Daily Prelims Notes 10 October 2022
- October 10, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
10 October 2022
Table Of Contents
- Agriculture in India
- Credit Information Companies
- Universal immunization programme
- Gaming Sector
- Fatalities among U.N. Peacekeeping Forces rising
Subject : Agriculture
- India’s agricultural production statistics sometimes present dissonances with consumption data.
- The household consumer expenditure data are more than a decade old, and an update is urgently needed.
- According to the National Statistical Office’s (NSO) household consumer expenditure (HCE) survey for 2011-12, the monthly per capita consumption of milk was 4.33 litres in rural India and 5.42 litres in urban India.
- Taking an average of 5 litres (5.15 kg; 1 litre of milk = 1.03 kg), this translates into an annual consumption of nearly 75 million tonnes (mt) for a population of 1,210.85 million as per the 2011 Census.
- If this milk is assumed to be 25% over and above that consumed by households, it adds up to about 94 mt — or a daily per capita availability of 212 gm.
What production data show-
- Going by Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying (DAHD) statistics, India’s milk production in 2011-12 was127.9 mt with a daily per capita availability of 289 gm. These were 210mt and 427gm respectively in 2020-21.
- Unfortunately, there is no published HCE survey data after 2011-12.
- In all likelihood, the gap between the NSO’sconsumption based estimates and the DAHD’s production numbers would only have widened.
- Between 2013-14 and 2020-21, India’s milk production grew at an average 6.2% a year.
- But this isn’t reflected in the marketing of liquid milk by dairy cooperatives, which grew by just over 3% annually in volume terms during this period.
- In the private sector, growth in the average sales of 12 major dairy companies averaged 4.93% in nominal terms between 2014- 15 and 2020-21.
- After adjusting for an average wholesale price inflation of 3% for “dairy products” over this period, their real sales growth was slightly more than 1.9%.
Discrepancies are glaring-
- Clearly, the 6.2% growth in milk production based on official DAHD statistics does not seem to square up with the sales growth of organised dairies, averaging only 2-3% per year.
- Equally interesting is the per capita daily milk availability of 427 gm for 2020-21, which, by definition, is the average for India’s population — across regions, rich and poor, babies, the young, and the aged.
Demand is the key-
- The monthly per capita household consumption of all cereals in the 2011-12survey was assessed at 11.22 kg for rural India, and 9.28 kg for urban India.
- At an average of 10 kg, the annual household cereal consumption requirement for 1,400 million people today would be around 168 mt.
- Assuming 25% additional consumption in processed form (bread, biscuits, cakes, noodles,vermicelli, flakes, etc.), and another 25 mt of grain (mainly maize) for feedor starch, the totaly early demand would be around 235mt.
- As against this, cereal production from 2016-17 to 2020-21 has averaged 267 mt.
- If the Agriculture Ministry’s output estimates are accurate, the country is producing 30 mt-plus of surplus grain every year— partly borneout by overflowing rice and wheat stocks in government warehouses, atleast till quite recently.
- Discrepancies in production may be less for a commodity like sugar, where most of the cane is crushed by organised mills.
- Direct household consumption, at almost 1kg per capita per month, would work out to 16.8 mt for a population of 1,400 million.
- Indirect consumption may be another 50%, as sugar has more bulk users — including soft drink, confectionery makers— than milk or wheat.
- That takes the total domestic demand to 25-26mt, compared to an average production of 32 mt in the last five years.
- Sugar has been prone to overproduction, with rare exceptional years.
Need for a new HCS survey-
- Knowing what and how much Indians are consuming— which only a comprehensive nationwide HCE survey can reveal— is useful for analysis of demand and supply in other farm produce too.
- It helps in framing policies better, whether on fixation of minimum support prices and tariffs or on crop diversification.
- There is a more immediate reason why a new HCE survey is needed.
- The current consumer price index— used to calculate inflation and also for RBI’s interest rate actions— is based on the consumption basket from the 2011-12 HCE survey.
- That basket is perhaps outdated and not truly representative of the items, both food and non-food, being consumed by Indian households today. And it may, to that extent, not be useful for either agriculture or monetary policy.
Credit Information Companies (CICs) will have to appoint an Internal Ombudsman by April 1, 2023, according to the framework announced by the Reserve Bank of India.
- Every CIC should appoint an Internal Ombudsman for a fixed term of not less than three years, but not exceeding five years.
- The IO should be either a retired or a serving officer, not below the rank of Deputy General Manager or equivalent, in any financial sector regulatory body, CIC, a NBFC or bank, with at least seven years’ experience in banking, non-banking finance, financial sector regulation or supervision, credit information or consumer protection.
- The Internal Ombudsman will not handle complaints received directly from the complainants or members of the public and, instead, deal only with complaints that have already been examined by the CIC, but have been partly or wholly rejected by it.
- Outside the purview:
- Complaints related to fraud, misappropriation, etc., except those resulting from a deficiency in service, if any, on the part of the CIC will not be under the purview of the ombudsman.
- Complaints/ references relating to internal administration, human resources, or pay and emoluments of staff will also be outside the purview.
Credit Information Company (CIC)
- Credit Information Company (CIC) is an independent third-party agency that collects financial data of individuals pertaining to their loans, credit cards and other related information and shares with its members, who generally happen to be banks and other financial institutions.
- This data is provided to CICs by their member banks and other financial institutions.
- As per the definition, a Credit Information Company:
- Needs to be a company that was formed and registered under the Companies Act, 1956
- Is granted a Certificate of registration under sub-section (2) of Section 5, of CIC Act, 2005.
- Based on the data of the individuals, a Credit Information Company prepares a Credit Information Report and a Credit Score.
- Credit history of an individual is classified by a CIC into two categories: Negative data and Positive data.
- When an individual applies for a loan/credit with a lender such as a bank or Non-Banking Financial Company etc., the lender contacts their Credit Information Company to get the Credit Score and Credit Information Report of the applicant-borrower.
- All the CICs in India are licensed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
- CIC Act, 2005 clearly prohibits any company from carrying out the business activity of credit information, without having the Certificate of Registration from RBI.
- They are governed by the provisions under Credit Information Companies Regulation Act (CIC Act), 2005 and other RBI regulations and guidelines. This was further followed by Credit Information Companies, Regulations and Rules Act, 2006.
- Currently, there are four CICs — Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd (CIBIL), Equifax Credit Information Services Pvt Ltd, Experian Credit Information Company of India Pvt Ltd and CRIF High Mark Credit Information Services Pvt Ltd.
Subject : Government Scheme
The Union health ministry has directed states and union territories to focus on the universal immunization programme (UIP), which was severely affected during the worst years of the covid pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
The universal immunization programme/Mission Indradhanush
- The Immunization Programme in India was introduced in 1978 as ‘Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI) by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- In 1985, the Programme was modified as ‘Universal Immunization Programme (UIP)’.
- UIP prevents mortality and morbidity in children and pregnant women against 12 vaccine-preventable diseases.
- To accelerate the coverage, Mission Indradhanush was envisaged and implemented since 2015 to rapidly increase the full immunization coverage to 90%.
- It was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) on 25th December 2014 with the aim of expanding immunization coverage to all children across India.
- Mission Indradhansuh was also identified as one of the flagship schemes under Gram Swaraj Abhiyan and Extended Gram Swaraj Abhiyan.
- It is one of the largest public health programmes targeting close to 26 million newborns and 29 million pregnant women annually.
- A child is said to be fully immunized if it receives all due vaccines as per the national immunization schedule within the 1st year of life.
- The Universal Immunization Programme provides life-saving vaccines to all children across the country free of cost to protect them against 12 preventable diseases.
- Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis B, Pneumonia and Meningitis due to Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib), Measles, Rubella, Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Rotavirus diarrhoea. (Rubella, JE and Rotavirus vaccine in select states and districts).
- The pregnant women are administered the tetanus vaccine, ORS packets and zinc tablets are distributed for use in the event of severe diarrhea or dehydration and vitamin A doses are administered to boost child immunity.
- Mission Indradhanush focuses on pockets of low immunization coverage and tough terrains where the proportion of unvaccinated and partially vaccinated children is high.
- Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) was launched in October 2017.
- Under IMI, greater focus was given on urban areas which were one of the gaps of Mission Indradhanush. It focused on improving immunization coverage in select districts and cities to ensure full immunization to more than 90% by December 2018 instead of 2020.
Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN)
- It is an innovative technological solution aimed at strengthening vaccine supply chain systems across the country.
- It is an indigenously developed technology system that digitizes vaccine stocks and monitors the temperature of the cold chain through a smartphone application.
- eVIN aims to support the Government of India’s Universal Immunization Programme by providing real-time information on vaccine stocks and flows, and storage temperatures across all cold chain points in these states.
- It is being implemented under the National Health Mission (NHM) by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
- It is a combination of IT infrastructure and trained human resources to enable real-time monitoring of stock and storage temperature of the vaccines kept in multiple locations across the country.
- The integrated solution combines:
- Technology :Online real-time information on vaccine stocks and storage temperature to facilitate evidence-based decision-making.
- Governance: Systemizing record keeping, upgrading logistics and encouraging good practices to ensure efficient vaccine logistics management.
- Human Resources: To empower the state cold chain network by building the capacities of handlers and managers at each stage of vaccine supply.
Subject: Science and Technology
A task force set up by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has prepared a final report of its recommendations to regulate the online gaming industry in India.
- It proposed a central-level law for online gaming -for real money and free games of skill.
- Casual games with no real money elements may be kept outside the scope of such rules, unless a high number of users in India, or permit the publication or transmission of inappropriate content like violence, nudity, addictive content or misleading content.
- A regulatory body for the online gaming industry
- A three-tier dispute resolution mechanism, similar to that prescribed under the Information Technology Rules, 2021.
- Any online gaming platform – domestic or foreign– offering real money online games to Indian users will need to be a legal entity incorporated under Indian law.
- These platforms will also be treated as ‘reporting entities’ under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, and will be required to report suspicious transactions to the Financial Intelligence Unit-India.
- MeitY may act as the nodal ministry to regulate online gaming, except for the e-sports category on which the Department of Sports can take the lead.
- Certain other aspects of online gaming could be regulated by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, while the Consumer Affairs Ministry can regulate the sector for unfair trade practices.
- It may propose a list of prohibited user harms –offshore betting apps– that will not be permitted.
- There is currently no regulatory framework to govern various aspects of online gaming companies such as having a grievance redressal mechanism, implementing player protection measures, protection of data and intellectual property rights, and prohibiting misleading advertisements.
- Legal Jurisdiction: The state legislators are, vide Entry No. 34 of List II (State List) of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India, given exclusive power to make laws relating to betting and gambling.
- Online gaming so far has been a state subject
- Types of Games in India: Most Indian states regulate gaming on the basis of a distinction in law between ‘games of skill’ and ‘games of chance’.
- Game of chance (Gambling): Games of chance are all those games that are played randomly. These games are based on luck. A person can play these games without prior knowledge or understanding. For instance, dice games, picking a number, etc. Such games are considered illegal in India.
- Game of skill (Gaming): Games of skill are all those games that are played based on a person’s prior knowledge or experience of the game. A person will require skills such as analytical decision-making, logical thinking, capability, etc. Some games might also require some initial training to win. Such games are considered legal by most of the Indian states.
- Status of Type of Games Allowed:
- Staking money or property on the outcome of a ‘game of chance’ is prohibited and subjects the guilty parties to criminal sanctions.
- Gambling is a non-cognisable and bailable offence in India.
- However, placing any stakes on the outcome of a ‘game of skill’ is not illegal per se and may be permissible.
- Law laid down by the Supreme Court in 1957 (Chamarbaugwala cases) — competitive games of skill are business activities protected under Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution.
- Rummy and horse racing have been classified by the courts as games of skill that do not come under the purview of gaming laws
- Staking money or property on the outcome of a ‘game of chance’ is prohibited and subjects the guilty parties to criminal sanctions.
Some legal provisions:
- The Lotteries Regulation Act, 1998:
- The lottery is considered legal in India.
- The lottery should be organised by the state government and the place of Draw should be in that particular state.
- Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999:
- Remittance of the income generated from lottery winning, and racing/riding is prohibited under this Act.
- Information Technology Rules, 2011:
- Under these rules, any internet service provider, network service provider, or any search engine will not host any such content which directly or indirectly supports Gambling
Subject :International Relations
UN Peacekeeping Mission:
- United Nations Peacekeeping is a joint effort between the Department of Peace Operations and the Department of Operational Support. Every peacekeeping mission is authorized by the Security Council.
- The financial resources of UN Peacekeeping operations are the collective responsibility of UN Member States. According to UN Charter every Member State is legally obligated to pay their respective share for peacekeeping.
- UN peacekeepers (often referred to as Blue Berets or Blue Helmets because of their light blue berets or helmets) can include soldiers, police officers, and civilian personnel. Peacekeeping forces are contributed by member states on a voluntary basis.
- Civilian staff of peace operations are international civil servants, recruited and deployed by the UN Secretariat.
- United Nations Peacekeeping helps countries torn by conflict create conditions for lasting peace.
- Peacekeeping has unique strengths, including legitimacy, burden sharing, and an ability to deploy and sustain troops and police from around the globe, integrating them with civilian peacekeepers to advance multidimensional mandates.
UN Peacekeeping is guided by three basic principles:
- Consent of the parties.
- Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate.
- UN peacekeeping is a unique global partnership. It brings together the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Secretariat, troop and police contributors and the host governments in a combined effort to maintain international peace and security.
India and UN Peacekeeping
India is among the highest contributors of troops to the UNPKF, and has lost 179 soldiers in the past six decades, the highest fatality suffered by any country among “blue helmets”, and has been demanding a greater say in the decision making on U.N. peacekeeping missions.
Context: Freebies debate
At present no law prohibit political parties from announcing freebies.
Such programmes further the Directive Principles of State Policy under Part IV of the Constitution.
- Article 36 of the Constitution encourages the state to secure a just social order.
- Article 39 says that the state shall make efforts to reduce the concentration of wealth and promote the common good
Directive Principles of State Policy
DPSP (Directive Principles of State Policy) enumerated in Part IV of the constitution. It covers the Articles from 36 to 51.
The framers of the constitution borrowed this idea from the Irish Constitution.
The state should keep in mind all the DPSP before formulating any policy or law for the country.
- DPSPs are non-justiciable.
- DPSPs embody welfare state.
- DPSPs seek to establish social and economic democracy
- Article 38 to 51 contains all the different DPSP’s.