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Tendency to doubt everything government does: Weekly IAS Mains Essay Writing Challenge

Weekly IAS Mains Essay Writing Challenge

Write Essay in not more than 2500 words. (250 marks)

Topic:- Tendency to doubt everything government does.

Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan : Government Plan Programme Policies for UPSC Exam

:: Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan' (PMGDISHA) ::

Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan' (PMGDISHA) to make 6 crore rural households digitally literate. The outlay for this project is Rs.2,351.38 crore to usher in digital literacy in rural India by March,.2019. This is in line with the announcement made by Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2016-17. 
PMGDISHA is expected to be one of the largest digital literacy programmes in the world. Under the scheme, 25 lakh candidates will be trained in the FY 2016-17; 275 lakh in the FY 2017-18; and 300 lakh in the FY 2018-19. To ensure equitable geographical reach, each of the 250,000 Gram Panchayats would be expected to register an average of 200-300 candidates. 
Digitally literate persons would be able to operate computers/digital access devices (like tablets, smart phones, etc.), send and receive emails, browse internet, access Government Services, search for information, undertaking cashless transactions, etc. and hence use IT to actively participate in the process of nation building. 
The implementation of the Scheme would be carried out under the overall supervision of Ministry of Electronics and IT in active collaboration with States/UTs through their designated State Implementing Agencies, District e-Governance Society (DeGS), etc. 
As per the 71st NSSO Survey on Education 2014, only 6% of rural households have a computer. This highlights that more than 15 crore rural households (@ 94% of 16.85 crore households) do not have computers and a significant number of these households are likely to be digitally illiterate. The PMGDISHA being initiated under Digital India Programme would cover 6 crore households in rural areas to make them digitally literate. This would empower the citizens by providing them access to information, knowledge and skills for operating computers / digital access devices. 
As the thrust of the Government is on cashless transactions through mobile phones, the course content would also have emphasis on Digital Wallets, Mobile Banking, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) and Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS), etc. 

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(Current Affairs) National Events | March: 2017

National Events

Economic survey points out positive s and negatives

  • The government’s Chief Economic Adviser said there was a sense of anxiety about the economy’s prospects following demonetisation and stressed the need to allay the fears of an overzealous tax regime in its aftermath.
  • Mr. Subramanian termed the move to cancel the legal tender nature of high-value currency notes a “radical currency-cum-governance-cum-social engineering measure to permanently and punitively raise the cost of illicit and unaccounted transactions or kala dhan (black money).”
  • “Bank credit growth has come down, two-wheeler sales have come down. There will be an impact on GDP. But the question is how much,” he said.
  • The Survey pegs economic growth in 2016-17 at 7.1%, but this is based mainly on information for months before the November 8 demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes.
  • This is half a percentage point lower than the 7.6% growth last year, but the CEA warned that comparisons attributing the difference in growth numbers to demonetisation alone would be foolhardy.
  • Mr. Subramanian declined comment on the design and implementation of demonetisation, but did speak on the costs, and long-term benefits of what was “an unusual and unique monetary experiment” aimed at a structural break.
  • After a temporary slowdown in GDP growth, the Survey expects the economy to return to normal, once the scrapped currency is replaced by March.
  • In the long run, tax revenues and GDP growth would be bolstered on account of greater tax compliance and a reduction in real estate prices.

Maternity Benefit Bill, 2016: Civil Services Mentor Magazine: March - 2017

Maternity Benefit Bill, 2016

The Maternity Benefits Act, 1961 requires the employer to provide its women workers with maternity leave of upto 12 weeks, with full wages. The Bill raises this period of maternity leave to 26 weeks. Several expert bodies including the Law Commission of India and the Indian Labour Conference have highlighted the need to provide maternity leave up to a period of 24 weeks. The World Health Organisation recommends that children must be exclusively breastfed by the mother for the first 24 weeks to improve their survival rates and for the healthy development of both mother and child. It has also been argued that the absence of adequate maternity leave and income security leads to women dropping out of the labour force. Women employees in the central government are currently entitled to maternity leave of 24 weeks and additional child care leave up to a period of two years.

On the other hand, it could be argued that increasing maternity leave from 12 to 26 weeks could have an adverse impact on the job opportunities available for women. Since the Bill requires the employer to pay full wages during maternity leave, it could increase costs for employers and result in a preference for hiring male workers. Also, the increase in costs could impact the competitiveness of industries that employ a higher proportion of women workers. Some countries have addressed this issue by creating different mechanisms for financing maternity leave.

(Notification) UPSC NDA & NA Exam (I), 2017

(Notification) UPSC NDA & NA Exam (I), 2017

F.No.7/2/2016.E.1(B): An Examination will be conducted by the Union Public Service Commission on 23rd April, 2017 for admission to the Army, Navy and Air Force wings of the NDA for the 139th Course, and for the 101st Indian Naval Academy Course (INAC) commencing from 2nd January, 2018.

Post Details:

  • National Defence Academy : 335 (208 for Army, 55 for Navy and 72 for Air Force)
  • Naval Academy (10+2 Cadet Entry Scheme): 55

Total : 390

Educational Qualifications:

(i) For Army Wing of National Defence Academy :—12th Class pass of the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination conducted by a State Education Board or a University

(ii) For Air Force and Naval Wings of National Defence Academy and for the 10+2 Cadet Entry Scheme at the Indian Naval Academy :—12th Class pass of the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent with Physics and Mathematics conducted by a State Education Board or a University.

Age Limit:

Only unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 02nd July, 1998 and not later than 1st July, 2001 are eligible.

Physical Standards:

Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination (I), 2017 as per guidelines given in Appendix-IV.


1. The subjects of the written examination, the time allowed and the maximum marks allotted to each subject will be as follows :—

Subject Code Duration Maximum Marks
Mathematics 01 2½ Hours 300
General Ability Test 02 2½ Hours 600
Total 900
SSB Test/Interview : 900

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