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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 24 October 2017

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 24 October 2017




GS Paper 2:


Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


India’s First Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra for Skilling in Smart Cities inaugurated at Mandir Marg, New Delhi



India’s first Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) has been set up under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in collaboration with New Delhi Municipal Council


 India’s First Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra for Skilling in Smart Cities inaugurated at Mandir Marg, New Delhi


Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana(PMKVY)


  • It is an initiative of Indian government to make country’s youth employable and strengthen them economically by providing them a meaningful, industry relevant, skill based training.
  • The beneficiaries under the scheme are successfully trained, assessed, certified and awarded financially by the government.
  • PMKVY is being run by the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) while National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is the implementing agency for the scheme.
  • At present there are 221 job roles available with 34 skill councils for which the courses are being offered across the nation.



Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK), Mandir Marg, New Delhi


  • Leverages NDMC infrastructure for skilling initiatives
  • Has a capacity of skilling 4,000 youth annually
  • Will be managed by Orion Edutech, which has an impeccable record of training nearly 3 lakh candidates through its network of over 275 skill development centres across the country.




  • Every year more than 13 million Indians enter the working age but the country has an annual training capacity of 3 million on adding up all the training and educational capacities.This gap of more than 10 million is very difficult to bridge considering long gestation training periods, capacity building lacunae etc. Addressing this issue is critical to realizing the demographic dividend potential of India.
  • PMKVY has a crucial role to improve productivity through creation of a pool of industry and National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) aligned skilled workforce. Over time, the scheme should provide a comprehensive and holistic workforce training interventions by catering to current and anticipated future employment ecosystem.



Source: the hindu, pib



Topic: Challenges to internal security



Centre appoints Shri Dineshwar Sharma as its Representative in J&K

 Centre appoints Shri Dineshwar Sharma as its Representative in J&K


Former Intelligence Bureau (IB)chief Dineshwar Sharma is appointed as Representative of Government of India to initiate and carry forward a dialogue with the elected representatives, various organizations and concerned individuals in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.




J & K Valley’s prolonged anti-india protest, rising insurgency in Kashmir, intense counter- insurgency operation has caused acute distress in the region. Demand for the political outreach emerged to prevent radicalisation of local youth which is the topmost concern for the Indian security establishment


Tasks ahead for the Interlocutor:

  • He will have rank equivalent to a Cabinet Secretary and complete independence in deciding who to hold talks with.
  • He is likely to hold talks with mainstream local political workers of the PDP, National Conference and Congress, heads of various religious seminaries in the Valley,  local student unions etc
  • He would try to know how things are panning out on the ground for and against India and try to understand the legitimate aspirations of the people of the state.



About Dineshwar Sharma:

  • He has worked as mediator for talks with various insurgent groups based in Assam.
  • He has Worked as director of the IB include 2015 Gurdaspur attack, Uri attack in 2016, rise of ISIS recruitment in Kerala
  • He has served as DIG of the Border Security Force (BSF) and as the IG of CRPF in charge of Jammu and Kashmir.





If a political dialogue, towards a lasting solution, were to begin between all the stakeholders, it would help in confidence-building measures between the government, civil society and dissidents.


Source: the hindu, first post



Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate


Navika Sagar Parikrama – Tarini Enters Fremantle


INSV Tarini entered Fremantle (Australia) port today during it’s maiden voyage to circumnavigate the globe. This is the first-ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew.


 INSV Tarini:

 INSV Tarini:

  • INSV Tarini is a 56 foot sailing vessel built in India by M/s Aquarius Shipyard Pvt Ltd, Goa
  • It was inducted into the Indian Navy recently in February 2017
  • It has Raymarine navigation suite and an array of satellite communication systems for perfect navigation anywhere in the world
  • It showcases the ‘Make in India’ initiative on the International forum.


Navika Sagar Parikrama:

  • The voyage of Navika Sagar Parikrama began from Goa coast in September 2017 and will be finishing around March 2018
  • The expedition will be covered in five legs, with stop-overs at 4 ports: Fremantle (Australia), Lyttleton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands), and Cape Town (South Africa).
  • The project is considered essential towards promoting Ocean Sailing activities in the Indian Navy along with showcasing the Government’s support for empowering women.



  • It also aims to showcase ‘Nari Shakti’ on the world platform and help revolutionise societal attitudes and mindset towards women in India by raising visibility of their participation in challenging environs.
  • The voyage aims to show case the ‘Make in India’ initiative by sailing onboard the indigenously built INSV Tarini.
  • The crew would monitor and report marine pollution on the high seas.


Source: pib



 Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.



Ministry of Railways may ask Finance Ministry to fund its share towards  Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK)


With earnings deficit, the Ministry of Railways may find it difficult to contribute its share towards Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK)

Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK)


Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK)

  • Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Rosh (RRSK) is a dedicated fund for critical safety-related works.
  • In Budget 2017-18, Ministry had announced the setting up a special safety fund with a corpus of more than Rs. 1 lakh crore over a period of five years. Finance Ministry would contribute Rs. 15,000 crore annually towards the fund, the Ministry of Railways would fund the balance Rs. 5,000 crore every year.
  • Finance Ministry advised the Ministry of Railways to prioritise deploying RRSK funds on areas that reduce chances of human error and ensure training of safety staff.



Safety measures taken on Indian Railways is a continuous process which envisage accident prevention and mitigation directed towards continuous reduction in risk level to its customers.

This is done by adopting new technologies and bringing improvement in asset reliability to reduce human dependency. For example- Train Protection Warning System (TPWS)/ Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) to prevent accident due to over speeding and passing signal at danger etc. RRSK funding is essential for carrying such safety works


Source: the hindu



Topic: Transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints


Raw Jute demand falls, Farmers sell crop below MSP

Raw Jute demand falls, Farmers sell crop below MSP


West Bengal government has called for an urgent meeting this week to review the raw jute situation in the State. The meeting will also discuss the infrastructure gaps at the Jute Corporation of India( JCI) which is tasked with purchasing raw jute from farmers to raise the




  • Declining demand for the low grade TD-6 variety jute being grown by the farmers in West Bengal.
  • Textile Ministry’s specifications to the jute mills to make lighter bags in order to tackle competition. However, lightweight jute bags of 560 grams (replacing the earlier 665 grams) necessitates the use of better quality.
  • Poor agricultural practices and lack of facilities for retting (a process of washing raw jute to get better fibre), has led to the farmers resorting to production of this variety



The scenario could be changed if the mills were allowed to tweak the specifications for jute sacks, enabling higher use of TD-6 grade. Or else, the Jute Corporation could be asked to increase its purchases.


Source: the hindu


Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment


Centre eases norms for sewage plants

Centre eases norms for sewage plants

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has relaxed standards for upcoming sewage treatment plants (STP)


  • Biochemical oxygen demand (Bod) had to be no more than 10 mg/litre according to 2015 CPCB proposal. STPs coming up after June 2019 — except in major State capitals and metropolitan cities — need only conform to 30 mg/litre of BoD.. These include proposed STPS to treat sewage in stretches of the river downstream of Haridwar.
  • Bod < 10mg/litre is difficult to achieve as it required advanced technology that was too costly for most States. However, It is a step forward, because now we have standards for faecal coliform, which was not part of standards earlier.


Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB):

 Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), statutory organisation, was constituted in September, 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.Further, CPCB was entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.


(i) to promote cleanliness of streams and wells in different areas of the States by prevention, control and abatement of water pollution

(ii) to improve the quality of air and to prevent, control or abate air pollution in the country.


Biochemical oxygen demand (Bod):

  • Biochemical oxygen demand is the amount of oxygen required for microbial metabolism of organic compounds in water.
  • BOD value is most commonly expressed in milligrams of oxygen consumed per litre of sample during 5 days of incubation at 20 °C
  • BOD can be used as a gauge of the effectiveness of wastewater treatment plants


Provisions of Rules

  • One of the points of the government’s ₹20,000 crore push to clean the river was a 2015-proposal to have higher standards for STPs. That is, they would have to ensure that the biochemical oxygen demand (Bod) — a marker for organic pollutants — in the treated water had to be no more than 10 mg/litre. Existing laws permit BoD up to 30 mg/litre.
  • However, a notification by the Union Environment Ministry this month has junked the 10 mg/litre target.
  • It says that STPs coming up after June 2019 — except in major State capitals and metropolitan cities — need only conform to 30 mg/litre of BoD.
  • These include proposed STPs to treat sewage in stretches of the river downstream of Haridwar, including Kanpur and Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh.
  • New STPs in State capitals, have to cap BoD at 20 mg/litre.
  • Plants in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep and Dadra and Nagar Haveli don’t need to stick to higher sewage-treatment criteria.


Reason for easing the norms:

The 10 mg criteria would require advanced technology that was too costly for most States. That kind of quality can be achieved in a phased manner. 


Source: the hindu



Northeast monsoon expected to set in by October 26


Tamil Nadu is expected to receive rain from today; southwest monsoon is likely to withdraw completely from the State in two days

  • With the weather conditions turning favourable, the northeast monsoon is expected to arrive by October 26, according to the Meteorological Department.
  • The southwest monsoon is likely to withdraw completely in two days.
  • The seasonal wind reversal is going to occur this week. Westerly winds are already weakening and giving way to easterly winds that would usher in the northeast monsoon.


NorthEast Monsoon:

Around September, with the sun fast retreating south, the northern land mass of the Indian subcontinent begins to cool off rapidly.

  • With this air pressure begins to build over northern India, the Indian Ocean and its surrounding atmosphere still holds its heat.
  • This causes cold wind to sweep down from the Himalayas and Indo-Gangetic Plain towards the vast spans of the Indian Ocean south of the Deccan peninsula. This is known as the Northeast Monsoon or Retreating Monsoon.
  • Northeast Monsoon season is the major period of rainfall activity over south peninsula comprising of the Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and Tamilnadu-Pondicherry
  • For Tamilnadu this is the main rainy season accounting for about 48% of the annual rainfall.

Sometimes, the gap between the withdrawal of southwest monsoon and onset of northeast monsoon may be limited to one or two days.

Source: The Hindu



Unprecedented community action in ‘Gram Samridhi Evam Swachhata Pakhwada’ from 1st to 15th October, 2017

In partnership with State Governments and other Departments, Department of Rural Development organized Gram Samridhi Evam Swachhata Pakhwada from 1st October to 15th October, 2017. Gram Sabhas were held in nearly all the Gram Panchayats of the Country on 2nd October.

During this period,

  • DISHA Monitoring Portal and Gram Samvaad App were introduced on 11th October, 2017.

o   Disha Monitoring Portal would enable Members of Parliament to track progress in implementation of various centrally sponsored schemes in their constituency.

o   Gram Samvaad Mobile app allows a citizen to access information on and implementation of Rural Development schemes at Panchayat level.

  • As reported on the Swachh Gram Portal over 4.75 lakh cleanliness drives were taken up in villages.

o   38,283 villages were declared open defecation free,

o   5.98 lakh individual households latrines completed and initiatives for Solid and Liquid Waste Management undertaken across Gram Panchayats.

  • Thrust was placed on skill development among youth and total of 1404 Skill Raths were launched in different parts of the country to register demand through the Kaushal Panji App for skill training.
  • Public accountability thrust was seen at Panchayat offices, with complete disclosure of beneficiary lists and works under execution with details.
  • Special efforts were made in the 50,000 Gram Panchayats that States have been selected purposively by State Governments for coverage under Mission Antyodaya.

Gram Samridhi Evam Swacchata Pakhwada

It is an effort to prepare the Gram Panchayat Development Plan through extensive community participation especially of women and youth.

The recommendations of this plan will be given top most priority in finalization of Annual Action Plan across schemes and programmes of various Ministries and Departments.

Source: PIB




Comments sought on draft guidelines for groundwater extraction


The Central Groundwater Authority (CGWA) has sent Draft guidelines for “issuance of NOC” for ground water withdrawal and draft “Public Notice” to the Chief Secretaries of all the State and Administrators of Union Territories for their comments within 60 days.

Reasons for coming up with draft guidelines

Due to the increasing number of litigations in the National Green Tribunal, various branches of Tribunal are directing CGWA to ensure that the groundwater withdrawal in the country should be in accordance with law.

  • These guidelines will ensure a uniform regulatory framework across the country so that the discriminatory practices in regulation are either mitigated or minimized.

Major Revisions

The major revisions in the guidelines are

  • pan India coverage,
  • decentralization of the No Objection Certificate (NOC) issuing authorities, dispensing with the provisions relating to submission of artificial recharge proposals and construction of artificial recharge structures by project proponents
  • introduction of a water conservation fee in lieu of recharge mechanism;
  • Funds raised through the water conservation fee to be used by States for effective groundwater management.


Central Grounder Water Authority

The CGWA constituted by Government of India under Section 3(3) of the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986 has been regulating groundwater development and management in the country. The authority has been granting NOC for withdrawal of ground water by industries/infrastructure/mining projects.

Source: PIB


Facts for Prelims


  • Indian Badminton Player Kidambi Srikanth, won Denmark Open Super Series Premier 2017 by defeating South Korea’s Lee Hyun II. This is his third super series title for the year. He had won Singapore Super Series 2017(Second Place) and Indonesia Super Series 2017(Premier) previously
  • Bhitarakanika National Park in Odisha’s Kendrapara district is one of the best natural abode for the estuarine crocodile. The park is home to Saltwater Crocodile, White Crocodile, Indian python, leopards, wild boars, fishing cats, hyenas, sambar deer, Gangetic dolphins and Olive ridley sea turtles besides 11 mangrove species with elevated threat of extinction are also found here.
  • India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has appointed Suresh Sethi,( former MD, Vodafone M-Pesa Ltd) as its Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer. IPPB is a Public Limited Company under the Department of Posts with 100% GOI equity.
  • “Paryatan Parv”, a nation-wide celebration of Tourism(21 day programme) was organized by Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with other Central Ministries, State Governments and Stakeholders. It’s objective is to draw focus on the benefits of tourism, showcasing nation’s cultural diversity and reinforcing the principle of “Tourism for All”.
  • ‘Paika Bidroha’ (Paika rebellion) of 1817 to be named first war of Indian Independence. Paikas were peasant militia under the Gajapati rulers of Odisha. They rebelled against the British rule under the leadership of Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhara.
  • 24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948 marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter.