Daily Current Affairs : 11th November 2021

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics covered

  1. Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS)
  2. Ethanol Blending
  3. Birsa Munda
  4. Facts for Prelims
  5. Places in News

1 . Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS)

Context: Citing economic recovery, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday restored the Members
of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) that was suspended in April 2020 subsuming the funds for the scheme in the consolidated fund of India.

About the scheme

  • The MPLADS was first launched during the Narasimha Rao-led government in 1993.
  • It is aimed towards providing funds for developmental works recommended by individual MPs.
  • The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has been responsible for the policy formulation, release of funds and prescribing monitoring mechanism for implementation of the Scheme.


  • Under the scheme, each MP has the choice to suggest to the District Collector for works to the tune of Rs.5 Crores per annum (Revised to 2 crore now) to be taken up in his/her constituency.
  • The Rajya Sabha Members of Parliament can recommend works in one or more districts in the State from where he/she has been elected.
  • The Nominated Members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha may select any one or more Districts from any one State in the Country for implementation of their choice of work under the scheme.
  • MPs are to recommend every year, works costing at least 15 per cent of the MPLADS entitlement for the year for areas inhabited by Scheduled Caste population and 7.5 per cent for areas inhabited by S.T. population.
  • In order to encourage trusts and societies for the betterment of tribal people, a ceiling of Rs. 75 lakh is stipulated for building assets by trusts and societies subject to conditions prescribed in the scheme guidelines.


  • The objective of the MPLAD scheme is to enable Members of Parliament to recommend works of developmental nature with emphasis on the creation of durable community assets based on the locally felt needs to be taken up in their Constituencies.

Works Permitted under MPLADS

  • A list of sectors which are permissible to get funds under Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme is provided in the ‘Guidelines on Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS)’
  • In addition, certain special items of works and works of non durable nature are also permitted under the ‘Guidelines on MPLADS’, such as convergence with, MGNREGA, Khelo India and for welfare of differently abled persons, Purchase of Computers, Ambulances/Herse Vans, Books for Schools, Colleges and Public Libraries, New Borings in place of Hand Pumps, Railway Halt Station, Shelters for imparting training for skill development etc.
  • The ‘Guidelines on MPLADS’ provides for utilizing the funds in the areas affected by the Natural and Man-made calamities for rehabilitation work as may be recommended by Members of Parliament.


  • A Member of Parliament shall give his/ her choice of Nodal District in a prescribed format to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation with copy to the State Government and to the District Magistrate of the chosen District.
  • The annual entitlement shall be released, in two equal instalments , by Government of India directly to the District Authority of the Nodal District of the Member of Parliament concerned.
  • Each MP shall recommend eligible work on the MP’s letter head duly signed by the MP to the district authority.
  • The District Authority shall identify the Implementing Agency capable of executing the eligible work qualitatively, timely and satisfactorily. It shall be responsible for timely and effective implementation of such works.
  • All recommended eligible works should be sanctioned within 75 days from the date of receipt of the recommendation, after completing all formalities. The District Authority shall, however, inform MPs regarding rejection, if any, within 45 days from the date of receipt of recommendations, with reasons thereof.
  • As soon as a work under the Scheme is completed, it should be put to public use. For greater public awareness, for all works executed under MPLADS a plaque (stone/metal) carrying the inscription ‘Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme Work’ indicating the cost involved, the commencement, completion and inauguration date and the name of the MP sponsoring the project should be permanently erected.

Why was it suspeded?

  • The MPLADS funds were temporarily suspended in April 2020 in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Then Union Minister Prakash Javadekar had announced that the consolidated amount of MPLAD Funds for 2 years – Rs 7,900 crores – will go to Consolidated Fund of India.

New rollout

  • The restored scheme will continue till 2025-26.
  • Rs 2 crore per MP will be released for the remainder of 2021-22 fiscal year, in one instalment.
  • From 2022-23 to 2025-26, Rs 5 crore per annum will be released per MP in two instalments of Rs 2.5 crore each.

2. Ethanol Blending

Context: As part of the government’s target to achieve 20 per cent ethanol blending in petrol by 2025, the Cabinet on Wednesday approved the hiked price of ethanol extracted from sugarcane by up to Rs 1.47 per litre, starting December 2021.

About the News

  • Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs increased the price of ethanol extracted from sugar cane juice for blending in petrol to ₹63.45 a litre in the coming sugar marketing season starting December.
  • This is an 80 paise hike from the previous year’s. The rate for ethanol extracted from C-heavy molasses has been increased by 97 paise a litre, while that of ethanol extracted from B-heavy molasses is up ₹1.47 as well.
  • Ethanol blending with petrol is expected to reach 10% next year and 20% by 2025. Oil marketing companies buy ethanol from sugar mills and distilleries at the rate set by the Government.


  • Remunerative price to ethanol suppliers will help in reduction of cane farmer’s arrears, in the process contributing to minimizing difficulty of sugarcane farmers.
  • Increased ethanol blending in petrol has many benefits including reduction in import dependency, support to agricultural sector, more environmental friendly fuel, lesser pollution and additional income to farmers.

Pricing of Ethanol

  • Government has notified administered price of ethanol since 2014. For the first time during 2018, differential price of ethanol based on raw material utilized for ethanol production was announced by the Government.
  • These decisions have significantly improved the supply of ethanol thereby ethanol procurement by Public Sector OMCs has increased from 38 crore litre in ethanol supply year 2013-14 to estimated over 200 crore litre in 2018-19.

About ethanol

  • Ethanol is a biofuel, that is, a fuel produced by processing organic matter.
  • Ethanol, an anhydrous ethyl alcohol having chemical formula of C2H5OH, can be produced from sugarcane, maize, wheat, etc  which are having high starch content.
  • In India, ethanol is mainly produced from sugarcane molasses by fermentation process.
  • Ethanol can be mixed with gasoline to form different blends.

How does blending ethanol reduce pollution?

  • As the ethanol molecule contains oxygen, it allows the engine to more completely combust the fuel, resulting in fewer emissions and thereby reducing the occurrence of environmental pollution.
  • Since ethanol is produced from plants that harness the power of the sun, ethanol is also considered as renewable fuel.
  • It can be mixed with fuel in different quantities and can help reduce vehicular emissions.
  • The auto fuels we commonly use are mainly derived from the slow geological process of fossilisation, which is why they are also known as fossil fuels.
  • Use of ethanol-blended petrol decreases emissions such as carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), the expert committee noted.
  • Higher reductions in CO emissions were observed with E20 fuel — 50 per cent lower in two-wheelers and 30 per cent lower in four-wheelers. E20 fuel means blending of 20 per cent of ethanol with gasoline as an automotive fuel.

Ethanol Blending Programme

  • The Ethanol Blending Programme (EBP) seeks to achieve blending of Ethanol with motor sprit with a view to reducing pollution, conserve foreign exchange and increase value addition in the sugar industry enabling them to clear cane price arrears of farmers.
  • Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme was launched in January, 2003.
  • The programme sought to promote the use of alternative and environment friendly fuels and to reduce import dependency for energy requirements.

Roadmap of ethanol blending in India

  • The Centre had “launched pilot projects in 2001 wherein 5 percent ethanol blended petrol was supplied to retail outlets”.
  • Success of field trials eventually paved the way for the launching of the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme in January, 2003 for sale of 5 percent ethanol blended petrol in nine States and four UTs.
  • This programme has been extended to whole of India except Union Territories of Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands with effect from 01st April, 2019 wherein OMCs sell petrol blended with ethanol up to 10%.
  • India currently blends about 8.5 per cent ethanol in petrol. The government is targeting a 10 per cent ethanol blend by 2022 and a 20 per cent blend (E20) by 2025.

3. Birsa Munda

Context : As a part of the yearlong commemoration of 75 years of Independence, the Union Cabinet approved declaration of November 15 as “Janjatiya Gaurav Divas” to remember the contributions of tribal freedom fighters.

About Janjatiya Gaurav Divas

  • Janjatiya Gaurav Divas” will be celebrated to remember the contributions of tribal freedom fighters.
  • The date was chosen as it was the birth anniversary of Birsa Munda, a tribal freedom fighter revered as “bhagwan” by tribal communities.
  • “India’s freedom struggle was strengthened by several movements by tribal communities such as Santhals, Tamars, Kols, Bhils, Khasis and Mizos, etc.
  • A tribal freedom fighter museum at Ranchi would be inaugurated by the Prime Minister.

About Birsa Munda

  • Birsa Munda was a young freedom fighter and a tribal leader, whose spirit of activism in the late nineteenth century, is remembered to be a strong mark of protest against British rule in India.
  • He belonged to the Munda tribe in the Chhotanagpur Plateau area.
  • Birsa Munda is known to have mobilised the tribal community against the British and had also forced the colonial officials to introduce laws protecting the land rights of the tribals.
  • Between 1886 and 1890, Munda spent a lot of time in Chaibasa, Jharkhand, which was close to the Sardars’ agitation against the British rule. Deeply influenced and disillusioned by what he saw the British and the Christian missionaries do to the Indians there, Munda decided to renounce Christianity and drop out of the German Mission School.
  • He went on to create a new religion called Birsait, which worshipped only one god. Given his growing influence in the tribal community, Birsait soon became the popular religion among the Mundas and Oraons. Nicknamed ‘Dharti Abba’ or Father of the Earth, Munda encouraged his followers to get back to their tribal roots and follow their traditions.
  • Through his religion, Munda also preached a strong anti-British sentiment and mobilised thousands of tribal folk to form guerrilla armies to attack the Raj. In the late 1890s, Munda set out to abolish the feudal system that the British had introduced in the Adivasi forest land. In this system, the British invited migrants from other states to come and take over work on tribal land, while they pocketed all the profits. Thus, the various tribes, who were the original owners of the land, were left bereft of land and any means of livelihood.
  • In March 1900, while fighting the British alongside his guerilla army, Munda was arrested in Jamkopai forest in Chakradharpur. A few months later, on 9 June, he passed away while in custody.
  • Almost a decade after his death, the British introduced the Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act (CNT), which prohibits the transfer of tribal land to non-tribal parties.
  • The state of Jharkhand was created on Munda’s birth anniversary to commemorate his contribution to the freedom struggle.

4 . Facts for Prelims

Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI)

  • DTTI is not a treaty or law, it is a flexible mechanism to make sure that senior leaders from both countries are engaged consistently to strengthen the opportunities in the field of defence.
  • Its central aims include strengthening India’s defence industrial base, exploring new areas of technological development and expanding U.S.-India business ties.
  • DTTI came about to expedite the scope of cooperation on defence technology that become narrow due to the presence of differing bureaucratic processes and legal requirements.

DSRV (deep submergence rescue vehicle)

  • DSRV is used to rescue crew members stranded in submarines that get disabled.
  • The DSRV system consists of a Submarine Rescue Vessel, a Remote Operations Vehicle, Side Scan Sonar and associated equipment.
  • It also has Diver Decompression Chambers and hyperbaric medical equipment to decompress submariners after being rescued from a sunken submarine.
  • The DSRV system can be rapidly mobilised by air or road to facilitate submarine rescue operations even at distant locations.
  • Recently Indian Navy inducted its first Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) System at the Naval Dockyard

Certificate of Origin

  • A Certificate of Origin (CO) is an important international trade document that certifies that goods in a particular export shipment are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country.
  • They declare the ‘nationality’ of the product and also serve as a declaration by the exporter to satisfy customs or trade requirements.
  • COs are requested by customs, banks, private stakeholders and importers for several purposes. Almost every country in the world requires CO for customs clearance procedures: when determining the duty that will be assessed on the goods or, in some cases, whether the goods may be legally imported at all.
  • There are two types of COs :
    • Non-Preferential COs which certify that the goods are subject to no preferential treatment. These are the main type of COs that chambers can issue and are also known as “Normal COs”.
    • Preferential COs, which certify that goods are subject to reduced tariffs or exemptions when they are exported to countries extending these privileges. These COs tend to be closely associated with Regional Trade Agreements.

5 . Places in News

Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary and estuary situated near Kakinada  in Andhra Pradesh, India. 
  •  It is the second largest stretch of mangrove forests in India with 24 mangrove tree species and more than 120 bird species.
  • CWLS is home to numerous endangered species including the white-backed vulture, the long billed vulture, fishing cat, otter, jackal, sea turtles, sea gull, pelican, stork, heron, snipes, flamingos among others.
  • The sea coast of the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary is a breeding ground for Olive ridley turtles.
  • The country’s first Fishing Cat collaring project is going to be conducted in CWLS.

Fishing Cat

  • The fishing cat is a medium-sized wild cat. Since 2016, it is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
  • The fishing cat lives foremost in the vicinity of wetlands, along rivers, streams, oxbow lakes, in swamps, and mangroves
  • The fishing cat is the state animal of West Bengal.

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