Daily Prelims Notes 16 April 2021
- April 16, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
16 April 2021
Table Of Contents
- OCI CARD
- REGULATORY REVIEW AUTHORITY 2.0
- ON TAP LICENSE FOR UNIVERSAL SFB’s
- PRESSURE SWING ADSORPTION
- STATE OF WORLD POPULATION REPORT 2021
- BOND YIELDS
- WPI INFLATION
- SITAGRAHA HILLS
Subject: Disaster Management
Context: Uddhav Thackeray to PM Modi: Press in NDMA, airlift oxygen.
- The NDMA is the apex statutory body for disaster management in India. It derives its powers and responsibilities from the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
- It was established in 2009.
- It is under the control of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
- The Prime Minister is its ex-officio chairman of NDMA.
- NDMA equips and trains other government officials, institutions and the community in mitigation for and response during a crisis situation or a disaster.
- It operates the National Institute of Disaster Management, which develops practices, delivers hands-on training and organizes drills for disaster management.
- It also equips and trains disaster management cells at the state and local levels.
- State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) is headed by the respective Chief Minister.
Context: Recently, the Centre has stated that the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders will now be required to get their document re-issued only once at the age of 20 instead of multiple times needed currently.
- The notification stated that a person who has got registration as OCI cardholder prior to attaining the age of 20 years will have to get the card re-issued only once.
- The re-issue of OCI card will begin when a new passport is issued after his or her completing 20 years of age, so as to capture his or her facial features on attaining adulthood.
- The centre said that if a person has obtained registration as OCI cardholder after attaining the age of 20 years, there will be no requirement of re-issue of OCI card.
- Currently, the OCI card is required to be re-issued each time a new passport is issued up to 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age.
- The Centre said there will be no restriction on the cardholder to travel to or from India during the period from the date of issue of new passport till the date of final acknowledgement of documents in the web-based system.
OCI CARD SCHEME
- The OCI scheme came with the amendment of the Citizenship Act in 2005. Further in 2015 it was merged with the PIO (Person of Indian Origin) card.
- Individuals who do not have citizenship of any other country are not eligible to gain an OCI status.
- Individuals whose parents or grandparents hold citizenship of Pakistan and Bangladesh are not eligible to apply.
The Ministry of Home Affairs defines an OCI as a person who:
- Was a citizen of India on or after 26th January 1950; or
- Was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26th January 1950; or
- Belong to a territory which became part of India after 15 august 1947; or
- Is a child or grandchild of such a person; or
- Is a minor child of the persons from any of the above category or either or both of the parents are citizens of India.
- For foreign origin spouse of the Citizen of India or An OCI card holder: 1) Whose marriage is registered 2) Married for more than two years before the date of application.
Context: RBI sets up regulatory review authority to review regulations, ease compliance.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday announced the setting up of a regulatory review authority, RRA 2.0, to review its regulations internally and in consultation with other stakeholders.
- RRA 2.0 will function for a period of one year from the date of its establishment to review the regulatory prescriptions internally as well as by seeking suggestions from regulated entities and other stakeholders on their simplification and ease of implementation.
- The RRA 2.0 will focus on streamlining regulatory instructions and reducing the compliance burden of regulated entities by simplifying procedures and reducing reporting requirements, wherever possible.
- It shall intend to make regulatory and supervisory instructions more effective by removing redundancies and duplication, if any.
- It will also be tasked with obtaining feedback from regulated entities on simplification of procedures and enhancement of ease of compliance.
Context: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday unveiled the names of eight applicants for ‘on-tap’ licence of universal banks and small finance banks.
What is On Tap license?
- On-tap licensing means that the window for getting a bank license from RBI is open throughout the year.
- Earlier, RBI used to invite applications for giving bank licenses, and prospective players submitted their applications within a fixed time-frame as prescribed by RBI. This arrangement was not open all the time.
- Now, virtually anyone, who fulfils the criteria, can apply for a bank license anytime.
- Universal Banks are the financial entities like the commercial banks, Financial Institutions, Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), which undertake multiple financial activities under one roof, thereby creating a financial supermarket.
- The entities focus on leveraging their large branch network and offer a wide range of services under a single brand name/Bank’s name.
Small Finance Banks (SFBs):
- Small Finance Banks are the financial institutions which provide financial services to the unserved and unbanked region of the country.
- They are registered as a public limited company under the Companies Act, 2013.
- Eligible candidates for setting up SFB are:
Resident individuals/professionals with 10 years of experience in banking and finance.
The companies and societies owned and controlled by residents.
Existing Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs), Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs), Local Area Banks (LABs) and payment banks that are owned and controlled by residents.
- It needs to open at least 25% of its banking outlets in unbanked rural centres.
- The bank will be required to extend 75% of its adjusted net bank credit to the Priority Sector Lending (PSL).
- At least 50% of its loan portfolio should constitute loans and advances of up to ₹ 25 lakhs.
- The maximum loan size and investment limit exposure to a single and group would be restricted to 10% and 15% of its capital funds, respectively. They cannot extend large loans.
- If the initial shareholding by promoters in the bank is in excess of 40% of paid-up voting equity capital, it should be brought down to 40% within a period of 5 years.
- The small finance banks will be subject to Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR).
Subject: Science & tech
Context: The Union Health Ministry informed on April 15, 2021 that 100 new hospitals will get their own oxygen plants under the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) Fund.
- The Health Ministry shared that the Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) plants manufacture oxygen and will help hospitals become self-sufficient in medical oxygen.
- Around 162 PSA plants sanctioned under PM-Cares are being closely reviewed for early completion of 100 percent of the plants to enhance self-generation of oxygen in hospitals, especially in remote areas.
Pressure Swing Adsorption
- Pressure swing adsorption (PSA) is a technology used to separate some gas species from a mixture of gases under pressure according to the species’ molecular characteristics and affinity for an adsorbent material.
- It operates at near-ambient temperatures and differs significantly from cryogenic distillation techniques of gas separation.
- Specific adsorbent materials (e.g., zeolites, activated carbon, molecular sieves, etc.) are used as a trap, preferentially adsorbing the target gas species at high pressure. The process then swings to low pressure to desorb the adsorbed material.
- Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund, or the PM CARES Fund, was set up to tackle distress situations such as that posed by the COVID19 pandemic.
- The fund receives voluntary contributions from individuals and organisations and does not get any budgetary support. Donations have been made tax exempt, and can be counted against a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR)
- It is also exempt from the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, and accepts foreign contributions, although the Centre has previously refused foreign aid to deal with disasters such as the Kerala floods.
- The Prime Minister chairs the fund in his official capacity, and can nominate three eminent persons in relevant fields to the Board of Trustees. The Ministers of Defense, Home Affairs and Finance are ex officio Trustees of the Fund.
Subject: International Reports
Context: The United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) flagship ‘State of World Population Report 2021’ titled ‘My Body is My Own’ was launched
- This is the first time a United Nations report has focused on bodily autonomy, defined as the power and agency to make choices about your body without the fear of violence or having someone else decide for you.
- Nearly half the women from 57 developing countries do not have the right to make decisions regarding their bodies, including using contraception, seeking healthcare or even on their sexuality.
- In countries where data is available, only 55% of women are fully empowered to make choices over healthcare, contraception and the ability to say yes or no to sex. It also highlights that only 75% of countries legally ensure full and equal access to contraception.
- Under its ambit also fall people with disabilities stripped of their rights to self-determination, to be free from violence and to enjoy a safe and satisfying sexual life.
- Women around the world are denied the fundamental right of bodily autonomy with the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbating this situation.
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
- UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency.
- Its mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
Context: The Union Home Ministry has restored the electronic visa (e-visa) facility for foreigners from 156 countries who intend to visit India for business, conferences and medical reasons, including for medical attendants. E-visa for tourists is yet to be restored.
- An e-visa is provided in five categories — tourist, business, conference, medical, and medical attendant.
- Under the arrangement, a foreigner can apply online four days prior to travel.
- After the details are verified, an electronic travel authorisation (ETA) is generated, which has to be presented at the immigration checkpost on arrival.
- Entry through e-visas is allowed only at 28 designated international airports and five major seaports in India.
- Though available to people of 171 countries before restrictions were announced in 2020, the facility has been restored only for 156. China, the U.K., Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia are notable exclusions. The relaxation comes in the wake of a deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Context: India’s 10-year yield spikes as RBI bond-purchase results disappoint
- Bond is an instrument to borrow money. A bond could be floated/issued by a country’s government or by a company to raise funds.
- The yield of a bond is the effective rate of return that it earns. But the rate of return is not fixed; it changes with the price of the bond.
- Generally, investors purchase the bonds at their face value, which is the principal amount invested. In return, investors typically earn a yield of a bond.
- Each bond has a maturity date, which is when the investor gets paid back the principal amount
Factors affecting the yield:
- Monetary policy of the RBI (interest Rates), fiscal position of the government and its borrowing programme, global markets, economy, and inflation.
- A fall in interest rates makes bond prices rise, and bond yields fall.
- Rising interest rates cause bond prices to fall, and bond yields to rise.
- So, a rise in bond yields means interest rates in the monetary system have fallen, and the returns for investors have declined.
Context : Official data released on Thursday showed inflation, as measured by the wholesale price index (WPI), accelerated to 7.4% in March, higher than the 27-month high of 4.2% in February.
Wholesale Price Index (WPI)
- The Wholesale Price Index represents the price of a basket of wholesale goods. WPI focuses on the price of goods that are traded between corporations. It does not concentrate on goods purchased by the consumers.
- The main objective of WPI is monitoring price drifts that reflect demand and supply in manufacturing, construction and industry.
- WPI helps in assessing macroeconomic as well as microeconomic conditions of an economy.
Subject : Culture
Context : By a hill in Jharkhand, Buddhist remains from a millennium ago.
- This site is a major Buddhist shrine from the Mauryan Period 250 before the present era; it is aligned to dolmen and other megalithic sites and the sacred hill, Marang Buru, of the Birhor indigenous tribe.
- Marang Buru is also called Juljul and forms the recumbent landscape figure known as a reclining Mother Goddess.
- On the south is a 65 foot-long stone face called Mahadeva or Great God by the Bihors. Mahadeva is a term used alternately for Shiva and Buddha.
- The hill and the stone face continue to be worshipped ritually by the Bihors.