GS Paper 1 - Art and Culture
Dada Saheb Phalke Awards
Why in News?
Actor Rajnikanth got Dadasaheb Phalke Award for Tamil Film Industry
- The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is India's highest award in cinema.
- It was presented first in 1969 and was introduced by the Government of India to commemorate
Dadasaheb Phalke's contribution to Indian cinema.
- Phalke (1870–1944), is often regarded as "the father of Indian cinema", was an Indian filmmaker who directed India's first full-length feature film, Raja Harishchandra (1913).
- It is presented annually at the National Film Awards ceremony by the Directorate of Film Festivals, an organisation set up by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
- The recipient is honoured for their "outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema" and is selected by a committee consisting of eminent personalities from the Indian film industry.
- The award comprises a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) medallion, a shawl, and a cash prize of ₹1,000,000 (US$14,000).
- As of 2019, there have been 51 awardees.
- The first recipient and also the first female recipient of the award was actress Devika Rani, who was honoured at the 17th National Film Awards.
- The most recent recipient of the award is actor Amitabh Bacchan who was honoured at the 66th National Film Awards ceremony 2018.
- Actor Prithviraj Kapoor (1971) and actor Vinod Khanna (2017) are the only posthumous recipients.
- Bommireddy Narasimha Reddy (1974) and Bommireddy Nagi Reddy (1986); Raj Kapoor (1987) and Shashi Kapoor (2014); Lata Mangeshkar (1989) and Asha Bhosle (2000) along with Baldev Raj Chopra (1998) and Yash Chopra (2001) are the siblings who have won the award.
Sources: PIB, Wikipedia
GS Paper 1- Society, Labour
The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions (OSH&WC) Code, 2020
Why in News?
Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020 (OSHWC) was introduced in Lok Sabha by Minister of State for Labour and Employment. It was re-introduced with new changes leading to withdrawal of Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2019. The Code subsumes 633 provisions of 13 major labour laws into one single code with 143 provisions.
- The details of existing rules and regulations including reasons for review are given as under:
|Name of the Rules and Regulations
|Year of framing of Rules and Regulations
|Total No of Standard in form of Rules and Regulations
|Reasons for review
|1||The Factories Rules framed under The Factories Act, 1948
|The existing standards in form of rules and regulations pertaining to factories, docks and construction works have not been reviewed since their last notification in 1950, 1990 and 1998 respectively and hence there is a pressing need to update them to meet the current requirements due to technological progress and system improvements.
|2||Dock Workers (Safety, Health Welfare) Regulations 1990||1990
|To incorporate the advancements and progress made in the field of OSH&WC.
|3||The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Central Rules, 1998
| To meet global standards in OSH&WC.
- The limit of female workers for the purpose of creating creche facility for the children below 6 years of age, would increase to 50 female workers from 30 currently.
- As per The Factories Act if any establishment has 500 or more workers than occupier should appoint welfare officers but post implementation of this Code, limit shall be reduced to 250 employees.
- The establishment employing 100 workers will be responsible to provide canteen facility, reduction from current limit of 250.
- Provisions have been made for the employment of female employees for working beyond 7 pm till 6 am with their consent and conditions relating to safety, holiday, working hours.
- Workers cannot be required to work for more than 6 days / week and will be entitled to one day off for every 20 days of work & one day off every week.
- Workers employed in Transport, Sales Promotion and Journalism have special work hour and leave requirements specified.
- Employer in construction business cannot hire workers with defective vision, deafness, or a tendency for giddiness, if there’s risk of accident.
- Elaborative provisions related to inter-state migrant workers, employers of plantations and liabilities of contractors has been inserted in considering it gives leverage to either sides.
- Considering Covid-19, the Central Government has reserved his power to make regulation for general safety and health of persons in the event of declaration of an epidemic, pandemic or disaster. This has not be effected by any other law for the time being in force.
- The Code has made maximum registration process to be initiated electronically and hence a minimum of physical contact exists.
- Key definitions like Wages, Banking Company & Core Activity of an Establishment has been inserted.
- Contrary to earlier provisions women workers are entitled to be employed in all establishments for all type of work including hazardous process subject to the conditions that the government may require the employer to provide adequate safeguards prior to their employment in hazardous or dangerous operations.
- Considering the recent spurt in fire accidents at workplaces, for instance in Neyveli Lignite Corporation in May and July 2020, causing pain and agony the workers and their families as well as huge losses to the national economy, a separate committee on fire safety standards has been formed so as to have a comprehensive and holistic approach for fire safety provisions presently provided under the above mentioned Rules and Regulations as well as to align the same with National Building Code, 2016.
- This process will pave the way for establishing uniform and updated standards of safety and health of workers throughout the country by regulatory compliances with pro-active participation of the stakeholders, and will result in conducive environment for enhancing the efficiency of workers in the establishments and will provide win-win environment to all stakeholders & productivity will increase multifold.
National Building Code of India
- It covers the detailed guidelines for construction, maintenance and fire safety of structures and and is published by Bureau of Indian Standards and it is recommendatory document.
- Guidelines were issued to the States to incorporate the recommendations of this Code into their local building making the recommendations of it as mandatory requirement.
- Advisories were also heated on 18th April, 2017 to all the State Governments to incorporate and implement latest National Building Code of India 2016 Part – IV “Fire & Life Safety” in their building bye-laws.
Sources: PIB, https://www.lawrbit.com/, https://dgfscdhg.gov.in/
GS Paper 2 - Governance
GS Paper 4 - Good Governance
4Cs of Good governance
Why in News?
The Vice President emphasized the need for people to elect their representatives on the basis of 4Cs.
What are 4Cs?
Character, Conduct, Calibre and Capacity are the 4Cs. 4Cs are essential for providing good governance as Citizen-centric governance will come from governance-centric electorate.
- As happiness comes with good governance, it is essential to fulfil the aspirations of the people and for ensuring this, various schemes are being implemented by GOI effectively.
- Elected governments are the holders of public trust, so elected governments must act responsibly and serve the people conscientiously.
- Therefore, the government’s efforts are needed to be streamlined so as to make the ease of living better for all citizens.
- By implementing 4Cs and electing the representatives on that basis, the voters will force the political parties to field the candidates who have a moral set of conduct and are willing to serve the nation by utilising their powers and privileges effectively.
Source : PIB
GS Paper 3 - Infrastructure - Road Transport Infrastructure
Why in News?
- E-Way Bill System under GST regime has achieved a generation of 7.12 Crores E-way Bills in the month of March 2021. This is the highest number of e-way bills generated in any month during last three years’ journey of E-Way Bill system.
- Similarly, on 24th March 2021, 27.86 Lakh E-Way Bills have been generated which is the highest in a day in last three years.
- A total of 180.34 Crores of e-Way Bills have been generated in last 3 years.
What is E-way Bill?
- E-Way Bill system was launched by National Informatics Centre (NIC) as per the directions of the GST Council on 1st April 2018.
- E-Way Bill needs to be generated for the movement of goods from one place to another, having value more than Rs 50,000/-.
- This has replaced the need of e-way bill of multiple states with one e-way bill.
- E-way Bill system provided number of reports to the government departments to facilitate monitoring of the movement of essential commodities and medical supplies in different parts of the country, during lockdown necessitated by COVID-19 pandemic.
- The system has been enhanced regularly to improve the user experience and friendliness.
- Major enhancements carried out are validations of the vehicle number with VAHAN system and auto calculation of the distance between source and destination pin-codes for movement of goods.
- Analytical reports like trend analysis, supply chain, risk analysis, data analysis etc. based on e-way bill system are developed for the GST officers and facilitated detection of number of tax evasions.
- Recently, the Fastag data has been integrated with the e-way bill system.
- On a daily average, 24 Lakh Fastag transactions from 826 toll plazas, related to commercial vehicles are exchanged between NPCI/NHA and NIC systems.
- E-way Bill has helped in reducing the transport time in movement of the goods.
- It has facilitated removal of the static check posts at the state borders and improved the tax compliance and collection of tax.
- The reports of the e-way bill system are helping the officers to enhance the tax collection and thereby checking the tax evasion.
- By using the new analytical reports, the GST officers will be at ease in tracking the movement of e-waybills.
Sources: PIB, https://www.godigit.com/
What is FASTag?
- FASTag is a Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID) introduced by the Government of India in October 2017 by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway.
- This measure was taken keeping in scrutiny several inconveniences for both individual drivers and the nation at large.
- Approximately Rs. 12000 crores is leaked annually in India at toll booth plazas.
- Two of the primary components of such loss are on account of fuel wastage and exhaustion of human resources at toll plazas.
- While the monetary loss is a primary concern, another repercussion is air pollution.
- India is one of the worst countries in terms of air pollution with more than 14 cities exhibiting considerably high levels of air pollution which includes the national capital, Delhi.
- Toll plaza, in that regard, is a primary contributor to the surge in air pollution levels in India.
- Hence, one of the agendas of implementing FASTag in India was to curtail such levels.
How does FASTag Work?
- FASTag works in a similar fashion to other radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies.
- There is a RFID enabled sticker that is fixed to a vehicle’s windshield, and a reader at the toll booth can scan this card and wirelessly and automatically processes the payment.
- When one passes a FASTag-enabled toll plaza, they won’t have to stop their car to make a cash payment for the toll fee.
- Instead, one can just keep driving and the fee will be paid automatically.
- Basically, the readers can scan the FASTag card while it is in motion by emitting a signal to the FASTag card to request the toll fee payment, and the payment immediately gets deducted.
- But, it is essential that a FASTag card is linked with a digital wallet or savings account to ensure that toll fee payment goes through.
- The tags were made mandatory in all new cars sold after December 1, 2017 and for all vehicles from 2021 as a way to both encourage digital payments and free up congestion at toll booths.
- According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, over 34 lakh FASTags were issued in 2018, and more than 11.5 million FASTag cards were issued as of 31st December 2019.
Is Getting a FASTag Card Mandatory?
- The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has decided to make the use of FASTags mandatory from January 1, 2021 for all four-wheelers.
- Since December, 2019, all lanes of national highways toll plazas were declared as “FASTag lanes” and Highways Minister has announced that all vehicles must have FASTags or face certain penalties.
What Will Happen if one do not get a FASTag Card for theirVehicle?
- If vehicle either doesn’t have a FASTag or card does not have sufficient balance then one will have to pay double the toll fee in cash to go trough.
- Additionally, from April 1, 2021 all vehicles must have a valid FASTag if owners want to get it covered by a new third-party motor insurance policy.
- As per the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), the regulatory body supervising the distribution of FASTag cards and set up of FASTag compliant toll booths, there are more than 540 toll plazas in India which have the necessary technology for scanning such cards.
- Hence, it becomes crucial to avail a FASTag card at the earliest to avoid paying a whole lot more when going on long journeys.
GS Paper 3 - Environment & Ecology
Why in News?
Indian Industry Sector also celebrated ‘Swachhata Pakhwada’ from 16th-31st March, 2021
- Steel Safety Day was observed on 28th March, 2021.
Why Steel Industry is an important contributor in Solid Waste management
- Steel industry in general, produces large amounts of solid wastes while processing materials through its various processes. These solid wastes have many valuable products, which can be reused if recovered economically.
- One of the major concerns of world steel industry is the disposal of wastes generated at various stages of processing.
- Because of natural drive to be cost-effective, there is a growing trend of adopting such waste recovery technologies which convert wastes into wealth, thereby treating wastes as by-products.
- This has led to aiming at development of zero-waste technologies. The technologies developed to economically convert wastes of steel plants into wealth also provide new business opportunities for prospective entrepreneurs.
- The disposal of solid waste generated from the steel industry processes is the major concern. Therefore, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle (3 Rs) philosophy and efficient waste management is need to be adopted by the steel industry.
- The ultimate goal of the management from this Swachchta Pakhwada must be the zero solid waste from the plant which will aid in sustained development of the steel plant.
Major solid wastes/co products/byproducts in various production processes of steel industry:
SOLID WASTES/CO PRODUCTS/BYPRODUCTS
|Coke making||Coal dust, coke dust, tar sludge and acid sludge|
|Sinter making||Dusts and sludges|
|Blast furnace iron making||Dusts, burden screenings at the stock house, cast house runner jam, cast house muck, blast furnace slag, flue dust, GCP dust or sludge, refractory waste, and hot metal (HM) ladle skull.|
|Iron making by direct reduction||Arc char (in case of plants using coal based technology), dusts (both coal and iron), under sized DRI (direct reduced iron) and DRI rejects.|
|Pig casting||Plate jam, runner jam and lime sludge|
|Basic oxygen steel making||Converter slag, scrap, waste refractories, converter muck, and gas cleaning plant (GCP) sludge.|
|Electric steel making||GCP dust, slag, scrap and waste refractories|
|Continuous casting||Continuous casting scale, refractory waste, scrap, slag and muck.|
|Rolling mills||Mill scale, refractory waste from reheating furnace, and scrap.|
|Lime calcining||Limestone and dolomite screenings, lime dust and lime fines.|
|Thermal power plant||Fly ash and bottom ash.|
- With the efforts of all ministries and departments, people’s participation is mobilized and the mission is truly becoming a citizen’s movement.
- PSUs under Steel ministry aims at successfully removing and reducing slag, iron ore fines and recycling of gaseous waste in power generation with the help of Swachhata Action Plan.
- Swachchta Pakhwada will help officials, management and employees not only in maintaining their surroundings clean by creating awareness and zeal in the participants but will also help engineers to focus on waste management of solid wastes which is the need of an hour.
- The activities involved are committed to make personnel think about generation, prevention, characterization, monitoring, treatment, handling, reusing the solid wastes.
- This can make management demonstrate its commitment by training the employees in waste management techniques by encouraging employee’s suggestions, providing resources for the 3 Rs activities, and measuring and monitoring the waste generation and waste recycling.
GS Paper 3 - Science & Tech
Why in News?
Research in modifying tiny dots for fabricating optical materials useful for optical sensors, light-emitting purposes, energy conversion & composites
- Researcher used the chemical reactions to modify the surface of the nanoscale crystals called quantum dots (QDs) for fabricating optical materials.
- With the INSPIRE faculty fellowship, researcher aims the fabrication of QD-based optical materials for advanced energy and sensing applications that can be used for household lighting, alternative fuel production, better human health monitoring and for clean and sustainable environment.
- QD fabricated optical material can have sustainable applications in optical sensors, light-emitting usages, composites and fluorescent biological labels.
- Chemically modifying the surface of QDs can be an innovative pathway to alter their optical features and making newer optical materials, which are useful for fabricating white light-emitting (WLE) materials, ratio metric sensors for detecting disease responsive molecules or environmental pollutants, photocatalysts (for H2 production) and imaging of cancerous cells.
- Chemically modified QDs could be used for ratio metric tracing of in vitro pH, detection of amino acid and vitamin B12, developing advanced WLE materials that can emit day-bright light, capability to image cancerous cells and packaging of enzymes to enhance their activity.
- Such a research is highly beneficial in the field of biology, optics and environment which will highly motivate other researchers to involve themselves for the further enhancement of this technology.
GS Paper 3 - Indian Economic Development - MSME
Credit Guarantee Scheme for Subordinate Debt (CGSSD)
Why in news?
In order to keep the avenues of assistance to stressed MSME Units open, the Government has decided to extend CGSSD scheme for six months from 31.03.2021 to 30.09.2021.
- Government of India announced creation of ‘Distressed Assets Fund- - Subordinate Debt for Stressed MSMEs’ on 13th May, 2020, under the AtmaNirbhar Bharat Package.
- Accordingly, a scheme viz. ‘Credit Guarantee Scheme for Subordinate Debt was approved by the Government on 1st June, 2020 and the scheme was launched on 24th June, 2020 to provide credit facility through lending institutions to the promoters of stressed MSMEs.
- This scheme was to remain in operation till 31.03.2021.
Credit Guarantee Scheme for Subordinate Debt (CGSSD)
- Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), Government of India launched Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) so as to strengthen credit delivery system and facilitate flow of credit to the MSE sector.
- To support the first generation entrepreneurs for setting up a unit of their own Micro and Small Enterprise (MSE) this scheme provides availability of bank credit without the hassles of collaterals / third party guarantees.
- CGTMSE has introduced a new "Hybrid Security" product allowing guarantee cover for the portion of credit facility not covered by collateral security.
- Any collateral / third party guarantee free credit facility (both fund as well as non fund based) extended by eligible institutions, to new as well as existing Micro and Small Enterprise, including Service Enterprises, with a maximum credit cap of 200 lakh (Rupees Two Hundred lakh only) and NBFCs and Small Finance banks are eligible to be covered.
- The guarantee cover available under the scheme is to the extent of 50%/ 75% / 80% & 85% of the sanctioned amount of the credit facility.
- This scheme will help in rejuvenating the economic activity in the country which was suppressed due to COVID-19 outbreak.
- Not only the livelihoods and employment of the millions of people will be secured but 2 lakh MSMEs will be supported which contribute to approximately 8% of India's GDP, employs over 60 million people, has an enormous share of 40% in the exports market and 45% in the manufacturing sector which perhaps can motivate more entrepreneurs in the manufacturing sector to realise the paradigm shift of India in converting from service provider to manufacturer.
Key News for Pre
1. Exercise Shantir Ogroshena-2021
It is a Multinational Military Exercise will be held at Bangladesh to commemorate the birth centenary of Bangladesh ‘Father of the Nation’ Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and mark glorious 50 years of liberation.
- Indian Army Royal Bhutan Army, Sri Lankan Army and Bangladesh Army
- Military observers from USA, UK, Turkey, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Singapore will also be in attendance throughout the exercise.