Daily Prelims Notes 21 January 2021
- January 21, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes 21 January 2021
All 6 Prelims qualified
4 CSE Mains qualified
If I can do it, you can too
Table Of Contents
- OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
- PMAY -G
- DRAGON FRUIT
- DISTURBED AREA ACT
- INDIA INNOVATION INDEX
- REVENUE DEFICIT
Context: Rongali Bihu festivities will be kept in mind while deciding the schedule for the Assam Assembly elections, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said, while clarifying that exclusion from the NRC doesn’t render one ineligible to vote.
- The National Register of Citizens, published in August 2019, excluded around 19 lakh people.
- People would be allowed to vote, as per 2019 directive by the Home Ministry which said that the non-exclusion of a person from the list does not amount to them being declared a foreigner.
- CEC clarified that such persons remain on the voter list and shall be eligible to vote unless a decision is taken by the concerned tribunal.
- The NRC is the list of Indian citizens and was prepared in 1951, following the census of 1951.
- The process of NRC update was taken up in Assam as per a Supreme Court order in 2013.
- In order to wean out cases of illegal migration from Bangladesh and other adjoining areas, NRC updation was carried out under The Citizenship Act, 1955, and according to rules framed in the Assam Accord.
- It set March 25, 1971, as the cut-off date for the deportation of illegal migrants.
- Since the cut-off date prescribed under articles 5 and 6 of the Constitution was July 19, 1949 – to give force to the new date, an amendment was made to the Citizenship Act, 1955, and a new section was introduced.
- It was made applicable only to Assam.
Rongali Bihu Festival
- Bihu is the main festival of Assam. It is celebrated three times a year.
- Kongali or Kati Bihu observed in October and Bhogali or Magh Bihu observed in January.
- Rongali or Bohag Bihu is observed in April.
- Rongali or Bohag Bihu is the Assamese new year and spring festival. The Rongali Bihu coincides with Sikh New Year- Baisakhi.
- The Bohag Bihu dates are April 13 to April 21. It is a harvest or sowing festival. It marks the first day of the Hindu solar calendar and is also observed in Bengal, Manipur, Mithila, Nepal, Orissa, Punjab, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
- Men and women in traditional Muga silk (golden silk) attires dance to the rhythm of Bihu tunes and beatings of the bihudhol (traditional drum) across the State.
- Bihu dance is Assam’s most popular folk dance.
Context: The Maharashtra government has decided to seek legal opinion whether Republic TV owner and editor-in-chief can be charged under Official Secrets Act for his revelations about the Balakot airstrike three days in advance.
- OSA has its roots in the British colonial era. The original version was The Indian Official Secrets Act (Act XIV), 1889.
- This was brought in with the main objective of muzzling the voice of a large number of newspapers that had come up in several languages, and were opposing the Raj’s policies, building political consciousness and facing police crackdowns and prison terms.
- It was amended and made more stringent in the form of The Indian Official Secrets Act, 1904, during Lord Curzon’s tenure as Viceroy of India. In 1923, a newer version was notified. The Indian Official Secrets Act (Act No XIX of 1923) was extended to all matters of secrecy and confidentiality in governance in the country.
- It broadly deals with two aspects
- Section 3 cover spying or espionage, covered
- Section 5 covers disclosure of other secret information of the government. Secret information can be any official code, password, sketch, plan, model, article, note, document, or information. Under Section 5, both the person communicating the information and the person receiving the information can be punished
RTI Act vs OSA
- Section 22 of the RTI Act provides for its primacy vis-a-vis provisions of other laws, including OSA. Therefore, if there is any inconsistency in OSA with regard to furnishing of information, it will be superseded by the RTI Act.
- However, under Sections 8 and 9 of the RTI Act, the government can refuse information. Effectively, if the government classifies a document as “secret” under OSA Clause 6, that document can be kept outside the ambit of the RTI Act, and the government can invoke Sections 8 or 9.
Subject: Government schemes
Context: Prime Minister released assistance worth Rs 2,691 crore to over 6 lakh beneficiaries of Pradhan MantriAwas Yojna (Gramin) in Uttar Pradesh through a video conference.
- PMAY-G is implemented by Ministry of Rural Development.
- The erstwhile rural housing scheme Indira Awaasyojana (IAY) has been restructured into Pradhan MantriAwaasYojana –Gramin (PMAY-G) from 2016.
- PMAY-G aims at providing a house, with basic amenities, to all houseless householder and those households living in kutcha and dilapidated house, by 2022.
- This scheme targets construction of 2.95 crore houses with all basic amenities by the year 2022.
- The cost of unit assistance in this scheme is shared between Central and State Governments in the ratio 60:40 in plain areas and 90: 10 for North Eastern and Himalayan States.
- In PMAY-G, programme implementation and monitoring is to be carried out through an end to end e-Governance model- Using AwaasSoft and Awaas App.
- The scheme envisages training of Rural Masons with the objective of improving workmanship and quality of construction of houses while at the same time, increasing availability of skilled masons and enhancing employability of such masons.
Selection of beneficiaries:
- Based on housing deprivation parameters of Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC), 2011, subject to 13 point exclusion criteria, followed by Gram Sabha verification.
Context: Government in Gujarat has initiated the process of patenting the name of the variety of dragon fruit grown in Gujarat as ‘kamalam’, which is also the name of the state party headquarters.
- Dragon fruit is the fruit of a species of wild cactus indigenous to South and Central America, where it is called pitaya or pitahaya.
- The world’s largest producer and exporter of dragon fruit is Vietnam, where the plant was brought by the French in the 19th century.
- Dragon fruit is also cultivated in — apart from its native Latin America — Thailand, Taiwan, China, Australia, Israel, and Sri Lanka.
- It was brought to India in the 1990s, and is grown in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- It grows in all kinds of soil, and does not require much water.
About the proposal
- ICAR sources said the Gujarat government’s proposal had been forwarded to the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
- Whatever nomenclature, release of varieties, production, it is all done by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation.
- ICAR officers said such a proposal would need approval from the Botanical Survey of India and the National Biodiversity Authority under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
- Dragon fruit is not a species native to India and any change in its nomenclature in official annals can lead to international litigation. Hence, the opinion of BSI and NBA matters.
Context: The Gujarat High Court directed the state government to not issue any fresh notification in operation of the amended sections of the Disturbed Areas Act, which deals with “improper clustering”, until further hearing.
About the Act:
- The Act was first introduced in Ahmedabad in 1986.
- It is formally known as Gujarat Prohibition of Transfer of Immovable Properties and provision for Protection of Tenants from Eviction from Premises in the Disturbed Areas act.
- Under the DA Act, a District Collector can notify a particular area of a city or town as a “disturbed area”. This notification is generally done based on the history of communal riots in the area.
- Following this notification, the transfer of immovable property in the disturbed area can take place only after the Collector expressly signs off on an application made by the buyer and the seller of the property.
- In the application, the seller has to attach an affidavit stating that she/he has sold the property of her/his free volition, and that she/he has got a fair market price.
- Violation of the Act’s provisions, that is, if property in a notified disturbed area is transferred without the Collector’s permission, invites imprisonment and a fine.
- The state government claims it is aiming to check communal polarisation of various parts of the state through the Act.
- The DA Act is applicable in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Himmatnagar, Godhra, Kapadvanj and Bharuch.
- Section 2(d)– concept of “proper clustering of persons” as has been introduced and defined.
- Section 3 subsection 1 (ii) and (iii)– government can notify any area as a ‘disturbed area’ where it sees the possibility of a communal riot, or where it sees the possibility of a particular community’s polarisation.
Subject: National Reports
Context: Karnataka retained its position as the most innovative major state in the country in the India Innovation Index 2020 released by NITI Aayog on January 20, 2021.
- NITI Ayog with the Institute for Competitiveness releases the India Innovation Index .
- The index, developed on the lines of the Global Innovation Index, would help the innovation ecosystem of Indian states and Union Territories (UTs) to design policies to drive innovation across regions.
- Based on the index each state needs to formulate its own policy, based on its unique resources and strengths and which caters to its specific needs.
- The index goes beyond traditional approaches for measuring innovation such as patents per million of population, publication in scientific journals, percentage of GDP spending on research and adds parameters that are specific to the Indian economy (eg. Demographic dividend), to give it a more holistic coverage.
2020 Report Findings
- Karnataka scored 42.5, followed by Maharashtra at second place with a score of 38 and Tamil Nadu at third place with 37.91 score. Bihar was ranked the last in the index with 14.5 score.
- Himachal Pradesh topped among the NE/ Hilly states with a score of 25.06, followed by Uttarakhand and Manipur, while Meghalaya was ranked last with 12.15 score.
- Delhi topped among the UT/ City States with a score of 46.60, followed by Chandigarh and Daman & Diu and Lakshadweep came last with 11.71 score.
Subject : Economics
Context : State Bank of India (SBI) has executed two inter-bank short term money market deals with pricing linked to SOFR (Secured Overnight Financing Rate).
- This follows the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority deciding not to compel banks on LIBOR calculation after December.
- SOFR is a replacement for USD LIBOR that may be phased out end-2021.
- The secured overnight financing rate (SOFR) is a benchmark interest rate for dollar-denominated derivatives and loans that is replacing the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR).
- SOFR is based on transactions in the Treasury repurchase market,where investors offer banks overnight loans backed by their bond assets.
- It is seen as preferable to LIBOR since it is based on data from observable transactions rather than on estimated borrowing rates.
- While SOFR is becoming the benchmark rate for dollar-denominated derivatives and loans, other countries have sought their own alternative rates, such as SONIA and EONIA.
- LIBOR is the benchmark interest rate at which major global banks lend to one another.
- LIBOR is administered by the Intercontinental Exchange, which asks major global banks how much they would charge other banks for short-term loans.
- The rate is calculated using the Waterfall Methodology, a standardized, transaction-based, data-driven, layered method.
- LIBOR has been subject to manipulation, scandal, and methodological critique, making it less credible today as a benchmark rate.
- LIBOR is being replaced by the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) on June 30, 2023, with phase-out of its use beginning after 2021.
Subject : Economics
Context : The States are headed for a fourfold expansion in their revenue deficit this fiscal over the last year due to far lesser tax collections, Crisil Ratings said in a report.
- Revenue deficit is excess of total revenue expenditure of the government over its total revenue receipts.
- It is related to only revenue expenditure and revenue receipts of the government.
- Alternatively, the shortfall of total revenue receipts compared to total revenue expenditure is defined as revenue deficit.
- Revenue deficit actually indicates that the government’s own earning is inadequate to meet normal functioning of government departments and provision of services. Revenue deficit results in borrowing.
- When the government spends more than what it collects by way of revenue, it incurs revenue deficit.
- The revenue deficit includes only such transactions which affect the current income and expenditure of the government.
- Revenue deficit = Total Revenue expenditure – Total Revenue receipts
- The deficit has to be met from capital receipts, i.e., through borrowing and sale of its assets. Given the same level of fiscal deficit, a higher revenue deficit is worse than lower one because it implies a higher repayment burden in future not matched by benefits via investment.
Effective Revenue Deficit
- Effective Revenue Deficit is the difference between revenue deficit and grants for creation of capital assets.
- The concept of effective revenue deficit has been suggested by the Rengarajan Committee on Public Expenditure.
- It is aimed to deduct the money used out of borrowing to finance capital expenditure. The concept has been introduced to ascertain the actual deficit in the revenue account after adjusting for expenditure of capital nature.
ERROR CORRECTION : DAILY PRELIMS NOTES, JANUARY 20, TOPIC NO 1: CHIEF INFORMATION COMMISSIONER
Tenure of CIC : It has been mentioned that the CIC and ICs (at the central and state level) will hold office for a term of five years. However after RTI RULES 2019 , The CIC and ICs (at the central and state level) will hold office for a term of three years.