CURRENT AFFAIRS – 10/08/2023

CURRENT AFFAIRS – 10/08/2023

Number of elephants in Karnataka goes up

(General Studies- Paper III, Page 5)

Source : TH

The elephant population in Karnataka has increased by 346, reaching a total of 6,395 in 2023.

  • This increase makes Karnataka the state with the highest elephant population in the country.

Key Highlights

  • The data comes from an interim report on Asian Elephant population and demography estimates released by Minister for Forests.
  • The report coincides with the upcoming World Elephant Day on August 12, aiming to raise awareness about endangered elephant species.
  • The report is a result of a synchronized elephant census conducted from May 17 to 19, involving Karnataka and neighboring states including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Goa.
  • In 2010, Karnataka had 5,740 elephants, which increased to 6,072 in 2012 but slightly decreased to 6,049 in 2017. The current increase marks a rise of 346 elephants since 2017.
  • The census was carried out in 23 forest divisions, revealing an average elephant density of 0.34 per sq km in the state.
  • Bandipur Tiger Reserve has the highest elephant density of 0.96 per sq km, housing 1,116 elephants, followed by Nagarahole Tiger Reserve with 831 elephants and a density of 0.93.

Elephants in India

  • Elephant has the same status as that of the tiger, and was declared the National Heritage Animal in 2010.
  • The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 and the Forest (Conservation) Act of 1980 provide legal frameworks for elephant conservation.
  • Project Elephant is a flagship conservation initiative launched in 1992 by the Government of India to ensure the protection and welfare of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).
  • The Asian Elephant has been given the highest level of protection in India by its inclusion in Schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.

About Elephants

  • Elephants are charismatic and keystone species that play vital roles in maintaining ecosystems and biodiversity.
  • There are two main species of elephants:
    • the African elephant (Loxodontaafricana and Loxodontacyclotis) and
    • the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus).
  • Both species face various threats that have led to their decline in the wild, leading to international conservation efforts to protect them.
  • African elephants are listed as two distinct species:
    • the African forest elephant (Loxodontacyclotis) and the African savanna elephant (Loxodontaafricana).
    • Both species are listed as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
    • The Appendix I listing in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) prohibits international trade in elephant ivory.
  • Asian elephants are listed as “Endangered” by the IUCN.
    • They are listed on Appendix I of CITES, which prohibits international trade in wild-caught specimens for commercial purposes.

On Jeddah conference and ending the Ukraine-Russia conflict

(General Studies- Paper II)

Source : TH

The Jeddah conference on the Ukraine war involved 42 nations and aimed to find a resolution to the conflict through consensus.

Key Highlights

  • Unlike typical peace conferences, Russia was not invited, and the focus was on building consensus among major powers, especially from the Global South.
  • The talks centered on respecting international law principles, such as Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, with agreement to reconvene.
  • China, India, and South Africa, countries with ties to Russia, participated in the conference, adding seriousness to global peace efforts.
  • The war, ongoing for 18 months, has proven that a military solution is not viable. Russia has made some gains but struggles with various consequences.
  • Ukraine’s counteroffensive, supported by Western training and weapons, has not led to significant progress.
  • The conflict has led to stalemate, with both sides unwilling to negotiate based on their maximalist positions.

History of Russia-Ukraine Relations- Major Milestones

  • 10th – 19th Century: Shared Beginnings and Divergence
    • Both Russia and Ukraine trace their roots to the medieval principality of KievanRus in the 10th century.
    • KievanRus’ region was ruled by the Varangian dynasty, the Rurikids.
    • Mongol invasion in the 13th century led to the fall of Kievan Rus.
    • Kyiv served as the capital until 1240, then Moscow became the capital of Muscovy and the Russian Empire.
    • Ukraine was divided between Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Russian Empire in the 16th century.
  • Early 20th Century: Suppression and Struggle for Independence
    • 19th-century Russian Empire suppressed Ukrainian culture and language to assimilate Ukrainians.
    • Ethnic Russians were moved into Ukraine to strengthen Russian control.
    • Ukrainian Central Rada issued “Universal of the Ukrainian People” in 1917, declaring autonomy within a federal Russian state.
    • “Declaration of Independence of Ukraine” proclaimed sovereignty in 1917.
    • Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic established during the Soviet-Ukrainian War (1917-1921).
  • The Soviet Era: Soviet Union and Industrialization
    • Ukrainian Bolsheviks established the Ukrainian SSR after defeating the national government.
    • Ukrainian SSR joined Russia to become a founding member of the Soviet Union in 1922.
    • Ukrainian SSR became the “bread basket” of the USSR due to its fertile soil and agricultural productivity.
    • Rapid industrialization in the 1930s led to prosperity and modernization.
    • The man-made Holodomor famine of 1932-1933 caused the deaths of around 3.5 million Ukrainians.
  • Post-Soviet Era: Independence and Challenges
    • Early 1990s saw strong support for Ukrainian independence from the Soviet Union.
    • Demonstrations and referendums supported independence.
    • Leonid MakarovychKravchuk became the first president of independent Ukraine in 1991.
    • Ukraine inherited a significant nuclear weapons arsenal after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
    • Ukraine agreed to disarm and joined the NPT with security assurances from the Budapest Memorandum.
  • 21st Century: Protests, Annexation, and Conflict
    • Orange Revolution in 2004 protested rigged elections and brought political change.
    • Euromaidan protests in 2013 opposed government corruption and abuse of power.
    • Annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 following masked Russian troop occupation.
    • Conflict in eastern Ukraine escalated tensions further.
    • Russia’s military buildup in 2021 and invasion of Ukraine in 2022 heightened the crisis.

Nuclear Power Plants and Quest for Sustainable Energy

(General Studies- Paper III)

Source : TH

  • The world’s shift towards decarbonization aligns with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 7 for sustainable and modern energy access.
  • Despite progress, fossil fuels still account for 82% of global energy supply, making decarbonization of the power sector crucial.
  • Electricity’s share in final energy consumption is projected to increase significantly by 2050, requiring reliable low-carbon electricity resources.

Challenges of Decarbonization

  • Transitioning from coal to clean energy poses challenges; solar and wind alone might not ensure reliable and affordable energy.
  • Reliable and consistent power generation is essential for grid stability and energy security.
  • Demand for critical minerals for clean energy technologies is expected to rise significantly by 2030, creating environmental and geopolitical concerns.

Nuclear Power’s Role

  • Nuclear power contributes 10% of global electricity and reduces natural gas demand and CO2 emissions.
  • Nuclear power provides reliable 24×7 energy, efficient land usage, and job opportunities.
  • However, conventional nuclear power plants have faced cost and time overruns.

Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)

  • SMRs, with a maximum capacity of 300 MW, are being developed to complement conventional nuclear plants.
  • SMRs offer enhanced safety features, simplified designs, and lower potential for environmental contamination.
  • They can be installed on decommissioned thermal power plant sites, utilizing existing infrastructure.

Advantages of SMRs

  • SMRs have lower core damage frequency and radioactive contamination risks.
  • Simplified designs and passive safety features make them safer.
  • SMRs can be installed on brownfield sites and operate for 40-60 years.
  • Costs for SMRs are expected to decrease with the involvement of experienced companies and technology transfer.

Efficient Regulation and Global Cooperation

  • Efficient regulation is crucial for SMRs’ success.
  • Global cooperation and harmonization of regulatory standards are needed.
  • SMRs’ serial manufacturing can reduce time and cost overruns.

Integrating SMRs in India

  • India’s energy strategy requires increasing coal-based thermal power and renewable energy.
  • SMRs can contribute to decarbonizing India’s energy sector by expanding nuclear power.
  • Legal and regulatory changes, including private sector involvement, oversight, and security measures, are needed.

Nuclear Power Plants in India

  • There are presently 22 reactors with a total capacity of 6780 MW in operation and one reactor, KAPP-3 (700 MW) has been connected to the grid on January 10, 2021.
  • Among these eighteen reactors are Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) and four are Light Water Reactors (LWRs).
  • In addition, there are 8 reactors (including 500 MW PFBR being implemented by BHAVINI) totalling to 6000 MW under construction at various stages.

Note: The Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) are fuelled by Natural Uranium while Light Water Reactors (LWRs) are fuelled by Low Enriched Uranium.

About BharatiyaNabhikiyaVidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI)

  • BharatiyaNabhikiyaVidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI) is a government-owned company in India that is responsible for the design, construction, commissioning, and operation of nuclear power plants using fast breeder reactor (FBR) technology.
  • BHAVINI is under the administrative control of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Government of India.
  • Its primary focus is on developing and operating fast breeder reactors to generate electricity.
  • BHAVINI was incorporated as a public limited company under the Companies Act, 1956, in October 2003.
  • Fast Breeder Reactor Technology:
    • The technology fast neutrons to convert fertile material (like uranium-238) into fissile material (like plutonium-239), thereby generating energy.

About Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)

The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is a government organization in India responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of nuclear energy programs and activities.

  • It operates under the Prime Minister’s Office.
  • The DAE was established in 1954 as a direct outcome of India’s decision to pursue nuclear science and technology for peaceful purposes.
  • The DAE operates as a separate department within the framework of the Government of India, reporting directly to the Prime Minister.
  • The DAE is headed by the Secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy, who is also the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).
  • The DAE also oversees the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), which is responsible for the operation and maintenance of nuclear power plants across the country.

Note: The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) is the apex body that formulates policies, plans, and programs related to nuclear energy in India.

Centre releases more grain stock under open market sale

(General Studies- Paper II)

Source : TH

The Indian government is taking action to address rising foodgrains prices by selling additional quantities of wheat and rice through the Open Market Sales Scheme (OMSS).

Key Highlights

  • The Centre plans to sell 50 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of wheat and 25 LMT of rice from the Food Corporation of India stocks through the OMSS.
  • The goal is to ensure sufficient domestic availability of foodgrains and control the prices of essential commodities like rice, wheat, and atta (flour).
  • Union Food Secretary announced that the Centre will lower the reserve price of rice by ₹200 per quintal, resulting in an effective price of ₹2,900 per quintal.
    • The cost reduction will be covered by the Price Stabilisation Fund under the Department of Consumer Affairs.
  • The increase in prices over the past year has seen wheat prices rise by 6.77% in the retail market and 7.37% in the wholesale market.
    • Rice prices have similarly increased by 10.63% and 11.12%.
  • The possibility of reducing wheat import duty is being considered based on market requirements and trends.
  • The OMSS sales are in addition to the ongoing sale of 15 LMT of wheat and 5 LMT of rice.
  • These measures are aimed not only at improving market availability but also at cooling down prices and controlling food inflation.
  • FCI Chairman and Managing Director reported that several e-auctions have already taken place, indicating increased market demand for wheat.

About Open Market Sales Scheme (OMSS)

  • The Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) is used by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to sell surplus food grains like wheat and rice from the central pool.
  • Surplus food grains are sold to traders, bulk consumers, and retail chains through e-auctions, with pre-determined prices.
  • Open market bidders participate in the e-auctions to purchase specified quantities of food grains at set prices.
  • The scheme is used to improve and regulate domestic supply and availability of food grains, especially during the lean season between harvests.
  • OMSS helps curb food grain inflation by ensuring adequate supply and stabilizing prices in the open market.
  • States can also procure food grains through OMSS for their requirements beyond what they receive from the central pool to distribute to National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries.

Note: FCI also conducts weekly open market sales auctions for wheat on the platform of the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX).

About Food Corporation of India (FCI)

  • The Food Corporation of India (FCI was established in 1965 under the Food Corporation Act, 1964.
  • Objective: To ensure food security and stabilize market prices for essential food grains in India.
  • It is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India.
  • Function:
    • Procurement, storage, and distribution of food grains (mainly rice and wheat).
    • Maintaining buffer stocks for food security and price stabilization.
    • Implementing various food-related government policies and schemes.

China Experiences Deflation

(General Studies- Paper III)

Source : TH

China experienced deflation as consumer prices contracted in July, marking the first such occurrence in over two years.

Key Highlights

  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) dropped by 0.3% in July, following a flatlining in June, as per data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
  • The recent deflation adds to disappointing economic data for China, including a significant fall in exports.
  • Deflation involves decreasing prices of goods and services, often driven by factors like reduced consumption.
  • While lower prices might seem beneficial for consumers, deflation can harm the economy by causing demand to decline, leading to reduced production and job losses.
  • China faced a brief deflation period in late 2020 and early 2021 due to a drop in pork prices, a significant meat in the country.
  • Turmoil in the real estate sector, which historically contributed substantially to China’s GDP, is a key factor behind the current deflation.
  • Declining exports, which have historically driven Chinese economic growth, also contribute to the deflationary trend.
  • The Producer Price Index (PPI) has been declining for ten consecutive months, with a 4.4% drop from the previous year.
  • The Chinese government had set a consumer inflation target of around 3% for the year, an increase from the 2% recorded in 2022.

Let us learn few Terminologies

  • Inflation:
    • Inflation is the sustained increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.
    • It results in the reduction of purchasing power for consumers, as the same amount of money can buy fewer goods and services.
    • Inflation can be caused by factors such as increased demand, rising production costs, expansion of the money supply, or external events affecting supply chains.
  • Deflation:
    • Deflation is the opposite of inflation and refers to a sustained decrease in the general price level of goods and services in an economy.
    • It leads to an increase in the purchasing power of money.
    • Deflation can be caused by factors such as reduced consumer demand, technological advancements leading to lower production costs, or disruptions in the money supply.
    • Deflation can discourage spending, as consumers delay purchases in anticipation of lower prices.
      • This reduction in demand can lead to reduced production, job losses, and economic stagnation.
    • Hyperinflation:
      • Hyperinflation is an extreme form of inflation characterized by rapid and uncontrollable increases in prices.
      • Prices can double or even increase at a much faster rate within a short period, often daily.
      • Hyperinflation can be triggered by factors such as excessive money printing, loss of confidence in the currency, or economic turmoil.
      • Hyperinflation erodes the value of money, disrupts economic stability, and can lead to social unrest.
    • Stagflation:
      • Stagflation is a situation where an economy experiences stagnation (low or negative growth) along with high inflation rates.
        • This combination is considered unusual, as inflation and stagnation are typically not observed together.
      • Stagflation can be caused by supply-side shocks (e.g., sudden increase in oil prices) that reduce output and increase production costs, leading to both inflation and economic slowdown.

Amazon nations seek common voice on climate change

(General Studies- Paper III)

Source : TH

Leaders from South American nations, part of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), gathered to address the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and combat climate change.

Key Highlights

  • The Amazon spans an area twice the size of India, with Brazil holding the majority, and seven other countries and one territory sharing the rest.
  • The Presidents of nations including Brazil, Colombia, and Bolivia emphasized the need for collective action to prevent irreversible damage to the rainforest and address climate change.
  • Deforestation and destruction of the Amazon rainforest have significant environmental implications, including potential shifts to tropical savannah and biodiversity loss.
  • Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva highlighted the importance of unity and a just ecological transition to address the crisis.
  • The leaders aim to use their united voice to play a significant role in global climate talks and influence international action.
  • Disagreements among nations were evident on issues such as oil exploration and commitments to zero deforestation by 2030.
  • Colombian President Gustavo Petro called for an end to oil exploration in the Amazon and urged a path toward “decarbonized prosperity.”
  • The Belem Declaration, signed by officials from eight nations, highlights the following:
    • condemns protectionist trade barriers,
    • calls for financial support from industrialized nations, and
    • advocates for law enforcement cooperation to combat illegal activities like deforestation and trafficking.
  • The leaders discussed the formation of a military alliance to protect the Amazon and tackle organized crime.
  • Representatives from Norway, Germany, Indonesia, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, and others attended the summit to discuss sustainable development and rainforest preservation.
  • The meeting aimed to consolidate a collective Amazon identity and assert the region’s importance in global efforts to combat climate change.

About Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO)

  • The Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) is an international organization consisting of eight South American countries that are part of the Amazon Basin region.
  • Its primary focus is on promoting sustainable development, conservation, and the protection of the Amazon rainforest and its natural resources.
  • The member countries of ACTO include Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.
  • ACTO was established in 1995 through the signing of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty, which aimed to foster collaboration among these countries for the sustainable development of the Amazon region.
  • The organization works to address various environmental, social, and economic challenges facing the Amazon Basin, including deforestation, biodiversity loss, climate change, and the rights of Indigenous peoples.

About Amazon Rainforest

  • The Amazon Rainforest is located in South America, primarily within the following countries: Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana (an overseas department of France).
  • Size: The Amazon Rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest in the world, covering approximately 5.5 million square kilometres (2.1 million square miles).
    • It represents about 40% of the world’s total rainforest area.
  • Biodiversity:
    • The Amazon Rainforest is known for its incredible biodiversity, hosting a vast array of plant and animal species.
    • It is estimated to contain around 390 billion individual trees belonging to over 16,000 species.
    • The region is home to numerous unique and endemic species.
  • Climate:
    • The Amazon Rainforest has a tropical climate with high temperatures and high humidity.
    • It receives abundant rainfall throughout the year, with a rainy season and a drier season.
    • The Amazon River and its tributaries play a crucial role in maintaining the water cycle of the rainforest.
  • Importance:
    • The Amazon Rainforest is often referred to as the “lungs of the Earth” because it produces about 20% of the world’s oxygen.
    • It also plays a significant role in regulating the planet’s climate by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen through photosynthesis.
  • Biodiversity Hotspot:
    • The Amazon Rainforest is considered one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, containing a wide range of species, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth.
    • It provides habitats for various mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects.
  • Indigenous Peoples:
    • The Amazon Rainforest is inhabited by numerous Indigenous communities that have lived in harmony with the environment for centuries.
    • These communities have deep cultural and spiritual connections to the rainforest and rely on its resources for their livelihoods.
  • Threats:
    • The Amazon Rainforest faces significant threats, including deforestation due to logging, agriculture, mining, and infrastructure development.
    • Climate change also poses a risk to the region’s delicate ecosystem.

India takes first step to remove animals from drug-testing process

(General Studies- Paper III and IV)

Source : TH

The Government of India recently passed an amendment to the New Drugs and Clinical Trial Rules (2023).

  • The amendment aims to replace the use of animals in research, particularly in drug testing.

Key Highlights

  • Researchers are now authorized to use non-animal and human-relevant methods for testing the safety and efficacy of new drugs.
  • These alternative methods include technologies such as 3D organoids, organs-on-chip, and advanced computational methods.
  • The conventional drug development pipeline involves testing new drugs on animals to assess their effectiveness and potential side effects.
  • However, the differences between animal and human responses can lead to high failure rates in later stages of drug development.
  • Alternative methods, such as 3D organoids and organs-on-chip, aim to better replicate human biology and predict human responses.
  • Several countries globally are transitioning towards non-animal methods in research and drug testing.
  • India’s amendment aligns with this trend and aims to leverage technologies that capture the intricacies of human biology.
  • Developing organ-on-a-chip systems requires multidisciplinary expertise in fields like cell biology, materials science, electronics, and more.
  • India is seeking to establish a ‘Centre for Excellence’ similar to the Wyss Institute to bring together diverse expertise in preclinical human models.
  • Importing reagents, cell-culture materials, and instruments from other countries remains a challenge, presenting opportunities for domestic development.
  • Researchers emphasize the need for guidelines and standards for these advanced systems to ensure quality and consistency of results.
  • Existing guidelines on animal testing requirements may need revision to accommodate the advancements in cell-based and gene-editing therapies.

Govt diverted funds of pension schemes

(General Studies- Paper II)

  • The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has revealed that the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) diverted funds from the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), including old age pension schemes, for promoting other schemes.
  • The CAG report covered the NSAP’s performance audit from 2017-18 to 2020-21.

Key findings from the report include:

  • CAG report disclosed that funds intended for disbursing pensions under various sub-schemes of NSAP were redirected for administrative expenses and publicizing other programs.
  • The MoRD used NSAP funds to publicize its other schemes, including campaigns through hoardings and publicity materials.
  • Funds allocated to states/UTs for NSAP were intended for pension disbursement, with a small portion (three percent) allocated for administrative expenses.
  • Funds meant for publicity campaigns were approved for specific schemes such as Gram Samriddhi and Swachh Bharat Pakhawada, but were actually used from NSAP funds.
  • The funds were diverted to Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) for publicity campaigns, but the execution of work was not confirmed.
  • The diversion led to a lack of planned Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) activities for NSAP, resulting in funds not being utilized as intended.
  • The MoRD’s reply stated that the matter had been raised with the IEC division of the department.
  • The CAG also highlighted the diversion of funds in various states:
    • Rs 57.45 crore was diverted across six states – Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jammu & Kashmir, Odisha, Goa, and Bihar.
  • In Rajasthan, funds meant for beneficiaries were diverted for insurance premium payments under another scheme.
  • Funds allocated for administrative expenses under NSAP in 10 states/UTs were used for “inadmissible items.”
  • According to the CAG report, about 4.65 crore beneficiaries availed old age, widow, disability pensions, and family benefits annually during 2017-21. The Centre released Rs 8,608 crore per annum on average during this period, and states and UTs allocated an average of Rs 27,393 crore per year for pensions and family benefits.

About National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)

  • Launch: NSAP was launched on August 15, 1995.
  • Objective:
    • The primary objective of NSAP is to provide financial assistance and social security to vulnerable sections of society, including the elderly, widows, and disabled individuals.
  • Components: NSAP comprises several pension schemes targeting specific vulnerable groups:
    • Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS): Provides pensions to individuals above a certain age.
    • Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS): Offers pensions to widows in need.
    • Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS): Provides pensions to disabled individuals.
    • National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS): Offers one-time assistance to bereaved families in case of the death of the primary breadwinner.
    • Annapurna Scheme: Provides food security to elderly individuals not covered under IGNOAPS.
  • Funding:
    • The programme is a centrally sponsored scheme, with both the central and state governments sharing the financial burden.
  • Eligibility Criteria:
    • Eligibility for pensions under NSAP varies based on factors like age, marital status, and disability. Income criteria are also considered.
  • Pension Amount:
    • The amount of pension provided under NSAP varies from state to state, but the central government provides guidelines for minimum pension amounts.
  • Implementation:
    • NSAP is implemented by state governments and union territory administrations.
    • They are responsible for disbursing pensions to eligible beneficiaries.
  • Administrative Expenses:
    • A small portion (typically three percent) of the allocated funds is meant for administrative expenses related to pension disbursal.
  • Awareness and Communication:
    • The scheme aims to create awareness among potential beneficiaries through Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) activities.
  • CAG Audit:
    • The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India conducts periodic audits of the scheme’s performance to assess its implementation and utilization of funds.
  • Government Initiatives:
    • The government has taken steps to digitize pension disbursement and improve transparency through initiatives like the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system.

Source : The Indian Express