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Insights Daily Current Events, 09 October 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 09 October 2015


Paper 2 Topic: Role of civil services in a democracy.

Indian Skill Development Service

The Union cabinet recently gave its nod for the formations of Indian Skill Development Service (ISDS).


  • Indian Skill Development Service (ISDS) will be a Group ‘A’ service of the technical cadre of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSD&E).
  • ISDS was earlier called the Directorate General of Employment & Training which was under the aegis of Ministry of Labour Employment.

Why was it created?

  • To improve skill development administration in the country.
  • To enhance the capacity and efficiency of the organization.


The cadre will be selected through the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and have the same ranks and profile as other Group A services such as the Indian Revenue Service, Indian Audit and Accounts Service and Indian Railway Service.

Their roles:

  • The new cadre of officers will run the skill development and entrepreneurship ministry, help implement various skill and apprenticeship schemes conducted by the ministry as well as those by the Directorate General of Training (DGT).
  • The new officers will help formulate skill policies, devise a road map for improving the apprenticeship system, revamping ITIs and also help revamp course work for various schemes.

Was it necessary?

India aims to skill some 500 million people by 2022 in both organized and unorganized sectors to improve the efficiency of the work force, provide job-ready human resources to industries and ultimately improve the competitiveness of a young demography considered crucial for the economic growth of India. To achieve these objectives, it is necessary to have such a dedicated service.

sources: pib.


Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors.

‘Neeranchal’ programme gets Cabinet nod

The World Bank-assisted ‘National Watershed Management Project’ or ‘Neeranchal’ has received the approval for implementation by the Union Cabinet.


Neeranchal is designed to further strengthen and provide technical assistance to the Watershed Component of PMKSY, in particular and all components of PMKSY, in general and to enhance its delivery capacity.

Aim: The project aims to fulfil the watershed component of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMSKY) to reduce surface runoff of rainwater, increase groundwater levels and better water availability in rain-fed areas.

  • The cost of the project is estimated at Rs. 2,142.30 crore of which the Centre will be pitching in with Rs. 889 crore while Rs. 182 crore will be provided by the respective State Governments. The remaining 50% of the project cost will be financed by a World Bank loan.
  • It will be implemented across nine States – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan.

Neeranchal is primarily designed to address the following concerns:

  • bring about institutional changes in watershed and rainfed agricultural management practices in India,
  • build systems that ensure watershed programmes and rainfed irrigation management practices are better focussed, and more coordinated, and have quantifiable results,
  • devise   strategies   for   the   sustainability   of   improved   watershed. management practices in programme areas, even after the withdrawal of project support,
  • through   the watershed   plus   approach,   support   improved   equity, livelihoods, and incomes through forward linkages, on a platform of inclusiveness and local participation.

About the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMSKY):

It is a central scheme that aims at providing irrigation facilities to every village in the country by converging ongoing irrigation schemes implemented by various ministries.

  • Under the project, a dynamic annual fund allocation methodology, which mandates states to allot more funds to irrigation sectors for becoming eligible to access funds under this scheme, is being considered.
  • The Scheme intends to focus on ‘end-to-end solution’ in irrigation supply chain by implementing the new programme in a “project mode” with decentralised state-level planning and execution.
  • The programme architecture of PMKSY aims at a ‘decentralized State level planning and execution’ structure, in order to allow States to draw up a District Irrigation Plan (DIP) and a State Irrigation Plan (SIP).


  • The programme will be supervised and monitored at the national level by an Inter-Ministerial National Steering Committee (NSC) under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister with Union Ministers of all concerned Ministries.
  • A National Executive Committee (NEC) will be constituted under the Chairmanship of the Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog to oversee programme implementation, allocation of resources, inter ministerial coordination, monitoring and performance assessment, addressing administrative issues etc.
  • At the state level the scheme will be administered by a State Level Sanctioning Committee (SLSC) to be Chaired by the Chief Secretary of the respective States. The committee will have all authority to sanction the project and also monitor the progress of the scheme.
  • At the district level there will be a district level implementation committee for ensuring last mile coordination at the field level.
  • The state agriculture department would be the nodal agency for implementation of PMKSY projects.

Eligibility and funds:

  • A state will become eligible to access PMKSY funds only if it has prepared the district irrigation plans and state irrigation plans and sustained an increasing expenditure trend in irrigation sector in state plan.
  • The programme has an outlay of Rs. 50,000 crore over a period of five years (2015-16 to 2019-20). The allocation for the current financial year is Rs. 5300 crore.
  • PMKSY funds would be given to states as 75% grant by the central government and the remaining 25% share is to be borne by the state government. For northeastern region and hilly states, the funding pattern would be 90:10.

Sources: PIB.


Paper 3 Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space.

AAI readying sops to push GAGAN

Civil Aviation Ministry is planning to aggressively promote GAGAN across all transportation sectors, such as Railways, maritime and road transport.

  • Airport Authority of India is also considering incentives and programmes to accelerate GAGAN’s use among commercial airlines and general aviation aircraft.

About GAGAN:GAGAN isro coverage

  • GAGAN was developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) at a cost of Rs. 774 crore, over 15 years.
  • GAGAN will provide augmentation service for the GPS over the country, the Bay of Bengal, South East Asia and Middle East and up to Africa.
  • Some of its benefits are improved efficiency, direct routes, increased fuel savings, approach with vertical guidance at runways, significant cost savings because of the withdrawal of ground aids and reduced workload of flight crew and air traffic controllers.
  • Gagan works by augmenting and relaying data from GPS satellites with the help of two augmentation satellites and 15 earth-based reference stations.
  • The system utilises the satellite-based wide area augmentation system (SBAS) technology which has been developed by Raytheon.

India is the fourth country to offer space-based satellite navigation services to the aviation sector.

sources: the hindu, pib.


topic: General awareness

Journalist wins literature Nobel

Svetlana Alexievich, a Belarusian journalist and prose writer, has won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature for her polyphonic writings, courage and a monument to suffering.

About Svetlana alexievich:Svetlana Alexievich nobel

  • Alexievich, 67, is the 14th woman to win the literature prize.
  • Alexievich’s works often blend literature and journalism. She is best known for giving voice to women and men who lived through World War II, the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan that lasted from 1979 to 1989, and the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986.
  • In the United States, Alexievich is best known for the oral history Voices From Chernobyl.

The Nobel in literature, one of the most prestigious prizes in the literary world, is given in recognition of a writer’s entire body of work rather than a single title.

sources: the hindu.


Paper 3 Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

IT-based malaria control initiative from October 17

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Mangaluru City Corporation in Karnataka will officially unveil its IT-based initiative to track and control malaria cases on October 17.


  • The initiative would be through software developed under a public-private partnership.
  • The software has a web-based system for clinics and laboratories, a mobile-based system for field workers or multi-purpose health workers, and another web-based system for the city corporation.
  • The software connects the field workers (who visit households and report sources of malaria and malaria cases), clinics and laboratories (which are supposed to report to the civic body when a malaria case is diagnosed) and the officials in city corporation.
  • The software has been developed by following the guidelines of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP).
  • Clinics, laboratories and hospitals would have to compulsorily feed data on malaria cases reported following blood tests. Multi-purpose health workers would have access to this data and they, in turn, will visit houses and areas from where the cases have been reported. They will initiate steps for controlling the disease both among patients and in breeding places. A file would be opened for each case and it would be monitored by senior officials till each file is closed. In addition, the workers would conduct field visits on their own.

The software would now give city planners, including officials and elected representatives, a bird’s eye view of instances of outbreak of malaria and follow-up action on the ground.

Present situation:

At present, the reports from field workers and clinics and laboratories reach the civic body a week or a month after the case is diagnosed. No purpose would be served if there is a case of malaria reported after 30 days. The software will help bridge this gap and also in reporting malaria within 48 hours.

sources: the hindu.