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PIB 28th January 2021

  1. Lala Lajpat Rai Ji
  2. TEJAS – A Visual Intelligence Tool
  3. National Marine Turtle Action Plan (NMTAP)
  4. 2021: Year of Indo-French alliance towards a Greener Planet
  5. Urban Local Bodies (ULB) reforms
  6. Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
  7. NCAVES India Forum 2021


Focus: GS 1;The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

Why in News?

PM Pays tributes to Lala Lajpat Rai on his Jayanti

About Lala Lajpat Rai Ji

  • Lajpat Rai was an Indian independence activist.
  • He played a pivotal role in the Indian Independence movement.
  • He was popularly known as Punjab Kesari.
  • Born in 1865 in Moga district, Punjab to a middle-class family.
  • He Was a lawyer by profession.
  • He was influenced by Swami Dayananda Saraswati and joined the Arya Samaj in Lahore.
  • He believed that the ideals of Indian-culture combined with nationalism will lead to the establishment of a secular state.
  • Along with Bipin Chandra Pal and Bal Gangadhar Tilak, he formed the Lal-Bal-Pal trio of extremist leaders.
  • He was also involved with the Hindu Mahasabha.
  • He fought against untouchability.
(28 January 1865 - 17 Novernber 1928) 
Chiefly remembered as a leader in the Indian Independence 
movement & popularly known as Punjab Kesari. 
Was part Of the Lal Bal pal trio 
With Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and 
Bipin Chandra Pal. 
Credited for foundation of Punjab 
National Bank. 
Founded the Hindu Orphan Relief : Worked tirelessly to improve 
Movement in 1897 to keep the 
education, to promote unity among 
Christian missions from securing Hindus and to reform society 
custody Of the children. 
Fought against Untouchability 
"l declare that the blows struck at me today will be the last 
nails In the coffin of British rule in India"
About Contributions of Lala Lajpat Rai Ji
  • He joined the Indian National Congress (INC) and participated in many political agitations in Punjab.
  • For his political agitation, he was deported to Burma without trial in 1907 but returned after a few months because of lack of evidence.
  • He was opposed to the partition of Bengal.
  • He founded the Home Rule League of America in 1917 in New York.
  • In the USA, he worked to get moral support for the Indian independence movement from the international community.
  • He was also elected President of the All India Trade Union Congress.
  • He supported the non-cooperation movement of Gandhi at the Nagpur session of the Congress in 1920.
  • He protested against the Rowlatt Act and the Jallianwala Bagh massacre that followed.
  • He was the editor of the Arya Gazette, which he had founded.
  • He founded the Servants of People Society in 1921.
  • He co-founded the Punjab National Bank in 1894.
  • He was elected deputy leader of the Central Legislative Assembly in 1926.
  • In 1928, he moved a resolution in the assembly refusing cooperation with the Simon Commission since the Commission had no Indian members.
  • He was leading a silent protest against the Simon Commission in Lahore when he was brutally lathi-charged by Superintendent of Police, James Scott.
  • Lala Lajpat Rai Ji died of injuries sustained a few weeks later.
  • Bhagat Singh Ji and a few other revolutionaries vowed to take revenge for Rai Ji’s death and plotted to kill Scott.
  • But he shot and killed John Saunders, an Assistant Superintendent of Police in a case of mistaken identity.


Focus: GS 2;Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

Why in News?

NICSI celebrates 25 years of its establishment. Union Minister Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad launched: TEJAS – A Visual Intelligence Tool, e-Auction India, Work from Anywhere and NIC Products Portfolio.

About TEJAS – A Visual Intelligence Tool

  • The visual intelligence tool, through the collaborative effort of NIC and NICSI (CEDA), is completely developed in-house using open source technologies and bringing together the best features comparable to market leading BI tools. 
  • The tool would be primarily used by Government Departments at various levels in the centre and state.
  • It will provide State-of-the-art and powerful data analysis for officials to design analytical reports and turn data into accurate analysis and smart visualizations.
National Informatics Centre (NIC)
  • NIC provides network backbone and e-Governance support to the Central Government, State Governments and UT Administrations.
  • NIC has been closely associated with the Government in different aspects of Governance besides establishing a Nationwide State-of-the-Art information and communication technology (ICT) Infrastructure.
  • it has also built a large number of digital solutions to support the government at various levels, making the last-mile delivery of government services to the citizens a reality.
  • It is under the aegis of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology
  • It was established in 1976 and is located in New Delhi.


Focus: GS 3;Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Why in News?

National Marine Turtle Action Plan launched. Diversity is the beauty of India, need to conserve it: Shri Prakash Javadekar

About MOEFCC’s National Marine Turtle Action Plan (NMTAP)

  • Considering the need to have a conservation paradigm for marine mega fauna and marine turtles, the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has released ‘Marine Mega Fauna Stranding Guidelines’ and ‘National Marine Turtle Action Plan’ in New Delhi .
  • The documents launched contains ways and means  to not only promote inter-sectoral action for conservation but also guide improved coordination amongst the government, civil society and all relevant stakeholders on the response to cases of stranding, entanglement, injury or mortality of marine mammals and also conservation of marine turtles.
  • These two documents highlight actions to be taken for handling stranded animals on shore, stranded or entangled animals in the sea or on a boat, management actions for improved coordination, reducing threats to marine species and their habitats, rehabilitation of degraded habitats, enhancing people’s participation, advance scientific research and exchange of information on marine mammals and marine turtles and their habitats.

About Indias Diversity to Explore the Potential from the latest Action Plan

  • India has rich marine biodiversity along a vast coastline of over 7,500 km.
  • From colorful fish, sharks, including whale sharks, turtles and big mammals like whales, dolphins and dugongs to bright corals, marine habitats not only harbor diverse species but also provide resources essential for human wellbeing.
  • Millions of people depend on these resources ranging from maritime trade and transport, food, mineral resources, cultural traditions, spiritual values and inspiration that draws tourists from around the world.
  • Despite the immense economic, ecological and cultural values of marine habitats in India, marine mega fauna species and marine turtles face a wide variety of challenges including stranding and entanglement.
  • Managing such challenging situations requires coordination, action and people’s participation which would help in the  long-term conservation of marine species and their habitats.

About Turtles

  • Turtles are reptiles of the order Chelonia or Testudines.
  • They are characterized by a special bony or cartilaginous shell developed from their ribs that acts as a shield.
  • Colloquially, the word “turtle” is generally restricted to fresh-water and sea-dwelling Testudines. 
  • It can reside inside freshwater or saltwater.
  • Tortoise are distinguished from other turtles by being land-dwelling, while many (though not all) other turtle species are at partly aquatic.
  • Turtles are cold-blooded species.
  • Cold blooded species have a higher range of body temperature and move between environments to make themselves warmer or cooler. E.g. Insects, arachnids, fish, reptiles, and amphibians.
  • They have very slow metabolism and can survive without food and water for a long time.
  • According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) most of the species of turtles and tortoises are vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered.
About Turtle Species in India
  • There are five species in Indian waters i.e. Olive Ridley, Green turtle, Loggerhead, Hawksbill, Leatherback.
  • The Olive Ridley, Leatherback and Loggerhead are listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • The Hawksbill turtle is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ and Green Turtle is listed as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • They are protected in Indian Wildlife Protection Act 1972 under Schedule I and Appendix I in CITES.
  • Turtles have been protected in India under the Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation programme.
  • An Arribada is a mass-nesting event when thousands of turtles come ashore at the same time to lay eggs on the same beach.
  • More commonly, olive ridley turtles nest in a dispersed way (individual nesters are not synchronous). In certain places, some females can use both strategies.
Significance of Turtle
  • Turtles play an important role in the river by scavenging dead organic material and diseased fish by controlling the water pollution.
  • They also help in maintaining healthy fish stocks in the water by giving them habitat over their body.
  • Turtle populations could improve seagrass ecosystem health by removing seagrass biomass and preventing sediment formation.
  • Turtles are also transporters of nutrients and energy to coastal areas.


Focus: GS 3;Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Why in News?

2021: Year of Indo-French alliance towards a Greener Planet. Indo-French partnership towards global environment protection will set an example for the rest of the world: Shri Prakash Javadekar. India can motivate many more countries in the field of sustainable development: Ms. Barbara Pompili

About 2021: Year of Indo-French Alliance Towards a Greener Planet

  • Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar and Ms Barbara Pompili, the French Minister for Ecological Transition launched the Indo-French Year of the Environment in New Delhi.
  • The basic objective is to strengthen Indo-French cooperation in sustainable development, increase the effectiveness of actions in favor of global environment protection and give them greater visibility.
  • Welcoming Ms Barbara Pompili on her maiden visit to India, Shri Prakash Javadekar emphasized on the significance of India-France alliance in working towards climate change.
  • He stated “We are the two main pillars of the International Solar Alliance launched by PM Shri Narendra Modi.
  • This revolutionary step has changed into a successful experiment.
  • This partnership towards global environment protection will set an example for the rest of the world to work more effectively and efficiently towards sustainable development.
  • “India has made significant progress towards climate change action & has already achieved 26% of reduction of emission intensity. As of 2020 the renewable capacity in India stands at 90 GW which includes 36 GW of solar energy & 38 GW of wind energy. “, informed Shri Javadekar.
  • He further added that India looks forward to strengthen the Indo-French cooperation in sustainable development, increase the effectiveness of actions in favor of the global environment protection and give them greater visibility.
  • French Minister for Ecological Transition Ms Barbara Pompili reiterated the significance of the Indo-French partnership towards climate change and environment protection and said that through this partnership, France and India look forward to setting an example for the rest of the world. “India can motivate many countries in the field of sustainable development”, said the French Minister.
  • The Indo-French Year of the Environment over the period 2021-2022 would be based on five main themes environmental protection, climate change, biodiversity conservation, sustainable urban development, and the development of renewable energies and energy efficiency.
  • It is also a platform for engaging in discussions on critical areas of collaboration relating to environment and allied areas.
  • From the French side, it will be held under the aegis of the Ministry of Ecological Transition, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs with the support of the Embassy of France in Delhi and its partners.
  • From the Indian side, it will be coordinated by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) along with the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and other concerned Ministries/Departments/Organisations.
  • A joint screening committee will also be set up to finalize the calendar of the events for the Indo-French Year of the Environment.
  • Prior to the launch, a bilateral Meeting was also held between the French delegation and their Indian counterpart at the Environment Ministry wherein both the sides  deliberated on issues relating to climate change, bio-diversity, blue economy, international solar alliance, cooperation in the field of single-use plastic etc. 


Focus: GS 2;Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

Why in News?

Rajasthan becomes the 5th State to complete Urban Local Bodies (ULB) reforms. Gets additional borrowing permission of Rs.2,731 crore. Additional borrowing permission of Rs.10,212 crore granted so far to 5 States for undertaking ULB reforms

About Urban Local Body Reforms in different states

  • Rajasthan has become the 5thState in the country to successfully undertake Urban Local Bodies (ULB) reforms stipulated by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance and has thus become eligible for additional reform linked borrowing.
  • Rajasthan has joined four other States namely, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur and Telangana, who have completed ULB reforms.
  • On completion of this set of reforms, these five States have been granted a total additional borrowing permission of Rs.10,212 crore. 
  • Reforms in ULBs and the urban utilities reforms are aimed at financial strengthening of ULBs in the States and to enable them to provide better public health and sanitation services to citizens.
  • Economically rejuvenated ULBs will also be able to create good civic infrastructure.
  • The States get permission to raise additional funds equivalent to 0.25 percent of GSDP on completion of reforms in each sector.
  • The four citizen centric areas identified for reforms are:-
    1. Implementation of One Nation One Ration Card System
    2. Ease of doing business reform
    3. Urban Local body/ utility reforms
    4. Power Sector reforms.
  • Linking mobilization of a part of additional financial resources to reforms has pushed reforms by many States in the four citizen centric areas.
  • So far 11 States have implemented the One Nation One Ration Card System, 8 States have done ease of doing business reforms, 5 States have done local body reforms and 1 State has completed power sector reforms.
  • Total reform linked additional borrowing permission issued so far to the States who have done the reforms stands at Rs.­­­65,493 crore.


Focus: GS 2;Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Why in News?

India Joins the World to Light Up Qutub Minar As a Sign of Unity to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).Landmarks across the World will be Light Up to symbolize Unity to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases

About Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD’s)

  • Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a diverse group of tropical infections which are common in low-income populations in developing regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
  • They are caused by a variety of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, protozoa and parasitic worms (helminths).
  • These diseases are contrasted with the big three infectious diseases (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria), which generally receive greater treatment and research funding.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, the effect of these diseases as a group is comparable to malaria and tuberculosis.
  • NTD co-infection can also make HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis more deadly.
  • These diseases affect more than one billion people and cost developing economies of the respective countries billions of dollars every year.
  • Populations living in poverty, without adequate sanitation and in close contact with infectious vectors and domestic animals and livestock are the worst affected.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that looks into matters regarding public health.
  • According to the WHO, some of the major NTDs can be listed as follows:-
Some Examples of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) according to WHO 
Buruli Ulcers 
Guinea Worm Disease 
Hansen's Disease (Leprosy) 
Foodborne Trematodiases 
Chagas Disease 
Scabies and other Ecto- 
Taeniasis or 
Dengue & Chikungunya 
Sleeping Sickness (Human African 
Lymphatic Filariasis 
Snakebite Envenoming 
Endemic Treponematoses (Yaws) 
Mycetoma, chromoblastomycosis and other deep mycoses 
River Blindness (Onchocerciasis)
About India & Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD)
  • According to the World Health Organization report of 2017, India was able to eliminate Leprosy in 82% of the cities and districts.
  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also mentioned that India has eradicated Infectious Trachoma along with the chronic disease Yaws from the country.
  • The most common NTDs in India are Lymphatic Filariasis, Visceral Leishmaniasis, Rabies, Leptospirosis, Dengue and Soil-Transmitted Helminthic Infections (STH).
  • NTDs are commonly seen to affect people living in poverty and hence, many people in India are afflicted by these diseases every year.
  • As per WHO data, India ranks number 1 in the number of cases for many major NTDs in the world.
  • However, there is some good news in this regard. India has made tremendous progress in controlling many such diseases.
  • While leprosy has ceased to be a public health concern in the country, mass treatment coverage has also been achieved for people susceptible to Filaria.


Focus: GS 3;Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Why in News?

NCAVES India Forum 2021

Please click on this link for detailed explanation about NCAVES

February 2024