Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 11th and 12th October 2021

1. Gati Shakti scheme

  1. The first-ever National Infrastructure Masterplanwas launched.
  2. The Gati Shakti scheme was announced on Independence Day this year.
  3. This will bring together 16 Ministries, including seven core infrastructure sectors, on one platform to synergize project planning across stakeholder ministries to avoid duplication, expedite clearances and plug gaps at the right time.
  4. The Gati Shakti platform will provide information instantaneously, allowing for better coordination.
  5. The plan is aimed at achieving three basic goals – seamless multimodal connectivity to facilitate easy movement of goods and people, improved prioritization, optimal usage of resources, timely creation of capacities, and resolution of issues such as disjointed planning, standardization and clearances.
  6. The Gati Shakti Master Plan will provide the framework for the National Infrastructure Pipeline program
  7. It is aimed at making Indian products more competitive by cutting down the logistics costs and improving the supply chains.
  8. . It will help the country’s local manufacturers turn globally competitive.
  9. The new initiative worth over one hundred lakh crore rupees will also bring employment opportunities to the youth.
  10. The plan is to attract investment from all over the world for improving the infrastructure of the country.

2. Lukha River


  1. Most of Meghalaya’s rat-hole coal mines are located near the catchment area of the River
  2. The pilot project to rejuvenate the Lukha by using algae to remove toxic contents from the water has become a success.
  3. The detoxification process is called phytoremediation.
  4. Phytoremediation has improved the pH level of a critical stretch of the river.
  5. The pilot project was undertaken under the District Mineral Fund after reports of low pH levels affecting the aquatic life in the river

About Lukha River

  1. The Lukha river is in the East Jaintia Hills district, Meghalaya
  2. The Lukha, draining the southern part of East Jaintia Hills, is fed by the Lunar river, its main tributary, and numerous streams from the hills of the Narpuh Reserve Forest.
  3. The river flows into Bangladesh.

3. Framework for Implementation of Market-Based Economic Despatch

  1. Ministry of Power has been examining suitable mechanisms to enhance competition in the power sector with the objective of lowering the cost of electricity to consumers.
  2. It is initiated by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission.
  3. In moving towards One Nation, One Grid, One Frequency, One Price” framework is to implement Market-Based Economic Despatch (MBED) in the day-ahead horizon,
  4. MBED will ensure that the cheapest generating resources across the country are despatched to meet the overall system demand.
  5. Ministry of Power recognized the need for a consensual and phased approach in implementing MBED that will help participants, power exchanges, and load despatch centers to adapt gradually to the new regime.
  6. Ministry of Power noticed substantial alignment amongst all key stakeholders on a phased approach and the process to be followed for implementing Phase 1 of MBED starting with the mandatory participation of the Inter-State Generating Stations.
  7. Generation plants of others can also participate in Phase 1 on a voluntary basis.
  8. The implementation of Phase 1 of MBED is planned to start with effect from 1st April 2022.
  9. Before this CERC will align their regulations and a mock drill will be carried out to ensure that the system runs smoothly.

 4. All-India Quarterly Establishment based Employment Survey(AQEES)

  1. QES  will provide frequent (quarterly) updates about the employment and related variables of establishments, in both organized and unorganized segments of nine selected non-farm sectors.
  2. The nine selected sectors are Manufacturing, Construction, Trade, Transport, Education, Health, Accommodation & Restaurant, IT / BPO, and Financial Services, accounting for a majority of the total employment in the non-farm establishments.
  3. The AQEES has been taken up by the Labour Bureau.
  4. There are two components under AQEES, Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) and Area Frame Establishment Survey (AFES).
  5. QES has been initiated to compile relevant data from about 12,000 establishments selected through a sampling design to represent each of the nine sectors within each state/ Union Territory.
  6. Area Frame Establishment Survey (AFES) covers the unorganized segment (with less than 10 workers) through a sample survey.
  7. AQEES will provide a consolidated picture with both the organized and the unorganized segments of the non-farm economy.
  8. The first round of QES had a reference date of April 1, 2021, for the different items of information about an establishment.
  9. The results on the first round of the “Quarterly Employment Survey” April- June 2021is very importantly to give insights into the concepts, definitions, and sampling design adopted for estimation of sectoral employment estimates.
  10. This will serve as useful data for policy-makers, Central/ State Governments officials, researchers, and other stakeholders.

Key Highlights of the first round of Quarterly Employment Survey

  1. Of the total employment estimated in the selected nine sectors, Manufacturing accounts for nearly 41 percent followed by Education with 22 percent.
  2. Trade as well as and IT/BPO each engaged 7 percent of the total estimated number of workers.
  3. The most impressive growth of 152 percent has been recorded in the IT/BPO sector, while growth rates in Health is 77 percent, in Education it is 39 percent, in Manufacturing it is 22 percent, in Transport it is 68 percent and in Construction, it is 42 percent.
  4. Employment in Trade came down by 25 percent and in Accommodation & Restaurant, the decline was by 13 percent. Financial services saw a growth rate in employment of 48 percent.
  5.  Nearly 90 percent of the establishments have been estimated to work with less than 100 workers, the corresponding figure during EC 6 is 95 percent.
  6. The overall participation of female workers stood at 29 percent, slightly lower than 31 percent reported during the 6th EC.
  7. Regular workers constitute 88 percent of the estimated workforce in the nine selected sectors, with only 2 percent being casual workers.
  8. However, 18 percent of workers in the Construction sector are contractual employees and 13 percent are casual workers.
  9. Only 9 percent of the establishments (with at least 10 workers) were not registered with any authority or under any act.
  10. Around 18 percent of the establishments have a provision of on-job skill training programs

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5. Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2020

According to Global MPI 2020, India is 62nd among 107 countries with an MPI score of 0.123 and 27.91% headcount ratio, based on the NFHS 4 (2015/16) data. The latest NFHS 5 (2019/20) is set to see remarkable national improvement brought about by focused schemes and interventions in these parameters since NFHS 4, especially in sanitation, cooking fuel, housing, drinking water, and electricity. The survey has been paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the Index

  1. It was first developed in 2010 by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for UNDP’s Human Development Reports.
  2. The Global MPI is released at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development of the United Nations in July, every year.
  3. Global MPI is computed by scoring each surveyed household on 10 parameters based on -nutrition, child mortality, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing and household assets.
  4. Global MPI is part of the Government of India’s decision to monitor the performance of the country in 29 select Global Indices
  5. NITI Aayog as the nodal agency has been assigned the responsibility of leveraging the monitoring mechanism of the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) to drive reforms.
  6. The objective of the Global Indices to Drive Reforms and Growth (GIRG) exercise is to fulfill the need to measure and monitor India’s performance on various important social and economic parameters.
  7. Global MPI is an international measure of multidimensional poverty covering 107 developing countries
  8. It utilizes the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) which is conducted under the aegis of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS).

6. Right to Healthy Environment

  1. UN Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet hails landmark recognition by the UN Human Rights Council that having a healthy environment is a human right.
  2. In resolution 48/13, the Council called on States around the world to work together, and with other partners, to implement this newly recognized right.
  3. The text, proposed by Costa Rica, the Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia, and Switzerland, was passed with 43 votes in favor and 4 abstentions – from Russia, India, China, and Japan.
  4. At the same time, through a second resolution (48/14), the Council also increased its focus on the human rights impacts of climate change by establishing a Special Rapporteur dedicated specifically to that issue.


  1. Right to a healthy environment serves as a springboard to push for transformative economic, social, and environmental policies that will protect people and nature
  2. It is also said that the triple planetary threats of climate change, pollution, and nature loss as the single greatest human rights challenge of our era.
  3. The new resolution acknowledges the damage inflicted by climate change and environmental destruction on millions of people across the world.
  4. It also underlines that the most vulnerable segments of the population are more acutely impacted.
  5. The decision comes weeks before the crucial UN climate change summit, COP26, happening in early November in Glasgow.
  6. According to World Health Organization (WHO), 24% of all global deaths, roughly 13.7 million deaths a year, are linked to the environment, due to risks such as air pollution and chemical exposure.

7. Rail link from India to Nepal

  1. The rail link between Nepal and India is ready to resume on the neighboring country’s first-ever broad gauge passenger service.
  2. The first stretch is ready: a 34-km line between Bihar’s Jayanagar and Nepal’s Kurtha, with the Hindu pilgrimage city of Janakpur Dham in between.
  3. In 1937, the British had built a narrow gauge line to ferry cargo, mainly logs, from Nepal to India.
  4. Over time it became a popular passenger service before it was stopped in 2014 for conversion to broad gauge.
  5. The construction cost of Rs 784 crore for the entire stretch is being borne by India in the form of a grant to Nepal.
  6. The line is being seen as a small link to a larger plan of deepening India’s ties with Nepal through the Railways, bypassing the influence of other neighboring countries in this strategically vital region.
  7. India-Nepal Joint Working Group signed an agreement for a final location survey for a broad gauge line between Bihar’s Raxaul and Kathmandu.
  8. When done, it will be a hill railway that will direct rail connectivity between Nepal’s capital city and the Indian network, opening multiple avenues for cross-border movement.