Prelims Facts

  1. Vagir, fifth Scorpene submarine, launched

The issue in news

Scorpene submarine Vagir has been launched into Arabian Sea waters.

  • It is the fifth Scorpene conventional submarine of Project 75, i.e, the fifth of the Indian Navy’s six Kalvari-class submarines being built in India.
  • It is built by the Mazagon Docks Ltd. with technology transfer from France.
  • After harbour and sea-acceptance trials, it will be delivered to the Navy.



Scorpene submarines can undertake multifarious types of missions i.e Anti-Surface warfare, Anti- Submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying, area surveillance, etc.

The first two submarines of the Project-75 have been commissioned into the Navy, third and fourth submarines are progressing their Sea Trials.



  1. Mission Sagar – II

The issue in news

Handing over food aid to Djibouti by INS Airavat.

Main points

As part of the humanitarian mission Sagar – II, Indian Naval Ship Airavat arrived at the Port of Djibouti on 10 November.

Mission Sagar – II

  • As part of Mission Sagar – II, the Indian Government is assisting Sudan to overcome natural calamities and the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Towards the same, Indian Naval Ship Airavat is carrying a consignment of 100 tonnes of food aid for the people of Sudan.
  • Under this mission, apart from Sudan, the countries of South Sudan, Eritrea and Djibouti will also be provided assistance.
  • Mission Sagar-II is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region ‘SAGAR’ and highlights the importance accorded by India to relations with her maritime neighbours and further strengthens the existing bond.



  1. Skill India Mission

The issue in news

Skill India commences training of 3 lakh migrant workers from 116 districts identified across 6 states under Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan.

Main points

  • The initiative aims to empower migrant workers and the rural population in the post-COVID era through demand-driven skilling and orientation under the Centrally Sponsored and Centrally Managed (CSCM) component of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 2016-2020.
  • In collaboration with the concerned District Collectors/District Magistrates/Deputy Commissioners, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) is rolling out the programme across these districts for skill training within 125 days.
  • The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), under the aegis of the MSDE, is executing the training programme through existing Training Providers and Project Implementing Agencies operating under PMKVY 2016-20 or state schemes.


  1. Swarna Jayanti Fellowships

The issue in news

DST selects 2020 Swarna Jayanti Fellows.

Main points

  • 21 scientists have been selected by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) for the Swarna Jayanti fellowship 2020.
  • Scientists selected for the award will be allowed to pursue unfettered research with freedom and flexibility in terms of expenditure as approved in the research plan.
  • The Swarna Jayanti Fellowships scheme was instituted by the Govt. of India to commemorate India’s fiftieth year of independence.
  • It provides special assistance and support to a selected number of young scientists with a proven track record to enable them to pursue basic research in frontier areas of science and technology.
  • Under the scheme, the awardees are given support by the DST, which will cover all the requirements for performing the research and will include a fellowship of Rs. 25,000/- per month for five years.
  • In addition to this, DST supports the awardees by giving them a research grant of 5 lakh Rupees for 5 years. The fellowship is provided in addition to the salary they draw from their parent Institution.
  • In addition to fellowship, grants for equipment, computational facilities, consumables, contingencies, national and international travel, and other special requirements, if any, are covered based on merit.
  • The fellowships are scientist specific and not institution-specific, very selective, and have close academic monitoring.



The issue in news

Union Minister for Finance announced various measures, as part of Government of India’s stimulus to the economy, under AatmaNirbhar Bharat 3.0.


Main points

  • Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Schemefor MSMEs, businesses, MUDRA borrowers and individuals (loans for business purposes), has been extended till March 31, 2021.
  • 10 more Champion Sectors will be covered under the Production Linked Incentives Schemeto help boost competitiveness of domestic manufacturing.
  • A sum of Rs 18000 crore is being provided for PM Awaas Yojana – Urbanover and above Rs. 8000 Crore already allocated this year.
  • Support for Construction & Infrastructure – Relaxation of Earnest Deposit Money & Performance Security on Government Tenders
  • To provide ease of doing business and relief to contractors whose money otherwise remains locked up, performance security on contractshas been reduced from 5-10% to 3%.It will also extend to ongoing contracts and Public Sector Enterprises.
  • Differential between circle rate and agreement value in real estate income tax under Section 43 CA of IT Act has been increased from 10% to 20%.
  • Government will make 6,000 Crore equity investment in debt platform of National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), which will help NIIF provide a debt of 1.1 Lakh Crore for infrastructure projects by 2025.
  • Additional outlay of 10,000 Crore is being provided for PM Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojanato provide rural employment. This will help accelerate rural economy.
  • Around 3,000 Crore boost is being provided to EXIM Bank for promoting project exports under Indian Development and Economic Assistance Scheme (IDEAS Scheme).
  • R&D grant for COVID Vaccine: 900 Crore is being provided to Department of Biotechnology for Research and Development of Indian COVID Vaccine.



The issue in news

Union Minister for Finance announced a new scheme to incentivize job creation during COVID-19 recovery has been launched.


Main points

  • If EPFO-registered establishments take in new employees without EPFO registration or those who lost jobs earlier, the Yojana will benefit these employees.
  • Beneficiaries / New Employees under the scheme would be:
    • any new employee joining employment in EPFO registered establishments on monthly wages less than Rs.15,000
    • EPF members drawing monthly wage of less than Rs.15,000 who made exit from employment during COVID Pandemic from 01.03.2020 to 30.09.2020 and is employed on or after 01.10.2020.
  • Central Govt. will provide subsidy for two years in respect of new eligible employees engaged on or after 01.10.2020 at following scale:
    • Establishments employing up to 1000 employees: Employee’s contributions (12% of Wages) & Employer’s contributions (12% of wages) totalling 24% of wages
    • Establishments employing more than 1000 employees: Only Employee’s EPF contributions (12% of EPF wages)
  • The scheme will be effective from October 1, 2020 and operational till 30th June 2021. Certain other eligibility criteria would have to be met, and Central Government will provide subsidy for two years in respect of new eligible employees.


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