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PIB 26th August


  1. Armed Forces Tribunal
  2. New circles of Archaeological Survey of India
  3. UMANG app through CSCs
  4. Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2021


Focus: GS-II Governance

Why in news?

  • Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) Chairperson has inaugurated hearings by video conferencing for all ten Regional Benches of the Armed Forces Tribunal.
  • The Principal Bench of Armed Forces Tribunal is the only court that has been conducting physical hearings in 2020 during lockdown – taking into account hardships and limitations faced by Armed Forces personnel, retired as well as serving, primarily due to their far-flung locations and various security related issues.

Armed Forces Tribunal

  • Armed Forces Tribunal is a military tribunal in India. It was established under the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007 – hence, it is a Statutory Body.
  • Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) is provided with the powers for the adjudication or trial of disputes and complaints with respect to commission, appointments, enrolments and conditions of service in respect of persons subject to the Army Act, 1950, The Navy Act, 1957 and the Air Force Act, 1950.
  • The AFT can further provide for appeals arising out of orders, findings or sentences of courts- martial held under the said Acts and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • Besides the Principal Bench in New Delhi, AFT has Regional Benches at Chandigarh, Lucknow, Kolkatta, Guwahati, Chennai, Kochi, Mumbai and Jaipur.
  • Each of the Regional Benches have a single bench (Except Chandigarh and Lucknow which have 3 benches each) comprising of a Judicial Member and an Administrative Member.
  • The Judicial Members are retired High Court Judges and Administrative Members are retired Members of the Armed Forces who have held rant of Major General/ equivalent or above for a period of three years or more, Judge Advocate General (JAG), who have held the appointment for at least one year are also entitled to be appointed as the Administrative Member.
  • The Tribunal will normally follow the procedure as is practiced in the High Courts of India.


Focus: GS-I Art and Culture

Why in news?

The Ministry of Culture has announced 7 new circles of Archaeological Survey of India.


  • Ministry of Culture has taken this step, in accordance with the Prime Minister’s call to facilitate and strengthen the process of preservation and registration of archaeological monuments along with registration of artefacts with self-declaration.
  • The Minister informed that new circles have been created in Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal and Gujarat.
  • Trichy, Raiganj, Rajkot, Jabalpur, Jhansi & Meerut have been announced as new circles.
  • In Archaeology, the Hampi city in Karnataka is a place of international repute hence Hampi Mini Circle has been converted into a full-fledged circle.
  • Earlier there were 29 ASI circles across the country, and with the current addition, there are now 36 circles.

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

  • The Archaeological Survey of India is an Indian government agency attached to the Ministry of Culture.
  • ASI is responsible for archaeological research and the conservation and preservation of cultural monuments in the country.
  • Maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance is the prime concern of the ASI.
  • Besides it regulates all archaeological activities in the country as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
  • It also regulates Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.
  • For the maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance the entire country is divided into 24 Circles.
  • The organization has a large work force of trained archaeologists, conservators, epigraphist, architects and scientists for conducting archaeological research projects through its Circles, Museums, Excavation Branches, Prehistory Branch, Epigraphy Branches, Science Branch, Horticulture Branch, Building Survey Project, Temple Survey Projects and Underwater Archaeology Wing.
  • The most important of the society’s achievements was the decipherment of the Brahmi script by James Prinsep in 1837. This successful decipherment inaugurated the study of Indian palaeography.


Focus: GS-III Science and Technology

Why in news?

The National e-Governance Division (NeGD), Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) has signed an MOU with CSC (Common Service Center) e-Governance Services India Limited, to facilitate delivery of UMANG services at CSCs, in an assisted mode, thereby making services on UMANG app available to citizens through the network of 3.75 lakh CSCs.


  • The CSC operators Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) will enable citizens to avail e-Governance services of 140 Departments through the UMANG App.
  • This will benefit those citizens who either do not have access to smartphones or are not comfortable accessing App based e-services on their own.
  • For the masses, this will not only enhance access to government services significantly, but also expand the gamut of services that VLEs offer citizens, thereby increasing their income and viability.
  • All these UMANG services are being enabled on CSCs without any additional cost and NeGD is making all services available to CSCs at zero cost.

Common Services Centres (CSCs)

  • Common Services Centres or CSCs, set up under the CSC Scheme of MeitY, are physical facilities for delivering Government of India e-Services to rural and remote locations where availability of computers and Internet was negligible or mostly absent.
  • They are multiple-services-single-point model for providing facilities for multiple transactions at a single geographical location.
  • CSCs are the access points for delivery of essential public utility services, social welfare schemes, healthcare, financial, education and agriculture services, apart from host of B2C services to citizens in rural and remote areas of the country.
  • It is a pan-India network catering to regional, geographic, linguistic and cultural diversity of the country, thus enabling the Government’s mandate of a socially, financially and digitally inclusive society.

Umang App

  • UMANG is a Government of India all-in-one single, unified, secure, multi-channel, multi-platform, multi-lingual, multi-service mobile app, powered by a robust back-end platform providing access to high impact services of various organization (Central and State).
  • The Prime Minister launched the UMANG App in 2017 to bring all government services on a single mobile app, with a larger goal to make the government accessible on the mobile phone of our citizens. About 660 services from 127 department & 25 states, including utility payments are live and more are in pipeline.
  • India Meteorological Department (IMD) has taken various initiatives in recent years for improvement in dissemination of weather forecast and warning services based on latest tools and technologies. To further enhance this initiative, IMD has taken the leverage of Digital India Programme to utilise “UMANG App”.
  • The app, available for both Android and iOS devices would give users access to most of the government services. It includes scholarships, women safety, health care, e-District, Passport Seva and others.


Focus: GS-II Governance

Why in news?

Ministry of Women and Child Development has invited nominations for the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar-2021 from children, individuals and institutions.

Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puruskar

  • The Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar (formerly known as the National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement) is India’s Highest Civilian Honour bestowed upon exceptional achievers under the age of 18.
  • The award was instituted by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India in 1996 to recognize children with exceptional abilities and outstanding status in various fields such as academics, arts, culture, design, innovation, research, social service, and sports.
  • The award is conferred by the President of India in the week preceding the Republic Day where the nation’s other prestigious civilian honours like the Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri are also presented. (Previously, the awards were conferred on Children’s Day).
  • The awardees also participate in the Republic Day Parade.
  • A National Selection Committee, headed by Minister, MWCD or MoS, MWCD will finalize the names of the awardees for the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar.
  • These awards are given under two categories – Bal Shakti Puraskar and Bal Kalyan Puraskar.
  • Bal Shakti Puraskar aims to give recognition to children who have achieved extraordinarily in various fields including innovation, scholastic, sports, art & culture, social service and bravery.
  • Bal Kalyan Puraskar is given as recognition to Individuals and Institutions, who have made an outstanding contribution towards service for children in the field of child development, child protection and child welfare.
March 2024