Daily Current Affairs: 11th October 2019: The Hindu+PIB
The following compilation has been made keeping in mind the need of the UPSC IAS exam. Each and every topic which has been included in this compilation is taken from very authentic and relevant source including The Hindu, The Indian Express, Business Standard, Press Information Bureau, etc.
As per the evolving pattern of the UPSC IAS prelims and mains exam each and every topic has been handpicked keeping in mind the syllabus of the exam.
Pradhan Mantri KisanSamman Nidhi (PM-Kisan)
Context: Cabinet has approved the relaxation of mandatory Aadhaar seeding of data as a pre-condition for release of funds to the beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri KisanSamman Nidhi (PM-Kisan). Why this move? Presently under the scheme, after 1st August, 2019, the release of 3rd Installment onwards to those beneficiaries who got their first installment during December, 2018 – March, 2019 and their 2nd installment during April-July, 2019 is to be made only on the basis of Aadhaar seeded database.
In a similar manner, after 1st August, 2019, release of 2nd installment onwards to those who got 1st installment during April-July, 2019 is to be made only on the basis of Aadhaar seeded database. Again, after 1st August, 2019, release of 1st installment onwards to the rest of the beneficiaries after 1st August, 2019 is to be made only on the basis of Aadhaar seeded database. Now, the issue arises when it was noticed that the farmers in the States of Assam, Meghalaya and J&K, where there has not been enough Aadhaar penetration, have been exempted from this requirement till 31.3.2020. Thus, the non-seeding of beneficiaries’ details with Aadhaar number will delay the release of further instalments and will cause discontentment among the farmers. About the Scheme Pradhan Mantri KisanSamman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), is a Central Sector Scheme, that provides income support to land-holding farmers’ families, subject to certain exclusions, by way of payment of Rs.6000/- per year. This amount is to be released in three 4-monthly instalments of Rs.2000 /- each directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries through DBT mode. The scheme was for the first time conceived and implemented by Telangana Govt as the Rythu Bandhu scheme, where a certain amount is given directly to eligible farmers. This programme has planned to entail an annual expenditure of Rs 75,000 crore and the complete expenditure for the scheme is to be borne by the Union Government in 2019-20. Who all are excluded from the benefits under the Scheme? The following categories of beneficiaries of higher economic are excluded from the benefit under the scheme :
- All Institutional Land holders.
- Farmer families in which one or more of its members belong to following categories:
- Former and present Constitutional posts holders.
- Former and present Ministers/ State Ministers and former/present Members of LokSabha/ RajyaSabha/ State Legislative Assemblies/ State Legislative Councils,former and present Mayors of Municipal Corporations, former and present Chairpersons of District Panchayats.
- All those who are all serving or retired officers and employees of Central/ State Government Ministries /Offices/Departments and its field units Central or State PSEs and Attached offices /Autonomous Institutions under Government as well as regular employees of the Local Bodies (Excluding Multi Tasking Staff /Class IV/Group D employees).
- All superannuated/retired pensioners whose monthly pension is Rs 10,000/-or more (Except the Multi Tasking Staff / Class IV/Group D employees) of above category.
- All Persons who paid Income Tax in last assessment year.
- Professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Chartered Accountants, and Architects registered with Professional bodies and carrying out profession by undertaking practices.
Similar Schemes in States
- Rythu Bandhu scheme of Telangana Government which provides an assistance of Rs. 8,000 per year per Acre.
- Annadatha Sukhibhava of Andhra Pradesh Government with an annual budget of Rs. 50 crores will provide an assistance of Rs. 9,000 extra in addition to PM Kisan Benefit and Rs. 15,000 for Non Beneficiaries of PM Kisan.
- KALIA Scheme of Odisha Government with an annual budget of Rs 40 crores provides a financial assistance of Rs.25,000 per farm family over five seasons.
‘India International Cooperatives Trade Fair’
Context: The first ever ‘India International Cooperatives Trade Fair’ is going to be held from 11-13 October, 2019 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. Objective: The Fair is aimed at achieving the goal of doubling farmers’ income by the promotion of cooperative-to-cooperative trade within India & abroad along with promotion of exports of key agriculture commodities and products which will lead to enhanced rural and farm prosperity.
Countries involved: International organisations from Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bhutan, Brazil, China, Columbia, Fiji, Germany, Iran, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Senegal, Thailand, Tanzania, USA, UK, UAE and Vietnam will be showcasing the products. Organizers: The India International Cooperatives Trade Fair is being jointly organised by National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) along with the Bangkok based international organization (NEDAC) and other leading organizations in India (NAFED, APEDA, ITPO etc.) with the support of Ministries of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Commerce and Industry and External Affairs.
- Six State Governments/UTs, namely, Telangana, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Puducherry, Meghalaya and Goa are partners of ‘India International Cooperatives Trade Fair’.
- IICTF is also supported through partnership with IFFCO, IPL, AMUL, CDB, UPL, FAO, NCUI, LINAC, NAFCUB, NAFSCOB, NCCD etc
Highlights: There will be 9 sessions with the cooperatives as the focus that will cover various aspects which includes:
- Globalization of Cooperative Trade;
- Cooperative banking and financial inclusion;
- Empowerment of youth and women through cooperatives;
- Agro processing-eco systems through cooperatives;
- Agri-tech and climate smart agriculture through cooperatives;
- Cooperatives as cost effective and efficient service providers;
- Big data and cyber security in cooperative sector;
- Dairy cooperatives-opportunities for value addition and trade;
- Farm mechanization and inputs supply-role of cooperatives
Importance: The cooperative sector has a major role in increasing agriculture exports from the present US $ 30 billion+ to US$ 60 billion+ by 2022 as planned to achieve in the Agriculture Exports Policy 2018 and ‘India International Cooperatives Trade Fair’ (IICTF) has been conceived as a major platform for the promotion of the exports of Indian cooperative produce.
PM’s Development Package 2015 for Jammu & Kashmir
Context: Cabinet has approved the Inclusion of 5,300 Displaced Persons (DP) families of Jammu & Kashmir-1947 who had initially opted to move outside the J&K but later on returned and settled in the state, under the Rehabilitation Package approved by the Cabinet on 30.11.2016 for Displaced Families PoJK and Chhamb under the PM’s Development Package 2015 for J&K. Background Following the 1947 Pakistani aggression in J&K, there were approximately 31,619 families who migrated from Pakistan Occupied Areas of J&K (PoJK) to the state of J&K. Out of these, 26,319 families settled in the state of J&K while 5300 families initially opted to move out of the state of J&K to other parts of the country.
Further during the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971, around 10,065 more families were displaced from Chhamb-Niabat area and out of these 3,500 families were displaced during the 1965 war and 6565 families were displaced during the 1971 war. Those 5300 DP families of PoJK who initially opted to move out of the state of J&K to other parts of the country were not included in the approved package which was approved by the Cabinet on 30.11.2016 included 26,319 displaced families from PoJK settled in J&K and 10,065 Displaced Families displaced from ChhambNiabat area. Now those DP families out of the 5300 who initially opted to move out of the State but later returned and settled in J&K are being included in the package. Benefits of this move The move will enable them to earn a reasonable monthly income and be part of mainstream economic activities. This will also upgrade the Government’s capacity to respond effectively to such DP families need of financial assistance
Global Competitiveness Index 2019
Context: The 2019 edition of Global Competitiveness Index has been released by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) recently. It was introduced for the first time in 1979 and is the 4th version of the global competitiveness index- hence referred to as the GCI 4.0 and was introduced in 2018.
The GCI 4.0 maps the competitiveness scenario of 141 economies through 103 indicators organised into 12 pillars which are further divided into 4 broad categories namely:
- Enabling Environment
- Human Capital
- Innovation Ecosystem.
GCI marks a country’s performance as a ‘progress score’ on a 0-to-100 scale, where 100 being the ‘frontier’, an ideal state where an issue ceases to be a constraint to productivity growth”. Key findings of the Index
- Pushing the US to the 2nd position, Singapore has emerged as the world’s most competitive economy in 2019.
- Hong Kong SAR is ranked 3rd followed by Netherlands and Switzerland at 4th and 5th position respectively.
- India’s 2019 rank has slipped by almost 10 points in the list to 68th position and has emerged as one among the worst-performing BRICS nations along with Brazil (ranked even lower than India at 71 this year). India trails China (28th, 73.9) by 40 places and 14 points.
- India is the best performer within South Asia, followed by Sri Lanka (84th), Bangladesh (105th), Nepal (108th) and Pakistan (110th).
- India is ranked 2nd globally for shareholder governance, 3rd in terms of the market size and 3rd in terms of renewable energy regulation.
Why such a fall in India’s ranking?
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), one of the major reason for the fall in India’s rank is due to improvements that has been witnessed by several other economies. For Example, India has performed poorly in pillars including Information, communication and technology adoption (120 rank), health (110), skills (107), product market (101), labour market(103) and stability (103) as compared to the other economies that stood above India.
9th RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting
Context: 9th edition of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Intersessional Ministerial meeting is planned to be held on 11-12 October 2019 at Bangkok in Thailand. This will be the last Ministerial before the 3rd Leaders Summit which is planned to be held on 4th November 2019 in Bangkok.
This 9th edition of Intersessional Ministerial Meeting comes at a crucial stage where the RCEP is scheduled to be announced as concluded in November 2019. About RCEP RCEP, short for Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and its 6 FTA partners (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand). Its negotiations were formally launched in November 2012 at the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia. The arrangement is also open to any other external economic partners, such as nations in Central Asia and remaining nations in South Asia and Oceania. RCEP potentially includes more than 3 billion people that accounts for about 45% of the world’s population, and a combined GDP of about $21.3 trillion, i.e., about 40% of world trade. The major objective of launching RCEP negotiation is to achieve a modern, comprehensive, high quality and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement among the ASEAN member states and ASEAN’s FTA partners.
38th India Carpet Expo
Context: 38th edition of India Carpet Expo is being organized by the Carpet Export Promotion Council (CEPC) from 11th- 14th October, 2019 in Varanasi. The expo has been organized with an aim to promote the cultural heritage and weaving skills of Indian hand-made carpets and other floor coverings for the visiting overseas carpet buyers. This will be the 15th edition of India Carpet Expo in Varanasi only and is organized twice a year in Varanasi and Delhi. About the Expo India Carpet Expo is one of the largest handmade carpet fairs in Asia. It is a platform for international carpet buyers, buying houses, buying agents, architects and Indian carpet manufacturers and exporters to meet and establish business relationship. With the help of such fairs, India’s unique capability in adapting any type of design, colour, quality and size as per the specifications of the carpet buyers has made it a household name in the international market. About Indian Carpet Industry Indian Handmade Carpet Industry is highly labour intensive industry and provides employment to more than 20 lakh workers and artisans especially women directly or indirectly in the rural areas. The industry has immense potential for growth both in production and exports as this industry is environment friendly and does not use scarce and perishable energy resources. The major carpet producing centres in India are in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, North East Region of India, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Indian handmade carpet industry is the most demanding industry in the international handmade carpet market both in terms of value and volume. On an estimate, India exports 85-90% of its total carpet production. Export of handmade carpets from India is done to more than 70 countries in the world, mainly to the USA, Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, France, Italy and Brazil. Recently, China has also been added to the list. Germany and other European countries were the traditional markets for export of Indian products followed by USA. But the European markets have been fully developed and have reached its saturation point. According to the Carpet Export Promotion Council (CEPC), the major thrust countries for the carpet industry includes USA, LAC Countries – Brazil, Chile, Argentina, China, Scandinavian Countries – Norway, Sweden & South Africa and Oceania Countries – Australia & New Zealand.
Nobel Prize In Literature
Austria’s Peter Handke won the 2019 Nobel Prize for Literature, and the postponed 2018 award went to Polish author Olga Tokarczuk.
The 2019 award was given to Austria’s Peter Handke “for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience.” The 2018 prize was given to Polish author Olga Tokarczuk – delayed by 1 year after a sexual assault scandal rocked the award-giving Academy – for “a narrative imagination that with encyclopaedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life.” It is noteworthy to mention that the Olga Tokarczuk, who is the 15th woman to win the Nobel Literature Prize, also won the International Booker Prize in 2018.
Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan (SUMAN) initiative
In order to ensure Zero Preventable Maternal and Newborn Deaths, Union Minister for Health along with several State Health Ministers launched Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan (SUMAN) initiative. The primary aim of the initiative is to assure dignified, respectful and quality health care at no cost and also to promote zero tolerance for denial of services for every woman and newborn visiting the public health facility, to end all preventable maternal and newborn deaths. As part of the initiative, pregnant women, mothers up to 6 months after delivery, and all sick newborns will be able to avail free healthcare benefits that will also include free transport from home to health institutions. There is also a provision of a zero expense delivery and C-section facility for pregnant women in case of complications at public health facilities. As per the government estimates, India’s maternal mortality rate has declined from 254 per 1,00,000 live births in 2004-06 to 130 in 2014-16. Also, between 2001 and 2016, the infant mortality rate came down from 66 per 1,000 live births to 34.
C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40)
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s vist to Copenhagen to attend the C40 World Mayors’ Summit has been pulled down following the failed effort to get the mandatory clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). The C40 World Mayors’ Summit is a 3-day conference where city leaders from around the world share their ideas on green urban development, and on ways to get national governments to act on climate issues.These Summits are known for publishing important research, showcasing innovations by cities, and for forging global partnerships. This year the summit is being held in Copenhagen (Denmark’s capital). Over the past decade, C40 has convened 6 Mayors Summits, hosted by London (2005), New York (2007), Seoul (2009), Sao Paulo (2011), Johannesburg (2014) and Mexico City (2016). The cities from India that are part of the C40 are Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Jaipur, and Kolkata. The host city of this year’s conference Copenhagen, plans to become carbon neutral by 2025. At present, C40 has 96 members, that representing over 70 crore people, and one-quarter of the global economy.