Daily Hindu notes for UPSC IAS preparation

General Studies-02

Will Swachh Bharat Abhiyan be a success?



  • The purpose of Swachh Bharat is still not clear.
  • We have to understand one thing: this entire campaign is to make India clean.
  • The society is making certain communities from particular castes clean the country
  • Those who make Bharat swachh will never be a part of the campaign.
  • Its just creating an illusion ;The success of illusion depends on how well it is promoted.
  • The Prime Minister has already missed the target before he set out to achieve the goal.
  • People coming with broom is just a photo opportunity for them.
  • The Constitution declaring the abolition of untouchability in Article 17,  still practise it by perpetuating occupations such as scavenging.
  • Every month, there is news about people dying in manholes after being ordered to clean them.
  • Cleaning India is not a spiritual experience and he should not glorify it.
  • In the Indian context, manual scavenging is a misery, drudgery, so one cannot worship it.
  • The cause has not been made clear by the Prime Minister

Rightist view

  • Swachhta (cleanliness) was an idea first articulated by Mahatma Gandhi.
  • According to hem, sanitation is even more important than political freedom.
  • A mission as fundamentally transformative as Swachh Bharat will not only result in intended physical outcomes but also a lifestyle and mindset change.

Five States have declared themselves Open Defecation Free (ODF) in rural areas: Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Uttarakhand and Haryana.

  • He is the first Prime Minister to have spoken of sanitation from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
  • In his scheme of things, sanitation is social transformation and is as, if not more, important than economic transformation.
  •  In the short span of three years, about 50 million toilets have been constructed in rural India, increasing the coverage from 39% to 69% now; another 3.8 million have sprung up in cities and towns and another 1.4 million are presently under construction.


  • The key problem with the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) is that the government is primarily focussed on promotions and events of a repackaged scheme than its implementation.
  • The SBM was earlier known as the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan under the UPA government.
  • The overall ratings have gone down on three parameters in the World Bank report dated February 2, 2017:
  1. progress towards achievement of programme development objectives from ‘satisfactory’ to ‘moderately satisfactory’;
  2. overall implementation progress from ‘satisfactory’ to ‘moderately unsatisfactory’;
  3. overall risk rating from ‘nil’ to ‘substantial’.
  • For 2017-18, the government has allocated ₹13,948 crore for the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G) project; for the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) project, the allocation was merely ₹2,300 crore.
  • The focus of the SBM-G should be on behavioral change; the guidelines also require that 8% of the funds be allocated for information, education and communication activities..

General Studies-03

In undated audio, Baghdadi urges Islamic State militants to keep fighting

  • Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi exhorted followers on September 29 to stand fast and keep fighting in his first purported audio communication in almost a year during which his jihadist group lost much of its self-proclaimed “caliphate”.
  • The audio, partly dedicated to religious scriptures, came after several reports Baghdadi had been killed. His last recording was in November 2016, two weeks after the start of the battle to recapture the city of Mosul from Islamic State (IS).
  • The date of the 46-minute recording, released via the al-Furqan news organisation, was not clear.
  • But in it, Baghdadi makes an apparent reference to recent events including North Korean threats against Japan and United States and the recapture two months ago of Mosul by U.S.-backed Iraqi forces.
  • The U.S. State Department said it’s not in a position to confirm the authenticity of the recording.

‘Cards may land banks with a ₹3,800 cr. hole’

  • The Centre’s digital payments push, mainly card payments through PoS machines, may leave already capital starved banks bleeding by ₹3,800 crore annually, warns a report.
  • After November’s note-ban, the government has pushed banks into deploying millions of point-of-sale (PoS) machines to encourage online payments.
  • This has resulted in increase in debit plus credit cards transactions at PoS from ₹51,900 crore in October 2016 to ₹68,500 crore in July 2017.

NIA focus on 32 Kerala ‘conversions’


  • The National Investigation Agency (NIA) said it was scrutinising over 30 cases in Kerala where Hindu women were allegedly lured, forced to convert to Islam and marry Muslim men.

Beyond News:

  • NIA had asked the Kerala police for details of forced conversions at Therbiyathul Islam Sabha in Kozhikode, a religious centre authorised by the Kerala government.
  • An NIA official said the State police sent the details of 92 cases but in the initial phase, the agency was concentrating only on 32 cases, which involved Hindu women.
  • Supreme Court had last month asked the federal anti-terror agency to investigate the case of Akhila Asokan alias Hadiya, a 25-year-old Hindu woman, who converted to Islam and married a Muslim man.
  • Akhila’s parents had moved the Kerala High Court in 2016 alleging that she was radicalised and converted to Islam and forcibly married to a Muslim man.
  • The High Court annulled the marriage and Akhila’s husband Shafin Jahan moved the Supreme Court, which in turn asked the NIA to investigate the ‘love jihad’ case.

[Op-Ed]Hope in Darjeeling — On end of blockade

Back ground:

The announcement on ending the bandhcame from Bimal Gurung of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, led the agitation

  • With a breakthrough ending the 104-day-long blockade in the Darjeeling hills, the Union and West Bengal governments must move forthwith to consolidate the ‘truce’ and address the setback to livelihoods and the local economy suffered over this period.

The blockade had severely hit life in the hill districts, and it is clear that local support for the agitation was waning.

Current situation:

  • The Minister did not commit to “tripartite talks” on the separate statehood issue as demanded by the GJM, he promised discussions on other issues while impliedly recognizing the leadership of the official faction.
  • The current impasse is a direct outcome of the failure to substantively devolve power to the GTA as promised.
  • The State government has suggested that it is not averse to tripartite talks over some of the GJM’s demands, but it is not clear whether Ms. Banerjee will agree to talk to Mr. Gurung. Talks involving the Centre, the State government and the GJM are, however, essential.
  • This is the best mechanism to discuss the empowerment of the GTA, which is necessary to address the grievances of the residents of Darjeeling.


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