Prelim Bits 12-01-2024 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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January 12, 2024

Swachh Survekshan Awards

Recently Union government announced the Swachh Survekshan Awards 2023.

  • An annual cleanliness ranking for urban areas since 2016.
  • Released by – Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • Coverage – Originally 73 cities in 2016, now has increased along with 4,416 urban local bodies, 61 cantonments and 88 Ganga towns.
  • About 1.58 crore online citizen feedback and 19.82 lakh face-to-face views were received as a part of the ranking.
  • Criteria
    • Door-to-door collection of waste
    • Segregation at source
    • cleanliness of public areas
    • Clean water bodies
    • Citizens’ feedback regarding the cleanliness of their cities

2023 Awards

  • Among Cities with >1 lakh populationIndore and Surat were named the joint winners with 100% door-to-door collection of waste & remediation of dumpsites and 98% segregation at source.

2023 was the 7th year in a row that Indore was named the cleanest city in the Swachh Survekshan Awards. Surat won the top award for the 1st time. Of the 8 rounds of annual awards since 2016, this was the 1st time that 2 cities shared the top prize.

  • Among StatesMaharashtra bagged the top spot with 89.24% door-to-door collection and 67.76% source segregation followed by Madhya Pradesh.
  • Sasvad in Maharashtra was named the cleanest city among those with population below 1 lakh.
  • Chandigarh won the award for the city having the best safety standards for sanitation workers, Safaimitra Surakshit Shehar.
  • Varanasi was named the cleanest ‘Ganga town’.
  • Mhow Cantonment was the cleanest cantonment in the country.
  • Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Nagaland and Tripura were ranked the bottom five states.

Scientific processing of waste had increased from 15-16% in 2014 to almost 76% by Jan 2024.


The Indian Express| Swachh Survekshan Awards 2023


Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti

PM presents sacred Chadar to be placed during the Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer Sharif Dargah

  • Khwaja Chishti is also known by different names as, Khawaja Gharib Nawaz, ‘Sultan-Ul-Hind’ (Benefactor of the Poor).
  • Birth – Sijistan (modern-day Sistan) in Iran in 1141-42 CE.
  • Visit to India – He started living and preaching in Ajmer after 2nd Battle of Tarain (1192), where Mohammed of Ghori defeated Prithviraj Chauhan.
  • His Mission – To establish the kingdom of God on Earth.
  • Popularity – He was popular among the locals, kings, nobles, and peasants for his instructive discourses full of spiritual insights.
  • He established the Chishti order of 'fakirs' in India.
  • Doctrines – It emphasised the unity of being with God (wadat al-wujūd) and members of the order were also pacifists.
  • They rejected all material goods as distractions from the contemplation of God.
  • They abstained from connection with the secular state.
  • Recitation of the names of God, both aloud and silently (dhikr jahrī, dhikr khafī), formed the cornerstone of Chishtī practice.

Urs festival is an annual festival held at Ajmer in Rajasthan to commemorate his death anniversary.

Other Sufi Orders in India

  • Suhrawardi Order – It was founded by Sheikh Shahabuddin Suharwardi Maqtul and unlike the Chishtis, accepted maintenance grants from the Sultans.
  • Naqshbandi Order – It was founded by the Khwaja Baha-ul-din Naqsh band, stressed on the observance of the Shariat.
  • Qadiriyya Order – Sheikh Abdul Qadir of Badaun founded this in the 14th century who were supporters of the Mughals under Akbar.


  1. PIB| Death Anniversary of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti
  2. Isalmigems| Life of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti


Cervical Cancer Vaccine

Indian government is set to roll out a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination campaign for girls in the 9-14 years age group.

Cervavac is an indigenously developed quadrivalent vaccine by the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune, is already available commercially.

  • Immunisation drive – It will be conducted through schools and existing vaccination points, planned in 3 phases over 3 years and is likely to start from the 2nd quarter of 2024 for free.
  • Currently, the 2-dose HPV vaccine is available commercially for about Rs 2,000 per dose.

None of the HPV vaccines available globally recommend a single-dose schedule

  • TargetNearly 8 crore children between the ages of 9 and 14 years will be eligible and when divided over 3 years.
  • Benefits – It offers protection against the HPV strains that cause cancer of the anus, vagina and oropharynx and genital warts.

Cervical Cancer

  • It is the 4th most common cancer in women which develops in a woman's cervix (the entrance to the uterus from the vagina). 
  • Cause – Almost all (99%) are linked to infection with high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV), an extremely common virus transmitted through sexual contact.

At least 14 HPV types have been identified as oncogenic and among these, HPV types 16 and 18 considered to be the most oncogenic.

  • Treatment – When diagnosed, it is a treatable form of cancer, as long as it is detected early and managed effectively.
  • Prevention – Effective primary (HPV vaccination) and secondary prevention approaches will prevent most cases.
  • With a comprehensive approach to prevent, screen and treat, it can be eliminated as a public health problem within a generation.


  1. The Indian Express| Vaccination drive for Cervical Cancer
  2. WHO| Cervical Cancer


Classical Language

Recently, West Bengal Chief Minister has called for inclusion of ‘Bangla’ as a classical language.

  • Currently, 6 languages enjoy the ‘Classical language status
    • Tamil (declared in 2004), Sanskrit (2005), Kannada (2008), Telugu (2008), Malayalam (2013), and Odia (2014).
  • Guidelines for declaring a language as ‘Classical’ are
  • High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500-2000 years.
  • A body of ancient literature/texts, which is considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers
  • The literary tradition be original and not borrowed from another speech community.
  • The classical language and literature being distinct from modern, there may also be a discontinuity between the classical language and its later forms or its offshoots.
  • Benefits of Recognition – 2 major annual international awards for scholars of eminence in classical Indian languages
  • A Centre of Excellence for studies in Classical Languages is set up
  • The UGC is requested to create, to start with at least in the Central Universities, a certain number of Professional Chairs for the Classical Languages so declared.

Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) is in Mysuru and Central Institute of Classical Tamil (CICT) is in Chennai.

Bengali Language

  • Origin – It can be traced back to the 3rd-4th BCE.
  • Official Language – In West Bengal
  • Popularity – It is the 2nd most spoken language in India and the 7th most spoken language in the world.


  1. The Indian Express| Request to include ‘Bangla’ as Classical Language
  2. The Indian Express| Classical Language Status


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