Daily Current Affairs: 26th December 2019: The Hindu+PIB

Daily Current Affairs: 26th December 2019: The Hindu+PIB

The following compilation has been made keeping in mind the need of the UPSC IAS exam. Each and every topic which has been included in this compilation is taken from very authentic and relevant source including The HinduThe Indian ExpressBusiness Standard, Press Information Bureau, etc.

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As per the evolving pattern of the UPSC IAS prelims and mains exam each and every topic has been handpicked keeping in mind the syllabus of the exam.

Atal Bhujal Scheme(ATAL JAL)

Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Atal Bhujal scheme to strengthen the institutional framework for participatory groundwater management and bringing about behavioural changes at the community level for sustainable groundwater resource management in seven States.


About the Scheme

The scheme will be implemented in about 8,350 gram panchayats in 78 districts of GujaratHaryanaKarnatakaMadhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Of the total outlay of Rs. 6000 crore to be provided from 2020-21 to 2024-2550% will be in the form of World Bank loan to be repaid by the Central government. The remaining part will be made available via Central assistance from regular budgetary support.

The entire World Bank’s loan component and the Central assistance will be passed on to the States as grants.

The Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti will be the implementing body for the Scheme.

The ATAL JAL Yojana basically has two major components:

  • Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building for sustainable ground water management in the States including improving monitoring networks, capacity building, strengthening of Water User Associations, etc.
  • Incentivising the States for achievements in improved groundwater management practices namely, data dissemination, preparation of water security plans etc.

Jal Jeevan Mission would work towards delivering piped water supply to every  house and Atal Bhujal scheme would pay special attention to those areas where groundwater was very low. To incentivise gram panchayats, it is decided that those with better performance would be given more allocation under the scheme.

Further, both the Central and State governments would spend Rs. 3.5 lakh crore on water related schemes in the next five years. 

Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM)

Context: Operational Guidelines of Jal Jeevan mission (JJM) has been recently released by Prime Minister.


Key Highlights 

The Union Cabinet on 13th August 2019 approved Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) with an aim to provide Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) to every rural household by 2024.

JJM main target is at providing potable water in adequate quantity i.e. 55 litre per capita per day (lpcd) of prescribed quality which is BIS Standard of IS: 10500 on regular basis.

As part of the strategy, time bound completion of schemes taken up under National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) has been proposed by providing FHTC to every rural household.

In order to look out the implementation of JJM, following institutional arrangement has been proposed:

  • National Jal Jeevan Mission at the Central level;
  • State Water and Sanitation Mission (SWSM) at State level;
  • District Water and Sanitation Mission (DWSM) at district level; and
  • Gram Panchayat and/ or its sub-committees i.e. Village Water Sanitation Committee (VWSC)/ Paani Samiti at village Level.

The total project cost is estimated to be Rs 3.6 lakh Crore. The fund sharing pattern is 90:10 for Himalayan and North-Eastern States50:50 for other States and 100% for UTs.

The good performance of the States/ UTs will be incentivized out of the fund that is not utilized by other States at the fag end of the financial year.

The fund released by Central Government to the State Governments is to be deposited in one Single Nodal Account (SNA) that will be maintained by SWSM along with State matching share to be transferred within 15 days of Central release. 

Imbibing the spirit of 73rd Amendment of Constitution of India, Gram Panchayats or its sub-committees will play a crucial role in planning, designing, execution, operations and maintenance of the in-village infrastructure.

Every village is to prepare a village action plan (VAP) which will be essentially having three components namely;

  • Water source & its maintenance 
  • Water supply and 
  • Grey water management.

Mandatory source sustainability measures like rain water harvesting, groundwater recharge and other water conservation measures as along with grey water management (including reuse) are proposed to be undertaken in convergence with MGNREGS and grants under Finance Commission, State Finance Commission, District Mineral Development Fund (DMF), etc.

It is to be noted that Out of 17.87 Crore rural households in the country, about 14.6 Crore which accounts for 81.67% are yet to have household water tap connections. 

Good Governance Index (GGI)

Context: On the occasion of Good Governance Day (Birth Anniversary of Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee i.e., 25th December), the Minister of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions launched the ‘Good Governance Index (GGI)’.

Good Governance Index, UPSC INDIATHINKERS

What is it?

The Good Governance Index (GGI) is a uniform tool across States that assesses the Status of Governance and impact of various interventions taken up by the State Government and Union Territories.

The Index takes into consideration ten sectors: 

1). Agriculture and Allied Sectors, 

2). Commerce & Industries, 

3). Human Resource Development, 

4). Public Health, 

5). Public Infrastructure & Utilities, 

6). Economic Governance, 

7). Social Welfare & Development, 

8). Judicial & Public Security, 

9). Environment and 

10). Citizen-Centric Governance.

These ten Governance Sectors are measured on total 50 indicators.

The states and UTs are divided into three groups: a). Big States, b). North-East & Hill States and c). Union Territories

The states and UTs are ranked on all indicators separately, at the same time composite ranking is also calculated for these states and UTs under their respective groups based upon these indicators.  

Must Read: Ultimate Guide to UPSC IAS Exam Preparation 

Madan Mohan Malaviya

Context: The birth anniversary of Madan Mohan Malaviya, the famed Indian educationist and freedom fighter who is also called ‘Mahamana’ was celebrated on December 25.


About Madan Mohan Malaviya and his contributions 

  • Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (1861 – 1946) was a Freedom Fighter and an Indian educationist.
  • Mahatma Gandhi conferred him with the title of ‘Mahamana’ . During his school days he started writing poems under the pen name ‘Makarand’ which were published in journals and magazines.

Role of Madan Mohan Malviya in Freedom Movement:

  • He was a moderate leader who was elected as the president of Indian National Congress four times in 190919181932 and 1933, but owing to his arrest by the Government of India, he could not preside over the 1932 and 1933 sessions which had been banned.
  • He participated in the important debates as a member of Imperial Legislative Council (later renamed as Central Legislative Assembly) (the most notable being the prohibition of recruitment of Indian indentured labour to the British colonies.)
  • He attended the Round Table Conference in 1931.
  • Congress Nationalist Party: In protest against the Communal Award of 1932 which sought to provide separate electorates for minorities, Malaviya along with Madhav Shrihari Aney left the Congress and started the Congress Nationalist Party.
  • He founded the Hindu Mahasabha in 1906 to oppose not the just claims of the Muslim community but the “divide and rule” policy of the British Government.
  • He founded Banaras Hindu University (BHU) at Varanasi in 1916-fulfilling his role as an Educationist-which was created under the B.H.U. Act, 1915. He was Vice Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University from 1919–1938.
  • He started the ‘Abhyudaya’ as a Hindi weekly in 1907 and made it a daily in 1915. He also started the ‘Maryada’ a Hindi monthly in 1910. He started the ‘Leader’ an English daily in 1909. He was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ‘Hindustan Times’ from 1924 to 1946.
  • The scouting for native Indians was started by him along with the support of Annie Besant. In 1913, he started a scouting inspired organisation called All India Seva Samiti.
  • He also founded Ganga Mahasabha to oppose the damming of Ganges. An agreement known as Aviral Ganga Raksha Samjhuata 1916 was signed between British government and Ganga Mahasabha for uninterrupted flow of Ganges in Haridwar.
  • He took a keen interest in the industrial development of the country and was therefore appointed a member of the Indian Industrial Commission in 1916.
  • He was posthumously conferred with Bharat Ratna in 2014
  • Mahamana Express, a train named after Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016. The Train runs between Delhi and Varanasi.

What are Desert Locust?

Context: Gujarat is under attack from hoppers — new-born locusts — that have flown in across the international border.


As the swarms mature, they have ravaged farms in north Gujarat, devastating farms in the three border districts – Banaskantha, Patan and Kutch.

Key Details

The Desert Locust also locally known as tiddis, is one of about a dozen species of short-horned grasshoppers (Acridoidea) that are known to change their behavior and form swarms of adults or bands of hoppers (wingless nymphs). The swarms that form can be dense and highly mobile.

The Latin name for Desert Locust is Schistocerca gregaria (Forskal). These insects fly in during the day and settle on the farms at night, making it difficult to ward them off.

During the quiet periods (commonly known as recessions) Desert Locusts are usually restricted to the semi-arid and arid deserts of Africa, the Near East and South-West Asia that receive less than 200 mm of rain annually. This is an area of about 16 million square kilometres, consisting of about 30 countries.

During plagues, these Desert Locusts may spread over an enormous area of some 29 million square kilometres, extending over or into parts of 60 countries. Desert Locust plagues occurred in 1926-1934, 1940-1948, 1949-1963, 1967-1969 and 1986-1989.

The Agriculture Ministry’s Locust Warning Organisation (LWO) is located in Jodhpur. 

Also read: How to chose your optional in UPSC IAS Exam

Children with Intersex Traits

Context: A national ban on unnecessary medical surgeries conducted on children with intersex traits has been sought by the Intersex individuals and rights organisations and has appealed to the Union government to protect their human rights.

Intersex children, UPSC Indiathinkers

What has been the issue?

The demand for a nation-wide ban comes months after the Tamil Nadu government banned normative surgeries on infants and children except in life-threatening situations after a historic judgment of the Madras High Court on April 22, 2019.

If it is nationally adopted, India could become only the third country after Malta and Taiwan, to have a legal regime which protects the rights of intersex children.

The World Health Organisation and the United Nations Human Rights Council have called upon Member States to end invasive and irreversible medical surgeries and other medical treatment on intersex children. 

What else do we need to know?

It is to be kept in mind that while the term intersex is confused with transgender, the two in-fact have very completely different meanings.

The Individuals who identify as transgender or transexual have a gender that is different from the one traditionally associated with the sex they were assigned at birth whereas Intersex refers to people born with biological or physical characteristics that are more diverse than stereotypical male or female bodies.

Swadesh Darshan Scheme

Context: An approval for the release of funds to the tune of Rs. 627.40 crore for the 10 projects sanctioned during 2018-19 and additional Rs. 1854.67 crore for sanctioning of new projects during 2019-20 in Swadesh Darshan Scheme has been given by the Union Cabinet.


About the Scheme

The scheme was launched by the Tourism Ministry launched in 2015 with an objective to develop theme-based tourist circuits in the country. These tourist circuits will be developed on the principles of high tourist value, competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner.

Under the Scheme, 15 circuits have been identified for development namely Himalayan Circuit, North East Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Buddhist Circuit and Coastal Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit, Heritage Circuit, Tirthankar Circuit and Sufi Circuit.

Key Features of Swadesh Darshan Scheme:

  • The Scheme is 100% centrally funded for the project components undertaken for public funding.
  • In order to leverage the voluntary funding available for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Central Public Sector Undertakings and corporate sector.
  • Funding of individual project will vary from state to state and will be finalised on the basis of detailed project reports prepared by PMC (Programme Management Consultant) which will be a national level consultant to be appointed by the Mission Directorate.
  • A National Steering Committee (NSC) will be constituted with Minister in charge of M/O Tourism as Chairman, to steer the mission objectives and vision of the scheme.
  • Mission Directorate headed by the Member Secretary, NSC as a nodal officer will help in identification of projects in consultation with the States/ UTs governments and other stake holders.

Also read: How to write an effective essay in UPSC IAS Exam?

Haryana’s “Run Through Files” mechanism

Context: In order to ensure the restrictions on delay of important government matters because of the conflicting hierarchical and departmental priorities, the Haryana government has introduced a “Run Through Files” mechanism in the Centralised File Movement and Tracking Information System (CFMS).

Run Through Files Mechanism, UPSC Indiathinkers

The mechanism would be personally monitored by Chief Minister of Haryana.

Key features of the Mechanism

  • As part of the mechanism, a file shall be marked as Run Through Files(RTF) only by the CM in the CFMS.
  • Every file marked as RTF has to be cleared on priority greater than that is currently being accorded to the files marked top priority.
  • No matter at what level any contribution other than mere signing on the file is made, the same will also be uploaded on CFMS portal.
  • Also, a system generated SMS and email will automatically be sent on each downward or upward movement of the file.

Also Read: 25th December 2019 Current Affairs

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