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UPSC Prelims News 2 February 2023

Digital Public Infrastructure

Context: In the Union Budget 2023, the Finance Minister announced that, Digital public infrastructure for agriculture will be set up as an open source, open standard and interoperable public group.

About Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI)

  • DPI refers to digital solutions that enable basic functions essential for public and private service delivery, i.e. collaboration, commerce, and governance.
    • Examples include digital identification platforms such as Aadhaar, the one-stop Co-WIN portal, DigiLocker, and Goods and Services Tax (GST) Sahay.
  • Benefits from DPI
    • DPIs can allow for real-time, accurate measurement of unified metrics to allow for a universal lingua franca in particular domains.
    • It provides for an inclusive digital future that harnesses the power of society, governments and businesses while being innovative, contextually relevant and scalable to serve people.
    • These platforms democratise digital payments, enable interoperability, and bring down transaction costs.
  • According to the Economic Survey, Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI), aimed at improving financial literacy, innovation, entrepreneurship, employment generation, and empowering beneficiaries has played a critical role in uplifting the economy.
  • In alignment with benefits, DPI in agriculture could enable inclusive farmer-centric solutions through relevant information services of planning and health, improved access to farm inputs, credit and insurance help for crop estimation, market intelligence and support for the growth of agri-tech industry, and startups.

UPSC Prelims News 1 February 2023


Mahila Samman Savings Certificate (MSSC)

Context: The Union Finance Minister in the Budget 2023 has proposed to introduce an investment scheme for Women investors.

  • A one-time new small saving scheme Mahila Samman Savings certificate will be available for a 2-year period up to March 2025.
  • This will offer a deposit facility of up to Rs 2 lakh in the name of women or girls for a tenor of 2 years at a fixed interest rate of 7.5 per cent with a partial withdrawal option.
  • This newly introduced women-oriented scheme will help women investors to start investing for their short-term financial goals and needs.
  • Compared to other small savings schemes like Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna which has a maximum investment limit of Rs 1.5 lakhs in a financial year, and also has a long lock-in period of 21 years, MSSC provides an opportunity to invest up to Rs 2 lakhs for a tenure of 2 years, making it a better investment option for female investors.
Mahila Samman Savings Certificate (MSSC)
Mahila Samman Savings Certificate (MSSC)


Operation Smile

Context: The Telangana State police rescued 2,814 children under Operation Smile during its ninth phase recently.

  • Operation Smile also called Operation MUSKAAN is an initiative of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to rescue/rehabilitate missing children.
  • It is a dedicated campaign for a month (January) where several activities are taken up by the State Police personnel to trace and rescue the missing children and reunite them with their families.
  • It is conducted every year in January to trace and rescue missing and trafficked children.
  • Since the launch of the programme, the teams rescued vulnerable children from railway stations, bus stations, religious places, traffic junctions, mechanic shops, brick industries, building construction areas, shops, tea stalls, footpaths, etc.
  • Activities:
    • All children residing in shelter homes, platforms, bus stands, roads, religious places, etc. are to be screened by trained police personnel.
    • Before the operation, the Police personnel from each State are properly trained in methodology to extract information from such children tactfully without getting intimidated, as well as in various provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) JJ Act, Protection of Child Right Act, relevant sections of CrPC & IPC and Advisories issued by MHA etc.
    • To know the magnitude of the problem, data with full details of the number of cases of missing children will be maintained and shared at the intra-State and Inter-state levels.
    • During the operation, the particulars of such identified children will be uploaded on the ‘Missing child’ portal of the Ministry of Women and Child Development by the respective State Police.
    • Rehabilitation measures, whenever needed, are to be taken up in coordination with the other line Departments like the Department of Women & Child Development, Police, Labour, etc so that scope of re-victimization is eliminated.
    • Public awareness to be increased by way of national campaign, advertisements on national media, etc.
Operation Smile
Operation Smile


Puisne Judge

Context: The Collegium had taken into consideration the seniority of Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges while recommending names for Supreme Court judges.

About Puisne Judges

  • The word puisne has French origins, which means “later born” or younger. It is majorly used in the context of judges, and essentially denotes seniority of rank.
  • The term puisne judge in common law countries refers to judges who are ranked lower in seniority, i.e., any judge other than the Chief Justice of that court.
  • Indian context
    • In India, reference to a puisne judge is made only while considering the order of seniority for appointments, elevations to High Courts, etc., but it does not have a bearing on the exercise of a judge’s judicial power.
    • This is because all judges have the same judicial powers. The Chief Justice has an additional administrative role as the seniormost judge of a court.
  • Common law
    • Common law is the body of law that is created by judges through their written opinions, rather than through statutes or constitutions.
    • The United Kingdom (UK) and the Commonwealth countries, including India, are common law countries.
Puisne Judge
Puisne Judge


National Digital Library

Context: Union Finance Minister has proposed a national digital library for children and adolescents, in the Union Budget 2023-24.


  • The National Digital Library will ensure the availability of quality books across geographies, languages, genres and levels, and device-agnostic accessibility.
  • A digital library can be created by combining digital technology, Internet access, and physical content. In the Digital Library, data that is physically accessible has been digitally archived.
  • A digital library can be a “customised service” as information can be tailored based on characteristics such as education level, language preference, degree of difficulty, content medium, and other considerations.


  • The latest Annual Status of Education Report 2022 conducted by NGO Pratham showed a decline in children’s basic literacy following school closures.
  • Digital libraries have the power to improve knowledge and information access, particularly in geographically isolated places.


Indian Coast Guard

Context: The Indian Coast Guard recently celebrated its 47th raising day in Kolkata.

About Indian Coast Guard (ICG)

  • The Indian Coast Guard is a multi-mission organisation, conducting round-the-year real-life operations at sea.
  • The organisation is headed by the Director General Indian Coast Guard (DGICG), who exercises his command and superintendence from Headquarters located in New Delhi.
  • The Indian Coast Guard was formally established on 1 February 1977 by the Coast Guard Act, 1978 of the Parliament of India.
  • ICG operates under the Ministry of Defence.
  • For effective command and control, the Maritime Zones of India are divided into five Coast Guard Regions, namely, North-West, West, East, North-East and Andaman & Nicobar.
  • The Coast Guard works in close cooperation with the Indian Navy, the Department of Fisheries, the Department of Revenue (Customs), the Central Armed Police Forces, and the State Police Services.
Indian Coast Guard
Indian Coast Guard


iCET Initiative

Why in News? India’s National Security Advisor hold talks with the US counterpart on the first dialogue on the Initiative for Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) in the US.


  • The iCET initiative was launched by India and the US in May 2022 and is being run by the National Security Councils of both countries.
  • Under iCET, both countries have identified six areas of cooperation which would include co-development and co-production.
  • The six areas for cooperation are:
    • Scientific research and development
    • Quantum and artificial intelligence
    • Defence innovation
    • Space
    • Advanced telecom which would include things like 6G and Semiconductors.
  • The objective is to provide cutting edge technologies to the rest of the world which are affordable.
iCET Initiative
iCET Initiative


Vizag-AP Capital

Why in News? The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh has announced that Visakhapatnam (also known as Vizag) will be the new capital of the State.


  • It is the largest and most populous city in Andhra Pradesh.
  • It is located between the Eastern Ghats and the coast of the Bay of Bengal.
  • It is the second-largest city on the east coast of India after Chennai.
  • Visakhapatnam was an ancient Port city that had trade relations with the Middle East and Rome.
  • Visakhapatnam serves as the headquarters for the Indian Navy’s Eastern Naval Command.
  • The city is also known as the “City of Destiny” and the “Jewel of the East Coast”.

More Information

  • AP had introduced a ‘Three Capitals Act’ titled Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020. Thus, it was decided that:
    • Amaravati was to be the Legislative capital.
    • Visakhapatnam the Executive capital and
    • Kurnool the Judicial capital
  • However, the Andhra Pradesh High Court repealed this Act.
Vizag-AP Capital
Vizag-AP Capital

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What is DPI?

DPI refers to digital solutions that enable basic functions essential for public and private service delivery, i.e. collaboration, commerce, and governance.

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