Daily Current Affairs for 20th August 2022

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Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G)

GS Paper 2: Government policy and intervention
Important for
Prelims exam: Provision of Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G)
Mains exam: SBM-G impact on rural households and women empowerment
Why in news
Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin(SBM-G), the flagship programme of the Government of India recorded another milestone of more than one lakh villages (101462) declaring themselves as ODF (open defecation free) Plus.

About SBM-G

To accelerate the efforts to achieve Universal Sanitation Coverage and to put the focus on sanitation, the Prime Minister of India had launched the Swachh Bharat Mission on 2nd October 2014.
● The aim was to ensure cleanliness in India and make it Open Defecation Free (ODF) in Five Years.
● It seeks to improve the levels of cleanliness in rural areas through Solid and Liquid Waste Management activities and making Gram Panchayats Open Defecation Free (ODF), clean and sanitised.
● The country came together in the world’s largest behaviour change campaign and achieved its aim, and on 2nd October 2019, 11 years ahead of the SDG-6 target set by the United Nations, rural India became open defecation free.
● This was not the end of the mission, it laid the foundation to take on a much more challenging, yet necessary task; the need to ensure sampoorn swachhata or complete cleanliness, to make the country’s villages ODF Plus.
Phase II
● In February 2020, the Phase-II of the SBM (G) was approved with a focus on the sustainability of ODF status and Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) activities, making villages ODF Plus.

An ODF Plus village is defined as a village which sustains its Open Defecation Free (ODF) status, ensures solid and liquid waste management and is visually clean.

● SBM (G) Phase-II is planned to be a novel model of convergence between different verticals of financing and various schemes of Central and State Governments.
● The programme will be implemented in mission mode from 2020-21 to 2024-25.
● The Second Phase of the SBM-G is about appropriately managing all types of waste that will not only make villages clean, but also creating avenues for generating incomes for rural households and creating new livelihood opportunities, while fulfilling the requirements of the Sustainable Development Goals.
● DDWS (Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation) had introduced intermediate stages in the process of declaring a village as ODF Plus, given that all villages may not fulfil all criteria under the verticals of biodegradable waste management (BWM), plastic waste management (PWM), greywater management (GWM) and faecal sludge management (FSM) before declaring a village as ODF Plus.
○ ODF Plus – Aspiring category: In this all households and institutions besides having access to sanitation through individual household latrines, have arrangements for either SWM or LWM;
○ ODF plus – Rising category: Which have arrangements for both LWM and SWM in addition to the criteria in Aspiring?
○ ODF Plus – Model category: Which have all the above..
● The SBM-G-II reinforces the Government’s commitment to promote hygiene and safe sanitation and thereby improve the quality of life of its citizens.
● The top five performing states are Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh where the maximum number of villages has been declared as ODF Plus.
Ocean Diversity Pact
GS Paper 2 & 3: Regional and global groupings, Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests, Conservation, Environmental pollution and degradation
Important for

Prelims exam: Ocean Diversity Pact, UNCLOS

Why in news
India and other member countries of the United Nations are deliberating on a one­-of-­its-­kind agreement to conserve marine biodiversity in the high seas, namely the oceans that extend beyond countries’ territorial waters.
About the agreement
The agreement follows a resolution by the UN General Assembly and is expected to be the final in a series set in motion since 2018 to draft an international legally binding instrument under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
● The key aspect of the agreement is deciding on the rights of companies that undertake exploration for biological resources in the high seas.
○ It needs to be affirmed that whether companies have absolute rights on any discovery or extraction in these regions or should they share their gains, in terms of intellectual property and royalties with a UN ­prescribed body.
● There were already companies carrying out such exploratory activities though little was known about them.
○ Hence, an international agreement that spells out obligations and permissible activities is important.
● There is a “race” among international corporations for biological resources from the sea, making it critical to have an agreement on benefit sharing.

● The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was adopted in 1982.
● It lays down a comprehensive regime of law and order in the world’s oceans and seas establishing rules governing all uses of the oceans and their resources.
● It embodies in one instrument traditional rules for the uses of the oceans and at the same time introduces new legal concepts and regimes and addresses new concerns.
● The Convention also provides the framework for further development of specific areas of the law of the sea.
● India played a constructive role in deliberations leading to UNCLOS’s adoption in 1982 and has been a party to the convention since 1995.


GS Paper 2: Governance, Transparency and Accountability
Important for
Prelims exam: UIDAI, Aadhar
Mains exam: Concern related to Aadhar card

Why in news

The High Court of Karnataka has directed the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to furnish information and documents submitted for securing Aadhaar by 12 Bangladesh nationals, some of whom are already convicted in a gang­rape case.

Why UIDAI had refused to share details with NIA

● UIDAI had declined to provide the information and documents sought by NIA, as Section 33 mandates that confidential information/authentication documents, which are prohibited from being revealed.
○ These documents can be disclosed in certain cases only by an order of the court not inferior to a judge of the High Court.
Direction by High court
● Court said that UIDAI is required to provide the details as NIA is probing the case that is related to cross-border human trafficking and forcing vulnerable women from Bangladesh to prostitution in India by creating fake identification documents.
● The court also pointed out that the Aadhaar Act, 2016, only mandated the court to hear the UIDAI before granting permission to provide confidential details.
○ Court said that there was no such compulsion in the Act to hear the persons concerned whose information had been sought.


● The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a statutory authority established under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (“Aadhaar Act 2016”) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
● UIDAI was created to issue Unique Identification numbers (UID), named as “Aadhaar”, to all residents of India.
● The UID had to be:
○ Robust enough to eliminate duplicate and fake identities
○ Verifiable and authenticable in an easy, cost-effective way.
● Under the Aadhaar Act 2016, UIDAI is responsible for:
○ Aadhaar enrolment and authentication,
○ Operation and management of all stages of Aadhaar life cycle,
○ Developing the policy, procedure, and system for issuing Aadhaar numbers to individuals
○ Perform authentication and the security of identity information and authentication records of individuals.
● Before its establishment as a statutory authority, UIDAI was functioning as an attached office of the then Planning Commission (now NITI Aayog).

Military exercise

1. Ex PITCH BLACK 2022
● An Indian Air Force contingent has reached Australia to participate in Exercise Pitch Black 2022 scheduled to be held from 19 Aug 22 to 08 Sep 22 in Darwin.
● This is a biennial, multinational exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
● The last edition was conducted in 2018. The 2020 edition of the exercise was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
● This year’s participants include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, UAE, the UK and the US.
○ Significantly, Germany, Japan, and the Republic of Korea will be participating fully for the first time.
● International participation in Exercise Pitch Black, from within the Indo-Pacific region and further abroad, provides all nations’ personnel with experience in working with aircraft, systems and work practices, in northern Australia’s unique environment, that would otherwise be unfamiliar[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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