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Current Affairs Analysis

6th April 2018 Current Affairs Analysis -IASToppers

Rollout of new BIS law; About Bureau of Indian standards (BIS) Act 2016; Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS); POSHAN Abhiyaan; National Council on India’s Nutritional Challenges; government’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF); Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF); What is Fiat currency?; What is Fiat Digital Currency?; Samta Diwas; Coal Quality Monitoring; UTTAM (Unlocking Transparency by Third Party Assessment of Mined Coal) Application; UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) – RCS (Regional Connectivity Scheme); National Maritime Day; committee to regulate news portals.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
April 06, 2018

Contents

Polity & Governance

  • Paswan stresses on effective rollout of new BIS law

Government Schemes & Policies

  • POSHAN Abhiyaan

Economy

  • NIIF, Everstone Group in talks to tie up for $500 million fund
  • RBI explores feasibility of launching ‘fiat’ digital currency

Key Facts for Prelims

  • Samta Diwas
  • UTTAM APP for Coal Quality Monitoring
  • UDAN – RCS
  • 5 April: National Maritime Day
  • Government constitutes committee to regulate news portals

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Polity & Governance

Paswan stresses on effective rollout of new BIS law

A Parliamentary Consultative Committee recently reviewed the activities of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and laid emphasis on easy redressal mechanism of complaints, mandatory certification, enhancing consumer confidence through publicity and various other interactive measures.

BIS_Logo

  • It also stressed on the effective implementation of the provisions of new BIS Act 2016.

About Bureau of Indian standards (BIS) Act 2016: 

Bureau of Indian standards (BIS) Act 2016 which was notified on 22nd March, 2016, came into force with effect from 12th October, 2017.

  • Parliament had in March 2016 passed the law to replace the BIS Act of 1986.

Highlights of the act:

  • The Act establishes the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) as the National Standards Body of India.
  • The Act has enabling provisions for the Government to bring under compulsory certification regime any goods or article of any scheduled industry, process, system or service which it considers necessary in the public interest or for the protection of human, animal or plant health, safety of the environment, or prevention of unfair trade practices, or national security.
  • Enabling provisions have also been made for making hallmarking of the precious metal articles mandatory.
  • The new Act also allows multiple type of simplified conformity assessment schemes including self-declaration of conformity against a standard which will give simplified options to manufacturers to adhere to the standards and get certificate of conformity.
  • The Act enables the Central Government to appoint any authority/agency, in addition to the BIS, to verify the conformity of products and services to a standard and issue certificate of conformity.
  • There is also a provision for repair or recall, including product liability of the products bearing Standard Mark but not conforming to the relevant Indian Standard.

About Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS):

  • The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the national Standards Body of India working under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.
  • It is established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986.
  • The Minister in charge of the Ministry or Department having administrative control of the BIS is the ex-officio President of the BIS.
  • As a corporate body, it has 25 members drawn from Central or State Governments, industry, scientific and research institutions, and consumer organisations.
  • It also works as WTO-TBT enquiry point for India.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Government Schemes & Policies 

POSHAN Abhiyaan

The first meeting of National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges under POSHAN Abhiyaan was held in New Delhi.

poshan-2018

About National Council on India’s Nutritional Challenges:

  • Its mandate is to provide policy directions to address countries nutritional challenges through coordinated inter-sectoral action.
  • It is also mandated to coordinate and review convergence between Ministries and review programmes for nutrition on a quarterly basis.
  • It will submit its report to the Prime Minister every 6 months.

poshan-abhiyan-2018

About POSHAN Abhiyaan:

  • POSHAN (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition) Abhiyaan was launched on International Women’s day (March 8) in 2018 to boost nutrition among children and women.
  • It aims to ensure holistic development and adequate nutrition for pregnant women, mothers and children.
  • It targets to reduce level of under-nutrition and other related problems by ensuring convergence of various nutrition related schemes. It also targets stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and low birth rate.
  • It will monitor and review implementation of all such schemes and utilize existing structural arrangements of line ministries wherever available.
  • The Abhiyaan targets to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, anemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and reduce low birth weight by 2%, 2%, 3% and 2% per annum respectively.
  • The target of the mission is to bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 38.4% to 25% by 2022.

Annual targets under POSHAN Abhiyaan:

The annual targets set under POSHAN Abhiyaan beginning 2017-18 are as under:

  • Prevent and reduce stunting in children (0-6years): By 6% @ 2% p.a.
  • Prevent and reduce under-nutrition (underweight prevalence) in children (0-6 years): By 6% @ 2% p.a.
  • Reduce the prevalence of anemia among young Children (6-59 months): By 9% @ 3% p.a.
  • Reduce the prevalence of anemia among Women and Adolescent Girls in the age group of 15-49 years: By 9% @ 3% p.a.
  • Reduce Low Birth Weight (LBW): By 6% @ 2% p.a.
[Ref: PIB] 

 

Economy 

NIIF, Everstone Group in talks to tie up for $500 million fund

The government’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) is in talks with private equity firm Everstone Group for a tie-up to manage its Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF).

About GGEF:

  • The Green Growth Equity Fund will be the second investment platform to be set up by NIIF.
  • GGEF, which will invest in renewable energy assets, is a joint venture between NIIF and the UK government.
  • GGEF would be managed by a third-party investment manager, selected by NIIF Limited and the UK government through an efficient and robust screening and selection process.

About National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF):

Proposed in Union Budget 2015, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) has been set up in last month of 2015.

NIIF

  • The objective of NIIF is to maximize economic impact mainly through infrastructure development in commercially viable projects, both greenfield and brownfield, including stalled projects, NIIF would solicit equity participation from strategic anchor partners.
  • The Fund aims to attract investment from both domestic and international sources.
  • The objective of NIIF is to maximize economic impact mainly through infrastructure development in commercially viable projects, both greenfield and brownfield, including stalled projects, NIIF would solicit equity participation from strategic anchor partners.
  • NIIF has been structured as a fund of funds and set up as Category II Alternate Investment Fund (AIF) under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Regulations.
  • It is a Rs. 40000 crore fund to provide long term capital for infrastructure projects.
  • The government’s contribution would be limited to 49% of the subscribed capital.
  • The government will seek participation from strategic investors such as sovereign fund, quasi sovereign funds and multilateral or bilateral investors, which can help leverage this fund to many times.
  • Cash-rich PSUs, pension funds, provident funds, National Small Saving Fund will be able to pick up stake in the fund.

tackling-infrastructure

[Ref: The Hindu, Live Mint] 

 

RBI explores feasibility of launching ‘fiat’ digital currency

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted an inter-departmental group to study and provide guidance on feasibility to introduce fiat digital currency backed by it. It will be submitted by end-June 2018.

What is Fiat currency?

  • Fiat currency is currency that a government has declared to be legal tender. It is different from cryptocurrency or virtual currency like Bitcoin which is not legal tender and not backed by government.

What is Fiat Digital Currency?

  • Fiat Digital Currency (or Central bank digital currency) is the digital form of fiat money which is currency established as money by government regulation or law. As opposed to private digital tokens, fiat digital currency will be issued by central bank.
  • Fiat Digital Currency will constitute liability of central bank, and will be in circulation in addition to widely used paper and metallic currency. They will be based on blockchain technology which is backbone of unregulated virtual currencies like bitcoin.
  • They will be legal tender as compared to virtual currencies that raise concerns of consumer protection, market integrity and money laundering, among others. Blockchain technology behind it has potential benefit for financial inclusion and enhancing efficiency of financial system.

fait-digital-currency

[Ref: Indian Express] 

 

Key Facts for Prelims 

Samta Diwas

  • Samta Diwas is the celebration of birth anniversary of nationalist politician Babu Jagjivan Ram.
  • It is celebrated on April 5. 2018 marks his 111thbirth anniversary.
  • The day emphasizes on bringing about equality among all spheres of the society.

samta-divas-2018

About Babu Jagjivan Ram:

  • He took part in India’s independence struggle and was founder member of the All India Depressed Classes League, an organisation dedicated to attaining equality for untouchables. He had also led the rural labour movement.
  • He focused on the harsh rules of the society and pressed for the abolishment of this society. His 50 years as a MP is a world record.
  • His beliefs were of great significance in the past era as there was predominance of multi layered society.

 

UTTAM APP for Coal Quality Monitoring

  • The Ministry of Coal has launched UTTAM (Unlocking Transparency by Third Party Assessment of Mined Coal) Application for coal quality monitoring.

uttam-app-two-2018

  • The app aims to ensure transparency and efficiency in coal quality monitoring process and bring coal governance closer to people.
  • The Ministry of Coal and Coal India Limited (CIL) has developed the App.
  • UTTAM App ensures accountability, transparency, effectiveness and efficiency in coal ecosystem. It provides a platform for monitoring of sampling and coal dispatches. 

uttam-app-2018

 

UDAN – RCS

Recently, Pathankot gets Operationalized as the 21st airport under UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) – RCS (Regional Connectivity Scheme). 

 

5 April: National Maritime Day:

  • The National Maritime Day (NMD) is observed every year on 5 April to commemorate the maiden voyage of the first Indian owned ship “SS Loyalty” (the first ship of the Scindia Steam Navigation Company Ltd) sailed from Bombay to London on 5th April 1919.

national-maritime-day-two-2018

  • It was crucial step for India shipping history when sea routes were controlled by the British. It marked red letter day in maritime history of India, a country known for its seafaring abilities since ancient days.
  • This year is it is 55th edition of NMD and theme is “Indian Ocean-An Ocean of opportunity”.
  • The NMD is being observed annually since 1964. It provides opportunity to spread awareness in supporting safe and environmentally sound commerce between continents across the world.
  • It should be noted that World Maritime Day (WMD) is observed on September 29 to highlight the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment.
  • An award called Varuna is conferred to those who have made an outstanding contribution to the Indian maritime sector on this day.

national-maritime-day-2018

 

Government constitutes committee to regulate news portals

  • The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has constituted 10-member committee to regulate online portals, including news websites, entertainment sites and media aggregators.
  • The committee will include secretaries of departments of Home, Electronics and Information and Technology, Legal Affairs and Industrial Policy and Promotion.
  • The CEO of MyGov and representative each of Press Council of India (PCI) and National Broadcasters’ Association (NBA) will also be part of committee.

 

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