3rdFebruary,2022 ; Daily Current Affairs

Daily Current Affairs   Date : 3rdFebruary,2022

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

Covers 4 Most relevant Sources

  • The Hindu
  • Indian Express
  • PIB
  • Mint


  • Wetlands in India highest for any country in South Asia(IE)
  • One Nation, One Ration Card Scheme (PIB)
  • Atmanirbhar Bharat Centre of Design (ABCD) Project (PIB)
  • National Initiative for Design Innovation (NIDI) (PIB)
  • Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM) (PIB)
  • Technology Development Fund (TDF) (PIB)
  • Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (PIB)
  • SMILE Scheme (PIB)
  • Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (PIB)


  1. Wetlands in India highest for any country in South Asia(IE)

  • Context: On the eve of the World Wetlands Day(February 2), the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands designated Khijadia Bird Sanctuary near Jamnagar in Gujarat and Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh as wetlands of international importance.


  • Ramsar Convention on Wetlands defines wetlands as “areas of marsh, fen, peat land or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters.”
  • However, the Indian government’s definition of wetland excludes river channels, paddy fields and other areas where commercial activity takes place.
  • The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017 notified by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change define wetlands as “area of marsh, fen, peatland or water; whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters, but does not include river channels, paddy fields, human-made water bodies/ tanks specifically constructed for drinking water purposes and structures specifically constructed for aquaculture, salt production, recreation and irrigation purposes.”

Ramsar Convention

  • The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat is a treaty for conservation and sustainable use of such sites.
  • Ramsar Convention is formally known as Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.
  • It was signed on 2 February 1971 at the Iranian city of Ramsar (located on the shores of the Caspian Sea).
  • That date is celebrated as World Wetland Day now.
  • The Ramsar Convention is one of the oldest inter-governmental accord signed by members countries to preserve the ecological character of their wetlands of international importance.
  • Wetlands declared as Ramsar sites are protected under strict guidelines of the convention.
  • The Ramsar Convention has been ratified by most of the world’s nations, including the U.S., China and India, and has designated more than 2,300 sites of international importance.
  • Ramsar secretariat is hosted by IUCN World Conservation Union in Gland, Switzerland.
  • This treaty is not a legal binding treaty and is not a part of UN & UNESCO conventions.
  • Ramsar Convention is the only global environment treaty dealing with a particular ecosystem.
  • Once a country joins the Convention:
  • It has to designate at least one of its wetlands into the List of Wetlands of International Importance called “Ramsar List”.
  • The above designation has to be based upon criteria that take into account the ecology, botany, zoology, limnology (freshwater science) or Hydrology. Thus, not every wetland becomes a Ramsar site but only those which have significant values related to these fields.
  • The Ramsar convention also makes the countries cooperate in matters of conservation of the trans-boundary wetlands.
  • The inclusion of a wetland in the List embodies the government’s commitment to take the steps necessary to ensure that its ecological character is maintained.
  • The Convention includes various measures to respond to threats to the ecological character of Sites.
  • The world’s largest protected wetland is Llanos de Moxos, located in Bolivia.
  • The Congo Basin, one of the largest freshwater bodies in the world, is now home to the largest transboundary Ramsar Site.

Ramsar Convention and India

  • India became a contracting party to the Ramsar Convention in October 1981 and designated Chilika Lake (Odisha) and Keoladeo National Park (Rajasthan) as its first two Ramsar Sites.
  • India’s tally of 49 designated wetlands in 18 states and 2 Union Territories is the largest network of Ramsar Sites in South Asia.
  • Of the 49 sites, 10 are in UP (maximum), 6 in Punjab, 4 each in Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir, 3 each in Himachal Pradesh and Kerala, 2 each in Haryana, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal, Rajasthan and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Ladakh, Manipur, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh.
  • Kerala: Ashtamudi Wetland, Sasthamkotta Lake, Vembanad-Kol Wetland.
  • Odisha: Bhitarkanika Mangroves, Chilika Lake.
  • Madhya Pradesh: Bhoj Wetland.
  • Himachal Pradesh: Chandertal Wetland, Pong Dam Lake, Renuka Wetland.
  • Assam: Deepor Beel
  • West Bengal: East Calcutta Wetlands and Sunderbans (2019)
  • Punjab: Harike Lake, Ropar, Kanjli (Harike Wetland and the lake are manmade and were formed by constructing the head works across the Sutlej river, in 1953), Keshopur-Miani, Beas Conservation Reserve and Nangal.
  • Jammu & Kashmir/Ladakh: Hokera Wetland, Surinsar-Mansar Lakes, Tsomoriri, Wular Lake.
  • Rajasthan:Keoladeo National Park, Sambhar Lake (added to the Montreux Record)
  • Andhra Pradesh: Kolleru Lake.
  • Manipur: Loktak Lake. (added to the Montreux Record)
  • Gujarat: Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary and Khijadia Bird Sanctuary.
  • Tamil Nadu: Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary.
  • Tripura: Rudrasagar Lake.
  • Uttar Pradesh:Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary, Upper Ganga River (Brijghat to Narora Stretch), Nawabganj, Parvati Agra, Saman, Samaspur, Sandi, SarsaiNawar and Sur Sarovar, also known as Keetham lake.
  • Maharashtra: Nandur Madhameshwar, Lonar lake
  • Bihar: Kabartal
  • Uttarakhand: Asan Conservation Reserve in Dehradun.
  • Ramsar tag makes Indian Sunderbans the largest protected wetland in India (earlier it was Vembanad-Kol Wetland).The Sunderbans is already a World Heritage Site.

Montreux Record under the Ramsar Convention

  • It is a register of wetland sites on the List of Wetlands of International Importance where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference.
  • It is maintained as part of the Ramsar List.
  • The Montreux Record was established by Recommendations of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (1990).
  • Sites may be added to and removed from the Record only with the approval of the Contracting Parties in which they lie.
  • Currently, two wetlands of India are in Montreux record viz. Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan and Loktak Lake, Manipur.
  • Further, Chilka lake was placedin the record but was later removed from it due to the successful restoration of the site.

National Wetland Conservation Programme (NWCP)

  • This programme was launched in 1986 and has identified some 115 wetlands for urgent protection and conservation.
  • Under the Scheme, 100% assistance is provided for activities.

Global wetland outlook: state of the world’s wetlands and their services to people 2018

  • The Ramsar Convention recently issued its first-ever global report on the state of the world’s wetlands.
  • Between 1970 and 2015, inland and marine/coastal wetlands both declined by approximately 35%, where data are available, three times the rate of forest loss.


  • Wetlands provide a wide range of important resources and ecosystem services such as food, water, fibre, groundwater recharge, water purification, flood moderation, erosion control and climate regulation.
  • Wetlands can store 50 times more carbon than rain forests, helping to keep the heat-trapping gas that contributes to climate change out of the atmosphere.
  • Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has prepared a four-pronged strategy for the restoration of wetlands which includes:
  • a baseline data,
  • wetland health cards,
  • enlisting wetland mitras and
  • preparing targeted Integrated Management Plans.

Do you know?

  • The countries with the most Ramsar Sites are the United Kingdom (175) and Mexico (142), as per the Ramsar List.
  • Bolivia has the largest area with 148,000 sq km under the Convention protection.
  • Globally, wetlands cover 6.4 per cent of the geographical area of the world.
  • In India, according to the National Wetland Inventory and Assessment compiled by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), wetlands cover 63 per cent of the total geographical area of the country.
  • Of this, inland-natural wetlands account for 43.4% and coastal-natural wetlands 24.3%.
  • Gujarat is at the top (with 17.56 percent of total geographical area of the state), or 22.7 percent of total wetlands areas of the country thanks to a long coastline.
  • It is followed by Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal (in descending order of area covered under wetlands).


  1. One Nation, One Ration Card Scheme (PIB)

  • Context:Chhattisgarh has become 35th State/UT to implement One Nation One Ration Card scheme of the Department of Food & Public Distribution,Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.


  • Under the National Food Security Act, 2013, about 81 crore persons are entitled to buy subsidized foodgrains — rice at Rs 3/kg, wheat at Rs 2/kg, and coarse grains at Re 1/kg — from their designated Fair Price Shops (FPS) of the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
  • One Nation One Ration Card’ scheme will allow portability of food security benefits.
  • This means poor migrant workers will be able to buy subsidised foodgrains from any ration shop in the country, so long as their ration cards are linked to Aadhaar.
  • While Aadhaar linkage is not necessary to access NFSA benefits in a beneficiary’s local registered ration shop, located closest to her home address, it will be necessary to access the portability scheme.
  • A migrant will be allowed to buy a maximum of 50% of the family quota.
  • While a person can buy her share of foodgrains as per her entitlement under the NFSA, wherever she is based, the rest of her family members can purchase subsidised foodgrains from their ration dealer back home.
  • Migrants would only be eligible for the subsidies supported by the Centre, which include rice sold at Rs. 3/kg and wheat at Rs. 2/kg.
  • Even if a beneficiary moved to a State where grains were given for free, that person would not be able to access those benefits, as they were funded by the State exchequer.
  • Ration card portability is aimed at providing intra-state as well as inter-state portability of ration cards.
  • While the Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS) portal provides the technological platform for the inter-state portability of ration cards, enabling a migrant worker to buy foodgrains from any FPS across the country, the other portal (Annavitran portal) hosts the data of distribution of foodgrains through E-PoS devices within a state.
  • The Annavitran portal enables a migrant worker or his family to avail the benefits of PDS outside their district but within their state.
  • To ensure seamless inter-state portability of a ration card, Aadhar seeding of all ration cards as well as biometric authentication of beneficiaries through automation of all Fair Price Shops (FPSs) with installation of electronic point of sale (e-PoS) devices are essential.
  • Therefore, additional borrowing limit of 0.25 percent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) is allowed to the States only on completion of both of the following actions:
  • Aadhar Seeding of all the ration cards and beneficiaries in the State
  • Automation of all the FPSs in the State.
  • In view of the resource requirement to meet multiple challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of India in May, 2020 enhanced the borrowing limit of the States by 2 percent of their GSDP.
  • Half of this special dispensation i.e., 1 percent of GSDP was linked to undertaking citizen centric reforms by the States.
  • The four citizen centric areas for reforms identified by the Department of Expenditure were:
  • (a) Implementation of One Nation One Ration Card System,
  • (b) Ease of doing business reform,
  • (c) Urban Local body/ utility reforms and
  • (d) Power Sector reforms.
  1. Atmanirbhar Bharat Centre of Design (ABCD) Project (PIB)

  • Context: An article in PIB.


  • Atmanirbhar Bharat Centre of Design (ABCD) project aims to highlight, promote and celebrate the products that have the Geographical Indication (GI) sign, as it signifies a specific geographic origin infused with unique features of that region.
  • Through this initiative, Economic Value Addition to GI products is envisioned and can pave way for GI products from India towards a success story of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
  • The ABCD project is being implemented by Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), an autonomous organization under Ministry of Culture.


  1. National Initiative for Design Innovation (NIDI) (PIB)

  • Context:The following information was given by the Minister of State for Educationin a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.


  • The Ministry of Education launched the scheme of “National Initiative for Design Innovation (NIDI)” in March, 2014.
  • The objective of the scheme is to promote a culture of innovation and creative problem-solving.
  • The NIDI scheme does not provide the allocation of funds to any specific district. Design Innovation Centres (DICs) are established by co-locating them in existing publicly funded institutes of national reputes, like IIT’s, NIT’s, Central and State universities, to facilitate optimal utilization of the existing resources including faculty and infrastructure.


  1. Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM) (PIB)

  • Context:An increase of 20% in the budget in 2022-23 for Rashtriya Gokul Mission and National Program for Dairy Development will increase the productivity of the indigenous bovine population and quality milk production.


  • The Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM) is being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare for development and conservation of indigenous bovine breeds since December 2014.
  • The scheme is also continued under umbrella scheme Rashtriya Pashudhan Vikas Yojna from 2021 to 2026.


  • a) To enhance productivity of bovines and increasing milk production in a sustainable manner using advance technologies.
  • b) To propagate use of high genetic merit bulls for breeding purposes.
  • c) To enhance Artificial insemination coverage through strengthening breeding network and delivery of Artificial insemination services at farmers doorstep.
  • d) To promote indigenous cattle & buffalo rearing and conservation in a scientific and holistic manner.


  1. Technology Development Fund (TDF) (PIB)

  • Context:An article in PIB.


  • Technology Development Fund (TDF) has been established to promote self-reliance in Defence Technology as a part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
  • It is a programme of MoD (Ministry of Defence) executed by DRDO meeting the requirements of Tri-Services, Defence Production and DRDO.
  • The scheme encourages participation of public/private industries especially MSMEs.
  • The scheme will be limited to development of technologies or prototype of product having potential use for the Services and typical development period of two years.
  • The scheme will cover funding through provision of grants to industry that may work in collaboration with the academia or research institutions to carry out innovation, research and development; such chosen entities will be referred to as Development Agencies (DAs).
  • In cases where academia or research institutions are involved, their work involvement cannot exceed 40% of the total efforts required.
  • Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA)is the Supporting Agency engaged by DRDO to support implementation of Technology Development Fund (TDF) Scheme.
  • GITA is a “non–for–profit” Section-8 (Companies Act 2013) Public Private Partnership (PPP) company promoted jointly by the Technology Development Board (TDB), Department of Science & Technology (DST) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).


  1. Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (PIB)

  • Context: Question was asked in Rajya Sabha about this scheme.


  • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowermenthas launched the “Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana” (RVY)for providing Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for Senior citizens belonging to BPL category free of cost.
  • This is a Central Sector Scheme, fully funded by the Central Government.
  • The expenditure for implementation of the scheme will be met from the “Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund”.
  • The Scheme will be implemented through the sole implementing agency – Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO), a PSU under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • Under the scheme, the physical aids will be provided only to the senior citizens of the nation aged above 60 years.
  • Senior citizens belonging to the BPL categorywith monthly income not more than Rs. 15000/-. and suffering from any of the age related disability/ infirmity are eligible beneficiaries under this scheme.
  • The Government aims to cover all the districts of the country under the Scheme.


  1. SMILE Scheme (PIB)

  • Context: Information about SMILE Scheme was given by Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.


  • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated a scheme “SMILE – Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise”.
  • This includes a sub scheme -‘Comprehensive Rehabilitation for Welfare of Transgender Persons’.
  • The focus of the sub-scheme is on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities and intervention, counseling, education, skill development, economic linkages to the transgender persons.
  • One of the components of the sub-scheme is setting up of Garima Grehs (Shelter Home for Transgender Persons) with the aim of setting up of atleast one Garima Greh in each State.
  • Its aim is to provide shelter to transgender persons with basic amenities like food, medical care and recreational facilities.
  • Further, SMILE scheme has also provision for Transgender Protection Cell under the charge of Director General of Police to monitor cases of offences against Transgender persons and to ensure timely registration, investigation and prosecution of such offences.
  1. Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (PIB)

  • The Prime Minister of India presented a Chadar which shall be offered at the Ajmer Sharif Dargah on the Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.
  • The Muslim masses also celebrate the death anniversaries of various saints in a ceremony called ʿurs’.
  • The saints, far from dying, are believed to reach the zenith of their spiritual life on this occasion.

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