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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 09 June 2018

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 09 June 2018


Paper 1:

Topic: Urbanization, their problems and their remedies.


Swachh Bharat Mission


Context: Sanitation coverage in rural India, under the Swachh Bharat Mission, has now risen to 85%. As per the data released by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, through mobilisation of rural communities, 7.4 crore toilets were built across rural India, and as an outcome, over 3.8 lakh villages and 391 districts were declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).


About Swachh Bharat Mission- Gramin:

  • The Swachh Bharat Mission is the first sanitation programme in the country to measure outcomes (ODF) instead of output (toilets) alone.
  • The aim of Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) is to achieve a clean and Open Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2nd October, 2019.



  • To bring about an improvement in the general quality of life in the rural areas, by promoting cleanliness, hygiene and eliminating open defecation.
  • To accelerate sanitation coverage in rural areas to achieve the vision of Swachh Bharat by 2nd October 2019.
  • To motivate communities to adopt sustainable sanitation practices and facilities through awareness creation and health education.
  • To encourage cost effective and appropriate technologies for ecologically safe and sustainable sanitation.
  • To develop, wherever required, community managed sanitation systems focusing on scientific Solid & Liquid Waste Management systems for overall cleanliness in the rural areas.
  • To create significant positive impact on gender and promote social inclusion by improving sanitation especially in marginalized communities.


What’s important?

  • For Prelims: SBM- components, objectives and outcomes, ODF states.
  • For Mains: Significance of the mission and outcomes, challenges ahead and solutions therein.


Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2:

Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.


Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gramin Kaushal Yojana (DDU-GKY)

Context: Ministry of Shipping in association with Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gramin Kaushal Yojana (DDU-GKY), Ministry of Rural Development recently conducted a workshop on “Skill Development in the Port and Maritime Sector”.



India is one of the leading suppliers of seafarers in the world and now want to be the leading supplier for all talent in the Port and Maritime sector. Skill Development in the Port & Maritime sector is an opportunity to improve India’s coastal areas, usher in port led prosperity and provide the world with skilled youth.


About DDU GKY:

  • The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) announced the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) Antyodaya Diwas, on 25th September 2014. DDU-GKY is a part of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), tasked with the dual objectives of adding diversity to the incomes of rural poor families and cater to the career aspirations of rural youth.
  • DDU-GKY is uniquely focused on rural youth between the ages of 15 and 35 years from poor families. As a part of the Skill India campaign, it plays an instrumental role in supporting the social and economic programs of the government like the Make In India, Digital India, Smart Cities and Start-Up India, Stand-Up India campaigns.


In order to ensure complete social and regional inclusion the following special schemes have been launched:

  • Himayat: A special scheme for the youth (rural & urban) of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Roshni: A special initiative for the rural youth of poor families in 27 Left-wing Extremist (LWE) districts across 9 states.


Facts for Prelims- Center of Excellence in Maritime and Ship Building (CEMS):

  • Under the Ministry of Shipping’s flagship Sagarmala Programme a world class Center of Excellence in Maritime and Ship Building (CEMS) is being set up in partnership with Siemens and Indian Register of Shipping (IRS).
  • It will have campuses at Vishakhapatnam and Mumbai and will train 10,512 students per year.
  • The CEMS aims to become an international nodal Centre in South Asia, attracting students from neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia for skill development in the Port and Maritime sector.


What’s important?

  • For Prelims: DDU- GKY- key features of the scheme, about CEMS- location of the institute and objectives, Himayat and Roshni.
  • For Mains: Need for skill development and human capital creation, various efforts by the government.


Sources: pib.

Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.


Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM)

Context: Ministry of Rural Development recently conferred National Awards on Best Performing Self Help Groups under DAY – National Rural Livelihood Mission.


National awards:

Conferring awards to best performing SHG and Village Organizations was initiated by DAY-NRLM in 2016-17. The National Awards to the Self-Help Groups (SHGs) are intended to provide public recognition to the outstanding performance of the community institutions and incorporate a sense of pride among the poor community members.


Significance of SHGs:

The SHGs are a perfect example of how livelihoods of households can transform through a collective approach, managed in line with core democratic and financial principles. The SHG has contributed to several community level activities for the common good. These include awareness promotion for constructing household toilets using SBM funds, environmental sanitation, liquid waste management and support for maintenance of village commons. SHG has demonstrated strong features of a progressive community based institution.


About Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana:

Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) was launched by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India in June 2011. The Mission aims at creating efficient and effective institutional platforms of the rural poor enabling them to increase household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial services.


Facts for Prelims:

  • SARAS Aajeevika Mela is an annual event of DAY-NRLM and it aims to provide a platform to the rural artisans to showcase their skills and products and also develop market linkages for their products.
  • Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana, under DAY- NRLM, aims to provide an alternative source of livelihoods to members of SHGs by facilitating them to operate public transport services in backward rural areas, as identified by the States. It also aims to provide safe, affordable and community monitored rural transport services to connect remote villages with key services and amenities for the overall economic development of the area.


What’s important?

  • For Prelims: DAY- NRLM- key features, SARAS Aajeevika Mela, Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana.
  • For Mains: Schemes for overall rural economic development and the importance of rural development for overall country’s growth.


Sources: pib.

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


UN Security Council


Context: The UN General Assembly has elected Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia and South Africa to serve as non-permanent members on the Security Council for two years starting in January.

The five new members will replace Bolivia, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands and Sweden on the council.


Selection of members:

There are 15 members on the UN Security Council, including the five permanent ones — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — and 10 non-permanent members, half of which are elected each year. Each candidate country needed to secure two thirds of the votes in order to clinch a seat.


About UNSC:

What is it?

  • The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.
  • Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions; it is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.



  • The Security Council consists of fifteen members. Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, and the United States—serve as the body’s five permanent members. These permanent members can veto any substantive Security Council resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or candidates for Secretary-General.
  • The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms. The body’s presidency rotates monthly among its members.


Proposed reforms:

Reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) encompasses five key issues: categories of membership, the question of the veto held by the five permanent members, regional representation, the size of an enlarged Council and its working methods, and the Security Council-General Assembly relationship. There is also a proposal to admit more permanent members.


Why India should be given a permanent seat in the council?

  • India was among the founding members of United Nations.
  • It is the second largest and a one of the largest constant contributor of troops to United Nations Peacekeeping missions.
  • Today, India has over 8,500 peacekeepers in the field, more than twice as many as the UN’s five big powers combined.
  • India, since long time, has been demanding expansion of UNSC and its inclusion as permanent member in it. It has been a member of UNSC for 7 terms and a member of G-77 and G-4, so permanent membership is a logical extension.


What’s important?

  • For Prelims: UNSC- composition, new members and role of the organization, G- 77, G- 4.
  • For Mains: UNSC reforms and related issues.


Sources: the hindu.

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


G7 bloc


Context: 44th annual G7 Summit is being held in Quebec, Canada.


What is G7 Summit?

G7 Summit is an event conducted annually where world leaders from seven powerful economies of the world, US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Japan and Italy come together to discuss burning issues happening around the globe. They, by mutual understanding, also form policies or figure out remedies for the concerned issue.


What is the 44th G7 Summit all about?

Every year few international issues which need to be tackled are taken into account and policies are formed around them. Canada has put forward the following 5 themes for this year’s summit:

  • Investing in growth that works for everyone.
  • Preparing for jobs of the future.
  • Working together on climate change, oceans and clean energy.
  • Building a more peaceful and secure world.
  • Advancing gender equality and impacting women’s empowerment.


Sources: the hindu.

Paper 3:

Topic: Pollution related topics.


Uranium contamination

Context: Scientists have found widespread uranium contamination in groundwater from aquifers across 16 states in India, much above the WHO provisional standard for the country. The main source of uranium contamination was “natural,” but human factors such as groundwater table decline and nitrate pollution could be worsening the problem.


WHO prescribed limit:

The WHO has set a provisional safe drinking water standard of 30 micrograms of uranium per litre, a level that is consistent with the U.S. EPA standards. However, uranium is not yet included in the list of contaminants monitored under the Bureau of Indian Standards’ Drinking Water Specifications.


Main factors responsible for uranium contamination:

  • When over-pumping of aquifers’ groundwater occurs and their water levels decline, it induces oxidation conditions that, in turn, enhance uranium enrichment in the shallow groundwater that remains.
  • While the primary source of uranium is geogenic (naturally occurring), anthropogenic (human caused) factors such as groundwater table decline and nitrate pollution may further enhance uranium mobilisation.
  • Other factors include the amount of uranium contained in an aquifer’s rocks; water-rock interactions that cause the uranium to be extracted from those rocks; oxidation conditions that enhance the extracted uranium’s solubility in water; and the interaction of the extracted uranium with other chemicals in the groundwater, such as bicarbonate, which can further enhance its solubility.


What needs to be done?

  • There is a need for revision of the current water quality monitoring program in India, evaluation of human health risks in areas of high uranium prevalence, development of adequate remediation technologies, and, above all, implementation of preventive management practices to address this problem.
  • Including a uranium standard in the Bureau of Indian Standards’ Drinking Water Specification based on uranium’s kidney-harming effects, establishing monitoring systems to identify at-risk areas, and exploring new ways to prevent or treat uranium contamination will help ensure access to safe drinking water for tens of millions in India.


What’s important?

For Prelims and Mains: Uranium contamination- causes, concerns, effects and solutions.


Sources: the hindu.


Facts for Prelims:


Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy:

  • Context: With a view to rationalize and simplify the selection of top performing university in sports for award of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy, the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports has approved the revised guidelines for MAKA Trophy.
  • Under the revised guidelines, the applications from the universities, which were hitherto used to be invited and scrutinized by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), will now be invited and scrutinised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports/Sports Authority of India.
  • Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy: Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy was instituted in 1956- 57 as a running trophy by the Ministry of Education, Govt. of India. This running trophy is awarded by the President of India each year to a University which has all round best performance in sports at Inter-University, National and International competitions.


Deocha-Pachami coal block:

Context: The Centre has handed over the Deocha-Pachami coal mines to the West Bengal government.


  • It is said to be second largest coal block in the world.
  • The coal block is located in Birbhum district in West Bengal.

Power to auction non- coal mines: As per the new mining law — the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015 — which came into effect from January 2015, the non-coal mines have to be auctioned by the respective state governments.


World Oceans Day- 8 June:

Context: World Ocean Day is celebrated every year on June 8th.

Action focus for 2018: preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean.

Background: The concept of a ‘World Oceans Day’ was first proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro as a way to celebrate our world’s shared ocean and our personal connection to the sea, as well as to raise awareness about the crucial role the ocean plays in our lives and the important ways people can help protect it.

The UN General Assembly recognized the important contribution of sustainable development and management of the resources and uses of the oceans and seas to the achievement of international development goals, including those contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, and designated 8 June as World Oceans Day.

SDG: The Ocean Conference was convened to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.