Thursday, 8th June 2023

Table of contents

1   Editorial of the day


Indo-Pacific Strategy

2   Daily Current Affairs


350th Anniversary Celebrations of Shivaji Maharaj’s


Manual Scavenging in India


Deposit Insurance Cover For Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs)


Iran Unveils Its 'First Hypersonic Missile


Energy Progress Report 2023


Pietermaritzburg, Railway Station, South Africa


Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana


Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Education Loans (CGFSEL)


Price Support Scheme




Global Economic Prospects Report

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Editorial of the day

Indo-Pacific Strategy

Exam View: Shangri-La Dialogue’s (SLD) 20th edition in Singapore; The Indo-Pacific Strategy.

Context: The unfolding geopolitical churn in Asia triggered by China’s rise will form a critical background to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s talks with US President Joe Biden during his state visit to Washington.

Decoding the editorial: Shangri-La Dialogue’s (SLD) 20th edition in Singapore

  • It has become the premium forum where defence ministers of Asia gather to publicly articulate their positions on regional security as well as conduct bilateral and mini-lateral defence diplomacy behind closed doors.
    • It has also become a venue in recent years for quiet consultations among the region’s intelligence chiefs.
  • Deepening tensions between the US and China
    • The USA: It is seeking to resume high-level talks between the two sides and focus on confidence-building measures to prevent the tensions from escalating into a hot war.
    • China: It insisted that China was not against dialogue, but the US must create the right conditions.
      • China also accused the US of “double talk”.
      • While blaming America, the outsider, for the growing regional tensions, China made no mention of its own aggressive military actions against its neighbours.
    • Hypocrisy of the rest of Asia
      • Many Asian chancelleries are quick to criticise US actions but bite their tongue when it comes to China despite the fact that China has been grabbing disputed territories from its neighbours.
      • There is a reluctance in the region to jeopardise the deep economic relationship with Beijing and a deliberate effort to avoid politically offending China.

Removing the Asian fear: Indo-Pacific Strategy

It has been at the core of the US Indo-Pacific strategy by explicitly challenging China’s claim to regional hegemony in the last few years. Some major steps taken by the USA:

  • The top officials of the Biden administration have made frequent trips to the region to rebuild old alliances, develop new coalitions, and, above all, demonstrate the political will to confront China.
  • Its national actions include measures for control of technology exports to China and growing military support for Taiwan
  • The US has sought to build the widest possible consortium for “shaping” Beijing’s strategic environment.
    • The US has drawn in its closest partners, which are the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, into the grand regional coalition.
    • Australia: Its prime minister, in the SLD meet, outlined Canberra’s strategy of engagement with China while standing up to Beijing’s military bullying.
    • Canada: It is ready to join the geopolitical jousting in the Indo-Pacific.
    • Europe: Washington has a more difficult time convincing Europe, which is deeply tied to the China market.
      • But the premier European security institution, NATO, is now raising its game in Asia.
    • Japan: It has taken the lead in drawing Europe into Asian security and South Korea is ready to join hands.
      • The US has been encouraging Japan to raise its military capabilities, modernising the military alliance with South Korea, revitalising the frayed military partnership with Manila and enhancing security cooperation with Indonesia.
    • India: The USA’s talks with the Indian establishment have produced a “road map” for a significant elevation of bilateral defence cooperation, including technology transfers and joint defence industrial production.
    • Indo-Pacific: In the two and a half years, Washington has
      • elevated the Quad to the summit level,
      • unveiled the AUKUS high-tech alliance with the UK and Australia,
      • launched trilateral coordination with Seoul and Tokyo, and
      • unveiled a local quad along with Australia, Japan, and the Philippines to counter the Chinese military pressures against Manila.

This is beginning to generate rewards of its own, as many Asian nations step up political and military engagement with the US.


Keywords: GS Paper-2: International Treaties & Agreements, Government Policies & Interventions
Daily Current Affairs

350th Anniversary Celebrations of Shivaji Maharaj’s

In News: Celebrations of the 350th anniversary of the coronation are being held at Raigad Fort in Maharashtra.


  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, also known as Shivaji Bhosle, was a legendary warrior, statesman, and visionary leader who founded the Maratha Empire in western India during the 17th century. He remains an icon of bravery, governance, and indomitable spirit in Indian history.

Early Life and Rise to Power:

  • Shivaji Maharaj was born in 1630 in the hill fort of Shivneri near Pune in Maharashtra. From a young age, he exhibited leadership qualities and a deep sense of justice.
  • Shivaji developed a vision of establishing an independent Maratha kingdom. He began his military career by capturing strategic forts, such as Torna and Kondana, and gradually expanded his territory.

Military Campaigns and Warfare Tactics:

  • Shivaji Maharaj's military genius and innovative warfare tactics played a crucial role in his victories against the mighty Mughal Empire and other regional powers.
  • He pioneered the concept of guerrilla warfare, utilizing swift mobility, surprise attacks, and hit-and-run strategies.
  • Shivaji's navy, known as the Maratha Navy, also emerged as a formidable force, challenging the Portuguese and British dominion in coastal regions.

Administrative Reforms and Governance:

  • Apart from being a skilled warrior, Shivaji Maharaj was a visionary ruler who implemented numerous administrative reforms to ensure efficient governance.
  • He established a well-structured system of revenue collection, known as the Chauth and Sardeshmukhi, to fund his military campaigns and support his kingdom.
  • Shivaji also emphasized religious tolerance and granted autonomy to local authorities, fostering a sense of unity among diverse communities.

Legacy and Impact:

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's legacy extends far beyond his military achievements. He is celebrated as a champion of Hindu nationalism and a defender of the oppressed. His administrative policies, military strategies, and emphasis on cultural revival continue to inspire generations.
  • Shivaji's unwavering commitment to justice, equality, and sovereignty laid the foundation for the rise of Maratha power and influenced subsequent Indian freedom fighters in their quest for independence from colonial rule.

Ethical Learning from Shivaji:

  • Leadership with Integrity: Shivaji Maharaj demonstrated unwavering integrity throughout his reign. He believed in leading by example, always staying true to his word, and adhering to a strong moral code. His commitment to honesty, fairness, and ethical conduct earned him the trust and loyalty of his followers.
  • Respect for Diversity and Religious Tolerance: He ensured that people of different faiths were treated with fairness and respect, and he actively promoted religious tolerance within his kingdom. This inclusive approach fostered unity and harmony among diverse communities.
  • Governance and Social Welfare: He established a system of decentralized administration, granting autonomy to local authorities and promoting grassroots governance. Shivaji also implemented policies to uplift the marginalized sections of society and address social injustices.
  • Courage and Resilience: He faced formidable challenges from powerful empires and successfully defended his kingdom against overwhelming odds. His determination, strategic thinking, and perseverance in the face of adversity are exemplary.
  • Ethical Use of Power: Shivaji Maharaj demonstrated responsible and ethical use of power. He recognized the importance of maintaining a balance between military might and just governance. Despite his military conquests, he focused on ensuring the welfare and development of his people rather than pursuing personal aggrandizement.
  • Legacy and Inspiration: His ethical principles, bravery, and visionary leadership have left a lasting impact on Indian society. His commitment to justice, equality, and sovereignty serves as a reminder of the importance of ethical conduct and values in leadership.


Keywords: GS-1 History
Daily Current Affairs

Manual Scavenging in India

In News: Data revealed by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to outline its achievements in the past nine years, brings out that only 508 of the 766 districts in the country have been declared free of manual scavenging.

About Manual Scavenging in India

  • Manual Scavenging is defined as ‘the removal of human excrement from public streets and dry latrines, cleaning septic tanks, gutters and sewers’.
  • It usually employs hand tools such as buckets, brooms and shovels where the workers have to move the excreta, using brooms and tin plates, into baskets, which they carry to disposal locations located far away.
  • According to Government data, 97% of manual scavengers are Dalits. 42,594 manual scavengers belong to Scheduled Castes, 421 belong to Scheduled Tribes and 431 belong to Other Backward Classes. However the number may be grossly underreported.
  • The Socio-Economic Caste Census of 2011 had identified 180,657 manual scavengers (excluding urban India) with the highest number in rural Maharashtra.
  • The Social Justice Ministry has maintained for the last two years that there are no manual scavenging deaths taking place across the country. These deaths have been attributed to “hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks”.
  • Officials have differentiated manual scavenging from hazardous cleaning of sewers, maintaining that the surveys between 2013 and 2018 had identified all existing manual scavengers (about 58,000) and hence, manual scavenging no longer existed in the country.
  • However, declaration of only 66% of districts being Manual Scavenging free casts doubt on their claims.

Government Initiatives to eliminate Manual Scavenging

  • Prohibition of the Employment of Manual Scavengers Act 2013 which intends to eliminate insanitary latrines and prohibits employment as manual scavengers. It also prohibits hazardous manual cleaning of sewer and septic tanks.
  • Prevention of SC/ST Atrocities Act, 1989 as it was observed that 90% people employed as manual scavengers belonged to the Scheduled Caste. It became an important law to free manual scavengers from designated traditional occupations.
  • The Supreme Court order, 2014 made it mandatory for the Government to identify all those who died in sewage work since 1993 and provide Rs 10 lakh each as compensation to their families.
  • Scheme for rehabilitation of manual scavengers under which 58,000 identified sewer workers were given a one-time cash payment of Rs 40,000 each.
    • Additionally, around 22,000 of them have been connected to skills training programmes.
    • Subsidies and loans are also available to them if they want to set up their own business.
  • NAMASTE (National Action Plan for Mechanised Sanitation Ecosystem) scheme: The Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers was merged with NAMASTE scheme.
    • It aims for 100% mechanisation of sewer work and Rs100-crore was allocated for NAMASTE scheme in Budget 2023-24.
    • The scheme will require over 4,800 urban local bodies to identify and profile all septic tank/sewer workers in their areas, provide them occupational training and safety equipment, and sign them up for health insurance under the Ayushmaan Bharat scheme.
    • To incentivise mechanisation, capital subsidies for sewer workers willing to mechanise their work will be provided.


Keywords: GS-2 Government Policies & Interventions, Issues Related to vulnerable sections
Daily Current Affairs

Deposit Insurance Cover For Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs)

In News: RBI committee recommends extending Deposit insurance cover for Pre-Paid Instruments (PPIs)

About Deposit Insurance Cover for PREPAID PAYMENT INSTRUMENTS (PPIs)

  • A committee set up by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently suggested that the central bank should examine the extension of DICGC cover to Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs).
  • Currently, Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) cover is only available for bank deposits.
  • If accepted, this move will provide protection for PPI holders against fraud or unauthorized payment transactions.
  • PPIs are instruments that facilitate the purchase of goods and services, financial services, and remittance facilities.
  • These are issued either as cards or wallets and are of with two types viz. small PPIs and full-KYC PPIs.
  • Cash loading of PPIs is limited to Rs 50,000 per month and can be issued by banks and non-banks after obtaining approval from the RBI.
  • At present, the total number of PPIs is 16,185.26 lakh, with wallets accounting for 13,384.68 lakh and cards for 2,800.58 lakh.


  • Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) is a subsidiary of RBI that provides deposit insurance.
  • It covers all commercial banks, payments banks, small finance banks, regional rural banks, and co-operative banks licensed by RBI.
  • It insures deposits such as savings, fixed, current, and recurring, including accrued interest.
  • Each depositor in a bank is insured up to a maximum of Rs 5 lakh for both principal and interest amounts.
  • At present, there are 2,027 registered insured banks, including 140 commercial banks and 1,887 co-operative banks.


Keywords: GS-3: Financial Instruments
Daily Current Affairs

Iran Unveils Its 'First Hypersonic Missile

In News: Iran unveils its first hypersonic missile “Fattah”

About Iran’s first Hypersonic Missile:

  • Iran has recently unveiled its first hypersonic missile which is designed to penetrate missile defence systems and provide Iran with a military edge.
  • Fattah has a range of 1,400 km (870 miles) and can achieve a speed of up to Mach 15 (5,145 m/s or 16,880 ft/s).
  • The missile features a moveable secondary nozzle and utilizes solid propellants for high manoeuvrability.
  • Hypersonic missiles travel at speeds five times the speed of sound or greater, making them difficult to target for defence systems.
  • At present, only the United States, Russia, China, and North Korea are believed to have successfully tested hypersonic missiles.
  • The announcement was made during an event commemorating the death of Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, who is known as the father of Iranian missile technology.


Keywords: GS-2: IR
Daily Current Affairs

Energy Progress Report 2023

In News: United Nations (UN) releases a report “Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report 2023” 

About The Energy Progress Report 2023:

  • The Energy Progress report has been released by UN in collaboration with the International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Agency, World Bank, and
  • The report highlights that the world is off-track in achieving universal energy access and SDG 7 which focuses on ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.
  • The global population without access to clean cooking decreased from 2.9 billion in 2010 to 2.3 billion in 2021, but achieving universal access by 2030 remains a challenge.
  • Economic factors like uncertain macroeconomic outlook, high inflation, currency fluctuations, debt distress, lack of financing, and supply chain bottlenecks are impeding the realization of SDG 7
  • International public financial flows supporting clean energy in developing countries have declined and become concentrated in a few countries.
  • Access to electricity globally grew from 84% in 2010 to 91% in 2021, but the pace of annual growth slowed in 2019-2021.
  • The number of people without electricity reduced from 1.1 billion in 2010 to 675 million in 2021, but progress needs to be accelerated.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to have the highest number of people without access to clean cooking in 2030 if current trends continue.
  • The report stresses that there is need for investments of USD 1.4-1.7 trillion per year through 2030 in renewable electricity generation and related infrastructure to meet climate and energy goals.
  • SDG 7 is part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to end poverty and includes targets for universal access to electricity, clean cooking, energy efficiency, and increased renewable energy use.


Keywords: GS-3: Important Reports
Daily Current Affairs

Pietermaritzburg, Railway Station, South Africa

In News: Navy to attend event to mark 130 years of Gandhi's rail incident in South Africa


  • On 7 June 1793 Gandhi ji evicted from a train at Pietermaritzburg railway station, an event that sparked his campaign against racial oppression.
  • In 1793 Gandhi arrived in Durban to serve as a lawyer for merchant Dada Abdulla.
  • This occasion also signifies 30 years since the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between India and South Africa.


Keywords: Tag: GS-2 International relation
Daily Current Affairs

Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana

In News: Centre has decided to select 2,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) across the country to open Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendras.


  • PMBJP was launched in 2008, under the name “Jan Aushadhi Medical Store” and later on re-launched in the year 2015 as 'Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana' (PMJAY), in 2016, it was again renamed "Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana" (PMBJP).
  • Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) is launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.
  • PMBJP aims to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to people through special Kendras known as Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana

Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana Kendra (PMBJPK)

  • Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana Kendra has been set up to provide generic drugs at lesser prices that are equivalent in quality and efficacy to expensive branded drugs.
  • BPPI (Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India) has been established under the Department of Pharmaceuticals for coordinating the procurement, supply and marketing of generic drugs through Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana Kendra.
  • Financial Support is provided by the government to eligible NGOs/agencies/individuals to establish Jan Aushadhi stores.
  • Government is providing One-time financial assistance up to ₹2.50 lakh.

Keywords: GS-2 Governance
Daily Current Affairs

Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Education Loans (CGFSEL)

In News: Education loans offered by around 30 regional rural banks (RRBs) will now have the credit shield from the Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Education Loans.


  • The Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Education Loan (CGFSEL) was launched by the government in 2015 to provide a guarantee for education loans to students from the economically weaker sections (EWS) under the Model Education Loan Scheme of Indian Banks' Association (IBA).
  • Scheme was designed for borrowers who cannot pledge any collateral for their loan and are also not capable of providing any third-party guarantee.
  • Education loans up to Rs 4 lakh are collateral free but under this scheme, a student can borrow an education loan of up to Rs 7.5 lakh without security of any collateral and a third-party guarantee.


Keywords: GS-3 Economy
Daily Current Affairs

Price Support Scheme

In News: To enhance domestic production of pulses, the government has removed the procurement ceilings of 40 percent for tur, urad and masur under Price Support Scheme (PSS) operations for 2023-24


  • Under the Price Support Scheme (PSS), the government directly intervenes in the market to procure crops from farmers at a minimum support price (MSP).
  • This ensures that farmers receive a fair price for their produce, even if the market prices fall below the MSP.
  • PSS is under umbrella scheme Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA)
  • PSS is operationalised only when prices of agri-produce fall below the MSP.
  • Pulses, Oilseed and Copra are covered under the scheme.
  • It is under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare.

Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan

  • The Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan was announced by the Government of India in September 2018, recognizing the challenges faced by farmers in terms of low income and the volatility of agricultural prices.

The program encompasses three distinct components:

  • Price Support Scheme (PSS)
  • Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS)
  • Pilot of Private Procurement & Stockist Scheme (PPPS).


Keywords: GS-3 Economy, AGRICULTURE
Daily Current Affairs


In News: Recently, RBI Governor launches financial inclusion dashboard 'Antardrishti'.


  • 'Antardrishti' dashboard, presently intended for internal use in the RBI, will further facilitate greater financial inclusion through a multi-stakeholder approach.
  • The dashboard provides the necessary knowledge to evaluate and track the development of financial inclusion by recording relevant data.
  • This tool will also make it possible to assess the degree of financial exclusion at a local level across the nation.


Keywords: GS-3 Economy
Daily Current Affairs

Global Economic Prospects Report

In News: World Bank cuts India's GDP growth forecast for FY24 to 6.3% in latest Global Economic Prospects report.


  • Global Economic Prospect released by world bank twice in a year.
  • The global economy is projected to “slow substantially” this year, with a “pronounced deceleration” in advanced economies.
  • GDP growth for FY24 in India is seen at 6.3% compared with a previous estimate of 6.6% in January.
  • India's private investment was likely boosted by increasing corporate profits while unemployment declined to 6.8% in the first quarter of 2023.


Keywords: GS-3 Economy
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