Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 8 March, 2021

Daily news will speed up the preparation for the Civil Services Examination and it also plays a crucial role to grasp the current affairs topic comprehensively. Here we have covered most of the topics related to various categories including National, International, Sports, Science and Technology, and so on.

1. International Women’s Day 2021

Why in news?

It is celebrated on 8 March and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has saluted the indomitable Nari Shakti on International Women’s Day.

Key points are:

– In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, “Saluting our indomitable #NariShakti on International Women’s Day! India takes pride in the many accomplishments of the women of our nation. It is our Government’s honour to be getting the opportunity to work towards furthering women empowerment across a wide range of sectors.”

– This year, the theme for International Women’s Day (8 March), “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”

– The theme celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and highlights the gaps that remain.

– The campaign theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is ‘Choose To Challenge’. A challenged world is an alert world. And from challenge comes change. So let’s all #ChooseToChallenge.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 5 March, 2021

2. Stand Up India Scheme

Why in news?

More than 81% of account holders are Women under Stand Up India Scheme. As we are celebrating International Women’s Day on 8th March 2021, we take a look at various schemes initiated by the Ministry of Finance which have benefitted the women in India.

Key points are:

– Ministry of Finance, in the past seven years, has launched various Schemes which have special provisions for the empowerment of women.

– These Schemes have financially empowered women to lead a better life and chase their dreams of being an entrepreneur.

Stand-Up India Scheme – Stand Up India Scheme was launched on 5 April 2016 to promote entrepreneurship at the grass-root level of economic empowerment and job creation. This scheme seeks to leverage the institutional credit structure to reach out to the underserved sector of people such as Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Women Entrepreneurs so as to enable them to participate in the economic growth of the nation.

– The objective of this scheme is to facilitate bank loans between Rs.10 lakh and Rs.1 crore to at least one Scheduled Caste (SC) or Scheduled Tribe (ST) borrower and at least one woman borrower per bank branch of SCBs for setting up a Greenfield enterprise.

– As on 26.02.2021, more than 81% i.e., 91,109 accounts with an amount of Rs. 20,749 crore have been sanctioned to women entrepreneurs under Stand Up India Scheme.

Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) – PMMY was launched on April 8, 2015, for providing loans up to 10 lakh to non-corporate, non-farm small/micro-enterprises. These loans are classified as MUDRA loans under PMMY. These loans are given by Commercial Banks, RRBs, Small Finance Banks, MFIs and NBFCs.

– Under the aegis of PMMY, MUDRA has created three products namely ‘Shishu’, ‘Kishore’ and ‘Tarun’ to signify the stage of growth/development and funding needs of the beneficiary micro unit/entrepreneur and also provide a reference point for the next phase of graduation/growth.

– As on 26.02.2021, about 68% i.e., 19.04 crore accounts with an amount of Rs. 6.36 lakh crore has been sanctioned to women entrepreneurs under the MUDRA scheme since inception.

Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) – PMJDY was launched on 28th August 2014. It envisages universal access to banking facilities with at least one basic banking account for every household, financial literacy, access to credit, insurance and pension.

– As on 24.02.2021, 23.21 crore accounts, out of the total 41.93 crore accounts opened under the scheme belong to women account holders.

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3. Silk production

Why in news?

The Central Silk Board (CSB) under the Ministry of Textiles and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a convergence model for the implementation of Agro-forestry in the silk sector under the ongoing Sub-Mission on Agroforestry (SMAF) Scheme in the presence of Union Textiles and Women and Child Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani and Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Parshottam Rupala here on 7 March, 2021.

Key points are:

– The MoU was signed by Dr. Alka Bhargava, Additional Secretary, DAC&FW and Shri Rajit Ranjan Okhandiar, Member Secretary (Central Silk Board), Ministry of Textiles.

– The signing of this MoU aims to incentivize the farmers to take up sericulture based Agroforestry models thereby contributing to Make in India and Make for the World vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

– This linkage will add another dimension to agroforestry for faster returns to the growers as well as support the production of the range of silks that India is famous for.

– The Central Silk Board (CSB), Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India will act as a catalyst to promote Agroforestry in the silk sector.

– The Buniyaad Reeling Machine for Tussar Silk Yarn were also distributed to some of the beneficiaries on the occasion. The beneficiaries also shared their experiences virtually from across the country.

– Speaking on the occasion, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani said that India will be fully Atmanirbhar in Silk production in the next two years. She said that raw silk production in the country has increased by 35% in the last six years.

– The Minister informed that more than 90 lakh people have got employment in raw silk production.

– The minister further stated that this MOU signing will increase the agricultural income from 20 to 30%. Referring to the PPE kits, in which India has become the second-largest producer in the world.

– The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DAC & FW) is implementing the Sub-Mission on Agroforestry (SMAF) since 2016-17 as part of the recommendation of the National Agroforestry Policy 2014.

– India was the first country to have such a comprehensive policy which was launched at the World Agroforestry Congress held in Delhi in February 2014. At present, the scheme is being implemented in 20 States and 2 UTs.

– SMAF aims to encourage farmers to plant multi-purpose trees together with the agriculture crops for climate resilience and an additional source of income to the farmers, as well as enhanced feedstock to inter alia wood-based and herbal industry.

– The initiative of formalizing the collaboration in the sericulture sector is especially targeted for augmentation of sericulture host plants e.g. Mulberry, Asan, Arjuna, Som, Soalu, Kesseru, BadaKesseru, Phanat, etc. to be cultivated both as block plantations and border or peripheral plantations on farmlands.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 3 March, 2021

4. ‘Maitri Setu’ between India and Bangladesh

Why in news?

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate ‘Maitri Setu’ between India and Bangladesh on 9th March 2021 at 12 noon through video conferencing.

Prime Minister will also inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of multiple infrastructure projects in Tripura during the event.

Key points are:

– The bridge ‘Maitri Setu’ has been built over the Feni river which flows between the Indian boundary in Tripura State and Bangladesh.

– The name ‘Maitri Setu’ symbolizes growing bilateral relations and friendly ties between India and Bangladesh.

– The construction was taken up by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd at a project cost of Rs. 133 Crores.

– The 1.9 Km long bridge joins Sabroom in India with Ramgarh in Bangladesh.

–  It is poised to herald a new chapter for trade and people to people movement between India and Bangladesh. With this inauguration, Tripura is set to become the ‘Gateway of North East’ with access to Chittagong Port of Bangladesh, which is just 80 Kms from Sabroom.

– Prime Minister will also lay the foundation stone for setting up an Integrated Check Post at Sabroom.

–  It will help ease the movement of goods and passengers between the two countries, provide new market opportunities for products of North-East states and assist the seamless movement of passengers to and from India and Bangladesh.

– The project is being taken up by the Land Ports Authority of India at an estimated cost of about Rs. 232 Crores.

– Prime Minister will also lay the foundation stone of NH 208 connecting the Unakoti district headquarters at Kailashahar with the Khowai district headquarters.

– It will provide an alternative route to the NH 44. The 80 Km NH 208 project has been taken up by the National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited with a project cost of Rs. 1078 Crores.

– Prime Minister will also inaugurate State Highways and other district roads, developed by the State government with a financial outlay of Rs. 63.75 Crores. They will provide all-weather connectivity to the people of Tripura.

– Prime Minister will inaugurate 40978 houses constructed under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), completed with the financial outlay of Rs. 813 Crores. He will also inaugurate the Integrated Command and Control Centre built under Agartala Smart City Mission.

– Further, Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone for the development of the Multi-Level Car Parking and Commercial Complex at Old Motor Stand. It will be developed at an investment of about Rs 200 crore.

– He will also lay the foundation stone for widening the existing road from Lichubagan to the airport from two lanes to four lanes. The work is being implemented by Agartala Smart City Mission at a project cost of about Rs 96 crores.

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5. Women Technology Parks (WTP)

Why in news?

The value of the WTP programme in Women Empowerment through Science and Technology have been appreciated recently by the parliamentary committee for women empowerment in its report.

“The Committee believe that Women Technology Park (WTP) set up with the help of government agencies would be a boon for the rural poor. Demonstration of feasible projects and transfer of proven technologies to the society would improve the livelihood and quality of life of rural women by imparting necessary entrepreneurial skills”.

Key points are:

– Dr.Neelu Ahuja, a Professor in the Computer Science Department, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES), Dehradun is passionate about initiatives that would change the lives of rural women and other marginalized sections of the society.

– She chanced upon the Women Technology Park (WTP) programme under Science & Technology for Women Scheme of the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India.

– Through this scheme, she has been able to change the lives of 280 rural women of Dehradun by training them into skills to earn their livelihood by producing and selling various special items.

– hey are the most enterprising among them 480 women trained under the project. Through technological training, the women were able to utilize locally available natural resources like bamboo, jute, date palm leaves into jewellery items and decorative pieces.

– They also turned waste to wealth by making pencils out of newspaper and acquired the skill to cultivate medicinal plants.

– Far away in Andhra Pradesh another WTP has trained around 350 rural women to develop products ranging from herbal to food and cosmetics.

– Dr A Jyothi, a retired Professor from Sri Padmavati Mahila Visvavidyalam, Tirupati who was part of the WTP team elaborated on how the team conducted a door-to-door survey to find out enterprising rural women and also school and college going girls in the various districts of the state who could be trained to improve their knowledge, skills and earn more using science and technology.

About Women Technology Parks

– They are established in rural and peri-urban areas as technology modulation, adaptation and training Centers for women groups mainly from the farming community.

– They promote the development and adaptation of appropriate technologies, transfer proven technologies and demonstration of live technology models to improve the weakest link of the predominant livelihood system of women in an area and promote social entrepreneurship and women employment based on the strongest link of the livelihood system.

– They create an environment, where scientists and technologists from mentoring organizations could provide knowledge and appropriate technology for adoption and practice by women groups at their own farm or workplace.

– Women receiving training through these WTPs can form Self Help Groups and set up their own micro-enterprises to become self-reliant.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 1 March, 2021

6. Conservation works at Singorgarh Fort in Damoh district (MP)

Why in news?

– The President of India Ram Nath Kovind laid the foundation stone for the conservation works of Singorgarh Fort in Singrampur village of Damoh district in Madhya Pradesh on 7 March, 2021.

Key points are:

– The President also inaugurated the newly carved Jabalpur Circle of Archaeological Survey of India.

–  He also addressed the State Level Tribal Conference at Singrampur village in Damoh.

– The program was organized by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and the Tribal Affairs Department of Madhya Pradesh.

– Shri Kovind paid floral tributes at the statue of Rani Durgavati in Singrampur village.

– A video film showcasing the historical heritage of Singrampur was also screened during the program. Along with this, the students of Eklavya Vidyalaya performed a cultural program on the heroic story of Rani Durgavati.

– On this occasion, the booklet of the Tribal Department was released and the portal for virtual classes for tribal artists was also launched by the President. Apart from this, the talented tribal students were awarded the Shankar Shah and Rani Durgavati awards by the President.

7. Manuscript with commentaries by 21 scholars on shlokas of Srimad Bhagavadgita

Why in news?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release 11 Volumes of Manuscript with commentaries by 21 scholars on shlokas of Srimad Bhagavadgita on 9th March 2021 at 5 PM at Lok Kalyan Marg, New Delhi.  J&K Lt. Governor Shri Manoj Sinha and Dr. Karan Singh will also be present on the occasion.

Key points are:

– Srimad Bhagavadgita: Rare multiple Sanskrit commentaries in original calligraphy.

– In general, the practice with Srimad Bhagavadgita is to present the text with a single commentary. For the first time, many of the key commentaries by celebrated Indian scholars are being brought together for achieving a comprehensive and comparative appreciation of Srimad Bhagavadgita.

– The Manuscript, published by Dharmarth Trust, is written with extraordinary variety and nuance of Indian calligraphy ranging from Shankar Bhashya to Bhasanuvada. Dr Karan Singh is the Chairman Trustee of Dharmarth Trust, J&K.

8. The First Graduation Day

Why in news?

Vice President addresses the First Graduation Day of ESIC Medical College Faridabad held on 7th March 2021.

Key points are:

­- The 1st Graduation Day Ceremony of ESIC Medical College & Hospital, Faridabad, Haryana was held on 07.03.2021 at  Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Vice President of India was the Chief Guest of the event.

– Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour & Employment, Govt. of India presided over the function.

– The other Dignitaries to grace the occasion were Shri Apurva Chandra, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Labour & Employment, Govt. of India, Smt. Anuradha Prasad, IDAS, Additional Secretary, Labour & Employment, Govt. of India & Director General, ESIC, Dr. Asim Das, Dean, ESIC Medical College & Hospital, Faridabad and officers from Ministry of Labour & Employment and ESIC.

– Vice President congratulated all the 91 graduating doctors. He also felicitated the topper students of the batch. In his address to the graduating students, he stressed the teachings of our glorious past which are share and care, giving equal opportunity and respect to women, etc. He further urged the doctors to keep the values and ethics first.

– He also lauded the efforts of the entire medical fraternity from doctors to nurses, para-medical staff and sanitary workers, technicians and ASHA workers in villages for their fight against the pandemic.

– Shri Naidu also lauded the Indian industry for ramping up the production of essential items such as PPE kits, surgical gloves, face masks, ventilators and vaccines.

– The Vice President praised ESIC for running India’s largest social security program covering roughly 10% of the country’s population.

– However, he also highlighted the scope for improvement to ensure better customer experience, grievance redressal and improved health outcomes.

– He further commended the Ministry of Labour and Employment for initiating major reforms in ESIC to ensure the safety, security and health of every worker.

About ESIC Medical College  & Hospital, Faridabad

– ESIC Medical College & Hospital, Faridabad is one of the six Medical Colleges being run by ESIC across the country and the only one in North India.

– It has been constructed with a project cost of Rs.800 Crore in a sprawling area of 30 Acres with a total build-up area of 18 Lakhs sqft.

– The medical college has an intake of 125 seats annually for MBBS Course. The Frist batch comprising 100 MBBS students of the college was admitted in the year 2015

– The medical college is equipped with the latest equipment, air-conditioned classrooms, labs, etc. The college also has in-campus hostel for Boys & Girls and a residence for Doctors/Nurses/Staffs. Besides, the college also provides indoors & outdoors sports facilities for extracurricular activities.

About ESI Scheme in India

– The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation is a pioneer Social Security organization providing comprehensive social security benefits like reasonable Medical Care and a range of Cash Benefits in times of need such as employment injury, sickness, death etc.

– The ESI Act applies to premises/precincts where 10 or more persons are employed. The employees drawing wages up to Rs.21,000/- a month are entitled to health insurance cover and other benefits, under the ESI Act.

– The Act now applies to over 12.36 lakh factories and establishments across the country, benefiting about 3.41 crores of family units of workers. As of now, the total beneficiary population of the ESI Scheme stands over 13.24 crores.

– Ever since its inception in 1952, the ESI Corporation has, so far, set up 159 Hospitals, 1502/308 Dispensaries / ISM Units, 559/185 Branch/Pay Offices, 49 Dispensaries cum Branch Offices and 64 Regional & Sub-Regional Offices. To bridge the shortage of doctors, ESIC also forayed into the field of medical education.

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