What is in news : Ministry of Labour and Employment launched DigiSaksham – a digital skills programme to enhance the employability of youth by imparting digital  skills  that are required in an increasingly technology driven era.


  • Joint initiative with Microsoft India
  • Extension of the Government’s ongoing programs to support the youth from rural and semi-urban areas.
  • Free of cost training in digital skills including basic skills as well as advance computing, will be provided to more than 3 lakh youths in the first year.
  • The Jobseekers can access the training through National Career Service (NCS) Portal ( 
  • Gives priority to the job-seekers of semi urban areas belonging to disadvantaged communities, including those who have lost their jobs due to Covid-19 pandemic.
  • There will be basically three types of training viz. Digital Skills – Self paced learning, VILT mode training (Virtual Instructor led) and ILT mode training (Instructor led).  The ILT training which is in person training would be conducted at the Model Career Centres (MCCs) and National Career Service Centres (NCSC) for SCs/STs across the country.
  • Nearly one crore active jobseekers  registered on National Career Service (NCS)  Portal will be able to access training in areas like Java Script, Data Visualisation, Advance Excel, Power Bi, HTML, Programming languages, software development fundamentals, Introduction to coding , etc, equipping them with the skills required in a digital economy.
  • Implemented in the field by Aga Khan Rural Support Programme India (AKRSP-I).


What is in news : Ministry of Social Justice launched Senior Able Citizens for Re Employment in Dignity (SACRED) Portal

About the Portal

  • Aim : Bring the employment seeker senior citizens and employment providers on one platform
  • Will be developed and maintained by an agency identified through a transparent process.
  • An individual senior citizen will get oneself registered on the portal with his relevant education, past experience, skills and the areas of interest. The person will also select keywords regarding expected tasks, which will enable the job providers find them automatically. Details can be updated by the Senior citizens.
  • Any job provider – individual / firm/ company/ partnership/ Voluntary Organisation etc. can also register on the portal. The job provider will specify the task involved and the number of senior citizens that are required to complete it.
  • Voluntary Organizations will help the senior citizens in applying for these jobs. No user charges will be taken from any of the senior citizens by any Voluntary Organizations. Therefore, the Employment Portal will serve not only the senior citizens seeking employment, but also the employers, the SHGs, the senior citizens gaining skills, and other agencies/ individuals.
  • The Employment Exchange Portal will not be a guarantee for getting a job/ employment or selling of the products of the SHGs, or for any other activity. It will act as an interactive platform where stakeholders meet each other virtually and decide on the course of action with mutual respect, consent and understanding.
  • Any individual/ firm/ company/ agency will seek the services of the senior citizens in respect of those tasks where experience can naturally outweigh hiring new personnel and providing them training, etc. Example can be short term employment, contract for a project, teaching, counselling jobs. The Employer and the employee may extend their partnership beyond the short term, too, on mutual consent and respect basis.
  • Modalities: Web portal will be developed through NIC.There will be adequate publicity both among elders and enterprises to enroll on the portal.



What is in news : The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has extended the deadline till December 31 for NGOs to apply for renewal of their Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) registration certificates.


  • Regulates Foreign funding of voluntary organizations in India
  • Implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs
  • Under the Act, organisations require to register themselves every five years.
  • As per the amended FCRA rules, all NGOs registered or granted prior permission under FCRA are now required to upload details of foreign contributions received and utilized by them every three months on their website or the FCRA website.
  • NGOs now need to file their annual returns online, with the hard copy version dispensed with. The annual returns must be placed quarterly on the NGO’s website or the FCRA website maintained by the home ministry.

Who can accept Foreign Contribution : A person having a definite cultural, economic, educational, religious or social programme can accept foreign contribution after getting registration or prior permission from the Central Government.

Who cannot accept Foreign Contribution :

  • Election candidate
  • Member of any legislature (MP and MLAs)
  • Political party or office bearer thereof
  • Organization of a political nature
  • Correspondent, columnist, cartoonist, editor, owner, printer or publishers of a registered Newspaper.
  • Judge, government servant or employee of any corporation or any other body controlled on owned by the Government.
  • Association or company engaged in the production or broadcast of audio news, audio visual news or current affairs programmes through any electronic mode
  • Any other individuals or associations who have been specifically prohibited by the Central Government


The Association:

  • Must be registered (under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or Indian Trusts Act 1882 or section 8 of Companies Act, 2013 etc.)
  • Normally be in existence for at least 3 years.
  • Has undertaken reasonable activity in its field for the benefit of the society.
  • Has spent at least Rs.10,00,000/- (Rs. ten lakh) over the last three years on its activities.

Definition of foreign contribution: It defines the term ‘foreign contribution’ to include currency, article other than gift for personal use and securities received from foreign source. While foreign hospitality refers to any offer from a foreign source to provide foreign travel, boarding, lodging, transportation or medical treatment cost.


What : A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g., a town, region, or country).


  • India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 has come into force with effect from 15 September 2003.
  • GIs have been defined under Article 22 (1) of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement as: “Indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a member, or a region or a locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographic origin.”

Who issues GI tag in India: This tag is valid for a period of 10 years following which it can be renewed. Recently the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry has launched the logo and tagline for the Geographical Indications (GI) of India.

Which state has highest GI tag: Karnataka has the highest number of GI-tagged products. However, when geographical area is factored in, Kerala has the highest.

Benefits of GI Tag

  • Encourages the preservation of biodiversity, local know-how and natural resources. Automatically resolve the three fraught India issues of poor pay for talent, low female participation in the labour force, and urban migration.
  • Convert talent into entrepreneurship with gig workers, and create a “passion” economy, that is, a new way for individuals to monetise their skills and scale their businesses exponentially. It removes the hurdles associated with freelance work to earn a regular income from a source other than an employer.
  • Labour-intensive nature of GI offers the best solution to boosting the employment-to-population ratio in India, an abysmal 43 per cent compared with the 55 per cent global average. Monetising artisanal work done at home will increase India’s low female labour force participation rate, which at 21 per cent in 2019 was half the 47 per cent global average.
  • Offers solutions to reverse urban migration and conserve India’s ancient crafts, culture and food. A rejuvenation of MSMEs, which account for 31 per cent of India’s GDP and 45 per cent of exports, will follow. An estimated 55.80 million MSMEs employ close to 130 million people; of this, 14 per cent are women-led enterprises and 59.5 per cent are rural. Another revenue-earner, GI tourism, is typically a by-product of a strong GI ecosystem.
  • Address the challenges of capacity-building, formal or easy access to credit, forming marketing linkages, research and development, product innovation and competitiveness in both domestic and international markets. The groundwork for MSME access to formal credit has already been done with the new Account Aggregator data-sharing framework.


The Indian GI economy can be a platform for India to showcase to the world a model for ethical capitalism, social entrepreneurship, de-urbanisation, and bringing women to the workforce, on the back of a robust digital system. It encompasses the concept of trusteeship, as advocated by Mahatma Gandhi and more recently, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the UN. It is truly Made in India



What is in news :The monsoon is likely to begin withdrawing from the mainland from October 6, said the India Meteorological Department as the country recorded an average of nearly 87 cm of rainfall across subdivisions, just short of the nearly 88 cm it normally receives during the monsoon.

Retreating Monsoon

  • Starts with the beginning of the withdrawal of southwest monsoon [middle of September – November] and lasts till early January.
  • The monsoons withdraw from the extreme north-west end of the country in September, from the peninsula by October and from the extreme south-eastern tip by December.
  • In Punjab the south-west monsoons reach in the first week of July and withdraw from there in the second week of September.
  • The south-west monsoons reach Coromandel coast in the first week of June and withdraw from there only in the middle of December.
  • Unlike the sudden burst of the advancing monsoons, the withdrawal is rather gradual and takes about three months.

Temperature during Retreating Monsoon Season

  • With retreat of the monsoons, the clouds disappear and the sky becomes clear.
  • The day temperature starts falling steeply.
  • The diurnal range of temperature increases due to lack of cloud cover.

Pressure and Winds during Retreating Monsoon Season

  • As the monsoons retreat, the monsoon trough weakens and gradually shifts southward. Consequently the pressure gradient is low.
  • Unlike south-west monsoon, the onset of the north monsoon is not clearly defined.
  • The direction of winds over large parts of the country is influenced by the local pressure conditions.

Cyclones during Retreating Monsoon Season

  • Most severe and devastating tropical cyclones originate in the Indian seas especially in the Bay of Bengal.
  • The highest frequency of the cyclones is in the month of October and the first half of November.
  • More cyclones are born in October and then in November and more cyclones originate in the Bay of Bengal than in the Arabian Sea.
  • In October, the Cyclones of the Bay of Bengal originate between 8°N and 14°N.
  • Initially they move in a west or northwesterly direction, but many of them later recurve and move towards the north-east.
  • Near 55 per cent of the Bay storms cross or affect the Indian coast.
  • The area’s most vulnerable to these storms include the coastal belts of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal.
  • Many of the cyclones which strike the eastern coast of India, south of 15°N latitude cross the southern Peninsula and enter Arabian Sea.
  • During this process, they may weaken, but on re-entry over the Arabian sea they intensify into cyclonic storms.
  • The storms of Arabian sea originate between 12°N and 17°N latitudes in October and between 8° N and 13° N latitudes in November.
  • Generally they move away from the coast in a north-westerly direction. But about 25% of them later recurve northeast and strike the Maharashtra or Gujarat coast.
  • In north-west India the western disturbances produce clouding and light rainfall in the otherwise fine weather.
  • The precipitation is in the form of snow in higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and in Kumaon Hills.
  • Precipitation during Retreating Monsoon Season
  • The humidity and cloud cover are much reduced with the retreat of the south-west monsoons and most parts of the country remain without much rainfall.
  • October-November is the main rainy season in Tamil Nadu and adjoining areas of Andhra Pradesh to the south of the Krishna delta as well as a secondary rainy period for Kerala.
  • The retreating monsoons absorb moisture while passing over the Bay of Bengal and cause this rainfall.


What : An MPA is a  protected area that provides protection for all or part of its natural resources. Certain activities within an MPA are limited or prohibited to meet specific conservation, habitat protection, ecosystem monitoring, or fisheries management objectives.

What is in news : India has extended support for protecting the Antarctic environment and for co-sponsoring the proposal of the European Union for designating East Antarctica and the Weddell Sea as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) at a high-level ministerial meeting

Who has designated :

Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources


  • International treaty
  • Manage Antarctic fisheries to preserve species diversity and stability of the entire Antarctic marine ecosystem.
  • Came into force in April 1982.
  • India has been a permanent member since 1986.
  • Coordinated in India by the Ministry of Earth Sciences through its attached office, the Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology (CMLRE) in Kochi, Kerala.

NOTE: Since 2009, CCAMLR members have developed proposals for MPAs for various regions of the Southern Ocean. CCAMLR’s scientific committee examines these proposals. After CCAMLR members agree upon them, elaborate conservation measures are set out by CCAMLR.

About Weddell Sea

  • Part of the Southern Ocean and contains the Weddell Gyre.
  • Land boundaries are defined by the bay formed from the coasts of Coats Land and the Antarctic Peninsula.
  • Much of the southern part of the sea is covered by a permanent, massive ice shelf field, the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf.
  • Contained within the two overlapping Antarctic territorial claims of Argentine Antarctica, the British Antarctic Territory, and also resides partially within the Antarctic Chilean Territory.

About Antarctica

  • Southernmost continent and lies entirely within the Antarctic Circle spread around the South Pole.
  • Fifth-largest continent
  • There is no coastal plain.
  • There are mountain ranges, peaks, a rift valley, and volcanoes.
  • Two broad inlets, the Weddell Sea and the Ross Sea and the Trans-
  • Antarctic Mountains that cross the entire continent divide the land into West Antarctica and East Antarctica.
  • The former faces the Pacific Ocean. The Antarctic Peninsula points towards South America. It is the continuation of the Andes Mountain range.
  • Mount Erebus, an active volcano, is actually of the Ross Sea.
  • Only continent that is completely covered by permanent ice and snow hence it is known as the white continent.
  • In some places, its ice cap is 4,000 meters deep.
  • The valleys between the mountain ranges are dry, windy, frozen and barren and strangely called oases.



NEWS : The first in-person summit of the Quad powers — Australia, Japan, India and the United States — was concluded recently


Practical cooperation focus areas

  • Commitment to “a free and open Indo-Pacific, which is also inclusive and resilient”.
  • Promoting security and prosperity in this region is the main aim of the Quad, a goal to be achieved through practical cooperation among the four powers.
  • The Washington summit added new areas of collaboration: infrastructure; cybersecurity and space; education and people-to-people relations.


  • On the first, the plan is to promote “sustainable infrastructure”, with a stress on aligning the Quad with the G7’s Build Back Better World (B3W) Partnership, based on the G20’s quality infrastructure investment principles.
  • Quad can focus on four key B3W elements: digital connectivity, climate, health security and gender equality infrastructure.
  • No mention of any specific projects or countries where they are envisaged. However, the formation of an infrastructure coordination group composed of senior officials was announced. It will map and coordinate infrastructure needs and catalyse private-sector investment.


  • Cooperate on combating cyber threats and securing critical infrastructure.
  • Identify new collaboration opportunities, especially sharing of data to monitor climate change, disaster response and preparedness, and sustainable uses of ocean and marine resources.
  • A senior cyber group and a new working group on space will be established.

EDUCATION: On education, the Quad fellowship programme will award 100 graduates — 25 scholars from each Quad country — opportunities in leading STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programmes in the U.S. This is not a government programme but a philanthropic initiative.


  • Focused on three thematic areas: climate ambition, clean-energy innovation, and climate adaptation and resilience.
  • Emphasised enhanced action for achieving global net-zero emissions preferably by 2050, with an important caveat — “taking into account national circumstances” — added at India’s instance.
  • A Quad shipping task force has now been launched to build a green-shipping network and green port infrastructure.


  • A slew of steps is under consideration relating to 5G and beyond 5G networks; supply chains of critical minerals including semiconductors; and emerging advances in biotechnology.
  • To be successful, building the supply chains will need expert resources and coordination from each country.
  • A contact group on Advanced Communications and Artificial Intelligence will focus on standards-development and foundational research.


  • Maritime security will continue to be strengthened through bilateral 2+2 Ministerial tracks; the four-powers Malabar Exercise; and other bilateral or trilateral arrangements such as AUKUS (the new trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom and the U.S.).
  • Defence cooperation will not be lowered in priority; it will just be handled differently. The Quad wants a positive orientation, rather than be seen as an ‘Asian NATO’.
  • Regionally, the Quad sees the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as “the heart of the Indo-Pacific region”. Together with the small island States in the South Pacific, ASEAN countries will stand to benefit from growing cooperation within the Quad. So will the European Union (EU), whose new EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific was welcomed by the four leaders.
  • On Afghanistan, the decision to “closely coordinate” policies and next steps will be watched as the U.S. comes under strong pressure to show flexibility towards the interim Taliban government.

IMPORTANCE TO INDIA : The institutionalisation of the Quad has begun to gather speed. For India, this grouping is critical. It is the first major plurilateral organisation in years where India is on the ground floor, an equal partner of the new P4. It has much to contribute and leverage, beyond its market. This is an opportunity for India to work with the advanced economies to “build habits of cooperation”, while confronting the 21st century challenges in its Indo-Pacific neighbourhood




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