Question and Answer :: SRIRAM'S IAS

 Q. 521. Baily's beads
Baily's beads
The Baily's beads effect, or Diamond ring effect, is a feature of total and annular solar eclipses. As the moon goes by the Sun during a solar eclipse, the lunar limb topography allows beads of sunlight to shine through in some places, and not in others. The effect is caused due to the rugged lunar surface. The diamond ring effect is seen when only one bead is left, a shining diamond set in a bright ring around the lunar silhouette.

Lunar topography has considerable relief because of the presence of mountains, craters, valleys and other topographical features.  It is not safe to view Baily's beads or the diamond ring effect without proper eye protection because in both cases the photosphere is still visible.

In the path of totality at a solar eclipse can see first a gradual covering of the Sun by the lunar silhouette for over an hour, and then a set of Baily’s beads. As the Baily’s beads disappear behind the advancing lunar edge a thin reddish edge, called the chromosphere appears. Though the reddish hydrogen radiation is most visible to the unaided eye, the chromosphere also radiates thousands of additional spectral lines.
 Q. 520. Black Holes
Black Holes
A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying.
Because no light can get out, it is apparently invisible to naked eye. Space telescopes with special tools can find black holes. The special tools can see how stars that are very close to black holes act differently than other stars.

How Big Are Black Holes?
Black holes can be big or small. The smallest black holes are as small as just one atom. These black holes are very tiny but have the mass of a large mountain. Mass is the amount of matter, or "stuff," in an object. Another kind of black hole is called "stellar". Its mass can be up to 20 times more than the mass of the sun. There may be many stellar mass black holes in Earth's galaxy.
The largest black holes are called "supermassive." These black holes have masses that are more than 1 million suns together. Every large galaxy contains a supermassive black hole at its center. The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy is called Sagittarius A. It has a mass equal to about 4 million suns.

How Do Black Holes Form?
Stellar black holes are made when the center of a very big star falls in upon itself, or collapses. When this happens, it causes a supernova. A supernova is an exploding star that blasts part of the star into space. The supermassive black holes were made at the same time as the galaxy they are in.
A black hole can not be seen because strong gravity pulls all of the light into the middle of the black hole. When a black hole and a star are close together, high-energy light is made. This kind of light can not be seen with human eyes. Satellites and telescopes in space are used to see the high-energy light.
Black holes do not go around in space eating stars, moons and planets. Earth will not fall into a black hole because no black hole is close enough to the solar system for Earth to do that.
Even if a black hole the same mass as the sun were to take the place of the sun, Earth still would not fall in. The black hole would have the same gravity as the sun. Earth and the other planets would orbit the black hole as they orbit the sun now.
The sun will never turn into a black hole. The sun is not a big enough star to make a black hole.
 Q. 519. Ring of Fire
Ring of Fire
The Ring of Fire is a major area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. In a 40,000 km (25,000 mi) horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and plate movements. It has 452 volcanoes (more than 75% of the world's active and dormant volcanoes). The Ring of Fire is sometimes called the circum-Pacific belt.

About 90% of the world's earthquakes and 81%of the world's largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire. The next most seismically active region (5–6% of earthquakes and 17% of the world's largest earthquakes) is the Alpine belt, which extends from Java to the northern Atlantic Ocean via the Himalayas and southern Europe.
All but three of the world's 25 largest volcanic eruptions of the last 11,700 years occurred at volcanoes in the Ring of Fire.

The Ring of Fire is a direct result of plate tectonics: the movement and collisions of lithospheric plates. The eastern section of the ring is the result of the Nazca Plate and the Cocos Plate being subducted beneath the westward-moving South American Plate. The Cocos Plate is being subducted beneath the Caribbean Plate, in Central America. A portion of the Pacific Plate and the small Juan de Fuca Plate are being subducted beneath the North American Plate. Along the northern portion, the northwestward-moving Pacific plate is being subducted beneath the Aleutian Islands arc. Farther west, the Pacific plate is being subducted along the Kamchatka Peninsula arcs on south past Japan. The southern portion is more complex, with a number of smaller tectonic plates in collision with the Pacific plate from the Mariana Islands, the Philippines, Bougainville, Tonga, and New Zealand; this portion excludes Australia, since it lies in the center of its tectonic plate. Indonesia lies between the Ring of Fire along the northeastern islands adjacent to and including New Guinea and the Alpide belt along the south and west from Sumatra, Java, Bali, Flores, and Timor. The famous and very active San Andreas Fault zone of California is a transform fault which offsets a portion of the East Pacific Rise under southwestern United States and Mexico. The motion of the fault generates numerous small earthquakes, at multiple times a day, most of which are too small to be felt. The active Queen Charlotte Fault on the west coast of the Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, has generated three large earthquakes during the 20th century.
 Q. 518. National Register of Citizens
National Register of Citizens
  • The National Register of Citizens (NRC) contains names of Indian citizens. The NRC was prepared in 1951, after the Census of 1951. It was prepared by recording particulars of all the persons enumerated during that Census and was further kept in the offices of Deputy Commissioners and Sub Divisional Officers according to instructions issued by the Government of India in 1951.
  • The NRC is being updated in Assam to detect Bangladeshi nationals, who may have illegally entered the State after the midnight of March 24, 1971, the cut-off date. This date was originally agreed to in the 1985 Assam Accord, signed between the then Rajiv Gandhi government and the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU).
  • Assam government published the first draft of an updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) of the State. NRC is a process by which a bona fide Indian citizen can be distinguished from a foreigner.
  • Assam is the only state to have its own register of citizens. The publication of the first draft of the NRC by December 31, 2017, was ordered by the Supreme Court.
 Q. 517. Reservoir Computing System
Reservoir Computing System
Scientists have developed a new type of neural network chip that can dramatically improve the efficiency of teaching machines to think like humans. The network, called a reservoir computing system, could predict words before they are said during conversation, and help predict future outcomes based on the present. Reservoir computing systems, which improve on a typical neural network’s capacity and reduce the required training time, have been created in the past with larger optical components. It has been created using memristors, which require less space and can be integrated more easily into existing silicon-based electronics. Memristors are a special type of resistive device that can both perform logic and store data. This contrasts with typical computer systems, where processors perform logic separate from memory modules.
 Q. 516. FDI policy liberalized in key sectors
FDI policy liberalized in key sectors
Cabinet has approved amendments in FDI policy. The amendments in the policy are as follows:
  1. 100% FDI under automatic route for Single Brand Retail Trading
  2. 100% FDI under automatic route in Construction Development
  3. Foreign airlines allowed to invest up to 49% under approval route in Air India
  4. FIIs/FPIs allowed to invest in Power Exchanges through primary market
  5. Definition of ‘medical devices’ amended in the FDI Policy
These are intended to liberalise and simplify the FDI policy so as to provide ease of doing business in the country.  In turn, it will lead to larger FDI inflows contributing to growth of investment, income and employment.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is a major driver of economic growth and a source of non-debt finance for the economic development of the country. Government has put in place an investor friendly policy on FDI, under which FDI up to 100%, is permitted on the automatic route in most sectors/ activities. In the recent past, the Government has brought FDI policy reforms in a number of sectors viz. Defence, Construction Development, Insurance, Pension, Other Financial Services, Asset reconstruction Companies, Broadcasting, Civil Aviation, Pharmaceuticals, Trading etc.
 Q. 515. 'Waste to Energy' as a part of 'Swachchata Hi Sewa' campaign
“Waste to Energy” as a part of “Swachchata Hi Sewa” campaign
There is a huge amount of waste generated in the country and there there is an urgent need to convert the waste into energy. According to Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, a framework will be worked on for energy generated by Waste plants and subsequently rates will also be fixed for them. Also there is a need for change in the habits of the people to ensure effective waste collection and segregation. Citizens should be educated on effective waste management so that it would be easier for the industries to process the waste. Effective waste management will help in creating a cleaner and greener India.
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is focusing on energy generation from urban, industrial and agricultural waste/residues, municipal solid wastes, vegetable and other market wastes, slaughterhouse waste and industrial wastes and effluents. These initiativeswill not only support generation of energy from the waste but also help in reducing pollution. It will also address the issue of burning of paddy straw by producing bio-CNG. The Ministry has already supported around 180 projects mainly based on production of Bio-CNG/ Biogas for various energy applications in industries and transport sector.
Three major waste to energy projects of 52 MW, based on Municipal Solid Waste(MSW) have already been installed and running successfully in Okhla, Ghazipur and Narela-Bawana in Delhi which help in converting solid waste to electricity.
In addition, under Swachcha Bharat Mission, about 40 projects with installed capacity of 344 MW supported by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs are under various stages of commissioning.
 Q. 514. Office of Profit
Office of Profit
Context: Recently the Election Commission recommended the disqualification 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs from Delhi, citing that they held offices of profit.

What is an office of profit?
It is a position in the government which cannot be held by an MLA or an MP. The post can yield salaries, perquisites and other benefits. The origin of this term can be found in the English Act of Settlement, 1701. Under this law, "no person who has an office or place of profit under the King, or receives a pension from the Crown, shall be capable of serving as a member of the House of Commons." This was instituted so that there wouldn't be any undue influence from the royal household in administrative affairs.

What do parliamentary secretaries do?
In the Westminster system, a parliamentary secretary is a Member of Parliament who assists a Minister in their duties. Prime Ministers and Chief Ministers usually appoint parliamentary secretaries from their own parties.

Why should an MLA or an MP not hold an office of profit?
According to Articles 102(1)(a) and 191(1)(a) of the Constitution, an MP or MLA is barred from holding an office of profit as it can put them in a position to gain a financial benefit. "A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either House of Parliament, (a) if he holds any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State, other than an office declared by Parliament by law not to disqualify its holder".
Under the Representation of People Act too, holding an office of profit is grounds for disqualification.

Do other states in India have MLAs holding offices of profit?
West Bengal, Karnataka, Telangana, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab, Mizoram and Manipur have had similar incidents. In West Bengal, Telangana and Punjab, the respective High Courts called the appointments "unconstitutional" and struck down the appointments. The case regarding appointment of parliamentary secretaries is pending in the Karnataka High Court. In Rajasthan, the State passes a Bill in October 2017 to make the posts constitutional, but the validity of this law has been challenged.
 Q. 513. Smart Star-Rating for Garbage Free Cities
Smart Star-Rating for Garbage Free Cities
Ministry for Housing and Urban Affairs has launched the ‘Protocol for Star Rating of Garbage-Free Cities’ in Goa. The star-rating initiative, developed by the Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban will be rating cities on a 7-star rating system based on multiple cleanliness indicators for solid waste management, which will include Door to Door Collection, bulk generator compliance, source segregation, sweeping, scientific processing of waste, scientific land filling, plastic waste management, construction and demolition management, dump remediation & citizen grievance redressal system etc.
Cities can be rated as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 star based on their compliance with the protocol conditions specified for each of the rating. Further city should be ODF(Open Defecation Free) before it could be given rating of 3 star or above. While cities may self-declare themselves as 1-star, 2-star or 4-star, MoHUA will carry out an additional verification through an independent third party to certify cities as 3-star, 5-star or 7-star. Cities will need to get recertified themselves every year to retain their star-status.
The most significant feature of the rating protocol is that it provides stakeholders with a single metric to rate a city’s cleanliness, rather than separately evaluating multiple factors which contribute to a city’s overall cleanliness and garbage free status. The SMART rating (Single metric, Measurable, Achievable, Rigorous verification, Targeted towards outcomes) is characterized by Trust and verify model and sustainability (progressive and to be recertified every year). 
The distinctive feature of Star Rating System will be that many cities can have higher stars as compared to only one city can be “Cleanest city” under Swachh Survekshan.
 Q. 512. Base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) and Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA)
Base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) and Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA)

Base erosion and profit shifting
Base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) refers to tax planning strategies used by multinational companies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to artificially shift profits to low or no-tax locations where there is little or no economic activity. The project headed by the OECD was initiated by the G20 in 2012.
BEPS concerns strategies which aim to move profits to where they are taxed at lower rates and expenses to where they are relieved at higher rates. The result is a tendency to associate more profit with legal constructs and intangible rights and obligations, and reduce the share of profits associated with substantive operations involving the interaction of people with one another. "While these corporate tax planning strategies may be technically legal and rely on carefully planned interactions of a variety of tax rules and principles, the overall effect of this type of tax planning is to erode the corporate tax base of many countries in a manner that is not intended by domestic policy."

Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement
The DTAA, or Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement is a tax treaty signed between India and another country ( or any two/multiple countries) so that taxpayers can avoid paying double taxes on their income earned from the source country as well as the residence country. At present, India has double tax avoidance treaties with more than 80 countries around the world.
The need for DTAA arises out of the imbalance in tax collection on global income of individuals. If a person aims to do business in a foreign country, he/she may end up paying income taxes in both cases, i.e. the country where the income is earned and the country where the individual holds his/her citizenship or residence. For instance, if you are moving to a different country from India while leaving income sources such as interest from deposits in here, you will be charged interest by both India and the country of your current residence as per your consolidated global earnings. Such a scenario can have you pay twice the tax over the same income. This is where the DTAA becomes useful for taxpayers.

Benefits of DTAA:
There are lots of benefits associated with DTAA for taxpayers. The basic benefit includes not having to pay double taxes on the same income. Apart from this:
  1. Lower Withholding Tax (Tax Deduction at Source or TDS)
  2. Tax credits
  3. Exemption from taxes
The primary idea behind DTAA agreements with various countries is to minimize the opportunity for tax evasion for tax payers in either or both of the countries between which the bilateral/multilateral DTAA agreement have been signed.
 Q. 511. Social security system
Social security system
The labour ministry has proposed a comprehensive social security system to provide retirement, health, oldage, disability, unemployment and maternity benefits to 50 crore workers in the country.
The plan is to implement the scheme in three phases over 10 years, after which the government hopes to make it universal. The scheme will be implemented in four tiers with the government wholly financing the cost for people below the poverty line.
The scheme will be largely funded from the Building and Construction Worker Cess and funds allocated to other scattered schemes through the National Stabilisation Fund set up for the purpose.
Its implementation would be regulated and monitored by an overarching regulatory body called the National Social Security Council to be chaired by the prime minister with finance minister, health minister and chief ministers of all states along with workers and employers as its members. The 50 crore beneficiaries will be classified into four tiers.
The first phase of the scheme will cost Rs 18,500 crore. The first phase will see all workers getting the bare minimum, which includes health security and retirement benefits. The second phase will see unemployment benefits being added to it while in the third phase, other welfare measures can be added.
The first tier will comprise destitute and people below poverty line who cannot contribute for their security and hence the cost will be entirely borne by the government under tax-based schemes.
Workers in the unorganised sector who have some contributory power but are not self-sufficient may be covered under the subsidised schemes in the second tier.
The third tier of beneficiaries will include those who either by themselves or jointly with their employers can make adequate contribution to the schemes, so as to be self-sufficient while the fourth tier will comprise comparatively affluent people who can make their own provisions for meeting the contingencies or risks as they rise.
India's total workforce stands at around 500 million. A little over 10% of this is in the organised sector, where workers enjoy social security of some sort under EPFO and ESIC. But a major portion of the total workforce is still in the unorganised sector, where workers do not often get even the minimum wage and lack any kind of social security cover.
Workers employed in the organised sector along with the employee contribute around 25% of the basic salary towards the provident fund and another 6% for insurance, taking the total contribution to more than 30%, which manages for the medical, provident fund and pension benefits for the employee.
 Q. 510. Health Index report
Health Index report
NITI Aayog has released a comprehensive Health Index report titled, “Healthy States, Progressive India”. The report ranks states and Union territories innovatively on their year-on-year incremental change in health outcomes, as well as, their overall performance with respect to each other. The report has been developed by NITI Aayog, with technical assistance from the World Bank, and in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
The Health Index is a weighted composite Index, which for the larger States, is based on indicators in three domains: (a) Health Outcomes (70%); (b) Governance and Information (12%); and (c) Key Inputs and Processes (18%), with each domain assigned a weight based on its importance.
Among the Larger States, Kerala, Punjab, and Tamil Nadu ranked on top in terms of overall performance, while Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, and Uttar Pradesh are the top three ranking States in terms of annual incremental performance.
Among Smaller States, Mizoram ranked first followed by Manipur on overall performance, while Manipur followed by Goa were the top ranked States in terms of annual incremental performance.
Among UTs, Lakshadweep showed both the best overall performance as well as the highest annual incremental performance.
 Q. 509. National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)
National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)
The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) is a methodology adopted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, to rank institutions of higher education in India. The Framework was approved by the MHRD and launched by Minister of Human Resource Development on 29 September 2015. There are separate rankings for different types of institutions depending on their areas of operation like universities and colleges, engineering institutions, management institutions, pharmacy institutions and architecture institutions. The Framework uses several parameters for ranking purposes like resources, research, and stakeholder perception. These parameters have been grouped into five clusters and these clusters were assigned certain weightages.

Indian Institute of Science (IISC) in Bengaluru was adjudged the overall best institution in the country.

Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) has been adjudged the best engineering college and the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) the best management institution.

All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) Delhi was ranked number one institute under medical college category.

Delhi University's Miranda House was the best college and NLSIU-Bengaluru the best law school in the country.
NIRF, in its first rankings in 2016, had four categories — universities, engineering, management and pharmacy. In 2017, overall and college categories were added. In all, over 4,000 institutions have applied. Last year 3,000 institutions participated in the India Rankings 2017.The 2018 rankings include nine different categories-overall, universities, engineering, colleges, management, pharmacy, medical, architecture, and law. Out of which sections like medical, architecture and law have been introduced this year.
 Q. 508. Protection of Human Rights (Amendments) Bill, 2018
Protection of Human Rights (Amendments) Bill, 2018
Salient Features:
  • It proposes to include “National Commission for Protection of Child Rights” as deemed Member of the Commission;
  • It proposes to add a woman Member in the composition of the Commission;
  • It proposes to enlarge the scope of eligibility and scope of selection of Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission as well as the State Human Rights Commission; and
  • It proposes to incorporate a mechanism to look after the cases of human rights violation in the Union Territories.
  • It proposes to amend the term of office of Chairperson and Members of National Human Rights Commission and State Human Rights Commission to make it in consonance with the terms of Chairperson and Members of other Commissions.
Benefits: The Amendment will strengthen the Human Rights Institutions of India further for effective discharge of their mandates, roles and responsibilities. Moreover, the amended Act will be in perfect sync with the agreed global standards and benchmarks towards ensuring the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual in the country.
The amendment to the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 will make National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) more compliant with the Paris Principle concerning its autonomy, independence, pluralism and wide-ranging functions in order to effectively protect and promote human rights.
 Q. 507. ECONOMY
Badhta Bharat- Ubharata Bharat
  • Mera mobile mera bank mera batua: BHIM app (based on United Payments Interface(UPI)), to promote cashless economy brings payments to people’s phones
  • Cash incentives to promote digital payments – Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana
  • Aadhar enabled Payment system in place to promote less cash economy
  • One Nation, One Tax- One Nation-One Market
  • 4 Tax Rates- 5%, 12%, 18%, 28%
  • Reduction in overall taxes on goods, estimated to be 25-30%
  • Lead to ease of doing business and increase in tax revenue collections.
Benefits of GST
  • Decrease in Inflation due to: Reduction in Cascading effect of Taxes and Overall Reduction in Prices
  • Ease of Doing Business due to: Common National Market, Benefits to Small Taxpayers
  • Decrease in “Black” Transactions due to: Self-Regulating on line Tax System, Non-Intrusive and transparent Tax System
  • More informed consumer due to: Simplified Tax Regime, Reduction in Multiplicity of Taxes
  • Poorer States to gain due to GST being a destination based Tax: Consumer States to benefit the most, Abolition of CST
  • Make in India boost due to: Exports to be Zero Rated, Protection of Domestic Industry - IGST
  • Improved rank in Ease of Doing Business Ranking
  • Self-certification
  • Simplification of rules
  • Scrapping of about 1200 obsolete laws
  • Most of the regulatory processes put online.
  • 60% of defence Items out of the licensing process
  • Real Estate Bill passed to protect the interest of buyers and bring more transparency to the housing sector.
  • Gas pooling for power and fertilizer sectors.

Samvardhit Bharat- Samparkit Bharat
Under Digital India National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) has undertaken “Development of Technology Portal” for dissemination of information on technologies developed across the country from a single source and to bring the information of various technologies to the large number of small & medium scale entrepreneurs/industry with limited resource of information. 

  • Digital India Launched by PM on 1st July,2015
  • To create a participative, transparent and responsive government
  • A big step forward to transform the country into a digitally empowered knowledge economy.
  • Includes various schemes worth over Rs 1 lakh crore - Digital Locker, e-education, e-health, e-sign and national scholarship portal etc.
  • The program includes projects to ensure that government services are available to citizens electronically and people get benefit of the latest information and communication technology.
  • 2 lakhs 50 thousand gram panchayats to be connected with WiFi, Hotspot enabled broadband connection.
  • National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM) to make at least one person in every family digitally literate with digital literacy skills by 2020.
  • In order to take the benefits of Digital India to every corner of country, a vast network of more than 2.5 lakh Common Services Centers have been created.
  • This has developed digital entrepreneurs among poor, marginalized, Dalits and women of India.
 BHARAT NET: From High ways to I-ways and village broadband
  • Under Bharat Net program, around 7.5 lakh kms OFC would be laid to connect 2.5 lakh villages. The program implementation speed has been significantly ramped up by involving willing States to undertake its execution.
  • In order to provide last mile internet access to rural citizens, Government is in the process of rolling out community Wi-Fi services in all 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats, that would ride on the Bhrat Net infrastructure.
 Q. 505. UN Road Safety trust fund
UN Road Safety trust fund
The United Nations took a major step to address the tragedy of road accidents by launching the UN Road Safety Trust Fund to spur action that could save lives and prevent the loss of opportunity associated with road accidents. Highlighting the opportunities offered by the fund, Mohammed said there is "a chance to save the lives of millions of people around the world, and to prevent injuries, suffering and the loss of opportunity associated with road accidents.
  • The United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund aims to accelerate progress in improving global road safety by bridging the gaps in the mobilization of resources for effective action at all levels.
  • The Fund will mobilize resources from governments, intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations, the private sector, philanthropic organizations and individuals.
  • UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) will be the secretariat for the Trust Fund.
  • The Trust Fund will support efforts along the five pillars of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety, which include strengthened road safety management capacities, improved safety of road infrastructure and broader transport networks, enhanced safety of vehicles, improved behaviour of road users and improved post-crash care.
Swachch Bharat- Harit Bharat
With an aim to provide sanitation facilities to every family including toilets, solid and liquid waste system, village cleanliness and safe and adequate drinking water supply the corporation has promoted and commercialised technologies relating to low cost toilets, safe and community based drinking water system, water filters, chlorine tablets etc.
Swachh Swasth  Sarvatra is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation launched on 29 December, 2016.  Through this scheme CHCs in ODF Block supported under NHM to achieve Kayakalp certification, Gram Panchayat of Kayakalp PHC prioritized to become ODF and Training in WASH of CHC/PHC nominees. As part of it:
MOHFW will provide a grant of Rs. 10 lakhs to ensure that their Community Health Centre (CHC) achieves High Quality benchmarks of sanitation, hygiene and infection control with a minimum score of 70 under the Kayakalp assessment.
  • India’s biggest ever cleanliness drive launched by the Prime Minister on Gandhi Jayanti, 2nd October 2014 at Rajghat in New Delhi.
  • PM urges everyone to devote 100 hours every year that is two hours every week towards cleanliness.
  • Campaign aimed at the Mission Clean India by 2nd October 2019 to coincide with the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi
  • Sanitation coverage which was 42% previously has become 60%
  • Open Defecation Free (ODF) States: Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala
  • Urban Areas of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat and Sikkim declared ODF.
 Swachch Bharat Gramin
  • Over 3.6 crore household toilets constructed since the launch of the Mission
  • 1,74,557 villages, 118 districts and 3 States declared ODF
  • Incentive for individual toilet has been increased to Rs. 12,000.
  • 100 Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) of historical and cultural significance will attain the highest levels of Swachhta as per global standards. 20 of these have been selected in Phase1 and Phase 2.
 Swachch Bharat Urban
 614 cities have been so far declared Open Defecation Free after due verification
All cities of Andhra Pradesh and  Gujarat declared ODF
  • Target was fully achieved with 4.17 lakh toilets added to 2.61 lakh government elementary and secondary schools from 15.8.2014 to 15.8.2015.
  • 13.77 crore children in 11.21 lakh government schools all over the country now have access to toilet facilities
  • To improve the cleanliness levels in rural and urban areas, priority to girl toilets in schools.
  • Purpose: Construction of new toilets and repair and renovation of dysfunctional toilets in villages, towns, government schools and aanganwaadis.
  • Contribution to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in the form of Swachh Bharat Cess
  • Rural drinking water supply coverage - No. of fully covered habitations increased from 73.66% as on 1.4.14 to 77.01% (As on 28.2.17)
  • Clean Water to Arsenic and Fluoride affected 28000 habitations by 2020
  • Ambitious Ganga Rejuvenation Program ‘NamaamiGange’ launched for cleaning of Ganga.
  • The Union Cabinet approved the budget outlay of Rs 20,000 crore for Namami Gange programme in 2015.
  • Namami Gange is an integrated conservation programme with the aim to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of National River Ganga.
  • NMCG which was registered as a society in 2011 was reconstituted as an Authority on 7th October 2016. It is now empowered with regulatory powers under Environment Protection Act, 1986 and higher financial powers.
  • Under Namami Gange programme, 100% funds being provided by the central government.
UJALA (Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All)
  • Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All. LED bulb distribution under domestic efficient lighting program in Delhi launched on 5 January 2015
  • 27.25 crore LED Bulbs distributed
  • 35,400 Million units of electricity saved per year
  • Reduction in Carbon Dioxide Emission up to 28.67 MT/year
 Q. 503. Young India-Vibrant India
Young India-Vibrant India
To promote entrepreneurship among SC/ST and Women launched by PM on 5th April, 2016
To benefit at least 2.5 lakh entrepreneurs.
Loans of more than 15,000 entrepreneurs approved out of which more than 80% are women.
Rs. 500 crores have been allotted in 2016-17
18,565 women and 4,756 SC/STs have so far benefited from Stand Up India scheme.
Capital subsidy under New scheme ATUFS (Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme) in Textile Sector will create over 30 lakh jobs, especially for women

Action plan unveiled for encouraging startups.
Tax relief for three consecutive years out of a block of seven year for startups.
Start-up Fund of Rs. 10,000 Crore to be released over two Finance Commission cycles, that is, by 2025.
Startups are allowed to issue ESOPs to promoters working as employees
Start-up India, a flagship initiative of the Government of India, intended to build a strong eco-system for nurturing innovation and Start-ups in the country that will drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities.
In order to meet the objectives of the scheme, the corporation has taken following initiatives:
Nurturing Creativity and Innovation by institutionalizing Meritorious Innovation Awards
Transferred about 120 technologies to various entrepreneurs/ Start-ups, contributing significantly to Start up India
NRDC is assisting DIPP in evaluating the innovation content in the start-up applications for recognizing start-ups and recommending the eligible start-ups for tax exemption and other benefits.
Designated by DIPP as Government Facilitator for IP filings for Start-Ups
MUDRA (Finance) Pradhan Mantri MUDRA (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency) Yojana
Launched by PM on 8th April, 2015 to promote entrepreneurship spirit among the youth.
Easy, loans without guarantee under three categories – Shishu, Kishore and Tarun by the banks.
Loans more than Rs. 1.80 lakh crore disbursed to over 4 crore borrowers in 2016-17 FY as per data available till 13.04.2017
Budget allocation for 2017-18 doubled to Rs.2.44 lakh crores against Rs. 1.22 lakh crores in 2016-17
More than 70% of the loans has been availed of by women entrepreneurs
Skill building is the basic and foremost step that would eventually lead to the success of Make in India.With this concept, the Corporation has taken up various activities for the upgradation of the skill set, especially of the rural masses and North – eastern territories.
The programme aims to reduce the drudgery of people in their daily lives belonging to rural and backward areas of the country, facilitate new avenues of employment generation and income generating activities through S & T intervention.
NRDC has conducted over 100 EDP/ Skill Development programs in North Eastern States and other backward regions on coir, sericulture, dairy, pottery, sanitation and agri & food processing clusters to improve the livelihood of the rural population. More than 200 units set-up by trainees and thus creating employment for others as well.
The Corporation also conducts IPR seminars / workshops / training programs.This activity creates awareness about the protection of inventions and also helps inventors and researchers to have the first hand insight in the patent protection procedures, infringement, valuation and commercialization of patents.
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana:
Under PMKVY (2015-16)
13,000 training centers opened across India Training in 375 trades.
19.85 Lakh youth trained part of PMKVY (2015-2016)
Under PMKVY -2 (2016-20)
More than 5,700 training centres opened across India
More than 16 lakh candidates trained
Model training centres known as Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKK) are being opened in every district across India
Physical target of 20.5 lakh approved for 35 states/UT costing to INR 3000 crore till 2020
6.01 lakh training to be implemented through state/UTs by March’18
Additional target of 20 lakh allocated for enrolment and training by training providers
Women constitute approx. 50% of all enrolled candidates under PMKVY
Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion program (SANKALP) to be launched at a cost of Rs.4000 crores. SANKALP will provide market relevant training to 3.5 crore youth
Pradhan Mantri Yuva Yojana (MSDE)
In order to encourage entrepreneurship among youth the scheme was launched on 9th November 2016.
The scheme aims at creating a culture of Entrepreneurship amongst youth by motivating, educating and equipping them with basics skills of entrepreneurship.
The scheme will be launched in 2200 Institutes of Higher Learning (colleges/universities/polytechnics), 300 schools, 500 ITI’s and 50 Entrepreneurship Development Centres (EDCs).
The entrepreneurship education will be provided along with the formal education courses through Facilitated Blended Model, which is a combination of e-Learning and Class room teaching.
The course curriculum is based on experiential learning and emphasises on Learning by Doing.
E Cell is an important component of the scheme which build entrepreneurial capabilities in the students by virtue of exposing them to the real-life situations.
Hand holding of the participating institutes and students will be provided through a network of 55 Regional/Nodal Hubs spread across the country
National Young Leaders Program (NYLP)
New Scheme launched in Dec.,2014, to develop leadership qualities among the youth, with 5 following components and  is implemented through Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan.
i. Neighbourhood Youth Parliament
ii. Youth for Development Program
iii. National Young Leaders Award
iv. National Youth Advisory council
v. National Youth Development Fund.
Under Neighbourhood Youth Parliament, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan has involved 27.23 Lakhs youth and conducted 22,405 Block level Youth Parliament and 36,997 village level Youth Parliament upto September 2017.

Khelo India - Boost to Sports (Sports)
First Sports University to be opened in Manipur.
Launched as a Central Sector Scheme during the current financial year 2016-17 onwards
Target Olympics Podium scheme launched to identify and assist medal probable for 2020 Olympics
Task force for preparations for next 3 Olympic Games
 Q. 502. India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017
India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017
  • Forest and Tree Cover of the country has increased by 8,021 sq km (1 %) as compared to assessment of 2015. The very dense forest has increased by 1.36 % as compared to last assessment. This is very heartening as VDF absorbs maximum carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
  • The increasing trend of forest and tree cover is largely due to the various national policies aimed at conservation and sustainable management of our forests like Green India Mission, National Agro-Forestry policy (NAP), REDD plus policy, Joint Forest Management (JFM), National Afforestation Programme and funds under Compensatory Afforestation to States.
  • Successful agro-forestry practices, better conservation of forests, improvement of scrub areas to forest areas, increase in mangrove cover, conservation and protection activities have also led to increase in the forest and tree cover.
  • Green Highways (Plantations & Maintenance) Policy to develop 1,40,000 km long tree line with plantation along with both sides of national highways will go a long way in enhancing the forest & tree cover.
  • Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover of 77,414 sq km in the country in terms of area, followed by Arunachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. In terms of percentage of forest cover with respect to the total geographical area, Lakshadweep with (90.33%) has the highest forest cover, followed by Mizoram (86.27%) and Andaman & Nicobar Island (81.73%).
  • Top 5 states where maximum forest cover has increased are Andhra Pradesh (2,141 sq kms), Karnataka (1,101 sq kms), Kerala (1,043 sq kms), Odisha (885 sq kms) and Telangana (565 sq kms).
  • Top 5 states where forest cover has decreased are Mizoram (531 sq km), Nagaland (450 sq km), Arunachal Pradesh (190 sq km), Tripura (164 sq km) and Meghalaya (116 sq km). It is important to mention here that these states are in the North Eastern region of the country where the total forest cover is very high i.e. more than 70% in each state. The main reasons for the decrease are - shifting cultivation, other biotic pressures, rotational felling, diversion of forest lands for developmental activities, submergence of forest cover, agriculture expansion and natural disasters.
Water bodies inside forests
  • Water bodies inside forests have increased over a decade. Forests play a vital role in water conservation and improve the water regime in the area.
  • State Forest Departments besides plantation and protection also undertake steps to improve water conservation through different interventions such as building Check dams, vegetation barriers, percolation ponds, contour trenches etc. under various Central & State Government schemes
  • As per the latest assessment, water bodies inside forest cover have increased by 2,647 sq kms during the last decade.
  • Maharashtra (432 sq kms), Gujarat (428 sq kms), Madhya Pradesh (389 sq kms) are top three states showing increase in water bodies within forest areas. Overall, almost all the states have shown a positive change in water bodies.
Mangrove cover
Mangrove cover of the country has shown a positive change. As per ISFR 2017, mangrove forests have increased by 181 sq kms. Maharashtra (82 sq kms), Andhra Pradesh (37 sq kms) and Gujarat (33 sq kms) are the top three gainers in terms of mangrove cover. 7 out of the 12 mangrove states have shown an increase in mangrove cover and none of them show any negative change. Mangrove eco-systems are rich in biodiversity and provide a number of ecological services. They also play a major role in protecting coastal areas from erosion, tidal storms and tsunamis.
Striving towards achieving Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) goal
India is striving towards achieving its NDC goal of creating additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3.0 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.   As per present assessment total carbon stock in forest is estimated to be 7,082 million tonnes. There is an increase of 38 million tonnes in the carbon stock of country as compared to the last assessment.