Insights Daily Current Events, 13 November 2015
Paper 2 Topic: Government policies.
Rajiv Khel Abhiyan in Karwar from today
Karwar district in Karnataka is gearing up to host various games under the State-level Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan. State-level competitions in Kho Kho, Kabaddi, Judo and Table Tennis will be conducted under the scheme.
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA):
It is a centrally sponsored scheme. It was launched in 2014 in place of erstwhile Panchayat Yuva Krida aur Khel Abhiyan (PYKKA).
Aims of the scheme:
- To provide universal access to sports in rural areas and promote sports culture among both boys and girls.
- To harness available and potential sporting talent among rural youth, through a well-designed competition structure from the block level.
- To put in place an effective mechanism to identify and nurture sporting talent in rural areas.
Important provisions under the scheme:
- Under the revised scheme, construction of a sports complex in each block of the country both for outdoor and indoor sports disciplines on land measuring about six – seven acres at a Total cost of Rs. 1.60 crore (Rs. 80 lakh each for outdoor playfield and indoor sports hall) will be undertaken.
- There is also provision of Rs. 15 lakh for sports equipment and Rs. 1.5 lakh for furniture to be provided by Department of Sports.
Under the scheme, following sports competitions at block, district, state and national levels will also be held:
- Rural Sports Competitions
- Sports Competitions exclusively for Women
- North East Games
- Sports Competitions for Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Affected Areas
sources: the hindu, pib.
IISc Makes Indian Debut in Top 100 World University Ranking
The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore has broken India’s poor ranking spell by making a debut in the world’s top 100 universities for engineering and technology in the ‘Times Higher Education (THE) Ranking for Engineering & Technology’.
- IISc has made its entry at the 99th spot in the list.
- The list is dominated by US institutions with Stanford, CalTech and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the top three positions.
- In the list, the US holding 31 positions – down from 34 last year -while Asia holds 25 positions in the Top 100, up from 18 last year.
- Asian universities have occupied six positions in the Top 30 this year, with Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan and India all improving their representation, while Singapore and Hong Kong maintained theirs.
sources: the hindu.
Paper 3 Topic: Infrastructure.
A feather in capital airport’s cap
- The Airport Quality Survey was conducted by the global body Airport Council International (ACI).
- ASQ surveys are based on key service parameters and identified services. A questionnaire containing 34 questions on different facilities and parameters of the airport is used for the survey by the ACI.
- Of the 11 international airports managed by the Airports Authority of India in the country, Thiruvananthapuram International Airport topped the list with a rating of 4.89 on a 5-point scale.
- Ahmedabad, Kolkata, and Lucknow came second with a rating of 4.76 and Goa International Airport came third with 4.72.
- Incheon Airport in Seoul has emerged first in the Asia-Pacific region for the last quarter with 4.99 points.
- The global average of Airports Service Quality (ASQ) ratings is 4.12.
sources: the hindu.
Paper 3 Topic: Environmental pollution.
NGT directs collection of ‘green tax’
In a bid to curb health hazards originating from bursting of firecrackers, the Pune Bench of the National Green Tribunal has directed civic bodies to levy Rs. 3,000 as ‘green tax’ from sellers.
- The corpus collected from the tax will be used to clean solid waste generated from firecrackers at public places.
- Part of the money will be used exclusively for environmental activities such as planting trees and constructing toilets for women.
The tribunal has ordered strict action against defaulters, recommending that agencies which do not pay the tax should be blacklisted and their licences cancelled. The tribunal has also suggested that bursting of crackers at public places should be restricted to certain hours.
The decision came based on a petition which sought a ban on bursting of firecrackers. The petition contended that the industry employed child labour which led to several injuries and deaths among minors.
sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
Gokarn appointed IMF Executive Director
Subir Gokarn, former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (2009-12) has been appointed executive director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
- Gokarn will represent the Indian constituency which comprises India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.
- He replaces Rakesh Mohan whose term ended on October 31, 2015.
- Gokarn is also a member of the expenditure management commission, headed by Bimal Jalan, former RBI governor.
- His appointment comes at time when emerging economies are strongly pushing for implementation of IMF’s 2010 quota reform, which aims to give emerging economies such as India a greater say in its functioning.
About the IMF Board of Governors:
- The Board of Governors consists of one governor and one alternate governor for each member country.
- Each member country appoints its two governors.
- The Board normally meets once a year and is responsible for electing or appointing executive directors to the Executive Board.
- While the Board of Governors is officially responsible for approving quota increases, Special Drawing Right allocations, the admittance of new members, compulsory withdrawal of members, and amendments to the Articles of Agreement and By-Laws, in practice it has delegated most of its powers to the IMF’s Executive Board.
- 24 Executive Directors make up Executive Board.
- The Executive Directors represent all 188 member countries in a geographically based roster.
- Countries with large economies have their own Executive Director, but most countries are grouped in constituencies representing four or more countries.
- Following the 2008 Amendment on Voice and Participation which came into effect in March 2011, eight countries each appoint an Executive Director: the United States, Japan, Germany, France, the UK, China, the Russian Federation, and Saudi Arabia.
- The remaining 16 Directors represent constituencies consisting of 4 to 22 countries.
sources: bs, wiki, imf.
Paper 2 Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.
New look for backward region sops
A committee of chief ministers, headed by Madhya Pradesh’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan, constituted by the Centre to revamp the centrally-sponsored schemes (CSS) has asked the centre to review the existing arrangements in the Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) scheme.
- BRGF scheme was delinked completely from central support in the 2015-16 Union Budget and was transferred to state governments, causing much heartburn between the Centre and the states.
- The committee has also suggested that the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog and the Union finance ministry could recommend area-based interventions in some of the states as special packages to take care of the state component in the BRGF.
- The committee has also disagreed with the notion that the central government’s assistance to states had been reduced because of the higher devolution to states through the 14th Finance Commission.
Launched in 2007, the fund signifies a new approach to addressing persistent regional imbalances in rural development. The programme subsumed the Rashtriya Sama Vikas Yojana (RSVY), a scheme earlier being administered by the Planning Commission.
- The BRGF programme represents a major shift in approach from top-down plans to participative plans prepared from the grassroots level upwards.
Under the scheme, fund is provided to:
- Bridge critical gaps in local infrastructure and other development requirements that are not being adequately met through existing inflows.
- Strengthen Panchayat and Municipality level governance with more appropriate capacity building.
- Provide professional support to local bodies for planning, implementation and monitoring their plans.
- Improve the performance and delivery of critical functions assigned to Panchayats, and counter possible efficiency and equity losses on account of inadequate local capacity.
The BRGF Programme covers 250 districts in 27 States, of which 232 districts fall under the purview of Parts IX and IX-A of the Constitution dealing with the Panchayats and the Municipalities, respectively. The remaining 18 districts are covered by other local government structures, such as Autonomous District and Regional Councils under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and state specific arrangements as in the case of Nagaland and the hill areas of Manipur.