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Daily Category  (Indian Society)

National Pension System


  • National Pension System is growing under the agile supervision of Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority of India (PFRDA).

  • Those who end up accumulating only up to Rs 2 lakh by the retirement age are allowed to withdraw the full amount. The PFRDA now considers hiking it to Rs 5 lakh.

Changes proposed by PFRDA:

  • Part Money Withdrawal: One can withdraw just 60% of their accumulated savings at the time of retirement in NPS.

  • Annuity product: With the remaining 40%, it is mandatory to buy an annuity product that provides a fixed monthly income to retirees till their demise.

  • Exemption: Members who accumulate up to ?2 lakh in their NPS account. They can withdraw full amount.

  • Proposed Changes:

    • This limit will soon be revised to ?5 lakh.

    • Annuity purchase stipulation for 40% of members’ retirement corpus should be dropped altogether.

Reasons for proposed changes:

  • Falling interest rates: And poor returns offered by annuity products 

  • High Inflation: With retail inflation running at about 5%-6% over the past year, the returns on annuities are, in fact, negative, even if one does not factor in the tax.

  • Unattractive investment: To avoid forcing people into such an unattractive investment, the regulator has now proposed to give members a choice to retain 40% of their corpus with the NPS fund managers even after retirement.

National Pension System:

  • It was started as the New Pension Scheme for government employees in 2004 under a new regulator PFRDA.

  • National Pension System (NPS) has been open for individuals from all walks of life to participate and build a retirement nest-egg.

  • Age Limit: Any Indian citizen between 18 and 60 years can join NPS.

  • Informal employment: Given the dominance of informal employment in India, EPFO, which is contingent on a formal employer-employee relationship, only covers a fraction of the workforce.

  • Size of NPS: The NPS now manages ?5.78 lakh crore of savings and 4.24 crore accounts in multiple savings schemes.

Atal Pension Yojana:

  • Of these, over 3.02 crore accounts are part of the Atal Pension Yojana (APY).

  • It is a government-backed scheme for workers in the unorganised sector.

  • It assures a fixed pension payout after retirement.

SOURCE: The Hindu

E9 countries and E9 initiative


  • A consultation meeting of Education Ministers of E9 countries was recently held.


  • E9 initiative for Education: The meeting was held on the theme ‘E9 initiative: Scaling up digital learning to accelerate progress towards SDG4’.

                                                   E9 initiative - INSIGHTSIAS

Progress towards SDG4:

  • The UN is spearheading a global initiative on

    • Digital learning and skills for all,

    • Targeting marginalized children and youth and

    • Aiming to close the digital divide and

    • Drive rapid change in education systems.

  • 2020 Global Education Meeting (GEM) Declaration: E-9 initiative focuses on three of the five priorities of GEM Declaration:

    1. Supporting teachers;

    2. Investing in skills; and

    3. Narrowing the digital divide.

  • E9 countries offers: It offers a starting gate to accelerate progress on:

    • Digital learning and skills in the immediate term and

    • Ultimately on the SDG4 agenda in the longer term.

E9 Countries:

  • E9 Partnership was first established in 1993.

  • Objective: To achieve the goals of UNESCO's Education For All (EFA).

  • Members: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

  • Aims: Strengthening political will and collective effort to ensure quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.

  • E9 Partnership is working for the achievement of SDG4 – Education 2030.


Sustainable Development Goals:

  • The Sustainable Development Goals or Global Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals.

  • These are designed to be a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all".

  • The SDGs were set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and are intended to be achieved by the year 2030.

  • Aim: To bring sustainable development in the mainstream.

  • There are 17 goals and 169 targets specific targets to be achieved by 2030. Reaching the goals requires action on all fronts – governments, businesses, civil society and people everywhere all have a role to play.

  • SDGs are not legally binding.


WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report


  • India has fallen 28 places in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, and is now ranked 140 among 156 countries.

                                               Why closing Japan's gender gap will be achieved with equality from the top  | World Economic Forum


Pakistan loses two spots on Global Gender Gap Index, slides into ranks of  worst four countries - Pakistan - DAWN.COM

  • India is now one of the worst performers in South Asia, trailing behind neighbors

    • Bangladesh,

    • Nepal,

    • Bhutan,

    • Sri Lanka and

    • Myanmar

  • Political empowerment index: While India has declined as a decline in the number of women ministers, from 23.1 % in 2019 to 9.1 % in 2021.

  • Education Index: India has been ranked at 114.

  • Worst Performance: But the two indices where India has fared the worst are “Health and Survival”, which includes the sex ratio, and economic participation of women.

  • Index of Economic Participation:

    •  Economic participation gender gap actually widened in India by 3 % this year.

    • The share of women in:

      • Professional and technical roles-29.2 per cent.

      • Senior and managerial positions- 14.6 %

      • Top female managers in companies: Only 8.9 % firms 

    • Estimated earned income of women in India is only one-fifth of men’s, which puts the country among the bottom 10 globally on this indicator.

  • Health and Survival index: India has fared the worst, ranking at 155/156.


WEF's gender gap index: India slips 28 places, ranks 140 among 156 nations  | The Blogger

  • Worst Region: South Asia incidentally is one of the worst performing regions, followed only by the Middle East and northern Africa.

  • Economic performance: Many countries have fared worse in this year’s rankings compared to last  

  • Time to fill gender gap: On its current trajectory, it will now take 135.6 years to close the gender gap worldwide.

    • It will take South Asia 195.4 years to close the gender gap,

    • While Western Europe will take 52.1 years.

  • Gender gap in Political empowerment index: It remains the largest:

    • Women represent only 26.1 % of some 35,500 parliament seats and just 22.6 % of over 3,400 ministers worldwide, according to the report.

    • In 81 countries, there has never been a woman head of state, as of January 15, 2021.

    • Bangladesh is “the only country where more women have held head-of-state positions than men in the past 50 years.”

  • Index of Economic Participation: The countries with the largest gender gaps in economic participation include Iran, India, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

SOURCE: Indian Express

Status of WASH in Healthcare Facilities in India-CDDEP


  • CDDEP, USA, has estimated the cost of ensuring WASH and taking related steps for infection prevention and control for one year in healthcare facilities across India.

Key Highlights:

Total Cost Estimates:

  • Improving and maintaining WASH across the public healthcare facilities in India for a year would cost $354 million (Rs 2567,00,00,000 approximately) in capital costs and $289 million (Rs 2095,00,00,000 approximately) in recurrent expenses.

  • Most costly interventions: Providing clean water, linen reprocessing and sanitation while the least expensive was hand hygiene, medical device reprocessing and environmental surface cleaning.

Healthcare Associated Infections:

  • Inadequacies in proving WASH and also lack of infection prevention and control can lead to healthcare associated infections.

  • Causative Agents: The pathogens like Acinetobacter baumannii, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, Streptococcus pneumoniae have been found to be causative agents of healthcare associated infections because of their ability to develop resistance to antibiotics.

  • Common Healthcare Associated Infections: Central-line-associated bloodstream infections, Catheter-associated urinary tract infections, Surgical site infections and Ventilator-associated pneumonia.


  • An acronym that stands for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.
  • WHO WASH Strategy has been developed in response to
    • Member State Resolution (WHA 64.4) and the
    • 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG 3: Good Health and Well Being, SDG 6: Clean Water And Sanitation)
  • It is a component of WHO’s 13th General Programme of Work 2019–2023.

Source: The Hindu

Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 3.0


  • The States/Union Territories (UTs) have rolled out the first phase of Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 3.0 to cover children and pregnant women who missed the routine immunisation during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Mission Indradhanush - General Awareness Study Material & Notes

  • Aim: The program, through a mission mode intervention, is aimed to accelerate the full immunisation of

    • Children And

    • Pregnant Women

  • IMI 3.0 campaign and Portal:  Was launched on February 19, 2021, along with operational guidelines for it and the awareness material as a part of the campaign.

  • States and district functionaries will reach to each and every child and attain maximum full immunisation coverage.

  • Two rounds Schedule: The campaign is scheduled to have two rounds of immunisation lasting 15 days (excluding the routine immunisation and holidays) starting from February 22 and March 22, 2021.

  • Conducted in: It will be conducted in pre-identified 250 districts/urban areas across 29 States/UTs in the country.

  • Classification of districts: As per the guidelines released for IMI 3.0, the districts have been classified to reflect

    • 313 as low risk,

    • 152 as medium risk, and

    • 250 as high-risk districts.

  • Staggered approach: States have been asked to follow the "staggered approach" to avoid crowding at the session sites and even plan break-up sessions if the approach is not effective to avoid crowding.

  • Mission IMI 2.0: From December 2019-March 2020, “to achieve targets of full immunization coverage among hard-to-reach and tribal populations.


  • It is a health mission of the Government of India. It was launched in 2014.
  • 90 % target: The scheme this seeks to drive towards 90% full immunisation coverage of India and sustain the same by year 2020. \
  • Vaccination against 12 diseases: Vaccination is being provided against eight vaccine-preventable diseases:

  1. Diphtheria
  2. Whooping cough
  3. Tetanus
  4. Polio
  5. Tuberculosis
  6. Hepatitis b
  7. Meningitis and pneumonia
  8. Hemophilus influenza type b infections
  9. Japanese encephalitis (JE)
  10. Rotavirus vaccine
  11. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) and
  12. Measles-rubella (MR)
  • Vaccination against Japanese Encephalitis and Haemophilus influenzae type B is being provided in selected districts of the country.


  • Year: It was launched by the Government of India in 2017.
  • Aim: To reach each and every child under two years of age and all those pregnant women who have been left uncovered under the routine immunisation programme.
  • Focus area: Greater focus has been given on urban areas.
  • It will target the districts which have immunisation coverage of 70% or below.

SOURCE: Business standards

World Bank report-“Traffic Crash Injuries and Disabilities-The Burden on Indian Society”


  • Bringing the focus on the social and financial impact of road accidents in India, the World Bank today released a report titled ‘Traffic Crash Injuries and Disabilities: The Burden on Indian Society’.

  • The report was released by Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.


  • World Bank commissioned a survey-based assessment study in association with the Save LIFE Foundation (SLF).

  • Aim: To determine differential impacts of road accidents more objectively in India.


  • India today has 1 percent of the total vehicles around the world but accounts for 11 percent of the global road accidents.

  • Every year, In India, over 1.5 lakh people lose their lives and more than 4.5 lakh are injured in road accidents.

  • Insurance coverage: It was significantly higher among HIH and households in urban areas vis-à-vis LIH urban areas.

  • Truck Drivers:

    • Overall, 2/3rd of the respondent truck drivers did not file an FIR after the crash.

    • Only 40% of the truck drivers were covered under life insurance and 18% under medical insurance at the time of the crash.

    • 2/3rd of the truck drivers were not aware of third-party liability insurance.