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Cabinet Committees Reconstituted

Paper : General Studies 2

Why in news?

The Cabinet Committees have been reconstituted with the members of the new Council of Ministers. Two new cabinet committees were also formed to spur investment and skill development:

  • Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth
  • Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development


What are Cabinet Committees?

  • These are extra-constitutional bodies consisting of members of the Cabinet to allow in-depth examination of policy issues and effective coordination.
  • The Rules of Business provide for their establishment
  • They are mostly headed by the Prime Minister. However, other ministers may also preside. If the PM is the member then he presides.
  • There are eight cabinet committees currently. These include – Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, Cabinet Committee on Accommodation, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Security, Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth and Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development.


What is the composition of the two new Cabinet Committees?

Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth.


  • Prime Minister.
  • Shri Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs.
  • Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari,. Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Minister of Micro. Small and Medium Enterprises
  • Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs.
  • Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Minister of Commerce & Industry.

Cabinet Committee on Employment & Skill Development.


  • Prime Minister.
  • Shri Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs.
  • Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs
  • Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture &Farmer Welfare, Minister of Rural Development: and Minister of Panchayati Raj.
  • Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Minister of Commerce & Industry
  • Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Minister of Human Resource Development
  • Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum &Natural Gas: and Minister of Steel
  • Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of Skill development & Enterpreneurship
  • Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, MOS(I/C)Labour & Employment
  • Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State(I/C) of the Ministry of Housing &Urban Affairs; Minister of State(I/C) of the Ministry of Civil Aviation; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Special Invitees

  • Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways; Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
  • Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries.
  • Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister of Women & Child Development and Textiles
  • Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (I/C) Culture, MOS (I/C) Tourism.


UNICEF study of Swachch Bharat

Paper : General Studies 2

Why in news?

Results of studies commissioned by UNICEF and the Bill and Melinda Gates, were aimed at assessing the environmental impact and communication footprint of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) respectively.


What are the findings?

Under the “Environmental impact of the Swachh Bharat Mission on Water, Soil, and Food” by UNICEF, groundwater samples were collected and studied from ODF and non-ODF villages of Odisha, Bihar and West Bengal. The study found that, in terms of faecal contamination, non-ODF villages were, on average:

  • 11.25 times more likely to have their groundwater sources contaminated (12.7 times more from contaminants traceable to humans alone)
  • 1.13 times more likely to have their soil contaminated
  • 1.48 times more likely to have food contaminated and 2.68 times more likely to have household drinking water contaminated.

The study findings indicated that these substantial reductions may potentially be attributed to the improvement in sanitation and hygiene practices, as well as supportive systems such as regular monitoring and behaviour change messaging, which have all been critical aspects of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen).


SDG Gender Index

Paper : General Studies 2

Why in news?

The Sustainable Development Goals Gender Index has been developed by UK-based Equal Measures 2030, a joint effort of regional and global organisations including African Women’s Development and Communication Network, Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and International Women’s Health Coalition.


What are the findings?

  • The new index includes 51 indicators across 14 of the 17 official Sustainable Development Goals and covers 129 countries across all regions of the world.
  • The index has ranked India at 95 among 129 countries with India’s highest goal scores are on SDG 3 of health (79.9), SDG 2 of hunger and nutrition (76.2) and SDG 7 of energy (71.8).
  • India’s lowest goal scores are on SDG 17 of partnerships (18.3, in the bottom 10 countries worldwide on the goal), SDG 9 of industry, infrastructure and innovation (38.1) and SDG 13 of climate (43.4).
  • Some of the factors based on which the ranking of India has been decided include proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments (score of 23.6, 16th in region, women made up 11.8 per cent of parliament in 2018), extent to which a national budget is broken down by factors such as gender, age, income, or region (score of 0.0, tied for worst in region) and percentage of seats held by women on a country’s Supreme Court or highest court (score of 18.2, 4th worst in region).
  • India scored 56.2 points. The overall index score and individual goal scores are based on a scale of 0–100. A score of 100 reflects the achievement of gender equality in relation to the underlying indicators.


Olive Ridleys

Paper : General Studies 3, Prelims Specific

Why in news?

A proposal has been made to establish a permanent research centre near the Rushikulya rookery on the Odisha coast to study mass nesting of Olive Ridleys and the environmental factors related to it.

About Olive Ridleys

IUCN status : Vulnerable

  • They are primarily found in the tropical waters of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans
  • Olive ridley turtles are best known for their behavior of synchronized nesting in mass numbers, termed arribadas.
  • Females return to the same beach from where they hatched, to lay their eggs. They lay their eggs in conical nests about one and a half feet deep, which they laboriously dig with their hind flippers.
  • In the Indian Ocean, the majority of olive ridleys nest in two or three large groups near Gahirmatha in Odisha. The coast of Odisha in India is the largest mass nesting site for the olive ridley, followed by the coasts of Mexico and Costa Rica
  • Major threats include mortality associated with boat collisions, and incidental takes in fisheries. Trawling, gill nets, ghost nests, longline fishing, and pot fishing have significantly affected olive ridley populations, as well as other species of marine turtles.


Indian Navy Environment Conservation Roadmap

Paper : General Studies 3

Why in news?

  • The Indian Navy has formulated an environment conservation roadmap aimed at reducing energy consumption and diversifying its supply.
  • The Indian Navy Environment Conservation Roadmap (INECR), with specific action plans, covers the entire gamut of operations, maintenance, administration and infrastructure, and community living, the Navy said in the statement.
  • The roadmap envisions reduction in energy consumption and diversification of energy supply as key result areas.
  • While the existing military, diplomatic, constabulary and benign roles envisioned in the Indian Navy’s Maritime Doctrine define the objectives of its operations, the Green Initiatives Programme of the Indian Navy has added a new dimension i.e. social responsibility, to it.
  • Under the INECR, numerous policies aimed at reduction of energy consumption and environment sustenance have been formulated and disseminated to all ships as well as shore establishments.
  • As a progressive step, the Navy has pledged 1.5 percent of its ‘Works’ Budget towards renewable energy generation.
  • Solar photovoltaic projects have been one of the focus areas of the Navy since the inception of the INECR.