70 Days WAR Plan

Day#17 Current Affairs Flash Cards [70 Days WAR Plan]

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC); Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP); Section 33 (7) of the Representation of the People Act of 1951; ‘ADIP Scheme’; FSOC technology; National AYUSH Mission (NAM); Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR); Merchant Discount Rate (MDR); VoLTE technology; Buenos Aires Declaration on Women and Trade;
By IT's Core Team
April 08, 2019




What is Buenos Aires Declaration on Women and Trade? and why India voted against it?

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  • The Buenos Aires Women and Trade Declaration was spearheaded by the governments of Iceland and Sierra Leone, as well as the International Trade Centre.
  • It stemmed from efforts made by the Trade Impact Group of the International Gender Champions, a leadership network that brings female and male decision-makers together to break down gender barriers.
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) participated in the conception and drafting of the declaration through the Trade Impact Group of the International Gender Champions initiative, and provided extensive support for its adoption.

Why India voted against?

  • India, an influential WTO member, was among the minority group that chose not to endorse the move saying that while it supports gender equality, gender is not a trade-related subject.
  • India argued that developed countries could use their high standards of gender equity to curb exports from the developing world, but also indirectly restrict developing countries from incentivising their women citizens as part of measures to address developmental challenges.
  • India said gender-related concerns should be discussed at appropriate fora, and that this precedent would bring in other non-trade subjects, such as labour and environment standards, into the WTO’s purview.

Enrich Your Learning:

Significance of this declaration:

  • Actions outlined in the Declaration will ultimately boost economic growth worldwide and provide more and better paid jobs for women.
  • These actions will also contribute to UN Global Development Goals, including the Sustainable Development Goal to achieve gender equality through the empowerment of women and girls (SDG 5).




What is VoLTE technology? How is it different from LTE?

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What is VoLTE technology?

  • VoLTE is an Internet Protocol Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) specification which enables a variety of services to operate seamlessly on the network rather than having to switch to different applications for voice or video.


  • VoLTE is a technology update to the LTE protocol used by mobile phone networks. Under LTE, the infrastructure of telecom players only allows transmission of data while voice calls are routed to their older 2G or 3G networks. This is why, under LTE, you cannot access your 4G data services while on a call. This leads to problems such as slow internet speeds and poor voice clarity.
  • VoLTE allows voice calls to be ‘packaged’ and carried through LTE networks. This would mean 4G data accessibility even during calls.

Enrich Your Learning:

Significance of VoLTE:

  • VoLTE it could enable call quality that is much superior to the previous networks.
  • Apart from high definition voice quality, it can also provide improved coverage.
  • VoLTE provides a more efficient use of spectrum than traditional voice and increases handset battery life.
  • VoLTE ensures that video services are fully interoperable across the operator community, just as voice services are, as demand for video calls grows.
  • Since VoLTE counts voice calls as data usage, your billing will be in terms of data consumption rather than minutes of usage.




What is Merchant Discount Rate (MDR)? What are the wrong usages of MDR?

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  • MDR is the charge paid by a merchant to a bank for accepting payment from customers via credit or debit cards. It is expressed as a percentage of the transaction amount.
  • In India, the RBI specifies maximum MDR charges that can be levied on every card transaction.

Enrich Your Learning:

Wrong usages of MDR:

Over-charging MDR:

  • Sometimes, merchants charging even more than the MDR, thereby gaining extra money than the price or the bill presented to the client. It can be reasonably argued that this is defrauding the customer and is illegal and should be prohibited.

Customer pays more without being known:

  • In the case of petrol pump outlets, at the time of payment, the customer pays only the cost of the fuel and no additional fees are added to the transaction. However, on receiving the statement of the card, it can be seen that the amount charged for the transaction at the petrol pump is more than the amount swiped for. The additional amount is the surcharge or MDR which is added to the total transaction value and is charged to the customer. This is unfortunate as the customer does not know that he will be paying the extra charge.




Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) Scheme is associated with which region of our country?

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  • The Ministry for Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER) allocates funds from NLCPR to various Northeast states for infrastructure projects.

Enrich Your Learning:

About Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR):

  • NLCPR was created in 1997–98 (operationalized in 1998–99) is the accrual of the unspent balance of the mandatory 10% budgetary allocation of the Ministries/Departments.

Objective of NLCPR:

  • Its objective is to increase flow of budgetary financing for specific viable infrastructure projects and schemes in the region, not just rural areas.
  • Its broad objective is to ensure speedy development of infrastructure in the North Eastern Region and Sikkim by increasing flow of budgetary financing for specific viable infrastructure projects and schemes in the region.


  • The Ministry for Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER) allocates funds from NLCPR to various Northeast states for infrastructure projects.
  • The ministry allocates funds under two schemes viz. NLCPR (State) and NLCPR-Central for which annual budgetary allocations are provided in normal budgetary process.
  • Both physical and social infrastructure sectors such as Irrigation and Flood Control, Power, Roads and Bridges, Education, Health, Water Supply and Sanitation – are considered for providing support under the Central Pool, with projects in physical infrastructure sector receiving priority.
  • Funds from the Central Pool can be released for State sector as well as Central sector projects/schemes.
  • However, the funds available under the Central Pool are not meant to supplement the normal Plan programmes either of the State Governments or Union Ministries/ Departments/ Agencies.




What are the objectives of National AYUSH Mission (NAM)?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

About National AYUSH Mission (NAM):

  • Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has launched National AYUSH Mission (NAM) during 12th Plan (in September 2014) for implementing through States/UTs.
  • NAM is being implemented by Ministry of AYUSH.

Aim of NAM:

  • The NAM aims to address the gaps in health services through supporting the efforts of State/UT Governments for providing AYUSH health services/education in the country, particularly in vulnerable and far-flung areas.

Objective of NAM:

  • To provide cost effective AYUSH Services, with a universal access through upgrading AYUSH Hospitals and Dispensaries, co-location of AYUSH facilities at Primary Health Centres (PHCs), Community Health Centres (CHCs) and District Hospitals (DHs).
  • To strengthen institutional capacity at the state level through upgrading AYUSH educational institutions, State Govt. ASU&H Pharmacies, Drug Testing Laboratories and ASU & H enforcement mechanism.
  • Support cultivation of medicinal plants by adopting Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) so as to provide sustained supply of quality raw-materials and support certification mechanism for quality standards, Good Agricultural/Collection/Storage Practices.
  • Support setting up of clusters through convergence of cultivation, warehousing, value addition and marketing and development of infrastructure for entrepreneurs.




What is FSOC technology? and how does it work?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

What is FSOC technology?

  • Free Space Optical Communication (FSOC) is an optical communication technology that uses light to wirelessly transmit data to telecommunication and internet applications.

How FSOC technology works?

  • FSOC links use beams of light to deliver high-speed, high-capacity connectivity over long distances, just like fiber optic cable, but without the cable.
  • And because there’s no cable, this means there’s none of the time, cost, and hassle involved in digging trenches or stringing cable along poles.
  • FSOC boxes can simply be placed kilometres apart on roofs or towers, with the signal beamed directly between the boxes to easily traverse common obstacles like rivers, roads and railways.




What do you know about the ‘ADIP Scheme’?

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  • The Assistance to Disabled persons for purchasing / fitting of aids / appliances (ADIP) scheme is one of the major initiatives of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India.

Enrich Your Learning:

About the scheme:

  • The scheme is implemented through implementing agencies such as the NGOs, National Institutes under this Ministry and Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO), a PSU.
  • This scheme is implemented to assist the needy disabled person in procuring durable, sophisticated and scientifically manufactured, modern, standard aids and appliances to promote physical, social, psychological rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities by reducing the effects of disabilities and at the same time enhance their economic potential.
  • Assistive devices are given to PwDs with an aim to improve their independent functioning, and to arrest the extent of disability and occurrence of secondary disability.
  • The aids and appliances supplied under the Scheme shall conform to BIS specifications to the extent possible.




Section 33 (7) of the Representation of the People Act of 1951 was sometimes appeared in news. What does it say?

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  • One person, one vote & one candidate, one constituency is the dictum of democracy. However, as per the law – Section 33 (7) of the Representation of the People Act of 1951, as it stands today, a person can contest the election for the same office from two constituencies simultaneously.
  • Section 33(7) of the Representation of People’s Act permits a candidate to contest any election (Parliamentary, State Assembly, Biennial Council, or bye-elections) from up to two constituencies. The provision was introduced in 1996 prior to which there was no bar on the number of constituencies from which a candidate could contest.

Enrich Your Learning:

Arguments in favour of barring candidates contesting from more than one seat:

When a candidate contests from two seats, it is imperative that he has to vacate one of the two seats if he wins both. This, apart from the consequent unavoidable financial burden on the public exchequer, government manpower and other resources for holding bye-election is also an injustice to the voters of the constituency which the candidate is quitting from.

Election Commission’s views on the issue:

  • EC was in favour of not allowing politicians from contesting from multiple seats saying it resulted in wastage of public money as when fresh election was conducted, the candidate had to vacate one seat after winning in both the constituencies.
  • Commission had already requested the Centre to amend the law for barring people from fighting election from multiple constituencies in an election.
  • Law Commission had also recommended Centre to amend the law but the Centre had not taken any step to implement the suggestion.

Alternative suggested by EC:

  • The ECI alternatively suggested that if existing provisions are retained then the candidate contesting from two seats should bear the cost of the bye-election to the seat that the contestant decides to vacate in the event of his/her winning both seats. The amount in such an event could be Rs 5 lakh for assembly election and Rs 10 lakh for parliament election.




What are the objectives of Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP)?

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The initial objectives of the RNTCP in India were:

  • to achieve and maintain a TB treatment success rate of at least 85% among new sputum positive (NSP) patients.
  • to achieve and maintain detection of at least 70% of the estimated new sputum positive people in the community.

Enrich Your Learning:

About Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP):

The large scale implementation of the Indian government’s Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP) (sometimes known as RNTCP 1) was started in 1997.

  • The RNTCP was then expanded across India until the entire nation was covered by the RNTCP in March 2006. At this time the RNTCP also became known as RNTCP II.
  • RNTCP II was designed to consolidate the gains achieved in RNTCP I, and to initiate services to address TB/HIV, MDR-TB and to extend RNTCP to the private sector.
  • RNTCP uses the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended Directly Observed Treatment Short Course (DOTS) strategy and reaches over a billion people in 632 districts/reporting units.
  • The RNTCP is responsible for carrying out the Government of India five year TB National Strategic Plans.
  • With the RNTCP both diagnosis and treatment of TB are free. There is also, at least in theory, no waiting period for patients seeking treatment and TB drugs.



Currently all members of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) have coastline on the Pacific Ocean. Right OR Wrong?

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  • India has requested membership in APEC, and received initial support from the United States, Japan, Australia and Papua New Guinea. Officials have decided not to allow India to join for various reasons, considering that India does not border the Pacific Ocean, which all current members do. However, India was invited to be an observer for the first time in November 2011.

Enrich Your Learning:

About Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC):

  • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim member economies that promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
  • It was established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies and the advent of regional trade blocs in other parts of the world.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) iastoppers

What Does APEC Do?

  • APEC ensures that goods, services, investment and people move easily across borders.
  • Members facilitate this trade through faster customs procedures at borders; more favorable business climates behind the border; and aligning regulations and standards across the region.
  • APEC works to help all residents of the Asia-Pacific participate in the growing economy. For example, APEC projects provide digital skills training for rural communities and help indigenous women export their products abroad.
  • Recognizing the impacts of climate change, APEC members also implement initiatives to increase energy efficiency and promote sustainable management of forest and marine resources.
  • The forum adapts to allow members to deal with important new challenges to the region’s economic well-being. This includes ensuring disaster resilience, planning for pandemics, and addressing terrorism.


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