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PIB 9th January 2021

  1. Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support (SWADES) Initiative
  2. 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Ji
  3. Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu, etc.,


Focus: GS 2;Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Why in News?

PM Inaugurates Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention. Praises Pravasi Bhartiya Contribution to the Fight Against Corona. India is Always at the Forefront of Helping Mitigate Global Challenges: PM

About SWADES Initiative

  • The Indian Government has launched a new initiative SWADES (Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support). 
  • The scheme will conduct a skill mapping exercise of the returning citizens under the Vande Bharat Mission.
  • This is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Civil Aviation Ministry and External Affairs Ministry.
  • MSDE’s implementation arm National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is supporting the implementation of the project.
  • It aims to create a database of qualified citizens based on their skills and experience. 
  • The collected information will be shared with the companies for suitable placement opportunities in the country.
  • The returning citizens are required to fill up an online SWADES Skills Card which will help the citizens with job prospects and bridge the demand-supply gap.
  • The card will facilitate a strategic framework to provide the returning citizens with suitable employment opportunities through discussions with key stakeholders including.
  • As per the skill mapping, these citizens had been primarily employed in sectors such as oil & gas, construction, tourism & hospitality, Automotive and Aviation.
  • The data also suggests that the States which have shown highest returning labour are Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana.

About NSDC

  • National Skill Development Corporation is a not-for-profit public limited company incorporated on July 31, 2008 under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956.
  • NSDC was set up by Ministry of Finance as Public Private Partnership model.
  • The Government of India through Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) holds 49% of the share capital of NSDC, while the private sector has the balance 51% of the share capital.
  • NSDC aims to promote skill development by catalyzing creation of large, quality and for-profit vocational institutions.
  • Further, the organisation provides funding to build scalable and profitable vocational training initiatives. 
  • NSDC was set up as part of a national skill development mission to fulfil the growing need in India for skilled manpower across sectors and narrow the existing gap between the demand and supply of skills.
  • To contribute significantly to the overall target of skilling up of people in India, mainly by fostering private sector initiatives in skill development programmes and to provide funding. 
  • NSDC acts as a catalyst in skill development by providing funding to enterprises, companies and organizations that provide skill training.

About Vande Bharat Mission

  • The Indian nationals stranded overseas due to the global coronavirus lockdown are expected to return under the Vande Bharat Mission.
  • Vande Bharat Mission is the biggest evacuation exercise to bring back Indian citizens stranded abroad amidst the coronavirus-induced travel restrictions.
  • It is also considered as the largest exercise to bring back Indian citizens since the evacuation of 177,000 from the Gulf region in the early 1990s at the start of hostilities between Iraq and Kuwait during the first Gulf War.
  • Further, the Indian Navy has also launched Operation “Samudra Setu” (sea bridge) to repatriate Indian citizens from overseas.
  • India has dispatched four Naval ships as part of the first phase of Vande Bharat mission.
  • INS Jalashwa and INS Magar are being operated as part of efforts to repatriate Indian nationals from foreign shores.
Bringing Indians 
.. Ahmedab?d 
. Hyderabad 


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

Why in News?

A High Level Committee headed by the Prime Minister constituted to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

About 125th Birth Anniversary of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose

  • A High Level Committee, headed by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has been constituted to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in a befitting manner.
  • A gazette notification to this effect was issued
  • The High Level Committee will decide on the activities for a one year long commemoration, beginning 23rdJanuary 2021.
  • The Members of the Committee include distinguished citizens, historians, authors, experts, family members of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, as well as eminent persons associated with Azad Hind Fauj (INA).
  • The Committee will lend guidance to the commemoration activities in Delhi, Kolkata and other places associated with Netaji and Azad Hind Fauj, both in India as well as overseas.
Life Loses Half Its Interest 
If There Is No Struggle - If There Are No Risks 
(23 January 1897 - 18 August 1945)

Please click on this for detailed explanation about Subash Chandra Bose Ji


Focus: GS 1;Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Why in News?

Prime Minister reviews the status of COVID-19 and preparedness for COVID19 vaccination. Vaccination drive to kick off on 16th January 2021 after the forthcoming festivals including Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu, etc.,

About Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu

About Lohri

  • Lohri is a popular Punjabi winter folk festival celebrated primarily in the Punjab region.
  • The significance and legends about the Lohri festival are many and these link the festival to the Punjab region.
  • It is believed by many that the festival commemorates the passing of the winter solstice.
  • Lohri is an official restricted holiday in the state of Punjab, India, Haryana and NCT of Delhi where the festival is celebrated by Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims and Christians.

About Makar Sankranti

  • Makara Sankranti or Maghi or simply Sankranthi, is a festival day in the Hindu calendar, dedicated to the deity Surya.
  • It is observed each year in the lunar month of Magha which corresponds with the month of January as per the Gregorian calendar and is a day the people of India and Nepal celebrate their harvest.
  • It is celebrated differently across the Indian subcontinent.
  • Many people take a dip in places like Ganga Sagar Prayag and pray to the Sun God (Surya).
  • It is celebrated with pomp in southern parts of India as Sankranti in Karnataka (Pongal in Tamil Nadu), and in Punjab as Maghi.

About Pongal

  • Pongal, is also referred to as Thai Pongal, is a multi-day Harvest festival observed by the Tamil community.
  • It is observed at the start of the month Tai according to Tamil solar calendar, and this is typically about January 14.
  • Pongal is one such festival, that is celebrated to thank the Sun God and Lord Indra for helping farmers in getting better-yielding crops.
  • This harvest festival is traditionally celebrated for four continuous days.
  • First day of the festival falls on 13th January is called Bhogi.

About Magh Bihu

  • Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu is a harvest festival celebrated in Assam, North-East India, which marks the end of harvesting season in the month of Magh.(January–February).
  • A bonfire(Meji) is lit for the ceremonial conclusion and prayer to the God of Fire.
  • It is celebrated with the community feasts after the annual harvest.
  • The night before Magh Bihu is called uruka, a night of feasts.
  • The games which are popular during ‘Magh Bihu’ celebrations are pot breaking contests known as ‘Tekeli Bhonga‘, friendly wrestling and fights between people, rooster fights and buffalo fights.
  • People practice and train themselves for these games and competitions.
  • The fights, popularly called “moh juj” (bull fights) , are usually organised as part of harvest festival, Magh Bihu.
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March 2024