UPSC CA: 11th September 2020

Union Government launched “Five Star Villages Scheme”


  • The Department of Posts has launched a scheme called Five Star Villages, to ensure universal coverage of flagship postal schemes in rural areas of the country.

Key points:

  • The scheme is being launched on pilot basis in Maharashtra.
  • The schemes covered under the Five Star scheme include:
    • Savings Bank accounts, Recurrent Deposit Accounts, NSC / KVP certificates.
    • Sukanya Samridhi Accounts/ PPF Accounts.
    • Funded Post Office Savings Account linked India Post Payments Bank Accounts.
    • Postal Life Insurance Policy/Rural Postal Life Insurance Policy.
    • Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana Account / Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana Account.
  • Rating of villages:
    • If a village attains universal coverage for four schemes from the above list, then that village gets four-star status; if a village completes three schemes, then that village gets three-star status and so on.
  • Scheme Implementation Team:
    • The scheme will be implemented by a team of five Gramin Dak Sevaks who will be assigned a village for marketing of all products, savings and insurance schemes of the Department of Posts.
    • This team will be headed by the Branch Post Master of the concerned Branch Office.
    • Mail overseer will keep personal watch on progress of team on daily basis.
    • The teams will be led and monitored by concerned Divisional Head, Assistant Superintendents Posts and Inspector Posts.


SAROD-Ports launched

Key points:

  • ‘SAROD-Ports’ stands for Society for Affordable Redressal of Disputes – Ports.
  • Launched by the Union Shipping Ministry.
  • It is an Affordable Dispute Redressal Mechanism for all kinds of disputes of maritime sector.
  • SAROD-Ports is established under Societies Registration Act, 1860 with the following objectives:
    • Affordable and timely resolution of disputes in fair manner.
    • Enrichment of Dispute Resolution Mechanism with the panel of technical experts as arbitrators.
  • SAROD-Ports consists of members from Indian Ports Association (IPA) and Indian Private Ports and Terminals Association (IPTTA).


Golden Temple gets FCRA registration

In News:

  • The Union Home Ministry has granted the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration to Gurdwara Harmandir Sahib, or the Golden Temple, in Amritsar.

Key points:

  • The FCRA registration enables it to receive foreign donations.
  • Any association, non-government organisation (NGO) or registered society requires FCRA registration to receive foreign donations for specific purposes.
  • In the present case, the foreign contribution can be used by the Sikh shrine for activities such as providing financial assistance to the poor, medical assistance to the needy and organise langars, which serve as free community kitchens.

About Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA)

  • It is a law enacted by Parliament to regulate foreign contribution (especially monetary donation) provided by certain individuals or associations to NGOs and others within India.
  • FCRA Act was originally passed in 1976 and majorly modified in 2010.
  • The government has used the act over the years to freeze bank accounts of certain NGOs who it found were affecting India’s national interest for wrong purposes.

Do you know?

  • As per the FCRA Act 2010, all NGOs are required to be registered under the Act to receive foreign funding.
  • According to terms stipulated in the FCRA, an organisation cannot receive foreign funding unless it is registered under the 2010 Act, except when it gets government approval for a specific project.
  • Under the FCRA Act, registered NGOs can receive foreign contribution for five purposes — social, educational, religious, economic and cultural.


India and Japan signed Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA)


  • Recently, India and Japan signed Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) agreement.

Key points:

  • It is a logistics agreement that will allow armed forces of both sides to coordinate closely in services and supplies.
  • India has similar agreements with the USA, Australia, France, Oman and Singapore.
  • It is aimed at greater maritime cooperation and can upgrade India-Japan naval exercises as both countries are expected to share maritime facilities for mutual benefit.
  • It establishes the enabling framework for closer cooperation between the armed forces of both countries in reciprocal provision of supplies and services while engaged in the following such as
    • Bilateral training activities,
    • United Nations Peacekeeping Operations,
    • Humanitarian International Relief and other mutually agreed activities.
  • The supplies and services include food, water, transportation, airlift, petroleum, clothing, communications and medical services etc.
  • It will remain in force for 10 years and will be automatically extended for periods of 10 years unless one of the parties decides to end it.
  • List of India-Japan Defence Exercises
    • JIMEX – Naval Exercise
    • SHINYUU Maitri – Air Force Exercise,
    • Dharma Guardian – Military Exercise,
    • Malabar Exercise – USA + Japan + India Trilateral exercise.


Shikshak Parv Initiative


  • The Ministry of Education is organizing a series of webinars on NEP and its implementation under the Shikshak Parv initiative.

Key points:

  • Shikshak Parv is being celebrated from 8th-25th September 2020.
  • NEP aims to pave the way for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems in the country.
  • This policy replaces the 34 year old National Policy on Education (NPE),1986.

World Teacher’s Day

  • World Teachers’ Day is celebrated on 5th October annually to commemorate the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers.
  • This instrument sets forth the rights and responsibilities of teachers, and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, teaching and learning conditions.