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Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

1. Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission.

GS Paper 2:

1. Interim order on Mahadayi tribunal’s award.

2. Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2019.

GS Paper 3:

1. Species included in Appendix I of UN Convention on Migratory Species.

2. National Rail Transportation Institute (NRTI).


GS Paper  : 1


Topics Covered: Population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission

What to study?

For Prelims: Key features.

For Mains: Significance of the scheme.

Context: 4th anniversary of the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission observed. It was Launched from Kurubhat in Rajnandgaon District of Chhattisgarh on 21st February 2016.

About Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission:

Launched in 2016, the programme is designed to deliver catalytic interventions to rural areas on the threshold of growth. It is now a Centrally Sponsored Scheme. Funding: Shared between the Centre and the State in a ratio of 60:40 for Plain area States and 90:10 for Himalayan and NE States. The Mission aims at development of 300 Rurban clusters, in five years. The objective is to give a boost to economic activities, skill development and infrastructure amenities in the regions. Development: Under the mission, the Central government in coordination with the district administration has taken measures to bring about multi-layered phased development of the rural gram panchayats and villages on the lines of urban cities with proper civic amenities keeping the soul of villages intact.


What are Rurban areas? Why develop them?

A ‘Rurban cluster’, would be a cluster of geographically contiguous villages with a population of about 25000 to 50000 in plain and coastal areas and with a population of 5000 to 15000 in desert, hilly or tribal areas. These clusters typically illustrate potential for growth, have economic drivers and derive locational and competitive advantages.

The larger outcomes envisaged under this Mission are:

  1. Bridging the rural-urban divide-viz: economic, technological and those related to facilities and services.
  2. Stimulating local economic development with emphasis on reduction of poverty and unemployment in rural areas.
  3. Spreading development in the region.
  4. Attracting investment in rural areas.

Sources: pib.


GS Paper  : 2


Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Interim order on Mahadayi tribunal’s award

What to study?

For Prelims: About the river and it’s origin, overview of the dispute and tribunal’s order.

For Mains: Implications of this judgment, ways to address inter state river water disputes.

Context: The Supreme Court has passed an interim order allowing an application by the State of Karnataka to notify the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal’s award.

What has the Court said?

The implementation of the award would be subject to the final judgment of the Supreme Court in the civil appeals filed by Karnataka, Goa, and Maharashtra, challenging the allocation of water from the Mahadayi river among them.

What was the tribunal award?

  1. August 2018 tribunal award had allocated 13.42 TMC water from the Mahadayi river basin to Karnataka.
  2. Maharashtra was allotted 1.33 TMC water while Goa was given 24 TMC in the final decision of the tribunal.

The Karnataka government had petitioned the tribunal seeking the release of 7.56 TMC of water for the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project.

What is Kalasa-Banduri Nala project?

Undertaken by the Government of Karnataka to improve drinking water supply to the Districts of Belagavi, Dharwad, and Gadag. It involves building across Kalasa and Banduri, two tributaries of the Mahadayi river to divert 7.56 TMC of water to the Malaprabha river.


About Mahadayi river?

  • It is a west flowing river.
  • Origin: Degaon village, Belgaum district.
  • Called Mandovi in Goa.
  • Travels 35 km in Karnataka; 82 km in Goa before joining the Arabian Sea.

What’s the dispute?

Goa raised objection to Kalasa-Banduri project planned in 1989. Goa filed a complaint seeking setting up of a tribunal in July 2002. Goa moved the Supreme Court in 2006 seeking the constitution of a tribunal. The Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal was set up in November 2010.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Issues related to education.

Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2019

What to study?

For Prelims: Key findings.

For Mains: India’s performance- challenges and ways to address them.

 Context: Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2019 report was published by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

About the index:

Commissioned by the Yidan Prize Foundation. Developed to assess the effectiveness of education systems in preparing students for the demands of work and life in a rapidly changing landscape. Significance: It is the first comprehensive global index to evaluate inputs to education systems rather than outputs such as test scores and concentrates on the 15-24 age band in 35 economies.

How are countries ranked?

Countries are ranked based on their abilities to equip students with skill-based education. The rankings are based on three categories:

  1. Policy environment.
  2. Teaching environment.
  3. Overall socio-economic environment.

India’s performance:

  1. Ranked 35th. Jumped five ranks from the 40th rank.
  2. Scored 53.
  3. India’s growth is attributed to the new national education policy introduced and published in 2019.
  4. The policy mentions future-oriented skills such as critical thinking, communication and entrepreneurship.

Global performance:

  • Finland topped the index followed by Sweden.
  • Among the world’s largest economies, the US, UK, France and Russia fell back in the index while China, India and Indonesia took steps forward.

Challenges ahead:

  1. Inability of the Indian education system to utilise the opportunity of internationalising the higher education system.
  2. A decentralised education system.

Sources: ET.


GS Paper  : 3


Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

Species included in Appendix I of UN Convention on Migratory Species:

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Conservation status of these species, inclusion in the list and it’s significance.

Context: The Great Indian Bustard, Asian Elephant and Bengal Florican have been included in Appendix I of UN Convention on Migratory Species. This was done at the ongoing 13th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) in Gandhinagar (Gujarat).

About Asian Elephant:

Found in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan ans Myanmar. IUCN status: Endangered. It is also listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

About Great Indian Bustard:

It is one of the heaviest flying birds in the world. Its largest populations are found in the Indian state of Rajasthan. State bird of Rajasthan. It is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List. It is also listed in Appendix I of CITES andSchedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

About Bengal Florican:

In India it is found in Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. It has been listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List. The bird is listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of India, 1972 and Appendix I of CITES.

Sources: pib.


Topics Covered: Infrastructure- Railways.

National Rail Transportation Institute (NRTI)

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: NRTI- objectives, functions and significance.

Context: Railway Board of India and the University of Birmingham have announced the launch of a joint masters programme in Railway Systems Engineering and Integration in the academic year 2020-2021 by the National Rail Transportation Institute (NRTI).


  • This initiative will benefit NRTI students by providing them access to world-class expertise and facilities in railway systems at the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE).
  • BCRRE will also gain valuable insights into India’s transport sector and get involved in related research and development issues in India.


The initiative has been taken under the Centre of Excellence for Next-Generation Transportation Systems which was set up by an MoU between the NRTI and the University of Birmingham in 2019.

About National Rail Transport Institute:

It was set up as a deemed to be university and has been operational since 2018 and is India’s first to focus on transport-related education, multidisciplinary research and training.

It is situated in Vadodara, Gujrat.


  1. It is specifically established to create a resource pool of best-in-class professionals for the railway and transportation sector through institutional partnerships for collaborating on developing curriculum, research projects and executive education programs.
  2. It aims to develop interdisciplinary Centres of Excellence, bringing together academicians, scientists and engineers from various backgrounds and plans to leverage its academic and industry partnerships and collaborations.

Sources: pib.