INS Vikrant


Why in news?

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi commissioned the first indigenous aircraft carrier as INS Vikrant today.

Why is INS Vikrant?

  • INS Vikrant is designed by Indian Navy’s in-house Warship Design Bureau (WDB) and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited, a Public Sector Shipyard under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways.
  • Vikrant has been built with state-of-the-art automation features and is the largest ship ever built in the maritime history of India.
  • The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier is named after her illustrious predecessor, India’s first Aircraft Carrier which had played a vital role in the 1971 war.
  • It has a large number of indigenous equipment and machinery, involving major industrial houses in the country as well as over 100 MSMEs.
  • With the commissioning of Vikrant, India will have two operational Aircraft Carriers, which will bolster the maritime security of the nation.




Why in news?

Union Minister Shri Piyush Goyal called for the integration of the One District One Product (ODOP) initiative with the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC).

What is Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC)?
  • It is an initiative aimed at promoting open networks for all aspects of the exchange of goods and services over digital or electronic networks.
  • ONDC is to be based on open-sourced methodology, using open specifications and open network protocols independent of any specific platform.
  • It is being developed as a counter to the current duopoly in the Indian e-commerce market which is largely dictated by Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart.
  • The ONDC platform lies in the middle of the interfaces hosting the buyers and the sellers.




Why in news?

India is trying to get duty-free access for ODOP products, said Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal.

What is ODOP?

  • One District One Product (ODOP) is an initiative which is seen as a transformational step forward towards realizing the true potential of a district, fuel economic growth and generate employment and rural entrepreneurship, taking us to the goal of AtmaNirbhar Bharat.
  • One District One Product (ODOP) initiative is operationally merged with ‘Districts as Export Hub’ initiative being implemented by DGFT, Department of Commerce, with Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) as a major stakeholder.
  • The objective is to convert each District of the country into an Export Hub by identifying products with export potential in the District.




Why in news?

Clean Ganga Mission urges farmers to adopt zero-budget natural farming under the ‘Arth Ganga’ campaign.

What is Arth Ganga?

  • PM Modi first introduced the concept during the first National Ganga Council meeting in Kanpur in 2019, where he urged for a shift from Namami Gange, the Union Government’s flagship project to clean the Ganga, to the model of Arth-Ganga.
  • Arth-Ganga focuses on the sustainable development of the Ganga and its surrounding areas, by focusing on economic activities related to the river.
  • At its core, the Arth-Ganga model seeks to use economics to bridge people with the river.

 “Six Vertical” features of Arth Ganga

  • Zero Budget Natural Farming
  • Monetization and Reuse of Sludge and Wastewater
  • Livelihood Generation Opportunities
  • To increase public participation
  • To promote cultural heritage and tourism
  • To promote institutional building


Ease of doing business


Ease of doing business- Relevance for UPSC Exam

General Studies II- Important International institutions, agencies and fora – their structure, mandate.



  • Ease of doing business in India remains low.
  • Recent reforms have improved the business climate somewhat, but there is a long way to go.

What is the Ease of Doing Business index?

  • It is an index designed by the World Bank to rank 190 economies.
  • A higher rank (closer to 1) means the country’s regulatory environment is favorable to business operations.
  • India was ranked 63rd in the overall index in 2020.
  • World Bank has now discontinued the Doing Business index.

Ranking Indicators

The ranking is calculated on the basis of indicators such as:

  1. Starting a Business
  2. Dealing with Construction Permits
  3. Getting Electricity
  4. Registering Property
  5. Getting Credit
  6. Protecting Minority Investors, Paying Taxes
  7. Trading across Borders
  8. Enforcing Contracts and
  9. Resolving Insolvency

How is ‘Enforcing Contracts’ measured?

  • In 2020, in the parameter of ‘Enforcing Contracts’, India was ranked 163rd, against 186th in 2015. The parameter considers time, cost and quality of the judicial process.
  • Time considers the number of days to resolve a commercial dispute in courts.
  • Cost measures the expenses of attorney, courts and enforcement as a percentage of claim value.
  • Quality considers the use of best practices which can promote efficiency and quality i.e., court proceedings, case management, alternative dispute resolution and court automation.
  • Each of the three indicators have a 33.3% weightage.

India’s Performance

  • At 163rd position in 2020, the country continues to struggle, with the time taken to resolve a commercial dispute being approximately 1,445 days in the Doing Business Report 2020.
  • However, as of August 2022, law ministry data shows a marked improvement of close to 50% in days taken to resolve a dispute to 744 days in New Delhi and 626 days in Mumbai.

Reforms taken to improve

  • The Department of Justice, the nodal point for ‘Enforcing Contracts’ indicator along with the eCommittee of the Supreme Court, has undertaken a series of reforms.
  • Some of the steps include the establishment of dedicated commercial courts with monetary jurisdiction up to ₹3 lakh.
  • There also exists online case filing, e-payment of court fees, electronic case management, special courts for infrastructure project contracts, as well as automatic and random allocation of commercial cases thereby eliminating human intervention.

Way Forward

  • An efficient judiciary instils confidence in investors and signals the commercial viability of transactions.
  • The number of court hearings should be minimized too; often, lawyers have an incentive to stretch out the process.
  • The judicial system should encourage out-of-court settlements through the respective lawyers as practised in advanced countries.
  • It is equally important that the judiciary leaves matters relating to economic governance to governments.


NSO’s Official GDP Estimates 2022


NSO’s Official GDP Estimates 2022- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 3: Indian Economy:
    • Issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.



NSO’s Official GDP Estimates 2022 in News

  • Recently, the National Statistical Office (NSO) released the latest official GDP estimates for the Indian Economy.

NSO 77th Round Report: Situation of Agricultural households in India

NSO’s Official GDP Estimates 2022- Key Findings

  • Quarterly Growth: The NSO estimates an 13.5% growth in gross domestic product (GDP) from the year-earlier April- June period.
  • Performance of Various Sectors of Economy:
    • Only two services sectors — electricity, gas, water and other utility services, and financial and professional services — logged expansions from the January-March quarter, growing by 12.6% and 23.7%, respectively.
    • The major employment-providing sectors of agriculture, manufacturing, construction and the contact-intensive trade, hotels and transport services sector suffered quarter-on-quarter contractions of 13.3%, 10.5%, 22.3% and 24.6%, respectively.
  • Private final consumption expenditure, the essential bulwark of the economy, appeared to have revived with a year-on-year expansion of 25.9% lifting its share in the GDP to just shy of 60%.
  • Both government spending and gross fixed capital formation, which is viewed as a proxy for private investment, shrank quarter-on-quarter by 10.4% and 6.8%, respectively, undermining overall output.

Associated Concerns with NSO’s Official GDP Estimates 2022

  • Slower than RBI’s Estimates: It is disconcertingly slower than the 16.2% pace that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had projected just last month.
    • It points to an economy that is still in search of a firmer footing.
  • May Lead to Slower Growth: Faced with headwinds- signs of a global recession and the Ukraine war- the first-quarter’s underwhelming momentum may pitch the economy into a far shallower growth trajectory.
    • This is even more concerning when faster-than-acceptable inflation erodes consumer confidence.
  • Uneven Growth: Output in the eight broad sectors shows that while year-on-year all sectors expanded, with public administration, defence and other services growing 26.3%, six of these sectors posted sequential contractions.
    • Output in these eight broad sectors combine to provide the Gross Value Added (GVA).
  • Poor Performance on sequential Basis: GDP contracted 9.6% sequentially should be a cause for concern among policymakers.

Expected Headwinds to India’s Growth

  • Given that this year’s monsoon has distributed rains in an erratic scattershot pattern that has caused disruptive flooding in some parts while leaving key paddy and pulses growing areas in northern and eastern India moisture deficient, both farm output and consumer spending in the rural hinterland are likely to take a hit.
  • And with global trade also becalmed amid the sharp slowdown in advanced economies, India’s merchandise exports are sure to weaken in momentum, any benefits from the rupee’s depreciation against the dollar notwithstanding.


  • With the RBI needing to stay laser focused on taming inflation, the onus is on fiscal authorities to spur consumption and investment.


Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2022- Quarterly Bulletin


Exercise “Synergy”


Exercise “Synergy”- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: Governance, Administration and Challenges
    • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Exercise “Synergy” in News

  • Recently, CERT-In under Ministry of Electronics & IT in collaboration with Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) successfully designed & conducted the Cyber Security Exercise “Synergy”.
  • The “Synergy” exercise scenario was derived from real life cyber incidents, in which a domestic level (limited impact) ransomware incident escalates to a global cyber security crisis.

Cyber Security Exercise “Synergy”

  • About: Exercise “Synergy” is a cyber security exercise that is being conducted as part of the International Counter Ransomware Initiative- Resilience Working Group.
    • Synergy” cyber security exercise is being led by India under the leadership of National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS).
  • Participants: Cyber Security Exercise “Synergy” is being held for 13 Countries as part of the International Counter Ransomware Initiative- Resilience Working Group.
    • Each State participated as a National Crisis Management Team having composition from different government agencies including National CERTs/CSIRTs, Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA), Communication & IT/ICT Ministry and Security agencies.
  • Theme: The theme of the exercise “Synergy” was “Building Network Resiliency to counter Ransomware Attacks”.
  • Organizing Body: Exercise “Synergy” was hosted by CERT-In on its exercise simulation platform.
  • Key Objective: The specific objective of the Synergy exercise was to Assess, Share and Improve strategies and practices among Member-States to build network resiliency against ransomware & cyber extortion attacks.
  • Achievements: Exercise “Synergy” was successful in meeting its objectives and provided insights for better coordination & cooperation among CRI Member States to build network resiliency and counter ransomware attacks.

Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT­-In)

  • About: Established in 2004, CERT-In is the national nodal agency for responding to computer security incidents as and when they occur.
    • The constituency of CERT-In is the Indian Cyber Community.
    • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Parent Ministry: works as a functional organization of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
  • Key functions: as provided by Information Technology (Amendment) Act 2008. It designated CERT-In to serve as the national agency to perform the following functions in the area of cybersecurity:
    • Collection, analysis, and dissemination of information on cyber incidents.
    • Forecast and alerts of cybersecurity incidents
    • Emergency measures for handling cybersecurity incidents
    • Coordination of cyber incident response activities.
    • Issue guidelines, advisories, vulnerability notes, and white-papers relating to information
    • security practices, procedures, prevention, response, and reporting of cyber incidents.
    • Such other functions relating to cybersecurity as may be prescribed.


National Conference on Cyber Safety and National Security


Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2022


Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2022- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2022: PLFS report consists of quarterly and annual labour employment-unemployment data about Indian Labour Market. Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) report provides key insights into the conditions of Indian Labour Market and is important for UPSC Mains GS Paper 3 of Indian Economy- Issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) in News

  • Recently, the National Statistical Office (NSO) released the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) report for the period of April-June, 2022.
  • NSO’s Quarterly Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) report found that unemployment rate dips to 7.6% in April-June 2022.

15th Quarterly Bulletin of PLFS 2022 (April-June) findings

  • Unemployment Rate in Urban Areas: The unemployment rate for persons aged 15 years and above in urban areas dipped to 7.6% during April-June 2022 from 12.6% a year ago.
    • The unemployment rate for persons aged 15 years and above in January-March 2022 was 8.2% in urban areas.
  • Unemployment Rate among Male/Female (Urban): unemployment rate among females (aged 15 years and above) in urban areas declined to 9.5% in April-June, 2022 from 14.3% a year ago. It was 10.1% in January-March, 2022.
    • Among males, the unemployment rate in urban areas dipped to 7.1% in April-June 2022 compared to 12.2% a year ago. It was 7.7% in January-March 2022.
  • Labour force participation rate in CWS (Current Weekly Status) in urban areas: for persons aged 15 years and above, it increased to 47.5% in the April-June quarter of 2022, from 46.8% in the same period a year ago.
    • It was 47.3% in January-March 2022.
  • Worker Population Ratio (WPR) in CWS in urban areas: for persons aged 15 years and above, it stood at 43.9% in April-June, 2022, up from 40.9% in the same period a year ago.
    • It was 43.4% in January-March 2022.

Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS)

  • About: Considering the importance of availability of labour force data at more frequent time intervals, National Statistical Office (NSO) launched Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) in April 2017.
  • Objectives: The objective of PLFS is primarily twofold:
    • To estimate the key employment and unemployment indicators (viz. WPR, LFPR, Unemployment Rate) in the short time interval of three months for the urban areas only in the ‘Current Weekly Status’ (CWS).
    • To estimate employment and unemployment indicators in both ‘Usual Status’ (ps+ss) and CWS in both rural and urban areas annually.
  • Annual Reports of PLFS: PLFS Annual Reports are released covering both rural and urban areas giving estimates of all important parameters of employment and unemployment in both usual status and current weekly status (CWS).
    • On the basis of the data collected in PLFS, four Annual Reports of PLFS corresponding to the periods July 2017 – June 2018, July 2018 – June 2019, July 2019 – June 2020 and July 2020 – June 2021 have been released.
  • PLFS Quarterly Report: On the basis of PLFS, a quarterly bulletin is brought out giving estimates of-
    • labour force indicators namely unemployment rate,
    • Worker Population Ratio (WPR),
    • Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR),
    • Distribution of workers by broad status in employment and industry of work in CWS.

FAQs on Labour Force and Unemployment

  1. What is Joblessness or unemployment rate?

Ans.: Joblessness or unemployment rate is defined as the percentage of unemployed persons in the labour force.

  1. What is the definition of Labour Force?

Ans. Labour force refers to the part of the population which supplies or offers to supply labour for pursuing economic activities for the production of goods and services and, therefore, includes both employed and unemployed persons.

  1. What is the CWS (Current Weekly Status) approach of Unemployment?

Ans. Labour force, according to CWS, is the number of persons either employed or unemployed on an average in a week preceding the date of the survey.

In the CWS approach, a person is considered unemployed if he/she did not work even for one hour on any day during the week but sought or was available for work at least for one hour on any day during the period.

  1. What is the Definition of Labour force participation rate (LFPR)?

Ans. Labour force participation rate (LFPR) is defined as the percentage of the population in the labour force.


Consumer Confidence Survey (CCS)



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