Tuesday, 11th April 2023

Table of contents

1   Editorial of the day


Building a blue economy

2   Daily Current Affairs


Mission to Map India’s cultural Assets








Blockchain project for Web3.0


India’s Digital Public Infrastructure


Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) and Coastal Rehabilitation


Revised Gas Pricing Guidelines Based On Kirit Parikh Committee


United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP)




Investment Facilitation Agreement (IFA)




Environment statistics 2023


Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS)

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Editorial of the day

Building a blue economy

Exam View: Issues in India’s Fisheries sector; Chinese Efforts to boost fisheries sector; India and Fisheries Sector, Way forward for India’s fishing sector

Context: India must raise its own fleet and build modern harbours to further its economic and security goals, on the lines of China. China owns the world's largest deep-water fishing fleet, which also serves as a maritime militia assisting the Chinese navy and coast guard.

Issues in India’s Fisheries sector:

  • India lacks investment in a deepwater fleet.
  • The resources in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) remain underexploited and are often exploited by better equipped fishing fleets of other Indo-Pacific countries. Some of them also engage in illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing.
  • Indo-Sri Lanka dispute: Encroachment of Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters during its civil war, resulted in conflict between fishermen of both sides after the end of hostilities in 2009.
  • Lack of Finances to purchase sea going trawlers, constrain the fishermen to move beyond the Palk Strait and venture into high seas.
  • Low level of value addition in Indian fisheries exports. There is less focus on “ready-to-eat” or “ready-to-cook” marine products.

Chinese Efforts to boost fisheries sector:

  • Mobilisation of the fishing industry to meet the rising demand for protein in the Chinese diet. Consequently, China is today a “fishery superpower”, which owns the world’s largest deep-water fishing (DWF) fleet.
  • Distant deep-water fishing, since 1985, and contracts to fish in the EEZ of other many countries in Asia and Africa.
  • Use of a part of its fishing fleet as a “maritime militia”, which assists the navy and coast guard in their tasks.

India’s Fisheries Sector:

  • Fish is an affordable and rich source of animal protein and is one of the healthiest options to mitigate hunger and malnutrition.
  • Humble beginnings: Since Independence, India’s marine fishery has been dominated by the “artisanal sector” which includes poor, small-scale fishers who can afford only small sailboats or canoes to fish for subsistence.
    • India’s artisanal fishers deliver only 2 percent of marine fish to the market, while 98 percent is caught by mechanised and motorised craft.
  • Transformation: Starting as a traditional activity, India’s fisheries are being transformed into a commercial enterprise.
    • The sector has shown steady growth and has become a major contributor of foreign exchange.
    • Fisheries provide livelihood to about 15 million fishers and fish-farmers at the primary level, and generates twice the number of jobs in transportation, cold-storages, and marketing.
  • Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana:
    • It is a flagship scheme for sustainable development of India’s fisheries sector with an estimated investment of Rs 20,000 crores over the next five years.
    • The scheme also envisages to form an “Indo-Sri Lankan Fishing Corporation” to develop deep-water fishing capabilities and dedicated fishing harbours, for both countries.

Way forward for Indian Fisheries sector: Long-term vision with focus on four areas

  • Mechanisation and modernisation of fishing vessels by providing communication links and electronic fish-detection devices.
  • Developing deep-water fishing fleets, with bigger, sea-going trawlers equipped with refrigeration facilities;
  • DWF fleet will have to be built around the “mother ship” concept, wherein a large vessel would accompany the fleet to provide fuel, medical and on-board preservation/processing facilities;
  • Development of modern fishing harbours with adequate berthing and post-harvest facilities, including cold storage, preservation, and packaging of fish.





Keywords: GS-3: Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Water Resources, GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT
Daily Current Affairs

Mission to Map India’s cultural Assets

In News: Mission to map rural India’s cultural assets covers over one lakh villages, detailed dossiers on these villages covered under the Mera Gaon Meri Dharohar programme will be made available from May on a web portal.


Mera Gaon Meri Dharohar is a cultural heritage documentation program initiated by the National Mission for Cultural Mapping (NMCM) in India. The program aims to identify and record the unique cultural features and traditions of over one lakh rural villages across the country. By preserving and promoting these distinct attributes, the government intends to harness the cultural potential of rural India and empower local communities.

Component of Mera Gaon Meri Dharohar Scheme

  • Cultural Mapping: The process involves identification and mapping the cultural assets and art repositories of the nation i.e., art expressions, crafts and skills, wisdom tradition and other cultural practices whether oral, aural, visual or kinetic.

Information about the ritual, social and economic status of artists and craftsmen within the community is also of relevance and is to be noted during the cultural mapping.

  • Categories of Villages: Based on ecological, developmental, historical significance, as well as cultural aspects such as textiles or products that are famous or have connections to historical or mythological events like the Independence struggle or epics like the Mahabharata, villages have been classified into seven to eight categories.

  • Field Survey:To map the cultural assets of villages, joint teams from the Ministry of Culture and the Common Services Centres (CSC) of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology conducted field surveys. The citizens were actively involved in sharing the distinctive features of their village, block, or district. As part of the survey process, a Village Level Entrepreneur (VLE) from the CSC conducted meetings with locals and used a specialized application to upload fascinating facts about their village.
  • The Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts plans to cover all 6.5 lakh villages in the country and create special films on 6,500 village clusters showcasing their unique heritage.The detailed dossiers on these villages, as well as the films, will be made available on a web portal called "The National Cultural Work Place".



Keywords: GS-1 Art and Culture
Daily Current Affairs


In News: Indian Prime Minister has recently launched the International Big Cats Alliance (IBCA) in Karnataka to commemorate 50 years of Project Tiger.

  • Project Tiger is an ambitious wildlife conservation project launched in India on April 1, 1973, to protect the endangered Bengal tiger species.
  • During the event, the government also released a publication and a summary report of the 5th cycle of Management Effective Evaluation of Tiger Reserves and All India Tiger Estimation (5th cycle).

International Big Cats Alliance (IBCA):

  • The IBCA aims to protect and conserve the seven major big cats of the world including tiger, lion, leopard, snow leopard, puma, jaguar, and cheetah.
  • Membership to the alliance will be open to 97 “range” countries and other interested nations and international organizations.
  • The IBCA will provide assured support over five years with guaranteed funding of over Rs 800 crore.
  • The main objective of the alliance is to rehabilitate the big cats in collaboration with countries that harbour these species.
  • The alliance will disseminate information on benchmarked practices, capacity building, resources repository, research and development, and awareness creation.

What is Project Tiger?

  • Project Tiger is an ambitious project launched in 1973 for the conservation of tigers in India in collaborative effort of the government and the people.
  • The project initially covered nine tiger reserves spread over 18,278 sq km, and now includes 53 tiger reserves sprawling over around 75,000 sq km of the region.
  • There are around 3,167 in 2022, up from 2,967 in 2018 which account for 70 per cent of the global tiger population.
  • Major areas of the project includes steps to control poaching, habitat fragmentation, and degradation remain big threats to the big cats.




Keywords: GS-3 Environment and Ecology
Daily Current Affairs


In News: Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) completed 8 years since its inception on April 8, 2015.


  • It was launched on April 8, 2015, by Prime Minister to facilitate easy collateral-free micro-credit to help generate large-scale employment opportunities at the grassroots level.
  • The scheme aims to provide easy collateral-free micro-credit up to Rs 10 lakh to non-corporate, non-farm small and micro-entrepreneurs.
  • Over the years, around Rs 23.2 lakh crore has been sanctioned in 40.82 crore loan accounts under Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana.
  • Nearly 68% of the loan accounts under the scheme belong to women entrepreneurs while 51% of the loan accounts belong to entrepreneurs of SC/ST and OBC categories.
  • The scheme has led to innovation and a sustained increase in per capita income for the budding entrepreneurs of the country.



Keywords: GS-3 Economy
Daily Current Affairs


In News: Ministry of Animal Husbandry has recently expressed a proposal for a comprehensive livestock insurance scheme.

  • At present, the average yearly premium is unaffordable for most farmers at 5% of the insured amount leading to less than 1% of the country's cattle population being insured.
  • Previously, Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) has pulled up the Centre for zero insurance coverage of livestock in 2022-23.

Key Highlights:

  • Centre considering a comprehensive livestock insurance scheme modeling the Prime Minister's Fasal Bima Yojana
  • Initial proposals to waive off premiums for cattle rearers from Scheduled Caste (SC)-Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities.
  • Government will facilitate the direct transfer of benefits in which the subsidy on the premium paid by socially marginalized farmers from SC-ST communities.
  • Government will also explore the possibility of developing an App-based Livestock Insurance facility for livestock owners.

Key Issues:

  • High policy premium rates and general economic conditions of farmers are reasons for lower enrolment in such schemes.
  • There is need for a comprehensive livestock and crop insurance in the background of pandemics such as lumpy skin disease.
  • Due to the overlapping governance models, farmers are often caught in the fight between State government officials and insurance companies.




Keywords: Daily Current Affairs
Daily Current Affairs

Blockchain project for Web3.0

In News: The Union government has undertaken a research project in the Blockchain technology system aimed at evolving the blockchain technology stack for end-to-end blockchain application development.

About the Blockchain Project:

  • The project titled 'Design and Development of a Unified Blockchain Framework for offering National Blockchain Service and Creation of Blockchain Ecosystem', will enable Open Application Programming Interfaces (Open APIs) for seamless integration and offering blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) over distributed infrastructure.
  • Blockchain plays an important role in realizing Web3, and the National Strategy on Blockchain encompasses major technology components required for Web3.
  • MeitY, being aware of the blockchain and Web3’s potential in different fields, had framed the National Strategy on Blockchain in 2021.


  • Web 3.0 is the next version of the internet, where services will run on blockchain. It is a decentralized internet that runs on a public blockchain, which is also used for cryptocurrency transactions.
  • It will be permissionless and democratic and people will be able to control their own data.
  • Three key features of Web 3.0 are: Ubiquity, Semantic Web, Artificial Intelligence and 3D Graphics. Examples The most recent example of Web 3.0 are the NFTs or non-fungible tokens.



Keywords: GS-3: Science and Technology, indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
Daily Current Affairs

India’s Digital Public Infrastructure

In News: International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lauded India's digital public infrastructure and noted that India’s digital journey has lessons for other countries.

About Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI):

  • India's digital public infrastructure, which includes the Aadhar, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in other words, digital payments and Digilocker (an online storage platform), are collectively known as 'India Stack'.
  • It has been developed through collaboration between different entities, including governments, regulators, private sector, volunteers, startups, and academic institutions.
  • Their goal is to provide a seamless and efficient way for citizens to access government services and promote inclusive development.
  • The IMF paper, titled 'Stacking up the benefits: lessons from India's digital journey', argued that India's digital infrastructure helped the people during the pandemic.

Benefits of DPI

  • The Indian government was able to provide support to around 87% of poor households during the first month of pandemic, with at least one benefit.
  • The Indian government saved around 1.1% of the GDP in expenditure due to robust digital infrastructure.
  • Around 462.5 million bank accounts were opened in both urban and rural areas, under the Jan Dhan scheme and pushed for financial inclusion.
  • 'India Stack' has simplified Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures and e-KYC lowered their cost of compliance from $12 to 6 cents.
  • India used its digital backbone to scale its vaccine delivery quickly and overcome challenges such as large-scale internal migration.
  • Introduction of UPI, an interoperable platform which can be used across multiple platforms now accounts for 68% of all payment transactions by volume.
  • Digitalisation has also supported the formalisation of the Indian economy, where a large section of the population works in the informal sector, the paper added.




Keywords: GS-2 Government Policies & Interventions, E-governance
Daily Current Affairs

Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) and Coastal Rehabilitation

In News: The Government has formulated new plans to rehabilitate people from low-lying coastal areas who may be adversely impacted due to rising sea levels. INCOIS has also been involved to carry out Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI) mapping.


  • INCOIS is an autonomous organization of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), mandated to provide ocean information and advisory services to society, industry, government agencies and the scientific community through sustained ocean observations and focused research.
  • INCOIS is a unit of the Earth System Science Organisation (ESSO), New Delhi which operates as an executive arm of the MoES for its policies and programmes.
  • It has carried out Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI) mapping to assess the probable implications of sea-level rise along the Indian coast.


    • Coastal vulnerability is a spatial concept that identifies people and places that are susceptible to disturbances resulting from coastal hazards.
    • The exercise has generated maps using seven input parameters: shoreline change rate, sea-level change rate, coastal elevation, coastal slope, coastal geomorphology, significant wave height and tidal range.
  • INCOIS is a permanent member of the Indian delegation to Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO and a founding member of the Indian Ocean Global Ocean Observing System (IOGOOS)
  • It is actively engaged in capacity building and international exchange of students and researchers.




Keywords: GS-3 Disaster Management
Daily Current Affairs

Revised Gas Pricing Guidelines Based On Kirit Parikh Committee

In News: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a new mechanism to fix pricing for domestic natural gas in India as suggested by the Kirit Parikh Committee.

About the Gas Pricing Mechanism:

  • Earlier, the prices of natural gas produced from legacy or old fields also known as administered price mechanism (APM) gas was priced based on the benchmark rates of gas in surplus nations like the US, Canada, and Russia.
  • Now, the Government has decided to index the APM prices to the price of imported crude oil. The price of such natural gas shall be 10% of the monthly average of Indian Crude Basket and shall be notified on a monthly basis.
  • The move will make PNG or cooking gas cheaper by 10% and lower the cost of CNG by 6-9%. The reduced prices shall also lower the fertiliser subsidy burden and help the domestic power sector.
  • The Centre plans to increase the share of natural gas in India’s energy mix to 15% by 2030 from 6.5% at present. The revised pricing mechanism will encourage natural gas usage and help to cut emissions to achieve net zero targets.

Kirit Parikh Committee:

  • Kirit Parikh committee was established to review the gas pricing formula and tasked with suggesting a fair price to the end-consumer while ensuring a market-oriented, transparent and reliable pricing regime for India's long-term vision for ensuring a gas-based economy.
  • The mandate is to suggest a regime that would help raise domestic production to help meet the goal of 15% of energy coming from gas by 2030.



Keywords: GS-3 Infrastructure-Energy
Daily Current Affairs

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP)

Why in news? Recently, a High-Level Conference on Accelerating Rail Digital Transformation in Asia and Pacific region was held in New Delhi.


The Conference was organized by UN-ESCAP in collaboration with the Ministry of Railways.


  • ESCAP is the most inclusive intergovernmental platform in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • It is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations.
  • First established by Economic and Social Council in 1947 as United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and Far East (ECAFE). Renamed in 1974 as ESCAP.
  • Function: It supports inclusive and sustainable development in region by generating action-oriented knowledge, and by providing technical assistance and capacity-building services in support of national development objectives, regional agreements, and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Membership: 53 Member States and 9 associate members.
  • Headquarters: Bangkok, Thailand




Keywords: General Studies – 3 Important International Institutions
Daily Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, India’s Foreign Minister, is scheduled to visit Uganda and Mozambique.


  • Mozambique, a scenic country in south-eastern Africa.
  • Its extensive coastline, fronting the Mozambique Channel, which separates mainland Africa from the island of Madagascar, offers some of Africa’s best natural harbours.
  • The capital is
  • Political Boundaries:
    • Bordered by Tanzania (north), Mozambique Channel (east) this separates it from island of Madagascar, South Africa and Swaziland (south and southwest), Zimbabwe (west), and Zambia, Malawi, and Lake Nyasa (northwest).
    • Maritime borders with Comoros, Madagascar, and Mayotte Island (France).
  • Geographical features
    • Terrain: Varies from coastal lowlands to high plateau in northwest, mountains in west.
    • Climate: Varies from sub-tropical to tropical (south to north).
    • Major River: Zambezi River, Limpopo River and Rovuma River.
    • Highest point: Monte Binga.




Keywords: General Studies –1 Physical Geography, Geographical location
Daily Current Affairs

Investment Facilitation Agreement (IFA)

Why in news? Due to logjam in World Trade Organization (WTO), there is prolific activity taking place with regards to IFA.


  • Launched in 2017 by a group of developing and least-developed WTO members, joint initiative aims at developing a multilateral agreement on Investment Facilitation for Development that will improve investment and business climate.
  • The objective of the proposed IFA is to develop a legally binding multilateral agreement on investment facilitation.
  • Over 110 countries (excluding India) are members negotiators of this joint initiative.
  • This will require states to augment regulatory transparency and predictability of investment measures.

IFA vs Bilateral investment treaties (BITs):

  • This agreement will be very different from investment protection agreements such as bilateral investment treaties (BITs).
  • This is because BITs allow foreign investors to bring claims against the host state for alleged treaty breaches.
  • This is known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) - a mechanism in a free trade agreement (FTA) or investment treaty that provides foreign investors with the right to access an international tribunal to resolve investment disputes.




Keywords: General Studies –2 Bilateral, Regional, and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
Daily Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, Rockets were fired from Lebanon targeting Israel.


  • Lebanon, country located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • It consists of a narrow strip of territory and is one of the world’s smaller sovereign states.
  • The capital is Beirut.
  • Political Boundaries: Bounded by Syria (north and east), Israel (south), and Mediterranean Sea (west).
  • Geographical features:
    • Four distinct physiographic regions: Narrow coastal plain along Mediterranean Sea, Lebanon Mountains (Jabal Lubnān), Al-Biqāʿ (Bekaa) valley, and Anti-Lebanon and Hermon ranges running parallel to Lebanese Mountains.
    • Highest Point: Qurnat al-Sawdāʾ.




Keywords: General Studies –1 Physical Geography, Geographical location
Daily Current Affairs

Environment statistics 2023

Why in news? Recently, Volume 1 of Environment statistics 2023 was released by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).


  • In 2022, annual rainfall measured in India has increased in comparison to 2021.
  • In 2022, maximum heatwave days were reported in Rajasthan, followed by Punjab and Haryana, Jharkhand, and Delhi.
  • Notably, Assam and Himachal Pradesh have not reported a heatwave day since 2010.
  • Number of cyclonic storms experienced by North Indian Ocean (NIO) increased substantially in 2018 which persisted in subsequent year but again reduced in 2022.




Keywords: General Studies – 3 Environment
Daily Current Affairs

Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS)

Why in news? INCOIS deploys two more deep sea gliders into Bay of Bengal to study climate change.


  • It was established as an autonomous body in 1999 under Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).
  • It is located in Hyderabad.
  • It is a unit of the Earth System Science Organization (ESSO), New Delhi.
  • It is one of the five regional commissions of United Nations.
  • It is mandated to provide the best possible ocean information and advisory services to society, industry, government agencies and the scientific community through sustained ocean observations and constant improvement through systematic and focused research.
  • Organizational Structure:
    • To establish an Early Warning System for Tsunami and Storm Surges.
    • To promote research in field of ocean information and related services including satellite oceanography.



Keywords: General Studies –3 Disaster Management
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