06 Feb 2019: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis


A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
1. Question, but don’t arrest Kolkata police chief: SC to CBI
2. 100% use of VVPAT for Lok Sabha polls: EC
3. Help us get our share in river waters, Gehlot urges Centre
1. Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
2. Russia to develop new missile systems by 2021
C. GS3 Related
1. Bullet Train Project in India
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
1. Unedifying episode (CBI Issue: West Bengal and Central Government)
2. A series of unfortunate missteps (Kerala Flood Relief) 
1. Timely review (Angel Tax)
F. Tidbits
1. ‘Ayushman Bharat world’s largest health scheme’
G. Prelims Facts
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains practice Questions

A. GS1 Related

B. GS2 Related



1. Question, but don’t arrest Kolkata police chief: SC to CBI


  • Hours after the Supreme Court ordered Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to make himself “available” to the CBI for questioning in the chit fund scam cases, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called off her dharna.
  • The court, however, barred the CBI from taking any coercive steps, including arrest, against Mr. Kumar.
  • The court went the extra mile to avoid any “unnecessary controversy” by scheduling the meeting between Mr. Kumar and the CBI at ‘neutral’ Shillong in Meghalaya and not anywhere in West Bengal, least of all in politically charged Kolkata.

Background to the issue – The Saradha Scam

  • In the early 2000s, businessman Sudipto Sen set up the Saradha Group, and launched what the securities market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) later categorised as a collective investment scheme. The Saradha Group used a consortium of companies to tap small investors, promising them very high returns. Like in a classic Ponzi scheme, money was collected through a wide network of agents, who were paid commissions of over 25%.
  • In a few years, Saradha’s raised about Rs 2,500 crore. It built its brand through filmstar endorsements, investments in popular football clubs, ownership of multiple media outlets, and sponsorship of cultural events such as Durga Pujas. The scheme expanded to Odisha, Assam, and Tripura, and the number of investors reached close to 17 lakh.

How Saradha operated?

  • Saradha began by issuing secured debentures and redeemable preferential bonds to the public in violation of SEBI rules that bar companies from raising capital from more than 50 people without issuing a proper prospectus and balance sheet. Companies must also have SEBI permission to operate, and must get their accounts audited.
  • After SEBI raised a flag in 2009, the Group diversified, opening 239 companies, and building a complex corporate structure. Through schemes involving tourism packages, forward travel and hotel booking, timeshare credit transfer, real estate, infrastructure finance, and motorcycle manufacturing, the Saradha Group continued to raise capital from ordinary people. The bulk of the investors put in around Rs 50,000 each.
  • Many others invested through chit funds under the Chit Fund Act, 1982. Chit funds are regulated by the state government.

When the Saradha scam broke?

  • By 2009, politicians in West Bengal had begun to discuss Saradha’s alleged fraudulent ways. In 2012, SEBI, which was already watching the Group, asked it to stop accepting money from investors until it got the regulator’s permission. Alarm bells started to ring in January 2013, when for the first time, the Group’s cash inflow was lower than its outflow — another classic event in a Ponzi scheme.
  • By April 2013, the scheme had collapsed, and investors and agents lodged hundreds of complaints with the Bidhannagar Police. Sudipto Sen fled West Bengal after writing an 18-page letter, in which he accused several politicians of arm-twisting him into making poor investments that led the company to collapse. An FIR was registered, and Sen was arrested along with his associate Debjani Mukherjee in Sonmarg on April 20, 2013.
  • Investigations found the company had laundered investments in locations such as Dubai, South Africa and Singapore. Mamata Banerjee’s government set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case after clubbing all the FIRs. Around the same time, the CBI began investigations in Assam after the state government handed over the probe to it. Based on state police FIRs, the Enforcement Directorate registered cases of alleged money laundering, and arrested several people.
  • In May 2014, the Supreme Court transferred all cases to the CBI, given the inter-state nature of the alleged scam. The SIT, which had by now conducted a year-long probe, had to hand over to the CBI all case papers, evidence, and the accused it had arrested.

What is the issue with Rajeev Kumar?

  • Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar headed the SIT constituted by the Mamata government, which investigated the Saradha case for a year. CBI has claimed that it has been trying to question the members of the SIT, including Kumar, for one and a half years to get information on some missing evidence, but Kumar and his colleagues have been avoiding the agency.
  • CBI sources claim communication, notices, and summons to members of the SIT and the West Bengal Police asking for cooperation in the investigation have been sent on 18 occasions since September 2017, but no one has turned up for questioning. The sources say that the Kolkata Police and SIT officials have given ill health or personal engagements as reasons to stay away, and then asked for a mutually agreeable venue to sit and discuss the case.
  • According to CBI, the SIT had not handed over a diary of Sudipta Sen that has details of payments made to prominent people, apart from other evidence. “Our multiple requests to hand over all documents seized by the SIT have fallen on deaf ears. They have the diary, interrogation reports of several accused — some of them recorded on video — some pen drives, and material recovered from a bank locker owned by Sen. Several of these things were not brought on record by the SIT. We learnt of them during interrogation of the accused,” CBI told.

2. 100% use of VVPAT for Lok Sabha polls: EC


  • The Election Commission informed the Madras High Court that it had made it clear way back in 2017 that there shall be 100% use of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system during the Lok Sabha election this year to gain voter confidence.
  • The submission was made during the hearing of a public interest litigation petition seeking 100% use of the VVPAT during every election.
  • The judges dismissed the petition after recording the submissions of the EC that it had already decided to use VVPAT in all booths in accordance with a 2013 Supreme Court directive.


  • The Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail is a method that provides feedback to voters. It is an independent verification printer machine and is attached to electronic voting machines. It allows voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate.
  • When a voter presses a button in the EVM, a paper slip is printed through the VVPAT. The slip contains the poll symbol and name of the candidate. It allows the voter to verify his/her choice. After being visible to the voter from a glass case in the VVPAT for seven seconds, the ballot slip will be cut and dropped into the drop box in the VVPAT machine and a beep will be heard. VVPAT machines can be accessed by polling officers only.


3. Help us get our share in river waters, Gehlot urges Centre


  • Rajasthan has sought the Centre’s intervention for getting its full share in the Yamuna and Narmada river waters, while pointing out that neighbouring Haryana was not releasing it from the Tajewala Headworks even after 24 years of the inter-State Yamuna water agreement becoming operative.

Analysis of the Inter-State Water Disputes

  • Water is a finite resource and its demand has increased several times in agricultural, industrial and domestic sector than what is available at present as the country is growing and lifestyle is changing such as increased urbanization.
  • The moment water is accumulated at a large scale, it gives rise to dispute where commissions come into play and this goes on. This is also more of a political issue because when these disputes are used as emotive issues, all parties jump in, several vested interest are created which leads to further problems like bandhs and strikes.
  • There is a huge debate on development/growth versus environment as well. Problems are also related with the storage of water such as dams, using it for production of electricity etc which lead to disputes.
  • Water is a state subject but the regulation and development of inter-state rivers and river valleys in the public interest is on the Union list. However, the Centre has generally taken a back seat, allowing states to dominate.
  • The first and foremost requirement here is to go to the people who are actually using this water such as farmers and create a kind of larger body or consensus on how water should be used. India has good examples from the history on how water management was being done in the country
  • Other possible steps can be – Preventing destruction of sources of water (catchment areas of Cauvery have been destroyed due to different reasons) in order to meet the demands of people. Efficient and sustainable use of water resources in cropping patterns, irrigation systems and demand management. Setting up a single, permanent tribunal to hear all such cases to deal with procedural complexities involving multiple stakeholders across governments and agencies
  • A sound and robust institutional framework ensuring transparency to ease state and public buy-in is quite necessary. Without a co-operative approach, India’s water dispute resolution is unlikely to have much improvement.



1. Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

  • The Islamic jihadist group is an unrecognised terror outfit based in Iraq and Syria, that made international headlines and has emerged as one of the most dangerous terror organisation like that of al Qaeda and Taliban.
  • It maintains a stronghold near the borders of Levant (Eastern Mediterranean), Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Cyprus, and Southern Turkey.
  • The main goal of ISIS is to establish a caliphate in the Sunni-dominated areas of Iraq and Syria, which can be ruled by a Caliph.
  • ISIS came into existence in 2004 and since then it has changed its name many times from al Qaeda in Iraq” (AQI) to Hilf al-Mutayibeen to “Islamic State of Iraq (ISI)” to “Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham” to al-Dawla to Dawla al Islamiya, among many others.
  • It has carried out various attacks in the past in Iraq killing thousands of civilians. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is said to be one of the top ISIS leaders.
  • ISIS major source of finance is through smuggling of raw materials of archaeological antiques, oil and an extortion racket and its total worth is believed to be $2bn.
  • ISIS takes immense pleasure in video recording of amputation and crucification videos and then uploading it on social media sites.


2. Russia to develop new missile systems by 2021


  • Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the country must develop new types of missile systems in the next two years after Washington and ripped up a key arms control treaty.
  • The United States has repeatedly accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) agreement and President Donald Trump said Washington was starting a process to withdraw from the treaty in six months.
  • In a tit-for-tat move, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was also leaving the treaty and beginning work on new types of weapons that would breach the crucial Cold War-era agreement.
  • The INF agreement forbids ground-launched, short- and intermediate-range missiles, but not those launched from the air or sea


  • The Trump and Obama administrations have repeatedly alleged that Russia was violating the treaty by fielding a ground-based cruise missile, the Novator 9M729 (“SSC-8” in NATO terminology) that could strike Europe at a short notice, an allegation that Russia has repeatedly denied. The Russians have raised counter-allegations against the U.S., with regard to launchers for antiballistic missile systems in Europe.
  • The U.S. has also been concerned that China has been gaining a strategic advantage over it as it is not party to the treaty and bound by its terms. Withdrawal from the treaty will increase the weapons options for the U.S. in the Pacific, where China has increased its influence.

Intermediate- Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty

  • The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty required the United States and the Soviet Union to eliminate and permanently forswear all of their nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.
  • The treaty marked the first time the superpowers had agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals, eliminate an entire category of nuclear weapons, and utilize extensive on-site inspections for verification. As a result of the INF Treaty, the United States and the Soviet Union destroyed a total of 2,692 short-, medium-, and intermediate-range missiles by the treaty’s implementation deadline of June 1, 1991.
  • Despite its name, the INF Treaty covers all types of ground-launched cruise and ballistic missiles — whether their payload is conventional or nuclear. Moscow and Washington are prohibited from deploying these missiles anywhere in the world, not just in Europe. However, the treaty applies only to ground-launched systems. Both sides are free to deploy air- and sea-launched missiles within the 500-to-5,500-kilometer range.
  • The treaty, signed during the Cold War in 1987, bans ground-launched missiles with a range of 500 km-5,500 km. It was key to ending the arms race between the (then) two superpowers and helped protect the U.S.’s NATO allies in Europe from Soviet missile attacks. The U.S. will formally give Russia and the other treaty parties a formal notice that it is withdrawing under Article XV of the Treaty, Mr. Pompeo said. Article XV mandates a six-month notice period before withdrawal.

C. GS3 Related



1. Bullet Train Project in India


  • Owing to the growing economy and dependence on railways for transportation, India has planned to increase the speed of its trains.
  • It has planned a multi-point strategy for running of high speed trains (with a speed >300 kmph), semi speed trains (with a speed >160 kmph to 200 kmph), introduction of fast & faster train sets and increasing the speed of existing trains.

Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train

  • The Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed corridor will have a high speed train, with financial assistance from the Japanese Government.
  • The Shinkansen high speed technology will be used in this train. “National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited”, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) has been formed for the implementation of this project.
  • Indian railways will hold 50% of the equity in the SPV. The project cost is estimated at 1.10 Lakh Crore.
  • Financial assistance has been provided by the Japanese government in the form of a loan upto 81% of the project cost to be repaid in 50 years with a 15 year moratorium at a nominal interest rate of 0.1%.
  • The foundation stone for India’s first high speed rail project was laid by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Sabarmati Station Ground, located in Ahmedabad.
  • The Mumbai to Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) project will cover a distance of 508 kms and is expected to be completed by 2022.
  • The project fulfills the twin complimentary objectives of “Make in India” and employment generation. It is expected to give a stimulus to manufacture of advanced components and create about 15 lakh jobs in India.

Shinkansen Technology

  • Shinkansen means “new trunk lines” in literal terms, which refers to the high speed rail network in Japan.
  • The train attains a high speed without having to compromise on comfort and safety, through the use of this technology.
  • Unlike conventional rail lines, Shinkansen routes are strictly off-limits to any other kind of traffic.
  • This network makes use of viaducts and tunnels to go through the obstacles, rather than going around them, thereby saving time spent on covering the distance.
  • Due to the lighter vehicles used, chances of damage to the tracks is minimal. These trains offer fast acceleration & deceleration.

D. GS 4 Related

 Nothing here today!!!

E. Editorials



1. Unedifying episode (CBI Issue: West Bengal and Central Government)

Editorial Analysis:

  • Experts have remarked that in its ostensibly even-handed intervention in the stand-off between the Central and West Bengal governments over the manner of investigation of the Saradha Chit Fund case, the Supreme Court has de-escalated political tensions, at least for now.
  • As a matter of fact, experts have claimed that the decision allowed both sides in the face-off to claim “moral victory” — even if it was West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who was forced to climb down from the aggressive posture she took in denying the Central Bureau of Investigation room to question Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar.
  • However, while ordering him to cooperate with the CBI in “neutral” Shillong, the Court restrained the CBI from taking any coercive action against Mr. Kumar.
  • It is important to note that the Police Commissioner and his Special Investigation Team investigating the chit fund case had been served a number of notices to appear before the CBI before it sent a team to his house in Kolkata.
  • Some experts opine that while Ms. Banerjee may have reason to believe that the timing of the CBI’s operation was politically motivated, her government’s response — manhandling and detaining the CBI officials — was shocking and inexcusable.
  • As a matter of fact, in the polarised political atmosphere, her belligerence expectedly secured the backing of a large number of opposition parties, and even had the Congress rally around her during an impromptu sit-in protest.
  • However, it has been pointed out that in attempting to obstruct the CBI action in a court-ordered investigation, Ms. Banerjee once again demonstrated that she is prone to taking arguments over administrative procedures to the streets.
  • A decade ago, she polished her credentials as the Opposition leader who would dethrone the Left Front combine in West Bengal with her agitation over the Singur land acquisition.
  • However, some experts have opined that her current attempt to bring the State, where she heads the government, to a grinding halt, speaks poorly of her political maturity.

Concluding Remarks:

  • In conclusion, experts opine that Ms. Banerjee is free to read political motives into the actions of a Central agency — but she must conduct that fight politically and by heeding her responsibilities as a Chief Minister.
  • To hold a dharna in aid of an officer who is required for questioning does her no credit.
  • Further, there are bound to be questions whether this matter should have been escalated to such an unpleasant level.
  • The CBI says there was no proper response to the earlier summonses it sent to the Police Commissioner, and alleges that he could have destroyed evidence that was initially gathered by the Special Investigation Team that he had supervised in the initial stage of the probe.
  • However, it is doubtful whether descending on a senior officer’s residence on a Sunday evening with a large team of officers was the right course of action for the CBI, as it was liable to be interpreted as a high-handed attempt to browbeat and embarrass the State government.
  • In conclusion, the only way the CBI can escape this impression is by showing that it was justified in demanding the questioning of Mr. Kumar and establishing proof of its suspicions about his role in covering up the scam.

2. A series of unfortunate missteps (Kerala Flood Relief)

Editorial Analysis:

  • The differences between the Kerala and Central governments over the denial of external assistance to rebuild the State after the devastating floods of August 2018 surfaced again in the month of January, 2019, in the Kerala Governor’s policy speech in the Assembly as well as the statements of a Kerala Minister at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Varanasi.
  • As a matter of fact, Governor Justice P. Sathasivam had said that the Kerala government had requested the Centre to enhance its borrowing limit to mobilise additional resources for rebuilding the flood-hit State.
  • “We are still awaiting a favourable response from the Central government in this regard,” he added. Minister K.T. Jaleel, who represented Kerala at the conclave, complained that he was not allowed to raise the issue there. The bitterness over the flood money still persists.

The Case of Seeking Foreign Assistance:

  • It is important to note that competitive federalism, in the context of interaction with foreign countries, promoted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has proved to be a double-edged sword.
  • Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan now stands accused of violating rules regarding the seeking of foreign assistance. He remains unclear on how to make up for the shortfall, of several crores.
  • The Central government is unable to provide the funds while Kerala has been stopped in its tracks from seeking resources from abroad, either from the Kerala diaspora or from friendly foreign governments.
  • In the end, the present situation is a result of a series of errors of judgment and misunderstandings on both sides. Mutual political suspicion and a lack of appreciation of the complexities of the international situation have brought about a confrontation. Some experts also point out that the Chief Minister may have even made diplomatic and tactical misjudgments.

Diplomatic trajectory:

  • Some experts have pointed out that India had no qualms about receiving foreign assistance for disaster management till 2004.
  • However, when India’s aspiration for permanent membership of the UN Security Council met with strong resistance, India hit upon the idea of forcing a vote in the General Assembly.
  • The game plan was to secure a two-thirds majority and then attempt to embarrass the permanent members into supporting the expansion of the Security Council.
  • The two false presumptions were that India would win the required number of votes and that the Security Council would wilt under pressure from the General Assembly. In fact, many Assembly members were opposed to the veto even for the existing permanent members and had no interest in creating more permanent members with veto. India thought that it could win over the other countries if it was seen to be helping them in emergencies rather than seeking such assistance for itself.
  • As a matter of fact, the tsunami of 2004 and the threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean provided India an opportunity to test its new posture. Although everybody was grateful, it made no difference to India’s claim to permanent membership. There were other factors too which militated against India’s claim. The Modi government decided, however, to lay down the rules regarding foreign assistance in order to bring some clarity to the situation.

What did the Rules say?

  • The rules, which were framed in 2016, clarified that India would not solicit any assistance but would receive relief assistance, even as cash, from individuals, charitable institutions and foundations.
  • If cash were to be offered bilaterally by foreign governments, the matter would be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The UAE’s offer:

  • The saga of the offer by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) began well when the Prime Minister was informed by the UAE authorities that relief assistance was being put together as a special gesture, which the Prime Minister reciprocated with a warm reply of gratitude.
  • But the Kerala Chief Minister’s announcement that the UAE would provide ₹700 crore, made on the same day as the Central government’s announcement of a provision of ₹500 crore, opened a Pandora’s box.
  • It appeared as though the UAE was more generous than the Central Government was to Kerala and that the Central government was not empathetic to Kerala’s plight because of political considerations.
  • Moreover, the source of the information was supposed to have been an Indian businessman in the UAE. An embarrassed UAE government then asked its Ambassador to India to deny that there was any specific offer of ₹700 crore.
  • An immediate consequence was a reluctance by other governments to make any offer of bilateral assistance. No one could answer the question whether any offer from other governments would be accepted.
  • As a matter of fact, there was another instance as well when the Thai Ambassador to India was stopped from being at a ceremony to hand over relief goods to an Indian official. The issue was politicised as one between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the ruling CPI(M) in Kerala.

An unwise Proposal made by the Kerala State Government:

  • It was against this backdrop that Kerala put forward an unwise proposal to despatch its Ministers abroad to collect donations.
  • This was unacceptable in the context of the policy that had crystallised after the floods in Kerala and the Central Government having refused permission for Ministers other than the Chief Minister to travel to countries.
  • Apart from the ignominy of soliciting donations, there was a clear likelihood of receiving very little by way of cash donations.
  • The possibility of loans from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank became distant as the Centre refused to raise the limits on loans from these global organisations that a State government could take.
  • The emergence of the Sabarimala crisis further eroded the credibility of the State Government and much of the empathy over the flood damage was also lost.

Concluding Remarks:

  • It is important to note that the Prime Minister had always maintained that marshalling of resources is the responsibility of the Union government according to the Constitution.
  • Now the only option before Kerala is to demand more funding from the Centre to make up the shortfall.
  • Undoubtedly, the situation is a tragedy of errors caused by an inadequate familiarity with decision making and the complexity of international relations.
  • In conclusion, it is important to note that India is a federal state, but unitary in nature when it comes to national security and foreign policy.
  • Individual States may have some advantages in dealing with some countries in their neighbourhood, but they will do well not to transgress the thin line when it comes to managing international relations.
  • Now it will take longer for trust to be established to have competitive federalism work again.



1. Timely review (Angel Tax)

Note to Students:

We at BYJU’S have covered a detailed session on Angel Tax.
The video link is as below:

Larger Background:

What is Angel Tax?

  • Angel tax is a term used to refer to the income tax payable on capital raised by unlisted companies via issue of shares where the share price is seen in excess of the fair market value of the shares sold.
  • The excess realisation is treated as income and taxed accordingly. The tax was introduced in the 2012 Union Budget by then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee to arrest laundering of funds. It has come to be called angel tax since it largely impacts angel investments in startups.

Editorial Analysis:

  • Start-ups troubled by the so-called angel tax may soon receive some concession from the government.
  • On 4th February, 2019, the Centre set up a five-member working committee to look into revising the norms of the angel tax imposed on start-ups.

Why is it in the news?

  • The tax, which was first introduced in 2012 to curb money-laundering through the sale of shares of private unlisted companies at bloated prices, has caused a lot of anguish among start-up investors in the country.
  • Start-up owners have complained that income tax officials have asked many start-ups to cough up money when they try to attract capital into their entities by issuing new shares.
  • For its part, the IT department fears that start-ups may be used as convenient tools to launder illegally acquired money, so a tax on investments beyond a certain threshold is necessary to deter such shady operations.
  • It is important to note that while the intent of such an angel tax may be justifiable, the arbitrary nature of it means the cost of unintended consequences could be larger than the supposed benefits.
  • In trying to curb money-laundering, Section 56(2)(viib) of the Indian Income Tax Act, 1961 gives income tax officials a free hand to harass even genuine start-ups looking to raise investments for their growth.
  • Under the Act, the IT department is free to arbitrarily decide the fair value of a company’s share and tax start-ups if the price at which their new shares are sold to investors is higher than the fair value of these shares.
  • The broad-brush tax on all investments means an unnecessary cost is imposed on the wider start-up community simply because of the lack of better means at the government’s disposal to tackle black money.

Concluding Remarks:

  • The committee set up by the government will, among other things, consider raising the threshold beyond which new investments into start-ups will be taxed.
  • It is expected that start-ups with aggregate paid-up share capital and share premium of less than Rs. 25 crore, against the previous threshold of only Rs. 10 crore, will not be taxed while attracting new investment.
  • Experts have opined that although this would definitely make life easier to a certain extent for angel investors and start-ups, it will not address the real problem with the angel tax, which has to do with the unbridled power that it vests in the hands of the income tax authorities.
  • Investors, foreign or domestic, may become wary of investing in new ideas when they are taxed while risking money on untested ventures.
  • As a way forward, experts suggest that the government should look to withdraw the angel tax and focus instead on building the capability to better identify and rein in illegal wealth. Otherwise it risks killing the nascent start-up ecosystem in the country.

F. Tidbits


1. ‘Ayushman Bharat world’s largest health scheme’

  • “Ayushman Bharat has stabilised as the largest health scheme in the world, benefiting over 10 lakh patients since its launch, and created an atmosphere of positivity,” said Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare J. P. Nadda at the inauguration of the newly-constituted National Health Authority (NHA).
  • The minister, who also launched the Ayushman Bharat (PM-JAY) mobile app through a live demo, said that the States which had not opted for Ayushman Bharat were denying the poor the opportunity to benefit from the scheme.
  • The app has been introduced within just four months since the launch of the scheme and is aimed at helping users get easy access to information on the scheme, check eligibility, find hospitals nearby and get assisted help. The app which was under testing for the last few days, has already achieved more than 10,460 downloads and an average rating of 4.6. It is available on Google Play Store for Android users.
  • “The app is a great way to connect and get all important information on the Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY,” said the Minister.

G. Prelims Facts

   Nothing here today!!!

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Question 1.Google TEZ is associated with:
  1. Digital Payments
  2. Rural internet connectivity
  3. 3D Mapping
  4. Self-driving car project


Question 2. India Wage Report is published by: 
  1. International labour Organisation
  2. Reserve Bank of India
  3. Finance Ministry
  4. Prime Ministers Office


Question 3. Consider the following statements about International Nitrogen Initiative:
  1. It is an intergovernmental body under the aegis of the UN.
  2. The initiative aims to optimise nitrogen’s beneficial role in sustainable food production.

Which of the above statement(s) is/are correct?

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above



I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Without a sound and robust institutional framework and a co-operative approach, India’s water dispute resolution is unlikely to have much improvement. Discuss (12.5 Marks; 200 words)
  2. Many attempts including the US war on Afghanistan has failed to bring any fruit. Discuss the reasons for the failure of several world powers in exerting their control over Afghanistan. (12.5 Marks; 200 words)

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