Current Affairs Dec 23

Baroda Military Salary Package

Why in News?

  • Indian Army and Bank of Baroda have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for ‘Baroda Military Salary Package’.

Services Offered

  • Services under ‘Baroda Military Salary Package’ will be offered to serving and retired personnel of Indian Army through the Bank’s network.
  • The package offers very attractive benefits including free Personal Accidental Insurance cover, Permanent Total Disability cover, Partial disability Cover and Air Accident Insurance Cover of sizeable amounts, as well as Higher Education Cover and Girl Child Marriage Cover on death in case of serving personnel.
  • Other offerings under the package include unlimited free ATM transactions at all bank ATMs, waivers or concessions on various service charges in retail loans, free remittance facility through RTGS/NEFT, free Demand Draft/Banker’s Cheque, substantial discount in locker rentals, and various additional benefits in usage of Cards.



Switching Over Of All Industries in Delhi to PNG

Why in News?

  • The industrial sector is one of the major contributors to air pollution in Delhi and the National Capital Region, the Commission for Air Quality Management observed and directed switching over of all industries in the capital to Piped Natural Gas (PNG).

Commission Head and Direction

  • The commission, headed by former chief secretary of Delhi M M Kutty, directed IGL to ensure supply of piped natural gas to all identified industries in Delhi by January 31, 2021.
  • It also directed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to inspect and identify the industries using unapproved fuels and to take stringent penal action in case of non-compliances.
  • GAIL and DPCC have been asked to provide all the required assistance.

About Commission

  • The 20-member commission on air quality management in Delhi and the NCR was formed by the Ministry of Environment on November 5, within a week of issuing an ordinance to set it up.



Develop Green, Resilient and Safe Highways in India

Why in News?

  • The Government of India and the World Bank signed a $500 million project to build safe and green national highway corridors in the states of Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
  • The project will also enhance the capacity of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in mainstreaming safety and green technologies.

About Project

  • The Green National Highways Corridors Project will support MoRTH construct 783 km of highways in various geographies by integrating safe and green technology designs such as local and marginal materials, industrial byproducts, and other bioengineering solutions.
  • The project will help reduce GHG emissions in the construction and maintenance of highways.
  • The selected stretches in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh will also help improve connectivity and promote economic development.
  • The ultimate objective of transport infrastructure is to provide seamless connectivity and reduce logistics costs.
  • Support analytics to map the freight volume and movement pattern on the National Highway network, identify constraints, and provide innovative logistics solutions.
  • The project will support the ministry with an in-depth analysis of gender-related issues in the transport sector along with help in creating jobs for women by training women-led micro enterprises and women collectives to implement green technologies in the highway corridors.
  • The $500 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a maturity of 18.5 years including a grace period of five years.



National Startup Awards 2021

Why in News?

  • Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is launching the second edition of the National Startup Awards (NSA) 2021.
  • Acknowledging the efforts, initiatives and resilience demonstrated by the startups over the period of unprecedent challenges during the pandemic, additional categories have been introduced to NSA 2021.
  • It also aims to recognise innovations focussed towards indigenisation of key products essential for realisation of an AatmaNirbhar Bharat.

About Award

  • The awards for startups will be given in 49 areas classified into 15 broad sectors.
  • The 15 sectors are Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Drinking Water, Education and Skill Development, Energy, Enterprise Systems, Environment, FinTech, Food Processing, Health and Wellness, Industry 4.0, Security, Space, Transport and Travel.
  • In addition, there are six special awards for startups from educational institutions, making impact in rural areas, women entrepreneurs, potential for import substitution, innovation for combatting COVID-19 and content delivery in Indic languages.
  • It will also reward exceptional incubator and accelerator as key building blocks of a robust startup ecosystem.


  • A cash prize of INR 5 lakh each will be awarded to the winning startup in each area.
  • The winner and two runners up will also be given opportunities to present their solutions to relevant public authorities and corporates for potential pilot projects and work orders.
  • They will also be given priority for participation in various national and international startup events.
  • A cash prize of INR 15 lakh each will be awarded to one winning incubator and one winning accelerator as well.


  • DPIIT had initiated the first ever National Startup Awards in 2019 with a view to recognize and reward outstanding startups and ecosystem enablers that are building innovative products or solutions and scalable enterprises, with high potential of employment generation or wealth creation, demonstrating measurable social impact.



Visva-Bharati University

Why in News?

  • Prime Minister will address the centenary celebrations of the Visva-Bharati University, Shantiniketan on 24th December 2020.

About Visva-Bharati

  • Founded by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore in 1921, Visva-Bharati is also the oldest Central University in the country.
  • In May 1951, Visva-Bharati was declared to be a Central University and “an Institution of National Importance” by an Act of Parliament.
  • The University followed the pedagogy devised by Gurudev Tagore, though gradually it evolved in the format in which modern Universities developed elsewhere.
  • The Prime Minister is the Chancellor of the University.



Policy Regarding Premium Indent to Facilitate Freight Customers

Why in News?

  • Ministry of Railways has introduced the policy regarding Premium Indent to facilitate freight customers.
  • Under this policy, if a customer places request for Premium Indent, allotment of rakes will be given priority on two days as notified under Preferential Traffic Order issued by Traffic Transportation directorate of Railway Board from time to time, presently being Monday and Friday.
  • However, on other days normal order of priority of indents will follow.

The salient features of the policy are given below-

  1. In sidings, the customer can indicate a date of supply of rakes and also indicate whether he will load if the rake is supplied after due date on Normal tariff rate.
  2. The customer shall be required to pay 5% premium on normal freight which shall be deposited in advance. If the rake is supplied later than the indicated date on the indent, the premium paid will be adjusted against the normal freight.
  3. In the goods shed also, customer will be permitted to place premium indent. Customer will get priority for allocation on two days as notified under Preferential Traffic Order issued by Traffic Transportation directorate of Railway Board from time to time, presently being Monday and Friday. However, on other days normal order of priority of indents will follow.
  4. Premium Indent once placed cannot be withdrawn; withdrawal of the indent shall invite forfeiture of the premium paid.
  5. This premium indent policy will not be applicable to restricted destinations and destinations regulated by quota.
  6. This is an optional scheme.


“Charge Register”

Why in News?

  • The Registrar General of India (RGI) that conducts the decennial Census exercise has written to all State coordinators to update names of an area, locality, colony or a building in the “charge register”.

Charge Register

  • An important census document that will help enumerators to collect details during the first phase of Census-House Listing and Housing Census and the National Population Register (NPR).
  • Since the charge register does not have a separate column to mention the names of “place, locality, colonies” or “towers,” such names could be included against “column number 18.”
  • This was being done to avoid duplication and to ensure that none of the households was left out from the census exercise.
  • The charge register shows the distribution of work among enumerators and marks the House Listing Blocks (HLB) to be visited by each official.
  • Each HLB, the primary unit for collection of data, can comprise an estimated present population of only 650 to 800.
  • The register will also be used for the field work relating to the updating of NPR since the same functionaries would be engaged for both the exercises.
  • Around 30 lakh enumerators — government officials and government school teachers — will each be assigned the responsibility to collect details about 650-800 people through both online and offline mode.
  • The other details included in charge register are name, area and estimated population of a village or a town.

31 columns

  • On January 9, the RGI notified the 31 columns for which the enumerators will seek response for the House Listing and Housing Census.
  • The questions include — whether the respondent has access to LPG/PNG connection, if the person owns a radio, transistor, television, access to Internet, whether they own a laptop, computer, telephone, mobile phone or a smartphone among other things.


  • The NPR’s link with the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the yet to be implemented Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019 has been opposed by as many as 13 States and Union Territories.
  • According to the Citizenship Rules framed in the year 2003, NPR is the first step towards compilation of the National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) or NRC.
  • NPR was first collected in 2010 and then updated in 2015.
  • Some States have objected to additional questions to be asked in the fresh NPR such as date and place of birth of father and mother, last place of residence and mother tongue.
  • The CAA passed by Parliament on December 11, 2019 allows citizenship on the basis of religion to six undocumented communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.
  • There are apprehensions that the CAA followed by a country-wide NRC will benefit non-Muslims excluded from the proposed citizens’ register, while excluded Muslims will have to prove their citizenship.
  • The government has denied that the CAA and NRC are linked.



Health and Economic Impact of Air Pollution in the States of India

Why in News

  • In India, 1.7 million deaths were attributable to air pollution in 2019, which was 18% of the total deaths in the country.
  • While the economic loss due to the lost output from premature deaths and morbidity from air pollution was 1.4% of the GDP in India during this time, which is equivalent to ₹260,000 crore ($36.8 billion).
  • This is as per a scientific paper titled ‘Health and economic impact of air pollution in the States of India: The Global Burden of Disease Study 2019’.


  • The study has been funded by the UN Environment Programme, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and documents the trends in health loss due to air pollution and its economic impact in every State of India using the latest improved methods and data.


  • The data released further indicates that household air pollution is decreasing in India, resulting in 64% reduction in the death rate attributable to it from 1990 to 2019, whereas the death rate from outdoor ambient air pollution increased during this period by 115%.
  • The economic loss due to air pollution as a percentage of the state GDP was higher in the northern and central India states, with the highest in Uttar Pradesh (2.2% of GDP) and Bihar (2% of GDP).
  • India would benefit from investing further in state-specific air pollution control strategies, as this will facilitate its aspiration of reaching a US$5 trillion economy by 2024.
  • While 40% of the disease burden due to air pollution is from lung diseases, the remaining 60% is from ischemic heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and neonatal deaths related to pre-term birth, highlighting the broad-ranging impact of air pollution on human health.



March 8 Rocket

Why in News?

  • A new Chinese carrier rocket made its first flight under a long-term plan to develop reusable launch vehicles aimed at reducing mission costs and speed up launch schedules for commercial clients.
  • The medium-lift Long March 8 Y-1 blasted off from the southern Chinese island of Hainan carrying five satellites.
  • China plans to develop reusable rockets under the Long March 8 series in the coming years, similar to the Falcon range already produced by U.S. private aerospace firm SpaceX.
  • It is not clear if the Long March 8 Y-1 itself was reusable, but future variants are expected to be capable of vertical takeoff and vertical landing (VTVL), allowing them to be used for more than one launch.
  • China will develop its first VTVL vehicle around 2025.
  • Earlier this month, China brought back rocks and soil from the moon in the first lunar sample retrieval since 1976. In July, China launched its first independent mission to Mars.
  • Around 2022, China aims to complete a multi-module, inhabited space station.
  • By 2045, it hopes to establish a programme operating thousands of flights a year and carrying tens of thousands of tonnes of cargo and passengers.

Planning & Achievements

  • China plans to develop reusable rockets under the Long March 8 series in the coming years, similar to the Falcon range already produced by U.S. private aerospace firm SpaceX.
  • It is not clear if the Long March 8 Y-1 itself was reusable, but future variants are expected to be capable of vertical takeoff and vertical landing (VTVL), allowing them to be used for more than one launch.
  • China will develop its first VTVL vehicle around 2025.
  • Earlier this month, China brought back rocks and soil from the moon in the first lunar sample retrieval since 1976.
  • In July, China launched its first independent mission to Mars.
  • Around 2022, China aims to complete a multi-module, inhabited space station.
  • By 2045, it hopes to establish a programme operating thousands of flights a year and carrying tens of thousands of tonnes of cargo and passengers.



Development Finance Entity

Why in News?

  • The government plans to set up a Development Finance Institution (DFI) in the next three to four months with a view to mobilise the ₹111 lakh crore required for funding of the ambitious national infrastructure pipeline.
  • The DFI will be a catalyst, and would fund projects where others are not willing to enter because of the risks involved.
  • In her last Budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had proposed to set up DFIs for promoting infrastructure funding.
  • About 7,000 projects have been identified under the National Infrastructure Pipeline with projected investment of ₹111 lakh crore during 2020-25.
  • The DFI would have a key developmental role apart from the financing role.
  • Prior to liberalisation, India had DFIs engaged in development of industry. ICICI and IDBI, in their previous avatars, were DFIs.
  • The country’s oldest financial institution IFCI Ltd. too had acted as a DFI.



How the New Variant Quickly Accumulated 23 Mutations

Why in News?

  • The new SARS-CoV-2 variant — B.1.1.7 — that was first seen in Kent and Greater London in the third week of September has since spread to other locations in the U.K.
  • According to the COVID-19 Genomics U.K. Consortium (COG-UK Consortium) that analysed the genome data of the virus and identified the variant,
      • The new variant has been spreading “rapidly” over the last four weeks and has now been detected in other locations in the U.K., indicating further spread of the variant in the country.
  • The new variant has 23 mutations in all, which is unusually huge.

Immunodeficient or Immunosuppressed Patient

  • Since the normal rate of accumulation of mutations in coronavirus is only one-two per month, the emergence of a large number of mutations in the variant could possibly have taken place in an immunodeficient or immunosuppressed patient who had a prolonged infection.
  • High rates of mutations accumulating in a short time have been reported previously in such people as the infection persists for two-four months or even longer
  • The immunocompromised patients are generally treated with convalescent plasma once or more and also with the drug remdesivir.
  • Convalescent plasma therapy is often resorted to when the viral load in these patients is high.
  • A study done earlier by other researchers has found that convalescent plasma therapy given to these patients when the viral load is high leads to increased virus genetic diversity.
  • Antibody therapy in the form of convalescent plasma may lead to strong selective pressure on the virus due to high concentration of antibodies.
  • After many weeks of infection, the virus population may be unusually large and genetically diverse.
  • Any antibody therapy administered at such a time would lead to antibody-mediated selective pressure. This would create suitable circumstances for the rapid fixation of multiple virus genetic changes.
  • While chronic infections in immunocompromised patients are rare, the onward transmission from such patients is presumably even rarer.




First-ever Radio Signal

Why in News?

  • Using Low Frequency Array (LOFAR), a radio telescope, in the Netherlands, a team of researchers discovered emission bursts from the Tau Bootes exoplanet system, 51 light-years away from the earth.
  • The detected radio signals could be the first-ever radio emission from a planet beyond our solar system.


  • Studying an exoplanet’s magnetic field helps to understand its interior and atmospheric properties, and interactions between stars and planets.
  • The magnetic field of an Earth-like exoplanet may contribute to the possible habitability by protecting the planet from solar wind and cosmic rays.



India Doesn’t Need a Two-child Policy

Why in News?

  • The latest data from the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5) provides evidence of an uptake in the use of modern contraceptives in rural and urban areas,
      • An improvement in family planning demands being met, and
      • A decline in the average number of children borne by a woman, and prove that the country’s population is stabilising and fears over a “population explosion” and calls for a “two-child policy” are misguided.

PM on this

  • Prime Minister during his Independence Day speech in 2019 appealed to the country that population control was a form of patriotism.
  • In 2020, the PM spoke about a likely decision on revising the age of marriage for women, which many stakeholders view as an indirect attempt at controlling the population size.
  • The first part of the NFHS-5 report, after analysis of the data by the international non-profit Population Council (PC) shows that the Total Fertility Rate (number of children born per woman) has decreased across 14 out of 17 States and is either at 2.1 children per woman or less.
  • This also implies that most States have attained replacement level fertility, i.e., the average number of children born per woman at which a population exactly replaces itself from one generation to the next.

Compare with Earlier Survey

  • While during NFHS-3 and NFHS-4, conducted between 2005 and 2016, there was a decline in the use of modern methods of contraception (oral pills, condoms, intra-uterine device) across 12 of 22 States and UTs, in NFHS-5 as many as 11 out of 12 States where there was a slump have witnessed an increase in their use.
  • The number of districts with a modern contraceptives prevalence rate of over 60% has also increased significantly between the survey rounds (from 37 in 2015-16 to 111 in 2019-20). This change was much better in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Kerala.
  • Further, the indicator to gauge the demand met for contraception has also increased — only five States had more than 75% demand being met in NFHS-4, but now 10 States are able to cater to the demand for family planning by up to 75%. The top performers here are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana.
  • Experts draw attention to the rise in child marriages recorded by the Survey and appeal that policy makers should pay attention to this area to curb early pregnancies.



Firefly Bird Diverter

Why in News?

  • The Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) along with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) India has come up with a unique initiative — a “firefly bird diverter” for overhead power lines in areas where Great Indian Bustard (GIB) populations are found in the wild.
  • GIB is one of the most critically threatened species in India, with less than 150 birds left in the wild.

Recent Report

  • A report by the Ministry, submitted to the National Green Tribunal in 2019, pointed out that power lines, especially high-voltage transmission lines with multiple overhead wires, are the most important current threat for GIBs in the Thar region, and are causing unsustainably high mortality in about 15% of their population.

About Firefly Bird Diverter

  • Firefly bird diverters are flaps installed on power lines.
  • They work as reflectors for bird species like the GIB.
  • Birds can spot them from a distance of about 50 meters and change their path of flight to avoid collision with power lines.
  • Smaller birds can change their direction [swiftly] but for larger bird species, it is difficult because their body weight and other factors.
  • A model has been endorsed by experts from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission’s (SSC) Bustard Specialist Group.
  • The diverters are called fireflies because they look like fireflies from a distance, shining on power lines in the night.
  • The selected stretch is opposite the Pokhran Field Firing Range, which offers a safe habitat to a breeding population of GIBs outside the Desert National Park Sanctuary in Jaisalmer.

Recent SC Judgement

  • The Supreme Court of India, in a recent hearing, directed that power lines in GIB landscapes should be placed underground.
  • Experts said that the innovative firefly diverter installation could serve as an alternative means to species conservation.
  • Experts say only two districts in Rajasthan — Jaisalmer and Barmer — have a breeding GIB population in the wild.
  • The bird can also be found in very small numbers in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.




Possession of Dead Animal’s Skin

Why in News?

  • Possession of a dead animal’s skin will not amount to an offence under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act (MAPA), 1976, the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court has said while quashing an FIR against a man for possession of skins of dead cows.
  • The MAPA prohibits slaughter, purchase, sale, import, export and possession of beef.
  • Accused was booked under Sections 5A (prohibition on transportation of cow, bull or bullock within the state for purpose of slaughter), 5B (prohibition on transportation of these animals outside the state for purpose of slaughter), and 5C (prohibition on possession of flesh of cow, bull or bullock).
  • The Bench in its order said that the provisions of the Act prohibited purchase and sale of cows, bulls or bullock for slaughter and possession of flesh of any cow, bull or bullock.



Israel Heads to New Elections

Why in News?

  • Israel’s divided government collapsed, triggering the country’s fourth election in under two years and bringing an unprecedented threat to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s lengthy grip on power.

Earlier in this year

  • Netanyahu and Mr. Gantz formed their coalition last May after battling to a stalemate in three consecutive elections.
  • Under the deal, Mr. Gantz assumed the new role of “alternate prime minister” and was assured he would trade places with Netanyahu next November in a rotation agreement halfway through their term.


  • The immediate cause of the collapse was their failure to pass a budget by the midnight Tuesday deadline. That caused the parliament to automatically dissolve and set new elections for late March.
  • But the deeper cause was their troubled partnership, which was plagued by mutual hostility and mistrust from the outset.
  • For seven months, Mr. Gantz has suffered a number of humiliations and been kept out of the loop on key decisions, such as a series of US-brokered diplomatic agreements with Arab countries.


  • Netanyahu is charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in a series of scandals in which he is accused of offering favors to powerful media figures in exchange for positive news coverage about him and his family.
  • His legal troubles, and questions about his suitability to govern, have been the central issue in the string of recent elections.
  • In the previous three elections, Mr. Netanyahu was unable to put together a majority coalition with his traditional religious and nationalist allies. Yet he controlled enough seats to prevent his opponents from cobbling together an alternate coalition.



Trump to pardon Assange

Why in News?

  • A UN rights expert urged outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump to pardon Julian Assange, saying the WikiLeaks founder is not “an enemy of the American people”.
  • WikiLeaks “fights secrecy and corruption throughout the world and therefore acts in the public interest both of the American people and humanity as a whole.

About Assange

  • Assange, is currently being held in the top-security Belmarsh jail in London awaiting a January 4 decision by a British judge on a U.S. extradition request, in a case seen by his supporters as a cause celebre for media freedom.
  • The Australian publisher faces 18 charges in the U.S. relating to the 2010 release by WikiLeaks of 500,000 secret files detailing aspects of military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.



Kerala’s Tiger Reserves

Why in News?

  • Kerala has 650 leopards stealthily roaming its tiger reserves.
  • The State’s leopard population is the third highest in the Western Ghats region. Karnataka tops the list with 1,783 leopards, followed by Tamil Nadu with 868, according to the Status of Leopards in India 2018 report. Goa has 86.

Findings of Report

  • The Western Ghats region is home to 3,387 leopards, against India’s population of 12,852, says the report released recently by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • The leopard population was counted during the tiger population assessment undertaken in 2018. The leopard population was estimated to be within the forested habitats in tiger-occupied States.
  • The presence of the animal was recorded in the forested areas of Western Ghats, Nilgiris, and sporadically across much of the dry forests of Central Karnataka.
  • The Northern block covered the contiguous forests of Radhanagari and Goa covering Haliyal- Kali Tiger Reserve, Karwar, Honnavar, Madikeri, Kudremukh, Shettihali Wild Life Sanctuary (WLS), Bhadra and Chikmagalur.
  • The Central population covered southern Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and northern Kerala covering the forests of Virajpet, Nagarhole, Bandipur, Madumalai, Satyamangalam, Nilgiris, Silent Valley, Wayanad, BRT Hills, MM Hills, Cauvery WLS, Bannerghhata National Park.
  • A second central cluster covering central Kerala and Tamil Nadu comprising the Parambikulam-Anamalai – Eravikulum – Vazachal population.
  • The southern leopard population block in southern Kerala and Tamil Nadu comprised the forests of Periyar-Kalakad Mundanthurai -Kanyakumari.
  • A total of 6,758 leopard photographs were obtained from Western Ghats from camera traps. The images helped in the identification of 1,681 adults and sub-adults.



National Farmers’ Day

Why in News?

  • National Farmers’ Day, or Kisan Diwas, is celebrated across the country on December 23 to honour India’s farmers and mark the birth anniversary of the nation’s fifth Prime Minister, Choudhary Charan Singh.

But, why is December 23 celebrated as National Farmers’ Day?

  • In 2001, the government decided to recognise Choudhary Charan Singh’s contribution to the agriculture sector and welfare of farmers by celebrating his birth anniversary as Kisan Diwas.
  • Since then, December 23 has been observed as National Farmers’ Day. Generally, awareness campaigns and drives are organised across the country to educate people on the role of farmers and their contribution to the economy.

Who was Chaudhary Charan Singh and what was his connection with farmers?

  • Chaudhary Charan Singh, who briefly served as prime minister between 1979 and 1980, is widely regarded as one of the country’s most famous peasant leaders.
  • He was known for his pioneering work to promote the welfare of farmers and the agricultural sector.
  • Greatly influenced by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, he took an active part in the fight for independence. After that, his political career largely focused on socialism in rural India.
  • Charan Singh served twice as chief minister of India’s biggest agrarian state, Uttar Pradesh, where he played a major role in shaping land reforms. He was behind several major farmer-forward Bills, including the Land Utilisation Bill of 1939 and the Debt Redemption Bill in 1939.
  • While serving as agriculture minister in 1952, he led UP in its efforts to abolish the zamindari system. In fact, he went on to draft the UP Zamindari and Land Reforms Bill himself.
  • On 23 December, 1978, he founded the Kisan Trust — a non-political, non-profit making body — with the aim of educating India’s rural masses against injustice, and fostering solidarity among them.