Why is in news?

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the extension of the central government’s free foodgrains scheme under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 for the next five years.
  • About Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY):
  • The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) is the pandemic-time relief measure.
  • Under the scheme, 5 kg of foodgrains were provided free to all beneficiaries of the NFSA.
  • This relief was in addition to their entitlement of 5 kg of subsidised foodgrains under NFSA.
  • The scheme was started as one of the components of the government’s Rs 1.7 lakh crore Covid relief package.

National Food Security Act (NFSA):

  • The NFSA came into effect on July 5, 2013. The law guaranteed access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
  • It is provided to 50% of the urban and 75% of the rural population of the country.
  • The overall national coverage of the NFSA is about 67.5% of the population.
  • The beneficiaries paid Rs 3, Rs 2, and Re 1 per kg of rice, wheat, and nutri-cereals (millets) respectively.
  • There are two categories of beneficiary households under the NFSA.
  1. The Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households
  2. The Priority Households (PHs). Each AAY household is entitled to 35 kg of foodgrains every month irrespective of the number of members in the household.
  • PHs are entitled to receive foodgrains according to the number of family members.
  • Each member of a PH is entitled to receive 5 kg of foodgrains every month under the NFSA.



Why is in news?

The Railway Board has directed the Southern Railway to hold discussions with K-Rail (Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited).

About SilverLine project:

  • The project entails building a semi high-speed railway corridor through the state linking its southern end and state capital Thiruvananthapuram with its northern end of Kasaragod.
  • The line is proposed to be 529.45 kms long.
  • It is covering 11 districts through 11 stations.
  • Once the project is completed, one can travel from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram in less than four hours on trains travelling at 200 km/hr. The current travel time on the existing Indian Railways network is 12 hours.
  • KRDCL or K-Rail is a joint venture between the Kerala government and the Union Ministry of Railways.



Why is in news?

About $8 billion of the $10 billion allocated for the production of semiconductors under the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme remains unused.

About Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme:

  • PLI scheme is an initiative that provides incentives to domestic industries to boost local production.
  • It has been announced for 14 key sectors.
  • The purpose of the PLI Schemes is to attract investments in key sectors and cutting-edge technology; ensure efficiency and bring economies of size and scale in the manufacturing sector and make Indian companies and manufacturers globally competitive.
  • These schemes have the potential of significantly boosting production, employment and economic growth.
  • It includes
    • Mobile Manufacturing and Specified Electronic Components
    • Critical Key Starting Materials/Drug Intermediaries & Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients
    • Manufacturing of Medical Devices
    • Automobiles and Auto Components
    • Pharmaceuticals Drugs
    • Specialty Steel
    • Telecom & Networking Products
    • Electronic/Technology Products
    • White Goods (ACs and LEDs)
    • Food Products
    • Textile Products: MMF segment and technical textiles
    • High efficiency solar PV modules
    • Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery
    • Drones and Drone Components.
  • Under PLI over $26 billion is being provided as incentive in 14 sectors of the economy.



  • The Global Tuberculosis Report 2023 provides a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the TB epidemic and the progress in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
  • It is released by World Health Organization.

Findings of the report:

  • India accounted for the highest number of tuberculosis (TB) cases in the world in 2022.
  • It represents a staggering 27 percent of the global burden.
  • Overall, 30 high burden TB countries accounted for 87 per cent of the world’s TB cases in 2022.
  • India recorded 2.8 million (28.2 lakh) TB cases in 2022, with a case fatality ratio of 12 per cent.
  • The report highlights that multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains a public health crisis, with 1.1 lakh cases recorded in India in 2022.
  • 5 million People were diagnosed with TB in 2022, marking the highest figure recorded since WHO began global TB monitoring in 1995.



Why is in news?

  • The Tamil Nadu government has modified the Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme timely implementation.
  • Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme – Then and Now:
  • It is a conditional cash transfer scheme applicable to pregnant and lactating women of ages 19 and above for up to 2 living children.
  • The scheme will be implemented in three instalments as against five instalments.
  • Since 2018, ₹18,000 (₹14,000 in cash and nutrition kits worth ₹4,000).
  • The State’s share is ₹15,000 and ₹3,000 is provided by the Union government.
  • The scheme was implemented in five instalments after 2018.
  • The first instalment of ₹2,000 was payable during the third month of pregnancy.
  • The second instalment of ₹2,000 was paid in the fourth month of pregnancy. The third instalment of ₹4,000 was given after delivery.
  • The fourth instalment of ₹4,000 was given three months after childbirth.
  • The final instalment of ₹2,000 was given when the child was nine months of age, along with two nutrition kits worth ₹4,000.
  • The assistance would now be paid in three instalments.
  • ₹4,000 in the fourth month of pregnancy.
  • ₹4,000 after delivery and ₹6,000 four months after delivery.
  • The two nutrition kits would be provided during the first and second instalments.




Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

  • Democratic Republic of Congo is located along the equator in Central Africa.
  • It is bordered in the north by Cameroon and the Central African Republic; in the west by Gabon; in the East by the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the southwest by Angola.
  • It is the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
  • It is endowed with natural resources, including minerals such as cobalt and copper, hydropower potential, significant arable land, immense biodiversity, and the world’s second-largest rainforest.
  • It is among the five poorest nations in the world.