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UPSC Prelims News 24 November 2022


UPSC Prelims News of 24 November 2022

MAARG Portal

Context: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has launched a call for startup applications for registration on the MAARG portal.

About MAARG Portal:

  • MAARG (Mentorship, Advisory, Assistance, Resilience and Growth) is a one stop platform to facilitate mentorship for startups across diverse sectors, functions, stages, geographies, and backgrounds.
  • Objectives:
    • To provide sector focused guidance, handholding, and support to startups throughout their lifecycle
    • To develop a formalized and structured platform that facilitates intelligent matchmaking between the mentors and their respective mentees
    • To facilitate efficient and expert mentorship for startups and build an outcome-oriented mechanism that allows timely tracking of the mentor-mentee engagements
  • Key features of the portal: Customizable mentorship programs for ecosystem enablers, mobile-friendly user interface, recognition for contributing mentors, video and audio call options for interaction, etc.
  • Phases of operation:
    • Phase I: Mentor Onboarding
    • Phase II: Startup Onboarding
    • Phase III: MAARG Portal Launch and Mentor Matchmaking

UPSC Prelims News 23 November 2022


Exercise Garuda Shakti

Context: A contingent of Indian Special Forces is currently training with Indonesian Special Forces in Indonesia, as part of exercise Garuda Shakti.

More on the News:

  • This is the eighth edition of the series of bilateral exercises under this banner, and is being held at Sangga Buana Training Area, Karawang.
  • Objective: The exercise is aimed at enhancing military cooperation and interoperability between Special Forces of India and Indonesia.
    • This will help in sharing their combat experience on countering terrorist operations, Regional Security Operations & Peace Keeping Operations in an international environment.
  • The joint exercise includes:
    • Orientation to advance Special Forces skills
    • Sharing of information on weapon, equipment, innovations, tactics, techniques and procedures, and lessons learnt from various operations undertaken
    • Strikes on terrorist camps
    • Special Forces operations in jungle terrain
    • validation exercise integrating basic and advance Special Forces skills
    • Gaining insight into the lifestyle and culture of both countries to foster military cooperation


Project Unnati

Context: Project Unnati has failed to achieve its target of imparting skill to 2 lakh people.

Scheme’s Performance:

  • Since its inception in 2020, just a little over 25,000 persons have been trained under the project, falling far short of its target of 2 lakh.
  • In the 2020-21 financial year for example, 71 lakh households worked for 100 days in the country under the MGNREGS but only 8,658 persons received training under the Unnati project.
  • Similarly, in 2021-2022, the number of eligible households stood at 59 lakh, but only 12,577 persons were trained.

About Project Unnati:

  • It aims to reduce dependence on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) by imparting skill training to its beneficiaries.
  • The aim of the project is to train one adult member (18-45 years) of a household that has completed 100 days of work under the MGNREGS.
  • It was launched with the intention of upgrading the skill base of the MGNREGS workers to help them transition from partial employment to full employment, thereby reducing their dependence on the employment guarantee scheme.
  • Under the project, the selected candidates are skilled using three established training programmes — the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Grameen Kaushal Yojana (DDU-GKY), the Rural Self Training Institute (RSETI) and the Krishi Vigyan Kendra.
    • The Grameen Kaushal Yojana is a placement-linked programme, in which 70% of the trained candidates have to be compulsorily employed with a minimum salary of Rs 6,000 per month.
    • The RSETI is for entrepreneurial skills where persons in the age group of 18-45 get short-term residential training with long-term hand-holding support for up to two years.
    • A Krishi Vigyan Kendra trains candidates in trades related to the agricultural sectors.



Context: The Supreme Court will be hearing a batch of petitions seeking to strike down a Tamil Nadu law which protects Jallikattu by claiming that the bull-taming sport is a cultural heritage of the State and is protected under Article 29 (1) of the Constitution.

About the Jallikattu:

  • Jallikattu is a bull-taming sport that has traditionally been part of the festival of Pongal in Tamil Nadu.
  • The sport involves releasing a running bull into a crowd of people. Participants attempt to grab the bull’s hump and ride it for as long as possible, in an attempt to stop it.
  • History of Jallikattu:
    • Jallikattu has been known to be practiced during the Tamil classical period (400-100 BC).
    • It was common among the Ayar people who lived in the ‘Mullai’ geographical division of the ancient Tamil country.
    • Later, it became a platform for display of bravery and prize money was introduced for participation encouragement.
    • A seal from the Indus Valley Civilization depicting the practice is preserved in the National Museum, New Delhi.
    • A cave painting in white kaolin discovered near Madurai depicting a lone man trying to control a bull is estimated to be about 1,500 years old.
  • Legal Interventions:
    • Supreme Court of India banned Jallikattu in 2014 following the petitions of Animal Welfare Organizations.
    • Then Tamil Nadu passed the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act of 2017 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Conduct of Jallikattu) Rules of 2017.
    • These amendments allowed Jallikattu as it is held as a cultural pride of the state under Article 29 (1) of the Constitution.


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