100 years since the discovery of Mohenjo Daro

In News

  • Exactly a century ago, in 1922, humanity rediscovered Mohenjo Daro.

About Mohenjo-daro 

  • Location:
    • Mohenjo-Daro or the “Mound of the dead” lies in Larkana district of Sindh (Pakistan), about 5 km away from the Indus.
  • Contribution of discovery:
    • It was discovered by archeologists Rakhaldas Banerji and Sir John Marshall.
  • Significance of the site:
    • It is one of the largest of the Indus Valley Civilization sites.
    • Construction marvel:
      • The site is famous for its elaborate town planning with street grids with brick pavements, developed water supply, drainage, and covered sewerage systems, homes with toilets, and monumental buildings.
      • Its excavations revealed findings like the Great Bath, Great Granary, a large assembly hall, temple-like structure, the seal of Pashupati and a bust of a bearded man.
      • It is the most glaring example of town planning in the Harappan civilization. 
      • The city is divided into citadel and lower city.
        • It is clear that the citadel (for such it evidently was) carried the religious and ceremonial headquarters of the site. 
        • In the lower town were substantial courtyard houses indicating a considerable middle class. 
    • Relationship with Harappa:
      • Its relationship with Harappa, however, is uncertain—i.e., if the two cities were contemporaneous centres or if one city succeeded the other.
  • Sculptures:
    • Aesthetically the most notable work of figurative art from the city is a famous bronze of a young dancing girl, naked save for a multitude of armlets. 
    • Among innumerable terra-cottas the most expressive are small but vigorous representations of bulls and buffalo.
  • Decline:
    • The evidence suggests that Mohenjo-daro suffered more than once from devastating floods of abnormal depth and duration.
    • The civilization went into decline in the middle of the second millennium BC for reasons that are believed to include catastrophic climate change.
  • Legacy:
    • Mohenjo-daro was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980.

The Indus River Valley Civilization

  • About:
    • The Indus River Valley Civilization ( 3300-1300 BCE) also known as the Harappan Civilization, was extended from modern-day northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India.
    • It is the oldest recorded civilisation of the Indian subcontinent.
      • The civilisation was a contemporary of Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilisations with whom it had trade contacts.
    • It is often separated into three phases:
      • The Early Harappan Phase from 3300 to 2600 BCE, 
      • The Mature Harappan Phase from 2600 to 1900 BCE, and 
      • The Late Harappan Phase from 1900 to 1300 BCE.
  • Centres of civilization:
    • The Indus civilization is known to have consisted of two large cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, and more than 100 towns and villages, often of relatively small size.
    • The southern region of the civilization, on the Kathiawar Peninsula and beyond, appears to be of later origin than the major Indus sites.
  • Features:
    • Technology:
      • Important innovations of this civilization comprise standardized weights and measures, seal carving, and metallurgy with copper, bronze, lead, and tin.
    • City planning:
      • The Indus cities are noted for their urban planning, a technical and political process concerned with the use of land and design of the urban environment. 
      • They had baked brick houses, elaborate drainage systems, water supply systems, and clusters of large, nonresidential buildings.
    • Pottery:
      • The pottery of the Indus cities has all the marks of mass production. 
      • Larger pots were probably built up on a turntable.
    • Governance:
      • It is deduced that Civilisation was governed by the class of merchants.
  • Trade and external contacts:
    • Timber and precious woods, ivory, lapis lazuli, gold, and luxury goods such as carnelian beads, pearls, and shell and bone inlays, including the distinctly Indian kidney shape, were among the goods sent to Mesopotamia in exchange for silver, tin, woolen textiles, and grains and other foods. 
    • The wide range of crafts and special materials employed must also have caused the establishment of economic relations with peoples living outside the Harappan state.
  • Decline of Civilization:
    • The IVC declined around 1800 BCE however the certainty behind the collapse is debatable. 
    • Different theories are:
      • Aryans invasion of IVC led to the fall of the civilisation.
      • Several tectonic disturbances and changing course of the rivers are the two major factors cited by the historians for the disappearance of the civilisation.
      • Various scholars believe that natural factors like geological and climatic reasons are behind the decline of the IVC.

Decline in Child Marriage in India

In News

  • According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), India has seen a steady decline in the prevalence of child marriage from 47.4% in 2005 to 23.3% in 2021.

Key Points

  • India: 
    • India has seen a steady decline in the prevalence of the practice from 47.4% in 2005 to 23.3% in 2021.
    • Eight States have a higher prevalence of child marriage than the national average:
    • West Bengal, Bihar and Tripura top the list with more than 40% of women aged 20-24 years married below 18
  • The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has warned that pandemic-induced economic hardship could roll back the gains made so far.
    • Financial distress triggered by the closure of businesses and loss of employment during lockdowns imposed to check the spread of COVID-19 over the past two years has resulted in child marriage rearing its ugly head in Rajasthan, where the social malaise is culturally endemic. 
  • Indian States:
    • Among the bigger States, West Bengal and Bihar have the highest prevalence of girl child marriage. 
    • States with a large population of tribal poor have a higher prevalence of child marriage. 
    • In Jharkhand, 32.2% of women in the age bracket 20-24 got married before 18, infant mortality stood at 37.9%, and 65.8% of women in the 15-19 age bracket are anaemic. 
    • Assam too has a high prevalence of child marriage (31.8% in 2019-20 from 30.8% in 2015-16). 
    • Some States have shown a reduction in child marriages, like
      • Madhya Pradesh (23.1% in 2020-21 from 32.4% in 2015-16), 
      • Rajasthan (25.4% from 35.4%) and 
      • Haryana. 
    • States with high literacy levels and better health and social indices have fared much better on this score.
      • In Kerala, women who got married before the age of 18 stood at 6.3% in 2019-20, from 7.6% in 2015-16. 
      • Tamil Nadu too has shown improved figures with 12.8% of women in the age group 20-24 years getting married before 18 compared to 16.3% in 2015-16.
    • Rajasthan: 
      • Rajasthan has witnessed 1,216 child marriages since 2018-19. 
      • National Commission for Women and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) launched a probe into child trafficking and prostitution in rural Rajasthan following media reports about girls being sold on stamp paper to settle debts based on the orders of a khap panchayat in Pander village in Bhilwara district.

Primary Reasons for Child Marriage

  • Poverty: If a family is struggling financially, marrying off one of their daughters can mean one less mouth to feed and one less child to educate.
  • Safety: For families living in dangerous environments, like a refugee camp or war zone, child marriage can actually seem like a safer option.
  • Tradition: Child marriage is deeply imbedded in some cultural traditions, where it is viewed as a normal and reasonable practice.
  • Social Insecurity: Many people have this perception that a married woman is much safer from societal offences than an unmarried woman. Unmarried women are viewed with malafide intentions that lead to crimes against them.
  • Avoiding share in Ancestral Property: Generally in rural areas parents think that all their ancestral property belongs to their sons and if they marry their daughters at an early age then they will be out of the share. 
  • Avoiding expenditure on Female Education: Usually families discriminate between boys and girls. Female children are considered a burden as they do not need to work and have to look after the household chores before and after marriage. 

Impacts of Child Marriage

  • Human rights violation: Child marriage is a violation of human rights and dignity, which unfortunately still has social acceptance.
  • Harmful impacts: It has a serious impact on the education, health, and safety of the childrens.
  • Reduces Education Rates For Girls: Child marriage typically marks the end of a girl’s education. Once she’s married, she’s expected to take care of her husband and start having children, leaving little time for school or a career.
  • Traps families in a cycle of poverty: Child marriage might seem to make financial sense in the short term for struggling parents, but it can actually trap families in a cycle of poverty.
  • Contributes to higher fertility rates: Younger brides are more likely to have larger families because they have more child-bearing years during married life. They also usually face a greater inequality with their husbands, resulting in the wife having little to no say in when or how many children to have. 
  • Inabilities to Plan or Manage Families: Young girls exercise less influence and control over their children and have less ability to make decisions about their nutrition, health care and household management. 
  • Desire for Male Child: Due to desire for a male child, young girls and women are forced to conceive as many times as she can till she gives birth to a male child. 

Laws and Policies

  • The Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929: It is also known as the Sarda Act. It was a law enacted to restrain the practices of Child Marriage.
    • Its main goal was to eliminate the evils placed on young girls who could not handle the stress of married life and to avoid early deaths.
    • This act defined a male child as 21 years or younger and a female child as 18 years or younger.
  • The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act of 2006: Under this act, the marriageable age for a male is prescribed as 21 years and that of a female is 18 years.
    • Child Marriage is prohibited in India as per the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.
  • Hindu Marriage Act, 1956: Under Hindu Marriage Act, there are no certain provisions for punishing the parents or people who solemnized the marriage.
    • A girl can get the marriage annulled only if she wants to get married before attaining the age of fifteen years and she challenges the marriage before turning eighteen.
  • Muslim Personal Law: Under the Muslim Laws, there is no bar to child marriage. The couple after marriage has an “option of puberty” known as Khayar-ul-bulugh in which they can repudiate the marriage after attaining the age of puberty. 
  • The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012: which aim at protecting children from violation of human and other rights. 
  • A parliamentary standing committee is weighing the pros and cons of raising the age of marriage for women to 21, which has been cleared by the Union Cabinet. 


  • Consequences of child marriage are dire, not only because it violates children’s rights, but also because it results in more infant and maternal deaths.
    • Children born to adolescent mothers have a greater possibility of seeing stunted growth as they have low weight at birth. According to NFHS-5, the prevalence of child stunting is 35.5% in 2019-21.
  • Data shows that child marriage is a key determinant of high fertility, poor maternal and child health, and lower social status of women.
  • Centralised schemes like the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, need better implementation on the ground.
  • There is so much social acceptance of age-old customs that most people, including the administration, look the other way
  • Practices like marrying off all daughters of a family to the sons of another family. In such marriages, the elder sister is usually above 18 years and the ceremony is announced and wedding cards are printed in her name. The underage girls are married off a day earlier or separately the same day.

Way Ahead

  • Multi pronged strategy needed: 
    • Eradication of poverty, better education and public infrastructure facilities for children, 
    • Raising social awareness on health, nutrition, 
    • Regressive social norms and inequalities. 
    • Strong laws, strict enforcement, 
    • Preparing an ideal situation on the ground to ensure that the girl child — girls with either or below primary level education have experienced higher levels of child marriage.
    • Girl child gets an education and preferably vocational training as well so that she can be financially independent.
  • State’s Efforts: 
    • States have launched many initiatives to improve the factors linked to child marriage, from education to health care and awareness programmes. 
    • For instance, West Bengal’s Kanyashree scheme offers financial aid to girls wanting to pursue higher studies. 
    • Bihar and other States have been implementing a cycle scheme to ensure girls reach safely to school; 
    • U.P. has a scheme to encourage girls to go back to school.
  • Empowering Girl Child:
    • The solution lies in empowering girls, creating proper public infrastructure and addressing societal norms. 
    • Getting down to the gram panchayat level, ensuring that Child Protection Committees and Child Marriage Prohibition officers are doing the job and activating community support groups. 
    • Such efforts can lead to Child Marriage Free Villages like in Odisha which now has over 12,000 such villages. 
  • Implementing Committee guidelines:
    • A series of such interventions — and recommendations of the Shivraj Patil Committee report in 2011 — have helped bring down the percentage of child marriages in Karnataka (from 42% in 2005-06 to 21.3% in 2019-20). 

Public Policy Institutions for States

In News

  • Recently, States have approached the NITI Aayog, seeking its help to set up their own public policy institutions to boost development and drive inclusive growth.

Key Points

  • State’s demand: 
    • Rajasthan, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh have approached the NITI Aayog, seeking its help to set up their own public policy institutions to boost development and drive inclusive growth.
    • Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Maharashtra — have made similar requests to constitute state institutions for transformation, or SITs, along the lines of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog
  • Reason for state institutions demand:
    • To give effect to the commitment of cooperative federalism

State Support Mission

  • The State Support Mission has been conceived in view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call for making India a developed country, or Viksit Bharat by 2047.
  • In July, NITI Aayog started working on a State Support Mission to assist states prepare development strategies. 
  • As part of the effort, the Maharashtra Institution for Transformation, or Mitra, was set up along the lines of NITI Aayog.
  • Under the mission, the central body will be supporting states to set up SITs or help the governments to “reimagine” the role of planning departments.
  • States are being provided with assistance to reimagine the role of their planning departments. Knowledge partners like the Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management, have been identified, in states, to provide necessary assistance to the SITs.

Challenges faced by the states currently 

  • Most states so far have done little to rejuvenate their planning departments/ boards, which earlier dealt with the Planning Commission and prepared parallel state five year-plans with the Centre.
  • Planning departments in most of the states with huge manpower are almost defunct and have no clarity what work they will do.
  • Health, education and infrastructure development are the responsibilities of state governments. There is a need for states to plan better to ensure meeting growing demand and ensure ease of doing business.

Significance of the move

  • Increasing the role of states in GDP: The move is in recognition of the fact that except for sectors like defence, railways and highways, the national GDP growth is an aggregation of states rates of growth.
    • Health, education and skilling are primarily with the state government.
  • Sustained economic growth: State government’s role is critical to improving ease of doing business, land reforms, infrastructure development, credit flows and urbanisation.
  • State support mission: It will likely extend support to states including experts from IIMs and IITs to fulfil the ambitious target of making India a developed nation by 2047.
  • Lateral entry of professionals will be encouraged in SITs to undertake high-quality analytical work and policy recommendations.

Way Ahead

  • SITs can play a crucial role in bringing various stakeholders, such as the private sector, and experts to address important state-specific issues. and work on strategies to carry out development work
National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog)About:It was set up in 2015 to replace the Planning Commission.It is an Executive Body (acts as a think tank and advisory body)Objective: To foster the spirit of Cooperative and Competitive federalism through structured support initiatives on a continuous basis.Composition of NITI Aayog:Chairperson: Prime Minister of IndiaThe Governing Council consists of the Chief Ministers of all the States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories in India.The NITI Aayog’s governing council is the premier body tasked with evolving a shared vision of national priorities and strategies with the involvement of the States and Union Territories. It presents a platform to discuss inter-sectoral, inter-departmental and federal issues.Regional Councils will be created to address particular issues and possibilities affecting more than one state.These will be formed for a fixed term and summoned by the PM.These will be chaired by the Chairperson of the NITI Aayog or his nominee.Special invitees: Eminent experts, specialists with relevant domain knowledge, which will be nominated by the Prime Minister.Full-time organizational framework:Prime Minister as the Chairperson:Vice-Chairperson (appointed by the Prime Minister)Members:Full-timePart-time members on a rotational basis: Maximum of 2 members from foremost universities, leading research organizations, and other innovative organizations in an ex-officio capacity.Ex Officio members: Maximum of 4 members of the Council of Ministers which is to be nominated by the Prime Minister.Chief Executive Officer: The CEO will be appointed by the Prime Minister for a fixed tenure. He will be in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.Key Initiatives and Recent Achievements:Aspirational Districts Scheme.3 Documents: 3-year action agenda, 7-year medium-term strategy paper and 15-year vision document.Monitoring and Analysing Food and Agricultural Policies (MAFAP) programme in IndiaPromoted Zero Budget Natural Farming.Promoting ‘Bhartiya Prakritik Krishi Paddhati’ programme under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY).Village Storage Scheme


India, Iran discuss development of Chabahar Port

In News

  • Recently, delegation-level talks between Iran and India were held where both sides agreed on continued cooperation for the development of the Shahid Beheshti terminal of the Chabahar port.  

Major highlights of the meeting

  • Bilateral relations: 
    • India and Iran discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations including political, economic, cultural, and consular engagement.
    • Both countries exchanged views on regional and international issues including Afghanistan.
  • Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was also discussed in the meeting:
    • It is also known as the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement.
    • Iran agreed on a long-term deal on its nuclear programme with a group of world powers known as the P5+1 (the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany).
    • Under it, Iran agreed to significantly cut its stores of key components for nuclear weapons like centrifuges, enriched uranium and heavy-water.  
About Chabahar Port C:\Users\visha\Desktop\639979-1564626002.jpgLocation:It is a seaport in Chabahar located in southeastern Iran, on the Gulf of Oman. It serves as Iran’s only oceanic port, and consists of two separate ports named Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti.It is only about 170 kilometres west of the Pakistani port of Gwadar.It is the only Iranian port with direct access to the Indian Ocean.Being close to Afghanistan and the Central Asian countries of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan it has been termed the “Golden Gate” to these landlocked countries. Background:India and Iran first agreed to plans to develop Shahid Beheshti port in 2003, but did not do so on account of sanctions against Iran. India is developing the 1st phase of Shahid Beheshti Port. The capacity of the port will reach 8.5 MT at the end of the first phase.India Ports Global Ltd (IPGL) operates the Shahid Beheshti terminal. International arbitration process: India and Iran are discussing establishing an international arbitration process for any dispute settlement pertaining to the strategic Chabahar port in Iran.Under Iran’s constitution, such arbitration cannot be referred to foreign courts. International arbitration would require an amendment to the constitution. Significance of Chabahar Port for India: The port gives access to the energy-rich Persian Gulf nations’ southern coast & Central Asia and India can bypass Pakistan with the Chabahar port becoming functional.Due to its location in the Gulf of Oman and at the entrance of the Strait of Hormuz and enables Iran to have direct entry to the Indian Ocean. This port will reduce dependency on the Suez Canal and reduce transportation time. It will facilitate India’s role in Afghanistan’s development.Chabahar Port is also quite near the Gwadar Port of Pakistan being developed by China. It will also counter the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).It will help India in strengthening its maritime power in this region.

India-Iran relations 

  • Diplomatic relationship: 
    • It was established in 1950 with the friendship treaty after which the visits on the ministerial level have increased.
  • Commercial ties:
    • India-Iran commercial ties were traditionally dominated by the Indian import of Iranian crude oil. 
    • In 2018-19 India imported USD 12.11 billion worth of crude oil from Iran.
    • India had stopped buying oil from Iran after the US administration imposed tough sanctions on Iran. 
      • Iran is keen on re-starting oil supplies to India and has even offered some concessions on the delivery of crude.
  • Trade:
    • The bilateral trade during 2019-20 was USD 4.77 billion, a decrease of 71.99 per cent as compared to the trade of USD 17.03 billion from 2018-19.
    • Indian exports to Iran between 2011-12 and 2019-20 have grown by 45.60 per cent.
    • India’s major exports to Iran include rice, tea, sugar, soya, medicines/pharmaceuticals, man-made staple fibers, electrical machinery, etc. 
    • Major imports from Iran include inorganic/organic chemicals, fertilizers, cement clinkers, fruits and nuts, leather, etc. 
    • Both countries are negotiating a Preferential Trade Agreement, on which five rounds of talks have been held so far. 
  • People to people contacts:
    • There is a high level commitment in both countries to promote and facilitate people to people contacts. 
    • Indian pilgrims visit the Shi’a pilgrimage circuit in Iran (Qom, Mashhad, Hamedan) and Iraq (Najaf and Karbala) every year. 

Way Forward

  • India and Iran need to rebuild their ties affected adversely by recent global events.
  • India must try to remain politically engaged with Iran for a better appreciation of each other’s sensitivities and compulsions and mutual interests.
  • It is extremely important for India to take the lead in creating an institutional structure with Iran and Afghanistan and pursue the Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India (TAPI) gas pipeline project to ensure energy security.   
India’s Overseas Port InvestmentsHaifa Port:In 2022, a partnership between Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) and the Gadot Group in Israel won the lease to privatise Israel’s second-largest port.Colombo Port’s West International Container Terminal:Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd signed an agreement to construct and operate the West Container Terminal (WCT) of the Port of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Sittwe Port: India constructed the deepwater Sittwe Port in Myanmar in 2016.The port was constructed as part of the Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project. This project will link Myanmar’s Sittwe Port to the Myanmar-India border.Chattogram and Mongla Ports: In 2018, India and Bangladesh reached a bilateral agreement for the utilisation of the ports of Mongla and Chittagong in Bangladesh to promote transshipment.

Unemployment Rate in India

In News

  • Recently the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) was released by the National Statistical Office (NSO).

More about the news

  • The unemployment rate:
    • The unemployment rate in urban areas for persons aged above 15 eased to 7.2% in July­-September 2022 from 9.8% a year ago and 7.6% in the previous quarter.
    • The unemployment rate was 6.6% for men and 9.4% for women. It was 9.3% and 11.6%, respectively, in July-­September 2021. 
  • The labour force participation rate (LFPR):
    • LFPR in urban areas for persons aged 15 and above, increased to 47.9% in July­-September 2022, from 46.9% in the corresponding period in 2021.
      • It was 47.5% in April­-June 2022.
    • Women:
      • The Centre for Economic Data and Analysis (CEDA) said in a release that over the past two decades, the LFPR of women has been steadily declining, despite an increase in their educational attainment.
  • The worker-population ratio (WPR):
    • The worker-population ratio (WPR) also witnessed a marginal increase compared with last year’s. 
Basics The Labour force participation rate (LFPR):Definition:The LFPR essentially is the percentage of the working-age (15 years or older) population that is asking for a job; it represents the “demand” for jobs in an economy. It includes those who are employed and those who are unemployed.Significance of LFPR in India:Comparing with the global LFPR:Typically, it is expected that the LFPR will remain largely stable.The world over, LFPR is around 60%. In India, it has been sliding over the last 10 years and has shrunk from 47% in 2016 to just 40% as of December 2021.Low Contribution of women in LFPR:The main reason for India’s LFPR being low is the abysmally low level of female LFPR.In other words, less than one in 10 working-age women in India are even demanding work. Even if one sources data from the World Bank, India’s female labour force participation rate is around 25% when the global average is 47%.The Employment Rate (ER):Definition:The ER refers to the total number of employed people as a percentage of the working-age population.ER to capture the fall in EFPR:When LFPR is falling as steadily and as sharply as it has done in India’s case, it is better to track the Employment Rate (ER).By using the working-age population as the base and looking at the number of people with jobs (instead of those without them), the ER captures the fall in LFPR to better represent the stress in the labour market.The worker-population ratio (WPR): Definition:The WPR is defined as the percentage of employed persons in the population.

Reasons of unemployment in India

  • Failure of farm sector & labour market:
    • One of the key reasons behind rising unemployment last month was the failure of the farm sector to absorb the influx of additional labour.
    • Besides the farm sector letting go of workers, the deterioration in labour market conditions across urban and rural regions also led to higher unemployment.
  • Job opportunity & qualification mismatch:
    • India presents a paradox of skill shortages while being labour surplus.
      • Trucks are idle because of the shortage of drivers. The steel industry needs more metallurgists. 
      • The healthcare sector is short of nurses and technicians. 
      • The construction sector needs civil engineers, hi-tech welders, bricklayers, and so on. 
  • Sector-specific mismatch:
    • India’s economic growth has been largely services led, with a small pool of skills at the upper end, given a glaring failure in mass education, while capital intensity has increased in manufacturing overall in spite of our labour abundance. 
  • Low participation of women:
    • One reason is essentially about the working conditions — such as law and order, efficient public transportation, violence against women, societal norms etc — being far from conducive for women to seek work.
    • A lot of women in India are exclusively involved within their own homes (caring for their family) of their own volition. 
    • Lastly, it is also a question of adequate job opportunities for women.

Employment Generation Programmes of the Government

  • Atma Nirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY):
    • It was launched in 2020 as part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat package 3.0 to incentivize employers for creation of new employment along with social security benefits and restoration of loss of employment during Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY):
    • It was launched in 2016 to incentivise employers for creation of new employment. 
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)
    • MGNREGA is to provide at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. 
  • Aajeevika – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM):
    • It was launched by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) in 2011. 
    • Aided in part through investment support by the World Bank, the Mission aims at creating efficient and effective institutional platforms for the rural poor, enabling them to increase household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial services. 
  • Pt. DeenDayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushlya Yojana (DDU-GKY):
    • DDU-GKY is a part of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), tasked with the dual objectives of adding diversity to the incomes of rural poor families and cater to the career aspirations of rural youth.
  • PM- SVANidhi Scheme:
    • Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) Scheme aims to provide collateral free working capital loan to Street Vendors, vending in urban areas, to resume their businesses which were adversely affected due to COVID-1 induced lock-down. 
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY):
    • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) implemented by National Skill Development Corporation.

Way Ahead

  • Employment and unemployment in India have always been at the centre of discussion for the government and intellectuals alike. 
  • Employment in itself comes with some of its own issues, like lack of decent working conditions, exploitation of employees, absence of decent remuneration etc.
  • The quality of education should be the cornerstone for the government and people alike.
  • It is time we take the Skill development initiative undertaken by the government to be implemented effectively.

Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom Day

In News

  • November 24 is commemorated as the Shaheedi Divas of Guru Tegh Bahadur.

More about the Guru Tegh Bahadur

  • About:
    • He was the ninth guru of the Sikhs, who stood up against forcible conversions by the Mughals, and was executed on the orders of Aurangzeb in 1675.
  • Birth:
    • Tegh Bahadur was born in Amritsar on April 21, 1621, to Mata Nanki and Guru Hargobind.
      • Guru Hargobind was the sixth Sikh guru, who raised an army against the Mughals and introduced the concept of warrior saints.
  • Early years:
    • As a boy, Tegh Bahadur was called Tyag Mal because of his ascetic nature
    • He spent his early childhood in Amritsar under the tutelage of Bhai Gurdas, who taught him Gurmukhi, Hindi, Sanskrit, and Indian religious philosophy, while Baba Budha trained him in swordsmanship, archery, and horse-riding.
    • He was married to Mata Gujri at Kartarpur in 1632, and subsequently left for Bakala near Amritsar.
  • Tyag Mal to Tegh Bahadur:
    • He was only 13 when he distinguished himself in a battle against a Mughal chieftain. 
    • His bravery and swordsmanship in the battle earned him the name of Tegh Bahadur.
  • Sermons & philosophy:
    • His sermons, delivered in a mix of Sadukhri and Braj languages, were widely understood from Sindh to Bengal
    • The metaphors he used resonated with people across North India. 
    • Guru Tegh Bahadur often alluded to Panchali (Draupadi) and Ganika in his preachings.
  • Face-off with Aurangzeb & death:
    • Aurangzeb was the ruling Mughal emperor at the time.
      • There were conversions, either through a government order or through coercion. 
      • It is believed that when people were charged with some crime or misdemeanour, they would be pardoned if they converted.
    • Protection of valley:
      • Guru was approached by Kirpa Das, a Kashmiri Brahmin who sought his protection with a group from the Valley. 
      • Das told Guru Tegh Bahadur that local chieftains had told him to convert or face retribution. 
      • The guru assured Das and his group of his protection and told them to tell the Mughals that they should first try to convert the guru.
    • Aurangzeb considered this an open challenge to his authority. 
      • Aurangzeb ordered the public execution of the Guru on November 11, 1675 after the guru declined to embrace Islam.
      • He was tortured to death and beheaded at Chandni Chowk along with his three companions.
  • Legacy:
    • At the site of Guru Tegh Bahadur’s execution stands Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk.

India and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

In News

  • Recently, India and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have decided to pursue resumption of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations.
    • Earlier attempts were made in 2006 and 2008 but were not successful. 

What is a Free Trade Agreement (FTA)?

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  • A free trade agreement is a pact between two or more nations to reduce barriers to imports and exports among them.  
  • Under a free trade policy, goods and services can be bought and sold across international borders with little or no government tariffs, quotas, subsidies, or prohibitions to inhibit their exchange
  • The concept of free trade is the opposite of trade protectionism or economic isolationism.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) 

  • The GCC comprises:
    • Saudi Arabia
    • UAE
    • Qatar
    • Kuwait
    • Oman
    • Bahrain
  • GCC is currently India’s largest trading partner bloc with bilateral merchandise trade valued at over 154 billion US dollars in the financial year 2021-22. 
  • Bilateral trade in services between India and the GCC was worth 14 billion US dollars.
  • GCC countries contribute almost 35 per cent of India’s oil imports and 70 percent of gas imports.
    • India’s overall crude oil imports from the GCC in 2021-22 were about $48 billion, while LNG and LPG imports in 2021- 22 stood at about $21 billion.
  • India’s exports to the GCC member countries grew by over 58% to about $44 billion in 2021-22 against nearly $28 billion in 2020-21.     
Pending and successful FTA with India Pending FTA’s – India is trying to negotiate trade deals with the UK, European Union, Canada and Israel.  Successful FTA’sComprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) – India and UAE. Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) – India and Australia.Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Partnership Agreement (CECPA) – India and Mauritius.Asia Pacific Trade Agreement – Bangladesh, China, India, Lao PDR, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka.South Asia Free Trade Agreement – India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and the Maldives.Indo Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement – Sri Lanka and India.India Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement – Singapore and India.Japan India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements – Japan and India.India Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements – South Korea and India.

Significance of the India and GCC FTA  

  • Trade potential: The GCC region holds huge trade potential and a trade agreement would help in further boosting India’s exports to that market.
  • Oil and gas reserves: The GCC’s substantial oil and gas reserves are of utmost importance for India’s energy needs.
  • Good relations: India shares good relations with most of the countries in the Gulf.
  • India can increase its exports: GCC is a major import dependent region. India can increase its exports of food items, clothing and several other goods.
    • Duty concessions under a trade agreement will help in tapping that market.
  • India needs to develop a cohesive approach to develop ties in diverse areas such as renewables, water conservation, food security, digital technology and skills development.

Draft Aircraft Security Rules, 2022

In News

  • The Ministry of Civil Aviation has notified the draft Aircraft Security Rules, 2022.

About Draft Aircraft Security Rules, 2022

  • The rules will supersede Aircraft Security Rules, 2011 and were necessary after Parliament passed Aircraft Amendment Act, 2020 in September 2020, giving statutory powers to BCAS, along with the Director General of Civil Aviation and Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau
  • It will enable the aviation security regulator, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) to impose penalties up to ?1 crore on airports and airlines for violation of security measures.
    • the BCAS will also be able to suspend or cancel an entity’s airport security clearance and security programme.
  • In order to deal with cyber security threats, the rules also require each entity to protect its information and communication technology systems against unauthorized use and prohibit disclosure of sensitive aviation security information. 
  • The draft rules now authorise airports to engage private security agents instead of CISF personnel at “non-core areas” and assign security duties as per the recommendation of the National Civil Aviation Policy, 2016.


  • Once the Aircraft Security Rules 2022 are finalised, they will go a long way in ensuring an effective aviation security apparatus in the country. 


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