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UPSC Prelims News 23 February 2023

UPSC Prelims News of 23 February 2023

Inji Gramam

Context: A new scheme named ‘Inji Gramam’ has been introduced in Kulathoor grama panchayat in Thiruvananthapuram, to cultivate ginger.

About Inji Gramam

  • The initiative by the panchayat and Kulathoor Krishi Bhavan, began as a pilot project with 250 farmers cultivating Ginger.
  • Ginger is propagated through seed rhizomes and the chosen variety for this scheme was Rio de Janeiro, a cultivar from Brazil, which was found to have a better yield than local varieties.
  • Prior to the initiative, ginger was not grown in Thiruvananthapuram district. The yields after the intervention, however, are encouraging farmers in the region to take up further ginger cultivation.
  • Such examined interventions help farmers shift to multi-cropping patterns, thereby ensuring sustainability in their agricultural practices.

UPSC Prelims News 22 February 2023



Context: The I2U2 grouping discussed on building integrated agricultural facilities across India at its recent meeting in Abu Dhabi.

About I2U2:

  • I2U2 initiative is a new grouping of India, Israel, USA and UAE.
  • It was initially formed in 2021 following the Abraham Accords between Israel and the UAE, to deal with issues concerning maritime security, infrastructure and transport in the region.
  • At that time, the grouping was called the ‘International Forum for Economic Cooperation’.
  • Six areas of cooperation have been identified by the countries mutually and the aim is to encourage joint investments in these sectors namely:
    • Water
    • Energy
    • Transportation
    • Space
    • Health
    • Food security
  • With the help of “private sector capital and expertise”, the countries will look to modernise infrastructure, explore low carbon development avenues for industries, improve public health, and promote the development of critical emerging and green technologies.
  • Significance: The grouping is of great geopolitical significance and not only revitalize and re-energize the system of alliances and partnerships around the world, but also stitch together partnerships that did not exist previously or were not utilized to their full extent.


UN Commission for Social Development (CSocD)

Context: India has been recently elected the chair of 62nd session of UN Commission for Social Development (CSocD).

About CSocD

  • UN Commission for Social Development (CSocD) is one of the 9 functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), established in 1946.
  • It advises the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and Governments on a wide range of social policy issues and on the social perspective of development.
  • The Commission serves as the primary inter-governmental body to deliberate upon and strengthen international cooperation on social development issues.
  • The 62nd session’s theme is “Fostering Social Development and Social Justice through Social Policies to accelerate Progress on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to achieve the overarching goal of poverty eradication”.
  • The theme emphasizes the important connection between social development and social justice as fundamentals to achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
  • CSocD meets annually in New York, usually in February.


  • Since the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen in 1995, the CSocD has been the key UN body in charge of the follow-up and implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action.
  • Since 2006, the Commission has taken up key social development themes as part of its follow-up to the outcome of the Copenhagen Summit.
  • HQ: New York


  • Originally 18, membership now stands at 46.
  • Members are elected by ECOSOC based on the equitable geographical distribution for four-year terms.
UN Commission for Social Development
UN Commission for Social Development


Raithasiri Scheme

Context: Chief Minister of Karnataka has announced an incentive of ₹10,000 per hectare to enhance minor millets production under the ‘Raithasiri’ scheme.

About the Scheme

  • The official announcement of the scheme is made during the Karnataka State Budget 2019-20.
  • The primary objective of the scheme is to assist farmers in any way possible, whether via financial assistance or crop-growing expertise.
  • The Scheme Targets Crucial Aspects with Regard to Implementation:
    • First, to develop the agriculture industry in the state of Karnataka, focusing on ponds and millets.
    • Importantly, it offers financial aid to farmers and agricultural employees in the state of Karnataka.

Benefits and Features

  • Raitha Siri Scheme plans to encourage organic cultivation in addition to millet.
  • The government has granted financial aid to the millet producers of Rs 10,000 per acre.
  • Money must be sent by direct bank transfer to their registered account.
  • The government also gave rice farmers Rs 750 per acre.
  • Karnataka has also adopted Israel’s model for micro-irrigation, which uses less water to grow crops.
  • The government is building water ponds for dryland farmers using other programs.


  • Applicants must be permanent citizens of Karnataka.
  • The farmer must be a grower of millet primarily.
  • A minimum of one hectare of agricultural property is necessary to qualify for this program.


Parliamentary Privilege

Context: Rajya Sabha Chairman has asked the privilege panel to investigate ‘disorderly conduct’ of 12 MPs.

About Parliamentary Privilege

  • Article 105 and Article 194 of the Indian Constitution mentions certain privileges for the Member of Parliament and State Assembly respectively so that they can perform their duties without any obstruction.
  • Privilege means certain rights and immunities enjoyed by each House of Parliament and its committees collectively, and by the members of each House individually without which they cannot discharge their functions efficiently and effectively.
  • Objective: To safeguard the freedom, the authority and the dignity of Parliament.
    • It extends “immunity to a member from any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by her/him in Parliament” or on any of its committees.
    • Immunity covers exemption from proceedings in any court “in respect of the publication by or under the authority of either House of Parliament of any report, paper”, etc.
    • Privilege extends to “freedom from arrest of members in civil cases during the continuance of the session of the House and 40 days before its commencement and 40 days after its conclusion”.
  • Breach Of Privilege: Any instance when these rights and immunities are disregarded by any member of Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha is an offence, called ‘breach of privilege’, which is punishable under the Laws of Parliament.

Committee of Privileges

  • Committee consists of 15 members (10 members in the case of Rajya Sabha) nominated by the Speaker (Chairman in the case of Rajya Sabha).
  • Its function is to examine every question involving a breach of privilege of the House or the members of any Committee.
  • It determines concerning the facts and makes suitable recommendations in its report.


‘mPassport Police App’

Context: Recently, Ministry of External Affairs has introduced the ‘mPassport Police App’, to reduce the time taken for police verification of persons applying for passports in Delhi.

About ‘m Passport Police App’

  • Aim: To streamline and expedite police verification during the passport issuance process.
  • Digital and Paperless: It will digitize the process of sending the police verification report to the Regional Passport Office (RPO).
  • It would reduce the police verification time from 15 days to 5 days.
  • Ministry of external affairs is the nodal ministry for the issuance of passports in the country.


Zaid Campaign

Context: Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister chaired the National Conference on Agriculture for Zaid (Summer) Campaign-2023 in New Delhi.


  • The objective of the Zaid conference is to review and assess the crop performance during the preceding crop seasons and fix crop-wise targets for the summer season in consultation with State Governments.

Zaid Crops

  • Zaid or summer crops are grown in the short season between Kharif and Rabi crops, between March and July.
  • These crops are mostly grown on irrigated lands and therefore, the farmers do not wait for the monsoon.
  • Zaid crops require warm soil and high temperatures (cooling at night) to grow.
  • They require warm, dry weather as a vital growth period and longer day length for flowering.
  • Most of the vegetables and hybrid cereals are grown in the zaid season.
  • Major crops: Paddy, corn; pumpkin, cucumber, tomato; almonds, peanuts, cashews; Gram, lentils, etc.
  • Cultivation areas in India: Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu.
Zaid Crops
Zaid Crops
Kharif Crops Rabi Crops
  • Crops that are sown during the southwest monsoon season are called kharif or monsoon crops.
  • These crops are sown at the beginning of the season around end May to early June and are harvested post the monsoon rains beginning in October.
  • These crops depend on rainfall patterns.
  • Rice, maize, and pulses such as urad, moong dal, and millets are among the key kharif crops.
  • It requires a lot of water and hot weather to grow.
  • Those that are sown around the Retreating Monsoon and Northeast monsoon season, which begins by October are called rabi or winter crops.
  • The harvest for these crops happens typically during April and May, during the summer season.
  • These crops are not much affected by rainfall.
  • Major Rabi crops are wheat, gram, peas, barley etc.
  • A warm climate is required for seed germination and a cold climate for the growth of crops.


Sansad Ratna Awards

Context: Members of Parliament will be conferred the Sansad Ratna Awards.

About Sansad Ratna Awards

  • The Sansad Ratna (“Gem of Parliament”) Awards are private Awards established in 2010, inspired by the teachings of former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who launched the first edition.
  • The awards are given by the Prime Point Foundation and its magazine eMagazinePreSense and not by the Government of India.
  • Aim: The award seeks to recognise and felicitate the top-performing MPs based on their work in the apex legislative body.

Choosing Awardees

  • The jury: The jury committee comprises eminent Parliamentarians and (members of) civil society.
    • This year it was chaired by Arjun Ram Meghwal (MoS, Parliamentary Affairs) and co-chaired by T S Krishnamurthy (Former Chief Election Commissioner of India).
  • Criteria for selection: MP’s performance is based on questions asked, private members’ Bills introduced, debates initiated, attendance, funds utilised, etc.
    • These data have been procured from information provided by PRS Legislative Research.

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I2U2 initiative is a new grouping of which countries?

I2U2 initiative is a new grouping of India, Israel, USA and UAE

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