Daily Current Affairs: 9th November 2021

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. UNESCO Creative city
  2. Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) report
  3. Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana – ‘Saubhagya’, DDUGJY, IPDS
  4. Financial Inclusion Metrics
  5. Facts for Prelims
  6. Places in News

1. UNESCO Creative City

Context: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has picked Srinagar among 49 cities as part of the creative city network under the Crafts and Folk Arts category.

About UNESCO creative city

  • The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. 
  • The Network now numbers 295 cities reaching 90 countries that invest in culture and creativity – crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts, and music – to advance sustainable urban development. 


  • The cities which make up this network work together towards a common objective:
    • placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.
  • By joining the Network, cities commit to sharing their best practices and developing partnerships involving the public and private sectors as well as civil society in order to: 
    • strengthen the creation, production, distribution and dissemination of cultural activities, goods and services;
    • develop hubs of creativity and innovation and broaden opportunities for creators and professionals in the cultural sector;
    • improve access to and participation in cultural life, in particular for marginalized or vulnerable groups and individuals;
    • fully integrate culture and creativity into sustainable development plans.

Creative fields covered by the network

  • The Network covers seven creative fields: 
    • Crafts and Folk Arts,
    • Media Arts,
    • Film,
    • Design,
    • Gastronomy,
    • Literature
    • Music. 
  • The Creative Cities Network is a privileged partner of UNESCO, not only as a platform for reflection on the role of creativity as a lever for sustainable development but also as a breeding ground of action and innovation, notably for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Creative Cities from India

  • Other than Srinagar only Jaipur (Crafts and Folk Arts) in 2015, Varanasi and Chennai (Creative city of Music) in 2015 and 2017 respectively and Hyderabad(for Gastronomy) have so far been recognised as members of the UCCN for creative cities.


  • Srinagar is the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir union territory (Jammu is the winter capital), northern India, situated in the Kashmir region of the Indian subcontinent.
  • The city lies along the banks of the Jhelum River at an elevation of 5,200 feet (1,600 metres) in the Vale of Kashmir.
  • Situated amid clear lakes and lofty forested mountains, Srinagar has long had a considerable tourist economy.
  • Along its course through the city, the Jhelum River is spanned by several wooden bridges, and numerous adjacent canals and waterways abound with shikara, the gondolas of Kashmir.
  • Srinagar is well known for its many mosques and temples; the Hazratbal Mosque contains a hair that reportedly belonged to the Prophet Muhammad, and the Jāmiʿ Masjid (Congregational Mosque), built in the 15th century, is said to be the largest mosque in Kashmir.
  • Dal Lake, with its “floating gardens,” is a well-known attraction, as are the near by Shalimar and Nishat gardens.
  • Srinagar’s industries include carpet and silk mills, silverware and copperware manufacture, leatherworking, and wood carving. 



  • UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
  • It is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN)
  • It is Headquartered in Paris, France
  • It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. UNESCO’s programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.
  •  It has 195 member countries, and it pursues its objectives through five major programs: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information. 

UNESCO’s History

  • As early as 1942, in wartime, the governments of the European countries, which were confronting Nazi Germany and its allies, met in the United Kingdom for the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education (CAME).
  • The Second World War was far from over, yet those countries were looking for ways and means to reconstruct their systems of education once peace was restored. Very quickly, the project gained momentum and soon took on a universal note.
  • New governments, including that of the United States, decided to join in.
  • Upon the proposal of CAME, a United Nations Conference for the establishment of an educational and cultural organization (ECO/CONF) was convened in London from 1 to 16 November 1945.
  • It gathered together the representatives of forty-four countries who decided to create an organization that would embody a genuine culture of peace.

2 .  Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) report

Context : Gujarat has retained the top spot on the Centre’s annual logistics rankings for states, released on Monday, with Haryana and Punjab taking the second and third spots, respectively. Uttar Pradesh rose seven spots to sixth.

About the Report

  • The Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) report is aimed at gauging the logistics performance of states and Union Territories (UT) and identifying areas where they can improve logistics performance.
  • States are ranked based on quality and capacity of key infrastructure such as road, rail and warehousing as well as on operational ease of logistics including security of cargo, speed of terminal services and regulatory approvals.


  • India’s logistics costs account for 13-14 per cent of GDP, compared to 7-8 per cent in developed countries. Goyal said the government was aiming to bring down logistics cost by 5 per cent over next 5 years.


  • Gujarat has retained the top spot on the Centre’s annual logistics rankings for states, released on Monday, with Haryana and Punjab taking the second and third spots
  • West Bengal, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Assam were ranked 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st respectively.
  • North Eastern States, and J&K and Ladakh have been considered a separate group for LEADS rankings.

3 . Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, IPDS

Context: India’s power deficit this year ‘spiked marginally’ to 1.2% due to the ‘annual post monsoon pressure’ on output, the Government said in a statement on Monday, asserting that the deficit has been ‘near about wiped out’ in recent years. It concluded, citing schemes such as the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana for setting up of transmission and subtransmission systems in rural India and the Integrated Power Development Scheme to plug power infrastructure gaps in urban areas. “The Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana scheme had the vision to take electricity to every household (willing), and has been able to supply electricity connections to 2.8 crore households which were hitherto in darkness,” the statement noted.

About Saubhagya scheme

  • Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana –“Saubhagya” is a scheme to ensure electrification of all willing households in the country in rural as well as urban areas.


  • The objective of the ‘Saubhagya’ is to provide energy access to all by last mile connectivity and electricity connections to all remaining un-electrified households in rural as well as urban areas to achieve universal household electrification in the country.

Beneficiaries of the project

  • The beneficiaries for free electricity connections would be identified using Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 data.
  • However, un-electrified households not covered under the SECC data would also be provided electricity connections under the scheme on payment of Rs. 500 which shall be recovered by DISCOMs in 10 instalments through electricity bill.
  • The solar power packs of 200 to 300 Wp with battery bank for un-electrified households located in remote and inaccessible areas, comprises of Five LED lights, One DC fan, One DC power plug.
  • It also includes the Repair and Maintenance (R&M) for 5 years.

Implementation process

  • For easy and accelerated implementation of the Scheme, modern technology shall be used for household survey by using Mobile App.
  • Beneficiaries shall be identified and their application for electricity connection along with applicant photograph and identity proof shall be registered on spot.
  • The Gram Panchayat/Public institutions in the rural areas may be authorised to collect application forms along with complete documentation, distribute bills and collect revenue in consultation with the Panchayat Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies.
  • The Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC) will remain the nodal agency for the operationalisation of the scheme throughout the country.


  • The electricity connection to households include release of electricity connections by drawing a service cable from the nearest electricity pole to the household premise, installation of energy meter, wiring for a single light point with LED bulb and a mobile charging point. In case the electricity pole is not available nearby from household for drawing service cable, the erection of additional pole along with conductor and associated accessories shall also be covered under the scheme.
  • Poor households would be provided electricity connections free of cost. Other households would also be provided electricity connections under the scheme on payment of Rs.500 only which shall be recovered by the DISCOMs/Power Departments in ten instalments along with electricity bills.

Expected outcomes of the scheme

The expected outcome of the Scheme is as follows:

  • Environmental upgradation by substitution of Kerosene for lighting purposes
  • Improvement education services
  • Better health services
  • Enhanced connectivity through radio, television, mobiles, etc.
  • Increased economic activities and jobs
  • Improved quality of life especially for women

Achievements under Saubhagya:

  • A total of 2.817 crore households have been electrified since the launch of the scheme. 
  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) recognized Saubhagya as the fastest expansion of access anywhere in the world in the history of the power sector.

Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana and Integrated Power Development Scheme

  • Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) envisage creation of basic electricity infrastructure in villages / habitations, strengthening & augmentation of existing infrastructure, metering of existing feeders / distribution transformers / consumers to improve quality and reliability of power supply in rural areas. Besides this, last mile connectivity and free electricity connections are also provided to BPL households only identified by the States as per their list.
  • However, in villages which are electrified in past for a long period, many households do not have electricity connections for many reasons. Some of the really poor households do not have BPL cards but these households are not capable of paying applicable initial connection charges. There is also lack of awareness as to how to get connection or taking connection is not an easy task for illiterate people. There may not be electricity pole nearby and the cost of erection of additional pole, conductor is also chargeable from the households for obtaining a connection.
  • Similarly in urban areas, Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) provides for creation of necessary infrastructure to provide electricity access but some households are not yet connected mainly on account of their economic condition as they are not capable of paying the initial connection charges.
  • Therefore, Soubhagya has been launched to plug such gaps and comprehensively address the issues of entry barrier, last mile connectivity and release of electricity connections to all un-electrified households in rural and urban areas.

Benefits to the Citizen

  • Electricity in households has brought new light in their lives. Electrification has direct positive impact on the quality of all aspects of daily life, especially to the women and children.
  • With deeper penetration of electricity network, significant improvement is expected in delivery of other essential services like education, health, communication etc. and thereby more opportunities for economic activities leading to employment generation, increase in income and poverty alleviation

4 . Report on Financial Inclusion

Context: India is now ahead of China in financial inclusion metrics, with mobile and Internet
banking transactions rising to 13,615 per 1,000 adults in 2020 from 183 in 2015 and the number of bank branches inching up to 14.7 per 1 lakh adults in 2020 from 13.6 in 2015, which is higher than
in Germany, China and South Africa, as per a report.

Details of the Report

  • As per the report, “India has stolen a march in financial inclusion with the initiation of Prime Minister Yojana (PMJDY) accounts since 2014, using the banking correspondent (BC) model judiciously for furthering financial inclusion,”
  • BC model has enabled to provide a defined range of banking services at low cost and is instrumental in improving financial inclusion and Centre’s PMJDY push has led to a rise in number of bank deposit accounts.
  • During the past 7 years of the financial inclusion drive, the number of no-frills bank accounts opened has reached 43.7 crore with Rs 1.46 lakh crore in deposits as of October 20.
  • Of these, nearly two-thirds are operational in rural and semi-urban areas and over 78 per cent of these accounts are with state-owned banks, 18.2 per cent with regional rural banks, and a paltry three per cent are opened by private sector banks.
  • The number of bank branches in rural areas has also increased from 33,378 in March 2010 to 55,073 in December 2020.
  • The number of banking outlets in villages/ banking correspondents (BCs) has soared from 34,174 in March 2010 to 12.4 lakh in December 2020.
  • Public sector banks have opened 34 crore of the total 44 crore no-frills accounts and the private sector ones just 1.3 crore of them.

What in financial inclusion ?

  • The World Bank defines financial inclusion as a situation where businesses and individuals have access to useful and affordable financial products and services.
  • Having easy access to a bank account through which an individual can conduct a transaction is the first step towards a broader financial inclusion.

5 . Facts for Prelims

Submarines Strength of India

  • Currently, India has 15 conventional diesel-electric submarines, classified as SSKs, and one nuclear ballistic submarine, classified as SSBN.
  • Of the SSKs, four are Shishumar Class, which were bought and then built in India in collaboration with the Germans starting 1980s; eight are Kilo Class or Sindhughosh Class bought from Russia (including erstwhile USSR) between 1984 and 2000; and three are Kalvari Class Scorpene submarines built at India’s Mazagon Dock in partnership with France’s Naval Group, earlier called DCNS.
  • The SSBN, INS Arihant, is a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, built indigenously. A second SSBN, INS Arighat, an upgraded version of Arihant, is likely to be commissioned within the next few months.
  • Most of India’s submarines are over 25 years old, and many are getting refitted.
  • India got its first submarine, INS Kalvari of the Foxtrot Class, from the USSR in December 1967

Leonids Meteor Shower

  • The debris that forms this meteor shower originates from a small comet called 55P/Tempel-Tuttle in the constellation Leo, which takes 33 years to orbit the sun.
  • The Leonids are considered to be a major shower that features the fastest meteors, which typically travel at speeds of 71 km per second, although the rates are often as low as 15 meteors per hour
  • The Leonids are also called fireballs and earthgazer meteors. Fireballs, because of their bright colours, and earthgazer, because they streak close to the horizon.
  • The light—which is why a meteor is called a shooting star — is a result of the friction between the meteorite and the molecules present in the Earth’s atmosphere because of which it burns
  • Every 33 years, a Leonid shower turns into a meteor storm, which is when hundreds to thousands of meteors can be seen every hour.
  • A meteor storm should have at least 1,000 meteors per hour. In 1966, a Leonid storm offered views of thousands of meteors that fell through the Earth’s atmosphere per minute during a period of 15 minutes, NASA notes. The last such storm took place in2002.
  • The peak time of a meteor shower comes when the Earth passes through the densest part of the debris.


  • Shenzhou 13 is the eighth crewed Chinese spaceflight and the thirteenth flight of the Shenzhou program. 
  • The Shenzhou 13 astronauts aboard the Chinese space station took the first spacewalk of their mission Sunday (Nov. 7), marking the country’s first spacewalk by a female astronaut. 

6 . Places in News

Taklamakan Desert

  • The Taklamakan Desert is a desert in Southwest Xinjiang in Northwest China.
  • It is bounded by the Kunlun Mountains to the south, the Pamir Mountains to the west, the Tian Shan range to the north, and the Gobi Desert to the east.

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