Daily News Analysis: Swami Dayanand, PM-SVANidhi, Online Gaming, Darwin Day & Prelims Facts

GS-1Swami Dayanand Saraswati


  • Prime Minister addressed 200th birth anniversary celebrations of Swami Dayanand Saraswati virtually.

About Swami Dayanand Saraswati

  • Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, born on February 12, 1824, in Tankara, Gujarat, was a prominent social reformer.
  • He founded Arya Samaj in 1875 to address social inequalities and promote Vedic principles.
  • Dayanand Saraswati rejected idol worship and ritualistic practices, advocating worship of a formless, attributeless God.
  • He initiated the Shuddhi Movement to reconvert individuals who had converted to other religions back to Hinduism.
  • Emphasizing a return to the Vedas, he aimed to dispel ignorance and superstition in society.
  • Dayanand Saraswati championed women’s rights, advocating for their education and equal participation in social and religious activities.
  • He opposed practices like child marriage and sati, considering them harmful to society and against Vedic principles.
  • Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati established Gurukuls to impart Vedic knowledge and promote its dissemination.
  • His disciples, inspired by his teachings, founded the Dayanand Anglo Vedic (DAV) College Trust and Management Society after his demise in 1883.
  • The first DAV High School opened in Lahore on June 1, 1886, under the leadership of Mahatma Hans Raj.
  • Dayananda Saraswati’s philosophy is elucidated in his renowned works such as “Satyartha Prakash,” “Veda Bhashya Bhumika,” and “Veda Bhashya.”
  • Additionally, his thoughts are reflected in the journal “Arya Patrika,” which he edited.



  • A study examining the impact of the PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) loan scheme on street vendors’ income revealed that the initial loan of ₹10,000 resulted in an annual income increase of ₹23,460 for each beneficiary.

About PM-SVANidhi Scheme

  • Launched in 2020 by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India
  • Offers a collateral-free loan of Rs 10,000 with low interest rates (below 12%) to street vendors for one year
  • Aims to establish credit scores and create digital records of vendors’ socio-economic status
  • Seeks to formalize the informal economy and provide access to government schemes and future loans
  • Addresses financial needs exacerbated by the pandemic-induced lockdown
  • Eligibility requires vending before March 24, 2020, and possession of a vending certificate
  • As of February 10, 2024, has disbursed 60.65 lakh first-term loans, 16.95 lakh second-term loans, and 2.43 lakh third-term loans

Analysis of The PM SVANidhi Scheme

  • Study commissioned by Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, conducted by Centre for Analytical Finance of Indian School of Business between January and June 2023
  • Report intended for internal assessment by Ministry, unlikely to be publicized
  • 94% of beneficiaries used first loan of Rs 10,000 for business investments; 98% did so for second loan
  • First loan resulted in additional income of Rs 1,955 per month, totaling Rs 23,460 during one-year duration
  • 13.9% of disbursed loans classified as non-performing assets (NPAs), indicating no payments for three months or more
  • Beneficiaries demonstrated lower debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, suggesting high creditworthiness
  • Minimal improvement observed in street vendors accessing formal credit from other sources after PM SVANidhi program inception
  • Only 9% of beneficiaries had loans from other financial institutions

GS-2Online Gaming


  • MeitY will develop a framework to regulate online games involving money, replacing industry-led self-regulation with government oversight in the gaming sector.

Online Gaming in India

  • India’s online gaming industry, primarily comprising home-grown startups, is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27%.
  • AI and online gaming are projected to contribute up to $300 billion to India’s GDP by 2026-27.
  • India has witnessed the fastest rise in new paying users (NPUs) globally, increasing from 40% in 2020 to an expected 50% in 2021.
  • Transaction-based games revenue surged by 26% in India, with the number of paying players rising from 80 million in 2020 to 95 million in 2021, according to a FICCI report.

Need of Regulatory Mechanism

  • Lack of regulatory oversight in online gaming poses challenges such as absence of grievance mechanisms, player protection, and control over misleading advertisements.
  • Distinguishing between legitimate gaming platforms and illegal gambling sites remains difficult for users.
  • Illicit offshore markets contribute to issues like money laundering and national security risks, causing significant revenue loss estimated at $45 billion annually.
  • State-level attempts to regulate online gaming face enforcement challenges due to the internet’s cross-border nature.
  • Societal concerns include addiction, mental health, financial fraud, and privacy breaches associated with the rapid expansion of online gaming.

GS-3Darwin Day


  • February 12 is recognized worldwide as Darwin Day, commemorating the birth anniversary of naturalist Charles Darwin (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882).

About Charles Darwin

  • Darwin Day serves as a platform for scientists to showcase advancements in understanding evolution and to promote public appreciation of science.
  • Charles Darwin, a British naturalist and biologist, is celebrated for his groundbreaking work that laid the foundation for the modern theory of evolution.
  • His seminal book, “On the Origin of Species,” published in 1859, introduced the concept of natural selection as the mechanism driving evolution.
  • Darwin is widely regarded as the Father of Evolution for his pioneering contributions to the field.

His Work

  • Darwin’s theory of evolution proposes that species change gradually over time through a mechanism called natural selection.
  • Natural selection favors individuals with advantageous traits, allowing them to survive and reproduce more successfully.
  • These advantageous traits are passed on to offspring, leading to gradual changes within populations over generations.
  • Darwin’s theory revolutionized our understanding of the diversity of life on Earth by providing a scientific explanation for how species evolve and adapt to their environments.
  • Darwin proposed that variations occur naturally within species.
  • Variations that confer an advantage in the struggle for survival are more likely to be passed on to offspring.
  • Over time, these advantageous variations accumulate in the population, leading to changes in the species.
  • This process, known as natural selection, is a driving force behind evolution according to Darwin’s theory.

Facts For Prelims


  • Brumation is a state of inactivity or torpor exhibited by reptiles during winter or periods of low temperature.
  • Similar to hibernation in mammals, brumation allows reptiles to conserve energy and survive adverse environmental conditions.
  • Reptiles may retreat to underground burrows or other sheltered areas during brumation to endure cold temperatures and minimize resource requirements.
  • This survival strategy, developed over thousands of years, helps reptiles adapt to sudden climatic changes and endure challenging environmental conditions.

Hastsal Minar

  • The “Mini Qutub Minar” is a minaret tower located in Hastsal village, West Delhi, India.
  • Built in 1650 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, it is constructed using lakhori bricks and clad with red sandstone.
  • Standing at 17 meters tall on a raised platform, it features a reducing diameter and an octagonal body on a square platform. 
  • Originally five storeys, it was topped with a domed Chhatri pavilion, resembling the Qutub Minar of Delhi.
  • The tower, now endangered, has been renovated and opened for tourists. 
  • It currently has three floors compared to the original five.
  • Used by Emperor Shah Jahan for entertainment after hunting, it once stood amidst wilderness surrounding the Hastsal minaret and royal hunting lodge.
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