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Healthy States, Progressive India

Why in news?

NITI Aayog releases the second edition of “Healthy States, Progressive India” report.

About the news

  • Kerala, Andhra Pradesh & Maharashtra ranked on top in terms of overall performance.
  • Haryana, Rajasthan and Jharkhand ranked top three States in terms of annual incremental performance.
  • Among Smaller States, Mizoram ranked first followed by Manipur on overall performance, while Tripura followed by Manipur were the top ranked States in terms of annual incremental performance.

About the report

  • The report is an annual systematic performance tool to measure the performance of the States and UTs.
  • It ranks states and union territories on their year on year incremental change in health outcomes, as well as, their overall performance with respect to each other.
  • The ranking is categorized as Larger States, Smaller States and Union Territories (UTs), to ensure comparison among similar entities.
  • The Health Index is a weighted composite Index based on 23 indicators grouped into three domains.
  1. Health Outcomes
  2. Governance and Information
  3. Key Inputs/Processes
  • Each domain has been assigned weights based on its importance and has been equally distributed among indicators.
  • The States are categorized on the basis of reference year Index score range
  • Front-runners: top one-third
  • Achievers: middle one-third
  • Aspirants: lowest one-third.
  • The States are categorized into four groups based on incremental performance
  1. Not improved (<=0 incremental change)
  2. Least improved (0.01 to 2 points increase)
  3. Moderately improved (2.01 to 4 points)
  4. Most improved (>4 points increase)
Swadesh Darshan Scheme

Why in news?

Under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, 15 themes have been identified for developing theme based circuits.

About Swadesh Darshan Scheme

  • The Swadesh Darshan is a scheme for the integrated development of theme based tourist circuits in the country.
  • It was launched by the Ministry of Tourism in 2014-15.
  • Under this scheme, 15 thematic circuits have been identified for development.
  • They are Buddhist Circuit, North-East India Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit, Sufi Circuit, Tirthankar Circuit and Heritage Circuit.
  • It is 100% centrally funded scheme for project components undertaken for public funding.
  • It also has provision for leveraging voluntary funding under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Central Public Sector Undertakings and corporate sector.

Why in news?

Under the PRASHAD Scheme, 41 religious cities/sites in 25 States have been identified for development.

About the news

  • The National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) is a government scheme that focuses on identifying and developing the pilgrim sites across the country to enrich the religious tourism experience.
  • The objective is the integrated development of pilgrimage destinations in a planned, prioritized and sustainable manner to provide complete religious tourism experience.
  • It was introduced in 2015.
  • 41 religious sites/cities are being developed under PRASHAD Scheme.
  • The Ministry of Tourism selected the cities in consultation with the States and other stakeholders.
National Animal Disease Control Programme for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis

Why in news?

The Centre has approved Rs 13,343 crore for the National Animal Disease Control Programme for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis for the next five years.

About FMD Control Programme

  • FMD control programme envisages 100 per cent vaccination coverage of cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats and pigs at six months interval in the entire country.
  • Animals will be identified using unique animal identification ear tags.
  • The programme also includes de-worming of targeted population of livestock twice a year as one of its activities.

About FMD

  • Foot-and-mouth disease or hoof-and-mouth disease is a contagious viral disease.
  • It affects cloven-hoofed animals, including domestic and wild bovids.
  • The virus causes a high fever for between two and six days, followed by blisters inside the mouth and on the feet that may rupture and cause lameness.
  • Humans can be infected with foot-and-mouth disease through contact with infected animals, but this is extremely rare.

About Brucellosis Control Programme

  • Under Brucellosis control programme, 100 per cent vaccination coverage of female cattle and buffalo calves (4-8 months of age) once in a life time.

About Brucellosis

  • Brucellosis is a highly contagious zoonosis caused by genus of bacteria known as Brucella.
  • It is also known as undulant fever, Malta fever, and Mediterranean fever.
  • The bacteria are transmitted from animals to humans by ingestion through infected food products, direct contact with an infected animal, or inhalation of aerosols.
Atal Pension Yojana (APY)

Why in news?

Govt considering hike in pension age limit under Atal Pension Yojana.

About APY

  • Atal Pension Yojana is a government-backed pension scheme in India targeted at the unorganised sector.
  • It addresses the old age income security of the working poor and the longevity risks among the workers in unorganised sector.
  • It encourages the workers in unorganised sector to voluntarily save for their retirement.
  • The Government had launched the scheme with effect from 1st June, 2015.
  • The scheme replaces the Swavalamban Yojana / NPS Lite scheme.


  • The scheme promises a co-contribution by Central Government of 50% of the total prescribed contribution by a worker, up to Rs. 1000 per annum, but only to those who joined APY before 31.12.2015.
  • It offers a minimum guaranteed monthly pension of between ₹1,000 and ₹5,000, depending on the customer's contribution which starts at as low as ₹42 per month.
  • The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years.
  • Therefore, minimum period of contribution by any subscriber under APY would be 20 years or more.
  • The pension starts at 60 years of age.
  • Even if one joins APY at 40 years of age they need to pay premium for a minimum of 20 years to avail the pension.
  • Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is open to all bank account holders who are not members of any statutory social security scheme

More about APY

  • Monthly contribution depends upon the fixed amount of monthly pension he/she wants and the age when they start Contributions and ends.
  • The scheme also allows a subscriber to decrease or increase pension amount during the course of accumulation phase, once a year.
  • In case of death of subscriber, the spouse of the subscriber shall be entitled for the same amount of pension till his or her death.
  • The spouse gets a monthly pension after the death of the subscriber and the nominee gets the corpus amount of up to ₹5 lakh in the event of the death of the subscriber and the spouse.
  • However if the subscriber dies before 60 years, the spouse will have the choice to either exit the scheme and claim the accumulated amount or continue maintaining the account under the subscriber's name for the remaining vested years.
  • The spouse of the subscriber shall be entitled to receive the same pension amount as the subscriber until death of the spouse in the latter case.

Exit before 60 Years of Age

  • Voluntary exit in APY is generally not permitted.
  • However in case of exceptional circumstances such as terminal illness, or death of the subscriber it can be allowed.
  • In case a subscriber, who has availed Government co-contribution under APY, chooses to voluntarily exit APY at a future date, he shall only be refunded the contributions made by him to APY, along with the net actual accrued income earned on his contributions (after deducting the account maintenance charges).
  • The Government co-contribution, and the accrued income earned on the Government co-contribution, shall not be returned to such subscribers.

Science and Technology


Why in news?

European Space Agency (ESA) developed a lunar evacuation system, named LESA.

About LESA

  • LESA is a pyramid-like structure whose purpose is to rescue an astronaut should he or she suffer an injury on the lunar surface.
  • LESA stands for Lunar Evacuation System Assembly.
  • It was developed by the European Space Agency (ESA).
  • It is one among the preparations for NASA’s 2024 Moon mission.

How it helps?

  • Astronauts will be wearing heavy extravehicular activity (EVA) suits and there is no way an astronaut could carry their fallen crewmate over their shoulder while wearing an EVA suit.
  • LESA can be operated by a single astronaut to rescue a fallen colleague.
  • It enables an astronaut to lift their crewmate onto a mobile stretcher in less than 10 minutes, before carrying them to the safety of a nearby pressurised lander.

World Affairs

World Food Programme

Why in news?

Almost one in three Indian children under five years will still be stunted by 2022 going by current trends, according to a report prepared by the UN World Food Programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

About the news

  • The report is a baseline analysis of the country’s progress in achieving the second Sustainable Development Goal to end hunger.

About World Food Programme (WFP)

  • The World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience.
  • It is the food assistance branch of United Nations.
  • It was established in 1961 after the 1960 Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Conference.
  • It is headquartered in Rome (Italy).
  • WFP’s efforts focus on emergency assistance, relief and rehabilitation, development aid and special operations.
  • It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and part of its Executive Committee.


  • WFP is governed by a 36-member Executive Board.
  • It works closely with its two Rome-based sister organizations, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
  • WFP partners with more than 1,000 national and international NGOs to provide food assistance and tackle the underlying causes of hunger.
  • The WFP operations are funded by voluntary donations from world governments, corporations and private donors.

India and WFP

  • Around 21.25 percent of the population lives on less than US$1.90 a day,
  • WFP has been working in India since 1963, with work transitioning from food distribution to technical assistance since the country achieved self-sufficiency in cereal production.
  • To boost the nutritional value of the Government’s Midday Meal school feeding programme, WFP is pioneering the multi-micronutrient fortification of school meals.
  • WFP is also supporting the government’s Poverty and Human Development Monitoring Agency in establishing a State-level Food Security Analysis Unit, working towards the goal of achieving Zero Hunger.

Current Affair Capsules

Garuda VI
  • It is the bilateral exercise between Indian and French Air Force.
  • This is the sixth edition of Exercise Garuda and is being planned at French Air Force Base.

Map Aided Programme     

Ramsar Sites in Jammu and Kashmir

Wular Lake

  • Wular Lake (also spelt Wullar) is one of the largest fresh water lakes in Asia.
  • The lake basin was formed as a result of tectonic activity and is fed by the Jhelum River.

Tso Moriri

  • The lake and surrounding area are protected as the Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve.
  • It formerly had an outlet to the south, but this has become blocked and the lake has become a endorheic lake.

The lake is oligotrophic in nature, and its waters are alkaline.

Hokera Wetland

  • Located at the northwest Himalayan biogeopgraphic province of Kashmir India, back of the snow-draped Pir Panchal, Hokera wetland is only 10 km from scenic paradise of Srinagar.
  • A natural perennial wetland contiguous to the Jhelum basin.

Surinsar-Mansar Lakes

  • Besides being a popular excursion destination in Jammu, it is also a holy site, sharing the legend and sanctity of Lake Manasarovar.
  • On the Eastern Bank of the Lake there is a shrine to Sheshnag, a snake with six heads.

Previous Year Questions Revision Series (Pqrs)

  1. Which of the following is/are the advantages / advantages of practising drip irrigation?
  1. Reduction in weed.
  2. Reduction in soil salinity
  3. Reduction in soil erosion

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • 1 and 2 only
  • 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) None of the above is an advantages of practising drip  irrigation