Daily Prelims Notes 15 July 2021
- July 15, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
15 July 2021
Table Of Contents
- The Kanwar Yatra
- Leader of the House
- Subsidies to fishing community and WTO
- Special livestock sector package
- Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs)
- Renewables trend
- Extension of National AYUSH Mission
- 147 more women Army officers get Permanent Commission
- India – Russia to hold 2+2 Ministerial meet
- Scheme for Development of Infrastructure Facilities for Judiciary
- Constitution of an Expert Committee on Longevity Finance
- WPI inflation remains high
- Tax scheme for garments to continue
Subject: Arts and Culture
Context: The Supreme Court on Wednesday took suomotu cognizance of a report published in The Indian Express on the decision by the Uttar Pradesh government to allow Kanwar Yatra this year with certain restrictions, even as the Uttarakhand government had suspended the yatra amid fears of a possible Covid-19 outbreak.
- The Kanwar Yatra is a pilgrimage organised in the Hindu calendar month of Shravana (Saavan). Saffron-clad Shiva devotees generally walk barefoot with pitchers of holy water from the Ganga or other holy rivers.
- In the Gangetic plains, the water is taken from pilgrimage sites such as Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand, Sultanganj in Bihar, and Prayagraj, Ayodhya or Varanasi from Uttar Pradesh.
- Devotees carry the pitchers of holy water on their shoulders, balanced on decorated slings known as Kanwars. The water is used by the pilgrims to worship Shiva lingas at shrines of importance, include the 12 Jyotirlingas, or at certain specific temples such as the PuraMahadeva and Augharnath Temple in Meerut, Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, BaidyanathDham in Deoghar, Jharkhand, or even in the devotee’s own village or town.
- This form of Shiva worship has special significance in the areas around the Ganga. An important festival with similarities to the Kanwar yatra in North India, called the Kavadi festival, is celebrated in Tamil Nadu, in which Lord Muruga is worshipped.
- The legend of the ritual goes back to the ‘samudramanthan’, one of the best-known episodes in Hindu mythology, which is narrated in the BhagavataPurana, in the Vishnu Purana, and explains the origin of ‘amrita’.
- The painstaking journey on foot with the Kanwar can potentially extend to over a 100 kilometres. Pilgrims, including old and young people, women and men, children, and even the differently-abled, can be spotted at holy sites by Ganga such as Gangotri, Gaumukh, and Haridwar, at the confluence of holy rivers.
- While those in Western UP and states like Punjab, Haryana and Delhi generally travel to Uttarakhand,
Context: Commerce and Textiles Minister PiyushGoyal has been appointed as the Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha.
- The term Leader of the House has been defined in Rules of Procedure of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha
- Leader of the House, according to Rule 2 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha means the prime Minister, if he is a Member of the House or a Minister who is a Member of the House and is nominated by the Prime Minister to function as the Leader of the House.
- The Prime Minister is invariably the Leader of the Lok Sabha.
- It has been the practice that during the protracted absence of the Leader of the House when Lok Sabha is in session, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, in consultation with the former, intimates to the Speaker as to who would act as the Leader of the House, but no formal announcement in this regard is made in the House.
- The Leader of the House is an important parliamentary functionary and exercises direct influence on the course of parliamentary business.
- The whole policy of the Government especially in so far as it is expressed in the inner life of the House and in measures dealing with the course of its business, is concentrated in his person.
Context: India will focus on protecting the subsidies given to its small and artisanal fishing community at the WTO ministerial meeting on Thursday, where members will attempt to push the ongoing negotiations towards conclusion.
The elements in the revised draft agreement floated by the Chair of the negotiating group, proposes the developing countries such as India, where fishing provides livelihood support to a large community of fishers.
- The ongoing negotiations for elimination of harmful subsidies, estimated at $14-20.5 billion annually, leading to overcapacity and overfishing, so that an agreement could be reached at the full-scale WTO Ministerial meet scheduled in November 2021 in Geneva.
- The subsidies that contribute to over-capacity and over-fishing need to be curbed, including those for construction and modernisation of vessels, purchase of machines and equipment, and for covering costs of fuel, ice or bait
- It proposed timeline for elimination of some of the subsidies.
- A number of civil society organisations, too, have strongly opposed the revised draft and sought more flexibility for developing countries.
Fish production India
- India is the second-largest aquaculture producer in the world and accounts for more than 6 per cent of global fish production.
- The sector provides livelihood to about 25 million fishers and fish farmers at the primary level and twice the number along the value chain, according to the National Fisheries Development Board.
- The Indian government provides subsidies for purchase of several items such as fishing boats, nets, other gear and fuel.
Context: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved implementation of special livestock sector package consisting of several activities by revising and realigning various components of the Central government schemes for the next five years starting from 2021-22.
- The aim is to boost growth in the livestock sector and make animal husbandry more remunerative for 10 crore farmers engaged in the segment.
- The package will get an annual Central support of ₹9,800 crore for the next five years, taking the total investment to ₹54,618 crore in livestock sector, including share of investments by State governments, State cooperatives, financial institutions, external funding agencies and other stakeholders,
- All the schemes of the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying will be merged into three broad categories as development programmes which includes Rashtriya Gokul Mission, National Programme for Dairy Development (NPDD), National Livestock Mission (NLM) and Livestock Census and Integrated Sample Survey (LC & ISS) as sub-schemes.
- The Rashtriya Gokul Mission will help in development and conservation of indigenous breeds and would also contribute towards improving the economic condition of the rural poor.
- The National Programme for Dairy Development scheme is targeted towards installation of about 8,900 bulk milk coolers, thus providing benefit to more than 8 lakh milk producers. and 20 LLPD milk will be additionally procured
- Under NPDD, financial assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will be availed thus strengthening and creating fresh infrastructure in 4,500 villages.
Context: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) plans to permit Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs) refund the share capital to their members, or nominees/ heirs of deceased members, on demand, subject to conditions, as per its draft guidelines
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) plans to permit Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs) refund the share capital to their members, or nominees/ heirs of deceased members, on demand, subject to conditions, as per its draft guidelines In order to issue and regulation of share capital and securities by UCBs.
- UCBs issuing regulatory capital instruments such as preference shares and debt instruments may be required to get a specific sign-off from the investors that they have understood the features and risks of the instruments
- UCBs can do so only if their capital to risk weighted assets ratio is 9 per cent or above, both as per the latest audited financial statements and the last CRAR as assessed by the central bank during statutory inspection
- The central bank emphasised that the refund should not result in the CRAR of the bank falling below regulatory minimum of 9 per cent.
- For floating rate instruments, banks cannot use their Fixed rate as benchmark.
- These banks need to ensure that all the publicity material / offer document, application form and other communication with the investor clearly state how the regulatory capital instruments are different from a fixed deposit, and that these instruments are not covered by deposit insurance
- UCBs shall have a board-approved policy on share-linking to borrowing norms, which shall be implemented in a transparent, consistent and non-discriminatory manner.
- A borrowing member may be required to hold shares for an amount that may be computed as per the extant share linking norms or for an amount that is 5 per cent of the total paid-up share capital of the bank, whichever is lower.
Context: Demand for fossil fuel electricity generation in India reached a plateau in 2018, and fell in 2019 and 2020, according to a study published Wednesday by UK’s Carbon Tracker in collaboration with the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).
According to the report, ‘Reach for the Sun’
- India, which accounts for 9% of emerging market electricity demand and 20% of expected demand growth,
- From less than 20GW of solar power in 2010 it has grown to 96GW of solar, wind biomass and small hydro power in May 2021 including large hydropower, renewables now provide 142GW or 37% of the country’s power capacity.
- India, actually bypass the steps taken by developed countries and leapfrog directly into the use of renewable energy as the main source of electricity.
- India has undertaken arguably the fastest rate of electrification the world has witnessed
- China, which nearly makes half the electricity demand, and 39% of the expected growth; India or Vietnam, which are a third of the demand and nearly half the growth;
- Fossil fuel electricity generation has peaked worldwide as emerging markets seize opportunities in low-cost renewables.
- Given renewables are already the cheapest source of new electricity in 90% of the world, emerging markets (non-OECD countries plus Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Costa Rica) have no need to build up huge electricity infrastructure based on fossil fuels.
- Globally, around 770 million people still lack access to electricity.
Subject : Government Schemes
Context: Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved the continuation of National AYUSH Mission (NAM) as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme from 1st April 2021 to 31st March 2026
- The setting up of AYUSH Hospitals and Dispensaries comes under the purview of respective State/UT Governments because Public Health is a State subject.
- In 2020, the Union Cabinet has approved the proposal to operationalise AYUSH HWCs through States/UTs under the broad umbrella of National AYUSH Mission (NAM) in a phased manner by 2023-24.
About National Ayush Mission (NAM)
- It is a centrally sponsored scheme for development and promotion of AYUSH system of medicine including Homoeopathy.
- It is a flagship scheme of Ministry of AYUSH approved and notified in 2014.
- The grant-in-aid is being provided to State/UT Governments for development and promotion of AYUSH as per their proposed State Annual Action Plans (SAAPs).
- The specific resource pool with respect to NAM for each State/UT Government is allocated and communicated by the Central Government.
- It provides financial assistance for upgradation of Government/ Panchayat/ Government aided AYUSH Hospitals and Dispensaries for undertaking addition/ alteration of existing premises, furniture, fixtures, equipments etc.
Context: The Army said on Wednesday that 147 additional women officers had been granted Permanent Commission (PC) taking the total number of women officers granted it to 424 out of the 615 officers considered since the landmark judgment by the Supreme Court last year.
- Under the Short Service Commission (SSC) scheme, women were commissioned into the Army for a period of 10 years, extendable up to 14 years.
- Women were, however, restricted to roles in specified streams such as Army Education Corps, Corps of Signals, Intelligence Corps, and Corps of Engineers. These specified streams excluded combat arms such as infantry and armoured corps.
- While male SSC officers could opt for permanent commission at the end of 10 years of service, this option was not available to women officers. Women officers, were, thus, kept out of any command appointment, and could not qualify for government pension, which starts only after 20 years of service as an officer.
- However, in the February 2019 policy statement, the Government endorsed the permanent commission for SSC women officers in 10 streams of the ‘Combat Support Arms’ and ‘Services’ sections. But it was said that the women officers would not be offered any command appointments, and would serve only in staff posts.
Permanent Commission (PC) Vs. Short Service Commission (SSC)
- SSC means an officer’s career will be of a limited period in the Indian Armed Forces whereas a PC means they shall continue to serve in the Indian Armed Forces, till they retire.
- The officers inducted through the SSC usually serve for a period of 14 years. At the end of 10 years, the officers have three options.
- A PC entitles an officer to serve in the Navy till he/she retires unlike SSC, which is currently for 10 years and can be extended by four more years, or a total of 14 years.
- They can either select for a PC or opt-out or have the option of a 4-years extension. They can resign at any time during this period of 4 years extension.
Subject: International Relations
Context: Despite India’s increasing strategic alignment, India’s bilateral relation with Russia remains high on India’s agenda as is evident from the recent visit of the Indian External Affairs Minister to Moscow.
- India and Russia enjoy a special and privileged strategic partnership.
- India and Russia intend to hold the first 2+2 Ministerial meeting before the planned leader’s summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- There are also plans for both trade and economic as well defence intergovernmental commissions between the two nations.
- Apart from the bilateral engagements, India and Russia would also engage in multilateral forums like BRICS, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the G20.
Subject: Govt Schemes
Context : Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved continuation of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for Development of Infrastructure Facilities for Judiciary.
- The scheme is extended for 5 years i.e. from 1st April 2021 to 31st March 2026.
- The total cost of Rs.9000 crore has been approved, out of which Central share will be Rs.5357 crore including Rs.50 crore for the Gram Nyayalayas Scheme.
- The scheme will be implemented in a Mission Mode through National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms.
About CSS for Development of Infrastructure Facilities for Judiciary
- It has been in operation since 1993-94.
- It augments the resources of the State Governments for construction of court buildings and residential quarters for Judicial Officers (JO) in all the States / UTs.
- It provides for additional activities like construction of lawyer halls, toilets complexes and digital computer rooms.
- It covers all the States and Union Territories.
Subject : Governance
Context : Recently, the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has constituted an Expert Committee to develop a Longevity Finance Hub in GIFT IFSC.
- The committee is tasked to recommend approach towards development of Longevity Finance Hub and provide road map for the same.
- It is being co-chaired by Ms. KakuNakhate, President and Country Head (India), Bank of America, and Mr. Gopalan Srinivasan, Ex-CMD, New India Assurance Company Limited.
- It comprise of leaders from the entire longevity finance ecosystem including from areas such as banking, insurance, wealth management, FinTech, legal, compliance and management consultancy.
International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA)
- It has been established in 2020 under the International Financial Services Centres Authority Act, 2019.
- It is headquartered at GIFT City, Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
- It is a unified authority for the development and regulation of financial products, financial services and financial institutions.
- The GIFT IFSC is the maiden international financial services centre in India.
- Its objective is to develop a strong global connect and focus on the needs of the Indian economy as well as to serve as an international financial platform for the entire region and the global economy as a whole.
- They are a class of securities that provide a hedge for parties exposed to longevity risks through their businesses, such as pension plan managers and insurers.
- These derivatives are designed to deliver increasingly high payouts as a selected population group lives longer than originally expected or calculated.
- The derivatives are securities that derive their value from price fluctuations in an underlying asset or group of assets.
- They are designed to offer some protection against the risks by enabling investors to make money on the side from people living longer.
Subject : Economics
Context : Wholesale price inflation has been recorded at 12.07% for June 2021. This follows another month of high wholesale price inflation of 12.94% in May 2021.
- The wholesale price inflation is being attributed to a low base effect along with the rise in prices of petrol, diesel, naphtha and ATF, as well as those of basic metals and food products.
Wholesale Price Index
- It is the most widely used inflation indicator in India.
- Published by the Office of Economic Adviser, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- All transactions at the first point of bulk sale in the domestic market are included.
- Major criticism for this index is that the general public does not buy products at wholesale price.
- The base year of All-India WPI has been revised from 2004-05 to 2011-12 in 2017.
- The high wholesale prices could push up the production costs and render Indian products uncompetitive in the global markets.
- The increase in raw material and fuel and power prices would result in a squeeze on the working capital of the already struggling small businesses.
- The wholesale price inflation will invariably have a spillover effect on retail inflation and this could cramp any monetary policy intervention to revive the economy in the post-pandemic scenario.
- The high inflation rates could hamper the demand in the economy which in turn will affect the economic revival in the predominantly domestic consumption-based Indian economy.
Subject: Government Schemes
Context: Garment exporters will continue to get a rebate on central and state taxes on their outward shipments as the government approved extension of RoSCTL scheme till March 2024.
- The move is aimed at enhancing competitiveness of the labour-intensive textiles sector.
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for continuation of Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) with the same rates as notified by the Ministry of Textiles for exports of apparel/garments and made-ups.
- The scheme will continue till March 31, 2024. It will help boost exports and job creation,.
- The sectors covered under this scheme (apparel/garments and made-ups) would not get benefits under the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme.
- However, textiles products which are not covered under the RoSCTL would be eligible to avail the benefits, if any, under RoDTEP along with other products as finalised by the Department of Commerce.
- The scheme will be implemented by the Department of Revenue with end-to-end digitisation for issuance of transferrable Duty Credit Scrip, which will be maintained in an electronic ledger in the customs system.