Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | 15 Apr, 2021

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“Poshan Gyan” – A Digital Repository on Health, Nutrition

What is the News? 

NITI Aayog launches a platform named “Poshan Gyan”.

About Poshan Gyan:

  • Niti Aayog launched Poshan Gyan in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Centre for Social and Behaviour Change, Ashoka University.
  • Purpose: It is a National Digital Repository on health and nutrition.

Read morePoshan Abhiyaan

Key Features:

  1. It is basically a comprehensive online resource for anybody working in the nutrition sector in India.
  2. It is a collection of effective communication materials created by the government and other development organizations. Further, it will also help in knowledge awareness and behaviour change in the nutrition sector.
  3. Moreover, the materials cover a range of topics, such as antenatal care, complementary feeding, adolescent health, diet diversity, anaemia prevention among others.
  4. Lastly, It allows anyone to submit communication material for inclusion on the website followed by a review by a designated committee. Thus, the repository also has a unique crowdsourcing feature.

Source: AIR

“NCSC” Launches Online Grievance Management Portal for Scheduled Castes

What is the News?

National Commission for Scheduled Castes(NCSC) launched an Online Grievance Management Portal for Scheduled Caste.

About Online Grievance Management Portal:

  • The Online Grievance Management Portal will allow submission of complaints about atrocities against the Scheduled Castes. The portal also allows users to track the progress of their complaints.
  • The portal was developed in collaboration with the Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics(BISAG-N), a Centre of Excellence under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MeitY).

About the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC).

  • National Commission for Scheduled Castes(NCSC) is a constitutional body. It was set up under Article 338 to safeguard the interests of the scheduled castes(SC) in India.

Evolution of the NCSC:

  • Originally, Article 338 of the Constitution provided for the appointment of a Special Officer for Scheduled Castes(SCs) and Scheduled Tribes(STs). The special officer designated as the Commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
  • In 1978, the Government(through a Resolution) set up a non-statutory multi-member Commission for SCs and STs. The Office of Commissioner for SCs and STs also continued to exist.
  • In 1987, the Government (through another Resolution) modified the functions of the Commission and renamed it the National Commission for SCs and STs.
  • Later, the 65th Constitutional Amendment Act provided for the establishment of a high-level multi-member National Commission for SCs and STs. It replaced the single Special Officer for SCs and STs.
    • This constitutional body replaced the Commissioner for SCs and STs as well as the Commission set up under the Resolution of 1987.
  • Again, the 89th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2003 bifurcated the combined National Commission for SCs and STs into two separate bodies namely:
    • National Commission for Scheduled Castes (under Article 338) and
    • National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (under Article 338-A).


  • The National Commission for SCs consists of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson, and three other members.
  • They are appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal. The President also determines their conditions of service and tenure of office.

Functions of NCSC:

  • To investigate and monitor all matters relating to the constitutional and other legal safeguards for the SCs and to evaluate their working;
  • To inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the SCs;
  • Also, to participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development of the SCs and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union or a state;
  • Lastly, To present the report on working of those safeguards to the President, annually.

Source: PIB

Union Minister inaugurates “e-SANTA Marketplace”

What is the News?

The Union Commerce and Industry Minister virtually inaugurated e-SANTA.

About e-SANTA:

  • e-SANTA stands for Electronic Solution for Augmenting NaCSA farmer’s trade in Aquaculture.
  • Purpose: e-SANTA is an electronic marketplace providing a platform to connect aqua farmers and buyers. Further, The platform will also act as an alternative marketing tool between farmers & buyers by eliminating middlemen.

Benefits of e-SANTA Platform:

  • Enhances the life of Farmers: The platform will RAISE the lives & income of farmers by:
    1. Reducing Risk
    2. Awareness of Products & Markets
    3. Increase in Income
    4. Shielding Against Wrong Practice
    5. Ease of Processes.
  • Promotes Transparency: The platform promotes transparency as the process is completely paperless and an end-to-end electronic trade between Farmers and exporters.
  • Greater Control: The farmers have the freedom to list their products and quote their price. While the exporters have the freedom to list their requirements and also to choose the products based on their requirements.
  • The platform is available in many languages which will help the local population.

About National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture(NaCSA):

  • National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture is an extension arm of Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), Ministry of Commerce & Industry Govt. of India.
  • Objective: The objectives of NaCSA are to encourage and uplift the small and marginal farmers through the organization of clusters and maintaining Best Management Practices in shrimp culture.

Source: PIB

DGFT launches “Trade Facilitation Mobile App” to promote exports

What is the News?

Union Minister of Commerce and Industry has launched the Directorate General of Foreign Trade’s(DGFT) Trade Facilitation Mobile Application.

About Trade Facilitation Mobile Application:

  •  Tata Consultancy Services(TCS) developed the Trade Facilitation Mobile Application. It is as per the directions of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).
  • Aim: To promote ease of doing business by providing quick access to information to importers/exporters.
  • Features: The application will provide the following facilities:
    • Real-time trade policy updates and event notifications.
    • It provides options to explore Export-Import policies and statistics.
    • Virtual Assistance to trade-related queries.
    • It provides access to all the services provided by DGFT.
    • Raise and track help requests in real-time.
  • Tech-enabled governance will play a major role in determining India’s competitiveness, in the post-Covid world.
  • Thus, Initiatives like this, will significantly contribute to the achievement of India’s export target of $1 trillion by 2025 and GDP target of $5 trillion.

About the Directorate General of Foreign Trade(DGFT).

  • Directorate General of Foreign Trade(DGFT) established in 1991. It is an attached office of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • Functions: It is responsible for formulating and implementing the Foreign Trade Policy with the main objective of promoting India’s exports.
  • Headquarters: New Delhi

Source: Hindu Businessline

“Raisina Dialogue” 2021 -Prime Minister addresses the Inaugural Session

What is the News?

 The Prime Minister has delivered a video address at the Inaugural Session of the Raisina Dialogue.

About Raisina Dialogue:

  • Raisina Dialogue is an annual multilateral conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics. The Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation have been jointly organizing it since 2016.
  • Purpose: The conference discusses cooperation on the most challenging international policy matters.
  • Participation: The dialogue involves a variety of global policymakers including heads of state, cabinet ministers, and local government officials.
    • In addition, the Dialogue also welcomes major private sector executives, as well as members of the media and academia.
  • Significance: The design of the dialogue follows Singapore’s Shangri-La Dialogue.
  • In 2021, the conference was hosted in a hybrid format with in-person conversations and digital discussions.
  • Theme for 2021: #ViralWorld: Outbreaks, Outliers, and Out of Control”.

Observer Research Foundation(ORF)

  • Observer Research Foundation(ORF) is an independent think tank based in New Delhi. It has three centres in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.
  • Purpose: It seeks to lead and aid policy thinking towards building a strong and prosperous India in a fair and equitable world. Also, it aims to help discover and inform India’s choices. Further, it also carries Indian voices and ideas to forums shaping global debates.
  • Significance: It also provides non-partisan, well-researched analyses and inputs to diverse decision-makers in governments, business communities, and academia, and civil society around the world.

Source: PIB

“Indus and Ganges River Dolphins” are two different species 

What is the News? 

According to an analysis of the Indus and Ganges River dolphins, it was found they are not one but two separate different species.

What is the current classification?

  • Currently, Indus and Ganges River dolphins are classified as two subspecies under South Asian river dolphins(Platanista gangetica).

What has the analysis revealed?

  • The researchers examined the DNA samples of the Indus and Gangetic River Dolphins.
  • They found out that the Indus and Ganges river dolphins have clear genetic differences. Also, there is a difference in the numbers of teeth, coloration, growth patterns, and skull shapes.
  • Hence, they concluded that the Indus River dolphin and the Ganges river dolphin are two separate different species.

About Gangetic River Dolphin:

  • Gangetic River Dolphin is primarily found in the Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers and their tributaries in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
  • Habitat: They prefer deep waters in and around the confluence of rivers. They also act as an indicator of the health of the freshwater ecosystem as they can only live in freshwater.
  • Population: The population of the Ganges river dolphins is declining. As per estimates, several thousand individuals spread across rivers systems in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal.
  • Conservation Status:
    • IUCN Status: Endangered
    • CITES: Appendix I (It means we cannot transfer any tissue or sample to foreign countries without getting CITES permission from the Competent Authority of Government of India)
    • Wildlife (Protection), Act 1972: Schedule 1
  • Threats:
    • Physical barriers such as dams and barrages created across the river have reduced the flow to a great extent making the species endangered.
    • The River flow is also declining very fast, Because, the river water is being diverted through the barrages and this has affected the dolphin habitats.
    • Mechanized boats are also causing accidental injury to the dolphins.

Click Here to Read more about Gangetic River Dolphin

 About Indus River Dolphin:

  • Indus Water Dolphin is a freshwater Dolphin. They are found in Pakistan and River Beas, a tributary of the Indus River in Punjab, India.
  • Population: The population of Indus River dolphins has achieved an impressive recovery over the last 20 years. Their numbers going up from approximately 1,200 in 2001 to almost 2,000 in 2017.
  • State Animal: Indus River Dolphin is the state aquatic animal of Punjab.
  • IUCN Status: Endangered

Source: The Hindu

State obliged to facilitate access to education: Supreme Court

What is the News?

The Supreme Court has said that the State has an affirmative obligation to facilitate access to education, at all levels.

What was the case?

  • 2 students from Ladakh filed a petition in the Supreme Court. They were nominated by the Union Territory administration for MBBS studies.
  • They were allocated seats in the prestigious Lady Hardinge and Maulana Azad medical colleges. However, they were not admitted.
  • Hence, the students moved to the court saying their fundamental right to education was at the whims and fancies of the government authorities.

What has the Supreme Court said?

  • The court ordered that the students be admitted within a week. It was government policy to allot one seat each at Lady Hardinge and Maulana Azad medical colleges from the Central pool.
  • The court held that the Right to pursue higher(professional) education is not a fundamental right in Part III of the Constitution. But the State has an affirmative obligation to facilitate access to education at all levels.
  • Further, the court cited the recommendations of the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR Committee). The committee was formed to monitor the implementation of the UN Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights(ratified by India in 1979). The committee stated that:
    • “As an empowerment right, education is the primary vehicle by which economically and socially marginalized adults and children can lift themselves out of poverty and obtain the means to participate fully in their communities”.

Source: The Hindu


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