Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - August 16, 2018

Science and Tech

Gaganyaan, the human space flight programme


  • Gaganyaan, the human space flight programme green-flagged and set for 2022

Enlighten about the programme

  • V.R. Lalithambika, a specialist in advanced launcher technologies, will helm the project as Director of the Human Space Flight Project.
  • The mission is estimated at ₹9,000 crore. Most of the critical technologies and hardware required for the project are ready or have been demonstrated by its centres.
  • ISRO would now stitch them up into a complete project and present a comprehensive project report to get a formal approval of the government
  • When it achieves the mission, India would be the fourth nation to circle Earth after the Soviets, the Americans and the Chinese.
  • In 1984, India’s first astronaut Wing Commander (retd.) Rakesh Sharma orbited Earth as part of a Soviet mission.

Government Scheme

Ayushman Bharat The National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) going to be Lunched from 25 September


  • The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan, also known as Ayushman Bharat or the National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM), will be launched on September 25.
  • The government-sponsored health insurance scheme will provide free treatment for up to ₹5 lakh a family a year in any government or empanelled private hospitals all over India.
  • To help the poor and the economically deprived, the scheme will be available for 10.74 crore beneficiary families and about 50 crore Indian citizens.
  • Ayushman Bharat was an attempt to ensure that universal healthcare reached the weaker sections of society and it could raise the ratio of people availing primary and secondary healthcare.
  • The healthcare sector has noted that the government should look at mandatory universal health cover for all sections of society, which will increase the pool and allow cross-subsidy between the government and the private sector.

Urban Development

NDMC Smart City projects inaugurated

Smart City projects undertaken by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC)

  • The NDMC has set an example before other aspiring Smart Cities in the country to follow.
  • New Delhi was among the 20 cities included in January, 2016 in the First Phase of the Smart City Mission announced by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

Swachh Survekshan 2019 To focus on sustainability and public participation


  • Swachh Survekshan 2019 will focus on sustainability and encourage large scale citizen participation and ensure progress towards garbage free and open defecation free cities, the Ease of Living Index will encourage cities to move towards an ‘outcome-based’ approach to Urban planning & Management.
  • Fourth edition of the annual cleanliness survey of urban India – Swachh Survekshan 2019 launched
  • The event also saw the launch of the SBM ODF+ and SBM ODF++ Protocols, web-based citizen engagement platform Swachh Manch, the Ease of Living Index and Ease of Living Index dashboard.

Swachh Survekshan 2019

  • Swachh Survekshan 2019 will be conducted across all cities and towns across the country between 4th – 31st January 2019.

The key highlights of Swachh Survekshan 2019 are as follows:

1. Fully digitized survey through online MIS
2. The survey indicators/questionnaire will carry a total of 5000 marks as compared to 4000 marks in Swachh Survekshan 2018.
3. Data will be collected from 4 broad sources – ‘Service Level Progress’, Direct Observation, Citizens Feedback and Certification – as shown below.

4. Revised weightage for the components under ‘Service Level Progress’, adding a new component ‘By-Laws’ (refer diagram below).

5. Certification (Star Rating of Garbage Free Cities and Open Defecation Free Protocols)

Ministry of Defence

DAC Approves Procurement of Six NGOPVs


  • The Defence Acquisition approval for the procurement of six indigenously designed and manufactured Next Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (NGOPVs) for the Indian Navy at an approximate cost of Rs. 4941 crore.

Enlighten about NGOPVs

  • The NGOPVs will be built in indigenous shipyards and will be fitted with state-of-the-art sensor suite with increased endurance.
  • These platforms will strengthen maritime security by undertaking a multitude of operational roles both in blue water and littorals.
  • These include seaward defence, protection of offshore assets, maritime interdiction operations and search & seizure operations, surveillance missions, mine warfare, anti-piracy missions, counter infiltration operations, anti-poaching/trafficking operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and search and rescue missions.

Ministry of Railways

Report on Station Cleanliness The Third Party Survey has Been Conducted by Quality Council of India


  • Release of report on Station Cleanliness conducted by Quality Council of India (QCI).

Enlighten about the audit

  • This is the third such audit cum survey which has been conducted by Railways to increase level of cleanliness by identifying unclean spots/gaps and to improve cleanliness standards and also to propel healthy competition among railway stations.
  • This year the cleanliness rankings conducted by Quality Council of India shows that in A-1 category stations, two important tourist stations i.e. Jodhpur (1st place) and Jaipur (2nd place) of North Western Railway in Rajasthan have made their mark.
  • Tirupati, which is another important religious station, in South Central Railway, has been placed at third position in the ranking.
  • In A category stations, Marwar has been placed at first position, Phulera station has been placed at second position.
  • The third report of Third Party Audit-cum-Survey of ranking of cleanliness covers 407 stations which includes 75 station in A1 and 332 station in A category stations.

State Specific

Odisha CM launches health scheme for 70 lakh families BSKY to cover over 70% of State’s population


  • Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana, a health for all scheme, on the the occasion of the 72nd Independence Day

Enlighten about the scheme

  • The scheme provides health assurance coverage to 70 lakh families, covering more than 70% of the State’s population.
  • The Odisha government had rejected the National Health Protection Scheme as it covered much lesser number of people in Odisha by adopting the 2011 census.
  • The State government went ahead with its own scheme with a coverage of up to ₹5 lakh per year per family.
  • The amount is ₹7 lakh per family with women members.

Fact check

  • After successfully hosting the Asian Athletics Championships last year, Odisha is all set to host the World Cup Hockey in November this year, he added.

Punjab government launches ‘Tu Mera Buddy’ programme to take the message to the grassroots


  • Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday launched the ‘TuMera Buddy’ programme to tackle the problem of drugs in the State.
  • The programme would take the campaign against drugs to the grassroots through schools and colleges.
  • The ‘Tu Mera Buddy’ programme would be led by class teachers and supervised by the principals and District Education Officers
  • Following the good response to 118 Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment Clinics, 80 more such clinics would be set

Sources - PIB , The Hindu , Livemint