70 Days WAR Plan

Day#40 Current Affairs Flash Cards [70 Days WAR Plan]

Bharat Rang Mahotsav (BRM); BOT Annuity Model; EPC Model and Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM); Opportunity Rover; Vande Bharat Express; Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS); National School of Drama (NSD); ‘Sustainable Blue Economy Conference’; Project “Millet Village”; Global Wage Report; Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana; Agriculture Census;
By IT's Core Team
April 30, 2019




In agriculture Census, the operational holdings are categorised in five size classes. Which are they?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

Categorisation of Farmers:

  • In agriculture Census, the operational holdings are categorised in five size classes as follows:

Sl. No.





Below 1.00 hectare



1.00-2.00 hectare


Semi- Medium

2.00-4.00 hectare



4.00-10.00 hectare



10.00 hectare and above


The operational holdings are also classified in three social groups, viz., Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Others.

  • In the “India Rural Development Report 2012-13” prepared by the IDFC Rural Development Network, it has been observed that Small farms are more efficient, especially in cultivating labour-intensive crops or tending livestock, but land holdings are too small to generate sufficient household income.




Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana is a scheme to every senior citizen across India. Right OR Wrong?

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Right Statement:

  • 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.

Enrich Your Learning:

  • Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana 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.
  • The Scheme has been introduced by The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

Salient features of the scheme:

  • Free of cost distribution of the devices, commensurate with the extent of disability/infirmity that is manifested among the eligible senior citizens.
  • In case of multiple disabilities/infirmities manifested in the same person, the assistive devices will be given in respect of each disability/impairment.
  • Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO) will undertake one-year free maintenance of the aids & assisted living devices.
  • Beneficiaries in each district will be identified by the State Governments/UT Administrations through a Committee chaired by the Deputy Commissioner/District Collector.
  • As far as possible, 30% of the beneficiaries in each district shall be women.
  • The State Government/UT Administration/District Level Committee can also utilize the data of BPL beneficiaries receiving Old Age Pension under the NSAP or any other Scheme of the State/UT for identification of senior citizens belonging to BPL category.
  • The devices will be distributed in Camp mode.

Other points:

  • Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO)”, is a Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of SJ&E.




Global Wage Report is published by which international organization?

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  • Global Wage Report is published by International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Enrich Your Learning:

  • The report said the rate of growth in wages in 2017 fell to its lowest level of 1.8 per cent since 2008.
  • Among all regions, workers in Asia and the Pacific got the highest real wage growth over the period 2006-17.
  • The report said that all emerging G20 countries except Mexico experienced significant positive growth in average real wages between 2008 and 2017.
  • Real wage growth is calculated using gross monthly wages, rather than hourly wage rates, which are less frequently available, and fluctuations, therefore, reflect both hourly wages and the average number of hours worked.
  • The findings are based on data from 136 countries.
  • According to the report, in the advanced G20 countries, real wage growth declined from 1.7 per cent in 2015 to 0.9 per cent in 2016 and 0.4 per cent in 2017.
  • Workers in India got the highest average real wage growth (adjusted for inflation) in the last decade in southern Asia, according to the Global Wage Report 2018/19 published by International Labour Organisation (ILO).
  • During 2008-17, real wage growth in India stood at 5.5 per cent, highest among all the countries in southern Asia
  • According to the report, India and Pakistan had the highest gap of 34.5 per cent and 34 per cent respectively between what men and women earn.
  • In high-income countries the gender pay gap is at its biggest in top-salaried positions.
  • In low and middle-income countries, however, the gap is widest among lower-paid workers, the ILO report found.




Project “Millet Village” is a state government Project of which Indian State?

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  • Kerala

Enrich Your Learning:

  • Project “Millet Village” is a state government Project of the Indian State Kerala.
  • The project is jointly implemented by the Agricultural department and SC/ST department.
  • The combination of factors such as high protein content, short growing season, climate change resilience and low water requirement make millets an ideal crop for the Kerala.
  • Under the Millet Village scheme, the Kerala Government had harvested ragi (finger millet), thina (foxtail millet), cholam (sorghum) and kuthiravaali (barnyard millet) in 1,200 acres. Additionally, a pilot scheme for cultivating Chia, a Central American plant, which is gaining popularity in India as yet another superfood.
  • Trial run of the scheme was done in Attappady in Palakkad district of Kerala.

Aim of the Project:

  • The project aims at protecting the traditional varieties of millets and ensures to bring down the nutrient deficiency among the tribal communities.
  • It also aimed at promoting the cultivation of cereals such as ragi, maize, millet and bajra.




The first Sustainable Blue Economy Conference was held in which country?

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  • The first Sustainable Blue Economy Conference was held in the year 2018, in Kenya.

Enrich Your Learning:

‘Sustainable Blue Economy Conference’

  • Sustainable Blue Economy Conference is co-hosted by Kenya, Canada and Japan.
  • The Sustainable Blue Economy Conference builds on the momentum of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris and the UN Ocean Conference 2017 “Call to Action”.

Aim of Sustainable Blue Economy Conference:

  • Harnesses the potential of our oceans, seas, lakes and rivers to improve the lives of all, particularly people in developing states, women, youth and Indigenous peoples
  • Leverages the latest innovations, scientific advances and best practices to build prosperity while conserving our waters for future generations

Main Theme of Conference:

  • The SBEC conference is predicated on the two conceptual pillars of: (i) Sustainability, Climate Change and Controlling Pollution and (ii) Production, Accelerated Economic Growth, Jobs and Poverty Alleviation.

The Nine (9) Sub-Thematic Areas:

  • Smart Shipping, Ports, Transportation and Global Connectivity.
  • Employment, Job Creation and Poverty Eradication.
  • Cities, Tourism, Resilient Coasts and Infrastructure.
  • Sustainable Energy, Mineral Resources, and Innovative Industries.
  • Ending Hunger, Securing Food Supplies and Promoting Good Health and Sustainable Fisheries.
  • Management and Sustaining of Marine Life, Conservation and Sustainable Economic Activities.
  • Climate Action, Agriculture, Waste Management and Pollution-free Oceans.
  • Maritime Security, Safety, Regulatory Enforcement.
  • People, Culture, Communities and Societies: The inclusive Blue Economy.

Four (4) Cross-Cutting Issues:

  • New Technologies and Innovation for Oceans, Seas, Lakes and Rivers.
  • Challenges, Potential Opportunities, Priorities and Partnerships.
  • Financing for The Blue Economy.
  • Women, Youth and The Blue Economy

India and Blue Economy:

  • Blue Economy remains a critical aspect of India’s economic development agenda, and more than 95% of our trade is being carried on by sea.
  • Sagarmala Programme is poised to revolutionize maritime logistics and port led developments in India.
  • Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) are being developed with a proposed investment of $ 150 Million per location under the programme.
  • These will become a microcosm of the blue economy, with the growth of industries and townships that depend on the sea and contribute to global trade through sea connectivity.




Bharat Rang Mahotsav (BRM), is the largest theatre festival in Asia, organized by the Ministry of Culture India. Right OR Wrong?

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Right Statement:

  • Bharat Rang Mahotsav (BRM), is the largest theatre festival in Asia, organized by the National School of Drama (NSD).

Enrich Your Learning:

Bharat Rang Mahotsav (BRM)

  • Bharat Rang Mahotsav (BRM), is the largest theatre festival in Asia, organized by the National School of Drama (NSD).
  • The festival, which enters its 20th edition this year, is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • 4 of the plays were staged on the life, philosophy, and principles of the ‘Father of the Nation’.
  • The 21-day long festival in 2019 included plays in Hindi, English, and other regional languages.
  • International productions from countries such as Bangladesh, Poland, Russia, Sri Lanka, the Czech Republic, Italy, Nepal, Romania, and Singapore as well as non-verbal, folk, and multi-lingual performances also participated during the theatrical spectacle.
  • The 20th Bharat Rang Mahotsav also hold parallel festival in other cities including Dibrugarh (Assam), Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Mysore (Karnataka), and Rajkot (Gujarat).

About National School of Drama (NSD):

  • The National School of Drama is one of the foremost theatre training institution in the world.
  • It was set up by the Sangeet Natak Akademi as one of its constituent units in 1959.
  • In 1975, it became an independent entity and was registered as an autonomous organization under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, fully financed by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
  • It offers 3-years training program in every aspect of theatre with a special focus on the practical implementation of theories.
  • The NSD has two performing wings – the Repertory Company and Theatre-in-Education Company (TiE) that started in 1964 and 1989, respectively.




What do you know about the Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS)?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

  • The umbrella Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment called the “Scheme to Promote Voluntary Action for Persons with Disabilities” was revised and was renamed as the “Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS)” since 2003.
  • However, while revision of the scheme took place in 2003, the cost norms of 1999 had remained unchanged. The revision of the cost norms has become imperative to compensate for the price rise.
  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Industrial workers has risen by 38% from 1999 to 2007.
  • It has been decided to revise the cost norms for honoraria, recurring items and nonrecurring items of expenditure.
  • The scheme has also been revised to the extent that there has been widening of the scope of the model projects.


  • To create an enabling environment to ensure equal opportunities, equity, social justice and empowerment of persons with disabilities.
  • To encourage voluntary action for ensuring effective implementation of the People with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities and Protection of Rights) Act of 1995.

Approach and Strategy:

  • The approach of this Scheme is to provide financial assistance to voluntary organizations to make available the whole range of services necessary for rehabilitation of persons with disabilities including early intervention, development of daily living skills, education, skill-development oriented towards employability, training and awareness generation.

With a view to inclusion of persons with disabilities in the mainstream of society and actualizing their potential, the thrust would be on education and training programmes. In order to achieve the objectives of the scheme the key strategies will be as follows:

  • To enhance educational opportunities at all levels and in all forms and enlarge the scope of vocational and professional opportunities, income generation and gainful occupations.
  • To support all such measures as may be necessary for promoting formal as well as nonformal employment and placement opportunities.
  • To implement outreach and comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation programmes in urban and rural environments.
  • To support manpower development activities to train required personnel at different levels for all programmes/ projects/activities for persons with disabilities.
  • To support the development, publication and dissemination of information, documentation and training materials.
  • To set up well equipped resource centres at different levels. To promote and support the development of self-help groups, parent organizations and independent living.
  • To encourage coordination, cooperation and networking and multi-sectoral linkages.
  • To support people with disabilities in projects which are environment friendly and ecopromotive.
  • To support construction and maintenance of buildings, provision of furniture and fixtures and installation and maintenance of machinery and equipment.
  • To establish and support facilities for sport, recreation, leisure-time activities, excursions, creative and performing arts, cultural and socially inclusive activities.
  • To support and acilitate the availability of appropriate housing, homes and hostel facilities.
  • To support the conduct of surveys and other forms of epidemiological studies.
  • To promote research in various development areas, innovative strategies, assistive devices and enabling technologies and support production of such devices ensuring quality control.
  • To support effort to ensure protection of human, civil and consumer rights of persons with disabilities.
  • To support legal literacy, including legal counseling, legal aid and analysis and evaluation of existing laws.
  • To support such other measures, which may meet the needs of the persons with disability and fulfill the obligations as prescribed in the People with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities and Protection of Rights) Act of 1995.

Grants-in-aid to NGOs:

  • To facilitate delivery of various services to persons with disabilities by voluntary organizations, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is administering DDRS scheme and providing grants-in-aid to NGOs for the projects.
  • The maximum level of support could be up to 90% of the eligible amount of grant for the project.




Why was the launch of Vande Bharat Express in news?

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  • Vande Bharat Express was in news as it is India’s first Semi High Speed Train.

Enrich Your Learning:

Vande Bharat Express:

  • The ‘Make in India’ effort of Indian Railways has culminated into India’s first Semi High Speed Train, “Vande Bharat Express”.
  • Prime Minister flag off the maiden run of the train on New Delhi-Kanpur-Allahabad-Varanasi route train from the New Delhi Railway Station.
  • Vande Bharat Express can run up to a maximum speed of 160 kmph and has travel classes like Shatabdi Train but with better facilities. It aims to provide a totally new travel experience to passengers.
  • The Train will cover the distance between New Delhi and Varanasi in 8 hours and will run on all days except Mondays and Thursdays.
  • Speed, Scale and Service are the hallmarks of Vande Bharat Express.
  • All coaches are equipped with automatic doors, GPS based audio-visual passenger information system, on-board hotspot Wi-Fi for entertainment purposes, and very comfortable seating. All toilets are bio-vacuum type.
  • The lighting is dual mode, viz. diffused for general illumination and personal for every seat. Every coach has a pantry with facility to serve hot meals, hot and cold beverages. The insulation is meant to keep heat and noise to very low levels for additional passenger comfort.
  • Vande Bharat Express has 16 air-conditioned coaches of which 2 are executive class coaches. The total seating capacity is 1,128 passengers.
  • It is much more than the conventional Shatabdi rake of equal number of coaches, thanks to shifting of all electric equipment below the coaches and seats in the driving coach also.
  • Adding up the green footprints, the train has regenerative braking system in the Vande Bharat Express coaches which can save up to 30% of electrical energy.
  • Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, a Railways Production unit, has been the force behind a completely in-house design and manufacture, computer modelling and working with a large number of suppliers for system integration in just 18 months.
  • In keeping with the vision of Prime Minister’s vision of “Make in India”, the major systems of the train have been designed and built in India.
  • Impact of this train, matching global standards of performance, safety and passenger comfort and yet costing less than half of global prices, has the potential to be a game changer in the global rail business.




Opportunity Rover is an initiative of the European Space Agency (ESA) OR NASA?

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  • Opportunity Rover mission is an initiative of NASA.

Enrich Your Learning:

Opportunity Rover:

  • Opportunity landed on Mars on 25 January 2004. It was supposed to last just 90 Martian days (sols), or 92 Earth days, but ended up surviving 5,111 sols, until 10 June 2018.
  • It was part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover program.
  • Mission highlights included the initial 90-sol mission, finding extramartian meteorites such as Heat Shield Rock (Meridiani Planum meteorite), and over two years of exploring and studying Victoria crater.
  • The rover survived moderate dust storms and in 2011 reached Endeavour crater, which has been described as a “second landing site”.
  • The Opportunity mission is considered one of NASA’s most successful ventures.
  • In mid-2018 Opportunity faced its toughest test of all, however – a global dust storm that lasted for months, reducing the light to just 0.002 percent of its usual level.
  • As Opportunity relied on solar power to survive, these conditions were unbearable.
  • Despite trying to hibernate through the storm by entering safe mode, when the storm finally abated in late 2018 the rover failed to wake up again.
  • The Mars Exploration Program’s four principal goals were to determine if the potential for life exists on Mars (in particular, whether recoverable water may be found on Mars), to characterize the Mars climate and its geology, and then to prepare for a potential human mission to Mars.

Opportunity Achievements:

  • Set a one-day Mars driving record March 20, 2005, when it traveled 721 feet (220 meters).
  • Returned more than 217,000 images, including 15 360-degree color panoramas.
  • Exposed the surfaces of 52 rocks to reveal fresh mineral surfaces for analysis and cleared 72 additional targets with a brush to prepare them for inspection with spectrometers and a microscopic imager.
  • Found hematite, a mineral that forms in water, at its landing site.
  • Discovered strong indications at Endeavour Crater of the action of ancient water similar to the drinkable water of a pond or lake on Earth.




What do you know about the differences between BOT Annuity Model; EPC Model and Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM)?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) Annuity Model:

  • Under BOT annuity, a developer builds a highway, operates it for a specified duration and transfers it back to the government.
  • The government starts payment to the developer after the launch of commercial operation of the project.
  • Payment will be made on a six-month basis.

Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Model:

  • Under this model, the cost is completely borne by the government.
  • Government invites bids for engineering knowledge from the private players.
  • Procurement of raw material and construction costs are met by the government.
  • The private sector’s participation is minimum and is limited to the provision of engineering expertise.
  • A difficulty of the model is the high financial burden for the government.

Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM):

  • In financial terminology hybrid annuity means that the government makes payment in a fixed amount for a considerable period and then in a variable amount in the remaining period.
  • This hybrid type of payment method is called HAM in the technical parlance.
  • Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM) has been introduced by the Government to revive PPP (Public Private Partnership) in highway construction in India.
  • Launch of the new model is due to many problems encountered as associated with the existing ones.
  • Large number of stalled projects are blocking infrastructure projects and at the same time adding to Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of the banking system.

The Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM):

  • In India, the new HAM is a mix of BOT Annuity and EPC models.
  • As per the design, the government will contribute to 40% of the project cost in the first five years through annual payments (annuity).
  • The remaining payment will be made on the basis of the assets created and the performance of the developer.
  • Here, hybrid annuity means the first 40% payment is made as fixed amount in five equal installments whereas the remaining 60% is paid as variable annuity amount after the completion of the project depending upon the value of assets created.
  • As the government pays only 40%, during the construction stage, the developer should find money for the remaining amount.
  • Here, he has to raise the remaining 60% in the form of equity or loans.
  • There is no toll right for the developer.
  • Under HAM, Revenue collection would be the responsibility of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

Advantages of HAM:

  • Advantage of HAM is that it gives enough liquidity to the developer and the financial risk is shared by the government.
  • While the private partner continues to bear the construction and maintenance risks as in the case of BOT (toll) model, he is required only to partly bear the financing risk.
  • Government’s policy is that the HAM will be used in stalled projects where other models are not applicable.
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