Daily Current Affairs for 26th August 2021

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SUJALAM – 100-days campaign

Why in News

The Ministry of Jal Shakti recently launched the ‘SUJALAM, a 100-days campaign’ as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations.

SUJALAM – 100-days campaign

  • The SUJALAM Campaign has started from 25th August, 2021 and will continue to run for the next 100 days.
  • It begun to create more and more ODF Plus villages by undertaking waste water management at village level particularly through creation of 1 million Soak-pits and also other Grey water management activities.
  • The effort of campaign would be directed towards achieving the ODF plus status for villages across the country in an accelerated manner in a short time.
  • The campaign will not only build desired infrastructure i.e. soak pit for management of grey-water in villages but will also aid in sustainable management of water-bodies.
  • The disposal of waste water and clogging of water-bodies in the villages or on the outskirts of the villages remain one of the major problems.
  • The Campaign would help in management of the wastewater and in turn would help to revive the water-bodies.
  • The campaign aims at accelerating initiatives under the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin phase-2 through increased awareness around ODF Plus village activities and community participation.

Key activities of SUJALAM campaign

  • Organizing Community consultations, Khuli Baithaks and Gram Sabha meetings to analyze the current situation;
  • Pass resolution to maintain ODF sustainability and achieve needed number of soak pits to manage the grey water;
  • Develop a 100 days’ plan to undertake sustainability and soak pit construction related activities;
  • Construct requisite number of soak pits;
  • Retrofit toilets where needed through IEC and community mobilization; and
  • Ensure all newly emerging Households in the village have access to toilets.

Grey Water

  • Grey-water is the domestic wastewater that is generated in households or office buildings from streams without fecal contamination.
  • It includes all streams of water except wastewater from toilets.
  • The sources include showers, sinks, baths, dishwashers and washing machines.

Open Defecation Free (ODF)

  • On 2nd October, 2014, the central government launched the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ to make India open defecation free in five years.
  • The target to achieve universal sanitation coverage was set for 2019.
  • Between 2000 and 2017, the South Asian region, including India, accounted for almost three-fourths of the population who stopped defecating in the open.
  • The government launched an Open Defecation Free (ODF) plus vision as an extension of the ODF programme under the Swachch Bharat Mission.
  • It envisaging solid waste management in villages, along with the collection and transportation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste.
  • Its objective is to sustain the ODF programme and to take up solid and liquid waste management.
  • Ending open defecation is an indicator being used to measure progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal Number 6.



Why in News

Recently, the Chief Scientist of WHO declared that, COVID-19 in India may be entering some kind of stage of endemicity where there is a low or moderate level of transmission going on in the country.


  • An endemic is a disease that is consistently present but limited to a particular area.
  • This means that the disease spread and rate of illness is predictable.
  • An example of an endemic virus in the US that remains in the population at a low frequency is the seasonal flu.
  • According to WHO’s Chief Scientist, the endemic stage is when a population learns to live with a virus. It’s very different from the epidemic stage when the virus overwhelms a population.

Endemic Vs. Pandemic

  • In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 to be a global pandemic.
  • Although there is no universally agreed-upon definition of what constitutes a pandemic, the WHO had previously called a pandemic the “worldwide spread of a new disease.”
  • The International Epidemiology Association’s Dictionary of Epidemiology says that a pandemic is “an epidemic occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people.”
  • Endemic diseases, like chicken pox or malaria, are not novel, and the rates of infection within a given population are fairly predictable.
  • The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that endemic “refers to the constant presence and/or usual prevalence of a disease or infectious agent in a population within a geographic area.”
  • Medical experts now are saying that the Covid-19 pandemic could become the next “endemic”.
  • Experts have previously said it would be impossible for the U.S. to reach “true herd immunity” with Covid-19 as new strains of the virus will continue to develop in the years ahead.

Will Covid last forever

  • Not all countries have given up on the hope of “Covid zero”.
  • China, for example, is pursuing a “zero tolerance” approach to the virus, with strict lockdowns, contact tracing, testing, and quarantines.
  • Australia, too, has sought to shut out the virus with closed borders, lockdowns, and widespread testing.
  • The highly contagious delta variant, however, is still managing to penetrate both countries, calling the long-term viability of a zero-Covid strategy into question.
  • While vaccines will still be effective, there is no clarity on the need for booster shots.
  • Higher vaccination rates may in some areas eventually stop COVID, but that depends on how many people get vaccines, how long they last, and how effective they are at reducing transmission over time.

Terms related stages of diseases

  • Endemic: It is something that belongs to a particular people or country.
  • Outbreak: Outbreak is a greater-than-anticipated increase in the number of endemic cases. It can also be a single case in a new area. If it’s not quickly controlled, an outbreak can become an epidemic.
  • Pandemic: It is an epidemic that’s spread over multiple countries or continents.
  • Epidemic: It is a disease that affects a large number of people within a community, population, or region.


E-SHRAM portal

Why in News

Recently, Ministry of Labour launched the ‘e-SHRAM portal’, the database of unorganised workers in the country.

e- SHRAM portal

  • The government aims to register 38 crore unorganised workers, such as construction labourers, migrant workforce, street vendors and domestic workers, among others.
  • The workers will be issued an e-Shram card containing a 12-digit unique number, which, going ahead, will help in including them in social security schemes.
  • The e-SHRAM portal will be a game-changer for having the database of crores of unorganised workers and linking them to social security and other schemes of the government from time to time.
  • The aim is to get nearly 380 million unorganised workers across India registered over the portal. These would include construction labourers, migrant workers, street vendors, domestic workers, agriculture workers and similar other sub-groups of unorganised workers.
  • e-Sharm Portal will be the national database of nation builders, ‘Shram Yogis’.
  • It will help take welfare schemes to their doorstep.
  • The portal will bring millions of unorganised workers in the country on a common platform.
  • As per estimates, around 92% of India’s workforce of 500 million is unorganised and as a result, they are often deprived of minimum wages and any form of social security.
  • The e-Sharm Portal will enable authorities track down the workers in the informal sector and offer welfare in times of crisis.
  • The portal will be made easily accessible so that workers can self-enroll using their Aadhaar and mobile number.



Why in News

The Reserve Bank of India extended the scope of tokenised card transactions by adding more devices.

Key Points

  • RBI has decided to extend the scope of tokenisation to include consumer devices, laptops, desktops, wearables (wristwatches, bands, etc.), Internet of Things (IoT) devices, etc.
  • Previously this facility was available only for mobile phones and tablets of interested cardholders.
  • There has been an uptake in the volume of tokenised card transactions during the recent months.
  • The case for tokenisation has been increasing as the new norms around the Payment Aggregator and Payment Gateway norms bar payment aggregators, payment gateways and merchants to store card data on their server.


  • Tokenisation means the replacement of actual card details with a unique alternate code called the “token”.
  • This token will be unique for a combination of card, token requestor and device.
  • A tokenised card transaction is considered safer as the actual card details are not shared with the merchant during transaction processing.

Mechanism of Tokenisation

  • The card holder can get the card tokenised by initiating a request on the app provided by the token requestor.
  • The token requestor will forward the request to the card network which, with the consent of the card issuer, will issue a token corresponding to the combination of the card, the token requestor, and the device.

Benefits of Payment Tokenization in E-commerce

  • Tokenization can help e-commerce businesses bypass costly red tape and save money.
  • Credit card fraud adds up to major costs for businesses. Payment tokenization can help eliminate fraud and protect your business from costly data breaches.
  • Compliance – Tokenization can help keep data secure. For example, data tokenization can help keep you in compliance with PCI DSS, or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.
  • Reduced risk – Tokenization allows to store customer data in a way that’s safe for owner and their customers.
  • Added security from mobile wallets – Tokenization that takes place through third-party apps add an extra layer of security from the mobile devices’ customers use. They have to use an added layer of biometric data or a password to access their mobile wallet before moving forward to your site.
  • Build trust with customers – Tokenization allows customers to trust for safeguarding their information by not storing any of their actual financial information.

Difference between Tokenisation and Encryption

Process of Regular Card Transaction

Process of Tokenised card transaction


EASE 4.0 (Enhanced Access and Service Excellence)

Why in news

Recently, Ministry of Finance unveiled a set of reforms for public sector banks (PSBs) called EASE 4.0 (Enhanced Access and Service Excellence).

About EASE 4.0 (Enhanced Access and Service Excellence)

  • EASE 4.0 reforms are the four key initiatives for public sector banks to adopt:
  • Smart lending backed by analytics;
  • PSBs will have to design and improve the performance of their loan initiation processes by simplifying them on the basis of standard operating procedures and time-bound actions.
  • Banks will have to introduce end-to-end digitised loans to new customers. The lenders will have to focus on customising loans terms, interest rate and processing charges for customers availing digital loans based on their past behaviour and information from third-party sources.
  • The PSBs will have to broaden their customer base and increase credit off-take through analytics and technology-driven credit offers.
  • Banks can look at lending opportunities like pre-approved car loans and EMI offers on e-commerce/point-of-sale terminals.
  • Banks can also make analytics-based credit decisions for MSMEs by assessing their transactional data, GST and tax data, etc.
  • 24×7 banking with resilient technology and cloud-based IT systems;
  • Under the EASE 4.0 reforms, PSBs will have to fast-track the migration of their IT systems to secure cloud-based solutions in line with board-approved policies and the regulatory framework.
  • The PSBs will have to conduct time-bound audits and testing in line with board-approved policies.
  • The public sector banks will have to strengthen cyber resilience by fast-tracking implementation of advanced cyber-security measures such as zero trust network segmentation, as well as adoption of AI- & ML-based threat detection, API security and analytics-based cyber-risk quantification.
  • PSBs have been asked to draw up and implement board-approved roadmaps for the automation of high-volume and manual processes.
  • Data enabled agriculture financing;
  • Collaborating with the financial ecosystem.
  • PSBs will have to collaborate with NBFCs to build co-lending models with API-based data exchange and IT integration between NBFCs and banks.
  • The banks will have to design and improve performance of lead management systems, loan management systems, loan monitoring systems, etc. to facilitate co-lending with NBFCs.
  • The public sector banks will be providing doorstep delivery of banking services and will have to improve time-bound auctions of secured assets on the ‘eBkray’ auction platform.

About EASE

  • EASE Agenda is a common reform agenda for Public Sector Banks (PSBs).
  • It was launched with the objective to institutionalize clean and smart banking.
  • The first edition of EASE i.e., EASE 1.0 was launched in January 2018.
  • Its second edition i.e., EASE 2.0 followed this to build on the foundation laid in EASE 1.0.
  • The reform actions of EASE 2.0 were aimed at making the reforms journey irreversible, strengthening processes and systems and driving outcomes.
  • EASE 3.0 was launched in February 2020 with the aim of enhancing the ease of banking in all customer experiences, using technology, alternate data, as well as analytics.

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