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February 2 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm



The Interim Budget has allocated ₹86,000 crore for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), marking a significant increase from the previous year’s allocation.

However, concerns arise regarding the adequacy of this allocation and its ability to address rural employment needs effectively.


Allocation Overview:

  • The allocation for MGNREGS in the 2024-25 budget represents a substantial rise of ₹26,000 crore compared to the previous year’s estimates.
  • Despite this increase, the allocation remains unchanged from the revised estimates for the ongoing financial year, potentially resulting in a net zero gain for the rural employment scheme.


MGNREGA, launched in 2005, is among the world’s largest work guarantee programs initiated by the Ministry of Rural Development.


  • Aims to provide 100 days of employment annually to adult members of rural households engaged in unskilled manual work.

Active Workers:

  • As of 2022-23, the program boasts 15.4 crore active workers contributing to various public works.

Legal Right to Work:

  • Differs from previous schemes by establishing a rights-based framework.
  • Ensures at least one-third of beneficiaries are women.
  • Mandates payment of wages based on state-specific minimum wages for agricultural labourers.

Demand-Driven Approach:

  • Guarantees work within 15 days of demand, offering an ‘unemployment allowance’ if not met.
  • Facilitates self-selection of workers through a demand-driven model.

Decentralized Planning:

  • Emphasizes decentralization, involving Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in planning and implementation.
  • Gram sabhas recommend and execute at least 50% of the undertaken works, enhancing local participation.



Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Interim Budget for the Financial Year 2024-2025.

Anticipations focus on limited policy reforms due to it being a Vote on Account preceding the general elections.

Fiscal Deficit Targets:

  • Revised fiscal deficit for FY24 is 5.8% of GDP, expected to be 5.1% in FY25.
  • The target is set to reduce fiscal deficit to below 4.5% of GDP in FY26.

Taxation Policies:

  • No changes in income tax slabs.
  • Withdrawal of outstanding direct tax demands up to Rs 25,000 for FY 2009-10 and up to Rs 10,000 for FY 2010-11 to 2014-15.
  • Extension of tax exemptions for start-ups till March 31, 2025.
  • Tax filers increased by 2.4 times, with projected tax receipts at Rs 26.02 lakh crore in 2024-25.

Infrastructure and Railway Corridors:

  • Introduction of three major economic railway corridor programs: energy, mineral, and cement corridors; port connectivity corridors; high traffic density corridors.
  • Aims to improve logistics efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance passenger train operations.

Housing and Social Initiatives:

  • Addition of 2 crore houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G).
  • Setting up a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore for tech-savvy youth, providing interest-free loans to encourage research and innovation.
  • New scheme for strengthening deep tech technology for defence purposes.

Education and Healthcare:

  • Plans to set up more medical colleges using existing hospital infrastructure.
  • Focus on enhancing the dignity of women through legal measures and housing initiatives.

Energy and Environment:

  • Rooftop solarisation to enable 1 crore households to obtain up to 300 units of free electricity every month.
  • Commitment to achieve ‘net zero’ by 2070.
  • Long-term interest-free loans to states for tourism development.

Economic Growth and Transformation:

  • Positive transformation in the Indian economy over the last 10 years.
  • Government’s vision for ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047 with a focus on inclusive growth.
  • Emphasis on GDP – Governance, Development, and Performance.

Social Justice and Inclusivity:

  • The government’s approach to development is all-round, all-pervasive, and all-inclusive.
  • Affirmative action’s such as making triple talaq illegal, women’s reservation in legislatures, and housing initiatives for women.

Economic Outlook:

  • Projection of over 7% growth in the coming years.
  • Aspiration to become the third-largest economy globally in the next three years, with a GDP of $5 trillion.

Viksit Bharat by 2047:

  • The finance minister envisions a transformative path for India by 2047, emphasizing comprehensive development.
  • Commitment to a “Viksit Bharat” reflects a holistic approach, targeting all castes and socio-economic strata.
  • Prioritizing social justice, the government adopts a saturation approach, ensuring inclusivity, secularism, and reducing corruption.

People-Centric Inclusive Development:

  • Budget 2024 champions “People-Centric Inclusive Development.”
  • Aims to uplift citizens from all castes and socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Goal to transform India into a “Viksit Bharat” by 2047, emphasizing development permeating every level of society.
  • Prioritizes social justice, employing a saturation approach, fostering secularism, reducing corruption, and preventing nepotism.

Garib Kalyan, Desh ka Kalyan:

  • “Garib Kalyan, Desh ka Kalyan” encapsulates the essence of Budget 2024.
  • Focus on the welfare and well-being of the underprivileged, aiming for inclusive development and a socially just and equitable society.
  • Aligns with the broader mission of transforming India into a developed nation that flourishes at every level by 2047.

Interim Budget:

  • An interim budget is presented when time constraints or impending elections prevent a full budget.
  • It allows the government to meet short-term expenses until a new government takes over.
  • This strategic presentation by Finance Minister Sitharaman aligns with the election year scenario.

Why an Interim Budget in 2024:

  • 2024 being an election year, the interim budget serves as a vote-on-account before the general elections.
  • It does not bring significant policy changes but plans and authorizes government expenditures temporarily.
  • Finance Minister Sitharaman confirmed no spectacular announcements, focusing on strategic planning.

Interim Budget 2024 Facts and Records:

  • Sitharaman’s choice of a “bahi-khata” symbolizes a departure from the traditional budget briefcase.
  • Sitharaman marks her sixth budget and the 12th budget of the Modi administration.
  • Breaking records, she is the first full-time female finance minister to present more than five consecutive budgets, surpassing predecessors.



The Union Environment Minister recently announced the inclusion of five new Indian wetlands in the prestigious list of Ramsar Convention sites, highlighting their international importance.

This recognition signifies India’s commitment to wetland conservation and global environmental responsibilities.

New Ramsar Sites:

Ankasamudra Bird Conservation Reserve (Karnataka):

  • Human-made Village Irrigation Tank with a centuries-old history.
  • Ecologically vital wetland rich in biodiversity.
  • Supports over 1% of the biogeographic population of Painted Stork and Black-headed Ibis.

Aghanashini Estuary (Karnataka):

  • Formed at the confluence of Aghanashini River with the Arabian Sea.
  • Brackish water provides diverse ecosystem services, including flood mitigation, biodiversity conservation, and livelihood support.
  • Supports traditional fish farming, bivalve shell collection, and salt production.

Magadi Kere Conservation Reserve (Karnataka):

  • Human-made wetland designed for rainwater storage and irrigation.
  • Harbors two vulnerable species (Common pochard and River tern) and four near-threatened species.
  • One of the largest wintering grounds for the Bar-headed goose.


Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary (Tamil Nadu):

  • One of Tamil Nadu’s largest inland wetlands.
  • Significant source of groundwater recharge for the region.

Longwood Shola Reserve Forest (Tamil Nadu):

  • Named after the Tamil word “Solai,” signifying a tropical rainforest.
  • Found in the upper reaches of various hills in Tamil Nadu.
  • Critical habitats for globally endangered Black-chinned Nilgiri Laughing thrush and Nilgiri Blue Robin, along with the vulnerable Nilgiri Wood-pigeon.



Members of an obscure Hindutva group forcefully entered the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)-protected Martand Sun Temple.

The ASI, under the Ministry of Culture, is tasked with archaeological research and safeguarding the nation’s cultural heritage.


About Martand Sun Temple:

  • Located near Anantnag in Kashmir, the Martand Sun Temple is a Hindu temple devoted to the Sun God, constructed around the 8th century CE by King Lalitaditya Muktapida.
  • Blending Kashmiri, Gupta, Chinese, Gandhara, Roman, and Greek architectural styles, the temple stands atop a plateau, constructed entirely from stone, covering 32,000 square feet.
  • Features 86 fluted columns in a large courtyard connected to the main shrine, designed to capture the Sun’s rays on the idol during sunrise and sunset.
  • The central shrine, or vimana, reaches around 60 feet, adorned with intricate carvings depicting various Hindu deities. Additionally, 84 smaller shrines surround the main temple.




Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a new scheme for bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry in the interim Budget speech.


  • Aimed at promoting environment-friendly alternatives like biodegradable polymers, bioplastics, biopharmaceuticals, and bio-Agri-inputs.

Economic Contribution:

  • Aims to boost the bio-economy’s contribution to the Indian economy to $300 billion by 2030 and $1 trillion by 2047.
  • This represents a significant increase in value from current levels.

Role in Sustainability:

  • Bio-based products play a crucial role in India’s sustainability and green economy targets.

Focus on Bio-Manufacturing:

  • Emphasis on investing in bio-manufacturing to enhance the bio-science sector’s skills and capabilities.

Budget Allocation:

  • Total allocation for the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) reduced by 16% to ₹2,251.52 crore.
  • Allocation for Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) remains at ₹40 crore, despite higher actual expenditure in the previous year.

Transformative Impact:

  • The new scheme aims to shift manufacturing practices from consumptive to regenerative principles.



Researchers from various national and international organizations have identified a previously unknown frog species thriving in Bengaluru.


About Sphaerotheca varshaabhu:

  • Sphaerotheca Varshaabhu: The new species, named Sphaerotheca Varshaabhu, signifies a frog genus welcoming rain, emerging from burrows during early showers.
  • Distinctive Characteristics: Exhibits unique features distinguishing it from known frog species, showcasing adaptability to urban surroundings.
  • Urban Adaptation: Displays behaviors and physical traits aiding navigation through challenges posed by urbanization.

Discovery Process:

  • Methodology: Researchers employed advanced genetic analysis, morphological studies, and bioacoustics to validate the distinctiveness of the newly discovered amphibian.

Key Facts about Amphibians:

  • Environmental Sensitivity: Amphibians, including frogs, toads, and salamanders, are highly sensitive to environmental changes, offering valuable insights into ecosystem functioning.
  • Indicator Species: Known as indicator species, amphibians serve as indicators of environmental health, influencing and being influenced by various animals in an ecosystem.



The interim budget introduced the expansion of Nano DAP application in agriculture.

Understanding Nano DAP:

  • DAP Overview: DAP, or di-ammonium phosphate, is a widely used fertilizer in India, known for its phosphorus content crucial for plant root development.
  • Nano DAP Introduction: Nano DAP, a liquid form developed by the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO), has particle sizes below 100 nanometers, enhancing its efficiency.

Advantages of Nano DAP:

  • Enhanced Efficiency: Small particle size enables better penetration into seeds and plants, resulting in increased seed vigor, higher chlorophyll levels, improved photosynthetic efficiency, better crop quality, and increased yields.
  • Cost-Effective: Nano DAP proves economical compared to traditional DAP, with a 500 ml bottle equivalent to a 50 kg bag of DAP, priced at Rs 600.
  • Convenient Application: Liquid form facilitates easy transportation, storage, and application, offering convenience to farmers.
  • Reduced Imports: Domestic production of Nano DAP in Kalol, Gujarat, contributes to decreased fertilizer imports, fostering self-reliance in agriculture.

Government’s Perspective:

  • Subsidy Relief: Cost-effectiveness of Nano DAP eases the government’s subsidy burden on fertilizers, providing fiscal relief.
  • Promoting Self-Reliance: Local production aligns with the government’s goal of self-sufficiency in fertilizer production, reducing dependence on imports.
  • Agricultural Growth: Wider adoption of Nano DAP supports agricultural advancement, leading to increased food grain production and overall benefits for farmers.



The establishment of OSCs in over 700 districts across the nation marks a significant step towards women’s safety and empowerment, providing a comprehensive support system for those in need.

About One Stop Centre Scheme:

  • Central Sponsorship: The One Stop Centre scheme is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme under the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD).
  • Inception: Operational since April 1, 2015, it primarily addresses Gender-Based Violence.
  • Universal Reach: Aims to support all women, irrespective of age, caste, class, religion, region, sexual orientation, or marital status.
  • Protection for Minors: Collaborates with authorities under the Juvenile Justice Act and Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act for girls below 18.


  • Holistic Support: Provides comprehensive and integrated assistance for women facing violence, addressing all aspects under one roof.
  • Immediate Access: Ensures immediate access to medical, legal, psychological, and counseling support, standing against all forms of violence.

Funding and Administration:

  • Financial Backing: Funded through the Nirbhaya Fund, with 100% financial assistance from the Central Government.
  • Local Administration: Day-to-day implementation and administration under the District Collector/District Magistrate.

Services Offered by OSCs:

One Stop Centres serve as a lifeline for women, offering essential services such as:

  1. Emergency Response and Rescue Services
  2. Medical Assistance
  3. Assistance with lodging FIR/NCR/DIR
  4. Psycho-social Support and Counselling
  5. Legal Aid and Counselling
  6. Shelter
  7. Video Conferencing Facility


February 2
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: