Educate, enlighten and empower women: Vice President


  • The Vice President of India has called for empowering women through education and by implementing progressive measures like reservations in Parliament and State Legislatures.
  • He called for curbing gender discrimination by bringing about attitudinal and behavioural changes in society.
  • The Vice President said that educating a girl was equivalent to educating an entire family, while educating a man was tantamount to educating an individual.
  • He stressed that education was not only for employment but for empowerment and enlightenment. The scheme, Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao was aimed at empowering the girl child, he added.
  • He said education must develop ideal and responsible citizens, who are socially conscientious with a national outlook.
  • It was essential for youngsters to know about India’s cultural heritage, traditions, history, the role of national icons and freedom fighters as also the contributions of social reformers.
  • He also underscored the importance of probity in public life and observed that people should elect their representatives on the basis of 4 Cs—Character, Conduct, Capacity and Calibre and cautioned against the attempts to give importance to other 4 Cs—Cash, Caste, Community and Criminality.
Background Check: Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme:
  • It was launched in January, 2015.
  • However, the scheme is aimed at promoting the gender equality and also the significance of the educating girls.
  • In fact, the Scheme is targeted to improving the Child Sex Ratio through the multi sectoral interventions including the prevention of the gender biased sex selection and also promoting girls’ education and her holistic empowerment.
  • Moreover, it is a tri-ministerial effort of the Ministries of the Women and the Child Development, Health & Family Welfare and also the Human Resource Development.
Significance and the need for the scheme:
  • Well, the trend of the decline in the Child Sex Ratio (CSR) has been unabated since 1961.
  • In fact, the decline from 945 in the year 1991 to 927 in 2001 and further to 918 in 2011 is alarming.
  • well, the social construct discrimination against the girls on one hand, easy availability, affordability and subsequent misuse of the diagnostic tools on the other hand, have been critical in increasing the Sex Selective Elimination of the girls leading to low the Child Sex Ratio.
  • The child Sex Ratio is defined as the number of girls per 1000 of boys between 0-6 years of age.
  • Hence, a decline in the CSR is a major indicator of the women disempowerment.
  • In fact, the ratio reflects both, pre-birth discrimination manifested through the gender biased sex selection and also post birth discrimination against the girls.

A series of events planned for this year’s World Environment Day

  • World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated on 5thJune every year.
  • Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) celebrates WED focussing on the theme declared by UNEP and organizes several events.
  • This year’s theme is Air Pollution.
  • Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has recently launched the National Clean Air programme (NCAP) which is a mid-term 5 Year Action Plan with targets of 20-30% reduction of PM 2.5 and PM 10 concentration in 102 cities.
  • The main objective of NCAP is to control and abate air pollution across the country.  It is a multi-sectoral and collaborative approach with mainstreaming and integration.
  • Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, in collaboration with Bhamla Foundation, Mumbai, has produced the theme song on the subject.
  • The song #HawaAaneDe with celebrities and influencers is intended to carry out the message of Air Pollution.
Background Check: World Environment Day (WED):
  • The WED (World Environment Day) observed annually on 5th June for encouraging worldwide awareness and also action for the protection of our environment.
  • It was established by United Nations General Assembly to mark opening of United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in 1972.
  • In fact, the first WED (World Environment Day) was observed in the year 1973 and since then it is being held every year with some different themes.

FASTags can Now be Purchased Online through Amazon

  • FASTags are now available on e-commerce platform Amazon.
  • These were earlier launched by IHMCL, a company promoted by NHAI, in January 2019.
  • NHAI FASTag is a bank-neutral FASTag i.e. no bank is pre-assigned to the FASTag at the time of the purchase by the customer from a Point-of-Sale or Online.
  • It offers the flexibility to customer to link the FASTag with their existing bank account by using My FASTag Mobile app, currently available on Google Play Store.
  • However, the online NHAI FASTag has been conceived in a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) concept wherein the customer can self-activate it by entering the customer and also the vehicle details in My FASTag mobile app.
  • IHMCL is focused on enhancing the user experience of FASTag customers and is constantly working on new strategies to ensure efficient and delightful tolling experience.
  • Currently FASTags are also being issued by 22 certified banks through various channels such as Point-of-Sale at NH toll plazas, selected bank branches, etc.
  • However, these FASTags issued by these certified banks does not offer option to customer for linking with existing bank account of his/her choice.
  • In fact, the online availability of NHAI FASTag by IHMCL will eventually help an enhanced adoption of the FASTag program by the increasing user convenience and offering seamless digital payments of toll and thereby saving time, money and also fuel.
  • Furthermore, the digital payments of the toll shall enhance transparency and also promote the cashless transactions, converting India into the less-cash society supporting the Digital India Programme.

Background Check:


  • Well, the FASTag is a radio frequency identification device that is enables cashless transaction at the toll plazas without stopping the vehicle at the toll plazas.
  • It employs RFID technology for making toll payments directly from the pre-paid account linked to it.
  • In fact, this system aims to remove the logistic inefficiencies at toll plazas and also has the potential of saving Rs 60,000 crore in terms of the time and the fuel bills.
  • The tag is fixed to the windscreen of a vehicle and an RFID antenna in the canopy of the toll gate scans the QR code and the tag identification number, following which the boom barrier lifts to allow the vehicle to pass through.
  • The tag, which is valid for five years, comes in seven different colours — violet, orange, yellow, green, pink, blue, black. Each colour is assigned to a particular category of vehicles.

Popular science books serve an important purpose of science communication: Secretary DST


  • Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, released four popular science books published by Vigyan Prasar in a book release function held at Indian National Science Academy (INSA) in New Delhi.
  • The books released were Voyage to Antarctica, Story of Consciousness, An Autobiography of Moon and Shambhu Nath De - The Discovery of Cholera Toxin.
Voyage to Antarctica 
  • It chronicles Dr. Felix Bast first-hand experience during the expedition to Antarctica as part of the 36th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica (ISEA) that he undertook during 2016-17.
  • This book narrates the Antarctic expedition chronologically right from the inspiration for undertaking the expedition, acclimatization training at the Himalayas and so on till many months after the completion of the expedition to assess the effect of the expedition on the author's personal and professional life.
Story of Consciousness
  • The book focuses on multiple disciplines like biology, neuroscience, psychology, semiotics, linguistics, philosophy and even theology related to human consciousness.
  • This book is third of the trilogy following Story of Universe and Story of Evolution. This book is basically a story about the evolution of human.
An Autobiography of Moon
  • It deals with a lot of those secrets like its origin, how it changes its shape daily, why only half of it can be seen, and lots more.
  • Especially discussing all these difficult things in autobiography style will make this book more attractive to young readers.
Shambhu Nath De book
  • It is about the great inventor S N De, who contributed a lot to get rid of the cholera epidemic and save our society.
  • Life and works of this great scientist discussed in this book with some unknown side and untold stories.
  • Voyage to Antarctica is authored by Dr. Felix Bast.
  • Story of Consciousness is authored by Dr. Govind Bhattacharya.
  • An Autobiography of Moon is authored by Dr. Ramesh Shishu.
  • Shambhu Nath De- the Discovery of Cholera Toxin is authored by Dr. M S S Murthy.
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