India Year Book 2019

Land and the People

Geographical Background

  • India is the 7th largest country in the world and ranks 2nd in population. It covers an area of 32,87,263 sq. km.
  • Lying northern hemisphere, between latitudes 8°4' and 37°6' north, longitudes 68°7' and 97°25'.
  • The total length of the coastline of the mainland, Lakshadweep Islands and Andaman and Nicobar Islands is 7,516.6 km.
  • Countries having a common border with India are Afghanistan and Pakistan to the north-west, China, Bhutan and Nepal to the north, Myanmar to the far east and Bangladesh to the east.
  • Sri Lanka is separated from India by a narrow channel of sea formed by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar.

1.Physical Features

The mainland comprises four regions, namely, the great mountain zone, plains of the Ganga and the Indus, the desert region and the southern peninsula.


  • Three almost parallel ranges interspersed with large plateaus and valleys, some of which, like the Kashmir and Kullu valleys, are fertile, extensive and of great scenic beauty.
  • Jelep La and Nathu La on the main Indo-Tibet trade route through the Chumbi valley, north-east of Darjeeling and Shipki La in the Satluj valley, north-east of Kalpa (Kinnaur) are the important high altitude passes.
  • The mountain wall extends over a distance of about 2,400 km with a varying depth of 240 to 320 km.


  • Ganga and the Indus, about 2,400 km long and 240 to 320 km broad, are formed by basins of three distinct river systems-the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra.
  • They are one of the world’s greatest stretches of flat alluvium and also one of the most densely populated areas on the earth.

Desert Region

  • It can be divided into two parts-the ‘great desert’ and the ‘little desert’.
  • The great desert extends from the edge of the Rann of Kutch beyond the Luni River northward.
  • The little desert extends from the Luni between Jaisalmer and Jodhpur up to the northern west.

Peninsular Plateau

  • The Peninsular Plateau is marked off from the plains of the Ganga and the Indus by a mass of mountain and hill ranges, prominent among these are the Aravalli, Vindhya, Satpura, Maikala and Ajanta.
  • The Peninsula is flanked on the one side by the Eastern Ghats where average elevation is about 610 metres and on the other by the Western Ghats where it is generally from 915 to 1,220 metres.
  • The southern point of the plateau is formed by the Nilgiri Hills where the Eastern and the Western Ghats meet.

2.River Systems

The river systems of India can be classified into four groups viz., (i) Himalayan rivers, (ii) Deccan rivers, (iii) Coastal rivers and (iv) Rivers of the inland drainage basin.

Himalayan Rivers

  • The main Himalayan river systems are those of the Indus and the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna system.
  • The Indus, which is one of the great rivers of the world, rises near Mansarovar in Tibet and flows through India and thereafter through Pakistan and finally falls into the Arabian sea near Karachi.
  • Bhagirathi and the Alaknanda, which join at Dev Prayag to form the Ganga, traverses through Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.
  • The Yamuna, the Ramganga, the Ghaghra, the Gandak, the Kosi, the Mahananda and the Sone are the important tributaries of the Ganga.
  • The Padma and the Brahmaputra join at Bangladesh and continue to flow as the Padma or Ganga. The Brahmaputra rises in Tibet, where it is known as Tsangpo.
  • Near Passighat, the Debang and Lohit join the river Brahmaputra and the combined river runs all along the Assam valley. It crosses into Bangladesh downstream of Dhubri.
  • The principal tributaries of Brahmaputra in India are the Subansiri, Jia Bhareli, Dhansiri, Puthimari, Pagladiya and the Manas. The Brahmaputra in Bangladesh fed by Teesta, etc. finally falls into the Ganga.

Deccan rivers

  • In the Deccan region, most of the major river systems flowing generally in the east fall into Bay of Bengal.
  • The major east flowing rivers are Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery and Mahanadi.
  • Narmada and Tapti are major west flowing rivers.
  • The Godavari in the southern Peninsula has the second largest river basin covering 10 percent of the area of India. Next to it is the Krishna basin in the region and the Mahanadi is another large basin of the region.

Coastal rivers

  • There are numerous coastal rivers, which are comparatively small. While only handful of such rivers drain into the sea near the delta of east coast.

Rivers of the inland drainage basin

  • There are desert rivers which flow for some distance and are lost in the desert. These are Luni, Machhu, Rupen, Saraswati, Banas, Ghaggar and others.


  • The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) designates four official seasons: (i) Winter, from December to early April; (ii)Summer or pre-monsoon season, lasting from April to June; (iii) Monsoon or rainy season, lasting from June to September; (iv) Post-monsoon season, lasting from October to December.
  • India's climate is affected by two seasonal winds-the north-east monsoon and the south-west monsoon.

4. Flora

India can be divided into eight distinct floristic regions, namely, the western Himalayas, the eastern Himalayas, Assam, the Indus plain, the Ganga plain, the Deccan, the Malabar and the Andamans.

Western Himalayas

  • Extends from Kashmir to Kumaon.
  • Its temperate zone is rich in forests of chir, pine, other conifers and broad-leaved temperate trees.
  • The characteristic trees of this zone are high-level silver fir, silver birch and junipers.

Eastern Himalayas

  • Extends from Sikkim eastwards and embraces Darjeeling, Kurseong and the adjacent tracts.
  • The temperate zone has forests of oaks, laurels, maples, rhododendrons, alder and birch.


  • Comprises the Brahmaputra and the Surma valleys with evergreen forests, occasional thick clumps of bamboos and tall grasses

The Indus plain

  • The Indus plain region comprises the plains of Punjab, western Rajasthan and northern Gujarat.It is dry, hot and supports natural vegetation.

The Ganga plain

  • The Ganga plain region covers the area which is alluvial plain and is under cultivation for wheat, sugarcane and rice.

The Deccan

  • The Deccan region comprises the entire table land of the Indian Peninsula and supports vegetation of various kinds from shrub jungles to mixed deciduous forests.

The Malabar

  • Covers the excessively humid belt of mountain country parallel to the west coast of the Peninsula.
  • Being rich in forest vegetation, this region produces important commercial crops, such as coconut, betel nut, pepper, coffee, tea, rubber and cashew nut.


  • Abounds in evergreen, mangrove, beach and diluvial forests.

5. Faunal Resources

  • According to world biogeographic classification, India represents two of the major realms (the Palearctic and Indo-Malayan) and three biomes (Tropical Humid Forests, Tropical Dry/Deciduous Forests and Warm Deserts/Semi-Deserts).
  • Within only about 2 per cent of world's total land surface, India is known to have over 7.50 per cent of the species of animals that the world holds and this percentage accounts nearly for 92,037 species so far known, of which insects alone include 61,375 species.

National Symbols

1.National Flag

  • The ratio of length to height of the flag is 3:2. The middle panel shall be white, bearing at its centre the design of Ashoka Chakra in navy blue color with 24 equally spaced spokes.
  • The design of the National Flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 22 July 1947.
  • The Flag Code of India, 2002, has taken effect from 26 January 2002.

2. State Emblem

  • The State Emblem of India is an adaptation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath.
  • The profile of the Lion Capital showing three lions mounted on the abacus with a Dharma Chakra in the centre, a bull on the right and a galloping horse on the left, and outlines of Dharma Chakras on the extreme right and left was adopted as the State Emblem of India on January 26, 1950.
  • The motto "Satyameva Jayate"-Truth alone Triumphs-written in Devanagari script below the profile of the Lion Capital is part of the State Emblem of India.

3. National Anthem

  • It was first sung on December 27, 1911 at the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress.
  • It is composed originally in Bangla by Rabindranath Tagore, was adopted by the Constituent Assembly as the National Anthem of India on January 24, 1950.

4. National Song

  • The song Vande Mataram, composed in Sanskrit by Bankimchandra Chatterji.
  • The first political occasion when it was sung was the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress.

5. National Calendar

  • The National Calendar based on the Saka Era, with Chaitra as its first month and a normal year of 365 days was adopted from March 22, 1957.
  • It use for for the following official purposes: (i) Gazette of India, (ii) news broadcast by All India Radio, (iii) calendars issued by the Government of India and (iv) Government communications addressed to the public.


National Authority for Chemical Weapons Convention

  • The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons (NACWC) is a multi lateral international treaty which outlaws the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons and their precursors.
  • The CWC came into force with effect from 1997. By March 2016, 192 states have ratified or acceded to the treaty.
  • The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW); an intergovernmental organization based in The Hague, Netherlands is the ‘treaty organisation’ for the CWC.
  • The OPCW bagging the Nobel Peace Prize of 2013 is in recognition of the Convention as a very effective Disarmament Treaty.
  • The National Authority for Chemical Weapons Convention (NACWC) was set up as an office of the Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India to fulfil, on behalf of the Government of India, the obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

Project Monitoring Group(PMG)

  • PMG is an institutional mechanism for resolving a variety of issues including fast tracking of approvals for setting up an expeditious commissioning of large Public, Private and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project.
  • Project Monitoring Group (PMG) was set up in 2013 under cabinet secretariat. PMG is presently functioning under Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) since 2015.
  • PMG is monitoring the development and operation of online digital platforms by various ministries and departments through its web portal e-nivesh monitor (

Public Grievances

  • The Directorate of Public Grievances (DPG) was set up in the Cabinet Secretariat in 1988 to entertain grievances from the public after they fail to get satisfactory redress from the ministry/department concerned within a reasonable time.
  • Each grievance is first scrutinized to see if it relates to a sector in DPG’s purview.
  • The Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (PGRAMS), an exclusive automation programme for DPG was adopted in 1999.


National Disaster Management Authority

  • In 2005, the government enacted the Disaster Management Act, which envisaged the creation of National Disaster Management Authority, under the Ministry of Home Affairs, headed by the Prime Minister, and State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) headed by respective Chief Ministers.
  • NDMA, as the apex body, is mandated to lay down the policies, plans and guidelines for disaster management to ensure timely and effective response to disasters.

Civil Services Day

  • The Government of India celebrates April, 21 every year as ‘Civil Services Day’ for the civil servants to rededicate themselves to the cause of citizens.
  • The first such function was held in Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi on April 21, 2006.
  • On the occasion, the Prime Minister conferred “Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration”.

Cooperation with Commonwealth Association for Public
Administration and Management

  • CAPAM, with its headquarters at Ottawa, Canada, is an organization dedicated to strengthening public management and consolidating democracy and good governance in the Commonwealth.
  • It was formed in 1994 as a result of decisions taken at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meetings in Harare in 1991 and in Cyprus in 1993.
  • The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India became an institutional member of CAPAM in 1997.

Department of Personnel and Training

  • it acts as the formulator of policy and the watch-dog of the government ensuring that certain accepted standards and norms, as laid down by it, are followed by all ministries/departments, in the recruitment, regulation of service conditions, posting/transfers, deputation of personnel as well as other related issues.
  • It also advises all organizations of the central government on issues of personnel management.


Right to Information

  • The Right to Information Act, 2005 empowers the citizens, promotes transparency and accountability in the working of the government, combat corruption and makes the democracy work for people in real sense.
  • The Central Information Commission/State Information Commissions are high-powered independent bodies created by the Act, and they can impose penalty on the defaulting Public Information Officers.

Official Language

  • Article 343 (1) of the Constitution provides that Hindi in Devanagari script shall be the official language of the Union.
  • Article 343 (2) also provides for continuing the use of English in official work of the Union for a period of 15 years (i.e., upto January 25, 1965) from the date of commencement of the Constitution.
  • Article 343 (3) empowered the Parliament to provide by law for continued use of English for official purposes even after January 25, 1965.


AGRICULTURE plays a vital role in India's economy. 54.6 per cent of the population is engaged in agriculture and allied activities (census 2011) and it contributes 17.4 per cent to the country's Gross Value Added for the year 2016-17 (at current prices).


  • As per the Fourth Advance Estimates for 2016-17, production of rice is estimated at a new record of 110.15 million tonnes.
  • The wheat production is higher by 6.10 million tonnes as compared to the wheat production of 92.29 million tones in 2015-16.
  • Production of coarse cereals is estimated at a new record level of 44.19 million tonnes.

Major Programmes

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)

  • To achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level, expand cultivable area under assured irrigation, improve on-farm water use efficiency to reduce wastage of water, enhance the adoption of precision irrigation and other water saving technologies (Per drop, More crop).
  • The mission is administered by Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation with the Per Drop More Crop component being administered by Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW).

Agriculture Credit

  • Implements the Interest Subvention Scheme under which interest subvention is provided on short-term crop loans up to ₹ 3 lakh for a period of one year.

Crop Insurance

  • In order to protect farmers against crop failure due to natural calamities, pests and diseases, weather conditions.
  • Government of India introduced the National Crop Insurance Programme (NCIP) with component schemes of Modified National Agricultural Scheme (MNAIS), Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) and Coconut Palm Insurance Scheme (CPIS).

Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices

  • Set up with a view to evolve a balanced and integrated price structure, is mandated to advice on the price policy (MSP) of 23 crops.
  • Seven cereal crops (paddy, wheat, jowar, bajra, maize, ragi and barley), five pulse crops (gram, tur, moong, urad and lentil), seven oilseeds (groundnut, sunflower seed, soyabean, rapeseed mustard, safflower, niger seed and seasmum), copra (dried coconut), cotton, raw jute and sugarcane.

Soil and Water Productivity

  • The National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning (NBSS&LUP) developed NBSS BHOOMI Geo-portal to access various thematic information on major physiographic regions.

National Livestock Mission

  • Formulated with the objectives of sustainable development of livestock sector, focusing on improving availability of quality feed and fodder, risk coverage, effective extension, improved flow of credit and organisation of livestock farmers/rearers.
  • Sub-missions: (i) sub-mission on livestock development; (ii) sub-mission on pig development in north-eastern region; (iii) sub-mission on fodder and feed development; and (iv) sub-mission on skill development, technology transfer and extension.

Basic Economic Data

National Statistical Commission

  • NSC was set up in 2005,on the recommendation of the Rangarajan Commission.
  • To serve as a nodal and empowered body for all core statistical activities of the country, to evolve, monitor and enforce statistical priorities and standards and to ensure statistical coordination.
  • It has one part-time Chairperson and four part-time members, each having specialization and experience in specified statistical fields.

Central Statistics Office

  • The Central Statistics Office (CSO), an attached office of the ministry, coordinates the statistical activities in the country and evolves statistical standards.
  • Its activities inter-alia, include compilation of National Accounts, Index of Industrial Production, Consumer Price Indices for Urban/Rural/ Combined, Human Development Statistics, including Gender Statistics in the states and union territories and disseminates Energy Statistics, Social and Environment Statistics and prepares the National Industrial Classification.

Real Income and Net National Income

  • Growth in per capita real income of about 5.4 per cent during 2017-18.
  • The per capita income at current prices during 2017-18 is estimated at ₹ 112,835 as compared to ₹ 103,870 for 2016-17, showing a rise of 8.6 per cent.

National Income

  • The growth in real GDP during 2017-18 is estimated at 6.7 per cent as compared to the growth rate of 7.1 per cent in 2016-17.

Services Sector

  • The share of services in India’s Gross Value Added (GVA) at basic prices (at current prices) increased from 49 per cent in 2011-12 to 53.9 per cent in 2017-18 as per Provisional Estimates (PE).

Annual Survey of Industries

  • Provides statistical information to access and evaluate, objectively and realistically, the change in the growth, composition and structure of the organized manufacturing sector comprising activities related to manufacturing processes, repair services, generation, transmission, etc., of electricity, gas and water supply and cold storage.
  • Defense establishments, oil storage and distribution depots, departmental units such as railway workshops, government mints, sanitary, water supply, gas storage, etc., are excluded from the purview of the survey.

Index of Industrial Production

  • Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is released by CSO every month in the form of Quick Estimates with a time-lag of 6 weeks as per the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) norms of IMF.
  • Apart from breakup of the index in three sectors, viz., mining, manufacturing and electricity, the estimates are also simultaneously released as per use-based classification viz., primary goods, intermediate goods, infrastructure construction goods and consumer durables and consumer non-durables

Twenty Point Programme

  • The Twenty Point Programme (TPP) initiated since 1975 was restructured in 1982, 1986 and 2006.
  • To eradicate poverty and improve the quality of life of the poor and the underprivileged people all over the country. The programme covers various socio-economic aspects like poverty, employment, education, housing, agriculture, drinking water, afforestation and environment protection, energy to rural areas, welfare of weaker sections of the society, etc.

Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme

  • MPLADS was launched in 1993. Initially, Ministry of Rural Development was the Nodal Ministry for this scheme. In October, 1994 this scheme was transferred to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
  • The objective of MPLAD Scheme is to enable MPs to recommend works of developmental nature with emphasizes on creation of durable community assets in the areas of national priorities, viz., drinking water facility; education; electricity facility; health and family welfare; irrigation facility; non-conventional energy severs; railways, roads, pathways and bridges; sanitation and public health, etc., based on the locally felt needs.
  • The funds released under the scheme are non-lapsable i.e the funds not released in a particular year will be carried forward for making releases in the subsequent years subject to eligibility;
  • The Lok Sabha members shall recommend works in their respective constituencies; The elected members of the Rajya Sabha can recommend works anywhere in the state from which they are elected.


The essence of human resource development is education, which plays a significant and remedial role in balancing the socio-economic fabric of the country.

Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan- Article 21-A of the Constitution of India and its consequent legislation, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 became operative in the country in 2010. The RTE Act confers the right to elementary education on all children, in the age group of 6-14 years, on the basis of equality of opportunity in a formal school which satisfies certain essential norms and standards.

Programme Interventions under SSA

Universal Access

  • New Schools, Special Training for main streaming out-of-school children, Residential facilities, Transportation or Escort facilities, Uniforms.

Bridging Gender Gaps in Elementary Education

  • Girls’ Education
  • Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV)- residential upper primary schools for girls from SC, ST, OBC Muslim communities and BPL girls, set up in educational backward blocks.
  • Removal of Gender Bias
  • Digital Gender Atlas for Advancing Girls’ Education-developed with the support of UNICEF, will help identify low performing geographic pockets for girls, particularly from marginalized groups such as scheduled castes, schedule tribes and Muslims, on specific gender related education indicators.
  • Separate Girls’ Toilets


Sub-Programmes under SSA

  • Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat (PBBB)
  • Rashtriya Aavishkar Abhiyan (RAA)- aims to motivate and engage children of the age group 6-18 years, in science, mathematics and technology by observation, experimentation, inference drawing and model building.
  • Vidyanjali- Co-scholastic activities in government schools through services of volunteers.
  • ShaGun portal- monitor progress by assessing performance of states and UTs on key parameters.

Teacher Training

  • Availability of Teachers
  • In-service Teacher Training
  • Distance Education Programmes for Teachers.

Other Scheme and Program

Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan(launched in 2009)

Shaala Siddhi: School Standards and Evaluation Framework and its web portal was launched in 2015. Developed by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA).

Shala Darpan: to cover all the 1099 Kendriya Vidyalayas was launched in June, 2015. The objective of this project is to provide services based on school management systems to students, parents and communities.

GIS Mapping: To ensure universal access to schools including secondary schools within a reasonable distance

National Achievement Survey for Class X- The survey investigates student achievement in five subjects: English, mathematics, social science, science and modern Indian language.

Kala Utsav: an initiative of this Ministry to promote arts (music, theatre, dance, visual arts and crafts) in education by nurturing and showcasing the artistic talent of school students at secondary stage.

National Award For Teachers using ICT For Innovation In Education: to motivate the teachers and teacher educators for innovative use of ICT in teaching-learning.

Mid-Day Meal Scheme

  • Covers children of classes I-VI11 studying in government, government-aided schools, special training centres (STC) and madarsas/ maqtabs supported under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
  • The cooked mid day meal consists of 100 grams of wheat/rice, 20 grams of pulses, 50 grams of vegetables and 5 grams of oil/fat and provides 450 calories of energy and 12 grams of protein at primary stage.
  • For upper primary stage children, it consists of 150 grams of wheat/rice, 30 grams of pulses, 75 grams of vegetables and 7.5 gram of oil/fat and provides 700 calories of energy and 20 grams of proteins.

Tithi Bhojan

  • It is voluntarily served by the community/family among school children in several forms like sweets and namkeen along with regular MDM, full meals, supplementary nutritive items like sprouted beans, contribution in kind such as cooking ware, utensils, dinner sets or glasses for drinking water.

Yukti - Yogya Kalakriti ki Takneek

  • aims at skill development and upgradation of design and technologies enhancing the economic prospects of those engaged in traditional crafts and arts as a means of livelihood.

SAKSHAM - a Scholarship for Differently-Abled Children

  • Scholarships amounting to ₹ 5 crore per annum as tuition fees and incidentals are to be provided to needy and meritorious students for pursuing technical education at AICTE approved institution.

Ishan Uday-for Students of North East Region

  • The Scheme envisages grant of 10,000 scholarships to students from the region whose parental income is below ₹ 4.5 lakh per annum and would be provided scholarship ranging from ₹ 3,500 to ₹ 5,000 per month for studying at undergraduate level in colleges/ universities.

Ishan Vikas - Academic Exposure for North Eastern Students

  • To bring selected college and school students from the north eastern states into close contact with IITs, NITs and IISERs during their vacation periods for academic exposure.


  • Scheme of AICTE aimed at providing assistance for advancement of girls participation in technical education.

Global Initiative for Academic Network

  • Aims at tapping the talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs, internationally to encourage their engagement with the institutes of higher education in India.



Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana

  • To separate agriculture and non-agriculture feeders for judicious rostering of supply to agricultural and non-agricultural consumers in rural areas;
  • Strengthening and augmentation of sub transmission and distribution infrastructure in rural areas;
  • Metering in rural areas (feders, distribution transformers and consumers)

Saubhagya - Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana

  • Providing electricity connections to all un-electrified households in rural areas.
  • Providing Solar Photo Voltaic (SPV) based standalone system for un-electrified households located in remote and inaccessible villages / habitations

Integrated Power Development Scheme

  • Strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution network in urban areas;
  • Metering of distribution transformers/feeders/consumers in urban areas;
  • IT enablement of distribution sector and strengthening of distribution network.

UDAY-Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana

  • Launched in 2015 for a sustainable solution to the operational and financial inefficiencies of DISCOMs across the country, through targeted interventions in the form of lower interest costs, reduction of cost of power, increased revenues and improved operational efficiencies.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

  • to provide deposit free LPG connections to 8 crore women belonging to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) households


  • Aimed at rationalizing subsidies based on approach to cut subsidy leakages, but not subsidies per se.

National Biogas and Manure Management Programme

  • a central sector scheme which aims to provide biogas plants as an asset for households, communities of households for meeting their clean cooking fuel needs in particular to rural/semi-urban households and organic manure for raising farm yield and productivity and maintaining the soil health.


THE Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) is also the nodal agency for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED).

Botanical Survey of India

  • It was established in 1890 with the basic objective to explore the plant resources of country and to identify the plants species with economic virtues.
  • Sir George King, the then Superintendent of the ‘Royal Botanic Garden’ Calcutta was appointed as first ex-officio Honorary Director of the BSI.
  • The functional base of BSI was further expanded to include various new areas such as inventorying of endemic, rare and threatened plant species; evolving conservation strategies; studies on fragile ecosystems and protected areas, like wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and biosphere reserves, multiplication and maintenance of endemic and threatened plant species, wild ornamentals, etc.

Zoological Survey of India

  • A premier research institution under the Ministry has completed 100 years of services to the Nation, undertaking survey, exploration and research leading to the advancement of our knowledge on the exceptionally rich faunal diversity of the country since its inception in 1916.
  • ZSI have also expanded gradually encompassing areas like the Environmental Impact Assessment with regard to fauna; survey of conservation areas; status survey of endangered species; computerization of digitization of data on faunal resources; Environmental Information System (ENVIS) on faunal.

Forest Survey of India

  • Established in 1981, the Forest Survey of India succeeded the “Pre-investment Survey of Forest Resources” (PISFR), a project initiated in 1965 by Government of India with the sponsorship of FAO and UNDP.
  • PISFER was reorganized into FSI in June, 1981.

Biodiversity Conservation

  • The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is one of the key agreements adopted during the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
  • The objectives of CBD are: conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components, and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of genetic resources.
  • India enacted the Biological Diversity (BD) Act in 2002 to give effect to the provision of this Convention.

Biosphere Reserves

  • The idea of ‘Biosphere Reserves’ was initiated by UNESCO in 1973-74 under its Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme.
  • Aimed to develop within the natural and social sciences a basis for the rational use and conservation of the resources of the biosphere and for the improvement of the relationship between man and the environment.
  • In India, There are 18 designated Biosphere Reserves (BRs). Out of 18 Biosphere Reserves, 10 Biosphere Reserves have been included in the world Network of Biosphere Reserves of UNESCO.

Wildlife Crime Control Bureau

  • A statutory multi-disciplinary body established under the Ministry, to combat organized wildlife crime in the country.
  • It is mandated to collect and collate intelligence related to organized wildlife crime activities and to disseminate the same to state and other enforcement agencies for immediate action so as to apprehend the criminals; to establish a centralized wildlife crime data bank; coordinate actions by various agencies in connection with the enforcement of the provisions of the Act;

Central Zoo Authority

  • Established in 1992 under the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • The main objective of the Central Zoo Authority is to enforce minimum standards and norms for upkeep and healthcare of animals in the Indian zoos and to control the mushrooming of ill-conceived, ill planned zoos, to monitor and evaluate the existing zoos and to suggest ways and means for the improvement of zoos.

National Green Tribunal

  • NGT was set up in 2010 under the NGT Act, 2010, for the purpose of effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests.
  • The Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice.

National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change

  • A central sector scheme under implementation in the 12th Five Year Plan with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) as National Implementing Entity (NIE).
  • Aim of the fund is to support concrete adaptation activities which are not covered under on-going activities through the schemes of state and central government.


THE Ministry of Finance is responsible for administration of finances of the Government. It is concerned with all economic and financial matters affecting the country as a whole including mobilization of resources for development and other purposes.

Department of Economic Affairs

  • The nodal agency of the government to formulate and monitor country’s economic policies and programmes having a bearing on domestic and international aspects of economic management.
  • A principal responsibility of this Department is the preparation and presentation of the Union Budget (including Railway Budget) to the Parliament and budget for the state governments under President’s Rule and union territory administrations.

Public Debt and Other Liabilities

  • The Public Debt of India is classified into three categories of Union Government liabilities into internal debt, external debt and other liabilities.
  • Internal debt for Government of India largely consists of fixed tenure and fixed rate government papers (dated securities and treasury bills) which are issued through auctions.
  • External debt represents loans received from foreign governments and multilateral institutions.
  • “Other” liabilities, not a part of public debt, includes other interest bearing obligations of the government, such as post office saving deposits, deposits under small savings schemes, loans raised through post office cash certificates, provident funds and certain other deposits.

Foreign Exchange Reserves

  • India’s foreign exchange reserves comprise foreign currency assets (FCAs), gold, SDRs and reserve tranche position (RTP) in the IMF.
  • Foreign Exchange Reserves stood at US $ 421.7 billion by February 2018 as against US $ 370 billion at end-March 2017.

Financial Stability and Development Council

  • The Council, inter-alia, monitors macro prudential supervision of the economy including functioning of large financial conglomerates, and addresses inter-regulatory coordination and financial sector development issues, including issues relating to financial literacy and financial inclusion.
  • The Council is chaired by the Union Finance Minister and its members are Governor, Reserve Bank of India; Finance Secretary and/or Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs; Secretary, Department of Financial Services; Chief Economic Adviser, Ministry of Finance; Chairman, Securities and Exchange Board of India; Chairman, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority and Chairman, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority.

Financial Stability Board

  • Financial Stability Board (FSB) was established in 2009 under the aegis of G20 by bringing together the national authorities, standard setting bodies and international financial institutions for addressing vulnerabilities and developing and implementing strong regulatory, supervisory and other policies in the interest of financial stability.

Corporate Affairs

THE Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) is primarily concerned with administration of the Companies Act 2013, the Companies Act 1956, the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008 and other allied Acts and rules and regulations framed there-under mainly for regulating the functioning of the corporate sector.

Ease of Doing Business

  • The Ministry has prescribed a Simplified Proforma for Incorporating Companies (SPICe) along with e-MOA (Electronic-Memorandum of Association) and e-AoA (Electronic-Articles of Association).
  • SPICe is a more versatile form and leverages on digital technology by eliminating the need for hard copies of physically signed documents being attached to an e-form.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board

  • IBBI was established in 2016.
  • The IBBI has the mandate for regulation of insolvency professionals, insolvency professional agencies and information utilities besides exercising other powers and functions as envisaged under the Code.

MCA21 - e-Governance Project

  • For end to end service delivery comprising Company and Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) registration, incorporation, registry and other compliance related services

Serious Fraud Investigation Office

  • SFIO was set up in 2003.
  • The Companies Act, 2013 has accorded statutory status to SFIO.
  • The main function of SFIO is to investigate corporate frauds of serious and complex nature.

Competition Commission of India

  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) was established in 2003 under the Competition Act, 2002, with the objective of eliminating practices having an adverse effect on competition, promoting and sustaining competition, protecting the interest of consumers and ensuring freedom of trade in India.

Health and Family Welfare

THE Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is instrumental and responsible for implementation of various programmes on the national scale in the areas of health and family welfare, prevention and control of major communicable and non-communicable diseases as well as promoting research across the country.

National Health Policy

  • Assurance based approach - It advocates progressively incremental assurance based approach with focus on preventive and promotive healthcare.
  • Micro nutrient deficiency-There is a focus on reducing micro nutrient malnourishment and systematic approach to address heterogeneity in micro nutrient adequacy across regions

Various initiatives under NHP 2017-

  • National Health Portal (NHP) is functioning as citizen portal for healthcare providing health related information to citizens and stakeholders in different languages.
  • Hospital Information System (HIS) is being implemented in hospitals for automation of hospital processes to achieve better efficiency and service delivery in public health facilities upto CHC level.
  • Online Registration System (ORS) is a framework to link various hospitals for online registration, payment of fees and appointment, online diagnostic reports, enquiring availability of blood online, etc.
  • Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS) / Reproductive Child Health (RCH) application is an individual-based tracking system across all the states & UTs to facilitate timely delivery of antenatal and postnatal care services and immunization to children with an objective of improving IMR, MMR, & morbidity.
  • TB Patient Monitoring System “Nikshay” for tracking of individuals for treatment-adherence has been implemented across all states for monitoring of TB patients.
  • SUGAM by Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) enables online submission of applications, their tracking, processing & grant of approvals online mainly for drugs, clinical trials, ethics committee, medical devices, vaccines and cosmetics.
  • Drugs and Vaccine Distribution Management System (DVDMS) (eAushidhi) deals with purchase, inventory management and distribution of various drugs, sutures and surgical items to various district drug warehouse of state/UT, district hospitals, their sub-stores, etc., by automating the work flow of procurement, supply chain, quality control and finance department in state/UT level.

Ayushman Bharat

  • The Scheme has the benefit cover of ₹ 5 lakh per family per year.
  • The target beneficiaries are to be more than 10 crore families belonging to poor and vulnerable population based on Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) database.

Mother’s Absolute Affection Programme

  • MAA-Mother’s Absolute Affection” which is an intensified programme was launched in 2016 in an attempt to bring undiluted focus on promotion of breastfeeding.

Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram

  • Entitles all pregnant women delivering in public health institutions to absolutely free and no expense delivery including caesarean section.

Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan

  • The programme aims to provide assured, comprehensive and quality antenatal care, free of cost, universally to all pregnant women on the 9th of every month.
  • PMSMA guarantees a minimum package of antenatal care services to women in their 2nd/3rd trimesters of pregnancy at designated government health facilities.


  • Kayakalp awards were launched to promote cleanliness, hygiene and infection control practices in public health facilities.

Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme

  • A centrally sponsored scheme under NHM implemented in all states and UTs.
  • The main objectives and strategies include strengthening /maintaining a decentralized laboratory based IT-enabled disease surveillance system for epidemic prone diseases to monitor disease trends and to detect and respond to outbreaks in early rising phase through trained rapid response teams.

Law and Justice

Ministry of Law and Justice comprises the three Departments namely the Department of Legal Affairs, the Legislative Department and the Department of Justice. The Department of Legal affairs is assigned legal functions including the interpretation of the Constitution and Laws, litigation, legal profession, law reforms, treaties and agreements with foreign countries in the matters of the civil law, legal services including Indian Legal Service, etc.

e-Courts Integrated Mission Mode Project

  • Implemented in High Courts and district/subordinate courts of the country.
  • The project has been conceptualized on the basis of the “National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology in the Indian Judiciary-2005” by the e-Committee of the Supreme Court of India.

Legal Affairs

  • The department of Legal Affairs is the Central Authority under the Hague Convention of 1965 for service aboard of judicial and extra-judicial documents in civil and commercial matters.

Appellate Tribunal for Foreign Exchange

  • Established in 2000 under Section 18 of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999.
  • Appellate Tribunal shall consist of a Chairperson and such number of members as the Central Government may deem fit.
  • A person who is qualified to be a Judge of a High Court or is or has been a Judge of High Court can be appointed as Chairperson of the Tribunal and a person who has been or is qualified to be a District Judge can be appointed as a Member of the Tribunal.

Personal Law

  • The subject matter of personal laws is relatable to entry 5 of List III- Concurrent list in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India and hence the Union Legislature, namely Parliament and subject to the provisions of Article 254 of the Constitution.
  • The state legislatures are also competent to make laws in the field. Marriage.

Special Marriage Act, 1954

  • Provides for a special form of marriage and the registration of such marriages extends to the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Specifically register marriage under the said Act even though they are of different religious faiths.

Delimitation of Constituencies

  • The electoral boundaries are drawn on the basis of the last published census figures and are relatively equal in population.
  • The first Delimitation Commission in India was constituted in 1952, the second in 1962 and the third in the year 1973.
  • The present delimitation, based on 2001 census, has been undertaken after 30 years.

Labour, Skill Development and Employment

New Initiatives

National Career Service Project

  • For transformation of the National Employment Service to provide a variety of employment related services like career counselling, vocational guidance, information on skill development courses, apprenticeship, internships etc.
  • The NCS Project has also been enhanced to interlink all employment exchanges with the NCS Portal so that services can be delivered online.
  • The scheme provides for part funding to States for IT upgradation and minor refurbishing of Employment Exchanges and for organizing job fairs.

Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana

  • Government of India will pay the Employees Pension Scheme (EPS) contribution of 8.33 per cent for all new employees enrolling in Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) for the first three years of their employment.

Shram Suvidha Portal

  • To bring transparency and accountability in enforcement of labour laws and ease compliance.
  • It caters to four major organisations under the Ministry namely; Office of Chief Labour Commissioner (Central); Directorate General of Mines Safety; Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation; and Employees’ State Insurance Corporation.

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)

  • The objective of this skill certification and reward scheme is to enable and mobilize a large number of youth to take up outcome based skill training to become employable and earn their livelihood.
  • The scheme was launched in 2015.

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKK)

  • National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), implements Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) Scheme for setting up of model skill centre in every district of the country while ensuring coverage of all the parliamentary constituencies.

Pradhan Mantri Yuva Yojana

  • Educate and equip potential and early stage entrepreneurs;
  • Connect entrepreneurs through networks of peers, mentors, incubators, funding and business services; support entrepreneurs through Entrepreneurship Hubs (E-Hubs) and catalyze a culture shift to support aspiring entrepreneurs.


  • The Special Industry Initiative (SII) for Jammu and Kashmir is funded by Ministry of Home Affairs and implemented by National Skill Development Corporation.
  • Initiative for addressing economic issues in the state and is focused on providing skills and job opportunities to the youth.

Scientific and Technological Developments

Teachers’ Associates for Research Excellence (TARE) Mobility Scheme

  • Launched in 2016-17 aims to facilitate mobility of faculty members working in a regular capacity in state universities/colleges/academic institutions such as IITs, IISc, IISERs, national labs, etc.

Innovation in science pursuit for inspired research (INSPIRE)

  • Initiative for attracting talent for science and research.
  • Organised to provide opportunity to class XI students pursuing science to interact with the science

National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI)

  • An umbrella scheme for a seamless innovation ecosystem booster through major links of the innovation to market value chain.
  • The specific components of NIDHI are - grand challenge and competitions for scouting innovations; promotion and acceleration of young and aspiring innovators and startups (PRAYAS) - support from idea to prototype; entrepreneur in residence (EIR) -support system to reduce risk; startup- NIDHI through innovation and entrepreneurship development centers (IEDCs) in academic institutions for encouraging students to promote start-ups; start-up centre in collaboration with MHRD.

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research

  • The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, (CSIR) constituted in 1942 is an autonomous body which is known for its cutting edge R&D knowledge base in diverse S&T areas.
  • It has created and is the custodian of Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) which is a powerful weapon against unethical commercial exploitation of Indian traditional knowledge.

Polar and Cryosphere Research (PACER)

  • National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), Goa established a high altitude research station in Himalaya called Himansh (literally meaning, a slice of ice), situated above 13,500 ft (>4000 m) at a remote region in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh.

Current Affairs analysis