The Hindu newspaper of 30th April 2020

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1)Arrange the following river from North to South by the direction of their flow:

  1. Indus
  2. Sutlej
  3. Beas
  4. Jhelum
  5. Ravi

Select the correct answer code:

2)The factors influencing Jet Streams are.

  1. Atmospheric heating by solar radiation that produces Polar, Ferrel, and Hadley circulation cells
  2. The action of the Coriolis force.

Select the correct answer code:

3)Mid-Atlantic Ridge is an example for

Map of the Day :- space research centres in India

News:- Only 30 lakh found NREGA work in April:- Although the Centre gave explicit instructions to reopen its flagship rural jobs scheme from April 20, only 30 lakh people were provided work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act(MGNREGA) in April, about 17% of the usual, government data show.


The scheme was introduced as a social measure that guarantees “the right to work”. The key tenet of this social measure and labour law is that the local government will have to legally provide at least 100 days of wage employment in rural India to enhance their quality of life.

Key objectives:

  1. Generation of paid rural employment of not less than 100 days for each worker who volunteers for unskilled labour.
  2. Proactively ensuring social inclusion by strengthening livelihood base of rural poor.
  3. Creation of durable assets in rural areas such as wells, ponds, roads and canals.
  4. Reduce urban migration from rural areas.
  5. Create rural infrastructure by using untapped rural labour.

The following are the eligibility criteria for receiving the benefits under MGNREGA scheme:

  1. Must be Citizen of India to seek NREGA benefits.
  2. Job seeker has completed 18 years of age at the time of application.
  3. The applicant must be part of a local household (i.e. application must be made with local Gram Panchayat).
  4. Applicant must volunteer for unskilled labour.

Key facts related to the scheme:

  1. The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD), Govt of India is monitoring the entire implementation of this scheme in association with state governments.
  2. Individual beneficiary oriented works can be taken up on the cards of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, small or marginal farmers or beneficiaries of land reforms or beneficiaries under the Indira Awaas Yojana of the Government of India.
  3. Within 15 days of submitting the application or from the day work is demanded, wage employment will be provided to the applicant.
  4. Right to get unemployment allowance in case employment is not provided within fifteen days of submitting the application or from the date when work is sought.
  5. Social Audit of MGNREGA works is mandatory, which lends to accountability and transparency.
  6. The Gram Sabha is the principal forum for wage seekers to raise their voices and make demands.
  7. It is the Gram Sabha and the Gram Panchayat which approves the shelf of works under MGNREGA and fix their priority.

Role of Gram Sabha:

  1. It determines the order of priority of works in the meetings of the Gram Sabha keeping in view potential of the local area, its needs, local resources.
  2. Monitor the execution of works within the GP.

Roles of Gram Panchayat:

  1. Receiving applications for registration
  2. Verifying registration applications
  3. Registering households
  4. Issuing Job Cards (JCs)
  5. Receiving applications for work
  6. Issuing dated receipts for these applications for work
  7. Allotting work within fifteen days of submitting the application or from the date when work is sought in the case of an advance application.
  8. Identification and planning of works, developing shelf of projects including determination of the order of their priority.

Responsibilities of State Government in MGNREGA:

  1. Frame Rules on matters pertaining to State responsibilities under Section 32 of the Act ii) Develop and notify the Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for the State.
  2. Set up the State Employment Guarantee Council (SEGC).
  3. Set up a State level MGNREGA implementation agency/ mission with adequate number of high calibre professionals.
  4. Set up a State level MGNREGA social audit agency/directorate with adequate number of people with knowledge on MGNREGA processes and demonstrated commitment to social audit.
  5. Establish and operate a State Employment Guarantee Fund (SEGF).

2) News:- India remains on U.S. Priority Watch List

India continues to be on the ‘Priority Watch List’ of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) for lack of adequate intellectual property (IP) rights protection and enforcement, the USTR said in its Annual Special 301 Report, released on Wednesday.

3)Team led by IIT Bombay student develops low-cost mechanical ventilator Ruhdaar:- Name is  the Ruhdaar ventilator.

A team of engineering students from IIT Bombay, NIT Srinagar and Islamic University of Science & Technology (IUST), Awantipora, Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir is one such group of creative individuals who have come forward to solve the problem of ventilator requirement. The team has come up with a low-cost ventilator using locally available materials.

4)News :- NEET applies to minority colleges: SC:-The National Eligibility cum entrance Test (NEET) is  mandatory for  admission to medical colleges run by religious and linguistic minority communities, the Supreme Court held on Wednesday. A three judge Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra held that admissions solely through NEET for graduate and postgraduate medical/dental courses does not violate any fundamental and religious rights of minorities. NEET would apply for both aided and unaided medical colleges run by minorities.

5)A mobile game to beat boredom, keep the virus at bay:- The Indian Institute of Technology Tirupati (IIT-T) has developed a web and mobile game named ‘SurviveCovid19,’ the Mario style light weight survivor game was developed on a 2D platform by the Research in Intelligent Software & Human Analytics (RISHA)l of IIT-T’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

Editorial of the Day :-

Afghan peace and India’s elbow room

Written by Suhasini Haider.

Central Theme :- India has been sidelined in the Afghan peace process but still it should pursue for peace.

Earlier this month, the United  Nations Secretariat held ameeting of what it calls the “6+2+1” group on regional efforts to support peace in Afghanistan, a group that includes six neighbouring countries: China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and; Uzbekistan, 2 global players the United States and Russia, and 1 Afghanistan itself.

Instances of India being sidelined from the Afghan peace process:-

In 2010 India was invited to attend the “London Conference” on Afghanistan, but left out of the room during a crucial meeting that decided on opening talks withthe Taliban.

In 2020, the reason given for keeping India out of regional discussions on Afghanistan was ostensibly that it holds no “boundary” with Afghanistan; but in fact it is because New Delhi has never announced its support for the U.S.Taliban peace process.

India’s Stand:-

  • To begin with, India’s resistance to publicly talking to the Taliban has made it an awkward interlocutor at any table.
  • India’s position that only an Afghan led Afghan owned, Afghan  controlled process can be allowed is a principled one, but has no takers.
  • Kabul, or the Ashraf Ghani government does not lead, own or control the reconciliation process today, comprising the U.S.-Taliban negotiation for an American  troops withdrawal, and intra Afghan talks on power sharing.
  • The U.S.-Taliban peace deal means that the Taliban, which has not let upon violent attacks on the AfghanArmy, will become more potent as the U.S. withdraws soldiers from the country, and will hold more  sway in the inter Afghan process as well, as the U.S. withdraws funding for the government in Kabul .

Impact of new terrorist groups:- India’s presence inside Afghanistan, which has  been painstakingly built up since 2001, is being threatened a new by terror groups such as the Islamic State Khorasan Province(ISKP), believed to be backed by Pakistan’s establishment.

Author says:- India’s diplomatic strength in Afghanistanshould not appear to be in retreat just when it is needed the most.

What dents India’s Goodwill:- The government must also consider the damage done to the vast reservoir of goodwill India enjoys in Afghanistan because of recentevents in the country, especiallythe controversy over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

India’s assistance of more than $3 billion in projects, trade of of about $1 billion, a $20 billion projected development expenditure of an alternate route through Chabahar, as well as its support to the Afghan National Army, bureaucrats, doctors and other professionals for training in India should assure it a leadingposition in Afghanistan’s regional formulation.

Three major projects: the Afghan Parliament, the Zaranj Delaram Highway, and the Afghanistan India Friendship Dam (Salma dam), along with hundreds ofsmall development projects (of schools, hospitals and water projects) have cemented that position in Afghan hearts nationwide, regardless of Pakistan’s attempts to undermine that position, particularly in the South.

Finally, New Delhi should use the United Nations’s call for apause in conflicts during the novel corona virus pandemic, to ensure ahold on hostilities with Pakistan. This will be even more difficult than it sounds, given the abyss that bilateral relations have fallen into in the past year over Kashmir and the rise in firepower exchanged at the Line of Control.

Editorial 2:- Limitations of online learning

Direct human engagement is a crucial component of education

A few universities made arrangements for teachers to hold their classes virtually through   video conferencing services such as Zoom.

The transition to virtual modes was relatively less difficult for those institutions that had, even prior to the lockdown, adopted learning management system platforms.

As per Author Why Technology can’t replace Direct Human Engagement :-

Learning in higher education means much more than this.

It involves development of analytical and other intellectual skills, the ability to critically deconstructand evaluate given knowledge, and the creativity to make new connections and syntheses.

It also means to acquire practical skills, seek solutions to complex problems, and learn to work in teams. All these assume direct human engagement – not just teacher student interaction, but also peer interactions. Deconstructing given knowledge  in relative isolation is never the same as doing it in a group.

Thus as per Author technology can’t be a long term solution for higher education.

Editorial 3:- A greater impact on women

Women are disproportionately represented in poorly paid jobs without benefits, as domestic workers, casual labourers, street vendors, and  in small scale services like hair dressing.

The International Labour Organization estimates that nearly 200 million jobs will be lost in the next three months alone – many of them in  these sectors.

And just as they are losing their paid employment, many women face a huge increase in care work due to school closures, overwhelmed health systems, and the increased needs of older people. And let’s not   forget the girls who have had  their education cut short.

Entrenched inequality also means  that while women make up 70% of healthcare workers, they are vastly. outnumbered  by  men in healthcare management, and comprise just one in every 10 political leaders worldwide.

Other issues:-

  • Increased Domestic Violence.
  • Increase Family tensions.


News:- AAI mulls limited flights with 30% capacity post lockdown

The Airports Authority of India(AAI) is looking at commencing limited domestic/international flight operations with 30% capacity post COVID19 lockdown.

Airport officials have been told to ensure that the passengers followed the safety protocol, particularly physical distancing. Facilities for hand sanitising/washingwould be created in as many places as possible.

The Airports Authority of India or AAI is a statutory body (created through the Airports Authority of India Act, 1994)in 1995 working under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India is responsible for creating, upgrading, maintaining and managing civil aviation infrastructure in India. It provides Communication Navigation Surveillance / Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) services over Indian airspace and adjoining oceanic areas.


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