Gist of The Hindu: December 2021

Gist of The Hindu: December 2021

The Samudrayan project

  • Launched India’s First Manned Ocean Mission Samudrayan at Chennai. India joins elite club of select nations USA, Russia, Japan,France & China having such underwater vehicles.

About Samudrayan:

  • Undertaken by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), the Samudrayan project will be a part of the ₹6,000 crore Deep Ocean Mission.
  • The Matsya 6000, the deep-sea vehicle under the Samudrayan initiative, is designed to carry three people in a titanium alloy personnel sphere of 2.1-metre diameter enclosed space.
  • It will have an endurance of 12 hours and an additional 96 hours in case of an emergency situation.
  • It could work at a depth between 1000 and 5500 meters.
  • The niche technology facilitates carrying out deep ocean exploration of non-living resources such as polymetallic manganese nodules, gas hydrates, hydro-thermal sulphides and cobalt crusts.
  • According to a NIOT official, Matsya 6000 will be ready for qualification trials by December 2024. The official also said that the shallow water (500 metres) phase is expected to happen by the end of 2022 or 2023 and will be followed by deeper initiatives.
  • NIOT developed a 'personnel sphere' made of mild steel with local industry for an operational capability of 500 metres.

Health Insurance for India’s Missing Middle report 

  • NITI Aayog released a report titled Health Insurance for India’s Missing Middle.

Key highlights: 

  • The report highlighted that at least 30 per cent of the population, or 40 crore individuals – called the ‘missing middle’ – are devoid of any financial protection for health.
  • NITI Aayog has suggested that the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) scheme be extended to cover a section of people without health insurance.
  • The report has recommended three models for increasing the health insurance coverage in the country. 
  • The first model focuses on increasing consumer awareness of health insurance, while the second model is about “developing a modified, standardized health insurance product” like ‘Arogya Sanjeevani’, a standardised health insurance product launched by the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) in April 2020.
  • The modified product should have lower waiting periods. 
  • It should also include out-patient benefits through a subscription model to increase the value of healthcare provided.

Ayushman Bharat:

  • The Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) launched in September 2018.
  • It has been a part of State Government extension schemes, provide comprehensive hospitalization cover to the bottom 50% of the population – around 70 crore individuals. 
  • Around 20% of the population– 25 crore individuals –are covered through social health insurance, and private voluntary health insurance. 
  • The remaining 30% of the population is devoid of health insurance; the actual uncovered population is higher due to existing coverage gaps in PMJAY and overlap between schemes.

Resolution 2601

  • The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2601 on the protection of education in armed conflict.


  • Resolution 2601, which won the unanimous support of the 15-member council, strongly condemns all violations of applicable international law involving the recruitment and use of children by parties to armed conflict as well as their re-recruitment, killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, and abductions.
  • It also condemns attacks against schools and hospitals as well as denial of humanitarian access by parties to armed conflict and all other violations of international law.
  • The resolution urges UN member states to develop effective measures to prevent and address attacks and threats of attacks against schools and education facilities, and, as appropriate, develop domestic legal frameworks to ensure respect for their relevant international legal obligations.
  • It condemns the military use of schools in contravention of international law, and recognizes that use by armed forces and armed groups may render schools legitimate targets of attack.


  • The resolution calls on member states to halt and prevent recruitment and re-recruitment of children by parties to quality education provided in a safe environment in conflict areas.
  • It underlines the importance of providing assistance to children with disabilities who are affected by armed conflict, and encourages member states to take appropriate measures.
  • It calls on member states to take necessary steps, within their national jurisdictions.
  • It emphasizes the need for member states to facilitate the continuation of education during armed conflict, including, when feasible, through distance learning and digital technology.

Shanghai Cooperation Organisationprotocol to prevent human trafficking

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) adopted a protocol to strengthen cooperation in preventing and combating growing menace of human trafficking.

Key highlights:

  • The salient features of the protocol include strengthening cooperation in preventing and combating growing menace of trafficking in persons especially, women and children.
  • It also calls for continuation of exchange of national legislation to combat the menace of trafficking in persons.
  • It seeks to provide protection and assistance in victims of trafficking within their competence.
  • The protocol also calls for developing cooperation between the educational (training) organisations (institutions) of the SCO member states in the field of training and advanced training of prosecutors, whose competence include combating trafficking in persons especially, women and children.
  • The next (20th) meeting of the Prosecutors General of the SCO Member States will be held in Kazakhstan in 2022.

Current Account Rules

  • The Reserve Bank of India eased Current Account Rules for bank exposures less than five crore rupees allowing lenders to open current accounts, cash credit and overdraft facilities without any restriction. 


  • For borrowers, where the exposure of the banking system is less than five crore rupees, there is no restriction on the opening of current accounts or on the provision of CC/OD facility by banks, subject to obtaining an undertaking from such borrowers that they will inform the banks, as and when the credit facilities availed by them from the banking system reaches five crore rupees or more.
  • It added that borrowers where the exposure is more than five crore rupees, will continue to maintain current accounts with any one of the banks with which they have cash credit or overdraft facility, provided that the bank has at least 10 per cent of the exposure of the banking system to that borrower.
  • The banking regulator also permitted banks to open and maintain inter-bank accounts, all accounts with institutions like EXIM Bank, NABARD, NHB and SIDBI account attached by orders of Central or State Government and investigative agencies without any restrictions.
  • RBI’s new rules aim to discipline current account usage to monitor cash flows efficiently and control siphoning of funds by regulating an already over-regulated sector.


  • The key findings of a study led by IIT Kharagpur researchers could help us understand the formation and evolution of the Earth. 

Key highlights:

  • They have studied a meteorite that fell near the town of Katol in Nagpur District of Maharashtra on May 22, 2012, reporting for the first time.
  • Katol L6 chondrite - collected in Katol inNagpur in 2012.
  • Katol Bridgmanite - composition closely matches in the Earth’s lower mantle.
  • First natural occurrence of Fe-bearing luminous bridgmanite.

About the mineral:

  • Bridgmanite is the most volumetrically abundant mineral of the Earth’s interior. 
  • It is present in the lower mantle (from 660 to 2700 km).
  • It consists of magnesium, iron and calcium aluminium oxide.
  • It has a perovskite structure - a structure that is stable deep in the Earth.

Dairy Sahakar scheme

  • Union Minister of Home Affairs, launched Dairy Sahakar Scheme at Anand, Gujarat.
  • This scheme was launched during the function organized by Amul for celebration of 75th Foundation Year of Amul. 


  • The Dairy Sahakar scheme has a total investment budget of Rs 5000 crore will be implemented by NCDC under Ministry of Cooperation, Government of India to realize the vision, “from cooperation to prosperity”.  
  • Under Dairy Sahakar scheme, financial support will be extended by NCDC to eligible cooperatives for activities such as 
  1. bovine development, 
  2. milk procurement, 
  3. processing, 
  4. quality assurance, 
  5. value addition, branding, 
  6. packaging, 
  7. marketing, 
  8. transportation and 
  9. storage of milk and milk products, 
  10. exports of dairy products.
  • There will also be a convergence with various schemes of the Government of India or of State Government/UT Administration/ Development agencies/ bilateral/multilateral assistance/ CSR mechanism is encouraged.
  • The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying under Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India is also implementing various schemes for the development of the Animal Husbandry and dairy sector. 
  • This Dairy Sahakar will supplement the existing efforts for strengthening the dairy sector in the country.

PanIndia Legal Awareness Program for Women

  • The program has launched byNational Commission for Women, along with National Legal Services Authority.
  • Programme aims to cover all States and UTs through regular sessions to make women aware of the various machineries of the justice delivery system available for redressal of their grievances.
  • It will sensitize women and girls about their rights as provided under the various laws.
  • It will also make them aware of the procedure of approaching and utilizing various channels available for grievance redressal, i.e., Police, Executive and Judiciary.

Climate Equity Monitor

  • The Climate Equity Monitor provides an online dashboard for assessing, at the international level, equity in climate action, inequalities in emissions, energy and resource consumption across the world, and ongoing climate policies of several countries. 
  • The website has been conceptualized and developed by independent researchers from India -- the Climate Change Group at the M.S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai, and others. 

Key highlights: 

  • The Climate Equity Monitor is aimed at monitoring the performance of Annex-I Parties under the UNFCCC (developed countries) based on the foundational principles of the Climate Convention.
  • The performance and policies of the Non Annex-I Parties (developing countries) will be also provided for comparison.
  • In keeping with the latest scientific results of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that have underlined the importance of cumulative emissions and carbon budgets, the analysis will be anchored in these two concepts. 
  • The website is intended to debunk the narrative provided by many developed countries, and global non-government organizations that focus attention continually on what developing countries must do, constantly demanding greater commitment and action from them.


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Courtesy: The Hindu