Current Affairs 13th February, 2019


Topics Covered

1. Art and Culture

2. e - Governance

Digitisation of National Archives of India

What to read?

Prelims – National Archives of India

Mains – Importance of Digitisation of Indian Archives

  • Digitization in National Archives of India is a core activity, undertaken by it in a phased manner

  • The digitized records are uploaded on Abhilekh Patal, online search portal of NAI.

  • Information available online helps scholars, historians, academicians and other users of archives in the country sitting anywhere at their desk minimizing in-person visit in NAI.

  • National Archives of India


Image result for national archives of india

  • The National Archives of India is the custodian of the records of enduring value of the Government of India. Established on 11 March, 1891 at Calcutta (Kolkata) as the Imperial Record Department, it is the biggest archival repository in South Asia.

  • It has a vast corpus of records viz., public records, private papers, oriental records, cartographic records and microfilms, which constitute an invaluable source of information for scholars-administrators and users of archives.

  • The Director General of Archives, heading the Department has been given the mandate for the implementation of the Public Records Act, 1993 and the rules made there under, the Public Records Rules, 1997 for the management, administration and preservation of public records in the Ministries,Departments,Public Sector undertakings etc.of the Central Government.

  • Located at the heart of New Delhi, the Department functions as an Attached Office of the Ministry of Culture and has one Regional Office at Bhopal and three Records Centres at Bhubaneswar, Jaipur and Puducherry.

  • The Department celebrated its 125th year of the foundation during 2015-16.

Related Portal

1. Abhilekh Patal

Public Records

  • Abhilekh Patal Portal for Access to Archives and Learning is an initiative of NAI to make its rich treasure of Indian Archival Records available to one and all at the click of a button.

  • Abhilekh Patal contains the reference media of more than 2.7 million files held by the National Archives of India.


Topics Covered

1. Issues and management of Health Sector

Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY)

What to read?

Prelims – About the scheme

Mains – Benefits and Vitality of the Scheme

Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) is implemented through the State Government/UTs. The State Governments have the flexibility to implement PMJAY either through insurance companies, or directly through trust/society, or in a mixed mode.  


Image result for Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY)

  • PMJAY is government-sponsored health insurance scheme, that will provide free coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year in any government or empanelled private hospitals all over India.

  • It will cover beneficiaries families identified on the basis of Socio Economic Caste Survey (SECC) 2011 in 444 districts of 30 states/Union Territories.

  • National Health Agency (NHA) is the apex body for implementing this scheme.

  • States will be required to form State Health Agency (SHA) to implement scheme and at the district level also structure for its implementation will be set up.

  • Around 13000 hospitals both public and private in the country have been coordinated for implementation of the scheme.

  • PMJAY will be funded with 60% contribution from Centre and remaining from the states.

  • NITI Aayog will be working as partner for this scheme for operationalizing robust, modular and interoperable IT platform which will involve a paperless and cashless transaction.

  • PMJAY is entitlement based scheme with entitlement decided on basis of deprivation criteria in the SECC database.

  • There will be no cap on family size and age under this scheme.

  • The benefit cover under it also includes pre and post-hospitalisation expenses.

  • It also takes into consideration all pre-existing medical conditions.

  • It will provide reimbursement for bed charges and drugs and diagnostics two days before, during and 15 days after hospitalisation. Beneficiary will be also paid transport allowance for hospitalisation defined under it.

  • The payment for treatment will be done on package rate which will be defined by Government in advance basis.

  • The package rates will include all costs associated with treatment.

  • States and UTs have flexibility to modify these rates within limited bandwidth.

  • PMJAY allows national portability i.e. resident of any part of country is entitled for free hospitalization at empanelled hospital anywhere in the country.

  • It will strengthen healthcare services in India by targeting poor and vulnerable population of the country.

  • The scheme allows beneficiary to take cashless benefits from any public or private empanelled hospitals across the country.

  • ID documentation required for verifying beneficiary under this scheme may be Aadhaar card or election ID card or ration card. 

  • Aadhaar is not mandatory. 

  • Beneficiaries will use QR codes having letters for verification through scanning.

Related Authority

1. National Health Authority

The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Modi has approved the restructuring of existing National Health Agency as National Health Authority. The existing society, “National Health Agency” has been dissolved and it is now restructured as an Authority to effectively  implement Pradhan Mantri –  an Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY)

The National Health Authority would be empowered with full autonomy, accountability and the mandate to implement PM-JAY through an efficient, effective and transparent decision-making process by aligning the accountability with responsibility.

Socio Economic Caste Census

Image result for socio economic caste census

  • In June 2011, the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) was conducted through a comprehensive door to door survey across India for generating data on a large number of social and economic indicators relating to households in both rural and urban areas.

  • It was the first ever caste census post-Independence in India, the results of which were released by the government in 2015. SECC-2011 was also the first paperless census in the country conducted by handheld electronic devices in 640 districts in the country.

  • SECC was conducted by the Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, The Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner and the State Governments.

  • The SECC 2011 was not conducted under the Census Act of 1948 and hence, the information was collected on ‘self-declaration by the respondents’ model.

  • Dr N C Saxena committee (for rural areas) and S R Hashim committee (for urban areas) was constituted to suggest the design of the new BPL census


Topics Covered

1. Conservation of Environment

 Leading global greening effort by India and China

What to read?

Prelims and Mains – Highlights of the study

India and China are leading the global greening effort, a finding that is quite contrary to the general perception worldwide, a study based on NASA satellite data.

Image result for Leading global greening effort by India and China

The world is a greener place than it was 20 years ago.

Highlights of the Study

  • China and India account for one-third of the greening but contain only 9% of the planet’s land area covered in vegetation.

  • The study published on February 11, in the journal Nature Sustainability said that satellite data (2000 – 2017) revealed a greening pattern strikingly prominent in China and India and overlapping with croplands worldwide

  • China alone accounts for 25% of the global net increase in leaf area with only 6.6% of global vegetated area.

  • The greening in China is from forests (42%) and croplands (32%), but in India it is mostly from croplands (82%) with minor contribution from forests (4.4%), the study said.

  • Food production in China and India has increased by over 35% since 2000 mostly owing to an increase in harvested area through multiple cropping facilitated by fertilizer use and surface or groundwater irrigation

  • Factors Contributed

    • Ambitious programmes to conserve and expand forests with the goal of mitigating land degradation, air pollution and climate change. 

    • Increased food production in India is facilitated by groundwater irrigation.


    Image result for Leading global greening effort by India and China

    • The study says that the greening trend may change in the future depending on various factors. For example, increased food production in India is facilitated by groundwater irrigation. As the groundwater is depleted, the trend may change.

    • The gain in greenness around the world does not necessarily offset the loss of natural vegetation in tropical regions such as Brazil and Indonesia.

    PAPER – 3

    Topics Covered

    1. Conservation of Environment

    Crying Snake in Arunachal Pradesh

    What to read?

    Prelims – About Snake

    A new species of ‘crying’ snake has been discovered in Lepa-Rada district of Arunachal Pradesh.

    Image result for Crying Snake in Arunachal Pradesh

    • The discovery of the non-venomous crying keelback, whose zoological name is Hebius lacrima

    • The name for this keelback was suggested because of a dark spot under its eyes looking like black tear that interrupts a white stripe running along the upper jaw to the back of its head and beyond

    •  The crying keelback can be differentiated from all other species of the genus Hebius by the combination of a distinctive broad, white, interrupted stripe along its body; three rows of irregular dark blotches (not vertically aligned) on each side; six cream, elongated spots on its anterior part and a smooth dorsal scale row.

    • The snake, preferring to live near streams along paddy fields, was found to feed on small fish, tadpole, frogs and geckos.

    Globally snakes are represented by 3,709 species. The northeast is home to some 110 species.