technical upgradation.
  • Support to FPOs/SHGs/Cooperatives:
    • Seed capital will be given to SHGs (@Rs. 4 lakh per SHG) for loan to members for working capital and small tools.
    • Grant for backward/ forward linkages, common infrastructure, packaging, marketing & branding.
    • Skill training & Handholding support.
    • Credit linked capital subsidy.

 One District, One Product

One District, One Product aims to revive these traditional heritages by reviving them through modernization and publicisation.

Objectives of the scheme:
  • Preservation and development of local crafts / skills and promotion of the art.
  • Increase in the incomes and local employment (resulting in decline in migration for employment).
  • Improvement in product quality and skill development.
  • Transforming the products in an artistic way (through packaging, branding)
  • To connect the production with tourism (Live demo and sales outlet – gifts and souvenir)
  • To resolve the issues of economic difference and regional imbalance
  • To take the concept of ODOP to national and international level after successful implementation at State level.


Nodal: Ministry of Food Processing Industries

  • It is a Central Sector Scheme.
  • To supplement agriculture.
  • To create processing and preservation capacities.
  • To modernise and expand existing food processing units with a view to increasing the level of processing.
  • To add value leading to the reduction of wastage.
Seven component schemes under PMKSY:
  • Mega Food Parks.
  • Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure.
  • Infrastructure for Agro-Processing Clusters.
  • Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages.
  • Creation/Expansion of Food Processing & Preservation Capacities.
  • Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure.
  • Human Resources and Institutions.


Focus: GS I- Modern History

Why in news?

Union Education Minister inaugurates Shaheed Bhagat Singh Smarak in New Delhi.

See the source image

About Bhagat Singh:

  • Gandhi’s influence: Initially, he supported Mahatma Gandhi and the Non-Cooperation Movement. However, when Gandhi withdrew the movement in the wake of the Chauri Chaura incident, Bhagat Singh turned to revolutionary nationalism.
  • In 1924 in Kanpur, he became a member of the Hindustan Republican Association, started by Sachindranath Sanyal a year earlier.
  • In 1925, Bhagat Singh returned to Lahore and within the next year he and his colleagues started a militant youth organisation called the Naujawan Bharat Sabha.
  • In 1928, he was associated with the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) along with Sukhdev, Chandrashekhar Azad and others.
  • Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev also organized the Lahore Students Union for open, legal work among the students.
  • Revolutionary activities he was involved in:
    • Lahore Conspiracy case.
    • 1929 Central Assembly Bombing Case.
  • Bhagat Singh was arrested and charged in the Saunders murder case, along with Rajguru, Sukhdev and others. The trio was ordered to be hanged on 24 March 1931 but the sentence was carried out a day earlier at the Lahore Jail.
  • 23rd March is observed as ‘Martyrs’ Day’ or ‘Shaheed Diwas’ or ‘Sarvodaya Day’ in honour of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev.
Political ideology:

His azaadi freedom was not limited to the expelling of the British; instead he desired azaadi from poverty, azaadi from untouchability, azaadi from communal strife, and azaadi from every form of discrimination and exploitation.


Focus: GS III- Agriculture


  • NAFED e-Kisan mandis (NeKM) is electronic trading platform with physical infra-structure at each proposed location in partnership with local Farmer Producer Organisations (FPCx and Cooperatives) to be integrated with a National Level Digital Marketing Platform.
  • The mandi has both physical and virtual infrastructure and it is based on spoke & hub model.
  • The physical infra-structure will include digital platform with auctioning facility, pack-house (including sorting-grading, packing and pre-cooling facilities), warehouse and cold storages if required.
  • FPOs will get funding support through Agriculture Infra-structure Fund (AIF) and subsidies available under various Central and State Government schemes.
National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED)

Nodal:  Ministry of Agriculture and farmers welfare

  • NAFED is apex organization of marketing cooperatives for agricultural produce in India.
  • Its headquarters is located in New Delhi.
  • It was founded in October 1958 to promote trade of agricultural produce and forest resources across the nation.
  • It functions under Ministry of Agriculture.
  • NAFED is now one of the largest procurement as well as marketing agencies for agricultural products in India.  
  • In 2008, it had established, National Spot Exchange, a Commodities exchange as a joint venture of Financial Technologies (India) Ltd. (FTIL).


Focus: GS II- Health

World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is observed on 24th March every year to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic.

  • The date 24th March is chosen to commemorate the anniversary of Dr. Robert Koch’s discovery of the cause of Tuberculosis (Mycobacterium Tuberculosis) in 1882.
  • TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer.
  • Each day, over 4000 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease
  • TB is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs.
  • Transmission: TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air.
  • Symptoms: Cough with sputum and blood at times, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats.
  • Treatment: TB is a treatable and curable disease. It is treated with a standard 6 month course of 4 antimicrobial drugs that are provided with information, supervision and support to the patient by a health worker or trained volunteer.
  • Anti-TB medicines have been used for decades and strains that are resistant to 1 or more of the medicines have been documented in every country surveyed.
  • Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a form of TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to isoniazid and rifampicin, the 2 most powerful, first-line anti-TB drugs. MDR-TB is treatable and curable by using second-line drugs.
  • Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) is a more serious form of MDR-TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to the most effective second-line anti-TB drugs, often leaving patients without any further treatment options.

Prelims tidbits


Focus: Facts for Prelims


  • Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID), a central PSU under Ministry of Power has established an e-Tendering Portal-PRANIT which will lead to less paperwork and ease of operation, making the tendering process more transparent.
  • It has been certified by Standardisation, Testing and Quality Certification Directorate (STQC), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India.
  • With this, POWERGRID is now the only organization in India to have an eProcurement solution on SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), complying with all applicable requirements relating to security and transparency as stipulated by STQC.
  • POWERGRID in pursuit of digitalisation has been undertaking a number of innovative enhancements within SAP SRM framework.


Focus: GS I- Art and Culture


  • Project ‘Mausam’ is a Ministry of Culture project to be implemented by Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi as the nodal coordinating agency with support of Archeological Survey of India and National Museum as associate bodies.
  • Project ‘Mausam’ aims to understand how the knowledge and manipulation of the monsoon winds has shaped interactions across the Indian Ocean and led to the spread of shared knowledge systems, traditions, technologies and ideas along maritime routes. These exchanges were facilitated by different coastal centres and their surrounding environs.
Project Mausam functions at two levels:
  • At the macro level, it aims to re-connect and re-establish communications between countries of the Indian Ocean world, which would lead to an enhanced understanding of cultural values and concerns.
  • At the micro level, the focus is on understanding national cultures in their regional maritime milieu.

December 2023