1. Platinum Partner Award for EPFO

The issue in news

EPFO conferred with Platinum Partner Award for highest transactions on UMANG App.

Main points

  • The Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology unveiled the newly instituted UMANG Awards for Partner Departments of Centre and States based on average transactions in the past six months across all services.
  • The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has been conferred with the Platinum Partner Award for registering more than 25 lakh transactions on UMANG App.



  • Majority of EPFO members are from the socio-economically disadvantaged sections, an accessible and affordable solution was needed to reach out to crores of EPFO subscribers.
  • EPFO aimed to harness the potential of the UMANG app to enable easy and round-the-clock access to its services, especially to the subscribers residing in the remotest of locations.
  • This led to the launch of EPFO services on UMANG.
  • EPFO members can access 19 different services of EPFO on their mobile phones.
  • A member can view passbook, activate UAN, raise claim, track claim status, apply for scheme certificate, seed Aadhaar with UAN, update Jeevan Pramaan, register grievance, search establishment, get EPFO office address, etc.
  • An Aadhaar seeded active UAN (Universal Account Number) and a mobile number registered with the EPFO is required. For availing of these services,


  1. Nyaya Bandhu App

The issue in news

iOS version of the Nyaya Bandhu App and its onboarding on UMANG platform to be launched. Main points

  • The Department of Justice had launched the Nyaya Bandhu App in 2019 to leverage technology for the Pro Bono Advocates initiative.
  • Under the Pro Bono Initiative (launched in 2017), the Justice Department is institutionalising a framework for pro bono dispensation in the legal arena.
  • The pro bono legal service was developed to accelerate and facilitate practising advocates to register and connect with the registered eligible beneficiaries and thereby, solidify the pro bono culture in the country.
  • ‘Pro bono’ comes from Latin and implies ‘for the public good’. In legal terms, it refers to advocates giving free legal aid and representation to marginalised sections of society in line with Article 39A of the Constitution.
  • By maintaining a database of lawyers who volunteer to give pro bono service, the Department hopes to inculcate a pro bono culture in the legal domain.
  • The Nyaya Bandhu App helps leverage technology to remove any geographical barrier in availing access to justice.


Nyaya Bandhu

  • Nyaya Bandhu (Pro Bono Legal Services) Legal services programme was launched by Minister for Law & Justice.
  • An initiative of the Department of Justice, the programme is aimed at fulfilling the Department’s critical mandate of enhancing “access to justice” for marginalised sections of the society and the State’s constitutional obligation of providing “free legal aid” for all.
  • The programme seeks to put in place an institutional structure which will promote pro bono culture in India.
  • On one hand, the programme would facilitate delivery of quality legal assistance to the marginalised communities, on the other hand it would ensure that lawyers who volunteer their valuable time and service, towards this public service, are duly recognized for their contribution.
  • Based on the premise of using technology to enhance access to justice for all, the Nyaya Bandhu app will allow marginalised individuals (referred to as “Applicants”), seeking quality legal advice and counsel, to connect via a mobile application with “Advocates” who have volunteered their time and services on this platform.



  1. National Portal for Transgender Persons

The issue in news

Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment e-launched a ‘National Portal for Transgender Persons’ and e-inaugurated a ‘Garima Greh: A Shelter Home for Transgender Persons’ in Vadodara, Gujarat.

Main points

  • The National Portal has been developed within 2 months of Notification of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020.
  • The portal would help a transgender person in applying for a Certificate and Identity card digitally from anywhere in the country, without any physical interface.
  • The portal will help a lot of people from the transgender community to come forward and get Transgender Certificate and Identity Cards as per their self-perceived identity which is an important provision of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.

National Council for Transgender Persons

The main objective of the council is to focus on the livelihood related concerns of transgender people and to spread awareness for the acceptance of transpersons within society. 

Following are the functions of the National Council for Transgender Persons:

  • It will act as an advisory to the Central Government on the formulation of policies, programs, legislation, and projects with respect to transgender persons
  • To ensure and monitor the impact of policies and programs designed for achieving equality and full participation of transgender persons
  • It will also analyse and coordinate the activities of all the departments of Government and other Governmental and non-Governmental Organisations, working for matters regarding the same
  • Resolving and Redressing the grievances of transgender persons
  • Apart from this, performing any other functions as directed by the Central Government




The issue in news

PM chairs 33rd PRAGATI interaction.


  1. It is an interactive and integrated platform chiefly for addressing the grievances of the common man, while at the same time, monitoring government projects and programmes/schemes.
  2. The platform was designed by the PMO in coordination with the National Informatics Centre.
  3. The chief aims of PRAGATI platform:
    • Project implementation
    • Project monitoring
    • Grievance redressal
  1. The platform combines three technologies namely,
    • Digital data management
    • Video conferencing
    • Geo-spatial technology
  2. The platform also brings together the different secretaries of the GOI and the States’ Chief Secretaries, along with the Prime Minister.
  3. The PM discusses the issues related to the projects and is also presented with the ground-level situation.

PRAGATI Features

The major features of this platform are described below.

  1. The system is a 3-tier system comprising of:
    • PM
    • Secretaries of the GOI
    • State Chief Secretaries
  1. The PM will hold monthly interactions with the secretaries and Chief Secretaries via this platform. The interactions will take place on the fourth Wednesday of every month. The day will be called ‘PRAGATI Day’.
  2. The issues that will be discussed are picked out from the databases related to ongoing programmes of the government, pending projects and public grievances.
  3. The issues will take into account the various letters written to the PM by the common man and other people.
  4. The PM is able to see the issues on screen and the latest updates on them.
  1. Creation of Infrastructure for Agro-Processing Cluster

The issue in news

To consider the proposals received under the Scheme for Creation of Infrastructure for Agro-Processing Cluster (APC) of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY), the Union Minister of Food Processing Industries has attended the Independent Management Advisory Committee (IMAC) meeting

Main points

These projects will leverage private investment of Rs. 173.81 crore and are expected to generate employment for 7750 persons.


Scheme for Creation of Infrastructure for Agro-Processing Cluster:

  • The Ministry of Food Processing Industries has formulated the Scheme for Creation of Infrastructure for Agro Processing Clustersas a sub-scheme of Central Sector Scheme ‘Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY)’.
  • The scheme aims at development of modern infrastructureto encourage entrepreneurs to set up food processing units based on cluster approach.
  • The scheme is to be implemented in area of horticulture/agriculture productionidentified through a mapping exercise.
  • The clusters will help in reducing the wastage of the surplus produce and add value to the horticultural/agricultural produce which will result in increase of income of the farmers and create employment at the local level- agro processing cluster MOFPI

Components of the Scheme

  • Basic enabling infrastructure: It will include site development including development of industrial plots, boundary wall, roads, drainage, water supply, electricity supply including power backup, effluent treatment plant, parking bay, weigh bridges, common office space etc.
  • Core infrastructure: The common facilities will be based on the needs of the units which will be set up in these clusters.
    • The common facilities of capital intensive nature may include food testing laboratory, cleaning, grading, sorting and packing facilities, steam generation boilers, dry warehouse, cold storage, pre-cooling chambers, ripening chambers, IQF, specialized packaging, other common processing facilities, etc.

Pattern of Assistance under the Scheme

  • The Scheme envisages grants-in-aid @ 35% of eligible project cost in general areas and @ 50% of eligible project cost in the North East States including Sikkim and difficult areas namely Himalayan States

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana

  • The Ministry of Food Processing Industries is striving to establish an integrated and seamless network of strong Cold Chain Grid.
  • The goal is to improve infrastructure for the uninterrupted transfer of perishables from production to consumption areas/centers.
  • PMKSY is one such small step in the journey of self reliant India .


  • PMKSY is a comprehensive package aiming to create modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlet.


  • PMKSY will supplement agriculture infrastructure.
  • It will also create processing and preservation capacities.


There are seven components under the scheme :

  • Mega Food Parks.
  • Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure.
  • Infrastructure for Agro-Processing Clusters.
  • Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages.
  • Creation/Expansion of Food Processing & Preservation Capacities.
  • Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure.
  • Human Resources and Institutions.


  • The proposed scheme was to be implemented with an allocation of 6,000 crores for the period of 2016-20.

Under the Scheme, The Ministry provides financial assistance in the form of grant-in-aids :

  • 35 percent for general areas.
  • 50 percent for North-Eastern States, Himalayan States, ITDP Areas, and Islands for storage and transport infrastructure.
  • It is a centrally sectored scheme .


  1. Server snag hits nutrition portal

The issue in news

A massive nutrition portal developed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) touted as the world’s biggest nutrition system, to record and monitor the delivery of services to children and mothers across nearly seven lakh anganwadis has been down for nearly three months.

It is used by the Centre as well as most States.

  • The software was developed under the Poshan Abhiyaan approved by the Cabinet in 2017 with a three-year budget of 9,000 crore, half of which was for ICT-based real-time monitoring system.
  • While 50% of the amount is funded by the government budgetary support, the remaining 50% is a loan from the World Bank.
  • POSHAN Abhiyaan’s Integrated Child Development Services Common Application Software (ICDS-CAS) is an innovative web and mobile-phone based application to improve service delivery and programme management.
  • The application facilitates anganwadi workers (AWWs) in their daily tasks, helps supervisors to assess and provide feedback to the workers and helps other programme officials to track service delivery and take informed decisions.



The snag comes as a setback at a time when there is a call for the need to intensify efforts to identify mothers and children in need of nutritional interventions due to rising levels of hunger and poverty.

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