2ndFebruary,2022 ; Daily Current Affairs

Daily Current Affairs   Date : 2ndFebruary,2022

 (30+ Questions hit in Prelims 2021 from this series)

Covers 4 Most relevant Sources

  • The Hindu
  • Indian Express
  • PIB
  • Mint


  • A) Schemes, Policies, Initiatives, Awards and Social Issues
  • Housing for all (TH, pg 9)
  • B) International Relations
  • Uighur Muslims (TH, pg 17)
  • Amnesty International (AI)(TH, pg 17)
  • C) Art, Culture and History
  • Ramanujacharya (IE)
  • D) Economic Developments: India and World
  • Government subsidies to decline by 39% (TH, pg 8)


A) Schemes, Policies, Initiatives, Awards and Social Issues

  1. Housing for all (TH, pg 9)
  • Context:The Union Budget 2022-23 has proposed an allocation of ₹48,000 crore for the government’sHousing for All initiative.
  • In 2022-23, 80 lakh houses will be completed for the identified eligible beneficiaries of PM Awas Yojana, both rural and urban.


  • “Housing for All” initiative consists of 2 components PMAY- U and PMAY-G.

Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G)

  • The Rural Housing Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G) was launched by the Prime Minister of India on 20thNovember 2016 at Agra, Uttar Pradesh.
  • To commemorate the launch of PMAY-G, which aims to provide “Housing for All” by 2022, it was decided to celebrate 20thNovember every year as “Awaas Diwas”.
  • Also called “Housing for All”
  • Launched in November, 2016 by Ministry of Rural Development.
  • It aims to to provide an environmentallysafe and secure pucca house, with basic amenities, to all houseless householders and those households living in kutcha and dilapidated house, in rural areas by 2022.
  • The program envisages the completion of 2.95 crore PMAY-G houses with all basic amenities by the year 2022.
  • In the 1stphase of the scheme i.e. from 2016-17 to 2018-19, a target for construction of 1 crore pucca houses were set.
  • In the 2nd phase of the scheme starting from 2019-20 to 2021-22, the target of construction of the remaining 1.95 crore houses has been set.
  • The scheme provides a minimum governmental support of nearly Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 1.6 lakh per unit household.
  • The cost of unit assistance is to be shared between Central and State Government in the ratio 60:40 in plain areas and 90:10 for North Eastern and the Himalayan States.
  • There is also a provision of Bank loan upto Rs. 70,000/-, if the beneficiary so desires.
  • The minimum size of the house has been increased to 25 sq.mt (from 20sq.mt) with a hygienic cooking space.
  • The beneficiary is entitled to 90-95 person day of unskilled labour from MGNREGS.
  • Towards better quality of construction, setting up of a Nation Technical Support Agency (NTSA) at the national level is envisaged.
  • The houses are disaster resilient and are suitable to the local geo-climatic conditions.
  • Homes will have cooking area, toilet, LPG connection, electricity connection and water supply through convergence with other schemes, and beneficiaries can plan their homes as per their need.
  • There are negligible inclusion errors of ineligible beneficiaries due to three stage selection filters-
  • (I)    use of SECC 2011 data,
  • (II)   validation by Gram Sabha, and
  • (III)  Geo-tagging with photos of existing house of the beneficiary using space technology.
  • PMAY-G is a major step forward in bringing together Skill India, Digital India, Make In India, IT/DBT Aadhaar platform and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).
  • The programme provides for skilling 5 lakh Rural Masons by 2019.
  • The programme uses ICT and space technology to further confirm correct selection of beneficiaries and progress of work.
  • The entire payments are through IT/DBT mode with Aadhaar linked Bank accounts, to ensure complete transparency and accountability.
  • The programme implementation is to be monitored not only electronically, but also through community participation (Social Audit), Member of Parliament (DISHA Committee), Central and State Government officials, National Level Monitors etc.

Convergence with various government programmes

  • PMAY-G also addresses the basic needs of households through convergence with various government programmes.
  • The poor not only get a home but also get up to 90-95 days of work under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
  • Their homes are also provided electricity connection under the existing Ministry of Power schemes and LPG connection under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Scheme besidesthe assistance of Rs. 12,000 for construction of toilets through Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G) / MGNREGS and tap connection under Jal Jeeval Mission.
  • Efforts have also been made to provide livelihood development and diversification opportunities to 1.82 crore rural households, under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM).
  • The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Gramin (PMAY-G) was formerly called the Indira Awas Yojana and was renamed in March 2016.
  • It is targeted at promoting accessibility and affordability of housing for all of rural India

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Housing for All (Urban)

  • It has been launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA).
  • It aims to provide central assistance to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and other implementing agencies through States/UTs during 2015-2022 for:
  • a) In-situ slum rehabilitation of Slum Dwellers with participation of private developers using land as a resource;
  • b) Promotion of affordable housing for weaker section through credit linked subsidy;
  • c) Affordable housing in partnership with Public & Private sectors and
  • d) Subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction or enhancement.


  • Beneficiaries include Economically weaker section (EWS), low-income groups (LIGs) and Middle Income Groups (MIGs).
  • The annual income cap is up to Rs 3 lakh for EWS, Rs 3-6 lakh for LIG and Rs 6 + -18 lakhs for MIG.
  • EWS category of beneficiaries is eligible for assistance in all four verticals of the Missions whereas LIG and MIG categories are eligible under only Credit linked subsidy scheme (CLSS) component of the Mission.
  • For identification as an EWS or LIG beneficiary under the scheme, an individual loan applicant will submit self-certificate/ affidavit as proof of income.
  • A beneficiary family will comprise husband, wife, unmarried sons and/or unmarried daughters.
  • The beneficiary family should not own a pucca house either in his/her name or in the name of any member of his/her family in any part of India to be eligible to receive central assistance under the mission.
  • States/UTs, at their discretion, may decide a cut-off date on which beneficiaries need to be resident of that urban area for being eligible to take benefits under the scheme.
  • Credit linked subsidy component is being implemented as a Central Sector Scheme while other three components as Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS).
  • Also, under the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme, beneficiaries under PMAY are eligible for interest subsidy if they avail a loan to purchase or construct a house.
  • To ensure regular flow of funds for implementation of PMAY(U), National Urban Housing Fund has been created to mobilize₹ 60,000 Cr throughExtra Budgetary Resources over and above the budgetary allocation for the Mission.
  • Through the Credit Link Subsidy Scheme (CLSS),for the first time, the Middle Income Group (MIG) is being provided benefits for their housing needs.
  • Government has identified many alternative and innovative technologiesthrough a Global Housing Technology Challenge- India.
  • As a part of GHTC- India, six Light House Projects (LHP) consisting of about 1,000 houses each with physical & social infrastructure facilities is being constructed at six places across the country namely Indore; Rajkot; Chennai; Ranchi; Agartala and; Lucknow.
  • These projects will showcase the use of the six distinct shortlisted innovative technologies for field level application, learning and replication.
  • LHPs will demonstrate and deliver ready to live mass housing at an expedited pace as compared to conventional brick and mortar construction and will be more economical, sustainable, of high quality and durability.
  • In 2019 only, MoHUA launched Angikaar– a campaign for change managementin more than 4000
  • The campaign addressed and enabled beneficiaries to adapt to life transformation that comes with shifting to a newly constructed house.
  • All statutory towns as per Census 2011 and towns notified subsequently would be eligible for coverage under the Mission.
  • Houses constructed under the mission would be allotted in the name of the female head of the households or in the joint name of the male head of the household and his wife.
  • In the spirit of cooperative federalism,
  • mission provides flexibility to the States for choosing the best options amongst four verticals of mission to meet the demand of housing in their states.
  • process of project formulation and approval in accordance with the mission Guidelines has been left to the States so that projects can be formulated, approved and implemented faster.

Other Important Features of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (U)

  • Under PMAY, subsidy interest rate is provided at 6.5% on housing loan for the term of 15 years to all the beneficiaries.
  • Under the PMAY scheme, differently abled and senior citizens will be given preference in allocation of ground floors.
  • Sustainable and eco-friendly technologies would be used for construction.
  • The scheme covers entire urban areas in the country with the first priority given to 500 Class I cities. This will be done in 3 phases.
  • The Mission covers the entire urban area consisting of Statutory Towns, Notified Planning Areas, Development Authorities, Special Area Development Authorities, Industrial Development Authorities or any such authority under State legislation which is entrusted with the functions of urban planning & regulations.
  • The credit linked subsidy aspect of the PMAY scheme gets implemented in India in all statutory towns from the initial stages itself.

The scheme will be implemented in three phases as follows:

  • Phase-I (April 2015 – March 2017) to cover 100 Cities to be selected from States/UTs as per their willingness;
  • Phase – II (April 2017 – March 2019) to cover additional 200 Cities.
  • Phase-III (April 2019 – March 2022) to cover all other remaining Cities.
  • A Technology Sub-mission under the Mission would be set up to facilitate:
  • adoption of modern, innovative and green technologies and building material for faster and quality construction of houses.
  • preparation and adoption of layout designs and building plans suitable for various geo-climatic zones.
  • All houses built or expanded under the Mission should essentially have toilet facility.
  • The houses under the mission should be designed and constructed to meet the requirements of structural safety against earthquake, flood, cyclone, landslides etc. conforming to the National Building Code and other relevant Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) codes.
  • All houses under PMAY(U) have basic amenities like toilet, water supply, electricity and kitchen.
  • PMAY (U) adopts a demand-driven approach wherein the housing shortage gets decided on the demand assessment by the states and union territories.
  • PMAY(U) adopts a cafeteria approach to suit the needs of individuals based on the geographical conditions, topography, economic conditions, availability of land, infrastructure etc.

What is Central Sector Scheme?

  • 100% funding by the Central government.
  • implemented by the Central Government machinery.
  • mainly formulated on subjects from the Union List.
  • financial resources are not shifted to states.

What is Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS)?

  • financial participation by both the centre and states.
  • central government helps states to run its Plans financially.
  • a stipulated percentage of the funding is provided by the States in terms of percentage contribution.
  • direct transfer of money to the state governments.
  • implementation is made by State/UT Governments.
  • created on areas that are covered under the State List.


B) International Relations

  1. Uighur Muslims (TH, pg 17)
  • Context: Japan’s parliament passed a rare resolution expressing concern about rights issues in China, including the treatment of its Uighur Muslim population and the city of Hong Kong, days before the Beijing Olympics open.


Who are the Uighurs?

  • The Uighurs are mostly Muslims, and number about 12 million in western China’s Xinjiang region.
  • They see themselves as culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian nations, and their language is similar to Turkish.Uyghurs speak their own language and not Chinese.
  • But in recent decades, there’s been a mass migration of Han Chinese (China’s ethnic majority) to Xinjiang, and the Uighurs feel their culture and livelihoods are under threat.

Where is Xinjiang?

  • It’s in the far west of China, and is the country’s biggest region.
  • As an autonomous area, it – in theory at least – has a degree of self-governance away from Beijing.
  • Xinjiang is a mostly desert region and produces about a fifth of the world’s cotton.
  • This region is also rich in oil and natural gas and because of its proximity to Central Asia and Europe is seen by Beijing as an important trade link.

What’s happening to people in Xinjiang?

  • Uighur Muslims make up half of the region’s total population. In the early 20th Century, the Uyghurs briefly declared independence for the region but it was brought under the complete control of China’s new Communist government in 1949.
  • Several countries, including the US, Canada and the Netherlands, have accused China of committing genocide – defined by international convention as the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”.
  • There have been reports about Uyghurs in camps, China has been forcibly mass sterilising Uyghur women to suppress the population, separating children from their families, and attempting to break the cultural traditions of the group.

China’s Stand

  • China says the crackdown in Xinjiang is necessary to prevent terrorism and root out Islamist extremism and the camps are an effective tool for re-educating inmates in its fight against terrorism.
  • It insists that Uyghur militants are waging a violent campaign for an independent state by plotting bombings, sabotage and civic unrest.


  1. Amnesty International (AI)(TH, pg 17)
  • Context:Amnesty International labelled Israel an “apartheid” state that treats Palestinians as “an inferior racial group,” joining the assessment of other rights groups.


  • Amnesty International (AI) is an international nongovernmental organization (NGO) founded in London in 1961.
  • It seeks to publicize violations by governments and other entities of rights recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), especially freedom of speech and of conscience and the right against torture.
  • It actively seeks the release of political prisoners and the relief, when necessary, of their families.
  • It also works with intergovernmental human rights bodies to expand and enforce human rights protections in international law.
  • It also promotes abolishing the death penalty to protecting sexual and reproductive rights, and from combating discrimination to defending refugees and migrants’ rights.
  • In 1977 AI was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.
  • Its logo is a burning candle wrapped in barbed wire. Headquarters are in London.

Human Rights Day

  • It is observed by the international community every year on 10 December.
  • It commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • The Declaration with its broad range of political, civil, social, cultural and economic rights is not a binding document.

Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action

  • Also known as VDPA, it is a human rights declaration adopted by consensus at the World Conference on Human Rights in June 1993 in Vienna, Austria.
  • The position of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights was recommended by this Declaration and subsequently created by General Assembly.

What are Human Rights?

  • Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world, from birth until death.
  • They can never be taken away, although they can sometimes be restricted – for example if a person breaks the law, or in the interests of national security.
  • These basic rights are based on shared values like dignity, fairness, equality, respect and independence.
  • These values are generally defined and protected by law.

Paris Principles

  • The Paris Principles are a set of international standards which frame and guide the work of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs). They were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993.


C) Art, Culture and History

  1. Ramanujacharya (IE)
  • Context:Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate to the world the ‘Statue of Equality’ on February 5 to mark the 1,000th birth anniversary of Vaishnavite saint Ramanujacharya at the sprawling ashram of Tradandi Chinna Jeeya Swamy at Muchintal, near Hyderabad in Telangana.


About the Statute

  • It is a 216-foot tall statue of Vaishnavite Saint Sri Ramanuja (11th-12th century AD)
  • It is world’s second tallest statue in a seated position after the statue of the Great Buddha of Thailand (302 feet).
  • It is made of panchaloha (an alloy of gold, silver, copper, brass and tin/lead) and its base depicts 36 elephants and 27-feet-high lotus petals.

Why it is called Statue of Equality?

  • In the times of Ramanujacharya, temples were the centres of administration, under the control of one section of society, one particular caste i.e., Brahmins.
  • Ramanujacharya as a Vedic philosopher and social reformer travelled across India, advocating social equality and social justice.
  • He encouraged temples to open their doors to everyone irrespective of caste or position in society at a time when people of many castes were forbidden from entering them.
  • He encouraged inclusiveness by allotting 50% of tasks in the temple to persons belonging to the rest of the castes including the lower castes.
  • That’s the reason, from then onwards, there were no restrictions based on caste to enter temples.
  • He took education to those who were deprived of it.
  • His greatest contribution is the propagation of the concept of “vasudhaiva kutumbakam”, which translates as “all the universe is one family”.
  • He embraced the socially marginalised and condemned, and asked royal courts to treat them as equals.

All about Ramanuja

  • Ramanuja was a Tamil Brahmin (1017-1137 AD)
  • He was a major exponent of Sri Vaishnavism tradition.
  • The philosophy propounded by Ramanuja was Vishishtadwaita or qualified monism.
  • Vishishtadvaita became a sub- school of Vedanta philosophy.
  • Vishishtadvaita signifies non-dualism.
  • Srirangam Ranganatha temple in Tamil Nadu is associated with his tradition.
  • Ramanuja visited all the Vaishnavite shrines in South India and finally reached Srirangam.
  • Here he settled himself permanently and continued his labours of preaching the Visishtadvaita philosophy and writing books.
  • Ramanuja revived the Bhakti movement, and his preachings inspired other Bhakti schools of thought.
  • He is considered to be the inspiration for poets like Annamacharya, Bhakt Ramdas, Thyagaraja, Kabir, and Meerabai.
  • Ramanuja appealed for the protection of nature and its resources like air, water, and soil.
  • He went on to write nine scriptures known as the navaratnas, and composed numerous commentaries on Vedic scriptures.
  • Ramanuja is also credited with establishing the correct procedures for rituals performed in temples throughout India, the most famous being Tirumala and Srirangam.
  • He believed that Lord Narayana as the Supreme Being and gave the concept of chit-achit: the individual soul is Chit; matter is Achit.
  • His two main philosophical writings (the Śrī Bhāṣyaand Vedārthasaṅgraha) are amongst the masterpieces of Indian scholastic philosophy.
  • Ramanuja, tried to assimilate bhakti to the tradition of the Vedas.
  • He argued that in order to attain salvation, grace of God was more important than knowledge about Him.
  • Through his works he brought the treasure of Vedic literature to the doorsteps of the common man.
  • Following the great Sankara, works in the field of philosophy by Ramanuja, Madhava, Vallabha, etc., continued to be written in Sanskrit.
  • Ramanuja emphasized that the path of prapatti or (total reliance on and surrender to God) was open to all, including the Shudras and the Dalits.
  • Thus, Ramanuja tried to build a bridge between the popular movement based on bhakti, and the upper caste movement based on the Vedas.
  • This tradition established by Ramanuja was followed by a number of thinkers such as Madhvacharya (tenth century), and in north India by Ramananda, Vallabhacharya and others.
  • In this way, bhakti in its popular form became acceptable to all sections of Hindu society by the early sixteenth century.

Do you know?

  • Vedānta” means the ‘end of the Vedas’ and refers to the philosophy expressed in the end portion of the Vedas, also known as the Upaniṣads, and encoded in the cryptic summary by Bādarāyaṇa called the Vedānta Sūtraor Brahma Sūtra.
  • The perennial questions of Vedānta are: what is the nature of Brahman, or the Ultimate, and what is the relationship between the multiplicity of individuals to this Ultimate.
  • Vedānta comprises one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy.


D) Economic Developments: India and World

  1. Government subsidies to decline by 39% (TH, pg 8)
  • Context: The government’s subsidies on food, fertilizers and petroleum are estimated to decline by 39% to ₹4,33,108 crore this fiscal and fall further by 27% to nearly ₹3.18 lakh crore in 2022-23.


  • During the current fiscal 2021-22, the Centre has hiked the subsidy for non-urea fertilizers several times due to a sharp rise in global prices.
  • The move was aimed at ensuring that farmers continue to get di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) and other nutrients under the nutrient-based subsidy (NBS) policy at a reasonable rate.
  • For the next fiscal 2022-23, the government said total subsidies were estimated to decline further to ₹3,17,866 crore.
  • Under subsidy burden of the union government maximum subsidy is spent on food items> fertilizer > fuel
  • A major reason for increasing food subsidy is the Centre’s reluctance to increase the price of highly subsidised foodgrains supplied under the NFSA, 2013.
  • Under the NFS Act, the price of rice has been kept unchanged at Rs 3 a kilo, while that of wheat has been kept steady at Rs 2 per kilo and of coarse grains at Rs 1 per kilo.

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