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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 25 May 2018

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 25 May 2018


Paper 1:

Topic: Women related issues.


Women Entrepreneurship Platform


Context: NITI Aayog and actor Sushant Singh Rajput have decided to collaborate towards promoting the Women Entrepreneurship Platform launched by the NITI Aayog.


About the Women Entrepreneurship Platform:

Aim: The initiative is aimed at building an ecosystem for women across India to realize their entrepreneurial aspirations, scale-up innovative initiatives and chalk-out sustainable, long-term strategies for their businesses. This will be done through an enabling network of industry collaborations, partnerships, mentors and peer-to-peer connect.

What it does? From providing unique services such as credit evaluation of women-led startups by CRISIL and potential equity investments through an INR 10 crore fund established by DICE Districts, the WEP opens up avenues of growth and opportunity for women entrepreneurs.


As an enabling platform, WEP is built on three pillars- Iccha Shakti, Gyaan Shakti & Karma Shakti where:

  • Iccha Shakti represents motivating aspiring entrepreneurs to start their business.
  • Gyaan Shakti represents providing knowledge and ecosystem support to women entrepreneurs to help them foster entrepreneurship.
  • Karma Shakti represents providing hands-on support to entrepreneurs in setting-up and scaling up businesses.



According to Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, India scored an overall 41.7 points, ranking 49 among 54 economies globally with comparatively low in Women Business Ownership percentages.


Need for economic empowerment of women:

Economically empowered women are major catalysts for development. There is greater recognition of the positive relationship between increased economic activity by women and improved social outcomes. Women often tend to reinvest their income in their children’s education, health and nutrition. This has a positive impact on the potential for economic growth



India presents lower opportunities for women to assume leadership roles, participation in the workforce or engagement in entrepreneurial activities. Lack of education, technological know-how and cultural bias coupled with stringent business and government regulations are some key impediments that happen to undermine women’s ability to rise to positions of leadership and take advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities in India.


What’s important?

  • For Prelims: WEP and its aim, Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs.
  • For Mains: Significance of women entrepreneurs for the overall growth of the country.


Sources: pib.

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.


Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav-2018


Context: To celebrate the idea of unity in diversity, the Ministry of Culture is organising the the Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav in Tehri, Uttarakhand. The paired state for Uttarakhand under the Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat matrix is Karnataka, and while troupes from all over the country will be performing, special emphasis is being given to Karnataka.


About RSM:

Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav was conceived by the Ministry of Culture in the year 2015, when the Ministry decided to organize it with an intent to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Country in all its rich and varied dimensions, viz Handicrafts, Cuisine, Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Documentation and Performing Arts-Folk, Tribal, Classical and Contemporary- all in one place.


Facts for Prelims:

  • The Ministry of Culture is organising the event under the Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat matrix.
  • Tehri Lake Festival where one can explore the water sports, organized by the Uttarakhand Tourism every year, will be subsumed within the Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav.


Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat:

The Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme was launched by the Prime Minister on 31st October, 2016 to promote engagement amongst the people of different states/UTs so as to enhance mutual understanding and bonding between people of diverse cultures, thereby securing stronger unity and integrity of India.


What’s important?

  • For Prelims: Sanskriti Mahotsav, Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.
  • For Mains: Need for cultural integrity.


Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2:

Topic: Issues related to education.


‘SamagraShiksha’ scheme


Context: Union Human Resource Development Ministry has launched Samagra Shiksha scheme for school education.


About the Scheme:

Samagra Shiksha is a program that unifies learning from the pre-school to class 12 levels and encapsulates elements of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Madhyamk Shiksha Abhiyan and teacher education. The scheme will focus on digital education.


The objectives of the scheme include:

  • Provision of quality education.
  • Enhancing learning outcomes of students.
  • Bridging social and gender gaps in school education and promoting vocationalisation of education.
  • Strengthening teacher education institutions like SCERTs and Diets to improve quality of teachers.
  • Annual grant of Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000 per school for strengthening of libraries.


What’s important?

  • For Prelims: Samagra Shiksha scheme.
  • For Mains: Reforms in education- need, challenges and government efforts.


Sources: pib.

Topic: India and its neighbourhood- relations.


CLMV conclave


Context: 5th India – CLMV (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam) Business Conclave was recently held at Phnom Penh, Cambodia. During the conference, government and business community of CLMV countries were invited to actively partner in India’s initiative to strengthen manufacturing capacities.


About CLMV:

  • Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam collectively, is the third largest economy in ASEAN, followed by Indonesia and Thailand.
  • India’s trade with the CLMV countries has grown from USD 1.5 bn to more than USD 10 bn in the last 10 years.


CLMV conclave:

The CLMV conclave is an annual feature which provides an opportunity for Indian business leaders to interact with government and business stakeholders representing the four countries. The conclave facilitates to create and provide a platform for the decision makers from CLMV countries to interact with a range of Indian business companies involved in trading, manufacturing, processing, engineering, consultancy, construction etc.


What’s important?

  • For Prelims: CLMV countries and conclave.
  • For Mains: Significance of CLMV countries and trade with them.


Sources: pib.




Paper 3:

Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.


Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)


Context: Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that operates Common Service Centres (CSCs).


Key facts:

  • Through the MoU, the SIDBI seeks to extend financial support to the Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) of Common Services Centers, with minimum one year of operation, under the Direct Financing Window of SIDBI.
  • Under the Direct Financing Window, CSC SPV will approve the list of VLEs, within 25 km distance of SIDBI Branch Offices, who require financial support. To avail the loan, the VLEs need to submit their CSC project, with maximum project outlay of Rs. 3.50 lakh and term loan requirement not exceeding Rs. 2 lakh per project.
  • Through the MoU, both CSC SPV and SIDBI seek to work together to bring more citizens under the ambit of financial inclusion. Moreover, it also seeks to enhance the financial viability of CSCs by including additional services in their bouquet of products.


What are CSCs?

Common Services Centers (CSCs) are a strategic cornerstone of the Digital India programme. They are the access points for delivery of various electronic services to villages in India, thereby contributing to a digitally and financially inclusive society.


CSCs enable the three vision areas of the Digital India programme:

  • Digital infrastructure as a core utility to every citizen.
  • Governance and services on demand.
  • Digital empowerment of citizens.


Significance of CSCs:

CSCs are more than service delivery points in rural India. They are positioned as change agents, promoting rural entrepreneurship and building rural capacities and livelihoods. They are enablers of community participation and collective action for engendering social change through a bottom-up approach with key focus on the rural citizen.


Key facts:

  • The CSC project, which forms a strategic component of the National eGovernance Plan was approved by the Government in May 2006, as part of its commitment in the National Common Minimum Programme to introduce e-governance on a massive scale.
  • It is also one of the approved projects under the Integrated Mission Mode Projects of the National eGovernance Plan.


About SIDBI:

  • Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) was set up on 2nd April 1990 under an Act of Parliament.
  • It acts as the Principal Financial Institution for Promotion, Financing and Development of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector as well as for co-ordination of functions of institutions engaged in similar activities.


What’s important?

  • For Prelims: CSCs, NEP, SIDBI.
  • For Mains: CSCs and their significance, VLEs and their role in rural economy.


Sources: pib.

Topic: Air pollution.


‘Clean Air India Initiative’ launched


Context: Clean Air India initiative was recently launched by Prime Minister of Netherlands Mark Rutte, who is in India on a two-day visit.


About Clean Air India initiative:

  • The Clean Air India Initiative is a collaborative project between Get In The Ring, a platform for start-ups, the government of the Netherlands, Start-up India, and INDUS Forum, an online matchmaking platform of Indian and Dutch businesses.
  • The campaign aims to curb air pollution in Indian cities by promoting partnerships between Indian start-ups and Dutch companies and build a network of entrepreneurs working on business solutions for cleaner air.


Way ahead:

Governments need to be articulate about the problems they want to solve, bring together the right partners, and channelise entrepreneurs in the right direction to find solutions to global problems.” “Sustainable businesses present an opportunity to do social good, as they represent a for-profit orientation in the right framework. They advance the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] in a smartly profitable way.


Sources: the hindu.


Facts for Prelims:


Nari Shakti Puraskar:

Context: Nari Shakti Puraskar 2017 was recently presented to the INSV Tarini Team. The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, had conferred the Nari Shakti Puraskars on International Women’s Day(08th March 2018) in Rashtrapati Bhavan. As the INSV Tarini team was sailing then, the award could not be presented to the team.

About Nari Shakti Puraskars:

  • To acknowledge Women’s achievements, the Government of India confers Nari Shakti Puraskars on eminent women and institutions in recognition of their service towards the cause of women empowerment. The Nari Shakti Awards were initiated in the year 1999.
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development announces these national level awards for eminent women, organisations and institutions.
  • The Nari Shakti Puraskar carries a cash award of Rs.1 Lakh and a certificate for individuals and institutions.



What is it? It is a joint Military Exercise between India and Nepal that will be conducted at Pithoragarh.

About Surya Kiran:

  • The Surya Kiran series of Exercises are being conducted annually, alternatively in Nepal and India. Notably in the series of military training exercises undertaken by India with various countries, Surya Kiran series with Nepal is the largest in terms of troop’s participation.
  • The aim of this exercise is to conduct battalion level joint training with emphasis on Counter Terrorism in mountainous terrain. Aspects of Disaster Management have also been included in the exercise.
  • The Joint Battalion Level Exercise will enhance defence co-operation and relations between the two nations. It is an ideal platform for the contingent of both nations to share their experience and gain mutually. The Exercise will be yet another step towards taking traditional friendship between the two nations to greater heights.