Why in News?

The President of India greeted the people on the eve of “ Chaitra Sukladi, Ugadi, Gudi Padwa, Cheti Chand, Navreh and Sajibu Cheiraoba.”.​

  • These festivals of the spring season mark the beginning of the traditional new year in India.

Chaitra Sukladi:

  • It is the start of the Vikram Samvat, widely known as the Vedic [Hindu] calendar’s new year.
  • Vikram Samvat commemorates the day when Emperor Vikramaditya conquered the Sakas, invaded Ujjain, and declared the beginning of a new era.
  • It is the first day of the waxing phase (in which the visible side of the moon gets bigger every night) of the moon in the Chaitra month, which is still followed in the northern parts of India (first month of Hindu calendar).

Gudi Padwa and Ugadi:

  • People in the Deccan area, which includes Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra, celebrate these festivals. Festive food prepared with a blend of sweet and bitter flavours is a frequent practise in both festivals’ celebrations.
  • A popular concoction includes jaggery (sweet) and neem (bitter), known as bevu-bella in the South and symbolising life’s joys and tragedies. Gudi is a Maharashtrian doll that is made at home. The gudi is made from a bamboo pole covered in green or red brocade. This gudi is displayed prominently in the house or outside a window or entrance so that everyone can see it.
  • Mango leaf decorations known as toranalu or Torana in Kannada are used to decorate doors in households for Ugadi.

Cheti Chand:

  • The Sindhi New Year is known as Cheti Chand. In Sindhi, the month of Chaitra is referred to as ‘Chet.’
  • The day honours the birth anniversary of Sindhis’ patron saint, Uderolal/Jhulelal.


  • It is the lunar new year celebrated in Kashmir, and the word ‘Navreh’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Nav-Varsha.’
  • It occurs on the Chaitra Navratri’s first day.
  • On this day, Kashmiri pandits look at a bowl of rice, which is thought to represent wealth and fertility.

Sajibu Cheiraoba:

  • It is the Meiteis’ (a Manipur ethnic group) big ritual celebration, which takes place on the first day of the Manipur lunar month Shajibu, which falls in April every year.
  • On the festival day, residents organise a combined family feast during which traditional cuisines are served to local deities at the houses’ entrance gates.

Anti-Human Trafficking Cell

GS II- Governance

Why in News?

Recently, The National Commission for Women launched an Anti-Human Trafficking Cell.

About Anti-Human Trafficking Cell:

  • The Cell has been set up with an aim of increasing awareness among law enforcement officials and to facilitate their capacity building.
  • The Cell will conduct Gender Sensitization Trainings and Workshops in combating human trafficking for police officers and for prosecutors at regional, state and district level.
  • The complaints related to human trafficking received by the Commission will be addressed by this cell.
  • The Commission has observed that some of the major issues faced in combating trafficking include lack of rehabilitation for victims and insensitive attitude towards trafficked survivors and their families.
  • Therefore, the Cell will improve monitoring mechanism and encourage government agencies regarding measures being adopted for prevention of trafficking and rehabilitation of victims.
  • The Cell will also help survivors of trafficking in rebuilding their lives by providing them with need-based training and by organizing capacity building programs for them to prevent re-traumatization of victims.


 To improve effectiveness in tackling cases of human trafficking, raising awareness among women and girls, capacity building and training of Anti Trafficking Units and to increase responsiveness of law enforcement agencies.

About National Commission for Women:

  • The National Commission for Women was set up as statutory body in January 1992 under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990.
  • It received a large number of complaints and acted suo-moto in several cases to provide speedy justice.
  • It took up the issue of child marriage, sponsored legal awareness programmes, Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalats and reviewed laws such as Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, PNDT Act 1994, Indian Penal Code 1860 and the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 to make them more stringent and effective.
  • It organized workshops/consultations, constituted expert committees on economic empowerment of women, conducted workshops/seminars for gender awareness and took up publicity campaign against female foeticide, violence against women etc. in order to generate awareness in the society against these social evils.


To strive towards enabling women to achieve equality and equal participation in all spheres of life by securing her due rights and entitlements through suitable policy formulation, legislative measures, effective enforcement of laws, implementation of schemes/policies and devising strategies for solution of specific problems/situations arising out of discrimination and atrocities against women.


The Indian Woman, secure in her home and outside, fully empowered to access all her rights and entitlements, with opportunity to contribute equally in all walks of life.


  • To review the Constitutional and Legal safeguards for women
  • To recommend remedial legislative measures
  • To facilitate redressal of grievances
  • To advise the Government on all policy matters affecting women.

Index of Eight Core Industries

Focus: GS III- Indian Economy

Why in News?

The combined Index of Eight Core Industries stood at 137.1 in February 2022, which increased by 5.8 per cent (provisional) as compared to the Index of February 2021.

  • The production of Coal, Natural Gas, Refinery Products, Steel, Cement and Electricity industries increased in February 2022 over the corresponding period of last year.

About Index of Eight Core Industries:

  • The Eight Core Industries comprise 40.27% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

Released by: The Office of the Economic Adviser, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade

Base year: 2011-12

Below image attached Eight Core Industries based on their weightage.

Index of Industrial Production (IIP):

  • The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index that shows the growth rates in different industry groups of the economy in a fixed period of time.
  • It is compiled and published monthly by the Central Statistical Organization (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI).
  • The Central Statistics Office (CSO) revised the base year of the all-India Index of Industrial Production (IIP) from 2004-05 to 2011-12 on 12 May 2017.
  • IIP is a composite indicator that measures the growth rate of industry groups classified under broad sectors, namely, Mining, Manufacturing, and Electricity.
  • Use-based sectors, namely Basic Goods, Capital Goods, and Intermediate Goods.

Significance of IIP:

  • IIP is the only measure on the physical volume of production.
  • It is used by government agencies including the Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank of India, etc., for policy-making purposes.
  • IIP remains extremely relevant for the calculation of the quarterly and advance GDP estimates.

Exercise VARUNA

Focus: GS III- Security Challenges

Why in News?

The 20th edition of the Bilateral Naval Exercise between Indian and French Navies – ‘VARUNA’ is being conducted in the Arabian Sea from 30 Mar – 03 Apr 22.

About Exercise VARUNA:

  • The Bilateral Naval Exercises between the two Navies were initiated in 1993. The exercise was christened as ‘VARUNA’ in 2001 and has become a vital part of India – France strategic bilateral relationship.
  • Various units including ships, submarines, maritime patrol aircraft, fighter aircraft and helicopters of the two navies are participating in the exercise. 
  • These units will endeavour to enhance and hone their operational skills in maritime theatre, augment inter-operability to undertake maritime security operations and demonstrate their commitment to promote peace, security and stability in the region as an integrated force.
  • Having grown in scope and complexity over the years, VARUNA series of exercises continue to provide both the navies opportunities to learn from each other’s best practices.
  • The exercise has been a principal driver for operational level interactions between the two navies and has underscored the shared commitment of both nations to security, safety and freedom of the global maritime commons.

PM SVANidhi Scheme

Focus: GS-II Social Justice, GS-III India Economy

Why in News?

PM SVANidhi Scheme facilitates provision of collateral free working capital loan to street vendors to restart their businesses. A credit of ₹3,170 crore has been disbursed to 29.1 lakh beneficiaries

PM Street Vendor’s Atmanitbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi)

  • PM SVANidhi is a Special Micro-Credit Facility.
  • PM SVANidhi was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs for providing affordable Working Capital loan to street vendors to resume their livelihoods that have been adversely affected due to Covid-19 lockdown.
  • Under the Scheme, the vendors can avail a working capital loan of up to Rs. 10,000, which is repayable in monthly instalments in the tenure of one year.
  • The scheme promotes digital transactions through cash back incentives.
  • Beneficiaries: 50 lakh Street Vendors.
The eligible vendors are identified as per following criteria:
  • Street vendors in possession of Certificate of Vending / Identity Card issued by Urban Local Bodies (ULBs);
  • The vendors, who have been identified in the survey but have not been issued Certificate of Vending / Identity Card;
  • Street Vendors, left out of the ULB led identification survey or who have started vending after completion of the survey and have been issued Letter of Recommendation (LoR) to that effect by the ULB / Town Vending Committee (TVC); and
  • The vendors of surrounding development/ peri-urban / rural areas vending in the geographical limits of the ULBs and have been issued Letter of Recommendation (LoR) to that effect by the ULB / TVC.


  • Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) is the Implementation Agency for PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi)
  • SIDBI will also manage the credit guarantee to the lending institutions through Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE).
  • SIDBI will leverage the network of lending Institutions like Non-Bank Finance Companies (NBFCs), Co-operative Banks etc., for the Scheme implementation.

Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE)

  • The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, GoI and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), established a Trust named Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) to implement the Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Micro and Small Enterprises.
  • Beneficiaries: New and existing Micro and Small Enterprises engaged in manufacturing or service activity excluding Educational Institutions, Agriculture, Self Help Groups (SHGs), Training Institutions etc., are eligible.
  • Fund and non-fund based (Letters of Credit, Bank Guarantee etc.) credit facilities up to Rs 200 lakh per eligible borrower are covered under the guarantee scheme provided they are extended on the project viability without collateral security or third-party guarantee.


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