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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 9th March 2022

Today Current Affairs: 9th March 2022 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc


Donate a Pension Initiative: Key Features

Launched recently by the Labour Ministry.

Key features of the programme:

  • Launched under Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan (PM-SYM) for people to contribute to the pension fund of their support staff.
  • Under this, citizens can donate the premium contribution of their immediate support staff such as domestic workers, drivers, helpers etc.
  • PM-SYM is a 50:50 voluntary and contributory pension scheme in which the beneficiary makes a stipulated age-specific contribution and the Central Government matches it.
  • The Ministry of Labour and Employment will oversee PM-SYM, which will be implemented by Life Insurance Corporation of India and CSC eGovernance Services India Limited (CSC SPV).
  • Workers working in the unorganised sector in the age group of 18-40 years can register themselves and deposit a minimum of Rs 660 to 2400 every year depending on their age.
  • They should not be covered under New Pension Scheme (NPS), Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) scheme or Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). Further, he/she should not be an income tax payer.
  • After attaining the age of 60 years they will receive the minimum assured pension of Rs 3,000 per month.

Governor’s Address: Controversy In West Bengal And Telangana

The customary governor’s address on the opening day of the budget session of a state assembly was mired in controversy recently in West Bengal and Telangana.

  • The governor of West Bengal, Jagdeep Dhankhar, was unable to deliver his address at the Vidhan Sabha on the first day of the budget session, amid sloganeering, chaos and protests.
  • In Telangana, the budget session of the state assembly commenced without the customary governor’s address, and the incumbent, Tamilisai Soundararajan, expressed discontent over the state government’s decision to not have the governor’s address at the beginning of the session.

Governor’s Address:

  • Article 176(1) of the Constitution of India enjoins that the Governor shall Address both the Houses assembled together at the commencement of the first Session after each general election to the Assembly and at the commencement of the first session of each year and inform the Legislature of the causes of its Summons.
  • The Address of the Governor contains a review of the activities and Achievements of the Government during the previous year and their policy with regard to important internal problems as well as a brief account of the programme of Government Business for the session.

Kanya Shiksha Pravesh Utsav Scheme:

On the eve of International Women’s Day, the Ministry of Women and Child Development has launched ‘Kanya Shiksha Pravesh Utsav’ scheme to bring back the out-of-school girls back to the education system.

Key features of the scheme:

  • Launched by the Women and Child Development Ministry in partnership with the Education Ministry.
  • This scheme will fulfil the target of Right To Education act that says to bring out-of-school girls back to the education system.
  • While female enrolment has increased rapidly since the 1990s, there is still a substantial gap in upper primary and secondary schooling.
  • High drop-out rates: Increased female enrolment is, compromised by persistently high rates of drop-out and poor attendance of girls relative to boys.
  • Girls also constitute a large proportion of out-of-school children.
  • There are also considerable inter-state variations in gender parity.
  • While the greatest surges in female enrolment have been achieved in the most educationally disadvantaged states such as Bihar and Rajasthan, these states still have a long way to go to catch up with the better performing states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh.
  • Some studies suggest that girls are over-represented in the government schools, demonstrating continuing son preference where boys (highlighted in economic survey 2018) are educated in private and better schools which are of (perceived) better quality.

Women’s Day 2022: Theme

Women’s Day is celebrated every year around the world on March 8.

  • Theme for International Women’s Day, 2022 (IWD 2022) is ‘Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow’.
  • It attempts to recognise the “contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all”.
  • IWD 2022 campaign theme is ‘#BreakTheBias’.
  • It intends to promote a “gender equal world”, which is “free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination”. “A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive”, and where “difference is valued and celebrated”.
  • IWD has been celebrated for over a century now, but many people think of it purely as a feminist cause. Its roots, however, are found in the labour movement, wherein it was first organised in 1911 by the early 20th century Marxist from Germany Clara Zetkin.
  • Purple, green and white are the colors of International Women’s Day.
    • Purple signifies justice and dignity.
    • Green symbolizes hope.
    • White represents purity, albeit a controversial concept.

Savitribai And Jyotirao Phule:

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has recently received flak for his remarks on the social reformist couple Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule.

  • He said in a video, “Savitribai was married off at the age of 10 and her husband was 13 years old at that time.
  • Now think about it, what must girls and boys be thinking after getting married”.

Savitribhai Phule:

  • Born in Naigaon in Maharashtra on January 3, 1831, Phule is widely regarded as one of India’s first generation modern feminists for her significant contributions in ensuring equal education opportunities under the British raj.
  • She became the first female teacher in India in 1848 and opened a school for girls along with her husband, social reformer Jyotirao Phule.
  • The two also worked against discrimination based on caste-based identity, something vehemently opposed by the orthodox sections of society in Pune.
  • The couple set up ‘Balyata Pratibandak Gruha’, a childcare centre for the protection of pregnant widows and rape victims.
  • Phule also played a pivotal role in directing the work of the Satyashodhak Samaj, formed by her husband with the objective to achieve equal rights for the marginalised lower castes.
  • As an extension, they started, ‘Satya Shodhaka Marriage’ where the marrying couple has to take a pledge to promote education and equality.
  • Savitribai opened a clinic in 1897 for victims of the bubonic plague that spread across Maharashtra just before the turn of the century.
  • She also set up “Balhatya Pratibandhak Griha”.
  • She organised a boycott by barbers against the tradition of head tonsuring of widows.
  • In her honour, University of Pune was renamed Savitribai Phule University in 2015.

About Jyotirao Phule:

  • Born in 1827 in Satara district of Maharashtra.
  • Phule was given the title of Mahatma on May 11, 1888, by Vithalrao Krishnaji Vandekar, a Maharashtrian social activist.
  • His famous works: Tritiya Ratna (1855), Gulamgiri (1873), Shetkarayacha Aasud, or Cultivator’s Whipcord (1881), Satyashodhak Samajokt Mangalashtakasah Sarva Puja-vidhi (1887).

Exercise Vayu Shakti:

Amid the deepening crisis in Ukraine, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided to postpone its firepower demonstration, Exercise Vayu Shakti.

  • The exercise was scheduled in the Pokhran ranges in Rajasthan. The last edition of Vayu Shakti was held in February 2019
  • Ex Vayu Shakti is a triennial exercise once every three year. It is aimed at showcasing the capability of the IAF to conduct full spectrum operations (Day and Night), and to see the participation of aircraft and helicopters,transport aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • The frontline aircraft in the IAF inventory includes:
    • Russian SU-30MKI and MiG-29UPG fighters,
    • French Rafale and Mirage 2000,
    • American C-130 and C-17 transport aircraft, AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters,
    • Indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas), Advanced Light Helicopter (Dhruv) and the Light Combat Helicopter.

SLINEX-22: Bilateral Maritime Exercise

The Ninth Edition of India – Sri Lanka Bilateral Maritime Exercise SLINEX (Sri Lanka–India Naval Exercise) is being conducted at Visakhapatnam.

  • The 8th edition of SLINEX was conducted off Trincomalee, Sri Lanka in October 2020.
  • The exercise is being conducted in two phases, the Harbour Phase at Visakhapatnam followed by the Sea Phase in the Bay of Bengal.
  • The Harbour Phase would include professional, cultural, sporting and social exchanges.
  • Sea Phase will include surface and anti-air weapon firing exercises, seamanship evolutions, aviation operations including cross deck flying, advanced tactical manoeuvres and special forces operations at sea.
  • Sri Lanka Navy will be represented by SLNS Sayurala, an advanced offshore patrol vessel and the Indian Navy by INS Kirch, a guided missile corvette.
  • Other participants from the Indian Navy,
    • INS Jyoti, a Fleet support tanker.
    • Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH).
    • Seaking and Chetak Helicopters.
    • Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
  • It aims to enhance interoperability, improve mutual understanding and exchange best practices and procedures for multi-faceted maritime operations between both navies.
  • SLINEX exemplifies the deep maritime engagement between India and Sri Lanka and has grown in scope over the years to strengthen mutual cooperation, in consonance with India’s policy of ‘Neighbourhood First’ and vision of ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)’.

Glycosmis Albicarpa: New Rin Berry Species

A team of scientists from the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) has discovered a new gin berry species named Glycosmis albicarpa from the Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu.

  • BSI, established in 1890, is the apex research organisation under the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEFCC) for carrying out taxonomic and floristic studies on wild plant resources of the country.
  • It has the objective to explore plant resources of the country and to identify plant species with economic virtues.

Glycosmis Albicarpa

  • The species is endemic to the southern Western Ghats.
  • The species belongs to the Orange family, Rutaceae.
  • Many of the related plants of these taxonomic groups are being utilised for their medicinal values and food.
  • Most commonly related species of these plants are collected from the wild, mainly for local use as food and medicine.
  • Berries of Glycosmis species have the unique characteristic of ‘gin aroma’ and have gained in popularity as an edible fruit.
  • The species is also a larval host plant for butterflies like other species of Glycosmis.

National Waterways 2 Gets Connected With National Waterways 1:

The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways received the maiden voyage of food-grains from Patna to Pandu port via Bangladesh in Guwahati (Assam).

  • Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is planning to run a fixed schedule sailing between NW1 and NW2 heralding a new age of inland water transport for Assam & the Northeast India.
  • The Inland Vessels Bill, 2021, was also approved to regulate safety, security and registration of inland vessels.
  • The start of cargo movement through ships through Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route (IBRP) marks the beginning of a new age of economic prosperity for the whole region of Northeast.
  • This will pave the way for growth & development of inland water transport.
  • This will also provide the business community a viable, economic & ecological alternative and will also play a pivotal role in energising India’s northeast as the engine of growth.
  • The sustained effort to rejuvenate the historical trade routes via Bangladesh got a fillip under PM Gati Shakti.
  • It has been envisioned that Northeast will slowly turn & convert into a connectivity hub.
  • The integrated development plan, under PM Gati Shakti, has been envisioned in order to amp up swift movement of cargo over Brahmaputra.

Inland Waterways:

  • India has about 14,500 km of navigable waterways which consist of rivers, canals, backwaters, creeks, etc.
  • As per the National Waterways Act 2016, 111 waterways have been declared as National Waterways (NWs).
  • NW-1: Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly River System (Prayagraj-Haldia) with length 1620 km is the longest National Waterway in India.
  • The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is implementing the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) for capacity augmentation of navigation on the Haldia-Varanasi stretch of Ganga (part of NW-1) with the technical and financial assistance of the World Bank.

What Is SAMARTH Initiative?

On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2022, the Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), launched a Special Entrepreneurship Promotion Drive for Women -“SAMARTH” .

  • Under the Samarth initiative of the Ministry, following benefits will be available to aspiring and existing women entrepreneurs:
    • 20% Seats in free Skill Development Programs organised under skill development schemes of the Ministry will be allocated for Women.
    • 20% of MSME Business Delegations sent to domestic & international exhibitions under the schemes for Marketing Assistance implemented by the Ministry will be dedicated to women owned MSMEs.
    • 20% Discount on annual processing fee on National Small Industries Corporation’s (NSIC) Commercial Schemes.
  • NSIC is a Government of India Enterprise under the Ministry of MSME.
  • Special Drive for registration of women-owned MSMEs under Udyam Registration.
  • Through this initiative, the Ministry of MSME is focusing on providing Skill Development and Market Development Assistance to women.
  • More than 7500 women candidates from rural and sub- urban areas will be trained in the FY 2022-23.
  • Besides, thousands of women will be getting marketing opportunities to showcase their products in domestic and international exhibitions.
  • Also, to enhance the participation of women entrepreneurs in Public Procurement, a special discount of 20% shall also be offered on annual processing fee on NSIC’s following commercial schemes during the year 2022-23:
    • Single Point Registration Scheme
    • Raw Material Assistance and Bill Discounting
    • Tender Marketing
    • B2B Portal