Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana


The Union Cabinet approved an extension to the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban up to December 31, 2024 so that the houses sanctioned under the scheme can be completed, officials said.

  • The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) has a completion rate of 67.72%, whereas the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U) scheme that started a year ahead is lagging behind with a 50% completion rate.


GS-II: Social Justice (Welfare Schemes, Government Policies and Interventions)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What are the Reasons for Delay in Both the Schemes?
  2. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY- U: Housing for All – Urban)
  3. Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana- Gramin (PMAY-G)

What are the Reasons for Delay in Both the Schemes?

  • The government officials blame the Covid-19 Pandemic for the slowdown in the PMAY-U.
  • The completion rate for houses sanctioned before the Covid-19 pandemic stood around 80%.
  • Six States account for 70% of the target units — West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
    • Out of them only two States — Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal — have a completion rate above the national average.
    • Bihar has one of the lowest completion rates.
  • In urban areas, issues such as a lack of clear titles and other land documents tend to crop up. This further slowed down the pace. The same is true for rural areas as well.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY- U: Housing for All – Urban)

  • The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) Programme launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA), in Mission mode envisions provision of Housing for All by 2022, when the Nation completes 75 years of its Independence.
  • The Mission seeks to address the housing requirement of urban poor including slum dwellers through following programme verticals:
    • Slum rehabilitation of Slum Dwellers with participation of private developers using land as a resource
    • Promotion of Affordable Housing for weaker section through credit linked subsidy
    • Affordable Housing in Partnership with Public & Private sectors
    • Subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction /enhancement.
  • The mission seeks to address the housing requirement of urban poor including slum dwellers. A slum is defined as a compact area of at least 300 people or about 60 – 70 households of poorly built congested tenements in unhygienic environment usually with inadequate infrastructure and lacking in proper sanitary and drinking water facilities.
  • Mission will be implemented as Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) except for the component of credit linked subsidy which will be implemented as a Central Sector Scheme.
  • “Housing for All” Mission for urban area is being implemented during 2015-2022 and this Mission will provide central assistance to implementing agencies through States and UTs for providing houses to all eligible families/beneficiaries by 2022.
Coverage area

The Mission covers the entire urban area consisting of:

  • Statutory Towns
  • Notified Planning Areas
  • Development Authorities
  • Special Area Development Authorities
  • Industrial Development Authorities or
  • Any such authority under State legislation which is entrusted with the functions of urban planning & regulations

Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana- Gramin (PMAY-G)

  • The Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana- Gramin (PMAY-G) was launched to achieve the objective of “Housing for All” by 2022. The erstwhile rural housing scheme Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) was restructured to Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G).
  • Ministry of Rural development is involved in the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana- Gramin (PMAY-G).
  • PMAY-G aims to provide a pucca house with basic amenities to all rural families, who are homeless or living in kutcha or dilapidated houses by the end of March 2022 and also to help rural people Below the Poverty Line (BPL) in construction of dwelling units and upgradation of existing unserviceable kutcha houses by providing assistance in the form of a full grant.
  • People belonging to SCs/STs, freed bonded labourers and non-SC/ST categories, widows or next-of-kin of defence personnel killed in action, ex-servicemen and retired members of the paramilitary forces, disabled persons and minorities will be the target beneficiaries of the PMAY-G.
  • The cost of unit assistance is shared between Central and State Governments in the ratio 60:40 in plain areas and 90:10 for North Eastern and hilly states.

Langya Henipavirus


Langya Henipavirus: Almost three years after the novel coronavirus was detected in China, a new zoonotic virus has been discovered in the country’s two eastern provinces with 35 infections identified so far.

  • This new type of Henipavirus is also being called Langya Henipavirus or the LayV.


GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is Langya virus?
  2. How was Langya virus discovered?
  3. Symptoms of Langya virus
  4. Where has Langya virus come from?

What is Langya virus?

  • The newly discovered virus is a “phylogenetically distinct Henipavirus”, according to a recent study — A Zoonotic Henipavirus in Febrile Patients in China
  • The types of Henipaviruses that had been identified prior to this included Hendra, Nipah, Cedar, Mojiang and the Ghanaian bat virus.
  • According to the US CDC, the Cedar virus, Ghanaian bat virus, and Mojiang virus are not known to cause human disease. But Hendra and Nipah infect humans and can cause fatal illness.
  • Langya, meanwhile, is known to cause fever.
  • The study adds that Langya’s genome organization is “identical to that of other Henipaviruses”, and that it is closely related to the “Mojiang Henipavirus, which was discovered in southern China”.
    • Henipaviruses are classified as biosafety level 4 (BSL4) pathogens.
      • They can cause severe illness in animals and humans, and as of now there are no licensed drugs or vaccines meant for humans.

How was Langya virus discovered?

  • Langya was discovered in eastern China during surveillance testing of patients who had fever along with a recent history of animal exposure.
  • It was identified and isolated from the throat swab sample of one of those patients.
  • 35 patients with LayV infection were found in Shandong and Henan provinces, out of which 26 were only infected with this new virus and no other pathogen.

Symptoms of Langya virus:

  • The study looked at the 26 patients with only LayV infection to identify the associated symptoms.
  • While all 26 had fever, 54% reported fatigue, 50% had cough, 38% complained of nausea.
  • Also, 35% of the total 26, complained of headache and vomiting.
  • The study found that 35% had impaired liver function, while 8% had their kidney function impacted.
  • The patients were accompanied by abnormalities of “thrombocytopenia (35%), leukopenia (54%), impaired liver (35%) and kidney (8%) function”, the study noted.
    • Thrombocytopenia is low platelet count, while leukopenia means a fall in the white blood cell count, in turn reducing the body’s disease-fighting capability.

Where has Langya virus come from?

  • In all likelihood, the new virus has jumped from an animal to humans.
  • The LayV virus RNA has been predominantly found in shrews, which may be its natural hosts.
  • The study zeroed in on shrews after conducting a serosurvey of domestic and wild animals.
  • Among domestic animals, seropositivity was detected in goats and dogs.

What about human-to-human transmission?

  • There are no clear answers yet.
  • The authors of the study have underlined that the sample size of their investigation is too small to determine human-to-human transmission. However, they point out that among the 35 patients infected by LayV, there was “no close contact or common exposure history”, which suggests that the “infection in the human population may be sporadic”.

Open Network For Digital Commerce


US firm Microsoft has become the first big tech company to join the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), a government-backed project which is aimed at enabling small merchants and mom-and-pop stores in parts of the country to access processes and technologies that are typically deployed by large e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart.


GS III- Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is ONDC?
  2. What led to formation of ONDC?
  3. What is the current status?
  4. What are the likely benefits of ONDC?

What is ONDC?

  • It is a not-for-profit organisation that will offer a network to enable local digital commerce stores across industries to be discovered and engaged by any network-enabled applications.
  • It is neither an aggregator application nor a hosting platform, and all existing digital commerce applications and platforms can voluntarily choose to adopt and be a part of the ONDC network.
  • The ONDC model is trying to replicate the success of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in the field of digital payments.
  • UPI allows people to send or receive money irrespective of the payment platforms they are registered on.
  • The open network concept also extends beyond the retail sector, to any digital commerce domains including wholesale, mobility, food delivery, logistics, travel, urban services, etc.

The main aims of ONDC are to:

  • Promote open-source methodology, using open specifications and
  • Promote open network protocols independent of any specific platform
  • Digitise value chains,
  • Promote inclusion of suppliers,
  • Standardize operations,
  • Derive efficiencies in logistics
  • Enhance value for consumers.


  • Currently, a buyer needs to go to Amazon, for example, to buy a product from a seller on Amazon.
  • Under ONDC, it is envisaged that a buyer registered on one participating e-commerce site (for example, Amazon) may purchase goods from a seller on another participating e-commerce site (for example, Flipkart).

What led to formation of ONDC?

  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), under Ministry of Commerce and Industries, conducted an outreach during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic to understand its impact on small sellers and hyperlocal supply chain functioning.
  • Post which, it found that there is a huge disconnect between the scale of online demand and the ability of the local retail ecosystem to participate.
  • Following this, consultations were held with multiple ministries and industry experts and “ONDC was envisioned to revolutionise digital commerce in India,” as per the strategy paper.

What is the current status?

  • Presently, ONDC is in its pilot stage in five cities — Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Shillong and Coimbatore — with a target of onboarding around 150 retailers.
  • The government has also constituted an advisory council to analyse the potential of ONDC as a concept and to advise the government on measures needed to accelerate its adoption.
  • Over the next five years, the ONDC expects to bring on board 90 crore users and 12 lakh sellers on the network, enabling 730 crore additional purchases and an additional gross merchandising value (GMV) of ₹3.75 crore.
  • The GMV for the digital commerce retail market in India was ₹2.85 lakh crore ($38 billion) in 2020, which is only 4.3% of the total retail GMV in India.

What are the likely benefits of ONDC?

  • The ONDC will standardise operations like cataloguing, inventory management, order management and order fulfilment, hence making it simpler and easier for small businesses to be discoverable over network and conduct business.
  • However, experts have pointed out some likely potential issues such as getting enough number of e-commerce platforms to sign up, along with issues related to customer service and payment integration.

49th Chief Justice of India


In exercise of the power conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India, the President has appointed Shri Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Judge of the Supreme Court as the Chief Justice of India.


GS II- Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Appointment of the CJI
  2. Administrative Powers of CJI (Master of Roster)

Appointment of the CJI:

  • The Chief Justice of India and the Judges of the Supreme Court (SC) are appointed by the President under clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution.
  • As far as the CJI is concerned, the outgoing CJI recommends his successor.
  • The Union Law Minister forwards the recommendation to the Prime Minister who, in turn, advises the President.
  • SC in the Second Judges Case (1993), ruled that the senior most judge of the Supreme Court should alone be appointed to the office of the CJI.
  • The Supreme Court collegium is headed by the Chief Justice of India and comprises four other senior most judges of the court.
    • The collegium system is the system of appointment and transfer of judges that has evolved through judgments of the Supreme Court (Judges Cases), and not by an Act of Parliament or by a provision of the Constitution.


The Indian Constitution says in Article 124 (3) that in order to be appointed as a judge in the Supreme Court of India, the person has to fit in the following criteria:

  • He/She is a citizen of India
  • Has been for at least five years a Judge of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession;
  • Has been for at least ten years an advocate of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession; or is, in the opinion of the President, a distinguished jurist

Administrative Powers of CJI (Master of Roster):

  • It is common to refer to the office as primus inter pares – first amongst equals.
  • Besides his adjudicatory role, the CJI also plays the role of the administrative head of the Court.
  • In his administrative capacity, the Chief Justice exercises the prerogative of allocating cases to particular benches.
  • The Chief Justice also decides the number of judges that will hear a case.
  • Thus, he can influence the result by simply choosing judges that he thinks may favour a particular outcome.
  • Such administrative powers can be exercised without collegial consensus, and without any stated reasons.

Butterfly Mine


The UK Ministry of Defence, in its intelligence assessment of the ongoing war in Ukraine, has and sounded an alarm on the possible use of PFM-1 series ‘Butterfly Mines’ by the Russian military in Donetsk and Kramatorsk.


GS III: Defence

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is the ‘Butterfly Mine’ and why is it called so?
  2. How are these mines associated with Soviet Union and Afghanistan?
  3. Are these kind of mines allowed by international law?

What is the ‘Butterfly Mine’ and why is it called so?

  • The PFM-1 and PFM-1S are two kinds of anti-personnel landmines that are commonly referred to as ‘Butterfly mines’ or ‘Green Parrots’.
  • These names are derived from the shape and colour of the mines.
  • The main difference between the PFM-1 and PFM-1S mine is that the latter comes with a self destruction mechanism which gets activated within one to 40 hours.
  • The ‘Butterfly mine’ has earned a reputation for being particularly attractive to children because it looks like a coloured toy.
  • It is very sensitive to touch and just the act of picking it up can set it off.
  • Because of the relatively lesser explosive packed in this small mine, it often injures and maims the handler rather than killing them. These mines are also difficult to detect because they are made of plastic and can evade metal detectors.
  • These mines can be deployed in the field of action through several means, which include being dropped from helicopters or through ballistic dispersion using artillery and mortar shells.
  • These mines glide to the ground without exploding and later explode on coming in contact.
  • Since these mines were green in colour when they were first put to use they also earned the name ‘Green Parrots’.

How are these mines associated with Soviet Union and Afghanistan?

  • By some estimates more than a million ‘Butterfly mines’ litter Afghanistan and were airdropped in valleys and mountain passes to impede the movement of the Afghan Mujahideen.
  • More than 30,000 Afghans are believed to have been victims of these mines and a large number of children were among the casualties.

Are these kind of mines allowed by international law?

  • The anti personal mines are banned by international convention on land lines but Russia and Ukraine are not signatories to it.
  • However, there is a 1996 Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons-the Landlines Protocol to which Russia and Ukraine are signatories.
  • In the ongoing conflict, both countries have accused each other of having used these mines, since both posses them in sufficient numbers.
  • Allegations and counter-allegations of the use of these mines have been made in Mariupol, Kharkiv and now Donetsk.


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