Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Sarat Chandra IAS Current Affairs of 20th November 2020


Sarat Chandra IAS Academy brings to you the daily current affairs keeping in mind the changing pattern of the UPSC civil services exam. UPSC Prelims and Mains exams mix the current affairs with static core concepts. So, we give the background explanation for every current topic.



  1. Green Energy Convergence Project
  2. The Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises scheme (PM-FME Scheme)
  3. AI supercomputer Param Siddhi
  4. The National Population Register (NPR)
  5. Convalescent plasma therapy (CPT)


1) Green Energy Convergence Project:

Relevant to: #GS Prelims and GS-III – Environment

Context: Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of PSUs under the Ministry of Power and Department of New & Renewable Energy (DNRE), Goa, has signed a MOU to implement India’s first Convergence Project in the State.

Key Points:

Under the MoU, EESL and DNRE will carry-out the feasibility studies and subsequent implementation of decentralized solar energy projects.
EESL shall implement the solar energy projects including;

  1. Establishment of 100 MW of decentralized ground mounted Solar Power projects on government lands to be used for agricultural pumping;
  2. Replacing approximately 6,300 agricultural pumps with BEE star rated energy efficient pumps;
  3. distribute approximately 16 Lakh LED bulbs for rural domestic households.

The projects will accelerate the usage of renewable energy sources, especially for agricultural and rural power consumption in the State the PM-FME Scheme


2) The Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises scheme (PM-FME Scheme):

Relevant to: GS3- Economy

Key points:

Union Minister for Food Processing Industries virtually inaugurated the capacity building component of the Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises scheme (PM-FME Scheme) and launched the GIS One District One Product (ODOP) digital map of India.

  • The way forward is in local – local manufacturing, local market, and local supply chain.
  • Under the PM-FME scheme, capacity building is an important component.
  • The scheme envisages imparting training to food processing entrepreneurs, various groups, viz., SHGs / FPOs / Co-operatives, workers, and other stakeholders associated with the implementation of the scheme”.

About the PM-FME Scheme:

  • Launched under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PM-FME) Scheme is a centrally sponsored scheme.
  • Aims to enhance the competitiveness of existing individual micro-enterprises in the unorganized segment of the food processing industry and
  • Promote formalization of the sector and provide support to Farmer Producer Organizations, Self Help Groups, and Producers Cooperatives along their entire value chain.
  • With an outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25, the scheme envisions to directly assist the 2,00,000 micro food processing units for providing financial, technical, and business support for upgradation of existing micro food processing enterprises.


3) AI supercomputer Param Siddhi:

Relevant to: GS3- Science & Technology

Context: India’s AI supercomputer Param Siddhi 63rd among top 500 most powerful non-distributed computer systems in the world.

Key points:

Param Siddhi, the high performance computing-artificial intelligence (HPC-AI) supercomputer established under National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) at C-DAC has achieved global ranking of 63 in TOP 500 most powerful non-distributed computer systems in the world.

Application In

  • Advanced materials, computational chemistry & astrophysics, and several packages being developed under the mission on platform for drug design and preventive health care system, flood forecasting package for flood prone metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Patna and Guwahati
  • Will accelerate R&D in war against COVID-19 through faster simulations, medical imaging, genome sequencing and forecasting and is a boon for Indian masses and for start-Ups and MSMEs in particular.
  • The supercomputer with Rpeak of 5.267 Petaflops and 4.6 Petaflops Rmax (Sustained) was conceived by C-DAC and developed jointly with support of Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) under NSM.


4) The National Population Register (NPR):

Relevant to: #Mains GS2

Context: The office of the Registrar-General of India (RGI) has clarified that the schedule, or the questionnaire, of the National Population Register (NPR) is “being finalized” and the information about the expected date of the first phase of Census 2021 is “not available”.


A question was filed recently under the Right to Information Act seeking information on the expected date of the first phase of the Census — House listing & Housing census — and an update of the NPR that was earlier scheduled to begin on April 1.

The two were to be conducted simultaneously from April to September, but were postponed indefinitely on March 25 due to the pandemic.

What is National Population Register (NPR)?

  • It is a Register of usual residents of the country.
  • It is being prepared at the local (Village/sub-Town), sub-District, District, State and National level under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
  • It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR.

Objective: To create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country.

The NPR was first collected in 2010 and then updated in 2015.

Who is a usual resident?

A usual resident is defined for the purposes of NPR as a person who has resided in a local area for the past 6 months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next 6 months or more.


5) Convalescent plasma therapy (CPT):

Context: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has warned against indiscriminate use of convalescent plasma therapy (CPT) for treating COVID-19.


The ICMR has found that the therapy “did not lead to a reduction in progression to severe COVID or all-cause mortality in the group that received convalescent plasma therapy (CPT) as compared to the group that did not receive CPT”.

What Next?

The CPT could be used with specific criteria, including that potential donors could give plasma after 14 days of symptom resolution (testing negative is not necessary).

A potential recipient should be in the early stage of COVID-19 (three to seven days from the onset of symptoms, but not later than 10 days) and should have no IgG antibody against COVID-19 by appropriate test.

What is plasma therapy?

Plasma is the liquid part of the blood. Convalescent plasma, extracted from the blood of patients recovering from an infection, is a source of antibodies against the infection. The therapy involves using their plasma to help others recover.

For Covid-19, this has been one of the treatment options. The donor would have to be a documented case of Covid-19 and healthy for 28 days since the last symptoms.



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