Current Affairs Analysis

11th April 2018 Current Affairs Analysis -IASToppers

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY); Website & Mobile APP of National Commission for Safai Karamcharis; panel to review CSR enforcement; Project Dhoop; Vitamin D deficiency; Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI); Certificates of Competency of Seafarers; What is STCW?; Rare dance panel of Nayak period; Silappatikaram; Happy cities summit; National Safe Motherhood Day; India's first high-speed electric locomotive; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
April 11, 2018


Polity & Governance

  • New Website & Mobile APP of National Commission for Safai Karamcharis launched
  • Government appoints panel to review CSR enforcement under Companies Act

Government Schemes & Policies

  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)

Issues related to Health & Education

  • FSSAI introduces Project Dhoop

Bilateral & International Relations

  • Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency of Seafarers

Art & Culture

  • Rare dance panel of Nayak period found near Tiruchi

Key Facts for Prelims

  • Happy cities summit
  • April 11: National Safe Motherhood Day
  • India’s first high-speed electric locomotive launched

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Polity & Governance

New Website & Mobile APP of National Commission for Safai Karamcharis launched

A new website a mobile app has been launched for the ‘National Commission for Safai Karamcharis’. The Mobile App will help the Commission in addressing the grievances/complaints of petitioners in an efficient manner.


About NCSK:

  • National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) was established in 1994 to deal with the grievances of persons engaged in manual scavenging.
  • It has a sanctioned strength of four members and a chairperson.
  • It is statutory body established under National Commission for Safai Karamcharis Act, 1993.
  • It aims to promote and safeguard the interests and rights of Safai Karamcharis.
  • Its mandate is to study, evaluate and monitor the implementation of various schemes for Safai Karamcharis as an autonomous organisation.
[Ref: PIB]


Government appoints panel to review CSR enforcement under Companies Act

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has constituted 12-member committee to review enforcement of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) provisions under Companies Act, 2013.

  • It will be headed by Regional Director (Western Region) Manmohan Juneja.
  • Besides, there will be two sub-committees viz. legal and technical that will go into various aspects in relation to compliance with CSR provisions.

Terms of References of the Committee:

  • The committee will review functioning of CSR enforcement and recommend uniform approach for its enforcement.
  • It will revisit guidelines for enforcement of CSR provisions and basis, including structure of Centralised Scrutiny and Prosecution Mechanism (CSPM).
  • It will also look at methodologies for monitoring of compliance by companies with CSR norms for having an effective CSPM.
  • It will also revisit Schedule VII of Companies Act, 2013 pertaining to the board list of CSR activities that can be taken up under the Act on basis of references received from various stakeholders.
[Ref: Times of India]


Government Schemes & Policies 

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)

According to revised guidelines of the centre’s flagship scheme to promote organic farming, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), farmers will be eligible for an assistance of Rs 48,700 per hectare for a three-year period for adopting these traditional methods of cultivation.


As per revised guidelines, who is eligible?

  • According to the revised guidelines, farmers practising traditional methods of organic farming like yogik farming, gou mata kheti, Vedic farming, Vaishnav kheti, Ahinsa farming, Adhvoot Shivanand farming, and rishi krishi will be eligible for financial assistance, in addition to those adopting standard organic farming practices like zero-budget natural farming and permaculture.

Key facts:

  • Yogik farming refers to a system where it is believed that farmers can channelize cosmic energy to their fields by performing yoga.
  • Rishi krishi is based on pre-Vedic, Vedic and medieval texts like Vishvavallava, Kashyapiyakrishisukti, and Surapala’s Vrikshayurveda.
  • Gou mata kheti is a system of farming which uses cow dung and urine from indigenous breeds of lactating cows.

About Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY):

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana is an elaborated component of Soil Health Management (SHM) of major project National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).

  • Under PKVY Organic farming is promoted through the adoption of the organic village by cluster approach and PGS certification.
  • Fifty or more farmers will form a cluster having 50-acre land to take up the organic farming under the scheme.
  • The produce will be pesticide residue free and will contribute to improving the health of the consumer.
[Ref: The Hindu]


Issues related to Health & Education 

FSSAI introduces Project Dhoop

In order to address rising incidence of Vitamin ‘D’ Deficiencies (VDD), particularly amongst the young people, FSSAI has launched a unique initiative, ‘Project Dhoop’ in association with NCERT, NDMC and North MCD Schools.


About Project Dhoop:

  • Project Dhoop urges schools to shift their morning assembly to noon time, mainly between 11am and 1pm to ensure maximum absorption of Vitamin D in students through natural sunlight.
  • It has been launched by FSSAI along with National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) as well as North MCD Schools.
  • The concept of noon school assembly under it is an innovative and effective concept to ensure that school students get adequate Vitamin D through sunlight, while also opting to choose food products like milk and edible oils that are fortified with Vitamins A and D.

What are the concerns?

  • Most parts of India receive abundant sunshine all the year through. Yet shockingly, studies have found that more than 90% of boys and girls across various Indian cities are deficient in Vitamin D.
  • In Delhi alone, 90-97% of school children (aged 6-17 years) have Vitamin ‘D’ Deficiencies (VDD) and around 10-11% of these children exhibit signs of VDD.

How does Vitamin D deficiency occur?

  • Vitamin D deficiency occurs due to overuse of sunscreen, wearing clothes that cover most of the skin, working all day in an air-conditioned atmosphere, and other factors.

How to prevent Vitamin D deficiency in school children?

  • The school uniforms needs to be designed in a way that at least face and arms are exposed to sunlight, which would be equivalent to 18 per cent of body surface, and the exposure has to be at least for 30-40 minutes.
  • Additionally, opting for fortified foods (with +F symbol) is a simple and inexpensive way to address micronutrient deficiencies without any radical change in behaviour or eating patterns.

Significance of micronutrients:

  • Micronutrients including vitamins are needed by people in only very small amounts, but these are the “magic wands” that enable the body to produce enzymes, hormones and other substances essential for proper growth and development.
  • As tiny as the amounts are, the consequences of their absence are severe. Vitamin A, D, B12, Iron, Folic Acid and Iodine, are the most important; their lack represents a major threat to the health and development of populations the world over, particularly children and pregnant women in countries like India.

About Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI):


  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an agency of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.
  • The FSSAI has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation in India.
  • The FSSAI is led by a non-executive Chairperson, appointed by the Central Government.
  • The Chairperson is in the rank of Secretary to Government of India.
  • The agency also has 8 regional offices, 4 referral laboratories and 72 local laboratories located throughout India.
[Ref: The Hindu]


Bilateral & International Relations 

Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency of Seafarers

India has signed an MoU with the Republic of Korea on Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency of Seafarers.

Significance of the MoU:

  • The MoU will pave way for recognition of maritime education and training, certificates of competency, endorsements, training documentary evidence and medical fitness certificates for seafarers issued by the Government of the other country in accordance with the provisions of Regulation 1/10 of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention, and cooperation between the two countries in training and management of seafarers.

What is STCW?

The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978 sets qualification standards for masters, officers and watch personnel on seagoing merchant ships.

  • STCW was adopted in 1978 by conference at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London, and entered into force in 1984.
  • The Convention was significantly amended in 1995.
  • Previously the standards of training, certification and watchkeeping of officers and ratings were established by individual governments, usually without reference to practices in other countries.
  • The 1978 STCW Convention was the first to establish basic requirements on training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers on an international level.
  • The Convention prescribes minimum standards relating to training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers which countries are obliged to meet or exceed.
  • One important feature of the Convention is that it applies to ships of non-party Stateswhen visiting ports of States which are Parties to the Convention.
  • The Manila amendments to the STCW Convention and Code were adopted on 25 June 2010, marking a major revision of the STCW Convention and Code.
[Ref: PIB]


Art & Culture 

Rare dance panel of Nayak period found near Tiruchi

A rare dance panel of Nayak period and an inscribed pillar of Chola period have been found on an abandoned brick mound at Pathalapettai near Kiliyur in Tiruchi. 


  • Silappathikaram has references to such ritualistic performances by rural folks.

 About Silappatikaram:

  • It is one of the Five Great Epics of Tamil Literature according to later Tamil literary tradition. A poet-prince from Kodungallur near Kochi, referred to by the pseudonym Ilango Adigal, is credited with this work.
  • The epic revolves around Kannagi, who having lost her husband to a miscarriage of justice at the court of the Pandyan Dynasty, wreaks her revenge on his kingdom.

About the dance panel:

  • The dance panel is depicted on a stone slab that measures 1.21 metres in length and 33 centimetres in height.
  • Four pairs of well dressed male and female dancers, holding some object in one of their hands, are seen engaged in a ritualistic dance in the panel. Three pairs are shown hugging each other while the last pair is dancing keeping a distance between.
  • All of them are decked with ornaments and different head gears. The female deity with a flower in the right hand seen between the first two pairs and the pot depicted between the last two pairs denote the ritualistic nature of the dance.

About the pillar:

  • The pillar found at the spot has an inscribed base. The base has a Tamil inscription of Chola paleography with a few Grantha letters used in between. Though seven lines are visible, the last two are not readable.
  • The inscription records that a certain Rejaladeviyar Sativinjey, queen of Iladevayan, had gifted that pillar.
  • A sketchy figure of a Mugalinga is seen sculpted on the first half of the pillar, suggesting its conversion into a Linga.

 [Ref: The Hindu]


Key Facts for Prelims 

Happy cities summit

  • The 2018 Happy Cities Summit is being held in Andhra Pradesh.
  • The first ‘Happy Cities Summit: Amaravati 2018’ is a unique event bringing the best of minds in urban innovation across the world.
  • While the Government of Andhra Pradesh is hosting it, the event partners are Dalberg, Confederation of Indian Industries, and Centre for Liveable Cities (Singapore).
  • The Happy Cities Summit: Amaravati 2018 will be centered on the foundational principles of happy cities: ‘Citizen-centric governance’, ‘Liveable Communities’, ‘Clean & Healthy Environment’, and ‘Vibrant Economies’.
  • Objective of the summit is to evolve a framework for thinking about and measuring ‘city happiness’ as well as a declaration and set of principles for guiding policy and action in the development of ‘happy cities’, especially relevant for cities in the developing world.
  • Thinkers, designers, architects, planners, city leaders, and entrepreneurs will discuss and share best practices, innovations and ideas for enhancing societal happiness in the cities of the 21st century. 


April 11: National Safe Motherhood Day

  • The National Safe Motherhood Day (NSMD) is celebrated every year on April 11 to create awareness on proper healthcare and maternity facilities to pregnant and lactating women.
  • It also seeks to create awareness about the institutional delivery, reducing anemia among women and better pre and post natal health care are necessary for mothers.


  • The theme of 2018 NSMD was ‘Respectful Maternity Care’.
  • The NSMD is an initiative of White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, India (WRAI) to ensure that every women has access to during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal services.
  • At request of WRAI, the Central Government in 2003 had instituted this day on the occasion of birth anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi, wife of MK Gandhi, father of nation.
  • India is first country in the world to celebrate National Safe Motherhood Day.


India’s first high-speed electric locomotive launched

  • India’s first high-speed electric locomotive with 12000 horsepower (HP) engine has been flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Madhepura Electric Locomotive Factory in Bihar.


  • With the launch, India will join an elite list countries, including Russia, China, Germany and Sweden, that have 12,000 HP and above capacity electric locomotives. Till now, the most powerful electric engine in Indian Railways was of 6,000 HP.
  • The high horsepower electric locos are equipped with IGBT (IGBT based propulsion technology) based propulsion technology. It gives combined advantages of high efficiency and fast switching.
  • They will have the ability to endure the tough Indian climate and will be pressed into service as freight trains.


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