Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)


Recently, the Maharashtra government has developed a Migration Tracking System (MTS) application to map the movement of migrant workers to maintain the continuity of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) like nutrition supply, immunisation and health check-up etc.


GS II- Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Migration Tracking System
  2. Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)
  3. Objectives of ICDS
  4. Six Schemes under Umbrella ICDS

About Migration Tracking System

  • MTS is a web-based application that uses individual unique identifying numbers to track the movement of vulnerable seasonal migrant workers.
  • Migrant beneficiaries, including children under the age of 18, lactating mothers, and pregnant women who have registered with anganwadi centres, will be tracked to ensure that the ICDS is portable for their families in their destination districts within or outside the state until they return to their home.

Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)

  • Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), a Centrally-Sponsored scheme, is an Indian government welfare programme that provides food, preschool education, and primary healthcare to children under 6 years of age and their mothers.
    • The scheme was started in 1975 and aims at the holistic development of children and empowerment of mother.
    • The scheme primarily runs through the Anganwadi centers and the scheme is under the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

Objectives of ICDS are:

  • To improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age-group 0-6 years;
  • To lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child;
  • To reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout;
  • To achieve effective co-ordination of policy and implementation amongst the various departments to promote child development; and
  • To enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of the child through proper nutrition and health education.
  • Services Provided by the ICDS are:
  • Supplementary Nutrition (SNP)
  • Health & Nutrition Check-Up
  • Immunization
  • Non-Formal Education for Children in Pre-School
  • Health and Nutrition Education
  • Referral services

Six Schemes under Umbrella ICDS:

Anganwadi Services Scheme: A unique programme for early childhood care and development which benefits children in the age group of 0-6 years, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana: Provides cash incentive amounting to Rs.5,000/- in three installments directly to the Bank/Post Office Account of Pregnant Women and Lactating Mother (PW&LM) in DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) Mode during pregnancy and lactation in response to individual fulfilling specific conditions.

National Creche Scheme: Provides day care facilities to children of age group of 6 months to 6 years of working women for seven and half hours a day for 26 days in a month.

Scheme for Adolescent Girls: Aims to empower and improve the social status of out of school girls in the age group 11-14 through nutrition, life skills and home skills.

Child Protection Scheme: Aims to contribute to the improvement and well-being of children in difficult circumstances, as well as, reduction of vulnerabilities to situations and actions that lead to abuse, neglect, exploitation, abandonment and separation of children from parents.

POSHAN Abhiyaan: Targets to reduce the level of stunting, under-nutrition, anemia and low birth weight babies by reducing mal-nutrition/undernutrition, anemia among young children as also, focus on adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

The functioning of the Enforcement Directorate


The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is in the news now and often. It goes back to May 1, 1956, when an ‘Enforcement Unit’ was formed in the Department of Economic Affairs, for handling Exchange Control Laws violations under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA).


GS-II: Polity and Constitution, Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Enforcement Directorate
  2. Functions of Enforcement Directorate
  3. From where does the ED get its powers?
  4. At what stage does the ED step in when a crime is committed?
  5. What differentiates the probe between the local police and officers of the ED?

Enforcement Directorate

  • The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) is a law enforcement agency and economic intelligence agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime in India.
  • It is part of the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government Of India.
  • It is composed of officers from the Indian Revenue Service, Indian Corporate Law Service, Indian Police Service and the Indian Administrative Service.
  • The origin of this Directorate goes back to 1 May 1956, when an ‘Enforcement Unit’ was formed, in Department of Economic Affairs, for handling Exchange Control Laws violations under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947.
  • In the year 1957, this Unit was renamed as ‘Enforcement Directorate’.

Functions of Enforcement Directorate

  • The prime objective of the Enforcement Directorate is the enforcement of two key Acts of the Government of India namely, the Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999 (FEMA) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002 (PMLA).
  • The ED’s (Enforcement Directorate) official website enlists its other objectives which are primarily linked to checking money laundering in India.
  • In fact this is an investigation agency so providing the complete details on public domain is against the rules of GOI.
  • The ED investigates suspected violations of the provisions of the FEMA. Suspected violations includes; non-realization of export proceeds, “hawala transactions”, purchase of assets abroad, possession of foreign currency in huge amount, non-repatriation of foreign exchange, foreign exchange violations and other forms of violations under FEMA.
  • ED collects, develops and disseminates intelligence information related to violations of FEMA, 1999. The ED receives the intelligence inputs from Central and State Intelligence agencies, complaints etc.
  • ED has the power to attach the asset of the culprits found guilty of violation of FEMA. “Attachment of the assets” means prohibition of transfer, conversion, disposition or movement of property by an order issued under Chapter III of the Money Laundering Act [Section 2(1) (d)].
  • To undertake, search, seizure, arrest, prosecution action and survey etc. against offender of PMLA offence.
  • To provide and seek mutual legal assistance to/from respective states in respect of attachment/confiscation of proceeds of crime and handed over the transfer of accused persons under Money Laundering Act.
  • To settle cases of violations of the erstwhile FERA, 1973 and FEMA, 1999 and to decide penalties imposed on conclusion of settlement proceedings.
The PMLA being relatively new, can the ED investigate cases of money laundering retrospectively?
  • If an ill-gotten property is acquired before the year 2005 (when the law was brought in) and disposed off, then there is no case under PMLA.
  • But if proceeds of the crime were possessed before 2005, kept in cold storage, and used after 2005 by buying properties, the colour of the money is still black and the person is liable to be prosecuted under PMLA.
  • Under Section 3 (offence of money laundering) a person shall be guilty of the offence of money-laundering, if such person is found to have directly or indirectly attempted to indulge or knowingly assist a party involved in one or more of the following activities — concealment; possession; acquisition; use; or projecting as untainted property; or claiming as untainted property in any manner.

At what stage does the ED step in when a crime is committed?

  • Whenever any offence is registered by a local police station, which has generated proceeds of crime over and above ₹1 crore, the investigating police officer forwards the details to the ED.
  • Alternately, if the offence comes under the knowledge of the Central agency, they can then call for the First Information Report (FIR) or the chargesheet if it has been filed directly by police officials.
  • This will be done to find out if any laundering has taken place.

What differentiates the probe between the local police and officers of the ED?

  • Consider the following scenario: If a theft has been committed in a nationalised bank, the local police station will first investigate the crime.
  • If it is learnt that the founder of the bank took all the money and kept it in his house, without being spent or used, then the crime is only theft and the ED won’t interfere because the amount has already been seized.
  • But if the amount which has been stolen is used after four years to purchase some properties, then the ill-gotten money is brought back in the market; or if the money is given to someone else to buy properties in different parts of the country, then there is ‘laundering’ of money and the ED will need to step in and look into the layering and attachment of properties to recover the money.
  • If jewellery costing ₹1 crore is stolen, police officers will investigate the theft. The ED, however, will attach assets of the accused to recover the amount of ₹1 crore.

National Cyber Security Strategy


Amid a surge in cyberattacks on India’s networks, the Centre is yet to implement the National Cyber Security Strategy which has been in the works since 2020.


GS III- Security Challenges

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About National Cyber Security Strategy
  2. Why does India need a cybersecurity strategy?
  3. What steps does the report suggest?

About National Cyber Security Strategy

Conceptualised by the Data Security Council of India (DSCI), report focuses to ensure a safe, secure, trusted, resilient, and vibrant cyberspace for India.

The main sectors of focus of the report are:-

  • Large scale digitisation of public services: There needs to be a focus on security in the early stages of design in all digitisation initiatives and for developing institutional capability for assessment, evaluation, certification, and rating of core devices.
  • Supply chain security: There should be robust monitoring and mapping of the supply chain of the Integrated circuits (ICT) and electronics products. Product testing and certification needs to be scaled up, and the country’s semiconductor design capabilities must be leveraged globally.
  • Critical information infrastructure protection: The supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) security should be integrated with enterprise security. A repository of vulnerabilities should also be maintained.
  • Digital payments: There should be mapping and modelling of devices and platform deployed, transacting entities, payment flows, interfaces and data exchange as well as threat research and sharing of threat intelligence.
  • State-level cyber security: State-level cybersecurity policies and guidelines for security architecture, operations, and governance need to be developed.

Why does India need a cybersecurity strategy?

  • As per American cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks’ 2021 report, Maharashtra was the most targeted State in India — facing 42% of all ransomware attacks.
  • The report stated that India is among the more economically profitable regions for hacker groups and hence these hackers ask Indian firms to pay a ransom, usually using cryptocurrencies, in order to regain access to the data.
  • One in four Indian organisations suffered a ransomware attack in 2021.
  •  Indian organisations witnessed a 218% increase in ransomware — higher than the global average of 21%.
  • Software and services (26%), capital goods (14%) and the public sector (9%) were among the most targeted sectors.
  • Increase in such attacks has brought to light the urgent need for strengthening India’s cybersecurity.

What steps does the report suggest?

  • Budgetary provisions: A minimum allocation of 0.25% of the annual budget, which can be raised up to 1% has been recommended to be set aside for cyber security. In terms of separate ministries and agencies, 15-20% of the IT/technology expenditure should be earmarked for cybersecurity.
  • Research, innovation, skill-building and technology development: The report suggests investing in modernisation and digitisation of ICTs, setting up a short and long term agenda for cyber security via outcome-based programs and providing investments in deep-tech cyber security innovation.
  • Crisis management: For adequate preparation to handle crisis, the DSCI recommends holding cybersecurity drills which include real-life scenarios with their ramifications. In critical sectors, simulation exercises for cross-border scenarios must be held on an inter-country basis.
  • Cyber insurance: Cyber insurance being a yet to be researched field, must have an actuarial science to address cybersecurity risks in business and technology scenarios as well as calculate threat exposures. The DSCI recommends developing cyber insurance products for critical information infrastructure and to quantify the risks involving them.
  • Cyber diplomacy: Cyber diplomacy plays a huge role in shaping India’s global relations. To further better diplomacy, the government should promote brand India as a responsible player in cyber security and also create ‘cyber envoys’ for the key countries/regions.
  • Cybercrime investigation: With the increase in cybercrime across the world, the report recommends unburdening the judicial system by creating laws to resolve spamming and fake news.

Pendency of cases in SC


The retirements come at a time when the court is in the process of steadying itself after particularly brutal waves of the pandemic.


GS II- Executive and Judiciary

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Pendency in Supreme Court
  2. Causes for Pendency of cases
  3. Impacts of Pendency of cases
  4. Way Forward

Pendency in Supreme Court

  • According to the Supreme Court’s data, there are 70,362 cases outstanding as of April 1, 2022.
  • Because they have not completed the essential preliminaries, almost 19% of them are not ready to be brought before a judge for a judicial hearing.
  • There are 52,110 admission cases and 18,522 regular hearing cases.
  • There are a total of 422 Constitution Bench cases (including main and related topics).
  • India’s legal system has the world’s greatest backlog of pending cases, with up to 30 million cases pending.
  • The fact that this number continues to rise demonstrates the legal system’s incompetence.
  • In addition, majority of the inmates in India’s prisons are detainees awaiting trial as a result of the backlog.

Causes for Pendency of cases

  • An increase in the number of cases: Increases in literacy, population expansion, and the development of citizen-friendly instruments such as PIL have resulted in a massive surge of cases in the courts.
  • Increasing Vacancies: The courts are operating at a fraction of their authorised capacity. Out of a sanctioned strength of 1,079 judges, the High Courts had 403 vacancies as of 2017. However, there has been no progress in filling vacancies. Subordinate courts, meanwhile, have 5,676 vacancies out of a total of 22,704 judges. The increase in vacancies is due to the delay in appointments.
  • Strict Procedural Requirements: Each case requires a significant amount of documentation, which can cause unnecessary delays.
  • Lawyers’ Bad Behavior: Lawyers have been caught engaging in collusive corruption, particularly at lower levels, in order to stretch the case out. Furthermore, the lawyers demand multiple adjournments for illegitimate grounds.
  • Police Personnel Inefficiencies: They are sometimes perceived as complacent in submitting charge sheets and completing quick investigations, causing a delay in delivering timely judgement.
  • Law schools are more concerned with developing attorneys than with developing future members of the judiciary.

Impacts of Pendency of cases

  • Rising pendency creates an excess burden on judges.
  • Pendency enhances the number of undertrials in the prisons which eventually leads to overcrowding.
  • It undermines Right to life
  • The pendency causes harassment of the accused and victim. As they need to go through significant financial, physical and mental stress for years due to the pendency. 
  • The faith and trust of the common man in the judicial setup are also lost if he/she didn’t receive timely justice.
  • The disposal rate(number of cases disposed of) has stayed between 55 -59% in the Supreme Court, 28% in the High Courts, and 40% in the subordinate courts.

Way Forward

  • Time limitations for pendency should be mandated for all cases based on priorities; hence, time standards must be established, and they will vary for different cases, as well as for different courts, depending on their disposal capability.
  • For out-of-court agreements, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques should be pushed.

Gulf of Gabes


A Fuel Ship with 750 tons of diesel sinks off the Gulf Of Gabes in Tunisia.


Places in News

About Gulf of Gabes

  • The Gulf of Gabes, sometimes known as Lesser Syrtis in contrast to Libya’s Greater Syrtis, is a gulf off the east coast of Tunisia in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • The gulf roughly spans the coast from Sfax to Djerba, including the city of Gabès (Ghannouche) at its head, where spring tides have a considerable range of up to 2.1 m.
  • Gabès and Sfax are major ports on the gulf, supporting sponge and tuna fisheries, with Gabès serving as the economic and administrative hub.
  •  It is 60 miles (100 kilometres) long and 60 miles wide, bordered on the northeast by the Qarqannah (Kerkena) Islands and on the southeast by Jarbah (Djerba) Island.


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