1. Micro-irrigation Fund under PMKSY

The issue in news

Release of interest sub-vented loan from Micro-Irrigation Fund (MIF).


Micro Irrigation Fund with a corpus of Rs. 5000 crore created with NABARD was operationalised in 2019-20.

  • The objective of the Fund is to facilitate the states in availing an interest sub-vented loan for expanding coverage of micro-irrigation by taking up special and innovative projects and also for incentivising micro-irrigation beyond the provisions available under PMKSY-Per Drop More Crop to encourage farmers to install micro-irrigation systems.


Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)


Objectives of PMKSY

The real goal of the PMKSY is to accomplish the merging of investments in the irrigation sector at the field level. Other objectives include:

  1. Increasing accessibility of irrigation facilities and expansion of cultivable range under guaranteed irrigation areas (Har Khet ko Pani)
  2. Enhancing On-Farm water use efficiency to lessen wastage of water
  3. Integrating the source, distribution and the efficiency of water through appropriate technologies
  4. Enhancing and promoting the implementation of precision- irrigation and other water-saving technologies (More crop per drop)
  5. Enhancing refilling of aquifers and present supportable water protection rehearses by investigating the attainability of reusing treated city-based water for peri-urban farming
  6. Ensuring integrated development of rainfed areas by different methods like:
    • Regeneration of Groundwater
    • Watershed approach for conserving water and soil
    • Arresting runoff
    • Providing livelihood and other NRM Activities (natural resource management)
  1. Promoting extension activities for farmers and field workers like:
    • Water Harvesting
    • Water Management
    • Crop alignment
  2. Drawing in more noteworthy private investment in precision irrigation system framework. This will

Components of PMKSY

The major components of PMKSY are:

Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Program (AIBP):

  • To concentrate on speedier fulfilment of continuous Major and Medium Irrigation including National Projects.

Har Khet Ko Pani (HKKP):

  • Creation of new water sources through minor water system (both surface and groundwater)
  • Repair, reclamation, and redesign of conventional water bodies
  • Charge range advancement
  • Fortifying and production of dispersion organized from sources to the ranch and
  • Creating and rejuvenating traditional water storage systems like Jal Mandir (Gujarat); Khatri, Kuhl (H.P.); Zabo (Nagaland); Eri, Ooranis (T.N.); Dongs (Assam); KatasBandhas (Odisha and M.P.), etc. at feasible locations.

Per Drop More Crop (PDMC):

  • Improving the efficiency of water usage by various initiatives like precision water application devices, construction of micro-irrigation structures to supplement source creation activities including tube wells and dug wells, etc

Watershed Development (WD):

  • Ridge territory treatment, seepage line treatment, soil and dampness protection, water reaping and other watershed intercessions.



  1. Ethanol Blended Programme


In the normal sugar season, about 320 LMT of sugar is produced against a domestic consumption of 260 LMT.

This 60 LMT of surplus sugar which remains unsold, blocks funds of sugar mills to the tune of about Rs. 19,000 crore every year thereby affecting liquidity positions of sugar mills resulting in accumulation of cane price arrears of farmers.

  • To deal with surplus stocks of sugar, sugar mills are being encouraged by the Government to export sugar, for which the Government has been extending financial assistance.
  • However, India being a developing country, can export sugar by extending financial assistance for marketing and transport only up to the year 2023 as per WTO So, as a long term solution to deal with surplus sugar, to improve the sustainability of the sugar industry and to ensure timely payment of cane dues to farmers, the Government has been encouraging diversion of excess sugarcane & sugar to ethanol for supplying to Oil Marketing Companies for blending with petrol.


Benefits of diverting excess sugarcane & sugar to OMCs for ethanol blending:

  • Help reduce import dependency on crude oil.
  • Help promote ethanol as a fuel which is indigenous & non-polluting.
  • Help enhance the income of sugarcane farmers.


 Targets under the programme:

  • Earlier, the Government had fixed a target of 10% blending of fuel-grade ethanol with petrol by 2022 and 20% blending by 2030 but now the Government is preparing a plan to advance the achievement of 20% blending target.
  • However, as the blending targets cannot be achieved only by diverting sugarcane/sugar to ethanol, therefore, the Government is also encouraging distilleries to produce ethanol from other feedstocks like grains, etc. for which the present distillation capacity is not sufficient.
  • Hence, the government is also making efforts to enhance the distillation capacity in the country.


  1. Indo-Thai CORPAT

The issue in news

30th edition of the Indo-Thai CORPAT (Indo-Thai Coordinated Patrol) was conducted in November 2020.

Main points

Indian Naval Ship (INS) Karmuk, an indigenously built Missile Corvette, participated in the exercise.

CORPAT builds up the understanding and interoperability between navies and facilitates the institution of measures to prevent and suppress Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) fishing, drug trafficking, maritime terrorism, armed robbery and piracy.

  • It further enhances the operational synergy by the exchange of information for the prevention of smuggling, illegal immigration and for the conduct of SAR operations at sea.


About the Indo – Thai CORPAT:

  • It is a collaborating exercise between the Indian and the Thai navies.
  • It is being conducted twice a year since 2003.
  • This exercise reflects both forces’ shared commitment for the peaceful Indian Ocean and international maritime security and cooperation.
  • Objectives of the Indo – Thai CORPAT are to ensure effective implementation of United Nations Conventions on Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS) which specify regulations regarding
    • Protection and conservation of natural resources
    • Conservation of marine environment
    • Prevention and suppression of illegal, unregulated fishing activity/ drug trafficking/ piracy
    • Exchange of information in the prevention of smuggling, illegal immigration
    • Conduct of Search and Rescue operations at sea


  1. Unnat Bharat Abhiyan Scheme

the issue in news

Union Education Minister holds a review meeting on the progress of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan Scheme (UBA) through video conferencing.

Unnat Bharat Abhiyan

  • Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is inspired by the vision of transformational change in rural development processes by leveraging knowledge institutions to help build the architecture of an Inclusive India.
  • The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) launched UBA with an aim to connect institutions of higher education, including Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and Indian Institutes of Science Education & Research (IISERs), etc. with local communities to address the development challenges through appropriate technologies.

The main objectives of UBA are:

  • To engage the faculty and students of Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) in identifying development issues in rural areas and finding sustainable solutions for the same.
  • Identify & select existing innovative technologies, enable customisation of technologies, or devise implementation methods for innovative solutions, as required by the people.
  • To allow HEIs to contribute to devising systems for the smooth implementation of various Government programmes.



  1. World Fisheries Day

The issue in news

World Fisheries Day is observed every year on 21 November.

Main points

The Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India will award the best performing states in this sector for 2019-20.

  • The awardees are:
  • o Odisha (marine states category)
  • o Uttar Pradesh (inland states category)
  • o Assam (hilly and NE states category)

Besides, the government will also award the best performing fisheries enterprise, cooperative society, individual entrepreneur, etc. for their achievements and contribution to the growth of this sector.


World Fisheries Day:

  • World Fisheries Day is celebrated on 21st November every year to demonstrate solidarity with all fisherfolk, fish farmers and concerned stakeholders throughout the world.
  • It started in 1997 where the “World Forum of Fish Harvesters & Fish Workers” met at New Delhi leading to the formation of the World Fisheries Forum with representatives from 18 countries and signed a declaration advocating for a global mandate of sustainable fishing practices and policies.
  • The event aims to draw attention to overfishing, habitat destruction and other serious threats to the sustainability of our marine and inland resources.
  • The celebrations serve to focus on changing the way the world manages global fisheries to ensure sustainable stocks and healthy ecosystems.


Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana


It is an umbrella scheme to develop the fisheries sector with a total outlay of Rs. 20050 crores. It has two components:

  1. Central Sector Scheme (CS)
    • Non-beneficiary oriented scheme
    • Beneficiary oriented scheme (Central Assistance for General Category – 40%; SC/ST/Women – 60%)
  1. Central Sponsored Scheme (CSS) – (Central Assistance for Northeastern States – 90%, Other States – 60%; and UTs – 100%)
    • Non-beneficiary oriented scheme
    • Beneficiary oriented scheme


Objectives of PM Matsya Sampada Yojana

The main objective of the PMMSY is to develop fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

  1. Harness the potential of fisheries sector in a sustainable, responsible, inclusive and equitable manner
  2. Efficient use of land and water resources to enhance fish production and productivity.
  3. Modernize value chain considering post-harvest management and quality improvement.
  4. Double fishers and fish farmers’ incomes
  5. Generate employment in the fisheries sector.
  6. Enhance fisheries sector’s contribution to overall agricultural Gross Value Added (GVA) and exports.
  7. Provide social, economic and physical security to fish farmers and fishermen.
  8. Develop a robust fisheries management and regulatory framework.



  1. National Newborn Week 2020

The issue in news

Union Health Minister launches the National Newborn Week 2020.

Main points

The National Newborn Week is being observed from 15th through 21st November to reinforce the importance of newborn health as a key priority area of the health sector and to reiterate the commitment at the highest level.


 National Newborn Week 2020 theme: ‘Quality, Equity, Dignity for every newborn at every health facility and everywhere’.


Additional information:

In 2014, India became the first country to launch the India Newborn Action Plan (INAP), in alignment with the Global Every Newborn Action Plan towards eliminating preventable deaths of new-borns and stillbirths.


  1. Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020

The issue in news

Union Labour Ministry notifies Draft Rules under the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020.

Main points

  • The draft rules provide for the operationalization of provisions in the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020 (OSH Code) relating to safety, health and working conditions of dockworkers, building or other construction workers, mine workers, inter-state migrant worker, contract labour, working journalist, audio-visual workers and sales promotion employees.

 Salient features of the draft rules:

  • The draft rules provide for appointment letter in prescribed format including designation, category of skill, wages, avenue for achieving higher wages or higher position to every employee of an establishment within three months of coming into force of the rules.
  • According to the draft rules, no employee shall be employed in any establishment unless he has been issued a letter of appointment.
  • provision for annual health examination to be conducted by the employer free of cost for every worker of factory, dock, mine and building or other construction work, who has completed 45 years of age.
  • Provision for journey allowance once a year.
  • Single electronic registration, licence and annual integrated return for an establishment.
  • An all-India single licence for contractor supplying or engaging contract labour in more than one state for five years has been provided as against work order-based licensing at present.
  • Prohibition of employment of contract labour for the core activity of an establishment and classification of core and non-core activities, are also provided in the OSH Code.
  • Rules regarding payment of wages to contract labourers provide that the contractor shall fix the wage periods and no wage period shall exceed one month.
  • the wages of every person employed as contract labour in an establishment or by the contractor shall be paid before the expiry of the seventh day after the last day of the wage period.
  • the wages shall be disbursed through bank transfer or electronic mode only.
  • Under the rules, safety committees have been made mandatory for every establishment employing 500 or more workers to provide an opportunity for the workers to represent their concern on occupational safety and health matters.
  • Rules have been provided for the composition and functions of safety committees.
  • Rules have been made regarding conditions related to the safety of women employment in all establishments for all types of work before 6 am and beyond 7 pm with their consent.
  • Provision for calculating overtime on any day, a fraction of an hour between 15 to 30 minutes shall be counted as 30 minutes. Currently, less than 30 minutes is counted as no overtime.
  • Mines rules have also been simplified and integrated with the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions rules.


  1. Awas Diwas and Awas Week

The issue in news

Awas Diwas and Awas Week celebrated.


The Rural Housing Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G) was launched by the Prime Minister on 20th November 2016 at Agra, Uttar Pradesh.

  • To commemorate the launch of PMAY-G, which aims to provide “Housing for All” by 2022, it was decided to celebrate the 20th November every year as “Awaas Diwas”.
  • The program envisages the completion of 2.95 crore PMAY-G houses with all basic amenities by the year 2022.
  • Under PMAY-G, with the introduction of certain implementation reforms, the Government aims at maintaining transparency and enhancing the speed of house construction, maintaining quality, ensuring timely release of funds to beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), technical assistance to beneficiaries, offering a bouquet of region-specific house designs to the beneficiaries, stringent monitoring through MIS-Awaas Soft and Awaas App.


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