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UPSC Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 29-11-2020

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November 29, 2020

UN Sanitation and Hygiene Fund

  • It will fund countries with high burden of diseases stemming from lack of sanitation services and have the least ability to respond to them.
  • The fund is hosted by the UN Office for Project Services, which provides technical advice and project implementation to the UN and its partners.
  • The objectives of the Fund are:
    1. Expanding household sanitation
    2. Ensuring menstrual health and hygiene
    3. Providing sanitation and hygiene in schools and healthcare facilities
    4. Supporting innovative sanitation solutions

New Gecko in the Eastern Ghats

  • A new species of lizard Cnemaspis avasabinaem, commonly known as Sabin’s Nellore dwarf gecko, has been discovered in the Eastern Ghats.
  • It is the smallest known Indian gekkonid that lives in dry evergreen forest and measures less than 2.9 cm (snout to vent length).
  • The most interesting find was that the males lacked femoral pores.
  • Generally, most variants of lizards have femoral pores in both the sexes, and the secretions from these pores help in communication.
  • In India, 45 species of genus Cnemaspis have been found, of which 34 are from the Western Ghats.
  • This dwarf gecko is the twelfth species of the genus to be discovered outside the Western Ghats.
  • This discovery suggests that the genus may be even more widely distributed than previously thought.


  • Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) 2.0 was expanded by the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Limited (NCGTC).
  • Under the scheme, 100% loan guarantee would be provided by NCGTC.
  • While the ECLGS 1.0 will remain, the ECLGS 2.0 will cover entities in 26 stressed sectors identified by Kamath Committee, plus the health sector.
  • These entities should have a credit outstanding of above Rs. 50 crore and up to Rs. 500 crore as on February 29, 2020.
  • It provides a one-year moratorium on loans and four years.
  • Facility under ECLGS 2.0 shall be on ‘Opt-in’ basis - to enable eligible borrowers to choose whether they wish to opt in the GECL facility.
  • The borrower accounts should be less than or equal to 30 days past due as on February 29, 2020.
  • 20% of credit dues will be given as working capital without collateral.
  • The rate of interest charged by banks will not exceed 9.25%.
  • It will be extended to the scheduled commercial banks, financial institutions, NBFCs, eligible MSMEs/business enterprises, individual borrowers and Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) borrowers.

Honey FPO Programme

  • Agriculture Ministry has launched five Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) for producing honey.
  • These FPOs would be set up with the help of National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED).
  • 5 FPOs - East Champaran (Bihar), Morena (Madhya Pradesh), Bharatpur (Rajasthan), Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) and Sunderbans (West Bengal).
  • Through these FPOs, NAFED would help bee-keepers and honey collectors in branding, collective marketing, and also explore overseas markets for them.
  • To know more about NAFED, click here.

PLI Scheme to Solar Manufacturing

  • The Union Cabinet decided to award ‘Performance Linked Incentive’ (PLI) to solar panel manufacturers.
  • While the wind power sector has a strong domestic supply chain, solar power projects are majorly dependent on imported solar panels.
  • This scheme for solar PV modules will incentivize domestic and global players to build large-scale solar PV capacity in India.
  • It will help India leapfrog in capturing the global value chains for solar PV manufacturing.


Source: Business Line, Down To Earth, Business Standard, Indian Express

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