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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 08 September 2016



Insights Daily Current Affairs, 08 September 2016


Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


Projects approved under Swadesh Darshan


The Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC) for the Swadesh Darshan Scheme in Ministry of Tourism has approved projects to the tune of Rs. 450 Crore for development of Heritage circuit in Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Ramayana Circuit in Uttar Pradesh, North East Circuit in Sikkim and Coastal Circuit of Tamil Nadu.


Key facts:

The Heritage Circuit in state of Madhya Pradesh: It covers Gwalior- Orchha- Khajuraho-Chanderi-Bhimbetka-Mandu with total project cost of approximately Rs. 100.00 Crore. The project envisages world class infrastructural development of the sites which includes developing a Theme Park and Convention centre in Khajuraho, Sound and Light Show in Mandu.

The Heritage Circuit in Uttarakhand: It is on developing Tourism Infrastructure in Jageshwar-Devidhura-Katarmal-Baijnath sites with total project cost of approximately Rs.83 Crore. The highlights of project in Uttarakhand are development of Eco Log Huts, Sound and Light Show and Upgradation of Temple Pathways.

Coastal circuit in State of Tamil Nadu: It envisages development Chennai- Mamamallapuram-Rameshwaram-Manpadu–Kanyakumari with total project cost of approximately Rs.100 Crore has been approved. Sound and Light Show, development of Beach amenities, Construction of Pedestrian Bridge connecting Vivekanand memorial with Tiruvalluvar Statue are major highlights of project.

Ramayana Circuit in State of Uttar Pradesh: It envisages development of two destinations viz. Chitrakoot and Shringverpur. The Project cost for this circuit is approximately Rs.70 Crore for development of Parikrama marg, food Plaza, Laser Show, Foot Over Bridge connecting MP and UP part of Chitrakoot. It also includes Ayodhya for which the State Tourism Department of Uttar Pradesh is preparing Detailed Project Report (DPR).

North East circuit in State of Sikkim: With approximate project cost of Rs.95.50 Crore it includes development of eco log huts, cultural centre, paragliding centre, craft bazaar, base camp for mountaineering and meditation hall.


About Swadesh Darshan Scheme:

The Tourism Ministry had launched ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme with an objective to develop theme-based tourist circuits in the country. These tourist circuits will be developed on the principles of high tourist value, competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner.


Features of Swadesh Darshan Scheme:

  • The scheme is 100% centrally funded for the project components undertaken for public funding.
  • To leverage the voluntary funding available for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Central Public Sector Undertakings and corporate sector.
  • Funding of individual project will vary from state to state and will be finalised on the basis of detailed project reports prepared by PMC (Programme Management Consultant).
  • A National Steering Committee (NSC) will be constituted with Minister in charge of M/O Tourism as Chairman, to steer the mission objectives and vision of the scheme.
  • A Mission Directorate headed by the Member Secretary, NSC as a nodal officer will help in identification of projects in consultation with the States/ UTs governments and other stake holders.
  • PMC will be a national level consultant to be appointed by the Mission Directorate.


Objective of Swadesh Darshan Scheme:

  • Integrated development of Infrastructure in identified theme based circuits.
  • Provide complete tourism experience with varied thematic circuits.
  • Follow community-based development and pro-poor tourism approach.
  • Creating awareness among the local communities about the importance of tourism for them in terms of increase in sources of income, improved living standards and overall development of the area.
  • Promote local arts, culture, handicrafts, cuisine, etc to generate livelihoods in the identified regions.
  • Harness tourism potential for its direct and multiplier effects in employment generation and economic development.

Sources: pib.


Paper 2 Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.


Driving Licenses and Vehicle Registration Certificates can now be accessed through Mobile App


A new service – integration of DigiLocker with Driving Licenses (DL) & Vehicle Registration Certificates (RC), was recently launched by the government.

  • With this integration people will no longer need to carry around physical copies of their RCs and Driving Licences. They can instead access digital copies of the same on their mobile phones via the DigiLocker mobile app.


Key features:

  • Driving Licenses and Vehicle Registration documents can now be issued directly to the DigiLockers of individuals in digital formats.
  • These digital copies can be shared with other departments as identity and address proof.
  • They will also be used for on the spot verification through the cittizen’s mobile, by various law enforcement authorities like the Traffic Police.

Besides being convenient for people, this will also result in assured authenticity of such documents and reduction of administrative overhead.


Its significance:

  • This platform is a major step forward towards ensuring greater transparency and cutting down corruption and red-tapism. The move will benefit a large number of people by facilitating ease of access to the documents.
  • The integration will bring a paradigm shift in the vision of paperless governance. It will serve to bring agility and efficiency to the entire process of issuance of driving licenses and vehicle registration certificates through IT enablement.



DigiLocker, launched in July last year, aims at transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.

  • It is a platform for issuance and verification of documents and certificates digitally.
  • When a person signs up for a DigiLocker he gets access to a dedicated cloud storage space for his important documents.
  • DigiLocker currently has 21,26,332 registered users with 24,11,702 uploaded documents.

Sources: pib.


Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


India signs open skies pact with Greece


India has signed an open skies agreement with Greece, the first after the finalisation of the civil aviation policy in June.


Key facts:

  • The open skies agreement will allow airlines from India to operate unlimited number of flights to Greece while Greek carriers have been granted unlimited traffic rights to six Indian metro cities.
  • Greece has become the first country to have an open sky agreement with India under the new policy.
  • Prior to this, India had entered into an open skies agreement with the US and Britain.



According to the civil aviation policy, the government can enter into an ‘open sky’ air services agreement on a reciprocal basis with SAARC nations as well as countries with territory located entirely beyond a 5,000 kilometre radius from New Delhi.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 3 Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.


Maharashtra under pressure, to tweak draft of internal security Act


The Maharashtra government has decided to tweak the newly-drafted Maharashtra Protection of Internal Security Act following public outcry over its contentious clauses. The changes will be made before the draft is presented to the State Cabinet.


The government will incorporate three changes:

  • Reduction in punishment from the current three years to half.
  • Increase in restrictions on public assembly to 2,500 from the proposed 100.
  • Include a clause defining that the draft of the Act will not be applicable on private functions such as marriages and parties.



The Act was introduced recently with an emphasis on ‘maintaining law and order, combating terrorism, insurgency, caste violence, communalism, and bringing nuclear reactors, dams, major projects and coastal areas under its ambit’.

  • But, the State was forced to withdraw the draft in the face of protests over clauses allowing the police’s arbitrary power to interfere in public gatherings and carry out security checks in public places.
  • The draft also defines critical infrastructure sectors and proposes setting up of special security zones where movement of arms, explosives and inflow of unaccounted funds will be prohibited.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.


Saudi law a hurdle in rescuing T.N. fishermen, Centre tells HC


The External Affairs Ministry has informed the Madras High Court that employment laws in Saudi Arabia were tough compared to other countries and hence there was a delay in bringing back 62 Tamil Nadu fishermen stranded in the country. The fishermen had accused their employer of ill-treating them and refusing to return their passports.


What is it all about?

A sponsorship system called Kafala, which regulated residency and employment of foreign workers, is followed in Saudi Arabia. Because of this no employee can get in or get out of the country without the consent of the employer.



The submission was made during the hearing of a habeas corpus petition filed by a relative of a stranded fisherman. Early this year, the fisherman had circulated a video through WhatsApp highlighting their poor plight.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.


Publish FIRs online within 24 hours: SC


The Supreme Court has ordered States and Union Territories to upload, on police or government websites, First Information Reports (FIRs) within 24 hours of their registration in police stations.



This is aimed at upholding the right of an accused to information and putting a check on the authority of the police to deprive a person of his liberty.

  • The implementation of this step also ushers in transparency in police work.
  • Besides, an accused has every right to know what he was accused of. And access to the FIR would help the accused prepare his defence and seek redressal of his grievances.


Other details:

  • The court has exempted from publication FIRs in certain cases. These include cases of insurgency, child abuse, sexual offences and terrorism. The FIRs registered in these categories would continue to be away from the public eye owing to issues of privacy and national interest.
  • Also, the court agreed to a submission that the list of such sensitive cases should be illustrative and not exhaustive.
  • The decision to not post the FIRs in such cases would be taken by a police officer not below the rank of a Deputy Superintendent of Police or the District Magistrate, either of whom would have to communicate the decision to the jurisdictional magistrate.
  • In case of complaint against such non-publication of FIRs, the Superintendent of Police in rural areas and Police Commissioner in metros, will form a committee of three officers, which will decide on the complaint in three weeks.
  • In areas where Internet access is limited, the Bench extended the deadline for publishing the FIR on websites to 48 hours, which can still further be stretched to a maximum of 72 hours.



The Delhi HC in its judgment on December 6, 2010, had upheld the right of the accused to get copies of FIRs even before the local Magistrate ordered the police to do so under Section 207 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Sources: the hindu.


Facts for Prelims:

  • PRABAL DOSTYK – 16: It is a joint exercise between Indian & Kazakhstan Army. The Indian Army is being represented by a platoon strength. The Kazakhstan Army contingent comprise of platoon from Special Operating Force’s Unit. The exercise is being conducted in Karaganda region of Kazakhstan. The primary aim of the exercise will be to enhance interoperability while undertaking Counter Terrorism & Counter Insurgency Operations in rural & semi-urban environment under the umbrella of United Nations. Combat battle drills and physical fitness will be the focal point of the exercise. ‘Prabal Dostyk’ meaning ‘Robust Friendship’ will be a significant step towards fostering military as well as diplomatic ties between both countries.


  • IoT India Congress: The first edition of ‘IoT India Congress, 2016’ has begun in Bengaluru. The congress aims to bring together key stakeholders across the value chain and verticals to collaborate, ideate and share a common roadmap for Internet of Things (IoT) implementation. Besides tech start-ups, the congress brings top executives from multinational companies such as Philips, GE, and IBM on one platform. IoT is likely to generate economic benefits of almost $2 trillion to India.


  • Bengaluru tops the country in the number of cases filed under the Indian Forest Act and the Wildlife Protection Act, according to the ‘Crime in India 2015’ report released recently by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). As many as 48 cases were registered under the Forest Act — mainly filed against sandalwood and red sander smugglers — and 20 under the Wildlife Protection Act. These constitute nearly one-third of all such cases filed in metros across the country.