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1) Which of the following is not one among the four broad indicators used to rank countries under the Travel and Tourism Competitive Report which was released recently by the World Economic Forum?

a. Infrastructure

b. Enabling environment

c. Visa Requirements

d. Natural and cultural resources

Answer: c

2) Consider the following statements with respect to Eastern Economic Forum (EEF)

  1. It was established to support the economic development of eastern countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
  2. India participated in the 5th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) that was held recently in Vladivostok, Russia.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: b

  • The Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) was established in 2015, with the aim of supporting the economic development of Russia’s Far East, and to expand international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The ongoing EEF Summit at the Far Eastern Federal University is the fifth in its history.
  • Among the participants in the Summit are India, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, and South Korea.
  • Speaking at the Plenary Session of the 5th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok, Russia, Indian Prime Minister announced that India would extend a $1 billion line of credit towards the development of the Russian Far East.

3) Consider the following statements with respect to Nuakhai Festival

  1. It is a festival to celebrate the newly harvested food by the farmers.
  2. It will be celebrated especially in the western parts of Odisha.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

4) Mid-Monsoon 2019 Lightning Report was recently released by?

a. Indian Meteorological Department

b. World Meteorological Organisation

c. Centre for Science and Environment

d.  Jointly by A and B

Answer : a

Mid-Monsoon Lightning Report 2019 is a study jointly prepared by the Climate Resilient Observing System Promotion Council (CROPC), the India Meteorological Department, ministry of earth science and World Vision, a voluntary organization.

5) An ocean liner travelling from Vladivostok to Chennai in its shortest route would sail through which of the following?

  1. Sea of Japan
  2. Red Sea
  3. North Channel
  4. Strait of Malacca
  5. Gibraltar Strait

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

a. 4 only

b.  1 and 4 only

c.  2, 3 and 5 only

d.  All except 3

Answer : b

During the Indian Prime Minister visit to Vladivostok recently, a Memorandum of Intent was signed to open a full-fledged maritime route between Russia’s eastern port city Vladivostok and Chennai on India’s eastern seaboard.

An ocean liner travelling from Vladivostok to Chennai would sail southward on the Sea of Japan past the Korean peninsula, Taiwan and the Philippines in the South China Sea, past Singapore and through the Strait of Malacca, to emerge into the Bay of Bengal and then cut across through the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago to Chennai.

6) Consider the following statements with respect to Mobile Science Exhibition (MSE) Programme

  1. It was launched in 1965 and celebrated Golden Jubilee in the year 2015.
  2. Mounted on a specially designed bus, a Mobile Science Exhibition carries a number of interactive exhibits related to everyday science.
  3. It was implemented by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

a.  2 only

b.  1 and 2 only

c.  2 and 3 only

d.  1, 2 and 3

Answer : b

The first Mobile Science Exhibition (MSE) on the theme ‘Our Familiar Electricity’ was inaugurated in 1965.

National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) functions under the Ministry of Culture is running this programme.

Mounted on a specially designed bus, a Mobile Science Exhibition carries a number of interactive exhibits related to everyday science.

The MSE or Museo-bus travels from school to school in rural areas and organize exhibitions there throughout the year.

Along with the exhibition, some other programmes like Sky Observation Programme through telescope, science films show, Science Demonstration Lectures etc. are also organized.

celebrated Golden Jubilee of Mobile Science Exhibition (MSE) program from 17th – 20th November 2015.

7) Consider the following statements with respect to Climate Resilient Observing Systems Promotion Council (CROPC)

  1. It has been formed as a non-profit organization under section 8 of Company Act 2013.
  2. It comes under the regulatory framework of Ministry of Science and Technology.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

a.  1 only

b.  2 only

c.  Both 1 and 2

d.  Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : a

  • Climate Resilient Observing-Systems Promotion Council (CROPC) has been formed as non-profit organization under section 8 of Company Act 2013 to act as an interface between Central Early warning agencies, line departments, state, Community, NGOs and other stakeholders.
  • CROPC under the regulatory framework of Indian Meteorological Department will function as Center for promotion of Climate Resilient Observing Systems and public notification system for various hazards due to Climate Change extremities.

8) Consider the following statements with respect to National Council of Science Museums (NCSM)

  1. It is primarily engaged in ‘Communicating Science to Empower People’ through its network of twenty-five Science Centres/Museums spread across India.
  2. It is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Culture.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

a.  1 only

b.  2 only

c.  Both 1 and 2

d.  Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : c

National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India is primarily engaged in ‘Communicating Science to Empower People’ through its network of twenty-five Science Centres/Museums spread across India.

9) Consider the following statements with respect to Exercise TSENTR 2019

  1. It is a bilateral military exercise between India and Tajikistan.
  2. It aims at practicing the participating armies in the fight against the scourge of international terrorism thereby ensuring military security in the strategic central Asian region.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

a.  1 only

b.  2 only

c.  Both 1 and 2

d.  Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : b

Exercise TSENTR 2019 is part of the annual series of large scale exercises that form part of the Russian Armed Forces’ annual training cycle.

This year’s Exercise TSENTR 2019 will be conducted by Central Military Commission of Russia.

Apart from host Russia, military contingents from China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan will also take part in this mega event.

The exercise aims at evolving drills of the participating armies and practicing them in the fight against the scourge of international terrorism thereby ensuring military security in the strategic central Asian region.

India will be taking part with armies from Pakistan, China among others in the exercises being held by Russia set to be kicked off from September 9, 2019.

10 With respect to Lightning, consider the following statements

  1. It is a result of the difference in electrical charge between the top and bottom of a cloud.
  2. Most lightning occurs within the clouds.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

a. 1 only

b.  2 only

c.  Both 1 and 2

d.  Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : c

  • Lightning is a very rapid and massive discharge of electricity in the atmosphere.
  • Some of it is directed towards the Earth.
  • It is a result of the difference in electrical charge between the top and bottom of a cloud.
  • The lightning-generating clouds are typically about 10-12 km in height, with their base about 1-2 km from the Earth’s surface.
  • The temperatures at the top range from -35°C to -45°C.
  • According to the Mid-Monsoon Lightning Report 2019, 65.55 lakh lightning strikes in India during this four-month period between April and July this year, of which 23.53 lakh (36 per cent) happened to be cloud-to-ground lightning, the kind that reaches the Earth.
  • The other 41.04 lakh (64 per cent) were in-cloud lightning, which remains confined to the clouds in which it was formed.

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Current Affairs Weekly September 2019

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WEEKLY CURRENT AFFAIRS: SEPTEMBER WEEK-1

Important Current Affairs for UPSC & PSC Exams

These Current affair topics will definitely help you to understand the topic in very easy way and it improve you score and knowledge in examinations.

  1. Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2019.
  2. Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP)
  3. ‘Angikaar campaign’
  4. China’s One Country Two Systems policy
  5. Apache attack helicopters.
  6. Child well-being index
  7. Desertification
  8. Poshan Maah (National Nutrition Month).
  9. Kun.
  10. Country’s longest electrified rail tunnel between Cherlopalli and Rapuru.
  11. Kerala Champions Boat League.
  12. What is an Interpol Red Notice, what does it do?
  13. Interpol General Assembly.
  14. Association of World Election Bodies.
  15. RBI annual report
  16. AH-64 Apache combat helicopters.
  17. ANDREX Project.
  18. Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment.
  19. ASEAN-US Maritime Exercise (AUMX).
  20. Food fortification
  21. PIL in Supreme Court for community kitchens in all states to combat hunger.
  22. One Nation-One Ration Card scheme.
  23. Money Laundering in India
  24. Malé Declaration.
  25. ‘Build for Digital India’ programme.
  26. Swachh Iconic Places.
  27. North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC).
  28. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
  29. Joint Naval Annual Quality Conclave (JNAQC).
  30. Terracotta Grinder.
  31. Asiatic Society of Mumbai.
  32. Ethanol
  33. Press Council of India
  34. Delhi under Firoz Shah Tuglaq: Reign of the third ruler of Tughlaq dynasty.
  35. Munich Agreement.
  36. PRESIDENT appoints new governors.
  37. Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI).
  38. Inter-ministerial panel on fintech.
  39. Code of Conduct for MPs and MLAs
  40. WorldSkills Kazan
  41. Security cover of VIPs
  42. Government releases Rs 47,436 crore funds for afforestation
  43. Who is a Professor Emerita/Emeritus, and how is she/he appointed?
  44. Lignin
  45.  ‘Samudrayaan’ project.
  46. National Register of Citizens (NRC)
  47. EPFO to restore commutation of pension
  48. Oxytocin Ban
  49. SEBI’s norms for FPIs
  50. Sabka Vishwas Scheme
  51. Tibetan Democracy Day.
  52. 18 endangered sharks and rays afforded protection
  53. Gravitational Lensing
  54. Great Barrier Reef
  55. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
  56. Water management practices dismal in states: Niti Aayog
  57. WorldSkills Kazan
  58. Formation of Interim government of India.

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Current Affairs

Tamil Nadu Declare a State Butterfly.

Context

Tamil Nadu Becomes Fifth Indian State to Declare a State Butterfly.

About

  • Tamil Nadu has recently declared Tamil Yeoman (Cirrochroa thais) as its state butterfly to symbolize its rich natural and cultural heritage, in a move aimed at boosting the conservation efforts of the attractive insects.
  • Locally known as Tamil Maravan meaning ‘Tamilian Warrior’, the canopy butterfly, belongs to the family of brush-footed butterflies or the Nymphalid.
  • This is the latest addition to Tamil Nadu’s existing symbols from the natural world – palmyra as the state tree, gloriosa lily as the state flower, emerald dove as the state bird, and jackfruit as the state fruit and Nilgiri tahr as the state animal.
  • This butterfly species is endemic to Western Ghats.
  • Once the species is declared as a state butterfly, this will help channelizing government funds towards a particular environmental cause.

More in News

Tamil Nadu has a total of 32 species of butterflies endemic to the state.

It has become the fifth India state after Maharashtra (Blue Mormon), Uttarakhand (Common peacock), Karnataka (Southern birdwings) and Kerala (Malabar banded peacock) to bestow a state emblem status to one of its colorful insects.

Both southern bird wings, which is the largest butterfly species found in India, and Malabar banded peacocks are, like the Tamil Yeoman, endemic to the Western Ghats as well.

Why butterfly conservation?

Butterflies are great bio-indicators of an ecosystem as they are highly sensitive to environmental conditions such as temperature, sunlight, humidity and rainfall patterns.

Their presence, patterns and migration assist in mapping the climatic health of a region and are they are perhaps the most studied insect group across the world.

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Cauvery Water Dispute Verdict

  • Supreme Court, pronounced the verdict on the appeals filed by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala against the final award of the Cauvery Waters Tribunal in 2007 on the allocation of water to them.
  • The dispute dates back to the Madras-Mysore agreements of 1924. It was in 1990 when the Centre created a tribunal to examine the conflict and address the water shortage.

Key points of verdict:-

  • The Supreme Court increased Karnataka’s share of water.
  • The verdict has reduced Tamil Nadu’s allocation of the Cauvery water from the Billigundulu dam.
  • The Court has allowed Bengaluru to use the Cauvery water for drinking purposes.
  • There is no change in the water share of Kerala and Puducherry.

The Cauvery basin:-

  • The Cauvery River originates in Karnataka’s Kodagu district, flows into Tamil Nadu and reaches the Bay of Bengal at Poompuhar.
  • Parts of three Indian states – Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka – and the Union Territory of Pondicherry lie in the Cauvery basin.

Other Inter-State River Water Sharing Disputes:-

  • Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal -II between the states Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
  • Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal between the states Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
  • Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal between the states Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
  • Ravi & Beas Water Tribunal between the states Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.
  • Vansadhara Water Disputes Tribunal between the states Andhra Pradesh &Odisha.

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(FREE) ECONOMY OF INDIA -IMPORTANT SOLVED MCQ

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Answer with Explanation

  1. Consider the following statement about Gross National Product
  2. It Includes Factor income earned by the factors of production of the rest of the world employed in the domestic economy
  3. It excludes Factor income earned by the domestic factors of production employed in the rest of the world

Choose the correct answer from the following code:

(A) Only 1

(B) Only 2

(C) Both 1 and 2

(D) None of the above

Ans: (D)

Explanation:

GNP = GDP + Factor income earned by the domestic factors of production employed in the rest of the world – Factor income earned by the factors of production of the rest of the world employed in the domestic economy

Hence, GNP = GDP + Net factor income from abroad (Net factor income from abroad =

Factor income earned by the domestic factors of production employed in the rest of the world – Factor income earned by the factors of production of the rest of the world employed in the domestic economy).

 

2 Consider the following statement

  1. Net National Product at market price = Gross Domestic Product – Depreciation
  2. Net National Income at factor cost = Personal Income

Choose the correct answer from the following code:

(A) Only 1

(B) Only 2

(C) Both 1 and 2

(D) None of the above

Ans: (a)

Explanation:

We have already noted that a part of the capital gets consumed during the year due to wear and tear. This wear and tear is called depreciation. Naturally, depreciation does not become part of anybody’s income. If we deduct depreciation from GNP the measure of aggregate income that we obtain is called Net National Product (NNP).

NNP = GNP – Depreciation

It is to be noted that all these variables are evaluated at market prices. Through the expression given above, we get the value of NNP evaluated at market prices.

Thus, NNP at factor cost = National Income (NI ) = NNP at market prices – (Indirect taxes– Subsidies) = NNP at market prices – Net indirect taxes (Net indirect taxes = Indirect taxes – Subsidies)

3 Consider the following statements:

  1. Real GDP increases when the value of goods and services increases.
  2. Nominal GDP is the value of GDP at current prevailing prices

Choose the correct answer from the following code:

(A) Only 1

(B) Only 2

(C) Both 1 and 2

(D) None of the above

Ans: (B)

Explanation:

Real GDP is calculated in a way such that the goods and services are evaluated at some constant set of prices (or constant prices). Since these prices remain fixed, if the Real GDP changes we can be sure that it is the volume of production which is undergoing changes. Nominal GDP, on the other hand, is simply the value of GDP at the current prevailing prices. For example, suppose a country only produces bread. In the year 2000. It had produced 100 units of bread; price was Rs 10 per bread. GDP at current price was

Rs 1,000. In 2001 the same country produced 110 units of bread at price Rs 15 per bread.

Therefore nominal GDP in 2001 was Rs 1,650 (=110 × Rs 15). Real GDP in 2001 calculated at the price of the year 2000 (2000 will be called the base year) will be 110 × Rs 10 = Rs 1,100.

4 Which of the following is a measure of Inflation in an economy?

  1. GDP deflator
  2. Consumer Price Index
  3. Whole sale Price Index

Choose the correct answer from the following code

(A) Only 2

(B) Only 2 and 3

(C) Only 1 and 3

(D) All the above

Ans: (D)

Explanation:

Notice that the ratio of nominal GDP to real GDP gives us an idea of how the prices have moved from the base year (the year whose prices are being used to calculate the real GDP) to the current year. In the calculation of real and nominal GDP of the current year, the volume of production is fixed. Therefore, if these measures differ it is only due to change in the price level between the base year and the current year. The ratio of nominal to real GDP is a well known index of prices. This is called GDP Deflator.

There is another way to measure change of prices in an economy which is known as the

Consumer Price Index (CPI). This is the index of prices of a given basket of commodities which are bought by the representative consumer. Wholesale Price Index is a measure of the changes in the price of product which are traded in bulk.

5 Consider the following statements:

  1. An increase in GDP implies a better quality of life of the people of the country
  2. Services provided by women in their household is not calculated in the GDP

Choose the correct answer from the following code:

 

(A) Only 1

(B) Only 2

(C) Both 1 and 2

(D) None of the above

Ans: (B)

Explanation:

Statement 1 is incorrect: Quality of life is not only dependent on the income of an individual. Again, an increase in GDP does not even indicate an overall increase in income because of skewed distribution of Income.

Statement 2 is correct: Services provided by women in their household is not paid for so it not attributed to the GDP.

6 National Disposable Income does not include which of the following?

(A) Net National Product at Factor cost

(B) Gifts to the government in cash and kind

(C) Indirect taxes

(D) Subsidy

Ans: (D)

Explanation:

National Disposable Income = Net National Product at market prices + Other current transfers from the rest of the world The idea behind National Disposable Income is that it gives an idea of what is the maximum amount of goods and services the domestic economy has at its disposal.

Current transfers from the rest of the world include items such as gifts, aids, etc.

NNP at factor cost + Indirect Taxes – Subsidy = NNP at market prices

7 Match the following pair are correctly matched

Committee                                         Poverty Line

1- Y K Alagh                     Consumption Expenditure of household

2 Lakdawala                               Precisely as starvation

3 Tendulkar                                     Costs Of Living

Choose the correct answer from the following code

(A) Only 1 and 2

(B) Only 1 and 3

(C) Only 3

(D) All the above

Ans: (C)

Explanation:

Committee                              Poverty Line

1 Y K Alagh                         Precisely as starvation

2 Lakdawala                      Consumption Expenditure of household

3 Tendulkar                                    Cost Of Living

8 Sustainable Action for Transforming Human capital (SATH) program is launched by:

(A) Niti Aayog

(B) Ministry of Human Resource development

(C) World Bank and Ministry of Human Resource development

(D) None of the above

Ans: (A)

Explanation:

NITI Aayog has launched SATH, a program providing ‘Sustainable Action for Transforming Human capital’ with the State Governments. The vision of the program is to initiate transformation in the education and health sectors.

9 In India, A village would be considered as electrified if

  1. The number of households electrified should be at least 50% of the total number of households in the village.
  2. Electricity is provided to public places like Schools, Panchayat Office, Health Centers,

Dispensaries, Community centers

  1. Basic infrastructure such as Distribution Transformer and Distribution lines are provided in the inhabited locality as well as the Dalit Basti hamlet where it exists.

Choose the correct answer from the following code:

(A) 1 and 3 only

(B) 1 and 2 only

(C) 2 and 3 only

(D) 1,2 and 3

Ans: (C)

Explanation:

As per the latest definition, a village would be declared as electrified, if:

  1. Basic infrastructure such as Distribution Transformer and Distribution lines are provided in the inhabited locality as well as the Dalit Basti hamlet where it exists.
  2. Electricity is provided to public places like Schools, Panchayat Office, Health Centers, Dispensaries, Community centers etc.
  3. The number of households electrified should be at least 10% of the total number of households in the village hence statement 1 is the only incorrect statement.

10 Which of the following organisation publish Inclusive development index?

(A) World economic forum

(B)  World bank

(C) Sustainable solutions development network

(D) United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA)

Ans: (A)

Explanation:

Inclusive development index is published by world economic forum. India was ranked 62nd among 74 emerging economies on World Economic Forum’s Inclusive Development Index.

11 Consider the following statements:

  1. Potassium bromated is commonly used as a food additive
  2. Potassium bromated is known to cause cancer
  3. Potassium bromated as a food add on is not yet banned in India

Choose the correct answer from the following code:

(A) 1 and 2 Only

(B) 2 and 3 Only

(C) 1 and 3 Only

(D) 1,2 and 3

Ans: (A)

Explanation:

Statement 1 is correct: Potassium bromated typically increases dough strength, leads to

Higher rising and gives uniform finish to baked products. Potassium iodate and Potassium

bromated is used as a flour treatment agent.

Statement 2 is correct: Potassium bromated and Potassium iodate commonly used to as a food additive are known to be carcinogenic

Statement 3 is incorrect: The government banned the use of potassium bromated as a food additive following a Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) study that found its presence in bread caused cancer. As far as potassium iodate is concerned, it has been referred to a scientific panel.

12 The furthest point from land also known as the “oceanic pole of inaccessibility” is nicknamed as which of the following:

(A) Point X

(B) Delta-P

(C) Point Verde

(D) Point Nemo

Ans: (D)

Explanation:

The furthest point from land also known as the “oceanic pole of inaccessibility” is nicknamed as Point Nemo, meaning “no-one” in Latin and was first discovered in 1992.

This remote oceanic location is 2,688 kilometers from the nearest land—Ducie Island. As Point Nemo lies in the South Pacific Gyre and the region is so isolated from landmasses that wind does not carry much organic matter, there is little to feed for survival.

13 “An economy for the 99%” is an important paper for governments all over the world. This paper is published by which of the following:

(A) World economic forum

(B) Oxfam

(C) Melbourne Mercer

(D) AT Kearney

Ans: (B)

Explanation:

An economy for the 99% – Oxfam briefing paper looks at inequalities in our current economy and calls for a more human economy. Specifically it focuses on how large corporations and the super-rich are driving the inequality crisis and what can be done to change this. It considers the false assumptions that have led us down this path, and shows how we can create a fairer world based on a more human economy – one in which people, not profit, are the bottom line and which prioritizes the most vulnerable. India’s richest 1% now hold 58% of the country’s wealth.

14 The Death penalty report is published by which of the following:

(A) Walk free foundation

(B) Heritage foundation

(C) Amnesty international

(D) Social progress imperative

Ans: (C)

Explanation:

The death penalty report is published by amnesty international. China remained the

World’s top executioner – but the true extent of the use of the death penalty in China is unknown as this data is classified as a state secret; the global figure of at least 993 excludes the thousands of executions believed to have been carried out in China. At the end of 2017, 106 countries (a majority of the world’s states) had abolished the death penalty in law for all crimes and 142 countries (more than two-thirds) had abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

15 Which of the following indicators is a part of ease of doing business index released by the World Bank?

  1. Getting electricity
  2. Registering property
  3. Resolving insolvency
  4. Trading across borders
  5. Access to credit

Choose the correct answer from the following code:

(A) 1,3 and 4 only

(B) 2,3,4 and 5 only

(C) 1,3,4 and 5 only

(D) All of the above

Ans: (D)

Explanation:

Ease of doing business index – It was released as part of the World Bank’s annual report titled Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All. It was introduced in 2004.The ranking of country is based on index averages the country’s percentile rankings on 11 indicators each having equal weightage. The indicators are –

  1. Ease of starting business
  2. Getting electricity
  3. Dealing with construction permits
  4. Registering property
  5. Protecting investors
  6. Access to credit
  7. Employing workers
  8. Trading across borders
  9. Paying taxes
  10. Enforcing contracts &
  11. Resolving insolvency

Ujjwala revolution-Important Topic For UPSC and PSC Exams

Background:

In our country, the poor have limited access to cooking gas (LPG). The spread of LPG cylinders has been predominantly in the urban and semi-urban areas with the coverage mostly in middle class and affluent households.

But there are serious health hazards associated with cooking based on fossil fuels. According to WHO estimates, about 5 lakh deaths in India alone due to unclean cooking fuels. Most of these premature deaths were due to non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer.

Indoor air pollution is also responsible for a significant number of acute respiratory illnesses in young children. According to experts, having an open fire in the kitchen is like burning 400 cigarettes an hour.

Air pollution kills more Indians than any other risk factor with estimates ranging from 15 to 20 lakh premature deaths annually. Although outdoor air pollution garners most public attention, it is well-known in health circles that pollution from chulhas is about half of the problem because people in households are directly exposed to such pollution.

It is less well-understood, however, that the two are linked: One of the reasons India has such bad outdoor air pollution is that nearly 200 million households are still burning biomass every day for cooking. Solving the household dirty fuel problem will also help reduce the outdoor air problem, although not solve it on its own.

 

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY):

Providing LPG connections to BPL households will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in the country. This measure empowered women and protect their health. It will reduce drudgery and the time spent on cooking. It will also provide employment for rural youth in the supply chain of cooking gas.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana – Scheme for Providing Free LPG connections to Women from BPL Households.

This is the first time in the history of the country that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas would implement a welfare scheme benefitting crores of women belonging to the poorest households. Last month, the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) completed two years of operation.

 

What makes LPG adoption necessary?

About 75 crore Indians, especially women and girls, are exposed to severe household air pollution (HAP) from the use of solid fuels such as biomass, dung cakes and coal for cooking. A report from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare places HAP as the second leading risk factor contributing to India’s disease burden.

According to the World Health Organization, solid fuel use is responsible for about 13% of all mortality and morbidity in India (measured as Disability-Adjusted Life Years), and causes about 40% of all pulmonary disorders, nearly 30% of cataract incidences, and over 20% each of ischemic heart disease, lung cancer and lower respiratory infection.

 

Achievements of the PMUY:

Under the scheme, now 8 crore LPG connections are to be provided to BPL households. The identification of eligible BPL families will be made in consultation with the State Governments and the Union Territories.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) aims to safeguard the health of women & children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel – LPG, so that they don’t have to compromise their health in smoky kitchens or wander in unsafe areas collecting firewood. The ambitious scheme also laid down a condition — that the LPG connections will be issued in the name of the women of the households.

Encouraged by the rapid release of connections, the central government revised the target and scope of the scheme to eight crore connections by March 2020.

Under the scheme, the union government bears the connection cost of ₹1,600 per connection, and each household pays about ₹1,500 for the stove and the first LPG cylinder. Centre to raise allocation for the project to ₹4,800 crore

 

Another reform that equally deserves applaud is Give it scheme. It is truly a social revolution that is happening in the country. More than one million people have given up there subsidy voluntarily since the “Give it up” initiative started.

With this it is possible that government can use these voluntary resources for synergising other schemes that are cash strapped or require more funds.

The DBT scheme which aims to directly transfer the subsidy to the beneficiary is another great initiative that is truly innovative and successful.

Linking the beneficiary’s bank account to his Aadhar number has prevented pilferage, avoided middlemen, and target subsidy to the original beneficiary, India which closely spends nearly 4-5 percent of its GDP in giving subsidies; the DBT scheme has been revolutionary in channelizing these precious resources to empower people.

 

Conclusion:

Truly smokeless kitchens can be realized only if the government follows up with measures that go beyond connections to actual usage of LPG. This may require concerted efforts cutting across Ministries beyond petroleum and natural gas and including those of health, rural development and women and child welfare.

Government needs to re-look at their connection focused approach, and should ensure adequate provisions for affordability, availability, and accountability.

The programme has been successful in introducing a sense of urgency into the transition to modern cooking fuels and disbursing connections. But it has been less successful in introducing a sustained change because of issues around affordability and reliability of LPG supply.

This will propel PMUY to achieve the desired objective of not only disbursing connections but making the LPG sector a real contributor to overcoming this deep-rooted challenge affecting energy access, health, and gender disparity. There needs to be a synergy in the Gas connection with the Electricity connection.

It is welcome that the government has recognised the importance of clean cooking energy with the launch of this mammoth scheme. However, we need to go beyond subsidising connections and fuel costs and focus on issues of cash flow, awareness, availability and administration. Only such a comprehensive approachwill help poor households have a better life.

Source-Insightsonindia

16 May Daily Current Affairs-Rajasthan

RAJASTHAN

  • President launches several schemes in Rajasthan

 DAILY-CURRENT-AFFAIRS-RAJASTHAN/RAS-RTS-PRELIMS-MAINS-EXAMINATION 2018-RAS-PRE

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, addressed a civic reception hosted for him in Jaipur, Rajasthan, by the state government on May 13, 2018.

 

  • The President appreciated the Government of Rajasthan for launching the ‘Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Antyodaya Employment Scheme’ and the ‘Sunder Singh Bhandari EBC Self-Employment Scheme’, named after two illustrious public figures from Rajasthan.
  • He stated that the loan waiver for SCs, STs and other deprived communities – a third scheme launched today – too is a tribute to the principles and ideals of these personalities.
  • The President was happy to note that four cities of Rajasthan – Jaipur, Udaipur, Kota and Ajmer – are part of the Smart Cities initiative of the Government of India.

INTERNATIONAL

  India largest remittance-receiving country in the world

  • India was the largest remittance– receiving country in the world, with migrant workers from the country sending home USD 69 billion in 2017.
  • According to the report, remittances to the Asia-Pacific region amounted to USD 256 billion last year.
  • The report ‘Remit SCOPE – Remittance markets and opportunities – Asia and the Pacific’ said India (USD 69 billion), China (USD 64 billion) and the Philippines (USD 33 billion) are the three largest remittance- receiving countries in the world in 2017.

 India and Nepal Agree To Expand Their Partnership For Socio-Economic Development

  • India and Nepal have agreed to expand their partnership for socio-economic development on the basis of principles of equality, trust, respect and mutual benefit.
  • In a joint statement issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal. Mr. Modi and his Nepalese counterpart KP Sharma Oli emphasized the need for the regular convening of bilateral mechanisms to review the overall state of bilateral relations and for expeditious implementation of the economic and development co-operation projects.

       UNDP to Set Up Skill Development Centre In Hyderabad

  • Aimed at empowering vulnerable and marginalized women by imparting skills training, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)announced to set up a skill development center at ‘Bharosa,’ an integrated support center for distressed women and children in Hyderabad.
  • ‘Bharosa,’ an initiative of Hyderabad City Police, is a state-of-the-art center to support women and children who are victims of violence.

NATIONAL

Customs and Postal Department hold First ever Joint Conference

  • Indian Customs and Department of India Posts held a First ever Joint Conference at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi to deliberate on streamlining of​ imports and exports by post.
  • Commissioners of Customs from all the States having Foreign Post Offices (FPOs) were present along with their counterpart Post Master Generals.
  • Imports and exports by post are the 6th highest cited citizen grievances under CPGRAMs.
  • Customs and Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) have worked together since a year to liberalise, reform and align laws relating to imports by Post.

 Lata Mangeshkar conferred ‘Swara Mauli’ award 

  • Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar was honoured with “Swara Mauli” title by spiritual guru Vidya Narsimha Bharati Swami.

RAS/RTS EXAMINATION/CURRENT AFFAIRS 2018

  • Her sister singer Asha Bhosle, Usha Mangeshkar and brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar were present at the occasion. 
  • Under-16 Indian football team wins title in Serbia
  • Indian colts pumped in as many as three goals in the first 10 minutes of the match to outplay Tajikistan 4-2 and emerge champions in the four-nation Under-16 Tournament held in Serbia.
  • Putting up an impressive show, the Indian drew 0-0 with the hosts, defeated Jordan 2-1 before beating Tajikistan in the final.

  Indian Army Finalises Rs 15,000 Crore Ammunition Production Project

  • Indian Army finalized a mega 15,000 crore rupees project under which a range of ammunition for its critical weapons and tanks will be produced indigenously.
  • Around 11 private firms would be involved in the ambitious project.
  • The immediate aim of the project is to create an inventory of all major weapons to enable the forces to fight a 30-day war while the long-term objective is to cut dependence on imports.
  • The army has set a specific target for the next 10 years in terms of the volume of ammunition to be produced.                                                     Jammu and Kashmir Government abolishes stamp duty on sale of properties in women’s name
  • CM Mehbooba Mufti-led Jammu and Kashmir governmentwaived off stamp duty on the sale of properties registered in the name of women.
  • Notably, the decision is seen as a step to empower women in the state which may help them to own more immovable assets.
  • The state cabinet of Jammu and Kashmir sanctioned reduction of stamp duty by 5 percent in the rural areas if a property is registered in the name of a male member of the family.
  • However, the state cabinet has also abolished stamp duty in case the property is registered in the name of a female member of the family in both urban and rural areas.