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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 07 October 2016

 

 


Insights Daily Current Affairs, 07 October 2016


 

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Rs.114 cr worth projects HRIDAY projects approved

 

Ministry of Urban Development has approved projects worth Rs.114 cr under Heritage Infrastructure Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) for improving infrastructure facilities around core heritage sites in five cities of Varnasi, Amritsar, Dwaraka, Puri and Warangal.

  • The approval in this regard was given by an inter-Ministerial HRIDAY National Empowered Committee.

 

About HRIDAY:

The National Heritage Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) aims to preserve and rejuvenate the rich cultural heritage of the country.

 

Key facts:

  • It seeks to promote an integrated, inclusive and sustainable development of heritage sites, focusing not just on maintenance of monuments but on advancement of the entire ecosystem including its citizens, tourists and local businesses.
  • Central government will meet the entire expenditure under the scheme. But, the states and local urban bodies are requested to supplement their resources for rapid development of heritage cities.
  • The project will work through a partnership of Government, Academic Institutions and local community combining affordable technologies.
  • The 12 cities selected for the scheme are Ajmer, Amritsar, Amravati, Badami, Dwarka, Gaya, Warangal, Puri, Kanchipuram, Mathura, Varanasi and Velankanni.

With 32 UNESCO recognized natural and cultural heritage sites, ranking second in Asia and fifth in the world, the tourism potential of the country is still to be fully harnessed and this scheme will help in this regard.

Sources: pib.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

India to host first AMCDRR after Sendai Framework

 

The Government of India is hosting the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) next month in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). The hosting of the Conference re-affirms India’s commitment to the cause of Disaster Risk Reduction.

sendai-framework

Key facts:

  • This is the first AMCDRR after the advent of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRRR), adopted at the third UN World Conference in Sendai, Japan in March, 2015. It will set the direction of Sendai Framework implementation in the region.
  • AMCDRR 2016 will focus on collaboration, consultation and partnership with governments and stakeholders to mainstream DRR in the region’s development narrative.
  • The Conference will adopt the ‘Asian Regional Plan for Implementation of the Sendai Framework’ endorsed by the Asian countries.
  • It will also consolidate the political commitment of governments towards preventing and reducing risk as well as strengthening resilience in the form of a political declaration.
  • Voluntary statements of action of stakeholder groups towards a ‘shared responsibility’ approach in implementation of the SFDRR would also be adopted.

 

Background:

Established in 2005, AMCDRR is a biennial conference jointly organized by different Asian countries and the UNISDR. So far, six AMCDRR conferences have been organised. India had also hosted the second AMCDRR in New Delhi in 2007.

 

About Sendai Framework:

The “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030” was adopted during the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan in March, 2015.

  • It is the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda, with seven targets and four priorities for action.
  • It was endorsed by the UN General Assembly following the 2015 Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR).
  • The Framework is for 15-year. It is a voluntary and non-binding agreement which recognizes that the State has the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders including local government, the private sector and other stakeholders.
  • The new Framework is the successor instrument to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters.
  • The implementation of the Sendai Framework involves adopting integrated and inclusive institutional measures so as to work towards preventing vulnerability to disaster, increase preparedness for response and recovery and strengthen resilience.

 

The Seven Global Targets:

  • Substantially reduce global disaster mortality by 2030, aiming to lower average per 100,000 global mortality rate in the decade 2020-2030 compared to the period 2005-2015.
  • Substantially reduce the number of affected people globally by 2030, aiming to lower average global figure per 100,000 in the decade 2020 -2030 compared to the period 2005-2015.
  • Reduce direct disaster economic loss in relation to global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030.
  • Substantially reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, among them health and educational facilities, including through developing their resilience by 2030.
  • Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020.
  • Substantially enhance international cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of this Framework by 2030.
  • Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to the people by 2030.

 

The Four Priorities for Action under the Framework:

  • Understanding disaster risk.
  • Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk.
  • Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience.
  • Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

Sources: pib.


 

Paper 3 Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

 

GSAT-18, ISRO’s latest communication satellite, launched successfully

 

Marking another success for the space agency, ISRO’s latest communication satellite GSAT-18 has successfully been launched from Arianespace’s European launcher Ariane-5 VA-231 in French Guiana.

GSAT-18

Key facts:

  • GSAT-18 is the 20th satellite from ISRO to be launched by the European space agency and this mission was the 280th for Arianespace launcher family.
  • The main aim of GSAT-18 is to provide telecommunications services. It would strengthen ISRO’s present fleet of 14 operational telecom satellites.
  • GSAT-18’s mission life is around 15 years, and carries Ku-band beacon to help in accurately pointing ground antennas towards the satellite.
  • Television, telecommunication, VSAT and digital satellite news gathering are a few of the services that GSAT 18 will support in coming days.
  • The satellite carries 48 communication transponders in C-band, upper extended C-band and Ku-band for providing various services to the country.
  • The GSAT-18 has been placed in a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). In the coming days, ISRO will perform the orbit raising manoeuvres to place the GSAT-18 in the Geostationary Orbit (36,000 km above the equator).

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3 Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

Adoption of GST poised to boost India’s medium-term growth: IMF

 

Asserting that India has shown that progress on reforms could “ignite” business investment, the IMF has, in its latest Asia Pacific regional economic update, said the adoption of goods and services tax is poised to boost the country’s medium-term growth.

 

Important observations made:

  • Over the medium term, a number of Asian economies stand to benefit from a demographic dividend, as the working-age population in some economies like India and Indonesia continues to grow, potentially helping sustain strong potential growth.
  • In India, monsoon rainfall coming in at normal levels bodes well for agriculture and, along with a decennial rise in government employee salaries, will underpin the ongoing recovery in domestic demand.
  • Further progress on reforms will boost sentiment, and the incipient recovery of private investment is expected to help broaden the sources of growth amid gradual fiscal consolidation and broadly neutral monetary policy.
  • India’s growth has continued to benefit from the large improvement in the terms of trade, positive policy actions, including implementation of key structural reforms, gradual reduction of supply-side constraints, and a rebound in confidence.
  • Consumption growth has remained strong and activity in core industrial sectors has picked up. Government consumption is set to continue to support growth in 2016, it noted.

 

Way ahead for India:

Greater labour market flexibility and product market competition remain essential to create jobs and raise growth. Priorities also include effective implementation of the new corporate debt restructuring mechanisms.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

 

Centre plans to set up Board of Internal Trade

 

The Commerce and Industry Ministry is planning to set up a Board of Internal Trade to address all the issues pertaining to domestic trade. The board was initially proposed by the Confederation of All India Traders.

 

Need for such a board:

In a large and diverse market like India, internal trade has several issues that will need special attention. The government, through such a Board, will benefit from getting alerts about the problems being faced by the domestic industry.

 

Who will monitor the board?

The board will be set up under a single ministry — the Commerce and Industry Ministry.  This is necessary as currently internal trade comes under the ambit of multiple ministries leading to delays in addressing their issues.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3 Topic: Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

 

250 agri markets integrated with online platform surpassing target: Minister

 

The Centre has integrated 250 regulated agricultural markets across 10 States to the online trading platform for agriculture produce, e-NAM, surpassing the target of 200 set for the period.

  • Commodities worth ₹421 crore have already been traded on the platform and more than 1,60,000 farmers and 46,888 traders have got themselves registered.
  • The Agriculture Ministry had set a target of connecting all 585 mandis to the e-platform by March 2018.

 

E-NAM:

E-NAM, or the National Agriculture Market, is a pan-India electronic portal for the sale and purchase of agricultural produce launched in April this year.

  • The idea behind the online market is to reduce the transaction cost, provide a single licence valid across all markets, help farmers identify the best buyers, enable single point levy of market fees and maintain quality standards with provision for quality testing.
  • About 69 agricultural and horticultural commodities, including fruits and vegetables are notified for trading on the e-NAM platform.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

RBI to be divested of debt management role in 2 years

 

The Centre has decided to set up an independent agency to mange its debt. As a precursor, the Finance Ministry will soon set up the Public Debt Management Cell (PDMC) in the Budget Division.

 

Key facts:

  • PDMC will allow separation of debt management functions from RBI to the Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) in a gradual and seamless manner, without causing market disruptions. The cell will be converted to a statutory authority in about two years’ time.
  • This move would help divest the RBI of its dual and often conflicting roles as the banker and manager of the Centre’s borrowing.

 

Functions of PDMC:

  • The PDMC will at present only have advisory functions to avoid “any conflict” with the statutory powers of the RBI.
  • To start with, it would plan the borrowings of the Centre, manage the Central government liabilities and monitor the cash balances.
  • It would also develop an integrated debt database system as a centralised data base for all liabilities of the government on a near real time basis.
  • It will also advise government on matters related to investment, capital market operations and interest rates on small savings as well as undertake requisite preparatory work for PDMA.

 

Composition of PDMC:

The PDMC would be staffed with 15 “experienced” debt managers from the Budget Division, RBI, middle office and other units and would be under the overall supervision of the Joint Secretary (Budget), Department of Economic Affairs.

 

Way ahead:

The transition process from PDMC to PDMA would be implemented by a joint implementation committee (JIC). The JIC would in turn be supervised by the monitoring group on cash and debt management that would be co-chaired by Economic Affairs Secretary and RBI Deputy Governor.

Sources: the hindu.