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Daily Newsletter | TPS 20 Daily Current Affairs | 29th February 2020



Main Topics

Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY) & ADIP Scheme

Why in news?

Prime Minister shall be distributing Assistive Aids and Devices to Senior Citizens (under the Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana-RVY) and Divyangjans (Under ADIP Scheme) at a mega distribution camp at Prayagraj.

Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY)

  • It is a scheme for providing Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for Senior citizens belonging to BPL category.
  • This is a Central Sector Scheme, fully funded by the Central Government.
  • The expenditure for implementation of the scheme will be met from the "Senior Citizens' Welfare Fund".
  • The Scheme will be implemented through the sole implementing agency - Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO), a PSU under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • Under the scheme, the physical aids will be provided only to the senior citizens of the nation.
  • This implies those who are aged above 60 years will get free assisted living aids and physical devices which are required for their sustainability.
  • The main criteria for the senior citizens to get full benefits of Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY) scheme is that
  • they must belong to BPL family and should hold valid BPL card issued by the concerned authority.
  • Under the Scheme, assisted living devices such as Walking Sticks, Elbow Crutches, Walkers/ Crutches, Tripods/ Quad pods, Hearing Aids, Wheelchairs, Artificial Dentures and Spectacles are provided free of cost to the beneficiary senior citizens.

Assistance to Disabled Persons for purchasing / fitting of aids / appliances (ADIP) scheme

  • The main objective of the scheme is to assist the needy disabled persons in procuring durable, sophisticated and scientifically manufactured, modern, standard aids and appliances that can promote their physical, social and psychological rehabilitation, by reducing the effects of disabilities and enhance their economic potential.
  • The scheme is implemented through implementing agencies such as the NGOs, National Institutes under the union Ministry of Social Justice And Empowermentand Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO)

Eligibility of the Beneficiaries

  • A person with disabilities fulfilling following conditions would be eligible for assistance under ADIP Scheme through authorized agencies:
  • He/she should be an Indian citizen of any age.
  • Should be certified by a Registered Medical Practitioner that he/she is disabled and fit to use prescribed aid/appliance. Holds a 40% Disablement Certificate.
  • Person who is employed/self-employed or getting pension and whose monthly income from all sources does not exceed 20,000/- per month.
  • In case of dependents, the income of parents/guardians should not exceed Rs. 20,000/- per month.
  • Persons who have not received assistance from the Government, local bodies and Non-Official Organizations during the last 3 years for the same purpose. However, for children below 12 years of age this limit would be 1 year.
2020 CD3- Mini-Moon

Why in news?

Astronomers have observed a small object orbiting Earth, which they have dubbed a “mini-moon” or the planet’s “second moon”.

More about

  • It is actually an asteroid, about the size of a car.
  • And unlike our permanent Moon, the mini-moon is temporary; it will eventually break free of Earth’s orbit and go off on its own way.
  • It was discovered by Kacper Wierzchos and Teddy Pruyne of the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) in Arizona.
  • The Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union acknowledged the discovery.

Temporarily Captured Object (TCO)

  • When an asteroid’s orbit crosses Earth’s orbit, it can sometimes be captured into the latter orbit.
  • This is what happened with 2020 CD3.
  • The orbit of such objects is unstable and is called asTemporarily Captured Object (TCO).
  • They have to contend with the gravitational influence of our permanent Moon as well as that of the Sun.
  • Once caught in Earth’s orbit, such objects usually remain for a few years before they break free and go into independent orbit around the Sun.


  • Asteroids also called minor planets are rocky, airless remnants left over from the early formation of our solar system about 6 billion years ago.
  • Most of this ancient space rubble can be found orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter within the main asteroid belt.
  • The total mass of all the asteroids combined is less than that of Earth's Moon.
  • There are lots of asteroids in our solar system. Most of them live in the main asteroid belt—a region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
  • Some asteroids go in front of and behind Jupiter,they are called Trojans.
  • Asteroids that come close to Earth are called Near Earth Objects, NEOs for short.

Note:Since asteroids formed at the same time as other objects in our solar system, these space rocks can give scientists lots of information about the history of planets and the sun.

Scientists can learn about asteroids by studying meteorites: tiny bits of asteroids that have flown through our atmosphere and landed on Earth’s surface.

1000 Springs Initiative

Why in news?

Union Tribal Affairs Minister launched the “Programme for Capacity Building of Scheduled Tribe Representatives in Local Self Governments “and“1000 Spring Initiativesat a programme in Bhubaneswar (Odisha).

Programme for Capacity Building of Scheduled Tribe Representatives in Local Self Governments

  • This initiative is aimed at empowering tribal Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) representatives by enhancing their decision making capabilities at local government level.
  • The capacity building programme, among other issues concerning tribal development, will also focus on constitutional and legal provisions that protect and promote the rights and welfare of the tribal population.
  • The programme will ensure greater participation of ST PRI’s representatives in planning, execution and monitoring of government policies and programmes.
  • Their better participation in the development process would ensure better prioritization of the tribal development agenda and will help in bridging the development gaps among communities and regions
  • This will help in effective and better implementation of various developmental and welfare programmes and substantially improves the expected outcomes.
  • The module for capacity building programme has been developed in conjunction with United Nations Development Programme for the purpose.

1000 Spring Initiatives

  • It aims at improving access to safe and adequate water for the tribal communities living in difficult and
  • inaccessible part of rural areas in the country.
  • Under this initiative, more than 70 young tribal youths from the rural belt of three districts of Odisha namely, Kalahandi, Khandamal and Gajapati have been trained as barefoot hydro geologists by combining traditional and scientific knowledge for identification and mapping of springs, and undertaking rejuvenation and protection measures in their habitations.
  • It is an integrated solution around natural springs and includes provision of infrastructure for piped water supply for drinking; provision of water for irrigation; community-led total sanitation initiatives; and provision for water for backyard nutrition gardens, generating sustainable livelihood opportunities for the tribal people.
  • An Online portal on GIS-based Spring Atlashas been developed to make the data about hydrological and chemical properties of the springs.

Note:Springs are natural sources of groundwater discharge and have been used extensively in the mountainous regions across the world, including India.

Zonal Councils

Why in news?

Home Minister Amit Shah to chair Eastern Zonal Council meeting in Bhubaneswar.

Zonal Councils:

  • The Zonal Councils are the statutory bodies.
  • They are established by an Act of the Parliament - States Reorganization Act, 1956.
  • The act divided the country into five zones.
  • The Zonal councils aim at promoting cooperation and coordination between states, union territories and the centre.
  • They discuss and make recommendations regarding matters like economic and social planning, linguistic minorities, border disputes, inter-state transport and so on.
  • They are only deliberative and advisory bodies.

Five Zones and States:

  • Northern Zonal Council: Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, National Capital Territory of Delhi (UT) and Chandigarh (UT).
  • Central Zonal Council: Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh
  • Eastern Zonal Council: Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal.
  • Western Zonal Council: Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra and UTs of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli.
  • Southern Zonal Council: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (UT).
Artificial intelligence (AI)

Why in news?

Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog join hands with NASSCOM to roll out Artificial Intelligence Modules in Indian schools.

Artificial intelligence (AI):

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially
  • computer systems. 
  • The term was coined in 1956 by John McCarthyat the Dartmouth conference, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Research associated with artificial intelligence is highly technical and specialized.
  • The core problems of artificial intelligence include programming computers for certain traits such as:
  • Knowledge
  • Reasoning
  • Problem solving
  • Perception
  • Learning
  • Planning
  • Ability to manipulate and move objects

Machine learning and Deep Learning:

  • Machine learning algorithms detect patterns and learn how to make predictions and recommendations by processing data and experiences, rather than by receiving explicit programming instruction.
  • Deep learning is a type of machine learning that can process a wider range of data resources, requires less data pre-processing by humans, and can often produce more accurate results than traditional machine learning approaches.

Note-Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) are algorithms that are based on the biological structure of the brain.

AI programming focuses on three cognitive skills:

  • Learning processes- This aspect of AI programming focuses on acquiring data and creating rules for how to turn the data into actionable information. 
  • Reasoning processes- This aspect of AI programming focuses on choosing the right algorithm to reach a desired outcome.
  • Self-correction processes- This aspect of AI programming is designed to continually fine-tune algorithms and ensure they provide the most accurate results possible.

Applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI):

  • Healthcare, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Business, Finance, Legal Sector, Smart Mobility, including Transports and Logistics, Energy, Smart Cities, Education and Skilling.

National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence-NITI Aayog:

  • Established with a view to guiding the research and development in new and emerging technologies.
  • NITI Aayog has adopted a three-pronged approach – undertaking exploratory proof-of-concept AI projects in various areas, crafting a national strategy for building a vibrant AI ecosystem in India and collaborating with various experts and stakeholders.
  • NITI Aayog decided to focus on five sectors that are envisioned to benefit the most from AI in solving societal needs:
  • Healthcare: increased access and affordability of quality healthcare,
  • Agriculture: enhanced farmers’ income, increased farm productivity and reduction of wastage,
  • Education: improved access and quality of education,
  • Smart Cities and Infrastructure: efficient and connectivity for the burgeoning urban population, and
  • Smart Mobility and Transportation: smarter and safer modes of transportation and better traffic and congestion problems.
  • The AI strategy is aimed at primarily guiding an inevitable wave of change for quicker and better Glycol poisoning

Why in news?

12 children died in Udhampur district of Jammu due to poisoned cough syrup (ColdbestPC).

More are fighting for their life in a hospital.

  • A team of doctors at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, attributed the deaths to the presence of diethylene glycol in the cough syrup which was consumed by all the dead children.
  • Diethylene glycol is an anti freezing agent that causes acute renal failure in the human body followed by paralysis, breathing difficulties and ultimately death.
  • This is the fourth mass glycol poisoning event in India that has been caused due to a pharmaceutical drug.
  • In 1973, there was a similar incident at the Children’s Hospital, Egmore in Chennai that caused the deaths of 14 children.Mumbai and Delhi also witnessed mass glycol poisoning events
  • In all the cases, the manufacturer of the suspect cough syrup, due to negligence or human error, failed to detect and contain the level of diethylene glycol in the syrup, thereby causing poisoning of the patients who consumed it.

What about the legislations in India?

  • One of the key reasons why the DCGI (Drugs Controller General of India) and state drug authorities have been so sloppy is because unlike other countries, India has not notified any binding guidelines or rules on recalling dangerous drugs from the market.
  • The 59th report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health as well as the World Health Organization (in its national regulatory assessment) had warned the DCGI on the lack of a national recall framework in India.
  • A set of recall guidelines was drafted in 2012 but never notified into law.

Drug Controller General of India

  • Drugs Controller General of India is a department of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization of the Government of India.
  • It is responsible for approval of licences of specified categories of drugs in India.
Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme

Why in news?

In terms of Government of India Notification, Sovereign Gold Bonds 2019-20 (Series X) will be opened for the period March 02-06, 2020.

  • Government of India in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India has decided to allow discount of Rs 50 (Rupees Fifty only) per gram from the issue price to those investors who apply online and the payment is made through digital mode.

Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme:

  • Sovereign Gold Bonds are government securities or bonds denominated in fixed grams of gold.
  • The Sovereign Gold Bonds are issued by Reserve Bank Indiaon behalf of the Government of India.

Bonds Sold through: Scheduled Commercial banks (except Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks), Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices, and recognised stock exchanges viz., National Stock Exchange of India Limited and Bombay Stock Exchange Limited.

The features of the Bond are:

  • Eligibility:The Bonds will be restricted for sale to resident individuals, HUFs, Trusts, Universities and Charitable Institutions.
  • Denomination:The Bonds will be denominated in multiples of gram(s) of gold with a basic unit of 1 gram.
  • Tenor:The tenor of the Bond will be for a period of 8 years with exit option after 5th year to be exercised on the interest payment dates.
  • Minimum size:Minimum permissible investment will be 1 gram of gold.
  • Maximum limit:The maximum limit of subscribed shall be 4 KG for individual, 4 Kg for HUF and 20 Kg for trusts and similar entities per fiscal (April-March) notified by the Government from time to time.

Current Affairs Capsules

Henneguya salminicola
  • Non-oxygen breathing organism.
  • It is fewer-than-10-celled microscopic parasite that lives in salmon muscle.
  • It relies on anaerobic respiration