Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2022

Feb 09, 2022

Current Affair 1:
Smart Cities Mission


Smart Cities Mission was launched by the Hon’ Prime Minister on 25 June, 2015.

The main objective of the Mission is

  1. to promote cities that provide core infrastructure, clean and sustainable environment and give a decent quality of life to their citizens through the application of ‘smart solutions’.
  2. The Mission aims to drive economic growth and improve quality of life through comprehensive work on social, economic, physical and institutional pillars of the city.
  3. The focus is on sustainable and inclusive development by creation of replicable models which act as lighthouses to other aspiring cities.

100 cities have been selected to be developed as Smart Cities through a two-stage competition.


The Mission is operated as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme. Central Government will give financial support to the extent of Rs. 48,000 crores over 5 years i.e., on an average Rs.100 crore per city per year.  An equal amount on a matching basis is to be provided by the State/ULBAdditional resources are to be raised through convergence, from ULBs’ own funds, grants under Finance Commission, innovative finance mechanisms such as Municipal Bonds, other government programs and borrowings.

Emphasis has been given on the participation of private sector through Public Private Partnerships (PPP).

There is no standard definition or template of a smart city.  In the context of our country, the six fundamental principles on which the concept of Smart Cities is based are:


The implementation of the Mission at the City level will be done by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) created for the purpose. The SPV. will plan, appraise, approve, release funds, implement, manage, operate, monitor and evaluate the Smart City development projects. Each Smart City will have a SPV which will be headed by a full time CEO and have nominees of Central Government, State Government and ULB on its Board.


Area-based development will transform existing areas (retrofit and redevelop), including slums, into better planned ones, thereby improving liveability of the whole City. New areas (greenfield) will be developed around cities in order to accommodate the expanding population in urban areas.

Retrofitting will introduce planning in an existing built-up area to achieve Smart City objectives, along with other objectives, to make the existing area more efficient and liveable.

Redevelopment will affect a replacement of the existing built-up environment and enable co-creation of a new layout with enhanced infrastructure using mixed land use and increased density.

Greenfield development will introduce most of the Smart Solutions in a previously vacant area (more than 250 acres) using innovative planning, plan financing and plan implementation tools (e.g., land pooling/ land reconstitution) with provision for affordable housing, especially for the poor. Greenfield developments are required around cities in order to address the needs of the expanding population. One well known example is the GIFT City in Gujarat.

Current Affair 2:
"Accelerate Vigyan" (AV) Scheme



Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), an autonomous body of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Union Ministry of Science & Technology, the Government of India, has invited applications under ‘ABHYAAS’, a program of ‘Accelerate Vigyan’ scheme.


ABHYAAS’, a program of AV scheme, is an attempt to boost research and development in the country by enabling and grooming potential postgraduate / PhD students by developing dedicated research skills in selected areas / disciplines / fields through its two components — high-end workshops (“KAARYASHALA”) and Training and Skill Internship (“VRITIKA”).


"Accelerate Vigyan" (AV) strives to provide a big push to high-end scientific research and prepare scientific manpower which can venture into research careers and knowledge-based economy.

AV will initiate and strengthen mechanisms of identifying research potential, mentoring, training and hands-on workshops, on a broad-based national scale.

The aim is to expand the research base in the country, with three broad goals - consolidation / aggregation of all scientific training programs, initiating High end Orientation Workshops and creating opportunities for Training and Skill Internship.

The Inter-Ministerial Overseeing Committee (IMOC) was constituted to synergised efforts for educating, sensitising and encouraging the various organisation / universities / institute / labs under the respective departments / ministries to undertake measures to make the "Accelerate Vigyan" as effective tool in capacity building and skill development.

Current Affair 3:
Immense need for crop diversification and role of agroforestry


Read. Important article.

Generally, the farmer’s fate is drooped with a fortune from sowing to harvesting.

In addition, challenges like post-harvest losses, storage and unavailability of accessible proper marketing are further aggravating the problem. Currently, the human-wildlife and / or human-crops conflict, forest fires, organic matter deficit soil, monoculture, plant disease and infestation, migration and the reluctance of youth towards agriculture are a new array of problems.

The traditional approach of low input-based extensive and diversified agricultural practices termed as ‘crop diversification’ could be an alternate approach that might be used to save farming as a counter-strategy for farming bio-socio-psychological anomalies. Crop diversification is a strategy applied to grow more diverse crops from shrinking land resources with an increase in productivity in the same arable land. 

Farmers have been using the common government-promoted Green Revolution cropping pattern — rice-wheat-rice for a longer time to enhance productivity. Unilaterally, following the same cropping pattern for a longer period of time has extracted the specific nutrients from the soil, resulting in soil deficiency in those nutrients along with a declined population of microfauna in the soil.

The mono-cropping pattern also reduces resource-use efficiency. Thus, breaking the mono-cropping pattern by the introduction of diverse crops and cropping patterns helps in reviving the soil health and increasing the resource-use efficiency.

Traditional pattern of agriculture in India has wider crop diversity, more stable and pro-nature. In the Garhwal Himalayan region of India, Barahnaja is a crop diversification system for cultivating 12 crops in a year. ‘Barahanaaj’ literally means ‘12 foodgrains’ and is the traditional heritage of the area.

So, the question here is, why would farmers like to change the crop rotation? It is evident that longer rotation, less income, more extensive management and limited adoption are limiting the expansion of the system contrary to monoculture for ease of management.

It is pertinent to find out why there is a need for crop diversification and changing the crop rotation. If we continue to follow the same cropping pattern for a few more years, it will create a deficiency of soil nutrients. To meet the deficiency of soil nutrients, farmers apply fertilisers periodically, which further results in a change in the soil’s chemical and biological properties.

Furthermore, mono-cropping patterns have more chances to be attacked by the same types of insects and pests, which in turn are controlled by pumping the insecticides and pesticides. This accumulates the residue of these chemicals in soil which pollutes the soil, crop and environment.

Similarly, weed infestations are on the rise too, necessitating the application of weedicides or herbicides to eradicate them. Thus, persistent use of chemicals declines productivity, reduces resource-use efficiency and deteriorates soil health.

Therefore, there is an urgent need to change the crops and cropping pattern, that is crop diversification.


Agroforestry is a land-use system that includes trees, crops and / or livestock in a spatial and temporal manner, balancing both ecological and economic interactions of biotic and abiotic components. It harnesses the complementarity between trees and crops for efficient utilisation of available resources.

Agroforestry can generate food, feed, fruits, fibre, fuel, fodder, fish, flavour, fragrance, floss, gum and resins as well as other non-wood products for food and nutritional security. It can also support  livelihoods and promote productive, resilient agricultural environments in all ecologies.

Agroforestry is an important land-use system for diversification around the world in different spheres of biological, ecological, economical and sociological considerations.

The major agroforestry practices in India include multifunctional improved fallows, home gardens, plantation crop-based mixed-species production systems, alley cropping, woodlots, windbreaks, protein banks, shifting cultivation and Taungya in different regions.

Current Affair 4:
Sustainable Access to Markets and Resources for Innovative Delivery of Healthcare (SAMRIDH) initiative

Source Link


Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a new partnership under the Sustainable Access to Markets and Resources for Innovative Delivery of Healthcare (SAMRIDH) initiative, which will improve access to affordable and quality healthcare for vulnerable populations in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, and rural and tribal regions.

This new partnership announced will enhance SAMRIDH’s efforts to reach vulnerable populations, leveraging AIM’s expertise in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Through this initiative, SAMRIDH combines commercial capital with public and philanthropic funds to mitigate barriers to private investment in healthcare. The approach aims to drive greater resources towards market-based health solutions to improve access to affordable and quality healthcare services for India's most vulnerable.


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