Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban


 1.21 crore houses have been sanctioned under the scheme till May 9 2022, of which 58.82 lakh houses have been completed/delivered.


GS II- Welfare Schemes

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban?
  2. What is the Beneficiary-led individual house construction/enhancements (BLC)?
  3. What is geotagging and is it mandatory under the PMAY-U?
  4. What is Bhuvan HFA?

What is the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban?

  • The government had launched the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) on June 25, 2015, to provide pucca houses to all eligible beneficiaries by 2022.
  • The PMAY-U is one of the two schemes envisioned under the PMAY-U.
    • It is focused on the urban areas, while the other one—PMAY-G—is for rural areas.

The scheme has four verticals:

  •  “In-situ” Slum Redevelopment (ISSR);
  • Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS);
  • Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHP)
  • Beneficiary-led individual house construction/enhancements (BLC),

What is the Beneficiary-led individual house construction/enhancements (BLC)?

  • Under the BLC vertical, a beneficiary receives a financial assistance of Rs 2.5 lakh from the government to build his or her house.
  • The PMAY-U guidelines define a beneficiary family as a family comprising of “husband, wife and unmarried [sons and/ or unmarried daughters.]”
  • “The beneficiary family should not own a pucca house (an all-weather dwelling unit) either in his/her name or in the name of any member of his/her family in any part of India,” state the scheme guidelines.
  • Under the scheme guidelines, an adult earning member (irrespective of marital status) can be treated as a separate household.
    •  However, to avail the scheme, he or she should not own a pucca house (an all-weather dwelling unit) in his /her name in any part of India.
  • Under the PMAY-G, a beneficiary can avail the BLC component for the enhancement of his or her existing house.
    • However, only persons with a pucca house having a built-up area of less than 21 sq.m are eligible to avail this facility.

What is geotagging and is it mandatory under the PMAY-U?

  • Geotagging is a process of adding geographical identification to various media like photography.
  • Under the PMAY-U guidelines, it is mandatory for the state government to ensure that all houses built under the scheme are geotagged to the Bhuvan HFA (housing for all) application, which has been developed by the government for the monitoring of the scheme.

What is Bhuvan HFA?

  • Bhuvan is an Indian Geo Platform developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
  • It is a web-based application which allows users to access various map related services.
  • The application also provides facility of geotagging of images of houses built or being constructed under the PMAY-U.

Supermassive Black Hole:  Sagittarius A*


The first photograph of Sagittarius A* (pronounced as sadge-ay-star), a supermassive black hole about 26,000 light years from Earth and situated at the centre of the Milky Way, was revealed by astronomers of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).

  • In April 2019, astronomers captured the first ever photograph of a black hole M87, which was located in a distant galaxy called Messier 87.


GS II- Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About black hole
  2. Where do black holes come from?

About black hole

A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light cannot get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space, this can happen when a star is dying.

Black holes are of four types, classified on the basis of their mass –

  • Stellar mass black holes,
  • Mid- size black holes ,
  • Super Massive black holes
  • Miniature black holes.
A black hole has two basic parts:
  • The Singularity:  It is at the centre and is where the mass resides.
  • Event Horizon: There is a region of space beyond the black hole called the event horizon. This is a “point of no return”, beyond which it is impossible to escape the gravitational effects of the black hole.

Where do black holes come from?

  • A black hole is formed when stars collapse, leading to a space in the universe with an escape velocity — the speed at which an object must travel to override a planet or an object’s gravitational force.
    • For instance, for a spacecraft to leave the surface of the Earth, it needs to be travelling at a speed of about 40,000 km per hour which is so great that even light cannot escape it.
  • Because light cannot get out, black holes are invisible and can only be tracked with the help of spatial telescopes and special tools.
  • The light cannot go out because the gravity inside a black hole is very strong as a result of a lot of matter being squeezed into a small space.
  • In 2020, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences decided to award one half of the year’s Nobel Prize in physics to Roger Penrose and the other half jointly to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez for furthering the understanding of black holes, the most “enigmatic” objects in the universe.

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)


The Union government is reassessing the concept of the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) leading to a delay in the appointment to the post.

  • The post of CDS has also been lying vacant since the demise of Late. Gen. Bipin Rawat.


GS II- Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Who is CDS?
  2. Functions of CDS
  3. Need of such a post

Who is CDS?

  • The Chief of Defence Staff of the Indian Armed Forces (CDS) is the military head and permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC) of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • The Chief of Defence Staff is the highest-ranking uniformed officer on active duty in the Indian military and chief military adviser to the Minister of Defence.
  • The Chief also heads the Department of Military Affairs.
  • The CDS is assisted by a vice-chief, the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff.
  • CDS was recommended by  Kargil review committee after Kargil war.
  • In 2017, intelligence and security officials had said that the absence of a CDS was hampering India’s combat capabilities

Functions of CDS

  • To act as the Principal Military Advisor to Raksha Mantri on all Tri-Service matters.
  • To administer the Tri-Service organizations/agencies/commands.
  • To be a member of Defence Acquisition Council chaired by Raksha Mantri.
  • To function as the Military Advisor to the Nuclear Command Authority.
  • To bring about jointness in operation, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance, etc of the three Services.
  • To implement Five-Year Defence Capital Acquisition Plan and Two-Year roll-on Annual Acquisition Plans, as a follow up of Integrated Capability Development Plan.
  • To bring about reforms in the functioning of three Services with the aim to augment combat capabilities of the Armed Forces by reducing wasteful expenditure.

Need of such a post

  • To usher in reforms in the higher defence management Centre.
  • For a more streamlined system of reporting and decision making.

Pravaig Field Pack


A Bengaluru-based venture has produced a rugged tactical battery that it is now planning to sell to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) forces in Europe.


GS III- Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Pravaig Field Pack
  2. Significance

Pravaig Field Pack

  • It’s a portable, heavy-duty power bank that weights 14 kg.
  • It’s especially useful for today’s digitally connected military and Special Forces personnel who have to work in high-risk areas while utilising gadgets that demand constant power.
  • India conceived, engineered, and manufactured these batteries.
  • A MacBook may be charged 60 times using the field pack.


  • This supply is a defining moment in India’s defence landscape, a turning point in the country’s high-tech defence industry’s transformation from users to developers, importers to exporters.
  • The field pack can be used to re-energize military personnel in the field and to install remote sensors.
  • A powerful tactical battery can be used to operate larger military equipment like drones, as well as assisting in the coordination of tactical operations involving several weapons systems.

Devasahayam Pillai


Devasahayam Pillai, who was born a Hindu in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu and converted to Christianity in the 18th century, became the first Indian layman to be declared a saint by the Vatican.

  • Besides Devasahayam, the Pope proclaimed five other men and four women as saints.


GS I- Art and Culture

About Devasahayam:

  • Devasahayam was born on April 23, 1712 in Nattalam village in Kanyakumari district, and went on to serve in the court of Marthanda Varma of Travancore.
  • After meeting a Dutch naval commander at the court, Devasahayam was baptised in 1745, and assumed the name ‘Lazarus’, meaning ‘God is my help’.
  • His conversion did not go well with the heads of his native religion.
    • False charges of treason and espionage were brought against him and he was divested of his post in the royal administration
  • While preaching, he particularly insisted on the equality of all people, despite caste differences, which aroused the hatred of the higher classes, and he was arrested in 1749.
  • On January 14, 1752, Devasahayam was shot dead in the Aralvaimozhy forest.
  • He is widely considered a martyr, and his mortal remains were interred inside what is now Saint Francis Xavier’s Cathedral in Kottar, Nagercoil.


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