Anganwadi Services

In News

  • Recently, the Women and Child Development Ministry informed the Parliament on the contribution of the MGNREGA  scheme to the  building of Anganwadi centres.


  • The Ministry has Informed that 75% of the new anganwadi centres to be constructed in the current year will be built in convergence with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme.
  • It has also informed that the ?12 lakh cost of construction of each anganwadi centre would also be split, with ?8 lakh being provided under MGNREGS. The remaining ?4 lakh will be paid by the Central and State governments in equal amounts.

Anganwadi Centres 

  • The anganwadi centres, operated under the Integrated Child Development Services scheme are the first contact point in the  village  for nutrition, health and early learning.
  • The ICDS is the largest in the world, covering about 88 million children aged 0-6 years in India.
  • Anganwadis are the centre for early childhood care and education (ECCE).they also provide basic health care facilities in Indian villages. It is a part of the Indian public health-care system.

Significance of Anganwadi scheme:

  • Affordable and accessible healthcare: Today in India, about 2 million anganwadi workers are reaching out to a population of 70 million women, children and sick people, helping them become and stay healthy. Anganwadi workers are the most important and soft-ignored essential link of Indian healthcare.
  • Local Connect & Community Mobilisation: Anganwadi workers have the advantage over the physicians living in the same rural area, which gives them insight into the state of health in the locality and assists in identifying the cause of problems and in countering them.
  • Eradicating Malnourishment: One-third of the world’s stunted children live in India.Anganwadis are integral for the success of ICDS programme that caters to the nutrition, health and pre-education needs of children till six years of age as well as the health and nutrition of women and adolescent girls.
  • Ensuring Access to Government Programmes: Anganwadi workers are India’s primary tool against the menace of child malnourishment, infant mortality, and lack of child education, community health problems and in curbing preventable diseases. These community health workers have been point-persons for rural communities to access key health services and benefits.
  • Health Crisis Management: With little training and immense risk, they went to households to spread awareness on COVID-19 as well as carry out tasks like contract tracing.

Issues with Anganwadi centres

  • Lack of Skill Set: Despite being the major source of nutrition advice, anganwadi staff may be lacking in technical skills.Knowledge of critical health behaviours such as complementary feeding and handwashing was poor among mothers listed as anganwadi workers.
  • Lack of Resources: Anganwadi personnel frequently lack the resources or training necessary to deliver ECCE.
  • Demotivating Service Conditions:  The frontline workers in Anganwadi Centres Lack  further career prospects and adequate service conditions The officers and their helpers who staff Anganwadis are typically women from poor families. The workers do not have permanent jobs with comprehensive retirement benefits like other government staff. 
  • Lack of Time: Administrative obligations consume a large amount of time, and fundamental services such as pre-school education suffer as a result.
  • Lack of Infrastructure: Infrastructure is frequently lacking in anganwadis. According to NITI Aayog, only 59% of anganwadis had enough seating for children and employees, and more than half were unsanitary.

Remedial Measures

  • Convergence with MNREGA : the government has taken up Construction of 4 lakh AWC buildings across the country under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in convergence with Anganwadi Services (ICDS Scheme).
  • Mobile Phones: Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) have been provided with Smart Phones for efficient service delivery.
  • Streamlined guidelines were issued covering several aspects such as quality assurance, roles and responsibilities of duty holders, procedure for procurement, integrating AYUSH concepts and Data management 
  • Increased Training:  the Ministry has formulated a comprehensive training strategy for the functionaries of Anganwadi Services. Training is imparted to the functionaries on a regular basis.Anganwadi Workers are provided job training for 26 working days. During this job training, the knowledge, understanding and skills of Anganwadi Workers on various Acts, Policies, Programmes related to women and children, setting up vibrant Anganwadi Centres and  conducting Early Childhood Care and Education activities, .
  • ICT Integration :  a robust ICT enabled platform named Poshantracker has been designed to capture real-time data on implementation and monitoring of Anganwadi Services across the country.
    • The Poshan Tracker management application provides a 360 – degree view of the activities of the Anganwadi Centre (AWC), service deliveries of Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) and complete beneficiary management.

Way Forward

  • As the world’s largest provider of early childhood services, anganwadis perform a crucial role in contributing to life outcomes of children across India.
    • To improve these outcomes, we need to invest more significantly in anganwadis, and roll out proven innovative interventions.
Integrated Child Development ServicesIntegrated Child Development Services (ICDS) is a  major national program that addresses the needs of children under the age of six years.It seeks to provide young children with an integrated package of services such as supplementary nutrition, health care and pre-school education.Because the health and nutrition needs of a child cannot be addressed in isolation from those of his or her mother, the program also extends to adolescent girls, pregnant women and nursing mothers.The scheme primarily runs through the Anganwadi centre. The scheme is under the Ministry of Women and Child Development.Integrated Child Development Services is Centrally-Sponsored and will provide the following six services to the beneficiaries:Supplementary Nutrition (SNP)Health & Nutrition Check-UpImmunizationNon-Formal Education for Children in Pre-SchoolHealth and Nutrition EducationReferral services

Foreign Trade Policy 2023

In News

  • Recently, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles has launched the Foreign Trade Policy 2023.


  • The New policy has replaced the old policy that had been in place since 2015, the new policy kicks in from 2023-24 and aims to almost triple India’sgoods and services exports to $2 trillion by 2030, from an estimated $760 billion in 2022-23.
    • The Old Policy enabled the growth of exports by 75% from  $435 billion in 2015-16  to  $760 billion in 2022-23.
  • India’s global share in merchandise exports and services exports is very low and the government aims to  grow it  to the range of 7% to 10%.
  • Provisions:
    • The new policy will have no sunset date (ending date) and will be tweaked based on the emerging world trade scenario and industry feedback. While the policy will be open-ended, the schemes sanctioned under it will be time bound.
    • There are no major new schemes, barring a one-time amnesty under the existing Advance Authorisation and Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) schemes, that allow imports of capital goods subject to specified export obligations.
    • The Policy had opened up  up a new area of potential exports called  “merchanting trade”
      • Merchanting trade refers to  shipment of goods from one foreign country to another foreign country without touching Indian ports, involving an Indian intermediary.  This will also enable exports of restricted goods
    • Four towns in Uttar Pradesh — Faridabad, Moradabad, Mirzapur and Varanasi — were announced as centres of export excellence for their performance in the apparel, handicrafts, handmade carpets and handlooms, respectively.
    • The policy also plans to launch a special advance authorisation scheme for the clothing and apparel sector so that they can react to market demands and fashion trends faster. 
    • It is also looking to lower qualification thresholds for star ratings which recognise exporters based on export performance.

Challenges :

  • Low credit access: Indian exporters have very low access to trade finance and export credit. This is especially true for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), even though they account for close to half of India’s total exports.
    •  The financial support Indian exporters receive is far less than in other countries.  export credit agencies doled out $7.6 billion in funds in India while the figure for China stood at $39.1 billion.
  • Bureaucracy:  The export process in India is more time-consuming than in many other countries due to a high documentation requirement. Indian exporters must prepare a large set of documents for each stage of the shipping process.
    •  It is also important to plan ahead because certification authorities at Indian ports are not available round the clock or on all days of the week.      
  • Inadequate infrastructure: Infrastructure is India’s weakest link. In data firm Statista’s ranking of 100 countries based on the quality of their infrastructure in 2019, India’s score was 68.1. To put this in perspective, top-ranked Singapore scored 95.4 while bottom-ranked Bolivia was 10-odd points behind India, at 57.1. .

Initiatives for Improving Exports

  • Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Product (RoDTEP): It is a fully automated route for Input Tax Credit (ITC) in the GST (Goods and Service Tax) to help increase exports in India.
    • ITC is provided to set off tax paid on the purchase of raw materials, consumables, goods or services that were used in the manufacturing of goods or services. This helps in avoiding double taxation and the cascading effect of taxes.
  • Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies: The scheme  was offered for embedded state and central duties and taxes that are not refunded through Goods and Services Tax (GST).
    • It was available only for garments.It was introduced by the Ministry of Textiles.
  • Merchandise Exports from India Scheme: MEIS was introduced in the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-20, under MEIS, the government provides duty benefits depending on product and country.
    • Rewards under the scheme are payable as percentage of realised free-on-board value (of 2%, 3% and 5%) and MEIS duty credit scrip can be transferred or used for payment of a number of duties including the basic customs duty.
  • Common Digital Platform for Certificate of Origin has been launched to facilitate trade and increase Free Trade Agreement (FTA) utilisation by exporters..

Extend FAME II Subsidy: Standing Committee

In News

  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee on heavy industry highlighted that Phase 2 of the FAME scheme to subsidize electric vehicles has achieved only 51.96 per cent of its target.


  • The Committee on Estimates (2022-23) for evaluation of electric vehicle policy under the the Union Ministry of Heavy Industries suggested an extension of the FAME II scheme that was to end in 2024.
  • In the recently presented Union Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman doubled the FAME II budget but didn’t extend the timeline.

Major Issues highlighted by the committee

  • India is massively dependent on oil imports and Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles produce air pollution and greenhouse gases.
  • Removal of government support would result in price escalation of EVs significantly.
  • The committee found that a large number of startups are also involved in this field, and they may have to shut down once FAME II is withdrawn.
  • Promoting the use of EVs can have numerous benefits for the environment, public health, economy and technological innovation. India has been working to promote the use of electric vehicles (EV) through various schemes and incentives

Data Facts

  • Around 1.2 million EVs were registered in India in 2022-23 — 2.7 times of that registered in 2021-22, according to VAHAN.
  • As a share of all the vehicle registrations, only 5.6 per cent were EVs in 2022-23.

Reasons for Low EV adoption

  • EV adoption was low because of the higher upfront cost of EVs in comparison to ICE vehicles. This was because of the high cost of lithium-ion batteries, which was 30-40 per cent of the vehicle cost.
  • However, the operational cost of battery-operated vehicles is lower than the conventional vehicles.
  • EV charging stations are sanctioned only for a few cities.

Chinese Lessons on EV Adoption

  • In 2009, the Chinese government, which boasts the largest EV market, began to provide generous subsidies for EV purchases. But the price differential and the number of buyers were both large. So, paying for the subsidies became extremely costly for the government.
  • As a result, China’s policymakers planned to phase out the subsidies at the end of 2020 and instead impose a mandate on car manufacturers. It became compulsory for car manufacturers to ensure a certain percentage of all vehicles sold by them each year is battery-powered. 
  • To avoid financial penalties, every year manufacturers must earn a stipulated number of points, which are awarded for each EV produced. The points are calculated on a complex formula that takes into account range, energy efficiency, performance and more.
  • The battery EV market in China and concluded that a phase-out policy could be the most cost-effective while achieving higher sales promotion compared with alternative policies that provide larger subsidies over more prolonged periods.


  • The GoI must show confidence in the Indian EV market and ‘plug in’ the capital sourcing gaps through an effective subsidy scheme like the soon-concluding FAME II.
  • At this point, it would be worthwhile to look at a leading electrified transport economy like China and draw lessons from their experience.
  • Boost charging infrastructure.

About FAME

  • Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) Scheme was formulated by the Union Ministry of Heavy Industries in 2015 to promote adoption of electric / hybrid vehicles in the country.
  • At present, Phase-II of the scheme (FAME II) is being implemented for a period of five years from April 1, 2019 with a total budgetary support of ?10,000 crore.
  • Focused Areas: They are (i) Demand Creation, (ii) Technology Platform, (iii) Pilot Project and (iv) Charging Infrastructure.
    • Market creation through demand incentives was aimed at incentivizing all vehicle segments i.e. 2-Wheelers, 3-Wheelers Auto, Passenger 4-Wheeler vehicles, Light Commercial Vehicles and Buses.
  • Phase II: Incentives are applicable mainly to vehicles used for public transport or registered for commercial purposes.
    • The benefits of incentives will be extended to vehicles fitted with advanced batteries like Lithium-Ion batteries.

CERT-in may be exempted from RTI

In News

  • The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in) may soon be exempt from responding to queries under the Right to Information Act, the government informed Parliament.


  • The Department of Personnel and Training has reviewed a proposal from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to include CERT-in in the Second Schedule to the RTI Act, which deals with exempted organisations like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Border Security Force (BSF).
    • Schedule-II of the RTI Act contains the names of the Intelligence and Security organizations which are exempt from the purview of the Act.
  • The exemption would allow CERT-in to reject any application for information, even on policy related matters. This is significant in light of the April 2022 directions the body issued to require Virtual Private Network (VPN) providers and cryptocurrency firms to preserve user requests. 


  • It is an office within the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) established in 2004 under the IT Act 2000.
  • It is the nodal agency to
    • Deal with cyber security threats.
    • Strengthen the security-related defence of the Indian Internet domain.
    • Coordinate with public and private organisations in India when cyber incidents like data breaches and ransomware attacks are reported.
    • Issue advisories for software vulnerabilities as guidance for organisations.
  • CERT-IN has overlapping responsibilities with other agencies such as:
    • National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) which is under the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) that comes under the Prime Minister’s Office.
    • The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

International Day of Zero Waste

In News

  • The world marked the first-ever International Day of Zero Waste on March 30, 2023.


  • The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) established the day in response to the worsening impacts of waste on human health, the economy and the environment.
  • The day calls upon all stakeholders — including governments, civil society, businesses, academia, communities, women and youth — to engage in activities that raise awareness of zero-waste initiatives.


  • The waste crisis is undermining the Earth’s ability to sustain life. Waste costs the global economy billions of dollars each year.
  • Waste generation has increased massively around the world in recent decades, and there are no signs of it slowing down. By 2050, worldwide municipal solid waste generation is expected to have increased by roughly 70 per cent to 3.4 billion tonnes. 
  • Promoting zero-waste initiatives can help advance all the goals and targets in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including Sustainable Development Goal 11 on making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable and UN-mandated Sustainable Development Goal 12 on ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns

India’s initiatives in Waste management

  • The Government of India has undertaken multiple large-scale national initiatives such as ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, ‘National Water Mission’ and ‘Waste to Wealth Mission ‘ as a part of its commitment to effective waste & pollution management in India.
  • To promote and support the goals of the Swachh Bharat Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, the Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules 2016, Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, 2016 and the E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016 have been notified.
  • In February 2022, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, inaugurated Asia’s biggest municipal solid waste based GOBARdhan plant in Indore aiming to generate 19,000 kg bio-CNG gas. 
  • Under Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0, the bio-methanation plants linked to the GOBARdhan and SATAT schemes will produce Bio-CNG as a renewable energy.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

In News

  • Recently, Britain has decided to join Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)


  • Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership is an 11-nation Indo-Pacific free-trade bloc.
  • Its members are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
  • Britain will be the first new member since the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was created in 2018, and the first European country in the bloc.
  • The bloc, which is home to 500 million people, will be worth 15% of global GDP once the UK joins.

Importance for UK

  • The UK sees this as a boost for its economic growth and geopolitical relations.
    • The UK expects growth of £1.8 billion ($2.23 billion) each year over the long-term.
    • The UK also believes membership will give it a role in setting regional trade rules over the coming decades. It  could mean the UK and other members preventing China’s future accession to the bloc.
    • Membership will eventually ensure zero-tariff trade across a range of import and export sectors, with greater UK access to Mexico, Canada and Japan for dairy exports, and a boost to Britain’s automotive and alcohol industries, particularly through the export of spirits to Malaysia.


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